It’s Christmas In October Thanks to Citibank!!

Yesterday was Christmas Eve, and today was Christmas. Okay, not literally…well, kind of. Today is definitely one for the books, because thanks to Citibank (emphasis on Taylor and Pedro, Citibank’s Social Team), I received not one, but two, incredible gifts: Niall Horan and Harry Styles’ autographs on posters from their Today Show concerts!!!!

On May 29, 2017, my amazing friend and college roommate Jessica took me to see Niall Horan live at his #NiallTODAY concert, sponsored by Citibank. Not only did we score VIP tickets (shoutout to 95.5 PLJ for that!), but I also scored a “selfie” with Niall and a video (from The Today Show’s Instagram story!) of Niall singing Slow Hands with my face up on the screen next to him!!! #StillShookFromThat

Well yesterday, October 4th, while in my Sociology course at school, Citibank tweeted me asking if I could talk to them. I said yes right away, and to my surprise, one of the amazing Community Managers at Citibank saw my blog and social posts about the show and revealed she had a signed poster that he signed the day of the show. And she wanted to give me that poster…..I was in the middle of a lecture about the Sociology of Culture and Ethics in Corporations….I couldn’t start freaking out physically, but emotionally I was in disbelief. I was on cloud nine.

I told a few of my best friends and a few family members about what happened, and kept rereading my exchange with Taylor in disbelief that this was real life. Today, October 5th, I went to work all calm, cool, and collected (not really, I was actually really tired but also really grateful for all the blessings and opportunities I have). I came home from work, ate some food, hung out with my dogs and watched some television. Eventually I went outside to get the mail, and when I saw a poster package tube on my doorstep, I started FREAKING out.

You know how a poster package tube has two ends? Well one of the ends was open, so I could see the orange of the poster and the pink post-it note signed by Taylor. My hands were full, so I couldn’t look at the poster just yet. I came in the house, threw the mail on the kitchen table, and walked into my mom’s office to look at the poster. It was weird, though….because there were two posters?????

I opened the poster from Niall’s show and started FREEAAAAKKKINNNGGGG out all over again to my mom, mesmerized by the way Niall wrote “Much Love,” and signed his name.

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I took the time to read a post-it note that Taylor and Pedro wrote. And then, I moved onto the next poster.

Before I get ahead of myself, I was so confused about there being two posters. I said to my mom, “Maybe it’s like a promotional poster for the Today show and Citibank concerts or something,” not really thinking much of the second poster. I was NOT expecting the poster to be what it is…..

….it’s a poster from Harry’s #HarryTODAY concert….with Harry’s signature………………

Say it with me…….FREEAAAAAAKKKIIINNNNGGGGG OUTTTTT.

I lost it. I started to cry. Then I felt bad for not crying when I opened Niall’s, but I was prepared to see his autograph. I was not prepared to see Harry’s. (Side note- I was in my comfy and ugly pajama pants. Don’t judge me!)

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My mom laughed at how dramatic I was being. I was seriously sobbing, as in crying uglier than Kim Kardashian’s ugly cry. My friends and family who are connected with me on Snapchat all witnessed my ugly sobs. Some actually asked me if I was just involved in a fight or something! Nope, no fights….just little old me, one of Harry and Niall’s HUGEST FANS, with posters from their Today show concerts.

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I cannot thank Citibank enough for this. I’m speechless. I already cried my eyes out. I’m so grateful for this, I cannot believe how lucky I am. Taylor and Citibank, you truly just made my year. Thank you soooooooooooooo much. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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Quit holding yourself back

“Quit holding yourself back” is a phrase I continuously have to say to myself. Quit worrying, quit judging yourself, quit critiquing every little part of your existence. Stop thinking about the embarassing thing you did three years ago, just go to sleep. Stop worrying about what strangers, family, and friends think about you. Just live.

Of course we all know this is easier said than done, this is an ongoing and life-long battle, but being less negative, less worrisome, less hesitant makes life so much easier.

Early in the semester, a friend of mine – Maddy – gave me advice. She told me that I needed to stop worrying about events and situations because worrying makes you suffer twice. Maybe the situation we worry about will cause anxiety or be frightening…or maybe, the situation will be rewarding and enjoyable. We’ll never really know until we experience it.

Now I’m not saying you need to kick yourself in the ass whenever you find yourself worrying about things. I’m not saying it’s bad to worry about things, or that I’ll stop being an extremely worrisome person. I know that I am a huge worrier. All I’m saying is that I need to take deep breaths, try to relax, and reassure myself that things will be okay. Even if they might not be.

Setting limitations isn’t worth it

 

I came across this quote when scrolling through my Instagram, and I thought it was share-worthy:

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“Don’t miss out on 95% of your life just to weigh 5% less” is a saying that applies to most life situations, not solely situations about food and weight. Don’t miss out on going for drinks with your friends, on going to parties with your family, on indulging on sweets with your best friend to celebrate something spectacular, all because you want to want to achieve a specific goal. If you want to have a piece of cake (or a cake for yourself…you do you), have it; eat what you want, live the life you want. Don’t live a deprived life; live a fun, enjoyable life.

Life is more fun when you do what you want, rather than restrict yourself all the time.

Here’s to junior year

Today is the first day of fall semester at my university, and I’m officially an undergraduate junior. Time truly flies. Summer is gone, somehow, and I miss it already.

Instead of writing for publications I previously wrote for – or even writing for my blog – I took a well-needed break this summer. I worked at my internship, I spent time with family, and I went on an incredible cruise last week to Port Canaveral (Florida), Great Stirrup Cay (Bahamas), and Nassau (Bahamas). I spent a lot of time with my parents and sisters where we talked about life, reminisced memories of the past, and lived in the moment.

During this trip, we weren’t glued to technology or the internet. Instead, we connected through conversation. We took pictures and made memories in the spur of the moment. We had a private family photoshoot (pictures to come soon). We laughed, we got into arguments, we ate, and then when the vacation ended, we rode a limo home – back to reality.

Vacation and summer both began and ended quicker than I could realize, and this school year will presumably follow the same path. Although I am worried about so many aspects of this year (like maintaining a high GPA, making friends, surviving partial dorming), I know that I will get through this year. And before I know it, it’ll be winter break….then Spring semester, followed by summer once again.

I’m realizing how quick life flies by, how short life is. We spend time worrying, laughing, crying, wishing we were home, wishing we were more successful, wishing we were less introverted/extroverted, wishing we were different. We are bound to worry about things we can’t control, to be forced to interact with people we don’t get along with. We have to face struggles, to make mistakes, and then learn from what has happened. I’m excited to grow as a person during this school semester and school year, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about (and afraid of) staying on a campus where I feel very alone, very outcasted, very vulnerable.

I am fortunate enough to have incredible opportunities and experiences, including the opportunity to study at a private university that’s not too far away from my home, to work hands on at a prestigious internship, and most importantly to be a part of an amazing family. I can’t stress enough how amazing my family is. I love my mom, dad, sisters, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, friends, and of course my DOGS so much. I am so lucky to have people in my life who care about me and love me, who support me and are always there for me.

I return home every weekend and I look forward to that. Thursday can’t get here any quicker….I hold countdowns until the day I get to leave campus and be home with my family. That doesn’t mean I’m not grateful for the opportunity I have to learn at a great university; I’m very thankful. I’m thankful that my parents provide so much for me and my sisters, that my mom is just a phone call away when I need some emotional support. I’m grateful that I can learn about writing and communications, topics I love, and still be able to live at home with my family and not dread everyday during the academic year.

So, here’s to new beginnings. Here’s to growing as a student and an individual. Here’s to making progress on the journey towards self-confidence, self-acceptance, and self-love. Here’s to junior year.

Change is coming…

I haven’t written in a while, which isn’t like me. I could come up with excuses like “I don’t have the time,” but is that really true? I love writing, I can always make time for writing. The truth is, I don’t know what to write about. I can write about my experiences, movies I’ve seen, music I’ve listened to, conversations I’ve had, but is that really entertaining? Does anyone care?

Similarly, I can write about body image, positivity, or health related issues but I feel so restricted doing that.

Instead of giving up on blogging, I think I’m going to change what I blog about to a broader spectrum. Some weeks I’ll have blogs about positivity, body image, and self-love. Others, I might post reactions to experiences (like concerts, conversations, posts I’ve seen, reactions to news in the entertainment world, etcetera).

Things could change; maybe a few months down the line I’ll add more topics and subjects to what Work For Your Happy offers. I’m not sure what the future will hold, but I refuse to give up on myself, on my writing, or on Work For Your Happy. My blog isn’t going anywhere, and hopefully with this change and with my ever-evolving mindset,  I’ll be inspired to write more often.

Thank you to all my friends, family, and followers who have supported me thus far. I hope you stick around with me on this blogging journey. It’ll be interesting to see where things lead…….

Words of Wisdom: Forgive Yourself

Forgiveness is something I have yet to master. For some reason, I am unable to forgive myself or those around me. Okay–not all the time. There are some exceptions…but for the most part, forgiveness is not in my vocabulary. I’m working on changing that, and if you’re anything like me, you should work on changing that, too.

This past Thursday, my four wisdom teeth were surgically removed. As a person with a major fear of procedures and surgeries, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous or anxious. I would also be lying if I said that I didn’t turn to comfort foods after the procedure. I still do, in fact. Ice cream calls my name every time I feel a pain in my mouth. Without thinking, my hand pulls open my freezer door and grabs a pint of Halo Top. That’s not a good habit, it’s not a healthy habit. I acknowledge that and I’m steering away from the freezer now. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t beat myself up over it.

After overindulging in ice cream, I was angry with myself. Angry that I allowed my emotions to overcome my entire body, angry that I allowed myself to mindlessly eat a ridiculous amount of ice cream within such a short amount of time. I told friends and family about what I did, and how uncomfortable I felt after eating the ice cream. My best friend reassured me that I was okay, that things would be okay. We all slip up, we’re only human.

I needed to hear that from her. We cannot take back our thoughts, words, or actions. We can’t erase the cruel words we said about ourselves or about others. But what we can do is acknowledge what happened, forgive ourselves, and move on.

Going into the teeth removal procedure, I knew I wanted to reward myself when I inevitably survived. Instead of rewarding myself with food — my go-to reward, I wanted to splurge on a few new shirts. And guess what? I did. I’ll be getting 6 new shirts within the next few days. That’s huge. That’s much better than overindulging with ice cream for four days in a row, and then getting depressed about it.

Yes, I ate more ice cream than I’d like to have ate. And yes, I’m going to eat more ice cream during my recovery… I’m eyeing the Vanilla Bean ice cream for tomorrow night already. But this story isn’t as frustrating or sad as it could have been, because I decided to accept what I did, forgive myself for slipping up, and move on. I didn’t allow my inner-critic to ruin the rest of the night or the weekend…or start off the week with a bad taste in my mouth about my abilities.

Next time you slip up and/or frustrate yourself, don’t beat yourself up. It’s okay. You’re going to be okay. Forgive yourself and allow yourself to have a fresh start. A positive start, rather than a negative one.

P.S. In case you were wondering, my wisdom teeth surgery went well! It was not as scary or as painful as I anticipated; the surgery was quick and painless. It was easy. The not-so-easy part is the recovery. My pain comes and goes, but it hasn’t been too terrible. I can tolerate it. I do, however, freak out nearly every moment of everyday about my gums. I don’t like the wounds being so exposed, I don’t like how easy it can be to get an infection or to get food stuck. I cannot wait until the gums heal more. Until then, you’ll find me constantly complaining and eating soft foods…….

Ashley Graham’s Lip Sync Battle Validates Curves are Sexy

If you haven’t already seen Ashley Graham’s recent Lip Sync Battle performance to That Don’t Impress Me Much by Shania Twain, then I’m doing you a HUGE favor by writing this blog post. That performance was extremely empowering, especially for women who have been publicly shamed because of, or who have a hatred for, their appearance.

I’m obsessed with Ashley Graham, but that’s old news. You probably already knew that. Why do I love her? She’s confident, she’s inspiring, she’s intelligent, she’s beautiful, and she’s an amazing activist. I admire the constant risks she takes, and admire the trend setting culture she takes part in. Ashley’s work, whether she realizes it or not, leaves a huge impact on modern society. Every move she makes opens some sort of conversation, whether it’s an internal conversation one has with oneself, or a society wide conversation.

Ashley, unlike many other curvy models, has access to multiple platforms where she can voice (and raise awareness for) what she’s passionate about. With her large following and fame, her messages always seem to circulate. Ashley used Lip Sync Battle as a platform to continue to voice an important message she fully supports: curvy is sexy. And boy does she prove her point.

Watch her performance from start to finish. It isn’t too long, it won’t take too much time. Once I watched it, I had to watch it again. And again. And again. Did you?

Ashley says during the Lip Sync Battle episode that she does not have rhythm, and that she plans on using her ass to win the battle and slay her performance. Well, rhythm or no rhythm, she definitely slayed! I am not a fan of dancing (I definitely don’t have rhythm) or of twerking, but I can’t help but appreciate what Ashley brought to the table.

If she hasn’t already made it clear that curvy is sexy, Ashley certainly proves her point in her performance. Instead of hiding her curves, she flaunts them. Instead of hiding behind loose clothing, Ashley sports a form-fitting, leopard print outfit (bra and high-waisted pants). Instead of hiding behind back up dancers and props, she stood her ground center stage.

Thin is sexy. Television shows, Hollywood movies, magazines, and social media posts make that very clear. But curvy is sexy too, and curvy women are finally being empowered to embrace that. Thank you, Ashley, for showing us how sexy curvy women are. Thank you for leaving it all on the stage, and congratulations on your Lip Sync Battle championship win. You deserve that belt!

P.S. if you’ve never seen Shania Twain’s music video to That Don’t Impress Me Much, watch that below. What do you think about Ashley’s performance?? Let me know in the comments below!

9 Best Ways to Invite and Embrace Positivity In Your Life

No one on this Earth is 100% confident and happy all the time. Every person struggles with their own insecurities, struggles, and fears. Many times, these anxieties and negative thoughts have to do with the way we think about or perceive ourselves. Whether it’s internal or external criticism, we tend to knock ourselves down and/or hold ourselves back from greatness.

I know I am not the only person who can pick apart everything that’s wrong with me. I know I’m not the only person who can try on up to 12 different outfits before deciding which one looks the least terrible for an outing–whether it’s a day at school or work, a get together with family/friends, or even just an errand run. Instead of dwelling on the worst things about ourselves, let’s all try to bring more happiness, relaxation, and positivity into our lives. To do so:

  1. Buy yourself a new outfit every few weeks. Maybe it’s a trendy new top that you’ve seen a lot of people wearing lately, or maybe it’s a tank top you’ve been eyeing up on your favorite store’s website. Try it on. Buy it. You can always return it if you decide you do not like the way it fits you. Invest your money into something that excites you and will make you smile when you wear it.
  2. Make a list of healthy, enjoyable escapes and turn to them multiple times a week, hopefully everyday — these can be physical escapes (day trips to your favorite place) or emotional escapes (reading books or binge-watching shows of your favorite genres). Bad times and bad days are inevitable, but immersing yourself into a place completely different from your insecurities and sadness will allow your mind to put aside your negative feelings for a short period of time. When you return to your conflict, let’s say it’s a body image issue, you may have a new perspective on the issue. Instead of emotionally eating, you might take a walk around your neighborhood, go for a swim in your pool, or call someone you love and talk about your internal struggle.
  3. Set up an area with better lighting and a “flattering” mirror. You know how some fitting rooms can make you look a lot more “flattering” than others? That’s usually because of the lighting and mirror choices. Set up a “flattering” mirror in your room or bathroom, so you can better judge your outfits and your appearance.
  4. Look into mirrors more on your good days. When you’re feeling confident, stare at your reflection as often as you can. Take pictures, both by yourself and with those around you. Admire your appearance. Admire your smile, your eyes, and every single distinctive feature on your body. Acknowledge the great parts about you, and hold onto these feelings. This can help you in the future, especially on bad days, to remind you that you’re beautiful, you’re special, and you’re valuable. You are in this world for a good reason.
  5. Look into mirrors less often on your bad days. For some of us, this can mean not looking at our reflection for a week or two at a time, which can be challenging. But hear me out, by doing so, you give yourself less chances to pick yourself apart. You can’t stare at parts of your body that make you question your self-worth, and you can’t compare your size to the size of others around you. Sometimes, it’s a good thing to not look at your reflection.
  6. Listen to happy music, with happy lyrics. Allow music to build you and your body image up. Don’t let it drag you down, especially not on your bad days.
  7. Feed your body. Give in to temptations and cravings, don’t deprive yourself. Don’t do it everyday if your long term goals for yourself don’t align with the foods and nutrients you’re craving. Learn to love healthy foods if you don’t already, and treat yourself to those! I love “unhealthy” foods like burgers and desserts, but I also love vegetables and grilled proteins. Allow yourself to eat a balance of these foods, and enjoy them…don’t just eat them because you’re hungry.
  8. Set milestones for yourself, and reward yourself when you overcome them. Reward yourself for all sorts of things, small and large. Reward yourself when you go through a day without calling yourself a derogatory term. Reward yourself when you wear something daring, like something that showcases an insecurity of yours. Reward yourself when you think and talk positively about yourself. Maybe your reward is a dollar into a fund for an outfit, dinner, show, or vacation. Maybe it’s a trip to an ice cream shop or local bakery. Whatever it is, try to make being positive and confident fun. Make it a game.
  9. Make changes, all sorts of changes. Be like me and cut 7-inches off of your hair. Change the group of people you hang out with. Change up the movies you watch or the authors you read. Change the way you allow yourself to think about your personality and appearance. Discover new things, and while you’re at it, appreciate them for what they are.

Life is short. Make sure you enjoy it as much as possible. Work on yourself. Work on finding happiness. Work on loving yourself.

Invest in your happiness & take adventures

Happiness doesn’t always magically make its way into our lives. Sometimes, we have to take the first steps to bring joy to our lives. To do so, it’s crucial to be in the right mindset, to make the right plans, and to surround yourself with the right energy (whether that means being alone or being with other positive people).

I know that my favorite animals (dogs and giraffes) make me happy. Just watching them brings me joy. Sadly, I can’t watch giraffes up close on a daily basis. Or a weekly. Or a monthly. . . you get the picture. Luckily, a few weeks ago my cousin Amanda invited me to go on an road trip to Animal Adventure Park, where we could interact with some incredible animals, including giraffes. Thank you for taking me, Amanda!!

On Friday, Amanda, Arianna, Sal, Amelia, and I drove to the park in New York. The drive was long, but it was well worth it. The five of us were able to appreciate each species we saw and stare in awe at their uniqueness and beauty.

In case you don’t know, I’m six-foot-one. I know, pretty tall for your average 20 year old. There are very few people and creatures that are taller than me. Giraffes are one of them. They make me feel right at home. Seeing giraffes makes my heart beat quickly (in a good way).

As I’m sure you know, people can be very cruel. There are lots of people who will pick others apart and make them feel outcasted for all sorts of traits and differences. In the past, strangers, classmates, friends, and family have made me feel insecure about my tall frame. There were times when I wasn’t sure if I should be proud of my height or ashamed of it. The flip-flopping about appreciating my height versus seeing it as a burden came to a halt a few years ago at the Naples Zoo, however, when I took the time to observe and appreciate giraffes for all that they are.

Giraffes truly are beautiful animals. Their height adds to their beauty; it makes them stand out in a good way. Being tall is not a burden. It’s something that should be embraced. Giraffes help me embrace my height. They inspire me to stand tall and be proud of my height. Giraffes make me happy.

Seeing April, Ollie, and baby Tajiri (the giraffes) brought me so much happiness. I’m still on cloud 9, two days later. But my appreciation doesn’t end now that I’m back home, away from giraffes. I care about animals a lot, and I understand that animals need our help. I’m looking into learning more about different foundations and causes that help animals, especially giraffes, survive in their natural habitats, because I don’t want to live in a world without giraffes.

If learning more and spreading awareness about the threats to their survival— including being hunted by humans and losing living space due to human population growth and settlement expansion– can help save the existence and quality of life for giraffes, then I will happily work to bring health and happiness to giraffe lives. I’d love to invest more of my time, energy, and money into giraffes because planning to help them and visit them brings me joy. Why wouldn’t I want to bring joy into my life?

Something that surprised me (and brought me excitement) is that Animal Adventure Park allows visitors to get very close to the animals, under zookeeper supervision of course. Visitors are allowed to feed the animals with zookeeper approved foods, which are bought within the park. Some animals can eat lettuce, others grapes and carrots. Giraffes went crazy for carrots. Everywhere you looked, people were holding out carrots waiting for April and Ollie to grab them from their hands, or better yet, their mouths.

Yes, a person is allowed to hold a carrot in his or her mouth and let a giraffe approach them for the carrot. Most of the time, that leads to a kiss between a person and a giraffe. And I can proudly say that I kissed a giraffe and I liked it. #YOLO!

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Seeing April, Ollie, and baby Tajiri (the giraffes) brought me so much happiness. I’m still on cloud 9, two days later. But my appreciation doesn’t end now that I’m back home, away from giraffes. I care about animals a lot, and I understand that animals need our help.

Now I’d like to ask you something: what makes you happy? It doesn’t matter if it’s as small as your favorite meal (I am always down for a good cheeseburger) or as big as an extravagant vacation (I have a list of places I want to visit!); happiness is happiness. If it brings you joy, invest your thoughts, time, energy, and money into it.

The right energy + the right setting =  a recipe for pure joy and excitement

Make a list and look at it when you’re in need of some joy. Bring happiness into your life as much as possible. Surround yourself with your best friends, your favorite family members, your favorite animals, etcetera. Every once in a while, eat the foods that you truly love. Don’t just sit around and wait for happiness to find you. Take action. You’re worth it.

8 Wrong Ways to Accept/Love Yourself

Self-acceptance and self-love are not easy journeys to accomplish and/or master. Getting to a place of self-acceptance is a rollercoaster ride: there are highs, there are lows, and there are plateaus. I am not in a place where I can accept or love myself for who I am, or my body for all that it does, but I have learned a lot of lessons over the years on what works and what doesn’t on the journey to self-acceptance and self love. And I’m not giving up on this journey.

Here’s what not to do while on the journey towards self-acceptance/love:

  1. Tell yourself you’ll be happy when you get to your goal weight.

    Our bodies change all the time. Weight fluctuates. That’s just life! People struggle with body image issues at every weight and size. Losing weight or gaining weight would not make you happier….physical health improvement does not inspire emotional and mental health improvement, unfortunately.

  2.  Limit your participation in events and activities because of your body image issues, and begin participating when you’re less insecure.

    You’ll regret it in the end. Trust me, I do. I regret allowing my insecurities to take the reigns of my life. I wish that I would’ve went to the beach more, or in the pool more, or ate what I wanted at family or friend affairs, instead of eating myself alive from the inside out in guilt and worries. We only have one life. Live your life. Don’t limit yourself.

  3. Keep all of your insecurities, fears, and anxieties to yourself.

    Odds are, you don’t tell others about what makes you uncomfortable, scared, anxious, or nervous. Keeping all of this negativity in your head is not good for your overall mindset and mental health. Confide in someone, whether it’s a best friend, a romantic partner, a parent, a co-worker, a therapist, a sibling, a grandparent, or even a texting buddy and share your emotions. Share how you feel emotionally during different scenarios. By doing so, some weight will be lifted off your shoulders. You’ll be able to breathe better, you’re secret will be out. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll build a relationship that allows you to feel less insecure when you’re doing whatever it is–let’s say swimming in a pool in your bathing suit– with a specific person/group, like the person you confide in.

  4. Allow other people’s words about you (or others) make you feel bad about yourself for any period of time.

    Especially not an extended period of time. Family, friends, and strangers can be very cruel, even without realizing it. Having someone tell you they’ll buy you new clothes when you go down a clothing size, or having someone tell you that you’re a beautiful person who shouldn’t feel ugly/worthless/depressed because of how great you are, isn’t helpful. At all. No matter how good intentions are, sometimes words create emotional and mental scars– scars that last a lot longer than physical ones. There’s a saying, “Call a woman fat once and she’ll never forget it.” Words hurt. And allowing them to hurt you makes it 1000% worse. Don’t let words put you down. (This is so much easier said than done…words hurt me everyday. But if I had control over my feelings, I would program my emotional settings to not allow others’ comments to put me down).

     

  5. Solely participate in activities that helped others accomplish self-acceptance, rather than doing what you know makes you happy/feel good.

    I’m not saying don’t try activities that others recommend, definitely give them a try if you’re up for it. But everyone finds happiness in different ways and places. If reading a specific genre of books makes you happy and sparks time for self-reflection, make that your primary focus during your free-time. We are all different, and that’s something to celebrate, right? Well, let’s acknowledge and celebrate our different causes for happiness, too! Because you deserve to be truly happy.

  6.  Set boundaries for yourself.

    First of all, there is no “normal.” You can’t tell yourself that it’s “normal” for you to feel a certain way, weigh a certain amount, or have a certain mindset. “Normal”s change! Do not restrict yourself to your current normal, or even worse your past’s normal. Allow yourself to do anything and everything your heart desires. At the same time, you must acknowledge the consequences. For instance if you’re counting calories because you have a goal to lose weight, and you only give into your desires to eat junk foods for two days straight, don’t be surprised when the scale changes and your clothes are tighter.

  7. Beat yourself up when you make mistakes.

    Not if you make mistakes, when you make them. We all have set backs. We all do things we know we shouldn’t do (like eat that second burger, oops). You’re only human! Everybody makes mistakes. Learn from them. If eating six cookies in one sitting makes you feel sick, don’t do it again. Or do. It’s your call. But don’t punish yourself or put yourself down because of things that you do. It’s okay to have set-backs. It’s okay to take three steps forward and four-steps back. You still make three steps progress originally, right? You can do it again.

  8. Give up on trying to accept/love yourself because of your set-backs/failures.

    Never give up on yourself. Ever. If you do give up on yourself, pick up the pieces and begin the journey again. Everyone has failures. In one of my favorite Disney movies, Meet The Robinsons, a character says, “From failure we learn, from success, not so much!” Each time something makes you feel bad when you want it to feel better, you learn something about yourself or the scenario. Maybe being around a certain person makes you feel bad about yourself. If so, stop talking to them/hanging out with them. You deserve to be happy, and to feel positive about your life, your choices, and your body.