2023 has been my year to fall in love with reading again and I thought it would be fun to share some of my personal favorites! Even if you aren’t a big reader, some of these books are worth looking up anyway. I share a mix of fiction & non-fiction so there is something for everyone.
You can find all these books linked down below in an Amazon list!
*Please note: If you shop from this link, I do get a small kickback from Amazon as a thanks for sharing these titles with you. I support you supporting the podcast by shopping through these links.
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Hey Bestie, and welcome to the living in sunshine podcast. I’m your host, Maddy fry. And around here we are all about encouraging, inspiring, and giving you the tough love that you need to hear to get out there and live as your best self. Each and every Wednesday, you can expect to learn tangible tips to help you find your bigger purpose. be given simple action steps that you can take in order to make progress toward your biggest dreams. And hear how you can purposely pursue joy on the daily. So sit down, grab your favorite drink. And let’s have a girl chat. This is the living in sunshine podcast. Hello, hello, my friend. And welcome back to the living in sunshine podcast. Whether you are listening to the podcast right when it drops every single Wednesday or you’re catching it a few weeks later, just know that I am so appreciative that you are here. I hope you were having a great day so far. I hope that your life is bringing you joy and is making you feel obsessed with everything you get to do. And I’m just so thankful that you are here. So thank you so much for tuning in to another brand new episode. Now before we dive in, I have two things that I want to ask you to do. Okay, thing number one is to double check that you are following or subscribe to the podcast. Now I know it varies on what language we use, depending on what podcast platform you’re on. I think for Apple podcasts, you now follow a show. But on Spotify, I’m pretty sure you still subscribe to a show. So whatever the verbiage is that the podcast platform that you are using currently uses, go ahead and click that little Follow button or subscribe button, whatever it is to make sure that you never miss a new episode for me each and every Wednesday. The next thing that I want to ask you to do is to leave the show a written review. reviews and ratings for a podcast is kind of like leaving a comment or a like or even sharing someone’s content over on Instagram. And it genuinely does help to push the show to new listeners just like you who are wanting to learn how to live a life that they love, or pursue dreams that have been on their heart or set boundaries that really are intentional and support them and growing and thriving, just like you are doing and that just like you are here to do, right. So be sure to make sure that you’re subscribed or you’re following the show. And then once you’re done listening or as you’re listening, go leave the show a review on Apple or Spotify podcast. And know that when you do I love you so much. I’m sending you a high five. And if we were together, I’d offer to buy you a coffee. Now for today’s episode, we are going to be talking about three ways to protect your peace during the holiday season. Because if you have a family, anything like mine, Baby Baby, there are boundaries that are going to be pushed, there are things that you’re going to be asked to do that make you uncomfortable, and there are going to be people in your life who make you want to skip the Thanksgiving dinner, you know what I mean? So we are going to talk about three ways that you can better protect your peace this holiday season. Because while I feel like there is this narrative that the month of November and December are super chaotic, and super stressful, and really overwhelming, those can be true. Or we can take intentional steps in order to better protect our peace in welcoming more joy into our daily lives, just like we do every other time of the year, right. Just because we might have family vacations or trips to take or, or gifts to buy doesn’t mean that this time of year needs to feel super stressful or overwhelming or chaotic. There are things that we can do intentionally in order to better protect our peace, and actually enjoy the holiday season. So if you are ready to learn how to better protect your peace this holiday season, let’s go ahead and dig into it. Okay, so the first thing that you are going to do in order to better protect your piece this holiday season is to start to take things off your to do list now more than ever, because if you are a parent, or you are a human who has relationships with other people, there are going to be more expectations, more requirements, more time and thought and energy needed to take care of those people during this time of year. Because we’re traveling or scheduling guests or planning dinners or whatever it is. And the last thing that we need to do on a generally already overbooked overscheduled life is to continue to pack it on. Okay, we don’t have any more space on our plates to take on more work to take on more expectations or to take on more obligations, right? So my encouragement to you is to take stuff off your to do list that doesn’t really need to be there. You don’t need to decorate your house like a frickin Martha Stewart magazine. You also don’t need to get gifts for every single human in your child’s school. And you absolutely positively do not need to go to every single party or get together or gathering especially if people who are going to those parties in those gatherings are going to drive you frickin nuts. Just say no. And I know that this can be really challenging to do. And women especially sure To go with feeling guilty for not showing up or not meeting the expectations of everyone or, or not being able to, quote, do it all. But the truth of the matter is, we’re not built to be able to do it all, we’re just not. And if we’re being honest here, and we’re thinking about the other side of the coin, the other gender out there in the world, you sure as heck probably don’t see men fretting about not being able to go to every single holiday Christmas party, right? They’re probably thankful when you say, Oh, we’re not going because they’re gonna be able to hang out on the couch and watch football or TV or whatever it is, right? We need to have the same attitude, if there are things on your to do list, or if there are people that you are following on Instagram who are telling you or, or pressuring you, either directly or indirectly, to do certain things during this time of year that you just know, in your heart of hearts is not possible for you, I want you to let it go. It is okay to not do all of the things. And during this time of year, it’s not your time to become a superhuman, okay, you’re allowed to rest, you’re allowed to take time off, I want you to take things off your to do list and not feel so overbooked and overscheduled during a time of year, which is really supposed to be about hanging out eating a lot of foods, spending time with people you actually love and enjoy spending time with and getting time to turn your brain off. This isn’t the time to go into hyperdrive. It’s just not this is not the season, unless you genuinely enjoy doing all of these things, right, of course, and you should do them. But if they are not in your wheelhouse, if they do not bring you joy, if they do not help you to protect your peace, then don’t do them. It’s okay to say no, I’m giving you that permission to check the box that says no things, right. So that’s the first thing that you’re going to do in order to better protect your pieces holiday season is to take things off your To Do lists that do not bring you joy, that are not things you absolutely positively have to do, or that you just don’t want to do, because you don’t have to do them if you don’t want to do them. The second thing that you can do to better protect your pieces holiday season is to remember that you can say no, wherever and whenever you want. Okay, I kind of have jokingly mentioned family at the beginning of this episode. But this is where family comes in, and is a big part of this episode. Okay, so we all or at least the majority of us have a family of some kind, right chosen family found family, biological family, whatever. And again, if you’re anything like me, you have family that you have a lot of stuff going on with. And being around certain parts of your family might bring you anxiety or stress or overwhelm, or they say things that make you uncomfortable, or they do things that make you want to squirm, or you have past interactions with them that make you uncomfortable. Whatever it is, this is your permission slip. This is your reminder that during the holiday season, especially, especially during the holiday season, you can say no, to hanging out with these people to do in Christmas morning with these people to having dinner with them to going on trips with them,
whatever it is, I want to remind you, just like I remind you in the month of May, or June, or January or September, that your life is your life. And just because there is a holiday or a big family gathering happening around a holiday, that doesn’t mean that your life becomes your family’s life. And by that I mean, you still have the right, you still have the choice to make the best decision for you. And if the best decision for you is to skip the family dinner, or to pass on this year’s holiday Secret Santa, then you can do that. Okay, you are allowed to say no whenever and wherever you need to in order to protect your peace, in order to respect the boundaries that you have set for yourself or for family members. And in order to lower the anxiety and the overwhelm and the stress that might come from being with your family, right, or just being with other people who stress you out. Just because there is a holiday doesn’t mean that you are suddenly obligated to show up and play Peacemaker with everyone in your life. That’s not how this works. You are allowed even during the holiday season to say no. And it might not be with family, it might be with your boss or your partner or your neighbor or your own self. Right. You might be you might be thinking, I need to say no to myself in doing that launch or starting that project or hiring that person. I need to say no, because during this time of year, I’m really heavily involved in my community Christmas pageant, and I don’t have the mental capacity to bring on another thing within my business. So I need to say no to that until the start of the year. Right? We can say no, even during the holiday season and I really, really want you to remember that. And just for anyone who needs it, I’m gonna say it again. You’re allowed to say no to your family. to your mom, or your dad, or your grandparents or your husband or whoever needs to be told no, in order to better protect your peace, because even during the holiday season, your life is your life. And I don’t want you to get sucked into this belief or this mindset, or this understanding that, oh, it’s just for the holidays, you know, it’s a holiday season, I’ll just do it to make everyone happy. Not if it doesn’t make you happy, honey, if it does not make you happy, you do not need to say yes. And I will be the one who continues to stand in your corner saying say no, say no, say no, say no, you don’t have to go. You don’t have to do that. If you really don’t want to do that, okay. So just keep this in mind. Thing number two, in order to better protect your peace during the holiday season is to say no. And remember that you can say no, wherever and whenever you want. All right, and the final thing that you can do during the holiday season in order to better protect your peace, and this is a really good one to start doing. Now. Once this episode drops, I really want you to start to think about this marinate on it, Stew on it, all the things and really implement this, okay? The third thing that you can do is to take time to identify your triggers and set boundaries to avoid those triggers. Okay, now, I am not a therapist, I am not a mental health professional, I am just an anxious girly, who is in therapy who does all of these things in order to take care of her mental health. And this is something that I want you to do as well. I kind of touched on this before. But during this time of year, especially, especially on social media, we see these idealistic family photos and portraits and Instagram stories where everyone is all cute, and everyone matches in their neutral colored outfits. And everyone’s taking pictures and everyone’s smiling looks happy, whatever. And for some of us, that can be really triggering, okay. And I want you to know two things. One, you don’t have to consume, consume consume social media, during the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas in the New Years, if that is something that is triggering to you, okay? Because you don’t have that. That’s not what your family looks like, you don’t have kids, but you wish you had kids, you’re not married, but you wish you were married. You see someone you know hugging their dad or their mom and you have a horrible relationship with that parent in your own life seeing these images in these stories and people showing these idealistic family images can be super triggering for those of us who don’t have that. And I want to remind you that you don’t have to consume that kind of content, if it’s detrimental to your mental health. The other thing that I want you to remember is that no one’s life. No one’s family is as perfect as they paint it on social media, right? Not everyone is as open as I am and talking about how they have family trauma and family issues. I’m sure my my family would probably wish that I wouldn’t talk about that as much as I do. But I believe that it’s okay to share your story if you find it comfortable to share your story. So I do. But the point of this ramble is to tell you and to remind you and encourage you to take time to identify your triggers. And if social media during the holiday season triggers you because it makes you realize or feel or see that you don’t have something that other people have that part of you wishes that you did have, you don’t have to continue to consume it. That can be a boundary, where you say during the day before the day of and the day after Thanksgiving, I’m not getting on Instagram, I’m deleting the app from my phone, I’m not opening it up. Because I know my feed and my story space is going to be flooded with these images of idealistic family pictures, I understand in my brain that that’s probably not the whole the whole story with that family. But it’s still triggering to me, I’m going to set that boundary and I’m going to honor it. This is something that we can all do, we can start to identify our triggers around the holiday season and start to set boundaries to avoid those triggers, right? This is intentionally making decisions to better support ourselves instead of starve ourselves. Right? Another big one is to think about how specific people you might come into interaction with how they treat you, or how they speak to you and set boundaries with them. Or start to think of what you will say when your great aunt Karen is asking you about children, and you and your husband are going through IVF or infertility, right? You’re trying to conceive that’s really triggering to you. If you have a feeling or if you think that you are going to get questions about anything that might be a trigger for you. Now is the time to start to think about things that you could say to those people, while still being kind and still being understanding that they’re probably coming from a place of good intention, right? We always want to assume the best that people but it’s okay for you to start to think about what you could say to that person in order to immediately set a boundary with them, and then work to stick it out and set that and stay with that boundary help for however long you’re gonna be with that person, right. So if you are in between jobs, and you know that your Uncle Chris is going to ask you about your jobs, what could you come up with what one line or what You know, you Spiel Could you come up with now, that explains to Uncle Chris, how you’re working on it, you’re trying to figure it out. But that’s not really a topic of discussion that you’re open to having with that person. You know what I mean. And when we give ourselves the time to think about this, before we’re put in the situation to actually talk about it, we are better suited to stick up for ourselves and set that boundary with intention. And also feel better because we are mentally prepared to have that conversation and to set that boundary with that person. So again, the thing that you need to do thing number three that you can do in order to better protect your pieces holiday season, is to take time to identify your triggers and set boundaries in order to avoid those triggers. Okay. So just quickly, let’s go talk about them. What are the three things we can do? Thing number one is to take things off your to do list now more than ever, if they don’t bring you joy, if you don’t absolutely have to do them, don’t do them, take them off your to do list. The second thing that you can do is to remember that you can always say no wherever and whenever you need to and whenever you want. And then finally, the third thing that you can do is to take time now to identify your triggers, and set boundaries to avoid those sugars during the holiday season. My friend as we work into and as we get closer to the holiday season, I hope that you can use these tips to enjoy your holiday season to make it be one of of peace and joy, one that you look forward to when that you make core memories during and I hope that it’s something that these tips help you to make that happen because everyone in my opinion deserves to have an enjoyable holiday season and deserves to be able to feel at peace during their holiday season. And that is everything that I have for you today, my friend. If you have any major takeaways or breakthroughs or aha moments, be sure to take a screenshot of today’s episode and post it to your Instagram stories and tag me I always love seeing what you guys have learned or shared or anything like that about the podcast over on Instagram. It’s a great way to share the show with friends and people that you find cute or you want to go on a date with or whatever. And until next week, I am sending you all the sunshine good vibes. And I hope you make it a great day girlfriend. Thank you so much for listening to today’s new episode. If you loved it, please send it to a friend share it on Instagram and tag me so I can see and consider leaving the show a rating or a review. Ratings and reviews are kind of like sharing or liking a post on Instagram and they really help the show grow and reach new women just like you. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you never miss a new episode. And until next week, I am sending you all the sunshine, good vibes and I hope you make it a great day.