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What Alaska Taught Me

Hello loves!

I wanted to thank everyone for joining me on the Unlocking Your Potential series! I had a blast writing it & hope y'all enjoyed it as much as I did. If y'all have any other suggestions for posts or series, feel free to message me and let me know! :)

Now, as some of y'all know, the other week I was in Alaska with my family for a vacation. It was absolutely gorgeous and so much fun to try new things like whale watching or hiking in a rainforest. And while the delicious food and amazing sights left an impact, there was something else about being in Alaska that I couldn't stop thinking about.

It was peaceful.

Now a large part of that was most likely a product of being in vacation mode and away from the hustle and stress of day-to-day life. But I think another part was being fully in nature and seeing the large mountain ranges, massive whales, and seemingly endless ocean.

A lot of us spend our lives mostly indoors, whether it's from being holed up in a windowless office, spending all our free time on social media or Netflix, or just feeling too busy for a quick break outside. I know I've certainly been guilty of this.

It's easy to get into a routine and become blind to our own feelings. Full disclosure: Between grad school and now the current situation of job-hunting, I've been feeling a bit stressed out.

Actually, more like a lot stressed out.

In fact, I was so stressed out most of the time that I stopped even noticing how stressed I was. A high state of anxiety and feeling like I was behind on an invisible timeline became my new normal.

It wasn't until we were in the middle of the ocean, looking at giant glaciers that have existed years before me and will last many years after, that I realized how stressed I actually felt. How did the wilderness of Alaska make me realize that?

Because when I was fully immersed in the nature surrounding me, instead of thinking of all the job applications or cover letters I needed to be doing, I felt so much lighter and no longer stressed.

Now I'm not saying that 'being one with nature' will automatically cure your stress or anxiety. It's also not possible for the majority of people to leave their office jobs or city lives and move into the great outdoors (a girl can dream). But a break-- a moment-- can make a huge difference in helping you reshift your mindset.

See, the fresh air or fluffy bears weren't the reason I stopped feeling so stressed. It was a combination of seeing how wide the world is and how much bigger life is. It was being reminded of the fact that I wasn't created for the sole purpose of having a 9-5 job, decompressing on weekends, and hitting repeat. Life is so much bigger and wonderful than that.

Not to be cheesy, but look at the interconnectedness of nature ('Circle of Life' anyone?) and how everything works together. Watch a pod of whales and their strong bonds with their family and friends. The simple, carefree play of otters who are having fun just for the sake of it.

I think we get so caught up in our routines of life that we forget what we were actually made for.

So take the time to step outside and inhale that fresh air.

Slow down and watch the clouds.

Tell a loved one you care for them.

And take advantage of this amazing wide world we have.

You only have one life-- make the most of it.

Love y'all!

"When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor."--Psalm 8:3-5

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