Selfcare Tips

That thing you’re probably not doing, but need to start doing ASAP in order to tackle anxiety 👊

I bet 8 in 10 of you reading this post have trouble falling asleep at night.

Anxiety before sleep

And I bet that’s because you can’t quiet your thoughts at night and just relax. Whether you call it stress, anxiety, over-thinking, or constant worry, the feeling you get when you can’t shut off your thoughts is unpleasant and tiresome.

So, am I right? … Are you one of those 8?

Now what if I told you I know the secret to relaxing your mind and improving your sleep? And what if I told you that secret would help reduce your anxiety and increase your productivity?

Well, here it is:

You no longer give-in to life’s daily distractions like social media, partying, mindless television, or unnecessary thoughts about work. And most importantly, you welcome your thoughts when they enter your mind.

“Ella, you seem confused. I thought we were talking about shutting off my thoughts, not welcoming them…?!”

Yes, yes – we are! But here is the key: the trick to NOT thinking during the wrong time is to THINK MORE during the right time 😃

Let me break that down …

The reason you find it difficult to shut off your brain before bed, is because you actually have a lot of shit to think about. And believe it or not, all this shit you want to think about has already attempted to enter your mind throughout your day! HOWEVER THE PROBLEM IS, when thoughts begin to enter your mind during the day you immediately find a million +1 ways to distract yourself; social media, work, what to make for dinner, and why Sally can lift more than you at the gym are just a few things that can easily distract you from your thoughts. So once you get home after work, eat dinner, and crawl into bed, your mind says “HOORAY” because it finally has time to think!

When you distract yourself from your thoughts until the moment you actually need quiet time, your thoughts seize the opportunity and pour out like someone forgot to turn off the faucet.

So instead of giving-in to constant distractions, try giving yourself 15 minutes during the day to actually be alone with your thoughts. Whether it be during your lunch break, walking to your car, sitting on public transit, showering, or working out, I seriously recommend you give your mind the time it wants to think.

And the more you give your mind this time, you’ll notice some thoughts begin to expand and flourish into ideas. You’ll notice other thoughts fade into the “it doesn’t matter” space in your brain. You’ll be able to more easily prioritize your thoughts. You’ll be able to realize why you choose to wear certain clothes, why you associate with certain people, what hobbies you actually enjoy, what your strengths and weakness are… and many more things about how you relate to the world! All that fading, flourishing, and prioritizing is called analytical processing.

And here’s the best part: The better you get at analytical processing, the quicker you’ll be at dumping pointless thoughts, studying critical thoughts, and ultimately controlling what you choose to think about. And if you get all this thinking done during the day, you’ll ultimately get more accomplished, more planned, and more discussed before it’s time to hit the hay.

Work hard, sleep well

The mind is a limitless force – it can create, re-train, calculate, and more.

Imagine how YOU could FLOURISH if you simply allowed your mind to think when it wanted to. Imagine your outcome after you simply allowed yourself to be silent with your own thoughts.

So in conclusion, treat your mind like your friend – give it time, love, and attention. Start welcoming your thoughts during the right time and watch yourself become one of the 2 in 10 people who fall asleep as soon as their head hits the pillow. Give yourself 14 consecutive days to implement your new routine, then come back to this post to let me know if I was right.

As always, I hope you have a productive week and a very happy Monday ❤✌

“Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself […] .” – Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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*Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional, medical, or legal advice.

New Beginnings, Selfcare Tips

Why I Don’t Want You to Kill Yourself … and Neither Should You 🙏❤

“It gets better,” they say.

And if you think they are lying, I will tell you first hand, they aren’t.

I’ll tell you it get’s better. From the absolute bottom of my heart I will tell you it gets better. But most importantly, I need you to believe that’s true.

You need to hear the whole truth:

For the rest of your life, you will continue to experience hard times, people will continue to hurt you, and you will occasionally fail. But the game changer is, YOU ARE going to learn how to deal with it all. So if you hang in there and put in a good fight, it WILL get better.

The whole truth is, you are going to learn how to find good friends. You are going to find and practice something you are good at. You are going to learn how to love yourself for who you are.

So maybe the whole truth is not that it gets better, but that YOU get a hell of a lot better at dealing with it. 💪🧠

You might need help to get your feet off the ground – that’s ok. Help comes in many different forms: from reading to journalling, social workers to doctors, from family to friends, from yoga to prayer, and even from medicine to weekly counseling. You might need to take a weekend off and spend it with yourself. And you might need to learn how to say “no” to people you love. But I promise, the small sacrifices you make will be worth it in the end. Because in the end you’ll be happy to be alive.

And if you still aren’t buying my plead for your life, let me tell you my “life got better” story:

Every single night for as long as I can remember, I’ve said my prayers before bed. And every single night for as long as I can remember, I asked God to “please bless every person around the world with a long, happy, and healthy life.” And then the kicker — after asking for the best for others, I’d always ask him to let me fall asleep and never wake up. [FYI, I still say my prayers every night. And FYI I dropped the second part from my nightly prayers last year.]

Sad (and slightly embarrassing) to say, I spent a lot of years hoping the worst for myself. And after 23 years of life, I’d still wake up in the morning and ask myself why I was still f***ing living. I started to think, what the hell was so wrong with me that (1) I didn’t know how to live happily and (2) I was still living …?

It took me until age 23 to finally ask somebody for some help. And even though most of me was miserable, a tiny incremental part of me was saying “YOU CAN DO IT”.

I had lots of friends, a great education, a superb family, a sick job, and basically a sweet friggin life. I recognized all of that! So why the hell was I still unhappy?

It was only when I started researching about the brain that I realized I was missing a major ingredient: I never believed it could get better.

I never believed it. Yes, I put in the work to have a sweet life…that helped. But I didn’t believe it was reality. I always thought, “well it’s been a great week. That means a bad day is right around the corner.”

I was not doing myself any favours.

It was like this:

Imagine you have a delicious plate of food in front of you. You have not taken a bite yet, but the food was prepared by a famous chef. Everyone knows it will taste good, including the chef. But you tell yourself it will taste horrible, so you refuse to eat it.

Why? … It’s because you primed your brain with negativity which stopped you from trying the food with an open and objective mind.

How many times have you primed your brain with something negative, which in turn altered your behaviour? You know, like if your friend tells you, “I don’t like that person”. Then you meet the person for the first time and you already dislike them. Or you read a bad review on a movie, so you go into the theatre already assuming you won’t like the movie.

Or in my case, I assumed I life was never going to get better so my attitude towards my life never changed.

Habits often begin with a simple belief – a simple daily prime of your brain to help you believe life will get better. If you believe it will never get better, it will never get better. But if you believe it will get better because you will try to make it better, you’re golden.

Now, when I look back at my sad years, I’m not sure what to make of them. Maybe I’m just an extra sensitive or emotional person. Maybe I have issues with serotonin and other hormones. But regardless, I’ve come to learn that my über emotional personality is not a bad thing.

Just like I did and many others have, you will have to work hard to be happy. But one day you’ll realize the hard work paid off.

I want you to live, work hard, find meaning, and learn to love existence. I want you to do all those things. And I want you to want all those things too.

After years upon years of not thinking I could do it, I actually did it. And you can do it too. I swear on my life that i love so much, YOU CAN F***ING DO IT.

I don’t want you to kill yourself. And neither should you❤.

[If you like this post and know someone who needs this message, please share it with them. And if you need to talk, I am only a message away! All my social accounts are listed at the bottom of this page if you want to get in contact. And my email is ellasssofia@gmail.com]

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional, medical, or legal advice.

Selfcare Tips

How to Finally Feel Comfortable in Your Own Skin (Learn to Be Yourself in 3 Steps)

Be comfortable in your own skin

Socialization has a funny way of eating away your self-confidence.

… Don’t you agree?

Think about it, you were born a happy little baby, but as soon as you were exposed to society – whether that was through school, social media, or recreational activities – the self-judgment began.

“I want those new Jordans because they are the fly-est shoe.”
“I want a thinner waist so I can look hot on the gram.”
“I need bigger lips to make me feel pretty.”
“I need to do squats everyday so my ass can look bomb.”

Stop. You don’t need to punish yourself like that.

You want to feel good about yourself – I get it. Who the hell doesn’t want that? But (and here comes the shocker) did you know you can legitimately feel good about yourself just by owning the body and the personality you were born with??

I know that may sound crazy (especially if you’re under 20), but if you read this post til the end, I’ll teach you 3 things you can start implementing in order to become comfortable in your own skin.

1) Physically remove the nonsense.

Yes I said “physically”. There is no way I’d sit here and tell you to start by mentally ignoring things and people that don’t serve you because that requires a lot of willpower. And let’s not kid ourselves, very few people in the world have that kind of willpower, and they are probably not reading this post.

So if you’re starting from square one like most of us are, please go ahead and start the implementing the following: unfollow, block, mute, unfriend, and delete. Do whatever it physically takes to cut out the things and people breaking-down your self-confidence.

Delete fake friends

With that will come the end of comparisons.

Keep in mind, unless you can magically become another person like some “Freaky Friday” shit, you have approximately 0 reasons to compare yourself to others. You would not compare apples to oranges so why in the hell would you compare your life to the life of another person?!?! The fact is, you don’t know what’s going on inside anyone’s head, anyone’s home, or anyone’s life. So please stop wishing you were people you don’t know anything about.

2) Realize that other people want what you have.

There are literally 7 billion people in this world. The chances that at least one of them wants hair like yours or a personality like yours or a nose like yours etc., is f***ing high! We all want what we don’t have. Well the tough news is, you only have what you have!

I think it is f***ing sick that there is nobody else in the world exactly like you. Even identical twins have differences in personality and behaviour!! BABE, you are LITERALLY 1 in 7 000 000 000 000! That in and of itself is a lovely freaking miracle!

Unique and lovely

Please understand that no matter how hard you try to not be you, your true self will always shine through. Always and forever, you will be lucky enough to be yourself, and that my friends is a beautiful thing.

3) If you want to succeed at anything (…and yes, I said anything) you HAVE TO work at it.

And, believe it or not, that includes being comfortable in your own skin! I know it may seem shocking that you have to practice such a thing. But being comfortable with yourself in a socialized world does not come naturally.

Have you ever realized that adults get embarrassed less often than kids and teenagers? That is because they’ve been being themselves for a longer time!

So the good news is, you’ll get there too. And you can get there quicker if you start to do little things every day that will make you feel confident. Start by doing your hair the way you want, then wearing the clothes you want, then working the job you want … then one day, a few years from now, you’ll wake up and realize you are absolutely full of happiness because you fully embraced the real you!

Decide right now how you are going to practice self-confidence over the next 7 days. Write down the way(s) in your calendar or agenda or on a random scrap of paper, then COMMIT to doing those things. 7 consecutive days is all you need to get the “confidence ball” rolling.

In conclusion, I need you to start being brave enough to feel vulnerable. Confidence can become a habit just like anything else can. It won’t happen overnight, and it will be hard as f***, but I swear the day you realize you love who you are, you’ll realize it was worth it.

As always, Happy Monday ❤✌

Love yourself

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*Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional, medical, or legal advice.

Selfcare Tips

For Those of us Who are “Overly Emotional” or “Extra Sensitive” … It’s a Gift

Heart ache. Disgust. Envy. … Are those familiar to you?

Passion. Hope. Joy. … Do you recognize them?

They are emotions – both varied and yet commonly felt among us. Some of us feel emotions neutrally, while others feel certain emotions more often. And some of us feel emotions so intensely that we begin to question our own sanity. … I fall into the latter category. Let’s call it the “extra sensitive” or “overly emotional” category.

Emotions - both varied yet commonly felt among us

For most of my life I felt that belonging to this “overly emotional” category made me weird or crazy. I tried to suppress my weirdness and craziness so I never talked about how I truly felt. The more I grew up, the more intensely I felt negative emotions and as a result, my positive emotions appeared much less. Somewhere between ages 8 and 10, I started to regard myself as an extra sad human being; I concluded I was more sad more often than any other person I knew. I figured being overly emotional was a disadvantage in my life, which ultimately led me to believe I was better off not being alive.

Don't let the sadness win

So what changed, you ask?

My perspective – After years of believing the same thing, I decided to assess myself from a different angle. I figured there must be at least 1 up-side to being overly emotional, so finally at age 24 I sought to find it.

I imagined emotions as little hollow spheres, where 1 sphere = 1 potential to experience emotion. Let’s say the average person has 20 emotion spheres. When someone has an experience in life, I pictured the spheres fill-up with a certain coloured liquid, where each colour = a different emotion. So if something makes you angry, your spheres fill up with the colour red. Or if something makes you happy, your spheres fill up with the colour yellow.

Get it so far?

Then I figured, when God was creating me before my birth, he tripped and accidentally dropped a whole load of emotion spheres into my body. So instead of the normal 20 spheres, I have like 70.

Let’s roll with that.

I figured that unlike other people I knew, I had the ability to feel f***ing everything. And because of that, I eventually realized I have a huge advantage over other people:

I can empathize and support people when nobody else knows they are hurting.

I can commit to being there for my friends both spiritually and emotionally.

I have a pretty good intuition that I now know to follow.

I can offer advice or say things that make people feel better about themselves.

And with that, I learned that all my actions have consequences.

It is February 17, 2019 as I write this and I finally realize I am not an extra sad person. Because when I am happy, I am happy as sh**, and when I am motivated, I am motivated as hell. Maybe I’m just a really intense person. Maybe I just have a lot more “feeling spheres” in my body … . All I know for sure, is that being overly emotional is not a bad thing. I just have to work harder than most at not letting the sadness win.

Be happy and love your life

If you use your emotions to your advantage, you’ll begin to regard them as strengths rather than weaknesses. You can use these strengths to do things in life that other people cannot do or even require training to do well.

You don’t have to be an extra sad person, but you will have to work extra hard to not let the sadness win.

For all of us who feel “overly emotional” or “extra sensitive”, I think we are lucky. I think we have an advantage. I learned to be happy and love my life, and I KNOW you can believe that about your life too. If you think you’re overly emotional or extra sensitive, please know you can live an amazing life, and please know you are not alone.

As always, Happy Monday,

From the girl who thought she was alone ✌

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*Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional, medical, or legal advice.

Self-development, Self-Discipline, Selfcare Tips

The Horror of Habit: Why Too Much of a Good Thing Can Seriously Break You

It’s easy to get stuck …

… in your daily routine, in your job, in your relationship.

The explanation for this? … Habit.

My Monday morning habits!

Since starting this blog, I’ve talked a lot about how staying disciplined to good routines can help you create good habits – therefore making the challenging things in life easier.

And if you haven’t guessed yet, my advice for sticking with a good routine is to practice self-care, self-development, and self-discipline, in that order.

(Side note: If you haven’t read my three-part series on self-care, self-development, and self-discipline be sure to check it out by clicking link 1, link 2, and link 3 which will open in a new pages.)

But did you know those three phases occur in a loop?

Let’s call it the “personal-development loop”.

The Personal Development Loop: self care to self development to self discipline.

My goal for you is to make moving through the personal-development loop a continuous habit. However, just like moving through the loop can become a habit, staying in one phase too long can become a habit as well … a bad habit that is.

Now why can habit be a bad thing?

Because it makes you reach for ice cream when you feel sad, and it causes you to change lanes without checking your blind spot. And believe it or not, it can also lead to laziness as an excuse for self-care, unorganized activity as an excuse for self-development, and over-working yourself as an excuse for self-discipline.

And now I’ll admit something embarrassing:

Not too long ago, I realized I was stuck in a bad habit of self-care. I needed to un-f*** … ugh sorry, autocorrect … I meant to say I needed to un-stuck myself.

This all started when I was caught in an equally bad habit of self-discipline. I worked my brains out, and because I stopped moving through the personal-development loop, I burnt out. I sought help and learned how to implement self-care to get back into the swing of things.

So I started practicing gratitude and meditation. I started sleeping-in when I woke up tired after a crappy sleep. And I started drawing when I had spare time after work. I pressed pause on my competitive edge and learned how to take care of myself first.

Here’s where the problem started…

Once I was ready to take the next step in the personal-development loop (i.e. self-development), I couldn’t break my self-care routine. I became too cozy in my self-care lifestyle that I let it turn into a bad habit.

So instead of waking up to my alarm each morning, I started sleeping-in because I thought I was “doing my body good”. And instead of doing my regular high-intensity interval training, I drew pictures because I didn’t want to “over-work” myself. What I was really doing, was justifying laziness by calling it self-care; I got so used to my former self-care lifestyle that I was inhibiting myself from personal development.

Now let’s look a little deeper at how habits form.

I am currently reading a book called The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg (and I freaking love it). The book explains that habits are formed in a part of the brain called the basal ganglia (see the figure below).

Your brain on habit - the basal ganglia.

The book states, “Habits never really disappear. They’re encoded into the structures of our brain […]. The problem is that your brain can’t tell the difference between bad and good habits […].”

The good news is, “once someone creates a new pattern, studies have demonstrated, going for a job or ignoring the doughnuts becomes as automatic as any other habit” (page 20).

If we want to form good habits, we need to start very clearly laying out our goals. We need to be self-aware and recognize when we are stuck in a bad habit. And to break a bad habit, we need to start implementing new cues.

Want to wake up on time? Write out your daily schedule down to the minute. Want to work-out in the morning? Sleep in your workout clothes. Want to stop with the ice cream? Stock up on frozen fruit.

So don’t fall into the same trap I did. Personal development is a loop and a balancing act. Create good habits, even though it will be hard.

But I promise once you create good habits, your routines will rock and you’ll truly begin to understand the power of habit!

If you want more information on habits, I highly recommend The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Click here to get yourself a copy.

Have a happy and productive Monday! ❤✌

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*Disclaimer: Please note that some links may be affiliate links which means I will make a small commission of each purchase. Any commission I make will help me to continue creating free content.

Selfcare Tips

YOLO, No Ragrets, and Other Useful Phrases

Alrighty, who’s in for a nice healthy bet? 😉

You in? Ok, I bet you $2.50 the next 3 sentences will make you roll your eyes:

1. Live each day like it’s your last.

2. Don’t worry about what other people think.

3. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

Did you roll ’em? I nearly rolled mine just typing that! How cliché, right? I have probably heard those phrases at least 100 times each in my life!

Clichés are annoying … I guess. But now I’m going to bet you another $2.50 I can change your mind about that by the end of this post.

According the the Oxford Dictionary, a cliché is a “phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought”. Now let’s apply that definition.

The meaning of the 3 aforementioned clichés can be generally summed-up as, “work hard at what makes you happy, every day“. Does that sound meaningful to you? Do you really think that because those phrases are “overused” and “lack original thought”, their meanings are diminished? Here’s what I propose: the reason clichés are used so often is because their meanings are incredibly important but the actions they call for are difficult and therefore rarely implemented.

If you ask your kid (or your boyfriend …) to wash the dishes after he or she uses them, but they still don’t bother, you’ll probably ask them a second time. And if a week goes by without them touching a dish, you’ll probably ask again. Is the question any less meaningful, or do you still just want them to wash the damn dishes?

My guess is the latter.

Now, how many people do you know who want to get out of their job and do something they actually enjoy? How many others do you know who want to have a better romantic relationship but don’t want to risk being single to find one? I know quite a few. And I’ve probably mentioned all 3 of those clichés to them. And if you know anyone who is living life completely on their own terms and doing things that make them happy, you probably wouldn’t go up to them and say, “Hey bro, don’t forget, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take!”

Clichés are repetitive because their messages are important.

So next time someone tells you something you’ve heard a million times, take a second before rolling your eyes. What is the call to action? Have you implemented it in your life? Is it going to be hard but worth doing? Let’s try to make clichés a rarity, and most importantly, let’s live with “no ragrets”. 😉

HEY! 👋 HEY YOU! DON’T FORGET ABOUT OUR BET. If you changed your mind or rolled your eyes, considered paying up 😉 Haha, but actually, if you’d like to make a small donation scroll to the very bottom of this page where you’ll see an option to “make a donation“. Any amount is truly appreciated as it allows me to keep creating free content for you 🙂

As always, Happy Monday 🙂

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Selfcare Tips

Bonus! My Top 5 (+1) Books for Self-development

Here’s another bonus for my lovely readers! As a follow-up to Monday’s blog post, here is my compilation of the top 5 (+1) books I read in 2018 for self-development.

If you read any, let me know what you think in the comment section below!

Please note that some of the links are affiliate links which means I will make a small commission off each purchase. Any commission I receive helps me to continue to create free content.

1) The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success by Darren Hardy

Why I love it: This book emphasizes that baby steps is all it takes to reach your goals. It breaks down what we may believe as hard work, into easy steps to stay committed and accountable!

Purchase here: https://amzn.to/2LKwE68

2) The Tipping Point: How Little Things can make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

Why I love it: I read this book for the first time about 10 years ago. and picked it up for the second time this past year. This book gives you a new perspective on persistence and dedication; it will make you realize that sometimes a small yet calculated nudge is all it takes to move mountains.

Purchase here: https://amzn.to/2Arjk22

3) Crushing it: How Great Entrepreneurs Build their Business and Influence — and how you can too! By Gary Vaynerchuck

Why I love it: This book is an expansion of Vaynerchuck’s 2009 book called “Crush It”. It offers real life examples of those who applied the Crush It principles. Although this book is directed toward entrepreneurs, Vaynerchuck’s “no regrets” and “stop overthinking” attitude will put anyone in the right frame of mind to start putting in the work required to achieve their goals.

Purchase here: https://amzn.to/2LQL1WU

4) 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Dr. Jordan B. Peterson

Why I love it: Yes, I know, this book is also in my list of the top books I read for self-care … but if you already read it, you know why I also added it to this list! Every sentence in this book is written so well, it quickly became one of my favourite of all time. It literally offers the steps you should take to start improving your life. It also proves why meaning and fulfillment are more important than anything.

Purchase here: https://amzn.to/2BYjLkJ

5) Outwitting the Devil: The Secret to Freedom and Success by Napoleon Hill

Why I love it: This is another hands-down favourite. I read it for the second time this past year and boy was it ever worth it. It made me have more hope in the world as well as in myself. In the book, Hill recounts an alleged interview he had with the devil – every question & answer is so analytical, I guarantee it will make you want to become the best version of yourself.

Purchase here: https://amzn.to/2SwtA0b

BONUS BOOK (side note, is a bonus book inside of a bonus blog post a bonus inception?): Blue Ocean Strategy by Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim

Why I love it: First off, I have to admit I did not read this entire book (which is why it is a bonus). However the bits and pieces I listened to of the audiobook was enough to make me recommend it. This book is directed toward entrepreneurs. It helps you align your personal development with your business development so you can create an authentic and successful business model.

Purchase here: https://amzn.to/2F4FUkm

I hope you enjoyed my list! Again, if you read any of the books I mentioned, let me know what you think in the comments. Happy Friday!

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Selfcare Tips

Are You Ready to Reach Your Goals in 2019? (Part 2 of 3)

Faster. Tougher. Stronger.

Better.

We want that, don’t we? It certainly sounds good. But it also sounds daunting.

Why?

Because all these things, all these improvements, come at a cost: hard work.

If you read my blog post from last week, you hopefully started doing things that make you happy. You started taking care of yourself so you can take the second step toward achieving your goals.

Step 2- Self-Development.

Now that you are confident you can achieve your goals, you have to start taking the steps that will lead you there even though that will be hard. Sometimes that means achieving little wins, and other times that means taking 1 step backward so you can take 2 steps forward.

Let’s continue my anecdote from last week:

I took a break from life so I could learn to love my life.

Then … back to work, back to school, back to sports, and back to volunteering – 4 things I was dreading but knew I had to do. I started small, and then step-by-step I found a rhythm. Once that rhythm became easy to maintain, I knew I needed to challenge myself again — I needed to develop myself further.

I started doing things I wasn’t doing before, knowing that I could not grow until I planted some seeds. I am now trying to give my seeds the proper amounts of water and sunlight so they can successfully sprout.

I know I will eventually find another rhythm easy for me to maintain; my seeds will begin to sprout and I’ll be ready to challenge myself again.

Now it’s your turn to develop yourself. Decide to plant a seed. Maybe its public speaking, getting fit, or learning how to cook. No matter what type of seed you plant, just plant it and start watering. You won’t grow a flower in a day, but little-by-little, step-by-step, you will start to sprout. And if you keep at it long enough, you will grow more than a flower, you will grow an entire garden.

You will be ready for step 3, self-discipline. [Stay tuned for next week’s blog where I talk about self-discipline!]

As always, Happy Monday … and Happy New Year!!

PS: Do you want to learn how to stick to your new year’s resolution and stay accountable to your goals? Well consider joining my FREE 10 Day Personal Development program!

With the program you’ll get:

– Three 1:1 coaching sessions with me

– A habit tracker

– Access to my private Facebook community

– Motivation

– The self confidence you’re looking for to make 2019 the year of you!

So if you’re seriously ready to jumpstart the new year, email me at ellasssofia@gmail.com to let me know you’re in! I’ll be in touch asap with all the info!

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Selfcare Tips

Bonus: My Top 8 Books for Self-care

Bonus blog!

If you read my most recent blog post, you know I did a lot of reading during 2018. Most of the books I read were all about being introspective, attempting to understanding the universe we live in, and ultimately how to be happy and fulfilled in life.

So I decided to compile my top 8 books for self-care. If you read any of them, please let me know what you think in the comment section below 🙂

Please note that some of the links are affiliate links which means I will make a small commission off each purchase. Any commission I receive helps me to continue creating free content.

1. The Book of Afformations: Discovering the Missing Piece to Abundance, Health, Wealth, Love and Happiness by Noah St. John
Why I love it: This book changed the way I think about creating success habits. Unlike anything I’ve ever read, this book presents easy questions which automatically result in authentic answers to improve life and well-being!

To purchase: https://amzn.to/2BIg4iM

2. 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Dr. Jordan B. Peterson
Why I love it: This book is written in such a way that is is IMpossible to NOT realize where you need to improve your life. Learn why creating meaning in life is more important than anything else, and how meaning acn lead to happiness and fulfillment.

To purchase: https://amzn.to/2BI06p1

3. You are the Answer by Michael J. Tamura
Why I love it: This book allowed me to connect with myself on a spiritual level. After reading this, I realized exactly what the title suggests: I am the answer to my difficulties in life, and only I can create the path toward the solutions.

To purchase: https://amzn.to/2SnZNXn

4. Resilience: Navigating Life, Loss, and the Road to Success by Lisa Lisson
Why I love it: Wow. Just wow. Reading Lisa Lisson’s account of hardship as well as personal success made me incredibly grateful for my life; I realized I must stop taking things (and time) for granted as I pursue my life goals.

To purchase: https://amzn.to/2BIgGFi

5. The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything by Neil Pasricha
Why I love it: I realized success does not equal happiness. You must find harmony in what you say, think, and do.

To purchase: https://amzn.to/2Vb6z4A

6. Seven Thousand Ways to Listen: Staying Close to What is Sacred by Mark Nepo
Why I love it: Introspective and Poetic. This book allowed me to find hope in the world and hope in my life.

To purchase: https://amzn.to/2CAq0MP

7. Top Brain Bottom Brain: Harnessing the Power of the Four Cognitive Modes by Dr. Stephen M. Kosslyn and G. Wayne Miller
Why I love it: This book provided me with a new understanding of how the brain works. Forget the limiting idea of left brain versus right brain, and instead open yourself up to multiple functions of your top brain and bottom brain!

To purchase: https://amzn.to/2LCy1np

8. Ten Messages Your Angel’s Want You to Know by Doreen Virtue
Why I love it: This book provided me with the realization I am not alone, as well as the courage to take my first step toward self-development.

To purchase: https://amzn.to/2VeMuKA

Check-out my entire book list on Goodreads @ ellasssofia 🙂

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Selfcare Tips

Are You Ready to Reach Your Goals in 2019? (Part 1 of 3)

Do you have a new year’s resolution?

Better yet, is your new year’s resolution the same as last year’s resolution? Maybe it’s the same as the year before too.

I find most people (guilty as charged) make resolutions for the new year and rarely stick to them. I thought hard about why that is, and I realized that people think productivity is simply about putting in the work. But what we often forget is that the worker can’t work without the proper tools.

“So how do I get these tools, Ella?”

I’m glad you asked! Here are the three steps to do just that:

Self-care, self-development, and self-discipline. In that order.

Let me break it down.

Step 1 – Self-Care

Let’s be realistic, challenging yourself is hard. If you want to lose weight, it’s going to be hard. If you want to learn a new language, it’s going to be hard. If you want to expand your vocabulary … you guessed it … it is going to be hard!

So before you start straining yourself and committing to a bunch of work, let’s take step 1 and make challenging ourselves easier.

“Work smarter not harder”, that is a popular saying for a reason.

Take care of yourself. Don’t worry about the work yet. Give yourself time to do things you enjoy. Period.

Maybe that means painting. Or meditating. Or taking a bath every Sunday. Or playing a sport you love. Whatever it is, PLEASE just do it because it makes you happy.

If you need to take a life break to be more introspective, read about spirituality or religion, and connect with yourself on a deeper level, do that. Once you get into the habit of waking up each morning happy, you’ll be ready to take on the work.

Here is an anecdote to help put things in perspective: Quite recently, I went through an extended period where I never wanted to get out of bed or even live to the next day (not trying to be dramatic, just tellin’ it like it was). I decided to see a psychologist.

One of the things my psychologist said during conversation was, “thoughts repeated become beliefs”. Since I was committed to improving my life, I took that tid-bit of information and decided that every night before going to sleep, I would say out loud, “I am happy and I love my life”… hoping that I would one day believe that. I repeated that phrase for about 2 weeks, but it just wasn’t working – I felt like I was lying to myself.

What I then realized (with the help of my lovely psychologist) was that I needed to actually DO things that made me happy which would therefore lead me to love my life. So long story short, I took a short leave from school and work to focus on meditating, reading, drawing, painting, and spending time with family. All the things that made me happy.

Then amazingly, after a 3-4 months of living a self-care lifestyle, I hopped into bed one night and randomly said to myself, “I love my life”. WOAH! Did I just say that?! It turns out, all the things I was doing to make me happy, actually made me happy! I wanted to get out of bed each morning and set goals! I started dreaming big again and was excited for the next chapter of my life! I realized I was fully capable of living an amazing life, and I wanted to get started!

I was ready for step 2 – self-development. [Stay tuned for next week’s blog where I talk about self-development!]

As always, Happy Monday 🙂

PS: Do you want to learn how to stick to your new year’s resolution and stay accountable to your goals? Well consider joining my FREE 10 Day Personal Development program!

With the program you’ll get:

– Three 1:1 coaching sessions with me

– A habit tracker

– Access to my private Facebook community

– Motivation

– The self confidence you’re looking for to make 2019 the year of you!

So if you’re seriously ready to jumpstart the new year, email me at ellasssofia@gmail.com to let me know you’re in! I’ll be in touch asap with all the info!

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