Your Guide To A New And Improved Life

Your Guide To A New And Improved Life

A self-care guide that will bring some light into your life.

clareleo
clareleo
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Recently, I have a found a renewed love for life and myself. There are a few simple things we can all practice daily to ensure we are getting the most out of our days and taking care of ourselves.

1. Go to bed earlier (before midnight).

If you're anything like me, you'll be up until at least 2am doing work or just scrolling through Instagram on your phone. Going to bed earlier allows you to create a better sleep schedule and feel more rested the next day.

2. Wake up earlier (before 9am).

Again, if you're similar to me, the hours before 11am seem like hours no one should be awake for. But recently, I have been. If you start your day early, you'll feel more organized throughout the day and you can accomplish so much more. There's a whole other world out there and awake before noon!

3. Do yoga everyday.

Your body and your mind will thank you.

4. Journal everynight.

Sometimes, pouring your thoughts, good or bad, onto paper at the end of the day is just what you need to close off a day and allow yourself to start fresh tomorrow.

5. Spend less time on your phone/computer.

I know whenever you have the rare free time that you do, you just want to lay in bed on your phone or watch Netflix. Feed your mind and progress and do something beyond the screen.

6. Create more.

Whatever it is you like to do, do it! Find a new passion. Take photos, paint, write. Work to expand your mind and bring more light into the world.

7. Do things that YOU enjoy/that fulfill YOU.

Do what makes you happy. Disregard others opinions. This is your life, do what is best for you!

8. Eat clean/whole foods.

Your body will feel better the better you treat it. Skip out on very sugary or processed food and try to go for healthier options. Again, your body and mind will tell the difference.

9. Practice gratitude.

Every day, remember how lucky you are. Make a list of things you are grateful for and appreciate them.

10. Do/post what YOU want, without caring.

Your social media is a reflection of you. If you want to post something a little out of your comfort zone but are scared of being judged, do it. Who cares. If you like it, that's all that matters.

11. Be kind to yourself.

Just be kind to yourself. Don't talk down on yourself. Life can already be hard enough, you don't need another thing trying to bring you down!

12. Spread love.

At the end of the day, it's about the love and happiness you have shared. Spreading light will make you feel better too, knowing you had a positive impact on the world.

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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I Don't Have To Wear Makeup To Be Beautiful

You don't have to, either.

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For about as long as modern makeup/cosmetics/skincare brands have been around, the notion that women have to use any of these cosmetic products to be considered "beautiful" has also been around.

(If you've read my earlier article about red lipstick giving me my confidence back, you would know that I absolutely adore certain skincare/makeup products.)

However, I personally don't believe that I need to wear any kind of makeup to be considered "beautiful." And you don't, either.

I think that we, as a society, have seriously overvalued aesthetic beauty and undervalued the beauty that comes from being a decent, honest, genuine, and kind person. I believe that while makeup has an incredible and transformation-giving effect on women, (and men too, just for the record), that none of us honestly should depend on x, y, and z products to make us feel that we are beautiful, or that our self worth and sense of self should be tied up in how many likes a selfie of us in a full face of makeup get.

And quite frankly, there is so much to love about our makeup free, naturally glowing skin that so many of us hide, simply because society would love to tell us that we're not beautiful, or pretty, or worth very much at all if we don't use [insert new trendy skincare product here].

Well, excuse my French, but I'm calling bull.

It's not okay for any of us to think of ourselves as less than, simply because we're not following those crazy and crappy societal trends. In a culture where "Instagram perfect" pictures are the ideal that every woman, or man, is expected to look up to, I'd say it's pretty revolutionary to dare to bare a fresh-faced look.

No one has to ever feel the need to compulsively put on makeup to be considered "beautiful."

Because, in all reality, makeup can't measure the kind of person you are.

Makeup/skincare products can't measure your kindness, your generosity, your bravery in the face of adversity, or any other kickass quality that you might have. Makeup can't do that; only what's inside of you, if brought out for the world to see, can do that. And yes, I'm well aware of how cliché and "junior high preachy" that sounds.

So, I hope this article will possibly spark some introspective thoughts on what beauty means to you. I hope you start to think about the fact that who you are as a person is not defined by how "attractive" or "beautiful" someone else might tell you you are.

You define who you are as a person, nobody else has that power.

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