Hi friends! Happy Tuesday.
I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. Drew + I are SO thankful to our friends + family this past weekend. My mother-in-law Robyn hosted a wonderful baby shower. It was great to catch up with Drew’s family, he grew up around + with so many sweet ladies and I love to get to know them better. Our friends Billy + Paul hosted a shower aka diaper kegger for Drew. It was man style: beers + food + basketball (+ they all brought diapers for our little one).
Speaking of basketball, Drew + I have been watching a ton of March Madness. It is one of our favorite times of the year. Both of us played basketball growing up + in high school and this time of year we have a huge mutual interest in our team (the Badgers) + the tournament as a whole. You can see passion exuding from these young men + the coaches as all of the hard-work of a season (and lifetime) comes to a head. I always feel emotional for the teams that lose, because like many athletes I know how difficult those season ending loses are.
After the Badgers knocked out Xavier to make it into the Sweet 16 I was amazed by the class of Xavier’s head coach after the game. He was clearly emotional for his players:
“Really, really tough locker room,” Xavier coach Chris Mack said. “Told the players in the locker room that the sun will shine tomorrow. It doesn’t feel like it. But it always does.”
The Badgers experienced the high of Bronson Koenig’s game winning shot in the Sweet 16, followed by the low of losing in the final minute in the Elite 8. My dad always says, “the highs! the lows!” about sports and about life. This was the inspiration for the post.
I’m currently in a season of life that is going very well. I had happy tears in my eyes as I was folding our baby’s new clothes from the showers this past week. I did the little load of laundry + it smelled like a baby. I was overwhelmed with excitement and happiness. I spent a cuddly Easter Sunday with just my husband Drew and felt beyond thankful.
But, I’ve also experienced really low lows too. Last year when my church was going through the book of Job, we discussed our personal tribulations. To summarize, the book of Job in the Bible is about a man that loses everything and still remains faithful and steadfast in God. I was surprised to hear all of these stories of personal loss + tragedy pour out of my friends. In that little room of people, there was so many sad stories. I was crying so hard about my brother’s death that I couldn’t even share, Drew had to speak for me. The thing about grief is it can hit very hard at times.
I started pursuing Instagram on Sunday night. I follow a lot of fitness professionals for inspiration. One of the boss ladies I follow is Nikki Blackketter. I’ve somewhat noticed that her boyfriend hadn’t been in her feed for a while (he used to pop up a lot). I clicked on the comments, and there were a ton about their breakup. I went to her YouTube channel and watched a video named The Breakup. Next thing I know I have tears to match her tears in the video as she talked about her heartbreak. You could blame it on pregnancy, but I’ve always been a sensitive and emotional person and I guarantee I would’ve had those same tears non-pregnant. When my friends or family members are sad and cry, I cry with them. I’ve also had a broken heart before, so I could completely relate to what she is currently feeling. This couple was very public in their romance, so Nikki felt she owed it to their fans to let them know that they broke up + the reasons why. She also shares so much of her life…so she shared this. She is gorgeous, successful, funny, + fitness world famous. In the video she poured her heart out about how the breakup made her feel insecure + question herself. In the next couple videos she shared how she is coping with her sadness.
You might be thinking that was kind of a random story to share Amy. The reason I shared it is because our society gets really caught up in comparison and thinking other people’s lives are better or easier than our own. Everyone (in the fitness world) thinks Nikki has it all. For her to be so vulnerable + heartbroken is an unfortunate reminder that all of us are going to go through hard times. It is interesting to note that The Heartbreak video is her most viewed video of all time. People thought this relationship was #relationshipgoals and wanted to have a relationship like this, I think that’s why they are so interested that it didn’t work out. There are going to be things that come up that we never expected to happen to us. I’m a believer in the fact that we cannot sit around and worry about what our next challenge or loss will be, but that we have to acknowledge life on earth is not easy or without challenge. I also deeply believe that you never really know what someone else is experiencing or what they’ve been through in the past, maybe consider that before you pass judgement.
Perhaps you are currently going through a tough situation whether it be a loss of a family member, a breakup, a job loss, etc. Maybe life isn’t going exactly how you planned or how you want it to right now. Although not the most fun topic, I thought this is SO useful. We all have bad or stressful days or days when we don’t feel happy. Here are a list of my favorite pick me ups to get you through either situation.
My Tried and True Pick Me Ups
- Get outside. Sunshine is SO good for you. It is shown to boost mood, decrease stress, and help you reset. Maybe you can only leave your desk for a 10 minute walk in the sunshine or maybe you can use your off day to go hike a mountain, either way you’ll experience the boost.
- Move + workout! When I’m grieving the loss of someone (whether that be a breakup or a death), I make myself workout. For me, grief is physically exhausting. This makes it really hard to get workouts in. I remember making myself get out of the door with running clothes on and forcing myself to start running after a really sad college breakup. As I started running it felt like the hardest physical thing I had ever done, but I kept repeating in my head “feel good endorphins, feel good endorphins”. I was an exercise science major, so I knew that I could boost my mood if I could just start + kept going for a while. Plus, it is part of my normal routine and at times like these it is important to do normal things.
- Take care of yourself. When you are going through a tough time taking care of yourself can fall to the bottom of the list. However, I’ve found that if I make a conscious effort to shower, eat (yes, even if you aren’t hungry), put normal clothes on, put makeup on, etc…it always helps! The more you act like yourself, the more you will feel like yourself. Of course you might need a day in your PJs just to be sad, just try not to make it a long term thing.
- Surround yourself by positive people. If I ever feel down this is a sure fire way to make myself feel better. If you are down or in need of a friend, reach out! Friends are there to support you through the good times + the bad. At this point in my life I really know who makes me feel better + who will always pick up the phone.
- Turn the negative into a positive (as much as you can muster). I have so much sympathy + empathy for people going through bad breakups or the loss of a family member because I’ve experienced both of those things. As far as breaking up goes, there is a reason that it happened + a reason that it is for the better. It just might not feel that way right away. Praise the Lord that I was eventually led to my wonderful husband. I couldn’t imagine life any other way, and our love + commitment to marriage is the strongest thing in my life. But, I can remember the breakup before Drew very well. You don’t exactly think: oh no problem, onto the next. You can probably reflect on the reasons why it is good and necessary though, even if it isn’t your choice. If you watched Nikki’s video above, you heard her talk about how you deserve someone that doesn’t take you for granted + cherishes you.
- Buy yourself some fresh flowers. I’m a huge believer in bringing fresh flowers into our house. It instantly brightens the house + my mood. You certainly don’t have to wait for someone else to buy them for you 😉 Drew always jokes that he never has a chance because I buy them for myself.
- Plan something you can look forward to. Put a girl’s trip on the calendar! I’m telling you the girl’s hiking trip to Vancouver was one of the best trips of my life. We had time to connect deeply and learn more about each other including events in our lives that shaped us into who we are today.
- Talk it out. A defense mechanism that we often use to protect ourselves is to keep our trials tucked away. After we talked at church group about my brother’s death, Drew + I decided we needed to actually talk about it more. Of course I had shared with him in the past, but we hadn’t talked about it often. Truthfully, I kept (maybe continue to keep) it tucked away in a little corner of my heart to protect myself from the grief of it. Talking about the tough stuff in the past helps us to continue the grieving process + now Drew knows a lot more about who Jesse was. I know my brother would be SO excited to be welcoming another addition to the family, he just loved children. 🙂
Sometimes these posts won’t speak to everyone, but if they help someone…I’m happy to have written it. I hope everyone is off to a good start this week. On a completely different note: this week I want to remember to eat vegetables at lunch + dinner and maybe add a vegetable snack in. I’m much more of a fruit person, so it is a challenge to myself + to you 🙂
Take care and see you on Thursday! Thursday I’m going to talk about how to better manage your time to decrease stress and increase your productivity! -Ames