Taking care of yourself this holiday season

Taking care of yourself this holiday season

I was falling into the black hole of YouTube the other day (you know that hole where you go in to find one video and then 2 hours later, you find yourself watching a totally unrelated video?) and I came across a video featuring Miranda Kerr. It’s actually a worthwhile video to watch, but she said something in the video that really resonated with me.

“If you take care of yourself, then you can give so much more as a mother, you can give so much more to your work …”

Obviously, this quote can be tailored to you: “If you take care of yourself, then you can give so much more as a ________ [friend, daughter, wife, mother …]

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

I don’t know why, but I’ve been especially cranky and “off” this holiday season. Throughout the school year, I would get into frequent bouts of feeling “off” to the point where many of my friends felt it.

Now I’m not advocating for people pleasers, but I don’t think it’s fair or ever enjoyable for your friends to deal with negative/pessimistic people. I always feel horrible and sorry when I’m snapping back to my friends or am not my usual chirpy self.

I think this quote is really critical, especially during the holidays when we’re spending so much time with our family and friends. We have to be the best versions of ourselves so that we can step our best foot forward when we’re spending time with others.

For me, that’s to exercise, journal, get lots of sleep, eat nourishing and nutritious food and getting enough alone time. This last one seems counterintuitive, but I often times find myself the most energetic and outgoing with my friends when I’ve had enough time for myself to recharge.

And exercise doesn’t have to be extreme. I usually like to go on runs, but these days I’ve been trying out the barre/pilates/yoga classes at my gym – and completely obsessed! It’s nice to have someone tell you what to do and the class members motivate you to not give up! Or even a simple morning walk with the dog or family is always up my alley.

So in short, remember to pamper and take care of yourself during the holiday season. It can definitely get hectic and busy, but unless you maintain the best version of yourself, you can’t give as much to those around you.

What do you do to recharge/take-care of yourself?

xoxo,

Stephanie

 

 

You know what’s good for the soul? — JOURNALING

You know what’s good for the soul? — JOURNALING

As much as Avolicious is about keeping your physical body healthy and happy, I think discussing our mental body is just as important.

I’ve been keeping a diary ever since I was little. My parents, ever since I started to write, have armed with journal and pencil to write in my diary. Now of course, back in those days, it was just a way for me to practice my handwriting. During elementary and to be honest, early middle school, I didn’t write in my diary at all.

However, I started writing in my diary (I call it now journaling instead) at the middle/end of eighth grade.

And let me tell you, journaling has been so therapeutic to me. Being able to write down all your worries, concerns, thoughts, epiphanies, reflections is such a powerful way to cleanse your mind but to also get some organization and clarity in your life. Seeing your thoughts that used to be jumbled up in your head all laid down on paper refreshes you in ways that only you can experience if you actually do it.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
img source

Here are a few of my tips for you to start journaling:

 

ONE// Don’t force it

There are definitely days when you can write a whole novel in your journal. But then there are days when you just don’t feel like journaling. Especially when I was in a funk in the beginning this summer, I really had no energy to journal.

I think the problem that I faced in elementary school that led me to quit journaling was that it became a burden. The burden of having to journal everyday. And for some reason or another, the human mind, when something becomes a burden, we have less of an urge to actually do it.

So my number one tip for you, is to don’t force it. Journaling works the best when everything just flows out. You want those thoughts and feelings that you are journaling to be in its purest and rawest form. Don’t force it. Period.

 

TWO// Pick a journal and a few pens that you’ll enjoy writing in

Maybe it’s because I’m a stationery junkie, but writing in a great journal with a smooth pen makes all the difference for me. Yes, it’s expensive, but think of it as buying high-end fitness gear. A lot of people who buy Lululemon for their exercise clothes always justify that at the end, they wear their Lululemon clothes the longest and that Lululemon pieces actually motivate them to go to the gym. In the same regard, your journal and pen are going to influence whether you feel motivated or not.

My current favorite is a 0.38 black MUJI pen (yes, I am that picky) and a Moleskine.

 

THREE// There are no rules in journaling

This is another important advice. There are no right’s and no wrong’s in journaling. Whatever feels right to you, is correct. Sometimes I just full on rant. With no paragraph breaks, I just fill up the whole page. Other times, I draw or do bullet points.

Sometimes even, I’m not even journaling. I lay out my goals, my schedule for the coming days, my eating log – my journal becomes my everything and anything. The dumbest thing to do when you start journaling is to be so careful and so wary about writing something “wrong” that you never get into the joy of journaling.

 

So there you have it! If you have any more questions in journaling, while I am by no means am I an expert, please email/comment me!

Have you journaled before?

xoxo,

Stephanie

Getting Out of a Funk

Getting Out of a Funk

I’ve recently been in a funk. After school got out on May 31st, I’ve just lost all motivation and energy. I am an extremely organized and Type-A person – so much so that I plan my days out to the minute. Throughout the school year, before I went to sleep, I would create my schedule from my notes app. It would be something like

 

This sort of method helped me to stay on top of things but I think such a rigid and structured schedule made me completely flop over when school ended.

Things I enjoyed such as blogging, running, and reading, became things I didn’t even consider doing. I just wanted to sleep, eat, and watch videos on YouTube.

It’s hard to describe the feelings exactly but I’m sure many of you guys here can relate those days when you just don’t want to do anything.

But I’m slowly coming out of that funk right now and I have a few tips based on my experience.

unplug_page

UNPLUG | We unfortunately have these things called electronics and social media. I really really recommend to those who are in a funk to just UNPLUG. We have such a bad tendency to just reach for our phones or our computers whenever we feel lazy or unmotivated. This is procrastination at its finest. I tend to procrastinate on studying or doing work by going on social media rather than spending time with my friends or family or by reading. This past week, I unplugged for just one day and it was such a powerful experience. My emotions and feelings were no longer dependent on these small devices – I felt so free and lighter. Take a day or a few hours to just unplug (if you need to tell some important people beforehand, send them a quick text saying that you’re going to turn off your phone for x amount of hours). You’ll feel refreshed and reset to forget about the sluggish past few days and look forward to a fresh new slate.

file_000-6

WALK | While I haven’t been running at all this past week, I’ve been walking every night for an hour with my parents. Something about being surrounded by who love you the most in the midst of a light cool evening breeze and just walking it out is therapeutic. Also, walking alone is great too. Listen to some music (or refrain if you’re going to adhere to #1) and take a moment to just reflect and think.

JOURNAL | Maybe it’s because I am a huge journal addict, but I love love journaling. Its really powerful to just jot down your feelings. Sometimes you just don’t know why you’re feeling like you do. You feel sluggish, unmotivated and lazy, but you don’t know WHY. And writing in your journal, it allows you to again, take a minute, reflect, and identify why you’re feeling a certain way and then find ways to solve it.

You can see that in these three tips, the running theme is to TAKE A MINUTE. Just take a moment, close your eyes, breathe deeply, and reflect what you are feeling and why you are feeling that way.

And the most important thing to remember is that we all have those days. It’s normal to feel unmotivated and sluggish. We are not perfect. We are human. We are allowed to feel lazy and not are best selves.

How do you get out of a funk?

xoxo,

Stephanie

 

 

Stephanie’s New Year Resolutions

Stephanie’s New Year Resolutions

Today, after sharing how to set New Year’s Resolutions that actually work, I wanted to share my New Year’s Resolutions with y’all.

I did post my New Year’s Resolutions last year, however, looking back now, I think they were far too spread out in categories and too ambitious that I barely achieved any of them. However, never one to be discouraged, I’m sharing my New Year’s Resolutions – which I’ve condensed to THREE! My mantra for 2017 is to be healthy and happy!

img_3856

ONE // Be a physically and mentally healthier person (read: this is very vague, but as explained on yesterday’s post, I’m going to be giving the details below)

Physically:

  • Until spring break 2017:
    • Continue exercising (ideally 5x a week)
    • Fit comfortably back into my old clothes
    • Lose 2-3 pounds per month (losing ½ pound per week)
      • I like to set my deadlines to academic breaks as I am away at home for the academic year and only get to come home during breaks so it’s a nice physical divide
  • Until summer break 2017:
    • Exercise 4-5x a week – obviously with summer camps and summer trips, it’s hard to exercise as often as during school where there are rigid schedules and times
    • Work on maintaining weight the record weight beginning of summer and check on weight every week
  • Until the start of the school year (fall 2017) and for the rest of the school year:
    • Continue maintaining weight à as you don’t have a weighing scale at school, take a picture of yourself every other week
    • Exercise 6x a week (I’ll probably be doing cross country, if I hopefully don’t get an injury…. so running 6x a week is a given)

TWO// To be truly happy

  • To journal everyday | I’ve found the benefits of journaling truly transforming. I am a worry-wart and a pessimist by heart, so I need to rant my feelings somewhere such as with a journal and pen or else I can be very mean and scary!
    • Until spring break:
      • Journal twice a week
    • Until summer break:
      • Journal four times a week
    • During the summer:
      • Journal everyday
    • After school starts until the end of the year:
      • Journal five-six times a week
  • I think every week (either Saturday night or Sunday night) to end the night by listing out 5 things I am grateful for during that week. I think in this day and age, it’s easy to get caught up and forget about how blessed and spoiled we are. And sometimes, all we see on media are the indulgences and luxuries of others so we tend to complain instead of being thankful for we have right now.
    • No specific deadline – I should be able to be grateful for at least 5 things every week

THREE// Invest more time into Avolicious

 Of course, saving the best for last! I started this blog as a way to share my passion for healthy eating, exercise, and writing, but I definitely have to admit that I fell out due to school. However, I WILL NOT MAKE THAT EXCUSE for 2017. I will make a concrete time out of my schedule to dedicate to Avolicious. Thank you to all who have been following and supporting us – it means the world!

  • Until spring break:
    • Post twice a week
    • Post on Instagram three times a week
    • Read and comment on other blogs for 10 minutes per week
  • Until summer break:
    • Post two-three times a week
    • Post on Instagram three times a week
    • Read and comment on other blogs for 15 minutes per week
  • During summer break:
    • Post 4-5 times a week
    • Post on Instagram daily (along w/ Insta stories)
    • Read and comment on other blogs for 25 minutes per week
    • Try a different social media platform (Facebook, Twitter)
  • Start of the school year until the end of the year:
    • Post two-three times a week
    • Post on Instagram three-four times a week
    • Read and comment on other blogs for 15 minutes per week

I wanted to make this year’s New Year Resolutions short and sweet but also meaningful to me. I’m trying to stop comparing and judging myself to others and instead, go at my own pace and do the things I love.

Good luck in 2017!

What are your New Year Resolutions for 2017?

xoxo,

Stephanie