It has been a few hectic months since I’ve composed a blog post. My goal in the past was always to post at least one monthly blog article. I was shocked when looking back through my articles I actually achieved that goal for an entire year! I originally created my blog for fellow travel nurses by offering tips and advice I’ve learned along the way. It has somehow morphed into more of a lifestyle/travel blog full of my ideas for life in general.

img_1816Like always, traveling comes with many challenges and our journey back to Florida has been no different. The search for housing was all encompassing this go around. Here’s a little window into our world… since the beginning of December we had moved three times before we rang in the New Year. We were so fortunate to have family in the area who we could stay with in between, due to the endless complications in finding housing…in Florida…during season. Needless to say, it has been one of the most challenging moves thus far! I thought by now we’d have it down pat, but that just goes to show you theres always something new to learn or experience while traveling. Even though the process was stressful, we are so thankful that the first few places didn’t work out because we would have never found this wonderful place we are in now. The end result was so much more than we could have ever hoped for. Now that we are settled into the most perfect spot for us right on the water in Pompano Beach, FL I have finally been able to refocus my thoughts on what is truly important for creating a happy and purposeful life. So basically, I’ve been spending my time focusing on MANY other things instead of my blog lately.

However, I’m so happy I was able to take these few months reprieve because now I’m refreshed and excited to share amazing things that I have discovered. I noticed recently I was just going through the motions of travel and forgetting why I started. Thinking back, I wanted to enjoy – not only the destinations I travel to -but the journey along the way. I try to apply this motto in many aspects of my life these days. Finding joy in the journey has really evolved into a way for me to try to remain mindful in each new days challenges. The past few months’ experiences and challenges have given me a new perspective on acting and reacting to situations happening around me.

I feel this simple tip has truly helped me get through the past months of such chaos and inspired me to focus on creating happiness by doing things that make me feel inspired. If it doesn’t inspire me or create happiness chances are it is a time waster. It’s so easy to get distracted by my daily routines and busy life. Being in Florida has brought me back to what’s important. Being near family and friends. Being near the beach and ocean. Enjoying the sunshine, especially since this is what I grew up around. Realizing how important it is to take just a moment to stop and be mindful of ourselves and what creates happiness within.

And this brings me to my topic of this article. Being mindful.

At first I didn’t really understand what this meant. I thought “Of course, I’m mindful”, before even really knowing what it meant. When first reading about it I thought it was strange to be mindful honestly. Instantly I was already judging and thinking how weird it is to be mindful. After meditating on bringing mindfulness into my life I could see an instant impact in my stresses and frustrations. Using an exercise I learned from yoga has quickly become a staple in my meditations. For example, simply try to feel your lungs inhale and exhale, feel the skin on your face relax, and the way your head aligns over your spine and pelvis. These are all things that on a day to day basis I had never been bringing to light and forgetting how truly amazing it is to appreciate these simple things in our life. After researching and listening to some podcasts about being more mindful, I realized how easy it is to become unaware of yourself and your actions – and the podcasts really helped me realize that I am not alone in feeling this way.

Definition of Mindfulness by Merriam-Webster 1: the quality or state of being mindful 2: the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis

So instead of becoming overwhelmed with this task of being more mindful throughout my day or feeling badly for not being mindful in the past, I started with a few simple tasks and have slowly added more as time passes. Now that I have a few extra days off a week and can enjoy the extra free time benefits of working three 12 hour shifts,  I realized I had lost touch with what I am passionate about. I really didn’t have much time after working long shifts 5 days a week and traveling and constantly exploring on our days off. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change anything about our adventures, but it is definitely exhausting and you forget what you really enjoy other than exploring the new cities and towns you are in. I’m so thankful to have this opportunity to relearn what I love to do with free time to myself and take advantage and learn more about myself. I noticed I was spending too much time in the mornings on my phone. Just scrolling through multiple different social media applications, it’s just as bad and if not maybe worse than mindlessly watching TV. And I realized I really wasn’t becoming inspired by anything or gaining anything positive. There are specific things you can watch on tv that you can learn from and or from your phone.

img_0507.jpgSo I am not trying to make technology to be the culprit. It’s just that it’s so easy to forget the beneficial things you can get out of the tv and phone that you only use it for the mind numbing agents. It’s unfortunate but that’s where becoming mindful comes into play that you take a moment and ask yourself am I benefitting from this hour of mindless scrolling? I want more in life and I want to be inspired if I’m viewing other people’s lives on social media rather than feeling envious or thinking negative thoughts regarding their posts or photos. I deserve to start my day feeling good about myself!! Shouldn’t everyone?! So living near the beach I am so lucky to spend the majority of my days off in the sunshine on my face and feeling that salty air in my hair. I couldn’t have asked for a better time to come to realization of how important being mindful and seeing how much more you deserve than right now. I am taking full advantage of it and so should you. I have removed the mindless scrolling of Facebook with yoga instead. This 30-40 minutes of meditation and relaxation is so rejuvenating. So much more beneficial than previously scrolling and developing feelings of negativity and mindlessness. Rather, I’m focusing on my breath and able to take a moment and be grateful for so many things in my life. And by doing this is makes it very difficult to focus on the negative harmful things when the positives are up front and center.

It is as simple as replacing one negative thing in your life with something that inspires you. Take a moment and think what is something that you are doing daily that doesn’t add positivity to your life? Can you replace it with something that you love? Or that you just haven’t been able to find the time for previously? Because now that you can eliminate something it’s amazing how much extra time it opens up for you to fill with the things you’ve been wanting to do!

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I’m not saying it will be easy. It’s something that you’ll have to work at every day. At least you will be mindful of what is important and what isn’t and you can take back control of what you truly want in life and make yourself happy! Such an incredible realization! It is just a simple switch of mentality that can make all the difference. Please leave comments below of what you would like to eliminate in your day and/or what you can benefit from adding back in its place? I’m so excited to hear what others have discovered and ideas I can utilize in my daily life.