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Are you allowing yourself to be happy? This is a question I started asking myself and quickly realized that I was not allowing myself to be happy at all. Have you ever been in a season or period of your life, where things have not been going particularly well? Hello, adulting? lol I think I was just so used to not being happy that even when things were going well in my life, I didn’t even recognize that it was something that I should be happy about. I only saw the negative. Things were starting to turn around and I was still moping around like the world was falling. I’ve mentioned in a blog post before that I started going to counseling. I really do want to write a whole blog post on it because it has helped me tremendously. Anyway, I’ve been doing it for a couple of months now and this was one of the things we uncovered during one of our sessions. Now, I’m the type of person that once you make me aware of something, I can kind of stop it before I start spiraling (another reason why counseling really works for me). But if you’re not like that I wanted to share some of the things that have helped me, shift my mindset and allow myself to be happy and to celebrate the good things going on in life.

Finding the positive in every day – So this is an exercise that I started doing every morning. As I’m driving to work and talking with my mom on the phone, I talk to her about at least one positive thing that happened the day before. It sounds super juvenile and you’re probably like what is this bologna that you’re saying, but I PROMISE it’s worth giving this a shot. What this does is, even if the day before was a horrible day, you’re still finding one good thing about it. I’ve been doing this for a couple of weeks now and it has drastically helped. A tip is to try and focus it on the area that is bringing you the most negativity. For example, if it’s work, try to find something positive that happened at work.

Take a moment to celebrate – I am the first to admit that I am the worst at this. I think it’s partially because we are a part of a generation that is constantly wanting to do better and be better. While this is a great thing, it’s also about celebrating the little moments and not being too hard on yourself. It’s about finding that balance. SOOO if you present a project at work and you kill it, or if you decided to take the stairs instead of the elevator, you CELEBRATE. Pat yourself on the back, take a moment to acknowledge your victory no matter how big or small it is. Okay, so sometimes I don’t celebrate the right way like I’ll spend unnecessary money on clothes or celebrate working out with a donut lol but at least I’m celebrating.

Even though you may not like the season you’re in, put attention on the things you enjoy. Discover the things that bring you joy and do them! I’m beginning to realize that life is really too short to be focused on the negative. We have to much to do in this world to be held back.

Photo by Geraldine

-M

You ever feel like you just keep experiencing the same things over and over again? It’s the same cycle; like lather, rinse and repeat? Well, that is me—NO, that was me. This year I became really tired of struggling with the same things. I picked at little things that I didn’t like about myself. I isolated myself from the people who love me. I tried to handle everything on my own and then acted like everything was all peachy when everything was actually falling apart. I was extremely hard on myself. I was extremely pessimistic. I’m a perfectionist, and I hated making mistakes so much that I’d stop myself from making any moves. Honestly, this list could go on forever, but the point of me listing these things is to show you that I was becoming my own worst enemy. I was the one getting in the way of everything that I wanted to accomplish. I was the one stopping myself from being great, and I knew something needed to change. I knew I needed to change.

Soooo I started to shift my thinking. I started being kind to myself. I started doing things for me. I focused on the things that I loved and what I wanted out of life. I started to care about Makeda. I had to sit down and ask myself some hard questions. As a 20-something, it can be hard to figure out your life. Am I the only one that feels my steps are more of a stumble than a graceful leap? LOL. We don’t have to have everything figured out, but when things aren’t going how we want them to, we have to figure out the problem and the solution. Life is too short to be unhappy with our careers, relationships, selves, etc. So 2018 is deemed the Year of Makeda, and I wanted to share a few of the things that have helped me get out of my funk.

Bring it back to the core.

Over the course of 2017, I felt like I lost God. I know that you can’t technically lose God, but it sure felt like I did. It was not a good feeling. My relationship with God is my core; for that part of me to feel like it was missing was a big factor in how I was feeling. I didn’t have anything to anchor to; no faith and no hope. When I was able to really focus on what the issue was, I learned that despite those feelings, it’s about pushing through. You got to keep praying, keep reading your Bible and keep spending time with God. Once I started to do that, things started to fall into place. I was focusing on the right things.

What’s at your core? What’s the thing that grounds and centers you? Maybe it’s meditation? Or maybe it’s something else? Whatever it is, focus on that. When our core beliefs and values are messed up, all other areas of our lives can be affected.

Go to counseling.

I want to write a whole blog post about this because I can’t tell you how much I love counseling. It is one of the best decisions I’ve made so far in my life. When people think of counseling, they think of someone going through it. Maybe an addict, someone with severe depression, etc. But you don’t need to be a severe case in order to go to counseling. Everyone should do it. It’s an eye-opening experience where you can get to the root of the problem. A counselor helps you come to conclusions on your own and prepares you with tools to help you overcome the problem. If you’re worried about the cost of counseling, there are options! Your health insurance sometimes covers counseling, or at least pays for some of it. Another option is turning to a college or a church. Many of them offer free or low-cost limited sessions for the community. Figure it out someway, somehow. I promise you won’t regret it.

Journal.

Okay, I promise I’m not just saying this, but this is another one of my best decisions, LOL, and something else that I encourage everyone to do. When you’re an over-thinker, it can be hard to figure out your thoughts. Journaling helps me make sense of everything. I get all of my thoughts out, and then there’s instant clarity and revelation on the situation. You can be as unfiltered as you need to be because there is no one there to judge you. Ever since I was a little girl, the only way I could properly express myself was through writing, so journaling is super therapeutic for me. I also practice gratitude journaling to help shift my mind to the good things going on in my life.

Find things that you enjoy.

My mom gave me great advice during my little rough patch and said that every day, I should make sure I’m doing at least one thing that I enjoy for myself. We get caught up in the day-to-day, and things start to become routine. When I realized I wasn’t taking any time for myself, I started to try to figure out what I enjoyed doing. I’m actually still figuring these things out, LOL. Whether it is going on a walk, spending time with friends, finding a hobby, developing a passion, watching your favorite show—FIND IT and DO IT! Surprisingly, I realized that I actually like nature (only to an extent, LOL). I went on a walk around a local lake with a friend, and it was one of the best things because it really relaxed me, cleared my head and kept me active all at the same time.

So that’s it! Those are some of the things that I’ve been doing, and it’s helped so much! I’m still a work in progress, but I know I’m not the only one going through these things. So if you’re also going through a season like this, I hope these things help you as much as they have helped me! 2018 is the Year of the Makeda, so make it the Year of You, too!’

-M

Aha Moment n.

A moment of sudden insight or discovery

About a year and a half ago, I graduated from college (Go Knights!). On my graduation cap, I wrote a little saying that you might have heard of before: “The Best is Yet To Come”. I thought it would best fit the direction I saw my life heading in. I was expectant and hopeful as I was about to be pushed out into the real world and I assumed it could only go up from there.

As graduation gets closer and closer, the one thing that’s on everyone’s mind is “What do I do now?” Should I go to grad school? How do I find a job? What’s the job hunt going to be like? We’ve been in school all of our lives and now we have to put to use what we’ve learned over the past couple of years and go out there and find a job. My beautiful and talented friend, Rebecca, gave me some of the best after graduation advice a couple of months a go. Today, I have asked her to share on the blog the process she went through finding a job after graduation and how she powered through it…

So a couple of weeks ago, I turned 22. You know that one age that no one really acknowledged until Taylor Swift made a song about it? Surprisingly, I did not have Taylor Swift blaring through the apartment, but I must say I am feeling 22. This year is a huge year for me. I graduate from college and end that season of my life. I have to put my degree to work and find a big girl job. This year, adulting happens in full effect. So many changes are about to happen and take place in my life. I honestly don’t know if I’m ready for it, but it doesn’t matter because it’s happening lol.

Through my many life experiences at 22, I have learned some things. You know that saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?” I used to think it was a bunch of bologna, but it honestly is true. Over the past couple of years I have had amazing memories, but also some horrible ones. But in every moment, good and bad, I have learned a lesson. Here are a few things I’ve learned over the years:

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