3 simple ways to stop holiday anxiety in its tracks
well, guys, we’ve officially made it to the end of November. crazy, right? i can’t believe that Thanksgiving is in 2 days… which means that Christmas is just around corner… & then before you know it, it’s going to be 2018. twenty. eighteen. just let that sink in for a minute.
a lot people experience anxiety around this time of year, & who can really blame them? there are so many parties to attend, many of us are traveling to be with our families or are hosting our families ourselves… & we all know what family time can do to us, amiright? there’s also the whole food aspect that comes into play… being around that much food can be difficult if you have issues with food & body image… it’s all kinda scary stuff, right?
if you experience anxiety around the holidays… regardless of what triggers it… & would maybe like to change that this year, here are 3 ways you can stop holiday anxiety in its tracks, & actually enjoy the season just a little bit more this year.
1. slow down. food anxiety tends to show up a lot during the holidays. to say that the latter part of the year is all about indulgence is an understatement. i mean think about it… Thanksgiving is a holiday that revolves around eating. and 9 times out of 10 the food being served at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner is not good for you. but, i’m a big believer in balance, & allowing yourself to indulge here & there without feeling guilty… as long as you’re mindful about it.
and the easiest way to do that is to slow. the f*ck. down. take small bites. actually chew your food. put down your fork when you’re talking in between bites. breathe. there is absolutely no need to rush. oh, & just stop when you’re full. you shouldn’t eat until you feel sick… ever. you don’t need to leave the dinner table hating yourself for what you just ate. listen to your body in the moment… you’ll thank yourself later, i promise.
2. take a lap. one of my favorite ways to chill the f*ck out when i’m feeling a little antsy is to step outside & go for a walk. i pop my headphones in, put on some tunes, & just start walking. sometimes i walk to nowhere. sometimes i wander for 15 minutes… other times i wander for an hour. sometimes i’ll grab a coffee or a smoothie along the way. there’s just something about being outside, looking up at the sky, & feeling the fresh air on your face that has serious healing powers, regardless of where you are.
3. practice gratitude. it’s easy to forget that the reason these holidays exist in the first place is to celebrate life. to celebrate everything we have. to celebrate love. we can all get caught up in the details, which can send us into a downward spiral of panic, but when we find ourselves having one of these moments… whether it happens while you’re trying to shop in the middle of a very crowded store, or while you’re having a conversation with your grandma about why you still don’t have a boyfriend, or when you find yourself stranded at the airport after 14 hours of flight delays, the best thing you can do to pull yourself together immediately is recognize that your anxiety is taking over, take a deep breath, & find something to be grateful for… even if it’s something simple. when we take the time to express gratitude, it helps to put whatever is making us anxious into perspective & ground us just a little more in the moment.
BONUS TIP: avoid political conversations by setting the precedent that you’re not going to talk about politics with your family… before you arrive at Thanksgiving dinner. listen, & take it from me… i know from experience that it is just not worth it to get into political debates with your family. you think they’re wrong, they think you’re wrong, you’re not going to change your mind, & they’re not going to change theirs. those are the facts. is it upsetting? yes. is it worth getting into an argument about over Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner? absolutely not. but, even if we try our hardest to avoid the conversation, there is often still that onnneeee aunt/uncle/brother/sister/parent that just looovvvvveeesssssss to stir the pot. so, this year, ask your family [over the phone or text, anything works here] to please leave their opinions at the door. tell them that you want to spend the holidays enjoying each other’s company rather than wanting to punch each other in the face. leave the politics for the “professionals”.
do you have any go-to strategies for dealing with holiday-induced anxiety & making it into the new year with your sanity? leave them in the comments below!
and don’t forget: i’m now working one-on-one with clients to help them overcome their anxiety & pursue a life of balance in the same ways that i have. if you experience anxiety… or if anything in this post spoke to you on any level… sign up for my newsletter for more details to come… & to make sure you never miss a post!
happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
from anxious to balanced: my anxiety story
if you’ve been a bananas & bellinis reader for some time now, you know that i typically post about a variety of topics all within the health & wellness world. everything from eating healthy to yoga to woo-woo sh*t to clean beauty… i’m into it. you probably have also picked up on the fact that i’m very much aligned to the finer things in life… traveling, cheese, netflix binges, late nights out on the town with friends…. & maybe a cocktail or two [or five] here and there. and even though some people might say you can’t have it both ways, i’m not ashamed to admit any of this. at all. i strive to live a balanced life in every aspect, & with that comes the ability to be a little woo-woo & a little boujee… all at the same time.
but, balance hasn’t always been present in my life. in fact, for as long as i can remember, my life was the opposite of balanced. and it wasn’t until recently that i came to the realization that the majority of my “issues” were simply side effects of my struggle with anxiety.
pretty much my entire life i’ve been worried. constantly. worried about what? pretty much everything. i was also a perfectionist… i put pressure on myself to be “perfect” at everything i did, no exceptions. i was a hypochondriac. i spent more time wondering about “what if’s” than i did thinking about what was actually happening in my life.
and naturally, with high levels of anxiety came unhealthy coping mechanisms. i was a nail biter. i remember having a stage where i would sit in class & pull my eyelashes out… like… excuse me, WHAT?! it would take me hours to fall asleep every night… freshman year of college, falling asleep was no problem, but staying asleep became impossible almost immediately. on top of alllllllllllll of this, my stomach was always upset. you know that nervous feeling you get sometimes, maybe before a date or a big presentation at work? i had that constantly. i’ve also experienced my fair share of full blown panic attacks… the kind where i’d start crying & wouldn’t be able to catch my breath. sounds fun, huh?
freshman year of college is when sh*t started to get really interesting, though. about 3 weeks in, i got sick. like… really, really sick. i ended up in the hospital & it took a misdiagnosis & several doctors to figure out what was wrong with me. it turns out that i had pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas… i won’t get into the details, but holy sh*t did it f*cking suck. i was in the most physical pain i have ever experienced in my life. i spent about a week in the hospital hooked up to an IV that pumped painkillers [hellooooo morphine], anti-nausea medicine, fluids & calories into my system… i wasn’t able to eat or drink anything for days, & i ended up losing about 15 pounds… once i was released, i still had to be on bedrest for another week or so.
while i was in the hospital, we learned that i fell into the 10% of pancreatitis cases that have “no known cause” & my mom speculated that it was brought on by the stress/anxiety of starting college. my doctor shot that idea down pretty quickly & just simply said that was impossible, but years later i would learn that stress & anxiety do, in fact, manifest in the gut, & it’s pretty likely that i literally “worried myself sick” that year.
somewhere in the middle of all of this, i had become particularly interested in health & wellness. specifically, i got really into clean eating after reading the book skinny bitch. i became vegan, started paying attention to the ingredients in the foods i was eating, taking supplements, & going to the gym. totally harmless, right?
well… sort of. my interest in health & wellness eventually became an obsession. i had an extremely regimented “diet” that consisted of pretty much only fruits & veggies… until i would get drunk & demolish an entire pizza by myself. i became obsessed with the number on the scale & definitely toed the line between being in really great shape & being too skinny. i was obsessed with my appearance & being the “skinniest” & the “prettiest” girl in the room. i compared myself to everyone. i spent hours at the gym every week even though i hated being there. i still wasn’t sleeping. i was a f*cking mess.
this went on & on & on for far too long… i started going to counseling during my junior year of college, & figured some of my sh*t out… but even after college i still experienced anxiety on a daily basis. i was uncomfortable in my body… i had low self-esteem… i hated what i saw when i looked in the mirror… i talked sh*t about myself out loud & in my head constantly… but luckily, in the midst of all of this, my interest in health & wellness continued to grow & evolve in a way that was positive.
i found yoga which has done more for me than i can even put into words. instead of being obsessed with my weight & appearance [for the most part] i became obsessed with taking a holistic, balanced approach to life… & over the last few years, i’ve been able to shift my entire perspective & live my life how i want to live it… not how my anxiety tells me i should be living it.
and wow does it feel good.
and while i can’t pinpoint just one thing that did the trick, there are many “little” things that have all come together perfectly [yet slowly] for my lifestyle. i’ve tried lots of different approaches, but what i’ve found has worked for me are things like yoga, meditation, spending time outdoors, following a morning routine, eating well but still allowing myself to enjoy my favorite “guilty” pleasures, just to name a few. and while it’s typically pretty consistent, some things work better in different situations than others… it all just depends on where my anxiety is coming from & what my mind, body, & soul are craving at the time.
do i still have panic attacks? from time to time, yes. do i still catch myself pacing back & forth while waiting for my Uber? absolutely. do i struggle to get a full night’s sleep? most days, yes. do i spend time replaying things i said or did months ago that might have come across the wrong way in my head? you better believe it. do i worry about things that haven’t happened or might never happen? all the effing time.
but, over the years, i’ve learned to manage my anxiety so that its impact on my day-to-day life isn’t so significant. some days are certainly easier than others, & certain situations can still send me into a panic… but overall, i feel better now than i have in my entire life, & have experienced the biggest shift of all in the last 2 years. something just clicked. the pieces all came together & i work every. single. day to keep it that way. most of the time, i can acknowledge that my anxiety is present, make a joke about it, laugh it off, & move. the f*ck. on.
and bananas & bellinis is where my passion for health & wellness, my pursuit of anxiety-free living, & my obsession with living a life that’s healthy, fun, authentic, spiritual, & balanced all come together. i love sharing what i’ve learned with others in the hopes that they, too, can come to find balance in their lives. what’s the point of having figure all this sh*t out if i don’t share it with others, right?
so, you can expect to find a little bit of everything here. it’s a little cheeky & a little woo-woo, & always real AF. you’ll find everything from anxiety hacks to yoga & meditation tips to natural, clean beauty advice & maybe even a travel post or clean cocktail recipe here & there.
and i’m very excited to announce that i’m now working one-on-one with clients to help them overcome their anxiety & pursue a life of balance in the same ways that i have. if you experience anxiety… or if anything in this post spoke to you on any level… sign up for my newsletter for more details to come… & to make sure you never miss a post!
photo courtesy of Jessica Husted Photography
solo-cations + why i’m planning on making them a regular thing
hey guys! it’s been a few weeks, but glad to be back. i took some much needed time to step back [from a few areas of my life] and just try to relax… which is what i want to talk about in today’s post!
after a very, very eventful spring and summer [seriously, i don’t think i stopped going going going from the end of march until the end of august]… i was just craving an escape… alone time… away from LA. labor day was approaching, and since i didn’t have any plans and the majority of my friends were going out of town, i figured this was my opportunity to chill the f*ck out and lay low.
i’m the type of person that wants to do all of the things… and i knew that even if i told myself i was going to have a chill, relaxing, productive weekend in LA that there was just no way that would actually end up happening. the minute i get an invite to a party or anything… i have a very hard time saying no… because i legitimately want to go! i’m not a “yes” girl in the sense that i agree to do sh*t i don’t want to do… i just, ya know… get #FOMO and love my friends and being social and out and about… which is typically fine… but sometimes i do just wanna relax, too.
so, i figured a little escape from LA was my best bet… so, i went to airbnb, found a room in a cute little cottage in dana point [about 60 miles south of LA right on the beach] and booked it. done and done. on the books.
and wowowowowowowwwwwww was it exactly what i needed. first, let me just say that dana point is so effing cute. it’s such a quaint little beach town with everything you need [or everything you do not need] for a relaxing, rejuvenating weekend.
i walked around the marina each night and watched the sunset [and ate ice cream for dinner bc #vacation]… i went to the beach… i sat on the porch of my airbnb and read every morning… i went to yoga in lantern bay park… i meditated every morning… i journaled… i stumbled onto live music in a little plaza and enjoyed that for a little bit… worked on some blog stuff… it was great.
i haven’t traveled solo very much [the only other time i’ve traveled alone was during the 2nd half of my trip to australia, when i visited brisbane and sydney] and although i definitely prefer traveling with other people, there are a few benefits to what i’m now referring to as the “solo-cation”:
1) you can do whatever the f*ck you want, whenever the f*ck you want. i can’t tell you how nice it was to be able to sleep in, and then wake up with no plan. usually when you’re on vacation with other people, there’s some kind of a game plan in place… a set time to wake up and be out of the hotel… places to go… things to see… which is all great, but sometimes you just wanna do you, ya know? on a solo-cation, you can do as much or as little as you want, and you can change your plan at any time, no questions asked.
2) it gives you a chance to actually recharge. ever come back from a “vacation” saying, “wow, i need a vacation from my vacation”? usually when we’re traveling with other people, we’re very gogogogogogo… probably drinking [at all hours of the day]… staying out late… having big group dinners… talking and talking and talking… which is all great, but it’s also exhausting. when you’re traveling solo, you have time to yourself. you can listen to your body, and do what feels right for you. honestly, it was so nice to not have to talk to anyone for almost 48 hours… and i mean that in the most loving way possible!
3) being alone is actually a good thing. society has lead us to believe that being alone is a bad thing… but i absolutely disagree. think about it… if you’re not okay being alone… with yourself… what makes you think anyone else is going to want to be around you? yea, of course, going to a restaurant by yourself can seem or feel “weird”… but it really isn’t, i promise you. once you get over the idea that people are staring at you, or feeling like a loser because you’re alone… you’ll realize that it’s actually pretty great… and good for your overall mental health and well-being, too!
so, for these reasons, i’m officially making solo-cations a regular thing. i’m thinking 2 times a year… maybe fall and spring… since those seem to be the least busy times of the year for me. even if i just head somewhere close by in so-cal, taking a few days to get away from everything really had a positive impact on my mindset and feeling of overall well-being… and i can’t wait to do it again! you don’t have to go far from home to feel the benefits.
i would love to know… have you traveled solo before? if so, how did you like it? where did you go? where should i go for my next solo-cation?! tell me in the comments below… and have an amazing weekend!
an untitled note on right vs. wrong
happy friday! the weekend is finally here… sometimes i worry that i spend tooooo much time during the week looking forward to the weekend… but more on that another time.
i originally had another post planned for this week, but given the current “state of affairs” in this country, i just couldn’t bring myself to pull it together. so, bear with me.
i’ve been feeling pretty effing shitty this week. the events in charlottesville… and the lack of a real response from the “president” have had me seriously doubting pretty much everything… my faith in humanity. where the country is going. where the world is going. life in general. i just can’t seem to escape this overwhelming feeling of dread/doom/hopelessness.
now, i’d be lying if i said i hadn’t felt like this before… i spent a solid 3-4 hours sobbing uncontrollably when trump won the election… and some people told me i was “being ridiculous” and “needed to get a grip” because “everything was going to be okay”… well… things aren’t okay, they haven’t been okay, and i feel like they might never be okay ever again. [and i don’t think i’m alone here.]
but, i’m not writing this post to talk about trump. i don’t want to talk politics right now. i don’t want to discuss republican vs. democrat, right vs. left, conservative vs. liberal bullsh*t because right now, none of that f*cking matters.
what i do what to talk about is right vs. wrong. a pretty simple concept that we’re taught from… oh i don’t know… pre-school?!
we all know what is right. we all know what is wrong. this isn’t a matter of opinion. regardless of what side you stand on politically or who you voted for, you know that it’s wrong to murder someone. to intentionally run your car into a group of people protesting – something we have the right to do as american citizens.
additionally, it’s wrong to be racist. it’s wrong to hate someone because of their religion. and it’s certainly wrong to be a neo-nazi, a member of ISIS or a f*cking terrorist. there is no way around any of that, so hold your arguments because they don’t. f*cking. matter.
at this stage of the game, i’m exhausted from trying to understand how so many people can care so little for other people. can have so much hatred and violence inside of them. can be so un-american in the name of “taking back america”… excuse me… what? this country was founded [see also: taken away from the native americans] by refugees fleeing oppression and tyranny. i can’t even wrap my head around the level of hypocrisy we’re dealing with right now. it blows my mind.
so, WTF are we supposed to do? these are the cards we’ve been dealt. this is the world we’re living in. this is real life. the roller coaster over emotions i’ve been on this week has taken me from sadness to anger to fear to confusion to hatred to apathy and back again…
and i’ve realized something: that by hating the people on the other side, i’m no better than they are, even if my hatred is coming from a place of wanting a world where hate, bigotry, and violence don’t exist.
so on that note, i’m going to make an effort to remove hate of any kind from my heart. to be f*cking nice even when i don’t want to be or i don’t think someone deserves it. to live my life from a place of love. to smile when i pass a stranger on the sidewalk or at the grocery store. to let that person merge into the lane in front of me, even if they aren’t using their f*cking turn signal. why? because the world needs more love, kindness, and acceptance more than ever.
yes, i know that i’m only one person and that “being nice” isn’t going to solve the world’s problems. but what other option do i have? i obviously wish there was more i could do to make this world a better place. i really, really do. but at this point, this simple step is it.
i don’t really know where i was going with this, or what point i wanted to make… it really was just more of a therapeutic thing i wanted to do for myself that i’m sharing with the hope that maybe it will inspire someone else to be nicer… or take action in their own way. we’re all in this together.
please, please, pleeeaaasssseeeee feel free to share how you’re handling all of this in the comments below! i think we could all use some inspiration right now.
p.s. shout out to maya angelou for her wisdom. i often come back to her words in times like these. #bosslady
#needit: acupressure mat
happy thursday, and welcome to the #needit series! this isn’t really a new series… i’ve just renamed the “healthy lifestyle staples” series… #needit is just way easier to say [it flows better, no?] and feels waaayyyyyy more me [yes, i speak in hashtags sometimes… sue me].
so, let’s get down to business, shall we?
about a year ago, i was introduced to the concept of the acupressure mat by my old boss. he kept one at his desk and the first time i saw it my reaction was, “wtf is that?!” it literally looks like a little pillow with needles on it… not something you immediately would think you would want to own.
he explained to me what it was, the benefits, and how he used it, but i wasn’t really convinced… so, i just forgot about it.
flash forward to a few months ago, and an acupressure mat starts poppin’ up on one of my favorite lifestyle bloggers’ snapchat and instagram stories.. and then, she did a post all about what they are, the benefits, etc., so i figured that an acupressure mat was something i should at least give a try. but, i didn’t feel a real sense of urgency for it, and kind of put it out of my mind… again.
and then… the straw that broke the camel’s back: i was in a car accident [rear-ended on the 10, effing LA] about 2 months ago, and as a result, started having some neck and back pain. i’ve been seeing a chiropractor for treatment, but also felt like i should be doing something daily to help with the recovery and pain management… enter: the acupressure mat.
so, what is an acupressure mat, exactly? so glad you asked! an acupressure mat is pretty much how i described it before… a small mattress and neck pillow set, both of which are covered in little plastic spikes… yes, that’s right… plastic. spikes.
i know that this sounds like pretty much the worst thing ever, but the spikes have a purpose: to stimulate pressure points along the meridian line of the body, which in turn does things like:
- activates feel-good endorphins
- reduces muscle pain and tension, including headaches
- promotes blood circulation and oxygenates the body
- relieves stress and anxiety
- aids in the digestive process
- increases energy and helps with general fatigue
- improves overall sleep quality
not really much that this thing can’t do when it comes to improving your overall health and wellness… and it’s been a go-to in the alternative and eastern medicine communities for a verrrrryyyyyy long time.
so, how do you use it? you lay on it. that’s it. for about 10-20 minutes per day… on your back with your neck on the pillow, on your stomach… you can also sit or stand on the mat to help relieve pain in the lower back, legs, and feet.
over the past month and a half or so, i’ve incorporated this bad boy into my morning routine… i meditate for 15 minutes immediately after waking up each day, and then i go right to the mat for 20 minutes… 10 on my back/neck and 10 on my stomach. i’ll either read or journal while i’m laying there, which makes the time just fly by…
… and i always feel amazing after.
specifically, since i’ve started doing this, not only have i had some relief from the pain and stiffness in my neck caused by the car accident i was in, but i’ve also felt an increase in my energy levels throughout the day [not getting that 2 o’clock feeling anymore!], and have been sleeping much better than i typically do [less waking up throughout the night, it’s easier to get out of bed when my alarm goes off].
i bought this thing for one reason, but i don’t see myself discontinuing the use of it any time soon… if ever.
want to get one for yourself? they’re only $19.99 on amazon, and they’re available on prime, meaning you can start feeling allllllll of the benefits listed above in just 2 days… for less than $20! [this post isn’t sponsored… i seriously just love this thing and want everyone to have one!]
questions? ever used an acupressure mat? if so, how has it improved your life? any other must have products i should try out? i want to hear from you! you can leave a comment below or shoot me an email at email@example.com!
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