Things I Love Thursday, healthy girl edition

Before I dive into all of the awesome things I'm currently loving, I want to post an update on my Leatherface situation: As per the suggestion of a Twitter friend, I took action against my tight, flaky skin by exfoliating like the world was ending and the only way to survive the impending Apocalypse was to have as few layers of skin on my face as possible.

The end result? A dramatic improvement! I'm stingy (read: too lazy to drive to Wal-Mart), so I made my own facial scrub with white granulated sugar and a smidgeon of water. Thanks to my ever-passionate relationship with Mixie, I always have an abundance of sugar in my pantry, so making my own scrub is green and thrifty! And even though I have incredibly sensitive skin, this white sugar scrub does nothing to agitate my face because there aren't any harsh chemicals or ingredients.

Added bonus: If you happen to get a little bit of sugar scrub in your mouth, you won't be mad.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my face returns to its naturally oily, zitty condition by next week.


Long-time readers know that health and wellness is very important to me, and I am guilty of putting a lot of emphasis on the physical aspects of that lifestyle. That's well and good (and incredibly necessary), but in my quest to be fit, I've lost sight of the most important (and generally the most overlooked) facet of overall wellnessyour mental and emotional health.

A healthy body means nothing without a healthy brain, and here are a few things that inspire me to be the happiest, most peaceful Courtney I can be:

1. Nothing fuels my feelings of inadequacy faster than reading posts from heath and wellness bloggers who put massive amounts of emphasis on their workouts and how many miles they run. Seeing women who run 10 miles every morning when not training for a race triggers my brain to think I'm not exercising enough, which is not good. In an effort to eliminate that temptation from my life, I've unsubscribed from several blogs I used to love and have instead filled my Google Reader with websites that do more than celebrate physical fitness. Lori from In The Equation writes an inspirational blog that chronicles her dramatic 200+ pound weightless and her new found love of life and herself. Yes, this blog does document her journey to being able to run half marathons, but In the Equation is about so much more than that! Lori has had the opportunity to empower women through her transformation and sings the praises of accepting the life God gave you.

2.) Outside the realm of Mario Kart, I'm not a big video gamer. If the game's not cutesy and colorful, I'm generally not that interested. But I do love brain-building games. Aside from reading a few books each month and writing this blog, I unfortunately don't do too much to keep my brain sharp. So the second I acquired my first smart phone, I immediately downloaded the free Andoku Sudoku 2 app. for Android. Clay and complete a few puzzles every night before bed with Clayton. (Depending on your smart phone and or/wireless carrier, there are several different free Sudoku apps on the market.)

3.) Working on a college campus means that I'm privy to some rather interesting conversations. Just the other day, I passed two girls who were deep in conversation and I overheard one of them exclaim, "I don't know why she put something that personal in a Facebook status. Seriously, just journal that s**t." I had to laugh at how eloquently she put that statement, but Nameless College Student was totally right. Do you remember your pink Lisa Frank diary with the tiny lock and key that you would furiously scribble in whenever your little brother was being a doo-doo head? What happened to that? Physical writing in a lost art form, but there is something vastly therapeutic about writing down your private thoughts. Assuming you hide your journal well (Yes, journal. Diaries are for babies.), your secret musing and feelings will never see the light of the day. They're for your eyes only. I've found that writing fake letters is a satisfying way to unleash anger and frustration. Now, I'm not saying that journals should ever take the place of talking to people we have issues with, but yelling at them privately in your journal is a great way to let off some steam before you try to talk like (hopefully) calm, rational adults.

4.) Laughter is not only my favorite way to bond with my husband, it's also rumored to be the best medicine. While chuckling at a silly joke or movie isn't necessarily a cure for what's got you down, a heartfelt belly laugh can literally turn a frown upside and be an instant mood-lifter. Did you know that laughing reduces tension and stress? It also lowers anxiety and can distract from physical aches and pains.That's a win-win!

What are some of your favorite ways to stay mentally fit?