Spring Cleaning: How to let go of anything holding you back

Winter is a great time to turn inwards and do some deep self-reflecting, but now that it’s spring it’s time to bloom! But how can you do that with so much heaviness still weighing you down from winter?

This is where the idea of spring cleaning comes in.  

Our physical environment has a huge impact on our mindset, attitudes, and happiness levels. So as the world and ourselves start to blossom, it’s important to tidy up and clean out. This allows us to make space for what’s coming and let go of anything holding us down.

Do you ever feel like your head is just so full of thoughts? You can’t seem to calm your mind down, you become really forgetful, and you feel like you need a reset button?

Well, take a look at your environment. Is your room messy? Your workspace cluttered? Are you running from event to event without taking time in between? This is all a reflection of what’s going on inside your head.

As you being to declutter your environment and get organized, you’ll also noticed your mind feels more at ease too. That’s because you come home to a clean, neat, inviting space. There is room to breath, room to be. So, let’s dive in a little deeper

What is Spring Cleaning?

I’m sure most of you have heard this term before. It simply refers to the big, deep clean people tend to do when it hits spring time. They are cleaning up from the winter, the holidays, and everything they accumulated the previous year.

Why should I spring clean?

It’s a great way to get organized, and get rid of items that no longer serve you. It allows you to declutter, take inventory of what you have, and organize your living space.

Creating a clean, minimalist, organized living space can help you feel more relaxed and at-ease. If you’ve ever noticed yourself struggling because of overthinking, anxiousness or forgetfulness that can partly be a reflection of your environment. If you come home everyday to a messy space, are always looking for something, and have piles of to-do’s that creates more unnecessary stress in your life.  

Remember: A simple environment, is not a stressful one.

How do I spring clean?

If you haven’t read Marie Kondo's book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up I highly suggest you do that. In this book she gives great advice on how to declutter.

First, she tells us to tackle categories not spaces. For example instead of organizing your closet, focus on shoes. Instead of organizing your desk, focus on books. This is because many of us scatter the same item throughout the house. So it is important to collect them all into one area and go from there.

Second, discard items before organizing them. Get rid of everything you no longer want, before you start to organize and place. This makes it easier, because you know exactly what you’re working with.

I can already hear you, "I have the hardest time getting rid of things! What if I need it?"

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Trust me, I’ve been there too! I’ll hold to that one special dress just in case I get invited to that one special event. And guess what, I never end up wearing it!

Marie Kondo has a great answer to that problem as well. When deciding if you should keep an item ask yourself two questions:

  1. Is this useful? Is it rare? 

  2. Does this bring me joy?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions then keep the item, otherwise it has to go. Eventually you’ll find you’re only surrounded by items that serve you.

As we start to organize, clean and let go. You’ll notice huge shifts in attitude, because emotionally and mentally you’re letting go as well. Physically and emotionally tidying up makes you feel lighter, and opens up space for what the universe has in store.

Happy Spring! 

Gut Health 101: Everything you need to know about a healthy gut

As some of you may have read on instagram, I have been having mysterious stomach problems for the past year and a half. After so much trial + error of cutting out certain foods, testing specific diets, and seeing no results, I finally went back to my doctor.

This is where I first learned about our gut health, the good + bad bacteria we all have, and how that might be the cause of my stomach issues. My doctor told me to start taking a pro- and prebiotic, and fiber.

This news sparked my interest. I never realized how much of an impact our gut has on our overall health + wellbeing.

So I started doing loads of research on gut health and all of the negative implications of having too much bad bacteria in your gut can have on our bodies, mood + energy levels.

Now I’m going to break it down for you, as simply as I can, what I learned about our gut.

Gut Health 101

Our “gut” consists of everything from our stomach + intestines to our colon — basically everything that helps us with digestion.

Inside of our gut we all have good and bad bacteria. Our gut and these bacteria receive information about our environment through the foods we eat. So our nutrients + food consumption help us regulate hormone production, balance mood + energy levels, and control our gene expression.

Have you ever heard that our gut is our second brain? Well that’s because it is. It sends signals to our glands and our brain about the world we are living in. In fact, 95% of our serotonin is produced in our gut! What?! (I would site this but I learned it at a yoga + gut health workshop so I’m not sure how, but look it up).   

Photo by Alexander Mils

Photo by Alexander Mils

If we are eating nutrient poor foods, processed foods, foods high in sugar, we are killing the good bacteria our gut, allowing the bad bacteria to flourish, and telling our bodies that we are living in an unhealthy environment.

These “bad” bacteria that begin to takeover can mess with our hormone production + mood especially. So you might see a lot of anxiety, depression, skin issues + inflammation problems on top of stomach issues.

How we can make sure we are eating a gut healthy diet?

Simply, just eat whole, real foods. This will help give your body the nourishment it needs without benefitting the bad bacteria.

Second, we can consume more pro- and prebiotic foods.

Okay, back up. What are pro and prebiotic's?

Probiotics

Probiotics are substances that allow for the growth of microorganisms (bacteria). We can consume probiotic foods that contain high amounts of the good bacteria our bodies need. We find these good bacterias in fermented foods, such as:

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kombucha

When we eat these fermented foods, we start to feed our bodies with good bacteria and begin to heal our gut. Each of these probiotic foods contain different bacterias, so eating a variety of them helps us get a full spectrum of good bacteria.

Prebiotic's

Prebiotic's are sort of like fertilizer. They are very fibrous foods that feed the probiotics. So we can keep adding in good bacteria, but if we don’t create an environment in which they thrive, the good bacteria will die off. Adding prebiotic's to your diet help create that healthy environment for the good bacteria to grow + thrive.

Good sources of prebiotic fiber:

  • Steel Cut Oats
  • Green Vegetables
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Banana
  • Apple
  • Jicama
  • Legumes

What about taking a pro and prebiotic pill?

It is important to note that pro and prebiotics can be taken through a pill. However, it is more bioavailable when consumed through food (easier to digest, so we get more nutrients). Also, when we consume pre and probiotics through food, we get a larger variety.

However, if you are travelling or just starting this gut health journey, a pre and probiotic pill can be a great place to start.

Once we begin to heal our guts and create a flourishing environment within our bodies, we will see a lot of improvements in our health + well being outside of just the stomach. Some of the benefits of having a healthier gut are improved mood, better sleep, more energy, clearer skin, less brain fog, and the list goes.

5 Foods That Can Make Anxiety Worse

Photo by Wu Yi

Photo by Wu Yi

Let’s just clear this up right out of the gate, the foods listed below will not give you anxiety. However, the physical response these foods cause in your body can trigger anxiety or make anxiety worse.

First, let’s explore how this can happen. I’m sure most of you have heard of the fight or flight response we get when faced with a stressful situation. Anxiety can come from us being stuck in this fight-or-flight response and we are no longer able to relax. Symptoms can include a rapid or increased heart rate, excessive sweating, increased cortisol levels, rising blood pressure and muscle tension.

Now, let’s explore how food can affect this. Anxiety is a stress response. Food can act as stimulants that gives us a stress response. So if you experience or are prone to anxiety, foods that trigger a stress response may increase your stress levels.

5 Foods that may increase anxiety

Caffeine

Coffee, energy drinks, caffeinated drinks, pre-workout and chocolate (not too mention most chocolate contains sugar, which we’ll get to later), all contain caffeine. Caffeine can increase heart rate and give you that “jittery” feeling. So if you are prone to anxiety, caffeine can make it worse. Personally, I have found that drinking coffee with a meal reduces any anxious feelings I get from caffeine.    

Sugar

Sugar in all forms such as candy, sweets, drinks, even the “fake” sugars, create a huge spike in energy and then a crash. This can make your high’s high and your lows lower. So if you are trying to stabilize your mood + energy levels, staying away from sugar can help you even you out.   

Alcohol

Initially, alcohol can make you feel good, relaxed and social. However, alcohol affects neurotransmitters in your brain such as serotonin, which are your “feel good” chemicals. After the alcohol wears off, your body + brain has to adjust to the altered levels of neurotransmitter production, leaving you feeling anxious or depressed.

Refined flour

Refined flour is very similar to sugar when it comes to energy spikes + crashes. Refined flour — such as white breads, pastas, rice, pastries, etc. — is depleted of nutrients and fiber. This means there is nothing with it to offset the sugary effects of those foods. Again, combining refined flours with meat + veggies (protein + fiber), can help decrease the sugar effects. Or try switching to a whole grain dough.    

Juice

You may be somewhat surprised to see juice on this list of “not-so-healthy” foods. But the reality is, is that juice is just plain sugar — even if it is fresh + cold pressed. When you juice a fruit or vegetable you are removing all of the fiber which helps absorb some sugar. So you are left getting a buzz and then crashing later. So next time you want to go on that juice cleanse, think about eating a more balanced diet with lots of protein + fiber.

Again, these foods won’t give you anxiety, but they certainly won’t help it if you are an anxious person.

It is also important to notice that some people are more sensitive to foods than others. So there is no need to cut all of these foods out of your life, just try to be mindful of how these anxiety-triggering are affecting you.  

7 Mood Boosting Activities To Help You Beat Those Winter Blues

Photo by:  Cara Stott

Photo by: Cara Stott

Once the busyness of the holidays slows down, and the excitement from the New Year has run dry, January becomes a cold + long month.

I live in Utah, where January seems to be the longest month of the year. It’s cold and snowy with short, dark days — and I definitely feel it affecting me. I have no energy, no inspiration and no motivation by the end of the month. It’s hard to do anything that I used to do to feel good.

So, when you are feeling down and it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning, here are some tips re-energizing and lifting your spirits during the long winter months.

7 mood boosting activities to help you overcome those “winter blues”:

  1. Exercise
     

    Finding time to exercise and move might just be the best way to get you through these months. Exercising gives you energy, boosts happiness, builds confidence, and improves sleep. All of which, seem to be thrown off during the winter blues.
     
  2. Get Outside
     

    It is so easy to become a hermit and stay indoors — especially if you don’t ski or snowboard. But getting outside, midday when the sun is highest + brightest can drastically improve mood. Whether you go for a walk, sip coffee outside for 2 minutes, or just make a point to be aware of the sun shining down, this can all boost your mood.
     
  3. Morning Routine
     

    Creating a morning routine gives you a reason every morning to get out of bed and start your day. Have your morning routine be very warm + comforting. Maybe it’s sipping on coffee while you write down three things you’re grateful for. Or maybe it’s bundling up in blankets as you do a five minute meditation. Just find something that you look forward to doing every morning.    
     
  4. Focus on the Positive
     

    It’s easy to forget what good things we do have going on in our life, when we’re feeling down. To help you focus on the positive and what good is happening, everyday write down three things you’re grateful for and three good things that happened that day.
     
  5. Bright Environment
     

    Because it’s so dreary outside in the winter, having a bright space to live in creates a welcoming environment. To create a bright + uplifting space replace dark colors with whites + pastels, hang up string lights around your room, invest in a happy light that simulates the sun rays, or an alarm clock that simulates the sun rising.
     
  6. Stay Social

    Like I mentioned earlier, it’s easy to become a hermit and stay indoors all winter long. With that being said, it is just as important to make time to visit friends. Having weekly social time helps get you out of the house and breaks up your usual schedule.  

  7. Vacation
     

    If you really feel like splurging, go on a vacation. Visiting a new place and getting out of your comfort zone can significantly increase happiness. It gets you out of your everyday routine, exposes you to many new experiences and leaves you with a changed perspective + attitude. Pro Tip: Visit somewhere warm + sunny ;)

So, here are a few daily activities to help you break those winter blues. By focusing your mindset on self-care and making little changes, you will soon feel your spirits lifting.

25 New Year's Resolutions To Make Your Life Zen AF

New year, new you! Right?

That’s what the goal is, but New Year’s Resolutions tend to be short-lived. That’s because it’s difficult to make big changes overnight.

 

So, here are 25 activities to help you find zen + stay healthy this new year:

Photo by Morgan Sessions

Photo by Morgan Sessions

  1. Drink a glass of water right when you wake up

  2. Meditate once a week

  3. Read 1 book a month

  4. Keep a gratitude log

  5. Eat at a new restaurant once a month

  6. Trade your coffee for tea

  7. Try a new fitness routine

  8. Get outside

  9. Craft something with your hands

  10. Deep clean your closet

  11. Avoid alcohol for 1 week

  12. Cook a nutritious meal with ingredients that are new to you

  13. Go somewhere you haven’t been to since you were a child (zoo, planetarium, swimming pool, etc.)

  14. Take a class on something you’ve always wanted to learn

  15. Spend a weekend night in (ie. movies, hot chocolate, cuddly blankets)

  16. Call a friend from childhood

  17. Put a positive comment on a someone’s post

  18. Instead of watching mindless TV — watch a TED Talk, a documentary or listen to a podcast

  19. Write in a journal everyday for one week

  20. Make a vision board

  21. Go a whole day without electronic devices

  22. Do something productive you’ve been putting off — take on that big project!

  23. Take yourself on a date

  24. Volunteer for a cause you feel passionate about

  25. Don’t take yourself too seriously ;) when we’re always trying to improve our lives, it’s easy to overthink + get too serious. Remember to make time for pure fun and laugh uncontrollably

Happy New Year everyone! Comment on this post and let us know what else you plan on doing for 2018 :)

How To Avoid Holiday Stress

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I’m sure everyone agrees, the holidays are stressful AF. We are obligated to attend party, after party. We spend time with people we normally wouldn’t see. And we often break our bank buying unnecessary presents.

By the time we get to actual Christmas Day it has been so worked up in our head that we often leave feeling disappointed — like maybe we didn’t get what we were hoping for, or the gift we gave wasn’t good enough. Or maybe there is the classic family drama that breaks out after we’ve had one too many eggnog cocktails.

Whatever the reason is, the holiday season can be draining emotionally and physically. Even though, everyone’s goal is to get through it with a smile on your face.

To help you get through these crazy times and make the most of your Christmas Day,

Here are 3 tips to having a happy Christmas:

  1. Morning (or evening) meditation — Because the holidays are so demanding we often neglect our alone, or self-care, time. We usually stop doing what makes us happy because there are so many other things that need to get done. So, the morning of Christmas (or before we go to bed on Christmas Eve) before all the chaos starts, just take 1-minute to yourself. Focus on your breathing, reminding yourself of all the positive things about Christmas. This will start your day in a calm, happy tone so you don’t feel rushed, tired or overwhelmed.

  2. Let go of expectation — Perhaps the biggest buzz kill on Christmas is expectation. We build up this day for months. We put so much planning + prepping into this day that if it’s not all perfect, it doesn’t feel good enough. But the reality is, there is always more you could have done, something bigger you could have gotten, or a better gift you could have given. So go into the day knowing that somethings will go wrong but it is OKAY.

  3. Give more than you receive — I’m sure you’ve all heard before the true gift of Christmas is giving. And as cliche as that sounds, it’s real. When we focus on what we are getting, we unintentionally fall into a scarcity mindset — always feeling like we need more, and like our last gift wasn’t good enough. But when we shift our focus on the gifts we give to other people, and how happy that made them feel, we begin to share their positivity + joy.

So, this Christmas allow things to just be, stay present in your environment, and don’t worry too much about how you think things should be.

Want tips on making 2018 your best year yet, too? Click Here to register for the FREE Zen AF Webinar.

Is your life out of balance? How to know and what to do about it.

Last month, September 2017, I was travelling through Bali when my taxi driver made a very interesting comment and really got me thinking.

Photo by Nelson Nieto

Photo by Nelson Nieto

As we drove along the small, crowded streets with the dense jungle on either side there was one tall building sticking out above any trees — higher than anything else around it.

He pointed to the building and said something along the lines of, “Do you see that building? It has brought up so much conflict in our city.” After seeing the confused look on my face, he continued on. “This is the tallest building in the entire city, higher than any tree, it is not natural and its height throws our whole environment out of balance.”

He paused, and asked me, “How can we live in harmony if our environment is out of balance?”

That last statement really struck me. I am from the U.S. and everything we have pushes to be bigger, faster, better. We don’t think about keeping our world in balance, we strive to have the most or the best.

More than just our cities being out of balance in many ways, my own life is out of balance in smaller ways. I work too much, sleep too little, don’t see my friends enough, over eat and my room is a constantly cluttered. It’s no wonder I feel so overwhelmed, stressed and out-of-balance when the world I am living in is not in balance either.  

Have you heard of work life balance? Most Americans, including myself, are constantly trying to find a balancing point between work and play. We are expected to do the most, because if we don’t someone else will. Competition is bred into our society and we think we’ll feel happier when we have more, but that only leaves us exhausted, run-down and still craving more.

The key to finding balance is to understand what you need to feel content. 

Here are 5 tips to help you  find balance + reduce stress in your life:

  1. Declutter - If your room is messy you’re going to feel a lot more overwhelmed because you’re living in a cluttered environment makes it more difficult to find things you’re looking for,   If something in your room does not serve a purpose nor does it bring you joy, then it’s time to let it go.  A great book about decluttering and organizing is The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

  2. Develop an effective morning ritual - Waking up a little bit early and allowing yourself some quiet time to get grounded will help set a calm tone for the rest of your day. You can make your morning routine even more effective by answering these three questions:

    1. What are you grateful for? This gets your mind focused on positivity and abundance, by recognizing what you do have.

    2. What is your intention for the day? This will help keep you focused, motivated, and moving forward with your daily life. Even if you want a lazy sunday, set your intention as having a restful day and see how much easier it is to relax.

    3. What are your top three priorities today? Identify your priorities and then focus your day on getting those done.

      A great tool to getting your day started and ending your day is The Five Minute Journal. It has quick, short journal prompts designed to help you live your most productive and fulfilling day.     

  3. Get the most important thing done first - Similar to above, if you only had time to do one thing today, what would it need to be to feel productive? Get that thing done first. The activities we put off, give us the most anxiety. Likewise, if there is something you don’t want to do, do that first. By the end of the day you will feel accomplished and stress-free.

  4. Leave your work at work - This is important. How often do you come home from work and continue to think about what you need to be doing or are constantly checking your phone + emails? This can be difficult but understand that work is for work, and no where else is. It’s kind of like the idea that you only sleep in your bed, you don’t eat or read in it. To help you leave your work at home, make a list at the end of the day of what you need to do tomorrow. Creating a list will help you stop thinking about what you need to do later. Secondly, when you show up to work the next day you will know exactly what you need to do and where you need to start so you don’t waste a lot of valuable work time.

  5. Focus on one task at a time - We are living in the age of multitasking. It can be difficult but train yourself to do only one thing at a time. If you have not finished your current task at hand, don’t check your phone, facebook or emails. Set aside time in your day to look at your phone or scroll through facebook. You will find yourself a lot more focused, productive, stress-free and present with other people.

Start incorporating these 5 tips into your daily life and begin to feel more balanced and less stressed. 

Want to take these methods one step further? Sign up for our FREE GUIDE on How To Be Zen AF and receive 10 daily tips to living your most stress free and fulfilling life. 

Stay Calm, Stay Cool
Monique from Zen AF

There Will Never Be A Perfect Time

We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We know how to sacrifice ten years to get a diploma, and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive in.
— Thich Nhat Hanh

We all have daydreams about what we want to do, how we’d rather be spending our time, or we imagine our perfect life to look like — though we rarely turn those dreams into a reality. We are always waiting for the next thing to happen, and then we say we’ll do it. Maybe we’re waiting until we save up X amount of money, maybe we’re waiting until we put our two years in our new job, whatever the reason is, we seem to always be waiting.

But, here’s the thing, there is always another benchmark to reach and there is never a perfect time to create your happiest, most fulfilling life. In order to have your Zen AF life, you must make some changes.

  1. Decide What You Want – Spend some time meditating, journaling, and really getting to understand yourself. Once you know yourself well enough, you will know exactly what you want. Once you know what you want it becomes easier to create your Zen AF life.
     
  2. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone – In order to create a life you love, you must do something you have never done before. You must get out of your comfort zone, break your routine, step into the unknown and then see what happen.
     
  3. Just Do It – Thank you Nike for giving us this simple yet brilliant message. Sometimes you really have no other option except to make it happen. Once you fully commit, you must do everything in your power to create your Zen AF life. There will never be a perfect time and things will always get in the way. But when you are committed and dedicated you will find a way to make it work, no matter how difficult.  

So take what you have, from where you are and turn it into your happiest, most meaningful + fulfilling life.

The Most Important Thing You Can Do To Make Your Life Zen AF

Sure, you can read every self-help book on the shelf, get a gym membership, break-up with your boyfriend and move to a new city, but until you realize one thing not much in your life will change. In order to make your life Zen AF, in all areas, you must learn to take responsibility and accountability for your life.

Taking responsibility and accountability for your life means that you own up to mistakes, fight challenges head on, and show up for yourself. You understand that power is in your hands, and if you don’t like something, you take responsibility and change it.  

 
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Yes, some people are dealt not-so-great hands, but it is entirely up to you to create the life you want. There will be obstacles, things will get in the way, and at times it will seem impossible, but understanding the power you do have in your own life will lead to huge changes in happiness, fulfillment and meaning.

Learning to take responsibility + accountability for your life simply means that you understand the role you play in your happiness. It means no longer being the victim and no longer playing the blame game. When faced with an obstacle, you don’t let it defeat you. Instead, you ask yourself, “how can this move me forward?” or “how can I fix this?”.

Developing this attitude and taking responsibility for your happiness, puts you in control of your life. It allows you to decide what your life looks like and gives you the power to make those changes.   

So, how can you start taking accountability + responsibility for your life today? What small change can you make to put yourself in control, regain your happiness and make your life zen af?

What I Learned From A Weekend Yoga Retreat

I just spent the weekend at a beautiful yoga retreat in Zion National Park, and it was OM-mazing. We had fresh, healthy cooked meals, woke up with morning yoga, hiked through the beautiful park, and ended the day with journaling, meditating and restorative yoga. It was exactly what I needed to unwind, let go, and get refreshed. But more than just finding some relaxation time, I gained some valuable knowledge that can be applied outside the yoga retreat. Here are five things I learned after spending four days meditating, practicing yoga, and hiking.

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  1. You’re a lot happier when you go with the flow

    Don’t get me wrong, it was apparent how much planning went into it. Everything down to the very last detail on meals, yoga classes and activities were very thoughtful and intentional. But no matter how much planning goes into something there are still some road bumps — like the unexpected amount of people inside the park, how it delayed some activities, and last minute schedule changes. However, everyone on this retreat was so easy-going, and no I don’t mean passive. They spoke up and said what they wanted, but when it came to the small stuff everyone just laughed it off, made the most out of it and had a great time. If one person had become upset, or rigid at not sticking to the exact schedule the vibes of the entire trip would have been ruined. So next time plans change last minute (which they always do) see if you can find some ease and laughter through the situation.

  2. You can do anything with support

    The second day we set out on a pretty ambitious hike - Angel’s Landing. And if you haven’t heard of it, this hike requires you to hold onto chains as you climb across 200 foot cliffs after you’ve hiked up 2 miles of switchbacks. Pretty intense! During the climb we all became very frightened and a little anxious. Luckily, we had the support of the group to help us get across the hike and without them I truly don’t know if I would have completed it. When fear and doubt take over, the support of others can help keep you on track and get you through even the scariest of situations.

  3. You are braver than you think

    That being said, there is so much strength, courage and bravery inside each of us. Sometimes we need scary situations (like hiking Angel’s Landing) to help us realize that. But think about how much you have gotten through already and you’re still okay. So next time things go awry, remember you have the ability to endure, learn and grow from it.

  4. We need time to recharge

    Yes it is important to take time everyday to rest, but when I say we need time to recharge I mean more than that. It is important to take breaks from your life, to step outside of where you live and find quiet time. Giving yourself space like this, removing yourself from your routine, gives you room to reflect on how things are going. Every person on this retreat had a huge change in perspective or new realization about what they wanted and needed. Some also found new appreciations for what they did have at home. So allow yourself the time and the space to reflect on your life and your happiness.

  5. People are nice

    When I first arrived, I had so much fear come up. I was intimidated by the other attendees, comparing myself to them, thinking they all probably knew more about yoga than me. But by the end of it, I realized every single person was fighting a battle I knew nothing about. And more importantly, everyone in ultimately wants to love and be loved. When you take time to get to know people and find real connections, you will find that everyone has kindness within them.

So yes, I highly recommend attending a yoga retreat, because what you learn will help open your heart, will shift your perspective and you will make lasting connections with new people.

Hey Millennial, Here’s 7 Tips To Make Your Life Zen AF


Let’s be real, adulting is hard af. All of a sudden you’re just thrown into the “real world” — expected to find a career, pay bills, manage relationships, all while you’re still confused about what you want to eat for dinner. Trust me, I’ve been there. And I’m still trying to figure it out! But here are a few tips that have helped me get my shit together.

  1. Find Your Good Vibe Tribe

    This is one of the most important aspects of creating a zen life — finding a crew that encourages you, supports you and is on the path that you want to walk. It’s no secret that “who you surround yourself with, you will become”. So start taking steps now to find a really solid group and don’t be afraid to let go of toxic relationships. A great way to meet new people is at meetup.com.
  2. Don’t Stay In Unhealthy Relationships

    Speaking of relationships, we’re getting to that age where people are starting to have babies — on purpose. Whether or not you’re thinking about having a child at this point, we ultimately all want that fairytale love. But how do you know if your college sweetheart is the one? Well, that’s for you to decide, but if your relationship is not supporting your growth, it is not worth the feels. As we grow as a person, our partner might grow in a different direction. And if your relationship is not supportive, encouraging and respectful, it might be beneficial to have some serious “me time”. Take steps to either shift the relationship to be more supportive, or go out and explore the world on your own two feet. You got this!
  3. Keep Your Emotions In Check

    With all this emotional drama, career pressure and just the struggle to survive, it’s important to keep tabs on your mental and emotional health. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, angry or just straight up confused, take time to work address those issues at the core. Get in touch with yourself, your wants, your needs, and figure out what is truly want out of this life. I recommend any type of meditation — zazen meditation, journaling, yoga, floating, jiu jitsu, you name it — to get more in touch with yourself and work through your issues. Because our problems are not just going to disappear, it is important to develop good habits now to help you through the more difficult times.
  4. Take Care Of Yourself Physically

    Likewise, it’s important to develop good physical health habits now too — it only gets harder to make changes and become healthier as we get older. You don’t need to go full on #BeastMode and hit the gym for three hours everyday, but finding a form of exercise that is fun, light and gets you moving will be so beneficial to your health and happiness. It is equally as important to get a handle on your nutrition. Some foods increase anxiety, make you sleepy or just doesn’t sit well with you. You don’t need to be vegan, paleo and gluten-free, but recognizing what works for your body to be at peak performance will go a long way.
  5. Become Clear On Your Purpose

    Now, I’m not saying you need to quit your job and follow your passion — that would be dope af, but it might not be in the cards for you right now. What I mean by this, is become clear on who you are and what you want to do. Have a solid understanding of who you want to be, how you can help others and what your goals are. This will help reduce a lot of existential anxiety and confusion. Also understand that these views are fluid. Be open to changing your idea of yourself as you grow and discover new things.
  6. Stick To A Budget

    With credit cards, bills, avocado toast and music festivals , it can be way too easy to overspend. Creating a budget that allows you to survive, save, and splurge is key. This will reduce anxiety about working and living. Set aside how much you need to live. Then, set aside a certain amount each month that you won’t touch. What’s left is spending money so that you can treat yo’self too.
  7. Let Go Of What No Longer Serves You

    Finally, if something doesn’t feel good, you just gotta let that shit go. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. If you leave a situation feeling down, heavy or unhappy, that is a sign that you should no longer put energy into it. Cleanse your life of what doesn’t serve you, so that you can make room for what does.  

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