Scared to Try a New Gym? CHASE WHAT MAKES YOU AFRAID.

Hey lovely!

Last week on Instagram, I posted a story about trying out a new gym.

*Side note: I upload IG stories about mindset and also write mini daily blog-type posts on my feed, so make sure to follow along if you're not already! You can also listen to this story in my free private Facebook group I did a live video about it. Request to join here :)

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Since I moved to Canada at the end of last year, I've been trying my best to put myself out there and try new things. 

I've tried dance classes/workshops, joined a regular gym, hired a personal trainer, and most recently tried classes at a local Crossfit gym. 

But here's a little secret: all of these things have scared the poo out of me.

You know the feeling you get in your stomach when you're about to try something new for the first time? Maybe it's a job interview, a new workout class, going on a date, and you feel like there's a 70% chance you may actually poo your pants.... 

That's exactly how I felt. 

Because although I have experience as a trainer and I pretty much know what I'm doing, it still scares the bejesus out of me to try new things. 

I STILL get butterflies when I walk into a new gym to try a class for the first time. Or when I try a fitness workshop. Or when I go to a dance class. 

But here's what I've learned over the years:

You have to run after that feeling of fear, anxiety and nervousness like your life depends on it. 

You have to CHASE what makes you feel afraid, because that's how you grow. 

As humans, we naturally make up the worst possible outcome of any situation in our minds ahead of time. "What if I fall on my face during the workout?" "What if the guy I'm going on a date with doesn't like me?" "What if I don't get the job?" with the overarching theme of all of these being, "What if I make a fool of or embarrass myself?"

But when you actually envision living out those outcomes... it's really NOT that bad. If you fall on your face, people will forget about it probably 10 minutes after it happens. If the guy doesn't like you, good — someone better will. If you don't get the job, good — there's a better one meant for you. 

Of course trying new things is ALWAYS going to feel uncomfortable, even if you play the worst-case-scenario-ain't-that-bad game... so here's what I like to do to combat my nerves and ease my anxiety:

1. SCHEDULE THE THING. Put yourself on the hook. Commit to showing up to the class, applying for a job/scheduling the interview, going on the date. And no matter how many times your brain wants to back out of it or makes up any possible excuse for you not to go, GO ANYWAY.

2. STAY BUSY. Of course you're going to feel more nervous if you sit around and think about it for 5 days! Try to schedule whatever you're trying out as soon as possible, so you're able to get it over with and ease your anxiety about it. However, if it takes a few days, then keep yourself busy by doing things you enjoy, rather than focusing on/stressing about it all day long.

3. BREATHE. You're going to feel nervous driving there. That's totally normal. Remember to take slowwww, deeeeep breaths (5 second inhales, 5 second exhales). Play music if that helps you calm down. Remember, YOU WILL LIVE TO TELL THE STORY. It is OK :)

4. REAP THE REWARDS OF DOING WHAT YOU SET OUT TO DO! Go grab a coffee, meet up with a friend, do something to celebrate the fact that YOU ARE A BADASS because you actually DID THE THING!!!! So many people SAY they want to do things, but never actually get around to them because fear gets in the way. So whether you liked the gym class/date/whatever or not, you at least tried it, which is something to celebrate.

Remember, everything worth living for is on the other side of our comfort zone.

It may feel more comfortable to stay in your little bubble at this exact moment, but you don't want to be looking back at your life a year from now (or when you're 85 reflecting in your rocking chair), and say, "MAN. What would my life be like right now had I tried [that thing]?"

Because who knows what will come from trying a new gym, interviewing for a new job, going on a date... you could meet your best friend, get in the best shape of your life, land the job of your dreams, and live an awesome freakin' life.

Or I guess you could just stay home and hope for those things because it feels more comfortable. ;)

Moral of the story: CHASE that uncomfortable feeling. The one where your stomach is twisting and turning, you feel nervous (like you may poo your pants), you want to make up 103858 excuses not to go... because when you're able to push outside your comfort zone, you're one step closer to living a happier, more exciting, joyful, amazing freakin' life.

GET OUT THERE AND #GSD my love!

xo

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Tell me: what's something you've always wanted to try but haven't found the courage to yet? DM me on Instagram or comment below and let's chat about it!

How to Start LOVING Mondays Again

Hey, gorgeous!

IT'S MONDAY — which means it's my favorite day of the week!

I know that's quite the opposite of most people, and to be honest, it used to be the same for me.

I used to HATE Mondays.

Some mornings before work, my alarm would go off and I'd snooze it 15 times and just lay there and cry. Partly because my work environment was toxic (aka my boss was nuts), but also because I wondered:

"Is this it? Is this all I have to look forward to for the rest of my life?"

Thankfully, the answer was NO

Once I decided that I wanted to create a life of my dreams, I slowly but surely started taking steps in that direction.
 

 Photo by   Katelynn Carlson   

Photo by Katelynn Carlson 

I got my personal training certification and started training clients & teaching group exercise. I made a 6-month 'plan of action' to save up and leave my job. I left my job, then took an internship at one of the best gyms in the world (where I met my husband — added bonus hehe). I took my business all online, and did freelance work to help support me. 

I'm sharing this with you today because I want to remind you that YOU are in control of your life.

There will never be a 'perfect' time or opportunity. You'll never have enough money, enough time, or enough balls to do the thing you want to do. 

Heck, if I waited until I had enough money or 'was ready enough' to leave my full-time job in 2015, I would still be there. 

But I decided that I didn't want to look back at my 20s when I'm in my rocking chair, sipping coffee with almond milk on my patio when I'm 80 #habits lol, and think to myself, 

"What if I would've tried that? How would my life be different?"

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SO MANY PEOPLE ask me how I left my job, or how I'm able to work from home and move around all the time. People assume that I'm just 'lucky' or that I have some sugar daddy supporting me so that I can write blogs and drink kombucha and do Instagram stories all day. 

It's the opposite, actually.

I've had to work hard for EVERY single thing I want. 

And here's the thing: YOU CAN TOO.

Even if it seems all the odds are stacked against you, even if your family thinks you're nuts, even if you have highs so high and lows so low that it makes you question your own sanity.

You have to decide that you WANT to live a life beyond your wildest dreams, and then take steps to make that happen.

They can be the babiest of baby steps, or you can jump ship and create the net to catch you on the way down.

Whatever you choose, I beg you to realize that you only have ONE LIFE and that life is so. short. 

Don't waste anymore time & procrastinate the things you really want to be doing right now.

And whatever you need, I'm always here to support you on your journey.

Decide. Believe. Commit. << that's all you need. 

NOW START LOVING YOUR MONDAYS, DANGIT.

Oh and if you want inspo like this sent straight to your inbox (plus healthy tips and tricks I don't share anywhere else!) sign up for my VIP email list

Sending you lots of love this week!xo,

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STOP Bargaining with Yourself & Choose the Hard Thing

If you'd rather listen to this post, check it out in this podcast episode!

Hey love!

Today I want to offer you a challenge. A little kick in the pants. A little nudge of tough love. A little butt slap that says, "GET OUT THERE AND PLAY THE GAME SISTA!!!"

Throughout our day, most of the things are do are on autopilot. We drive the same ways to work. We do the same exercises in the gym. We do what's necessary to get by at work. Take an inventory of the things you do every day, and you'll probably realize that you're doing most of those out of comfortability and convenience. 

But what if you took the initiative to DO THE HARD THING instead?

The choice that's uncomfortable, the one that doesn't necessary produce immediate results?

I've been trying to live by this in my life every. single. day. Whenever I find myself trying to rationalize out of the 'harder' choice, I challenge myself to do the hard thing instead.

 I hate ab roll outs because they hurt and suck, but here's me.... DOIN IT ANYWAY.

I hate ab roll outs because they hurt and suck, but here's me.... DOIN IT ANYWAY.

For example: 

When I'm laying in bed in the morning, I have the choice to snooze my alarm or get up and go to the gym. The rationalizing thoughts start to run through my mind, "You could sleep in! You've already been to the gym 4 days this week, this can be a rest day. Getting more sleep will help me make better food choices later."

Here's the tricky thing about the way we bargain with ourselves: our excuses are actually valid sometimes. 

I had already gone to the gym 4 times that week. I could've used a rest day. More sleep does help me make better food choices.

But I committed to myself the night before that I was going to go to the gym in the morning, so I did the hard thing: I chose the gym despite all of my powerfully convincing and convenient excuses. 

That means opting for LONG term results versus fleeting, temporary satisfaction.

Because what makes you comfortable right now probably won't change your life much. 

You're USED to sleeping in. You're USED to eating the same foods that aren't getting you the body you want. You're USED to settling for less than you know, deep down in your heart, you deserve. You're USED to doing all the things that you've always done, which have led you exactly to where you are right now.

So why not do something different?

Why not choose the HARD thing for a while, and watch how drastically changed your life is a month, 6 months and a year from now?

Choose the workout that pushes you out of your comfort zone. 

Choose to go on the date, even though "you're not ready to date yet. you'd rather stay in your PJs and watch someone else find love on the Bachelor."

Choose to start that blog TODAY, instead of bargaining with yourself that "you'll start when you're ready."

Choose to ask for a raise.

Choose to stand up for yourself when you're being treated unfairly. 

You've got nothin' to lose... and everything to gain

QUIT bargaining with yourself. Quit playing small. Start showing up, start making the hard choice. And report back to me with how freakin' awesome your life is after you start doing this consistently.

xo

Julie

P.S. One of the best quotes I've EVER heard about making progress in the gym,

"Keep doing things you suck at. Once you're good at them, add more things you suck at. Rinse and repeat."

BOOM. GENIUS. 

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If you liked this post, you'll love my the BRAND NEW e-book I just created: Fitness Is An Inside Job (5 Mindset & Habit Shifts You Need to Make RIGHT NOW to Radically Change Your Life.) It teaches you how to go from KNOWING what to do, to ACTUALLY doing it.

It's totally free! Get it here

GOOD THINGS TAKE TIME.

Good morning, my beautiful friend!

Every morning, I write morning pages, which is pretty much just 3 pages of freehand writing I use to get all of my thoughts out of my head and on to paper. I do this every morning, and it helps take ALL those crazy thoughts I have about my goals, what I have to do that day, and helps create the space in my brain to focus on other important things vs. trying to remember my 90-mile-long to-do list.

Today, I was reflecting on how LONG it takes for some things we want to come to fruition.

The saying is true: GOOD THINGS TAKE TIME.

  Photo taken by Toronto-based photographer  Amin

Photo taken by Toronto-based photographer Amin

Things that are worth having genuinely DO take time: our dream body, career, relationship. It takes hard work and effort.

But when we're so focused on the outcome — "I won't be happy until I get to X goal" — it makes for a miserable ride along the way.

It's like knowing you have to go on a road trip across the country to get to your fave place in the world, California. But instead of driving a reliable car, downloading a bomb playlist, riding with the windows down, stopping to enjoy the sights along the way... you CHOOSE to drive your brother's shitty 2004 Honda Civic that breaks down every 100 miles, whose radio doesn't work, and instead of stopping to stay at hotels and do some sightseeing, you're just going to power through, pull 3 all nighters, get cracked out on coffee and suffer through until you finally reach the promised land of Santa Monica.

Knowing that your journey is a long one, don't make it any harder on yourself than it has to be.

ENJOY the ride. Let loose. Live a little. Have some freakin' fun, why don't ya?!

In terms of fitness & health:

Even if you're not where you want to be right now, enjoy your body & the process NOW. Take classes or do workouts you love. Eat in a way that makes you feel amazing — taking the time to cook and prepare your food so it tastes delicious. Celebrate your body by wearing what you want (i.e. a bathing suit) with no shame and don't just wait around til you feel 'good enough.'

Your dream body will come only as a result of loving, taking care of, and being kind to the one you have right now.

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In terms of your dream career:

Even if you're not making stupids amounts of money or doing what your soul feels called to do for a living right now, be grateful for all that you DO have. If you have a roof over your head, meals to eat and the means to read this right now... you're doing better than 90% of the world.

Plus, you're lucky to have ANY JOB in general. And if you truly don't like the job you're in, start taking steps to change that. Start a blog. Intern somewhere at night. Get the certification you need or go back to school on the side. THAT'S enjoying the process and being a part of actively creating the career of your dreams.

When I worked at my 9-5 advertising job, I was teaching group exercise classes on the side, then decided to get my personal training certification, which led to training clients, which led to me being able to leave my full-time job, which led to me being able to do this all online now. But had I just sat there and thought "woe is me... I hate my job... this is it for me." and didn't take steps to be an active creator of my future, I WOULD NOT BE WHERE I AM TODAY, and I certainly would not be continuing to build my dream career on a daily basis.

You just need a little courage. Courage builds confidence and trust, so every time you push the boundaries a bit on what you *think* you're capable of, you'll learn to trust yourself to take even bigger risks. Start small (or start big) but just START.

*side note of love* don't feed yourself the BS of "I don't know where to start" — you totally do. Don't let fear stop you. Take a baby step. What's one thing you can do TODAY that moves the needle in a positive direction? DO THAT.

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In terms of your dream relationship:

Even if you're single as a Pringle right now, enjoy yourself. I was single for 3. YEARS. before I met Mark. But that doesn't mean I was sitting in my room waiting for him to come knock down my door (which would have been near impossible because the chances of him randomly finding my apartment in Orlando from Canada is slim.... lol)

While I was single, I took the time to discover who I truly was, without a relationship defining me — as I let it with so many of my past boyfriends. I went on dates and called them "MANventures" (shout out to Jenn — this was our inside joke HA), I discovered hobbies I truly loved (teaching group ex. classes, becoming a personal trainer), reading books and listening to podcasts to improve my career and myself as a human.

Ultimately, when the timing was right — my hobbies, my career, my work in personal development — all aligned when I took a chance to intern at Strength Camp, which *you know the ending* led me to meet and marry the love of my life! Now I live in a totally different country (talk about a curve ball I never would've anticipated in my wildest dreams!), we're about to move into a new place together, and we're creating our dream life TOGETHER.

But that's all because I spent the time to truly figure out who I was, what I wanted, and enjoyed myself along the way.

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If you're interested, you can search Mark on my blog and there are plenty of posts about our moves/journey as a couple.

And I continue to enjoy myself (as best as I can) in ALL areas of my life today — even if they're not perfect — because WHY THE HECK NOT???!

Sure, these things take time. But what's the rush?

I've learned that the reason that our dreams don't manifest over night is because we have to become the person that's ready to handle that level of success.

For example, you say you want to win the lottery... but imagine you won $50 million tomorrow. Would you be the type of personal that's financially responsible enough to win that money and — more importantly — make it last? (so many of the winners just poo that money away. sad.)

Or say you want your dream boo to come into your life... what type of person are you being right now? Is your house cluttered with junk, or would you be proud to invite someone over? Are you carrying around emotional baggage from past relationships, or have you spent time working through all your old junk so that you don't carry that into a new relationship? Are you figuring out who you are individually so that when you meet him, you guys can become PARTNERS instead of searching for someone to fill a void that only *you* can fill?

These things take time, but they are so worth it.

While you're waiting patiently, become the person you want to be.

Because it's not about the outcome, it's about WHO YOU BECOME in the process of reaching that goal.

Always be a work in progress and never settle!

LOTS OF LOVE & HAPPINESS! xo,

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GET MY BRAND NEW, TOTALLY FREE E-BOOK! 

If you liked this post, you'll love my the BRAND NEW e-book I just created: Fitness Is An Inside Job (5 Mindset & Habit Shifts You Need to Make RIGHT NOW to Radically Change Your Life.) It teaches you how to go from KNOWING what to do, to ACTUALLY doing it.

It's totally free! Get it here


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6 Tips to Shift from Depression/Anxiety to a HAPPIER Life

*If you'd rather listen to this podcast, check out this podcast episode on the topic!

Hey sweets!

Today's blog post is a bit different than my usual upbeat/informational posts.

However, I think it's super necessary for me to be transparent with you about the struggles I go through: 1. so you can see that I'm a human, just like you and 2. hopefully inspire you to take control of your life. 

And after all, they say we teach what we need to learn. So I hope that by teaching you some of my tips, it reminds me to *actually* be consistent with these practices when I need a mood booster. Because as I always say, it's one thing to KNOW something, it's a totally different thing to actually IMPLEMENT it into your life. That's where the magic happens. 

Have you ever been in a funk that you can't seem to shake, no matter how many affirmations you repeat, bubble baths you take, gym sessions you have? It's like there's a dark cloud just looming over you, following you around. Sure, you're able to laugh and have a great time for certain periods and forget about it -- but then it comes back with a vengeance within a few days (or even a few hours)?

That's how I've felt, on and off for the past few months. Just 'off' -- for a lack of better words to describe it.

It's felt SO MF hard to feel positive, where that used to come naturally to me.

Self care has no longer been a luxury, but a NECESSARY part of my everyday routine. Otherwise, I'm in shambles. 

This is not to make you feel bad for me. Not in the least bit. Because I'm not here to leave you with a sob story about how I have anxiety and depression and how much my life sucks -- because my life is freaking amazing. 

But that's why I wanted to share this with you -- because if you've ever felt like you have EVERYTHING you could possibly need from the outside looking in to be grateful for, yet you still can't shake your tendency toward anxiety and depression -- I feel you. So deeply.  

While I can't cure or fix whatever's going on in your life, I CAN offer some tips to help you navigate this difficult season of your life. Here are some things I try to practice in my everyday life, especially when I'm deep into my own head and full of anxiety and sadness. I hope they help you, too!

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Photo taken by Toronto-based photographer Amin

1. Be introspective, but don't get stuck there. Focus on the solution instead of the problem.

Do you know WHY you're feeling anxious and depressed? Sometimes the answer is obvious -- you're feeling stuck in your job, you are unhappy in your relationship, whatever else is bothering you. 

But sometimes it's not as black-and-white. And sometimes even if it IS black and white, you're too scared to do anything about it, which keeps you stuck in the situation.

Whether you know exactly where your worries are coming from, or you need to do some digging, take some time to grab a journal, sit alone, keep your phone AWAY from you, drink some tea and just write. Journaling helps me get all of my thoughts and ideas out of my head and on to paper. I can't tell you HOW MANY times I've come up with solutions, ideas or just fresh perspectives because I took the time to write it out, as opposed to trying to figure out what to do in my head. 

And it's important to realize that after the introspection, it's OK to move on and focus on the solution. 

So often we get sucked into this whole, "what's wrong with me?" cycle, and we spend so much time focusing on figuring out what's wrong so that we can 'fix it.'

Once you have a general idea, start taking steps in the right direction. You don't need to see the whole big picture right now, just take the NEXT RIGHT STEP that your heart tells you to make.

One of my favorite quotes is:

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That means taking small, baby steps (even if they seem so small the won't even matter) because small steps DO matter. They're what add up to LARGER solutions and outcomes.

For example, if you realize you hate your job and want to leave, what's one thing you can do TODAY to take steps toward that outcome? You don't have to go in and quit immediately, but maybe you can apply for ONE job today. Maybe you can spruce up your resume. Maybe you can reach out to a friend who's a recruiter and see if there's anything in alignment with what you really want to do. Maybe you're just missing hobbies outside of work, which would make you happier AT work... so you take a dance class. Go to the gym. Do something that makes you HAPPY.

What's the one thing you can to today to move the needle toward your ultimate happiness? Go do that thing. 

2. Realize it's not always going to be this way.

Just as nature has habitual seasons, so do our lives. One of my favorite quotes is 'it's always darkest just before the dawn' which means if you feel you're at the lowest low right now, that means your breakthrough is coming. You just have to have faith that things won't always be this way, and as long as you keep proactively trying to better your life (showing up and doing the necessary work to be happy), brighter days are just around the corner.

Think back to a time in your life when it felt like you were NEVER going to be happy again: maybe it was a break up, death in the family, you lost your job. It seemed like such a dark hole that you could never crawl out of at the time. But some way, somehow, you are still standing here breathing today. 

3. Focus on even the SMALLEST things you can be grateful for. 

I write a list of things I'm grateful for every morning in my journal. 

It can be simple things, like: the feeling of my warm bed, my cup of coffee, waking up next to Mark and snuggling, the fact that I am ALIVE AND BREATHING -- which is a huge blessing we take for granted DAILY.

Whether you write a list in a journal or your phone, or simply take a few minutes in the morning to say them out loud -- gratitude is a game changer. Do it as often as you can: when your boss is being a d*ck at work, when you're stuck in traffic, just repeat, "I am grateful for a delicious breakfast. I am grateful that I HAVE a job to drive to. I am grateful to be safe in this traffic right now. I'm grateful that I can listen to audiobooks during traffic and get to spend a little quiet time by myself."

Change your perspective, and your life changes. 

4. SELF. CARE. Get out of your mind and into your body.

When I get depressed or anxious, most of the time it's because I've been neglecting self care. And while many people stigmatize self care as bubble baths, getting your nails done, having a spa day (which are all great ways to care for yourself, so I'm not knockin' on 'em)... sometimes it requires a deeper level than that. 

When's the last time you just sat by yourself and read a book or journaled? With NO distractions -- aka NO PHONE. When we keep distracting ourselves from our feelings by numbing out with our phones, social media, food, alcohol, etc. instead of facing how we really feel -- we're never able to truly take care of ourselves on a DEEP level because we don't even KNOW ourselves anymore.

Whenever I'm feeling anxious or depressed, I try to get out of my mind and into my body. If you have the tendency to overanalyze or overthink everything, this will be SUPER helpful for you, too. 

Getting into your body simply means doing something that grounds you and brings you back to the present moment. You can stretch, take full deep breaths with your eyes closed (I do this and hold my hand on my heart and say 'I trust you'... super powerful), go for a walk, dance around the house, do jumping jacks, do a workout. You can do pretty much anything that centers and grounds you, and brings you back to the present moment. 

Because everything we need to be grateful is right here. right now. One of my favorite quotes says:

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All we really have is NOW. Anxiety and depression do not exist here and now -- it's only when we're dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Remember that and try to get out of your mind & into your body to come back to NOW. 

BOOK RECO for living in the present: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Game Changer. 

5. Realize YOU ARE HERE FOR A REASON.

Many times when I feel anxious or depressed, it's because I forget my larger purpose in life. Our minds are super powerful, and I can get to some pretty damn dark places. My mind will try to convince me that "I'm worthless. Ugly. Not worthy of success. That no one even cares." And once you get on the roller coaster, it can be SUPER hard to get off and convince yourself otherwise. It's kind of scary, actually. 

When you have these thoughts, please realize they are not YOU. They are your inner mean girl, trying to steal the shine and keep you small so that you don't have to show up in this world in the powerful way you're meant to. Your mind and body want to stay safe and comfortable, which is why SO MANY people experience depression and anxiety when they're just about to (or just did) break through to higher levels of success in their relationships, jobs, or happiness. 

6. Do Things That Make You Happy.

This sounds so simple, and it is. But are you actually doing it?

And I'm not even talking about major life changes here (quitting a job you hate, leaving a relationship that's no longer serving you -- although those can be HUGE reasons that you're avoiding that make you anxious and depressed). I'm talking about the little stuff that seems insignificant but can brighten up our day in a MOMENT. 

For example: watching cat videos on YouTube, listening to a podcast that inspires you, listening to happy, upbeat music, DANCING around your living room, cooking, watching a comedy show. 

How often do you get sucked into a Netflix series that is downright depressing and makes you anxious? (I love you Breaking Bad, but guilty.) Or you listen to a podcast that you think is 'helping you' but you find that you're just comparing yourself to the person and thinking, "Why aren't I this successful yet?" or you listen to emo music which naturally is going to make you want to curl up in a ball in the bathroom and cry.

So often, we love sulking in our own misery (crying? listen to emo music! REALLY GET IT ALL OUT! lol)... but our mood can instantly shift if we stop FEEDING the depression, other depressing shiz! 

And really, can you dance like a crazy person, jump out and down, or listen to your favorite upbeat music, and frown or cry at the same time? DIDN'T THINK SO.


So there ya have it!

I'm hoping these 6 tips help you get out of a funk if you're in one, or prevent it from happening in the first place as much as possible.

I know depression and anxiety are a very real thing, and this post is not meant to make light of them and just say "HEY! GET HAPPY! IT'S THAT EASY!" If you do need to seek professional help, please, please, please do so. Asking for help is one of the strongest moves you can make in life.

But if you start implementing these things and your day is just a LITTLE bit brighter, I've done my job here. 

:)

LOVE YA TONS!

xo, TONS OF HAPPINESS

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GET MY BRAND NEW, TOTALLY FREE E-BOOK! 

If you liked this post, you'll love my the BRAND NEW e-book I just created: Fitness Is An Inside Job (5 Mindset & Habit Shifts You Need to Make RIGHT NOW to Radically Change Your Life.) It teaches you how to go from KNOWING what to do, to ACTUALLY doing it.

It's totally free! Get it here

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