Posted in 2020, first post, Goals, Health & Wellness!, hope2020, Mental Health, thoughts

Goals for April! ๐ŸŒธ ๐Ÿ’—

It’s the beginning of April now! I can’t believe how time is flying by! 2020 hasn’t really been what I thought it would be so far, but it will be okay. I just want to encourage you to keep going and don’t give up! Keep trusting God, and remember that He knew all of this craziness was going to happen, and knows what will happen after this.

Keep up with what you have going on in your life. Even when life is crazy with this pandemic, we still need to keep up what we need to do in our lives. It’s really hard, and I have been really struggling with not letting the news overwhelm me. But God knew this all would happen, and He is the only One who can give us peace now, and anytime.

my goals

This year I started doing monthly goals and resolutions, not many yearly ones. A year is a long time, especially with everything that is happening in 2020 and in my own life. Right now my state is still in shelter-in-place, so I don’t exactly know what will be happening this month. But I know I still need to live my life, even if it’s just at home. To be honest, that’s not to much different from my regular life. And, for me, that’s okay.

So, these are my goals for this month. I hope they encourage you to set goals, goals that will push you but also could be attainable if you are motivated and focused.

  • Keep becoming healthier and feeling better! – My health hasn’t always been the greatest, but I am feeling better. I just want to keep feeling better and finding a rhythm to feel better on a consistent basis!
  • Keep falling in love with Jesus every day. – Staying home a lot more has given me so much more time to talk to Jesus and learn more about him. I just want to keep falling in love with Him every day.
  • Finish 30-day SHRED strong! – I am currently doing a YouVersion Bible plan with some Internet friends. This plan (30-Day SHRED if you’re interested!) is where you read through the whole Bible in 30 days. It has been very interesting already, and I really want to keep up with it. It’s a lot to do, but so worth it!
  • Connect with more people through the Internet and real life! – Connecting with people has always been hard for me. During this time, I know I can encourage others. I really want to help other have fun at home! I know I can keep in contact with others during this time, and I am so thankful for that. So, this month I just want to encourage and get to know more people!
  • Write more blog posts – I really haven’t made posting on my blog and Instagram a priority this month. In April I really want to keep up with my weekly posting here and posting 3-4 times a week on Instagram. I love it when I’m sharing more of my thoughts, so I want to keep doing more of it this month.
  • Do more art – I haven’t done as much art as I wanted to this month. I finally got back into in at the end of March, so I definitely want to keep up with that. I love to put on a good audiobook and be painting for hours on end. Definitely doing more of that while we’re all stuck at home!
  • Workout on a regular basis – I have been doing pretty good at doing some kind of exercise every day. I want to keep doing that! My goal is to do 10 minutes of exercise every day-whether it’s yoga, dancing, strength training, or really anything else! I just need to get my body MOVING.
  • Organize my spring clothes! – It’s April now, so hopeful Michigan will start acting like it’s spring ๐Ÿ˜…. So I want to get all my warmer weather clothes rearranged in my closet. Not necessary, but it is fun and helpful.

what are your goals?

Life is really crazy right now. But also, you’re probably staying home more than ever right now. So make some progress for YOU this month. Start working out, or learn a new skill. Work on lessening anxiety, texting people regularly, or whatever you need to do to help your mind and body. I don’t know what your’e life is like right now. But maybe God is using this time at home, not doing much of anything, to get your attention. Listen to Him during this season.

So, tell me. What are you going to set as your goals for April? I’d love to hear!

Talk to y’all soon!

Mackenzie ๐Ÿ’•

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Posted in 2020, Bible Thoughts, hope2020, Mental Health, thoughts

My Quiet Time Routine

Hey y’all!!! How’s life going? I know, probably pretty crazy. With everything going on in my area with COVID-19, its been insane. But that’s why this post is SO important. We ALL need Jesus. We can’t do life without spending time with Him. So, today I want to share my quiet time, or God time, routine. I love my routine, I think I have finally found the best kind of time for my life to really grow closer to God. Enjoy this post, but even more than that, let this post be your incentive to find your best routine for God time!

why does everyone call it ‘quiet time’?

ok, honestly – I am not exactly sure why. But, I think it is because this is the time where we separate from the noise of this world and QUIET our minds and hearts so we can commune with God, our glorious Heavenly Father. It doesn’t mean we don’t have music blasting and singing along with our whole hearts to worship the Awesome God who made EVERYTHING(cause I know I do!). So, the quiet comes from quieting every other distraction from the world and devoting that time to focus on our one true and perfect and good God.

I like to call it my God time, or my time with Jesus. Simple, I know. ๐Ÿ˜… But this is probably my favorite part of my day. I usually kind of split it up into two times, just because I do a lot of Bible studies and I am not able to do everything at one time. I love it; I really do.

That is the most important thing: we need to LOVE our time with God. We can’t do it begrudgingly, because then we will really never grow closer to Him. We can’t do it mindlessly either. We will fall away more than actually growing closer to Him. So, if you see that you really don’t enjoy your time with God, ask yourself why. Ask yourself what has been placed above God in your heart. Pray that all idols will be taken out of your heart. Pray that you will love your time to commune with God more. Pray that you will love your Heavenly Father more. Pray to be a scholar of God and what He had told us.

my God Time routine

My God time is split into two times: one when I get up, while having breakfast; and the other one, when I have extra time throughout the day. My early morning time is pretty simple, while my second time is usually a lot more in-depth studying the Bible. I know some of y’all are already like “oh she’s such an overachiever” but I really don’t mean it in that way. I have had some tough times in my life and I don’t know what I would do without my time with God. I need my time in the morning, and if I could do all my time then I would. But I have a lot of pain and soreness in the morning, so I can’t write that much until after I have put my oils on and exercised. (tip – find a pattern that works for YOU)

early morning…

Normally I start my mornings doing a short devotional. Right now I am doing 100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs, and it is probably the best devotional I have ever read. I usually write down the key takeaway that is on the side of the page, and the verse that she starts the day with. It is really making me so much braver than I was before, and I’m only halfway through!

After I read my devotional I write down three quick affirmations. I just started doing this at the beginning of March and I am really seeing a difference in my day! My three affirmations for March are:

  1. I belong to God, and nothing could ever change that.
  2. I can make today a great day, only by God’s strength.
  3. I am kind, and I will serve others willingly.

I’ve heard about people doing affirmations every morning, and I always kind of thought it was weird. Not sure why, but I know I was WRONG. These have changed my day, and I am so excited to come up with new ones each month.

And that is my morning time! This usually takes right around 10 minutes, yet in really gets your started off right! And, of course, I am listening to the Passion 2020 Vibes on Spotify the whole time. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Such a good, God-focused, yet fun playlist! (tip – find a great worship playlist that you can’t get enough of!) Then I exercise and keep on with my day!

later…

Later in the day, really whenever I have a good chunk of time, I have my main time of studying the Word. I prefer to do it in the morning, but really whenever I have time to focus and learn more about God. I know a lot of people encourage having a set time to do devotions, but for my life and health right now I can’t set a time and be able to do it regularly. I just need to do it daily, but not every day at the same exact time. A little controversial, I know, but as I have said, we need to be able to make our God time our own. Which includes WHEN we do it.

So, when I have my God time, I usually sit on the floor next to my prayer corner. My prayer corner, as you can see in the photos, isn’t that big, plus it kinda is a 3-in-1. I do devotions here, workout on the mats, and do my hair in the mirror. For me this is the best spot for me to have time with God. When I am really not feeling good, I do it on my bed, but I prefer to keep it in one specific spot.

I will have a post coming all about prayer sometime soon, so I won’t dive into why I chose to do a prayer corner. But this has really grown my heart to commune with my Heavenly Father.

My prayer corner

what I do in my quiet time

So, now I am in my quiet time. I first read my She Reads Truth Bible, or whatever Bible I am currently using. I love my SRT Bible, I think its such a good resource! Currently I am working through the New Testament, first in my SRT Bible, which is the CSB translation. I am planning to read through the whole NT in 3 versions: first the CSB, then the ESV and finally the NIV. Right now I am reading Acts and it is really changing my relationship with God for the better.

I also use the Enduring Word Commentary while I’m reading. I don’t like to read it every day, because I want to rely on God’s Words, and not another person’s words. But it is a really helpful resource.

I usually read through the passage once, then look at cross references and commentaries. Then I grab my pencil and start underlining, circling, and writing notes. Then I read through it one more time, highlighting everything. I am using a highlighting key for my SRT Bible. I like it, but I also like just highlighting in random colors. It will probably go back and forth whenever I get a new Bible. Currently in my SRT I am using these gel highlighters. They’re not my favorite, but they work fine!

My highlighting key

After I study God’s Word, I pray and talk to God. Again, more on this coming later, but this is such an important part of growing closer to God. That’s why it’s getting its own post. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Then I either read a book and take notes, or I work on a Bible study. I am currently reading through Visual Theology, and it is really good. I also have a youth group Bible study that I work on every so often (this is the Bible study we are doing currently). This changes frequently, and sometimes I don’t have this time.

ok, wow. I can’t do that much.

Yeah, I know. After writing all this down, I see how much I actually do. It’s so good, but it’s not the normal. So, I just want to encourage you to do as much as you can. Whether it’s listening to sermons on your long drives, or reading for ten minutes two times a day. Just get in the Word. Lean on the Lord. He is only one who can truly help you. I sometimes spend up to two hours focusing on God, but it wasn’t always like that. Sometimes it was hard for me to have my God time last for more than 20 minutes.

It’s something I believe we all need to grow in. We all need to enjoy more time with God, myself included. But even if you feel discouraged sometimes, don’t give up!

I’m here for y’all. Whatever you need, let me know. I would love to help in any way I possibly can.

Love you guys! Stay in and stay safe!

Mackenzie ๐Ÿ’•

Posted in 2020, Chronic Illness Things, Essential Oil FUN!, first post, Health & Wellness!, hope2020

Why I switched to Young Living!

Hey y’all! So, I have some very fun, exciting news for you guys!

As you know from some past posts, I use essential oils for so many different things. They’ve been so helpful! But, as much as I loved the brand I used, Dลterra, it just wasn’t the right fit for my family. We enjoyed some of them, but we couldn’t be 100% supportive of the brand.

I had heard of Young Living through many different people, on Instagram and in real life. And when I started looking at all their amazing products, I was SO excited.

So, at the end of January, my family & I bought a Premium Starter Kit. The PSK is their best kit in my opinion. It has 12 oils, with a sample cleaning spray, hand sanitizer and 2 packets of Ningxia Red, an amazing drink they have. It sounds great already, right? Click here to get started on your wellness journey! I AM SO STOKED. It took us a long time to decide to switch or not, but we did it. And it has been even more amazing than we thought!

We have started using oils for more and more things. We’ve signed up for Essential Rewards, their customizable subscription box, and it is so helpful! I just love how these oils have been helping my family and I. As you know, I struggle with chronic pain and some other health issues. These oils are really starting to help my pain, and even some other health issues I thought I just had to live with are getting better, along with finding a healthy diet and exercising. It is such a good thing. I also have been able to get one of their oil blends called EndoFlexโ„ข and made an Adrenal Support roller bottle (stay tuned for recipes!). These blends are helping my hormones, my energy is getting better, and I love them!

Whether you’re quite healthy, or have a lot of health issues, Young Living is a great brand for you! They not only have amazing essential oils, but they also have a makeup line, a supplement line, and a household cleaner line which includes laundry soap, cleaner, dish soap, and more! Plus more!!! They have so many different products to support you and your body. I just want to encourage you to feel the best that you can feel, and I believe that this can really help you. Your wellness journey is not only about your body, but it is also about everything you are around and touch. Those chemicals do get into your body, and there may be some not-fun effects. But I love that one brand gives you all the products other than groceries to help your wellness journey along.

And, in March 2020, if you get this amazing Premium Kit you will get a SECOND Valor essential oils blend! Valor is probably my favorite oil in the PSK, and you get TWO of them this month, when you also sign up with Essential Rewards, which I absolutely love! And you also get the Lavender Hand & Body Lotion, which I personally haven’t tried but sounds amazing! That is over $400 worth of Young Living products for only $165-you HAVE to take advantage of this!!! Click here to start your amazing wellness journey this amazing month!

I’m so excited for this opportunity. And I’m looking forward to sharing these cool products with you! So, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to comment, email, DM me, whatever you need to do to get the answers you need! I want to help y’all get the most help for you health. Love y’all!

Be blessed!

Mackenzie ๐Ÿ’•

Posted in 2020, Essential Oil FUN!, Health & Wellness!, hope2020, Lessen Anxiety & Depression, Mental Health, thoughts

Extra Tips to Lessen Anxiety & Depression

Wow, I can’t believe we’re at the end of this series! This has been such a cool series, and I have been so blessed by writing it. So, to end this series, I want to give you some extra advice to truly help you lessen your anxiety and depression. The steps that I listed beforehand are the steps you need to do every day, but these are extra tips and suggestions that I believe that are needed, but not everyone needs the same ones or the same amounts.

I’m going to list all my other tips here. I would love to hear if y’all have any other tips!

  • Medication is a COMMON GRACE from God to us. I believe that medication can change the game of fighting the battle of anxiety and depression. So, if you are fighting this battle of anxiety and/or depression and feel like you can never get on top of it, talk to a doctor or counselor. Explore all the options. I personally couldn’t do medication because we weren’t sure how my body would react, but sometimes I wished I was able to take it so I could help my brain more. But, that time has passed. And I did it, even without medication. So, talk with the wise people in your life. Find what would work best for YOU.
  • Counselors/therapists are NOT the same as mentors. I know, you’re probably ‘really, girl, they’re the SAME’, but they’re not the same! Licensed counselors and therapists don’t specifically have to share the same faith as you, though I encourage it greatly. They have to be able to understand how your mind works with what your circumstances are. Mentors, on the other hand, keep you accountable with your time with God. They will help you focus on God instead of your circumstances. SO, as you can see, mentors need to have your same faith.
  • Essential Oils are AMAZING! Next week’s post is all about my essential oils brand & amazing they are. But, essential oils can help you bring you emotions back into control. Some of my favorite oil blends right now are Valor, Peace & Calming, and a DIY Adrenal Support blend. I’ll be sharing more about them in the next few weeks. But, if you want to jump right on in, click this link to sign up under me and get a great deal on a Premium Starter Kit!!! And if you want more oil info, check out my Instagram!
  • Declutter your space. Yeah, this is one that I think everyone either loves or hates. But when you’re space is super messy, your anxiety can go haywire over it, and your depression can keep you doing nothing (it’s too much work to get my stuff, to clean up, etc.). So tackle one thing at a time. Put away your clean laundry. Take a break. Put all the books on the shelf, take a break, and etc. Give yourself reasonable rewards for cleaning up certain amounts. It takes so much work sometimes, but it’s worth it. And, while you’re cleaning up, give your space a lil’ love. It always helps to make our space our own. So, print off a graphic of your favorite verse, put some of your favorite pictures up, just make your space your own.

I don’t have much more to say, so I know this is going to be a shorter post. But I believe it was really important to give closure to this topic. It’s HARD. I believe we, as a culture, are starting to open the conversation about mental illnesses, but it’s not to where it should be. It’s more in the statistics right now. I really want to let you know that there ARE people who understand. They’re hard to find sometimes, but they’re out there.

Whatever you’re dealing with right know, let someone know. If you don’t know anyone to tell in your life, message me. I know it may be awkward, but you need to confide in someone. I recently made a Contact page, so head over there and write a message. I will definitely get back to you. โžก๏ธClick here to immediately go to the Contact page.โฌ…๏ธ

What was your favorite takeaway?

Be blessed ๐Ÿ˜Š

Mackenzie ๐Ÿ’•

Posted in 2020, Health & Wellness!, hope2020, Lessen Anxiety & Depression, Mental Health

4-Step Guide to Finding Mentors & Friendships

Hey y’all! Thanks for coming back for post #6 of this series! I’m super excited to see what y’all think about this post. It definitely was a harder post for me to write. So, enjoy. I hope this encourages you. ๐Ÿ˜‰โค๏ธ

my story

So, to summarize, this post is all about how having friends and mentors supporting you through your anxiety and depression journey can help so much. If that’s all that you take from this, that’s okay. This is one point/tip that I struggle with MUCH more than I would like to admit. When I am in a time of high depression and/or anxiety, I don’t want to reach out to others. I just want to hide and pretend all is just fine. And sometimes I don’t think people care about me enough or want to actually help. So I just stay quiet.

But that is NOT right, and I shouldn’t feel or think that way. God gave us other people so that we don’t have to be alone and go through the tough things in life without any help. We need someone who we can trust, to encourage us when we feel like we can’t go on anymore.

And, before y’all start think what I know you are thinking, Jesus should (and is!) be our Best Friend. We need to run to Him when anything hard happens, whenever we a feeling overwhelmed with life. But lots of times He works through other people around us and who are in our lives to encourage us. He gives us people to show and remind us of His perfect love.

So, keeping that in mind, who should you confide in? As you realize your struggle with anxiety and/or depression, who should you tell?

tips to finding good relationships

Now that y’all know when I am coming from, from a place of still figuring out the best way to do this in my life. Not that I don’t want friends and mentors, but finding close people to lean on can be so hard sometimes.

I am still learning this, but I can help you with four tips that I have found true!

  1. Find your close friends and mentors in good places – You can’t find truthful, kind, but yet honest friends and mentors in an untrustworthy setting. As you find close friends and mentors, look for them at church, youth group, or Bible studies. It’s not something ‘hard and fast’, but you want a mentor and friend that has the same beliefs as you, and the same kind of passion for the Lord as you.
  2. Your mentor should be older and wiser than you – This one should be kind of obvious. But, you can’t gain wisdom from someone who is still in the same stage of life as you. Depending on your age and time of life, your mentor should be 2-10 years older than you. Or older than that too. But you need someone who has walked through all the emotions of that stage of life to help you through it.
  3. Your friends and mentors should have good senses of humor – Weird tip. I know. There are so many crazy things that happen in life, and sometimes you just need someone to laugh with you. I know sometimes I make a little joke about all my allergies, and when someone laughs with me in it, that’s when I know I have made a good friend. ๐Ÿ˜… But you need to make sure it isn’t a humor that kinda puts you down for what is different. That is a type of joke you need to STAY away from.
  4. Your friends should look out for you and check on you – We all want to have someone reaching out to ourselves, so we don’t have to put as much effort into the friendship. But friendship is a two-way relationship. Really, any relationship is two ways, not just one person reaching out. So, maybe reach out to one person for a while. Someone you know well but is maybe struggling a little. And you also should have someone reaching out to you, whether it be a friend or a mentor. If you don’t have that right now, I get that. I’m finally starting to grow out off that season. It hurts. But watch out for those relationships where you can see that it could turn into a very close two-way friendship. Nurture it, and watch it grow.

Life is HARD sometimes. I get that probably more than you know (not bragging in any way), but sometimes reaching out to others is not only going to help them, it will also make you feel happier and more satisfied, whether you share what’s going on in your life right now or not. We need community. We desperately need community outside of our screens.

Whatever your life looks like, anxiety and depression is real. It’s so hard to admit that it is a problem, especially to our friends who usually only see that smiling, laughing versions of ourselves. But we need someone to confide in, to take care of us when we don’t now how we can go on anymore. Keep reaching out. It’s humbling, but so needed.

I hope this post encouraged you. It’s hard to navigate relationships sometimes, so I hope this was a good guide to help you keep on keepin’ on. And there is only TWO more posts in this series! So be sure to follow me on this blog (in the sidebar on laptops/larger screens or down below this post on mobile) and on Instagram to keep up with all the fun!!! Love y’all so much!

Mackenzie ๐Ÿ’•

Posted in 2020, Health & Wellness!, hope2020, Lessen Anxiety & Depression, Mental Health, thoughts

The Importance of SLEEP!

Here I am again! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I am back for post #5 of the how to lessen anxiety and depression. I hope these tips are helping you! I am convinced these steps will help you lessen your anxiety and depression. It’s rough sometimes, but I want to come alongside you in this trial. ๐Ÿฅฐโค๏ธ It really is hard. We hear all the stats and reasons about all the negative, all the rising stress, anxiety & depression, but we usually never hear HELPFUL tips about how to change and help ourselves and others. We need to stop stressing about the rising rates of anxiety and depression, and actually DO something. Ok, I’m done ranting now. ๐Ÿ˜…

This post is about sleep. Boring topic, right? Something you could actually fall asleep to? (hahaha…ok I’m sorry not sorry) But even as I was researching for this post, I finally saw more of the reasons and logic behind the importance of sleep. So, I hope you learn lots from this post, and, even more importantly, are able to find practical ways to make this part of your life better and easier.

yes, sleep ๐Ÿ˜ด

Most people understand this step, but don’t make it a big focus while dealing with anxiety and depression. And probably there’s a few of you who are about ready to click off of this post. But hang on with me! We all kinda start to shut off when we hear people talk about sleep. But, y’all-this is IMPORTANT.

Let me say it again: don’t click off. This is important.

We should have seven to nine hours a night, but most people around my age barely get five hours! Why is this? I believe that we think of sleep as something we need to get out of, so we can do what we really want/need to do. Others really know they need sleep, but they believe that they can’t say ‘no’ to certain events or they need to get things done BEFORE they can sleep and rest their bodies and minds. But we desperately need to start making sleep a priority.

So, like I have been doing with all the other posts, here are some stats (found here and here) to back up this tip:

  • Having an insufficient amount of sleep can lead to depression and weight gain.
  • Having a regular sleep pattern helps restore your brain and body for the next day.
  • On the other hand, insufficient sleep diminishes your mental clarity

This is one step that I personally don’t struggle with that much, but I understand how much others need it. For me, with my chronic illness, I need around nine hours of sleep to be able to function well. I can hardly function on seven hours, while others need about seven to eight hours to function well.

Another important tip is to go to bed around the same time each night. I try to turn off my light around 9:30, but on Wednesdays and Sundays, I have extras going on so I head to bed later. But it really all depends on your schedule, and when you get tired.

It really is all about how to have the least anxiety and depression, and finding what it best for YOU. I don’t want to you to take everything I say extremely seriously, because you need to find what is right and best for you and your lifestyle.

So, that is all I have to say about sleep. It’s another one that it slightly awkward to talk about, but it is SO important.

I will see you next week Wednesday to get back on my regular posting schedule!!! I’m really looking forward to some content I am preparing for the next few months.

Love you guys so much. Thanks for staying around to hear all my thoughts that I put up on this lil’ corner of the Internet.

See y’all next week!

Mackenzie ๐Ÿ’•

Posted in 2020, Health & Wellness!, hope2020, Lessen Anxiety & Depression, Mental Health, thoughts

Why Fresh Air is Vitally Important to Us!

Wow, we are already onto post #4 of this series!!! Thank you SO much for all the love for this lil’ series. And, I apologize for skipping a week–it was rough last week and I did not have enough time to write this. I am really focusing in on writing and getting content out that will be super helpful! And I am so excited for some posts coming up after this series. But for now, this post will be all about fresh air and getting outside! It’s a little weird talking about this subject, because no one really talks about this. Anyways, please enjoy!

why is getting outside important?

Again, as I said in the intro, most people don’t talk about this part about lessening anxiety and depression. It seems so obvious, but also so different. We all feel better when we are outside, but we don’t make it a priority.

But it helps your body SO much! It helps your blood pressure and heart rate, strengthens your immune system and makes you happier! Plus many other great benefits like:

  • Fresh air cleans your lungs and makes them healthier
  • Fresh air helps your brain work better
  • Fresh air helps your digestion
  • Fresh air & being outside improves your self esteem

these facts were found here and here

Now, why would we not want these things?!?

let’s be practical now

As we see more of the benefits of getting fresh air, why do we not make it a priority? What are some practical ways to get fresh air regularly? How can we change this in our lives?

I believe the first step is to see and acknowledge that we don’t get enough fresh air. So, as you read this, if you are thinking, ‘wow, I need to get outside a LOT more!’, that is such a great step. Now we just have to find practical ways to do this!

One very practical way to do this is combine with the tip beforehand, exercising regularly! You can take a run or walk outside, or even do your yoga or cardio out in your backyard!

You can also take a book outside to sit and read. Eat meals outside! Whatever you can do outside, take it outside!

But even if you only get outside walking from your car to the building and back, that’s good too! It’s hard to get this step done right now, because of the Michigan weather (it’s COLD in the winter over here!). But maybe even try to not always take the closest parking spot. It’s OK to walk a little. It’s actually really good. Especially before an appointment that you could get nervous about. Between the exercise and the fresh air, that would actually be really good for you.

That’s all I have for today y’all! I hope you enjoyed this post, I know it was a little different than usual, but it was very important to talk about. What are some of your favorite ways to get outside? Let me know in the comments below!

Posted in 2020, Chronic Illness Things, Health & Wellness!, hope2020, Lessen Anxiety & Depression, Mental Health, thoughts

Exercise Daily to Lessen Anxiety & Depression!

It’s time for post #3 of my series about lessening anxiety and depression! This post is all about exercise, and how to find the right type of exercise for your brain and body. I hope you enjoy!

why do I need to exercise?

Exercise is another thing that I think people either love or hate. But our bodies are made to move a LOT more than they usually do in a day. Less than 5% of adults have 30 minutes of exercise a day. 30 minutes of movement (movement to get your heart rate going) is what we are SUPPOSED to get. And kids are on screens 7 1/2 hours a DAY! That is wayyy too much screen time in my eyes.(not intention pun lol) And it is even harder to get active, because only 1 in 5 homes have a park or recreation center/gym within a half mile (click here for the statistics). These facts show that we are not getting enough movement, and the reasons why we don’t, make sense.

Not only does exercising strengthen your body, but is also helps your brain and emotions! This is a little explanation from WebMD:

When youย exercise, your body releases chemicals calledย endorphins. Theseย endorphinsย interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain.ย Endorphinsย also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine.

WebMD

how do I change this cycle?

But when you exercise, find the best version of it for YOU. Some people love CrossFit, or gym equipment. Others like yoga or Zumba (aka dance exercise or dance cardio). Whatever gets you moving that you ENJOY, do that.

My fitness journey has been definitely long and crazy. My whole life I have had low muscle tone, and that means I had to ‘exercise’ as much as I could, but I fought my parents the whole way through. It wasn’t fun to me, and I didn’t understand how and why it could help me.

Finally this past year, I started to see how important it is. I did yoga through the Down Dog app for a while, when my pain was bad and I couldn’t do much at all. I usually did about 15 min of Hatha yoga in the morning that’s a little more strenuous and strength training. At the end of the day I did 10-15 min of the Restorative yoga, which is all on the floor and just mostly stretching, which keeps my muscles loose while I sleep. And for me, yoga is super calming and lessens my anxiety.

But after my bad flare in December, my muscles became so tight that yoga became kind of painful. And I needed something else to get my heart rate going, so I actually started doing PopSugar’s Dance Fitness exercises. I LOVE them! They’re so much fun and I get my heart rate up, which is something yoga doesn’t do as much.

I rotate between the 10 minute dance video and a couple of the different 30 minute videos. Here are the links!

If I’m doing the 10-minute dance video, something I am trying to do more is do a bodyweight exercise or walk around with 3-pound weights for about 7 minutes. It gets me moving even more, and is really strengthening my body.

And I know that lots of people with chronic illness & different kind of health issues can’t exercise much. And that’s okay! Even if it’s just walking around at home for five minutes or doing yoga or dance, just get MOVING! Learn your limits, and push yourself as much as you can, but don’t overdo. Find the perfect balance for your body!

I will be keeping y’all updated on my fitness and health journey over on my Insta!!! Go check it out here!

I’m so excited to see your reactions to this new post!!! Leave a comment about your health and wellness journey! Let’s change this world by being statistic-changers!

Love y’all!
Mackenzie ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ’•

Posted in 2020, Chronic Illness Things, Health & Wellness!, hope2020, Lessen Anxiety & Depression, Mental Health

Healthy Food to Battle Anxiety & Depression!

As I talked about in my previous post, I am doing a little series about battling anxiety and depression! It’s a real problem and I want to help you get through this rough time. So the first post on this series is all about having a healthy diet & eating healthy food!

diet…good or bad?

I know the word ‘diet’ can have a really bad connotation to it. And there are some diets that are not good for your body. We should truly stay away from UNhealthy diets. But all I mean by “diet” is that we need to eat food that is healthy and good for your body. Not all food that is healthy is good for YOU personally. For example, for most people can do certain grains like rice, or even regular potatoes. But for me, if I eat those things, I do NOT feel good, and it’s like eating more ‘junk food’ for me. Eating healthily is different for everyone. If you are eating things that are bad for your body, your brain will not be able to work near as well. Take time to find the best way to eat for your body and your lifestyle.

And if you have a day where you don’t eat the best, THAT’S OK! If you aren’t extremely allergic to the foods, you can have a grace day here and there. But just get back to it after that great grace day. ๐Ÿ˜Š

And I know that there are many people with health issues in this community and cannot eat so-called healthy foods regularly. And that makes this post hard. But just do what is best for your body. Whatever happens to make you feel better, do that. And don’t feel guilty-that’s the worst for your body AND your brain.

Some resources I have used to eat healthier are:

I love this website! – the recipes are perfect for my body, and I know that the recipes will turn out well!

I also love this cookbook! Some of the recipes I can’t have, but she gives a lot of common sense information. Totally a must-have for homemade, healthy cooking!!!

Last but not least, my parents got me this recipe binder!!! I love to write the updates to some of the recipes that I make. I love how beautiful it is!!!

be okay with your life!

Whatever your life is like right now, make time to take care of your body. Food is so much more important than we ever think. And I really want to help y’all in this weird process. So, come follow me on Insta (@dayofsunshinediaries #shamelessplug ๐Ÿ˜‚) and be encouraged by my food journey. I am really hoping to keep being authentic and true to y’all with all of this. My food journey is SO much different than the rest of y’alls stories, but I still want to encourage others.

Love y’all SO much!!!

Mackenzie โค๏ธ

Posted in 2020, 2k19, Chronic Illness Things, first post, hope2020, Mental Health, thoughts

Excited for the NEW Year!

Welcome to the new year! And the new decade. That is still SO crazy to say. ๐Ÿ˜‚ But I just want to come on here and encourage you as you start your new year. I also wanted to recap some of what my 2019 was and talk more about my 2020 word of the year, as mentioned on my Instagram a few days ago. Let’s get into it!!!

renew 2019

My 2019 word was renew. This was actually my first year doing a word of the year. And It was really cool, when I actually remembered to think on it ๐Ÿ˜‚. But this year was truly a year of renewal. It was hard, the hardest year of my life by far, but the biggest thing that I renewed this year was my passion and drive. At the beginning of this work I was lost, thrashing in a sea of doubt. But as I went through the year, I started to find my feet on a solid surface again-on God and His promises. I renewed my passion for Him this year and I am just SO excited to see when God takes me in this coming year.

December was HARD. My health was acting up so much (and still is!), and it was a pretty bad flare. But I believe it is serving a purpose-to make me lean more and more on Jesus and what He did for me on the cross. I learned so much about Him, and about myself this month. As hard as it was, it was a blessing. And it was a lesson that I needed. I know now that I had to go through that to see how strong I really can be with God with me ๐Ÿ˜โค๏ธ

now…

2020’s word is all about trusting and waiting, knowing great things will happen, but going through the trials beforehand. This year’s word is…

hope!

Hope is my word for 2020. I know this year will be a year of ending a LONG waiting season. It is a year of finishing a transition season and moving into something so much greater that I can ever imagine. I am PUMPED for this year! ๐Ÿ˜

I know it will still be hard, but I also believe and know that God is doing a good work in me. It’s like a puzzle or a painting. During the work of making a beautiful painting, there will be parts where it looks like a mess, and other times where it looks almost like it is almost finished, but something else will be added to DOUBLE or TRIPLE the beauty of it. That is what God is doing with our lives. He is painting a beautiful picture of our lives, and these beautiful pictures are just a DOT on His canvas of the whole time of the world.

It’s going to be an amazing year. And I am SO excited to be sharing my year with y’all. I love sharing what’s going on in my life on this blog and my Instagram. If you think someone could be encouraged by a post, go and share it! I just want to encourage others while I walk my own journey. I want to be with you as you go through the dark times that WILL happen. Let me know how I can pray for you! Prayer is one thing we always overlook but is the biggest thing we could ever do to help others. I pray for the people who read my content regularly and I so want to help you in ANY way I can. โค๏ธ

So, what are some of your New Year’s Resolutions? Do you have a word of the year? Remember, whatever you do to prepare for 2020, that we will never be able to keep them perfectly. But that’s okay!!! Jesus gives us grace upon grace. Love yourself well by not feeling frustrated if you break a resolution. It does make a difference ๐Ÿ˜Šโค๏ธ

Have a blessed New Years!

Mackenzie ๐Ÿค—โค๏ธ