What a great week to end my summer of EFY. I am extremely grateful for my wonderful co counselor, Nicole, as well as to the youth that came to be a part of my group.
This week my goal was to make the absolute most out of my experience and go the extra mile in providing my youth with the growth opportunities that they desired. (With this group, it took all I had to just keep up!)
Another focus that I had this week was on myself and to learn more about patience with myself and with God. Oh man, did he bring the heat haha. Here are a couple of quotes from my study journal that hit pretty hard for me 📝:
- Be the light in someone else’s darkness.
- Have the faith to reach out to the Savior and the courage to be stretched.
- If the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, step forward not backward.
- Not all adversity is created equal.
- If we have faith in Jesus Christ, the hardest, as well as the easiest, times in life can be a blessing.
I have truly loved my time as an EFY counselor. It has pushed and changed me in ways that I believe will be some of the best for my life. One of those ways was really understanding my personality and taking care of my wellbeing.
Some context: being a counselor is akin to herding cats while doing spiritual Zumba 😵. It is exhausting physically, spiritually, and emotionally. You are completely invested in the lives and wellbeing of 20-40 youth each week and hoping that, in the end, they take something away from everything you and the other wonderful teachers say.
As I have participated as a counselor in this high stress environment, I have noticed that, in order for me to decompress from such an intense weeklong activity, I need to spend some time on my own or with a small group of people. For example, in Logan, UT, I spent my day off in the mountains, taking photos and hiking solo, (don’t worry, I take the appropriate precautions and let people know where I will be and when they should expect me to return) and in Rexburg, ID, I went for a trail run solo on Saturday morning and then camped with a small group of friends (Natalie, Natalie, and Salem) next to a river near Ashton, ID 🏕. As I have participated in these activities, I noticed that I am better equipped to give all of my energy and love to the youth throughout the week.
As far as my wellbeing is concerned, I have taken better care of my body this summer than any other time period in my life. EFY provided a lifestyle that included a lot of physical activity (walking about 10 miles per day, plus 2 dances per week and the opportunity to run/exercise every morning 🏋🏽♂️) and I decided to strictly monitor my food intake by cutting out all added sugar (meaning no desserts, candy, soda, and other junk) and increasing my fruit and veggie intake. I didn’t want to have an “energy crash” and not be able to perform at my peak when my kids needed me to. (Side note: I do have a cheat day and it is either Friday, Saturday, or Sunday depending on what sugar I want to consume. Also, I don’t let myself over indulge on that day either 🤢)
I have decided to not just limit these changes to EFY alone but to also include more fitness classes like HIGH Fitness so that I can continue to take care of myself in a way that will help me to endure. I’ve never done very well with showing up at a gym and just “working out” but having a class helps me to push myself to be better. I have also taken up yoga as a method of stress relief and meditation. Clearing my head through breath and movement has been amazing for my mental and emotional health✌🏽.
SO, ladies and gentes, this is me. Honestly, this is probably the most “me” that I have felt since I returned from my LDS mission over three and a half years ago and I love it. PLUS, there is a lot more to come that I have in the works, so stay tuned!!
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