Posted in 2020, Chronic Illness Things, Covid-19, Goals, Health & Wellness!, hope2020, Mental Health, thoughts

Month to Month Feelings

I was thinking about everything that has happened, and this is the blog post that grew from those thoughts. Please enjoy my ramblings 😉

This month I desperately need a strong month. I need a month to push and have it actually go well. The first quarter (oh my goodness, it’s been OVER a quarter) of the year has been harder that I can even say. This past month wasn’t what I wanted, but that’s okay. I need to be okay with it, and I am starting to be okay and even happy with it. There’s been so much good (SO much good. God has blessed me with overflowing blessings), but there has also been so much hard and even harder. So I want to push and be strong this month, but I also want this month to work for me. You know what I mean? Where there’s some months where you push and work but yet there’s too much hard and you don’t get where you want to be. In ways that feels like failure, but it really isn’t. Failure is completely giving up, not trying. When you actually try but not hit the goals you wanted to hit, that’s not failing. I honestly don’t know an accurate word for it. I wish there was one. But this month I am MAKING it work for me.

I always struggle with having a positive mood when things don’t go my way. I don’t mean that in a mean, self-centered way. I just sometimes am disappointed when God shows me that the plans are different that I thought. And in April I even struggled with some depression again. It’s hard in this time, with all the craziness in the world. And sometimes I don’t know how to help myself. But I have taking steps to take care of myself, and made an amazing essential oils blend, and I have been writing affirmations every morning and I am super happy about my affirmations this month. These are the affirmations:

  1. I am doing the best I can, and that’s okay.
  2. God has given me all I need; I shall not want.
  3. I am strong and confident in what I believe.

I highly encourage you to do some daily affirmations. It really helps. I also have been doing 3 positives every morning, and that is really helping kicking the depression away.

To help me stay encouraged throughout the day, I like to write some quotes of a whiteboard I have. One quote I found in an email really struck me, and I put that up on my whiteboard.

The deepest root of a Christian woman is hope in God, and it yields this strong tree of fearlessness in the face of suffering.

John Piper

This quote is so amazing! I truly believe this can happen for each and every one of us. We just need to be with God. We need to enjoy our time with Him. We need to not start our day without talking to Him. That is how we will become a “strong tree of fearlessness in the face of suffering”.

I want this month to work for me. I mean that as in, I want to do the work this month and see my rewards and my goals being met. So I am going to do as much as I can so I hit my goals. And the rest? Well, that’s up to all the people on the other side of this screen. If I have a goal to hit a rank in Young Living, or to get more Instagram followers, I will post what I can to encourage people to stick around, but to stay and engage, well that’s up to all the other people. I can’t make them, and that’s okay. But I will encourage others by being myself, and they will stick around. Someday I will find the people in my niche, and oh what a fun day that will be.

I hope you enjoyed my thoughts. It’s really crazy that this is going out on the Internet (well, you’re reading this so it’s out now) but I just want to share real feelings. Let me know if this resonates with you.

Be blessed!
Mackenzie 💕

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Posted in 2020, Covid-19, Health & Wellness!, hope2020, Mental Health, thoughts

A Needed Update â¤ï¸

Hi everyone. It’s been a few weeks. I want to keep posting regularly, but there’s been a lot going on in the world and in my life. I’m here today to have a heart to heart. Just what I would say to a friend over coffee or tea. Enjoy 🥰

I have tried over and over again to write another blog post, and I even had a ton of posts planned, but the words were stuck. The words wouldn’t come out. I just didn’t feel like writing anything to share on the World Wide Web. 😅

I had to work through some tough emotions this month. With a little more time on my hands and a whole lot less social anxiety, I have had to deal with my thoughts and emotions more. It’s not fun, and I think that’s why everyone is so frustrated with staying home-they actually have to feel emotions. It’s not fun sometimes, but it’s needed. And that is what I have been doing this month. Detoxing emotions. Physically detoxing. Taking the next step in my healing journey. And it’s been so good but so hard. It’s been good because I have been moving forward, taking the next steps to feel better. But it’s also been so hard, because I am taking steps forward. You understand, right?

I really want to start posting more often, but it might be a little on-and-off for a little. See, I want to store up a ‘stockpile’ of blog posts, so if I can’t get a new on written, I have other ones that I can post!!! It might seem fake, but that’s my life. I try to be as real as I can, but sometimes, you need to just keep posting even when you have nothing to say. Unwritten blog laws probably say I shouldn’t write that in my post, but I’m not a normal blogger. I’m me, Mackenzie. And I am on the journey of being comfortable in my own skin, and being happy with who God has made me to be.

So, how are you? What’s up in your life? What’s fun, what’s exciting, what’s new? Tell me everything! Even though I only know you through the computer screen, I want to be friend with ya!

Love y’all!

Mackenzie 💕

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

Goals for April! 🌸 ðŸ’—

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 😅. 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 💕

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

Why God Time is So Important – Plus FREE Worksheet!

Woah, I can’t believe that we are at the end of all the tips! Don’t worry, we will be having one last post to recap and give some extra super important tips that can change this whole battle. 😉 But this post is kind of my testimony of how God has gotten me through my battles with anxiety and depression. And some encouragement to fight this battle. I hope you are blessed by this post.

my story

I’ll be honest. There has been a LOT in my life. And some of it I’m not ready to share. But I want to share the part of my story when I really started to see why I needed my time with God.

My story starts the summer of 2017. I had an amazing winter and spring season, with getting to know many new people and friends through a retreat I went to. I was so blessed by everything that was happening. There had been some family stress going on, which was very overwhelming. But, I was able to keep myself going. Around the end of April my health started to go down hill. Not a ton, just more food restrictions. It was just one more thing, ya know?

So, with everything that was going on in my life, in June to July, depression hit HARD. I wasn’t able to be a part of some activities that I wanted to be in. I felt like I was excluded purposely, but now I can see it was just kind of what happened. It wasn’t anyone’s reason, just life.

It kind of wrecked me. I became so withdrawn, gained weight, and I didn’t want to do anything. That sounds really extreme when I write it down, and I kinda don’t want to keep it in here. But it’s the truth.

The only thing that kept me from drowning in my own emotions was the summer Bible study that I was a part of. We were going through this book on the Psalms. Every week I would hear the perfect message that I needed. Especially this one week when we went through Psalms 42 & 43 (fun fact: they were originally one psalm!). Here is the main refrain of the two psalms:

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

Psalm 42:5-6a

I studied this that week in July. And I went, kind of not wanting to go, that night. But then, on God’s timing, we talked about how this psalm was about depression. And leader was talking about these six steps that I have listed & talked about in this series. I started thinking about it more, but it still wasn’t getting out of that pit yet.

A couple weeks later, in the middle of August, I was drowning in my anxiety and depression again. Late at night, I was in a panic attack, and I didn’t know what to do or who to turn to. So, in desperation, I grabbed my Bible and flipped to Psalm 42. I read it, and I cried. Then I read it again, and cried again. It became alive to me that one summer night.

And I won’t tell you it was all easy from there on. It was a struggle. Somedays I won, and somedays I lost. But I tried to follow these steps, and I know without them I would not have made it out of that pit. Because depression and anxiety are huge, gaping pits that the devil digs for us to fall into. God is the only one who can take us out of that pit.

God time, quiet time, what does it all mean?

Now that you know where I am coming from-a place of struggle, but learning and growing-I want to explain what I mean by quiet time or God time.

Some people call their time with God quiet time, some call in God time. Others call it devotions or devos. Whatever you call it, it is a time of the day where you separate yourself from the rest of the world and take time to learn more about our God. It’s a time of prayer, of communing with our Heavenly Father.

We need this time to give our worries and doubts and emotions to Jesus. We can’t fight and win the battle with our anxiety and/or depression without our Perfect Heavenly Father.

I will definitely be posting a post specifically about my God time. But it is so different for each person, and I don’t want to put y’all in a box. So definitely find what is right for YOU.

it’s a BATTLE

Without God, we will never win this battle. Because it truly is a battle. Anxiety and depression are two huge things that the devil uses to keep us from loving Jesus with our whole hearts. We need to have the armor that is mentioned in Ephesians 6:

Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word.

Ephesians 6:10-16 CSB

We need to always be on alert, with the armor of God on at all times. It’s sometimes is hard to understand how to use these pieces to fight our spiritual battles. So, I decided to make a free, 3-page worksheet to help you through these steps.

I used this site to help me put together the worksheet. I so hope and pray that it blesses you. Even as I was making it, I was learning more about the pieces of armor, and seeing how good God is that he has blessed us with this passage.

Enjoy the worksheet, friends. I pray that it helps you grow closer to Him in everything. And let me know in the comments below, some posts you would love!!! It’s almost the end of this series, and I am so excited to see what’s next! Let me know some ideas! Love you all. Be blessed!

Mackenzie 💕

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

The Importance of SLEEP!

Here I am again! 😉 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. 🥰❤️ 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. 😅

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 😴

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 💕

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

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. 😊

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 😂) 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 ❤️