I’m Worried: Embracing the New

Embracing the new: why worry? – that was the original title of this post. Funny enough, I had written and planned to post this the first week of the month. Every Monday and Wednesday since then I have thought of posting this and stopped. I stopped for three reasons:

  1. Because every change or new experience I had written about seemed so minor in comparison to the HUGE change our world is going through.
  2. Because I felt as though this post was no longer relevant to what was happening today.
  3. Because I am SO worried and asking people “why worry?” would make me a hypocrite.

Truthfully, I can’t pretend that I am not a ball of anxiety over the rapid spread of COVID-19, the quarantine, and the social distancing. I’ve been keeping up-to-date with the news, working from home, sanitizing regularly, taking vitamin C each day, and praying that this experience does not last longer than it needs to. I think we can all agree that this quarantine process, which is, in fact, absolutely necessary to prevent the spread of the virus, is something that has caused a dramatic change in our daily lives and routines.

So, I went back to my original post today and I found that maybe I was wrong. Something words I had written just might be relevant today:

“A lot of anxiety surrounds new situations, but so does opportunity. Sometimes fear and worry sometimes stop us from making the best out of change. We spend so much time dwelling on our own anxiety that we miss out on the chance to fully enjoy a new experience.”

I cannot stress enough that this quarantine is not a vacation. It is absolutely crucial for all of us to follow the regulations that have been set to protect those vulnerable to this disease. Although we cannot look positively on the disease itself, it does not mean we can not embrace some of the opportunities that are presented by being home.

For the first time in a while, my family has had everyone sit and eat dinner together nearly every night. My anxiety has actually motivated me to exercise to relieve tension and boost my energy and my mood. The sun has shone so brightly some days this week, that my sister and I have gone outside to run or walk. But mostly, I feel that this time home has taught me two very important things:

  1. How quickly we take for granted the privileges we have until they are taken away. I will very often complain about being too busy. I will say I’m tired and just want to be home all the time. Now I’m home all the time and I’m missing the chance to go out to eat on a date night or spending countless nights of the week learning tap dance choreography for my show that has been postponed, like many other theatre events. We complain when we don’t even realize how fortunate we are to have things to do.
  2. How much our lives impact one another. We have the power to control how many lives are saved just by staying home. We have healthcare workers working endlessly, saving lives and helping the sick. We ourselves have the ability to help the unhealthy or elderly by going into grocery stores for them. Some of us may be fortunate enough to work from home and provide for our families and can support others less fortunate by donating to food pantries or sharing locations offering free meals to those who can only eat at work or school. Though physically apart, we can come together during this time.

I am worried. I can be worried. But if I do my part in helping this pandemic subside, I can try to embrace this anxiety and change by focusing on what I can still do at home. I think if we all do this and try our best to look at this, not as a punishment, but as an opportunity to save lives, we can all find a way to embrace this new.

Wishing you all courage and health during this difficult time.

Hayley

Ps. Anxiety is hard, especially at this time and I am always available to talk through comments or DMs. We especially want to help each other’s mental health at this time. I am linking professional sources for anyone in need:

https://adaa.org/resources-professionals

https://www.counseling.org/knowledge-center/mental-health-resources/anxiety

February Favorite Five 2020

Is it just me, or did February fly by? I cannot believe we are already at the end of the month. However, I can’t complain. The further from this month we are, the closer we are to spring, sunshine, and warmer weather.

Although this month flew by, it definitely had its highlights. In today’s post, I’m once again listing some of my monthly favorites. February featured food, fitness, and a couple of new products I’ve discovered along the way. So without further ado…

Here are my February Favorite Five:

1.Primo’s Little Italy Pizza: On Valentine’s Day, a local restaurant, Primo Pizza, had a heart-shaped pizza special. My mother and I stopped in for lunch and tried out their new “Little Italy” pizza, which features eggplant, ricotta, and thinly sliced meatballs. In addition to the adorable heart-shape, this pizza was amazing. Perfect for any fans of eggplant, like me.

Primo’s “Little Italy” pizza; Dracut, MA.

2. Colourpop Lux Liquid Lipstick in “Flynn”: I’m always excited when Colourpop adds new products to their Disney Designer Collection. This lipstick, inspired by Disney’s Tangled, was a Christmas gift to me from my sister. It has been my go-to shade whenever I need a natural-looking pop of color. The best part is, it doesn’t dry on your lips and feels very lightweight, almost like a tinted lip bomb or gloss.

Colourpop Disney Designer Collection Lux Liquid Lipstick in “Flynn”

3. Orange Theory Fitness: I follow a pretty regular at home workout, two to four days a week, but sometimes I need a challenge. My sister heard about Orange Theory, a fitness studio for all experience levels, and asked if I would try out a class with her. (Your first ever class is free!). The workout classes change each time you go, but the class I went to was for endurance. We met with the fitness coach, who leads the class, a half hour before class began, and she told us about the workout and asked us about our fitness goals. We were given a heart monitor to wear around our arm that will track our heart rate throughout our workout. The goal of Orange Theory is to challenge each of their members out of their comfort zone, in a safe, effective way. I can say that I took the class two days ago, and I am still sore, but I left with energy and felt good that I challenged myself, without feeling forced to do anything outside of my own ability.

My results from my first class. Maureen said the pyramid shape my results formed is the goal for each of their members.

4. Donut Shack Donuts: Speaking of working out, how good are donuts? (haha). My dad kept raving about this local bakery that sells very rich, soft donuts. I finally tried one the other day, and have to admit it is worth the hype. The creme-filled I tried was very soft and more doughy than sugary. The inside filling was the perfect balance between sweet and light. I will definitely be trying more.

Marshmallow Donut; The Donut Shack, Lowell, MA.

5. The Curly Hair Method: In the past few months, I have fallen victim to heat styling. A YouTuber I watch, Kathleen Lights, who also has naturally wavy to curly hair that she heat styles, has been speaking a lot about getting her curls back by following the curly hair method. I was inspired and researched the method myself and have decided that I will be getting a healthy cut and color this week and then following this method, with some exceptions, to wear my hair natural more often. Heat causes a lot of damage and breakage on my hair, and I’d like to keep my hair healthy and make sure I’m using the right products. I’ve purchased some new products (see below) and will be testing them out and will be blogging about my experience with the curly hair method. Stay tuned!

(Left to Right) Kristin Ess Clarifying Shampoo, Air Dry Creme, Curl Co-Wash, and Curl Conditioner

March is going to be an exciting month for me as I start a new job, get further into rehearsals for my show that opens in April, and start a new journey with meal prepping. What does your March look like?

As always, thanks for reading!

Forward March!

Hayley

5 Ways to Spend Your Next #SelfCareSunday

Don’t be fooled by the title, you can make any day a self care day if you want to! Sunday’s are just notoriously known for being the calm before the storm of a busy week. When I have no big weekend plans, I like to spend my Sunday’s taking some time for myself before preparing for the week ahead.

I think having at least one time a week, whether it be a full day or ten minutes, dedicated to self care is vital for ones’ mental health. It’s a good way to shake off whatever stress has affected you during the week and just breathe. If you don’t have any idea how to take time for yourself, or you want to change up your self care routine, look no further!

Here are 5 Ways to Spend Your Next #SelfCareSunday

1. Light a Candle. I am all about aromatherapy. If you’re spending your day getting work done, cleaning around the house, or doing bills, sometimes the easiest way to get a little therapy in is by lighting a candle with a relaxing scent of your choice. My newest purchase is Bath and Bodyworks Sunshine and Daffodils candle, which features a citrus and floral scent. This candle is in a pretty yellow shade that brightens up my room on a dreary, winter day.

2. Read a book. Sometimes all that’s really needed during the week is a time out from technology. I have a bad habit of spending a lot of my downtime on my phone, especially at night. However, I find I sleep so much better when I read before bed, rather than stare at blue light.

Current Read: The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

3. Do Yoga. I feel like I’ve discussed yoga in many of my posts. Whenever I take the time out of my day to follow along with a yoga video, I feel relaxed and ready to continue the day. It’s a good way to slow down, while also keeping active. Yoga with Adrienne has some of the best practices, ranging from five minutes to an hour.

Here’s the Morning Sequence I’m doing this morning.

4. Take some time outdoors. This can be more difficult in the cold weather months, but once it’s warmer, spending some time outside can make all the difference in your day. I like to go for a walk or run, or play tennis at a local park. Sometimes all you need is sunshine and fresh air.

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Sunday morning walks🐶🚶

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5. Do something you love with people you love. I think one of the biggest mistakes with self care is the idea that you have to spend it by yourself. Taking time during your day to spend some time with loved ones counts as self care. Go shopping, visit a new place, get tea at a local cafe, have a family movie night.

I hope some of these tips have inspired you to take some time for yourself. Remember that self care has no single definition. Make it your own!

Let’s start a conversation in the comments: How do you spend #SelfCareSunday?

Enjoy,

Hayley

How to Increase Productivity in Your Life

I don’t know about anyone else, but I very often fall victim to the winter blues. Something about cold weather and lack of sun makes me want to stay cooped up all day in my room with a blanket, watching Disney Plus. As nice as that sounds, living like this all winter makes me lack energy and motivation.

This year I vowed to fight against the winter blues and make the most of each day. I’ve discovered ways to stay motivated and make steps towards my goals each day and I want to share some of them with you.

Here are some ways to increase productivity in your life:

Write daily to-do’s. In one of my more recent posts, January Favorite Five, I talked about my goal planner. For each day, I write down a check list of tasks I want to do and check them off as I go. This list helps me to visualize what I need to get done and there is no better feeling than checking off a task once it is completed. I’ve also used my phone’s reminder app or notes to keep track of my daily to-do’s.

Get an early start. Admittedly, since being out of school, I haven’t quite gotten into a routine of waking up early. However, I am always out of bed no later than 9 AM. I find that I am increasingly more motivated the earlier I wake. Being up earlier means I have more time to get a workout in, eat a good breakfast, or simply take my time getting ready for the day. Of course, it takes some getting used to, and you may feel low energy at first, but once you get in the habit, you will find yourself feeling more energetic and ready to take on even the busiest of days.

Reward yourself. When I was filling out my goal planner, I noticed that in each of the “Short Term and Long Term Goals” sections, there was a square that said “reward.” We very often complete tasks without a reward, which is a great habit to get into. However, with bigger tasks and goals, it is okay to treat ourselves to some sort of reward. For example, I set a goal of being Hubspot Academy Inbound Marketing certified by the end of January. Upon its completion, I wrote to treat myself to a glass of wine that night, and I did. It doesn’t have to be a big reward. It can be something as simple as watching your favorite movie, or buying a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. Treat yourself for being productive! It’s not always easy.

Create a vision board. This was something I’ve always seen people do, but I had never done myself. When I saw the blank pages in my planner labeled “Vision Board”, I decided to take the time to make my own. Many of you who keep up with my posts know that I love Pinterest. I pull most of my inspiration from the images I see in my feed on this app. To make my vision board, I searched through my boards and pulled images that represented who I am and where I want to be. I picked photos that inspired me, photos that made me laugh, feel-good quotes, scenes from my favorite movies, etc. The process was quite therapeutic and I look to my vision board whenever I need some motivation throughout the week. Leave a comment if you are interested in a more in-depth post about creating a vision board.

And there you have it! These are just some of the ways to increase productivity in your life, little by little. Here are just a few things to keep in mind as you begin your journey towards productivity:

  1. Remember, you are human. You need rest days.
  2. Not every day will go as planned. It’s OKAY.
  3. Wake with a grateful heart.
  4. Say to yourself, today’s gonna be the best day!

You Got This!

Hayley

January Favorite Five

I can’t believe how quickly January flew by! I had planned to drop a new blog post each week this month, but am realizing now this is only my second post of 2020. I dedicated the month of January to planning and organizing my year at a glance. I’ve spent a lot of time setting short term and long term goals and mapping out how to achieve these goals. During this time, I came up with some future blog post ideas and am very excited to have a routine posting schedule!

In the past, I would make these favorites posts of five things that made my month, whether it be an event, food, product, tv show, etc. I always enjoy reflecting on my month and decided to continue this series on my blog. With that said, here are some of my favorites from January 2020.

My January Favorite Five:

  1. My Goal Planner: Before every school year, I purchase a planner and use it maybe the first few months before abandoning it in the bottom of my bag. Since graduating in December, it felt weird to not be going back to school in January. I decided to purchase this goals planner from Michaels to keep me motivated towards my goals. I’ve been making daily to-do lists and keeping an organized schedule for each week.

2. Garnier SkinActive Rose Water Day/Night Cream: With the winter comes dry skin. I have always struggled with finding a good face moisturizer. I prefer a glowy, natural look, but want to avoid looking greasy. However, the moisturizers I used in the past would leave my skin feeling dry. This moisturizer is a thick formula, but leaves my skin feeling hydrated, without the greasy finish. Added bonus: the rose water scent is very light, and fresh!

3. Seeing the sunrise: Okay, I can’t lie. With no classes to wake for, I have been catching my Z’s. However, when a bestie asked if I’d wake up early and see the sunrise at the beach one morning, I could not say no. Despite the lack of sleep, I felt energized throughout the day from starting my morning on such a beautiful note. 10/10 recommend.

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Rise and shine ☀️

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4. Frobie’s Matcha Latte: If you’ve been keeping up with this series, you might remember my love for Pressed Cafe’s Matcha Latte. Well Pressed, you MAY have met your match-a (haha puns). This latte was added to the menu recently and I had to try. It’s delicious hot or cold. I get mine with almond milk and agave.

5. My Pearl Bag: This bag was gifted to me by a friend for Christmas and I haven’t put it down since. Anyone who knows me, knows my love for pearls. This bag pairs well with every outfit and is such a fun accessory.

I hope some of my favorites can provide you with some inspiration or product recommendations. I look forward to see what I’ll be featuring next month in my February favorites!

What were some of your favorites this month? Comment below or on this post on my Facebook page.

Best,

Hayley

Top 3 Ways I’m Saving Money in 2020

Now that I’ve finished my college career, I’ve officially received the end-of-school loan counseling that reminds every student of one of their greatest fears: paying back what they owe. The thought of paying off student loans is anxiety-inducing, but it doesn’t have to overwhelm you. Now is the time to make smart choices that will help you save money so that, in time, you can make those monthly payments without hitting negative.

I’ve come up with a few simple ways to prepare myself for paying back loans and to achieve financial goals I have set for myself. I’d like to invite you all to join me in my journey towards making good money choices.

Here are the top 3 ways I am saving money in 2020:

  1. Creating a budget plan and tracking expenses. I began to use both Google sheets and a budget journal (purchased from Michaels) to set bi-weekly and monthly money goals. I will write down my income and estimate how much money I need to spend and compare it with how much I actually spend. I find the best way to track spending is to break it down by category (gas and transportation, bills, entertainment, insurance, food, etc). I’m also beginning the habit of writing down exactly how much I spend in my budget journal each time I make a purchase. I am guilty of taking advantage of my banking app tracking what I’ve spent, but writing it down helps me to better visualize exactly how much I am spending and where and when I am spending the most money.
  2. Saving loose change in a jar. Perhaps one of the easiest ways to save is by putting loose change in your pockets and purse in a jar. I had a jar that I was saving change in, but broke the habit once I cashed in all of my savings. Since then, the jar had just been sitting on my desk. However, I went was emptying out all of my purses and discovered piles and piles of loose change that I had collected. I put all that change into my jar and plan to continue to save my change. The truth is, change adds up and, once the jar is full, you can use this extra money for weekly expenses or save it towards a bigger goal. Don’t let those nickels and dimes sink to the bottom of your bag.
  3. Shop sales or thrift. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a bit of a shopping fanatic. I love clothes and keeping up with trends. However, it can be costly. The good news for anyone like me is that you don’t have to completely trade away a passion for shopping to save money, you just have to be smart about your spending. There are a few ways to do this. Perhaps the best start is shopping sales. Scout to see what stores are having big savings and start there instead of paying full price. Another option is to thrift shop. Stores like Savers, Salvation Army, and other used clothing stores often offer great pieces for small prices. Thrifting is also a very environmentally friendly way to shop. Lastly, whether you are thrifting, shopping sale, or going in for the splurge, one of the main things you can do is think before spending. Make sure that what you are about to buy is something that is going to last you a while or you are going to get a lot of use out of before you waste your money.

I hope you all find these tips and tricks helpful and will join me in smart saving this year. Just remember that financial stability isn’t something that is easy to achieve at any age. There will be high’s and low’s, but keep in mind that money isn’t the key to living a happy life. Happiness comes free!

Game of loans? I’m ready for you.

Best of luck,

Hayley

Reflecting on 2019 and New 2020 Resolutions

2019 was a year of growth for me. It had as many hardships as it had highlights. My final year of college was one rush to the finish line, with many obstacles popping up. However, I am going into 2020 as a college graduate. 2019 had losses, but also gains: new friends, my first professional internship, new video productions, a new job as a church singer, many successful fundraising efforts, trips, and memories.

At the end of every year, I like to revisit the goals I set in the beginning of the year. I often reflect and ask myself: did I fulfill these goals? Did I make steps towards their accomplishment? Or, did I put them off all together or forget? Then I make a new list of resolutions for the New Year.

2019 Instagram Top Nine: @hayley_jasmin

Here’s where I typically list out all of my resolutions and goals for 2020…

HOWEVER, although I do have many short term and long term goals for the year, I have one main resolution for this year.

Here is my 2020 New Year’s Resolution:

  • Rather than focusing on how things “should be”, realize and appreciate what they actually are. A very wise man I know said this during his sermon before Christmas and it really struck me. I struggle with perfectionism and, when things don’t go the way I envision, I often let stress and anxiety get in the way. Agitation replaces appreciation. But truthfully, what is “supposed to happen” doesn’t exist. The imperfections in life are what makes life so perfect and real. If I go into the New Year with this acceptance, 2020 and the years following will bring me joy.

When I do this, I try not to be harsh on myself. Often times, life gets busy or things happen that may cause you to forget or get off track. Always remember you can start fresh in your goals at ANY time in the year, not just the new year.

Wishing you all the best of luck in 2020!

Choose joy.

Hayley

How to Be Confident: In a Work Setting

If this past semester was a book it would be titled “How to Adult.” My final semester of my undergraduate career has introduced me to new responsibilities as I prepare to begin my career. This semester was a semester of firsts. I had my first internship interview, my first professional internship, my first informational interview, my first phone interview, a second interview, and my first professional job interview. Which of these things were anxiety-inducing? All of the above.

Professional Headshot courtesy of UML English Dept.

Work settings can be scary, especially when you are just launching a career. For me, I look very young, which often makes me feel intimidated in professional settings. My anxiety also makes social interaction difficult, especially when it comes to finding my words. Although I am no expert on anxiety or starting a career, I have discovered some ways to feel confident in a work setting through my own personal experiences as an intern and job applicant.

Here are five ways to feel confident in a work setting :

  1. Don’t count yourself out before you even begin. If I could write this down on a piece of paper hundreds of times every day, I would. It’s so easy to let fear stop you. As a college student, I often feel like I have so little experience and that I am so young that I feel small and unworthy of a position. This video featuring a talk that YouTube influencer, Jenn Im, delivered at A Rare Day Women’s Summit about the five pillars of success inspired me to show up for myself. She talks about her career journey and how to be kinder to yourself, rather than counting yourself out.

2. Dress the part. When I began my internship, someone who had previously been a student intern there told me that dress code wasn’t a major concern in the office. However, I mentioned in the past that I am personally a strong believer in the “look good, feel good” mentality. I bought and thrifted dress pants, blazers, and work-appropriate skirts and dresses to wear to my internship. Dressing professionally helped me feel a sense of belonging in the workplace. I felt confident and capable of performing to the best of my ability.

3. Rehearse before you speak. I found that one of my greatest anxieties is finding the right words to say. Whenever I faced a situation that required a lot of speaking–phone interviews, interviews, and one-on-one conferences– I would write down what I wanted to say. I’d study these cheat sheets and practice saying my words out loud. This helped me to feel prepared and it also helped me make sure that I delivered every word with confidence and with the right tone. There’s nothing worse than feeling unprepared and saying the wrong thing…

4. Be kind and show up. As I mentioned before, I look very young and that often makes me feel small in the workplace. People like me are often advised to act intimidating or tough in order to be taken seriously. However, there is a way to be kind and still be respected and treated like an adult. Simply showing up on time every day with a smile on my face, greeting people with hello, and asking co-workers about their day earned me a great review. People found me reliable and respected me as an employee and peer. Kindness is key to earning respect. Feel as though you’re being walked all over? Speak up for yourself, but remember to be cordial. Ex.) “I wanted to bring up a concern I have. I realized you did not use the article I wrote for this publication. Because I am still learning in this field, would you be able to offer me feedback on how I can improve in the future?”

5. Don’t Be Afraid of Failure. In one of my acting classes, we played a game with only two rules: you must answer “yes” if someone makes eye contact with them and allow them to take your spot, and then you must do the same in order to move to another spot. If you mess up one of these steps, you must go to the middle of the circle, spread your arms out wide, and happily shout “I FAILED!”

This exercise taught me that failure and rejection are bound to happen in life. However, you can either dwell on it or accept it as an opportunity for growth. Ask questions. Be curious. Keep learning. Developing your career is a life-long process and you will never be able to grow if you don’t make mistakes.

Trust the journey.

Best of luck,

Hayley

*DISCLAIMER: All insight into anxiety is based off of personal experiences. For professional assistance, check out this link https://adaa.org/resources-professionals.

Q&A: Fall Edition

Today was one of the first beautiful fall days I was able to go outside and enjoy. I spent the day with friends, going out for lattes and visiting a park to take photos of the foliage. I decided to stick to this fall theme for today’s post and answer a few questions about the season.

  1. What is your favorite thing about fall? This is a very hard question to answer because there are many things I love about the fall. I think the one thing I love the most is the amount of activities you can do. Apple picking, pumpkin picking, watching Halloween movies, and drinking hot tea and cider are some of my favorite activities.
  2. Which flavor of fall treats do you like best- pumpkin or apple? I have to go with apple, although I really enjoy pumpkin muffins and pumpkin pie. I LOVE cider, apple pie, apple crisp, and basically anything that includes baked apples and cinnamon. I’ve recently been enjoying this Celestial Seasonings Cinnamon Apple Spice Herbal Tea. (http://shop.celestialseasonings.com/Cinnamon-Apple-Spice-Herbal-Tea/p/CEL-053108&c=CelestialSeasonings@Herbal)
  3. What was your most favorite Halloween costume? I don’t have a favorite Halloween costume that stands out to me, but I have a funny story about one that makes that specific costume memorable. In fourth grade, I went as Elizabeth Swann from Pirates of the Caribbean and I was allowed to wear my costume to school. When I went to my math class, my teacher asked me if I was dressed as Lewis and Clark.
  4. Would you rather visit a corn maze or a haunted house? I love the adrenaline rush of going through a haunted house. A couple of years ago, a group of friends and I went through one haunted house that had fake body bags hanging from the ceiling and everyone was afraid to go through them. I went first shouting, YOU HAVE TO GO THROUGH THEM and dodged ahead like a football player. My fight or flight definitely kicks in during these situations…
  5. How are you going to carve or decorate your pumpkin this year? Honestly, I have no idea.. Last year, my boyfriend and I carved Jack Skellington, which was pretty cool.
  6. What’s your favorite spooky movie and book? Maybe not the “spookiest” but I love watching Sweeney Todd or a classic Scooby Doo cartoon, like Zombie Island or Ghoul School. For books, I LOVE Sleepy Hollow.
  7. What’s your favorite Halloween candy? I love Milky Ways or Peppermint Patties. I’m also a huge fan of Reeses.
  8. What are you grateful for? I’m grateful that fall is a season that is about spending quality time with friends and family. The holiday season always excites me and I love using the season to bond with the people I love.

What is your favorite part of fall?

Hayley

How to Be Confident (In Social Settings)

When I started this blog, I defined what “it” means in the title, She Doesn’t Know She Has It. In that first post, “Where It All Began”, one of the things I define “it” as is “confidence.” Looking back at my more recent posts, I’ve noticed that I have never directly addressed my journey towards building confidence. Today, I decided to start a series in confidence boosting. This first post is on how to be confident in a general social setting.

For someone with anxiety, confidence can seem so out of reach. Negative thoughts or fears can wear you thin and make you feel vulnerable, especially in social situations. At the peak of my anxiety, I would try to avoid anything that triggered a panic attack. However, this held me back from achieving goals and enjoying life. Slowly, I began to allow myself to face the things that scared me. As I grow older, I find social settings to be harder to avoid. I have conditioned myself to be able to handle parties and gatherings, classes with group work, meetings, etc. Confidence comes with facing my fears.

Disclaimer: As I have mentioned before, I am not an expert on anxiety. I simply use this blog to share my own experiences hoping that others may learn from them as I have. Like with anxiety, I am not an expert on confidence. Confidence is a journey for me- it comes and goes. However, I can say that, in most social settings, I have developed secrets for feeling confident among a crowd.

Here are five ways to feel more confident in a social setting:

  1. Stand Taller. This is often reiterated in every post about confidence, but there is truth to it. Body language is a key way to building your own confidence. The way you stand and present yourself affects how you feel. I learned this through yoga. When you stand straight with your feet hip width apart and with your head and heart aligned with your hips, you feel more grounded. There is a sense of calm that comes with feeling grounded. If I am at a party and feel anxious or shy, I stand up straight to make myself feel grounded and in control. Doing this also makes me appear more open to others. This video by YogawithAdrienne is one of the yoga routines that helped me correct my posture so that I can stand tall and confident.

2. Make eye contact. As someone who is pretty shy, eye contact has never come very easy for me. It can be intimidating to look someone in the eye. However, a key component of communication is through eye contact. Looking someone in the eye can help you to better communicate your ideas or thoughts. It can help you to better develop a relationship with someone. Making eye contact is also a sign of confidence. If you can look someone in the eye while you are speaking, it shows that you are not scared and that you are confident in who you are and what you are doing.

Maybe not as aggressively as Joey…

3. Dress to Express. I used to follow the “dress to impress” mentality, but overtime I learned that the only person I really need to impress is myself. Now, I use my outfits to communicate who I am. It’s the “look good, feel good” mentality. If I am wearing something that makes me feel like myself, I feel better and more confident. When I do this, I find myself feeling more powerful in social settings. If I am at work or school or a party and I am wearing an outfit I love, I feel more at ease and find it easier to talk to others or speak up in class or at a meeting.

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Looking sharp🧀

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4. Take Pride in Your Talents and Abilities. Say this to yourself two more times. I think we all can sell ourselves short at times. I know that I am guilty of counting myself out before giving myself a chance to even try, whether it’s in a group project, the workplace, or a sport’s game. Don’t doubt yourself. Accept and take pride in the talents you have. If you are musical, athletic, or intelligent- if you’re a good speaker, a good writer, a good photographer- showcase your talents. Don’t pretend they don’t exist because you fear the rejection of a crowd. When you trust in your talents, you trust in yourself, and you feel more confident.

Be confident in your own abilities and use them to shine in the classroom, in the workplace, or even at a party (Karaoke anyone?)

5. Speak Up. I saved what I find personally the most challenging for last. Speaking up is something that I still struggle with. I am someone who looks very young for my age. Sometimes this makes me feel inferior in the classroom or the workplace, or even at a social gathering. A voice in my head stops me before I speak up, telling me to “know my place.” I sometimes assume that if I speak, I will be rejected because I seem young or naive, so I stay quiet. This hurts my confidence. However, certain settings have helped me to grow in this area. I have taken leadership in a few creative projects at school that have helped me to find my voice, to say my ideas out loud, and to put myself out there. I try to remember these instances each time I go to class or go to a meeting and have an idea I want to share. Instead of staying quiet, I need to speak up. If I am comfortable with verbal communication, I feel more confident in my social skills.

I’d like to say that by following these tricks, you will become confident overnight, but that is not the truth. Confidence is a journey. Regardless of whether I am feeling fully confident or not, these tips have helped me to feel more comfortable in social environments and have eased my anxiety. I hope that my secrets will help you to tackle whatever social situation comes your way.

You’ve got “IT.”

Hayley

If you or anyone you know are struggling with anxiety, here is a professional source that may help you in your journey:

Online Resources | Anxiety and Depression Association of …

https://adaa.org › living-with-anxiety › ask-and-learn › resources