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Well, it’s officially November. I’m not mad about it, and not just because it’s my birthday month. November brings some of the best things about autumn: Thanksgiving, cool weather, beautiful leaves, fuzzy socks, a break from school, dark lipstick and much more. However, I also see this month as a transition into winter, and a time for some self reflection.

Seeking improvement is not a sign of weakness or lack of confidence in yourself. Everyone can always improve, always. Actually, if you’re not trying to improve, then something must be wrong. We are constantly changing and growing, so looking forward instead of back seems to be the best option, right? It’s not always that easy, trust me I get it.

Image: Pinterest
Image: Pinterest

This month, I challenge you. Make some changes in your life. They don’t have to be drastic or intimidating, but I want you to take a look around at things you wouldn’t normally look at in your life. Not sure where to start? Here are a few things that might help you get moving in the right direction.

Wake up early

Getting an early start to your morning will do incredible things for your day. Even just thirty minutes before your normal wake up time will give you a head start. This might be difficult for you, or you may already do this, but I want to emphasize the importance of taking advantage of that extra time you make for yourself. That’s exactly what you’re doing, making time for yourself. I personally love the morning as a time of reflection and down time before I have to start actually doing things as a real person, like school and work.

Make yourself some coffee, tea, water, or whatever you like to have in the morning. When you wake up a bit early, you have time to enjoy it instead of slurp it down in three minutes while you’re running out the door. Slow down. Take some time to appreciate yourself and get ready for the day, and decide immediately that you’re going to have a good one. I look forward to this time with myself, and trust me it will improve your day immensely.

Meditate

This may sound odd, but meditating does so much more for me than I ever imagined. I personally do it before bed most nights, but you can actually do it at any time throughout the day. The best part—it can last as long as you want it to. Anywhere from two minutes to twenty minutes could be the length of a good meditation. The biggest piece of advice I can give is to let the relaxation come to you instead of trying to force it. Thinking too hard while trying to be relaxed ruins the experience. It might not even happen the first time you do it, and that’s okay. Meditation is about assessing your mind and body while not trying to change it.

There are a few apps you can download to help you get started with the type of mediation that will work best for you. My two favorites are called “Breathe” and “Headspace,” so try those out and see what you like. Having an open mind and heart will make your meditation refreshing and helpful, so give it a try (and click here for more ideas to relieve stress).

Eat a bit healthier

Food can be your medicine. What you put into your body truly makes a difference in your mood, performance at school/work, skin, and pretty much anything else you can think of. You don’t have to change your diet drastically, but make more healthy choices here and there. Your energy will go up, your sleep will be better, and you’ll just find yourself feeling happier. Make some snacks ahead of time so you’re not scrambling. Change your mindset. Trust me, you’ll feel different in the best way.

Find a good routine

A good routine keeps me sane. I don’t know about you, but I’m a planner. I feel anxious and annoyed when I don’t know what is going to happen in a day (to a certain degree), so having a routine helps me SO much. Even if it’s something small, like going to the same place to study every day or using certain makeup products in the morning. Having consistent things in your life is good for your sanity.

Maybe once a week you pamper yourself with a manicure, a good face mask, or by cooking a nice meal. Whatever it may be, don’t skip it. Taking some time for yourself to indulge in something you love often is always okay. Love yourself girl.

Buy yourself flowers

I feel like everyone gives this advice at one point or another. But I’m serious, do it. DO IT! Your own happiness is in your hands, no one else’s. Some flowers will brighten up your space like nothing else. The smell, the natural beauty and the uplifting feeling flowers offer is incomparable. Even if they’re cheap, they’re yours. Something this simple will do more for your week than any boy will. You have the power to make little positive changes.

Exercise

This one goes along with healthy eating. Just a bit of exercise throughout the week will get your body and mind feeling great. Even if it’s just a ten minute run, a YouTube booty workout video, or some yoga, just get moving! Exercise is literally scientifically proven to make you happier. Basically every time I go to the gym, I don’t want to. But when I leave, I always feel glad I sucked it up and got my a** there. If I can do it, you can do it.

Ask Lauren

Do you have something on your mind beauty and lifestyle related? Ask me in the comments, and I’ll have an answer for you next week in my column! Don’t be shy, I’m up for the challenge.

Xoxo –

Lauren