December 18, 2022
Good morning! Happy seven days to Christmas. Is that not crazy? The next post will be on Christmas Day and then we will be headed full force into 2023. I cannot wrap my head around this. This week I want to focus on how the holidays make an impact on our mental health. Just as everyone has a different personality, we all have differing emotions and feelings when big days approach. Whether it is Christmas, New Years, a birthday, or even an anniversary, days in our life that of which we deem as “most important” most commonly bring a mix of emotions for all people. Some find joy, happiness, excitement, and engagement while others find themselves dealing with depression, mourning, grief, or feeling of overwhelm. Now the biggest point I want to make today is that all of these feelings are okay. Each of them a valid and you should never feel ashamed for feelings a specific way. All of us have been through different trials therefore we have no room to judge those around us for the experiences or memories they have. Here is an example, it might sound funny at first but I really want you to think. Not too long ago I did this online poll that asked what my favorite holiday was. After I chose my favorite (Thanksgiving), the poll showed all the results of all the other anonymous people. When I started to look review, I saw that over 42% of American’s do not look forward to the holidays. At first this stunned me, I mean who doesn’t love family, food, and fun activities. But then as I really thought about it, I started to realize that the holiday season is difficult for many. It is a time of gathering for most, but what about those who have passed, those people who might not have family, the ones who can not afford a good meal, or gifts for their loved ones? All of these scenarios and so many more are brought to the surface during this time of year.
It is brought to our attention that someone might be missing at the dinner table, or maybe one of your annual traditions isn’t the same because one person couldn’t make it this year. It is hard to come face to face with reality in these situations, but it is equally important that we use these special days in remembrance of those who are no longer with us. For me, the holiday season used to involve going up to my grandparents house each year in Florida. Me and all of my family would gather and we would have the best time. I remember my nanny always had the house decorated to a T and my papa always listened to old Christmas music (at the time I found it annoying), my uncle Warner used to gather all the cousins and make us laugh with stories he often times made up, we would exchange gifts in the room facing the big yard as the sun shined though. It was always so much fun and something I looked forward to each year. But sadly, times have changed. My nanny and papa passed five years ago, then my uncle joined them in Heaven a few years later. The house we used to gather at, is no longer there, and all of these things bring great sadness to me but I am also overwhelmed by all the great memories I had with them and the ones I continue to make with my family. While yes, times have changed we have all grown closer over the years and none of it would have been possible if wasn’t for the love and care those who have passed away instilled in each of us.
I say all of this to say that while the next few weeks might be challenging, I encourage you to look past the hardships and find the positive things during this time. Even if it is the gift of waking up each morning, there is always something to be thankful for. I love you all so much adn cannot wait to see you December 25!!
December 10, 2022
Good afternoon! I know I don’t usually post on Saturdays but I really feel like someone needs to hear this message of encouragement now. I don’t know about you, but this past week has been exhausting. I feel like me, my family, and my friends have all been running around like chicken with our heads cut off all week long. During crazy, chaotic, busy weeks like last, I find myself starting to struggle with anxiety more than usual. Part of this I know has to do with my OCD and my inability on weeks like last to follow my routine schedule, but I have come to find out that another part of the anxiety that comes from busy times is my lack of self confidence. When all I can think about is what the “fluff” of life such as sports, schoolwork, relationships, work, etc I can see that the positivity I usually have within is no longest there. Life is more of a checklist than the life I want full of growth and encouragement. When we are constantly stressing about the schedule, we lose sight of the most important attributes in life. One of which is inner beauty (if your a male your probably thinking this isn’t the post for me, BUT WAIT don’t go anywhere!) The truth is we all have inner beauty but sometimes it is much more difficult to see than we think. I want to start by looking at beauty by itself, what is the first thing to come to mind? Is it a celebrity crush, a magazine model, a white sand beach, or powdery ski slopes? When I ask myself this question, I immediately start thinking about physical characteristics, eye color, body shape, trends, but I know for a fact I am not alone in this. As much as I hate to admit it, I think for most, this is what we think about and I am not saying that isn’t what beauty is.
Beauty can be both external and internal. I think it our physical well being is important too. God calls us in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 to “Know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, which is in you, which you have of God, and that you are not on your own. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit which are God’s.” When I read this verse I take away two main points. First being, I am not my own this “framework” called Gracie does not being to Gracie, it belongs to the Creator. Which leads me to the second point, how am I honoring what He has created?
In a physical sense, am I taking care of the body He has blessed me with? Am I giving myself the fuel and nutrients to sustain myself and remain healthy or am I depleting myself of those things in order to achieve this worldly view of a perfect body? Am I doing some sort of physical movement to keep my heart healthy or am I running with the only goal being to get the legs of model on the front of the People Magazine? Have I exposed myself to some not so great habits or actions? I will be transparent, this is something I really have a hard time with therefore, I have found that the best way for me to see clearly is to ask, What are my motives? Are they Godly or societal? Then, if I find that they are simply because of my humanly nature, I take time to see how I can change that.
Now let’s look at internal beauty, the substantial, everlasting since of beauty that we should want so much more than physical. Internal beauty is not only about how your see yourself but also how others see you. Are you accepting of those who are different or do you only associate with those of a certain “type”? God calls us to love all and I think this too can be really hard. I cannot remember where I heard it, but a while back someone told me to “hate the sin not the sinner”. So I really mean it when I say be nice to everyone. You never know what someone is going through, but like we have all experienced, life here on earth is difficult, therefore we should be here to support each other not break each other down. Another part of internal beauty is how you treat yourself. Are you thankful for who God has created you to be? I have started thanking God every night for the personality He has blessed me with and it has really opened my eyes to all of my internal abilities I have kept hidden for so long.
I encourage you today to do a check in with yourself, ask yourself how you see beauty. Think about ways in which you can better your since of beauty and how you express it. Be thankful for what God has given and what He continues to build. I love you all so much and I really hope this helps even just one person this week. Stay strong!
December 3, 2022
Well here we are! We have officially made it to the Christmas season. It is so funny to me how as soon as Thanksgiving is over, it seems like the world turns into the North Pole. People and stores playing Christmas music on repeat, pumpkin spice turns to peppermint flavor everything, all the talk is about what your getting for Christmas or maybe what you are thinking about gifting to someone else, trees and lights go up with no intentions of coming down until for my family Valentine’s Day lol! I mean take a second to think, if your going to put that much work into decorating you might as well enjoy it for as long as possible. If you ask me, I think we should just leave the trees up year round and redecorate them for each holiday but apparently that isn’t “socially acceptable”. Anyways, I pray that you have all had an amazing week celebrating Thanksgiving with friends, pets, family, and more. For me, it was definitely a busy week but so worth it in the end.
The week started out fairly chill, no school or sports practices but from about Wednesday it was then non stop go go go. To start, I woke up the morning before Thanksgiving and being as smart as I am I whacked my nose on the door of my car. So the Warren family didn’t have to worry about finding something to talk about when we sat down at the dinner table Thanksgiving night. I mean there I was with a bruised and bloody nose just carrying along with the conversation. The real question is how do you hit just your nose on a car door? To be honest I have no idea but I managed to do just that and of course it happened right before a family holiday where pictures were guaranteed to be taken and posted. But being the person I am, I realized there was no other option but to just embrace it.
Other than that, the week went fast but well. We drove up to my cousins house and celebrated Turkey day with them. It was so good to see everyone and be able to spend time together because we don’t see each other but a few times a year. Honestly, that is one of the reasons I look forward to the holidays so much. Despite being a person of such routine, it is nice every once and a while to break up the repetition of a normal school or work week while being able to see friends and family. I hope you were able to enjoy the week as well.
As I finish out todays post, I want to give y’all a look into what I want the next few updates on Bounceback Beautifully to entail. My plan is to focus on some specifics of Christmas time from here until Christmas Day. This can include the importance of family, traditions, the meaning, and more. I really pray that you come back in the leading weeks to not only give you some encouragement but also to build up your excitement about Christmas. I love y’all so much and I pray you have a good week! See ya Sunday!