Some Ways to Practice Self-Care & Self-Love

With everything that is going on in the world right now, it’s extremely important that we take care of ourselves and practice ways to love ourselves even more. Here are some ways I try to practice self-care and self-love.

Better Sleeping Habits:

I’ve always been someone who doesn’t sleep well at all. Ever since I was a child I was a light sleeper. I wake up easily, and it is extremely hard for me to fall asleep. In the past I typically average about 4 hours of sleep a night (crazy, I know!). Everyone used to ask how I am able to function. I think we all require different amounts of sleep, and that amount changes as we grow up. As I’m not getting any younger, I now try to make sleep a priority. I make sure that I am getting at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. Sleep has a big role in your temperament and affects your mood and overall health and wellness.

Meditation:

Meditation contributes to self-care and self-love. The purpose of meditation is just to sit in your body and be in your body, feeling your breath, and even feeling the discomfort and pain. I’ve been having some discomfort in my knee, and to be able to just focus on my breathing helps me push through it. I just stop everything and just allow myself to be with myself. I know I’ve spoke about meditation multiple times, however there are many different types of meditation that I practice. Shower meditation, sleeping meditation, and crystal meditation. 

A Day Off from Everything to do Nothing:

Sometimes we get in our head that we have to always be productive and accomplish something otherwise the day is wasted. This is not the case, and having time to spend on doing nothing is good once in a while for healing. For me this means just sitting around, lounging, and doing nothing. In actuality you have to have a rest day to recharge and not clean the house, go to work, etc. 

Taking Better Care of My Skin:

Since I’ve still been trying to get my eczema under control, this means I am constantly making an effort to take better care of my skin. I have been trying to follow my eczema diet by not consuming dairy products, eggs, or gluten. It has been hard and 3 days out of the week I tend to slip up, but I am now consciously making more of an effort than I have ever done before. I avoid long hot showers and make sure to moisturize my skin right after I jump out of the shower (literally!). 

I’d love to hear what are some ways that you practice self-care and self-love? There are so many ways to practice self-care and self-love, these are just some of the simple ways that I practice mine. We really don’t realize the positive effects it can have on our lives by just doing some of these practical things.

Xoxo

Welcome to the Dark Side and the Importance of Shadow Work

Whether you’re trying to battle your inner-demons or have a dark shadow that seems to follow you wherever you go, the reality is we all have them. Some of us more than others. We all have a dark side somewhere deep inside of ourselves. 

If you let your “dark side”/”shadow” run wild your life can seem uncontrolled and chaotic. Classic shadow signs are anger, blame, and laziness, but it can also be expressed as insecurity, co-dependency, or even independence. These signs can manifest issues with mental health, addictions, negativity, and low self-worth; and left unchecked, these issues will begin to effect the overall quality of your life.

Disclaimer: The purpose here is to help and heal others.

Before delving further, I just wanted to include the disclaimer that I am not a mental health expert nor do I have a degree in psychology. I have read many books over the years to help me deal with some of the trauma that I have experienced in my life, and these books were on topics such as self-help, psychology, and spirituality. All of my readings have touched on the topic of dark sides, shadow work, and how it all goes together. I thought I would share more about what I have read and learned along the way so that I can help others who might be of need. 

The idea of “Shadow” was popularized and studied by Carl Jung who is a 20th Century psychologist from Switzerland. According to him, “Shadow” refers to the hidden parts of our being. These are parts of ourselves that we may try to repress because they make us feel sad or vulnerable. This is a side we often do not show others. It can also indicate how we internally perceive ourselves as “being weak,” therefore we feel the need to hide certain parts of ourselves. Jung believed in the acknowledging our full self, including the shadow side, so that we can live in a balanced way.

Learning How to Confront Your Shadow:

My shadow is the fear of being vulnerable. I often avoid certain situations whether it is in the past or present; knowing that a situation may cause me to be placed in a vulnerable position, I would do anything in my power to avoid it at all cost. I think a part of it has to do with my upbringing and how I was raised. Although I’m not placing any blame on anyone in my family or those who have raised me, I was always taught that I have to be “good” all the time and showing vulnerability is a sign of weakness. I’m thankful that I am aware of my shadows because knowing the struggles and battles we had to fight in order to succeed makes our victories all the more meaningful. As crazy as it may sound, the pain and suffering we see in the world around us are often mirrored by our internal pain and suffering. It is only in facing our difficulties that true change can be made, and the hope of peace can prevail, inside and out. 

Shadow work may seem counter-intuitive on the outside because you will have to face your pain instead of running away from it. The process works by allowing yourself to feel and understand the painful aspects of yourself, so they become fully integrated. I’ve learned that it takes courage, time, and an open heart to face your pain, but these tools learned along the way help in almost every other aspect of your life as well.

Shadow work is an introspective psychological practice that anyone can do and helps lead to a more fulfilling life. When working with your shadow, you may have a moment of spiritual awakening that lead to greater authenticity, creativity, and emotional freedom. 

Some of the benefits that I have noticed in some areas of my life included: improved relationships through understanding yourself and accepting others, overall enhanced state of well-being and mood, better communication with others, ability to set boundaries in every aspect of life, and cease the cycle of self-destruction. 

I wish that you all find your shadow and learn to work with it so we can all live a more balanced and more fulfilling life.  

Xoxo,

Tawny V

 

serene sunday

Serenity Sunday = Mediation Work

 

 

Transformation Tuesday

Good morning everyone and happy Tuesday!

This morning I woke up, made a delicious coconut and dragon-fruit smoothie after doing some meditation, and thought to myself what better way to start the day than to write down my thoughts before I head to work.

I know I have talked about toxic relationships in the past, however today I will be discussing about the toxic relationships we have with ourselves and the ones that I have had with myself. I don’t know of anyone that has a 100% healthy relationship with themselves, especially around my age. I think it’s because we’ve been trained and conditioned for so long not to. It’s very easy to fall into negative behaviors especially in how we talk to ourselves and what we think about ourselves. 

I definitely had a toxic relationship with myself. I notice that it is getting a lot better: I have so much more compassion and love for myself this year than last year. What I have noticed about myself was that I tend to hold a lot of guilt when it comes to everything. I constantly felt bad and feel everything. I have a lot of empathy for everything. For a long time I was holding those feelings in, and I would punish myself for some things that weren’t even a big deal. For instance, I would worry if I offended someone or feel guilty if I cancelled plans with someone when I felt tired or just didn’t feel up for it anymore. In the grand scheme of life it doesn’t matter, but I would hold on to that guilt and punish myself internally by sitting around and sulking in my guilt. My entire day would be ruined because of it.

Because this was a toxic trait that I recognized in myself, I forced myself to practice self- love, compassion, and grounding to remind myself of who I am and what I want. What really helped me was meditation. I know I spoke about it a few times already, but I have been able to maintain my emotional state right now. I know that meditation has helped me with cultivating and maintaining those positive emotions. Some of you have also said that I seem happier nowadays, and I could cry just thinking about the ways that I have changed my relationship with myself for the better. I’m not going to sit here and say that I am not hard on myself anymore because I still am, but now I am just more aware of it. The goal now is to correct that type of thinking, whereas before I was just on autopilot: going through the motions and unaware of my own role in the cycle. 

I have read a few great self-help books to get me through the tougher times last year. I can list and talk about some of them in another post if anyone is interested. These self-help books made me aware of how I saw and treated myself. I was beginning to see how others see themselves. Sometimes when I go to events, whether personal or for work, I sometimes feel others’ emotional energies and they’d drain me. I felt the need to protect myself and my energy because I was starting to see that it wasn’t coming from me but from those around me. I was just absorbing all of the negative energy, and I hated it. I found myself not wanting be around anyone anymore because I was afraid of their emotional and negative energy and the way it would affect me. That might sound selfish and might be selfish, but I cannot be of service to anyone if I am in need of help. I have been protecting my happiness and working hard on myself, and I am not going to risk undoing all the progress I’ve made. People who love me and support me will understand and see where I am coming from. 

There are many who will take advantage of kindhearted and happier spirits. When you have a positive aura, people will naturally gravitate towards you, even people who don’t have that same aura or intentions. They just want to take it for themselves and drain you. Most of the time they aren’t even aware of it. I feel I am a naturally kindhearted person inside, and if I sense someone is troubled I just want to help them anyway I can, even if it will hurt me in the end. I know that what it’s like to be in their shoes because I’ve been in that emotional state. I know what it feels like so I want to help people, but some people don’t want your help. I had to recognize and learn that the hard way. That brings me back to the question of “How can you help anyone when you yourself are so emotionally sensitive and fragile?” That is what I am working on, and I have come a long way but the journey goes on. 

I wish you all love and light. Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts and concerns. If anyone has any good book suggestions, whether it’s a novel or self-help book, please feel free to send me a message or comment!

Let us all continue to be self-aware and love ourselves a little more each day so that we can continue to love one another. 

XO,

Tawny V.

Quick Life Update!

Hi Guys and Gals!

It’s been a while since I’ve last had a chance to last blog. Well, I was able to go back to work this past month. The industry has taken a major hit, but we are back to work and just trying to pick up the pieces while staying safe. 

Our company made sure that we were all tested for COVID-19, and thank goodness I tested negative! I wasn’t surprised because I am naturally a hermit. Even with the reopening of the nail salons and malls I have surprisingly managed to stay away! I am definitely surprised and proud of myself that I have just been working and saving money as I continue to do my own nails at home. Not much has changed for me since the quarantine aside from returning to work. 

I haven’t seen my friends in a while either, but those that I am close to understand and know how I am anyway. I still do not feel safe going places, especially when there are tons of people out here with no regard for others and refuse to wear masks! I really hope that everyone continues to stay safe while living your best life so that this can all be over soon and life can continue the way it was before. 

 

 

 

 

COVID-19 Nail Crisis is Real

I know I am not the only one! Like most women around the world, once the pandemic occurred and nail shops were being forced to close, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of panic. I know that nails are the last thing anybody is going to worry about especially during times like these, but hey, call me a diva all you want; this girl still cares about her nails even if  no one is going to see me!

I was fortunate enough to have had a set of custom gel press-on nails made for me by my nail artist. Once I wore them out after 3 weeks I knew that the right thing to do was to attempt to do my own nails for the time being. Because as beautiful as the custom set was, and as much as I want to help support my local nail artists, it was pretty pricey and I needed to save my money! Because I don’t do my own nails the only thing I had at home were a set of nail clippers. I headed to CVS for the first time since the pandemic, and went wild in the store (haha!). 

I picked up a bottle of Glittery Gold nail polish by Essie, a quick-drying top coat, nail file, acetone, a set of press-on nails from the brand KISS, and some other nail tools. Fifty-something dollars and a dark chocolate mint KitKat in hand later and it was time to head home and get started!

After I cut my natural nails down to little nubs, I filed and buffed them. I decided to save my set of press-ons for another time, so I painted my natural nails with the Glittery Gold nail polish and finished them off with the Essie quick drying top coat. I was happy to see that my real nails were still in great shape given the fact that I haven’t remove my acrylics for years and years. I am guilty of either getting a fill or a new set each time I am at the nail salon, therefore my nails were never given a break to breathe. A lot of nail techs often tell me how  they are surprised and that I am extremely fortunate to have such great nails despite the years and years of damage that I have done.

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polish

 

nails

I really believe that the only reason why my nails aren’t in as bad a condition as they should be is the fact that I have been taking hair, skin, and nail gummy vitamins for years and I also enjoy drinking bone broth. I am often sipping on some bone broth at least once a week! My friends think I’m gross for this (lol), but honestly it tastes delicious! It’s like drinking chicken soup and I enjoy it a lot! Bone broth is known to promote collagen production which aids in the health and wellness of your nails and your skin. I also have noticed that my eczema has gotten a lot better after drinking bone broth.

boneb

I don’t know when nail salons are able to reopen again in Los Angeles but I am pretty content with the money that I am saving monthly from not doing my nails. Not to mention, I am pleased with my real nails and I think I am starting to get use to them. I hope everyone is staying safe out there. What are some things that you all miss? I’d love to hear what everyone is looking forward to once this pandemic is over!

Xo,

 

 

 

Pandemic Stress Update: Thoughts and Concerns

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If  I’m not watching the news about the pandemic, I’m reading  about it. There are new developments and concerns every day regarding the Coronavirus, and it seems to be getting worse and scarier as the days, weeks, and months pass by.

I have hope that things will get better. I stay inside all of the time and only head out once a week to go food shopping with the exception of ordering something to be delivered once in awhile (hey, we have to support our local businesses during these tough times!). When I do head out to go grocery shopping I wear my DIY mask. I don’t know if it helps, but I like to believe that it is better than nothing. 

diy mask

(My Thai warrior DIY mask! Made with a T shirt and hair tie. Thanks, YouTube!) 

What is effecting me and giving me anxiety is knowing that so many people around the world are dying alone and not able to say goodbye to their families and how those who are working the front lines, our health care providers, the first-responders, are being infected and also losing their lives from this as well. It truly breaks my heart. 

I just wanted to say that I feel like it is OK to feel helpless, sad, and anxious during these difficult times. We all cope with things differently. And the pressure to be happy and positive all of the time is not necessary. I am hopeful; I try to fill my time with DIY projects, spa time, and cleaning, but some days I am not as productive and not as hopeful about the situation. I am still battling with issues and feelings I had to deal with prior to the Coronavirus and going into quarantine. We don’t heal wounds by saying this isn’t effecting us or that it doesn’t hurt because it does. Some days I allow myself to achieve, while some days I allow myself just to just exist. And I am completely OK with that. 

To those that are sacrificing so much to save so many, thank you. Also thank you to our farmers, truck drivers, grocery store employees, postal workers, bank tellers, and everyone else who are considered our essential workers and still working during these difficult times. And for everyone else I that I might have forgotten to mention, thank you too! 

To everyone else who is taking their time and reading my blog, I hope that you are well. And please continue to do your part by staying home and staying safe. 

Xo,

kitty