Stop Explaining Yourself

Photo Sep 25-2

Recently I had a pretty eye-opening conversation over dinner with one of my best guy friends..so I felt like writing about it. First of all.. men and women really are from two completely different planets. Our minds work so differently, so I appreciate having such close friends of the opposite sex (thanks to cheerleading) to somewhat help me understand the mentality of the male species. Sometimes things really don’t need to be as over-complicated as our female brains try to make make them.

I spent the past few weekends traveling with one of my best friends, Blake. We cheered together at Kentucky and he’s always been one of my biggest role models. He’s one of the most confident and contagious people you’ll ever meet. He’s taught me so much about the importance of being unapologetically yourself and having the ability to not. care. at. all. about other people’s opinions of your decisions as long as you’re happy and passionate about the path you choose to follow. I know this mentality has been a huge contributing factor to his success as a choreographer, athlete, and friend.

We ALL want to be understood. We’re pretty much wired to crave inclusion. But I think sometimes (especially as women) we forget that we’re not always responsible for other people’s comfort and understanding.  And as much as our goal is to find that mutual understanding, we have to remind ourselves that it’s OK if something you’re doing doesn’t ‘make sense’ in someone else’s mind.  It’s ok for people to not “get” you and there’s freedom in not caring about the approval or disapproval of others.

Our society is obsessed with how our life decisions look and seem from the outside looking in. We feel justified in our actions when people are on board with what we’re doing or trying to become. Blake has shown me how confidence and contentment in your own decisions is an extremely powerful step. And how it’s OK for people to not understand what you’re doing and you do not always have to have an explanation for your decisions. The second you feel the need to continue explaining yourself is when you start confusing yourself. True confidence happens when you let go of the need for justification or approval from anyone but yourself. 

I love what I do. Most days it doesn’t really feel like a job and it definitely doesn’t have the security of your typical 9-5, but it’s different and every day is so exciting. I get the chance to wake up in the morning with the ability to create things and inspire girls looking for the same chance to create who they want to be and how to go after what they want. Lately I’ve been reminding myself that when people ask where I’m going ‘with the whole blogging thing’  that it’s ok to not have an answer yet! And just because I don’t know doesn’t mean I should start second or questioning my direction.

People will try and influence your actions and motives, but the best way to learn is by doing things on your own and going with your gut. You need to gain experience from having the freedom to go with what your heart tells you to do. Sometimes all it takes is a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer – no explanation needed. The sooner you learn to let go of the idea that you need other people’s approval, the happier and better off you’ll be.

Happy Sunday, hope you’re relaxing with the people you love! I’m so thankful for such a beautiful weekend with some of my best friends. Life is good!

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Rebecca Minkoff + RTR

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Hi guys! I’m back in NYC for the weekend with some college friends and for a few meetings. I used to say I hated New York (like a week ago), but I’m actually so excited to be back and have more of a change to explore the city. It’s a lot to handle – traffic is outrageous, food is so expensive, and it kinda smells (no it really smells).. But I think my mind changed a little bit towards the end of my trip for fashion week when I spent a couple days in Soho. I fell in love with that area. I love how every neighborhood feels like you’re in a new city. I guess this place is growing on me! This is the last outfit I’m sharing from fashion week with Rebecca Minkoff & Rent the Runway. I love everything about this romper – the tie around the waist, the bright print, and the way it fits is perfect.

If you aren’t familiar with Rent the Runway, you should be! It’s one of my favorite way to find a great dress for an event that you don’t have to pay a fortune for. How it works: You have the option to rent an outfit (or outfits) for 4 or 8 days. You choose your delivery date and get a free backup size and then after wearing, you return everything for free. Have a good weekend everyone! xo, liv

Rebecca Minkoff Romper rent it here, buy it here (wearing size 0) // Black Sandal Heels // Zac Posen Eartha Mini Crossbody Bag // Karen Walker Sunglasses // Lipstick: Covergirl Spellbound // Bracelets via Couture Jems

Lauren Alexandra Photography

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8 Tips For Better Sleep

We’ve all been there – wide awake in the middle of the night staring at the ceiling wondering WHY/HOW we’re not exhausted and sleeping peacefully at that hour. I experienced how the effects of sleep deprivation can totally alter your life when I was struggling with insomnia in college. And you guys, I’m not talking a couple of late nights during the week.. the sleep doctors at school tried every sleeping drug in the cabinet and nothing was working. I had a freakin ‘sleep counselor’, it was not good. Getting enough sleep is equally as important as eating well and exercising. And let me tell you, beauty-sleep is a real thing girls. Poor sleep is linked to weight-gain, dull appearance, lack of concentration, anxiety, depression, poor immune function, lack of creativity, memory loss… it’s SO important.

For those of you who can fall asleep the second you see the inside of your eyelids, lucky you – do not take that blessing for granted! But for the people whose minds feel the need to solve every stressful situation in their head at 3:00 AM, here are a few tips to get your sleep back on track:

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Sleepwear by Marks & Spencer:

Silk Pajama Top // Silk Pajama Bottoms // Eye Mask by Journelle

 

CREATE A RELAXING SLEEP ENVIRONMENT:

-Silky sheets that keep your body cool at night (just got these with a personalized ‘O’, I love them!) and an extra blanket like my cotton + silk blend quilt to adjust to your body’s changing temperature during the night.

-A soft mattress made of adaptive foam that provides pressure relief and evenly distributes your body weight (I sleep on a Tuft + Needle mattress that’s amazing – it even helped my lower back pain from years of cheerleading – so athletes, you need to look into this!).

-Keep it dark! Use an eye mask and dark shades to keep out all light. And sleep with a fan on for some calming ‘white-noise’.

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SET A SLEEP SCHEDULE

When I was seeing the ‘sleep doctor’ this was the most important tip he gave me – go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning. And for the nights when you can’t fall asleep until early morning, force yourself to wake up at the same time. A regular sleep routine keeps your biological clock steady so you rest better. Remember, our bodies thrive on routine.

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RESERVE YOUR BED SLEEP ONLY!

The bed is for sleep only (and the other s-word obviously) – I’ve heard that this is the cardinal rule of good sleep hygiene. I am guilty of sitting in bed and answering e-mails, which is a habit I’ve been trying to break lately. Charge your phone on the floor – don’t check it during the night. Don’t watch tv in bed. My doctor told me that you can train your body to instantly get sleepy when entering your bed at night by following this rule.

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HOT TEA & A GOOD BOOK

There’s something inherently calming about a warm drink before bed, even if it’s just the idea that it’s calming. I drink herbal teas made from chamomile that has a calming effect (while lavender tea reduces stress). Just like you’ve heard how warm milk makes you feel sleepy, the same kind of effect happens with tea at night: a bit of a placebo affect combined with a relaxing routine. If I can’t sleep, reading always helps (I’m reading this right now and I love it).

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CLEAR YOUR MIND

At the end of the day I have a million things running through my head and stresses about the next day already creeping in. Every night I write down in my planner all the things I need to get done the next day. This helps me turn it off for that day knowing I have a plan to get things taken care of when I wake up. Also, it can be therapeutic to go over what happened that day in head – this is part of the way I say my prayers at night, by just going through the day-to-day things that I’m so thankful for!

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EXERCISE DAILY

Physical activity during the day improves sleep quality and duration. Working out also reduces stress and tires you out – which both make for a better night’s rest. Working out early in the morning can help reset the sleep wake cycle which in turn triggers sleepiness a few hours later. BUT, don’t exercise too late at night – that can have the opposite effect on your sleep.

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CLEAN YOUR ROOM + MAKE YOUR BED

Results from a survey commissioned by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) suggest that people sleep much better when their bedrooms are comfortable and clean – and I completely agree. If you’ve ever gone to bed with a messy room, there’s a good chance it messed with your sleep. Take a few minutes before bed to clean up – you’ll fall asleep knowing you can start the following day in a clean space. Also, clean sheets!!

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DONT STRESS ABOUT NOT SLEEPING

It’s a vicious cycle people. Train your mind to not worry if you aren’t getting the right amount of sleep. If you start obsessing over the number of hours you’re getting, this can make it even harder to fall asleep. In order distract your mind, you need to deal with any stress and anxiety in your life, learn how to calm your mind before bed, and follow the suggestions above. The more you worry, the worse it gets.

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Sleepwear by Marks & Spencer:  Silk Pajama Top // Silk Pajama Bottoms

(Also available in a nightgown or romper)

I hope these tips can help improve the quality of your sleep and get you back on track. Believe me, I understand your pain if you’re having trouble – it’s THE WORST. Thanks for reading, sweet dreams! 🙂

 


 

Photography by Sed Bona

Thank you to Marks & Spencer for sponsoring this post. All ideas & opinions are my own.

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