one of the biggest lessons I learned in 2018

one of the biggest lessons I learned in 2018

how this blog helped me define my passion

When we wake up tomorrow, it’ll be a new year. WHOA.

The end of each year always gets me in my feels as I start to reflect on all of the adventures I’ve taken, all of the obstacles I’ve faced and all of the lessons I’ve learned in the last 365 days. Something I’m really thinking about recently? This blog.

I started the adventures & anxiety blog and Instagram to help with my anxiety through writing, and also in hopes of helpings others. Just a few months in and I’m thinking … Shit, is it making it worse?

Spoiler alert: It did (temporarily).

Unfortunately, I allowed this blog and its corresponding social pages to take priority in my life momentarily … I began to pressure myself to create what I felt was “worthy content” — forcing Instagram posts and blog topics that didn’t necessarily come naturally (something that I promised myself I would NOT do when I started this!). This resulted in spending too much time trying to beat writer’s block and taking too many pictures of myself, which always ends with negative thoughts such as “ugh, bad angle”, “I should seriously consider doing my hair before I take another picture” and “will anyone even care about this?”  *eyeroll*

So yeah, that was totally not the point of starting adventures & anxiety.

As I started to reflect, I quickly took a chapter from my own book and set some boundaries with my Instagram specifically, because damn — I do love that platform. It’s a big part of my career and now an even bigger part of my personal life. But it had started to become all-consuming.

And then … cue Christmastime. Cue added STRESS. Cue anxiety attacks. Cue all the negative feelings about myself. Throw in the pressure I was putting on myself to write and post? NOPE. Formula for disaster.

So, I stepped away from this blog and its social platforms for a total of about two weeks (not that long, but long enough!), and I’m so thankful I did. I learned a few things about myself in the process. And here goes it …

  • Stepping away from the screen allowed me to be more present with the people and experiences I love. I have an amazing family and home, a beautiful baby niece, an expecting sister (and they’re TWINS!), a dog, and of course, a fiancé to focus on and to soak in … Moments with them are what truly matter.
  • This time opened my eyes to my borderline-addiction to social media (I’m definitely going to elaborate on this in a separate blog post soon!). Note: this is something I’m working on.
  • I realized that I needed to re-prioritize my life. Family first – just like my parents taught me!
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But, my biggest lesson from this? I LOVE writing – I love writing about mental health, specifically. It fuels me. It makes me feel alive. It makes me feel genuinely like ME. We’re always told to pursue our passion … So, this is me pursuing mine!

And truthfully, I missed it. I missed connecting with like-minded souls. I missed expressing myself through my writing. I missed taking fun pictures and sharing them with my friends, family and followers.

So here I am babes — it feels good to be back!

While I definitely plan to set realistic boundaries with adventures & anxiety, you definitely haven’t seen the last of me. 🙂

What are you reflecting on as the year comes to a close?


Happy 2019!

xoxo,

Lisa

how to approach new year’s resolutions when you struggle with anxiety

how to approach new year’s resolutions when you struggle with anxiety

no resolutions? no problem.

First thing’s first: HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Christmas is almost here and before we all know it, it’s going to be 2019 (I can’t believe it either!). And with the New Year comes the “new YOU”right? Ugh, wrong. So wrong.

I ditched the typical New Year’s resolutions – aka losing weight and participating in fitness challenges – a couple of years ago. THANK GOODNESS I did, because honestly, those goals did nothing but set me up for disappointment, defeat or feeling like I failed in some way.

Now, I’m all for implementing healthier lifestyle choices; if it helps you to begin those on the first of the year, then go for it! Personally, I have to tread lightly with this all-too-popular trend because let’s be real – if I set a goal and fail at it, I’ll feel nothing but shame toward myself. That’s not a way to start the New Year, now is it?

If you’re anything like me and battle regular anxiety or even high levels of stress, I recommend taking a different approach to your 2019 resolutions intentions. 

Instead of setting goals focused on specific (and sometimes unrealistic) results, I encourage you to set intentions that focus on feelings.

What does that mean, you ask? Well, allow me to elaborate by digging into the three aspirations I plan to work on in the upcoming year.

listen to your body

Instead of calorie counting or following a specific diet, eat what makes you feel good; instead of scheduling five workouts each week, listen to your body and workout when it feels right.

If you’ve read my previous blog on food, you know I’ve learned my lesson from dieting too hard (*cough cough* Whole30). Now, I focus on eating balanced meals that make me feel my best.

Well, I’ve also been known to go a little overboard with my fitness routine in the last decade or so – pushing myself too hard to the point of injury or burnout. But no matter how much I was exercising, I wasn’t seeing any kind of results. Thankfully, I took note from my personal trainer and instead of forcing 5+ workouts in each week, I started to allow myself to rest when my body was tired, super sore or simply if I wasn’t feeling up to it. The benefit? Not only do I feel better physically, my mental health has improved. Win-win!

practice setting boundaries

Boundaries are hard, but damn are they worth setting. Setting boundaries – learning to say no for your own benefit – will do wonders for your overall mental health.

Also, communicating your wants and needs to those closest to you will allow you to express yourself and give your family and friends the opportunity to better understand who you are. Practice setting boundaries with your partner, friends and family members, and focus on feeling less guilty and more at peace with the idea. Read more on how I’m working on this whole boundaries thing here.

prioritize self-care

Don’t wait until January 1 – make it a priority to take care of yourself first right now. Self-care means something different for everyone, but for me it means committing to less with others (hi, boundaries!) and doing more to fuel my needs.

Friendly reminder: self-care is not selfish. So, listen to your thoughts; listen to your body. What do you need? Fulfill those needs and desires – make more time for you.

So, 2019 may not be the year I conquer the keto diet or the year that I run my first marathon (I can barely manage a 5K and I’m totally OK with that!) … But, it will be a year full of mindfulness and self-care – two things I am proud to be working toward.

You don’t need to become a new person in the New Year, but I do recommend putting more effort into listening to your body, being mindful and being happy. What intentions have you set for the upcoming year?

Happy almost-2019!

xoxo,

Lisa


Please note that I am not a mental health professional. Always seek the advice of your mental health professional or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your condition.