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Valentine’s Day is Coming Up Quickly!

What does Valentine’s Day really mean? A critic might say that it is only a day for couples to spend more money to show superficial tokens of their love. While this may be true for some, Valentine’s Day can carry great opportunity, if we let it!

Greeting Card Holiday or more than that? While many of us think Valentine’s Day is a recently made-up holiday, it actually has its roots in ancient Roman tradition, stemming from stories of Saint Valentine, who wrote a letter to the woman he loved on the day he died, signed “your Valentine.” Eventually, the saint’s memory was mixed in with a Roman holiday, Lupercalia, when the church decided to turn this festival into a Christian holiday to be celebrated as well.


The day is typically known as a celebration for couples in love. However, over recent years, more and more people have recognised the fact that love comes in many different vessels.


All types of love deserve to be celebrated on this day! So, here are a few ways for everyone to celebrate this week.

 

  1. Get some furry cuddles! We’re talking about going to a dog park, getting some tea in a cat cafe, or even “borrow” someone else’s pet for a few hours! Release some extra endorphins and share the love with a furry friend.


  1. Volunteer: Share some love where it’s needed. Even if you’re feeling a bit lonely this Valentine’s Day, it is important for us to remember how fortunate we are and that there are always others who could use our help every now and again.


  1. Celebrate “Galentine’s Day” on February 13th: A day for ladies to celebrate other ladies! We all know we could use one another’s love and support a little more often.


  1. Draw it: Physically mapping out each meaningful relationship in our lives can help us to see how truly surrounded we are by love in its many forms- and show us that we have many reasons to celebrate!


  1. Practice more self-love. True self love is unconditional care and acceptance for ourselves, no matter where we are in our lives. There are hundreds of ways we can all work on this every single day. What is one that you could start on this week?


Be sure to share your favourite Valentine’s Day ideas, memories, tips, or wishes today! We could all use a little more love in our lives, this week and every week.


Happy sharing the love,


Sam

 

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Keeping the Motivation up!

1 year ago by SamMix

Keeping the Motivation up!

It tends to feel a bit more grey, cold, and even a bit more dreary when we get into the beginning of February. After the winter holiday and new-years spike in excitement, we can often feel a dragging in our energy, our motivation, and even our patience coming into February.

 
 

We can all stave off the February slump by sharing our coping mechanisms, our self-care tips, and the things that keep us going. By sharing with one another, we not only have the potential to help others, but we can also learn from ourselves by solidifying our thoughts and actions into words!



So, let’s get started. What can we do to keep our spirits up this month?


  1. Changing up our wardrobe! Adding even one item to our wardrobe can help to put a little spring in our step. How we think about how we look can really make a difference in how we feel!


  1. Trying a new activity. By changing up our routine and adding a bit of newness into our lives, we invite ourselves to learn and rediscover what we love. We learn new parts of ourselves while remembering our old passions we may have forgotten or put away briefly.


  1. Scheduling some me-time! Self care is often the first to go when we need it most. When we get busy, we forget to do the very things that really keep us going. Taking that walk, reading that book, or even taking that bath can really make all the difference in how we treat ourselves in our day-to-day interactions. When we feel rested and rejuvenated, we can work from places of abundance, rather than exhaustion.


  1. Three positives of every day. Making even a short list of three things that we did well after every day can shift the way we think about our work, our impact, and our value. Finding the positives and highlighting them, even to ourselves, can give us more energy for upcoming tasks.


  1. Focusing on the here and now. It is often much easier for us to think about what’s coming next than to actually be in and enjoy what’s happening around us right now. Reminding ourselves to come back and see the joy in the present can change our outlook on our lives.


Share your best motivational, self-care tips with us today! You never know who might learn from you and who you might be able to learn from!


Happy growing,


Sam




Photo by Johnson Wang on Unsplash

 

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As Veganuary comes to a close…

1 year ago by SamMix

As Veganuary comes to a close…

While many of us did not know Veganuary existed until this month, this new “holiday” has definitely brought many discussions, disagreements, and conversations with it.

 
 
 
 

Whether you choose to follow a vegan diet or a carnivorous one, there are benefits to opting for a more vegan lifestyle. Benefits such as saving water, being more environmentally sound, helping to reduce the rates of heart disease, obesity, cancer, and chronic illnesses can have immense impacts on our lives.


While these many benefits should not be ignored, many who preach a vegan lifestyle can overlook the realities of what it can cost to change diet. Veganism can, at times, be more expensive and less inclusive of cultural values and traditions. There are medical conditions that also exclude many people from partaking in this specific type of diet.


With diet, like any decision, it’s important that we be realistic with ourselves and others. No matter our choices on diet, we must remember that each human body is different and our choices will reflect that. While our differences are important, we can also remember to make choices to reflect the kind of society we want to live in each and every day.


How can we all be more sustainable in our diets?


  1. Shopping locally! Buying the food that was grown and produced closer to our homes not only helps our bodies keep in line with the environment and seasons around us, it also helps to reduce transportation pollution, while also ensuring we get fresher food!


  1. Reducing waste. By choosing products without packaging at all, we can help to reduce  unnecessary materials that will only end up in landfills. Choosing products with more sustainable packaging such as glass or repurposed materials can be a step in the right direction. Here are some amazing tips for shopping with less waste!


  1. Opting for organic. Reducing the amounts of pesticides in the food we eat not only helps our bodies, but also reduces the amounts of toxins that go into our earth and our water.


  1. Minimise meat and animal products. Not all of us need to be completely vegan, however, our diets should ideally be plant-centered.


  1. Choose fish carefully. Many fish species are not only becoming more toxic to humans, they are also in danger of being overfished. When we select our fish, we can check this list just to be sure!


  1. Less processed, more real. Processed foods are not only harmful for our health, but they also take more water, energy, and waste to produce. By cutting out processed foods and opting for more natural alternatives, we are supporting our health along with the environment!


  1. Sharing your knowledge. If you have any tips, tricks, or information that you use when shopping, be sure to let others know! You could help others save money, live healthier, and make more sustainable decisions!


Be sure to share your thoughts on Veganuary and sustainable food choices with us today!


Happy sharing,


Sam







Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

 

Re-aligning our achievements in 2018...

Each day that we wake up, we have the opportunity to take advantage of the day before us, or not. How we feel about ourselves, our lives, and what lies ahead can make all the difference in whether we move forward with positivity or negativity. So, let’s choose the former in this year more often than not and see how far it takes us!

 

 

How can we begin to do more in order to feel 'accomplished' this year?  
 

  1. Defining what “accomplished” means to us, personally. Success and accomplishments mean completely different things to each and every one of us. When we sit down and allow ourselves to define these terms according to our own values and lives, we can more clearly understand how our own defintion may differ to those of our family, friends, and loved ones.


  1. Ensuring that our goals truly serve us. Looking at our goals from an outside perspective and asking ourselves why we have chosen the goals we have can help us to understand whether our ambitions are truly for ourselves or if they are driven by outside forces. Digging a bit deeper can help to clarify where our intentions truly lie: are they to serve our growth or to serve the wishes of others?


  1. Taking note of the “little” things. Whether it’s doing the dishes or clearing out your email inbox, these small tasks can help to declutter our minds and set us up for success. It’s important we remember to show ourselves gratitude, no matter how small the task may seem.


  1. Taking a look back. Whether it be to last week or ten years ago, remembering how far we’ve come and how much we’ve changed, learned, and grown can help us to understand where we find ourselves now a little bit better.


  1. Being kind to ourselves. When we feel we haven’t accomplished what we set out to or that we’ve fallen short, it can be easy to beat ourselves up. Instead of pushing ourselves down, we must remember that we can be our very best cheerleader, inspiration, and motivation. We know ourselves best and we should love ourselves the hardest. Being kind to ourselves in moments of negativity can help us get there.


Share your ideas of what success and achievement mean for you this year, and even how you will get there! We can’t wait to hear from you!



Happy sharing!


Sam


Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash

Remain calm, it’s only a new year

We can’t believe it’s already mid-January! With this new year still in its beginning stages, we think it’s the perfect opportunity to set ourselves up for success later on. One of the things most of us struggle with nowadays is how stressful our lives can be.

No matter how careful we may be, stress is an inherent part of life, for each of us. While low levels of stress can be helpful and expected, most modern lives are now filled with higher and higher rates of stress. This can not only be uncomfortable, but stress can have serious mental and physical consequences.


So, this year, let’s set our sights on tackling our stress levels, one day at a time.



  1. Breaking the momentum. When we find ourselves particularly stressed-out, it can really help to completely change the environment or situation we find ourselves in. Taking a walk outside, watching a funny video, or even leaving to get a cup of tea can help to shift our minds into a different state, allowing us space to come up with even better solutions and reactions.


  1. Identifying the main problems. It is not uncommon for us to have many points of stress throughout our days. If we can begin to focus on the primary causes of stress, we can begin to put techniques in place to change our response to these triggers.


  1. Breathe. We know, it can sound cliche, but it really does work. Taking deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth, deeper each time sends a message to our brains that we are safe and that it is time to calm down.


  1. Trying some adaptogens (and other natural remedies.) These herbs support the body’s adrenal functions, while helping to lower our response to the stress hormone, cortisol. While these herbs are natural and can be beneficial on many levels, they are used medicinally and should ideally be taken in consultation with a doctor.


  1. Finding some outside help. There are numerous ways to find counseling, therapy, and any other type of support we might need when our stress, anxiety, or problems seem a bit too big to face alone. Be sure to talk to a GP if you’re in need of some extra support.


  1. Use the 4 As: Avoid, Alter, Adapt, and Accept. Learning how to say no to things we don’t need, making changes to the behaviour that does not help us, practicing gratitude, and accepting what we cannot change are only a few of the techniques to use in this framework that can make all the difference!


  1. Tuning in to our bodies. Taking a few minutes each day to be still and focus on how our bodies are feeling can help us to make note of any habits that might need changing to make us feel better. This can remind us to get some more sleep, eat a few more veggies, move our bodies more, and to let our bodies relax more. Listening to our bodies can help us to change how we feel and how we live our lives.


There are many ways to reduce our stress levels and it is important to remember that what works for one body many not work for another. So, having patience with ourselves and finding what works for our individual lives is key! Trying to create more stress-free moments in our lives is a great way of showing ourselves love in this new year.


Be sure to share your tips, tricks, and any stress-free goals for 2018 in the comments below! We can’t wait to hear your voices and share more with you, each day.



Happy sharing,


Sam



Photo by Andrew Loke on Unsplash

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Digging Deep Into This New Year!

1 year ago by SamMix

Digging Deep Into This New Year!

Happy 2018! It seems the constant question around a new year is about our resolutions. What will our new year look like? How will we accomplish it? Will we succeed or fall short? This week is the perfect time to take a step back and look at our year through a lense of reality and optimism!

 

Whether you are a habitual new-year resolution maker, you make new resolutions throughout the year, or you’ve never made any resolutions before, the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to get our hands dirty and reflect upon what it is we want to accomplish and experience throughout this new time.


Our intentions can help to shape our outcomes. How we think about ourselves and our abilities can truly make a difference in what we will do. Having a goal in mind can help us to focus on energy and decisions in the direction we would like to move.


So, how can we start?


  1. Reflecting. We cannot begin to move forward if we do not learn from our past. A new year is full of beginnings, but it is also rife with important endings. There are many, basic ways to begin reflecting. Try asking yourself “what? so what? and now-what?”


  1. Starting fresh. Whatever is holding us back from completely moving into the new year should be allotted some attention, now. Physical baggage or emotional, let’s clear it all out so that we can create some space for what is to come in 2018.


  1. Structuring for success. Whether it being creating a new calendar, changing our schedule around,


  1. Writing it all down. Putting our thoughts into words and putting those words onto physical paper can make them more real and even more tangible.


  1. Thinking big, then getting specific. Starting with our end goals, which could be massive or very achievable, and then tapering down into smaller, stepping stones can help us feel less overwhelmed and more inspired by what we have set our to accomplish!


  1. Paying more attention to what makes us happy. Whatever it might be, even in the little moments, the things that make us happy are well worth listening to. This year, we can begin to center our lives around what brings us joy, more than ever before.


  1. Remembering gratitude. While there is much to look forward to and strive for in this year, it is also important to remember just how far we’ve come. We would not be standing where we are now without each and every misstep, mistake, or hurdle. Remembering to appreciate our journey and ourselves can help to remind us of how strong we truly are.



So, however we feel about creating a new-year resolution, we can all do our best to be more intentional about how we will move forward into this year. We can support others while holding ourselves accountable by sharing our ideas, plans, and any tips or tricks!


Let’s learn to be more ourselves than ever in this year, together. Share your 2018 plans and ambitions in the comments below!


Happy growing,


Sam



Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

Self-care reminders as the weather gets colder

While the astronomical winter season does not technically begin until December 21st, for many of us, this week has brought about the cool reminder that winter is indeed coming in the near future. The end of Autumn is the perfect time for taking a little extra care of ourselves as the weather gets colder and the days feel shorter.

The colder months may be magical for some, many others find the dark, colder weather more of a battle than a blessing. Aside from moving to a warmer climate, there is not much we can change about the weather, however, we can change how we react and feel about this winter.


Everyone has their own winter-survival tips, so here are just a few to get started, spark some inspiration, or add to your arsenal!


  1. Taking advantage of the light. As our daylight seems to disappear a bit more each day, it can be important for us to take advantage when the sun is shining. Whether we look out the window during our morning commute instead of looking at our phone or take a moment during a lunch break, letting a little more light in can help ease the transition.


  1. Trying some morning affirmations. Much like when we start a project, having a goal or an intention in mind from the beginning can help us to focus our day in the direction we choose. For some inspiration, take a look here!


  1. Try some eucalyptus in the bathroom. In addition to adding a little friendly green to the room, this plant can improve air quality, and absorb moisture. Steam from the shower also activates the essential oils in eucalyptus, helping to clear lungs, alleviate pain, reduce stress, and improve mood!


  1. Going on more walks. Walking in cold weather has many mental and physical benefits, from helping sleep patterns, improving energy levels, reducing inflammation, and helping to fight infection.


  1. Ward off the sniffles. There are many habits that help our bodies fight off unwanted germs, so let’s get them started before the coughs begin! Take a look here for some great tips.


  1. Hibernate, when needed. Whether we notice or not, the seasons tend to impact our natural sleeping patterns, so understanding our needs and planning accordingly can have a tremendous impact on how we feel this winter!


  1. Being gentle with ourselves. When motivation might be lacking and all we want is to stay in bed, sometimes it can be much more useful to allow ourselves a little extra time than to force ourselves out. Listening to our needs is often more important than that email or train schedule.


  1. Getting cozy! Creating a space in our homes where we can relax, unwind, keep warm, and do something we enjoy can create something we look forward to while also helping to keep us feeling safe and happy. So, let’s grab some blankets, a tea, and a good book and snuggle in.



Be sure to share your favourite tips, tricks, and traditions for colder weather in the comments below.



Stay cozy and happy sharing!


Sam


Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

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Let’s talk about happiness

1 year ago by SamMix

Let’s talk about happiness

Monday is International Day of Happiness, which is definitely something to celebrate! Even if it requires a little extra thought now and again, we can all think of something that makes us happy and something that brings us joy. This week is the perfect opportunity to look into what sparks happiness for us and think about how to bring even more of it into our lives!

The term “happiness” is something we tend to use a lot, assuming that everyone has some level of happiness and that we all feel the same way about our own happiness. However, if we look a little deeper, what it means to be happy and how important this is, can vary widely from person to person.


When we talk about being happy, we are often thinking about the larger sense of being at peace and thinking positively about our lives at large. We can often mix happiness with joy, thinking these two are the same. While happiness can be a symptom or a sign of joy, the two are not completely the same. Happiness can be fleeting and dependent upon external factors, such as money, people, or material possessions. Joy is an overarching mindset of well-being, without being to be overtly “happy” in each moment. Joy includes all aspects of life, including the negative parts, without losing a sense of satisfaction in life.


Happiness and joy are not merely states of mind. How we feel about our own happiness directly impacts our mental and physical wellbeing. Our health can largely depend upon how content, safe, and joyful we feel in our daily lives.

Happiness is not only a result of how we’re living our lives, but it is also a driving force in motivating us to better ourselves and live the lives we’ve envisioned. There are always spaces for us to improve, to help others as well as ourselves in bringing a little more happiness into our lives.


So, what can we do to cultivate more joy on a day to day basis?


  1. Spending a little more time outside. Even just a few extra minutes outside can make all the difference for our physical body and mental clarity. Just going for a short walk can improve our mood and boost our sense of happiness, quickly and effectively.


  1. Getting some extra sleep. When we sleep, we give our bodies and minds time to recover. Sleep can often widen our capacity for patience as well as helping us to be less reactive to negative emotions. Sleep helps us to be more resilient, which is essential in cultivating joy!


  1. Returning to gratitude. Whenever any negative thoughts or frustrations come to us, remembering what we are grateful for is a perfect way to remind us of how much we have to be happy for in our lives.


  1. Add in some more nutrients. Focusing on our physical health dramatically impacts how we feel about ourselves and our happiness at large. Small changes can make a huge difference.


  1. Listening to ourselves. Whether that means we need to do a little less on a Monday or push ourselves to do a little bit extra, we know what is best for ourselves and what we need in our lives. We can all do a better job of listening to those signals.


  1. Find some furry friends! It has been proven that spending time with and petting animals releases oxytocin (the warm, fuzzy feeling) into our bodies, making us feel happier and more at peace.


  1. Sharing with others. Connecting with friends and family helps us to build a stronger sense of community, attachment, and belonging. Being around those who love and support us is an easy way to feel happiness and share that happiness with others!



What does happiness look like to you? Share your thoughts, experiences, and ideas below!



Happy sharing!


Sam



Photo by Delaney Dawson on Unsplash

Let’s Bring a Little More Kindness

There are many things that can appear to set us apart as individuals, but one thing that has the ability to connect and bring us together is our desire for kindness. As humans, we all want to be shown compassion, understanding, and forms of love. We want to be able to help others where we can and bring positivity to the work we are doing in the world.


Monday is World Kindness Day and we can’t get enough of how wonderful our community can be! Over 50% of people told us they perform some type of kind act each day! Now is the perfect time to bring our attention to how much kindness we bring to ourselves and to others. We can all begin to mark this day by bringing a little more care and understanding into our weekend!

There are many ways to show kindness to ourselves, to those we love, stranger, animals, and even to our environment. How you go about these small (or large) acts of kindness depends upon you! Get creative and spread some warmth wherever you can throughout this coming week!


So, what are some things we can do this week?


  1. Showing gratitude. It can often be easy to forget those who help and support us on a regular basis. Reminding them how much their care and work matters can be a meaningful way of showing kindness.


  1. Random acts. This is the creative (and fun) bit! Finding a few ways that could make someone’s day much brighter, like buying the next person’s coffee, train ticket, or lunch, holding the door open for a few minutes, give the parking space to someone else, the choices are endless! Try making life a little easier for a few people each day and see how it feels.


  1. Show yourself a little extra kindness. When we work from an empty cup, we can’t possibly help others in the most honest or caring way. When we look after ourselves, we allow ourselves the ability to make decisions out of abundance and desire rather than obligation.


  1. Try taking care of a plant. Plants have the incredible ability to bring out the nurturer in each of us, while also cleansing and calming the spaces they are in. When we care for plants, we also care for ourselves.


  1. Going the extra mile. In whatever we are doing, we can choose to do mediocre work or we can choose to shine. Choosing one area that could use a little extra attention and care can help us feel more fulfilled while also achieving a goal!


  1. Eating (and sharing) some nourishing food. Filling your body with food that is nutritious, while also being comforting is a great act of kindness to yourself. Sharing this food with others can be much greater.


  1. Support animal welfare in some way. Whether that’s through donating time or goods to a local animal shelter, eating vegetarian for a day, or just cuddling our own pets a little longer, they will most likely appreciate the effort!


  1. Reaching out to someone who might be struggling. Whether it’s through a text, call, letter, email, or an in-person visit, remembering to show a little extra love to those going through a tough time can make all the difference.




Share your experiences and ideas for showing a little extra kindness this weekend in the comments below! We can’t wait to hear from you!


Happy sharing,


Sam






Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

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It’s Poppy Season

1 year ago by SamMix

It’s Poppy Season

It’s that time of year again, where many of us devote a little time and attention into paying tribute to those who have given their lives within the armed forces. There seems to be more and more debate surrounding whether or not we should wear a poppy for remembrance day and what exactly this symbol means.  

The poppy symbol seems to be of increasing contention, as the opinion that the symbol serves to glorify war and violence has gained some traction, along with the idea of wearing a white poppy to promote peace. This alternative poppy, while promoting peace in theory, has not been without controversy.


These mixed opinions are shown in this year’s poppy appeal. According to Consumer Intelligence research, one in five adults are unlikely to wear a poppy this year, but a third of the population say they will be giving more to support The Royal British Legion appeal.


So, how can we bridge the divide this year?


  1. Listen to alternative opinions. Going a little deeper past hearing only to prepare our argument, active listening allows us time to truly absorb and understand what another person is saying.


  1. Share our experiences. Telling and showing others parts of our past, our history, and what makes us who we are helps us to understand ourselves better while also helping others to understand us.


  1. Fostering a mindset of understanding. When we change our goals from making everyone agree with us to having a better understanding of the people and world around us, opinions and actions become much less hostile.


  1. Appreciating our similarities. Regardless of where we are from, what we think, or even who we are, it can be important to remember how alike we are and how close we are as humans on this earth together.


  1. Not taking opinions personally. This month, we can do our best to take a step back and realise that the actions and words of others rarely, if ever, have anything to do with us in actuality. Most often, they are only reflections of how others are feeling and thinking. When we take things less personally, the world can open up for us.


  1. Showing compassion. We never know what those around us are facing, so we can all do our best to bring as much compassion to our interactions with others. A little truly goes a long way.


Whether you will be wearing a poppy this year or not, there is always an opportunity to show a little extra care and spread a little more understanding for one another. As we can see from The Royal British Legion itself, stating that “There is no right or wrong way to wear a poppy. It is a matter of personal choice whether an individual chooses to wear a poppy and also how they choose to wear it. The best way to wear a poppy is with pride.”


Please share your experiences, thoughts, and ideas on wearing a poppy in the comments below.


Happy sharing,


Sam







Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash