IMG_0639 I hope everyone has had a wonderful Monday! To be honest, I love Mondays because it is a fresh start to a new week. We are given the opportunity to “start over” and make the week what we want it to be. Since I’m in the culinary field, I don’t really get weekends off anymore so your Monday after a lovely, relaxing-filled weekend may seem a little different than mine. However, make today and this week about you and what you need to be successful and happy.

The older I get, the more I realize how difficult it can be to love yourself. The question is why? Do we automatically have higher expectations for ourselves? Do we take things too seriously? Do we view life as something too complicated? I think all questions can be answered with “yes.” I know that for me, my expectations are oftentimes too high. Whether it is at work, at school, with my social life, at the gym, etc. I always perceive things to be more difficult or complicated than what they really are. Stressing and fretting over the most minor things possible destroys my content-ness with myself. Self hate is the worst thing we can do. Belittling ourselves and breaking our own spirits won’t help us thrive in any way. I know people who do this to themselves every day. It doesn’t matter what you say to them, they are going to think what they want to think about life and about themselves. It will only take self love and appreciation to break free from the self destruction.

I think the best way to start appreciating and loving yourself is to do something positive for yourself. Take time out of your busy schedule to find your center and happy place. Whether that be sitting in silence for 10 minutes, going for a run, cooking a healthy meal, getting a good night’s rest, taking your dog for a walk, or reading a couple chapters out of a good book, all of these things can help you find peace and feel content. I promise you- it does work! Self love is a lot more fun than self hate. We all have something wonderful to offer life. We are all unique and so incredibly special and until we realize our accomplishments and talents, we won’t be able to relax. A few months ago I noticed I was having anxiety and didn’t know what the real cause or issue was. I went to the doctor and was prescribed something to help me relax when I felt the anxiety come on, but I hate taking any medicine, especially something that alters how I should feel. I figured I would go about it the natural way and so I did. I had to figure out what it was that was giving me anxiety and to be honest, it was me perceiving situations to be much greater than what they really were. In addition, I had been going through some personal struggles which added fuel to the fire. The point is, it was important for me to be honest with myself on what the real issues were rather than cover it all up with 10 milligrams of some medication I can’t even pronounce.

Sometimes when I’m going through hard times or struggles, I tell myself that it will all pass with time and it will only makes me a stronger person. I feel in my heart that I am a stronger person than who I was a year ago. I may be lame but I have a quote from Michael Jordan on my laptop desktop. It says “If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” My “wall” might not be a strong basketball game, but I’ve been learning how to get around my own set of challenges. Well, that’s my preaching for the evening. I hope everyone has a fabulous week- love yourself and be happy!

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