How To Stop Stinking Thinking

This is advice I need to follow today. We received news of another total lockdown; only essential services open, not allowed to leave home unless absolutely necessary i.e. doctor appointments, pharmacy, groceries, no social distance visits, no haircuts, no travelling. This pandemic has been raging on for over a year now with no stopping in the foreseeable future. In fact our numbers of active cases continues to rise here in Ontario and vaccines seem to be slow in coming. It’s hard to remain upbeat in an environment where you are so restricted. I feel trapped and tired.

I know I have much to be grateful for and there are still lots of things to be happy about. I am blessed beyond measure that my family is all healthy and safe. I am lucky my daughter and her partner were able to be home during these most recent lockdowns unlike last year where they were four hours away and I was unable to see them for well over three months. I have a roof over my head and food in my belly. The weather is warming up so time outdoors will occur more frequently. With all that being said, I am still sad that I haven’t been able to spend any real quality time with family and friends. I miss my NS family, friends and east coast summer living by the ocean as this will be my second summer not being able to travel to the home of my heart. I miss making appointments without the fear of having to miss them with another lockdown looming over my head. My heart is heavy for all the small businesses who are struggling to remain alive despite the lack of funds. I’m sad for all the children young and old missing out on wonderful in person school experiences, trips, learning opportunities, proms and graduations. I miss going anywhere without a mask over my face. I’m tired of home projects and trying to find stuff to do to occupy the hours.

Am I whining? A bit. Are my feelings selfish and self-centred? Perhaps. But aren’t all feelings valid, good or bad? I believe so. Some days you just can’t help what you feel. Sometimes it’s joy. Sometimes it’s sadness and sometimes it’s anger. It’s all ok. What can we do with those negative emotions is the question for we don’t want to get stuck in a place of despair. We have to find a way to climb out of the rabbit hole and get on with life whether it’s in lockdown or free. Below are some suggestions for pulling you out of a funk and back on the positivity train. Hopefully, if you’re feeling like me, these ideas will help us all feel better and stop our stinking thinking:

Let’s Be Pretty, Plus and Proud, keep our chin up and our spirits high. We can get through this together. Remember to be kind, patient, understanding and tolerant. You don’t know what turmoil other people are suffering with especially during these difficult days of Covid. Smile at someone today, do something for someone today or say something nice to someone today. It may be the very thing they need to get trough the day without falling apart.

*If your feelings are too overwhelming please seek out help with a doctor, therapist or support group!*

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Self-Care Music Playlist

It is said that music is a universal language. It doesn’t matter in which language it is sung, one can still appreciate the ebb and flow of the notes even if you can’t understand the words. Music can illicit so many different emotions. Music can move us to tears, make us smile with joy or inspire us to move. Music is good to fill in the silence if you are feeling alone. Music can motivate us to create art, dance and sing. It can enhance a romantic moment or help us remember traditions. It can activate memories of bygone days. Music is powerful. We praise God through the singing of hymns. We can enjoy the music of nature without a single instrument used other than our ears.

Music can be used in our self-care routine as well if we choose the right songs. When you are feeling down about yourself, listen to one or more of the songs listed below to pick up your spirits and put you back on the right track to self-love and body positivity:

While you are enjoying some of the tunes from the list above, engage in an activity that you love; bike riding, walking on the beach, gardening, dancing in your living room, soaking in the tub, laying in the sun (with sunscreen of course), spring cleaning or cooking. Or do nothing at all, simply sitting and soaking up the positive vibes found in the message of the song.

Be Pretty, Plus and Proud and remind yourself today of how amazing you are and how deserving of love you are from yourself and others. If no one else has told you this today, listen to a song that tells you what you need to hear.

Practice What I Preach Fail

Most of my posts talk about positivity; How to get it, how to maintain it and what to do when you’re not feeling it. Today I fell very flat on practicing what I preach. The day started with notice of another lockdown which includes no personal care businesses allowed to be open aka no haircuts! First, this is my birthday month and of course I was looking forward to a refresh of my hair so I feel and look my best for my special day. Also I feel shutting down small businesses is so unfair. I am safer at my hairdresser’s shop (works from home in a space separate from her living space, only takes one client at a time and cleans thoroughly in between customers) then I am at a Walmart or Costco. Also, small businesses have struggled to remain afloat and another shutdown may not be manageable. So this news put me into a funk.

Next came a letter from my doctor informing me of his retirement. I have MS and it is not easy to transfer doctors. Not everyone is willing to take on my problems. The receptionist will remain the same so hopefully the transition will be a smooth one but change like this can be stressful.

After all this negative news, my mood was not positive and unfortunately my family was on the receiving end of my foulness. So today I let negative thoughts and worries get the best of me. I guess I can only say sorry to all who were affected by my cranky attitude and continue to try to do better coping with unexpected turns of events.

I am far from perfect and today definitely proved that. I’m going to try making a list in my journal of things I can do to cope with changes in plans so that I can be more positive and not be a pain to the people around me. What do you do in times of stress, frustration, anger or sadness? Even though bloggers (like myself) or social media influencers portray a perfect image of self-love and positivity, we are all human and I’m sure I’m not alone in having off days.

Don’t compare yourself to anyone thinking they have it all together so much better than you do. I guarantee you that they are no different then you. They have their share of problems and bad days too so don’t believe in the images they choose to show you. The one or two images published is just a very small moment of their life. They get cranky, they have messy homes and they don’t do everything they preach 100% of the time.

After spending some time out with my daughter and her partner I felt better and a little retail therapy helped too (I know, not the best coping mechanism but I’m going to work on that). My daughter reminded me that at least this year she’s home for my birthday and that is a wonderful thing so regardless of how my hair looks, I will be spending the day with the people I love the most and what better way to spend a birthday then that. I will Be Pretty, Plus and Proud throughout the coming changes while also working on keeping a stiff upper lip and an upbeat attitude but I won’t pretend or profess to be perfect for I am only human after all.

Every day brings a new opportunity to try again! Tomorrow is my chance to start fresh!

What’s Holding You Back?

Do you have scars, stretch marks, fat rolls, disabilities or moles? Does your outer appearance hold you back from doing things you love? Does how you look keep you from venturing out and trying new things? Why?

Why are we so hung up on other people’s opinions of us? Why do we care so much what other people think or say about us? We don’t know most of the people we’re so worried about. We’ll likely never see them again so why do we care that they want to share their negativity? We must remember that when people stare or are rude, that is a reflection of the ugliness within them and has nothing to do with us.

It doesn’t matter what you look like. Your body can still do everything you want it to despite its “flaws”. So many people live through and thrive after horrific accidents, illnesses, trauma and birth “abnormalities”. They push past their limits to prove to the world they will not let their outer appearance hold them back or keep them from enjoying all life has to offer. If they can do it then surely everyone can.

Start small, maybe wearing a sleeveless shirt around the house until you realize the joy and freedom of your arms being free that you won’t want to cover up even when you step outside the door. Wear a bathing suit to the beach and frolic in the waves. Try out a two piece as you get more comfortable in the surf and sand. Start with knee length shorts gradually raising the hemline, letting your legs feel the warmth of the sun. Focus on the fun you’re having and not what you think other people may be thinking about you. In all likelihood, they haven’t even noticed you, too caught up in their own enjoyment of the day. If someone dares to be so bold as to stare or say something try using humour to deflect their ignorance or simply walk away and ignore them. Don’t give them the satisfaction of being bothered by what they do. Don’t let anyone bully or shame you into not doing the things you love.

Be Pretty, Plus and Proud and live your best life now. Don’t wait a moment longer to have fun, to laugh, to enjoy and to make memories that you can look back on fondly and share with those you love.

Redefining Beauty

We dress our little girls up and teach them to be princesses. We play makeup with them, curl their hair and let them dress up with Mommy’s shoes. We tell them they look so pretty. While all that may be fun, are we teaching them that beauty lies in how they look with their twirly dresses, pink lips and tiaras? What else should we be doing for them?

Affirmations that focus on who children are and not what they look like!

We need to teach our daughters that beauty does not in fact lie in how they look. Nor is beauty something we should aspire to be if it only includes our outer appearance. We need to teach our girls to be strong, to be bold and to be silly. They need to know how to be independent and intelligent. We need to be examples of bravery and teach them to be fierce. Little girls need to know how to be real in a world that puts value on being fake.

We need to celebrate their talents and accomplishments. We need to push them to try things that may be out of their comfort zones so they don’t fear testing their limits. We need to make sports, sciences and math just as much fun as ballet, playing dolls and parading in pageants.

We need to redefine beauty and make it about who we are on the inside and not what people see on the outside. If we can do this, we will have a generation of women that won’t have to struggle with body image to be happy and successful. They will have learned to Be Pretty, Plus and Proud without ever doubting their value or worth when they look in the mirror.

Self-Love Journaling Ideas

As you all well know, I love to journal! I love writing down memories. I love writing daily gratitude lists. I love writing positive affirmations. Journaling keeps my mind, thoughts and feelings positive. I recently did a series on bullet journaling but today’s post is focused strictly on writing to grow towards self-love if you’re not quite there yet or struggling. I hope you find the ideas helpful as you travel on your body positive journey!

Write down…

1 thing you need to let go of. What is holding you back from moving forward in your journey to self-love? Maybe it’s a person? Maybe an experience? Whatever it may be, let it go. Anything or anyone that doesn’t support you positively has no place in your life.

2 pieces of advice to remind yourself of in times of low self-esteem, negativity, when you’re feeling insecure, anxious or sad. Refer to these words of wisdom to get yourself back on track and in a better headspace.

3 of your greatest talents/abilities. You are more than what people see. You are full of wonderful ideas and creative thoughts so when you feel down on yourself, look at this list and know you are capable of doing great things.

4 activities that make you feel good. When you feel out of sorts, do something that makes you happy and fills your soul with joy.

5 positive self loving affirmations. When negative thoughts of self creep into your head, cast them aside with positive affirmations. Look at them daily, hourly or as much as you need until they sink in and you feel better about who you are.

6 people (or pets) you love having in your life. Surround yourself with people or animals who love you unconditionally, who accept you just as you are.

7 things you can do to remove stress. Refer to this list when life becomes too overwhelming.

8 simple things that bring you joy and/or inspiration. Things like a bouquet of flowers, a favourite painting or a good book can bring a smile to your face and peace in your heart.

9 things, places or people you are grateful for. When you focus on the blessings in your life, the things that aren’t going so well become less significant.

10 things you love about yourself. Include some physical attributes but also aspects of your personality, your abilities, talents and accomplishments can also be part of the list.

Finally, think of things, feelings, experiences and people you deserve to have in your life. Be Pretty, Plus and Proud and know you are worthy and deserving of anything you desire including loving who you are in this moment.