Author: Elly

Journaling Series for When You’re Worrying About What People Think

Any of my fellow people-pleasers out there?? I am a total people-pleaser, and also kind of a perfectionist. So, naturally, that means that I want people to think I’m …perfect. Unfortunately, I, like the rest of us, am not. So, when I inevitably make mistakes, it can be really easy to jump to some pretty critical (not to mention irrational) ways of thinking about myself. And the funny thing is, what I believe others are thinking about me is almost never accurate. Oh, the irony of anxiety. Below is a series of journal prompts I developed for times when we are really caught up in fears about what people think. These prompts were designed to be answered in a series to help us move from a place of worry to a place of understanding, hope, and rationality. Try it out and let me know what you think! Journal Prompts for When You’re Worried About What Others Think Right now, I find myself worrying that people think I’m . . . (e.g., stupid, socially awkward, lazy …

5 Ways to Find Motivation to Exercise

We all love the high that comes from finishing a good workout. It makes us feel good, it’s good for us, blah blah blah. The trouble is, getting to the gym is often very, very difficult. Why is it that, after a day of sitting, continuing to sit feels so good?? As a former college athlete, I have been on both sides of this dilemma: at certain points in my life, I have been the person who effortlessly goes to the gym most days. More recently, I have also experienced the daily struggle of not having the motivation to get off the cozy couch. Below are some simple steps to bridge the gap. 1. Expand your idea of what a “work out” is. When a lot of us think of “exercise,” we have a mental picture of sweating on an elliptical, hating every minute of it. Exercise is anything that involves moving your body. Walking is a workout. Dancing is a workout. Spending 2 hours going on what my husband calls a “cleaning rampage” is …

Fostering Autonomy in Your Daily Life: Basic Psychological Needs Part 2

This post is the second of a four-part series on three of the most important needs identified by psychologists. If you have not read part one of the series, that’d be the best place to start! Consider this series a “How To” for becoming more motivated and satisfied in different areas of your life. Why Autonomy Matters What is autonomy, and why should you care? Well, first, autonomy is the sense that you are able to make your own choices. It’s the feeling of being in charge of important areas of you life, feeling you have the freedom to decide your own path. Autonomy is important because so much research has found that it leads to more satisfaction, motivation, productivity, and happiness. Sounds good, right? This isn’t surprising. Ask any teenager whether they would be more likely to enjoy doing the dishes when their mom tells them to, or when they spontaneously decide to do so on their own. We all know the answer to that question. If you’re not convinced, let me spout just …

Healthy + Cheap Pasta Dish: Sage + Butternut Squash Linguine

I am a lover of pasta, but so many of the delicious recipes have so. much. cheese. Don’t get me wrong, I am also a lover of cheese, buuuuut it usually gives me a stomach ache (worth it). I wanted to find a pasta dish that would be really healthy and equally simple/cheap to make. Many of the ones I found sounded dry and tasteless, so I made some improvements to make this savory, hearty (and dare I say fancy) dinner! Butternut squash is packed with Vitamin A, fiber, potassium, and magnesium, and it makes this dish taste amazing. Even better, almost all of the ingredients were things I always have on hand. If you’re looking for an easy, low fat, nutrient-packed pasta dish, give this one a try. It is also lactose-free and can easily be made vegetarian (substituting veg. broth for chicken broth). Great meatless main! Sage + Butternut Squash Linguine Cost for ingredients we did not already have on hand = <$10.00. Serves 6-8. Ingredients: 4 tbs of Extra Virgin Olive Oil …

Why I Don’t “Diet:” A Healthy Relationship with Food and Body

In 7th grade, a girl on my school bus asked me how she could lose weight. I was taken aback. I think I said something to the effect of, “Uuuhmmm I dunno… Sorry.” This is not a post about how to lose weight, but it’s what I wish I would have said to that 7th grade girl on the school bus. Since then, I hope she heard a message like this one. I don’t “diet.” This is because I believe that dieting tells us to stop listening to our body, to give it less than it is asking for, to label foods as ‘okay to eat’ and ‘not okay to eat,’ all with the goal of addressing “problem areas” of our appearance. Dieting assumes that the way my body looks right now is not enough: not enough to be beautiful, to be successful, to be healthy, and to be happy. I want confidence, happiness, and health as much as the next person. What I don’t want is for those things to be dependent on whether …

5 Minute Mindfulness: Leaves on a Stream Visualization

If you haven’t read my first post describing what mindfulness is, I suggest reading it before playing the recording below. Below is an audio clip I made of one of my favorite mindfulness visualization exercises called, “Leaves on a Stream.” This exercise is designed to help individuals who struggle with racing thoughts, negative self-talk, anxiety, etc. It helps us practice not giving weight or power to the thoughts we have, but rather act as a non-judgmental observer of these thoughts. This exercise involves a high amount of visualization, so if that’s not a strong-suit for you, it might not be as impactful. If that’s you, I will be posting other mindfulness audios that are a less visualization-heavy, so stay tuned. 🙂 Give it a try, and let me know what you think!

Mindful-What?? Exploring the Practice That’s Taken the Psychology World by Storm

“Mindfulness.” It’s a buzz word, isn’t it? It’s something we throw around because we feel like we should know what it means (and at this point, we’re too afraid to ask.) Mindfulness has been the subject of countless studies, and it’s something many psychologists and therapist believe to be enormously effective in reducing the symptoms of a variety of psychological disorders. Mindfulness is firmly planting your feet in the “here and now.” It is the act of being intentional, purposeful, and present in whatever you are doing: if you are breathing, you’re focused on your breath; if you’re studying, your mind is fully occupied by what you’re learning; if you’re thinking about your emotions, you are present in what you’re feeling. If you’re like me, so far, this doesn’t sound that revolutionary Hang in there, this is where it gets good! If you think about how you go about your day, you probably think, feel, and behave almost completely on autopilot. You wake up, groggily eat breakfast, zone out as you drive to work, react …