WHAT IT MEANS TO INVEST IN YOURSELF

You’ve heard it countless times—take time for yourself and secure your future. But what does that really mean and how do you about it? Essentially, investing in yourself works the same way like putting money in the bank. The more you put in, the more you’ll reap. We can get so caught up in everyday life, we forget that the most important investment we’ll ever make is the time we give ourselves in order to flourish.

The month of January calls for a fresh start and new healthy habits! Here are some ways you can invest in your wellbeing and get more out of life.

GET MORE OUT OF YOUR DAY

For a good part of my young adult life, I always believed I was a night owl. I thought it was just in my genetics to go to bed at 3 or 4 a.m. and wake up until noon. This was the least productive habit I ever adopted. You don’t need to wake up at 5 a.m. every day, but getting a head start definitely helps. If you’re a writer, get up earlier to write. If you like to read, do it in the morning. Whatever you enjoy doing and never have enough time for, getting up a bit earlier to do it will make you feel so much better!

INVEST IN YOUR HEALTH

Fitness is the first step I took when I decided to invest more in myself (and I saw results!) I enjoyed ending a long day by going to the gym. An hour of working out gave me the alone time I craved after a busy day socializing at my day job or with friends. It allowed me to unwind, and I felt so much better afterward. Over time, I saw results and learned so much more about my body and overall health.

INDULGE IN YOUR INTERESTS

If you’re struggling with this one, don’t worry—I did too. If you don’t currently have an interest you’re passionate about, then start with an idea. I would look at water-coloring tutorials but never trying it out myself. One day, I bought a starter kit and followed a video and made a cute work of art! The process was very therapeutic, and now it’s a fun hobby I get to share with others. If there is anything you’d like to try out, then try it! You’ll be amazed at what comes from just attempting a new hobby—plus you’ll feel good about yourself. What an accomplishment!

These are just a few ways you can invest in yourself day-to-day. It’s going to be different for everyone. These are just a few things that worked for me! Looking after yourself, learning a new skill and taking a break from all the hustle and bustle is more important than you think. The first step to being good to others means being good to yourself!

Looking to have a support group to motivate you into taking care of yourself? Join our communities on Hey! VINA to find the squad you need. 

17 FREE WAYS TO LIFT YOUR MOOD

I know how to cheer myself up  — and, if I can pat myself on the back, I’m very good to myself, especially if I’ve had a bad day. I’ve spontaneously booked a $150 massage, clicked “purchase” on buttery-soft leather boots, and splurged on (multiple!) technicolor $15 cocktails to shake off everything from a curt comment from a boss to a bad breakup.

Even when I try to cut back, I find that “self-care” can cost major bucks. Books, bubble baths, and cold brews aren’t exactly free! At the same time, when you’re feeling ugh, you’re not exactly super motivated to round up some baking soda, cornstarch, citric acid, and essential oils to build your own bath bombs. So how can you be good to yourself, your bank account, and your well-being? Try one of these strategies:

1) MAKE — AND SERVE — YOURSELF DINNER

No need to run out to the grocery store for ingredients. Even putting a Pop-Tart on a plate and sitting down at a table can make you feel more pampered than if you had scarfed it down standing up. For extra points, dim the lights and cue up a Spotify playlist of your favorite jams.

2) PUT FRESH SHEETS ON YOUR BED

Fluff the pillows and fold down the comforter in the way you like best for that “hotel” feel at a $0 price tag.

3) DRINK A GLASS OF WATER

Or two. Sometimes when you’re feeling a little foggy, you don’t even realize it’s because you’re dehydrated. Have a glass — toss in some cut-up fruit to make it extra fancy — and you’ll be re-energized in no time.

4) MAKE A CUP OF TEA

Rolling your eyes? Me too! Or I was until I actually made myself a cup of tea. I’m a coffee drinker to the core, but finding an herbal blend, boiling water, and sitting down and enjoying a hot beverage after a cold, damp day is much more decadent than it might sound. In other words, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

5) CLEAN OUT YOUR INBOX

A mindless, mess-free chore can stop you from ruminating on whatever’s bothering you, and getting to inbox zero can feel so (so, so, so!) satisfying.

6) LIE IN SAVASANA

Any yoga flow will help you feel good, but if you want to skip straight to savasana, we won’t judge. It’s the best pose — and if it turns into a nap, even better.

7) MAKE A MUG COOKIE

Decadent, delicious, ooey-gooey comfort in a mug, coming right up. There are plenty of recipes online, but here’s a simple and foolproof one: Add one egg, two tablespoons cocoa powder, and ¼ cup powdered sugar to a mug; mix it all up, and nuke in the microwave for a minute. Done and yum.

8) DO A LANGUAGE LESSON ON DUOLINGO

Learning a new skill is fun and free, and the game-like interface of this language-learning app can remind you just how smart, talented, and full of possibility you are.

9) ESCAPE INTO A GOOD BOOK

Kindle offers free reads on the regular, ranging from classics to contemporary fiction. Feeling old school? Hit up the library — or swap bestsellers with a friend. Find the equivalent of literary junk food, if that’s what will make you feel good, or dive into fantasy or science fiction to help you forget the real world.

10) PLAY!

You know how recess made everything better as a kid? The same is accurate for adults. Download a workout app like Zombies, Run (where you run away from zombies while following a workout routine) which can help you get your sweat on (holla, endorphins!).

lidya-nada-638316-unsplash.jpg

11) SAY HI TO SOMEONE

It sounds cheesy, but when you’re super caught up in your own stuff, the best way to break the cycle is to just get out of your head. Say hi to a grocery clerk, a barista, your coworker. It’s great if the “hi” then sparks a conversation, but a simple exchange of hellos and smiles can also cheer you up. Don’t have anyone around you? Surround yourself with people, stat.

12) WATCH SOME DOGS PLAY AT THE DOG PARK

Dare you not to smile.

13) LET YOUR FRIENDS REMIND YOURSELF JUST HOW AWESOME YOU ARE

Run a search in your email for the phrase “you’re awesome.” You’ll turn up all the emails from friends and family who have shared that phrase with you over the years.

14) CUE UP SOME BABY GOAT YOGA

Ideally, you would do baby goat yoga. But since most of us don’t live near the farms offering this one-of-a-kind class, you can also get happy by watching goat yoga. So get on YouTube, stat.

15) TWO WORDS: SAND CUTTING

Again, this is a “even more soothing if it’s watched” type of thing. The official term for videos of people doing mundane things that somehow make you feel chilled out, calm, or even tingly (but in a good way!) is ASMR — autonomous sensory meridian response. Research is mixed about whether ASMR is a scientific phenomenon, but the Internet — and plenty of Reddit threads — confirm it’s a thing. Even if you don’t get any physical sensations, you’ve gotta admit watching videos of sand carving can make your brain turn off in the best way.  Check out @sand.tagious on IG and see for yourself. It’s cool, weird, hypnotizing, and happiness-inducing.

16) CROSS SOMETHING OFF YOUR TO-DO LIST

Even if that “something” is “write your to-do list.” An app will work, but there’s something extra satisfying about doing it with pen and paper.

17) QUIT A SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE

You know how there’s always that one thing you don’t mean to be paying for — but somehow still are? Take ten minutes and unsubscribe. Doing so will feel so good — and your bank account will thank you, too.

— Originally published on November 1, 2018 on FindJoy.com

BREAK THAT ICE! 10 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR NEW VINA

Meeting new friends can be scary. When it comes time to meet your new vina offline, it’s normal to feel anxious about real-life conversation topics. Conversations can take some time to get into a flow before getting off the ground, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself. To get you started, here are some questions to try on your next vina date! 

What are you looking forward to this week?

What’s the most beautiful place you’ve been to?

What personal passion project are you working on right now?

What was the last book you read that you really loved?

If you could teach a university course on any subject you want, what would it be?

omar-lopez-716646-unsplash.jpg

What’s your favorite piece of technology that you own?

Which T.V. show are you binge watching right now?

What’s the signature dish that you cook?

What was your first job? Did you like it?

What are you freakishly good at?

Ready to get to know some vinas near you? Download Hey! VINA today and start swiping! Your future bestie is out there waiting for you.✌️

4 STEPS TO MAKE WAKING UP EARLY A PIECE OF CAKE

If only there was actual cake involved, then I’d definitely be okay with waking up early. But unfortunately eating cake for breakfast is still pretty taboo. Unless it’s the day after your birthday, in which case you’re allowed to eat leftover cake for every meal. Everyone knows that.

But in all seriousness, I will never understand self-proclaimed “morning people”. Even after discovering these morning life hacks, the sound of my alarm still makes me angry. But at least with these tricks I’m able to feel more rejuvenated, and more ready for my day than before.

WASH YOUR FACE OR TAKE A SHOWER IMMEDIATELY

This is the number one thing that really wakes me up in the morning. I’m usually someone who showers at night, so a quick face wash does the trick just as well. Pick a soap that smells really good, use slightly cool water, and try to splash your face like they do in the commercials, and fail miserably. Your PJs will get wet and you’ll be forced to begin getting changed into your real clothes for the day.

PICK YOUR OUTFIT THE NIGHT BEFORE

I don’t know about you, but picking out my outfit takes up the most time of my morning routine. But since committing to choosing my outfits the night before, I get to wake up a little later. I know this is the oldest trick in the book, but trust it, it really helps.

OPEN YOUR CURTAINS AND A WINDOW

Let the sun shine in! Keeping your room dark is recipe for a bad mood. Getting a bit of sun and fresh air (if it’s not too cold out) while you get ready will make you feel super refreshed.

WALK TO WORK

One of the things I struggle with the most isn’t necessarily getting out of the house – it’s feeling awake and productive right when I get to the office. Since I found myself to be so sluggish in the mornings, it would take me 30-40 minutes once at work to settle in and feel ready to begin. That all changed when I started walking the first half of my commute to work. I live to far to walk the whole way, but I’ve been walking along my bus route for the first mile or so and it makes a huge difference once I get to the office. Yes, this may mean you need to leave a little bit earlier, but the fresh air and the hustle and bustle around town is sure to put you in the mood to get sh*t done!

You still might not be able to call yourself a morning person, but these life hacks will at least make mornings more bearable. Have you taken the core personality quiz on Hey! VINA yet? Let us (and future friends!) know if you’re more of a morning person or night owl!

(Feature image source)

GUARANTEED WAYS TO ACHIEVE ALL YOUR #GOALS IN 2017

Happy (almost) 2017 vinas! Whether you’re a fan of New Year’s Resolutions or not, I’m sure you’ve got a goal or two you are looking to achieve in 2017… you #bossbabe you 😉

Make sure you’re setting yourself up for success and smashing those 2017 goals using some of my favorite tips.

1.REFLECT ON 2016

Take some time to journal and collect your thoughts on the past year. What were the highs? What were the lows? Did you follow through on the goals you set out for yourself? If not, what got in your way?

2. CREATE A VISION BOARD

Ok I know this idea is a little new-agey but it WORKS. I’m serious… I’m a BIG believer that what you put out into the universe has a way of coming back to you. When I was in college in Boston (many years ago…), I created a vision board. On the board I had a picture of a boss babe (I wanted to own my own business), a Dubai landmark (I have always wanted to go there), a picture of the state of California (I knew I wanted to live there), and a handsome dude.

Well? I currently live in California, started my own biz, visited Dubai last year and I have a wonderful man in my life. Okay, okay, wait –let me preface this by saying…this didn’t happen overnight. In fact, it happened over the course of many years, and there were tons of hard times along the way (i.e. two lay-offs, heartbreak, and a loss of friendships, just to name a few), but the important thing is I kept believing and trusting the process.

I am a firm believer that we are the creators of our own destiny and the more you “put out” what you want in your life, the higher probability that it will come back. Plus, creating a vision board is such a fun project (psst – and a great one to do with a vina!).

3. COMMIT: SET AND FOLLOW THROUGH ON YOUR GOALS

  • Wellness goals: Fitness? Nutrition? Spiritual?
  • Career/business goals: Promotion? Pay raise? Start your own business? Education?
  • Friendship goals: Make new friends? Nurture current friendships? Spend more time with your vinas?
  • Self improvement: Learn a new skill? Travel to a new destination? Read more books?

4. GET TACTICAL

First ask yourself:

  • When do you want to reach your goal by?
  • What habit needs to happen every month so that you reach your goal?
  • What habit needs to happen each week to make that “thing” happen each month?
  • What habit needs to happen each day to make that thing happen each month?

For example, let’s say your goal is to learn how to cook in 2017 (thank God my boyfriend doesn’t read this).

  • Goal: Learn how to cook in 2017.
    • (Habit) Every month: Commit to cooking for someone else 1x per month.
    • (Habit) Every week: Commit to cooking 3-5 meals at home from the recipes you collected.
    • (Habit) Everyday: Spend 5 minutes collecting new recipes.

Consistent action through habits is the key to reaching your goals and to making the intangible into tangible.

5. CHECK IN ON YOURSELF

  • Are you on track? If you are, celebrate! If not, what is holding you back?
  • Do your goals feel *right* to you at this point in your life? If it doesn’t feel like the right time for this goal, or if it just feels wrong, get rid of it! It’s one thing to hold yourself accountable to goals you truly want, but it’s perfectly fine to nix the ones that just don’t serve you.
  • Do you have a new goal you want to add? Perhaps you realized you have a genuine interest to learn to code or learn a new language. If that’s the case, go for it!

What are your goals for 2017? Tweet us at @ilikevina or comment below!

(feature image via @rooihome)

CLOTHING SWAPS: HOW TO SHOP YOUR BESTIES’ CLOSETS

The first time I ever went to a clothing swap I just about lost my mind. It brought together so many things I love in this world: my vinas, shopping, hanging out (preferably with wine and lots of snacks), and recycling good in the world. It’s a great way/excuse to get everyone together and get some things done.

Every once in awhile, it is paramount (read: necessary) that we purge our closet. I recently read The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up. The author says getting rid of clothing is one of the first steps in getting your life together.

IN PREPARATION

So the first step is to go through your own closet. If you’re going to be the host, you better have some goods to bring to the table.

Be sure to send out invitations to your clothing swap with good notice. A good estimate is two weeks in advance. Everyone will have enough time to go through their own clothing and come prepared.

Have snacks. This just applies to any and all events we discuss. Life rule: have snacks.

DAY OF SWAP

Organize the gathering with what feels best for your personality type. I’ve been to a clothing swap that was a free-for-all. Everyone threw their goods into a pile in the living room to pillage at leisure. I’ve also been to one where things took on more of a trade vibe. You kept your clothing in certain place and swapped for items as if everyone had their own storefront. However you want to run the show, let your guests know the structure when they arrive.

By the end of the shindig, any goods remaining should go into bags for donation. You can do one massive run, which is in itself an incentive for the event. The result is that you’ve not only cleaned out your closet and bettered your life, but you’ve also hosted a lovely get-together, shopped your vinas’ closets for free, and made donations to charity. This is a win-win-win on all accounts.

(Featured image via Redbook Mag)