Surviving Your Customer Service Job

Just about every job I’ve worked has been majorly related to customer service. Some days it simply takes thick skin and determination to make it through.

Through my experience I’ve learned a lot about having a customer service position and how to handle the highs and lows that can happen in this department.

Learn The Language:

It is important to understand the right way of wording things. How you say something can make all the difference. Here is an example.

My co-worker and I went to the local supermarket to visit the salad bar. My friend was impressed with the selection and was getting her different kinds of lettuce. She accidentally used the same pair of tongs on two kinds of lettuce. A worker, at the salad bar, snatched the tongs right out of her hand. She said “don’t cross contaminate the food” and stomped away. It really soured my friend’s experience. Not only that, but we told so many people the story. Instead of being able to talk about how much we liked the food, we were talking about the rude worker.

So what could this worker have done differently? Here is what I would recommend.

  • Start a conversation first. “How are you today” “Have you been here before?”
  • Listen to their responses and welcome them.
  • Begin to explain, “we are glad you are here, let me show you some tips.” Word your correction and the rules for their benefit, “we try to keep our tongs in their designated bin and don’t want to use them in other bins. It helps us keep it clean for our customers and prevent cross contamination.”

Doesn’t that sound better? What a difference that would of made for my friend! I always cringe at bad customer service.

Listen, Just Listen:

Most of the time, angry customers just want to find someone who will listen to them. I know when I have been angry with a service, my biggest problem is that no one will help me. When you are in customer service, this is your job. Your job is to listen to their problems and concerns and try to find a reasonable solution. You don’t have to solve world peace but just be a listening ear that your customers can count on.

Always Agree and Sympathize:

As your customer tells you the story take their side. If they say something breaks, “oh no! That’s not good, I’m sorry that happened to you. Let’s see what we can do to help you.” They automatically trust you and feel like you have their back. This is especially helpful to get all of the details, customers are more likely to tell you everything (my dog chewed the cord) when they feel like you are trustworthy. You gain their trust by agreeing and being sympathetic.

Patience:

Sometimes, this one is hard. I would say it comes in second on the hard list. It can be hard to sit and wait for someone to stop telling you all of the wrong that have been done so that you can actually help them find a solution. Find a way to not rush through anything, remember you are there to listen to them. It will ultimately go faster if you really listen to them so they feel heard and you get all the details. Be patient with them. Whatever is making them contact you obviously bothers them, don’t make it worse by rushing them to a solution or decision.

Kill everything with kindness:

For me, this one is the top of the difficulty list. It is hard to stay patient and nice when someone is yelling (sometimes cussing if they stoop really low) at you for something that is most likely not your fault. Deep breaths and retract the cat claws. I try to put myself in the customer’s shoes, maybe I would be that upset too. Also remember, you are the front lines, you get the worst of it first. It’s okay though because you can handle it. The fastest way to put out the fire is to remember what you’ve already seen, patience and listen, agree and sympathize. “I’m sorry, that’s upsetting. I can understand where you are coming from, let’s see what we can work out.” Do you hear the rushing water hose, that fire is out!

I also listened to a speaker at a conference who touched on angry customers, and he gave some great advice. Don’t put up with the screaming, if you do all you can do to calm this customer down and they continue to yell it is perfectly okay to say, “I understand you are upset, however I can’t get all of the details needed to help solve this problem right now. If you are ready to calmly explain the problem to me, I’m happy to dig further. Let me know when you are ready.” Well shoot fire.

(PS, if you work somewhere that forces you deal with people who treat you with disrespect, leave).

Do what you say:

Of all the tips, this should be the easiest. Keep your word. If you promise something, deliver in a timely manner. Another rule to follow is, under promise and over deliver. It is better to surprise a customer with a better outcome than to disappoint them because you can’t do what you said you could do.

Stay organized and in the know:

If you are disorganized, this isn’t the field for you. You have to be organized to stay on top of your work. Some days you may talk to a 100 people. Take notes and keep track of your projects. If you are waiting on an invoice to post, set a reminder, etc. Don’t let things slip or get lost. Stay organized and find ways that help you keep on top of things.

Also, set time out each day to get educated. Be in the know about your company, is there issues with a system or a product? Did your delivery truck arrive or leave late? This prepares you for customers, you aren’t surprised by any issues.

 

 

Mostly, be patient with yourself. If this is a new gig for you, it will take time and practice before you are a pro. It may not come naturally. Go slow and pay attention. Read article on tips and find the ones that work for you. You can do it!

(PS, nothing is more rewarding that getting a raving review or having a customer tell you that you rock)

Crock Pot Roast Recipe

World’s best easiest crock pot roast recipe. I mean seriously this takes me less than five minutes in the morning to put together and it goes great with everything. It’s a favorite in our house (by that I mean my husband asks for it in the heat of summer, which I think is weird).

All you need is a good piece of meat, I typically choose one that has a small amount of marbling (the white mixed in the meat). It means the meat will be tender.

Then you need the following:

  • Packet of brown gravy mix
  • Packet of ranch mix
  • Packet of Italian dressing mix
  • 1/2 cup of water

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Don’t add more water, it doesn’t work that way. Trust me I tried, and it doesn’t look like much but it’s amazing. I mix it up in a little jar and then pour it over the meat. I put the crock pot on low for 7 hours, I found if I go too much longer on low it dries out just a touch. You can put it on warm and it’s fine after the 7 hours.

I usually pair it with mashed potatoes and egg noodles. If I’m feeling lazy or really don’t have time I get the mashed potatoes from Bob Evans. The family pack is great and it’s made with real potatoes, you just pop that baby in the microwave. The egg noodles from the Essenhaus are popular, it takes around 10 minutes to make. I do stand and stir those because they always bubble over.

This recipe has been a go to for me, especially when I know I’ll have a busy day. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have!

Strawberry Icebox Cake

This is a husband favorite, he even requested that I make it to take to our small group on Sunday, and it was GONE. Not only is it a favorite, but it is so easy!

Seriously, all you need is graham crackers, strawberries, and whipped cream. You can customize it. You can do whatever fruit you choose and maybe flavored graham crackers. IMG_0346.jpeg

It took me about 15 minute to throw this together and then I gave it 4 hours in the fridge before I served it. (Please excuse the counter in the pictures, moving houses is hard and I didn’t think to clear the counter before rushing into this dessert making frenzy.)

In this particular instance this is what I used:

  • 9×13 pan (no need to grease)
  • 5 pounds of strawberries from Costco (I didn’t use all of them by any means)
  • 16 oz of regular whipped cream
  • 1 box of regular graham crackers
  1. Put a healthy layer of whipped cream on the bottom and bring it up the sides (this soaks into the bottom layer of graham cracker and makes it like a crumble bottom) IMG_0347.jpeg
  2. Put a layer of graham cracker down, and use the small squares to put around the corners to bring it up the sides a little bit. IMG_0348
  3. Do another layer of whipped cream. IMG_0349.jpeg
  4. First layer of strawberries. I have found slicing them as shows works best because it allows the crackers to lay flat on top.
  5. Layer of graham crackers and then you continue to whipped cream and strawberries, and on and on. I found it works better if you alternate the side that has the pieces of graham cracker instead of the whole pieces. So for example, the pieces in the picture above are on the right, the next layer they are on the left.

 

Then into the fridge it goes, like so.

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I took this baby to small group intending to take a picture of it cut, but it was gone before I could. When I make it again I will add a picture here.

Put this baby in your arsenal, it’s a perfect summer treat and it is so easy. Seriously, a huge hit.

Favorite Fourth Of July Outfits 2018

It’s coming, and I realized I have NO outfits to fit the bill. We move into our new house that week so I wanted something easy to be able to throw on and go enjoy family after I’ve been unpacking all day. I found some super cute stuff!

I wanted to share with you my finds, so you can look super cute (and comfortable).

FIRST.  My ultimate favorite boutique. Filly Flair. They have a whole list of Americana themed goodies! Go. GO NOW. I won’t even be mad that you don’t read the rest of this post because you went to this link.

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2. Check out NanaMacs Boutique. I love shopping small and they have some cute stuff. Be careful, this place is addictive. You may see me in both of these pieces!

 

3. Impressions Boutique also has some cute tops that you can pair with your favorite jeans and some fun earrings. This one came in first in my book. 1805141184000-2018052912073900-a80a7463romance-in-the-air-eyelet-top-in-red_1024x1024.jpg

 

4. You could also go the statement jewelry route. When I need reasonably priced jewelry that lasts longer, you can find me at Charming Charlies. You can almost always find coupons for this store, plus these Tassel Earrings are in right now. You can get them in Red or Blue and wear them with White. That’s as simple as it gets. You could turn an outfit you already have into a super cute American themed piece.

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5. Don’t have time to order? Run to Target. They have a TON of options. Here is the list they have for 4th of July themed shirts and dresses. This one would be cute with a red skirt or pants. Or go blue. Talk about easy!

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Tag us in your outfits! #henkehouse

We want to see your inspiring style, you are beautiful!

Wedding Gift Ideas That Couples Love

It’s wedding season y’all!

We have 4 weddings in the next two months alone, and gift decisions always seem difficult.

You can always go off the registry or be a rule follower and stick to it. Maybe you are on a budget, or maybe all the fun stuff has already been bought. I compiled a list to help spark your creativity! I tried to pick something for everyone’s budget!

Number 1: Floral Subscription

How much fun is this! It can be more on the higher end when it comes to budget, you can seriously go crazy with this option.

Some big names regarding flower subscriptions include:

  • BloomsyBox
  • Bouqs
  • ProFlowers (they do have a flower of the month box)
  • Flower Muse (really pricey)

Also check out nearby flower shops, you may find one that is super unique and cheaper. (Amelia’s Flower Truck is a great option if you’re near Nashville)

Another option is simply a gift card. We have an amazing little shop here in town called Flowers by Phoebe. It’s a dangerous little shop that could suck all of my money right out of my wallet. It is super cute and would be a perfect gift certificate idea (or house warming gift!).

Number 2: Crock Pot 

Yes I know, this isn’t as fun. But you could stay in the lower end of your budget with this idea. You could also fill the crock pot with goodies, maybe some oven mitts or a recipe book. You can spice up the crock pot to make it whatever you want, add your own flavor! (Crock pot liners are an amazing invention! I’d recommend putting this in your gift)

Number 3: Unique Pottery

I got two hand made bowls for my wedding from a local pottery maker. I love them. I use one for a fruit bowl and one for a snack bowl in my kitchen. They are so unique and I think they are an awesome, thoughtful piece. If you don’t have a local pottery maker, try Etsy. Do this in advance though because sometimes these are made to order and then need time to ship.

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Find this handmade beauty here

Number 4: Fun Throw Blanket or Decor Pillows

These are fun if you have a bride who is into artsy stuff. You can find these kinds of things all over, you just have to look. Target even has some fun ones. Check these pillows out from Wayfair, some of them are a little cray cray. Target has good options too!

Seriously there are SO many options! And for every option you find more! Just look around, you will find something that fits your style.

 

Number 5: Mugs or Coffee Makers

This is for the coffee lovers. Maybe get a french press or some fun mugs for their new place. I love having fun mugs. If you know the couple enough, get them some good coffee or a grinder, or maybe an espresso machine. Just depends on your taste. This is something that I wish I would of put on my registry.

 

Number 6: Ninja Blender

THIS THING IS MY LIFE SAVER! I make my shakes in it every morning and it works awesome! It’s awesome for everything from cookie dough to guacamole. There are so many useful attachments. You can find these on sale online or at Bed, Bath and Beyond. All hail the Ninja!

 

Number 7: Camping Gear

My husband turned into a dedicated outdoors-man after we got married, I don’t know why. But we have used our camping gear a LOT. Camping has become one of our favorite summer weekend activities. It’s a cheap way to get away and it can be as glamorous as you make it. We use a tent, air mattress, cot for under the mattress, and a canopy tent for over the picnic table. We do have a cooler and other fun gear like a waterproof lock box and hammocks. Almost everything we have was given to us as a gift. It is something we will probably continue as a tradition as we have kids and grow as a family. I’ve found good deals on Amazon for our camping stuff, but read reviews! Not all things are made the same so read the do’s and don’ts of each product you think about buying.

 

Number 8: Drinking Gear

Whether is a mixed drink set or a wine glass holder, these are always great ideas. We have a cork holder and a wine rack from our wedding and we use them a lot. It can be put in any house and most people use them. This cute set from Crate and Barrel is super cute and they have a lot of options.

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Number 9: Board Games

I don’t know about you but my husband and I love to play games. We enjoy doing this with friends. Some board games are somewhat expensive and others are super cheap. You could easily put together a little gift basket with cards and dice inside. There are so many out there and there also little books that explain games that you use regular cards to play. Here are some of our favorite games to play:

  • Katan
  • Speed (deck of cards)
  • Kemps (deck of cards)
  • Euchure (deck of cards)
  • Golf
  • Yatzee
  • Apples to Apples

 

Number 10: Anything Personalized

There are so many options from wall decor, to pillows, to frames. Just go looking online until you find something you like. Make sure you spell names and get information right! That would be somewhat embarrassing (my cousin was gifted coasters with the letter K on them, her new last name started with a C).

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Find this here

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Find this here

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Find this here

 

 

 

Giving gifts is always fun! It’s especially fun when you are able to pick out something that the couple loves and uses for years to come! As always compare your prices and coupons, this little bit of time could save you bundles.

Fear is Not From God

This has been a challenge for me. God has really been working on me this last year to stop being afraid and to follow him recklessly.

Those of you who know me, probably have heard me ramble on about crazy ideas that I thought I would do some day or maybe I could help someone do. I’ve always been afraid to do it. Afraid of people’s judgment or rejection. Afraid of failing.

Fear has kept me doing things or not doing things I should do. For example, putting off a degree that I wanted because I thought I should be working. Staying at a job that wasn’t a good fit for me because I wanted others to be proud of me. Not starting a business because I was afraid of the risk. Not reaching out to someone because I was afraid of what would happen.

This blog, this blog was a fear. For many months I worked on it, but didn’t share it because I was afraid of people I know seeing it. I was afraid they’d find grammar mistakes. I was afraid of what they’d think.

This blog was a huge leap of faith for me.

I shared the blog on my personal page on Facebook. Out of immediate regret I text my husband and told him how afraid I was. His response hit home, I knew it was God talking through him.

“The only opinion that matters is God’s. And he said we are already his beloved, masterpiece, and nothing we can do can ever change that. So the opinions of others are really meaningless. I believe in you.”

Alright God, I hear you.

So for those of you who are holding something back. Something you know you could be good at, something you know you could share, a talent that you could bless people with, PUT IT OUT THERE! You have that talent or idea for a reason. There is no coincidence with God. His plan is so big and so good, our brains can’t comprehend.

So step forward in faith and remember your fear is not from God. Here are some verses to help you.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10

“Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” John 14:27

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” Psalm 55:22

 

Razor Subscription for Women

I’m sure you’ve seen the advertisements for Dollar Shave Club. Paying less for razors that are delivered to my door? Why, sure, don’t mind if I do.

I tried Dollar Shave Club. Didn’t mind it a bit. I ordered shave butter, which was really nice, I still use it.

I have no complaint about the razor itself. It was a nice razor, and did it’s job just fine. But the design, is so boyish. I did feel like I’d borrowed my husband’s razor and used it for my legs.

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But then, a friend at work recommended Billie to me. I AM IN HEAVEN. Billie is very cheap but super high quality. It’s girly, you can choose your color. It comes with a removable shower holder, that holds your razor with a magnet. It makes it super easy to reach and keeps it up and out of sight when you aren’t using it (mommies this is great if you have little ones using the same shower). The razor has a gel-like outside that provides a smooth lotion as you shave. BONUS! Plus the holder keeps the gel from moving off the razor onto something else and makes it last longer.

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Now for the best part, I pay $9 dollars every 2 months for my razor refills (four cartridges)! I never run out and I’m very happy with their quality. I was paying $12.99 for refill razors more often than that when I was using my Venus! I don’t have to remember or worry about it.

If you are looking for a girly, great razor that comes in a subscription Billie is the way to go. They also offer shave cream, lotion, and body wash that are very reasonably priced. You have complete control of your subscription. I don’t know that I will ever switch again.

 

Billie, you have one happy customer here.

Fix Your Broken Highlighter

I have always wanted a Birthday Pallet from Kylie Cosmetics after seeing Christen Dominique’s tutorial on a back to school look. No rhyme or reason but I never bought it new. It was out of stock and wasn’t coming back.

(Here is the link to her video, please note her amazing give away is closed but her make up is still flawless: Video )

I found it on Poshmark in the box, someone hadn’t used it. I ordered it for $5 off. It finally came, after a snaffoo with the post office. I opened it…

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The whole highlighter pan was empty and the product was all over the box. I don’t know if the mail lady played the congo’s with it, but it was destroyed. I tried to convince myself, I wouldn’t use the highlighter anyways and I had gotten it on a discount. It would be okay.

But I stared at the empty pan, and I just wasn’t satisfied. I decided, I’m going to fix this highlighter.

So I first, I read other people’s success stories on Pinterest, because Pinterest knows all.

I gathered a spoon, a make up brush, and some rubbing alcohol. I laid it down on a towel and initated surgery.

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I very carefully put the pieces back in the pan and broke up the big chunks. I packed the powder down as evenly as I could with a spoon and cleaned the edges of the pan with a make-up brush.

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I slowly, and carefully poured rubbing alcohol in the corners and the edges and continued to pack it down with the spoon, trying to keep it even. It seemed as though the rubbing alcohol helped it adhere to the pan it’s self.

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In this picture, you can see the gaps in the corners, I kept add drops of the rubbing alcohol and packing it down until these went away.  I let it dry over night.

 

And Tada! Crisis avoided! It takes patience and more patience. It’s not a fast process but I’m happy to report I used it this morning and it hasn’t seemed to affect the product or application and it’s still in the pan!

Natural Deodorant or Not?

 

First off, I’m NOT a doctor, nor an expert of the arm pit. Just trying to save the next person from being surprised by the pit detox that becomes concerning if you are expecting it. Seriously, I made a doctor’s appointment because of mine. 

I once read this really scary article about the effects of normal store antiperspirants and their aluminum content. After freaking out a bit, I jumped immediately to switching to natural deodorant. Like any good person does, I did absolutely no research. None.

I had no idea there was a detox period or the effects I could have of making the switch.

While the switch is ultimately a good one, there is a period time where your body will detox your armpits. It’s basically unclogging all the junk you’ve put on your pits with regular antiperspirants. Some natural deodorant sites even warn you of this time period. As they say, hindsight is always twenty twenty, so let me give you a little explanation of what to expect on your first 7-10 days of your natural deodorant.

  • Prepare to sweat baby. Lots and lots and lots of sweat. You will sweat more than normal. Avoid gray shirts/dresses, unlike I did. I ended up wearing my North Face fleece over my dress because it was so bad. So I was then sweating more but at least no one could see it.
  • What’s that smell? It’s you. You will probably stink more than normal. Don’t worry this will go away.
  • You may experience tenderness in your armpit by your lymph node. I only had this for a day or two.
  • The next thing is where I got concerned, your arm pit may darken or turn dark red color. If this happens you may want to switch to a more sensitive natural deodorant. According to my research this is because of baking soda in the natural deodorant. I read where this may go away with time, even if you continue to use the first deodorant, the one causing the redness. I decided to go ahead and switch.

There are a few things that others say to do that may speed this process up. First thing is to drink lots of water, more than your normal consumption. Try to work up a sweat more and longer, this will help speed up the process. Watching your diet during this time can help, eating cleaner can minimize some of these symptoms. You can also try dry brushing. I obviously didn’t try any of these, because I had no idea what was going on. I did try dry brushing on the redness and it helped a bit.

So what kind do you get? There are many things to consider. Scent, application method, price, and more. Personally, I couldn’t imagine trying to spoon my deodorant on in the morning. So that turned me off to a few types. A popular jar brand is Primal Pit Paste, I’ve read some good things on this one but I haven’t tried it personally.

Scent wise, I really haven’t found one that I LOVE. I will let you know when I do. I was using Native Deodorant, I tried the unscented, which was fine, as well as the coconut and vanilla. They were ‘normal’ smelling. I didn’t like the lavender and rose. I smelt like a walking hedge bush. It was just way too much. I did switch from Native, because their baking soda content seemed to be causing my redness. I am currently trying Schmidt’s and so far so good. I tried their sensitive line in the scent coconut pineapple. It’s decent, it’s still a little odd smelling for my taste. But I have ALWAYS had ‘shower-fresh’ scents in my antiperspirants. So maybe it will grow on me.

There are so many kinds to try out there. Pretty sure Tarte Cosmetics carries one as well as Lush.

If you find one you adore, leave it below. Share the love!

Self Care is Not Selfish

One time I saw this saying on Tumblr, and it was so perfect for this topic. (If you are not familiar with Tumblr then bare with me.) This anon commented on a person’s blog, “you are mighty full of yourself, aren’t you?”
Rude anon, yeah sure. But this Tumblr’s response was puurrfect.
“Well no one else is going to do it.”
Insert smirk and half laugh as I imagine high-fiving this Tumblr person.
This has so much truth to it! I mean seriously, no one is going to take care of you the way that  you can (and should) take care of you. Only you can take a bubble bath with your favorite bath bomb. Only you know how awesome your toes look with your favorite color nail polish. Only you know how awesome you feel after accomplishing something you have been working towards, like running or a homework assignment, or whatever it is.
In our demanding world, most of the time the last person we take care of is ourselves. Give give give, clean, work for other people, cook dinner, chase our family members around until they are ready to go wherever is on the calendar for the night. I did this for two years before I totally hit bottom.
I was an emotional pile of goo.
Chances are if you  continued reading to this point, you are close to where I was.
I have learned how to protect my “me” time and make sure I’m taking care of myself. I found a few things that make a HUGE difference for me, maybe they will help you too.

  • The #1 thing I did for myself was spend more time with God. The man upstairs has an amazing way of calming your soul and helping you feel peace. I know this time has made a huge difference for my anxiety and my fears. I no longer fear the stress of the day ahead. I try to start my morning with this. Sometimes it can be hard if the house is awake and everyone is bustling around, but I try to find a quiet spot and really focus on connecting with him. (Looking for helpful tools? Check this out: )
  • If you are like me you have a planner where it’s all written out. If it’s not on the schedule it is not getting done. Even if my plan doesn’t go how I planned 85% of the time, it helps me keep organized. It’s how I plan my blog, my work outs, our meals, and keep track of homework and appointments. It is also how I schedule my “me” time. I schedule pedicures or time for whatever I want to do. I make sure I set time aside for me. There is a catch to this though, if you schedule it stick to it. Protect that time and don’t just give it up if something else comes along. If you have tombs this time, reschedule.
  • I had a friend give me awesome advice a few days ago. She said, “No is a complete sentence. It doesn’t require explanation.” Let that sink in for a minute. You do not have to explain your “no.” You do not have to feel guilty for using it. If you are out of energy and a friend asks you to go somewhere you don’t want to go, say no. If you don’t want to make dinner, say no. If you think something is taking way too much of your time, say no. You are Wonder Woman, but she rests too.
  • Create healthy habits. For me, this was making sure I exercised regularly and shaved my legs. (Yes, I have commitment issues with my razor) I always feel good after I do those things, even if I don’t feel like doing them at first.
  • I also try to eat healthier. I don’t count calories necessarily or watch the scale super closely. I simply replace my chocolate for carrots most of the time. When I am eating better and drinking more water I feel much better. I am ready to accomplish more and my mood is lifted. Maybe for you this is cutting out the fast food lunches and trying to pack from home more often. Or switching an energy drink for a green tea.
Try these out. Leave a comment below if you found something that works for you. You deserve “me” time. You can’t take care of everyone else if you haven’t cared for yourself.