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A Positive Mindset

A Positive Mindset can be a long and hard journey – but knowing someone is there to give you motivation, tips and tricks along the way can make the journey much more doable.

Be Grateful for Yourself

It’s been a good stretch of thinking about specific things I’m grateful for, and encouraging you to do the same. But now it’s time to think about the most important thing to be grateful for… YOURSELF. Sometimes it’s really tough to think about yourself positively, but…

The be all end all tip towards positivity is:
LOVE YOURSELF

Don’t be too harsh on yourself, practice self-love, and remember that you are something to be grateful for.

And if you need a little extra help, explore this amazing playlist: 50 Songs about Self Love

 

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Cheers!

What tradition are you most grateful for?

“Traditions and rituals often tell a story about a family. On the macro level, traditions can teach children where their family came from or give them insights into their cultural or religious history. On a more micro level, traditions can serve as reminders of events that have shaped your family and your children.”

Traditions are so much fun. They remind you of the small, or big, important things in life. Focusing on family traditions can bring everyone closer together, and bring all moods up. Traditions, when done right, lend a certain magic, spirit, and texture to a specific day or time.

Since I couldn’t narrow the tradition I’m most grateful for down to one, I’m going to write about two. I’m a cheater… I know! The first tradition is an old tradition. My dad’s side of the family is hispanic, and we are very proud of this part of us. I have loved exploring the hispanic culture since I was young, and I recently visited Spain for a month to explore further. Every Thanksgiving, instead of eating the traditional turkey and mashed potatoes, we create a beautiful feast of enchiladas, botana, Spanish rice, refried beans and guacamole. All homemade of course! (Well, besides the beans). We don’t talk to much of our family, so it’s always just my immediate family on this day. We spend all day cooking together and laughing, and when we finally eat we are so full of joy and love for our culture that it makes the experience ten times better.

The second tradition I’m grateful for is pretty new. It’s only been in the works for three years (going on four), since I’ve been away at college. On Christmas morning, while we open presents, my mom, dad, sister and I all enjoy MIMOSAS. First of all, who doesn’t love mimosas? It’s just a fun little new tradition we’ve started that we all get so excited for. It’s such a great start to the day, and makes our family feel extra close in the morning. Each year, a different one of us has said the toast for the first drink, going in age order. This year is finally my year! It’s so much fun to relax and cherish each other over some mimosas.

Traditions are easy to start and so much fun to continue.

Today’s tip towards positivity is:
Start a new tradition

Think about something you would love to do and look forward to every year, or maybe even every month. Whether it’s a little ritual you do yourself, or something you get your entire family involved in, traditions create a magic moment!

The Starriest of Nights

What piece of art are you grateful for? Art is so beautiful – whether it’s a painting, a story, a tattoo, a poem – it’s all so wonderful and expressive. Delving into the world of art and fully appreciating a piece of art can bring your spirits high.

It’s hard for me to narrow down all of my favorite art to just one that I’m most grateful for, but I would have to say that it’s the painting The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh. I’ve had the painting hanging above my bed for as long as I can remember. My room has changed styles, themes, colors, but the one thing that always stays consistent is the painting above my bed. In many ways, it’s been a place of comfort. Art, no matter how old or obscure, will never age. It’s timeless, which is what makes it feel so consistent and comforting. Through the years, I’ve alway treasured the happiness this work of art gave me. It’s weird to think that just looking, or being surrounded by a painting can lift your spirits, but it really does. Because of the comfort and consistency of the painting in my room, I now even feel comfortable and happy if I see it elsewhere – whether it’s a restaurant, or someone else’s home. That place feels like it’s somewhere okay to be.

The same concept can be transferred to, say, a poem. If you have that poem in a book or hand written, it brings the same comfort when you read it in your room. If you read it from a picture on your phone while you’re nervous on a place, it could bring that same comfort.

If you are in a rut, looking at your favorite painting, reading your favorite poem, or watching your favorite movie can be a calming way to feel content.

Today’s tip for positivity is:
Treasure the artsy things

You’ll find comfort in the strangest pieces of art – let it happen.

Stop and Smell the Roses

What smell are you grateful for today? I, as a 21 year old college student, who could say many different scents and memories, choose freshly cut grass as the scent I am grateful for. For as long as I can remember, the smell of freshly cut grass has calmed me and sent me to a happy place state of mind.

When I was young we would go to my grandparents’ cabin, and I would ride around on the lawnmower with my papa. The smell of the freshly cut grass while I was riding around in pure bliss, is a memory I will never forget. Progressing forward, I would always sit outside and read while my dad would cut the grass, relaxing and taking in the smells and sounds of nature.

I’ve found that even today, walking across my college campus, if I smell that calming scent of freshly cut grass, it sends me back to a blissful state. If you can pinpoint a specific smell, whether it’s freshly cut grass, a vanilla scented candle, or fresh washed linens, it can send a calming sensation through you, giving you that extra little boost you need to make it through the day.

Today’s tip towards positivity is:
Smell the roses

“A Stack of Letters”

What object are you grateful for today? I am grateful for my lavalier. For those of you who don’t know what a lavalier is – it’s a small charm that is a stack of Greek letters representing your Greek organization, typically worn on a chain as a necklace.

I know what you’re thinking… wow, she’s a sorority girl. Let me guess, she has THE BEST BIG EVER. (Actually, I don’t… but that’s okay). I used to cringe at the thought of being a “sorority girl.” In my head, they all had platinum blonde hair and were armed with Daddy’s credit card and a vodka cran. I walked into Recruitment Week at Lawrence Tech and quickly learned that Greek life can be vastly different depending on the school. After a long two weeks of the girls trying to beg me, I decided to give in and accept my bid to Kappa Beta Gamma. I told my parents I’d just give it a shot. What’s the worst that could happen? If I absolutely hated it, I could drop. So I showed up in my white dress, armed with a water bottle and low self esteem.

Fast forward three years and here I am today. I have taken on various chairs within my sorority, and even used my experience within a sorority to help me get a job at a global automotive supplier. I have learned to become a leader, an individual, a scholar. I became a part of our standards board to help all the girls withhold the same standards I help myself to. I became treasurer of Order of Omega – the Greek Honor Society. I never knew how many doors being part of Greek life could open up for me. I have experience with organizing fundraising events, hosting Special Olympics dances, and being “the bad guy” when I need to tell one of my closest friends she’s on poor membership status. I’ve learned how to budget money – from holding chairs and working with a budget, and from budgeting my own income to pay for my dues (since I didn’t have Daddy’s credit card).

I was always scared to use the words “sisterhood” or so call the other girls in my sorority my “sisters.” But after this group of girls helped me through the hardest break up of my life, and after they picked me up through a deep depression and didn’t judge me for being on three different medications, I realized they really were sisters. I couldn’t find this bond just anywhere.

Now, every time I wear the letters of my sorority, I explode with pride. I am representing a group of strong, smart, courageous girls, and I couldn’t be happier. Every day that I wake up and put on my lavalier, I look at myself and know that I am also one of those strong, smart, courageous girls, and it gives me that extra boost of confidence to move forward in the direction I want to continue in.

Today’s tip for positivity:
Wear your lavalier proudly

It doesn’t have to be a literal lavalier – and I know that Greek life isn’t for everybody. But, when you look in the mirror in the morning, put on your metaphorical lavalier. Whatever YOU see to be the confidence, strength, and wisdom to keep you pushing forward. Put it on, and wear it proudly.

Helping Hands

What book are you thankful for today? This may be a strange question nowadays, seeing as though I hardly know anyone my age that reads for pleasure. I’m a huge reader myself – currently reading the Game of Thrones series. I’ve read multiple series over and over (*ahem* Harry Potter), and love picking up a good book to relax with. Surprisingly, when I think of the book I am most thankful for, it isn’t a long novel, or a book in a series I’ve read. The book I am most thankful for is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.

I proudly can say that I still own this book, and yes, I still read it. Reading for pleasure is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Reading serves many purposes, especially if the reading you’re doing is from your favorite childhood book. The Giving Tree is the first book I actually remember reading, and I also remember sobbing like a baby. I was so moved by the storyline that I wanted to read it everyday. I wanted to be just like the tree, and give until I couldn’t give anymore. Many things can factor into the person you become in college, but I would like to believe that this book is part of the reason I am who I am. Because of The Giving Tree, I started volunteering at a young age. I became a little advocate for everything that had to do with using your free time to help others. Soon, I found myself in college, where I barely have time to sleep, let alone volunteer. But of course, I didn’t let that stop me. I spent my spring break volunteering in the Dominican Republic, and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I won’t go on too much about the trip because I know I’ll go off on a tangent, but the main takeaway is that I came back feeling more like myself than ever. Fully immersing myself in a volunteer experience like this gave me the same feeling as reading The Giving Tree. I was so happy and willing, all I wanted to do was continue to volunteer.

Today’s tip towards positivity is:
Be a Giving Tree

Even when life gets crazy, and you find yourself in a rut, try to take time to do any small act of kindness. Even if you aren’t able to go on a volunteer trip, or don’t have the opportunity to volunteer in your area, be sure to take a moment out of your day to do something nice – something that can help another person. Helping others makes you feel so good about yourself, and sometimes you need that pick me up.

It’s Delicious

What taste are you thankful for today? The saying “people who love to eat are always the best people” is one of my favorites. Really enjoying food, and every taste, is so important. A certain taste, like a certain smell, can take you to a special moment, give you a specific feeling, or remind you of something great.

Personally, I am thankful for the taste of popcorn. Popcorn is the ultimate relaxation snack. I’ll munch on it when I’m watching a movie, or laying in bed, or reading a good book. I’ll buy some at a movie theater while seeing a great new movie with one of my favorite people. The taste of popcorn is so delicious and so addictive, but reminds me of relaxation, bliss, and happiness. Whenever I taste popcorn I feel so relaxed, at home, and safe.

Think of a taste that makes you oh so happy. Maybe it’s turkey, because it reminds you of Thanksgiving, and your family. Maybe it’s sangria, because it reminds you of golden skin in the summer. Indulge in this thing every once in a while, especially if you need the pick me up.

Today’s tip towards positivity is:
Enjoy life, it’s delicious

 

 

The Color Yellow

What color are you grateful for today? I’m grateful for the color yellow. Yellow has been my favorite color for as long as I can remember. It’s bright and makes me feel happy, young, and alive. Everyday you should remind yourself of something you are grateful for. Remembering small things, like smells and colors, can really put positivity back into your life.

On days when it’s hard to get out of bed, I think of the color yellow. I think of sunflowers, and warm days, lemons, smiley faces. I think of the sunset and the sunrise in Mexico, my happy place. Yellow makes it easier to tell myself, “I can do this.” And in case no one has told you today yet, you can do it too. It’s easy to lose motivation and get down on yourself – especially when college and work consume you. Sometimes we just need an extra little reminder that we are able, and we are strong. Or sometimes, all we need is our color yellow.

That’s why today’s tip towards positivity is:
Find Your Yellow

Even if it isn’t your favorite color, think of a color that reminds you of your favorite things. Maybe you love green because it reminds you of the trees up north, at your happy place. Maybe you like gray because it reminds you of the carpet at the library, where you love to read your books. Whatever your color is, be sure to find it, and use it as artillery against bad days.

 

 

A Soft Touch

What touch are you grateful for today? Personally, I am thankful for the soft touch of my cats. I have two adorable cats, Moonshine and Whiskey, and I couldn’t be more thankful to have them.

I whole-heartedly believe in the theory that animals can sense when something isn’t right. Whenever I am sick or sad, I can always count on my lovely cats to snuggle up next to me and give me that soft touch. Sometimes all you need is a reminder that you are unconditionally loved.

If you have  any pets in your life, remember them when you are down. Keep in mind that you have a friend that loves you unconditionally. They don’t judge (much) and they always know when you are down. If that doesn’t brighten your day, I don’t know what will.

Today’s tip towards positivity is:
Remember that soft touch

Accept it, receive it, love it.

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