Upgrading Your Support System

What are some of the ways that you take care of yourself?

I spend a lot of time thinking of new ways that I can improve my overall well-being. I read new books (mystery and suspense appear to be my new thing), blog, listen to comforting music, and planning mini getaways.

Out of all of these options, nothing is more important to me than spending time with the significant people in my life.

I absolutely love being with my support team!

IMG_3930They give me life, and they help me to recharge. I’ve realized that being around others helps me to relax.  If I’m having a not so great day, I actually sit and reflect on how to make things better, weigh the outcomes of any pros and cons of my day.

But!

What works best for me is being able to communicate with others. Not just anyone, but someone who I can honestly trust with my feelings. Someone whose perspective means the world to me.  I enjoy being able to bounce ideas off of, and just vent to these listening ears.

I’m fortunate enough to have a huge group of people who will always have my best interests in mind. Being around these individuals helps me to reduce any unnecessary stress, make me laugh, and help to get my mind off of the latest “issue”.

Those of you who may be struggling to find energy, find yourself becoming more irritable and unhappy, and have tried different ways to recharge, with very little success…try reaching out to friends and family. They may not even know how much of a positive influence they can be in your life. You may not even know how helpful these individuals can be.

How do you make new friends?

While away in Mexico for my recent vacation, I pushed myself to meet new people. Instead of waiting for someone to “notice” me, I initiated many of the conversations with others. For the 7 days that I was in Mexico, I figured that I’d make the most of the trip, since this was basically my home away from home. I participated in activities that I would normally shy away from (pool volleyball is an example of this). The sound of the activity didn’t necessarily appeal to me, but I gave it a try anyway.

These structured activities were a great way for many new people to meet. My team obviously had a shared goal in mind, and we definitely worked hard with achieving this by any means (quite successfully might I add).  As I discussed in my previous post (My Time Away In Mexico), I was able to gain new friendships. I plan on keeping in contact with each of them!

You can also try to:

  • Join a gym to find a group of people who share similar interests (different classes: zumba, cycling, etc).
  • Have a potluck at your house (I plan on doing so this week). Each person can bring a friend in addition to a dish.
  • Spend time with co-workers (get to know them outside of work? Maybe you’ll have more in common than you think).

Don’t have any close family or friends whom you would consider confiding in? Take it outside then, and meet some new faces!! Many of us enjoy blogging, and even share some of the most intimate details of our lives with others within the blogging community. I think this is great! I absolutely love blogging, and look forward to continue meeting such wonderful people.

Group of young friends chatting outside

How about using that same confidence used via Internet connection, and use that in our everyday lives as well??

Share a little bit more with others, be open to trying new things, and starting conversations with a new face. I’m hoping that you’ll be able to make some healthy, long-lasting relationships with new people. Your health just might depend on it!

But first, you’ll have to be willing to put in the work. I personally don’t thrive on relationships where I don’t feel as though I’m benefiting from. I want to share details about my life, and want others to be willing to do the same. So, be sure to have an idea in mind about what type of relationships you’d like to have with others.

How do you make new friends? What are you looking for in a friend?

~FreeBryd

Image #1: http://kushsrivastava.com/

Image #2: http://www.collegeadmissionsbible.com/

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My Time Away In Mexico//Self-Care

Hi All, 🙂

I’ve never been on a vacation longer than 5 days. My boyfriend and I were able to relax, and refresh for 7 full days this time! We spent our getaway at an all-inclusive Secrets resort in Cancun, Mexico.

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Before this trip, I was beginning to feel run down. Both of us felt that this would be the perfect time to travel, since things had calmed down a bit for work.  I was eager to say the least, and even finished packing 2 weeks prior to our trip…I can never prepare enough lol.

To start off, I’m not a great plane passenger by any means.  I absolutely dread getting on airplanes, but I try not to let this keep me from traveling. I have a heart rate monitor attached to my watch. My resting heart rate before each flight ranged between 77-88. I’m not in the medical field, so hopefully this is standard. Anywho, once we entered into the air, my heart rate began increasing steadily. :-/ The first patch of turbulence I peaked at 142. My boyfriend probably thought I was losing my mind, since I kept my head in his armpit for most of each flight haha. But the flight was worth it.

Mexico was absolutely beautiful. The weather forecast called for rain for the entire 7 days. I was devastated, but quickly learned that these rainstorms were more like little patches of rain that lasted for less than 10 minutes.

Our resort was breathtaking. The only downside was that we were literally in the middle of nowhere. From the shuttle to the resort, it took about 35 minutes to get to our destination. Along the way, we passed the “hotel zone”, which is where the majority of tourists, and the locals meet to shop and eat. Yeah, yeah…I know 35 minutes isn’t that long. We could have very well taken a cab to enter back into the more populated area, but we decided not to. We met some incredible people during our stay, and spent the bulk of our time within our little community. 🙂

There were 7 bars/lounges, 9 restaurants (did I mention it was all-inclusive!!!!!), and 3 huge pools. I don’t think I’ve ever had as much fun as I did on this trip!

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*My favorite bar near the pool. On the bottom, there is a swim up bar as well.*

My favorite dish was the seafood paella. It came with mussels, shrimp, and calamari. I’ve never had anything this tasty before! Yuuuuuummmmm!

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What we did in Mexico:

Everyday a newsletter was delivered to our room. This was our way of becoming updated on the daily events and activities. They had a schedule beginning from 8 am, to after hours! There was something scheduled to fit every need.

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We were able to attend cirque du soleil shows, karaoke nights, live bands, comedy shows, hip-hop concerts, and participate in water sports.

On our 2nd night, I signed my boyfriend up to be a judge for the Mexican version of American idol. Wow! Everyone was a great performer, even if they couldn’t sing lol. It was just fun to watch, and everyone was willing to let loose! One guy even brought me to tears with his performance. I’m such a sap haha! His song was beautiful, and he gave us an incredible performance. Another woman sang with so much soul.

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Who knew that just a day later, we would connect, and swap contact info to keep in touch.

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While kayaking, I absolutely thought that I would get lost at sea. We chose the windiest day to go out and be brave souls, and this probably wasn’t the best idea for a nervous wreck like myself. We were extremely far into the ocean. I kept telling myself that there were sharks swimming beneath me in the dark water…crazy right?!

What I loved most was being able to sleep in, without having a set plan for the day. This is major for me, because I tend to live by the book most days (due to work, and enjoying having things set in place).  I hadn’t realized how much I needed this break from my “routine”. I enjoyed reading poolside, as well as by the beach. Take me back!

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My advice for others traveling to Mexico…

Load up on your sunscreen. We packed a bottle,  but I still don’t think this was enough. As we speak, my skin has already started to “crack” lol. Towards the end of the week, my boyfriend and I were rationing out the last of the bottle.

Please bring bug spray!! I don’t know why we failed to pack this! The mosquitoes don’t care what time of day it is…if you’re available, they’ll find ya! They took advantage of my innocence the very first night! That’s what we get for taking a trip to the beach to watch the sunset. Amateurs lol.

Plan ahead if you’d like to do excursions (riding ATV’s, swimming with dolphins, etc.). We planned to look into this when we got to the resort, but this wasn’t a priority. I don’t feel as though we missed out. However, if there was something set up before we arrived, I think that both of us would have been more motivated to go. Also, be sure to compare prices, because there are a few places that differ in prices.

Bring your appetite and be open to trying new dishes!

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Pics: (corn soup, stuffed ravioli, calamari, tiramisu, ice cream)

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Please share your experiences during your vacations, or any upcoming plans for re-charging/improving your self-care after such a busy year!

~FreeBryd

How To Communicate//Learn Something New

To follow-up with my previous post on Learning About Yourself (discovering your values), I wanted to continue with this theme of understanding more about ourselves.

I would argue that communication is the most important foundation for any relationship to prosper.

Today, I would like to provide you with the basics regarding the different styles of communication.  If you are not sure what style you are most comfortable with, hopefully you will gain a better understanding after this read.  If you are a seasoned veteran, and are already familiar with these communication styles, than kudos to you! But, a little refresher course wouldn’t hurt, right? 🙂

What do you know about the different styles of communication? Maybe you’re not familiar with the book terms for how you interact with others.  That’s perfectly okay too.

I for one have always heard the different terms being tossed around, but have never actually researched them on my own until grad school.

Here’s some info on the different styles of communication:

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Aggressive: is a style in which individuals express their feelings and opinions and advocate for their needs in a way that violates the rights of others.

– try to dominate others
– use humiliation to control others
– criticize, blame, or attack others
– be very impulsive

Impact: – become alienated from others, generate fear and hatred in others, and always blame others instead of owning their issues, and thus are unable to mature.

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Passive:is a style in which individuals have developed a pattern of avoiding expressing their opinions or feelings, and getting their own needs met.

– often feel anxious because life seems out of their control
– often feel depressed because they feel stuck and hopeless
– often feel resentful (but are unaware of it) because their needs are not being met
– often feel confused because they ignore their own feelings
– are unable to mature because real issues are never addressed

Impact: Increased anxiety, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness

Passive-Aggressive: is a style in which individuals appear passive on the surface but are really acting out anger in a subtle, indirect, or behind-the-scenes way.

– mutter to themselves rather than confront the person or issue
– have difficulty acknowledging their anger
– use facial expressions that don’t match how they feel – i.e., smiling when angry
– deny there is a problem

Impact: become alienated from those around them, remain stuck in a position of powerlessness, and discharge resentment while real issues are never addressed so they can’t mature.

Personally, I am admitting that I would become easily irritated when I felt that I was unable to express myself completely. Honestly, for the majority of my life I’ve felt that I’ve probably gravitated towards the passive aggressive style of communicating.  I kept hearing people say that when referring to me, and still I had no idea what they meant exactly. I assumed this was a funny way of reminding me to check my attitude :-/. Needless to say, I learned a lot about myself.

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Assertiveis a style in which individuals clearly state their opinions and feelings, and firmly advocate for their rights and needs without violating the rights of others.

– state needs and wants clearly, appropriately, and respectfully
– listen well without interrupting
– feel in control of self
– not allow others to abuse or manipulate them
– stand up for their rights

Impact: – feel connected to others, feel in control of their lives, are able to mature because they address issues and problems as they arise, create a respectful environment for others to grow and mature

Once I understood more about my own patterns, I was able to make a decision on where I wanted to be, to get to a place where I could communicate freely. I wanted to be understood, respected, someone whom others would consider when making important decisions, and confident. My next course of action was to do the research on reaching these communication milestones. I wanted to be assertive, and this is the style that I have been practicing for the most part more recently. I still have those days when I fall back into my old pattern (sorry guys). Good thing my family and friends are extremely forgiving :-).

What style of communicating best fits you? Has this changed over time?

XOXO

~FreeBryd

Resources:

If you’re curious about what style best suits you, take this 20 question quiz:HERE.

Full descriptions on communication styles: HERE


Image #1:http://blog.prepscholar.com/

Image #2:http://www.bacweb.org/

Image#3:http://effectivecommunicationadvice.com/

Image #4:http://www.empoweringparents.com/