How To Get Motivated When You’re In A Rut

I have fallen into a mid-summer rut. My vacation-deprived self has spent her time indoors avoiding the humid, sticky, 100 degree DC summer.

Sure, it’s sunny and there are so many things to do but the slow paced, lazy nature of August is going to make me have a full on conniption. I am someone who needs to stay busy and nothing has been quenching my thirst.

Good news is that I have put together a list of things to do to help you (and me) get motivated and moving even though the days are so long and so slow.

Get Inspired

This is a crucial first step. Head over to your favorite bookstore and pick up some inspiring books be it self help, lifestyle, cookbooks, art books, etc. I highly recommend “How To Be A Person In the World” by Heather Havrilesky (from Ask Polly), “Wellth: How I Learned To Build A Life Not A Resume” by Jason Wachob (from MindBodyGreen), and “You Are A Badass”  by NY Times best selling author, Jen Sincero. These books will change the way you look at health, relationships, and self care and will motivate you to make some positive changes in your life.

Not big on reading? Get into podcasts and youtube. The internet is filled with amazing resources that will fill you with ideas and inspire you to get moving. Kalyn Nicholson has some amazing videos filled with lifestyle advice and DIYs. NastyGal founder Sophia Amoruso also has an amazing podcast, #girlboss, where she interviews Girlbosses who run shit in creative, cultural, and business ventures and comes up with some solid advice from the lessons they have learned along the way.

Invest In Your Surroundings

I am a firm believer that your surroundings dictate your mood. Take a trip to HomeGoods or Marshalls and treat yourself to a fresh new beadspread and some sassy throw pillows. Fill the room you spend the most time in with candles, cozy blankets, and inspiring wall prints. Make a vision board that reflects your goals for the year and will inspire you to work toward them every day. Set aside 5 minutes every day to tidy up your living space and make your bed. While you’re at it, reorganize your closet and assemble a donation bag full of clothes you no longer wear. Declutter your life.

Get Moving

Even if you’re just getting some work done at Starbucks, leaving the house and surrounding yourself with people will make you feel more energized and productive. You should also make some brunch plans with your girls and to give yourself something to look forward to.

Try Out Journaling

Sometimes getting your thoughts out on paper is all you need to make sense of how you are feeling and what’s bothering you in life. If you dont know where to start, I highly recommend The Five Minute Journal by Youtubers Mimi and Alex Ikonn.

Treat Yourself

Be it a mani/pedi, SoulCycle class, or some summer sandals you have had your eye on, treat yourself. It is so important, especially when you’re not feeling so great, to take care of yourself and do things that will make you look and feel good.

Get Into Serious Baths

Go to LUSH and invest in some bathbombs (try out this invigorating avacado lemongrass bathbomb). Pour yourself a glass of chardonnay and grab your favorite book and some candles and cozy up for some well-deserved “me time.”

Look Your Best

You never know when you’re gonna run into your ex boyfriend, right? Even if you’re just running to the grocery store, throw on a romper (it’s easier than picking an outfit and comfier) and some concealer to hide those dark circles. Invest in an eyelash curler to instantly brighten your face and look awake. When you look good, you feel good and exude confidence.

Comment below and let me know some of your favorite ways to stay motivated and get moving through the long summer months! Happy August!

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Eight Things Every 20 Something Needs to be Reminded of Every Once In a While

  1. Acceptance of yourself is more important than acceptance from others
  2. Getting no message is also a message
  3. Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong
  4. Be known as someone who is full of love and radiates light
  5. You probably have someone else’s goal physique; be nice to your body
  6. Dont say maybe if you want to say no
  7. Be with someone who makes your mondays feel like fridays
  8. Try to love yourself as much as you want someone else to

photo credit: cover

6 Morning Habits of Happy and Confident 20 Somethings

Life is freaking nuts. Between work and school, we are somehow expected to stay healthy, make time for friends, keep in touch with family, and maintain a (somewhat) clean and organized living space. In the process we are losing ourselves. We are losing our sense of who we are and where we stand in the world.

I have always been the girl who sleeps in past noon, has millions of excuses on hand for getting out of work, and who, at the end of the day, was extremely unhappy and self conscious. After my boyfriend and I broke up this past spring, I realized I had no idea who I was outside of being a girlfriend, a friend, a sister, a daughter. I got lost in the routine of my mundane life. So I decided to use my newfound freedom as an opportunity to reinvent myself.

I began taking myself on dates to my favorite coffeeshop in Adams Morgan where I took up writing while the thick aroma of coffee and croissants enveloped my every inhale. I would visit my favorite bookstore outside of Friendship Heights and read books about art and history. I rediscovered who I was outside from my relationship to other people and gained a sense of direction for the future.

I am a firm believer that if you start your day right you can live a decluttered and mindful life, while also making time for happy hour with your work friends on Friday and brunch with your girls on Sunday. Here’s how:

1. Wake up early (ish)

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Morning people run the world. Don’t believe me? Study after study confirm that waking up early is highly correlated with proactiveness, productivity, and positivity. Bonus, the extra time in the morning will give you the opportunity to set some goals for the day.

You don’t need to start by waking up at 4:30 am to go for a jog in the dark. Start slowly by waking up 15 minutes earlier than you normally would and then cut back another 15 minutes in a few days once you are used to that.


2. Get your shit together and meditate

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Think meditating is hard? Most of us already meditate without realizing it. The last time you spent an extra five minutes in the shower because it felt too good to get out? Meditating. The time you laid out tanning by yourself doing absolutely nothing but absorbing vitamin D? Meditating.

The western world has become enamoured with eastern practices, and for good reason. Studies have proven that meditation promotes happiness, and helps control anxiety and depression.

Start by setting a timer and making yourself sit for two minutes every day. Leave behind judgement and any inclination you have to overthink your practice. With time commit to 10 minutes, then 20. As you make meditation a part of your daily routine, you will learn to control your thoughts and emotions and gain perspective on the world outside of your day-to-day obligations.


3. Affirm your insecurities

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I remember walking down the hair dye aisles of the drugstore as a little girl wishing I could dye my brown hair blonde and that there was some way I could make my tan skin lighter. Just two years ago, I vividly remember trying on my brand new Victoria’s Secret bathing suit (which I emptied my bank account to afford for spring break) and immediately bursting into tears upon looking at my body in the mirror.

I have come a long way since then and I owe it to affirmations. When you start each day by saying out loud. “I am confident,” “today will be amazing,” “I am happy,” you over time start to believe it and embody those mantras in the way you carry yourself and your outlook on life.

When I first started I had no idea where to begin and felt ridiculous speaking to myself. I began by listening to recordings while I put on makeup or while driving to work. My favorite ones are by Louise Hay, who is known as one of the founders of the modern self-help movement (I recommend “101 Power Thoughts”).

From there, you can tailor the affirmations to what is going on in your life at the moment. When I was feeling self conscious I would say things like “I love myself and my body,” and when I was going through a breakup (you’re talking to a serial monogamist) I would say things like “I am no longer tied down and can do whatever I want” or “I am happier without him” and believe it or not, I actually started to believe it.


4. Make yourself a power breakfast

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Treat yourself to some instagram-worthy breakfasts. A protein-packed breakfast will help curb your appetite for the rest of the day and make you feel energized and satisfied. Get inspired and try out acai bowls, over easy eggs with avocado toast, green smoothies, chia pudding, or smoothie bowls. Or if you’re feeling fancy, try out these low calorie quinoa pancakes (I can testify to their yumminess). No one wants to go to work hangry.


5. Read the news

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Smart is sexy. Not only will reading the news enhance your vocabulary and comprehension over time, but doing so will also help you form opinions on contentious issues from gun violence to global poverty.

If you get bored reading CNN,  there are so many engaging news sources that cover every issue from public health to rape culture on college campuses. Vox has an amazing youtube channel that breaks down complex issues you never understood in a three to five minute video. Subscribe to theSkimm for a quick and dirty break down of the week’s major headlines so you’re well equipped to make small talk with your hard to please boss.


6. Exercise

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Ugh – trust me I know. I am no athlete. If you see me running, you might as well run too because there is probably something bad coming. But whether you spend 10 minutes doing sun salutations or spend $30+ on a SoulCycle class (guilty) starting your day moving your body will not only jumpstart your metabolism and fill your body with endorphins, but also make you feel productive and at least create the illusion that you have your life together.

If you’re really struggling, start by simply committing to put your yoga mat out or putting on your running shoes when you wake up every day. You are much more likely to follow through if you have already taken the first steps.


At the end of the day (or the beginning!) happiness is a choice. Many of us spend our days assuming we will be happier if our circumstances change, but a growing body of research in positive psychology exhibit that happiness is a choice that any of us can make. This is it. This is your life. Why not start living your best life today?

 

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