monthly roundup no. 4: july 2017

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I refuse to accept that this is the last Friday in July. Summer is slipping through my fingers and I’m not here for it! It’s been so busy around here that I haven’t even made it to the beach once, which is a great tragedy. (Even more so¬†considering that Dani and I stumbled upon a small beach in the middle of the park near our apartment.) As we start to lean in to the last month of summer, a lot of the articles I’ve tucked away for this month focus on relaxing, focusing on the moment, and enjoying the warmth of the sun!

I Can’t Hide What Stress Does to My Body: As another person who suffers from RBF (resting bitch face,) I feel her pain. Most of the time, there’s nothing wrong – it’s just how my face is. But beyond that, I’m grateful to hear someone else’s story of how their stress and anxiety takes a toll on their body. A fun new symptom that I’ve developed over the last year is that in times of high stress, I break out in hives all over my body. Most of the time, it’s not that noticeable, as long as I’m not giving in to the screaming itchiness. But a lot of people who don’t suffer from anxiety might argue that it’s all mental, and Meredith and I (and, apparently, Demi Moore) are here to tell you that that’s most certainly not the case.

6 Easy Things to Do On Sunday to Improve Your Week: I’m really trying to make Sundays a day of intention and preparation for the week ahead. Even things as small as looking ahead at my weekly calendar have been escaping me, which means deadlines and appointments are coming up more quickly than I’m used to. Making a list for Monday is also a great task – as an ISTJ, I thrive on checking things off a to-do, so this will help my morning feel more controlled.

I Skeptically Tried Practicing Gratitude and it Completely Changed My Life: Over the years, I’ve tried off and on to focus on gratitude to help with my mental health. Since starting to use the Best Self journal (which includes morning and evening reflections on gratitude), it’s even easier to add this to my daily routine. This article is interesting because I always love to hear the science and psychology behind why these seemingly “new-agey” philosophies pay off.

7 Ways to Relieve Stress That Every 20-Something Should Try: I mean, I’m going to ignore the elephant here and pretend I’m still the target for this post. Obviously, I’m always looking for ways to cut down on stress and anxiety, and there are some new strategies here I look forward to trying.

Summertime Hygge (How to Achieve a New Kind of Cozy): I love hygge, so any excuse to practice it year-round works for me. We started by picking up some flowers on our grocery shop the other day, and I constantly have candles flickering everywhere. Summer is also a great time to purge and clean out your closets – our poor office looks like it’s been hit by a hurricane since I’m categorizing and organizing in there.

30 Day Summer Self-Love Challenge: Haley has a lot of great tips to put yourself first here, which will even help you continue to make time to enjoy the summer. Turning your phone off 30 minutes (or more) before bed not only helps you sleep better but even helps create more time in your day for things like reading or journaling. If you need a suggestion, pulling from another of her challenges, the poetry book milk & honey was my favorite book of 2016.

How to Create a Personal Development Plan: This post from Natalie Bacon couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve been feeling a bit lost, unfocused, and distracted lately. I’m booking out some time this weekend to work through this and use it to help work toward my 13-week goals in the Best Self journal.

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