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Joy

Joy

7 Valuable Ways to Make Christmas Meaningful

Christmas is one of my very favorite times of year. Twinkle lights, gift giving, and best of all, spending time with the people I love, helps make Christmas meaningful and the season feel touched with magic. Because much of our culture loves Christmas, hopes always run high around this time of year, and I notice that more and more people are longing for a meaningful Christmas. We don’t just want tinsel, holly, and presents. We want to be wholly present: to experience to fullness of this season. Especially as I’m growing up and my family is experiencing a new chapter in our lives, I want to make Christmas meaningful more than ever. Here are seven ways I’m doing just that.

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Joy

7 Ways to Create Peace in Your Every Day

I’m a go-getter. I draft. I plan. I send follow-up emails (yes, sometimes more than one).

It may not surprise you that I have a hard time sitting still.

In some ways, I value these qualities. They help me make the most out of my short time on this earth. On the other hand, I also appreciate the peace that comes when I have little to do; on a warm summer night walking around the park with a friend, or when I’m lying in bed, letting my thoughts drift into the night. At this stage in my life, I’m trying to find a way to incorporate that restfulness into my every day, which is often hectic and busy. I want to approach my days with grace and gratitude – not with the constant desire to be doing something else, something more.

Over the past few years, I’ve developed a few tips for living with a restful attitude. I am no expert, just someone finding joy in the journey to a more balanced life. Here are seven ways to create peace in your every day life.

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Joy

7 Ways to Practice Self-Care

For years, I pushed myself to the absolute limit. My focus wasn’t on my wellness or happiness, but on what I needed to do to get ahead. It was how I felt good about myself. But it was also how, on a gray October day last year, I ended up crying my eyes out in the dining hall and deciding to take a semester off.

In that time away, I made time for me. I did what the things that fed and nourished my body and soul. I realized that if I had listened more to my own needs at school, I would have been happier, healthier, and more successful than I had been.

In that “click” moment, I saw that my focus had been wrong all along. Life isn’t just about the things you do. It’s also about the person you are. And that person needs love and care not just from her friends and family, but also from herself.

That’s why I’m so passionate about self-care. Self-care is exactly what it sounds like; taking care of yourself to make sure that you stay a happy, healthy, and balanced person. But for many of us, that’s easier said than done. Here are seven ways I’ve learned to self-care.

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Joy

How to Overcome Perfectionism

Perfectionism is a major issue for many people, especially young women. At universities all across the country, and around the world, students are pushing themselves to succeed — often far beyond their limits.

I should know. For years, I was one of them.

Perfectionism can take over any area of life, from work, to school, to body image. My perfectionism was academic. I wanted to be the best student and get the best grades I could.

These kinds of aspirations, along with work ethic needed to achieve them, can be a good thing. But when taken too far, they can be unhealthy, causing enormous stress and leaving us frustrated, unhappy, and overwhelmed by our own standards. For that reason, today I’m addressing how to overcome perfectionism in college — how to identify it, address it, and overcome it.

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