Self-Care: Giving Yourself Permission

28
Oct
2020

One of the biggest pain points that comes into the conversation when I coach moms is the lack of time for self-care. I have written in the past about the benefits of being a selfish mom, and it’s a tongue-in-cheek post, but the message is clear. Most moms are so busy taking care of everyone else that they don’t care for themselves and then become worn down, bitter, and oftentimes very ill from being exhausted.

There is nothing that says you love your role as a mom most than to find time to nurture you. You will be a better mom, wife, friend, and your body will thank you.

When was the last time you did something for you?
What did you do?
How did it affect your day or your week?

I want you to really think about these questions. If you had trouble answering them, it’s time to stop the train and fix the problem. Your family needs you to show up as your best self, and constantly running on empty will not produce the best version of you.

Here are a few ideas in ways you can nourish your spirit and show up for you. Some are short and not very time consuming and some need a bit more planning. I urge you to plan, ask for help, and delegate some things so you can carve out space to nourish your soul and take in some self-care.

Get outside and take a walk—alone

This is one simple and no-cost option for those needing to tend to their self-care. This is not a spa day (however those are nice!), but to be honest, they are not in reach for most families right now. So what can you do in small increments of time? Be aware of your surroundings and be proactive.

Devotion and prayer

I begin every morning with a quiet time of devotions and prayer. I URGE you…make this a habit. When you provide that space for God to calm your heart and speak truth into your soul, your entire day is better. Believe me, I have had the days from h*ll when I have not taken the time to sit with God. Please…get the YouVersion bible app so you can easily access the bible, reading plans, and scripture.

Unplug from your electronic devices

Oh, yes, I said that!!! Even me, one who runs two business with a big influence on social media. I unplug. It’s critical to keep myself sane. Especially right now—so much ugliness on social media. Take an afternoon or an entire day and leave your phone alone. This can be hard at first, but you will begin to enjoy this time!

Meet a friend

There is nothing like meeting a friend for coffee and sharing our hearts. Now, remember, these do not have to be in-person gatherings, but I much prefer that! However, I do have a sweet friend from years ago and we’ve recently reconnected. She lives across the country, so we’ve taken to using Facebook video messenger to sit and have a chat every few weeks. I block this out on my calendar just like any other important appointment. It’s nurturing to me, brings life to bones, and warms my heart so much. Who can you make a friendship date with this week? Maybe they need some self-care time too!

Meditate

This is something I was not really a fan of nor really practiced until about a year ago. It’s a wonderful way to calm my mind and refocus. I have used the Calm app, which you can get for free for seven days, or I find meditations on YouTube. This one, Inheritance by Graham Cooke…it’s not a traditional meditation, but it fills my tired heart something fierce. I will lay down, close my eyes, and let the words go into every nook and cranny of my body. Take a listen today (I keep the link to this video in my notes section in my phone so I can listen any chance I get!).

Play worship music

Do you play worship music in your home? Do you know music carries a vibrational frequency that can help your emotional well-being? It’s true. Worship music is some of the best music you can play to help create a positive mindset. Here is a video by Dr. Masaru Emoto showing how different music can impact our bodies and our well-being because our bodies are 80% water. Go take a look; it’s fascinating! Worship music speaks of love—which carries a high frequency. When you listen and that fills your home, it’s amazing how the presence of calm can be felt. Try it!

Aromatherapy

I would be amiss to not mention how using essential oils can help you with self-care for your body, especially from a spiritual standpoint. Diffusing essential oils like Frankincense, Lavender, Cedarwood, and Blue Spruce can dramatically help your mood and energy levels. When you inhale oils, they enter the limbic part of the brain, which is the part that holds and stores emotions. If you aren’t familiar, there is real evidence that shows that inhaling and applying oils topically can help you destress, relax, and improve moods naturally. They are life-giving to me!

I hope you found some new ways to nurture yourself in this season.

Mood Boosters—6 Ways to Ditch the Funk

2
Oct
2020

Feeling down? Here are 5 mood boosters to help you ditch the funk.Sometimes we have days that just seem to be downers, right? We need something to help us lift our mood and escalate our spirit. As I was going through my list of mood boosters, I thought I would share them with you because we can all use some encouragement right now.

Pray

I admit, there are times I reach for other things before I do the most important thing, which is to pray.  When I feel my mood sinking, I know in my heart that lifting my needs to the Lord is where I really need to take action.  Scripture is life, it is God word and it has such value in helping to shift our energy.  I also will often take a few drops of essential oil, JOY is one of my favorites and rub between my hands and breath in through my nose as I pray.  The smell combined with the words I am speaking are life giving.

Music Break

One of the best ways I know to boost my mood and relax is to temporarily unplug from my daily surroundings through music. My ultimate break is to put on some worship music; it calms the soul and soothes my mind. One of my favorite albums right now is Peace by Bethel Music. Take a listen as you step away from your normal routine. Have some headphones handy so you can tune out the noise and tune in mindfully.

I also shared this incredible meditation video in my weekly email awhile back; it’s a staple and I’ve kept the link in the notes section on my phone so I can easily access it. It has a high vibrational frequency, which is beneficial for relaxation, and is one of my favorite grounding mood boosters.

If you can carve out ten minutes a day to intentionally relax with some mindful music, you’ll be amazed at how much it can reduce your stress and truly shift you into a good mood.

News-Free Day

Disconnect for 24 hours from the news (social media, TV news, Internet news, all news). Take a break from the outrage; you know exactly what I am talking about. The noise is all around us. We need to set boundaries that are intentional to help us keep focused on what’s important. When we are looking to the news, social media, or the Internet for all the information, it can be daunting and overwhelming. Take a break from it all for a day. I love to do this on Sunday when we observe our Sabbath, but oftentimes fitting in another day is powerful to helping boost our mood.

Move Your Body

Take a walk, stretch out on your yoga mat, or go for a run. The endorphins that are released when we do any form of exercise are some of the most powerful mood-boosting options we have at our disposal. And the best part, it’s free!!  And, you can even take your kids with you if you need to.

As far as mood boosters go, this is one that never fails to lift my spirits. When I find my mood slowly drifting into a place that is energy depleting, I find space to get outside for a walk. Even if the weather is not all that pleasant, I know the fresh air and movement will make me feel better. I also can pull out my Pilates mat and do a quick Pilates workout (my favorite right now from The Balanced Life!), and it will immediately help me feel successful and empowered. Instead of thinking about what you can’t do, shift your thinking to what you can do.

Reach Out to Someone

Random acts of kindness are a great way to improve not only the quality of your relationships, but also your own mood and emotional life. When we focus on others, it shifts our focus off ourselves and onto others. Make a list of five to ten people you care about. Keep that list handy in the notes section of your phone. Take 30 seconds and send a short and sincere text to one of those on the list encouraging them in their day. Perhaps you can send a scripture along with it or another encouraging quote.

I know when I have taken the time to share with others that I am thinking of them, it not only helps them, but comes back to truly bless me. It’s a win/win for everyone!

Prioritize Joy

What do you enjoy? What brings you joy? If you can’t easily answer this, then take a few minutes to sit and think. What lifts your spirits; what makes you smile? How can you add those activities into your weekly routine? Do you enjoy reading a book, baking for others, sending snail mail to friends? Know what can spark delight and joy for you and make intentional choices to have those activities (your own personal mood boosters) fill your schedule.

We all have a choice in how we use our time. Make it count for you instead of against you.

In a world full of big, overwhelming things right now, it might be time to honor and appreciate the little things.

21 Day Challenge of Reading God’s Word

1
Feb
2019

Reading God's Word 21 day challenge

Early this morning I opened up my Favorite Bible App, YouVersion to start my devotion time. I was welcomed with a message to participate in a 21 Day Reading God’s Word Challenge.

Now, I already do this, read the bible nearly every day, but it was laid on my heart to participate in a way that would include others.  My heart is to share in community, and so many feel pressed on all sides to fit in reading the bible.  We can all make time for the things that are important, am I right?

21 Days to Change

You likely have heard that it takes about 21 days to develop new habits and patterns of behavior.  So, it’s no mistake that this is a 21 day challenge.

I scrolled through the suggested 21 Day devotions and I chose, “Grace for the Pace.”

It felt fitting in this season, when we all struggle with finding space for our soul.

Will you Join Me?

I’d love to link arms with you and others who might need some encouragement, a friend to walk along with, or just an invitation to show up.  You can download the YouVersion APP and read ANYWHERE – literally… and you can even put it in audio to listen to.  Guys, there really is no excuse.

The YouVersion APP makes it easy to read anywhere – plus they have a huge selection of incredible devotions, you may find another devotion you want to read as well.

I’d love to challenge you to join me.

If you want to join, feel free to click this link. You’ll be in a small group where we can share our takeaways as we journey together.  Don’t worry, it’s really private and no one can see you in your messy hair or pajamas!

Join Me!

Would you read the Bible Plan, 21 Days Of Grace For The Pace, with me?

CLICK HERE to join

It’s not too late to join us.  We just started this morning.  Do not let that be an excuse.

Come on… click the link and hop on over.  We are waiting to say hello… and do not worry, if you choose to just read along with us, and not comment, we totally are cool with that.

Feel free to share this with a friend, they may need the encouragement too!

Renewal for 2019

16
Jan
2019

Hello Sweet Friends….

I hope this note finds you enjoying your week and finding space to breathe.  That is my goal in this new season, to provide space to let my soul breathe.

Over the course of the past two years, I have allowed my schedule to be filled with things that do not inspire me, do not fill my soul and certainly have allowed me to become bitter and frustrated.  None of that is good for the soul.

After having a lovely getaway with my husband for FIVE days to share our vision for 2019, I clearly found my word for this year….. RENEWAL.

renewal - word for the year

Time for Change

It’ time…. to make some changes…. because what I’ve been doing is just not working.  And isn’t that the mistake we often make, we keep doing the same thing thinking things will change?

Are you in a season of needing some change, some refreshment, some soothing of your soul?  Walk with me friend… we can do this…. together!

Today I want to share with you a few things I’ve put into practice already that have already altered my frame of mind and given my soul a breath of fresh air.  Not the stifled, claustrophobic air I was struggling to take in… but fresh and clean air that is life giving.

Quiet

My quiet time is first thing in the morning.  I’ve shared about quiet time and what it can look like and how you can fit it in.  But the most important thing is to DO IT.  Determine when it fits your schedule and block it out.

I get up, making my coffee (which is a sweet process with my French Press, names Amelia and my hand grinder), sit down and open up my YOUVersion bible APP so I can read through four to six different devotionals I am actively reading.  I write notes in a simple journal, sometimes just a short scripture or a quote from one of the devotional authors.  I then take a few moments to just be….quiet.  And listen.  I was in a habit of rushing through my time and not allowing the space for God to speak to me, which handicaps our walk when we don’t.  It has been so fulfilling to change things up.

Feed Your Soul

I have found the loveliest podcast EVER and perhaps I am just slow to the program, but I need to share it with you!  The Next Right Thing Podcast by Emily P. Freeman.  If you need a friend to give you advice, Emily is the one.  She gently encourages and provides just the right balance of her story, relevant scripture and it certainly doesn’t hurt that her voice is just sweet and soothing.  I truly love that the podcast episodes are only usually around ten minutes, which for any busy mom, well…. you can find time for that for sure!

I am guilty of binge listening to catch up – but I’d say its an investment in my soul!

Move

I hate the word exercise right now, so I am really just changing the semantics a bit to just say MOVE!

When I hear the word exercise, I think of fitting into my schedule six days of running or T-25 workouts.  To be honest, my life just can’t handle that right now.  So, when I set goals like that, I tend to fail and then guilt and shame creep in…. which we all know just helps nothing.

Instead of lofty New Years goals, I am dedicated to get outside at least three days a week and walk the beach. I had my first true long walk yesterday, and I shared on Facebook, it was lovely.  As I slowly master this goal, I can add in a new element. I am finding relief in this new way to creating my schedule and it’s a sweet surprise.  Being successful in the little things, can leave room to add a few more things later.

Meditate

Yep, I  said that.  As a “doer” and one who loves to push themselves and accomplish a lot.  I could never see myself taking the time to meditate.  I mean, man…. I could do so much during that ten minutes…. instead of just sit there.  However, with anything…. it is often a good idea to truly give something a try before you make big judgements…. am I right?

So, a good friend shared with my about how she’d been doing meditation and her personality is very similar to mine.  After hearing her express her LOVE for this new activity, I decided to give it a try.  I downloaded the CALM APP, which I will see is simply amazing!!  I have started my own practice of meditating, and it has changed my day.  You can try it for seven days for free, so you truly have nothing to lose.  Do it!  Side-note – I have been using the sleep stories for kids with my nine year old – not for bedtime, but for riding in the car or takin this bath.  He is also a huge fan.

Sabbath

It means different things to different people.  Our family observed a “day of rest” for a period of about 9 months a few years back.  I shared some simple steps on implementing a day of rest.

Then life …..

I can’t really remember the exact reason to why it stopped appearing in our calendar – but it did.

With a husband who travels and has different work days, it takes some extra planning to determine “the” day of the week we will observe and pull back and rest.  However, one of the visions I shared with my husband when we had our getaway was to implement Sabbath back into our schedule.

So, we went through and blocked out the next two months – one day every week to observe Sabbath.

I’m not a theologian – but I know God wants us to rest our bodies, to seek Him and be obedient in working 6 days and resting on the 7th.  We observed our first Sabbath on Sunday and it was lovely.

So tell me, what are you changing to help you find refreshment and renewal?  I would love to hear and add a few more ideas to my list, because as I integrate these in, I will be looking for the next step.

Another note, you will find me back to blogging more here too.  I went through a season where I lost a bit of my creativity to be honest, and I feel the Lord is refreshing my soul, so I can write again in a new way.  I am excited to start this new season with you all.

 

How I Got Healthier – Continuing the Journey

5
Jan
2019

It starts with baby steps, making changes that will help your body function better. If you missed the first post in this two-part series, you can catch it here.

If you are looking to live with more energy, vibrancy, and emotional stability, read on. These are the changes I have made to create space for these things.

Movement

You must move your body. Find an activity that you enjoy—and do not think it has to be intense to make a difference. I used to be a hard-core runner, training for half marathons because I truly enjoyed the challenge. Now I find myself taking walks, doing some stretching, pilates, or some simple weight exercises. Fit in 20-30 minutes of activity at least five times a week; your body will thank you.

Sugar

Remove sugar from your daily life. Sugar feeds illness—period. You can Google and find research all over that will testify to this fact. Sugar is in EVERYTHING; begin to read your labels. Sugar is addictive and the only way for you to reset your body is to cut it out, cold turkey. Two years ago I did my first 21-day sugar detox with a large Facebook group. It taught me a lot about my body, truly how addicted I was, and how sugar is in everything. You’ll find it in ketchup, salad dressing, salsa, and canned goods. Do not forget that pasta, potatoes, and fruit contain sugar, even though it’s not “added” sugar, even the natural sugar can affect your body. Do a bit more research on this and at least determine to remove the added sugar to items that are unnecessary as a first step.

Sleep

Your body heals itself during your sleep, so when you aren’t getting enough sleep or entering into a deep enough sleep, your body struggles.

I shoot to get at least eight hours of sleep a night. I am an early-to-bed person, usually in bed by 9:30 p.m. This allows me enough sleep to still rise around 6 a.m. and feel refreshed. By getting enough sleep you will reduce stress and improve your mood; this was a key area I wanted to improve. My emotions were all over the place. When you get enough sleep, you will also tend to get sick less. It’s important—for you, for you kids, for your spouse.

Eat Less Animal Products

Oh yes, I am going there. I just read Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman and it truly opened my eyes. The book not only gave great information on eating a more plant-based diet, but gave countless study after study of research on the benefits. It is a must-read. You can easily begin eating less meat and dairy items. To be honest, for most people, typical cow dairy items cause inflammation in the body. So substituting items and removing most cheese is a beneficial change. If you are still drinking cow’s milk and giving pasteurized milk to your kiddos, I encourage you to read this article to perhaps shed some light on why this may not be the best decision.

No Microwave

I wrote previously on the blog about this change, so instead of going into details, you can easily click over to read it here. Using a microwave KILLS your food, period. I am in the corner with microwaves that it zaps the nutrients out of food—literally. In my opinion, the risk is just not worth the small convenience of reheating items using a microwave. In fact, in our new home, we are not even installing a microwave. We just do not use it.

Water

Drinking real, pure, GOOD water is the way your body removes toxins and flushes your systems. Two years ago we began filtering all our drinking and cooking water with a BERKEY water system that removed pathogens as well as fluoride. It was a game-changer for us. We also try our best to not drink from PLASTIC water bottles. So when we are headed out of the house, all family members fill up their own personal glass water bottle. Not only does this save us money, it is a much healthier alternative. When you drink water from plastic water bottles, store bought, or ones you personally fill, the plastic leaches into the water. I am not interested to drink leached plastic.

I hope you consider making one or two changes for the new year from my list of tips. These are things I have successfully implemented and have made a huge difference in my life.

If you missed me mentioning this healthy meal planning bundle, girl… you need it!  If you are looking for quick and healthy meal options your entire family will enjoy – you have found it!

Healthy Meal Planning Bundle 2019