Wellness Wednesday: Self Care (my list)

I’ve been a slacker lately.  I’ve been neglecting the most important person in my life.  I haven’t been speaking nicely to her, I haven’t been letting her have fun.  I’ve been stressing her out, making her feel less than, and putting everyone and everything before her.  In some ways, I’ve ripped some bandaids off of her that needed to come off, but also took away some vices that are no longer serving her.  She’s felt a little lost, confused, lonely, transitional.  She’s been so consumed filling her days with endless chores, work, tending to children, dogs, a sick husband.  I let her slip through the cracks of the day where I used to let her shine.  Instead of allowing joy and passion, I restricted her fun times and made sure she was constantly worrying and working.  Instead of breathing in positivity and love, and exhaling negative emotions and draining feelings, I made her spill her cup until it was no longer full…and she just kept pouring even though there seemed liked there was nothing left.  I didn’t even put her on the back burner, I took her completely off.  I stripped away parts of her that were not really what she wanted, and instead of filling her soul with what she craves, I pushed her harder into motherly duties, housework, and fatigue.  But do you know what friends? Our bodies, minds, hearts, and souls are all connected.  They know when something is off, when we are not living out our true abilities.  And I began to listen.  I started hearing the still small voice saying go to acupuncture, eat the right foods, move your body, write freely, spend time doing the things that you love.  It took awhile for it all to start to come together, and after a tearful breakdown before my kids’ birthday party, I realized something really had to change.

Mamas.  The weight of the world that we bear on our shoulders can be immense.  No matter if you’re working from home, working away from home, or simply working hard at being a mom, there are so many reasons we burn out.  Our bodies will tell us when something is off and mine has been trying to tell me for some time…but how often do we just push away our desires, feelings, thoughts, frustrations, needs, wants etc because we just simply don’t have the energy or the time?  Well that is not okay.  We need to pull out our calendars, our iPhones, our day planners and schedule it in.  Not just “me time” but sincerely put it into a time slot and prioritize yourself.  Then do it again.  Then again.  Then again.  Watch your health increase.  Your mood get happier.  Your life seem to get easier.

Don’t just say, “Oh when the kids go to bed I’ll take care of me,” because if you don’t have a plan, like me, I get to the end of my day and I just feel like a zombie.  I’ll pull up some distraction of sort, and scroll until my eyes cross.  Then I’ll just go to bed.  Wake up and repeat.

Not sure what to do? Stop right now and take out your phone or better yet a piece of paper or journal and write down at least 10-20 activities that you enjoy doing.  They can be free or they can be experiences that cost you money. I shared a list previously here on this post last year, as this was part of the process when I worked with Lindsay Preston my Life Coach.  Interestingly enough, I was just chatting with my friend and neighbor Katie earlier and she was saying how the Blogilates girl was sharing how her weight went down more when she was doing things for herself like taking dance lessons, getting massages etc.  We hear it all of the time, do more self-care–but self-care is NOT selfish and honestly should be one of the first things we schedule into our day.  Rachel Hollis even said she’s writing a book right now all about making your health a priority and to move your body every day for 30 minutes.

My current “do you time” aka self-care list:

  • Blogging
  • Reading
  • Journaling
  • Working out
  • Morning Routine
  • Actually playing with my kids (puzzles, outside, with their toys, video games, reading books, board games…)
  • Yoga
  • Dancing
  • Mani/Pedi
  • Massages
  • Facial
  • Tea time
  • Girl Time
  • Date Nights
  • Trips & Travel
  • Sipping a Starbucks drink in a Starbucks.
  • Cooking/baking
  • Detox Bath
  • Walk outside
  • Dates with Brooke
  • Dates with Bradley
  • The beach (Summer)

The point is we become so consumed with daily needs of the world and neglect ourselves.  And in my humble opinion, when I start taking everything so seriously and don’t allow myself to have fun, life feels so hard and isolating.  Now some of these can be bigger things like vacation or fancy spa days, and those are great incentives to work towards! Others are free and simple–they just require the time for us to do them.

You are the most important person in your life! Without your health, no one else can be taken care of.  I know there’s a ton of haters out there who think ‘self care’ or ‘self love’ is a joke, but don’t concern yourself with them.  I send them love from afar, and hope that one day they’ll value themselves as much as they should.  Once again, I always believe that those that don’t believe in self-improvement are those who probably need it the most.

I’ve been fairly consistent with my morning routine, and I do count that as self care as I enjoy journaling, writing in my planner, reading a motivational book and I’ve been trying to make more time for blogging.   I know waking up early is not easy, but once you start waking up 10 minutes, try 30, 45, then 60 minutes earlier than normal.  It will become a habit and honestly my day always flows so much better when I take “ME TIME” in my morning.

I love rolling on this “Peace” essential oil, sipping some green tea and writing in my journal.  Sometimes I write about what’s on my heart, what’s frustrating me, what I dream about, where I see myself one day…

I just write.

The point is, no matter how old you are, or where you are in life, you can always change and evolve.  The beauty of life is that you get to do what you want with it.  Silly, I know, but I tend to forget that.  It’s not my mom’s life, my husband’s life, my kids’ lives, it’s MINE.  How do I want to look back on my days? What did I do to make myself happy and smile?  I never claim to be perfect, I fail every day at something…but that’s the secret. Stop trying to be perfect and just be you.  Embrace it all. Do what you can with what you have and try to figure out what it is that you want.  Start small, but just start somewhere.

What’s one way you will take time to fill your soul this week?

Feel Good

I recently listened to Gabby’s latest book Super Attractor and it was fantastic.  I took this quote from it and it truly resonated with me.  I think sometimes as grown ups, we forget how to have fun, enjoy ourselves and allow ourselves to feel good.  As mamas, we often take care of everyone and everything else before we think about ourselves.  It’s so important that we remember!

 

For me, it was one of THE BIGGEST triggers or “bullet holes” I discovered when working with my life coach.  What was?  Oh, you know, allowing myself to feel good, or have fun, just for the heck of it.  For some reason I create boundaries for myself (I’m still working on it) where I don’t really ‘let loose’ or ‘have fun’ unless others are having fun.  Or my work is all done.  I have gotten a lot better at letting the ‘guilt’ go and really just focusing on ME at the present time.  I really do best when I get a workout in daily, write daily, and take time in the morning to reflect on my goals and dreams, as well as sit in quiet.  I journal, spend time looking through devotionals or other inspiring reads. It really helps set my mind right.

What I am learning is that the universe attracts more of what you put out. I’ve always loved the quote, “what you think about, you bring about.” But it’s so true.  The more you feel good, that good energy, happy vibe, the more you will attract.  If you’re stuck in a sad, lonely, victim mentality–that everyone is out to get you, you’ll simply attract more of that.  There’s a always a way out, and it’s to focus on yourself.  Do baby steps.  Cook a favorite recipe.  Go on a walk by yourself.  Journal.  Figure out what would start those feelings of enjoyment, happiness and ultimately live into that.  It will become your life.

I distinctly remember a wine tour my then boyfriend, now husband I and went on.  I was so worried and uptight over everyone else enjoying themselves, that honestly I was not having a good time!  I’ve done this a lot throughout my life.  Part of it is yes, I am a control freak (working on it) and also very in tune with others’ around me and their emotions.  (Hello, Empathy is my #1 strength.)  Over time I am learning that my happiness has nothing to do with other people and it’s okay for me to feel good, even if others around me don’t, can’t or won’t.  It is hard to watched loved ones and friends stew in their own misery, but Joe and I both work very hard at creating a calm, peaceful, happy and joyful life in our home.  Sometimes it’s best to just focus on yourself, and pray that others will find ways to feel good too.

What do you do for yourself to feel good?

“That Mom”

I’m not always ‘that mom.’ The one who brings in treat bags, cookies, cakes, games, or other thoughtful pieces of holiday goodness for little ones.  I’m not always smiling or feeling like I have my act together, because to be honest I don’t.  Most days I’m just doing my best, trying to remember all of the balls that are juggling in the air.

However, there are some days when I find the time, the little extra window in my day where I can appreciate the smallness of my children and drop into a Dollar Tree and put together silly little bags for dance class.

There’s a few reasons I felt called to write this post, and most importantly that it’s OKAY to be that mom who forgets or didn’t have time to do something extra.  It’s also OKAY to be the mom who does.

This morning as I worked out, I figured afterwards I would take Bradley over to the Dollar Tree and pick up some glow sticks for our pumpkins to light up.  I then remembered last year’s dance class “Halloween Party” and how it sent me spiraling into an emotional meltdown.  I feel that it’s important to share these things, because to some people, it may look like I have it all figured out.  I simply stay home, raise kids, cook a lot of food, run a real estate business, take care of two dogs and do most housework because my husband works crazy hours.  But the point is, I do it mostly alone, with little help here and there.  The pressure I put on myself (yup, it’s me and my mind!) can sometimes bring me to a breaking point, thus resulting in last year’s escapade.

I remember sending some friends a Marco Polo after getting home from dance class.  I just rewatched it, and man I want to hug that girl! My eyes were swollen from hysterically crying and I remember just feeling alone, like a failure and like I should just go on meds because I felt just absolutely crazy.  (Disclaimer, I do believe medicine has a purpose, I just don’t think it’s best for me, at this time.)

Why was I so upset?  Because I knew that Brooke (who was in her 4th year of dance) would be having a little Halloween party.  I knew the other moms/girls would have treats or trinkets for the girls to give out.  I also just didn’t go to the store and get some…

Prior to dance class I had been going around and around with a frustrating tenant who fell behind on the rent, and was arguing with me that he had paid x amount when my records showed differently.  I was extremely frustrated and since this was really the first tenant we had any issues with, it truly caught me off guard.  I let my emotions get in the way, some insecurities and such, and it just threw me.

But when I went to pick up Brooke at dance, I felt like she was the only one who didn’t have something to pass out to her little friends.  It killed me.  Now, I knew even then, that no one really cared about the candy (hello, they’d all be getting SO much more in another day trick-or-treating) but the fact was, that I enjoyed doing the little things for her and her dance friends.  I love holidays, even Halloween, mostly because of the magical element of innocence, simplicity and wonder it brings out in the kids.  I sat there, with tears welling in my eyes as I saw the girls exchange and Brookie looked at me like, where’s my bags to give out?  Of course her 5 year old self didn’t say anything, but it hurt and clearly still haunts me to today.  Why?  Because I was not being my authentic self that day.  It was a number of things that lead to that feeling, but I truly felt like a shell of myself this time last year.

It’s about the effort.  It’s about doing something, even if it’s little, if you can and want to.  It’s about not letting negative people who aren’t paying their rent, bring you down.  It’s about rising up even after you may have failed, and getting a second chance to do something right this time.  It’s about asking for help, whether it means paying a sitter a lot of money to have time away, or hiring a cleaning service to help you get your house back in order.  It’s about being the mom you want to be, not what anyone else may expect or want from you.  It’s about loving yourself in the moment, even if you don’t want to.

That girl a year ago had a lot of growing up to do.  It wasn’t just about not having a silly bag of Dollar Tree goodies (that may or may not end up in a dog’s mouth or the garbage) but it is more about SELF LOVE.  SELF COMPASSION.  SELF WORTH.  SELF IMPROVEMENT.  This past year I have worked on ME so much and it has made me a better, happier, stronger, mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, human.  Anyone who tells you differently, makes fun of you for working on YOU, has more work to do on themselves.  Let me say that again, any person who tries to say anything negative about loving herself, has a lot of growing to do and it’s not up to you to fix her.  We can only change ourselves, that is all.  Other can learn by us leading by example.

I had some major changes that had to take place that were not easy. Shortly after this episode, I had to walk away from a friendship that was no longer serving me.  I had to put myself first and join the gym again.  I had to surround myself with loving, encouraging friends that lifted my spirits. . . I needed to find out what made JENN happy. (This blog from last year explains a bit more.)

Life is not always easy, nor do I expect it so.  I think one of the most beautiful aspects of life is that we can look back and truly grow from our experiences.  I write all of these words not to brag about my goodie bag, but to share that you are right where you need to be right now, friend.  Whether you’re a mom or not, whether you are struggling, or feeling high on life, everything is going to be okay.  It’s not all perfect, it’s not all going to fall into place, but each day we have the chance to be a little better than we were yesterday.

So stop beating yourself up about what you did or didn’t get to do, and maybe just go out and do it now.  Make the cookies.  Join the gym.  Read the book.  Cancel the cable.  Take the class.  Join the side hustle.  Whatever is speaking to your soul, listen.  The more wound up I find myself getting, the more I need to simplify and quiet my world around me so that I can hear what I am being called to do.

I hope that you can begin to listen too.

 

Post Life Coaching Feels

I’ve been a few weeks out of my Life Coaching experience with the amazingly talented Lindsay Preston, and I wanted to give a bit of an update.  I wanted to let myself absorb back into my ‘new normal’ and WOWZA.   That’s about the only ‘word’ that comes to mind when I think about my life right now.

If I am being honest, I have been having a bit of trouble putting words on paper (or blog) for how I feel.  I know that it was not a little pill or a magic wand, so I understand why I do feel so different, (in a good way too!) but it’s hard to truly explain the awesome that is, when we take the time to work on ourselves.

Transparent moment:

2 years ago, my husband was turning 40, we were running this newer company with our real estate, changing everything from one thing to another. I had a 2 year old, a 4 year old, poor relationships with my family and his, and I felt so lost.  I look back at photos and though I was in great physical health (still trying to work back to that bod!) really, I was so sad.  I felt like I had no control over anything (hello, we don’t always have control Jenn, and that’s ok!) but also I was leaning in trying to “find Jesus” and be saved or something. {It didn’t happen.}  I learned to just trust and wait the process of life, and honestly just keep going.  Through a lot of communication, life did get better, but fast forward to last year, and again, I would have these moments where I just felt paralyzed and couldn’t figure out “WHAT IS MY PURPOSE?!”  I’d have these highs and lows of how great and amazing life was, and then crash, something bad would happen and I’d falter and stumble and feel like I failed at life. Dramatic much? Yes.  But the truth is, in my 38 years here on earth, life is exactly that.  There’s going to be a whole lotta good that comes to us, and things to celebrate; life is meant to be beautiful and abundant.  But we wouldn’t understand how amazing it is, if we didn’t have some bad.

With Lindsay’s life coaching, she can’t take away our problems or solve terrible situations.  What she did do for me though, was give me the tools to help me when those bad times arise.  The times when I start to slip or feel not good enough.  The moments when I start to doubt myself or start to snap at my husband or kids for really “no apparent reason.”  I don’t blame my hormones, the weather, the food, my lack of workouts any more, nope.  It’s me.  And it’s not for “no apparent reason.”  There’s good reason why you are yelling, crying, feeling so overwhelmed.  I’ve also started asking myself, “What is this teaching me?” When something is going wrong, or I’m experiencing a trial of sorts.  I used to hear that phrase and roll my eyes and now I live by it.

So what do I do? (note it happened yesterday & again today)

I stop everything as fast as I can.  I still do what needs to get done, but then you guys, I mean it, you just need to press pause.  

I get quiet.  Even if it’s in a room locking your dogs and kids out of it for 5 minutes. Talk out loud to yourself, to a friend, to your mom.  If you have more time, grab a journal.  Writing was always so wonderful for me, but for whatever reason I abandoned it. Finding this tool again has been LIFE CHANGING. Get whatever it is out of that system of yours.  You don’t have to blog publicly or video your feelings, if you don’t want to, but the important thing I have learned is to get to the root of your problem.  For me, it’s so powerful to use that tool of journaling to figure out what is really making me so upset. I give my IMG (inner mean girl) a voice.  Let her be heard and allow yourself to feel.  Then I move on!

How?? Well I will say that I went through a life-changing process to release past emotions and blocks.  These were things that I didn’t quite realize that were holding me back from becoming my true authentic self.  Again, it was not easy, but once I devoted the time, had the support from my coach Lindsay and close friends/family and especially my husband, I realized the sky was the limit.  The best part?  I have this process tucked into my back pocket for the rest of my life.  At any point I am feeling stuck, emotionally stagnated or like I need to get over it, I will repeat the lessons I’ve learned.

I’ve said it before, but I’ve read the books. I’ve listened to the podcasts.  I have watched the You Tube videos and followed all the people posting all of the things.  It’s not a quick fix, but the tools learned in the 21 day Life Luvers Course and then the Unstoppable package, have truly done so much good.  I’m able to commit to my goals, stay on track and not lose sight no matter how hard things get.  I’m still counting my “wins” as Lindsay calls them.  Yesterday, they were as big as getting myself out of the ‘funk’ I felt as I felt myself slipping.  Normally that would have taken me days you guys!! Another win was when my husband came home, he had a bit of a panic/freak out moment of all the things not so great happening in real estate.  I’m talking, legit, problems.  I calmly heard him, and the old me would have taken it personally, been upset, defensive, argued back, but instead I listened. I heard him, let him have his moment, and we moved on.  I was always such a stress case, the one who would worry so very much about every little thing, and now?  I cast the worries—aka I write them out, and write some more.  And then let them go.  I’ve become so connected with the universe and the divine, I no longer have the uptight feeling in my chest. No heart palpitations. No impulse need to buy things.  It’s blissful.  It’s work, but once you get to this other side, you want to work so very hard to stay here.  Even today I had some things come flying at me, but I knew I needed to stop, breathe, write, workout, and I totally pumped myself up with Rachel Hollis and then GOT MY WORK DONE.  The perfectionist in me likes to put things off for fear of doing it right or getting it wrong, but I just dove in.  Checked off the list. [I learned all of this through my work with Lindsay!!!!!]

I am finally at the point where I can lay my head on the pillow knowing that I did everything I possibly could have done for the day, and that is enough for me.  I am enough for me.  It may have taken 38 years to feel this calm and intentional presence, but it’s so worth all of the work.  We’ll spend so much money and time on makeup, workouts, fast fix meals, toys, gadgets, tv shows, accessories, clothes, alcohol etc.  But we won’t spend time or money on fixing, healing and working on ourselves.  However, when we invest in ourselves, everything changes.  Everything changes for the better.

If you’re still feeling like everyone else has found “it” and you’re running on E, take a chance on yourself and jump in on Lindsay’s next round of Life Luvers LIVE starting on Monday 9/9.  You can use my code JENN20 to get $20 off!! I promise, it’s $77 worth every penny!!  At the very least, please head to her site  (www.LindsayEPreston.com) to take her coaching assessment to see if you’d be good to work together so you can get in on that live group.  The value of the group coaching is HUGE with this, as you will feed off of the other ladies energy and momentum will skyrocket you to that next level you are looking for.

I am in no way shape or form getting paid from writing this, nor am I getting a commission off of anyone who signs up.  I’m just a girl who loves to blog.  I love life. I love being happy, and I love helping others find their way.  Just knowing maybe one lady will click her way to success, or love, or happiness from reading my heart here on this old blog, I know I’m living into my purpose.

There happens to be another course after Unstoppable, but at this time I am taking a break to focus on our business, the kids going back to school and my final year of being a “stay at home mom.”  I know that Lindsay’s door is always open and I know I’ll be taking advantage of her one on one calls (I have one scheduled this Saturday!!) to work through some blocks I see happening in my business.  I am forever grateful my life has lead me here, and I truly wish each and every one of my readers this feeling of bliss.

Today

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Stopping by with a quickie today!!

I must say that my 21 day habits with my Life Coach Lindsay Preston during this Unstoppable Woman course are SOOO worth it!  I am not one to successfully complete something for x amount of straight days, without making an excuse.  Sure, I do stepbets, but they’re for 6 weeks and you get a day off in the week.  But here is something so powerful in doing the same thing for 13 days straight—I feel so empowered!  I also feel so much more at ease, I think because I’m doing a daily yoga practice.  I cannot wait to see how I’m doing after 21 days!!

My 3 habits:

1.) Daily Mantra: I am free to be me.

2.) 10 (or more) minutes of Yoga with Adriene.

3.) Blogging every day— have you noticed that yet?  🙂

I am content.  I am grounded.  I am satisfied.  I am happy.  I am rich.  I am loved.  I am strong.  I am healthy.  I am alive. I am free.  I am me. I am love.

 

What is one small habit you could do daily for 21 days straight? (Small, attainable and something to fill a need.)