How do you Recharge? Let Me Explain

On a particularly stressful week or day. What can you do to make sure you're recharging your own batteries? Here's a few tips and tricks - AVintageJoy

I recently wrote a post about the most important aspects of life that I've learned since I was 20! If you haven't read that post, take a second and go read that and come back. It will help you understand this post on a deeper level. Learning to be an adult is a weird transition filled with expectations of what should and shouldn't be happening. 

One of the lessons I've learning though that I didn't really mention in that post, because I felt like I needed to expand upon so much so that I feel it deserves its own post. That topic is: Recharging your own personal battery.

During a stressful season or week have you learned how to recharge yourself in a healthy and productive way? If you have, I'm so proud of you!! Great Job!! If it's something that you're still working through or struggling with, this post is mainly for you!

One of the way I used to work through a particularly stressful week was to "pushing through" or "just getting through it", and sometimes that can be a strength, but sometimes is not the best option to tap into. What are other ways you can work through a particularly busy season of life? 

Part of living a balanced life is realizing the days or weeks where you're super unbalanced. How do you take steps in the right direction? "Let's talk about that" (said in my best Dr. Phill voice)

Discovery Phase

Let's take some time to learn about the "how" of recharging, this is so different for everyone it's important to learn for yourself how you recharge.

1// The first step is to look at your day to day behavior and start to consciously think about what makes you smile? Don't write down anything just yet, just put that thought in your brain so that you start to realize what makes your smile throughout the day. What do you feel that brings energy or life back into your day? Is it when you complete a task, or you know a fun event is coming up in the week?

For the sake of an example, let's just use me. Below are two ways that I noticed I got energy from. 

  • I find energy in the moments when I'm around people I don't have to be "on" with. People that I can just be myself with. 
  • I also find energy when I know there are two exciting things coming up. It could be as simple as I know I'm getting coffee tomorrow morning before work, or I know I'll be off this Sunday so I can go to Church.

2// The second step is to look at yourself in real eyes and think: Am I an introvert or an extrovert?

Do I truly enjoy being around people, or give the choice would I rather go to a bookstore by myself and read? Also, by being an introvert it doesn't mean that you don't like people, or by being an extrovert it doesn't mean that you can stand being by yourself, but we're all somewhere on the spectrum. Where do you stand?

3// Take an entire week to and step back, jot down things throughout your day that make you smile. This is closely related to the first step, but it is a small action your taking to work towards making yourself recharged! This isn't what you feel makes your happy, but real time/ in the moment things that make you smile.

To keep going with our example:

Some of mine were:

  • Waking up when my body wakes up, not making myself sleep in longer or wake up earlier
  • When theres a fridge full of real food
  • Knowing my house is clean
  • A really good cup of coffee
  • The smell of a really wonderful candle burning
  • Taking the time to listen to worship music/spend time with God
  • Watching about an hour or under of TV (any longer than that and I started to feel guilty)
  • Doing small exercises before bed

Action Phase 

Now that you've discovered some small ways that you, consciously or maybe unconsciously, recharge yourself or your day, it's time to act on those! 

4// How can you organize your day to still get all you need to accomplish done, but also include some items from your list? Do you need to wake up 10 minutes earlier to make your really good cup of coffee that starts your day in the right direction? Do you need to spend twenty minutes before bed to clean your house so that when you wake up you feel calm?

Bonus Tip: I've found that, although I feel like my mom talking to my phone, I really love having Siri set a 20 minute timer and cleaning my house at night. 20 minutes doesn't feel overwhelming in the amount of time, and it's crazy how many things you can clean when you have 20 minutes! 

5// Intentionally take 10 minutes each day to pamper yourself. I know that sounds like a given, but in a world where we're always moving and theres always another meeting to get to, it's hard to carve out time to intentionally do something nice for ourselves. I tend to do mine before bed, or before I go out. This is a universal guide because it doesn't matter if you're an extrovert or introvert, if you're not taking care of your body, you won't feel as recharged as you could throughout the day. 

Some ideas to pamper yourself can include:

  • Make a smoothie in the morning so that you eat before leaving the house
  • Put lotion on before going to bed so that your body doesn't dry out at night
  • Learn a better/ more effective way to put your makeup on that saves you both time and you still look great!
  • Wear your favorite neckless no matter what day of the week it is!
  • Set an appointment to see your doctor to do a routine checkup. 

A very small way I did this recently was to paint my nails. That sounds so small, but every time I picked something up, having that little sparkle was a reminder that I'm taking care of myself too. When is the last time that you put the tips you watch into action? When is the last time you put on an at home face mask, or did a moisturizing hair treatment?

Bonus Tip:

Do something that gets you "out of your box" as one of my friends says. Do something for someone else that has nothing to do with you, or your own goals. Buy someones coffee behind you in line for no reason, give a tip to the person who rings up your items at the grocery store, bring flowers to a friend, etc. Although these seem so small, they will make such a wonderful impact of your day and theirs. And you're helping someone else recharge their day in a very small way! 

Now go out there and take some real steps to live a more balanced life! Recharge yourself when you're feeling low, don't let your battery run out! You're the one responsible for knowing when you're getting low! You've got this! Take a breather we're all working through it. 

 

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The Most Important Lessons I've learned Since I was 20!

Life lessons come in stages, here are the one I've learned since I was 20 that I've found most helpful!!

There are so many birthday posts about "Things I've learned in 20-something years". I am obsessed with those posts!! Recently, however, I've started thinking about things that I haven't learned from my entire time on earth, but what are things that I've learned in the past years between "YAY I'm 20!" and "I can't believe I'm almost 30!"

Not all of these are finalized, close the chapter, and turn the page, but they are lessons that I didn't start to learn until after I was 20. If you are in your 20s, or pre-20s, or post 20s we all have stages of life that we learn lessons in. I hope these help you start to learn these lessons, or solidify that "yes these are important lessons for me to learn."

1// While in College any scholarship money that you can get is so helpful!! I remember both sides of this coin. I remember spending hours looking for scholarships to get none of them, and feeling like I was wasting my time. I also remember seeing a scholarship at my school that I was pretty sure I qualified for, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to apply for! I'm so glad that I decided to apply because I did get that scholarship. If I hadn't applied I would have left about $3,000 on the table! Crazy! College is basically the only time in your life that people are like "You're young and want to learn, here's some free money to help because we know you're struggling." I wish there were more things like that after college like, "We see that you're paying for rent all by yourself and you want to travel, here is some money!" 

Paris - AVintageJoy

2// Trends in clothing change so much, purchase quality items as opposed to the ones that are cool right now. This is both about clothes and furniture. Remember when shirts that were high in the front and really long in the back were a thing?! Where are they all now! On the other hand, my combat boots that I found and love I still wear years and years later.

3// Travel during your summers in College! On a similar note to number one, there are not as many times in life after college that you get as long of a break as summer break in college is. Yes, I worked during the summer in college, but it's so much easier to say "I'm working a part time job, I can take 3 weeks off to go explore." as opposed to "I have a staff of 30, I would like to go travel for three weeks."

-Subnote: Have some of those trips be road trips in there with friends. It will be worth it! Trust me, and so much cheeper, because you're also still in college and have to check on finances so carefully.

4// Status/a title will not make you happy! We all fall into moments where we think "If only I had ____ I would be happy." But it really doesn't. Things and status will not bring fulfillment to your life, only God can do that. Trying to fill your life with things other than Jesus in the hopes of feeling fulfilled will just not work! That's one of the reasons why, when you do get that promotion or that item, the excitement of that fades and then you're looking for something else to feel fulfilled in a few days or weeks. Their beauty will always fade. I first hand know about this. For a few years I felt like I was chasing the "white rabbit" of being a manager, but once I got it I realized that it, just like everything else in life other than Jesus, does not fulfill!

5// The unique aspects of you that maybe you were made fun of as a kid, are the aspects of your personality that set you apart from others. On a physical/looks level one thing that I use to get made fun of as a kid that I felt hopeless about was my eyebrows. Back in my day (sarcasm on purpose), small skinny eyebrows were "in", I never had eyebrows like that. But now, being an adult and not having plucked to death my eyebrows, they are something that I get comments on. It's part of my face and something that I actually really like. Your beauty marks can lead to a career like Cindy Crawford. It's a big sentence to say but, be learn to be comfortable in your own skin. It's always something to keep learning but, just because one person looks at you funny, it doesn't matter!

6// Learn to share! This is a little more of a humorous lesson I've learned, but there are so many times that I use to go out to eat with friends that I would purchase all of this food and then leave half of it uneaten. Learn to share your fries with your friends. You'll save money and waste less. Also, make sure if you're going to get a medium or a large that you're hungry enough to eat/drink it! I was notoriously bad for getting the wrong size drink and wasting half of it. Not any more, I like to spend my money where it counts!! 

london subway - AVintageJoy

7// The world is so much bigger than you realize! No matter how "cultured" you are, the world is so much bigger than you can imagine! The more you travel and get to know people the more you realize how little you really know. Never stop learning and helping others. I pray that we do not get so comfortable in our little worlds that we have the naivety to think that everyone is as blessed as we are! Helping others is really the main message behind this lesson. 

8// Comparison is a thief of Joy. Get inspiration from people of course, learn from them, get inspired by what they're doing, but don't compare where they're at in life to where you're at. You are a different person, with different lessons to learn. Comparing and feeling behind will only lead you to feeling unsettled, not motivated.

9// Don't have a fear of investing in friendships or being yourself in a group of people. I'm definitely an extrovert, but there are times that in a large group of people where the girls are all talking about makeup or all playing with each other's hair, that I don't know what to do! I have a fear of talking about how I love the Star Wars movies because maybe the girls won't like me. But WHO CARES!! I'm looking for friends who appreciate who I am and I appreciate them for who they are. You don't have to love everything your friends do, but you do have to respect each other. And how can they respect that you really love this nerdy aspect of something if you never give them the chance to. Be your weird self! (they're nerdy about something too!)

College - AVintageJoy

10. It's ok to be Mulan. Let me explain!...When I grew up I always wanted to Belle and I still love Belle, but I'm much more of a Mulan in real life. I have goal after goal of reading books, and part of me is an introvert, but I'm much more likely to push boundaries of what a female "can and should" do. I feel you, don't message me about how powerful a woman Belle is, I know! That's why I love her too. But the "I'm just going to do this to fight for my family and so that my loved ones don't have to worry about this." Is much more my personality! I say that all to say, learn to see yourself in true eyes! Learn what your blindspots are and what your strengths are. We all have them, it's ok.

11. What God thinks of me is more important than what anyone else thinks. On that same note, if I truly want to fill fulfilled, I have to be following my God given calling, not worrying about what anyone else thinks. This one is the hardest for me to write, because I'll be working on this for years, and this is the one sometimes I feel the most out of line with. But, I remember the times in my 20's that I felt most alive, it was when I was more focused on what He thinks about me than worrying about what others think. 

This wonderful picture to the right is me from college, having a wonderful time learning how to solder. Yes, it's not the best picture, but I really love it because I was having so much fun! You can also definitely tell that a bunch of guys lived in this house from all of the lovely background accoutrements. 

There's one more lesson I've learned more about this year than ever before. But I feel like that one is a more detailed posts. So I'm going to write another post about that lesson. Read it here!

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You are the ONLY You that will Ever You!

Be Your Quirky Wonderful Self! - AVintageJoy

I recently read THIS POST by CupofJo and it really hit me. I love so many aspects of people and I really want to learn all that I can from other's experiences, but I truly believe the unique aspects of ourselves are the thing that makes us so unique. I know that sounds kinda like a "duh" statement, but remember when you were a kid? Remember all of those unique aspects of yourself being the thing that other kids tried to make you feel bad for?

I've been told things, even in my adult life like "you really shouldn't make so many jokes if you're running a meeting" **I made two jokes in an hour's time**. Those things, if we're not careful change the unique aspects about us that are the reason why we're where we are in the first place. 

Yes, we should always be maturing and growing as a person, but those special aspects of ourselves that others saw and loved, are also the aspects that others will see and want to change. 

I saw a poster that said "You can't make everyone happy, you're not coffee" Preach! I'm not here to try to appease everyone I come in contact with, there are going to be people that we just don't have to be best friends with, and that is ok! We're meant to love people to the best of our ability, but it is also a two way street. If you're going to be friends with someone they have to buy into that as well. 

It can be very easy to start to be someone else's version of you. Don't! Your loud laugh, or quirky jokes, or curly hair, are all meant to be that way on purpose. Be proud of your freckles, don't cover them up! Be yourself, don't spend your time trying to be "the cool kid." What does that even mean anyways, cool is defined by whatever the masses say is cool right now. Remember when Jocks, then Nerds, then Social Media Influencers became cool?

 It changes so much, just focus on being you! You're the best and only you that will ever you. Do yourself the justice of being that! 

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Five things you can do TODAY to take better care of Yourself

Hi my name is Joy and I'm very bad at taking care of myself! It's true! I have this habit of thinking everything will be fine, and all I need is a little sleep and I'll feel better either mentally or physically.

Hi my name is Joy and I'm very bad at taking care of myself! It's true! I have this habit of thinking everything will be fine, and all I need is a little sleep and I'll feel better either mentally or physically and sometimes that works and other times it doesn't. Through my many failed attempts at making myself feel better, I've learned ways and habits that really do help me take care of myself. 

I never want to get in the "I'll live forever so whatever" type of mentality because we're not promised forever. One out of one people will eventually die, so it's important that we keep that in mind no matter what age we are!! I believe that we're only given this one body, so I want to make sure that I'm taking good care of the resources I've been given, including myself. 

1// Take yourself off of social media. I saw this picture that I'm sure many of us have seen and it's so profound. It's the picture where there's one woman standing actually being in the moment and not trying to "get the shot." I love getting the shot! I'm all about that life, but I'm also about a balanced life. Take a few hours today and put away your phone! Be in the moment. 

2// Find a doctor in your area and make an appointment to go, or call your doctor and set up an appointment for this week. Don't neglect your health because you only have one body, take care of it!

3// Cook a meal, like a proper meal from scratch. Because of my work I tend to live in a very on-the-go food lifestyle, but it's important to take the time to cook a meal at home. It's so much better for your body to eat a home cooked meal! Throw a salad in there, trust me your body will thank you!

4// Read! While you're putting away your social media, pull out a book and stretch your mind. Learn new words from Jane Eyre or Shakespeare, heck he made up his own and now we use those! Get into a different world and allow your mind to set the scene.

5// Have a friend over. Step out of your comfort zone if you're an introvert, or if your an extrovert clean up your place and have a loved one over. Find that person who you don't have to be "on" when you see them, and hang out. We all know the people in our lives that it is so easy to spend time with. Take the time to have them over and, actively listen and get into their world. Interacting in person with people really does help your health. According to multiple studies it also decreases your stress levels, depression, and increases your ability to feel empathy for others. 

Bonus: Write down you're boundaries. If you've just worked a ten hour day and someone asks you if you want to go to dinner, but all you really want to do is go home and sit in silence, it's ok to say no thank you! You can exercise your boundary there and then the next time you will say yes if you feel that will help your day!

Another wonderful reason to  know your boundaries is that it's easy to get frustrated with people who you feel are stepping all over your boundaries, but it's not fair to them to say that if you never told them what those boundaries are. 

Moral of the story: Take a moment today to take a look into your own life and see what you can do to help your own self care.  

Find out more about the benefit of in-person interaction from this article from the nytimes! 

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Nine Ways to Have A Relaxing Weekend

Work and Life can be stressful. It's important that we also take time during the weekend to relax. Here's how...

Monday-Friday you get up, get your life together enough to make it to work on time. Work 8-10hrs, go home, do laundry, make food, try to relax, sleep and then wake up the next day and repeat. Now although not every week day looks like this, more of them do than we would like to admit. Monday-Friday or Wednesday-Tuesday, whatever your work week looks like it's so important to make sure you make time to relax. I like to call it a "Slow Saturday." 

A Slow Saturday doesn't mean that you're doing nothing on Saturday, but it does mean that you're being intentional with your Saturday. Here are a few ideas to make sure you're using your weekend to its greatest advantage.

1// Coffee!! Obviously this was going to be first! This can be what you make of it, whatever makes you feel more relaxed. Maybe you get up 10 minutes early and heat up water to make yourself a french press at home, or maybe you get up slightly early and go to your favorite coffee shop to enjoy your people watching for the day. 

2// Pick out your outfit the night before. This has drastically changed my morning during my work week, and it's just as important for my weekend. There is something stressful about having to get up and decide things right away. Set yourself up for success by picking out what you're going to wear and hang it up in the bathroom the night before.

3// Pamper yourself right away. We all have those face creams or face wash products that we love so much that we don't use them every day. (Please say I'm not alone in this!) On Saturday, break those out. Its such a small way to pamper yourself, but put on your favorite makeup for no major reason at all, just because you want to. 

4// Be a tourist in your city. Look up what's happening this weekend, or maybe visit a place you've already been to but love! I can't wait until its spring/summer in Denver. One of my favorite things to do in the summer is visit the Botanical Gardens. The $12-15 is so worth it for me to enjoy a day walking around in all the flowers. (They also have a brick oven pizza they make, yass)

5// Walk instead of Drive. I've lived in very walkable cities and ones that you really can't walk to anywhere in. Either way, drive if you have to to a more walkable area of your city and take a 20 minute walk during golden hour. Drive to the mountains, or the beach, or to your favorite neighborhood and just walk. You'll be amazed how much more creative and rested you'll feel. 

6// Don't let the weather get you down. If it's sunny it's so easy to have a "good day", but when it's gloomy we have a difficult time. Make a conscious effort to remember that this is your Slow Saturday and rain or shine it's going to be a good day!!

7// Plan something for the evening that you know will give you energy. If you're an extrovert maybe you plan a dinner with friends, or maybe if you're getting burt out by people you plan to go to the movies by yourself and take yourself on a date. 

8// Listen to your favorite five songs. A great way to make sure that your Slow Saturday sets you up for the week is to listen to your favorite songs. Let me explain. During those five songs, this is your moment to clean your home, or do the dishes, or separate your clothes for the laundry. During these five songs you can write down a meal prep list for the grocery store, or make your bed. Five songs, on average, is going to be about fifteen minutes. You'll be amazed what you accomplish in that short time. 

9// Give yourself a reward. That reward could be the movie you watched to be by yourself for a moment and relax, but that reward could also be a glass of wine. Make sure you earn the reward, but celebrate your accomplishments of the day. That accomplishment can even be not checking your emails, if you're a person who is constantly attached to their work phone. Its your Slow Saturday, don't check the phone unless you really have to!

Aren't Slow Saturdays the best! I love having the busy Saturday when you're excited and have a plan and are going on a trip, but isn't it also just so lovely to enjoy where you're at and breathe?!

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Life Lately 2018

Life Lately 2018 - AVintageJoy

Oh 2018 has already been so interesting. I've already been pushed pretty far this year and it's only been two full months. I truly believe this is going to a year of great amounts of growth in my life. I also haven't written 2017 once?! Can you believe that, I think I was just really ready for it to be 2018. 

What I've been learning

  • At Work 

Since January there has been huge amounts of growth of responsiblity at work. I've been focusing on what it means to be a good/fair leader. I want to be a leader that others respect and one that helps them grow and be better at work and in life in general. I've also been trying to define what it looks like to be a responsible leader, and how do you be on top of your game without having to work 12hrs a day, literally! 

  • In Life

I've been focusing more on community and what that means. I wrote a post about a what I do want to focus on this year, generosity. This month I've been diving into what it means to be generous. What it means to be a Proverbs 31 woman, and how that impacts my life and how I interact with people. To be honest, I really haven't read Proverbs 31 too many times because it's always something that is told in church growing up. A girl is told to be a "Proverbs 31 woman". I do firmly believe that, but I also know that so many of the girls I saw with that on their walls were not correctly portraying what that chapter meant. Have you read that chapter of the Bible? That woman is amazing!! She knows what she wants, she is kind, and direct, she has her standards and is doing what she does. Go her!! I do want to be like that. 

  • What's New

My lease is up and I'm in the process of deciding where I should go. It's also hard because I'm not sure if I'm looking for a one bedroom or a two bedroom. I've been so focused on work that I looked up and my lease is already ending next month...oops. I'll have to figure it out soon I guess. 

  • Media

I've been so obsessed with "This is US", all the sadness!! I've also been watching the entire sermon series "Relationship Goals" from Transformation Church. I found it on Youtube. It's such a great representation of what a real conversation about relationships should be. I've also been playing Candy Crush recently, yes I know 2014 is calling, but I feel like it helps my mind escape for a minute and focus on something other than work and spreadsheets and just chill out.

How's your 2018 going? What have you learned this year? How are your goals going?

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Live A Life of Generosity

Life a life of Generosity - AVintageJoy

Want to have the best year to date?! We all do right? I firmly believe that there is one action that is missing from so many of our lives in general. That, as you can see below, is..

Generosity! 

We definitely don't want to be stingy and known as someone who doesn't have a "giving spirit", but how many of us live a truly generous life? Living a generous life does not mean just being generous with money, although that is part of it. Being someone who lives a generous life means taking the steps to be open when an opportunity arrises. 

To start off your "generous journey" it is a good idea to look at what you spend your money on. No seriously, take inventory in your mind for a moment of what you tend to spend the most of your money on? Write it down, make a note in your phone and keep that in mind throughout the rest of this because it's very true that what we spend out money on is where our heart is.

By that I mean that what we spend the most on is what we value the most. It is similar to the fact that what we really want to accomplish during the week we will. We will make time for things that we think are valuable. We may not be consciously saying that in the moment but, what we feel is best to spend our time on we will. What you take the most seriously is what you will spend your days doing. 

That's a hard reality to let sink in, because so many of us, myself included, spend so much of, not only our money, but our time on things that don't really matter in the end. Things that are more of time wasters than fulfillers. I don't think that's a word, but just stick with me.

We spend time not on building each other up and building a better life for those around us, but we do spend time on so many meaningless things. I say this not to make you, or me, feel bad but to put it back in focus. 

Do you really believe that what you believe is really real? - From The Truth Project

This is my favorite quote because if we truly believed what we believe, it would radically change our lives. We would have to be more generous people because we would realize that life isn't about status. When older people are interviewed and they look back over their lives they never talk about the things that we think are important. 

They don't say, if only I had "x" amount more money I would have really wanted that, or if I had only been the CEO of the company. They talk about quality of life. They talk about wishing they had spent more time with their children, that they wish they had connected with long lost loved ones. They wish they had been more generous with their time and their money. 

I talked about how I don't set New Year's Resolutions, but being more generous than I've ever been is my "goal" for this year. I want to take a more serious look at my goals and keep at the front of my mind what's truly important. Also, If I had to choose one word for this year it would be Generous! 

Do you have a word for this year? How have you been doing on your 2018 resolution? Do you have goals for this month? How are they going? Did you actually write them down?

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