Health

I Will Flourish...Emotionally

The Flourish Linkup I realized something interesting the other day.

A few months ago, when 2014 was drawing to a close, I felt this urge to live my life with values that can't be shaken and to live in a way that is purposeful and honors the Lord. I felt the need to encourage others to do so as well. That's what brought me to create the Flourish linkup, a place where dreams are supported, virtue is respected, love is overflowing, and growth is encouraged.

Over the past three months, I've discovered that there are other women out there yearning for a purposeful life. I know I am. That's why I've been writing on topics that are close to my heart, such as the list of 50 Essential Values to Renew in Your Life, A Call for Simplicity, and 100 Things to Throw Away. We are called to flourish in life! This is why I get so excited about the Flourish linkup each month! It's designed to help you evaluate and discover how you will become the best version of yourself.

This month is no exception. The prompt, how will you flourish emotionally, really makes you think! I'm excited to share my thoughts with all of you, and I can't wait to hear what you have to say as well :)


 10 Things I Am Grateful For:

  1. The sound of rain
  2. Green grass
  3. Patience
  4. Scissors
  5. Handwritten letters
  6. Friends
  7. Responsibility
  8. Mouthwatering food
  9. Cuddles
  10. Cameras that capture memories

I will flourish emotionally this year by

Exercising patience. This is a hard one for me at times. When I want something to happen or if I want to be somewhere, I want it to happen nowThankfully, that's not how the world works and God is slowly showing me how to be more patient. Patience is a Fruit of the Spirit that I want to have in any situation.

Stopping the comparison game. The internet makes it really easy to gain insight to the lives of others. If looked at positively, you can learn things that will enhance your life. If abused, you might find yourself comparing your life to theirs. The truth is, my life will not be the same as my Pinterest one. But that's ok. My life is beautiful just the way it is, and so is yours! Let's stop the comparison game and focus on our real, incredibly unique lives.

Taking more breaks. To avoid feeling overwhelmed and overworked, I want to schedule times throughout the day where I can step back and relax. I've found that when I set a reminder on my phone/computer to take a break at a certain time, I can come back feeling refreshed and energized.

Making the best of every situation. Things don't always go as planned. Being somewhat of a perfectionist, it's hard for me to stay positive once I realize the plan isn't happening the way I wanted it to. To change that, I'm going to think creatively and adapt to things as they happen. A positive attitude can change everything!

Reflection:

Last month we wrote on how we planned to flourish in our relationships with others.  One of my goals was to spend more time with my friends and family. When I prioritized what was important in my life, my friends and family were up at the top. I realized that since I didn't seem to have any time to spend with them, I needed to start making time for them. I did this in a few ways.

I began visiting my best friends' room at night when I got back to the dorm (they're twins!). Since we all have different schedules, we don't see each other very often. Stopping by to say hello and chat for a few minutes helps us stay connected and share exciting things that have happened to us. I look forward to it every night!

I also decided not to work over spring break so that I could spend more time at home, with my family. It was so nice to relax and be, well, home.

I'm really glad I'm focusing more on my relationships with others, because whether it's a good relationship or a not-so-good one, how we interact with others directly impacts us. I plan on continuing to flourish in this area of life each and every day :)


Next month's prompt is how you will flourish healthfully. Examples would include: changing different aspects of your diet, your exercise regimen, goals such as drinking enough water or going to sleep by a certain time, etc. If you're new to the linkup, you can find all of the details right here! I hope you join us sometime, because I'd love to read what you have to say!

If you’d like me to send you a reminder email the week before the linkup, sign up using the link below! I promise to only send you the reminder email and not spam you with random junk.

Sign up for the Flourish linkup email reminder


The linkup will go live the first Friday of every month at 6 am CST. You’ll be able to submit your take on the week’s prompt, as well as discover how other’s are planning to Flourish in the different aspects of their lives! My hope is that this linkup will encourage you to take steps, however big or small, towards becoming the best version of yourself. Don’t aim for perfection, but refine what works for you. Here’s to Flourishing in 2015!

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10 Secrets for a Better Night's Sleep

10 secrets to a better night's sleep. As a college student, sleep is one thing I cherish. Sleep helps your body rejuvenate and keeps your brain to operating at its best. Too many times, I have gone to bed late and gotten up early. And if I do have time to get to bed early, falling asleep is another story. My goal is to begin a healthier sleep routine. Following these simple tips, we all can benefit from a better night's sleep and a more energized day.

1. Make a bedtime routine

For a great night’s sleep, give yourself a bedtime routine to alert your body that it's time to sleep. Put things away, take a bath or shower, and start dimming the lights up to two hours before your planned bedtime. If you're busy up until the point you crawl into bed, your body might still be awake even if you're exhausted.

2. Get up around the same time every day

Our bodies love routine. Your internal clock has the ability to wake you up without an alarm clock. The only catch is that you must be consistent with your sleep schedule. Drastic changes in your sleep pattern can actually cause you to be even more tired than you were before. Try to be consistent. Your body will thank you.

3. Avoid any mentally stimulating activities before bed

This includes reading, watching TV, and checking social media sites (we've all been guilty of that, haven't we). Activating new thoughts can be very counterproductive. 30 minutes before you climb into bed, make it an effort to not check any screen devices, especially in the dark. The light emitted from your device stimulates your brain and causes it to be more alert, not what exactly what you want late at night.

4. Avoid eating close to bedtime

Eating one to three hours before bedtime can decrease the quality and length of your sleep. Avoid snacking or eating a big meal right before you go to sleep. Give your body time to properly digest your food so it can give you energy when you need it.

5. Avoid caffeine intake after midday

There's no doubt that drinking caffeine will make you stay awake. Getting into the habit of consuming caffeine throughout the day may be the reason you have a hard time falling asleep at night. Try to avoid caffeine intake in the afternoon, or better, avoid it altogether.

6. Use earplugs and/or an eye mask

This is such a simple solution for those who are light sleepers. If you have a roommate that wakes up earlier than you or a husband who snores, there's no need to lay awake wishing you were asleep. Grab a pair of earplugs or slip on an eye mask to block sound and light. They're great for traveling on planes too!

7. Keep your bedroom cool

Most sleep studies recommend setting your thermostat to about 65ºF. That may seem a bit cold to some of you, but before you go to sleep, your body’s internal temperature drops, which helps promote deep sleep. Setting your thermostat to around 65º will help your body get to that temperature faster, which will let you fall asleep faster and sleep better.

8. Exercise daily

Try to get in at least 15 minutes of exercise a day. Not only does exercising keep your body healthy, but it can relieve pent-up stress and energy that keeps you awake at night.

9. Do a brain dump before bed

I've mentioned this before, but doing a brain dump right before you go to bed can really help clear your mind and keep you from staying awake. It's very simple. Just take a piece of paper and write down everything and anything that comes to mind. Don't think, just write. In the morning, take a look at the list and organize it in whatever way you choose.

10. Use a sleep tracker app

Hate that feeling of waking up groggy and tired? It might be because you were woken up in deep sleep, the most restful sleep. Studies show that waking up in a light sleep stage cause you to feel happier and more rested. The Sleep Cycle app analyzes your sleep and finds the optimal time to wake you up during a 30 minute window that ends at your set alarm time. Graphs provide you with information about your sleep quality, what times you went to sleep in the past 3 months, the average time you spend in bed, and your sleep quality on certain days of the week.

Sleep has never been better.

What do you do to get a good night's sleep? What does your bedtime routine look like?

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P.S. Check out these 8 Ways to Simplify Your Life!