When most of us think of a typical glow up, the changes that come to mind are more superficial and skin deep than we’d like to admit.. and often times are not very helpful. I do truly believe that donning an outfit you feel comfortable and well represented in is a big part of feeling good, but there’s more to it. A couple of weeks ago I was listening to my blogging friend carly’s podcast, which you can find links to on her site and she talked about an overall lifestyle glow up. I loved the idea and wanted to kind of adapt it and share my own thoughts on the topic! Whether we do so consciously or not, in ways we all take steps in the direction of the life we ideally want to lead. Remembering this simple fact is a great way to be inspired by the progress we make, even if we don’t find it particularly notable. If you feel like you’re stuck in a perpetual awkward phase, not to worry.. I’ve been there too. We all have. Over the years though, I’ve grown in so many ways and feel more myself than ever before.
Don’t be afraid to bend the bounds of what you already know in search of something more. When discovering yourself and what makes you glow, rules are meant to be broken!
Analyse your routine- do you do the things you do out of love, obligation or fear of change? There are so many ways we can learn to be more authentic for our greater good and most of the time that begins with unlearning. Unlearn the things you were told to do by others. Unlearn the things that make you feel like you’re further away from where or who you want to be. Smooth waters don’t make a skilled sailor and likewise, easy and familiar won’t challenge you or propel growth in any aspect of your life. There is a reason we live in stages- we have to take account of our growth and know when to shed the old. Don’t let yourself be suffocated. Break out. Breathe.
Let go of the small habits that inhibit you and your inevitable process:
We all know the annoying little things that irk us, but often times we don’t make the necessary change or put off action because we think, “Oh, that’s small fry stuff!”
I have everyday examples of this and while none of it is a big deal, it’s harder to feel motivated to make bigger changes when you don’t have a clear or easy starting point.
So, let this serve as your reminder- put that hair tie in your pocket, not around your wrist. Don’t let your earphones get tangled to the point you can’t use them again. If you have important papers, keep them in a designated folder. Take those five minutes to have you tea in the morning if you know you’ll feel better for it. Curate your life to the finest details, because this is how you create a haven. Sleep, wake up, repeat.
Embrace independence in any aspect you can:
Mindset is major in deciding how we feel. Instead of thinking you have to do something, try believing you get to do it. This small shift in mentality will do you lots of good. Independence and drive to go out and do are so closely intertwined. You’ve got to love being all you need and drawing from within. Own and exploit your capabilities. Let yourself be guided by your inner voice. What does it say and where does it lead you? Analyse who you are- do you feel your best surrounded by others or tucked away in solitude? Recharge in the way that gets you to 100% quickest so you can move into your flow and be ready for what’s to come.
Give yourself direction:
The time for being vague is well and truly over. To achieve and progress you need a clear, well thought out mental manual. Be willing to first let go of the old. Who you once were does not determine who you are or will be any less than a slow morning determines an unproductive day. You are free to change at any point. Be freed by this idea- all things in nature are ever growing and evolving. A body of water is free flowing and unconfined. What they all have in common though is an end goal or direction.
Always be sure to appreciate the many paths you’ve taken to get to this present moment, because they genuinely mean something. Ultimately, what is a sense of direction built on? Modern life and living tells us that everything has a price, everything can be bought. We accumulate possessions and so many of them that what is truly priceless becomes buried in the unnecessary. Don’t dive into a stream of excess or prioritise a single thing. Be balanced and live in harmony. Look clearly and you shall see.
Define and live according to your core values:
Your core values, life motto and philosophies should be the centre stone and reasoning behind why you do all you do. It should be your drive and motivation, serve as a moral guide. Living your values ultimately means living for yourself and placing a greater emphasis on committing to people, activities and experiences that reflect what you believe. It is a step on a long pathway to true joy, but it will make a big difference in your everyday life.
Listen to understand, not just to respond:
We’ve all know it’s better to listen than to speak, which is why we’ve been blessed with two ears and one mouth, but why is this so? Ultimately, when we listen only to respond, we’re not soaking up anything we’re meant to be hearing, but rather trying to form a response prematurely. It’s not only insensitive and disrespectful, but can cause trouble if you’re caught out not knowing what to say because you’ve missed something key. At best, you resort to the dreaded head nod or form a generic response, hoping it fits.
Discover your unique love language:
I can’t stress this enough. If there’s anything I’ve learnt being in a more long-term relationship, it’s about my partner and I’s love language. Of course, this isn’t just applicable to romantic relationships, but across the whole board- friendships, family.
Finding out what makes you feel warm and fuzzy is a game changer. The quality and connection of your partnerships will get all that much better, as will communication. There are five identified love languages- words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time and physical touch. My partner and I are very similar and actually identify with the same two primary love languages- the latter two, if you’re wondering. Neither of us are particularly materialistic and often forgo gifts, but always prioritise each other. It means we’re that much more in tune with any feelings that might arise and can deal with them accordingly.
Be consistent in all that you do:
As they say, greatness is the product of consistency. When I started my blog six years ago, I was just one in a sea of many.. and let me tell you, if I stood out, it wasn’t for anything good! That, sometimes, is the nature of beginnings. Awkward, rough; like a first draft of a novel you’ve always wanted to write. Now, well into my journey, I’m in a much different place and that is due to dedication, smart work and the hours I’ve put into this site. It’s not a challenge to make time for blogging because it feels like something I’ve always done and has well and truly become a priority.
Stop reacting, start responding:
Don’t be reactive! When I think of reactions, I think explosive science experiment gone wrong. The word has an innate negative connotation. All of your thoughts and experiences are conditioned responses to events of your past that you either continue to hold onto or draw from when faced by a particular thing. You might start constructing predetermined responses to events when in reality you know nothing is that black and white. Being reactive is the reason for bad tempers, loose tongues, missed opportunities and immaturity. When confronted by something that elicits a less than negative response from you, pause and take a step back. It’s okay to feel what you will, what you need to, but you are always in control of what you show others. Take a minute to question yourself. Offer alternative ways of responding. Ask, “Is this the only way?”
Develop emotional intelligence:
Emotional intelligence and Intelligence quotient- two very different things. IQ is a marker of what you know and how well you can solve problems while emotional intelligence looks at your capacity for resilience, motivation, communication, stress management and more. It is also about the way you conduct yourself in social situations that turn tricky. How well you read between the lines and pick up on cues, which can be difficult for many people. A lot of these are what I call subtle skills in that it’s not always obvious what you should and shouldn’t be doing. Emotional intelligence is necessary for control and navigation of many situations. It is certainly an essential life skill. The skills involved in emotional intelligence are self awareness, regulation, empathy and social skills. We are people and live amongst them. It is time we learned our own nuances and those of others.
Follow and embrace holistic/spiritual practices:
I know holistic practices can seem a bit odd, but there’s always the chance that something will draw you in. Personally, I like to keep a select few crystals in my room and will sometimes sleep with one under my pillow. Rose quartz, for universal healing energy, which is certainly needed right now. Ruby Fuchsite for the transformation of negative feelings to positivity, courage and passion. Lastly, amethyst, which helps to balance and gently heal. It’s not for everyone but it works for me. I’ve also had long stretches of time with nothing to do, exactly like now, where I’d take online yoga classes. Over on YouTube there’s a channel that I encourage you to check out. I’ll probably get back into that!
You can also try meditation or prayer. This doesn’t have to be anything long or drawn out or sappy. It can be short and heartfelt, taking only five minutes or so. Just take a few deep breaths, relax and lean into the peace, whatever this looks like for you. This could also look like taking homeopathic medicines or embracing a more natural lifestyle.
Don’t self sabotage or procrastinate the important things:
Yes, we’re all guilty here, but if it’s a habit we can break once and for all, we’ll be better off. Procrastination and putting off pressing tasks doesn’t always come from laziness or simply not wanting to do something. We all like clear schedules with nothing to weigh on us. More than anything, it can just be the overwhelming feeling of not knowing where to start that prevents you from even trying. You know what is true though? The hurdle of beginning. That’s not to say it’s a smooth road from there, but you need to start in order to ever see a finish line. About a month ago I took my driving test and passed. I’d studied attentively and knew the questions and answers off by heart. It’s one thing to move from theory to practical though, which is what I’ll soon be doing. I might know what to do, but how exactly? I guess it’s time for driving lessons. Long story short, I was afraid. Up until last year, I’d always wanted to live in the past. My mind wasn’t here in the present and I didn’t want to think about the future. I didn’t want the responsibility of having to manage more, so I thought I wouldn’t even try for my licence. I’m glad I did, because the work paid off and now I’ll get to enjoy more freedom and learn something new.
Moisture, exfoliate, cleanse, do a lip scrub and use a hair mask:
Finally, some self care tips. Up until a while ago I never knew the importance of having an in-depth skin and body care routine. I just figured washing my face and throwing in a few uses of a product here and there would suffice. Now I aim to exfoliate and cleanse a few times a week. Once a week I’ll use a hair mask as well as on days when my hair needs some extra hydration. When lip balm doesn’t do the trick, I’ll use a lip scrub from lush. All other products I use are from frank body which has been my skincare go to for the longest time. They also have a wonderful glow mask which I use to get that soft, dewy skin look. As for moisturiser, I used to be quite afraid I’d break out whenever I used it, so I did so infrequently. A few weeks back I tested it out though and my skin looked just fine in the morning. I’d applied a decent amount and then slept in it.
Wear minimal makeup for the best skin possible:
I went through a phase last year of wearing makeup on the daily to feel better in my skin and also partly to compete with somebody else. I realised when this person had left my life that I didn’t feel that need anymore and it was freeing. I’ve been blessed to never struggle with skin problems other than the odd spot here and there, just as most people do. Most of us have clear skin when we’re younger and I really wanted to get back to that. Now that I rarely wear makeup, I’ve seen a massive improvement in my face. My skin looks a lot brighter too as it’s not weighed down or polluted by excess product. I do like to curl my eyelashes, shape my brows and wear lip balm though. The other plus side to ditching my everyday makeup routine is the extra time, probably an hour and a half, that I have to do other things.
Drink infused water- cut up lemon slices or berries and add them to a jug.. or you can try your hand at juicing!
I used to be the absolute best at hydrating properly each day, but now not so much. I guess I got sick of the frequent bathroom breaks! All jokes aside though, It’s seriously important to get your water intake up. You’ll feel less dazed and mind fog will be something of the past. Taking a shower in the morning wakes your body up so drinking water basically has the same affect on your mind. Personally, I feel more motivated to drink water when it has taste to it, so I’ll add lemon, lime or orange slices, berries and even ginger. It has amazing antibiotic and antibacterial properties that we all should make use of!
Another love of mine is juicing. If you ask me, there’s nothing better than a freshly made green juice, especially if it’s homemade. Today I switched up my usual routine and made carrot, celery and lemon juice. It was tangy and an absolute wonderful combination!
Make sure to get lots of good food in too. Here’s what I’m craving at the moment!