How to Wind Down in the Evening & Reduce Stress

Look at you investing in your well-being and growing as an individual. You should be proud of yourself. You’re making the right moves towards a happier and healthier lifestyle by doing what’s necessary to benefit your future self. Go you!

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Let’s be honest. Did we get a good routine going? Have we mastered our mornings yet? Now, if you’re thinking, “I’m not exactly where I want to be at the moment,” you probably aren’t the only one. Don’t worry, it’s September. You’ve got plenty of time to align yourself with your new year’s resolutions still.

So how do you keep the forward momentum going? First and foremost, stay positive. You never know what someone may be going through, so be kind always. Primarily, you might consider pushing yourself to sticking to your plans and seeing them through whether they be long-term or short-term goals. Also, reward yourself! Never forget to give yourself a pat on the back every once in a while for even the small, seemingly-insignificant achievements. Most importantly, you educate yourself. Stay humble and acknowledge your mistakes. Create healthy habits, find inspiration and try out new ideas. Challenge yourself. Remember to let go of your fears as they do not serve you. You’re committing to the journey from here on out. Believe in yourself.

Great, now that all sounds easier said than done, right? Monday morning comes and goes, you’re done with work for the day, and thinking about winding down. What are you doing with your spare time?

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Unwinding with a glass of wine? Binge watching all your favorite Netflix shows? Avoiding major responsibilities until you pass out for the night? If you want to live life with a “rich” mindset, your free time might include planning, working out, educating yourself, reading meditating, or learning a new skill. On the contrary, a “poor” mindset engages in being lazy, complaining about work, and gambling away your earnings.

Try this instead:

    Evaluate your day – What amazing things happened today? How could you have made today even better? What do I plan on accomplishing tomorrow? This will help you reflect on the good throughout your day, ensuring you end your day on a positive note.
    Write things down – Studies has shown that when one writes down their goals on a regular basis, they have a much higher chance of achieving them. This is because when we write things down, we ignore our subconscious mind, which is a manifestation powerhouse. Look into the power of scripting. Also, if you don’t already have one, get at least one journal.
    Plan the next day – Visualize your success. See yourself going through your daily routine. You’ll be better prepared if you already know what to expect.
    Unplug – Two hours of no phone before bed. Give your eyes and neck a rest from being strained all day, just trust me on this.
    Maintain personal hygiene – Consider showering, washing your face, flossing, brushing your teeth, and moisturizing at least daily. Be sure to treat your body right by avoiding harsh chemicals and remember to read the labels. Opt for sulfate free, paraben free, fluoride free, and cruelty-free products.
    Dim the lights – Set the tone by turning the lights down low for a better night’s sleep.
    Evening exercise – Light movement is beneficial for you at this time and be sure to stretch. Stretching helps to relieve muscle tension and prevent sleep-disrupting cramps whereas doing a big workout before bed can have the opposite effect.
    Prepare tomorrow’s outfit – What you want is to make things flow in the morning to reduce stress. If that means setting your clothes out the night before so you don’t spend extra time trying to figure out what you need, then take the necessary time to make your life easier.
    Connect with loves ones – Make sure to check in with your support circle. Even if it’s just you and one other person, pour into each other to build one another up.
    Read – It doesn’t matter if you only have time for 10 pages every night, or if it’s one chapter every week, or even one book every other month. Reading before bedtime is a great way to unwind and expand your mind.
    Set alarm and put phone away – Yes, you heard me. If you use the alarm on your phone to wake up in the morning, set your alarm and put the phone away somewhere you won’t be tempted to use prior to going to sleep. Keep practicing this until you form the habit.
    Sleep earlier – I’m guilty of not doing this consistently, but we must try to sleep earlier. More sleep is more important.

So my question for you is, are you being true to yourself? Are you living a life full of joy? What sparks joy in your life? The first thing you think of is your answer. Too often we spend time and energy searching for answers when they’re right in front of us. Make the choice to live in gratitude for what you have and where you’re at today. Leave the past where it belongs, and focus on the here and now. The future is bright, you have to see it to believe it.

If you need help developing your morning routine, I got you! Check out my first post from YBPOC.com Best Version of You

💚 Your Friendly Neighborhood Home Girl

~ Jenevieve Hutchison aka Wild Thing, is a holistic health enthusiast and free-spirit. After earning her AA in Liberal Arts from Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, and her BA in Communications emphasizing in Entertainment Studies from California State University in Fullerton, self-love and happiness became a passion for this wild child. She loves dancing and nature, a healthy meal and a great workout! Have a topic you want to hear about? Reach out in the comments or on social media and Wild Thing will be happy to bring it up in the next Happy – Healthy – Whole column.

Email : FollowWildThing@gmail.com

Blog : wildthing.blog

Instagram : @followwildthing

Twitter : @Real_Wild_Thing

How to Stay Motivated When You Just Aren’t Feeling It?

Need some tools to keep you going throughout the week? I got you fam! Sometimes things come up and we just aren’t in the mood to handle business. Staying disciplined is key.

Success looks like an iceberg. What people see compared to the size of what really happens underneath the surface are completely different. To acquire this success, there are stepping stones in which you must cross; from having the vision, being motivated, determination, to having patience and committing to the effort to keep positive thinking focusing on your desire, self esteem, persistence and belief in your goals. So what are you waiting for? You got this!

What people may not realize is the hard work you put into getting to know yourself and practicing self love so that you may be successful. So I say, keep doing you. Make your moves in silence. Secure the bag.

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We get 24 hours in a day. How you manage your time is entirely up to you. Are you going to spend you precious moments scrolling through social media or are you going to put your talents to use by investing in yourself and your health? Be proactive with your decisions in life. Plan, evaluate and take action. Acquiring some long term and short term goals can help achieve this. If you’re thinking where do I even start? Start here. Start right now.

If you often hear yourself saying, “One day,” then I suggest you take the necessary measures to turn that saying into “Day one.” Why wait? There’s no time like the present time! We often don’t realize the one thing standing in our way is us. Life is all about the journey, and not the destination. If you don’t appreciate where you are at now, how will you ever get to where you want to be?

What we can focus our attention on right now is practicing gratitude as it will attract more positives into our lives. Remember to also be patient with yourself, because greatness doesn’t come overnight. Even if you feel fear, have the courage to step forward and embrace it by using daily positive rituals to keep you focused on you. So what are you waiting for? Start today. Reset those bad habits.

First, think of a habit you want to change. Maybe your first instinct when you wake up is to grab your phone. You have to think, what does that give me? What feelings do I attach to this action? My first thoughts are usually family and work to make sure I’m not late to something. Instead, what I can replace this with is journaling and drinking a warm cup of tea. So, what’s my solution? I move my phone into the bathroom every night before I go to sleep.

The same concept can be applied to that critical self talk you fill your brain with. You really believe you’re getting that self control you’ve been yearning for, but maybe you just need to smile more. Try practicing humor and detachment by nicknaming your critic. Miss Jay Bae the Procrastinator in my head likes to think she runs this show. Ha! She thought… Remember to keep your friends close. They should be able to hold you accountable in your moments of unclarity.

Maybe for you, accountability looks like not sitting around waiting for opportunity to present itself. If you’re looking to increase your productivity and flow, try to incorporate walking or meetings into your week. Make sure to schedule as such. Your phone has an alarm and a calendar at your fingertips.

Lastly, if you’re the type of person who needs to unwinds with a glass or two of wine every night, you could try swapping it with a session of restorative yoga. Schedule a class at your local studio and remember to always be teachable.

You can and will be successful if you believe in yourself. It all starts with you!

What Can You Do When You’re About to Lose It?

Listen, I get it. Everyone gets frustrated. We lose our patience. Someone keeps sending passive aggressive emails. One thing goes wrong and the next thing you know, we’re in a mood. We then blow up on our kids and they can’t even comprehend why. It’s an everyday struggle to stay motivated when you feel like you’re being pulled in every direction. We’ve all been there before.

I’m here to tell you that there are other options. Feeling negativity and hate from others can affect your mood over time. That is why it is so important to protect yourself and your energy. By re-examining your environment and going in prepared, you may be able to help yourself or another person out of their funk and help your relationship as a result. So, the moment before we snap, consider a few tips to stop you from affecting your mood.

The next time you’re about to lose your cool around your kids, friends, your coworkers, or even customers, try this instead:

1. Breathe deeply. Sometimes just a couple of deep breaths can defuse an entire situation. Before you react, let go of that air in your lungs and breathe in and our for a moment or two while you compose yourself.

2. Pray for wisdom. Go on, set out your intentions for at least some kind of understanding of what is actually going on. Guidance is important in these situations. Sometimes what seems to be the cause of the bad mood isn’t actually what’s really going on. Try and take a step back from the situation and attempt to determine what could be the problem.

3. Be the benevolent boss. A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, so this should be an easy reminder for you to be kind. Nobody wants to hear bad things spewing from your mouth. Practice using kindness from flattery to humor, but that depends entirely on the person’s personality. Try to validate how they’re feeling and try not to take it personally.

4. Examine your expectations. What do you aim to achieve out of this? If your desired result is peace, reassess yourself and how the situation is being handled. If you must get to the bottom of the problem, you can do it in a gentle way.

5. Stick to the boundaries. Know your limits, and set your boundaries accordingly. As long as you stick to them and stay consistent, there is no confusion as to where you stand on the matter. Being a good friend, parent, or employee doesn’t mean you always have to take the brunt of their bad moods. Protect yourself by deciding not to put up with it anymore, and sometimes you also just need to get some space from a situation.

6. State the consequences. If there is no justification as to why, the behavior may continue without a lesson being learned. Set consequences and state them so that they are understandable.

7. Say, “I need,” not, “You are.” When you put the emphasis on yourself, the other person might feel less threatened. Staying positive or saying something nice to the person who is in a bad mood may lift them out of their funk. It can also help bring you closer together during this unhappy time.

8. Think long-term. Understand this isn’t forever. Fortunately, bad moods come and go. Keep this in mind when you are in one or you’re dealing with someone who is in one. Knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel may help you get through the situation.

9. Ask forgiveness. Remove yourself from the situation if the person’s behavior is getting out of line or you can’t handle it anymore. You can tell the person, “I see that you are really upset about something, and I’m sorry for that. However, I need to walk away for a minute.” Keep in mind that you can choose your level of involvement and sometimes it is best to just ignore the person.

10. Say, “I love you too much to let you act that way.” Everyone needs a little reassurance every once in a while. You likely know the person well enough to understand how to handle them when they get in their mood. You may know that they want you to sympathize with them instead of giving advice. It is in your best interest to go into the situation prepared and doing what has worked in the past, but if you are unsure this will help, prepare yourself for how the situation could get worse.

You can do it fam! I believe in you. Handle those tough moments with wisdom and grace, and I guarantee you’ll come out on top. Good luck out there!

Farmers Markets & Collecting Seeds 4 Change

Gotta love spring time 🌼 thanks for sharing sis!

Followlittlewings

Orange County, California is #blessed with handfuls of healthy people pushing eachother towards good lifestyle habits.

I have found that seeds of wellbeing are easy to pick up, just by living in California or areas with close proximity to nature.

Journal #3 April 1st

Consider how now your Daily exercise habits are made easy due to this environment. Offer gratitude by using familiar resources, the neighborhood track, my Gardent, state parks and trails which I intend to explore while learn about native plants. I will #Hussle harder to spread seeds of

h🌍pe.

🧚‍♀️@followlilwing

Getting Outdoor time is not easy breezy for some of #US. We all care about someone, what about their level of wellness in life?

WHEN we must stay, work & travel outside our ideal healthy environments HOW DO we coexist then spread the love of good choices?

🐝How does one thrive in a new place…

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Your Friendly Neighborhood Home Girl’s Tips for a Successful Week

Dear Young Black Professional,

Kudos to you for taking the necessary steps to having a great work week. You’re thinking about your future-self, and why shouldn’t you? That is one thing I believe more of us need to commit to when we finally decide we are putting our foot down and in the right direction towards reaching our highest potential.

People don’t decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their future.

Stop! Read that again.

You are the only one limiting yourself from greatness. So, I just wanted to say I feel honored that you are utilizing me as well as the amazing community of beautiful people YBPOC has brought together to rejuvenate the black experience in Orange County.

Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving this blog a read. I hope you love each post and find them to be a useful resource for betterment as much as we do. If you ever have any questions or suggestions on topics you want covered, please feel free to reach out to our collective of millennials. We will do our very best to take care of you and get your questions answered!

Your Friendly Neighborhood Home Girl,

Jenevieve “J” Hutchison

Email : FollowWildThing@gmail.com

Twitter : @Real_Wild_Thing

Instagram : @followwildthing

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s 2019 fam. You owe it to yourself to be the very best version of yourself. Here’s the harsh reality about the world we live in: Jobs these days seem to want you to neglect your kids and families, forget your health, stay energized without getting tired, and be on time. So my question for you is, “What does the first hour of your day look like?” Do you have a powerful morning routine to set your day up for success, or does your morning routine look more like a fire drill? 

  • You scramble to find work clothes
  • Skip breakfast or gobble down fruits quickly
  • Anxiously rush out the door hoping you will arrive to work on time

Maybe it’s about time to evaluate your schedule to make sure that the start of your day is more calm and goes smoothly? The morning is the time and place before all responsibilities of the day take over. Before email, work meetings, and social obligations, the morning is the space before anything “ruined” your day. Before you dive into your crazy work week, allow yourself to take a moment and prepare yourself for what you’re about to get into. After all, if you could see what’s coming, you wouldn’t stress about what’s happening. When you become aware, you gain a slight edge over any situation that may come your way and have more of a chance for coming out on top. I bet you’re wondering where do I even begin?

The important thing you want to do is develop a healthy routine to get you on the right track. How can we do this, you ask? By utilizing mindfulness! Are you mindful? If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you’re in luck. Mindfulness can be cultivated into a formal practice like meditation, and you can even begin today, right this very moment if you’d like. When you’re mindful, you achieve the ability to pay attention to the present moment, with curiosity and without judgement. The benefits of mindfulness include:

– Increased empathy and compassion

– Improved immune functioning

– Improved sleep

– Greater focus and concentration

– Reduced stress and anxiety

So what are you waiting for? Start now! By being mindful, you are making the choice to set yourself up for success. I recently started incorporating this into my daily routine and what really helped me adapt these mindful techniques is something called The Five Minute Journal. The best part is, you don’t even have to go out and buy this thing. All you have to do is keep a journal by your bedside and stay committed to the process. By jotting down my thoughts and thinking positively with this simple structured format, I found it much easier to start and end each day with gratitude, which in turn made me feel like I could take on the entire world!

When you wake up in the morning, you are fresh and have the precious opportunity in the first few minutes to set the tone for the rest of the day. So, make it count! With this short morning routine, your life will quickly change. It’s really quite simple:

  1. Wake up – Write down in your journal 3 things you are grateful for. Ask yourself, “What would make today great?” Recite affirmations for a little morning motivation. Drink a glass of water and make your bed. Try out these affirmations: I am a successful professional in my work setting. My business is growing everyday. My income increases daily. I am so grateful that I get to work when I want, where I want, and with whom I want. I am in the presence of great influential men and women in my workplace.
  1. Get in the zone – Quiet your mind and center yourself with a 10-minute meditation. If you’re new to this practice, try using an app like “Headspace” to keep you focused.
  2. Get moving – If you can do some yoga poses or stretching, this will really help you to get the blood flowing. Check out the “7 Minute Workout” app for simple daily workout routines. It’s only 7 minutes, so you have no excuse. Imagine 7 minutes in heaven. The lungs, digestive system, as well as muscles and joints will all benefit from practicing Sun Salutations. (image source: https://www.destressmonday.org/sun-salutation/)Image result for sun salutation
  3. Put the right food in your body – Your breakfast should be between 250-300 calories and include fruits, veggies and protein. If time is of the essence, try preparing overnight oats the night before, meal prepping, and even protein shakes or smoothies could save you time when you’re on the go. I always try to keep some healthy snacks in my bag if I ever get any midday cravings. Be sure to enjoy low-calorie snacks throughout the day between meals and drink lots of water to stay healthy, hydrated, and glowed up. Think about what supplements, multivitamins and probiotics you can incorporate into your diet as well to ensure your body is getting everything it needs to keep you going.
  4. Get ready – Shower, wash your face, brush your teeth (preferably fluoride-free and cruelty-free natural products without all those harmful chemicals), and don’t forget to floss.
  5. Get inspired – While grooming (hair & makeup), I like to listen to music, audio books, or podcasts depending on my mood. This boosts my morale way more than watching the news. The goal is to think positively before you get to work. Try to always put moisturizer and SPF on your face 20 minutes prior to heading out of the house.
  6. Get perspective – Think about your intentions for the day. These should be clearly set the night before when you’re planning and executing your evening routine. Write things down or set alarms on your phone if that works for you.
  7. Do something to move you forward – Stay motivated by visualizing accomplishing your goals but also reward yourself once you actually follow through with them. When you take things one day at a time, believe in yourself and surround yourself with positivity, there is no way you can fail.

Lastly, do not forget to love yourself. Seriously, self-love and confidence are some of the most important skills you can acquire in your life! Not only does it make you more attractive both inside and out, but it is simply good for your health and well being. Be self-confident as often as possible, and don’t be so hard on yourself while you’re at it. You are not your job. You are a beautiful human being, so embrace yourself. Be ready for a new chapter to start for you once you are ready to take the first step. Remember, life is an adventure to explore whilst you have fun. It’s time to enjoy your life, it’s time for change. Go for it! Cheers to a successful week.

Full blog post found here: YBPOC.com