5 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Mood [Right Now]

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Hello my sweet friends :) I hope that you dominated Monday and that you're ready to take on the rest of the week. I have my first of three finals today...eeek! I can't believe my first semester of speech classes is coming to a close. It feels like I just started this journey of becoming a speech-language pathologist and it's already flying by.

I've been making it a point to keep my nerves calm and my stress levels at a minimum during finals season. It's easy to feel bogged down and overwhelmed with our ever-growing to-dos but it's SO important for our mental health to take some time EVERY single day to do things that bring us a sense of peace, joy + restoration.

That being said, I wanted to share 5 things that I've been doing to improve my mood the last few weeks. They are quick, little things but they truly make all the difference!

1. Step outside.

I don't know about you, but in my case, there is nothing that beats a nice, deep breath of fresh air. Sometimes you don't realize how trapped you start to feel being confined within four walls. Taking a short walk or even just stepping out onto the porch and letting the fresh air brush your cheeks for a moment is a quick way to release some tension and up your happiness level.

2. Read for 5 minutes.

I suggest a book, newspaper, or blog post...something that inspires you. Try to steer clear of Twitter or Facebook - instead choose something that is going to feed your soul positivity. If you want bonus points, combine #1 and #2 and read for 5 minutes outside!

3. Enjoy a beverage.

Now obviously I'm talking coffee, tea, or lemon water ;) I'm not suggesting that you stop in the middle of your work day to pop bottles, haha! But seriously, sometimes if I've been sitting at my computer for too long and I start to feel a little crazy, brewing a nice, hot cup of coffee instantly boosts my mood.

4. Turn on your favorite playlist.

There are certain tasks that I have to do in complete silence, but for the most part, when I'm working and studying, I feel more at ease when I have some music softly playing in the background. I like to go to Spotify and look up instrumental playlists so that I'm not distracted by words. Some of my favorites playlists are Productive Morning, Rain Sounds, Instrumental Study, and Your Favorite Coffeehouse (just search for them on Spotify).

5. Light a candle.

This one probably takes the least amount of time, but I feel like it makes a big difference. I'm a total ambiance nerd and I think that the vibe of a room can truly impact your productivity. Burn your favorite scent and let the aromas do their thang. My favorite candle right now is called Bella Sweet Sangria from Target. It's a soothing, sweet smell that helps keep me focused and energized.

What are some things that you do to improve your mood? Do tell!
xo, Jess

Book Club: You are a Badass (No But Really, You Are) Review

Friday, April 29, 2016

Hello, hello loves!

As a little girl books were everything to me. Reading + writing have always been near and dear to my heart. I learned to read at a young age and constantly had my nose in a book. I remember being so excited to roam the aisles of Barnes and Noble with my Mom (I always had to pee as soon as we set foot inside the doors - I was like an excited little puppy, haha!), hiding under my covers until 1 in the morning (on a school night, gasp) to finish another Sweet Valley High tale, and even sitting down at my desk to write my own short stories. 

Some things never change - reading + writing still hold a special place in my heart as an adult. I don't have much free time these days (yay, school!) but I do make time to read and write a little bit every day. I super love reading book reviews from other bloggers so I figured that I would start a little BOOK CLUB series here on LLT where I review books that I recently finished reading :)

Book: You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life 
Author: Jen Sincero
Genre: Self-Help/Motivational
Rating: 8/10
Review: To be honest, I started reading this book because I saw it ALL OVER Instagram. I liked the quotes that people were sharing from it so I figured, why not? As far as the cheese factor goes (we all know some self-help books can be extra cheesy) this one wasn't terrible. Sincero's wittiness is extremely authentic and relatable. It doesn't feel like she is talking AT you but instead as though she is talking WITH you, which is important to me when reading a motivational book. This book changed my perspective on controlling my thoughts and really applying them to helping me achieve my goals.
Recommend? Absolutely.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

"The trick is to have both parts - energy and action - working in unison: unless your energy is lined up properly with that which you desire, really desire, any action you take is going to require way more effort to get you where you want to go, if it gets you there at all."

"You are more than enough. Avoid comparison like the plague."

"It never ceases to amaze me the precious time we spend chasing the squirrels around our brains, playing out our dreams, worrying about unwanted facial hair, seeking adoration, justifying our actions, complaining about slow Internet connections, dissecting the lives of idiots, when we are sitting in the middle of a full-blown miracle that is happening right here, right now."

"You need to raise your frequency to match the vibration of the one you want to tune into."

"Having a good attitude and being grateful for all the things that are helping you live out the life of your dreams will not only make your life a more pleasant place to be, and get you bigger tips, but it will also raise your frequency and attract the people and opportunities to you that will take you in the direction you want to go."

"You cut yourself off from the supply of awesomeness when you are not in a state of gratitude."

"The only failure is quitting. Everything else is just gathering information."

And I'll end with this one (before I type out the entire book):

"In order to kick ass you must first lift up your foot."

Have you read this book? What did you think? Share, tell!
xo, Jess

Life Update + Saying No + Cutting Out Negativity

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Hey y'all! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week so far (: Mine has looked a lot like this:

I've spent every free moment the last few days hunkered down in Starbucks (I usually go to different locations every day because I'm weird, lol) chugging caffeine and filling my brain with all things communication sciences & disorders. Between this week and next, I have exams in all of my classes, and I am desperately trying to maintain all of my As for this home stretch.

Then FINALS are the first week of May...I can't believe it! From there, we go (basically) right into summer classes and y'all, this ball is just rolling! I have 2 classes over the summer, plus I'm doing Directed Research (gotta build up that resume, you know what I'm sayin?) with one of my professors. Then I have 4 classes in the fall and 4 in the spring and I will be D-O-N-E with my second bachelor's degree. If all things go according to plan (and let's pray to the good Lord that they do), I'll be starting grad school in August 2017...eeeek!

That being said, I don't have a ton of free time. And that got me thinking. I want to be spending the free time that I DO have doing things that I love while surrounded by people who lift me up and make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. 

The older I get, the more it becomes apparent to me that 1. You really do attract your tribe (aka if you're positive then positive people will come into your life and vice versa) and 2. It's okay to say no and walk away from negativity.

There is so much negativity around us anyway, so why would we voluntarily choose to spend time with negative people? Easy answer: you don't have to! I know it can be tough to purge your life of negative relationships, but if you don't want people (well mostly their attitudes) bringing you down with them then sometimes that's just the best thing that you can do for the both of you.

I challenge you to take a few minutes and reflect on who you spend your free time with. What kind of things do you do? Are those people and things bringing you closer to your goals? Are they bringing out the best in you?

Be your best you!
xo, Jess

You Won't Always Be the Best.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

I am a super competitive person. I'm somewhat competitive with others, but I'm mostly competitive with myself. I hold myself to a high standard. It's both a blessing and a curse.

It causes me to dream + develop ideas. To achieve great things. To go after my goals. To push above and beyond my limits.

But it's also very tiring. I find myself frustrated when I know that I am not the best at something. I'm hard on myself. I sit and strategize over what I could've done differently to have been the best at whatever it was. I nitpick every little detail until I feel crazy.

As I prepare to begin the arduous task of applying for grad school later this year (all positive vibes welcome!), I'm doing everything that I can to truly live out, "It's okay to not be the best as long as you're doing your best." 

I study hard. Harder than I ever have. I'm getting out of my comfort zone and reaching out to network with professionals who are already established in the field of speech-language pathology. I even signed up to do directed research this summer (like who am I?)...I can honestly say that I am doing my best. Yeah, it may not be the best to some school admissions teams but you know what? That's okay. I know that as long as I can truly say that I am doing my best (which I can), that I will end up where I'm supposed to be.

Be your best you!
xo, Jess

Having a Positive Mentality Can Shift Things

Saturday, March 26, 2016

I am a big believer in the whole what you put into the world is what you're gonna get out of it thing. Specifically, if you have a positive attitude toward life (even when things don't seem all that grand) life is gonna be a whole lot better to you.

Think about it - how do you feel when you're constantly throwing yourself pity parties and dwelling on how "awful" things are? Pretty crappy, am I right? Now, listen. I know that if something not so awesome happens that you're not going to be jumping for joy or anything. But why not be upset for 5 minutes, decide that what happened happened and then make a plan to make things better and progress forward?

For me, I tend to let having a full plate/never ending to-do list stress me out and send me into a whirlwind of crazy. I made a commitment to myself at the beginning of this semester that I wasn't going to let that happen.

I wake up every morning and write down 5 things that I am grateful for. I make sure to plan fun things to do during the week so that I don't feel bogged down with studying/homework/work/adulting in general. I have taken control of my mentality and I CHOOSE to be positive + grateful every single day.

This past week I had 2 exams (the week we got back from Spring Break...rude) and I got really close to being negative and stressed out about it. Instead, I studied, did what I needed to do, reminded myself that I am GRATEFUL to be back in school, and then planned a fun date night for post-exams.

Adam + I went to dinner at one of my favorite local places, Fresh Kitchen, then got mini doughnuts from Mini Doughnut Factory (yes, some of them have bacon on them - insert heart eye emoji), and finished up our night with a walk downtown. All was well with the world!

I cling to moments like these - they remind me just how sweet my life is (doughnuts or not ;)), no matter how busy/crazy I feel sometimes. 

I encourage you to hold on to life's sweet moments. Be grateful for who you are and what you're doing. Stay positive and be your best you.

xo, Jess