Phew. I’m so happy to be back. I know it’s only been a week since my last post, but being back on a regular schedule is how I thrive. I’m happiest when I’m adhering to schedules and structures (only when I’m the one in charge of the schedules and structure lol). So here I am, finally able to sit down at my desk and write a blog post after a long week of camping and then recuperating from the trip. I loved the trip and had a great time, but it’s funny how sitting down to write and get work done is truly my “happy place.” I mean, I have a lot of “happy places,” but working on something I’m passionate about is definitely up there on my list of things that bring me joy.

I spent this lovely summer Sunday struggling with a variety of PMS symptoms (oh the joy of PMSing!) while trying my best to ignore them and prep for the upcoming week. I have to admit that my PMS symptoms always throw me for a loop. I’m usually feeling fine and dandy, on task, motivated, and like I’ve got my life pretty together and then WHAM… my premenstrual symptoms come to steal the happy show… and turn it into something dark and confusing. While the symptoms have definitely decreased since I started implementing the strategies from my 11 Ways to Make Your Period Suck Less post, I still tend to feel a little lost and in need of some cheer during that time of the month.

So, whether you’re PMSing or just in need of a little “pick-me-up,” here are a few things I’m grateful for that can hopefully make you stop and think about what you’re grateful for, as well. This is as much for me as it is for you (cause I’m definitely in need of writing out a gratitude list) but I do truly hope this can inspire you to create your own list (or at least think of some of the things you’re grateful for!)

Deep Conversations

Earlier today I was telling my husband about this book I’m reading on social anxiety (which I’m including in this post later down the list because it’s AMAZING). While discussing it, I mentioned something along the lines of hating how socially awkward I am. My husband then replied, “You’re way more social than me. You don’t even seem nervous when you talk.” I was pleasantly surprised by that comment (and locked it away into my brain to hold onto forever) since I often feel like a complete disaster when I socialize. The thing is that I start thinking I’m always a socially awkward disaster when that’s actually not the case.

When I’m able to delve into a deep conversation with people I’m comfortable with I’m actually extremely at ease and full of joy. I’m grateful for the people in my life who I’m truly comfortable with- the ones who bring out the best in me, see the best in me, and who I’m able to communicate in depth with (and also laugh and joke around with). Deep conversations will always be one of the tippy-top things that bring me true joy!

Meal Prepping

Connor and I decided that Sunday would become our “Prep for the Upcoming Week” day. We clean, plan (well I plan… in my handy dandy bullet journal), and meal prep. Yes, you heard that right- MEAL PREP! I didn’t realize just how painstakingly long it would take to prepare meals for the upcoming week. I get that it’s supposed to save time and money in the long run but boy oh boy do I feel DONE with cooking after a solid 7 hours of doing nothing else. I’m definitely on the fence about if I like meal prepping or not- but having meals ready to go for the next week will hopefully make today worth it! While I’m not sure this actually makes me cheerful yet, I’m sure hoping it will!

Some Blogging Direction

Blogging is clearly an underrated career, but I believe the amount of self-discipline it takes is 135% underrated. Most people have bosses and managers to keep them in line and to direct them and push them to meet certain goals. Being my own boss is great, but can also be pretty confusing at times. I’m still in the beginning stages of my blogging career (I still feel odd calling it a “career” but Connor keeps reminding me that it is one and I shouldn’t be ashamed to call it one) so I’m trying to cut myself some slack for my lack of direction at times. But I’m happy to have gained some much-needed clarity recently that will propel me forward with some clear direction!

This Life-Changing Book on Social Anxiety

I can’t remember where I first heard about How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety, but I’m so glad I did! It’s literally everything I knew I needed but didn’t know how to find. I’ve always had a fair amount of social anxiety, especially when I’m around people I’m not comfortable with or people I feel the need to impress. This book addresses all the issues I have with social anxiety in a relatable, extremely helpful way. I was worried that the author, Ellen Hendrikson, was going to neglect addressing the fact that introversion and social anxiety are two separate things.

I was about a fourth of the way through the book and was starting to feel a little frustrated by the fact that she hadn’t mentioned anything about that and even seemed to be instigating that not wanting to socialize was bad. But fortunately, I kept reading and was happy to see that she devoted a whole chapter to distinguishing the difference between introversion and being “shy” and “socially awkward.” She actually helped me understand it in ways I hadn’t before. This book has truly been a life-changer for me and has quickly become one of my very favorite books!

Taking Some Time Away from Instagram

I mentioned this in my post, How I’m Kick Starting My Blog Again, but it’s important enough to be repeated! In the book I shared above, Ellen Hendriksen states that there’s a direct correlation between the number of social media sites you’re active on and the amount of anxiety you have. When I was younger, I was glued to my social media sites. Now, I feel pressure to be present on them when I don’t really want to be- which I believe is what increases my anxiety, personally. I’m pretty reserved and don’t love sharing everything about my life with everyone, so it can feel a little uncomfortable to post consistently.

I’ve decided to cut myself some slack and allow myself to be less active on Instagram since that’s the site I have the most trouble with- from comparing myself to others when I do happen to go on to feeling like I need to post curated perfect-looking photos of myself and my life. It’s been nice to take a step back and realize, HEY, I don’t HAVE to be on there all the time and it’s okay to take a break from it from time to time! There may be times when I’m gung-ho about it, but there are going to be other times when I want nothing to do with it… and that’s okay!

Being Married to My Husband

Our life isn’t perfect (no ones is) but I can’t imagine being married to anyone more perfect for me! There are still times when I look over at Connor and wonder, “Is this really my life?” I’m so glad I made the wise decision to wait and marry someone who I’m SO attracted to- who is incredibly considerate, selfless, introverted, humble, sweet, kind, funny, trustworthy, and attentive. It sounds ridiculously cheesy, but I’m amazed at how my respect for Connor grows the longer I know him. With every other guy I’ve ever dated, my respect for them has gone down, down, down over time. With Connor, it’s the complete opposite. The more I know him, the more I love him and respect who he is as a person.

I wish I could tell every girl on this planet to wait for a guy she truly loves, respects, adores, and is attracted to- and someone who feels the same way about her! I also wish I could tell every girl to learn to love themselves and be comfortable being alone before they find someone else. I truly believe that was the key ingredient in me not settling for someone who wouldn’t have made me happy! I also believe selflessness, communication, and never giving up on each other are key ingredients in making relationships better when the going gets tough.

These Interesting Links

I’ve been super into reading articles on Bloglovin’ and Flipboard lately, so I’ve got some goodies for you! Often times reading a helpful article is the perfect way to cheer myself up when I’m feeling stressed. That and watching funny Youtube videos. Here are a few links that have cheered me up recently!

  • this post on what one of my favorite bloggers learned from her first year of self-employment
  • another one of my favorite bloggers weekly Bachelorette recaps (we think a lot alike, so I love reading her thoughts after each episode airs)
  • this message-like paid survey website that you can earn Amazon gift cards and Paypal money from (I like this way better than I usually like survey websites)
  • this article on why reading books is important
  • this Youtube channel that has a lot of videos about being an INFJ (the guy is a tad bit odd, but aren’t we all in our own ways?)
  • this video on why Shane Dawson deserves more credit than people give him
  • this very awkward, hilariously helpful dermatologist on Youtube who helped me get the right skin-care products for my oily, acne prone skin
  • the Wim Hof method of breathing for anxiety relief

What’s Making You Happy Lately?

Now it’s your turn! What’s making you happy lately? It can be hard to think of what you’re grateful for when life feels overwhelming, but this post is proof that it CAN BE DONE! I hope you’ll make your own list or at least comment down below a few things that are hidden somewhere in the midst of the stress and chaos of life. I can honestly say I feel loads lighter after writing down my reasons for being cheerful. I hope you’ll take the time to do the same!