Today’s guest poster is someone I constantly feel like is my blogging twin… but brunette.
Courtney of Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life and I always laugh about just how much we have in common from our love of food and fitness to our shared unrelenting desire to eat and bake copious amounts of sweets constantly.
Courtney is in a transitional period in her life and when I reached out to her about guest posting on PBF, I told her that I thought you guys might enjoy hearing about how her unexpected unemployment has affected her from a food and fitness standpoint, but also from a personal standpoint. Courtney keeps it real, but also upbeat. She’s basically the jam.
I hope you enjoy her guest post!
Guest Post: Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life
Hi! My name is Courtney and I’m “funemployed.” (<—It was Julie, actually, who coined that phrase for me!)
We’ll get to that part in just a second, but first let me quickly, and properly, introduce myself. My name is Courtney, and I blog over at Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life. Like Julie, I also have a huge passion for food, fitness, fashion, and baking…the two of us actually have quite a few things in common!
I am beyond excited to be helping Julie out with this guest post while she is enjoying her travels through Europe. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited to hear all about her recaps.
So as I mentioned before, I have recently become unemployed.
I am a teacher teaching fifth grade at the time. Being let go from any job is difficult, to say the least. And in this past month, I have dealt with a whole slew of emotions. One minute I would be crying my eyes out, feeling incredibly sorry for myself. The next minute, the sadness would subside and my anger would take over in full force.
Thankfully, now, my emotions have started to take more of a backseat and I’m slowly trying to settle in to my current situation. Yes, I’m unemployed. Is it the end of the world? Absolutely not. I have a wonderful husband who is always here to support me and a loving family who can always make me smile and will always be there to pick me up when I fall.
Nonetheless, I don’t want to depend on them forever. That’s not who I am. I consider myself a fairly independent woman, and I take pride in that. So while times may be tough now, I know I’m going to land on my feet, and I’m going to find myself exactly where I’m meant to be. I believe that everything happens for a reason… and now I’m on a mission to find it!
So now, for the real reason I wanted to write this post.
I know that there are many people out there who are in a similar situation. Maybe you’ve recently been laid off from a job. Maybe you’re a fresh college graduate who is simply having trouble finding a job. Whatever your situation might be, I’m sure we’ve all dealt with some form of having a little extra downtime. So for me, I’d like to share my thoughts on how losing my job (and the free time it has provided me) has effected the aspects of my life that I love the most: food, family, fitness, and fashion.
What I’ve noticed:
Yes, lots of cupcakes…even with ice cream frosting.
And my pants have noticed this too.
- I’m more willing to try meals that take a little more time.
- I’m a grazer/snacker. More often than not, I’m tempted to just graze throughout the afternoon, rather than sit down to an actual lunch. Without having a set lunch time, this is easy for me to do.
What I’m trying to work on:
- I’m going to attempt to cut my baking time down to 1-2 baked goods per week. If it’s more than that, then there’s got to be somewhere else the goods are going. They can’t stay in the house!
- Keep the extra snacks out of sight. Often times, I’ll roam through the kitchen, open up the cabinet, notice the box of Kashi crackers staring back at me, and grab a handful… or three. Keeping snacky foods to a minimum in the house should help curb my mindless snacking.
Like I said before, my family is wonderful, and they have been so supportive during this time. But things can also get a bit stressful. Having our income drastically cut from two down to one is not easy. My husband and I have had many “civilized adult discussions” regarding the situation and are still trying to figure things out. We’re both stressed, but we know we’ll work through it.
The one piece of advice I can give to anyone in a similar situation is to communicate. Be 100 percent open and honest about everything and remember that it’s okay to not see eye-to-eye on everything.
My husband is my realist and can be a bit of a pessimist… I’m more of a dreamer and a total optimist. Hey, I guess we balance each other out then, right?
What I’ve noticed:
- I have been able to incorporate more of a variety into my exercise routine.
- I immediately saw my extra free time as an opportunity to fit in more exercise.
- This eventually turned into an obligation. I figured that there was really no excuse not to exercise every day.
What I’m working on:
- Exercise should never feel like an obligation. As soon as it started to feel that way, it was no longer fun.
- Nobody says you have to workout everyday. In fact, you should take a rest day or two every now and then. Only you know what you’re capable of, and I realized that I am not capable of working out seven days a week.
- Keeping exercise FUN! I still hit up my gym for a couple BodyPump classes every week, along with a mix of cardio, yoga, and Pilates. Variety, for me, is what keeps me in the groove.
What I’ve noticed:
This, my friends, has gotten ugly…
- My arsenal of “cozies” has gotten more wear this past month than ever before.
- I have a dependable rotation of sweatpants, stretchy capris, t-shirts, and hoodies that have become my newest fashion friend. I feel like a scrub.
- I feel less compelled to style/wash my hair as often (probably a good thing).
- My usual morning routine has gotten completely out of whack…some days I don’t shower until noon. Other days, I don’t shower at all (shhhh, don’t tell anyone).
What I’m working on:
- Establishing a routine. After being so used to having one, it’s been really hard to adjust. But I know I feel better about my whole day when I have one in place.
- Showers are a must. Even if it’s not until late. My husband thanks me.
- Rotating in some more “regular” clothes every now and then, especially when I have errands to run. At least then, I have an excuse to not be slopping around in my favorite stretchy capris and Jay’s oversized sweatshirt.
- Taking advantage of certain events, such as Date Night, to get all gussied up.
My hope in sharing all of this with you is not to be a Debbie Downer, but to make light of a situation that can often be so daunting. Hopefully, you’re able to walk away from reading this being able to relate in some way or another.
Stressful situations happen to all of us, and if we let them, they can really become not only disruptive, but destructive. It’s how we handle these situations that allow us to strive, succeed, and be a better-rounded individual.
In the words of Catherine Pulsifer…
~ How we perceive a situation and how we react to it is the basis of our stress. If you focus on the negative in any situation, you can expect high stress levels. However, if you try and see the good in the situation, your stress levels will greatly diminish ~
Questions from Courtney
- How do you deal with stressful situations?
- Can you relate to anything from above?