This time of the year always seems to be what motivates us to get our butts in the gym – between new year’s, spring break, summer… it leaves everyone in a rush to play catch up with their bodies in preparation for the upcoming weather + days inevitably spent poolside. I’m not much different – I always fall behind once summer passes and the holidays come. I’m currently back at my highest weight – the struggle of going from an incredibly physically active college student to a painfully sedentary young professional. I, too, am working on making the gym more of a habit than a “have-to” – for the sake of feeling comfortable in my skin again + for my health.
Even the most happy-go-lucky people run into bad days – not that I’m saying that’s particularly me, because Lord knows I definitely hit my wit’s end. My point being, we all experience some not so desirable days/situations, and we all search for ways to alleviate the frustration. Everyone has different ways they like to destress, but here’s generally how I cope with my less than perfect days.
I’m a firm believer in the power that community holds. It might seem like sure a simple concept, but it’s true that the stresses and hurt we feel when we’re plugged into a solid, like-minded group of people is significantly less than when we feel isolated and alone.
If you’ve been keeping up with me at all then you’re no stranger to the fact that I was caught between a rock and a hard place this summer when my anxiety began to feel like too much to bear and made it hard to get out of bed. I experienced a lot of stressors within the course of 2 weeks – I lost a lot I didn’t anticipate losing. It came with a lot of damaged self-esteem, rejection, abandonment, and a lot of questioning if I’d ever be good enough. I know – it sounds pretty pathetic; but that’s the point the events I had gone through in such a short amount of time this past summer led me to. It didn’t really matter how many times I told myself “it has nothing to do with you,” or “this doesn’t define you,” I still managed to find a way to make myself feel as if surely there was something I could have done to make things different. That’s how the Enemy works; he has such a way of being able to twist our thoughts that even when we know things are out of our control, he can still find a way to be in the back of our mind saying “you weren’t good enough – and maybe you never will be.”
It’s about that time that those of you who are still students have to start coming to terms with the upcoming semester and determining a plan of action to make sure you keep your head above the water and make it through successfully (I know this is the same song I’d sing to myself prior to each semester, anyway).
There are four different learning styles to keep in mind when it comes to determining your plan of action for the semester. I am a combination of a visual + verbal learner, meaning I have to be able to see images/processes + hear/use words, whether it be through speech or writing. However, there are also aural (auditory) or physical learners. Figure out what your learning style is here!
Eating seasonally is certainly not a new concept, however it should become more common. Shopping for your produce while it’s in season is not only more beneficial for your health, but your wallet as well. In terms of your health, foods that are in season are better tasting + more nutrient dense; and the reason you save money is because the cost of growing/distributing the produce is cheaper, and are generally grown more locally. Produce that is out of season is more likely to be coming from other countries, which means they are harvested before they are fully ripened so they don’t spoil by the time they reach the store or your kitchen (Henry, 2014).
It’s that time of year again when we reflect on the year and focus on the things we want to change with the upcoming excuse to start over with a fresh slate. And while we all write up our New Year’s resolutions with good intentions, some of the most recurring themes when it comes to the obstacles we face are feelings of obligation, remaining consistent, and setting unrealistic expectations for ourselves.
Improving gut health doesn’t have to be a difficult feat if you keep gut healthy foods in your kitchen. We all know that gut health is important, but many of us don’t realize just how much of an impact the foods we eat play a role in how we feel, think and behave. Before you plan your next shopping list, read more about the foods that can improve your life in more ways than one.