How to Cope When Life Changes Instantly

One of the major lessons I learned at a very young age is that life changes instantly. It literally takes a split second for your entire world to spin ‘round and flip upside down—before you can even blink an eye, nothing will ever be the same again.

When I was 7-years old I lost my mother in a car accident. When you’re a kid, you don’t expect that life changes instantly, but it does. I didn’t quite understand where she went, or the extend in which it would affect me, but it changed my life in more ways than I could have ever fathomed at that point in my development. Yes, I still had my father and my sisters, but the childhood that I had—the childhood that I knew—didn’t exist anymore.

Over the years I struggled with how unfair life was. How could this happen? How is it that life changes instantly? It used to kill me to think of what life could have been like if she was still alive. It would hurt to even remember moments I had with her.

Overtime, however, the anger dwindled. Even though I didn’t understand why my mother was taken from me for so many years, I realized that it was better to embrace her memory. To remember the things she taught me. To remember her laugh. To remember the sparkle in her eyes. I tried to remember the person she would want me to become. I tried to remember that she would want me to be happy…

While visiting with family a few weeks ago, we decided to look at old photos. I opened the first album, and there was her face. She had a smile on in every single picture. She held us tight in every photo. She was living her best life. She embraced every single moment, even though she had no idea her life would end sooner than it should have.

Along with several other incidents that have happened over the last few months, seeing my mom smile in those pictures reminded me that every single moment we are alive and breathing is precious. I have learned that it is possible to find something good in every situation. I have learned that sometimes it’s those awful things that happen that teach us the most about ourselves, as well as how we choose to view the world.

After devastating, catastrophic events, one has the choice to perceive life as a taker rather than a giver, but is that what life is actually about? We are what we make of things—we are how we choose to face adversity—we are who decides which perspective to take. The choice is between light and darkness—which will you choose?

Despite of the setbacks and barriers, smile, be grateful, and don’t take anything for granted. Our lives are delicate, and extremely valuable. The slightest thing can create chaos. Regardless of the situation, remember that things could be worse.

Here’s how to cope when life changes instantly:

Breathe 

Stop. Breathe. Take a second to think about what’s happening.

Wait

Don’t make any decisions until you are calm and have had adequate time to process the situation.

Count on others

Turn to people in your life that you love and trust. You don’t have to go through whatever is happening alone—lean on others and accept their help.

Feel what you need to feel

It’s okay to be angry and feel the million other emotions rushing through your body and mind, but don’t let it take over. Anger and other feelings can sometimes consume us, so be cautious…

Focus on the positive 

No matter how bad things can possibly get, there is still good to be found. Look for the silver lining. Try to focus on the positive aspects, even if it seems impossible…

Forgive 

When things go sour it’s usually because something bad has happened. Whether because of something done independently, or something done by another person, choose to forgive. Forgive so that you can move on. Forgive so that you no longer hold on to negative feelings. Let go of the hurt. Let go of resentment.

Acceptance

Eventually you’ll learn to accept, or try to accept, the new. Do your best to adjust to the changes, and remember that over time everything to be okay. Remember to breathe…

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The fear of loss is real–here’s how to cope…

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xx,

Paula

10 Ways to Learn to Love Yourself

Who would have ever thought it would be so hard to fully love yourself? We are who we are, and acceptance is key. But when surrounded by negative words, distorted perceptions, and unkind opinions that shouldn’t matter, it can be difficult to see the wonder in your soul…

We have relationships with people in our lives, and we choose to accept them as they are—the good, bad, and the weird. Wouldn’t it be incredible if we could have that same type of love and acceptance for ourselves? To know that our strange traits make us unique rather than different. To appreciate our insecurities and learn from them. To know that society does not define what beauty is. To know that we are perfect just as we are.

At the end of the day, even if surrounded by love and positive words, if you don’t believe those things internally, none of it is real. You are the best possible version of you, and you are incredible. Not one soul on the planet has the right to bring you down—but most importantly, do not give anyone that power. You are strong. You are resilient. You are worthy.

The relationship you have with yourself is the most important one—nurture it. Be kind to it. Respect it.

Here’s how to learn to love yourself:

Positive Affirmations

Say positive things about yourself daily. Start with 2 or 3, and then add a few more. Overtime, this will help increase self-love, and improve self-perception. Being nice to ourselves is very much underrated…

Positive self-image

Feel good about yourself. Feel good about the clothes you wear, and how your look in them. Feel good walking in your shoes. Feel good when you look at your image in the mirror. If you see yourself in a positive light, others will too. Set the tone, and fill it with positivity and love.

Self-talk

This one is important… self-talk is crucial when learning to love yourself. Get rid of negativity when talking to or about yourself. If you start to have a negative thought, try to replace it with a positive one. Doing this at first may seem difficult, but overtime, it will become an automatic correction.

Be yourself

Always be who you are—wherever you are, and whomever you’re with—be you. If you can put the real you out there, you will learn to love yourself (more than you already do). The best part about this? People will recognize how genuine you are and will absolutely love you too…

Accept Compliments

Part of self-love is hearing people when they compliment you. Look them in the eyes as they say it, take in their words, and respond with “thank you.” You are beautiful and you should know it.

Cleanse

Cleanse your life of any people that bring you down. It is important that any toxicity be removed from your life. While learning to love yourself, you also need to learn to let go of the demons that are bringing you down.

Keep your power

Do not give anyone to the power to judge or criticize you. The thing to know here is that people will always be unkind, but when you don’t give them any power, you are immune to the hurt they can cause you. Your only job is to be happy and please yourself. Don’t give up your power…

Give yourself permission

Give yourself permission to love yourself. Give yourself permission to be yourself. Give yourself permission to be quirky—those are the best things about you.

The strange things

Embrace the weird things about your personality. They make you who are you, and you are the best possible version of you. Stay weird!

Know your Worth

You are worthy of love, respect, and kindness from others, and most importantly, from yourself. You are valued, and you are worth loving.

Know that you are loved, give others permission to love you, and learn to love yourself…

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Feeling like you’re not enough? Here’s 7 ways to know you are enough…

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xx,

Paula

The Secret to Happiness in Life is Just Learning to Let Things Go

Happiness is one of those things that should be a universal right. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be one of the most difficult things to attain. I had this piece published via Elite Daily this morning, and I wanted to share it with you guys.

This piece talks a bit about what it feels like to be a in place where things aren’t going as planned, and you kind of feel stuck. Also, it describes the process in which one can finally reach acceptance. It also  explores why learning to let go is a really important concept.

We have the option to go left or right at the fork in the road. Ultimately, why not take the one, that even if longer and outside of your comfort zone, will have a better outcome?

Check it out here, and please feel free to comment and share your thoughts! 

I hope that this piece can provide some help in a moment of hardship!

xx,

Paula

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Stress and How to Overcome it

Stress can be super rough on the mind, body, and soul. Ever have one of those days where it feels like the sky is falling? You have countless things to do, and have no idea where to start? Yeah, that’s what every day at my job feels like. Even though the things I’m doing are “helping” others, the stress of it can potentially be harming me.

Having those days can create a lot of overwhelm and stress, however, you still need to figure out how to get shit done. It’s important to consider doing only what can be done that day—all while simultaneously managing other projects or cases.

There are many ways to overcome stress. Some more simple than others, some that can help instantaneously, and some that require a lengthy process and a great deal of time. The first step is trying to learn how to manage those mini episodes of tension.

Here are some helpful tips on how to manage stress at the office:

1. Take a deep breath

Deep breathing helps calm the body and also helps you center yourself. Because stress has the same effect on the body as the fight or flight response, your body is preparing itself for potential danger. Per Harvard University, deep breathing is a “relaxation response” that allows the body to fill with o2—this can slow your heart rate and normalize blood pressure.

Even if you need to step outside for a moment, engage in a breathing exercise and allow your lungs to expand. Take in all of the oxygen, and allow your body to feel the relaxation.

2. Put things into perspective

Remind yourself—of the positive reasons—why you’re doing your job. This will help you to put things into perspective, and allow your body and mind to process the reasons in which you continue to put up with this batshit crazy mess on a daily basis.

3. Stay Positive

You’re a baller. Remind yourself that you are good at your job. Sometimes we work on very challenging cases, with very challenging people. This can sometimes cause us to question our abilities and strengths. Remember how great you are at your job. If it will help, write down 5-10 reasons as to why you’re excellent at what you do—keep this in your desk, pocket, or purse so it is easily accessible.

4. Step back and assess the situation

Think: What about this is making me anxious? Is it time? Is it the number of tasks I need to get done? Is it because I cannot find a solution? Whatever it is, it’s okay. Take a step back and break it down.

5. Prioritize your biz

Break down your responsibilities. What is the most pressing item that needs to be completed. Which task has a deadline? Depending on where you work and what your responsibilities are, you know how to set priorities—basically, what is it that your company values and prefers to get taken care of first? You are capable of making smart decisions. You got this!

6. Time management

Set time limits. If you’ve prioritized the 7 million and 23 things you need to do, and there’s still too many things to manage in a single 8-hour shift, then you might want to consider setting time limits on each task. With this, if there are mini deadlines or specific planning that needs to be completed, you can arrange your time in a way that will allow for you to get to everything on your list.

7. Ask for help

 Sometimes our colleagues may have less work to finish than we do. If considered appropriate in your office, reach out to ask if anyone has some extra time to either partner up with you, or completely take the task off of your hands. Even if this is only for a few hours, or to get you to the next step, anything is helpful.

8. Know when to stop

Just because we are scheduled for an 8-hour shit, doesn’t mean that you only stay those 8-hours. Sometimes I find myself doing plenty of overtime. This is okay sometimes, however, it should not become a regular thing. Remember that you need to take care of yourself. Spending all of your time working is not congruent with the idea of self-care

9. Do something for you

Whether this is a daily or weekly thing, make sure to engage in an activity that you enjoy. As mentioned above, self-care is VERY important. When you are able to care for your mind and body, you allow them to rest and revitalize. With this, when you return to work you will be refreshed and productive.

10. Make work-life balance a regular thing

Self-care is so important all the time, not only in times of stress. Maintaining a work-life balance should become a part of your lifestyle. Know when to say no. Know when enough is enough. Be aware of burnout, and make sure that your mind and body are provided with the care that they need.

Be kind to yourself. Make yourself the priority…

xx,

Paula

Love Happens When You Least Expect It

Love happens when you least expect it.

Love is one of those things that we all hope for. Falling in love has been modeled to us for years in fairytales, films, and even in real life. I always knew I would someday find my knight in shining Armani…at least until I didn’t know.

After having gone twenty-nine years with failed relationship after failed relationship, I hit a point where I no longer wanted to fall in love with someone else.

What I needed was to fall in love with myself.

I took a break from dating and spent the majority of my time doing things that I liked—things that I was doing for me. I spent more time with my family and friends, I traveled, I continued to develop my career, and I enjoyed the little things.

I was happy.

I was excited about life, and I was grateful for how full my life was. I was motivated, and I was looking at the world through a new lens.

I realized that the moment I stopped focusing on what was lacking in my life, was the moment I was able to see just how lucky I was. I was surrounded by wonderful people who cared about me, and I was living a life that I had only dreamt of.

Positivity.

Having a positive outlook on life completely changed my perspective. It made all the difference. I was so grateful for the opportunity to appreciate the things life had provided me. With this, I became more open to the unknown, to new experiences, and also to love.  

Little did I know, but all of the positivity I had been feeling was radiating to those around me. I found myself constantly surrounded by people who were pleasant and vibrant, and before I knew it, love found me.

When I least expected it, the man of the dreams walked into my life.

You know that knight in shining Armani that I had been waiting for my whole life? Yeah, him. He walked through the door and everything changed. I mean, he wasn’t in Armani, but Ted Baker had never looked so good on a man…

Energies attract like energies. It’s the law of attraction. I hadn’t been ready for him because I needed to learn to focus on other aspects of my life—the good things, the little things, the things that brought me joy. I needed to realize that I was enough. When I took the time to work on myself, truly love myself, and take a step back to see just how lucky I was…life sent me exactly what I needed.

It’s not about the destination, but about the journey.

Trust life. Trust the process. When the time is right, you will be provided with exactly what you need. In the meantime, enjoy the ride and appreciate the lessons learned.

Remember, you are always enough…

xx,

Paula