Mindful Living: Burning Out

Image of Bugs Bunny from Looney Toons

I didn’t think I would feel the kind of tired I do now for a long while. In the back of my mind I knew being a teacher is tiring. But when I faced it before, like in college, I just shrugged it off and kept chugging along.

I sleep when I need to, eat as healthy as I can, and even regularly do some semblance of exercise. Yet here I am. . . exhausted and ready to sleep a whole week.

When stuck in the moment I wonder to myself, “How did this happen? I thought everything was alright?” Now, my burnout symptoms have crept up on me like a fiendish specter.

Here are the general steps to reaching a burnout. (Steps I hopefully noticed before it is too late.)

Has this happened to you? If you are not quite sure, here are some signs you might be at your limit. Burnt out. Ready to throw in the towel. . . etc. . . . etc. . . etc.

  1. Exhaustion- feeling you could sleep at least twelve hours and still not catch up.
  2. Isolation- Being sick of people and wanting only to be alone.
  3. Depression- Emotions have overwhelmed you to the breaking point.
  4. Dreading Work or Responsibilities- Even the thought of having to take on any work creates great anxiety.
  5. Irritability- Being easily overcome by anger or annoyance at the smallest things.
  6. Trouble Sleeping- Though the exhaustion has piled up, the brain takes too long to shut down and rest.

I actually think this list could go on for a long while. Each of us suffer differently when overwhelmingly exhausted. For me, I thankfully am able to sleep and function somewhat normally despite how much mental strain I’m under. But I recognize I could be in serious trouble if I’m not careful.

So, what do I do now? What does anyone do in this type of situation? I think it is vitally important to early on draw the line of how much you can take on. It is absolutely possible to be TOO BUSY. ALL THE TIME. Take breaks. Say no when you need to. Your health IS important and it does no one any good to sacrifice yourself needlessly for simple busy work.

Mindfulness and meditation are also key to catching ourselves before our exhaustion has gone too far. The more in tune we are to our emotions daily, the better we become at controlling and truly experiencing them.

For myself, I’ll soon be going on spring break. I’ll get a massage, go to the temple, read a lot, watch some shows, do some research, and go to yoga as much as I can. More than anything I’ll simple sit and do nothing blissfully and sincerely.

If there are any of you experiencing this, I wish you the best of luck! May we all stay healthy and in tune with our limitations.

Mindful Living: I Refuse to have a bad day!

Image via Ambitiously Cierra, Turning Around a Bad Day

I remember once upon a time my mother reading to me a book “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”. When I was a child I couldn’t understand why Alexander was so obsessed with only noticing the bad things happening to him. Perhaps I was still at the age when this was easy. If there is such an age.

Now, as an adult, I can relate to Alexander. It is SOOOO easy to have one or more bad things ruin what could be a perfectly wonderful or ordinary day. For example, yesterday I woke up tired because of daylight savings, just to find myself locked out of my computer when I got to work, “ruining” my lesson plan I had for first period.

I felt so frustrated and at a loss of how to combat the bad feeling I had. When I walked out of another teacher’s classroom, a substitute laptop in hand, I thought to myself, “Am I just going to have a bad day then?”

A far more striking thought entered my mind at that point. I thought, “Only if I let it happen. It’s all up to me and where my focus is.”

I kept that in mind throughout the day and eventually broke out of my slump. But it took a lot of work.

Building a positive mindset is NOT EASY. It’s almost as if we lead our natural emotions like a wild animal away from violent or brash behavior.

What it comes down to is daily mindfulness. It’s easy to give in and believe life is a series of terrible events. Every human being struggles against something. No one has escaped sorrow, anger, or making mistakes.

But it is as Viktor Frank once said.

I think it also matters a great deal what direction we ultimately WANT to go. And, if we find ourselves veering away from our goals and facing cloudy days, we need a way to pull back.

After I stopped and thought about how I wanted my day to go, I went into my classroom and noticed how beautifully the light shone through my window. I took a deep breath, as if drawing in its beauty into myself like liquid courage.

I am in no way a saint when it comes to this. There are times when I get frustrated, emotional, and even scared. But I hope I can draw myself back and believe life is more than just unhappy events.

If I’m not careful, I’ll miss beautiful moments of light, humor, and joy.

Thanks for reading! See you again!

Mindful Living: My First Spa Trip

Pictures of Ten Thousand Waves Spa

First and foremost, I wanted to talk about the amazing trip I had to a Japanese-style spa in Santa Fe. It’s the freshest in my mind because I just got back from it a few days ago.

I’m not sure what you would call a person who loves/admires Japanese culture but… I might be one of them now. This spa was fantastic. The air smelled like cedar or Juniper trees and the buildings looked like a traditional Japanese onsen.

Fun fact about me, I dream about using fancy showers and HUGE bathtubs. Really. It’s the truth. It’s kind of ironic because I hate going to swimming pools.

Ichiban Private Bath

I opted to rent a personal bath with dual bathtubs, a sauna, and a bathing area. Turns out I’m all for big swimming areas if they are heated with wood and I have my privacy. That isn’t to say the Grand Bath was not wonderful. That was great too.

I thought I would not be able to use up the hour and thirty minutes I paid for, but I drank it up! It was so relaxing bathing without phones or work taking up my time. It was one of the best hours I’ve ever had.

They had delicious smelling shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and body soap that reminded me of my childhood cutting wood with my family. (You better believe I bought some.)

My love for bathing luxuriously alone aside, I also booked a CBD massage and discovered how glorious massages are! I’ve made a wonderful decision for myself. I’m going to get a massage every month as long as my budget allows me. (I’ll even pull from my book budget to make it happen!)

So, I wanted to mention this trip because I’ve discovered how important it is to take care of my mental health. To do that, I need amenities like this, where I go out of my way to do things I love. I ENJOY using fancy baths. I love getting massages. So, it is not a waste of money to do it.

I used to think it was because I save and budget my money like crazy. I feel guilty if I spend money unnecessarily. REALLY guilty. But that isn’t a good mindset to have, especially if there are certain things I love to do and experience.

I once took a small budgeting class where the teacher point-blank told us she didn’t care how we spent our money. However, it’s important to name one’s three top priorities and budget around those priorities.

I’ll talk about this particular topic on a different day, but I brought it up to show there is nothing shameful or immature about taking time and money to enjoy what we love.

Thank you for reading! See you next time.

-The Amazing Aubrey Moore

Mindful Living: Introduction

Image via Burningnight

As I’ve pondered what to start writing next, I realized I haven’t talked very much about my goals and ambitions for my physical and mental wellbeing. I’ve made quite a few adjustments throughout the last few months that are worth exploring.

I know there are many people who’ve tried making goals or striven to find little things in their lives they could change to benefit themselves and others. For me, it’s not easy. But as I’ve made necessary changes I’ve noticed subtle positive movements in how I feel about myself.

Before starting my other posts, please know these goals were fine-tuned for me. Not everyone will probably identify with me changing my toothpaste to be more eco-friendly or starting a scripture study every night.

What’s important is finding goals that match your passions and desires for the future.

These are the questions I ask myself:

  1. Does this goal make me happy?
  2. Do I feel better physically/mentally by achieving this goal?
  3. Am I doing this goal for others or myself?
  4. What will I gain by striving to achieve this goal?
  5. Looking back, will I be satisfied with the changes this goal will bring about?

I use my other blog to write written essays and do personal studies. What I hope to achieve by starting this series of posts is a safe space where I can reflect on changes and products I’ve turned to, to improve my physical, spiritual, and mental health.

May we all learn something new as I reflect and ponder what sincerely benefits my life.

Facing Myself: Day 1

(Beautiful me on little sleep, long work hours and no makeup. . . awe the memories. )

Today I pondered a lot about how much my mindset concerning my health has changed. So many thoughts flitted through my head about my weight, age, makeup, sleep, personal skills and so on. All of these these thoughts which honestly have been building up since I was very young have been a burden for a great portion of my life.

I am probably not the first person to judge themselves harshly. When I was in middle school I did not feel beautiful because I did not fit the ideal “mold” of a skinny, athletic or smart girl which flitted in my mind so often.  I went from being a twig at eleven to a more vellumptious (did I spell this right?), curvy version of myself within two years.

scale

Did I want this? No. Though I did not voice it all the time, my ideal haunted me. I felt bitter and honestly I did not like myself.

These feelings stayed with me throughout college. And after.

Then something remarkable happened. I went on a mission to Russia and lost 40 pounds. How did it happen? Well. . . I got sick, my stomach shrank and I changed my eating habits. I switched to smaller portions, avoided sugar and studied hard how to eat in order TO TAKE CARE Of MY BODY.

I make it sound easy, but it wasn’t. I remember many heartfelt prayers wondering how I could change, lose weight, see myself as beautiful.

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And I am still there. As it happens, my body changed more when I came home from Russia. I gained muscle and before long I have once again fallen into old fears. Eating again became calorie counting and calculating how to lose weight. Exercise has become almost all about becoming that ideal once again,  counteracting eating and bad decisions.

All in all, unfortunately, FEAR has become the defining driving force in my diet and exercise.

So today I sat and wondered and realized what I lost; a true love for myself, which took me SO SO long to know in Russia.  With shock I realized I have stopped caring for my body and am trying to force it into the ideal mold I valued throughout my life.

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(Original Art by 9Jedit. Feel free to look up her blog!

So what to do now? Well, I have decided  to REMEMBER that feeling I had in Russia. Because for the first time in my life, while I was there, I had a glimpse into a higher law of love for myself. The truth of which is knowing our intrinsic value goes deeper than a weight or pant size.

Instead of focusing so much on what I WANT myself to look like, obsessing and counting. I want to believe in myself, that I have ability and am beautiful. In fact, that I have been beautiful all along, but had been to blind to see it.

Therefore, here are my goals.

  1. I will write my thoughts, feelings and discoveries spiritual and mental for the next 30 days.
  2. I will not count my calories.
  3. I will take a picture of myself everyday, each day a different face and setting. (I hate pictures of myself. So I will conquer my fear of it!)
  4. I will meditate and do yoga every day, at least five of those days will be in my studio.
  5. I will study the scriptures everyday.

 

Unlike the other lists I have started but not finished (I will do so eventually) I hope I follow through with this. Because, this will not only affect me. So, I look forward to writing more in the future.

 

 

 

9Jedit, Blog Art is more than it seems

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I know I don’t write very much anymore, but I have now made it a personal goal to write or find something new every day. If I don’t then I will never grow beyond what I have already done. So for those who do read my blog, and thank you for being so patient, I will be on a lot more.

But you didn’t click this to hear me ramble. These are art pieces done by a Korean artist I found not too long ago. Here is the one problem. I don’t understand anything about them besides their artist name, which is 9jedit. This is obviously because I don’t speak Korean. But I do love their art pieces. So I will post a few of them as well as a link to their portfolio. CLICK HERE. This is also their twitter account. CLICK HERE. (I was able to access more of their art through twitter so I would suggest going there first.)

 

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I love how gentle each of this artists works are. Every single art piece they do is peaceful and awe inspiring. I feel I could look at each of them for long stretches of time because they make my ponder what it means to live in the moment. I believe this is because there is a measure of stillness to their paintings, which is a well needed change amidst our fast paced, ever changing world. Honestly, their talent is wasted on a blog.

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Feel free to look at the art pieces I posted here, but also please go to their pages if you so desire. They have hundreds of works!

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