Repost | Beating the Winter Blues

Y’all. I think the groundhog lied. I’m starting to feel as though winter will never be over. I try not to complain too much because I know there are places much colder than Oklahoma. However, I’m over the teasing of the Oklahoma weather system. One day it’ll be 20 degrees and the next it’ll be 70. I feel like I could go crazy at any moment, haha! Not to mention, also, that my hands and feet are chronically frozen. Whatevs.

Today I’m reposting a blog post that I wrote a little over 2 years ago. It’s so easy to write content and then just forget about it. However, I thought it would be fitting to repost this one–because maybe some of these tips will be useful to you too during this frigid and glacial time. Ok, I’ll stop being dramatic now. Enjoy!

Beating the Winter Blues 
December 17, 2016

Now that daylight savings time is over, the days are much shorter and it gets dark SO much earlier. The other day it was almost pitch black at 5:00 in the afternoon and I felt exhausted because it felt like it was 10:00 at night. Does anyone else get into hibernation mode and become a complete couch-potato? Not to mention that it is also becoming colder and blankets, comfy clothes, and blasting the heat sound so much more appealing than anything else. In case this fits your description here are some things you can do to help beat the winter blues.

Stay active

The winter weather and darkness can make you feel like a completely unmotivated blob. Try to get in at last 30 minutes of exercise a day by either bundling up and going for a walk, going to the gym, or park a little further away from the front doors of places where you are Christmas shopping. I know that my mood and energy levels are significantly different when I make an effort to get moving.

Be around people

Surrounding yourself with people who care about you and vice versa can lift your spirits so much! Being with family and friends is definitely better than secluding yourself. I know that some people can only handle so much “people time” and need some time to be alone–but don’t make the being alone part a lengthy habit.

Plan things

Instead of just going home and planting yourself in front of Netflix, why not plan something fun? Some ideas are going ice skating, going out to dinner or having friends over for dinner, driving around to look at Christmas lights, go see a movie at the theatre, FaceTime or Skype someone who lives out-of-town, go see a Christmas play or show, etc.

Fun night at home

On the nights that you just need a relaxing evening at home, plan what you are going to do that evening. Find a movie that you love, pop some popcorn, make some coffee/tea/hot chocolate, put on a face mask, read a book, give yourself a manicure/pedicure, etc.

Light

Just because it is pitch black outside, it does not mean you have to be in the dark, as well. When you are home, light some candles, plug-in those Christmas lights, light a fire in the fireplace, and just make it cozy.


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Allow Your Soul to Rest

Hi friends, happy Thursday. I hope you are having a great week! I have been settling back into my routine after being at The Declare Conference this past weekend. It wasn’t until the conference that I realized how life had taken a toll on my soul and spiritual life–but I am so glad to feel rejuvenated after the conference.

There’s something about being in a worshipful setting that allows your heart to become quiet before God and open to the things He has to tell you. The biggest eye-opener this past weekend was the revelation that I have been trying too hard to do all of the things (ie work, home, putting pressure on myself, going non-stop, etc) that I have forgotten to focus on The One thing. That One thing is my walk with God–because only He is my purpose, strength, and peace. He is the only One that provides rest to my soul–when I feel like I run it into the ground.

If you are needing rest for your soul–let me encourage you to do so!

Remember the faithfulness of God. Remember what God has done for you and how He has answered prayer. I think that so often we tend to forget these things, even after praying so hard and for so long for that thing to happen. When you feel like life is just all bad and not turning out how you thought it would–stop and think about how God has worked in ways you did not expect.

Go to God. I have been waking up earlier this week so that I can have time in prayer and Bible study before I begin my day. Going to God first thing each day needs to be my first priority–and I’m ashamed to say that sometimes it’s the last. Let God be the best part of your day and allow Him to guide you in the words you speak and work you complete.

Literally stop and let yourself rest. It’s ok to say “no” to things and spend that time instead to care for yourself. You know what flight attendants tell you–“put your oxygen on first before assisting another person?”–well that is true in the sense that you can’t help anyone if you are just totally done. Also, you cannot minister or encourage anyone else as effectively if you are not right with the Lord. So, stop and let yourself rest before God.

Love from Amy Signature

Blogs I’m Loving Lately

This month I have been focusing on different kinds of things that I love and I hope you have been enjoying those posts. I think it’s fun to write themed posts during certain months (i.e. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, etc).

Today’s post is going to highlight four different blogs that I have loved reading lately. You should definitely read and subscribe to these blogs! I also really like how crisp and fresh all of these blogs look.

Jenna Kutcher


www.jennakutcherblog.com

Jenna

Jenna Kutcher’s blog is for the #girlboss! This blog is really helpful for building a brand, navigating the various forms of digital influencing, and for learning tips that are instrumental for everyday life. Jenna has also offered some free online webinars for things like email lists and Pinterest.

The Refined Woman


www.therefinedwoman.com

Refined Woman

I love thing blogs because it’s centered around real life issues, work, encouragement, wellness, and style. The Refined Woman was founded by Kat Harris and she is such an inspiration for the creator and adventurer at heart.

Straight A Style


www.straightastyleblog.com

Straight A

This next blog is for the fashion lover! Straight A Style is written by Amy Ann Arnold and she is a blogger in my hometown–and she’s killin’ it! Amy Ann’s posts are so helpful for styling and shopping for your every day needs–wether it be casual to formal. Amy Ann’s photos are also so great and inspire me to take better photos. Go check out her blog!

Lauren Scruggs Kennedy


www.laurenscruggskennedy.com

LSK

I have loved following Lauren’s blog for a while because of her faith in Jesus, her strength in recovering from and overcoming a traumatic accident, and her dedication to health/wellness. Lauren’s blog is always so encouraging, uplifting, and relevant for every woman.

I hope you enjoy reading more of these blogs! What are your favorite blogs right now?

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Whole30 Must-Haves

Hi my friends! Happy hump day! The beginning of a new year always seems to bring around the “new year, new me” mindset and desire to become healthier than ever. Lots of people go on diets, hit the gym more, or determine to just make better choices. One thing I like to do a couple of times a year is Whole30. If you’re never heard about Whole30, I wrote a post about it last year that can be viewed here. I have, personally, seen amazing results from doing Whole30, I’ve felt better than I have in a long time, and it’s helped me to make better choices. If you are interested in doing Whole30, or you’re planning on doing Whole30, or you’re just curious to know what you can eat–I have some must-haves to share that I would recommend you keep in stock. This post is not sponsored by Trader Joe’s, by the way, but I just have a lot of things that I like to get there for Whole30.

RX BARS: These protein bars are great because they only contain a few ingredients! Make sure you read the labels though because I think a few are not Whole30 approved.

LARABAR: These have been a staple for me ever since I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease years ago. Certain flavors are also not Whole30 approved so make sure you read labels.

SPARKLING WATER: I love drinking sparkling water or mineral water on Whole30 because it’s helps to satisfy the craving for something sweet. The flavors of sparkling water at Trader Joe’s are so good and they usually have seasonal flavors, as well. La Croix is also another thing that I like to have on hand during Whole30. But then again, would I really be a basic white girl if I didn’t love La Croix?

CHOMPS: I have not tried these yet but have heard they are really good if you need some protein. I have been doing the Daniel Fast with my church this month and haven’t been eating meat during the fast. I will give these a try though once that fast is over.

ALMONDS: Always, always, always have these on hand! Almonds are a good source of protein and healthy fat and nobody likes a hangry person.

DRIED FRUIT: Be careful to read labels and not get dried fruit that has sugar added. These “Just Mango Slices” at Trader Joe’s do not have any added sugar and it’s also another good snack to throw into a bag when you’re on-the-go.

CAULIFLOWER RICE: This is nice to buy because it’s been “pre-riced” and less of a mess. I will sometimes “rice” my own cauliflower but stuff just gets everywhere. This definitely doesn’t taste just like rice but it’s a great alternative during Whole30.

RICED BROCCOLI: This is another thing that has been good to have when you want to make a “pasta” dish, salad, or just to pan steam.

SWEET POTATO CHIPS: I bought these at Aldi and there are only two ingredients. These are great for when you have the munchies!

PLANTAIN CHIPS: These are also another thing that I love to have on hand for a snack, to dip in guac, salsa, or make “nachos.”

GHEE: This is an alternative to butter and it’s really yummy! It definitely has a more bold flavor than butter does but I really like it.

SEASONINGS: Trader Joe’s has really good seasonings that can help make more bland meals taste so much better. My favorites are seasoning salt and the everything bagel seasonings.

COCONUT MILK: A good alternative to dairy and can be used in SO many different dishes. Definitely taste test with coconut milk though because you don’t want to overpower your meal with coconut.

ALMOND BUTTER: So good! I eat almond butter with plantain chips, apples, bananas, in smoothes, etc.

GUACAMOLE: Always. Just. Always.

Have you ever done Whole30? What was your experience like and what kinds of things do you like to eat during Whole30?

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Planning for the Week Ahead | Including PDF

Last Monday I shared a blog post with tips for staying organized during the work week. One of the tips I shared was to have a day set aside to plan out your week. Something that really helps me, on the days that I plan, is to make lists. I’ll make lists of things to do, errands to run, things I need to get at the store, important events during that week, lists of lists I need to make (haha, just kidding), etc. In this blog post, I’ve created a PDF for you to print and share, if making lists is also helpful for you.

Because life can get busy and hectic, I also think that it’s super easy to overlook the small and/or exciting things about life. On this list worksheet, I also included a space for you to write down things that you will be looking forward to that week. I think having this mindset can also prevent burnout because you’re not just focused on the things that might make you feel overwhelmed or stressed out.

I hope you have a wonderful and productive week and that this tool has been helpful for you!

 

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**Planning My Week PDF**

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