Anxiety & How I Overcome It

Anxiety

 I asked you ladies what you wanted more of, I felt the vibe around social lately and I KNEW this was needed. It's like I didn't even have to ask to know we all need trusted ways to cope with the ups and downs of life.

As always I'm your girl. I want to tell you like it is in hopes that my shares, my diving deep and releasing what has worked for me will in some way help you overcome and reach your true potential. Loving yourself and your life and being MORE, YOU {the best version you can be}.

I have always been open about my incredibly emotional demeanor. Commercials can make me cry at the drop of a hat, words, pictures, visuals...I'm a mess. For most of my life I chalked this up to being a super "feely" person, I chalked this up to a good thing. Not until I stepped foot in a therapists office that I trusted did I begin to look internally and realize there were parts of being emotional that are incredible & there were parts I really needed to work on.

Parts like replaying my words, my friends words, situations, experiences in my mind over and over again. Parts like not allowing to let things go or cope with situations because I was grasping them so tightly spiraling myself. Parts like internalizing, thinking I'm the problem. Parts like very real fears, thoughts of stress and worry out of nowhere.

Not until the last few months did I really feel ready to write this post, but I know in my heart that sharing my struggles with anxiety and how I have overcome will help so many. 

My anxiety would show its face in many different ways like stress over conversations had, stress over peoples safety, stress over my own safety, anxiety over being in control or out of control. Deep-rooted fears in the safety of myself and my loved ones.

I never knew these every day, sometimes multiple times per day, worries were a problem until one day I was in a convenience store in the middle of the day {Chris was waiting in the car}, I was standing in line to check out & I began to look around. I realized that I was standing in a convenience store surrounded by men most seemingly fine people but two who gave me a vibe that didn't feel right. Something about their mannerisms, their seemingly drunken mannerisms made me shudder a bit.

My mind flashed to a thing I don't even want to type here happening to me and they played out in my mind on a loop. I counted down the seconds breathing deeply until I paid and briskly walked out the door.

I made my way to the car a little flustered but not thinking much of it. I told Chris the situation and he said back to me... "That's not ok, you shouldn't be feeling this way".

I chalked it up to being a woman, in a store surrounded by men some under the influence and feeling a little uneasy.

Then a few days later I'm driving to a meeting for BL & I pass an oil truck with its flashers on pulled to the side of the road, I slow down and as my car slowed my mind again went to a fearful thought that I can't bring myself to type here. A thought that FINALLY woke me up to how not normal these thoughts truly were. To how anxious and fearful I had been living my life constantly chalking it up to it being "fine"! 

I immediately took action and brought these feelings up with my therapist. These feelings I have since learned and continue to learn more about as I learn more about myself are from a sense of feeling out of control. How many times ladies have we all felt out of control and tried to grasp anything and everything we can to bring the train back onto the rails...🙋🏼  GUILTY!

My want to try and control and my fear of not being in control aka crafting up these worrisome fearstories in my head stem so deeply from a place of wanting to be in control in a time that I couldn't. CHILDHOOD.

I feel like I could write a whole other post on childhood and all the lessons we need to take from it but I will save that! What I want to share from this is these thoughts or feelings you're having aren't coming from nowhere, they're caused by an unease somewhere in your life.

If you're having these thoughts know you aren't alone, know anxiety is a real emotion that can be coped with. Know you don't have to work through it alone feeling crazy, weird, less than.

Know that there are ways to calm it, ease it & even make it a RARE occurrence in your life...I hope you take these tools and use the ones that feel the best for you because love, you've got one life & we don't have time to waste in being anxious!!!

Anxiety & Coping

 

1. Reaffirm my fear thoughts {anxieties} are an illusion:

They're an illusion of my old stuff peaking through. They're a made-up construct that I'm giving life to, they're a loop that I consciously keep playing in my head over and over again. I always have the choice to choose a different thought & bring the dark into the light. It is when we bring the crazy thoughts out of our brain and share it with someone or ourself {see #4} that It begins to feel less real. Bring the dark into the light & the scary monster will begin to look like a mouse.

2. Remind myself I am safe

This one has been so helpful when in an anxiety spiral, truly hugging myself and reminding myself in my head, You are safe, you are loved, you are supported. Write a list of affirmations in your phone in your notes and pull it out and say your mantra over and over again breathing slowly.

3. Stop, Drop & Breathe {mini-meditation}

If you're a long time BL babe you know this one is my go to. No matter where you are, no matter who you're with, no matter what you're doin'. BABE the car is truly the best place so don't fret if you're out somewhere weird and something makes you feel off. This form of mini meditation can be done in 5 breaths. Here you go. 1. take a deep breath in through your nose, picture the situation, anxiety, etc. that's worrying you. 2. Breathe out through your mouth. 3. Keep this slow breathing going & begin to picture the person, anxiety, etc. as a warm loving light, picture their face, picture a positive thought. 3. Continue taking a few deep breaths. 4. SHAKE IT OFF & keep goin.

4.  Talk it out {outloud} to myself or another

Therapy was the best thing I ever did for my personal well-being. Allowing myself to share my fears, worries, struggles to an unbiased person was everything. Ladies not one soul here is "too good" for therapy. I thought this for a long time & I mean long. I thought that if I'm the coach I can't be being coached. W R O N G. There's nothing more wrong than this statement. If you are the coach, teacher, mother, superwomen you need someone else helping you walk through this life. Helping you navigate your emotions, feelings, at times. I say this bluntly as NEED because I think it should be a necessity. We all have things. We all have a story, whether we want to admit it or not. We all have things we're holding on to, think we've worked through or just flat out are still angry about. Therapy is the chance to talk. DO it. <3

I hope these few tools that have helped me resonate with you. I want to leave you with a quote I heard from someone dear to me recently. "Take what you want and leave all the rest"...I hope one nugget of this post lights a fire under you butt to take a peek at some of the struggles happening for you, take the first step if you are someone with anxiety & know you aren't alone.

Thank you for being kind and allowing me to share part of my story with anxiety, I hope to connect with so many more of you on this topic. 

love you lots.

xo,

Lauren

All The Details on CBD Oil

You guys have been dying to know why I use CBD oil, what the effects are & how to get it! Finally here are all the details you've been waiting for & a little surprise at the end of the post {scroll to the bottom if you're like me & can't wait}

What is CBD Oil?

CBD is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant {Yes marijuana}. BUT unlike THC which is also found in marijuana, CBD does not produce any psychoactive effects. In layman terms, CBD DOES NOT make you feel high. SO there is nothing to be afraid of when using CBD oil. Take it from the girl who hasn't smoked a day in her life & isn't planning on it...OH also the girl who has never had more than 3 alcoholic drinks because I hate the feeling of being "out of control". {I would tell ya!}

Blissfully Lively CBD Oil
Blissfully Lively CBD Oil

CBD also has the highest medicinal value of the whole Cannabis plant! It's a super powerful plant medicine & we should be hoarding the stuff like gold. I truly feel like in the next few years cannabis for health is going to take over! CBD is the compound that is extracted from the Majijuana plant and turned into an oil just to clarify! Now lets get into what is it used for?

What is CBD Oil Used for?

CBD oil can be used for SO many things! My #1 use for it is insomnia. I have had terrible insomnia since I can remember & it got significantly worse when I started BL full time {so many things to do my brain NEVER shut off}. I would go on 3-4 days in a row with little to NO sleep. It was causing me headaches, irritation & serious eye pain {cause my eyes weren't settling to sleep}. I finally reached out to Chris's Aunt who I knew used CBD oil and asked for a sample. 1 drop on my tongue at night & I drifted slowly off to sleep within 30 minutes. LIFE CHANGING.

Research states that CBD oil can also be used for treating inflammation, pain, anxiety, muscle spasms, skin disorders & more! I haven't tried it yet on my skin but i've heard from a family member that mixing it with cream and using it on sore muscles is INCREDIBLE.

I want to clarify as I have had a few of you ask me this, Hemp oil & Cannabis CBD oil ARE NOT the same thing. Hemp derived CBD is a weaker version of the oil which you may have seen used in food for its calming effects. Here is a recipe for CBD Fat Balls from one of my favorite bloggers The Balanced Blonde using hemp oil. ALSO here are the 'It's Not Pot' CBD Chocolates using help oil, that I recommended to many of you when I started sharing my love for CBD on Insta.

How Do You Take It?
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Most CBD oils come in a super small bottle with a little dropper. Why? Because ONE drop goes a long way. You can either drop it under your tongue or into a beverage {sleepy time tea is a great way to start using it}. {This is the recommended dose for CBD oil, not hemp oil. Hemp oil isn't as strong & would take much more than 1 drop to help you fall asleep}.

This being said everyones body reacts differently to the effects. I would start with one small drop and see how it goes. I currently take 2 drops before bed on my tongue when I'm feeling really restless or in need of a sound sleep. & 1 drop for when I want a little help drifting off to sleep. These dosages won't make you feel groggy or in a cloud the next morning like some sleeping medications will, this was my most favorite part about using CBD. I dropped one drop on my tongue, read a few pages of the BL book club book before bed, drifted off to a natural sleep & woke up feeling TRULY rested.

Keep in mind if you for some reason wake up middle of the night, don't use another drop of the oil. One drop is normally good for 8 hrs of sleep. If you're waking up at 3am & then taking another dose & are set to wake up at 6am you're doing to be feeling pretty groggy when the alarm goes off! I learned this the hard way. Instead just up your dosage from 1 drop to 2 drops the following night.

Where Can I Get CBD Oil?
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This little oil has become my saving grace for sleeping purposes and since all of you have been asking, I wanted to make it available for you & as easily as possible! I reached out to my supplier and I will now be selling CBD Oil on BL.com! Our first trial {to see how interested you guys are} will launch Wednesday March 28th! Mark your calendars & get ready to hop on the website to purchase your BL 'Pure Bliss CBD Oil' at 8am! We haveVERY FEWbottles available as this is the first launch BUT are ready and willing to bring it back if you guys are interested!

As always don't be afraid to shoot us a message if you have any questions! Email: hello@blissfullylively.com

xo,

Lauren

*Disclaimer: Lauren Atwood/Blissfully Lively are not doctors, these opinions are my own from personal use.

Wellness Spotlight: February 2018

Hey babes!

Is it just me or did February FLY by?! Not going to lie January felt like it dragged on... but we're starting to get SO close to spring time & warmer weather- You know my sunshine loving self is praising this. I'm so excited to be bringing back the Wellness Spotlight posts, a place to highlight my favorite finds from the past month that are from the 3 pillars of BL: real food, mindfulness & movement!

Real Food

Intuitive Eating for Weight Loss: MindBodyGreen says it perfectly in this article "if you don't tune into your body, maintaining your weight will always be a struggle" YES! I don't focus on calorie counting or macro tracking with my clients and this article sums it up. Give it a read to learn more about self care and mindful eating as strategies for weight loss... it's EVERYTHING.

Mindfulness

Meditation Makes You Better at Everything - Including Work: Ever have those days when your brain just won't shut off?! I seem to be having those more often than not these days but in the best way because there are so many exciting projects for BL coming soon! But when things start to get overwhelming and hectic, it's so important to take a beat & center yourself to focus on the present moment. This article highlights the benefits of mindfulness for productivity & relationships!

Movement

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You all know my love for HIIT & strength training from watching my instagram story workouts, but lately i've been in a bit of a workout rut. Feeling like I myself {the coach} needs some external accountability to help me complete my workouts. Recently I've been relying on the buddy system! I know this isn't a proven facts thing but I need you all to know the power of the body system for workouts. Call your bestie, get that workout marked in the calendar & stick to it each week. My friend and I workout 3 times a week together & then I fit in 2 workouts on the weekend with Chris. This was a huge game changer for me...DO IT you won't be sorry!

Hope you all enjoy some of my favorite highlights from this past month! As always, feel free to reach out with any questions- I'm always here to help!

xo,

Lauren

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Ask Lauren: Instagram Q&A Part One

Hey babes! I posted on Instagram asking for what questions you had for me and combined those with some frequently asked questions that I get all the time. 

Q: Did you know from the beginning that you and your husband were made for each other?

Yes! Even though I was young {I was 16 when we met} I knew there was something different about him. He actually cared about me and cared about my life. I think when you are in that space to allow someone to come into your life, the person you're meant to find will find you. You can't just wish for it you need to actually work on yourself. But I did know he was the one the moment I met him. However, I actually blew him off for our first date... he'll never let me live that down. Just got to keep him on his toes, you know? ;)

Q: What’s your morning routine from the moment you wake up?

I wake up with my sunrise alarm clock around 6 or 6:30. Chris is already awake making his BL smoothie, so the blender machine usually wakes me up before my alarm. Once I'm awake, I go straight to the bathroom and wash my face. Then I drink a full glass of water and mix up 1/2 glass of water with Emergence-C {for extra vitamins & minerals during the winter time} and take my vitamin D3. I brew my chai tea and make my bulletproof tea and then I give Chris a kiss goodbye because he leaves for work super early.

Then I walk over to my meditation area and turn on my meditation music {come back mid-March for a full post on how to create your mindful morning routine!} and I turn on my essential oil diffuser. I do 15-20 minutes of meditation/visualization and then I use my BL mindfulness template. I do 5-10 minutes of journaling and then do a little bit of yoga/stretching, literally like 2 minutes just a couple rounds of a flow to get my muscles awake and warmed up for the day. Then I start work! I don't get ready until later because perks of working from home, right?

Q: What was your personal journey to wellness?

I was always on sports teams growing up, but never really knew what healthy eating was. My mom would cook pretty healthy meals, but I had no idea that dietary intake had anything to do with how you feel. So I go to college after high school, and I was done being on sports teams. I found myself working a lot because I supported myself all throughout college and I was just getting by- literally eating pasta for every dinner and living off of bars. One day I just felt so terrible and knew something needed to change so that's when I started doing Kayla Itsines' BBG and started blogging. I started sharing my journey and with that I realized that there was a whole world of other workouts and wellness and nutrition. I didn't love Kayla Itsines' program and I just kind of slowly began implementing other things. I was Googling everything to learn as much as I could, and this was also around the same time Chris was getting his strength & conditioning certification. Chris was also on college sports teams so that made it easier to care for myself more.

My journey began with realizing I was unhappy and had a poor quality of life and what could I do to change? It started with quitting jobs where I was treated poorly, moving more, and being aware of my protein intake & snacking. The first thing I did nutrition-wise was clean out my snacks. I completely stopped snacking, no more chips/pretzels/bars. Then I started thinking about whole sources of protein, did I have protein at every meal? I was already good about including vegetables, so I was focusing mainly on my protein intake. The most important thing to stress here is education is everything. Do your research and find what works best for you, because what works for me might not work for you.

Q: If I want to change one thing, what’s the first thing I should change?

It's a little out of the box, but I truly think it's your relationship with yourself. I know I said in the last question that quitting my jobs was one of the first things I did on my journey to wellness. I was being worked into the ground by jobs where I couldn't stand up for myself and it was really negatively impacting my life. Stop allowing other people to dictate your life and start to work on creating a relationship with yourself.

Q: What do you use for dry shampoo?

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo, hands down the most life changing dry shampoo. Instead of just covering up oil and giving you gross residue it actually absorbs oil in your hair. There's no white crusty residue like you get with other dry shampoos. It is 100% worth the splurge. Your hair actually feels clean after & it smells amazing. Seriously try it, you won't regret it!

Q: What mascaras do you use?

They're Real by Benefit and Perversion by Urban Decay. You can get them both at Ulta and they're both incredible. You put one coat of They're Real on first and then do two coats of Perversion. And no I don't have eyelash extensions!

Q: What’s CBD oil and where do you get it?

CBD oil is a compound from the marijuana plant. It's the compound that gives you chill & calming effects {whereas THC, the other compound in marijuana, is psychoactive and gives you the high effects}. CBD has calming effects and can be used for stress relief, anxiety, headaches/migraines, and insomnia {which is what I use it for}. Coming very soon we're going to be selling BL CBD oil on the website so stay tuned!

Q: Where do you get workout clothes?

Mostly from Fabletics. Although is a membership, you can skip a month at any time. Their quality is amazing and their style is super cute. If you don't want to sign up for a membership my go-to is always TJ Maxx because it's affordable and has super cute stuff.

Q: Where do you get your hair done?

Leah Berger at Siren Salon in Portsmouth, NH.

Q: What does your workout routine look like?

Tuesdays and Thursdays I start my mornings with yoga. Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays are usually strength training which can be a variety of different workouts. But it is basically whole body strength {follow along on Instagram @BlissfullyLively to see more in my stories!}. Sundays and Mondays I usually take off to rest. I recommend trying out a lot of different options. I've been working out on my own for six years now and I am just figuring out the process that I like the best and that works best for me. I've tried barre, BBG, hot yoga, cycling, and I found strengthening my muscles and stretching to calm my mind to be my most favorite.

Q: What do you have in your meditation corner?

Plants {which are incredible for filtering the air and giving you a good vibe}, an essential oil diffuser, succulents, a cozy rug & pillow, BL affirmation cards and my set up is along a wall because if I'm feeling tired I'll start to hunch which hurts my back so I'll just scoot my pillow back so I'm leaning against the wall!

Q: What are all the plants in your house and how do you care for them?

My most favorite is the Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree. These are super temperamental but they can found at your local greenhouse, they even sometimes have them at Home Depot. The way you care for them is the trusted, tried way that I do- when the leaves start to droop you run the shower over it because the actual leaves like water. I dump like 4 cups of water in the soil and let the water run on the leaves. Then I let it hang out in the tub to drain and I just dry the leaves off with a paper towel.

Bird of Paradise Tree - this one you water when you stick a pencil into the soil and it comes up fully dry {usually every week and a half or so} and I usually do 2 cups of water.

The most finicky to care for, and I've really learned to listen to the people at the greenhouse, are succulents. When they say they need a lot of sunlight, they really need it. I've tried twice to put a succulent in a place where there's not a ton of sun and killed it. They need to be near a window with the shade closed, but also not in direct sunlight because that will also kill it. But the bright side is that you only need to water them every 2-3 weeks.

For even more answers to your most frequently asked questions about lifestyle, marriage & healthy eating, check out this video!

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CU53cj3nPS0&t=57s[/embed]

As always, feel free to reach out through Instagram or email with any other questions that weren't answered in this post! <3

xo,

Lauren

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5 Ways to Celebrate Ourselves on VDAY

Valentines day is a day flooded with LOVE!

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When we think about this day we always think about the special person in our life, a friend we want to catch up with, family who we love so much! We think about what little presents or sweet treats to get them, what is going to make THEM happy on a day full of love.

What we forget most often is what would make me happy? As much as I want to focus on my partner, their happiness & make their day the best. What will make my day the best? What can I do for me to make this the best valentines day yet, partner or no partner to share it with!

Here's a few short and sweet self care tips that require little to no money spent & reap all the self care benefits we need!

5 Ways to Celebrate Ourselves on Vday
  1. Put down the phone & pick up a book: Reading inspiring or thought worthy books motivates us to think & turn inward. Spend some time today reading, & no not listening on audible while you clean the house. Actually turning the pages of a book and slowing down! Here are a few I recommend that you can pick up at your local Target {The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, The Universe Has Your Back by Gabby Bernstein, Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin & Body Love by Kelly Leveque}
Valentines Day Self Care
Valentines Day Self Care
  1. Tending to your space/ Environment: You guys, I don't know about you but when my space is messy and clothes are thrown everywhere MY LIFE IS HECTIC. Take today to do an inventory of your space A little awareness check in. Are your plants shrivled up & dying cause you don't make time for them, is there dust all over your desk? {sharing these ones cause they're popping up as things I need to tend to <3}. Sometimes decluttering and cleaning our space can bring us the most stress relief & self care as a day at the spa!
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VDay Self love & self care
VDay Self love & self care
  1. Add Little spa like touches: This little secret is going to change your morning routine gameeee! You guys throw some Eucalyptus {you can pick up for $6 at trader joes on your way home tonight} on your shower head & each morning will feel like a full pampering at the spa. The aromas Eucalyptus emits instantly calm my stressed & remind me "it's the little things in life", right babes?! I'm not hating on any face mask or manicure/pedicure doing today too! Pamper yourself, YOU DESERVE IT!
Valentines day self love blissfully lively
Valentines day self love blissfully lively
self care valentines day blissfully lively
self care valentines day blissfully lively
  • Stop, drop & BREATHE: I shared this technique in the Inner Bliss Mindfulness Course & all the ladies love it! It can be done ANYWHERE you see fit {trust me even in your car in the Target parking lot after a stressful call :) }. Stop what you're doing, turn on some ocean sounds or calming music & close your eyes, take three deep cleansing breaths in & slowly release. Envision the person, situation, etc. that is causing you stress & envision shining love & light on them. {If something isn't bothering you at this moment} envision you at your happiest, what does that look like, continue envisioning until you can see a clear picture of this person or situation standing in from of you in love & light or yourself in love & light. Take 3 deep cleansing breaths & sigh out all the stress. Immediately following say 1 affirmation 10ish times, or pick from your BL Affirmation Card Deck! Takes less than 5 minutes & will turn your whole day around!
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  • Make yourself laugh, do something silly, dance around, Don't take yourself too seriously!: This is a day we sometimes over look at. We think it's only for couples, we begin to hear ourselves think self depricating talk. NO this day is for everyone, it's for loving, bottomline. So do what lights you up and what invokes a smile! My most personal favorite, turning up my Fav BL Playlist & dancing around my living room like no one is watching while eating dark chocolate <3
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This is your reminder that today is just another day, another day of smiling, being happy, loving & cherishing yourself & the people surrounding you... I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH & AM SO GRATEFUL FOR YOU.

Happy VDay!

xo, Lauren

Wellness Spotlight Holidays Edition

BL Wellness Spotlight
BL Wellness Spotlight

Hey Babes! Can you believe Christmas is THIS month?! I know this time of year can be stressful/ difficult & the holidays aren’t always joyful and merry so I thought I would bring back the Wellness Spotlight posts to lift our spirits even more! It’s important to remember that there are things that YOU can do that will help “make the season bright”. Hello, do I not talk about you having control over your life 24/7 so this post fits perfectly. Here are some great articles that I came across this week. From massages and showering to laughing and giving yourself a break, there is something here for every one of you. I truly want all of you to have the best December possible, so give these a read & let me know your favs.

How to Stay Healthy & Happy This Holiday Season

Addicted to Lovely offers some tips on how to enjoy the holidays. One that stood out to me is being present. It’s so easy to get caught up in the online world and forget about what’s happening here on earth. It’s true! Try to savor each moment. Browsing through Instagram & Pinterest isn’t what makes memories - being with loved ones, laughter, enjoying meals together, going on outdoor adventures - those are the things that stay in your heart forever. Try to be more present this holiday season. Maybe that means putting your phone down for a few hours while your friends and family are spending time with you.

Intentionality & Self Care

I love the point here about pacing yourself. The holidays get so busy that we sometimes forget that we are not immune to breaking down. We’re human: we get tired, hangry {just ask Chris, it was literally in his wedding vows to me}, upset, overwhelmed. It’s all part of life and it’s totally normal and okay. We just need to slow down and take a breath.This article also mentions offering gratitude and setting your intentions, which you already know are one of my favorite things to do, holiday season or not!

Shower Like You're at A Spa

Who doesn't love a nice shower? Bathing isn't just about good hygiene - sometimes it's the best way to wash a stressful day off of you. Here are some neat ways to upgrade your shower routine. I have my eyes on those shower bombs! Also a little BL Tip...Add some fresh eucalyptus stems to the head of your shower & breathe in that aroma each morning!

Be Happier

There is so much good info in this article! And it’s all backed by science! Lack of motivation, fatigue, addictive behavior, mood swings and memory loss are sometimes caused by low dopamine levels. This article will give you some ways to help increase your dopamine levels naturally. Things like breaking daunting tasks into more manageable, bite sized pieces and taking action when it comes to your dreams and goals. It also highlights the importance of laughing {daily goal for me is to laugh at least once} &, get this… massages! Just give me a minute so that I can step out and schedule an appointment for one of thoseeee...

Feel free to share in the comments below your tips for having a happy & carefree holiday season. I want to hear from you!

Xo,

Lauren

3 Ways Your Hometown Shapes Who You Are

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If any of you know my life story it is truly unconventional, so unconventional I sometimes trim it down, & sum it up into a short sentence or two leaving out all the parts of "sob storiness" or "poor you" because I never want to dwell. I honestly am a person that looks at life as glass half full so trudging back into those sad or unfortunate times in my life seems to me as negativity that 's unnecessary. What I have come to realize recently is our stories good and bad make us who we are & when we start accepting them and sharing them it allows other people to accept theirs too! We all have a background a life thats lead us to the happy, thriving, successful people we have become & as much as we think others lives are perfect, theirs are this way too. NO ONE is perfect, NO ONE has it all figured out...News Flash, not even OPRAH {ugh do you guys not love her...JUST BE MY MENTOR ALREADY.} So I want to take you back to my hometown and show you bits & pieces of how it's shaped me & my story. If one person can feel less alone, different or troubled through this sharing, my job here is done.

3 Ways Your Hometown Shapes Who You Are

BL Hometown Story
BL Hometown Story
1. It's the place that "houses" your home {or 4 for me}

Our home, our sanctuary, the place you always know you can go to find comfort & chill while Mom cooks up some dinner. The same place that houses all your childhood memories of opening Christmas presents, getting your first kittens & being dragged behind a bike on roller skates requiring stitches {whoops is that not in your memories, cause it's in mine LOL}. Our hometown houses our #1 support system, the walls, floors, bedrooms & material things that shaped us. For me this wasn't as conventional. My home was the beautiful photo above for 6 years of my life, pretty kick ass if I do say so myself then a small apartment, another home & finally a condo. All within the same town, but many different places that had me feeling like a gipsy and realizing that home doesn't need to be a PLACE. As much as we associate "home" with a physical house, it doesn't need to be the stereotypical rooms where we grew up, It can & for me always will be family. Home to me is my loved ones, the sense of belonging and pure happiness I feel when spending time with my little sister, the little cutie that I dressed up & dragged around as my side kick & now get to see grow up into the funny and beautiful young women she is. Home to me is taking those memories with me but not attaching them to the four walls of your stereotypical "home".

Hometown BL
Hometown BL
2. It's where some have their first heartbreak & {forever} love

For me heartbreak here is something much less trivial than first boyfriend or fling in high school but a true family divide that has in more ways that one shaped my whole life. 12 years old & being told that your parents are divorcing is pretty tough. I can remember the clothes I was wearing, the whole bus ride to school {what parent's tell their kids they're divorcing before they head out to school?, but that's a whole other post}, the real promise that we would "stay a family". This heartbreak was one that took many years of figuring out, releasing & working through. It spiraled my mom into single mom status and an intense next few years of trying to find her footing which really never came & resulted in nights of no heat, electricity or cable oh & food stamps. Heartbreak is real & in whatever way you have experienced it {a death in the family, a divorce, a traumatic experience} it is all housed right in that little home town of yours. This heartbreak and hardship created a new life for myself that actually created some good. A few years later, a few moves later & I was finally a high schooler being introduced to a cute guy at my new house for a double date...In walks Chris & the rest is LITERALLY history. Isn't it crazy how the same place the same geographic location that could house so much heartbreak could also bring with it an intense and forever LOVE?

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3. It's where some learn independence & perseverance

The whole parents divorcing and Mom becoming a single mom really threw me into independence without a choice & looking back I am so incredibly thankful for this experience. I had to make decisions on my own, work for what I wanted, wasn't handed anything and truly began to understand the meaning of hard work the moment I turned 16. There was lots of crying, & "Why me's". Why can't I just have what they have, why can't my Mom just give me money like my friends. The life that I lived instilled a work ethic in me that I wouldn't trade for the world. SO to all your ladies out there that had it similar I see you, I hear you & I understand you! These experiences have made us who we are and don't second guess, want to change or make better for one second. Relish in the fact that you're a self made person that has gone through tough stuff to be here today & you're better off for it.

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What I want for you is to live life THIS happy knowing that your past, your hometown, your experience have shaped you NOT dictated your life. You have always been and always will be in control of you & your future is so incredibly bright if you allow yourself to see past the dark spots of the past.

I am so humbled and touched when I hear others life stories that put into perspective how good we DO & CAN have it. Please share them with me through email lauren@blissfullylively.com, Instagram DM or contact here on BL.com.

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Also I'm sure you guys are going to ask but this stunning 14k gold & diamond NH necklace makes the perfect thoughtful Holiday gift with your diamond placed in the hometown of whoever you're gifting this too. It is one of my most cherished pieces & can be found at Bellmans Jewelers or by using this link.

xo,

Lauren

What Would You Say To Five Year Old YOU?

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In the BL Virtual Book Club on FB we have been talking about "our mean girl" the little voice inside our head that makes us question and look down upon ourselves every move we make. Do these sound familiar?

I'm so fat
My hair looks so gross
UGH i wish I could just get rid of this extra skin
Omg i'm so stupid
I Can't do that, i'm not XYZ enough
*Insert looking in the mirror & pinching any skin on your body*

I'm sure most if not all we have said to ourselves in a moment of weakness, hard day, normal day even. We see it in the tabloids "get a flatter stomach with this one ab move", the perfectly curated Instagrams of the girls sucking in, holding their breath or manipulating their body via a waist trainer. Or from someone as close to you as your mother, pulling at her wrinkles in the mirror saying "UGH i'm starting to look old, botox is your best friend girls".

We have been flooded with hating out bodies, thinking we're not good enough & treating ourselves poorly since we entered the world...LITERALLY

We say these things without even thinking. When we're feeling low or defeated we resort to name calling ourselves because it's what we've been taught, but i'm here to UNTEACH that philosophy.

I'm also here to tell you, it isn't just you. I'm what some would consider "skinny", "could eat for the rest of my life and never get fat", "NEED A HAMBURGER" "have the perfect body" etc. {No i'm not saying these things to brag, i'm saying them to allow others to understand the severity of this} AND I as well resort to name calling and pinching in the mirror when i'm feeling low.

Why do we do this? BECAUSE IT"S EASY.

It's easier to put yourself down than deal with what's going on in your mind to lift yourself up. It's easier to call yourself names and sit on the couch with some PB cups after a hard day than run yourself a bath, sit there, cry a little and deal with the emotions that are coming up.

So now that we've got it all out there...WHAT TO DO, WHAT TO DO?

WHAT WOULD YOU say to 5 year old you?
blissfully Lively 5 year old you
blissfully Lively 5 year old you

That's the question I want you to think about every single time you resort to picking yourself apart...

Would you call that innocent little girl fat, would you pinch at her skin and tell her she needs to lose some LBS because she's ugly, hideous etc.

I SURE AS HELL HOPE YOU WOULD NOT.

These things we do have become out norm...we say them without even thinking and the best way to stop those old habits dead in their tracks is assign them a buddy. A little something you do or say every single time those bad habits creep in.

This buddy is a question or mantra,

Would I say this to 5 year old me?
Blissfully Lively 5 year old you
Blissfully Lively 5 year old you

Whenever we're breaking habits it's the hardest thing to commit and stick to because we want to revert back to our old ways. When we stop smoking, drinking, eating poorly etc. our little mean girl pops in and says "well I could just have one"...NOPE.

We can't just have one, we can't just say one mean thing to ourselves because it allows us permission to keep doing it...even worse,

IT ALLOWS OTHERS PERMISSION TO KEEP ON DOING IT.

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Draw that line in the sand. For all the moms out there, who do you want your children to grow up to be? What habits do you want them to take with them through life. If we aren't our best selves currently what habits can we adopt to show them we're trying. We all have a starting place, we all have somewhere we come from, a back story, a sob story but how we move through that with grace and teaching lessons is what others will learn.

My most favorite thing when working with clients is asking them what is you why?

Why did you reach out to me...a good majority of them say, ' to get healthier', 'to learn how to eat cleaner' 'to lose weight' 'for my clothes to fit better' etc. in the beginning but what really drops my jaw to the floor and makes me continue doing this client after client is half way through they realize it isn't because they want to go down a jeans size, they want to eat healthier or they want to lose weight, yes those are all reasons, but after thoughts. The real reason is because they want to love themselves, become a better example for their children or best of all, find out who they are.

So now I leave you with this question...

Would you say that to 5 year old you???

xo,

Lauren

Blissed Out Meditation

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Meditate/ noun: to think or focus deeply ones mind for a period of time, in silence or with music as a method of relaxation.

Doesn't that just sound damn peaceful? I give you the definition because many times we think of things that are outside our scope of practice as off limits, too hard to start, or just plain weird {negative, etc.}. But in all honestly it isn't.

It's what we make it out to be. People see meditation as "made for religious people", "too woo-woo", "too time consuming", "too hard to get in to", ETC. Only because we for one don't want to try things that scare us or require time & energy.

& I want to bring you guys wellness tools that I find to work for myself in a digestible way to YOU, so you too can reap the benefits.

I want to change the way we look at some of the more "scary" or "negatively thought about" wellness topics such as meditation, crystals, cupping, ETC. & show you how to do them easily and comfortably in your own home, or with minimal work.

I want to call this new section "The Everyday Girl": outside of the box wellness tools SIMPLIFIED for all of you every day babes that read.

First up, meditation!

BL meditate
BL meditate

I started meditation about a year ago now, and it has become a staple in my morning routine. Just like my mindfulness, I can't start my day without it. It sets the tone for my day like nothing else i've tried, not even a workout, honestly.

Sitting with yourself & getting real with your thoughts...setting an intention is so powerful.

At first when I started I didn't really know where to begin, so I used Gabby Bernsteins recorded meditations to start. I got more comfortable & then just started playing music & focusing on my breathing each morning for 10 minutes. I would breath in & breath out slowly, allowing my mind to stop thinking for just 10 minutes. I would think up an intention for myself or my day such as "bring love to each experience today" and try to calm my mind.

During this meditation is when I came up with the idea for this post or section of the blog. When I realized that I too was one of those people who honestly thought meditation was too "spiritual, too religious" for me {side note: nothing against people who are religious or spiritual, it just isn't my thing, you know}. It was too woo-woo, or out there.

This is when I realized that I want to break down those walls, those barriers for people to experience some of the things they think are out of their comfort zone in an easy and non intimidating way!

How to meditate
Mediate BL
Mediate BL
  1. sit on the floor {or a pillow} in criss cross position with your hands on your knees and your palms facing upward.
  2. Think of your head as extending into the sky, pulling yourself up into proper, natural alignment.
  3. close your eyes or keep a soft gaze ahead & begin focusing on your breath.
  4. Breath in 3 slow counts & out three slow counts.
  5. As you do this, try to stop your brain from producing thoughts.
  6. Try to picture a white wall, a scenic ocean, something that won't provoke thoughts.
  7. Allow thoughts to come in, be aware of them & then release them, always going back to this blank or scenic state.
  8. sit as long as you wish.

You guys will be blown away by the benefits of meditation & I think it's something that's truly one of the most beneficial practices I have added into my daily routine!

If you're one of the BL Newsletter Subscribers then you are going to be getting something extra special & exclusive in your inbox. The first ever BL Meditation Practice. An audio recording of me walking you through your meditation practice one calming step at a time! <3

xo,

Lauren

What is Wellness, Really?

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You guys know my love for making wellness more than just some trendy topic. I love really promoting self care, mindfulness, eating whole foods & moving your body in whatever way that feels good for you. Hello, the 3 pillars of BL {mindfulness, fitness & nutrition}. Recently I've felt like the wellness scene has been bombarded with pretty pictures of your Soul Cycle ride, Sweet Green lunch & adaptogen latte. Which don't get me wrong is amazing for you but what are we doing when the camera is turned off & Instagram isn't our main focus?

Are we continuing to make those gorgeous smoothie bowls at home, getting up an hour early to drive ourselves to the nearest gym & above all else really working through the muck of our own mind to become more mindful & centered as a person?

Well Summit
Well Summit

{P.C. @naturalbeautynaturallife}

I want to think YES we are because you know i'm always on the bright side, but sadly some people are riding this wellness fad until it wears right out. This thought has  made me come to terms with the fact that I need to be more real than ever, letting people see what REAL wellness looks like from the inside out.

One of my favorite resources for this has been retreats or summits that emerse you in a real 360 degree view of wellness from what you're eating to what you're putting on your skin, honestly how you're moving & shaking this worlds wellness views.

Well Summit Blissfully Lively
Well Summit Blissfully Lively

I went to W.E.L.L SummitsBoston Day of Wellness this past spring and really loved learning about the ins and outs of wellness. The maybe not always pretty side of wellness. The thoughts behind fad diets, info on keeping your home chemical free, info on heart disease. The real knowledge we need to be educating ourselves on.

It truly changed my view of wellness from being this pretty, curated surface lifestyle to an all encompassing thing that connects mind, body, & lifestyle choices together.

Honestly, I want to attribute my courage to step into nutrition coaching because of my time at Boston Day of Wellness. I went to a break out session all about fad diets that really struck me to my core.

Anything that challenges your thoughts processes, pushes you out of your comfort zone or allows you to meet people within the community that motivates you is something in my book not worth missing out on!

The W.E.L.L Summit will be having their annual weekend workshop in NYC on November 3rd & 4th. They will be hosting 17 amazing speakers touching on skincare, the practice of yoga, holistic health, gluten free eating, self love, etc. The weekend will consist of many breakout sessions that allow you to feel connected to the speakers, asking questions and really feeling engaged.

BL Wellness
BL Wellness

{P.C. @gurlgonegreen}

To top it all off they will be hosting 30 different vendors that you can browse and learn more about, a manicure bar & kicking off the weekend with a rad AF wellness party!

The pictures of last years W.E.L.L Summit have me so excited to be immersed in all things wellness this fall. Check out W.EL.L Summits website for more details and grab yo self a ticket! You don't want to miss this <3

xo,

Lauren

Pit & Peak Nightly Template

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Happy Saturday! I hope your day is filled with fun, relaxing and lots of good eats. I feel like sometimes I underestimate my love for food to your guys. Who else thinks about their next meal the moment they've finished their current meal.....GUILTY. Anyway Chris and I went to a concert last night and lets just say I ate all the things & was not quite pleased with myself. But today is a new day and starting fresh is in order. Speaking of starting fresh. I have another mindfulness template for you guys. I have had so many comments, DM's and personal messages about the morning mindfulness template completely changing peoples lives which is unreal to me. A little something that i've begun practicing and shared with you guys has made such an impact and I just adore hearing the ways you use the template to better your life! A few examples:

Nightly Template BL
Nightly Template BL
Nightly Template Blissfully Lively
Nightly Template Blissfully Lively
BL Nightly Template
BL Nightly Template

This nightly template was something I created after a pretty bad day. Actually if we want to be specific, a meltdown crying like a baby eating Justins Chocolate PB cups while watching Shameless sort of day....Ya feel me?

As I was sitting there wallowing in my own sorrows over a stressful day I began thinking about what was really upsetting me & trying to turn it around to think about the positive things going on in my life to snap me out of this funk.

This is where the pit & peak nightly template was born.

I think of this as an extension of the morning mindfulness template but something that you can do to REFLECT on you day. So one sets you up to have a fantastic day and the other reminds you and checks in with you on how that day affected you!

I hope you all use the PDF, take this template and write it out in your own notebook & best of all share with your loved ones. Promoting whole being wellness & spreading positivity is my thing and I want as many people as possible to utilize these tools!

Download Nightly Mindfulness  PDF HERE
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Love you all!

xo,

Lauren

Introducing...The BL Book Club

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I have been wanting to bring this to BL for quite some time as I am a ferocious reader and fricken love my reading time but have held off, worried that it would take up too much time to create a successful book club.

Thank goodness Instagram came out with the Live feature because I have found a new way to create the BL book club I have been longing for.

You guys know my obsession with any books from the self help/fitness/ wellness/ nutrition genre so that's exactly what this book club is going to be centered around.

Books that make us BETTER!

I have been asked by so many family and friends for book reccomendations & have been wanting a way to connecting with you amazing ladies that read and utilize the blog so I thought we would pick a book, assign pages & then chit chat over Insta/FB live weekly about what we read. Sharing our own personal connections to the book, stories we have or even just feelings/ things that the book made us think about during these pages.

blissfully lively Book Club
blissfully lively Book Club

The point of this book club is to bring all of you BL readers together while also giving us a space to chat! I have created a secret FB group, girls only for all of our chats... SO go become a member!

Ok so here's the format & FIRST book we will be reading!

BL Book Club
  • Start date Tuesday August 8th 8PM {FB live to assign pages & chat about the book!}
  • Book: Mastering Your Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini
  • Join BL BOOK CLUB FB Group
  • Weekly chit chat: Every Tuesday night at 8pm we will chat about the pages we've read and how it applies to our life, our choices, etc! & assign new pages for the week ahead. {don't worry if you miss it you can re-watch it later on!}
  • Use the group as a community, be able to share confidentially and give advice to others!

OK, so now go purchase your book or {amazon prime it 2 days before like I would LOL} and get ready for Tuesday night!

So excited for this babes!

xoxo,

Lauren

--

Looking for a smoothie to drink while reading? Check out the BL Smoothie from the EBOOK!

Morning Mindfulness Check List

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HIII Babes! I'm back & a married women...

The wedding flew by in a blink and I'm sitting here wondering how it all came together & then ended so quickly. It literally was the best day of my life and I can't wait to do a post or 2 all about it. {probably in a week or so}.... for now I will give you a sneak peek or 2 👇🏼

BL Morning Mindfulness
BL Morning Mindfulness
Morning Mindfulness BL
Morning Mindfulness BL

BUT I am here to give you what you all have been asking for! My favorite Morning Mindfulness Check List.

I chatted with you guys about how to create a morning routine, and my favorite routine currently {if you haven't read it, its a good one!}. Basically I gave you guys the gist on how drinking some tea, sitting with my thoughts & starting my day slower helps set me up for a more successful day & you all loved it. So thanks for that feedback!

You also have all been "screenshotting" my Morning Mindfulness Check List on Insta Stories so I decided to bring it here in super cute BL PDF format for you to download & add to your phone to complete each morning!

I complete this check list after my morning meditation to remind myself of things i'm grateful for, any to do's I want to accomplish during that day, A few positive affirmations & my most favorite a personal biography.

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This biography should read like one on the back cover of your favorite book, but about you. This one can be hard but I think it's so useful in daily visualization of your goals. If someone were to summarize your life and your accomplishments for 50 year old you, what would it look like? Here is an example.

"Sally Jane is a world renowned business coach, New York Times Best Selling author of her book 'Smart Money' & business educator for her 1 million plus community of millennials. She resides in Southern California with wife Janis & 2 beautiful children. Her net worth is $2 million."

I will continue to share my Mindfulness check list on Insta stories to give you guys a better idea of how to craft these up if you're feeling stuck. I made the PDF editable so you can download adobe pdf reader for your iPhone and input your answers each day, saving and redoing the next time you complete your mindfulness routine in the AM.

To download click the title below & save to your phone or computer!

BL Mindfulness Check List

BL Mindfulness Template
BL Mindfulness Template

xo,

Lauren

How to Create a Healthy Morning Routine

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I recently started sharing my morning routine on Instagram and immediately you guys began asking me for more info. Because of such a large amount of Q's I decided to make it into one blog post where you can find all the info on how to start your day off as stress free as possible.

So with this being said why don't I walk you guys through my morning routine...

My days, like I'm sure most of yours aren't ever really the same. Sometimes I have hours available in the morning to get up slowly & work on tons of BL stuff, other mornings i'm shortened on time because of a TRX class i'm teaching or a meal prep client/ odd jobs I'm taking on the side as I grow this platform!

The below format is ideally what routine I am striving for this summer.

BL Summer Morning Routine

Bl Morning Routine
Bl Morning Routine
7am: Wake up

Chris sets his alarm for 7am every morning so I am inevitably up at this time. Honestly morning wake ups are super hard for me but I am trying to get up earlier to fit in more me time. Chris uses a gradual alarm It's an app that you turn on at night that tracks your sleep and wakes you up when your body is in the lightest sleep cycle. So you would set it at a range of 6:45am-7:15am and it will wake you up anytime between there that it feels you are in your lightest sleep. Pretty genius!

7:15am : Sip on some water
BL Healthy Morning Routine Lemon Water
BL Healthy Morning Routine Lemon Water

I eventually roll out of bed after a few morning snuggles & stretches around 7:10am and make my way to the kitchen to hydrate. Think about how dehydrated your body is after not drinking anything for 8 hours. I try to drink 2 full glasses of water right when I wake up.

7:30am : Yoga/ Meditation
BL morning meditation
BL morning meditation

This is something that I began doing religiously about a month ago and it has changed my days immensely!! I put on my favorite spotify meditation station {click & it will send you to the exact playlist} and start through my first yoga flow. Something like THIS. I complete 3-4 rounds of the yoga flow & add a little plank work to it. Then I sit in meditation following Gabby Bernstein's Meditation music for about 10-15 minutes.

8am : Daily Reminders/ Gratitudes
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Immediately following meditation I write up my daily reminders. These are what you have seen on Instagram story if you follow along there. It consists of 3 "to do's", 3 gratitudes, 3 affirmations & 1 personal biography. I try to complete this every morning but if not I try and shoot for 3 times per week. This is my time to also write down anything that came to me during meditation. I am flooded with creative ideas every once in a while during meditation so I take the time to write this down afterward.

8:15/8:20am : Breakfast
BL Morning Routine Breakfast
BL Morning Routine Breakfast

Breakfast is no joke my favorite time of the day. I love breakfast food & I love the calm sense of self I have after completing these few morning practices. I usually opt for eggs, a fruit and a grain option in the morning. A few of my favorites are 2 BL Egg Cups, half a grapefruit & a piece of whole wheat toast w/ natural PB OR Avocado Toast w/ 2 eggs. I also brew up a cup of green tea or if i'm smart enough on Sunday I brew it up then & add it to the refrigerator so I can have iced tea. I just started reading the morning news over breakfast {no not crazy old school from a newspaper} but my new favorite app. The Skimm. It's an email news service formed by 2 women who want to make news easy for the every girl. So It's basically news in layman's terms, so genius. I just felt like I never wanted to watch the news because for 1 it made me sad and for 2 I couldn't really understand anything they were saying, but I still wanted to be informed so The Skimm is such an awesome tool.

9ish am : Begin work

I normally begin work around 9am outlining a list of "to do's" and then trimming that list down to 2/3 things that I know I can accomplish today. If I accomplish those things I can move on to 1 or 2 others. I try to keep my list of "to do's" incredibly small as a large list overwhelms me and then I don't get anything done.

If you guys have read through this you know that my daily workout wasn't included. I actually prefer to workout in the afternoon, my body responds to strength training so much better once I am up and have been using my brain for a few hours. After lunch around 2/3 or before dinner is my favorite time to workout.

Now I want to know...

What does your morning routine look like?

Lets share in the comments section & get the conversation started. A morning routine is so important and I think we need more ideas/ ways to get our bodies ready for the day!

xo,

Lauren

Self Love Isn't Selfish!

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This topic has been something that i've been meaning to write about for a while but couldn't find the right words. Aka I needed to take some time to cool off a bit and think on it before I wrote a crazy rant that had people emailing saying "LAUREN ARE YOU OK?" 🙊

But really.

I had an encounter with someone I know recently and I was mind blown, HARD. I couldn't understand how someone could think so poorly & project this poor thinking of themselves onto others. Ok enough of me talking in circles...let me lay it out for you.

YOU DON'T NEED TO FEEL SELFISH WHEN CARING FOR YOURSELF.

Whether you're a mother, sister, friend, partner whatever, you making time for yourself doesn't have to mean that you're depriving the other people in your life.

I was having a conversation with someone recently and they said to me "I just don't understand why so and so went to the gym after work after having her kids in daycare all day, I mean I would be headed straight to that daycare at 5pm to pick up my kids".

self love selfish

So honestly I feel like there's a lot wrong with this statement including... projecting your values onto someone else, shunning someone because their choices are different than yours & caring too much about what others are doing with their life instead of making YOUR life worth living!

I politely said back to this person... "well I feel like she will be a better mom, spouse, worker in her life if she takes some time to better herself". AND honestly I 100% believe this.

 

I wanted to share this little idea with you because I feel that so many of us feel guilty for taking time for ourselves. I mean 100% honesty here I do it too. I will have had a busy day & want to head straight home to workout and destress but then the feelings of "oh Chris and I haven't had a date night recently" or "oh jeez I have so much work to get done, should I really workout?"

These feelings are normal and don't just relate to working out, it could be "should I go on that morning walk?" "should I take 10 extra minutes getting ready in the morning?" "Should I really be working tonight?". Because I need to do XYZ or Spend more time with XYZ

self love isn't selfish BL

We all have these nagging feelings of guilt for putting ourselves at the top of the priorities list and I'm here to tell you we have got to cut that shit out!

When you invest in you, you invest in your life, in your purpose. By giving yourself some attention you in turn will feel more clear.

So now lets chat, do you ever have these feelings, or have had a conversation like the above that made you question your worth? Lets get the conversation going because one persons story could help many!

 

xo,

Lauren

 

 

How to Balance A Social Life & Personal Health in Your 20's

Binge drinking, bar hopping & late night greasy snacks are the status quo when it comes to socializing in your 20's.

While this isn't my style of having fun on a weekend I know so many people love to socialize out at bars with friends. The reality of this though is some take it to a whole other level,  getting wild until 2am only to wake up the next morning and realize they drank all their calories away and have a faint memory of binge eating a few too many midnight snacks.

BL Balance in your twenties

In this post i'm not talking to the people who love to have a drink or two on Saturday night and socialize with their friends {though you too could find these tips helpful}, but I am talking to the people who feel like they can't rip themselves away from the binge culture that once was college and adjust to a more balanced social life that takes their health into account.

*SIDE NOTE: i'm also not saying the binge culture in college is ok, but that's just a topic for a WHOLE other blog post!

BL Balance in your 20's

Being social, how you're perceived, temptation and serious cases of FOMO are all things that hold people back from creating boundaries with alcohol. And i'm here to let you know we all feel these things from time to time, but putting your health and happiness first should always be the goal.

Bl Balance and social culture

Keeping in mind that this can be incredibly hard I thought why not give people a few tips on how to still socialize, create those fun experiences with friends, and enjoy a drink or two but also keep your health as a top priority with a little balance.

Lets get down to business...

👇🏼

Tips to balance a social life & your health in your 20's

  1. Practice self reflection: Is this something that I want to do? Is this something I'm doing because I care about what others think of me? Is this extra drink {handful of chips, night out} really worth it? It's so easy to get caught up in doing what other people do because of subconscious peer pressure but if it isn't serving you why do it? Before you say yes to anything regarding weekend socializing try to take a beat and really think if this is something you want or need in your life.
  2. Be ok with saying NO: This one goes hand in hand with the first tip. But when we practice more self reflection there are going to be times when we have to say no, or when we want to say no. This can be to another drink at the bar or to another night of going out with friends all together. You have to come to terms with the fact that people may feel let down by you not meeting their expectations, but that is 100% not YOUR problem. YOU DO YOU!
  3. Think about how you would like to be spending your money?: This one is difficult but so necessary to think about. Going out with friends leads to TONS of money spent. The question is how would you like to be spending your money, and only you can answer this. Uber's to and from the bar, 5 dollar beers & late night food adds up, and is this serving you? OR Saturday morning yoga class with your besties, whole food grocery runs & stocking up on drinks at the liquor store for a get together with friends at home? These are all questions we need to think about.
  4. Mix in a water & a workout: Going out with friends sometimes leads to peer pressure which means one {or two} drinks too many which can leave you feeling bloated, dehydrated, etc! When you do go out with friends try to mix in a water for every drink you have. This might sound annoying as you are at the bar but this can also be done the moment you get home, if you have 3 drinks chug 3 glasses or water before you head to bed. Another great way of creating some balance is heading to the gym the morning after for a little cardio to sweat out some of those toxins.

 

BL balance

The feelings of peer pressure and balancing our health while also continuing a social life in our 20's is so hard! I totally understand this struggle and I hope a few of this tips can help you guys get on a more mindful track!

If you want more of a personalized plan or help balancing send me an email!

xo,

Lauren

Why You Need to Take a Break From Work & Meditate

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  Between work, family, friends and other personal commitments, it might be hard to find time to just be yourself. This is a real shame because being ourselves is one of the most important things we can do.

So, it is important we accept taking a break for ourselves not as being selfish or as “wasting” time, but rather as something essential for connecting to ourselves, unlocking our full potential and improving our overall well-being. Taking a break from work to practice one of the world’s oldest relaxation techniques, meditation, is a great way to improve wellness. Let me show you why you should be taking time out of your day to meditate.

Benefits of Meditation

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Meditation offers so much more than just better focus. Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • It promotes higher levels of emotional well-being. Meditation helps reduce stress and anxiety as it forces you to focus on the current moment rather than the past or future. It allows you to be more aware of your surroundings and to take a step back from your current problems, which gives you much better objectivity. For some people, meditation has helped decrease depression and other mood disorders.
  • It improves the mind. Not only does meditation help improve focus, but it also helps promote creativity. So if you’re stuck on a problem or feel like you’re missing something, meditation can help get you past those roadblocks.
  • It keeps you healthy. Stress is linked to all sorts of health problems. Meditation can be a big help in reducing stress, which improves your overall level of wellness.

Even if you’re not stressed, meditation can still offer plenty of benefits. If nothing else, it’s a great way to relax and give your eyes and mind a break from the constant activity around you. In such a fast-paced world, where we're attached to our phones 24/7, I find having even one minute of peace and tranquility is all I need to reconnect with myself and remind myself who I want to be.

Try Quick Meditation

Blissfully Lively meditate & waterbottle

{Snag a BL glass water bottle Here}

It’s easy to see that meditation can be a great addition to your life, but our busy lives often make it tough to make room for this healthy activity. It’s easy to feel like there’s not enough time and meditation is often the last thing I think of on a busy day. However, if I pile too much work on top of myself, it consumes me, and I forget who I am and what I am doing. One way to prevent this from happening is to practice “quick meditation.”

It’s incredibly easy and requires nothing more than a timer. The steps are fairly straightforward:

  1. Close your eyes.
  2. Get comfortable in your chair.
  3. Breathe slowly and focus on your breath.
  4. Don’t worry if your mind slips to a work problem or random thought. Just gently nudge yourself back to your breathing. Counting your breath can keep your mind from wandering.

Mediate BL

And that’s it. After the time is up, I go back to work or move on to another project. If you’re new to meditation, there are loads of videos on YouTube you can watch or listen to for guidance, even if there are content restrictions at your workplace. Stepping away from your work for a few minutes to do some guided meditation or even to just relax to some ambient sounds can have a big impact on your mental and emotional state.

It’s easy to think we have more important things to do in life, but if we don’t take care of ourselves, our health and well-being will always fall by the wayside. By taking a few minutes each day to relax and to mediate, you are setting yourself up for a healthy and productive lifestyle.

xo,

Lauren

 

* About the Author: Caroline is a writer who enjoys writing about health and wellness. She is a firm believer in the “healthy mind, healthy body” philosophy. As an advocate of healthy living, she enjoys practicing yoga, Pilates and, of course, mindful meditation. She has gone on several yoga retreats to improve the connection between her mind and body and now practices some zazen at home.

Why I am Focusing on Stretching This Month w/ Bending Bodhi

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Hey Hi Hello! It's Friday!

I am so excited to write this post I'm partially jumping out of my seat. But really you guys know my love for yoga and constant talk about my need to stretch on Instagram so I finally decided to take matters into my own hands.

BL Bending Bodhi Yoga

It's about time right?

I have decided to collaborate with Bending Bodhi, a fantastic yoga studio in Dover, NH to hold myself accountable for the month of March to make stretching a priority! I have committed to going 2 days per week and document my feelings throughout the whole experience for you all.

I will be checking in on Instagram every week with little updates to how i'm feeling, mind and body. As we all know yoga is more than just stretching so i'm hoping to gain some mind stillness techniques as well!

Bending Bodhi Yoga BL

I have always loved taking yoga and the feeling after a good stretch, but never make it a priority. It's something that I think fell down the list honestly when we put together our home gym. Because of it's close proximity to the house I tend to workout then hop over to the kitchen, make some lunch, shower up and then back to work, all the while forgetting to do any stretching or rehabbing of my muscles.

I'm sure you ladies can relate when you're running late but still want to fit in a workout so you skip the warm up or cool down and get straight to it...YIKES we've got to stop this neglecting of our muscles!

BL Bending Bodhi Stretching and Yoga

I'm hoping that this month at Bending Bodhi will hold me accountable to making a little more time for myself and buying in to the yoga practice every time. Allowing the stressors to fall away and the stretching and de-stressing to really set in!

Bending Bodhi is such a beautiful studio, and I am so lucky to be working with them. If you live locally in the Dover NH area you have to check them out! It's such a stress free calming studio {If you can tell in the pictures above it feels so homey}, inclusive and accommodating to your personal needs from their schedule to their instructors.

This afternoon will be my first class, I can't wait to get to stretching, Oming & Sighing my way to a healthier March!

Bending Bodhi March Yoga and Stretching

xo,

Lauren

Staying In Is The New Going Out & A Little Self Care With 1915 Organic

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You guys already know I'm all about self care from the BL Self Love Movement I started & the constant reminder of it on Instagram, but I have never really given you the info on how to start if you're new to slowing down and taking time for yourself.

Step 1 cancel any Friday night plans 😉. You guys all know I adore a cuddled up Friday night in like any grandma would {the catch is i'm no grandma ;) } and when one of my favorite cold pressed juice companies 1915 Organic sent me a self care package filled with goodies I knew I had to take advantage of the goods.

Bl Self Love

With Valentines Day being this last week and a lot of peoples sights being set on dinner out, expensive gifts, cards, candy, you name it for their significant other I thought why not change it up a bit. Give you guys a few self care ideas that turn the love inward, don't require much money & can be carried on without leaving the house. Hopefully these fews tips will serve you in becoming the healthiest version of yourself. A little self love goes along way!

Staying In & Self Care With 1915 Organic

1915 Organic Juice Blissfully Lively

Step 1 put your phone on airplane mode or just flip it over so you can't see the screen & put it far out of reach. It isn't necessary to have our phones attached to us at all times, but we do it because it's become the norm. I catch myself reaching for it in moments of silence, alone times, etc. It's not healthy!

I've got to start this off with a little honesty. I myself don't make enough time for self care. Things like meditation, a nightly bath {with my fav bath bombs} or even workouts become less and less of a priority as we become busier and busier. So I was incredibly thankful for 1915 Organic sending me such a fantastic care package which put my self care needs in check!

Night in with 1915 organic

I have always used the excuse "my bathtub is gross", or "I just can't sit that long" to get myself out of taking a bath but you guys, there's really no better way to give yourself some self care than a calming soak. Post workout I turned on the tub, dropped in a bath bomb, light a candle and sipped on some cold pressed beet juice. May or may not have rocked out to some Beyonce also {I still can't quit the Lemonade album}.

Night In 1915 Organic

Ok truthfully I only lasted like 10 minutes, but 10 minutes is better than no minutes right?

If you guys aren't ones that love to sit and soak one of my other favorite ways to add a little self care to your day is one I practice nightly. Reading.

Allowing myself to get outside of my own head and immersed in a story is the perfect way to destress. I have been reading Oprah's "What I Know For Sure" lately and love it. The stories of her life and figuring out what she knows for sure are so interesting, seriously if you haven't read it yet, add it to the must read list.

1915 Organic Night in Reading

There's just something I love about cuddling up with a book and drowning out the world. I know Kindles, iPads, Audible is the new thing these days but there's nothing like turning the pages of a book! Sipping' on some green juice while doing it doesn't hurt either!

Night In Cold Pressed Juice

Here are a few more of my favorite self care ideas for the next time you decide to curl up for a night in!

  • Workout {take your time, stretch long before & after enjoy the workout}
  • Cook/ Bake {A home cooked meal is my favorite, try out a new recipe, bake a sweet treat, pop up some popcorn}
  • Netflix binge {I love spending a little time with Netflix every once in a while, Shameless is such a good show, Chris and I are addicted}
  • Draw/ create { Knitting, drawing, coloring, anything that gets the creative juices flowing}
  • Clean {sometimes a good deep clean and organization does the soul good!}

I hope these few tips and ways I like to destress helped you pick what to do the next time you ditch those going out plans!

xo,

Lauren

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Reading to cook somethin' up for your night in? Check out the BL Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Cups!

Ten Things About Me, The Girl Behind Blissfully Lively

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As I told you guys in the Wellness Spotlight post this past weekend I was checkin' out the blog analytics and realized the About Me page is the most viewed of 2016 month to month.

So I took that as you guys want to learn a bit more about the girl behind the blog.

BL About me

I don't normally share a ton about my personal background etc. on social media because I feel kinda weird. I don't want people to get the wrong impression thinking I'm whining, bragging, really just judge me at all but in order to create a BL community you guys need to know about me too right?

I've always personally disliked those long sob story posts about peoples past etc because I feel that it dwells too much on the negative and i'm all about that positivity! SO...i'm going to hit you guys with 10 facts about me, keep it short and sweet and see how you like it.

Blissfully Lively About Me

 

I want to know a bit more about each of you that read! I would love if you would leave 1 fact about yourself in the comments below. It can be where you're from, what your favorite workout is, favorite food, anything! I'm all ears.

10 Facts About Me

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  1. I weighed 1 lb 3 oz. when I was born: YES you read that right 1 lb. so basically the size/ weight of a carton of butter, 1 baseball, 1 can of beans. I was born 3 months premature and my mother was told I would be blind/ partially deaf, have learning deficits, etc. I forget this part of my story because it's just my life, it isn't truly something I lived through and remember, it's just me. So needless to say I'm super lucky I survived and have no mental, or physical disabilities!
  2. I am a self proclaimed foodie: I know this one is a bit boring compared to the first one but you guys I am a 118 lb 5'1 food shoveling, sweets loving lady. Chris' nick name for me no joke is chunk {it's all out of love}.

Blissfully Lively About Me Info Interview

3. I went to college to be an Elementary School Teacher: I have always loved little kids and watching them learn & grasp new concepts is like nothing else. I ended up not going on to get my masters in teaching and switched career paths a bit but am so happy because this led me to blogging and nutrition coaching. Still using my teaching skills but just in a different way.

4. I am INCREDIBLY emotional: Like crying at commercials on tv emotional. I cry at the drop of a hat and more often than not take things way too seriously! Chris and I's friends got married this past fall and I was sobbing before she even walked down the aisle. I always worry how in the hell am I going to be able to keep it together on our wedding day? LOL

5. I love outdoor adventure: Skiing, Hiking, Waterskiing, swimming, zip lining, sky diving are just a few of my favs. I'm super into thrilling outdoor adventure and can't wait to go skydiving again, you guys it's life changing!

6. I live in NH & ADORE the Beach: I was born and raised here, went to college here and then Chris and I bought a house here. We're definitely Northeast people to our core. We live 40 minutes from the ocean {my most favorite place on earth}, mountains and lakes. Super sweet set up if you love outdoor adventure!

BL About Me Beach Interview

7. I have an aversion to mushrooms/ coffee: I can't even smell mushrooms or they make me gag, texture, smell everything, so you will never see a blog recipe with mushrooms! Interestingly I think I'm allergic to coffee or really caffeine in general. I used to make coffee hot chocolate mixes in high school and had to stop because I would shake, my heart would race, feel sick, overheat & have serious stomach pains when drinking coffee. So i've stayed far away since!

8. I love country music: Chris and I are country music junkies. We attend around 5-8 country concerts a summer and would legit move to Nashville if we didn't love NH so much... {you never know😊}. We already have 4 concerts lined up for this summer and it's only February!

9. I have an addiction to having my nails painted: I know this one is fricken weird but I'm one of those people that you will never see with bare finger nails. I have to have them painted at all times and if they aren't you should check in with me on my well being! LOL but really. I'm a bit OCD about it I even bought my own gel kit so I could do them at home!

Blissfully Lively Ten Things About Me Interview

10. I was a gymnast growing up: People always ask how I can incorporate hand stands etc. into my workouts or how I am so flexible in yoga...Secrets out, I did gymnastics growing up for about 8 years until I stopped competing at age 12. The strength that it takes to be able to climb up rope, hold yourself in hand stands, complete inversions, flip yourself upside down and whip your body completely around to complete an aerial is no joke! I would argue gymnasts are one of if not the strongest athlete there is.

This was so weird posting 7 photos of myself in one blog post but hey, every single one of these photos represents me so well! I'm a down to earth sweets loving, movement obsessed adventure seeker on a mission to help women become the healthiest and happiest version of themselves!

Tell me a little about you!

✌🏻 Peace out, Live blissfully!

xo,

Lauren

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Wanna know more about me? Check out my most favorite moments of 2016.