Embrace Yourself: How to Find Contentment in Your Everyday Life

Right before coming back to school after Christmas was over, my mom and I went to my favorite yoga class at my favorite yoga studio (the one I worked at over the summer!) and it was just what I needed. I hadn't taken a yoga class since I left for school in August and I could just tell by my body in each position. I wasn't getting low enough; I wasn't bending like I usually do; I couldn't focus my mind as much; I was making about 20 to-do lists in my head. But luckily the "intention" for the night was contentment. 

I have been struggling for the past few months about this. I am constantly feeling like I could be doing something, or something better. I never just sit and relax. I'm always doing something I feel like I should be doing. Even while I'm lying on the couch watching TV with Kayla, I am reading the news or promoting blog posts and keeping up with blog social media. I feel like my room should be cuter (I'm an Interior Design major so that kind of thing is actually important to me); I could be studying harder; I didn't get a good grade last week and many other personal issues I've been dealing with over the past few months (more on that later).

But as I sat down on my yoga mat, eyes closed, listening to the instructor talk, I felt like I really was content. I thought about my life and I realized that I actually am pretty happy with the way things are right now. The entire class was about recentering yourself and your intentions on the things you do have, the feelings that you are feeling, the way your body is practicing that day. Instead of being angry at myself for not being able to stretch as well as I could a couple of months ago, I found myself saying that "Hey, I haven't practiced in months and the fact I'm sitting  here is a great step."

Today, I'm going to encourage you to try and feel contentment.

Think Thankfully
To begin to feel content with where you are in life, take some time to think about (or write about) what you're thankful for in life. I've found that when I write out the things I'm thankful for (health in my family and friends, Kayla, Koda, my family, shelter, friends, etc) it really helps me think about how happy I actually am. It is even helpful to write things down like "got an A on a test" or "a stranger smiled at me today" because those moments totally contribute to our happiness! 

Take special time out for you
One of the things I personally think contributes to my lack of contentment is I don't have any me time. I'm in class all day, then I go to lunch, study, and do work, but usually I am corresponding with someone, or I'm constantly watching Koda to make sure she's out of trouble. Take some time to "meditate" in a way, even if meditating is not your thing. What can you do for some me time? What is something mindful that you can do to work towards contentment and "me" time? 

  • Yoga
  • Take a walk
  • Color in a coloring book
  • Meditate 
  • Write in a journal 
  • Make a healthy snack
  • Listen to your favorite songs 
  • Exercise 
  • Catch up on reading
  • Read the news
  • Take a 20 minute cat nap
  • Drink a glass of water 
  • Make some tea or coffee

Reframe your thoughts - about everyone
Confession time: I'm so negative. I'm the definition of Negative Nancy. But that is one thing I'm really really working on this year. I don't want to go around being a pessimist! I don't want to be complaining all the time! So I've been working on reframing my thoughts. Sometimes I'm feeling super ugly one day, my face is completely broken out, my hair isn't doing what I want it to, and I ate too much the night before so I'm bloated. I'll look in the mirror and feel defeated. But then I realize "I'm me." I have begun to narrow down, simplify, and become dedicated to my skin care routine. I've amped up my beauty and self care routines. I make time to journal, read and write whenever I feel like I need to. I've started meditating every night. I feel so much better because I have stopped thinking about how much I dislike things and wish they were better and started trying to and making the moves to make things actually better for me. 

Live in the moment
I'm the worst about this. I really am. I'm always thinking about my next move, my next assignment, Koda's next appointment. But I also am thinking about my past grades, my past mistakes, etc. But there is something to be said about living in the moment even if you really do have a thousand things to think about. For today, I am thinking only about the Math objectives that I need to finish, the Geology notes I need to copy down, and this post. Not what I need to do tomorrow, not what I need to do for next week. What I need to do today. One way I make sure I keep to this, is to utilize the "Today's Top 3" in my Day Designer planner. I pick the three most important things to do that day (the other day it was Math, Koda for a walk and Geology notes) and I prioritize those three things and worry about the rest later if I have time. It's so so important to focus on today, this moment to really be able to enjoy life!

I hope you guys got some tips out of this but I would also like to hear from you. How do you work on trying to feel contentment in your life?

What would you like to see from this series? Leave a comment!

Make sure to follow along with the "Embrace Yourself" Pinterest board

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