Getting Out of My Head

The hardest part about wanting to write is forcing myself to get the ideas out of my head and onto paper. Some of you may not have this issue, but I’m sure someone reading this can relate.

I am by nature a true overthinker. I take an ideas and boil it down into small particles, sometimes examining every possible outcome and aspect. At times, I even talk (or think) myself out of ideas because I assume everyone already knows it or they aren’t that valuable. My overthinking can be likened to the scene in Avengers: Infinity War when Dr. Strange looked into the future and found millions of possible outcomes for the situation the group was facing. The only difference is, I don’t have any super powers so my over analyzing never shows me anything new.

In this season of life, I am learning that it is okay to do my thinking on paper. I don’t have to keep the ideas bottled up until they are perfected before sharing them. I don’t have to have everything sorted out before I start to create. Ideas don’t have to be a final destination; they can indeed be a starting point. Growth can come from dialogue, but there can be no dialogue if I am not sharing ideas.

My goal for the next few months is to share more, even if I still want to ponder. There has to be a starting point and this short post (that was imagined weeks ago) is this overthinker’s step one.

Thanks for reading,

Brittany

Helpful Practices for New Year Success

Can you believe that we are 18 days into January already? It feels like just yesterday that I was sending “Happy New Year” texts to friends and family. The beginning of a new year is always a great time for me. I know that positive changes can begin at any moment, but I love getting a new start on January 1st. This year, I have decided to implement some new practices to help me in areas that I felt I was lacking in. I’m going to share the new practices that are working well for me so far in hopes that some of them may work well for you.

Committing to use a bullet journal

One of the best decisions I’ve made this year so far was to start a bullet journal. I originally heard of bullet journaling over a year ago, but at the time it seemed incredibly time consuming. During my two weeks off from work, I decided to go ahead and see what it was all about. Setting up my bullet journal required much thought but there were many YouTube videos & blog posts that made the process much easier. Bullet journaling has provided me the space to write down goals, trackers, budgets and so many other types of data that I’d like to keep up with. It provides a special type of accountability that I can’t get by simply saying “I’m going to do this” to myself. In the last couple years, I have seen that I will do more and do better if it is written down. And, I have already accomplished some of the things in my journal. Here’s to knocking out this year’s goals by writing the vision!

Finding new streams of income

Ever since learning that the average millionaire has 7 streams of income, I have become dedicated to researching additional streams of income for myself. Although so many in my family are great at creating side hustles that work for them, I’ve never really found that thing that worked for me. Yes, I’ve sold a few items on TeachersPayTeachers or a textbook to another student in college, but I do not like directly selling things to people. However, I realize that everyone is selling something. People on YouTube are selling us makeup in their tutorials, some of my favorite Instagram influencers are constantly trying to get me to purchase sponsored healthy foods and even my Facebook friends are selling school fundraiser items on behalf of their kids. The economy only flows if money is being circulated through buying and selling. So far this year, I’ve made extra money through selling items I no longer use and mystery shopping. It’s really amazing how someone will find value in the things I don’t need anymore. I’ve sold shoes that I haven’t worn in years, clothes that are too small and even wedding gifts that were collecting dust in our closet. It has felt great to declutter our space and make money doing it. I have also completed one mystery shopping assignment that took me about 45 minutes and earned me $23. I was able to complete it by going somewhere that I needed to go to anyway and it wasn’t labor intensive. I have only done one mystery shopping visit so I don’t have too much to share yet, but if you are interested, Tai & Talaat McNeely have a great blog post with videos on reputable sites to mystery shop for here. I would highly suggest it for those who have pockets of extra time in their week.

Taking supplements daily

I know that taking supplements doesn’t sound that exciting and if it wasn’t flu season, you’d probably really roll your eyes at this one. But I have found that taking vitamins are an easy way that I can ensure that I am getting what I need. I work in a profession where I come in contact with a lot of germs. And whether you work with children or not, the reality is, we’re all coming in contact with germs and harmful bacteria. This year’s flu season is already projected to be one of the worst on record, with hospitals setting up triage tents and school districts closing school to prevent the spread. I am hoping to do everything I can to keep myself healthy. My primary supplements are Vitamin C with Rose Hip to boost my immune system, Vitamin D to supplement for missed sunlight, Vitamin B12 to give me energy and wheatgrass because it helps everything. I also take a probiotic for gut health and St. John’s Wort for mood. I take some of them every day and some a few times a week based on my diet and the season. These supplements help me to feel my best and ensure that I’m not lacking in any vital area. I hope that they will help me continue feeling my best and have another sick visit-free year!

Which new practices have you incorporated this year? Did you commit to anything new? If so, how are these things helping you so far? Have you tried any of the practices I mentioned above? Please let me know in the Comments below. And as always, thanks for reading!

In pursuit of a greener year,

Brittany

Oh yeah, I just created an Instagram page for The Green Pursuit. Please follow at @thegreenpursuit. Let’s keep the conversation going about health, green living & sustainability there.

5 self-care tips to combat anxiety

Hi friends,

I hope that you are well. And I hope that your year is starting well. Can you believe that the first month of the year is practically over? This year is moving quickly. I’m coming to you today to address something that many of us have experienced at one point or another. It creeps up out of nowhere and rears its ugly head, oftentimes leaving us in tears, feeling frazzled and scared. This monster is called anxiety.

In the last year of my life, I have had to battle anxiety linked to stress. As someone who can only remember one anxiety attack in the first 25+ years of life, this was something that confused me. However, I was fortunate to quickly find some self-care tips that have helped me tremendously. Scroll down to learn more.

Write scriptures & affirmations

I was home one weekend back in December on the phone with my fiancé and I felt my anxiety try to pull a surprise attack. I let him know what was happening and decided to get off the phone. I felt tears coming and did not fight them, while quickly pulling out my journal and Bible. I began to write down every scripture I could find about peace and mental health. Although my journal was soaked with tears, I quickly realized that which every scripture I wrote, I felt the weight lifting. In total, I jotted down around seven scriptures before I felt calm. In that moment, the power of God’s word was more real to me than ever. I went on with my day, which meant going to church where I was able to worship God. This worship was a soothing balm to my weary mind just when I needed it. There are several websites that make compilations of these scriptures if you find yourself wanting to read or write them as well.

Pray out loud

Another great strategy I have is praying audibly. This has been especially helpful for me when I have been feeling anxious while driving in the car. Heavy traffic and long commutes are so bad for me. I learned this in the car one day after work, while driving to go handle something for my wedding that had to be done by 6 pm. I was driving for over an hour when I finally began to cry. I had a lot on my mind and I finally started to feel it. I turned off the radio and began praying to God for relief of these feelings. I reminded God what His word said about keeping me in perfect peace. I thanked Him for his ability to do this and for the sound mind He had given me and I thanked Him for being my safe place. The longer I prayed, the less anxiety I felt. After a few minutes, I was back to normal.

Take an hour long, uninterrupted bath

As someone who has always found joy in doing something productive, the last few years have been about learning to relax. My roommate still tells me that I don’t know how to rest. Even when I don’t feel well, I find myself reading, watching something educational, etc. However, I have learned that relaxing helps to keep my anxiety at bay. One of my favorite ways to relax is to simply take a hot bath for an hour. This means phone off, light music, essential oils and dim light. There’s nothing significant about the amount of time, except the fact that it is my time and no one else’s. This bath always leaves me feeling refreshed physically, mentally and emotionally.

Set strict “no work” hours

I am a recovering workaholic. I have been in my job at ungodly hours consumed in work. And for someone like me, this is easy because I love to work. However, I’ve learned that too much work creates real issues. I have always subscribed to the idea of the Sabbath, because God rested for 24 hours on day 7 while creating the Earth. If it’s good enough for Him, it is good enough for me. But I’ve realized that just resting during Sabbath hours is just the minimum. In order to keep my anxiety low, I need to leave work at a decent hour daily, go home and do something for me. This could be sitting down and eating a healthy dinner, exercising, watching a show I like, reading a chapter in a book, reading my Bible, listening to a podcast or talking on the phone. It doesn’t matter what I do. What matters is that I do not give my entire day to someone else’s dream. I matter more.

Talk to someone you trust

Everyone should have a safe place to take their thoughts and feelings. Humans are likened to a steaming pot that has a lid on it. If the lid is not lifted, it will explode from the pressure. When I felt myself under pressure, I was blessed to have people who encouraged me to get help. With the encouragement of my fiancé, my sister and a counselor friend of mine (Love you, Courtney!), I saw a therapist for the first time in October. My therapist has been the single best investment I have made into myself in a very long time. She has taught me to give myself credit for things, to look at situations differently and that my feelings about certain situations are valid. She has also helped me to not cripple those around me by pouring all of my feelings into them. My family and friends love me deeply, but they are not trained to handle any of the problems I was having. It would have likely hurt them to help me. Many of us walk around with wounds that we don’t even know we have until they are discovered by someone who has been trained to help heal us. Forget about what other people may think and do what will help you live an abundant life. If you have ever considered talking to a therapist, I would highly recommend doing it.

If anxiety has found its way into your life, it doesn’t have to stay there. Give these tips a try and let me know in the Comments if they are of any value to you.

Until next time,

Brittany