On Standby

Good morning,

It’s been awhile, friends.

My summer as a camp director has been nothing short of busy and exhausting – but also exhilarating and fulfilling. I’ve had a ton of ideas burst into my mind about where I want to take this blog but the one thing that I need in order to do that is something I don’t have much of: time.

With less time, comes less devotion to writing and less posts which has been both disappointing and freeing.

At the beginning of 2017, I crafted personal resolutions that I hoped to fulfill before the end of the year. What I didn’t realize is that some of them are going to have to be put on the back-burner while I finish out my last summer working at camp.

Here, we really have a classic case of thinking you can take on everything as long as you want it badly enough.

I’ve felt burdened any time I’ve thought about posting since camp started in May – which is weird, because does anyone even read this thing? To give myself some peace of mind and comfort knowing that I can take a break from something I love, I’m putting the blog on standby until the end of the summer.

As corny as it sounds: it‘s not goodbye, it’s see you later.

If you feel so inclined, you can read some of my older posts that relate to self care and giving yourself a break:

The Counterintuitive Idea of Taking a Break From the Things You Love

Stress is an Attitude

How Do You Self-Care?

IMG_20170619_065244499_HDR

With love from camp,

Lain

 

20 Questions to Help Know Yourself Better

Happy Sunday, y’all!

 

I’m now in the midst of beginning applications for my final internship for grad school. It’s shocking to me how quickly this first year has flown by and here I am, with graduation only another short year away. Madness!

Anyways, as I fill out form after form after form and spend my free time crafting cover letters, my mind is constantly inundated with trying to answer prompts ranging from: “Tell us about yourself,” “What qualifications and skills do you bring to this position?” “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

I think we can all agree that these questions can be super freaking hard to answer.

Why is that? Why is talking about ourselves so hard?

After turning this idea over in my mind, I’ve come to two conclusions:

  1. We want to answer differently than everyone else.
  2. We don’t know the answers.

As humans (or maybe just as Americans), we have an innate tendency to want to be different, unique, special – like snowflakes.

Jokes aside, I think that a lot of us get tripped up because we don’t want to answer like everyone else – and that’s not a bad thing! To stand out amongst other applications, you want to show the interviewers that you bring something that they can’t get from someone else so naturally, you want to answer differently.

On the flip side, sometimes we just don’t know the answers.

In this case, some self-reflection can give you the insight you need. You can think of this as an interview with yourself to prepare for the interview with your potential future boss.

DISCLAIMER: I don’t think that you need to be applying for a new job to ask yourself these questions. Any time is the best time to try to know yourself better! Everyone can benefit from taking time to devote some brain power to answering these, even if it only unfolds a small nugget of wisdom.

bold 20 Questions To Help Know Yourself Better (1)

If you’re a journal nerd like me, you can turn this into a fun writing challenge to span out over a few weeks or you can simply use it as inspiration to generate answers to difficult interview/application questions.

Whatever tickles your fancy.

Without further ado, here are 20 questions you can ask yourself to get to know YOU better – your starting point to get re-acquainted with the unique person that you are:

  • What do I find myself doing when I’m not working, finishing homework, doing chores, etc?
  • What is something that helps me breathe a sigh of relief in the midst of a busy day or week?
  • When and where do I find myself being the most productive?
  • What have I been told by a teacher, boss, or coach that I am good at?
  • What is something that can almost immediately put me into a bad mood?
  • How do I get myself out of a bad mood?
  • At what time in my life was I the happiest I’ve been thus far?
  • What contributed to that point in time that made me so happy?
  • What, if anything, is different between then and now? What is the same?
  • What is something I did in my past that I still give myself a hard time for? Why?
  • When is a time that I can ‘let my hair down’ and feel relaxed?
  • How do I know when I’m stressed out?
  • Who do I admire or look up to? What characteristics do I admire them for?
  • If I could be living any kind of life right now, what kind of life would that be?
  • If I’m not living that life, what is holding me back from pursuing that lifestyle?
  • How do I show people that I care about them?
  • How do I know that others care about me?
  • What do I think it will take to get to where I want to be?
  • What is my definition of success? 
  • How do I know when I have been successful?

•••

I hope these questions helped you gain a little bit of personal insight as the weekend comes to a close. After all, no one else can be an expert on what makes you YOU.

Until next time, friends.

XO, Lain

See the Good

Hello positivity seekers,

Sitting down at my laptop to write a post has been a challenging task for me this week. I started this blog as a documentation of my journey to supplement my life with positivity and happiness – not realizing how difficult this can be on the hard days.

One of my goals for 2017 was to stop hesitating.

Hesitation has always been a cornerstone of my experience with anxiety. When I was younger (and even today), I wouldn’t try certain things that I really, really wanted to do because I couldn’t get passed ‘thinking mode.’ I had an intolerance of uncertainty and a detrimental fear of regret – essentially, I would avoid doing something until I was 100% sure that I wouldn’t regret it later.

The thing about anxious people is that most of them can articulate the irrationality of their thoughts and worries. But even so, it feels impossible to get past them or to do something in spite of them. For me, not doing something, or avoiding it all together, always seemed like a safer option in the long run.

you-are-confined-by-the-walls-you-build-yourself

A few days ago, a good friend of mine called and told me that my previous manager who I had worked for throughout college had passed away.

I’ve been feeling a thousand different emotions since I got that call.

I had worked for him at a fine-dining restaurant for three and a half years while I was in college. A friend I worked with described him as “work dad” – which he totally was. He was always cracking dad jokes, poking fun at everyone, and lightening the mood. But he would also regularly check in to see how everyone was doing. More than once, he sent me home with bags of groceries because he knew I hardly had any at home. I would sit in his office long after my shifts ended to talk about my life, hardships I was struggling through, and my dreams for post-grad life.

Life got busy after I moved south when I worked at a sleep-away camp and immediately launched into grad school in the fall. I kept thinking about sending “work dad” an email or calling to check in but I kept hesitating, telling myself he more than likely didn’t have the time to read it or that he probably didn’t care that much.

One day after I told my sister that I was going to send that email, he was gone.

If I could change anything today, I would have sent that email. Ignored those anxious thoughts, ran away from the “what ifs,” and just hit send. I would’ve stopped hesitating.

Because regret is much harder to live with than the safety of not doing something.

Yes, I have regrets. Lots of “should have’s” and “could have’s” running through my mind the last few days – “I should’ve called him,” “I should’ve gone to visit last fall when I had more time” – and I’ve learned the hard way what hesitating can cost me. While getting out of a regretful place can be challenging, it’s possible. We can’t change the past, and we can’t undo what’s been done. But we can learn. We can grow. And then, we can move forward.

My advice to you all is to stop, stop, stop hesitating. Go out and do the thing! Send that email! Text that friend! Go to that new workout class! I read a quote once that talked about how most people regret the things they haven’t done more than the things they have.

I think they’re onto something.

And if you didn’t do the thing and you’re stuck in that low, shitty, regretful place, don’t unpack and stay there. Learn from it. Grow from it. Move forward.

And most importantly, see the good – even on the hard days. If you don’t see it the first time you look, look again. I promise it’s always there.

 

IMG_20170105_141543.jpg

XO, Lain

 

 

Why Goals Are So Much Better Than Resolutions

Hello, positivity seekers!

Writing about self-care yesterday got me thinking about how I can actually start taking better care of myself. In turn, I started thinking about the upcoming New Year, developing new habits, and the ever-so-enticing “New Year Resolutions.”

why-goals-are-so-much-better-than-resolutions

Resolution: (n) a firm decision to do or not to do something.

Does that definition sound inspiring to you? I didn’t think so. To me, resolutions, specifically New Year resolutions, are more like ideas. “I want to be more fit and in better shape so my resolution for 2017 is to start working out again.” Super great idea, right? Well, this person is the same person who you see in the gym on January 1 but you don’t see after January 15. It’s so easy to come up with these ideas but it’s even more challenging to actually stick with them.

Why?

Because there’s often not a measure of accomplishment to go along with them.

In contrast, goals are defined as “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; or an aim or desired result.” Both resolutions and goals come from a place of ambitious action but developing goals helps you to determine what you’re actually working towards.

Instead of, “In 2017, I want to start working out again.” Try, “In 2017, I want to be able to squat 135 lbs,” (anyone else? Just me?)

The difference between the two is that the second example is concrete and defined, increasing your chances of strategizing and developing an action plan to achieve your goal!

A new year is a fresh start, a clean slate, a concrete beginning. It’s the time to reflect on the past year to see what worked, what didn’t work, and what you hope to change for the better. It’s the time to start developing new habits! When you make your goals for 2017, think about, and even write out, how you can achieve them – not only will this increase your chances of success, it’ll probably make you feel more motivated to get started!

•••••

To jump on the bandwagon, I thought I’d share my goals for 2017!

I started broad with 4 main categories and broke down my goals from there. Some of the goals are time-sensitive and some of them are ongoing. What matters is that they’re meaningful (and attainable!) and I feel super stoked and motivated to work towards them this year. I hope these spark some inspiration for your goal-setting journey!

  • De-clutter and minimize.
    • Turn all of my hangers/fold all of my clothes the opposite way so I can see what I wear/don’t wear. Donate what hasn’t been worn at the end of January.
    • Go through make-up  collection and throw away products that I don’t use.
    • Learn more about minimalism (more on this coming soon!)
  • Stay active.
    • Squat 135 lbs by March 1st.
    • Bench press 95 lbs by March 1st.
    • Attend a yoga class consistently for at least 1 month.
    • Start climbing black routes at the bouldering gym by the end of 2017.
  • Be creative.
    • Continue with #Project365 on Instagram.
    • Consistently post at least 1 blog post per week.
    • Experiment + have fun with GoPro.
  • Take better care of myself.
    • Develop a consistent night-time routine to improve my poor sleeping habits.
    • Try meditation for at least 1 month (to see what the hype is all about).
    • Try cooking 1 new recipe each week.
    • Re-establish Meal Prep Sundays!
    • Drink less coffee + drink more water (admittedly not super excited about this one).
    • Loosen up + don’t sweat the small stuff.
    • Stop hesitating.

 

What are your goals for 2017? How are you planning on keeping track of your progress?

Happy New Year, y’all! And happy goal setting!

XO, Lain