Posted in Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Mental Health, Notes, Potential and Worth, Power, Self-Care, Self-Talk

SWT 100 Notes Note 40: Peace and Forgiveness

Although the year just began and we’re only in the second month, I’ve been faced with the most difficult challenges to date. From the toughest mental health battles to realizing my insecurities and toxic traits, this year is showing me to put my peace first.

I forgive myself for accepting what I don’t deserve. I move forward in claiming and proclaiming my worth and value.

Realization: I am worth more than I settle for.

Posted in Defying Shadows Articles, Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Mental Health, Other Publications, Potential and Worth, Power, Self-Care, Self-Talk

Defying Shadows Article: How to Overcome Comparing Ourselves to Others

“Have you ever wanted to be taller? Or maybe felt less than because your grades weren’t the best in the class? Ever felt yourself changing in ways that weren’t really like you to fit into a crowd? Comparing ourselves to others and stunting our sense of self-worth to be more like the people around us harms our views of who we are. The more we compare and strive to be what we are not, the more we lose what we are and who we want to become.

How do we shift comparing ourselves to others to accepting and growing in self-love?”

A gratitude list is a list of things, places, people, situations, or traits about ourselves that we are grateful for. Creating a gratitude list helps us to reflect and think through what’s good about our experiences and life overall. Building a habit of gratitude increases our awareness, knowledge, and point of contact when we find ourselves comparing our lives with others.

See full article here:

How to Overcome Comparing Ourselves to Others

Posted in Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Love, Mental Health, Other Publications, Potential and Worth, Power, Self-Care, Self-Talk

Building and Maintaining Personal Boundaries

What is a Boundary?

A boundary is a limit or rule we set for ourselves to honor our inner and outer well-being. Whether that boundary is to protect ourselves, to reserve energy, resources and money, to stop ourselves from the urge to continuously give or “save” another, or simply to respect our personal goals and self-worth, it’s essential to build and maintain personal boundaries.  

Personal boundaries are what separate us from giving too much of ourselves to things, people, and situations that do not serve our growth and progress. While it may appear ideal to be able to do everything and anything without limits, we cannot and should not exhaust ourselves of our personal needs.  We are responsible for what we allow. Whether in relationships (familial or romantic), with friends, at work, or anywhere where we are interacting with others, practicing boundaries helps us to be in tune with ourselves and our values.      

Something to Remember: We are not perfect and cannot do everything or please everyone at the expense of our mental, physical, or emotional well-being. 

How can we, therefore, set boundaries that will help us prioritize our needs?  

Self-Awareness and Boundary Setting

Increasing self-awareness is an important step when building and maintaining personal boundaries. The more we know who we are and what we are okay with, the more we can establish and sustain boundaries that serve us best. Understanding the balance between too much, too little, and the right amount of energy and effort can push us in the right direction in creating healthy boundaries.      

Here are some questions you can ask yourself that will help you reflect and understand whether you need to set stricter boundaries:

  • How do I feel?
  • How would I rather feel?
  • Should I say no?
  • Do I have time to spare?
  • Does this make me feel uncomfortable?
  • Is this benefiting me? 
  • Am I overexerting myself?
  • Do I need to do this? 
  • Do I want to do this?
  • Can I do this?
  • Do I need time for myself? 
  • What is okay/not okay for me to do/say?
  • When do I speak up? 
  • Does something need to end? 
  • What can I change?
  • What do I have control over? 

Getting into the habit of asking questions is not only a good idea for self-awareness, but also for increasing confidence. Becoming reflective in understanding what we deserve and in what we will tolerate will also aid in a better understanding of self-worth. 

How Boundaries Help Strengthen our Mental Health

Boundaries allow us to build a stronger connection with ourselves. Understanding who we are will help us to become more centered and mindful of what is happening around us and to us.  Stern boundaries will also help us to prioritize self-care, become more direct and open as well as vocal about our needs, beliefs and values.  Being able to say no and express how we feel will give us the autonomy we need to improve our sense of self-worth.  We will feel more comfortable expressing ideas and thoughts without shame, embarrassment, or hesitation. 

Healthy boundaries can look like saying no when necessary, balancing self-care with work, cutting ties with toxic people and situations, speaking up without feeling like a burden, putting your needs before anyone else’s unapologetically, accepting that you cannot change or save anyone and not trying to, and giving yourself permission to feel and reflect without the opinion of others.  

Affirmations to help Maintain and Sustain Positive Personal Boundaries:

  1. I set standards for myself and will stick to them.
  2. I know who I am and what is good for me.
  3. I understand my personal boundaries.
  4. I honor myself and my boundaries.
  5. I have a right to my feelings.  
  6. I can firmly state my boundaries.
  7. I am confident in my ability to set boundaries with others.
  8. I will say no when necessary.
  9. I am safe.
  10. I am in control of my life.

Next Steps and Final Thoughts

As we move into a space of self-acceptance and self-awareness remember to honor your boundaries and give yourself permission to grow and reflect on your needs. Continuously grow in your boundaries in love and compassion for yourself.   


Posted in Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Love, Mental Health, Other Publications, Potential and Worth, Power, Self-Care, Self-Talk

Building a Brand: Creative Self-Care and Writing to Heal

This is my writing story. How it started…

Finding My Voice: SparklyWarTanks

I started blogging in 2015 following a class project in my senior year of college. Unaware of the impact writing will have on my mental health, I maintained a steady habit. When I felt anxious, depressed or even inspired and ready to take over the world, I wrote something. No matter the circumstance or situation, I continued to write. I called this new ignited excitement for writing SparklyWarTanks, a phrase that combines the ideas of being “pretty and ”together” with also being at ”war” and ”struggling.”

SparklyWarTanks became an extension of me⁠, who I wanted to become and the perspective I wished to build. My everyday writing changed and transformed into therapy writing; writing about pain, acceptance, identity, and struggle. I wrote to feel free, to challenge myself, and to improve my mental wellness. Writing gave me strength, peace, and my own voice.  

Finding My Voice: Asking Important Questions 

As SparklyWarTanks progressed during the first year, themes and patterns emerged in my writing style. I began to write mental health articles along with my motivational and creative content. Eager to build a more stable and workable sense of self, I felt refreshed when my imagination flooded with ideas. 

To keep the content flowing, I often asked myself important questions. Whether these questions were related to me directly, or for my target audience to grapple with (mostly young adults, especially women, figuring themselves out), my goal was to challenge notions of self-development and self-acceptance. I wanted to construct a progressive view of growth. 

Some of the questions were, but not limited to:

  • How do I feel?
  • How do I want/deserve to feel?
  • Who am I? 
  • Who am I becoming?
  • What do I want to achieve? 

Through writing, I began to create and mold myself while also advocating for a communal and collective sense of awareness for my readers. As a community, what do we need to do to improve how we see ourselves? I wanted to help others while also helping myself. I wanted my growth to help others grow as well.   

Continuing in the present…

Writing and Creative Expression: Creativity and Mental Health 

Progressing in my writing craft and finding who I want to be through my projects and perspective is nothing short of soul-satisfying.  Writing and creative expression not only helps me build a new perspective on growth, vulnerability, and self-awareness but also helps me manage my depressive and anxious symptoms as well. The more I write and ask myself important questions, the more I’m able to identify my t riggers and heal through them.


Different genres and approaches I experiment with in my writing include: 

  • Affirmations/Declarations
  • Motivational Quotes
  • Bulletins
  • Notes
  • Poetry 
  • Activities 
  • Challenges 

Topics such as self-talk, self-care, self-love, self-worth, power, reflection and potential guide my views and shift how I think, especially during the tough days.  I write to think through what I believe; I write to build and create my truth. Mental

health and self-development now connect with one another. How I want to feel includes taking care of myself physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

Are you thinking of starting a writing habit?

Next Steps: You Can Write Too

Writing can be for all of us. Whether for fun, to vent, or to get your thoughts onto something and out of your head, writing can help! Writing can be whatever you make of it. If it’s to share or to keep to yourself, whatever you create is something to be proud of.

Consider these questions when starting to write:

  • Why am I writing?
  • What do I want to write about?
  • What do I want to say?
  • Who do I want to say it to?
  • What overall message do I want to portray?   

Need help? You can check out my SkillShare class to get started!

Posted in Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Mental Health, Potential and Worth, Power, Self-Care, Self-Talk

Unpacking Your Emotions

Allow yourself to feel even when it gets uncomfortable. Experience your emotions. Understand what is happening and grow in self-awareness.

When experiencing uncomfortable emotions ask yourself questions:

  • What am I feeling?
  • Why am I feeling this?
  • Have I felt like this before?
  • Do I need some help processing this emotion?
  • Who can I ask for help?
  • Is creativity helpful? (Should I write this down? Maybe draw it out? Make a collage?
  • Is this emotion influencing my behavior? Is this behavior helpful or harmful?
  • What does self-care look like for me when I feel this emotion?
  • How can I increase my mindfulness when feeling this emotion?
  • What are my next steps?

**Question graphic! Sticker set will be available in my Etsy shop.**

Experiencing certain emotions can be scary, but allowing yourself to feel shows you how best to support yourself or ask for support.

Feel and not dismiss, reject, or ignore how your body is reacting to your environment and experiences. You can learn so much about yourself by reflecting on what is happening.

Practice self-compassion by giving yourself permission to feel.

Posted in Confessions, Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Potential and Worth, Power, Reflection, Self-Care, Self-Talk

Hi, I’m Nina and I’m a Highly Sensitive Person

I’m the HSP

Hi, I’m Nina and I’m a highly sensitive person. I’ve hated this about me just about my whole life. The emotions, the intensity, the sensitivities to loud sounds, really bright lights, and too much outside stimulation. I was the “you’re always crying” kid, the perfectionist, and the overthinker; I can overthink just about anything.

It took me till just now, 25 years old, to learn and accept my sensitivities. I feel things so deeply and wish I can turn it off sometimes. I wish I can have long days, hold 2 jobs, and socialize with a large group for hours, but I can’t. Not me.

My sensitivities get me into trouble sometimes. When im overstimulated, I isolate myself to sleep and to recharge…but sometimes I tend to do this in weird moments without a proper farewell to the ones around me.

I’m the Introvert

Hi again, I’m Nina and I’m a highly sensitive person AND I’m also an introvert. I can be on my own for hours crafting and creating things and that gives me so much joy. I’m also quiet, except around 4 people.

My sensitivities have given me some superpowers too, like empathy, even though it feels like a curse sometimes. I feel what others feel and wish I can take their pain away and mine too.

Battles that Come

A mixture of being an HSP, an introvert, and an empath comes with difficulties, though. I’m always in my head, worrying about something, which makes it difficult to think straight sometimes. Because of this, I battle symptoms of depression, a whole lot of anxiety, and panic attacks.

So, self-care is important for me. Drinking lots of tea, minding my breathing, and writing my thoughts out are my favorite go-to remedies.

So, what now?

Well, that was a lot to confess. For those parts of me that I’ve hated for so long, I accept them and welcome new methods of self-care that makes life less intense. I acknowledge my sensitivity and honor who I am. I no longer take it as a burden, but as a superpower, an intrinsic part of me. Im different and that’s okay.

*HSP Sensitivity sticker will be available mid to late December in my Etsy shop! Check

To my fellow HSP’s, it’s okay to be sensitive and have different needs. We deserve to be understood too. I know the struggle and feel for every one of you. Let’s prioritize and be gentle with ourselves. We’re important too.

Posted in Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Mental Health, Potential and Worth, Power, Self-Care, Self-Talk, The Mighty

A Mighty Mindfulness Exercise: Pause

Ever wanted a moment to yourself? Ever wished you could push a “pause” button on life when you feel overwhelmed? I can relate!

I’ve recently learned a mindfulness technique that can help when you feel overcome by negative thinking. Instead of spiraling into a tough place mentally, pause. Mindfulness techniques such as this can help to build self-awareness as well as practice the art of acknowledging without spiraling.

Here are four steps you can take:

#1: Once you witness a negative thought entering your mind, pause. Say it out loud if necessary. Interrupt the thought.

#2: Acknowledge the thought. Notice why you’re thinking it.

#3: Take a deep breath.

#4: Witness the thought as just a thought and let it pass. Do not give in or allow it to shift your perspective.

The idea is to learn how to “pause” at the moment a negative thought is introduced and build mindfulness around self-care and self-awareness. Whether it’s saying “pause” out loud or manifesting a pause in our actions, the act of pausing teaches us to manage our thoughts in hopes of creating a more workable outlook on our lives and experiences.

What’s one thought you can pause today?

“Pause” is an activity/graphic I’ve created for The Mighty!

You can see the community engagement post here.

You can also find this graphic as a sticker in my shop!

Posted in Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Mental Health, Potential and Worth, Power, Self-Care, Self-Talk

Mental Health Hack: Be on a Continuous Journey to Higher Consciousness

Build a relationship with yourself and those around you. Continue on to a journey of awareness and acceptance. Build perspective and allow yourself the privilege of the present moment. Move on in patience.

Construct a perception that shapes a higher consciousness. How you think and respond impacts your reality. Create calmness and boundaries prioritizing yourself in self-care.

Learn to love yourself, build empathy, and be grateful.

Open your mind, reflect on your experiences, and feel.

Be gentle with yourself and your journey. Absorb what you need from life lessons but also filter out what no longer serves you.

Give yourself permission to move forward without regret and guilt.

Be open to change and to receiving help.

Build community.

Forgive yourself.

Allow self-love to guide your decisions. Grow in yourself. Get to know who you are. Accept that you live on purpose; that you have a purpose. Open your eyes to something different then you’re used to, something better.

Become uncomfortable staying in the same place/situation. Move. Change. Shift.

Strive for something higher, something soul-satisfying.

Rise up.

Posted in Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Love, Mental Health, Potential and Worth, Power, Quotes, Self-Care, Self-Talk

Affirmation of Love

I accept that even though life may bring rejection, love will remain present and flowing into my life.

Despite the pain that may arise from wounds of abandonment, love remains present in my life.

As I grow into an adult and I grow in self-awareness, love will become more apparent.

The more I grow into who I am, self-love will also bloom as I do.

No matter the circumstance, I will always remember to affirm and acknowledge that love will always be present; both inside and outside of myself.

Posted in Defying Shadows Articles, Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Mental Health, Other Publications, Potential and Worth, Power, Self-Talk

Defying Shadows Article: Understanding the Strengths in Utilizing Your Emotions

“The middle ground when discussing and exploring the plethora of emotions is where we can build and accept our ability to feel. We are not “too much” or “too little” of anything and saying yes to our emotions is ok. Instead of being ashamed or embarrassed, we instead slowly begin to give ourselves permission to feel without judgment or ridicule.”

Allow yourself to feel.

Article Link: Understanding the Strengths in Utilizing Your Emotions