ways to show yourself compassion

I was discussing my recent New Year’s Resolution with my therapist last week. I’d decided to do a random act of kindness for someone each day. It doesn’t have to be a big deal at all–even a kind word will do it! I just thought it would be a great way to spread a little love and get out of my head a bit.

But then my therapist started me thinking (as therapists so often do). She replied that my idea sounded wonderfully and lovely, but had I considered adding myself to the list of random act of kindness participants?

I looked at her with a little bit of amusement and assured her that no, that wasn’t how it worked.

But that got me thinking: why can’t it be? If I’m so dedicated to showing love to other people, it seems a little bit ridiculous that I’m harboring so much hate and guilt towards myself. I realize those are strong words, but anyone with an eating disorder will connect with them. Sometimes the self loathing is so strong all you want to do is turn off your life and become someone, anyone, else. Which is impossibly sad. 

So I decided to take her up on her suggestion, and begin making myself the recipient of some of my random acts of kindness. It isn’t a selfish thing; it’s about self preservation. Part of the recovery process is remembering all of the wonderful things these magnificent bodies of ours are capable of. To do that, you’ve got to show ’em a little bit of love!

Here’s my list of 15 little ways to show yourself some compassion today.

1. Buy some new bubble bath/bath bombs and take a long, lingering soak. Don’t worry about the other shit you have to get done.
2. Take an hour/two hours/an afternoon to do what you really like doing. Don’t try to fool yourself into, “But I really do enjoy doing my homework!” Nope. Next choice. For me, this is reading or knitting 🙂
3. Start a movie or TV show marathon. You can be working on other tasks while you play it, but make sure it’s something you love. For me, this is Modern Family.
4. Say no. Recognize when you need to do something for yourself instead of going out with friends or doing an extra task, and say no without feeling guilty all night. I’m still working on this one, but it can be an awesome feeling!
5. Window shop! I go online and look at outfits that would look great on me. Price is no object when you’re just gazing.
6. Call someone you love and talk for a while. For me, this is usually my boyfriend or my mom. It can be so nice to hear someone’s voice and talk about nothing important for a while. If you need support, ask them for it. Be reminded of why they love you.
7. Make yourself a mug of something good. For a quick pick me up, I gravitate towards hot, good-for-the-soul drinks. If I don’t want to stress, it’s either hot water, tea, or coffee, but if I’m feeling indulgent and ready to challenge myself, I’ll get hot cocoa or a latte. 
8. Read something inspirational. For me, this runs the gamut between my devotional (Jesus Calling) and the accompanying Bible verses, to Peace Is In Every Step, a Taoist text on peace. Whatever works for you! Gain a little bit of inspiration and a chunk of perspective. 
9. Paint your nails. Take the ten minutes out of your routine to make yourself feel sparkly and pretty and worth it.
10. NAP!! This has become a huge one for me. I get so exhausted from the daily struggle of life plus recovery, and I have finally learned not to fight the nap train anymore. I embrace it. If there’s time for a nap, I will take it. Listen to what your body needs!
11. Take a walk and jam. I’m not allowed to exercise yet, which makes me a little stir crazy sometimes. When I have to have to get out and do something, I’ll take a walk and listen to a Pandora station I love (currently switching it up between Hillsong United, Mumford, and The Civil Wars).
12. Draw and color. There’s nothing more relaxing than making a coloring book pretty. Give your brain a chance to relax.
13. Let it go. Is there something you have to get done but just can’t do right now? Okay. Let it go. Seriously, put it aside for an hour or a day and come back to it later. Be kind to yourself and stop forcing your brain to do something it just doesn’t want to do. You’ll come back to it refreshed and ready to work.
14. Plan the future…but only fun things! I currently take mini breaks to Pinterest some inspiration about my upcoming trip to Italy and Paris. Places I want to eat macarons? Check. Gorgeous fountains? Check. Dream big! You have a future outside of ED.
15. Remind yourself how well you’re doing. Sometimes it pays to just take a moment and remember: You are enough. You have enough. You do enough. Recovery is absolutely exhausting, mentally, emotionally, and physically. If you start getting bogged down by how far you have to go, remember how far you have come. You’ve taken the first step towards getting better. Be proud of yourself.

What do you guys do to show yourself a little love? Let me know!

Advertisements

neda awareness week…coincidences or destiny?

This has been an interesting week from an ED point of view. First of all, and most obviously, I’ve been posting statuses for NEDA Awareness week on my Facebook, just reminding friends how gorgeous and wonderful they are–and how a number on a scale doesn’t play into that at all. So that’s been good.

But I’ve also been approached by several of my close friends about getting help this week. It’s run the gamut: some just needed a little bit of good vibes tossed their way. Others asked me for the names and numbers of my recovery team.

In this deeply personal struggle, I think it’s important to remember that most women (and men, for that matter) have something they would like to change about their body. I’m not a weirdo, I’m not crazy. I have a disease that makes me sick. But I’m by no means the only one. It’s good to remember that I’m not alone. 

It’s even better to remember that through my struggle, I have gained experience with which I can help others. Now that is a powerful thing.

Hope everyone has a great week!

National Food Flags

I saw this on Facebook and had to share. For any foodies, this post is absolutely gorgeous…and mouth watering. Advertising agency WHYBIN/TBWA created flags from 18 different countries formed out of the country’s most recognized foods. The flags were created as a promotion for the Sydney International Food Festival, but I think these prints would hang beautifully in any kitchen.

Italy, with it’s beautiful piles of fresh basil, pasta, and tomatoes, quickly won my heart. I’m also particularly fond of Great Britain’s scones, cream and jam. Not only because I’m an anglophile, but come on: that looks delicious.

Image

Italy…pasta marinara, anyone?

Image

Great Britain…of course it’s tea and crumpets. 

Image

And Brazil! Give me fresh fruit any day.

Simply Having a Wonderful Sunday!

I awoke this morning to snow blanketing the campus–a rather rare occurrence down south. Of course, as a Northern girl, I scoffed a little at first at all of the emails and texts detailing the closure of campus for a tiny dusting of snow and ice. But I am absolutely in love with the lazy, cosy atmosphere that has washed over my school in it’s wake. Everyone is sweet and warm and taking a day to relax, do homework, and love being together.

It’s a beautiful thing to experience in the last few days before we head home to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I have to share this awesome infographic from Love Taza and her sponsor, Sweetgreen! It’s everything you ever wanted to know about Thanksgiving–which, I’m the first to admit, is my favorite holiday, second to only Christmas. Any day with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, green bean casserole, apple pie, and family time with Christmas carols in the background is a win in my book!

Eating locally isn’t a new trend - the first Thanksgiving featured seasonal ingredients grown in Plymouth Colony, and throughout the US, local produce is still incorporated into Thanksgiving meals today.  Since we are all about sourcing and eating local foods, we wanted to celebrate the regional cuisine that is consumed on this holiday. Check out our infographic to learn more about variations on the Thanksgiving meal across the US.

Dreaming of a Winter Wonderland

I’ll admit it: for me, we have officially reached the holiday season. I held out for as long as I could. I, too, scoffed at the sinfully arrival of Santas and snowmen to the store shelves. I denied myself the pleasure of Peppermint park and holiday cocoa.

But I simply cannot hold out any longer.

This morning, I decorated my room for the holidays, complete with garlands, snowglobes, and, of course, Christmas lights hung over the window. I listened to my Josh Groban holiday Pandora station as I drove cross town all morning.

And this evening, I will spend some time organizing my Holiday Bucket List.

Yes, the holiday season has officially arrived in Lauren’s heart, Are you all managing to hold out any longer?

Here’s a little piece of gorgeous inspiration for my decorating style. I can’t wait for snow and home!

 

Cooking Basics from Refinery29

Have you heard of Refinery29? If not, I encourage you to sign up for their newsletter. It’s full of little tips and tricks edited in fun, modern style. Exactly the kind of publication I’d love to work for! 

Image

The post that caught my eye today was on the most basic principles of cooking: boiling an egg, how to make French toast, the appropriate way to bake a potato…all the little things you feel like you should know, until you step up to the counter to cook. This came at the perfect time; just last night, I found myself craving deviled eggs…and wondering what the process for boiling was. It’s fun little things like this that remind you you’re still a child, after all 🙂

Hope everyone is having a lovely start to the week!

 

What I’m Loving

A little weekly roundup of things that have caught my eye!

1) College Prepster’s Bedroom…and PJ’s!

I just think she’s adorable. Carly recently added this Anthropologie wallpaper to her bedroom wall, and I’m in love with the print, the colour…it’s all good! I wish I could do something similar–but I think the RA’s might frown on wallpaper in a dorm room. 

Image

I do, however, plan on adding some comfy PJs to my fall/winter shopping list. I love that the ones featured here have a long sleeve top and shorts on bottom. Paired in a cute flannel print, they’re the perfect loungewear for cosy mornings spent doing homework and watching Halloween movies. 

2) Fizzy, pretty drinks!

Image

 

Moscato Blueberry Cocktail

Image

The Sarasota…so pretty!

Now that I’m 21, I find the prettiest, sparkliest drinks are catching my eye on Pinterest. My go-to is Moscato with cranberry sierra mist: it’s fizzy, fun, and a pretty pink color! These picks are a little more labor intensive, but they’re all lovely and look delicious! Maybe I’ll play mixologist this weekend. 

3) Reading Plays…

All of the plays. I just found out that auditions for next semester will be in two weeks. The same weekend that my show goes up. Oof. So I have been scrambling to read some new scripts. I’m a big fan of the stuff published by the National theatres of England, Ireland, and Scotland. They’re amazing, and the stuff is new and visceral and a little crazy. All good stuff, and a little outside the box. 

Hope you all have a good weekend! I’ll be spending mine with friends, celebrating the end of a long week, and in rehearsals, of course 🙂

Ode to the Honeycrisp Apple

Image

I am not sure that I can express my delight upon seeing that honeycrisp apples are now in season. I almost keeled over in Walmart when I saw them nestled, gleaming in their sunset-pink glory, amongst the granny smiths and red delicious.

And then I almost keeled over again when I saw the price tag. At $2.00 a pound, these guys are a little outside of my price range, considering I go through about 9 apples a week. (I feel a bit like an addict: “I can do that, I can make that work! I just won’t buy bread this week; yea, that’s a solid trade off, just give me the apples!!!”)

I forewent them for a few days, rationalizing that it’s early in the season and I can always buy more. But upon visiting our local natural grocery the other day (in search of fresh basil. Which no one has. Sigh.), I saw my favorite natural wonder again, sitting in prominent end cap display. And I caved.

The amount that I savor these guys cannot be compared. It’s almost like dessert: I try and enjoy every single bite, relishing the sweetness and crispness that reminds me, yes, autumn is actually here. And I am in love with it.

Here are a I’m excited to try. The common wisdom is to go with cheaper apples when you’re cooking, but I’m interested in trying some desserts with my favorite variety and seeing if I can taste the difference. Now please excuse me while I go delight in my lunch, in which a Honeycrisp features prominently. Happy fall, everyone!

Image

Salted Caramel Apple Handpies from Just a Taste

Image

Crockpot Baked Apples by Skinny Chef

Image

Upside Down Apple Cinnamon Cake by Behind the Curtain (this looks hard, but is made with Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. Life hacks are beautiful.)

What My Coffee Addiction Says About Me

ImageOkay, so “addiction” is probably too strong a word. I don’t know if I can call my usual two cups a day compulsory, at this point. But the truth remains: I am a coffee lover.  My go-to cup is dark, dark roast (Sumatra from Starbucks is my usual) with vanilla creamer at home. But when I go to the coffee shop, my tastes are constantly evolving.

I love this article from Levo League about what your typical drink says about you! I think I’ve moved through most of these options.  When I first started Starbucksing, around 7th grade, frappucinos were the only way to go (God, when I think back to all of those venti java chip fraps I consumed…oof. Good thing I had something resembling a metabolism.)  Then, as I transitioned into a more demanding high school career, white chocolate mochas provided my sweet fix with a little extra coffee jolt. And then I began my healthy revolution. This curbed my sweet coffee addiction a little bit; I transitioned into the world of the skinny and sugar-free lattes, where I still return from time to time (I’m so, so excited for my first Cinnamon Dolce latte of the fall!)

This summer, I’ve gone even more purist: in the blazingly hot days of running from work to workouts, my little energy jolt was usually an iced coffee with a bit of skim milk and a touch of Splenda. Sweet without the calories, and an energy jolt to boot! 

Of the profiles listed on Levo League, I think the vanilla latte description fits me best:

Image

Skinny Vanilla Latte: You’re classic, but you like to have fun. You know what you like, and you’ve been drinking it for years. Sure, you’ll try out the season’s “must-wear” fashions, but you’ll mix them sparingly with your tried-and-true investment pieces. If it’s not broken, why fix it? Building and maintaining personal relationships is one of your strengths, so it was a no-brainer for you to manage your company’s external communications.

What does your drink say about you?

The Healthiest Ways to Start Your Day

I am a great believer in breakfast. It’s almost like a belief system.  Because I tend to eat smaller dinners, by the time my alarm clock goes off in the AM I am starving, so I usually tend to try and do something a little more special with my first meal of the day.  As my boyfriend found out when he suggested skipping breakfast in favor of a big lunch, I don’t do well when forced to skip out on an energy boost to my day.  Extra perks: it’s a moment of quiet time before jumping into a morning full of crazy. I like nothing more to sit with my cup of coffee and ease my way into the stress of the day. Here are some healthy and quick options to get you started!

My Go-To’s: sometimes, you don’t have a half hour to luxuriate over brunch.  On busy mornings, I have a few meals that I can throw together in a pinch and without a lot of thought–a good idea when I’m just as likely to pour milk into my coffee as into my cereal.

-Whole wheat toast with peanut butter and half a banana
-A cup of rice chex with milk and halved strawberries
-Danon Light n’ Fit vanilla yogurt with cinnamon Life cereal, berries, and banana
-Whole wheat English muffin with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and an apple
-Raspberry Faje greek yogurt with a little bit of Special K Chocolatey Delight cereal

When to Indulge: indulgent does it have to mean caloric! Here are some healthy options that take a little more time to cook, but provide a delicious and nutritious start.

Image

Vegan Banana oatmeal pancakes from Colorful Palette.

These are the easiest healthy pancakes I’ve found. Plus: they’re made from items you can find in your kitchen! No random flax or hemp seeds here.

Power Muffins with Yogurt, Blueberries and Oats from Domesticated Academic

muffin2-small

Another easy breasy beautiful recipes.  These are easily portable, too, meaning you can take them for snacks or lunch!

Healthy Greek Yogurt Lemon Blueberry Pancakes from My Recipe Magic

1375527357_healthy_greek_yogurt_lemon_blueberry_pancakes

Usually, interesting flavor combos in pancakes equals an unhealthy mix of sugars and carbs.  Not with these guys.  Anything lemon is an instant hit with me!

Good for Your Soul Choices: Sometimes, you gotta live a little.

Several Cinnamon Roll Recipes from the Pioneer Woman

333323997_04bd8d6c53

Though I may stray a little, I always come back to Ree Drummond for delicious recipes with great directions. All of these are decadent, creamy, rich, and will probably change your life.

Lemon Blueberry Drizzle Bread from Good Life Eats

Lemon-Blueberry-Bread-001

I made this this summer, and it was an instant family classic. Remember my love of lemon? It comes back full force with this guy.

Apple Cinnamon Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal from the Yummy Life

1540594

This one is the perfect start to a chilly fall morning. Instant plus: you don’t have to wake up and get it going! And the delicious smells will be redolent in your apartment/home all night long.