What to do When I Feel Insecure

1. Prioritize – Realize insecurities are not the end of the world (good way to do this is to watch the news and realize what is going on in the world)

2. Do something special for myself

3. Exercise 

4. Try something new (ex: hairstyle, food, book, etc.)

5. Watch a feel good movie

6. Talk to someone

7. Play piano

8. Eat something delicious

9. Think of things I am thankful for

10. Do something nice for someone else

11. Clean

12. Let it out

13. Wear comfy clothes

14. Wear my favourite outfit

15. Sleep

16. Have a fresh start

17. Come up with a mantra

18. Think of my role models

19. Do something fun

20. Learn to love myself

 

My Week in Alberta: Nature at Its Finest

I just spent a week in the mountains in Alberta on a quading trip with my cousins and aunt and uncle. I went last year with them, too. We stay with my uncle’s old friend in his little log cabin in the middle of nowhere! He is a goat farmer and has around twenty goats roaming around. There is no Internet or phone service, either. We went quading in the mountains almost every day and I even got to see my first rodeo!
I feel bad for those who don’t get to experience nature in its finest. Concrete and skyscrapers just don’t cut it. We went on trails that probably no one had ever been on before. We were discovering things for the very first time.
I think that nature is very good for the body, mind, and soul. It can destress you and leave you feeling very calm and refreshed. I was feeling very overwhelmed before I went because I’ve been working a lot and was left feeling exhausted. As soon as I got a view of the mountains and smelled the crisp, fresh air, my worries went away. I think that nature has this affect on people because it’s so simple. There aren’t any complicated wiring on a tree; your mind isn’t focused on a new reality show; it doesn’t smell like a mixture of sweat and fast food (haha, thank goodness). Nature lets your mind wander and be free, which is one of my favourite parts about being in the Alberta rockies.
Nature also allows you to experience new, exciting things (much more exciting than going up a level in your new app). I got to cuddle with a baby goat, swim in a river (which was ridiculously cold, btw!), get stuck multiple times while quadding, see some amazing views, and we even got the chance to see some wild horses!
I think that everyone needs to take some time in their life to spend it in the outdoors. I mean, the real outdoors. Not just your fenced in backyard. Go hiking or have a picnic by a river or pond.
Taking in all of nature’s beauty also had a different affect on me. Get hands on experience really makes you want to save nature and the forests. We got to view a few areas that had been clear-cutted. It’s not very impressive or nice. It gives you a new respect for the earth and how important it is.
I implore you all to go spend some time outside and away from technology!

Jealousy

Chances are, you’ve probably gotten hit by the green-eyed monster some time in your life.  You’ve been jealous over how someone looks, their athleticism, their smarts…the list could go on forever.

I’ve been there, and still go there.  It’s hard to realize what amazing things you have when all you do is compare yourself to others.  Jealousy has the opposite affect that you want it to have.

Recently, I was jealous of my friend for a bit.  She’s very pretty, nice, smart, athletic, and is really good at meeting new people.  I’m a little more shy and awkward in new situations.  I began comparing everything I had to her.  The number of Instagram followers, likes on a picture, grades, awards…creepy, huh?  The thing that really gets me now, is that I would acknowledge the things I excelled at, too, and would just skip over them, like they didn’t count.  I was thinking that I had to be better or the same to her in every single category that she was good at.  I wasn’t taking time to realize that we will always be different.  We aren’t supposed to be or want to be exact molds of anyone.  So why was I so obsessed and jealous?

I was watching a video (think it was by Bubzbeauty, but I’m not sure) about jealousy on Youtube, because I wanted to hear someone else’s point of view.  At the end, I think I had really understood that I am supposed to be different, and that’s not a bad thing.

I can draw okay.   I am good at school.  I think I am a good role model to my younger cousins.  I’m a good team player in volleyball.  I like playing piano.  I like blogging.  I like reading.

All of these things define me and make me different.  No one else will ever be like me and I will never be exactly like anyone else.

So I think the key to getting over jealousy, is really think about what you are good at and appreciate that you are different.  Don’t just think grades or after school activities – dig deeper.  Life isn’t a competition.  Just do your best and do what you love.

Friendship

Friendship is important because…

you can have someone to laugh with…

to cry with…

to trust with all of your thoughts…

to tell you the truth even if it’s difficult…

it’s someone that you can feel safe and accepted around…

someone who will be loyal and stand up for you…

who doesn’t want you to be different or anything less than yourself…

it makes it so you are never lonely…

Friendship only works if you can give all of these things back to someone else.

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Last Few Days of School…and How to Survive Them

I’m down to my last couple of weeks of school, and while the excitement that you’re almost done and summers around the corner is here, so is the brutally exhausting week of studying and final exams.  With my school if you are above a mark of 80, then you automatically get a recommend and don’t have to write a final for that class.  I am above 80’s in all of my classes this year so I then have to write whatever was my lowest mark.  I don’t really have much to complain about.  One exam?  That’s nothing compared to what some of you have to go through!  Only problem for me is that some of my teachers are so unorganized is that we have to cram to get the last three months of work finished in one week (Yes English class, I’m talking about you.).  I would be just fine actually doing work in class, but lately we’ve gotten so slack that it seems like a colossal waste to go to school and learn absolutely nothing.  So here we are to cram it in.  Still, I don’t have it very bad.

Here’s my list of tips to help survive these last few weeks!

Harper’s Tips and Tricks on Surviving the Last Days of School

  1. Write everything down – We all have those last few assignments in every class that we scramble to get finished before time’s up.  Write them down.  Whether it’s on your iPhone, a notepad, or a planner.  Keep a list of everything you have to do.  When you finish, cross it off (P.S. That’s the best feeling ever – crossing stuff off your list)
  2. Now that everything is written down, do it – Don’t wait to the last minute.  Use your will power and get started as soon as possible.  This will be a life saver so that when it comes time to study for exams, you can put all of your attention on that.
  3. Make your studying worthwhile – Do you learn better reading everything?  Or copying your notes down?  Maybe you like finding quizzes on the Internet or having your parents ask you questions.  Whatever way you feel helps you study best, do it.  Because if you can retain information in 20 minutes one way compared to 8 hours another way, that is a whole lot easier!  Also sort out what is the most important to learn and go over that more.
  4. Don’t be afraid to take a break – While you have to study, don’t let it completely consume you.  If you are feeling wiped or like your brain is fried, take a break and do something you like for a bit.  Maybe you want to take your dog out for a walk or paint your nails?  You will feel much more refreshed and energized when you get back to the books.
  5. Have a nice, quiet place to study – Me? I have a great big desk in my room.  I close my door and light my favourite candle (currently Bourbon Vanilla!).  I try to be very relaxed when I’m studying.  I can’t concentrate if there is a speck of noise so I always make sure to study in a quiet place.  Find your place.  If home isn’t an option, go to your local library!
  6. Remember to ask for help – If you are still having trouble remembering the difference between parallel and series circuits, don’t be afraid to ask!  It’s what your teacher get paid to do.  If you need a little more help than in the classroom, organize a time to come in before or after school.  You’ll feel way better than getting frustrated trying to figure it out by yourself.
  7. Keep things in perspective – Will this test really determine the rest of your life?  No.  So don’t get super stressed over it.  Do your best job and study hard, but keep in mind that this isn’t going to make or break you.
  8. Reward yourself – Have you been waiting to go to the beach for months?  When you finish studying, give yourself a reward.  Plan the reward ahead of time so it gives you something to look forward to.

Good luck!

Do you have any tips for surviving the last few days of school?

5 Ways to Have a Great Day

My favourite teacher who retired last year was the guest speaker at graduation (not mine!) this year. He was funny and totally inspiring like he always is. He decided to give us some easy steps on how to have the best day ever!

1) Get enough sleep – Studies say that even if you are twenty minutes deprived of a good sleep, you won’t wake up super happy. Go to bed early and feel good when you wake up!

2) Smile – I’ve heard so many times that smiling really makes you happy. Even if you are sad. It sort of tricks your brain! Who doesn’t look more approachable and happy when they’re smiling?

3) Focus on the positives – So many things and thoughts happen in your day and the ones we remember are mostly negatives. Reflect on your day and really think about the positives. They will almost most definitely outweigh the negatives! Focus on them instead of the negatives! You will feel so much happier.

4) Spend a part of your day doing something for someone else – You always feel better at the end of the day when you help somebody else!

5) Just be a nice person – No one feels happy when they are tearing down people all the time. Just be nice and you won’t feel guilty at the end of the day!