Smiling

How many of you have been going through a difficult day at school, work, home, etc. and all you did all day was walk around with a serious face, drooping eyes, and hunched shoulders?

I’ve definitely been in that boat (where we each keep to ourselves and ignore everyone else) and believe me, it’s no party.

The other day I woke up with the mental attitude that that particular day was going to be bad. Why? Because I hadn’t gotten in my exercises early (a habit I had established on this particular day), there was confusion about a group project, some people from the group project weren’t pulling their weight, and I felt sick.

I decided this day was not going to be pretty and I kept up my negative attitude and appearance for a while until I met up with one of the girl’s from my group (the one who had been helping me pull the weight of the project).

We started talking and after a bit of discussion I found myself doing something that seemed foreign on that particular day… I began to smile.🙂

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IMAGE ABOVE: Pixabay.com

It honestly felt almost unnatural to smile after I had decided that this day wasn’t going to be good and smiling was not going to be a part of it.

And, I realized that it really is up to me to determine whether or not I’m happy, not matter what else is going on.

I know people who have way more difficult lives than me, and who struggle on a daily basis, yet they are some of the happiest people out there.

Smiling and being happy really is a choice, and I now choose to smile.🙂

~Heather

Just Laugh

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IMAGE ABOVE: Pixabay.com

I recently had a great time with one of my friends where I literally got a great abs workout in the best way possible… laughter!

Seriously, if you want to both be happy and stay fit, hang out with a friend who makes you laugh and I can guarantee you’ll be smiling with a six-pack.😉

One thing that has been great about most of my college semesters is that I’ve been roommates with my older sister, and man oh man, there have been many late nights/early mornings, where we’ve been rolling around with laughter.

So, why should you take the time to find someone to laugh with (or alone, if that’s your thing😉 )?

Check out this short article below about some of the health benefits of laughter:

8 Health Benefits of Laughter

If some of the words are confusing don’t worry about it, just remember laughing seems to help in all areas of life, so start chuckling😉

~Heather

…Zzzzzzzzzzz (sleep)

The beginning of this semester I began by continuing a pattern I had set my second semester of college, which was, wake up really early on the days I have classes (I’ve only once had classes five days a week, usually it’s two or three days), and exercise before class on these days, then sleep in way late on the days I didn’t have classes.

During the past few semesters this has meant either getting up at 5am on some days or sleeping in until noon on the other days.

Obviously this is not an ideal schedule, and it has only been during this semester when I realized that I feel a lot better when I get an average amount of sleep each night, instead of three hours one night and twelve the next.

And so, after waking up at 5am the first half of the semester, I tried “sleeping in” later on the days that I had classes and then exercising in the afternoon instead of the morning.

While everyone has their own ideal time to work out and sleep, etc. I have realized during this second half of the semester that I feel so much better when I get a good, decent amount of sleep each night, even if it means exercising later on the days I have classes.

There really is something to be said for going to bed before midnight and getting a good eight hours of sleep. Seriously, I think it has helped me get my homework done quicker because I’m not in the fog of trying to focus after only sleeping three hours.

While being an adult necessitates some sacrifices in order to provide for yourself and survive, which can often mean a lack of sleep or other things, I think a great lesson can be learned by looking at the example set by young children.

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IMAGE ABOVE: Pixabay.com

First of all, when young kids are tired, they take a nap. Personally, I am not a big nap person (except on Sunday’s), and don’t like taking a break to sleep in the middle of the day because I want to get my assignments done as quick as I can. However, I’ve learned that it really is super hard to be effective doing any homework or other things when you can’t stay focused because you’re tired.

Second, when young kids are hungry, they eat, and when they are full, they stop eating. I think college screws up everybody in this area. There are parties and events all the time, and especially here they seem to involve lots of food. For some reason, this food is always junk and since it tends to be in abundance everyone overindulges until they’re about to burst (been there, done that, way too many times). I don’t think there should be any shame in saying “thanks, but actually I’m full,” instead of eating with everyone, everywhere and for any reason.

Third, young kids are honest. If they don’t feel good they let others know and take care of the reasons (tired, hungry, bored) of why they don’t feel good so they can be happy again.

Seriously, if we just take care of ourselves (and believe me, I am talking to myself here too… more than anyone!) we would be better focused and able accomplish more in shorter amounts of time.

So, if you’re falling asleep reading this, pause, turn off your computer, grab a pillow (or something equivalent (jacket, backpack, desk)) and take a nap.🙂

~Heather

 

 

Support Others

It’s been such a great week!

The weather here has been beautiful and sun shiny (which believe me, is a big deal here), I got a lot of homework done (I know, super boring, but believe me it makes a difference on Monday’s when I have already done homework over the weekend), got donuts with a friend, the same friend came over and we chatted it up last night, and this morning I woke up with great excitement and hope for the future.

On another note, my younger sister who broke her foot (check out this post) is getting her “official” cast on today and to be honest I can’t wait to call her and find out what color she picked (because that’s the most important part, right?😉

This past week I had the opportunity to talk to a bunch of different people, all of whom are going through different issues (like my sister).

It’s crazy how literally everyone is going through different trials and challenges, often times really, really difficult ones that we might not find out about until later.

One thing I’ve noticed is that when we initially look at others, we make judgments based upon how they look and if they look like they are doing well, we just assume their lives are perfect and we don’t bother to ask them how they’re really doing (because let’s be honest, all of us say we’re doing “fine” or “good” when someone asks us, “how are you?”)

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IMAGE ABOVE: Pixabay.com

One of the things I have learned especially recently is that I think a majority of the people out in the world are dealing with things that wouldn’t be evident when we first look at or talk to them. While I’m not proposing we all go out and dig personal information out of others, what I am proposing is that if we really want to show we care about someone else, then we shouldn’t just ask the generic “how are you?” but instead ask other questions about their lives, maybe even sharing some of the difficulties in our own lives to help them feel more comfortable if they would like to share their own challenges (seriously, don’t force anything out of them though)

In other words, be supportive of those you care about even if you don’t know exactly what it is like to deal with the same trial or challenge they are dealing with. Show compassion by really listening and letting the other person know you care, even if their challenge isn’t something you can necessarily help with or don’t fully understand.

If you show that you are supporting them and do in fact, care about the challenges they are going through, they will be more willing to open up to you in the future, which I honestly think is extremely flattering in that they trust you enough to trust you with their problems, which isn’t something to be taken lightly.

~Heather

Having a Good Attitude

Yesterday I was feeling lazy and didn’t have much motivation to do anything at all. It was one of those days where you just want to sleep the day away (which I practically did).

So, in my depressed boredom, I decided to call home and then asked to talk to my younger sister.

My younger sister just fractured a part of her foot/ankle last Saturday and currently has a temporary cast on until she gets an “official” cast on Monday.

She fractured it at a roller skating activity (I always knew roller skating would lead to disaster😉 ), but luckily didn’t have super extream pain and had just been keeping off of it until Monday, when dad took her to a doctor.

She was informed that she didn’t have just a sprain, like she had thought, but had a fractured bone and would have to get a cast that would be on for about four or five weeks.

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She said this felt kind of unreal to her because she had only thought it was a sprain and if anything, thought that she would have to wear a boot for a couple weeks at the most.

So, because of this news you would think (or maybe I would think) that she would have been pretty depressed. I mean, who would want to be told that they’d have to use crutches and hop around for the next month, and, at least the most annoying thing that I thought about, take a shower with a garbage bag wrapped around your leg while sitting on a stool?

Yes, my boredom problems didn’t seem so significant once I talked to my sister.

Trying to be the positive influence that I am (ha!), I discussed with her how she should go ahead and call the office where she’d be getting her cast next Monday, and go ahead and figure out what color of cast she wanted to get (since we both have issues with indecision, so finding out what colors are available beforehand could save quite a bit of time on Monday). My only stipulation was that she would get a color that I could sign on with Sharpie once my brother and I get home from college in a few weeks.🙂

Finally, the other more important thing I thought of to help her was I suggested that because she would probably be getting bored just staying home most of the time, we should make a special trip to Walmart in a couple weeks and… she could get one of those motorized wheelchair thingy’s!

I mean, I have always wanted to use one of those, but never had any excuse to do so, and for her this is the perfect opportunity to try one out! (maybe I’ll sneak a little ride when no one’s looking…).

When I thought seriously about it though I thought, dang, of all the annoying things to happen breaking your foot has got to be a serious one on top of the list.

I once strained a muscle in my leg, and man, oh man, that was painful and super annoying. So if nothing else, I know how frustrating it can be to limp everywhere and for things that should be simple, like stepping into the shower, become painful and ridiculously annoying.

But… my sister has had a great attitude so far, and I’m sure when I come home, her attitude will improve even more, as I’m sure she recognizes me as her favorite sister.😉

~Heather

Dress Your Best

 

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IMAGE ABOVE: Pixabay.com

(the image above I used in a previous post about posture, but I think it’s just as fitting here :))

There are some days I seriously don’t feel like doing anything and would just like to stay in my pajamas all day and read (which of course, I have actually done).

Some mornings when I have to get up for classes or work, it is complete drudgery… until I am actually ready for the day and am headed out the door.

There really is something about just getting up and getting ready, ready to show the world your best, meticulous hygiene, make-up’d (is that a word?) self.

On the days I’m not feeling super great or confident, I tend to dress in more comfortable, less-noticeable clothing which, when I think about it, fits right in to the mood I’m in.

So… instead of dressing how you feel, help yourself by dressing in a way that can help change your mood and attitude and can help you feel more confident!

As shallow as it sounds, clothing really does make a difference in the way we feel, both about others, but more importantly, about ourselves.

Here on campus I rarely wear heels because the need to walk everywhere is stronger than the urge to appear feminine, tall, and confident. But yesterday for church I knew that I’d only have to walk a little ways to get there, so the heels (actually they were wedges… but close enough :)) came out.

Seriously, not only did the heels make me appear taller, but I actually felt taller inside too, and I even noticed that my posture was better as well (Of course, this may have been because I would have toppled over if I hadn’t had good posture, but you get the idea. ;)).

So, even if you’re not the type of girl who likes heels, pick an outfit that makes you feel taller and more happy and beautiful and stun with world with your confidence!

~Heather

 

 

 

 

The Night in the Furniture Store

I remember a scene from the movie, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium where there seemed to involve some jumping on mattresses. I’ll be honest, the movie wasn’t my absolute favorite, but this part sparked the happy little girl in me and man, oh man, did I want to discover a room full of mattresses and leap from mattress to mattress without a care in the world.

How fortunate that around the time that this movie came out my family was getting ready to move into the home that we had built and as part of the moving-in process, my parents had decided to purchase a bunch of new furniture.

From what I recall it was around 7:30/8:00pm on an evening in winter and for whatever reason, the trip included my parents, all my younger siblings and I.

We arrived at the well-known furniture store (the name of which shall remain undisclosed) and were greeted by a friendly associate who struck up a conversation with my parents as we begin to make our way throughout the varies couches, tables, dressers and for us, bunk beds.

While this store associate kept my parents engaged in all the latest furniture styles, the younger siblings and I were getting restless with the 10-minute descriptions of different pieces of furniture and started to wander off looking at other things.

Initially, my dad kept telling my younger siblings to come off the different pieces of furniture and kept reminded us that we’d be leaving soon, as my siblings and I were completely bored out of our minds (this was a well-meaning intention, although with our large family, “leaving soon” could mean anywhere from ten minutes to an hour).

My parents kept talking to the store associate and my siblings and I kept rolling our eyes, folding our arms, and wandered around looking for something of excitement in this warehouse of home furnishings.

We saw that our parents and the store associate started to move from where we were at the back of the store slowly up to the front and as they started meandering around, my siblings and I started exploring more of the back part of the store.

There is no way to fully describe the serge of excitement I felt as every child’s dream of dreams came true for us:

We came upon a room FULL of mattress, beside mattress, beside mattress. There were two rows of mattresses and as luck would have it, our parents were nowhere to be seen (and hopefully heard).

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(Note: This image above isn’t the actually room that we discovered but this image basically shows what we saw… thrilling isn’t it! ;)) (from: http://www.atlasfactory.com/mattress/)

My siblings and I took a glance at each other (the glee and impending delight evident on our smiling faces), and before I could say “maybe we shouldn’t…” my younger siblings let out mild squeals of joy (we couldn’t fully express our level of joy because we needed to remain undetected) and bounded into the room, leaping like gazelles from what seemed to be a million white fluffy trampolines.

I’ll admit, I had a vision in my mind of us spread throughout their mattress room, leaping from mattress to mattress and suddenly our parents and the store associate showing up and punishment ensuing. However, that thought was pretty mild compared to the pure elation I felt at seeing that room and so I joined my younger siblings in bounding around on the mattresses.

I was 15 years old at the time, but all age aside, there are some times you just have to let go and leap for the stars (or in our case, for the mattresses).

The god of good fortune was shining our way that night because after our few moments of glee, we remained undiscovered by both our parents and the store associate.

Of course, we later told our parents of the adventure we had that night, but I thought even the furniture company shouldn’t complain too much even if they had found out, as my parents did end up making quite a few purchases from them.

Speaking of our moments of glee, I was looking around for a video clip that would accurately portray the way we felt that night and although I don’t watch this show, this clip perfectly summarizes how we felt:

I think random adventurous opportunities are something to be taken advantage of… even in a furniture store.😉

~Heather

 

One Fun Night

Last night I was ready for bed super early, but I didn’t want to just head to bed at 10pm when I had taken a five hour nap earlier that day (don’t ask… needless to say I hadn’t slept a lot the night before).

Luckily, I have a great older sister, who is also my roommate, that is pretty easy-going in terms of doing random activities with me when I’m in the mood (late night junk food runs, doing laundry at 2am, exercising, going to events together, etc. We’ve done a lot of different things together, which five semesters of rooming together has allowed).

Tonight I was feeling like playing a card game, “Golf.” I honestly have no idea why on earth it is called “Golf” because I don’t think it has anything to do with the actual sport, but whatever, that’s what we were told it was called, so we just go with it.

My sister said before we could start she had to go to the bathroom, and since she was taking a very long time, I decided to mix up some of the cards in my favor. I was just going to pretend that I had already dealt out the cards (and rearrange them so I had all great cards and she had all random ones), but because she really was taking a really long time I decided to make it even better and I arranged the deck so that I would actually deal the cards when she came back so it wouldn’t seem like I was cheating (I usually don’t cheat during card games unless I’m really tired and in a silly mood, both of which I was last night… even after the five hour nap. Or if someone is taking forever in the bathroom :)).

She finally came back and I casually dealt out the cards, even letting the game go a few minutes before knocking, which is what you do when you are ready to end the game and count points. My poor sister wasn’t too happy about it when she flipped over her lousy cards, then I turned over each of my cards individually and she obviously knew what had happened as I turned over 11 after 11, ending with a grand total of nine 11’s on my side (the best hand you could possibly have).

Needless to say, she knew immediately what had happened and mentioned numerous times how she couldn’t believe I had cheated! Honestly, she shouldn’t have been too surprised considering this is what happens when she leaves for a long time and I am in a silly mood….

I finally stopped laughing and we played a bunch more times, with my sister making a ton of hilarious comments about random topics throughout and us rolling on the floor laughing.

Seriously, it was a great night and while I could have been in bed around 9pm or 10pm, it ended up being 1:30am… but it was worth it.

I think everyone needs to take a break from the monotony of day-to-day life and just spend a night having fun, playing games and laughing. I don’t know the last time I’ve laughed that much with my sister and it was great!!!!

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Here’s a picture of my older sister and I . Even as a little baby, she loved doing things with me, and it looks like I liked it then just as much as now.

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This is us about a year and half ago. We love to match (some sisters might think it’s lame, but not us!).

So, make time for fun!🙂

~Heather

Sunshine!

Today is ABSOLUTELY beautiful! And warm. And bright. And makes me want to smile… even though I’m inside doing homework in the library (which will be changing in a few minutes).

I was trying to think up more things that make me happy and it came to me while I was walking to a devotional, or maybe I should say, it shined down on me as I walked to devotion, the SUN!

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IMAGE ABOVE: Pixabay.com

I realize that many people live in places where the sun doesn’t shine a lot, and others live somewhere where the sun seems to permanently be shining.

At BYU-Idaho the sun does shine, but usually the temperature disagrees with the rays of light and it can still be in the 30’s or lower.

Of course, that doesn’t stop most students from rejoicing when the sun does come out during the winter semester, in fact, any time the sun is out (be it 20 degrees or 60 degrees) I’d bet you that you would see people in short sleeve shirts with no jackets or coats.

This image below is basically how people feel in Rexburg when the sun does come out, in fact, the whole windiness thing is accurate too. Of course, there is definitely no beach anywhere near, but for us, anytime the sun is shining it is considered warm, freezing temperatures or not!

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IMAGE ABOVE: Pixabay.com

Speaking of people in Rexburg and the “warmth,” the other morning as I headed to class with the temperature in the low teens, I saw a girl with a short sleeve shirt on.

When I look at people like her, I just tell myself that perhaps they think that if the sun is shining and if they dress like it is warm outside, then maybe Rexburg (it should be renamed “Iceberg”) will decide to up the temperature for the sake of the students dying for it to get warmer.

Well, all of that aside, today it both looked and felt like Florida in Idaho. Seriously, I, who am typically cold and am one of the many students who complains at having to wear a coat all the time, could have worn a short sleeve shirt and skirt. No coats or jackets needed today!

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IMAGE ABOVE: Pixabay.com

I’ve got to say, being out in the sun shine and warmth really adds to my happy mood and on days like this I think I could conquer the world!

Of course, working through the winter months is part of life, but if you get the chance, anytime it’s sun shining outside, go out and feel the rays!

~Heather

 

Changing things up

One of my favorite things about my apartment is the fact that we (my roommates and I) changed it. Okay, not really changed, but rearranged the furniture… one of my favorite things to do, and one of my dad’s least favorite things for me to do.🙂

Initially, when I moved into my apartment I didn’t think much of the arrangement of the furniture, or how everything looked and felt.

It came to me on an afternoon of boredom: I should change things up! So, I put on my workout clothes and started shoving (aka, gently moving) the furniture around to change the way the room looked.

I put the love seat at an angle, pushed the large couch against the wall that most people ignored, took out a leaf from the table so it fit better, etc. Afterwards I sat on the couch and enjoyed my new luxurious (jk) surroundings.

Seriously though, changing around the furniture really opened up the room and made it look and feel more inviting.

I would show an image of the actual room, but needless to say, it would blow your mind, so it’s sufficient to say it looked something like this (at least mentally it felt that way):

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IMAGE ABOVE: Pixabay.com

Calm. Relaxing. Comfortable.

As you’re probably assuming, my apartment didn’t actually look even close to this one in terms of style, but the whole idea is that I changed things around to make it feel more home-like and inviting.

I honestly LOVE coming home now and seeing the rearranged room, it boosts the happy part of my brain.🙂 Also, lots of other people who have visited us have also commented on how much they like the arrangement.

So, if you’re trying to think of some way to boost your happiness, try changing things around, whether it be a room, images on a wall, your desktop background image on your computer, your outfit, or anything else!

~Heather🙂