How To Be Grateful & Happier

This is the notebook that I created to remind myself to always see the glass (or wine glass) as half full. For sale on Amazon & Etsy.

I honestly think that the key to happiness is gratitude. Being grateful for all that you have and living in the present moment. If I’m ever feeling down or anxious I like to focus on what I am grateful for at that very moment.

For a few years now I have been waking up and naming or writing down at least 5 things that I am grateful for. This could range from my good night’s sleep to the morning coffee that I am about to enjoy. Every night before I go to bed I try to also think of things that I am grateful for that happened in my day. The productive day I had, seeing my friends, the delicious dinner I ate, and so on.

This has truly changed my life.

I changed my focus from looking at what I “lack” to what I have and when you do this daily you really realize how much you have to be thankful for. Instead of being envious of other peoples lives, take a look at yours! Yes, you might not have your dream job, home, body but what do you have?

Things to be grateful for:

  • That you are able to see, taste, smell, walk, hear, read, and write
  • Your job & make money
  • That you have family, friends, or significant others
  • Your home, clothing, and fresh drinking water
  • That you are constantly learning & growing everyday
  • Listening to music you love
  • That you are striving for your goals and dreams
  • The upcoming trip you are going on
  • Your phone, computer, tv, and the internet
  • The food and drinks that you had today or will be having later
  • Coffee, Wine, Pizza
  • The opportunity to make a change in your life
  • Your pets
  • The power of meditation & yoga
  • Reading a good book
  • That tomorrow is a fresh start
  • Owning a car
  • The beauty of nature
  • Your good health & your families
  • The country you live in
  • Taking a hot shower
  • Fresh bed sheets
  • To be alive!!!

These are just a couple of things that you can be grateful for every day. Make it your goal to start focusing on at least 5 things that you are grateful for every day and see how it changes your happiness levels.

I am grateful that you are reading this post. Have a beautiful day!

xoxo

Melissa

 

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Productive Morning Routine 2018

Mornings are such a peaceful time of day, or at least they could be. I feel like there’s so much potential to have a good morning. How you start your morning off can set the tone for your entire day, for good or bad. If you hit the snooze button 5 times and are running late for work you might not have the best day… Whereas, if you wake up energetically when your alarm goes off, make yourself a coffee, and spend some time reading then you are more likely to have a positive attitude and a better day overall.

I have crafted the perfect morning routine that works for me and I want to share it with you all. If you would like to see a video of my morning routine, then you can watch the video that I uploaded to youtube.

Productive Morning Routine 2018

1. The alarm goes off– I try not to hit the snooze button and I get out of bed.

2. Positive Affirmations– Right when I wake up, I read a list of positive affirmations (that I wrote), which I keep on my nightstand. I read these positive affirmations out loud and I also say what I am grateful for.

3. Make my bed- I like to do this first thing in the morning, otherwise, it seems to not get done. Making your bed sets the tone for a productive day.

4. Wash my face & teeth– I shared the products that I use in my youtube video

5. Meditate– I meditate using a free app called “insight timer” for either 10-15 minutes. This is a game changer for me.

6. Read– I like to spend 10-15 minutes reading before I start my workday. I am currently reading “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert and it’s amazing.

7. Lemon Water– I then go to the kitchen and pour half a lemon in a glass of room temperature water and drink it.

8. Breakfast Time– For breakfast, I usually eat a piece of gluten-free bread with organic peanut butter and a banana on top. If you would like to see what I eat in an entire day, you can check out this video.

9. Coffee!– My favourite part of my morning is making my first coffee. I like making a latte with two shots of espresso and unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

10. Tidy Up– Then I go upstairs and tidy up my office and bedroom. This helps me keep everything nice and organized.

11. Plan– Then I look at my Erin Condren life planner and see what I have planned for the day. I usually add a couple of new things and map out my day. I am super into planning.

12. Drink Water– I keep a mason jar of water on my desk at all times. I try to drink 2-3 jars a day. I am currently using a free water tracker app that is called “Daily Water” which helps me make sure that I am drinking enough water. Water is so important to staying hydrated & having energy throughout the day.

14. Work Time– Now its time to get to work!


That is a typical morning in my life. I am definitely a night owl but I have come to love and enjoy mornings. Mornings are a time for me to refresh and spend some time doing things that I love. I focus on clearing my mind and starting my morning off on a good note.

Thank you for your reading. Let me know what your morning routine is like in the comments!

xoxo

 

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How To Have A Productive Day

Being more productive is something that almost everyone strives for in their lives. Being more productive means that you’ll not only get more work done but you’ll also have more time for fun and things that you want to do! I am always looking for new ways to be more productive and to have more productive days in general.

If you want to learn some new tips on how to have a productive day then keep reading!

How To Have A Productive Day

  1. Wake Up Early: 

The earlier that you wake up, the more time that you’ll have in your day; the more time you have in your day, the more stuff that you can get done! So if you want to have a productive day try getting up earlier and getting a head start on your to-do list.

2. Meditate:

I like to meditate right when I wake up so that I can start my day with a clear and relaxed mind. This helps me to be in the present and it helps me refocus my breathing. I think that this is key to having a productive and good day in general!

3. Make a to-do list:

I find that making a to-do list the night before is the best way to increase your chances of having a productive day. When you wake up you will already have a plan of what you want to get done in your day. I think that planning and writing out your daily goals will help you have a more productive day because you won’t waste time thinking about what you should be doing.

4. Get the hardest tasks done first:

Whenever I have lots of work to do in a day, I try getting the hardest things done first. This goes with the saying “eat the frog” which means get your biggest task done first. I find that if I don’t do this, I end up spending the majority of my day thinking about when I am going to do the task. So its best just to eat the frog!

5. Take breaks:

Make sure that you stay hydrated and that you give yourself time to eat lunch and snacks. If you don’t do this, you will burn out and you won’t be able to complete your work to the best of your ability. So make sure that you take breaks!

6. Analyze your productivity:

During your workday, analyze how much work you have gotten done. If you feel like you haven’t gotten a lot done, try to regain your focus and think about what you could get done in the next hour that would be productive. Sometimes I like to use a timer to time how long it takes me to complete a task to keep myself motivated.

Ask yourself, “what could i do in the next hour, that will bring me closer to my goals or dreams?”

7. Say no or delegate:

Sometimes we overextend ourselves and say yes too often. If you feel like you always have too much to get done then maybe you need to start delegating some of your work or saying no to certain things (this may even apply to social functions). If you want to spend your night relaxing but said yes to go see your friends sons elementary school play, just say that you can’t make it. It’s not worth it to overextend yourself and spread yourself thin. Saying no will help save you more time in your day!

8. Take advantage of your commute time:

Instead of just sleeping on the subway or train every morning and night to and/from work, try listening to a podcast or reading a book. Take advantage of the fact that you have to drive an hour to and from work every day by listening to a book or podcast. Instead of wasting your commute time, use it to your advantage and get something done!

9. Put away your phone:

Phones and social media can be a huge distraction for many people so try putting your phone away for at least a couple of hours during your work day. This will help you stay more focused on your work and less distracted by what your friends did on the weekend.

10. Stay Motivated:

My last tip is to stay motivated daily! Remind yourself why you want to be more productive in the first place. Have a vision board or a list of all your big goals/dreams that you want to accomplish and read it daily. This will remind you why you are working so hard!


That’s the end of my “How To Have Productive Day” blog post. I hope that you enjoyed it. Let me know what you do to stay motivated in the comments.

xoxo

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7 Ways To Deal With Anxiety

Anxiety is something that many people I personally know, deal with. The degree of anxiety ranges from person to person; some people deal with daily anxiety and some people just get anxious once in a while. Nonetheless, it is important to deal with your anxiety, no matter the degree.

I am going to share some of my favourite ways that I deal with anxiety on a daily and weekly basis.

I could be having a great day and all of a sudden my mind starts fixating on things and my anxiety starts to take over. Anxiety is something that could ruin the happiness of your daily life if you let it.

I have researched and practiced different exercises to relieve my anxiety and these are things that worked best for me.

If you suffer from anxiety, it is important to note that it is not a one-time cure. You cannot just do these things one day and get rid of anxiety forever. These are things that you should practice daily so that you can reduce the amount of anxiety that you have.

Anxiety may not go away for good but you can significantly reduce the amount of anxiety that you have and stop it from controlling your life.

So do you want to hear my tips?

7 Ways To Deal With Anxiety

1. Meditation

This is my #1 solution to dealing with anxiety. Meditation is key to calming your mind/thoughts and refocusing on breathing and the present moment. If you take one tip away from this blog post, please let it be this one!

I practice meditation every morning and sometimes at night too. I recommend starting with meditating for 5 minutes every single day and slowly adding more time. I now meditate for 20 minutes at a time, but I initially started with just 5 minutes.

I like to use a free app called “Insight Timer” which has thousands of free meditations. I like to use guided meditations but eventually, I want to transition to just using music. On this app, you can select how long you want to meditate for and you can choose a focus such as “stress & anxiety, recovery & healing, sleep, creativity & performance, and happiness”. If I can’t fall asleep I like to use a meditation called “Yoga Nidra for Sleep” it’s amazing!

Another meditation app that I have used is called “Head Space” which is also great. They offer 10 free meditations and then you have to pay if you want more.

Try out meditation & stick with it! Don’t worry if your thoughts keep coming up, you will get better with practice. Keep refocusing on the present and your breath. This will help out your anxiety after just one week of practice (trust me)!

2. Yoga

Yoga is very similar to Meditation in the sense that you are focusing on your breath and the present moment. I use to go to yoga classes, but now I just use free videos on youtube. Just type in on youtube what type of yoga video you are looking for and you will find thousands of videos. If you are a beginner type in “yoga for beginners”.

I must say that I rather attend a yoga class and its something that I want to start doing again this year. You can also get a free class or two at most yoga studios if you want to give it a try first.

I like that yoga quiets my mind and helps me focus on living in the present. Yoga is a great way to deal with anxiety and stress.

3. Exercise

Another great way to deal with anxiety is by exercising in general! If I am having a bad day and I exercise, I instantly feel better.

Science has “provided some evidence that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than sedentary people. Exercise may improve mental health by helping the brain cope better with stress. In one study, researchers found that those who got regular vigorous exercise were 25 percent less likely to develop depression or an anxiety disorder over the next five years”.

That’s pretty convincing to me, so start exercising! It’s good for so many parts of your body including your mind.

4. Think of your thoughts differently

Through meditation videos and researching anxiety I came upon this: Visualize yourself sitting on a park bench. People and dogs are walking past you. Instead of chasing those people/dogs, you just let them keep walking. You don’t overanalyze them.Now imagine that those people/dogs were your thoughts.

When my anxiety starts kicking in, I acknowledge my thoughts but I don’t give them any meaning. I just let them “walk away” and I refocus my attention on the present.

This is something that I have started doing for a few weeks and although it might be hard at first, it gets easier! Thoughts still come up but I am quicker at letting them just flow away.

Your thoughts are just stories that your brain is making up. Don’t believe every thought that you think. Imagine taking a step back when a thought comes up and let it flow away.

Try this!

5. Gratitude & Affirmations

Another thing that I practice every morning is gratitude & positive affirmations. I wake up and say 5 things that I am grateful for and I list positive affirmations that I have written down. A positive affirmation could be “today is going to be amazing. I am happy. I am safe. I am love” and so on. Whatever evokes feeling when you say it, is best.

Although this is a great practice, I notice that I still have some anxious thoughts throughout the day so it’s important to continue practicing gratitude & affirmations.

For example, if one afternoon I start feeling anxious I will stop and list 5 things that I am grateful for and then I might say things like “I am okay. I am calm. I am relaxed”. I find that changing my focus from anxiety to gratitude/affirmations can relieve my anxiety instantly.

6. Use A Diffuser

For Christmas this year I got a Saje Diffuser which is my very first diffuser. I have become obsessed with diffusing every single day. I specifically love using the lavender oil and the Saje “happiness” oil.

I am not sure what it is but when I have my diffuser on I feel more calm and happy in general. I honestly didn’t know if diffusing was for me but I am glad that I tried it.

7. Calm Music

While I am working I like listening to “Yoga & Meditation” playlists on Spotify (I am listening to one while I write this!) This music makes me feel like I am at a spa and helps me relieve my anxiety and it also prevents it.

So although you might not be meditating or practicing yoga, you can still use calm music to help you feel relaxed.


So those are 7 of my favourite ways to deal with anxiety. And remember that these are practices that you should perform daily to minimize and alleviate your anxiety in general.

I hope that you guys enjoyed this post & let me know what you do to deal with anxiety!

xoxo

 

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How To Wake Up Earlier & Be More Productive

For years I have been reading about successful people who wake up at 4:30 or 5:00 am; they read, meditate, work out, and get tons of stuff done before the average person even wakes up. I have always wanted to be one of those people.

One of the biggest complaints that people have is not having enough “time” in a day;  not having enough time to eat healthy, work out, start a business, or spend time with their friends or loved ones. People make goals and resolutions that they would love to fulfil year after year, but typically don’t accomplish them because of the “time constraint” that they think they have.

See the thing is… we all have the same amount of time in a day. We all have 24 hours or 1440 minutes. Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and you all have the same amount of time in a day. The only difference between people and their success is how they choose to spend that precious time.

One of my biggest goals this year is to finally conquer waking up early & being more productive overall. And that’s the first step… wanting to make a change in your life! If you are like me and are sick of not accomplishing all your dreams then let’s promise to make this change together.

How To Wake Up Earlier & Be More Productive

1. Decide on why you want to wake up earlier:

This is an important step to think about because if you don’t have strong enough reasons to wake up earlier, then you won’t. Personally, I want to wake up earlier so that I can get more stuff done in a day and so that I can feel less stressed out. I also want to wake up earlier so that I can enjoy my morning routine which consists of daily affirmations, meditating, and reading.  To me, waking up earlier means that I will be able to spend more time on fulfilling my big goals and dreams in life. So decide why you want to wake up earlier; maybe its because you don’t have enough time to work out, read, or do your favourite hobby at night so you want to start doing it in the morning.

2. Decide what time you need to wake up:

So after you have decided why you want to wake up earlier, decide on how much time you need to accomplish all your goals and dreams. This could be waking up two hours earlier, one hour, or it might even be just 30 minutes. Decide on whats right for you. I want to wake up at 6 am daily because I think that this will give me the extra time that I am looking for in my day. I will be able to accomplish a lot more and I will be able to work on my bigger goals in life; ultimately I will feel better about myself, more accomplished, and less stressed.

3. Decide what time you need to go to sleep:

Everybody is different and only you know your body best. If you reflect on the days where you were most energetic, how long did you sleep those nights? Then think about the days when you were most exhausted, how long did you sleep those nights? I realized that for my body, I need about 7 hours of sleep every night. So now do the math: if you want to wake up at 6 am daily and you need 7 hours of sleep every night, that means that you should go to bed at 11 pm. So figure out what time works for you.

4. Take small steps to get to your dream wake up & sleep time:

Instead of just starting to wake up 2 hours earlier than you normally do, try taking small steps to get there. So again if your goal is to wake up at 6 am daily and you typically wake up at 7:30 am then first start off by waking up at 7 am for two weeks and then work your way up to 6 am. If your goal is to go to bed at 11 pm daily and you usually go to bed at 12 pm, then again start going to bed at 11:30 and work your way backwards. You can even do this in smaller intervals of 15 minutes; whatever works best for you.

5. Be reminded of your goals & dreams:

There will be many mornings where you don’t want to get up and you’ll lay there convincing yourself that your dreams don’t really matter. It might be really dark or cold so you’ll hit snooze and roll over. Once you wake up later, you will feel disappointed in yourself and you will feel like you can’t accomplish your bigger goals in life because you can’t even get out of bed! (I know the feeling)

This is why it is so important to constantly surround yourself with reminders of what your goals and dreams are. I recommend making a vision board or simply hanging pictures up, near your bed. These can be pictures of money that you want to make, your dream body, or any specific goals that you have. When you are tempted to sleep in, you can look at these pictures and realize why it is so much more worth it to get up and chase your dreams, rather than click the snooze button and go back to your dreams.

6. Put your phone across the room before you go to bed:

This is a good trick that has helped me wake up earlier. When my alarm goes off, I physically have to stand up to get my phone to turn off the alarm; which makes it easier for me to get out of bed. I can’t just roll over and click the snooze button. So try this simple trick out. (This also helps to prevent you from staying up texting on your phone because your phone is out of reach)

7. Download an app:

One of the sleeping apps that I bought months ago is called “Sleep Cycle” ($2.79 Canadian). It is an alarm clock that analyzes your sleep and wakes you up in the lightest sleep phase, which helps you to feel more relaxed. This has worked for a lot of people so it may be worth investing a couple of dollars in.

Another sleeping app that I have just purchased is called “Step Out! Smart Alarm Clock” ($2.79 Canadian). This alarm clock app only turns off once you physically step out of bed. It uses advanced image recognition and step tracking technologies to check whether you’re far away from your bed. This is a great app to try if you have a problem getting out of bed like I do. There are also other similar apps, such as “Alarmy” and “Wake N Shake”.

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Life is too short to snooze it away. You may be tired for the first 15 minutes of being awake but once you start working on your dreams you will be grateful that you didn’t hit the snooze button.

The little things that you do daily, affect your entire life (weekly, monthly, and yearly). So if you always have excuses for not having enough “time” to work out, read, meditate, eat healthy, or start a business then try waking up earlier so that you can accomplish all your goals (before you even head to work).

You can finally stop being one of those people who snooze their lives & dreams away, year after year. In 2018, make a promise to finally start living your dream life and that starts with the daily habits that you do.

I hope that you guys enjoyed my 7 tips on waking up earlier & being more productive. Let me know what time you wake up and go to sleep in the comments down below.

xoxo

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