Cold season is upon us with full force! It sucks getting sick and I have definitely spent my fair share of time getting sick and staying sick. In fact, I spent this entire past weekend and half of this week sick with the worst sore throat I’ve had in a long time. It was no fun being stuck in bed or on the couch feeling miserable, particularly because I missed my husband’s birthday! While it sucked missing his birthday, I am recovering faster than I ever have before (read: it used to take me up to 4 weeks to get over a cold when it should take about 1 week). It took me way too many years learning how to deal with colds, so please learn from my mistakes and read the following advice on staying and getting healthy from a cold. Continue reading
Please note, this post discusses a sensitive topic. If you are sensitive to discussing suicide or depression, please take this week off from reading Any Little Way and rejoin us next week. Additionally, this post is NOT advice for someone who is currently going through depression and/or thinking about suicide. This post is for people to connect better and encourage one another, regardless of whether or not they know someone going through depression. If you are slogging through depression or thinking about suicide, please know that you are a beautiful person, no matter what you may think about yourself and to please just keep going one more day and then one more day and then one more day. Never give up. And particularly, GET. HELP. if you need it. In the United States, you can call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255) or you can text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line.
September is Suicide Prevention Month, which is very important. Many of us have a connection to suicide, given that 41,000 people commit suicide every year. This number tends to increase after high publicized suicides, such as after Anthony Bourdain’s and Kate Spade’s deaths this past summer. Their deaths were highlighted even more because this CDC report came out in a gruesome coincidence almost immediately afterward, pointing out how suicide is on the rise. Sadly it seems, more and more of us come face to face with the sadness and loss of a suicide and that’s one of the reasons why it’s important to focus on awareness all year long – and not just after the fact. Continue reading
There have been many, many days when my hair looks like I stuck a finger in an electrical outlet just before leaving the house. Okay, maybe not that bad, but I do have a halo of frizz and years of split ends. As a #lazygirl, I dislike styling my hair every day…or even more frequently than once a month for a deserving occasion, so there’s no way that I’m going to blow dry and flat iron my hair every day or even once a week.
I’m not saying that I’ve figured out how to make my hair look better, but most days it now looks better than it looks worse. Growing up, the aesthetic focus was on being clean instead of being all dolled up, and I was involved in swimming instead of dance. So, each lesson I’ve learned to tame my hair is the result of quite a bit of time on YouTube, Pinterest and Google searches, and in front of the mirror. Many frizzy days were experienced while learning my lessons and hopefully my frizzy lessons can help you reduce your frizzy days without spending a lot of time with a blow dryer or straightening iron. Continue reading
It’s the little things that can make a big difference. So, today is a little post.
Whether you grew up in sports and want to get back in shape or the exercise bug is new to you, it’s hard finding time to work out as an adult. Life happens. Working out is rarely easy and usually only happens if you prioritize it, like really prioritize it. Space abhors a vacuum, so if you have free time, it will get filled…somehow…and chances are it will be the path of least resistance…which probably isn’t working out. Most days, I have to force myself to exercise because it would be oh so easy to go home, walk the dog, and watch Netflix until bed. On the days when I am extra tired, I start with the smallest step. In this case, the smallest step is both literal and figurative: I put on my tennis shoes.
To give credit where credit is due, this smallest step comes from Gretchen Rubin. In her Happiness Project book, Gretchen Rubin shares how her father got her to start running by telling her just to put on her running shoes and close the front door behind her. This was my inspiration for getting back into working out and it works for me.
Personally, as a cheap introvert, I don’t like classes. There are other people and they cost money. Also, my dog needs exercise and attention, so I feel guilty if I work out without him. Ergo, I needed to find another solution: just put on my tennis shoes and walk out the door.
This works whether you get on a treadmill, walk around your neighborhood, do jumping jacks in your living room, dance in your living room, go to the gym, or walk your dog. As long as you put on your tennis shoes, you are more likely to get up and get out. Even on days when I don’t feel like working out, I tell myself just to put on my tennis shoes for 15 to 30 minutes. That’s it. I give myself permission to walk, to take it easy if I want, but that I must put on my tennis shoes and at least get on the treadmill or walk the dog. Invariably, I end up running or exerting myself with pushups/squats/other bodyweight exercises, but I start off with that tiny little step of putting on my tennis shoes and walking out the front door. It’s the smallest, easiest step you and I can take, literally and figuratively.
Until this past February, sugar (and especially chocolate) have been my Achilles’ heel. That’s when I stopped eating all cakes, candies, pastries, cookies, and extra sugar…cold turkey. It was possibly one of the harder things, but also probably one of the best. Now, I still eat desserts occasionally, though my exceptions are very limited. No store-bought desserts. No pastries. No frosting. Only homemade desserts, ice cream, and high-quality chocolate. Prior to February, I would’ve called myself crazy and certainly didn’t imagine a future without the amazing goodness of sugar. So why would I do this to myself?
It all started because I chose to give up sugar for Lent…and then chose to keep that going. This started out as a 40-day experiment that worked out really well and I ultimately decided that it was best for me to continue abstaining. This choice is not for everyone – just like vegetarianism isn’t for everyone – and you have to choose your own path. That said, giving up sugar and desserts has been so good for me. Continue reading