Strengths, Self Love, and a Giveaway

I am majoring in Psychology and Human Health and have become completely enamored with the field of Positive Psychology. Positive Psychology is not about mental illness, but instead focuses on positive mental health and improving wellbeing. I have been lucky enough to take classes on the topic and learn about simple lifestyle choices that lead to happier, and often healthier, lives. The quote on my Yogi Tea the other day was a reminder of a key focus of Positive Psych: focus on your strengths. Our strengths are a mixture of natural talent and hard work (I would argue mostly hard work and perseverance!), but utilizing them and letting our strengths shine is a wonderful way to maximize our abilities and feel successful. It is easy to focus on where we are lacking or areas where we struggle, but if we focus on our strengths and how to use them to achieve our goals we can maintain a positive mindset.

In no way do I believe that we should not strive to improve and challenge ourselves–that is a huge piece of happiness and growth! Striving for improvement is crucial to success, but it is important to maintain appreciation for your strengths throughout the process. What are your strengths? How have you used them today?

On a less serious note, the NuNaturals giveaway has been extended to December 31! Enter here for your chance to win:

NuNaturals Stevia Giveaway!

Holiday Travels: Tips and Tricks

Traveling for the holidays is hard. It’s mass chaos everywhere; people are distracted, highways are packed, and airports are bustling! There are a few things I always do before traveling to minimize stress and anxiety, whether traveling by car or plane.

      1. I tend to randomly think of things I need to do before I leave or items I need to pack, often in the middle of the night or during class or work. I highly recommend taking 1 minute and writing it down on a piece of paper or make a note on your phone. Then right before you head out the door for your trip, go through the list and make sure you did it all!
      2. SNACKS! Nothing is worse than being stuck in the airport and hungry. Overpriced snacks or unhealthy snacks are both awful options (in my opinion…I am a cheap college student here 🙂 so I always make sure to pack some fruit, veggies, and of course a few questbars.

A photo posted by Hannah (@craving_happy) on

 

3. Stay hydrated! It is tempting to drink less so you don’t have to stop on a drive or get up during a flight, but staying hydrated keeps you feeling good the whole day! Planes dehydrate your skin (why your lips and face feel dry post-flight) and drinking plenty of water can keep your skin and body feeling good.

 

A photo posted by Hannah (@craving_happy) on

4. Treat travel time as “me-time.” Bring along a book you’ve been dying to read, a new CD, or a podcast you enjoy. Jam out, learn, or even sleep!

5. Pack everything the night before…except toiletries! Pack them as you use them in the morning–that way you remember everything you use on a daily basis.

Safe travels this holiday season!

Jem Raw Organics and Under-Appreciated Spices

 

Words..I have no words..I officially declare cardamom the most under-appreciated spice in my spice cabinet. Jem Raw Organics was kind enough to send me a few jars of their decadent, raw nut butters. You can seriously taste the quality; they are all silky smooth! I tried the Hazelnut Raw Cacao, Cinnamon Red Maca, Cashew Cardamom, and Superberry Maqui Camu. Their products are all gluten free and vegan and suit nearly every dietary restriction, other than nut-free (obviously).

I have been eating it by the spoonful…

On flax seed rice cakes….

With fresh fruit…

You name it! I definitely forgot how delicious cardamom was. These nut butters are delicious and the flavors stand out on their own–free of additives. I am planning some recipes with these guys and can’t wait to play with them more and let their flavors shine!

What spices do you think are the most under-appreciated?

Feeling Powerful…

Powerful Yogurt is amazing! I’m loving that their bars have a probiotic yogurt coating; I am a die-hard Questbar fan, but it is nice to have a change of pace every once in a while. I like the yogurt creme bar best–it literally tastes like sugar cookies. There is a rich, buttery vanilla flavor and the bar is super smooth.

I’ve been using their protein shakes as coffee creamer, as well. It is SUPER good and comes in both chocolate, vanilla maple, and açai, although I haven’t tried açai yet! They are delicious on their own, as well. Once again, I am a huge fan of the inclusion of probiotics. They keep the ingredients list short and the shakes are shelf-stable, which is perfect for tossing in my backpack for a long day at school.

I cannot wait to try their yogurt; has anyone tried them? Favorite flavors??

Fitness Burnout

Nothing motivates me quite like happiness.

I don’t know about you, but I am far more likely to stick with workouts that I find fun, challenging, and effective. My personal favorites are blogilates workouts; they are fun and bring me so much joy! Find an exercise you ENJOY, fitness does not (and should not) have to feel like a chore.  The calendar is free easy and I find peace and satisfaction knowing that I have workouts planned for me. The videos usually focus on one area and last for about 45 minutes. Confession: I usually skip the first (cardio) video of each day because I hate cardio, but it keeps me working out about six days a week. The pop pilates videos get my heart rate up, Cassey (the founder of blogilates) keeps it real, and I feel the effects both in increased strength and mood.

Go find your happy workout!

Moments of Beauty

 

I am so blessed to have this beauty as part of my walk to classes every morning. Although this week has been rainy, humid, and dreary, I am grateful to have this beautiful scenery and the frequent sunny, mild days of Southern fall. It’s easy for me to feel annoyed at the slightest inconvenience; just missing the shuttle to main campus for class, stepping in a puddle, a (extraordinarily) bad hair day…but when all is said and done, those things are inconsequential in the grand scheme of life.

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