3 Signs You’re The Toxic Person in Your Life and How To Fix It

I’m not one of those people who believe in “good vibes only” or only focusing on the positive things in life. Being a constantly positive person is hard and, in my opinion, impossible for most people. As humans we aren’t perfect and there are times when we’re going to have a shitty day and be in a shitty mood. This is fine. However, there is a difference between having a bad day or week and being the toxic person in your life or the lives of others. As someone who has gone through these moments at earlier times in my life, I’ve discovered 3 signs that will tell you if you are the toxic person and how to fix it if you are.

1. You are always angry/in a bad mood and take it out on others

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As I said earlier, it is perfectly okay to have a bad mood for a day or week. Some people even have bad months depending on what they are going through in life. What’s not okay is constantly being in a bad mood and taking this out on those around us. Nobody wants to be friends with the person who is always angry, never has anything nice to say, and acts like an asshole to most people around them. Even if you disguise it in constant sarcasm, slick comments, passive aggressive behavior, or whatever else, it’s annoying and toxic to others and yourself.

How to fix it: Find out why you are so angry

Unless you suffer from a disorder that makes your emotions not at your own will, most people experience another emotion before anger. Figure out what emotion(s) you’re trying to mask in anger. Are you sad? Are you hurting? Is there a trauma you don’t want to deal with? Ask yourself these questions and similar ones to find out the root of your anger. This is the only way you can address this anger and move on to a life not plagued by it.

2. You’re jealous of others and their accomplishments

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Being a hater is one of the most toxic things to your well-being. I don’t mean the haters everyone swore they had in high school but a genuine hater who hates to see others do well. A hater is someone who constantly hates on others’ magnificent accomplishments. Do you find yourself getting jealous of strangers or even worse…your “friends?” Do you hear about people’s new promotions at work or their new PR at the gym and find yourself looking for a way to cut them down or “humble them?” If you’re this type of person you’re toxic to yourself and others and people will definitely pick up on it even if you never say anything out loud. They will stop telling you the good things that happen to them because you’ll always be known as somebody who is a hater and has nothing good to say when people share their accomplishments.

How to fix it: Realize you are an adequate being and what is for you won’t pass you by

Many times when we try to dull someone else’s sparkle it’s because we are insecure about our own shine. As people we have insecurities or feelings of inadequacy sometimes. What’s important is that we don’t let these feelings consume us so much that we can’t be happy for the next person. Another reason people become haters is because they want what someone else has. There are very few things that are in such scarcity in the world that you need to covet those who have them. What is meant for you is FOR YOU so long as you take the steps needed to achieve it. Hating on the next person won’t get you any closer to your goals. Aspire to be inspired by those who are we’re you want to be and learn from them instead of wishing them bad.

3. You only call/text your friends to talk about yourself, your problems, or other people

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There is nothing that toxic people are better at than maintaining one-sided friendships that only benefit them. If you’re constantly reaching out to others with no intentions of seeing how they are doing, you might be the toxic friend. I’m using the term friend loosely here. But seriously, if you only think to hit people up when you’re going through some shit, they aren’t your friend…they are your therapist and honestly that’s not fair to them. This isn’t the same thing as a friendship where the energy and effort is mutual and you both help each other through hard times. This is you not checking in with someone unless you need something from them and they are helping you in some way…it’s toxic. If you only reach out to a friend to talk badly about other people that’s toxic as well and not good for either of you. Only equally toxic people want friends who never have anything good to say about others.

How To Fix It: Get a therapist and a journal

One way to make sure you’re not the friend who only keeps in contact to talk about the shit going on in your life is to have someone whose job it is to let you vent to them. Therapy is often looked down upon (especially in communities of color) but if you have this tendency you could probably use someone with the proper skills and knowledge to help you through these times. Another way to master your emotions and feelings is to write about them. I know I say this all the time but it works, okay? Ever since I’ve started journaling I have become better at dealing with my emotions. This can help you too. Also, if you find yourself consistently gossiping about others, you need to figure out what insecurities you are trying to hide by doing so. As I mentioned earlier everyone has insecurities and it’s okay but talking badly about others won’t make anything within ourselves better. Find the problems within yourself and handle them.


I believe that everyone goes through a phase or two where they are the toxic person in their own life as well as the lives of others. What’s important is being able to recognize this and taking the steps needed to check ourselves and deal with our problematic behaviors. The first step is awareness so if any of these signs rang true for you I hope you take my suggestions. Help yourself live a peaceful non-toxic life. You are in charge with how you deal with life so take the steps towards happiness not bitterness.

3 Books I’m Re-Reading For A More Fulfilling Year

One thing I have enjoyed in my post-grad life is the being able to go back to leisurely reading. When I was a kid I absolutely adored reading for fun. As I got older school started assigning me so many books that reading for fun just wasn’t a priority anymore. After I graduated I started reading more and I actually made it a goal to read 2 books a month in 2017. While I underestimated how difficult that would be working 2 jobs and studying for the LSAT I was able to read 10 new books! Some of these books had a greater impact on me than others so I decided I would re-read them this year to refresh myself on what they taught me or what I liked about them.

My current favorite genres are self-help/self-development and poetry so the books on this list will be fall into one of those categories.

  1. Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy

This book is one of the shorter books I read last year but make no mistake, it teaches you a lot in less than 200 pages. What I really enjoyed about Tracy’s book is that it does not have any fluff and gets straight the point. Often times in self-development books they take many many words to say something that could be effectively understood in less words. Tracy does this and that’s why I decided I must re-read this book again just because it was so good at teaching me something. I honestly couldn’t put the book down and finished it in only 2 days. It’s based on careers and business but you definitely can take the concepts and apply them to any area in life. If you need help to leave procrastinating as a thing in the past, check this book out!

2. Salt by Nayyirah Waheed

This was my favorite poetry book that I read this year. My only regret reading this book was that I hadn’t read it sooner. This book was on my wishlist for quit sometime and I barely got around to reading it sometime in the middle of last year. I was severely late to the Nayyirah Waheed party but now I have seen the light. Her style of writing is beautiful and I especially enjoy how her poems are simple yet contain so much emotion that we can feel as readers. The topics range from relationships to self-love and white supremacy and she tackles all of these artistically and with raw emotion. If you only have time to read one poetry book this year I would recommend Waheed’s Salt and I can’t wait to re-read it this year.  I’m also excited to pick up her other book, Nejma.

3. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

I really enjoyed reading this book. I think Sincero does a good job of making herself appealing to younger aged millennials like me by writing about self-help in a very relatable and basic lanuage. I found her book hilarious because she has a knack for cursing and anyone who knows me knows that’s my MO as well. I found this book a little bit more exciting than other books of its genre. Sincero is very good at narrating her life experiences and teaching concepts from them. While there were some parts of it that I didn’t necessarily agree with, (I do not like the way some modern self-help books discuss things like depression) the overall concepts of the book were extremely helpful for me during my post-grad journey last year. This is definitely a book to pick up if you want to get into self-help books and have a wild sense of humor!

Honorable Mentions of Books I Might Re-read

  • The Alchemist
  • The Four Agreements
  • The Fifth Agreement

These are books I would recommend for everyone. I will probably re-read The Alchemist and only skim through The Agreements Books, only because I re-read them last year and reading them once. Reading a good book can truly be therapeutic and good for the mind. Just because you aren’t in school anymore doesn’t mean that you can keep learning and expanding your mind. This year I hope to expand out of my self-help/self-development and poetry comfort zone and truly expand my horizons.

What are some books you are re-reading this year and highly recommend? What are some books you’ve never read before and plan to read this year? Let me know in the comments!

*This post contains affiliate links.

How I Chose My Word for 2018

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Now that we are a week into the New Year, we should be well aware if our New Year’s Resolutions are realistic or overwhelming. Everyone is different and I understand that. I had every intention of accomplishing all of my New Year’s Resolutions last year and honestly I only accomplished 2 or 3 of them, which is still good. The one way I was able to accomplish what I did accomplish was by choosing a word of the year. While the practice of making New Year’s Resolutions is common, that doesn’t mean that it is the most effective of achieving your goals. Another method I used to reach my goals last year was choosing a word to guide me throughout my various goals of the year. No lists, no action plans, just one simple word I could keep in mind. I believe this was one thing that really helped me reach more of my goals and tasks then previous year.

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My word for last year was MANIFEST. I thought long and hard about which word I was going to choose before I made my final decision. I chose the word Manifest because I was guilty of over-planning and not taking enough actions related to my plans in 2016. I had launched my blog but wasn’t making it a priority, I had started taking classes for the LSAT but wasn’t actually sure if I wanted to take it or not, thus wasting my money, I had wanted to do a bunch of things I planned but didn’t do. The word manifest is defined on Merriam Webster’s dictionary as “to make evident or certain by showing or displaying.” I wanted to make all of my goals certain by displaying behaviors that would allow me to achieve them. So that’s what I did. I studied diligently for the LSAT and got a 160 (in the 80th percentile) which is wayyy better than I thought I’d do. I started posting on my blog more and learning skills to take it to the next level in the next year through webinars and reading articles. I fell short in the area of weight loss, but I did gain the knowledge to allow me to achieve those goals this year.  I also was able to come up with my word of this year by figuring out what I was lacking last year that made me fall short in a couple of areas.

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My word for 2018 is DISCIPLINE. After reflecting on what did and didn’t accomplish this in 2017, I realize that the thing that helped me do well on the LSAT and what I was lacking to reach the levels I wanted to for my blog and weight loss journey was all the same thing, DISCIPLINE. I can plan all I want but if I don’t have the discipline to do what I’ve planned or said I’m going to do then it won’t work out. I changed my phone screensaver to a quote I found on google that reads “discipline is doing what needs to be done, even if you don’t want to do it” and I feel that was one of my biggest weaknesses last year. I only did things when I wanted to do or when they were convenient and that is no way to take anything to the next level.

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This doesn’t have to be the way you choose your word. I was telling one of my coworkers about this practice and she chose the word Patience because she decided that would be a guiding principle that would help her the most in this upcoming year. What’s important is that YOUR WORD is chosen by YOU after reflecting on your principles, values, and goals for this year. Once you do this you can take out the sense of overwhelm with long lists and just ask yourself “does this action align with my guiding word for this year or bring me closer to my goals?” If it doesn’t, you know you might need to make a better decision. It won’t be easy at first, but it might be easier for you than keeping a laundry list of resolutions and things you don’t want to do this year.

So get out there, reflect, and choose your guiding word for 2018!

Did you have a word or two in mind when you read this? Leave your word(s) in the comments and tell me why you chose it!

 

 

My First Time Running A 5K

When I was in college one of the annual events my sorority would do was the Breast Cancer 5K walk/run and we always walked it as a group that would eventually spilt up into smaller groups due to different paces of we all walked. I always wanted to try to run it but I was never in good shape enough shape (so I thought) until maybe my last semester of college when the 5K had already passed. I also have a sorority sister who was runs 5K, 10K, Half Marathons, and everything else. Seeing her train for these and reach her goals inspired me even more and this year I added “run an entire 5K” to my bucketlist. 


My first 5K was pretty cool! The 5K I chose was the Sugar Rush. When I was picking a 5K to run in December (because the LSAT would have my attention until Dec 2nd) it was between this one and the Resolution 5K. Sugar Rush just happened to be really close to where I live and I was familiar with the location so I went with that one. I’m glad I did! While I didn’t run the whole thing (I definitely walked/jogged more than I ran), I never stopped moving and I can say that is a big step up for where I have been health and fitness wise throughout these past years. 


The Sugar Rush 5K was cute because some enthusiastic runners dressed up as different candy-themed costumes. Lowkey, they were #RunningGoals. I decided if I do this one next year I want to dress up too. The thing I loved about the pre-race and post-race is that everybody was in such a good mood. I mean I know exercise creates endorphins but still…I haven’t that many people happy all at once as far back as I can remember. I even made a new friend after the race. Eveybody was just there to handle their 5K and enjoy themselves.


I originally wanted to run with someone but I have this thing about not liking to run or hike in partners/groups when I’m out of shape. I hate feeling like people have to wait on me when I need a break. That being said, I ran it by myself. Running by myself was actually quite therapeutic. It allowed me to have me-time and engage with nature. One challenge of running by myself is I could have totally walked the whole thing if I wanted to and nobody would know. I’m a woman of integrity so I did run whenever I could but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted haha. The race was quite interesting because at each mile we were given a full-sized chocolate bar and water. I left with a Twix, Reeses, and collected my medal after crossing the finish line and being given chocolate covered pretzels, one mini-donut, a chewy bar, and a candy cane. I didn’t eat it all but instead saved some of it for my family. 


All and all, I’m happy I was able to do this 5K even if I didn’t run the entire thing. I now know that if I can do it without training, I will only get better as I train for next year. I have now made it a goal to run one 5k every month of 2018. I will be tracking my progress on instagram with my hashtag #MaraRunsMoreThanHerMouth so keep an eye out for my posts on there. 
What are some health + fitness goals you have for 2018? Let’s talk about em in the comments below! 

Things I Do For Self-Care When I’m Broke

Due to the Holidays, Finals, and the New Year all being within the same two week time span, the end of the year can be one of the most stressful times in the year. If you practice Holidays that celebrate gift-giving, this time can also be a time that breaks the bank as well. This often leads to having to put our needs and wants on the back burner. Self-care is a trending topic and I’m all here for it. However, I don’t think that self-care has to necessarily require us to pay for a pedicure or face mask, or even buy anything at all. In this post I will be discussing 5 things I do for self-care that are completely FREE yet beneficial to my well-being.

  1. Go Outside and Ground Myself

So the art of grounding yourself can be defined differently by everyone but for the sake of this blog I’m talking about grounding myself with the earth. The most effective way to do this for me is by standing barefoot in sand (or grass now that I don’t live in San Diego close to the beach) and doing breathing exercises. It’s kind of like meditating but you are standing up. I love to ground myself because it reminds me that I’m part of something much bigger than myself and shifts my perspective on everything, even my problems.

  1. Turn Off My Phone For A Day (or a few hours)

As a blogger and a millennial I will say that one stereotype that I often fall into is that I’m always on my phone. As a matter of fact, I’m usually on my phone majority of the time I’m awake unless I’m at work. Lately I’ve been practicing leaving my phone in another room and just being content with sitting and doing nothing or reading a book in silence. Taking a break from technology is a good way to take care of ourselves.

  1. Cleaning and Decluttering My Space(s)

Okay so I don’t know about you all but as I’ve grown over the years I realize that if my space is a mess, it’s usually a reflection of my life at the time. Whether it’s my room, desk at work, kitchen, or whatever else if there is mess and clutter there simply cleaning it up can be a great morale booster and one of the best-practices of self-care (if you’re not the type to get stressed out by cleaning).

  1. Listen To Nature Sounds

Ever since I was a baby the sound of water has always made me feel at peace. My mom used to have to run the tub or faucet just to get me to fall asleep. As a former San Diego resident one of my favorite things to do used to be just going out to the beach and night and listening to the ocean waves. If you can do this in person it is awesome but there are also videos on YouTube that have these sounds as well. My personal favorite thing is this app I downloaded called Tide. It has recordings of different sounds of nature from forests to my personal favorite, rain, and other things in between. When I listen to these I almost instantly feel better and more at peace and relaxed.

  1. Get a Good Night’s Sleep (and make it a habit)

Honestly, this is something I struggle with. I should always be doing this but life sometimes gets hectic and nights with only 4 or 5 hours of sleep happen. If this is the life that you also typically lead find a way to get a few nights of good rest. There are few things better than waking up from an ample amount of sleep. Making sure you are well rested is one of the best ways to take care of yourself, your body, and your mind. If this is not possible I also encourage naps. In college even a 15 minute power nap had a drastic effect on my day.

While charcoal masks, online shopping, and eating at your favorite restaurant can be good ways to practice self-care, they are always free and feasible. All of these tips can be utilized at any point during your day. I hope that you are able to practice these free self-care tips and they transform your physical and mental well-being.

What do you do when you need to practice self-care but you have to spend your money elsewhere? Let me know in the comments!

2 Things You Must Do Now For A Successful New Year

Towards the end of the year EVERYBODY and they mama wants to tell you what you need to do before the New Year. Trust me, I get it. I listen to a lot of podcasts (A LOT) and a majority of them have told me what I need to do to get my sh*t together for 2018. BUT SERIOUSLY, if you don’t do anything else, these next 2 things I’m about to tell you will help you set the momentum for 2018. These are literally the most thought provoking yet simple things that will get you on track for having one of the best years of your life and you HAVE to do them before next year. I actually think you should do them now before November is over.

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  1. Write Down Your Wins of This Year (and continue to do so, forever)

The idea for this one I got from one of my most favorite podcasts, Behind The Brilliance by Lisa Nicole Bell. (sidenote: check out this podcast, seriously! Lisa Nicole Bell is so knowledgeable and gifted at telling you what you need to hear while being funny as hell and relatable) Anyways, on one of her most recent episodes titled “8 for 2018”, one of her tips was to track your wins in the New Year, every week. If you’re like me, when you first try to think of your “wins” for this year, your mind goes blank. You might still have credit card debt even though you said you were going to pay it off (guilty) or you didn’t hit that weight loss goal you set back in January (also guilty), BUT I guarantee even if you had your roughest year yet, you still have some wins you can write down. If you’re reading this I’ll give you a free one. In all the craziness that has happened this year a solid WIN would be “I survived this year so far!” Honestly, as someone who has lost two people in my family this year, I’m so grateful to be alive and able to pursue my passions and dreams. Your WINS don’t have to be large scale. They can be as simple as you finished reading a new book that taught you something new, or you fell in love with yourself. Think of the small things that you didn’t give yourself credit for this year and WRITE THEM DOWN. I personally believe November is an excellent month to do this because 1. It allows you to see all of the greatness you’ve accomplished so far 2. It motivates you to finish this year out strong. 3. It helps you keep up the positive energy going into 2018. That being said, you should go ahead and write those WINS down, NOW!

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  1. Write Down Your Goals for 2018 (yes, already!)

Now if you’ve been following my blog for a while you know I am totally the person who starts thinking about what I want to get done the following year in November before that New Year’s Eve. That being said, I encourage everyone to write down their goals for the New Year NOW! Not tomorrow, not next week, not New Year’s Eve drunkenly on a bar napkin, RIGHT NOW. Procrastination is the enemy of progress so the sooner you start writing down those goals, the sooner you can start writing down the steps you need to take to reach those goals. One you write the steps down you can start taking those steps…you guessed it, THIS YEAR! This process is all about establishing our good habits and getting some trial and error out of the way that way come January 1st we don’t look like a dear in the damn headlights.

The end of the year can be a tad bit overwhelming and the possibilities of the New Year can be intimidating. However, if you look at all the wonderful things you’ve done so far and plan for the even greater accomplishments in your future, this time of the year can exciting and inspiriting. Take time to reflect, organize, plan, and even start executing so you can live your best life now and continue to do so into the New Year. Go ahead and drop whatever you’re doing and write down those wins for this year and goals for next year. Do it! You won’t regret it.

In Memory Of The Route 91 Shooting Victims: #PrayForLasVegas

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Exactly one week ago my hometown, the city of Las Vegas, was shaken by a horrible tragedy. A terrorist who I refuse to call by name opened fire on festival goers at Route 91, a country festival that takes place near the strip. The results of this were 58 people killed and over 500 injured. Honestly even typing it now I can’t really believe it. This past week has been one of the longest and saddest of living in Las Vegas. As someone who recently attended my first music festival, it breaks my heart that thousands of people just came out to have fun and see some of their favorite artists and that someone could be so evil to turn what should be a wonderful memory into the worst day of those people’s lives. That’s the weird space I’m in because even though I wasn’t there and wasn’t anywhere near the strip I still feel so sad, scared, and forever shaped by this shooting. If that’s how I feel…imagine how those who were there feel. I can’t even imagine how the families and friends of those who lost their lives feel. I can’t imagine the trauma of the festival goers who survived and how deeply this will impact their lives…forever.

If there’s one positive thing I can take away about this nauseating event is that it has showed me how much the people of Las Vegas come together when shit gets rough. The next morning (literally) the blood banks had lines that took all day to stand in. Various businesses across down are making donations. Some companies are event donating 100% of their proceeds to the victims and their families. These are just a few of the many ways the city has come together after a weekend that will certainly change the dynamic of our city forever. I’ve always been someone who is proud as hell to be Vegas Raised. In undergrad at San Diego State people knew I was from Las Vegas, NV within .5 seconds of meeting me. I even got a tattoo of Nevada with a heart where Vegas is my freshman year of college because of how much I missed my city. Vegas is somewhere that’s hard to describe to people not from here. You really just won’t understand the vibe of Las Vegas unless you live here for an extended period of time. Contrary to popular belief, Vegas is a small place to live in. Everybody damn near knows everybody. That being said every person who lives here probably knew someone who was at that festival. That’s what makes it even more…real. I had two co-workers who went and I was relieved to know they were okay within moments of the news breaking. Others weren’t so lucky to receive this news. It’s different when you read about these things happening in places all over the world and when it happens right in your backyard. One thing I know I will be able to say now is that Vegas sticks together when it matters.

I originally wasn’t going to say anything about this on my blog because I couldn’t process this tragedy (and I’m still struggling with it) but I decided that wouldn’t be fair to those who no longer are able to say anything. I want to say that I will keep my thoughts and prayers with the families and loved ones of those who has passed, those who were there and survived, and my city overall. During this time I hope that everyone is taking time to take care of themselves. Self-care is essential. Life is short and you never know when someone’s last moments are. Love a little harder and be kind, to others and to yourself. I love this city and my love for it has grown even more after this. We are Vegas Strong.

This post is dedicated to all the victims of the Route 91 shooting. Rest In Peace.

“When you lose someone you love, you gain an angel you know.”