3 Easy Ways To Show Yourself Love Everyday

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I feel like “self-care” has become somewhat of a trend over the past years, which is simultaneously awesome and a bit strange.  It’s awesome because I think it is making the act of self-care something people feel more comfortable conversing about.  In the past, talking about seeing a therapist or having depression was more taboo.  Vulnerabilities were seen as weaknesses.  With the rise of writers like Brene Brown speaking to the powers of being vulnerable, there has been an incredible shift in our society (speaking from a white girl’s perspective in the United States fyi) to being more comfortable with speaking about our struggles.  At the same time, trends scare me a bit because they usually go away.  I hope we continue to write about and share our stories about the battles we face in our personal lives.

I struggle with anxiety.  It’s something I’ve only recently become comfortable to talk about publicly, rather than just with a therapist.  I didn’t want people to see me as “broken” just because I struggled sometimes.  The number one way to care for my anxiety has not been found in a prescription bottle, but has been found through radical acts of self-love.  Because listicles are just easy, amiright, I have broken down the 3 easiest acts of self-love that I pursue daily.

1.) Taking a Quick Moment Every Day to Ask Yourself this Question

I have an alarm set on my phone everyday around 4:30 pm (the time when I am usually getting done with work for the day).  That question is, What are you doing today to show yourself that you are serious about self-love?  The answer to this questions changes on a daily basis.  Some days it may be as simple as “I took a 15 minute walk today at work to clear my mind and get fresh air”.  Other days it’s “I had a really tough, but needed, conversation with someone I love.”  Somedays it may even be “Today is hard, but I’m going to go to bed tonight with the courage to try again tomorrow.”  I love thinking about this question before I go home from work because it reminds me to check in with myself and really think about how I want to spend the rest of my night.  Do I need to change my plans from what I was originally intending to do?  We are animals of routine, and often forget that we have the power to change our plans.  Some nights this question will remind me of this power and I will decide to forgo the gym and instead pick up my favorite takeout food and watch a movie at home because that’s what my soul really needs.  You might think of a unique and different way to ask yourself this question, which is totally cool (please let me know what you end up choosing!!).

Taking a daily moment to check in with what you truly need can lead to some amazing changes in your life.

2.) 10 Minute Journal/Gratitude Session

I recently purchased The Self Journal.  It is by far the best purchase I’ve made of 2018 thus far.  I spend 5 minutes every morning and evening thinking about my day.  Part of this process includes writing down three gratitudes at the start and end of each day.  It takes very little time, but I’ve noticed a subtle yet profound impact on my daily attitude.  Focussing on what you have makes life feel so much better.  This is a small act but helps foster so much love in my life.

I also love that this journal reminds me of my accomplishments.  After a busy day of balancing work, errands, and a social life, it can feel like the day was a blur.  Taking a moment at the start of each days to set goals, and then checking off your accomplishments at the end of day helps put me at ease and makes me feel accomplished.

3.) Help Others Win

I try and help one person “win” each day.  Whether that’s going on a walk with a new coworker to show them around the office, grabbing the check while out to brunch with a friend, or telling a stranger that their outfit is killer, making another person’s day a little better will make you feel better too.  Some days I get in a rut and get stuck wishing my life was different.  “Maybe I should die my hair blonde, maybe I need new designer jeans, maybe I should move to Hawaii, maybe I should find new cooler friends, etc etc”.  When you start focussing on what you can do to make people’s lives around you better, your own life will effortlessly start to fill up with light.  I promise you, going out of your way to do something nice for a friend or a stranger will make you feel a lot better than retail-therapy purchasing a 50 dollar tank top.

 

There are countless ways to show yourself self love!! These three are my favorite options because they are relatively easy to start doing.  Even if you try one of these out maybe once or twice a week, thats a big step towards fostering more self-love in your life.  If you have any awesome self-love/self-care tips please post them in the comments :D.

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Casually Trying to Save My Soul via a Blog?

Hi fellow readers.  It’s been a minute.  Here’s what’s changed:

I went from:

  • Living in a tiny apartment in Chicago that I shared with a roommate and an adorable dog
  • Working 3 jobs at once (intern at a production company/baby party host/nanny)
  • Still heavily dependent on parents for financial support
  • Feelin’ 23 in every sense of the age (young, wild, lost, free?)

To:

  • Living in my parents basement in Portland, OR (thought about lying by omission about this fact, but then figured the #truth will set me free)
  • Working 1 job.  My first 9-5.  I have my own desk that came with it’s own office supplies (I have a stapler! I have post it notes! they are mine!!)  It pays double what I’ve ever made (remember I was making capital m Minimum before though) and it’s been a strange transition
  • Feeling 24 in every sense of that age (not so close to 20 that I can still say I’m in my early 20s but still feeling young, wild, lost, a little less free but in a like oh hai i feel a bit more secure way… growing up- it happens to the best of us).  It’s already better than 23 was though, that’s for sure.

I got a gig writing training manuals for employees what sell product for a brand I really like.   As much as I love this brand, and this opportunity, getting used to working 8-5 has been challenging!  I’m hoping to use this blog as a creative outlet.  In all honestly I’m using this as a selfish reminder that I’m a creative human with somewhat cool interests.

My goal is 1-2 posts/week.  And just in case an employer of mine finds this outlet, let me just write for the record that I will 100% not at all be writing any of this content from my desk job… ;-).

talk soon.

-M

Listening To

 

Starting a new series where I will fill you in on what I’ve been listening to this week music/podcast wise.

1.) It Ain’t Me

I am a big Selena Gomez fan.  I low-key didn’t become a Selena fan until I found out she had secretly gone to rehab like 3 times.  There is something about the disney star that becomes an adult hot mess that I can’t resist, probably because I relate to them?  Like I’m fairly certain that if I had happened to gain fame when I was FOURTEEN I would have most definitely gone to rehab for “exhaustion” at least twice by now? Right? Wouldn’t we all?  Anyways, Selena has been struggling but she’s also been SURVIVING.  To me this is what this song sounds like, Survival.  This is the song you want to be playing while you dance through life’s hardships.  This song is a combination of heartbreak and hope.  I also love that Kygo messes with Selena’s voice in a somewhat similar way to how Diplo and Skrillex messed with Bieber’s voice on “Where Are U Now”.  Try and not get addicted to this song, I dare you.

2.) Humble

KENDRICK.

Is.

Back.

It feels like just yesterday that I was trianing for my first half marathon blasting To Pimp a Butterfly in my ears.  Here we are a few years later.  Im more woke than ever, and more needy than ever for Kendrick’s RAW HONEST REAL visions about wtf is going on in our world right now.

His album has been desrcibed as feeling “very urgent”  THEN HURRY UP AND GET RELEASED is all I can say.

CAN’T WAIT.  Until then I’ll be playing at some point every day.

3.) S-TOWN

The producers of Serial are back with S Town.  FYI S stands for Shit.  Shit town.  This show dives into the shit of life, and finds some beauty along the way.  S Town throws you a curve ball early on.  Suddenly it becomes about something much more than a potential murder mystery.  Without giving too much away, this podcast addresses taboo subjects from bisexuality, loneliness, mental illness, to suicide.   If you happen to be a human being, I recommend you listen to this podcast.

4.) ROOKIE PODCAST

Tavi is making a podcast everyone!!!!! The first episode features an amazing interview with Lorde.  Although this podcast is geared towards teenage listeners, I fully enjoyed it.  Everyone is still that lost 17 year old at heart right?  The highlight of the first episode for me was Lorde sharing a recording of the moment she and Jack Antnoff created the “hook” from her song Green Light. SO GOOD.

Saint Pablo Tour at the United Center Review from The Cheap Seats

Hey y’all. I just got home from witnessing Kanye West perform his Saint Pablo Tour at the United Center in Chicago.  Here’s what I have to say:

He shows up late.  But it’s cool because you know he’s going to show up late.  That’s why my friend and I met up with a group at a bar down the street at 7:30 even though showtime was supposedly at 8.  We drank beer, talked about Kanye, worried that he might rant a lot about Kim and the jewelry heist, took tequila shots, and then rolled over to the United Center around 8:30.

Around 8:45 we were officially through the gates at the United Center.  The next step was merch.  From the start my eyes were on the mint green hoodie with red lettering exclaiming my attendance at this tour.  I’m gonna get real here: we waited in line for MORE THAN AN HOUR for this tour’s merch.  This wait was made better by beer but STILL.  I questioned my own humanity at mulitple points during this time, but since it genuinely felt like everyone was indeed waiting in line to overpay for shirts that would help us tell the world that we saw Kanye live, it felt OK.  Kanye actually started playing while we were 5 people away from the front of the line.  After so many minutes in line we couln’t leave.  I actually spent the first part of Kanyes show in line so I could spend 90 dollars on a sweatshirt.  #honest

After we got our merch we rushed to our seats and enjoyed an hour and forty five minutes of Kanye magic.

 

I saw Kanye on the Yeezus tour and I can tell you that the Saint Pablo tour is something entirely different.  Yeezus was a show and the main star was KANYE.  The lights were on Kanye at all times.  Jesus came out and talked to Kanye.  Kanye performed from a fake Iceberg.

 

The Saint Pablo tour is about the FANS.   It’s truly revolutionary.  For almost half the show the lights are only pointed towards fans!!!  There is no spotlight on Kanye.  He is not wearing designer masks.  He is not singing Hey Mama and crying on stage (as beautiful as that moment was four years ago).  He is there for the fans.

 

Kim was robbed just a few days ago and he didn’t mention it once.

 

He played everything the fans could have asked for (although I was a little bummed he did not play Hold My Liquor).

This show was about Kayne singing all his fucking majestic hits with his fans.  This show was about Kanye showing us all that he has done RATHER than telling us.

This show was real.  This show was lowkey.  This show was exactly what Kanye should be doing at this point in his career.  Also this show may lowkey may have permanently change the general dynamic of all concerts to come.  #floatingstage.

I was in the CHEAPSEATS but I felt like a million bucks.

 

 

My Favorite Song From Bon Iver’s New Album

Justin Vernon is back and I’m happier than ever about it (pardon me I should actually say I’m happily sad about it cause that is the beautiful way his music makes feel :””) )

Can I just say that the first track he released was called “22 (Over S0000n)” (pretend those are infinity signs), came out like 2 weeks before I turned 23.  Very timely. 22 was indeed over soon.

or was it.

Also I’d like to point out the track names for this album.  I support them and was pleasantly surprised by their uniqueness BUT they lead to a lot of humourous moments when you are talking about your favorite songs off this album out loud.  For example for the previous track I mentioned above when you talk about it out loud do you say “22 Over Soon” OR “twenty two parenthesis over S infinity sign infinity sign N”.  It’s so hard to b kewl these days kids!

 

Anyways the entire is album is out and I’ve given it a listen a couple of times.  I’ve been impressed.  It’s a new direction for Justin Vernon’s Bon Iver project.  Some people are hating on the music a bit and claiming that its experimental crap pretending to be magical music.

But all I know is that it made me feel hopeful.  It made me feel scared.  During my first listen the songs folded there way around my soul and made me feel less alone in the uncertainty that is life and love.

I’m no Pitchfork but Justin would definitely get a hug from me for creating this album.

On first listen the song that stood out to me most was this one. 8 (circle).  Give it a listen and appreciate this great lyric video that comes with it!

 

Song of the Week

Let it go down in the books of history that during this fine fall week in late September 2016, I, Mona, have become a full blown Billy Joel fan.

And it is because of this song:

I feel like there are two Billy Joel “gateway” songs that can hook ya.  It’s either this one, Vienna, or Piano Man.  For myself it was Vienna (although Piano Man sure is a great tune). Obviously, like any legit Millennial, my first intro to this song was in the movie “13 Going on 30”.  At the end, when Jennifer Garner’s adult life comes crashing down, she returns home and curls up next to her parents in her childhood home.  This song plays over the movie montage and you are filled with nostalgia for childhood.  The lyrics of this song are so poignant.

Caution: Listening to this song may make you feel like everything actually is ok. It may make you start listening to every song Billy Joel has ever written because you are convinced he may hold the keys life.

And it may inspire you to file a leave of absence with your company, and go on a 6 week backpacking trip…. stay tuned 🙂

 

 

Tijuana Panthers @ The Empty Bottle

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Photo source here– I couldn’t find the name of the photographer!!

Last night I watched the Tijuana Panthers play at The Empty Bottle.  I showed up around 9pm and the place was empty.  Even though The Empty Bottle always ends up filling up, there’s always that initial moment when you wonder if anyone is going to show.  I sat at the bar with a friend and we drank beer as people slowly started to roll in.  Up first was a local band called Dehd.  They have a drummer that can keep a good beat, but overall it was not my thing. Cafe Racer was up next and they brought some awesome story telling and energy.  Their two lead singers are fun to watch and overall it was a very enjoyable set.

Tijuana Panthers came through with their final performance.  They have an incredibly fun (and at times BEAUTIFUL) mix of beach/surf vibes with some rock and a touch of punk.  The show was filled with moments that sounded/felt very laid back and chill and then moments filled with tension.  They were are funny.  They played a song called Crew Cut, that’s an epic ode to the hairstyle.  Also they played another song where they sang about their privileged friends acting entitled about their money which played great because I think everyone in the room could both relate to the feeling of being annoyed with their friends who seemingly have more money, while at the same time knowing they they have been that friend that has been entitled.  Money is all relative.  The song was fantastic.

My favorite song that they performed was Prayer Knees.  This beauty of a track comes from the melody.  I enjoyed this song better live than I did off the album.  The melody and tempo flow like a roller coaster through ups and downs, and watching the band perform this was amazing because they more than pulled it off.  You know that when you stop to do the slightly (very) embarrassing act of pulling out your phone and filming a video for snapchat, that the moment must be a good one.  And it was.

The show last night has had me listening to Tijuana Panthers all morning.  If they ever come through town again I will be in the crowd.