loner

I like doing things alone better.

I am an only child so that may make more sense… maybe?

Whatever the case may be I’ve never disliked being alone.

However, this is not the case for all.

Rather than asking why others dislike solitude, I thought about why I enjoy being alone!

‘ME TIME’

Don’t get me wrong — I like being social!

But I also enjoy spending time by myself.

Recharge yourself. It’s necessary.

I AM AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN

There is a certain satisfaction in doing something outside of the norm.

We all know it.

Being alone in public tends to be one of those taboo things.

So yeah, if I go to a happy hour alone to journal it is okay to feel confident in your difference!

Just follow through with what feels good for you.

You’ll be amazed by how awesome happiness feels!

APPRECIATE YOURSELF

Something I have learned overtime is that no will be will able to give you love you’re “looking for”.

You have to love yourself.
That’s the only way.
All that good (cliche) bullsh*t.

Hey, I don’t make the rules!

Think about all the joys of solitude, such as no one else to account for or answer to.

It is freeing!

Do you guys like having alone time?
Let me know in the comments below!

Talk to y’all soon,
Alex

morning routine – winter 2020

Hello everyone! Welcome to another post where I talk about myself.

hehe ☺️ –>

Recently while doing brand research (exciting things coming) I came across a quote by online marketing guru, Neil Patel which read,

“Building a brand isn’t about feeding your ego. It’s about giving yourself more opportunities to help and connect with people in your industry.” 

“Hell yeah it is,” was the immediate thought that came to mind. 
This dude put my thoughts into the words I haven’t been able to gather!

As I mentioned I was doing research on branding, which is what led me to this quote. A key point I have learned through my journey is that to be your best self you have to invest in yourself

Each person has a unique set of needs that are critical to thriving in life. These needs link back to Abraham Maslow’s psychological theory, Hierarchy of Needs

Essentially the theory entertains the idea that each person must meet their specific needs to operate optimally. 

One of my needs is stimulation. These needs can be met in infinite ways. 

To meet my need for stimulation there are goals I set to achieve each day. These small, attainable goals build confidence and are proven to encourage people to achieve more goals. 

Getting in at least 30 minutes of activity (walking, lifting, running, shopping, etc).

 Completing at least one personal task (journaling, reading, meditating, etc). 

Interacting with individuals who push me to think outside the box. 

There are a lot of things I set out to do in a day. That is because I know prioritizing my time properly will benefit me in infinite ways. 

In the past (and even sometime now) I spent many, many days running around (both literally and figuratively) like a crazy person. Yet at the end of the day, I completed nothing. I may have worked a bit on quite a few tasks, but nothing is finished.

The determining factor is how we choose to delegate our 24 hours. 
We all have the same 1440 minutes to be our best selves daily. 

Time management to the minute can be incredibly helpful for planning your day. Especially if you’re new to actually following a schedule, like me. ☺️

MORNING ROUTINE

4:40am – 5:10am

I know this is early and that sucks. But something that makes it a bit more enticing is pairing the thing you dislike (waking up early) with something you enjoy (ex. coffee)!

Another help has been an app I downloaded in December called Sleep Cycle. The app runs overnight and monitors your sleep cycle (duuh). It is able to track the various levels of sleep (REM sleep, light sleep) and wakes you up while you’re in your lightest sleep level.

This is meant to promote a more satisfying, refreshing and pleasant morning.  Which I can attest to.

5:15am – 5:20am

Depending upon when I am in my lightest level of sleep I have woken up, made my bed and am brewing a cup of coffee by 5:15am. While my coffee is brewing I check in with my physical self to see if I’m hungry. If so, I will snack on a few rice cakes with PB or a mini bowl of granola with my morning coffee.

5:30am

how does activewear NOT get wrinkled???

Once my caffeine supply is restocked, I go back to my room and get ready for the gym, or whatever workout, I have planned. 

I lay out my gym attire the evening before so that in the morning I just have to go through the motions. There are quite a few articles I came across which encourage sleeping in your gym clothes. It allows you to spend the least amount of time getting ready in the AM. Interesting.

5:30am – 6:05am

This is my time. I spend this time doing something I enjoy, whether that be reading, journaling or meditating. 

I do my best to ensure I do those three things each day. However, framing my morning with enjoyment leads to a better mindset for the day. 

6:05am – 6:10am

During this time I prep to leave for the gym. Brush my teeth. Gather my lifting gloves. Tie my shoes. All that good stuff. 

6:10am – 8:00am

GET SWOLE

swole, adjective: fit, muscular

I don’t work out this entire time. It is also factoring in the commute to and from the gym. 

My workout for the day will be something like a strength training circuit, a group class or yoga stretching — whatever gets me moving.

8:05am – 8:20am

By this point in the morning, I am back home and sipping on a vegan protein shake. Right now I’m enjoying ON Gold Standard Plant-Based Protein in vanilla. 

Since I have a newfound spirituality, I read over my astrological data for the day during this time. I find it to be an amazing way to get myself into a clear mindset for the day to come. 

After I’m done reading my witchcraft mumbo-jumbo, I jump in the shower.

Depending on what the rest of my day is structured like I will do my hair and makeup accordingly. A day at work is going to require a bit more aesthetic prep than a brainstorming day. 

By the time my meetings, classes, phone calls or whatever else begins I have devoted a solid few hours to things that make me happy. 

Do you guys have a morning routine? 
Let me know in the comments below! 

Thanks for reading. Talk soon. 
Alex

eliminating negativity

This week I asked on an Instagram poll what topic you would rather me ramble about: Eliminating Negativity or Imposter Syndrome.
Y’all spoke and I listened. Here I am delivering.
If you’re reading this on the day it is posted — Happy Turkey Day!


With the change of the seasons, the sun setting in the early afternoon, and obligatory family time creeping up, it becomes easier to fall into less productive habits and mindsets. Succumbing to these obstructive behaviors may feel more comfortable in the moment, but they are digressions along the path. These small defeats you allow yourself, like napping when you planned to work out or scrolling on Instagram when you should be finishing an assignment, maybe easier, but that doesn’t make them the right choice.

Eliminating negativity from my life has aided me in choosing the most advantageous options available to me, even when it is not the easiest or most appealing. Something a mentor has instilled within me, along with a wildly sarcastic sense of humor, is the truth that “you cannot control the situation, you can only control your reaction.” Although you may not be able to control the types of energy being directed at you, you are able to convert that energy once it is received. Imagine… You’re at work; your boss is in a mood and takes it out in microaggressions towards you.

The cause of your boss’ disgruntled attitude was most likely caused by an external force. Maybe a traffic jam on the commute into the office or an incorrect coffee order — nonetheless, he/she is allowing something other than themselves to dictate their emotions. More importantly, he/she is being overpowered by a failure outside of their control.

Now the question is — how do you avoid falling into the same negative feedback loop? **

I have found that eliminating any negativity I was allowing into my life has helped me to better focus on my goals and make the choices to work towards them.

** The “negative feedback loop” is a concept which Adrienne Finch discusses often in her podcast, Self-Made CEO. The idea essentially says we are responsible for the energy we attract into our lives. If we fail something and allow that failure to build the believe we truly cannot overcome a challenge, we fall victim to more opportunities that highlight our shortcomings. Thank you so much to Adrienne who took the time to reply to my DM and further define this concept!!

– WITHDRAWAL FROM TOXICITY –

This requires being very honest with yourself. Evaluate what you are devoting your energy to (x), then think about how it makes you feel to have spent time doing x. If you do not feel good about having spent your time doing it, don’t do it anymore. Time is the most valuable thing a person is able to offer, which is why I make a point to thank each of you for reading my posts each week. None of you have to be reading this right now, however, you are and I appreciate it. Anyhow, you should only spend your time doing things which make you happy. This may feel selfish at first, but just remember society has ingrained in us that being selfish is bad.

This is not necessarily true when it comes to the 24-hours we each have in a day. Every minute of those hours we allot to something. These are the literal moments that make us. It’s important to spend a good amount of them doing things which make us happy, in order to allow ourselves to be fulfilled — enlightening us to reach our full potentials.

Removing the toxic people, or things, in your life does not have to be permanent. Once you feel you are better equipped to deal with those things, you can integrate them back into life. However, for now, it’s most beneficial to distance yourself from negativity so you are able to grow stronger. This may be a very difficult task, especially when the people feeding you negative energy are your family members or close friends. However, I have found communication is a very powerful tool. Explain to them you are working on you (as cliche as they may sound), which for you, means prioritizing more alone time.

They will either respect your mature decision to better yourself and allow you to distance without being hurt, OR they’ll think you’re a weirdo and begin distancing themselves from you. The end result is the same — more time for you. 🙂

– IMPLEMENT POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY – 

The idea is to focus on building your strengths rather than fixing your flaws. “Resilience is the ability to bounce back in spite of adversity.” Overcoming limitations are the situations that strengthen the courage, conviction and other personality traits of impactful leaders.

I have been fortunate enough to find forms of de-stressing and mental relaxation which work for me relatively easily. Unfortunately, each method does not work for everyone and you may need to experiment with a few different techniques.

I have found podcasts to be incredible for my mental health. There are quite a few meditation / intention setting focused ones on Spotify. I really enjoy Sleep Cove and Mindful in Minutes: Mindful Morning! I have also rediscovered my love for reading. My excuse was “I don’t have the time.” But guess what, an extra hour isn’t just going to appear. If I really want to read more, I have to make the time. And so I did. Then between reading more frequently and blogging, I realized how much I love writing. I’m actually taking an advanced writing course in the spring, which I’m super pumped about! 🤓

As mentioned above, I began to withdrawal from toxic people I was allowing in my life and started to focus on what really makes me happy, then pursuing it (reading, writing, thinking creatively, sleeping, etc.) Find what you enjoy, that makes you feel good and is along the path towards your goals. Then do it.

– MAKE YOUR BED –

Seriously, listen to me: If you do not already, be sure to make your bed each morning.
You will leave your house and go about your day knowing you have accomplished something. You will be coming home to a neat bed, rather than a disheveled mess of blankets and pillows. It feels so good, believe me. Especially after a long day. This trick ties in with implementing positive psychology, as well. You are praising small victories, which builds and reinforces self-efficacy and confidence.

– BE GRATEFUL –

giphy

This is pretty straightforward, but take time each day to remember what you are grateful for. There is always something. Be specific in what you’re reflecting on, which will instill the habit of looking for small things. You can take this time whenever you’d like (morning, afternoon, evening), but try to do it around the same time each day to better build the habit.

I take time in the morning while I am preparing my cup of coffee. The smell of coffee grounds is one of my favorite morning scents, along with bacon. Once my coffee is brewing I will spend the time thinking about how lucky I am to be alive — some people did not wake up. Although this may sounds incredibly lame, it is true. As humans, we must realize our mortality in order to embrace life. That’s just my way of doing it. I also reflect on the specific small wins of the day before, then prioritize my goals for the current day. This is an amazing way for me to organize my thoughts while my mind is getting set up, which helps to solidify ideas. Or so I’ve found. ☺️

Okay, I think this post is long enough. If you’re interested in knowing more about anything I mentioned, feel free to reach out to me! Once again, thank you for spending the time reading my work.

Talk to y’all soon,
Alex

Sources:
Brendtro, L. K., Brokenleg, M., & Steve, V. B. (2005). The circle of courage and positive psychology. Reclaiming Children and Youth, 14(3), 130-136. Retrieved from http://libproxy.temple.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.libproxy.temple.edu/docview/214193531?accountid=14270

life lessons: early 20s

Presently I am 21 years, 2 months and 28 days old. What makes me in the slightest bit qualified to give advice on living your early 20s when I’ve barely experienced them?!

I reached out through my Instagram story asking peeps (ages 20 – 27) to share with me some of their most important life lessons. Everyone I have spoken to about this have had, or are having, wavering feelings of self-doubt and uncertainty — myself included. My personal experiences living and growing as a young adult, along with gaining insight into the lives of others inspired me to create this post.

This is not to say your 20s aren’t a time of euphoria, entertainment and rebellion — because they totally are. Some of these lessons were prefaced with my favorite memories! I mean, come on, we all have a good “I Need to Take a Break from Drinking” story, right?

Thank you so much to the amazing people who took the time to share with me.

These lessons are in no particular order. They are equally important.

YOU ARE YOUR OWN BIGGEST CRITIC.

I want to share that many of the women who responded to my question touched on self-confidence or body image issues in someway. It has taken me my entire life, and I am still working through, learning to love and accept myself. “You are more than the sum of your parts,” is a quote I have reflected on daily for quite sometime now. It continues to remind me how far I have come in life and how much more potential I have beyond my corporeal self.

As some of you who follow me on social media may know, I am currently watching Mad Men. The show is amazing for many, many reasons. One of which being alpha-male character, Roger Sterling. His witty comments, alcohol-loosened mind and complex personality make him one of the most beloved characters. At some point in season 5 (I think? They all run together when you binge watch) Roger says, “It is far healthier to be flawed than insecure.” This line is one that really hit me. I paused the show, wrote the quote down and began to brainstorm what it means to my life. I’m telling you — great show!

In dark times it is easy to fall into patterns, allowing yourself to fall out of priority. Something or, often times, someone is used as a substitute. You cannot love someone else until you love yourself. While the distraction may work, it is not sustainable. The root issue of self-love needs to be attended to otherwise you will continue missing something in life.

CULTIVATE AND VALUE RELATIONSHIPS.

Whether it be platonic, romantic, professional, etc. all relationships should be respected. Although this may seem obvious, I cannot stress how important it is to establish and build a good name for yourself in the world. Life is wild and it will take you all over. It is unknown who you will bump into later in life or how they may impact you. For example at my previous job, I spent a bit of time working closely with old co-workers, including my manager from a couple years ago!

I cannot even begin to tell you the countless stories of my social webs somehow intersecting. This is why it is so important to have a diverse integration of people in your core circle. Keep the people who you enjoy spending time with close to you. Take comfort in knowing there is always someone in the world who loves you, although you may not know it. And remember, everyone wants to feel loved. Once you find the people you are able to communicate open and honestly with, be sure to show your appreciation and gratitude for them — they are not easy to come by.

LEARN TO ACCEPT AND GROW FROM CRITICISM.

Many of us, myself included, have received a critique we’ve struggled with accepting. A standout moment for me happened fall of my freshman year of high school. I remember the moment so vividly… My grandma and I were standing in the kitchen as she cooked dinner. She told me about her day at work, I told her about my day at school. Then she blindsided me. “Alexandra,” she said, “maybe you should make your eyeliner a bit thinner. It looks a little harsh…” She was absolutely correct! But at the time I thought I knew everything, so of course I wrote her off as a “hater” and continued to wear my eyeliner absurdly thick. While this critique is not as important as others may be, accepting you are not always right can be a hard pill to swallow.

Fellow Philly blogger and Positivity Publicity author, Camille Mola, shared her early 20s “were a time of some serious growth — whether I knew I was growing or not.” Camille attests that during this time of chaos, it was easy to feel like “everyone else has it all figured out, except for me.” It takes time to realize no one really knows what they’re doing! I find comfort in the fact that we are all playing along in this life trying to figure it out.

KNOW WHAT YOU WANT AND COMMUNICATE IT.

COMMUNICATION IS SO IMPORTANT!!! Without properly being able to convey your feelings, the person (or people) you are dealing with will not understand your perspective. The same applies for the other side. In romantic situations is where I personally have found this communication to be very useful and empowering. In my personal experience of dating as a young woman I have taken notice, more often than not, there are expectations associated. This blame can be placed on a number of things, such as Tinder or Grindr, apps which condone immediate gratification. However, it can also be to blame on a lack of communication.

Just like communication, boundaries are integral to a healthy relationship. If you are in a situation in which you would rather be alone, say it. You are allowed to say no. You are allowed to leave a bad date and not call them back. You are allowed to speak up if you want a specific project role. No one will know unless you make it known.

Thanks for reading!

Talk to y’all soon,
Alex

becoming overwhelmed

If you were to ask anyone who personally knows me they would describe my life as “hectic” or “chaotic” — no doubt in my mind! My life, just like everyone else’s, is complicated. As I mentioned in my first post, I have experienced many significant changes in my life within the past few months. And to be completely honest, I was very overwhelmed at first. I had a mini freak out, took a breath then realized: This is a normal response!  

Just like many other people I have a natural tendency to shut down when I begin to feel overwhelmed. My shoulders rise to my ears and my heart rate increases. At times when I’m really stressed out I even experience dizziness. These physical responses coupled with the intense mental strain causes everything, in that moment, to seem as though it’s too much to handle. This is exactly what happened to me when I tried to imagine what life was throwing at me. 

Life is a roller coaster! For the sake of this metaphor, this car has a lot more than one seat. Adrenaline junkie or not, everyone consciously choose to run the ride with each decision they make. Unfortunately, the part that sucks is that it’s your job to repair the ride when it breaks down. Too often we are distracted living within our own worlds that we forget the choices we make affect not only us, but those around us…

While the easiest option was to remain stagnant and be upset about the situation, this was not an option for me. So what did I do? I was forced to come to terms with the fact that the situation I was in was the result of choices I consciously made. Once I understood that, it was time to roll up my sleeves and attempt to repair this thing… and did I mention my tool skills were limited??

I devoted every ounce of my being to getting the ride back on track. With tenacious effort and mentoring from my amazing support system I was able to get the ride operating! Aside from feeling accomplished for repairing the mechanism, I refined my utilitarian skills. These skills allow me to be proactive in repairing minor issues before they cause a major malfunction. 

When it comes to my support system, I largely attribute my character development to my godmother. This woman is wise beyond her years and more than willing to share her philosophies with those who will listen. She is one of the most sensible people I know — making her one of the only people I truly listen to. I largely accredit her for my methods of dealing with stressful situations. Similarly to my aunt, I want to share my tips with those of you who are willing to listen. 

Pause and observe the situation.

I feel as though it is important to feel your emotions rather than suppress and hide them away in an attempt to forget them. You are allowed to freak out… but only for five minutes. 

No actually — Set a timer on how long you’re going to mope. Limit the amount of time you allow yourself to feel the stress and anxiety of being overwhelmed. Then move on and get over it! 

Emotional repression is actually damaging to your physical health! Countless studies show “feeling bad is good,” however, put a time limit on the negativity and prepare yourself to conquer the world. 

haha relevant

Take control.

I am a list person — I love making lists! Creating a physical representation of what you need to accomplish (…a list…) has been proven to help build mental strength. 

Feel free to flip flop this with feeling the emotions too! My typical process is making the list then freaking out over how much I have to do… then breaking it down and getting sh*t done!

One step at a time.

steps

Forreal though, deal with everything in small pieces. The inspiration for this post came to me  while I was (attempting to) clean and organize my bedroom. I tend to look at the chaotic wreck that is my room, imagine what I could be doing with the space then flopping onto my bed because I have no idea where to even begin cleaning, haha. 

As you can imagine, this is not a productive method. What do I do? Clean one part of the room at a time. I started with my tallest dresser, organizing my skincare routine, hair accessories and assorted decor until it was aesthetically appealing to me and I was content with my efforts. This same method can be applied to life; each action is a step you are taking towards a goal. 

Take a break.

Like most humans, I enjoy immediate gratification and the feeling of accomplishment accompanied with it. However, immediate gratification is a fleeting feeling; creating lasting happiness is a process. It is OKAY to not get everything done at once, so long as you are making progress along the way. Your physical body heals itself while you’re resting. The same applies to your brain — you have to allow yourself time to relax and unwind. 

It took me a little over five months to figure out what I now know. Although I may sound like I know what I’m talking about — I don’t. I am still learning, just like you. However, you have been fortunate and stumbled upon my tips to help you expedite your progress. 😉

Thanks for reading!

Talk to ya’ll soon,
Alex

References:
http://www.chopratreatmentcenter.com/blog/2017/04/26/heal-suppressed-emotional-pain/
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/insight-therapy/201009/emotional-acceptance-why-feeling-bad-is-good
https://www.fastcompany.com/3063392/how-writing-to-do-lists-helps-your-brain-even-when-you-dont-comple

mini life update

It is no exaggeration to say your 20’s are a period of incredible growth and development. People change and grow apart as they gain new insight to the world — it is natural. Similarly to other young adults, I have experienced situations which have altered my perception of reality and I am now observing the world from a different perspective. With that being said: 

Those of you who don’t know me, hi, I’m Alex! …and for those of you who do know me, hi, I’m Alex. 

I’m not the same person I was a year ago — hell, I’m not even the same person I was six months ago! And I hope I am not the same person six months or a year from now. I have become, and strive to continue becoming, the best version of myself.

As some of you are aware from my previous post, my life has experienced quite a few radical changes, including taking time off work and classes, transferring universities and moving! While changes of this magnitude may cause you to become overwhelmed incredibly easily, it’s important to work through whatever life throws at you in order to flourish and grow. ☺️
^No worries — I have a later post coming with more on dealing with that. 😋

Up until about sophomore year of college, the idea of changing myself was incredibly intimidating. Luckily, I am now able to admit my perception of reality was skewed by delusions concocted in my own mind. For too long I allowed myself to believe the world was against me. I am proud to say I’ve expanded my world view and I am beyond excited to embrace the opportunities life offers me. 

I know, now you’re asking, “What may those opportunities be?” To be honest, I’m not entirely sure yet. However, I would like to believe my future is promising and for the first time I am looking at the world optimistically. 😇🤞☺️

Now for some questions I’ve been asked a lot recently:

Where did you move? 

I moved back to good ol’ South Philly, which is where I spent a large portion of my childhood. I forgot the weird part about being back in South Philly is that some families, like mine, have lived here for 70+ years and everybody knows each other… So nearly everyone knows who I am and I know no one. (smiley) But yeah, I moved in with my godmother and her husband — they’re awesome. Special shoutout to Aunt Leen!! 

What have you been up to?? 

I’ve been chillin’, honestly. But productively! I’ve spent a lot of time reading, writing and pondering. No, it is not as studious as it sounds. These are things I hadn’t had the time to do in the past, so I had a lot to catch up on! One of the most beneficial things I learned is how to be comfortable with silence. Annnnd I also did a lot of eating, sleeping, working out and socializing. Up until the past week or so, I have had a jam packed schedule! Granted, it was nothing incredibly structured but still busy nonetheless. (tongue) 

Where are you transferring? Why?

“Someone said you look like an owl!” “WHO??” 

Haha, I couldn’t NOT. I will be starting at Temple University in the fall! Woot woot! Temple Owls… get it?? Anyway, I’m really excited to continue studying public relations at TU. I don’t know all the details yet since, just like everything else in my life, transferring from Drexel University is not simple. However, the transfer is worth it because of Temple’s awesome PR program. There are a few women I have followed since we all began college and I have witnessed their platforms grow exponentially. I am ready for my time to shine. (sunglasses) 

I feel like these kind of hit everything without too much depth. I mean, that’s what the blog posts themselves are for, right? 😋

Thanks for reading!

Talk to y’all soon,
Alex