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Recent Moments of Joy

April 24, 2017 in About Me / College

You know those moments where your heart feels like it’s going to explode out of your chest just because you’re feeling alllll the happies in the world. Yeah- those are the best moments ever. Where your soul is feeling alive and the world is just on your side.

Here are some of those moments I’ve had in my life lately. These moments just make me see how beautiful life is even when I am extremely stressed, cranky, and frustrated. This world gives me pain yet this world gives me immense joy. For that, I am eternally grateful.


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This note from my mom before I left for school last week. This lady puts up with all my mood swings. She gives me the encouragement I need. She lets me rant on and on about how I want to change the world one day; about how I want to end all of these injustices that have been tugging at my heart. She listens to my complaints, she loves me unconditionally, and she is my best friend. What else could I ask for in a mom?

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Getting to have breakfast at one of my all time fav place’s with amazing friends. You know those people who just kinda get you? Yeah, these gals are those kinda peeps. I <3 them and the conversations we have. And I love their love for endless cups of coffee and cute little cafe’s.

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Thankful for friends who let me borrow their dresses and help me feel put together for fun charity events. And thankful for those times I do decide to throw on real people clothes instead of leggings.

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I had the privilege of going to Project Heal’s GALA on Friday night. Project Heal is an organization that raises money for those who cannot afford eating disorder treatment. I was so happy to meet one of the founders of this organization and spend time with the girls in the Boston Chapter. Seeing the power of community and the hard work that everyone in this chapter puts in really just left me smiling from ear to ear and motivated to keep on doing more to make a difference in this field. I say it a lot, and I’ll continue to say it: there is no greater feeling in the world than positively impacting someone’s life. And in this life of mine I will continue to work to positively impact someone else’s life and spread the joy I have within me outwards into this world.

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My BFF Krista captured this moment. Looking back on it just made me smile. This week did kinda suck and I felt overwhelmed, but these moments make it all worth it. I’m always one to remind myself that life’s challenges are not meant to be defeating, but they are meant to teach us something. Finding joy in the littlest moment’s like laughing with your friends on a Saturday night can go a long way.

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My friend from my mission trip put this dreadlock in my hair. I’ve been wanting it for a while so I figured why the heck not. And she did an awesomeeee job. Super happy with how it came out!!

“That’s what makes life fun. That you can make these decisions. That you can create the world that you want.”

Tell me some moments of joy. I would love to hear them! Happy Monday friends. 🙂 

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I Want to Do More

April 7, 2017 in About Me / College

It’s Fridayyyy!! And I’m off this weekend on a retreat. 🙂 Super duper excited for this weekend of teaching yoga, spending time with some awesome ladies, and getting closer to God. Then after I come back, I only have three more classes till I’m HOMEE! So excited to finally have a few days off and be with the fam!


So…

I want to do more.

The title of this blog post could go in so many different ways. But today, I’m talking about my life and my future.

I want to do more.

Ever since coming back from my service trip in West Virginia, I’ve been having this feeling in my heart that I just need to do more. I want to do more for the world, I want to do more to end the social injustices that our nation faces. I feel compelled to do so.

I always had it set in my heart that I would be a therapist for people with eating disorders, anxiety, and depression. And while I still am passionate about those things, I feel as if my heart is getting pulled in other directions and my horizons are expanding. I am finding my passions to be changing and am thinking of doing things I would have never thought of doing a year ago. And it’s funny for me to think how I thought I peaked in my life last summer. Oh, how wrong I was. There is no final peak- we are constantly growing and evolving. We are dynamic.

Two weeks ago, I officially declared a minor in gender and sexuality studies. As a woman in 2017, I still see the sexists beliefs and attitudes present in our society. It is incredible disheartening. It is disheartening to see so many women not feeling good enough, so many women crawling behind the shadows of others because they lack confidence, so many women silencing their voice because they think no one will listen. So many women’s bodies taken advantage of. So many men stepping into the home that we as women cherish so much: that home being our bodies. There are injustices. There is gender inequality. Rape is still an issue, violence against women is STILL an issue. And I feel in my heart I can do more to help in these areas. I want to become more educated and take a stand on these issues.

I want to do more with bringing social justice to our society. To ending racial discrimination, to ending poverty, to taking a stand against homelessness.

Do I have a definite plan for my life yet? NOPEE. But that’s okay!! I’m still evolving and growing. That’s what’s so cool about life ya know? Our lives aren’t static. They’re constantly changing.

All I know is I want to do more to change the world. (cliché statement, IK!)

SOOO..

-I applied to be a service trip leader at my college and have an interview for that next week.

-I am thinking of more ways I can coordinate yoga into healing from trauma/ eating disorders.

-I am looking at volunteer opportunities/ internships at rape crisis centers.

-I am thinking of studying abroad and not interning abroad in London like I planned.

-I am also thinking of doing something with social work??

So yeah, I want to do more. More for our country, more for our world. I know it’s impossible for me to go out and repair the world by myself, but God I sure want to do all I can to help.


Thanks for reading today guys. Thought I’d give you a little insider into where I’m at with my life and such. 🙂 

Now tell me: 

Did you study abroad in college? If so, where? 

Weekend plans?! 

Have a lovely day babes!! Enjoy the weekend and take some time for yourselves. Lots of love <3

Lyss 🙂

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Exams + Some Study Tips

April 5, 2017 in College

Hi loves! 5 days since my last post- sorry about the little absence! School has taken a priority over this blog, but I have missed you all dearly and am excited to catch up on some blog reading. 🙂

I feel like I’ve been studying non-stop for the past two-ish weeks now. Stats + theories of personality are two of my hardest classes this semester, so finishing my exam yesterday for theories was a huge weight off my chest.

Part of college comes studying, and part of studying comes stress and working hard. I try not to complain about it so much, because I know this is what I need to do to reach my long-term goals. And I do enjoy learning about the different theories of personality, (stats- not so much lol), so I really just embrace it and go with it. Does it mean I don’t get stressed/tired/cranky? Heck no lol. My mindset with school and academics has shifted tremendously throughout the years. My first three-ish years of high school I went crazy with school. Like I was obsessed with it- all A’s, constant stress, constant worry about assignments, freak-outs if I got an A-. It was pretty bad, and my parents got to see the best of this mess. I killed myself over school. I killed myself over having perfect grades, and I became burnt out. School was unenjoyable for me. It wasn’t till my junior year that I realized I couldn’t live life like that anymore and forced myself to take a step back.

It’s hard finding a balance with school, just like it’s hard finding a balance with anything. Extremes are easy, balance is hard. For me, I know my limits now. I know when I have to shut my books and take a break. I know when I do need to stay up later than I would like to and not get as much sleep. I know when I need a Netflix break, I know when I need a lunch date with a friend instead of eating by myself and doing work. I would say that 20 years on this planet and all the experiences I’ve been through has taught me a good deal about myself. So I trust in that. Heck, if anyone knows me the best it is me. (or my mom!!)

All you can do is your best. That’s it. School isn’t worth your mental health. Repeat that with me: school is NOT worth your mental health. Learning shouldn’t be something you dread. Yes, study for your exams. But do NOT overdo it. That just leads to no good.

Believe me- I have to remind myself of this constantly and take my own dang advice. It gets easy to get caught up in the shuffle but putting our own needs first is so crucial.

For some fellow students, these are some study tips and methods I use. I’m definitely not the study tip queen, but I thought I’d share some anyways! 

  1. Find a good playlist. I love listening to relaxing music while studying. Spotify is the way to go in my opinion.
  2. Have water with you. Sipping on water helps me stay hydrated and focused. Yahoo for hydration!!
  3. Gum. Chewing on gum = another good way to focus better.
  4. Quizlet. This is the best for remembering definitions.
  5. Highlighters/ different colored pens to better organize info.
  6. COFFEE/TEA. I need my caffeine to stay alert and awake.
  7. Find a good study place. I love the library or coffee shops!
  8. Get a study buddy. Talk about the info out loud- this helps me remember things better!
  9. Snacks. Food = fuel. Not just fuel for moving, but brain fuel too!!
  10. Dedicate a certain amount of time to each subject. This helps me stay on task if I know I have x amount of hours to get what I want done.

Now tell me…

What are some study tips that work for you? 

Highlight of your week so far?! 

I hope you all have a lovely Wednesday!! Sending all the good vibes. <3

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Foggy Brain Friday + Some Random Thoughts

March 31, 2017 in About Me / College

Hi guys and happy Friday! I hope you all have been having a lovely week so far. School has been super busy lately and I feel as if I’ve been inactive on this blog/Instagram. I’m trying to keep up with posting two times a week just because I LOVE to write and connect with all of you, and blogging is truly fun for me. I’ll be home for Easter in a little less than two weeks too which will be super nice.

I have a ton of assignments due Tuesday and a whole bunch of studying to do this weekend. As I sit here at 10:47 p.m. this fine Thursday night and am feeling pretty caffeinated (hello 8:30 p.m. iced coffee), I am doing my best to keep a peaceful state of mind and be here now. Mindfulness is tough for me, so I’m really trying to work on that.

I guess I titled this foggy brain Friday because I really don’t have it in me to throw a bunch of inspiration at you right now, so I thought I’d just give you an inside scoop of what’s going on in my head (oooo is it a fun place in there sometimes- lol).

  • Friday I plan on working out, doing some work at the library in the morning, going to a meeting, going to class, volunteering at Best Buddies, napping (?), and at night going to a concert at my school. DRAM and Charlie XCX are playing! Can’t wait to spend the night with my friends too.
  • Life’s been testing me lately with what I prioritize. Sometimes I’m just like, “Oh yeah, I can hang out with that person grab lunch with this person and study a 15 page study guide and then write 2 articles for this website and talk to all my friends from home!!” But then the rational side of me is like woah there tiger take a step back. You’re not superwoman your just a 20 year old college student. I always need to remember to keep my priorities in check.
  • My nana’s not doing too hot right now so if y’all could pray for her and send some good energy that would mean the world to me& my fam. <3
  • On a more happy note, I documented my favorite choker the other day and my new bralette made the pic. I felt super artsy taking this lol. vsco_033017
  • I applied to be a service trip leader for my college! Who knows if I get it, but thought I might as well take a chance and apply!
  • I squatted 125 lbs on Tuesday which is a new PR for me. 🙂
  • I didn’t really take a whole lot of pics of my food this week. But hmmm. Some yummy things I ate: a Lenny&Larry’s cookie, a carob chip + an almond butter Perfect Bar, Cinnamon Chex cereal with almond milk! Some yummy things I drank: iced coffee with caramel and soy milk, cold brew from Dunkin, iced passion tea mixed with green tea, hot chai tea latte with soy milk, and kombucha! Photo on 3-15-17 at 2.39 PM.jpg
  • I’ve been using PhotoBooth more often lately. Oops. And somehow these beauties always get sent to my mama. I know she loves them though.

That’s it for today friends. Thanks for reading all the fun thoughts in my head and always just being so dang awesome. I hope you all have a fantastic Friday and a lovely weekend!!

Now tell me: 

Are you fan of chokers? 

Favorite drink as of late? 

Any fun weekend plans? 

Have a good one loves!

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Embracing Busyness

March 27, 2017 in College

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” 

Life gets busy. And I know it does for every person out there. Busyness is inevitable. The thing is, sometimes I strive off of it. Other times I really dislike it. But with life comes craziness and stress, and sometimes we just have to learn to embrace it.

Embrace. I’ve been thinking about this word a lot lately. I’m going on a women’s retreat with my college in a few weekends and I have the privilege of being able to teach yoga on it. The theme of this retreat is embrace. After a meeting with the other leaders on Friday, it got me thinking about how we need to embrace a whole bunch of things in our lives. One of these things being busyness.

There’s a lot of things I want to do. There are things I have to do. There are things I dream of doing. Sometimes I stack my plate really freakin’ high. Some days I love that, other days not so much.

With exams and papers, trying to have a social life and trying to take time for self-care, getting in time to do the things I enjoy, writing on this blog, writing for Fit University; there are times where I’m like WOAH. Someone hit the pause button. I dread doing homework sometimes and going to class. Studying is the last thing I want to do at times or going to long meetings. But instead of complaining about these things in my life, I take a step back and realize I need to embrace it all. Embrace the craziness, embrace the fact that I am so dang grateful to even receive a college education. Embrace the fact that I am so blessed that I can do what I love and write so much, that I have lovely friends in my life who care about me. That I love my major, that sure school is hard sometimes but the hard work does pay off.

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The load, all of the things on our plate: that will not break us down. But the way we carry it most definitely will. Switch your perspective. Take a step back, take a deep breath and always remember to look at the grand scheme of things.

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Embrace Grace.

Have more gratitude. Stop carrying your responsibilities with a poor attitude. Be thankful for all life has given you thus far. For all the opportunities that God has placed in your hands.

Now tell me: 

How do you deal with busyness and stress? 

Thanks for reading friends. I hope you had a great weekend and a lovely Monday!! <3

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Things That Made Me Smile This Week 3/24/17

March 24, 2017 in About Me / College

It’s Fridayy!! I hope you have all had a good week so far. The next few weeks are going to be busy for me but I’m embracing it and going with the ebb and flow of life!

I definitely want to catch up on more of y’alls posts this week, so I can’t wait to read some blogs this weekend. 🙂


I love looking back at the week and finding the little or big things that put a smile on my face.

-> Getting my little Buddha friend in the mail.

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-> A great workout on Tuesday. Hit a new squat PR!

-> The fact that the dining hall had SPAGHETTI SQUASH. Yeah, I know right???!! How amazing.

-> Talking with my friend Emily for a podcast. So good chatting with her!

-> Catching up with my dad and having a nice conversation with him. 🙂

-> Getting breakfast with my dear friend Rach and catching up with her.

-> Spending time with the group I went on my service trip with.

-> Doing real life things and looking for jobs and such.

-> Using my essential oils every night and stocking up on my lavender one. Essential oils help with me a whole bunch of stuff. If you are in search of some, check them out here! Love this site. 🙂

-> Spending time with my best friend Karyn. She makes my days SO much better.

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-> Getting new clothes in the mail. Athleta and American Eagle had a sale and ya girl had to get on that.

-> Doing some yoga + stretching. 🙂

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-> Receiving incredibly kind and thoughtful messages through Instagram and this blog. You all make my heart so full. So thank YOU!!

That’s it for today’s post friends. Now tell me: 

What’s one things that made you smile this week? 

Do you shop at American Eagle or Athleta? 

Have a happy happy weekend!!

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I’m Glad I Eat at the Dining Hall…?

March 20, 2017 in Balance / College / Recovery

HAPPY MONDAY LOVE BUGS! I hope you all had the best St. Patty’s day weekend and did something fun! 🙂


Today’s post is directly for my college friends out there, but I feel like a lot of people can relate to the gist of this message regardless of if you’re a college student or not. 🙂

I’m glad I eat at the dining hall. Yep, you heard it. Yeah, I’ll complain about the food there sometimes, but I’m glad I have a meal plan at the end of the day. And I’m glad I have access to my college’s dining hall.

I’m glad I eat at the dining hall because…

  1. I don’t have time for meal prep while I’m at school. I don’t have time to make chicken & rice & broccoli on a Sunday night when I’m scrambling to finish assignments or just want to sit on my bum and drink Kombucha/read blogs. It’s not a priority for me. And for me, Netflix/blog time > meal prepping during my free time.
  2. Everyone at my school has a meal plan. It normalizes me and my eating habits. I’m not just going to sit in my room and eat my perfectly little prepped meal or bring tupperware to the dining hall while everyone else is eating food from there. Yeah, nope. That just doesn’t sound appealing to me at all.
  3. Food dates are fun. Same with coffee dates. And when your a college student, half the time those are at the dining hall. And with a meal plan, I am easily able to do that.
  4. Eating at the dining hall = relinquishing control. You don’t know how the food is prepped. You don’t know how many calories is in it. You aren’t making it yourself. You are just going to get some nourishment and fuel, and the rest doesn’t matter. Going to the dining hall is a good way to challenge a disordered mindset around food. It is a good way to just go with the flow and realize that all food really is fuel.
  5. Eating at the dining hall= giving less power to food. You don’t need your perfectly prepped overnight chia seed oats with matcha powder + coconut oil + some other nutrient straight from the earth every morning. Sometimes a bagel does the trick. Or an egg sandwich. Or a muffin. The chia see matcha coconut oil almond butter flax whatever you want to make oats just don’t happen every morning. And that is fine.
  6. It helps me keep my priorities in line. Because sometimes when I’m running in 500 directions all I can manage is a pb&j and some yogurt for lunch while on the go, and that is fine. Other things come first. Food isn’t the #1 most important thing in the entire universe. Sometimes a pb&j gets gobbled down while running late to class instead of a quinoa salad with 10 pounds of vegetables. And that is 1000% okay in my world.

So yeah. I am glad I eat at the dining hall. No, the food isn’t gourmet. But yes, I am thankful to have the privilege of eating there anyways.

No questions for today. Any thoughts are welcome!! Always appreciate them so incredibly much. 🙂 Happy Monday friends, sending tons of love!

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Friday Thoughts 3/17/17

March 17, 2017 in About Me / College

Happy Friday friends!! I hope you have all been having a good week so far. Going to be sharing some thoughts and randomness from this week so let’s get started. 🙂

-> I’ve been loving writing over at gofitu.com!! If you know me, you know how much I love writing. So when I saw this opportunity I snatched it asap. Check out my recent post here 🙂

-> I’m so tired of cold weather. And snow. This is really making me think of where the heck I want to live when I’m older, because cold and me just don’t get along like we used to.

-> But with the snow, I did have a snow day Tuesday which was nice. I needed some time to decompress which I took full advantage of.

-> I bought this poster for my room and I’m super pumped about it.

Be Here Now, mindfulness meditation poster print

-> I also bought a little Buddha for my room because I really love him and the whole message behind it.

Sakyamuni Buddha Earth Touching Mudra Statue Marble Style .. Rare to Find

-> I wore jeans for the first time in like forever Wednesday. Plot twist: made it through the day alive without leggings or yoga pants.

->I have a yogurt everyday I feel like. I love my yogurts. I think after not having any last week I realized  how much of a staple they are in my diet. Also #teamsiggis. Anyone else??

->I’m hosting a giveaway over on Instagram. So if you want to win 4 jars of peanut butter go over and enter before Monday!!

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-> I bought a pair of black converse from TJ Maxx yesterday and I’m super stoked about it because they were wayyyy cheaper than normal. And I love converse. My white high tops are my babies.

->I spent time to actually paint my nails, but they chipped within two days. #gome

->Thursday was a pretty stressful day with normal college/life things but I got through it. Always a reminder to me of those amazing people in my life who are there for me when things aren’t perfect. So dang grateful for them.

->My two bff’s from home are visiting me tonight. I am so excited. Perfect timing to see them, and it’s St Patty’s day. 🙂

->I sprained my toe last week on my service trip and it still feels pretty freakin’ weird so my two toes are currently taped together.

->I’ve been listening to so much music lately. Nahko and Medicine for the People has my heart. So does Trevor Hall. Such baes.

->I’ve been so bad at replying to blog comments. (Sorry friends!!) Definitely something I want to work on.

I think that’s it for all the thoughts on my brain this Friday morning.

Now tell me: 

Warm or cold weather? Or do you like a mix of both? 

Converse fan??

Any St. Patty’s day plans? 

Have a lovely weekend friends!! Sending all the love. <3

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West Virginia 2017

March 13, 2017 in About Me / College

I’m back! I hope you guys have been doing well. Last week was incredible and I want to share a bit of it with you. I’ll be back to regular blogging and Instagramming. But it did feel nice to take a bit of an Internet hiatus. 🙂

Sunday

I left for West Virginia at 7:30 am. The car ride was about 9.5 hours so the majority of the day was spent there. We got in around 5:30 and had dinner with our retreat leader Tom! Our plans were discussed for the week and I hit the hay around 11:00 ish that day.

Monday

I started my morning with a little bit of yoga. I had the job of waking everyone up this week, so I got myself up a bit earlier for some me time. I showered, ate breakfast, then headed off to my first site. I went to a pre-school and helped there all morning. I read to the kids and played with them during their free time. These kids had the biggest hearts. Sure, there financial and living situations aren’t fantastic but boy is there love and happiness tangible.

The rest of the day was spent looking at some pretty beautiful sites in West Virginia.

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We saw this beautiful point where you are in West Virginia but can see Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland all in one spot!

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We also saw this spring area where people used to take baths back in the 1700s… people including GEORGE WASHINGTON.

 

Tuesday 

Tuesday we went to another pre-school and spent the morning there again. Being able to just spend time with these kids and put a smile on there face was awesome. I spent my afternoon at a Boys and Girls club and volunteered there!

Every night we had a reflection, and talking with the group about what we were experiencing/feeling was definitely a huge part of the trip.

Wednesday

Wednesday was a big yard-work day. We spent the morning raking + mulching a local church’s yard!

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We had the privilege of having lunch with two of the sister’s at the church. One of the girls was 19 and decided to become a missionary. Hearing her story was super cool and the way that God has touched her life is incredible.

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That night, we hosted two women named Penny and Sylvia for dinner. Penny is a survivor of rape and human trafficking. Her story is remarkable. This lady is a fighter. Listening to her story and the amount of obstacles she has overcome in her life just left me in awe. Sylvia helps Penny with her work, and Penny has already done so much in the fight against human trafficking: an issue we should ALL be educated about. One that is especially very prevalent in West Virginia. FullSizeRender-11.jpg

Thursday 

Thursday was another yard-work kind of day. I got up earlier that day and explored the trails at the retreat center. I went for a nice jog and saw some deer along the way ( saw them Friday too)!! It was just so beautiful.

Anyways, for the yard-work we did a whole bunch of wood chopping. It was actually fun using the wood splitter!

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We went to Mass then had lunch at the church! After we delivered donated furniture to people in the town and put together lamps that were donated. That night we went to a cute little restaurant and an old general store after. We got to listen to Irish music which was cool!

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Friday 

Friday was a free day for us. We went into Harper’s Ferry and walked around + shopped + ate at a cute cafe. This town was so cute!

We had our last dinner & reflection together.

Saturday morning

We hit the road pretty early and just kept on swingin’ our little way home !! FullSizeRender-17.jpg

This trip was incredible and I am so blessed to have been a part of it. Thank you for reading this little recap friends. I hope that whatever you do today, it will make your soul sing in some way.  I know this trip did that for me in so many ways.

Have a great day friends!

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Priorities

February 24, 2017 in College

Hi guys and happy Friday!! The weather is gorgeous out and I’m seriously lovin’ it. Making me excited for spring!

I got through my super duper long week (praise Jesus ) and I wanted to share some ways I was able to get through it without going crazy.

My word of the week I kept telling myself was priorities. I had exams, papers, planning for a conference, and other obligations this week. It was one of those go go go kinda weeks where you’re just like I don’t even have time to pee (ha). I really had to prioritize my time, and some things just didn’t fit my schedule.

-> The gym/workouts. I went to hot yoga on Monday and the gym on Tuesday, but that’s it. I could have gotten up early on Wednesday and Thursday to workout, but it just wasn’t my priority for the week. Working out isn’t everything. Remember that. I knew I wouldn’t be getting a lot of sleep this week, and I know how detrimental it is for our bodies to workout and push ourselves when we are sleep deprived. So the gym and I weren’t super tight this week, but that’s okay. We all need a little bit of a break. We need to prioritize.

-> Blogging. I wish I had the time to respond back to comments quicker and read other blogs/write new posts, but again; this just wasn’t my top priority this week. And I thank you all for understanding that!

When life gets super busy with school and such, I really have to force myself to take a step back and just breathe. I can’t do it all, no one can. I don’t have the time to do all the things I want to do like journaling, yoga, spending time with friends, relaxing, etc. But I know that it’s just temporary and soon I will find the time to do those things again!

*My priority for myself this week was getting through and trying my best with preparing for exams, doing papers/assignments, preparing for a conference I’m on a panel for. And even though I may not do well on those assignments or exams (not a good test taker!! ) I’m still proud of myself for trying my best. I’m proud of myself for keeping my priorities in check. Because a few years ago, I would have pushed myself to get in that gym when I was running off 3 hours of sleep.
Image result for give yourself grace

Give yourself some Grace! 

Smile at yourself in the mirror. Pat yourself on the back for doing the best you could. Forgive yourself. Remind yourself that failure is inevitable, that messy times don’t last forever. 

Give yourself Grace. We are all still learning. 

Whatever you had to prioritize this week, I am proud of you for doing that: for getting accomplished what you wanted to, for remembering what’s important. And if you had a hard time prioritizing that thing, remember to just give yourself some grace. God’s grace is sufficient for each and every one of us. Always remember that friends.

Now tell me: 

What are your weekend plans? ( I don’t have a whole lot yet. Spending time with friends, homework, church!)

Have a happy happy Friday my loves. Sending all the love!

xoxo

Lyss

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