Life Advice - IT'S ALL GOING TO BE OK!

Sometimes I like to take a step back to reevaluate and reflect on things going on in my life. Now more than ever it has been so important for me to do this - partly because I have been getting a bit stressed over minuscule things. The holiday's are such an amazing time full of family and love, but they are also very demanding! I wanted to share a few things that I do to ground me, and take the stress away. 

For one, it is okay to take time for yourself, and actually, I encourage it. I love my fiance and my baby animals, but sometimes I need a little "me" time. My days usually go as follows: wake up, shower, get ready, feed animals, feed myself, go to work, come home, make dinner, do any household tasks needed (laundry, room cleanup, grocery shopping etc.), get in PJ's and finally sit down. But, by then its already 8 PM, 8:30... By that time i'm exhausted and just about ready for bed - then I get up and repeat. I'm also still planning a wedding and trying to figure out how to *successfully* run this blog. In the midst of all the chaos, I forget that my mind and body is just as important, and something to calm myself should be included in my daily routine. Sometimes i'm able to watch my favorite shows or read a book before bed. Those are what I consider my "little wins". Some other day's i'm able to take myself out shopping - dangerous, but retail therapy never hurt anyone (except our wallets). Then, there are the very rare days that I take all to myself. For example, I used one of my last days off of work and scheduled a half spa day - massage, facial, lunch. Something I've never done before. And boy, I am so glad I did that because it was the biggest refresher. I know we all make excuses  - "i can't take days off of work", "I have too much to do to take more than an hour for myself" etc - I get it. It isn't as easy for some of us. But it is important to do at least something, once a week for yourself or the calm will creep out and the panic will creep in.

Another thing I have recently started doing to keep myself level headed is be honest - with myself and the people around me. I tend to hold in my feelings or say yes to things I don't like or want to do. I have come to terms with the fact that sometimes you need to be selfish in order to be able to relax and take time for you. If someone hurts my feelings, I've been trying to confront it and say "hey, can we talk about this?" that way it isn't sitting on me and weighing me down. If someone makes me angry, I take a minute to calm down and then I try and let them know that i'm upset and here is why. Letting negative feelings harbor is not healthy for you or your body. Don't be afraid to speak up and say "this is what I want, and it is my decision to make". Especially in the wedding planning world - it is your day and while I ask for others opinions often, it is important to remember they are just opinions and you make the final decision. I've been so lucky to have friends and family who give me their advice and thoughts but always remind me they will be happy with whatever I choose. I can't tell you how relieving that is. If you aren't as lucky as I am in that spectrum, revert back to the beginning of this paragraph and remember this is the one time in your life you are allowed to be selfish. 

This last tip is a bit difficult to complete for some - it kind of ties back to the beginning here, but if you have the chance to get away - just you and your honey, or you and family etc., go do it. Sometimes we just need a break from every day life. But, an actual break. Not a day, not an hour, like a full on weekend away from life and responsibilities. We are spending Christmas in the Smoky Mountains with our families this year. I need this big time. I think we all do - a fun weekend with the people I love most in this world, forgetting about work and wedding planning - just a weekend to hang out, play games, explore, and be surrounded by love. We all need R & R, and the way each of us get that is different, and that is okay. But the most important thing in this scenario is you. Take the time you need, love yourself, and don't be afraid to ask for help to relieve some of the stress you carry. It will all work out perfectly no matter the path we take to get there. I'm no expert at this, I fail more than I succeed. But, taking moments like this to stop and reflect and look at the things you can do to try and change the negativity in your life is a big win in my book. Self reflection is hard, but so worth it.

So take that hour to watch last weeks Walking Dead episode alone and don't feel guilty about it. Go to Target and spend the rest of the spending money you have for the week on yourself. Even plan a surprise getaway for you and your special someone after the holidays to rejuvenate. Be selfish when you need and deserve to be, but don't forget to always be kind.

Love always, 

lifestyleSamantha Costello