10 Reasons Why I Chose Rest.

REST.

I've spent years thinking I needed to do it all. 2016 came, and I made the decision to honor more rest. I'm happy to report there has been more rest and taking necessary downtime for myself. Currently, I'm in the midst of a month-long break, and embracing every moment.

Little did I know, towards the end of 2015, I was in full burnout. So it has been my goal to restore myself back to someone who appreciates living in the moment every day. I am working to remove the idea of getting caught up in the past or stressing about the future.

If you are finding yourself in the midst of crazy, which is becoming more important in our hyper-connected lives, here is some insight on why I chose to rest, and why you may need to as well.

1 / I felt the warning signs.

After finding this last month, I knew I made the right choice. Being able to nod my head at each sign was a clear indicator of being on an unhealthy path for my emotional and mental health. The biggest red flag for me was feeling lethargic - each day seemed to drag on and the fact I couldn't help but fall asleep in the living room almost every night showed itself loud and clear. My body was in a constant state of soreness, a level I knew wasn't normal.

2 / To focus on unplugging more.

By not jam-packing my schedule, I have found more downtime at home. I am starting to savor this feeling more and more. On top of that, I am being more intentional about unplugging, even if just for the evening. I used to have a constant state of stress in my mind of tasks to be done. Where once my planner was used to make obscene to-do lists, it is now a place to be more intentional; sometimes, I even take a step back to see if it is something worth writing down, or if I would be better off just doing it.

3 / My eating had gone out the window.

And not in the junk food way you may be thinking. I was only craving sweets and simple carbs, which is an indicator to me of being in a prolonged, stressed state. Since starting on a path of intuitive eating, I was doing my body right by honoring those cravings. I also knew I needed to find the trigger on why only cookies sounded good for dinner. As I started accepting more time for rest days, my body began craving better meals. I found motivation to make new dinners and was back in a place of more than just sweets and simple carbs.

4 / I had less gratitude.

The mind funk was heavy, and I found myself focusing on the positive less and less. All of the energy put into positivity was starting to get dominated by negativity and the littlest annoyances. The resolution? Setting a phone reminder to write down five things at the end of each day I am grateful for. Even after a tough day, doing this before bed lets me reflect on the good in the day. This is a habit I've made from January 1, and I can't wait to be able to look back on this at the end of 2016.

5 / Happiness was low.

Don't get me wrong, there was happiness in most days. But there were also days where I let stress take over, and happiness was pushed aside. After that lightbulb moment, I knew putting a focus on what made me happy was exactly what I needed. Finding what makes us happy again after feeling like it has been lost means going to the core of ourselves to find those simple moments of happiness, which went hand-in-hand with more gratitude.

6 / There was no time.

When you wake up in the morning and feel like you rush through the day until your head hits the pillow again, but don't feel like you've had a moment to breathe and do something for you...that's when I really knew. I had to find what mattered most at my core, and focus on only that. First and foremost, it was me; if I couldn't do that, there was no way to connect with the people who mean the most in my life. Self-care can be severely underrated in a society where always being busy is praised and applauded in most cases.

7 / Society made me believe it was okay.

Unless we bring more awareness into our lives, we can blindly live each moment in the eyes of society. Instead of doing what we want and what we crave, we fall into society's trap. What I saw around me was people doing it all, getting little sleep and saying "I'm busy" all the time. My mind was tricked into believing it was all okay. But it wasn't. And it won't ever be okay. I know now how bad it is to rely on 4.5 hours of sleep, how exhausting scheduling out each moment can be. After dropping society's pressure, I found people who weren't living this life. And that was what I wanted for myself.

8 / I needed to give myself permission.

Permission to rest, to miss a workout here and there, to honor my cravings, to enjoy doing nothing. My close friend Julianna covered it all perfectly. I had let guilt get the best of me when it came to resting, and I needed to start giving myself permission for what my mind needed. Giving the okay to myself to take a month off was difficult initially, but the days to follow were filled with multiple points of confirmation I was doing what was right for me.

9 / My sense of self was foggy.

My mind still has a light fog over it, but nothing compares to what I was feeling at the start of 2016. If anything, an extended amount of rest and more focus on self-care is helping to lift this fog. The fact I can get back into blogging and wake up with a strong pull to do the simple things to bring me happiness has helped immensely. Even taking the opportunities to hold and work through each emotion has removed so much of this fog.

10 / Because my gut said so.

We can all read through the above reasons, and push past if rest is needed. But when your gut is saying rest? You should listen. I pushed past for a good month before using my power to finally honor this rest for myself.

cloudymountains

As I continue to live through this season of rest, I realized it has been a harder journey than I had anticipated. Choosing self-care and rest is tougher than I realized, and has required a different level of dedication to make these changes.

The bonus?

I get to learn more about myself each and every day as I make the choices to make me happy.

 

Back to Blogging.

I'm not even going to look back to see when my last post was published. Not because I don't think it matters, but because I want to focus on the now. I want to focus on the fact I can change it in an instant. I've been waiting too long to 'make it happen' and need to let go of fear and just blog. My mind has feed too much into the pressure of being a full-blown blogger, instead of going back to basics. Going back to when I started my first blog: All I wanted to do is write, connect, and express myself in a community of like-minded people.

And I haven't been doing that.

Honestly, I've been letting my insecurities take over. I've let the world around me influence my thoughts too much, which results in me holding back...which means zero blogging.

At some point in life, we have to let go of the fear, and just live. We have to do what makes us most happy and stop worrying about what others might think or might say. If we were to listen to all of that, I'm sure many of us wouldn't be living lives full of joy and happiness. Something I am always striving for is living an authentic life, which I haven't been doing. If this blog will help me to connect with others, help them through a tough spot in their own lives, I need to work every day on becoming more authentic for that to happen.

My belief is strong that everything that happens in our lives, happens for a reason. That every negative in our life does have a silver lining. And in my case, a turquoise lining. I've accepted a rather rough start to this new blog, but know at the same time it is happening this way for a reason. Life somehow manages to give us what it knows we can handle.

flowers

 

 

Seeds.

It is not very often we put our hearts on our sleeve. Why? Because it puts us in a vulnerable state, and that usually isn't anyone's first choice of where they want to be on any given day. But when we do decide to share a bit of our heart, we hope to find support at the receiving end; that compassion will soon follow the words that leave our mouth. Being someone who can experience anxiety when it comes to making decisions, having support helps me recognize I made the right decision.

And as much as we can hope and pray it will happen how we think...it doesn't always go that way. Sometimes, the support isn't there - and that's okay. I know for myself I need to become more assertive in my decisions, to never forget how I know myself best. After making a decision pulling at my anxiety, I came across this:

IMG_8506

It pulled at my heart in a way that filled it with hope. That solidified I had made the right decision for myself. It was true, though. While I had hoped to feel relief after getting the decision out, I didn't. It felt a little dark. It still felt anxious. And it sent me through a spiral of thoughts if I had made the right decision. I made the mistake of not putting any confidence into my decision, which is something I know I need to work on. To reiterate the above - I know myself best. I should never hold back any confidence with any decision I make for myself.

After expressing the pain I was going through with two dear souls in my life, I finally found the confidence that it was the right decision. I found the support and compassion I had wanted to feel. As much as I to be confident and strong, there are still decisions in this life that can bring me down to my worst and make me second-guess my own thoughts, even if I know 100% it is the right decision for me. And trust me, I am not alone in this. We all have these moments in life.

As I mentioned on my Instagram post yesterday evening, I found signs throughout the day, ones to help me build up the confidence with my decisions. As I drove to work, a full rainbow arched over my work; and when I went home at the end of the day, I found another full rainbow bringing me home. After finding an article about the symbolism behind rainbows, this part of the author's words brought full circle the confidence I needed:

 

Rainbows are "an extraordinary symbol of following our heart's desire and purpose"

And I really couldn't have said it better myself.

IMG_8512

I cannot wait to find myself growing. To break the ground around me and bloom into more of who I am recognizing myself to be. At the beginning of 2015, when most choose resolutions, I find myself searching for a word to build my year around. Some years, it ends up not being the right word. Other years, it ends up showing itself in many ways. This year, my word is Authentic. I lead many years trying to fit in, and make my decisions around the thoughts of others. But this year? I wanted to throw caution into the wind - I wanted to start living an authentic life. One that makes me happy.

This decision has allowed me to become more authentically me. It will help me to build myself up in ways I never even imagined.

Paralyzed by a Little of Everything.

More days than not, I find myself wanting to do so much. I want to deep clean our apartment, sort through items to donate, blog, watch 'my people' on YouTube, read blogs, catch up on my stack of books...the list could truly go on. And being someone who was born a planner, I find some days I'm good at getting things done; I seamless move from one task to another. IMG_3554

But other days - it is the complete opposite.

My "want to-do" list could be 5 items long, and at the end of the day, I find none of them accomplished. What I realized this has turned into is a game of feeling paralyzed by wanting to do everything - all at once. Instead of just starting something and seeing where the day takes me, nothing happens. I find myself mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, or doing a task that is just no fun instead of really listening to my mind on what I want to do.

Blogging has, unfortunately, been on the "want to-do" list, but never gets touched on. And it is the one task I know could not only benefit me, but could benefit others. I am working through trying to find my words in this beautiful blog world, but at the same time, not taking action to just write is moving me back two steps. In the motivational words of Shia Lebouf - "just do it" (I suppose I could say in the words of Nike - but Shia's viral video sticks once you watch it).

Here I am - just doing it. I am sick of trying to find the perfect time - because honestly, I'm not sure it actually exists.

IMG_3228

+++

In the past week, I have felt this definite shift in my mentality. A lot of thoughts are coming to the surface and I can feel myself changing each day when I wake up. It sounds cheesy, I know, but there is really no other way to describe it. Last weekend lead to preparing blog posts for the week ahead, and it made me feel so alive. More alive than I have felt over the past couple of months as I work through my depression and anxiety. My mental health is a place I have come to accept and be proud of; because at the end of the day, it is what makes me "me". And to find blogging helped me to share my thoughts in a healing way - I want it to continue.

An opportunity presented itself at the gym, one that first brought so much excitement in my life, and a sense of accomplishment - that my hard work had paid off. But as the days started to pass after the initial invite to our comp class at CFA, it felt overwhelming. My training schedule would be changing, and I'd be finding myself on the opposite schedule of what I loved about CrossFit initially. I love being able to start my days with a WOD, with great people getting me through. And I loved being able to see one of my best friends a few mornings a week. And it was all about to change.

As I moved through the weekend, I found myself become more paralyzed on the decision I should make. After turning to my two best friends at the gym, I found the timing to just not be right for me. I preach "you do you" to many people; about how important it is to make decisions that satisfy who you are as a person.

I wasn't doing that for myself.

And while it will be hard to move past this opportunity, I know it is the best decision for me. It will allow me to continue having most evenings at home with Matthew. It will continue my morning WODs with one of my favorites. It will allow me to set up my day in the best way possible. And possibly one of the best parts - it will give me the time to blog. CrossFit always felt like it was going to be this huge part of my life, and while it still is (without a doubt), it isn't everything right now. I am trying to find a way to figure out what I truly want to do and where I want to put my passions in this world.

Everything that has happened up until this point has helped me become the Kelsey I am today. I wouldn't change anything and feel we are suppose to go through these life events and decisions to help us further figure out who were are in this world.

IMG_3396

Has there been a time in your life where you turned away a perfect opportunity, to only realize it was the best decision for you? 

 

End of a Diary.

When I was first requested to start a blog diary for my sport training, I had no problem adding here to A Turquoise Lining. My first thought: It will make things easier to keep up to date. And while this was true at the start, my little corner of the internet feels 100% dedicated to CrossFit -- and I kind of didn't like it. I dream of this space being an expressive outlet for me, a place to let out those random confessions and quirky thoughts. I also think of it as a way to connect with others and inspire them to live amazing, powerful lives. In the future, it would be amazing to connect my coaching business here. With my CF Diary on here, I felt it was taking away from the authentic feel I wanted. Yes, CrossFit is a big part of my life. A huge part, as I just accepted an invite to our comp class. And I wouldn't change that for anything. I believe things happen for a reason in our lives, and at the right time for our lives as well.

But after meeting with Coach Ryan a month or so ago to talk goals (not just gym-related - it was all-encompassing), I spoke of my blog as being a pastime, a hobby to hold outside of my gym life. And by mixing the two, it has led to a little unhappiness with how A Turquoise Lining has developed over its short existence. As of August 16, that was my last update for the CrossFit Diary -- the era of keeping it on here? Done. I am committing to using my WOD book, and may just start another notebook to track how WODs feel and my sleep/nutrition for the day. If we still need to have a live blog, I'll find a resolution once the conversation happens.

Wowza - glad I got that off my chest.

Sometimes you don't realize what you are holding in until you let your fingers take over and the words form on the screen. I noticed in the past few weeks my inspiration and desire to write was gone. You may have recognized my creative presence as I slipped into a bit of a hiatus. And I didn't like it. But at the same time, I was confused on how to get out of it. I was even more confused about why ATL wasn't inspiring me like the day I bought the domain. As I thought more and more of the direction this blog was going, the light bulb went on - I knew it was because I was putting all of my blogging energy into the CrossFit Diary; there was no room for me to document and share my creative thoughts.

Let's document that being the easiest and most obvious "a-ha" moment of the year. Along with figuring out my lack of focus during lifts was throwing me all off.

So I'm back. *inserts hallelujah hands emoji*

And more focused on giving to this space as much as I can; I mean, two posts already this week, and this being a third? Totally killing it. As I always hope to post multiple times a week, I'm going to start my post quota low at one post per week. More than one in a week? We'll just call those extras bonus posts. And as time goes on, and I get in the swing of making sure one post goes up, we might up the quota to two. It is all about the progress, right? The good news - linking up with Amanda's ToL on Thursdays will always be a good catch if I haven't had time to draft a post. Since the content = ramblings, it makes it easy to just let the mind go. BUT, I want to challenge myself, so my hope is to head in to the draft folder and get some of my ideas, thoughts and feelings published.

Again, thank you to those who have taken the time to follow (especially those 7 special souls on Bloglovin'!) me through my blogging journey. No one ever said it was going to be easy, but they also never tell you how much of an impact it can have on your life.

IMG_3187

Preach it, Amy. 

What is the last "a-ha" moment you had? 

Why Hello Anxiety.

Hi, I'm Kelsey and I have a touch of anxiety. Maybe a little more.  

Over the past month or so, an old feeling has crept back into my life - and I'm not certain who let it waltz on into my life.

Oh wait, it was me.

After busy weeks, a packed work/life schedule, and not enough self-care, anxiety came right back. And while I haven't been 'officially' diagnosed, I know my mind and the world of anxiety to know what it looks like and what it entails. And with a past of depression, it doesn't surprise me (at all). Remembering back to college, I knew anxiety was high then as well, as I was balancing a lot on my plate, and, again, not taking much time for self-care.

It was weird to feel my mind spinning once again, and to feel an unexplainable tightness in my chest. And the feeling of not being able to just relax and "be".

On top of that, my stomach was so unhappy with me. The anxiety flowed through my entire body, wreaking havoc on a body that had been so calm for so long. My appetite diminished a little, and I truly felt foods which hadn't given me trouble in the past, were upsetting it more than ever. The fact is - it is bound to happen. The homeostasis we all learn to love in each of our days is in imbalance in my own. And while many would think "what have I done wrong in this life to deserve this?", I sit here thinking to myself "now what have you forgotten to do that got you to this place; what did you neglect while worrying about other aspects of your life?"

And I mainly just neglected myself in the process. And when that happens, everything else seems to either fall apart or weaken. And after reading an article connecting the gym and our mental health, it solidified what I have felt (here's the article - it's a great read).

But I'm ready to change that. I'm ready to build my life back up and find the bliss I know it deserves. And while it may require some work, it will be work done for my own self-care. If it means looking into therapy, that'll be on the agenda. If it means looking at adjust certain areas of my life, I'll make it happen. If it means going through our apartment as thoroughly as possible and donating what we simply do not need anymore, I'll do it.

All for a life with a little more bliss, a little more calm, and a whole lot of happiness and joy.

 

No questions - just your thoughts. 

Kelsey-ing / Week of [May 25-30]

2015-05-24 08.00.49 Having a Monday off was one of the sweetest gifts this month. It was fun waking up with an extra day to the weekend, another day to take time for me. The weird part? As excited as I was, a funk came over me. I spent most of the day trying to sort it out, and feel MUCH better today. While I know sharing my struggles would help - the words aren't there now - they weren't here yesterday and I'm still searching for them today. My mind and heart feel heavy, yet a bit lighter than yesterday (thankfully). After last week, filled with positivity, optimism and turquoise linings, it was weird to start the week in a funk.

I spent the rest of yesterday enjoying the rain, and trying to find new turquoise linings. Turquoise Lining #1: Use Monday as part of my weekend, and restart my weekly mindset tomorrow.

Side note: It was the weirdest thing yesterday; a sore throat hit in the early afternoon and progressively became worse as the night went on. As we went to get groceries, it just became more tender and a feverish feel came over me as well. I gladly drank tea to soothe my throat, but still woke up this morning with a hurting throat. More tea is on the agenda, and positive thoughts that it is just from doing Murph on Saturday.

In the meantime, here's what Kelsey-ing looks like now and for the week ahead. My sweet friend, Jenna, introduced me to the fun of these posts on her blog - promptly named Jenna-ing .


Making - an effort to stay extra busy today so the day flies on by.

Reading - still on Flexible Dieting 2.0 from Krissy Mae Cagney.

Thinking - about our cozy little apartment.

Drinking - throat coat tea and lots of water.

Writing - this post, among others, for the week ahead.

Bookmarking - lots of blog posts from fellow blends and articles to inspire me more and more.

Marveling - at how much a positive mind works.

Hoping - this sore throat doesn't last too long.

Pinning - blogger recipes.

Loving - my little Lumi kitty and simple dates with Matt.

Obsessing - over the teal/turquoise Nike Metcons being released in July.

Giggling - at cute kitten videos.

Feeling - better after sharing my thoughts.

Disliking - the feeling of there not being enough time in the day.

Wearing - gladiator sandals / gap black pants / express olive green tank / h&m taupe sweater

Admiring - how blessed I am to have amazing friends in my life.

Playing - nothing, but wishing for Netflix.

Planning - out what the week will look like + my packing for my little cities trip this weekend.

Building - my dreams by blogging my thoughts.

Trying - to keep busy and stay positive.

Dreaming - of the weekend ahead in the cities.

Following - a lot of inspiring people, on Instagram and through blogs.

Pondering - what I should do once I get home - sleep or blog.

Needing - to take a step back and really let myself relax more.

Enjoying - the thought of Matt having more weekends off come June.

Waiting - for 5 o'clock to arrive so I can head on home.

Wondering - what the WOD will be tomorrow...

Wishing - for everything to get a bit easier.

Cooking - weekly stir-fries.

Liking - my recent discovery of Zoella on YouTube.

Noticing - how our tree outside is finally getting little buds.

Watching - my words appear on the screen, and wishing it could be Netflix.

Opening - my eyes to the positive today instead of focusing on the negative.

Wanting - to thank all the veterans who have given their lives for our freedom {thank you}.

 

Pick out one of the above and tell me how your Monday on a Tuesday is going!

Ramblings of Friday.

I'm convinced a sunny day can make life seem pretty darn amazing. Not to say rainy days aren't amazing (hello Netflix & snacks!). But when you go close to a week (maybe even two?) without a spot of sunshine, the world seems a bit dreary. So when the sun decided to stay around for an entire day on Tuesday, and then blessed us with two more day, it's an understatement to say I feel pretty happy this week. Eating breakfast with the sun shining in the living room feels more calm than any gray sky can give. If you stopped by yesterday, you may have been early enough to see this post... It was supposed to be a ToL with Amanda, but after a night of insomnia on Tuesday, Wednesday after work consisted of making dinner, eating dinner, Netflix + dairy-free ice cream, and then zonking out, no joke. There was no chance of even opening my Mac to get a post done. So instead, I just changed it to a Friday of ramblings.

And while Monday started out with a case of the blues, I'm happy to report the turquoise linings have been in abundance all week. It just took choosing happy, and repeating the mantra of "the day can only get better". Getting out of funks is really no joke. I'm feeling a lot more positive this week compared to last, and it feels pretty darn good.

2015-05-09 22.29.24

+ Compared to last weekend, there are a few events coming up. Our Memorial Day Murph WOD and a wedding will be taking place on Saturday, and on Sunday, a birthday party for one of the little girls of a momma at our gym. I'm excited to have some easygoing plans this weekend! Oh! And Matt's mom has her birthday on Sunday, so we have hopes of being able to see her then, or on Monday for a little birthday celebration

+ As excited as it is to have some plans this weekend, I'm equally happy to have time to relax - or pass out like Lumi kitty (see photo below). This girl needs it before Monday comes around...

2015-05-19 18.18.57

+ Which, speaking of Monday... I'm stoked on adding a third day on my weekend (for once!)! Gotta love those federal holidays. My goal is to really take it as a day of relaxation. My weekends are usually filled with tidying, cleaning, and laundry, so a day of just doing me sounds glorious.

+ On Tuesday (and Wednesday...), I discovered the BEST dairy-free ice cream -- Steve's Ice Cream. Oh my word, my world has changed. It is coconut cream based, but doesn't have the standard "tropical" taste I'm used to when it comes to coconut ice cream. I found it at our Whole Foods Co-op, and I know I'll be on the look out for more flavors when I stop there.

2015-05-20 20.13.32

+ I spoke too soon about not having insomnia. Tuesday night was the worst night yet, clocking in at about 3-4 hours of sleep. A decision I made during my awake hours: I would never wish insomnia on my worst enemy (if I even have one of those). It is a helpless feeling, and I really hope I can try to hone in on what is causing it to happen more often.

+ Gym family = the best. I don't know if I have said it before, but I feel so overwhelming blessed with the community I am a part of at CrossFit Aerial. I have never been surrounded by so many people who go out of their way to make your day better when you are down, and who genuinely care about you. I have some of the best friends in my life and couldn't feel more appreciative of the joy they bring into this beautiful life.

+ Also, I'll apologize in advance for the Bridge Built entries. If they are not your cup of chai, and seem a little annoying...they are part of my new programming at the gym. We are required to start a blog, and since I already have ATL, I knew it would be easiest for me to add it on here, instead of start another blog. Oy Vey, it would have been a lot of work. Thank you for letting me doing my thing!

2015-05-10 18.42.11

+ I'll end with this - I have so much excitement and inspiration for blogging now. I hope to spend the weekend channeling it into real fruition, instead of just a few random thoughts and plans in my head. I'll probably continue saying this, but giving myself a fresh start was one of my best ideas yet.

What Memorial Day weekend plans do you have? 

Any remedies for insomnia? 

Lastly -- what do you do to get out of your funks?