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5 New Habits I've Picked Since Last Year

A year ago this week, I was in the hospital for an emergency appendectomy which would later reveal my neuroendocrine tumor, which would in turn reveal a gigantic slew of issues.

So, while we're on the topic of my health, I did want to give everyone an update. I was recently diagnosed with Lyme Disease. It's not a fun thing to have and really does a number on the brain, so we're currently working on getting that under wraps.

My blog is also coming up on it's one year anniversary. Which is really exciting! On October 22nd, I'm going to be doing a giveway. Though, I've yet to decide on what. Maybe a book? I'm not sure yet.

I keep thinking about the past and how different things were last year.

If I'm honest, I'm a little embarrassed by my health. That's something I'm working through. Instead of viewing my health as it is -- an ever-changing thing that constantly needs tweaks to my care -- I've been viewing it as a one and done, like you would the flu.

  1. Positive Affirmations.

Attempting to be more positive has helped a lot with my mental health, and it isn't until I'm actively trying to be positive, that it becomes clear how negative I am. I've started this new thing where I just take things a step at a time. I've started looking myself in the mirror every morning and saying positive things to myself. Sometimes, it's really easy, and other times, it makes me cry.

I say things like:

I love myself.

I am doing my best to take care of myself.

I am beautiful.

It's okay to take down time.

I have a few more that I use, but these are the ones I use most often. It can be really hard. And, most times, it is. My goal is to say these things from my heart and soul to my heart and soul. I'm really trying to do my best to take care of myself and learn to love myself for who I am.

2. Meditation

I'm doing my best to be more mindful. I've started meditating -- and say what you want about it, I've really noticed a difference. I'm much calmer than I was. It's easier for me to just breathe throughout my day and not let my anxiety overwhelm me. A lot of people give meditation a lot of crap, but I've noticed a major difference.

Most of the time, I do a guided meditation before I go to sleep, and it's to help my mind and body unwind so that I can actually sleep.

It isn't a bunch of mumbo-jumbo like a lot of people believe it is. It's mostly just deep breathing and being aware of your breath. I use an app where a woman guides you through breathing, but she's also telling a story. I really like those, because they're just creative enough.

Or, I've really gotten into yoga the past week or so? It's the only way I can seem to exercise without being so tired I could cry. Yoga has been really nice too. Again, I feel like yoga gets a really bad reputation in Christian communities. For me, I'm just taking time to be present with my body and breathing. It helps me get out of my own head and really relaxes me. I feel much calmer and more like myself when I do yoga. I kind of lump it in with meditation, just because to me it feels like meditation with movement.

3. Reading More

I got a job at my local library. (Feel free to stop by and say hello!) Since I started there about a month ago (wow, I can't believe it's been that long), I've read so many different books. I read Supernova by Marissa Meyer, and the first three books of the Red Queen series by Victoria Ayevard. I've also reread The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen. I'm working through War Storm, the final book in the Red Queen series. I'm also reading The Runaway King by Jennifer Nielsen. And, I'm working my through a couple of self-help books.

I honestly didn't realize how much my writing life was suffering because I hadn't been reading enough. I've been reading so much, and it's spectacular. It's one of the best feelings, really. I love cozying up in the breakroom with a book, or in my bed, or an ebook at work. It's so nice. I finally feel like I'm recovering a part of myself I missed dearly, and that's a really really neat feeling.

4. Brainstorming

After finishing my first novel, Secrets in Ashes, I find myself in a better place to sit and be with my novel and with my ideas. I've really had to learn again about brainstorming. I created a OneNote solely for this purpose. I've also made an entire Pinterest board for the sequel. I've also started a binder. And I have a notebook. And I've drawn several maps of Morlea, the country in which Secrets in Ashes takes place.

It's been a lot of fun brainstorming again. I forgot what I was missing! It's been a long time coming for this sequel, and I love it so much. This sequel has been much more difficult for me. Normally, I do a decent amount of planning for my novels. I'm what's called a plantser in the writing communities. I fly by the seat of my pants, but I also plan many aspects of my novels. This time is much different. It's leaning more towards being a pantser instead of a planner, which is incredibly bizarre for me.

5. Learning My Limits

This year I've spent a lot of time learning the things I can't do. I've also seen a lot of things that I can do. I've learned to pay attention to my body and what I need, as well as things that make me sick or hurt me. It's an ever-changing process, and it can be a very painful one, but I've learned a lot about myself during it. I really enjoy seeing how I've grown and changed over this past, extremely difficult year. I hope you get to see it in yourself too.

There's a lot that's constantly changing. If I've learned one thing, it's that. Changing your perspective on bad things doesn't make them any less bad, but it make things much easier to bear.

So, take my advice.

If you have a hard time with something, just try to think of one positive thing about it. Doesn't matter what it is, as long as it's positive. It makes a difference.

Trust me, I would know.

But, that's all for today, so until next time, I'll see you later, friends!

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