Just checking in…

Happy April everybody!

I wish I could say April Fools and snap my finger and have everything just go back to normal but unfortunately I can’t do that. Instead I can write this blog and check in on my friends and family and make sure we are all doing ok, and to let you know if you are’t doing ok, well that is ok too.

It has been a weird, uncertain, strange, and scary time to say the least. I think the scariest part for me is the unknown. The unknown elements to the virus, the unknown final statistics and numbers, the unknown if a loved one or family member will test positive, and the unknown timeline of when things will get back to normal or if it even will get back to normal.

As I mentioned, it is ok to not be ok, it is ok to feel emotion, to be scared, to be sad. Sad for missed weddings, for missed birthdays, for missed childbirth, for missed honeymoons. It is ok to be sad that you lost your job, or hours, or interviews. So feel the emotions, be sad, but also be strong because you are not alone, we are all truly in this together from one end of the world to the other.

To be honest, there have been days where I haven’t been ok. Where I have cried, had a panic attack, broke down, screamed at my husband, thought about worst case scenario, read the news and cried some more.

I count my blessings every day though. I am working and staying busy and telling stories that I love and distracting myself, I have an amazing husband to keep me grounded and sane, an amazing dog that gives me an excuse to get some fresh air every day, amazing friends that check in on me, and an amazing family. I realize that not everyone is in the same position and so I want this to be an outlet for you, an opportunity to share your fears, your tears, but also your hope and your courage so that we can all get through this together, and hopefully keep as many of the vulnerable safe.

I also just wanted to share a few things that I have felt helpful to get through this.

Take a moment to breathe and be grateful 

If you know me and have followed this blog, you might know that I suffer from anxiety and so I have been struggling, but I have found comfort in waking up early and doing some breathing exercise ( or trying them throughout the day when I am feeling stressed). I also try and write down three to five things that I am thankful for everyday. It makes me realize how truly lucky I am. I also keep reminding myself the reason that we are doing this and social distancing is to help save as many lives as possible.

Try and get into a routine 

As I mentioned I am pretty lucky because I am still working right now, which definitely keeps me distracted but I felt like I was just pouring all my time and energy into work so I decided to come up with a daily schedule. I make sure to take time to walk my dog and get fresh air and also make sure I work out for an hour or go for a run because that is something that helps me clear my head when I am stressed.

Call your friends and family 

I have actually found myself facetiming and calling my family and long distance friends now more than every. As terrible as this situation is, it makes me realize how special relationships are and that in the busy world we live in, it is important to take the time out for the people we love. I have also found comfort in finding people that I can open up with and share my experiences with.

Let yourself have emotions 

I am the kind of person who tends to hold things inside until I explore, and then the situation is 10 times worse than what it would have been if I just dealt with it in the moment. I have found it has helped by letting myself feel. Sometimes I am angry and sometimes I am sad. I let myself feel the emotions but I always try and and make sure I try and end on a positive feeling (goodnewsmovement has really helped with that)

Try not to read too much 

As a journalist, it is my job to stay informed and so I am always checking the latest information, but once the work day is done I try and shut it off and if you don’t work in the news or health care don’t spend hours reading article after article because here is the thing, the virus is so scary because it is so new and unknown and so no one right now really has the answer and so reading that it will take over a year or we will have to be in lockdown for six months, sure that might be the case but don’t stress yourself out over things that aren’t proven or known yet.

Listen to health officials 

It is so frustrating when I see tweets and pictures of people gathering in groups and having house parties. Listen just because you are young and healthy, it doesn’t mean it won’t spread to family members you care about that aren’t as young and healthy. The sad thing is more and more “young and healthy” people are also finding themselves in the ICU. It is important we all listen to our health care officials and government officials and do the right thing so we can all beat COVID19 together.

Give back when you can 

I honestly feel so helpless in all of this (although the most helpful thing we can do is all stay home) but there are ways we can help. Health care workers need masks, researchers need funds, and food banks need donations. I am giving blood for the first time next month which I am very nervous but also excited to do my part. I have found comfort in being able to do some small things to help out.

So here I am, just checking in and making sure you are all ok, and if you are not ok. I am here for you all, and just know we will all get through this together by staying apart (for now)

Keep your heads high my friends,

xo

Mia

Slowing down isn’t a bad thing

It is a bit of a crazy time across the world right now. The uncertainty of what tomorrow will look like is causing lots of people anxiety, and many have had to start practicing “social distancing”, something that isn’t ingrained in human nature.

Technology has saved us so much time that it is hard to picture why we would want to go back in time to a place where we didn’t have it. So as it stands, modern technology allows us to do much more, all of the time, and stay connected too. And while there are certainly plenty of perks to it, there are drawbacks also. 

It’s time to slow down and reconnect with yourself for a while. 

Slowing down is a choice that you have to make, and will likely have some trouble in the early days. We are very used to hearing our phone notifications, working on a computer, and being connected 24/7/365. 

So if you want to try going slower, but remaining fulfilled, then here are some things for you to try. 

Photo by Sofia Ornelas on Unsplash

Disconnect

Of course, that would be the first thing on the list. You might choose to disconnect while you travel to make the most of it, or you might have set hours in the day that you will be available for. Although many people couldn’t picture leaving their phone at home, it can be helpful to leave it at home while you go for a walk. Disconnecting means, you will have to focus on other things. 

Knowing your phone can go off at any time, can mean we are more likely to be interrupted by ourselves checking if we have been interrupted! It is hard to slow down when you have that small brain space dedicated to checking for messages and emails. Once in a while, disconnect. 

Move Slowly

You probably can’t just start walking slowly everywhere, but you can practice moving slowly around your home. Or do exercises like pilates and yoga. The great thing is you are only going to need pilates mats and some stretchy pants to get started too. If you do get the chance to head out into the wood for a walk, try not to rush back. Nature walks and hiking can be very relaxing and can help you feel very centred too. 

Letting the wind just blow through you a little bit, and take in all of the trees and greenery around you. Do it slowly and breathe deeply. 

Do Less

This one actually might be the most complicated thing on the list. It is hard to slow down when you have so much to do all of the time. Work, home, school, cleaning, cooking, and everything else too. If you can make a conscious choice to do less, then do so. If your schedule is really packed out, then find a space to book yourself in for some serious ‘nothing’. 

Or even a little space between meetings and being busy, those 5 minutes of just nothingness is really good for you. 

When you find that things are getting on top of you a little, or that you have just too much on your plate, take a moment to pause, breathe slowly, and assess the situation more slowly. 

I understand that all of the news, and updates we are seeing can be concerning, but instead of looking at this necessary time out as a bad thing, likes embrace it as an opportunity to slow down and take care of ourselves, and if you do need some socializing in your life, pick up the phone and reach out because we are all in this together

xo,

Mia

Sorry for being so M.I.A. ~ What I learned from a much needed break

Truth talk: I am struggling to write these words right now. It is like all my creativity was sucked up with the turkey and eggnog over the holidays. It is always a little hard to get back to work after a long break and it has been some time ( my last blog post was early December). I am finding it hard to find the words, the time, and the ability to focus.

… And alas I turned to the internet 

Google “why is a break good for you”  the answers I got were typical. It helps productivity, lower stress and better mental health.

Yes that all makes sense, but if I just spewed out what I found on the internet, what would be the point of me sitting here writing and you sitting and reading this blog. So let’s go back a little in time shall we.

Before the holidays I was feeling drained. I hadn’t taken a vacation in quite some time, I was traveling a lot for work, I took on a few freelance projects, I was working on my blog, I got sick, I was tired (all the time), I felt overwhelmed.

This lead to me forgetting things, losing things, and running late for things. And so the cycle would continue, the more I forgot and lost the more stressed I would be and then the more I would forget again.

…It was time for a time out

And as usual, the first thing that was cut from my schedule was this blog. The blog has always been a passion project, a place where I can share my experiences, my enjoyments, my travels, and also a place where I can hear from you but it is not my job, it is not how I make a living, it is not my top priority.

Instead of taking the time to write, I took the time to sleep, to play with my new puppy, to clean my new home. I took time to myself.

And then came the break, a week off for the holidays to relax, recovery, and reconnect with myself (and my blog ) so I hoped but instead friends were in and out staying at our house, instead of writing inside I wanted to be outside skiing at Whistler or hiking on a sunny day. And while it was busy with such a full house, I was able to relax by taking time to myself.

…Fast forward to now 

Break is over it is back to reality, back to work, and finally back to writing, but during that time off I realized something very important, how valuable a break truly is.

Sure, I felt all of those things the internet told me I would feel, less stressed, more productive but something the internet didn’t tell me I would feel. I felt relieved. I realized that even if I do take a time off, weeks, months, or longer without writing or posting here it wasn’t going anywhere.

My blog isn’t about the followers, the readers, the subscribers, it is a place for me to be me and it is important to realize that when “me” needs a break, I can take that break and come back feeling inspired, rejuvenated, and while it might be tough to sometimes find the write words, ready to write.

While I am not a big believer in New Year’s Resolutions as they usually include more trips to the gym, eating healthier etc and usually last a month or two into the new year, I decided instead to make some birthday goals ( I mean it is just a day later than New Years).

My goals for myself this year is to not let myself get to a point of exhaustion and recognized when I need a little time out. I am allowing myself to say no if I need to, to be better at scheduling so I am not feeling overwhelmed, and to wake up 10 minutes earlier so I am not constantly rushing out the door.

And so here you have it. Why taking a break for yourself is a good thing, and not just a because google says so.

Did you make any resolutions for this new year or take some time out for yourself over the holidays? Would love to hear your experiences.

Here is to a healthy and happy 2020 my friends,

xo

Mia

The number one tip I have for any bride: Don’t stress about the small things

Saturday September 14th 2019 is my favourite day ever. It is the day my husband (that is so weird to say) and I got married in front of 100 of our closest family and friends. It was the most perfect day. The ceremony was personal and beautiful, the food was delicious, the scenery was picture perfect, the DJ was incredible and had all the guests dancing all night long. It was so much fun and I wouldn’t have changed a thing, but let’s rewind to just before the wedding when I was panicked and told my mom I just wanted to cancel the whole thing.

What went wrong?!

Here is an order of events of everything that went “wrong” leading up to the wedding:

  • 5 weeks out our wedding venue (Sea to Sky Gondola) was sabotaged and we had to find a brand new wedding venue in just a few weeks.
  •  A week leading up to the wedding the head meteorologist at the company I work for (the Weather Network) informed me it was going to rain for our wedding.
  • A few days prior it was calling for 100% rain, and not just rain but the entirely monthly average for September in one day.
  • 3 days before the wedding and I was sick as a dog.
  • 2 days before the wedding one of my closest friends couldn’t get on her flight and had to cancel her trip.
  • The day of the wedding pouring rain, still sick, and the mother of the groom ended up at the wrong wedding venue. Our wedding started an hour late because of this.

Leading up to the wedding I cried, I cried a lot. I was stressed out and I took it all out on my partner. We had screaming matches, we yelled that we should just call things off. It wasn’t fun. This was supposed to be the happiest time of, but we were both exhausted, stressed, and frankly miserable.

We had to have several talks with one another to remind ourselves that this wasn’t about a venue, or weather, it was about sharing our love with the people we love most. That made things a little bit easier to accept and finally at the rehearsal dinner I started to relaxing a little and just realize what ever was going to happen was going to happen on the day of the wedding.

The Wedding Day 

The wedding day came and I walked off the bus to share the first look with my partner, and it seemed like the world stopped spinning. My vail was soaked from the rain, the train of my dress brown from the dirt, but none of that mattered. All that mattered was that today we were going to commit to forever with each other and start this new chapter in our lives because we love each other.

Despite everything that went “wrong” leading up to the event, our wedding was perfect. I wouldn’t have traded in a second of the day for better weather or for our original venue. This wedding was our perfect wedding.

Looking back on it all now, I realized I was truly panicked and stressed for no apparent reason. I couldn’t control the rain, but I could control my attitude towards it and honestly that is my only regret, I wish I had enjoyed the days leading up to the wedding a little more.

So from this veteran bride (of four days) I wanted to offer a piece of advice to any future brides while it is fresh in my mind. Just live in the moment, relax, and realize that everything is going to be just fine. In fact it will be better than fine, it will be perfect.

Your guests aren’t going to remember  bad weather or the ceremony starting late. They are going to remember the love you shared with your husband or wife on this special day.

You can’t change things leading up to the big day, but you can trust the process and realize that at the end of the day the small details are just that, small. Looking back you won’t remember the things that didn’t go according to plan, you will remember the fun, the laughs, the tears, and the love.

Trust me, I know that all this is easier said than done. In fact I kept saying it leading up to the wedding. But if you can find the moment to breathe and let yourself know that everything is going to be beautiful no matter what challenges you face, then you will be able to just enjoy every moment from the lead up to the morning after.

Plus as I learned, rainy weather makes for better photos anyway.

Wishing all my beautiful brides the most perfect wedding day!

xo

Mia

P.S. all photos taken by our amazing photographer Taylor Roades

 

My love/hate relationship with ‘Shredding for the Wedding’

He liked it so much he put a ring on it. That is right I am a fiancée, at least for another three weeks. The moment we got engaged I started looking at venues, dresses, oh and I finally got a gym membership because I had to start “Shredding for the Wedding.”

I had heard that term before used in magazines and by other friends that have gotten married and would always joke about it but now it was my turn and I was determined to shred some pounds for the big day.

I started hitting up the gym at least five times a week, combining my favourite SoulCycle classes, Kondi HIIT classes, F45, you name it I was trying it all, doing it all, and sweating it all out.

On top of upping my fitness game, I was also paying more attention to the food I was eating. Cutting out carbs and sugars and eating smaller more nutritional portions and meals.

In just a matter of weeks I was starting to see the pounds fall off but I also started to notice other changes. I had more energy, my skin was clearer than every before, I was in a happier mood, and feeling more confident about myself overall.

It was in that moment that I didn’t need to shred anything for the wedding, I needed to start living a healthier lifestyle in general for my own well being and personal relationships.

After quitting tennis, I had always been a bit of a yoyo dieter and had always struggled with self image and confidence because I wasn’t the athlete I used to be. However when the wedding came up, I had real motivation to stick to a plan and to better myself.

I am not going to lie, I was disappointed that it took a proposal to motivate me, I should of wanted to do this for myself but at the end of the day at least I got the push I needed and can start this journey back to a healthier me.

The best part about it all, is it has been relatively easy. Sure I wish I could drink an extra glass of wine or indulge in another scoop of ice cream but I haven’t done any actual dieting. I have let myself have cheat days, eat chocolate, drink wine but just in smaller portions. I also enjoy working out but would always make excuses if I got to busy. Since I got engaged I have stopped making excuses and have been making time.

Now the last thing I want anything to do while reading this is think that you need to lose weight if you are getting married, or need to lose weight period. What I want people to realize is that life can get busy and we can get distracted and lose sense of ourselves and that is ok. What is not ok is if we don’t check in every once in a while and reconnect with ourselves and make sure we are taking care of ourselves and if we aren’t well then it is time to make the changes. For me that change was leading a healthier and more active lifestyle and that might not be the same change for you but no matter what it is important to be aware.

I am three weeks away from my wedding and I have lost 20 pounds and am back down to a healthy weight. But besides the pounds I lost I have gained energy, confidence, and overall happiness. So while I don’t necessarily agree with shredding for the wedding, I do agree about shredding for yourself, or really anything for yourself if it is going to improve yourself.

xo

Mia