Ways to Improve Your Life

Sometimes we find ourselves in bad moods, though we’re not sure why. There are small things we don’t even notice we need to improve, but they can greatly affect your attitude and outlook on life. So, I decided to share some that I improved upon that greatly helped my outlook on life for the better!

Friends and Family

Sometimes I can get busy, and not even realize I haven’t connected with some of my closest friends and family in awhile. Make a list of people who are important to you, whether it be an aunt or a neighbor, and make an effort in the next week to contact them. Whether it be through a call, a letter, or in person is your decision, but reaching out to them can make you feel more connected and grateful for their presence.

Eating and Drinking

You’ve probably heard a thousand times that eating healthier obviously helps your mind and body. But most of the time, it’s not about cutting out bad food, but rather limiting it. Instead of eating processed or “junk” food for lunch every day, try only eating it twice or three times a week for lunch. Any effort to limit your intake is good for you! I personally struggle with this, and believe it’s most important just to be constantly aware of what I’m deciding to eat and what I’ve already ate that day. Also, keeping a food log can prove beneficial!

Also, it may not be what you’re already eating, but what you’re not eating. If you decide to eat chips, try eating fruit afterwards. Many fruits, vegetables, etc. have nutrients our body needs, and just because we had chips/junk food doesn’t mean that we have completely depleted our body; you can always choose to eat healthy any day, any time.

Exercising and Lack of

I’ve seen plenty of Instagram fitness accounts, talking about their macros and how much they lift. Don’t be intimidated! They have been into the fitness lifestyle for a long time, and to be healthy, you don’t need to go all out. Sometimes it’s just about not sitting for multiple hours at a time, or reaching a goal for how many steps you want to get in a day. Try parking away further from the grocery store so you have to walk a little further, or try getting in a jog a couple times a week when you have time. Be aware of how often you are idle/at rest, and try minimizing that time. Take breaks between working to stand and move your legs, as well. Writing down a workout schedule is also great, so then you have already made time in your day for it.

There are many more small things you can do to give yourself a little motivation and happiness in your day; make it your goal to find at least three. Whether it is at a stop light, at your desk, or at the dinner table, make it a habit to bring happiness to yourself and others around you! xoxo

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Ways to Improve Your Life

5 Ways to Be Productive

Since I was young, I’ve always loved to do many things at once. I’ve kept that habit, and now my mind is pulled in many directions every day. From writing in a journal, to reading a book, to completing paperwork, some days I feel like I start everything but complete nothing. Therefore, I am sharing five ways to be productive, in hopes that not only can it help you, but also help me to remember to stay on track!

1. Be Organized

I believe the first step in productivity is organization. Having a clean desk or work space is essential so you won’t become distracted. Also, knowing where everything is can also be helpful; it eliminates time wasted on trying to find a particular item, and also prevents you from getting caught up in other items you found along the way.

2. Realize & Limit Your Distractions

I have heard plenty of times that you should not have your phone in your vicinity while working. Though this may be true for some, you really have to figure out what personally distracts you. If it is the background noise of your TV, mute it, or turn it off before you work. If it is the squeakiness of your chair, switch it out or fix it- your phone may not be the only issue!

3. List Your Goals

Having set intentions is the best way to not get caught up in other events throughout the day. First thing in the morning, write down a couple of goals, or tasks, you want to get done by the end of the day. Then, stick it some place you’ll see it often; you’ll be constantly reminded of what you wanted to do, and therefore will be more likely to guilt-trip yourself into doing things you have been putting off.

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4. Prepare for Tomorrow

At the end of each day, write down the things you didn’t get done, but wish you would’ve. Also, write down a couple ways on how you can improve and make your day better tomorrow. Read it in the morning before you write your goals, and learn from your previous blunders/mistakes.

5. Make Time

If something you need to do is really important, block out a specific time frame to do it. Do not schedule any meetings or appointments during that time. Make sure all distractions are out of sight, and use that time you freed yourself to only work on that specific task. Sometimes, we simply just do not give ourselves the time to complete some important things; make sure your priorities are in check at the beginning of each day!

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5 Ways to Be Productive

Best Ways to De-Stress

Everyone can get caught up in the daily stresses of work, school, and life in general. Whenever I get stressed, I find it really hinders my performance in basic tasks, thinking, etc. This is why I have come up with a list of a couple ways to de-stress to get your mind back on track!

  1. Meditation

Meditating is one of the best ways to clear your mind and help you to become more productive than before. Though sitting around in your thoughts might seem intimidating, guided meditation will help you to stop thinking frantic thoughts and can alleviate any negative feelings.

A great app for this would be Breathe. I personally use this app, and they have many mediation options to choose from. After you enter your current feelings, they recommend a list of meditations, all designed to combat different feelings and help you feel refreshed. You may also choose to do an unguided meditation for various lengths of time.

  1. Exercising

Sometimes people can forget to take care of themselves when they are stressed. Paying attention to your body, and getting your blood flowing can really give you more energy and clear your mind.

You don’t need to run a marathon or compete in a triathlon to begin to feel better; sometimes a ten minute walk is all it takes to gain a new perspective on the day! Not only can it help you mentally, but also physically; exercise is good for many things, such as maintaining a healthy weight and blood pressure.

  1. Doing Something You Love

Though a deadline may be daunting, taking a break might be the best option. Do something you love; whether it’s painting, playing with your dog, or listening to music, your mind will thank you for diversifying your day. Breaks are necessary to refresh and “restart” your mind, and put you back into a productive mindset.

The line between taking a break and procrastinating might seem gray, so make sure you use your best judgement on how long of a break you need. On average, people need around ten minutes for every hour of vigorous studying/work.

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Thank you so much for reading my post, and I hope you can use some of the strategies I talked about to make your life less stressful. Also, check out my instagram (@alilalexandria) if you’d like to- I made it not too long ago! xo

Best Ways to De-Stress

Author Spotlight: Rupi Kaur

As I am starting share things about myself on my blog, I thought a good starting point would be to talk about one of my favorite authors: Rupi Kaur.

After reading Rupi Kaur’s famous poetry book “Milk and Honey” (which was initially self published), I instantly became enamored with her. Her vivid, unedited descriptions of events she saw in her life and others really sets this book apart from many in stores. She expresses her experiences of personal loss, love, heartbreak, hardships, and enlightenment in the forms of poetry, photography, drawing, and other mediums. She also has done a TED Talk, “I’m Taking My Body Back”, which is a really moving emotional experience for both her and the audience.

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As stated on her official site, Rupi Kaur, her purpose for writing is to explain and describe the trauma that has carried on from people of past generations to present time; she felt as though no book she read could quite comprehend the feelings experienced by many, so she decided to put those feelings in words herself. She also endorses women’s rights to speak up about the issues pressing on multiple cultures today, such as abuse.

Rupi Kaur is definitely a cutting-edge author in today’s time, and has changed the scene for authors worldwide. Check out her book, “Milk and Honey” to get more insight about her as an author, and her style of writing!

Author Spotlight: Rupi Kaur

Iced Hot Cocoa?

After traveling to a local cafe and trying their iced cocoa, I immediately fell in love. Though coffee is great, I favor hot chocolate on most occasions. Sadly, hot chocolate has the reputation of being a wintertime drink, so I thought I’d share a recipe for simple iced hot chocolate so fellow lovers can enjoy it all year around (even when it’s 90 degrees)!

Ingredients:

Ice (1 cup, crushed)

Hot Cocoa Mix (1 packet)

Milk (roughly 3 oz.)

Chocolate Chips (optional)

Whip Cream (optional)

Chocolate Syrup (optional)

Blend together the milk, hot cocoa mix, and ice together in a blender, slowly increasing speed as necessary until the texture looks almost like a smoothie. Pour into a cup, and add chocolate chips, whip cream, and chocolate syrup as desired. Of course you can double the recipe, or make as many servings as you’d like!

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This picture is of an amazing iced cocoa I had at a local cafe that inspired this post, though I hope to make something that looks this good! This is a relatively simple recipe, and does not take much time to prepare, make, or clean up. Make sure to comment/post your results if you decide to make it!

Iced Hot Cocoa?

My Puerto Rico Experience

In 2016, I traveled to Puerto Rico. Besides America and Canada, I have never traveled to another territory. It was a great experience that I’d like to share for anyone who is thinking of going to Puerto Rico, or anyone who would just like some insight on my travels!

The resort we stayed at was beautiful. There were many things to do at the resort; I didn’t feel like we had to travel around Puerto Rico to have a great time. Activities included the beach, exotic animal seeing, golfing, and dining at a selection of the restaurants they had there.

We decided to travel to see a historic rainforest, and after hiking for what seemed like hours (it was very hot), we reached a beautiful waterfall. Although graffiti was a common sight, people tuned it out to wade in the water and absorb the nature around them. Mosquitos were a common sight too- bug spray really helped in times like these. We found our way back to the car before dark, and decided to have dinner in the resort.

On another day during our visit, we drove to San Juan. We went to Castillo San Felipe del Morro, a historical fort that overlooks the water. At the top, you could overlook the city and all the beautiful colored buildings. We decided to walk back down and wander throughout town for a place to eat lunch. The people there seemed very lively, and it felt like the city never slept.

This journey was very different than anything I’d ever experience, and I’d love to go on one similar in the future! xo

My Puerto Rico Experience

Why You Should Start Journaling

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No, journaling is not just for middle-school girls to write about their crushes.

Yes, the first few days or weeks you may be unsure about the magic qualities journaling can possess- but I can promise you it’s the best, free therapy session. Sometimes thoughts can get in the way of productivity, and can darken one’s mood. Getting everything out with pen and paper is an amazing way to gain control of your life and mind! After writing down your thoughts (negative or positive), they can leave your mind and stay in the journal; you can always look back to see how you improved and progressed.

When I say journaling, I don’t mean only writing down what you did that day. You can write about your daily stresses, problems, conversations with people, tasks, to-do lists, ideas for the future, etc. It might seem a little impersonal or awkward at first, but truly connecting with yourself and your thoughts take time.

Writing in a journal as soon as you wake up and right before bed every night proves most effective, personally! This is a really great organization tool; you can feel assured that you didn’t miss a meeting, or over-book yourself. You can feel refreshed with a clean state of mind, ready to take on whatever the day might throw at you.

I’m personally trying to make journaling a habit. Bullet journaling seems amazing, but for now, I’m just trying to scribble a couple things a day- it doesn’t take up very much of my time, and is slowly becoming a routine. Sometimes that’s all it takes!

Check out my last post to learn a little more about me, and why I started blogging. Also, comment if you have a journal, or if you might start one! xo

Why You Should Start Journaling