The New Year can mean a fresh start, some much needed change, or a continuation of success and happiness. Whatever your resolutions are for the New Year, here are 10 of our favorite inspiring messages that keep us motivated and hopeful.
Step 1: Get Moving
I wanted to lay in bed until the last possible second before getting ready for work. Instead, I got up to exercise. It was THE LAST THING I wanted to do but I know that exercise is a natural mood lifter. I sucked it up and did my 30 min of my C25K app. I wish I could tell you that I had rainbows and unicorns popping out of my head but that was not the case. However, I did feel better that I had done something positive for myself and less lethargic.
Step 2: Get Organized
I also straightened up my room. I don’t know why but cleanliness and orderliness make my foggy brain seem to function more smoothly. It calms me too. I guess it makes me feel like I have a sense of control. There’s quite a bit around me right now that is outside of my control and I guess I find that unsettling. A clean room? Calming.
Step 3: Get Zen
Next, I sat down to meditate quietly. I did my deep breathing. I tried positive visualization. I’ll be honest, it was a stretch. Again, I did not experience much immediate relief but I did feel more centered and very much aware that my low feelings were temporary. This too, shall pass.
Step 4: Get Inspired
I picked up "A Course in Miracles" (ACIM). I read a passage almost every morning. Ironically, the passage I opened up to was about guilt. I had so much guilt over the turn of events with the family outing-turned-debacle. And in trying to discuss the turn of events with my family, I feel like I transferred some of that guilt on to my loved ones. Honestly, I felt even shittier afterwards and I think they did too!
ACIM describes guilt as a form of fear and the result deep unconscious belief in wrongdoing. It’s judgment at its worst. Guilt is healed and released with forgiveness (a form of love). My takeaway? I need to forgive my perfectionist self and in doing so, give her some self-love.
Step 5: Be Grateful (Get Grateful is grammatically painful to my ears)
Lastly, I cracked open my gratitude journal. Oh joy, I thought. (Insert sarcasm) I get to come up with 5 things to be grateful for in the midst of all of this. Here is what I wrote:
Step 6: Pray
When you are feeling helpless, like there’s not much you can do, there is always prayer. In prayer, you are simply asking for help from your higher power.
So I prayed. I prayed for my friends and family going through difficulties. I prayed for strength and I prayed for the doom and gloom to be lifted from me. As they say, I gave it up to God.
I often forget about this step. I forget that I am not on this journey alone; that it’s OK to ask for guidance, signs, relief, etc. And it’s incredibly empowering to do so because really, when there is nothing you can do about a situation, you CAN always pray. Prayer IS a form of action. And that matters -- especially to the doer in me.
Bonus Step: Write It Out
I thought that was it, but the last step I realize, is this post. I had forgotten how cathartic it is to just write and get it all out: the fear, the uncomfortable feelings, the remorse. I am no longer giving life to the negativity in my head because now it’s on paper. And seeing all of this on paper gives me clarity and a sense of empowerment. I took concrete steps to address, feel and release the feelings that were bringing me down and they are helping.
Life can get really tough at times and make us feel powerless, but there are things we can do to better our situation or if nothing else, our emotions. I hope this helps you too with whatever you are dealing with. If you have other strategies, please share them in the comments.
Yours in peace & love,
Sometimes I forget.
To be the queen I was born to be.
That I am regal, beautiful inside and out
with many gifts to share
and a community to inspire.
To show my sisters that they too are special
and to hold their heads held high.
That we may share compassionately
and help those that have lost their crowns along the way.
For how can the world appreciate who I am
If I don’t wear my crown
If I don’t stand tall
If I don’t meet a brother or a sister’s gaze with kindness
If I don’t smile upon the world as if it were my realm
Hello Herd, Today is World Mental Health Day and we want to take a moment to remember and support those who may be engaging in silent battles.
Every year 1 adult in 4, along with 1 child in 10, will have a mental health issue. Recent studies show that women suffer higher rates of mental disorders than men. These conditions can profoundly affect literally MILLIONS of lives, affecting the capability of these individuals to make it through the day, to sustain relationships, and to maintain work. And, most struggle alone because of the stigma surrounding mental illness.
We need to eliminate the stigma about mental illness and talking about it is a great way to start. Since people can easily relate to quotes, we thought that sharing some mental health quotes would be a good way to start raising awareness or help start some conversations.
Here are 5 quotes that really resonated with us. Fell free to save any of the images below so you can look at them as a reminder on particularly challenging days or share them with a friend that may need the support.
“When ‘I’ is replaced by ‘WE’ even illness becomes wellness.” - Unknown
“The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of the world but those who fight and win battles that others do not know anything about.” – Jonathan Harnisch
“I fight for my health every day in a way most people don’t understand. I’m not lazy. I’m a warrior.” -Unknown
“My dark days made me strong. Or maybe I already was strong, and they made me prove it.” -Emery Lord
“Sometimes it’s okay if the only thing you did today was breathe.” -Unknown
We hope at least one of these mental health quotes resonated with you in some way! If you are able, discuss mental health awareness in some way this week. Share a post on Facebook, post a status update, send a tweet, send a text, make a call. Help us to break the silence and eliminate mental health stigma!
Today as the kids run out to catch their school bus I yell out a normal farewell…”Learn Something… Be a Good Human…LOVE YOU!!!”
As I continued washing the dishes, I paused and took a moment to take in the message I was delivering to my kids as they went out into the world. It hit me that I should be following my own advice.
So, this week I’m going to approach each day with the same request I make of my kiddos. I’m going to:
As a Mom, I put a lot of energy in helping my kids understand the world and people around them, hoping that I am helping them to become productive, loving, responsible humans when they “grow-up”. The reality is that even as a grown up I need to continue learning these lessons. It’s very easy to fall into negative patterns.
The world is a complicated place with divergent opinions, but I would hope that being a good human and embracing love vs. hate is universally accepted. So, here’s to following my own advice.
Can you believe it's September already?! For many of us, vacation is a not too far off memory, it's back to school and back into a routine. I don't know about you all, but I often feel like September is the beginning of new year (as opposed to January). This time of year finds me buying new clothes for my children, cleaning out closets and organizing our home in the hopes of living a more organized life. Fingers and toes crossed!
September also invites cooler temps, darker mornings and longer evenings. It's a time of transition into a new season. And transitions invite change.
So what's changing for us? This month, we are honored to offer our Get Inspired Workshops as part of the Fall 2018 lineup at the South Plainfield Adult School including Vision Board and Writing for Clarity. We love the concept of adult education. Honestly, why should kiddos have all the fun? We should always strive to learn something new, explore interests that may lay outside of our daily norm and challenge ourselves. Not only can acquiring a new skill or developing an existing one help improve and maintain our mental well-being, lifelong learning is also a great way to make new friends. So please join us and join the herd! For details and registration, click here.
We also hit a big milestone this month. Cue fanfare, please. Inspired Elephant turned 3 years old on this month! Back in 2015, with the help of some uber-incredible friends & family, we launched Inspired Elephant in hopes of creating a place that inspires women to live their most authentic life and to build a community of support.
And here we are still at it, and that in and of itself is something to celebrate. The past three years have included career shifts, family demands, personal ups & downs and overloaded schedules for us both. With that in mind, we are especially grateful for all the support you have shown us. We love delivering inspiration to your inbox and news feeds and hosting workshops to help you live your best life. You inspire us to do what we love most. So thank you!
That's the story for now on our end. What's changing or new for you this month? Please share your comments below!
With love & gratitude,
Carolyn & Cher
Three years ago (today) with the help of some incredible friends & family, we launched Inspired Elephant in hopes of creating a place that inspires women to live their most authentic life and to build a community of support.
And, here we are still at it and that in and of itself is something to celebrate. Because the past three years have also included career shifts, family demands, personal up & downs and overloaded schedules for both of us. With that in mind, we want to thank everyone who has checked out the site, left a comment, shared a post, contributed or supported in any way. It means a lot to us and we appreciate you for helping keep the dream a reality.
We are also very excited for what’s to come and have lots to share with you in the coming year.
Happy Birthday, Inspired Elephant!
1. Do something weekend-ish
Go to happy hour or meet a friend (you don’t work with) for lunch. Our brains get in extreme Monday mode and we overdo our efforts to get “caught up”. On Monday, do something you would normally reserve for weekends.
2. Make a conscious effort to not complain
By complaining about the Monday blues, you're magnifying the worst. Mind over matter, right? Decide to participate in a one-person "No Bitching Monday" project and stop giving yourself a pass to make Mondays unhappy.
3. Wear something that sparks joy
Dress up in your favorite clothes or accessories because when we look good we feel good. I work from home and truthfully, it’s easy to not put on “real clothes” but making that little extra effort (even if it’s just some extra blush) makes me feel like I’m ready for Monday and excited to start the week.
4. Set reminders to take five to 10 minutes to yourself every few hours
Whoever says being productive is all about grinding for hours on end without ever taking a break. One of the best things you can do to make your Monday (or any day) more enjoyable is to intentionally step away from what you're working on to clear your head. Go for a walk outside, chat with a co-worker, journal,or daydream a little and you'll enjoy your work days just as much as weekends.
5. Plan something to look forward to
We recommend planning something fun for later in the week. It feels nice having something fun and exciting to look forward to outside of work. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Have a friend over, purchase a special bottle of wine, plan for your favorite take-out, or schedule a late night walk to see the stars.
What are ways you make Monday a fun day? We're always looking for new ways to keep life fun.
After a long week at work, the weekend is an important time. It has been scientifically proven that taking time off work is vital for both your physical and mental health, as well as your relationships. But, how often do you reach Monday morning feeling drained and ill-prepared for the week ahead? While the choice of how to spend the weekend is an entirely personal one, there are a few ways we recommend so you can welcome the work week feeling refreshed & recharged.
Make a to-do list on Friday
Do you struggle to switch off over the weekend? Many of us struggle with the stress of constantly thinking about the week ahead, which can stop you relaxing over a weekend. Luckily there’s a simple solution to this problem; make a quick to-do list and plan of action before you leave the office on a Friday to prepare for the next week ahead. Having a clear plan of action should help to alleviate any needless stress throughout weekend.
Everyone knows the importance of exercise, but did you know that it’s also an important factor in your mental health and confidence? Research has found that even if working out doesn’t lead to a weight loss it still results in an improved body image, so you can go into your working week full of confidence.
Wanting time on your own after a stressful week is a common and understandable feeling but cutting yourself off from all your relationships can be bad for your health. Socializing has important intellectual effects and has been found to be as effective towards improving the mind as doing a daily crossword puzzle.
In summer months, the temptation to stay inside with the air conditioning on full blast is very tempting but heading outside has a couple of important benefits. Studies have shown that 81% of people taking a walk have experienced a boost in productivity. Fresh air and sunlight are also key factors in improving your mood and self-esteem.
Most of us spend the workday glued to our screens and with smart phones & TV the evenings not much better. Think of your brain as a muscle – like all muscles it needs time to rest, otherwise it will become tired and over-stimulated. Allocate yourself some time each weekend to put your gadgets away and let your brain relax, whether that’s with meditation, reading a book or taking a nap.
How do you relax and recharge over the weekend? Share your tips in the comments below.