Yesterday while sitting at the desk of my internship I thought of how many times I’ve complained in the last two weeks. How many moments I’ve let the “edge” of my day (week, month, and or even past hour) allow me to act short with those I’ve encountered. While thinking of this I must admit, I felt ashamed. Ashamed that I had let my responsibilities take away from my joy in life, ashamed that I would let the various transitions of my external affect my internal.

Yet, how often do we allow our levels of stress to dictate our spirits?

As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, I spent some time pondering and reflecting on this question and sadly I must admit that I habitually allow stress to take its toll on my spirits, and in pursuit to change such habits I’ve begun to implement some new practices. Practices that I believe are worth sharing with each of you, so shall we delve?

1. Intentionally waking up

It’s typical to wake up with starting your to-do list in mind, especially for those who are extremely organized (each second counts in terms of you sanely getting all your work done). However, this is not the most beneficial way to start the day. I’ve discovered that if we have 24 hours in a day to work hard, then a few moments in the morning spent setting intentions won’t hurt. So how does one intentionally wake up? Well it may vary depending on the individual but the way I personally like to start my day is to begin with prayer (I’m lazy… so I typically pray in my bed), regardless a prayer is a prayer right? So, yes I like to spend my waking moments in gratitude and by doing such I’ve noticed that I am mentally prepared for my day. By channeling my spirit to effectively work alongside the good energy that has been provided for me, I am making a conscious decision to press forward, no matter the obstacles because through gratitude I am reminded of previous victories I’ve experienced.

2. Re-charging

Like many of you, I am no stranger to hard work. There are many times in my day that I find myself needing a little break and although sometimes my schedule doesn’t warrant a full day trip or anything lavish, a slight pause to the chaos is always feasible. I personally enjoy taking a break and sometimes journaling, meditating, cooking, cleaning up around my house or even watching Netflix. Whatever feels best, at the time is what I decide to choose. Which leads me to my third practice.

3. Listening to yourself

Listening to my mind and body I’ve discovered that sometimes I simply tackle on too much at once. With this knowledge, I’ve begun trying to increase my intake of vitamins, healthy snacks, water, and sleep. Whatever my body and mind needs to be productive and relieved is what I’m willing to do. Even if that means taking some extra time and pacing myself through the various projects that I have. The reality is life is always evolving with or without you, and while sometimes the workload can appear as being burdensome, it’s important to remember that it’s never more than you can bear. So your mind on achieving those goals with a joyful and focused state of mind.

Remember "You can't pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first"- Unknown.