• April 27, 2016

    Remember How We Talked About This?

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    So… remember a couple weeks ago when we talked about self care?  Well… I’m taking this week off to practice what I preach.  I just can’t seem to get ahead of things and I need a chance to breathe right now.  Don’t worry, I have plans for next week’s post, so I just need to put it all together now!  :)

    Now, go do something fun, ok?

    Tea

    P.S. This tea?  In the pictures?  It’s ah-maz-ing!  Seriously, chocolate tea?!  Best. thing. ever.

  • April 20, 2016

    Top 5 Ways to go Greener Right Now!

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    Happy Earth Day!  I love this day so much!  It’s an important day and a good reminder of the fragility of the earth and our part in that.  It’s an opportunity to search out new ways to use resources wisely and conserve what we do have.  So, I’ve compiled a list of 5 really easy ways we can make the world a better place and care for our home.   Now, go forth and challenge yourself to do these things on a regular basis!

    1. Use reusable cloth shopping bags

    This is a no-brainer!  Nobody needs hundreds of paper and plastic bags floating around their homes, so opt for reusable cloth bags instead.

    2. Frequent local businesses – grocery co-ops and farmers markets

    Shopping locally isn’t just good for local businesses!  By purchasing locally made items, you cut down on emissions from transporting things across the country and world.

    3. Ride a bike or take the bus

    Again, you can help cut down on vehicle emissions in your area.  If you bike, you can also get in some good exercise!

    4. Turn off lights, electronics, and faucets when not in use

    This is another no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t take this simple step!  If you already do this, take the next step and unplug things you’re not using!  Use a power strip with an on/off switch and shut things down when you go to bed every night.

    5. Bring your own travel mug on your coffee runs (some shops even offer discounts for this!)

    This can’t always be pre-planned for (I usually end up at coffee shops on a whim, not out of habit or planning), but if you do have a regular habit of going to out for your coffee, it’s totally do-able!

    Park

    If you already do some of these things, way to go!  You’re conscious of the Earth’s fragility and you’re making a difference!  Sometimes, though, we’re limited with what we can do (for instance, I live in a place where the bus doesn’t run and it’s too far to bike, so I have to drive to work), so I’d love to know what other things you do to live a green life!  Please, share your thoughts and strategies in the comments!

  • April 13, 2016

    Treat Yo’Self!

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    Ugggh… you guys… I am so tired!  The past six weeks or so have really taken the life out of me!  So much so that I am even struggling to write this at all.  Between Dad’s surgery, family obligations, house projects, financial burdens, typical work stressors, and extra special work stressors on top of it all… I’m beat.

    During this stressful time, I’ve been thinking a lot about self care and how I can get better at it.  I brought it up with my mom and was surprised to find that she wasn’t particularly familiar with the term “self care.”  I guess it’s such a talked about concept in the mental health field that I forget not everyone learns what it means to take care of themselves and why it’s essential to successful living!

    Self care is pretty much just what it sounds like: taking care of one’s own mental, physical, and spiritual health and wellbeing.  This includes managing stress and finding balance with the different facets of one’s life.  Most importantly, self care is a continual process, not a onetime thing!  You have continually take time to find your peace and feed your soul.

    “But that sounds so selfish!  Who has time to get away from work?  The kids?  The house?  The husband?  If I don’t pour my heart and soul into everyone and everything around me, I’m a bad mom/wife/woman!”

    Feet

    I hear you, my dears, and I understand where that feeling comes from!  It’s not always easy to remember that you have value all on your own, is it?  It’s easy to martyr yourself and feel that that is what makes you a good person.  The best way I know to explain that this viewpoint is so flawed is to ask you to remember the last time you got on an airplane and the speech they give before takeoff.  If you need to put on an oxygen mask, they tell you to do yours first and then help others.  That’s not selfish!  You are completely useless to help others if you’re passed out!  The same is true of regular life stuff!

    Have you ever noticed getting grumpy with your coworkers when you slept poorly?  Or snapped at your significant other when dinner is late and you’re a little hangry?  Ever yelled at the kids after a long day at work when all you want to do is draw a bath and drink a glass of wine?  That’s why self care matters!  If you don’t do it, not only do you suffer, but so does everyone else around you!

    So, then, what do you do about it?  Consider what you naturally do to reduce stress and feel good.  From there, you can expand your positive self care strategies and incorporate these things more naturally into your life.  Once something becomes a habit, you won’t have to work as hard to do it on a regular basis.  Discuss your thoughts with your family or friends so they can help you stay on track and to help them understand any changes your self care plan will make in  how  you interact with them.

    Here’s a short list of things to help you get started.  Please add to it and mold it to fit your own, personal needs!

    • Be self aware – know your limits and make a plan to help you stick to what you can handle – it’s okay to say “no” once in a while.
    • Develop a support system – talk to family, friends, people online, and seek out professional help if needed
    • Take care of your body: exercise, eat right, sleep enough
    • Take care of your mind: take time off, read, do something relaxing, practice mindfulness
    • Take care of your spirit: laugh, meditate, attend religious services, spend time in nature or visit a spa

    When in doubt, be like a corgi!  Play outside with your favorite person, drink lots of water, and SMILE!

    Happy-Face

  • April 6, 2016

    Geek Girls Guide to the Gym: Staying Motivated

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    Okay, geek girls… how’s the gym treating you these days?!  If you’re anything like me… you’ve lost some of your enthusiasm and you’re ready to eat a pint of ice cream and take a nap.  Don’t give in, ladies!  Don’t fail yourself!  You can totally keep up the good work!

    When I started faltering, the best thing I did was to find a group of like-minded people who encourage me and check in about my progress.  They help me stay motivated and not feel bad if I mess up a little once in a while.  My group takes the form of several ladies I work with.  We meet once a week to review our goals and progress.  We also try to incorporate an educational element like how much water a person should be drinking every day or how to read nutrition labels.  This may sound like a lot of work, but it’s really not!  If everyone shows up and brings a little tid-bit to share, the group practically runs itself!  And, because we all know each other’s goals, we can also encourage each other as we think of it during the rest of the week!  We go for walks together and check in about workouts and water intake.  I’d be lost without these ladies!

    Weights

    In addition to a support network, you can work with a personal trainer or go to the gym with a friend.  It helps to have someone there in the moment to push you just a little harder.  It’s more fun, too!  Some people work with their trainer every week, but I prefer to check in with her every few months or so – I’m pretty good about pushing myself as long as I know what to do.  So, take the time and really weigh what will be the best fit for  you!  The same goes for working with a friend – find someone who will push you, not hold you back.  If you’re at the gym but hardly working… it isn’t worth your time, is it?  Make the most of your time – it’s one of the most valuable things you have!

    Another thing you can do is find a fun group or event that you can attend.  Where I live, there are lots of breweries and wineries, so someone started a workout & wine/beer group where you lift kegs and run around the brewery in order to get a glass of the good stuff when you’re all done.  If boozing and sweating doesn’t sound like fun to you, check out other classes like pole dancing or yoga or biking.  Figure out what appeals to you most and make your workouts fun!  You can also sign up for a fun run like the Color Run or something that benefits a cancer society or other cause you believe in.  This will push you to train before the run and will reward you with a rewarding day of running and celebrating the thing you did.  Most fun runs I’ve been really excited about are about fitness and fun, so they don’t worry about timing you and walkers, joggers, and runners are all welcome (check this out before signing up if you are worried about it).

    Yoga

    As important as it is to have outside encouragement, it’s also important to have plenty of intrinsic motivation.  This can be hard, especially if you have plateau-ed  in your progress.  Some things that help me are:

    • Remember why you started going to the gym in the first place.
    • Make weekly goals/challenges for yourself.
    • If you can’t make yourself go to the gym, make yourself do some exercise at home: youtube yoga videos (Adriane’s is my favorite), Wii fit, bike ride, walk the neighborhood, get some home weights, etc.
    • Treat yo’self – go on a hike, swim in a lake, or some other fun form of exercise.

    The most important thing is to keep trying.  You won’t always be perfect – I know I’m not!  But if you work at it and do your best, that’s all anyone can really ask of you, isn’t it?

    Yoga-Mat