Stress Management Archives — Stella Nadene | Health + Wellness for Working Moms
6 Ways to Help Your Family With the Devastation of a Divorce

6 Ways to Help Your Family With the Devastation of a Divorce

How to cope with divorce so you and your children can heal.

Guest post by Audrey Taylor.

 

Divorce is one of the most stressful things that can happen to a person. The circumstances certainly do matter, but even the best circumstances don’t neutralize the emotional, mental, social, and financial mess that inevitably follows the end of your marriage. While it is difficult to stay calm in the face of such a crisis, it is of paramount importance to keep your wits about you.

Like everything, this stage of your life will end, and you need to make sure that you’ve given yourself the best chance for going through the rest of your life. Here are some suggestions for how to cope with divorce to help you keep calm and deal with matters in a responsible way.

 

 

1. Take responsibility

 

Your marriage is at its end, and you and your partner have (or haven’t) agreed that divorce is the only solution. Now is not the time to break down. On the contrary, now you have to think clearly and be rational. Organize the documents you need, find a lawyer if you have to, and find a way to deal with the children if you have them. Make sure everything is in order, and try to make the process as smooth as possible – it won’t do any good to anybody to prolong and complicate it. Get through the technicalities and legal matters with determination and clear goals.

 

2. Be civil

 

Civility and will to deal with things peacefully can go a long way in how to cope with divorce. In Australia, for example, it’s quite common to move from contested to uncontested divorce (which is a much quicker and cheaper option) during the process.

No matter how horrible you feel, keep in mind that your partner is the person you once loved so much that you agreed to marry them. Remind yourself of that fact if things get ugly. Talk to them and see if you can reach an agreement. You can always find a good family mediator in Sydney if you don’t feel like you have the strength or presence of mind to go through it on your own, or you or your ex are reluctant to compromise. It’ll speed up the process, and spare you the bitterness that will inevitably arise during a hostile divorce.

 

3. Think of the children

 

If you have children, you must consider their well-being from the moment you realize your marriage is approaching its end. Think about what’s best for them, and don’t be selfish. Even if your relationship with your ex-partner is less than perfect, don’t let the kids listen to any fights. Don’t make them choose sides. Don’t badmouth their other parent when they can hear you. Divorces are difficult for the children as much as they are for the parents, so make sure you give them any attention they need. If necessary, ask for professional help. Do what is necessary to help your children cope with the situation.

 

4. Let yourself grieve

 

Even if your marriage stopped working in the end, there are many things you lose when you divorce. You lose companionship and support, you lose the knowledge that someone is always there for you, and you lose your plans and hopes for the future of your marriage. Understandably, this loss is enough to make you sad and even depressed. Allow yourself to feel the sorrow for your previous life. Talk to the people in your life, and accept your feelings. If you need to, find a professional to help you deal with your emotional chaos, and move on.

 

5. Reach out

 

Even if you’ve just lost the person who was closest to you in the period you left behind, you still have your loved ones. Find comfort with your friends and family. Spending time with the people we love is a great stress relief, and it will help you cope with all the difficulties you’re going through.

 

6. Take care of yourself

 

Accept the fact that you’re in a trying period of your life, and treat your health and well-being accordingly. Reduce the workload, or take some days off of your job. Get plenty of rest, and make sure you eat healthily. Come up with a good daily and bedtime routine, and stick with it – it’ll help you feel organized and introduce some order in all the chaos. Make time to relax. Don’t slip into bad habits, such as drinking too much or harming your health in any other way. Get some new hobbies that’ll help you start over, and give you the hope that comes with new beginnings. It just might be the boost you need to start living your life again after going through a dreadful period.

 

In conclusion, while the divorce marks the end of an important part of your life, it doesn’t have to be the end of your world. Use the tools you have in your disposal to help yourself close that particular door with as much grace as possible, and move on with your life.

 

Audrey Taylor was born in San Francisco, and moved to Adelaide at the age of five. Marketer researcher and social media manager on hold, full – time mommy of a cheerful two-year-old. Graduated from Queensford college, worked in a couple of marketing agencies across Australia, eager to learn more about business and share her experiences. Traveled across Europe. Her hobbies include: home decor, fashion, travel, music, old movies.

Audrey Taylor

 

 

 

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/theaudreyworld

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Dealing with divorce can be incredibly stressful. Especially when kids are involved. See if these 6 ways can help you and your family heal after the devastation of a divorce. #divorce #therapy #moms #momlife #singlemoms

6 Best Mindfulness Apps to Calm Your Mood

6 Best Mindfulness Apps to Calm Your Mood

Try any one of these 6 best mindfulness apps to calm your mood and relieve daily stress.

 

Frantically trying to make dinner by 6pm while corralling my 11 year old’s electronics (where does she keep disappearing to??) and trying to explain multiplication facts I apparently don’t understand anymore, while ignoring the 5 year old’s incessant whining about how she’s hungry that’s somehow been expertly combined with tattling, is definitely my most stressful time of the day. I pride myself on the fact that meals are at least planned out and usually already prepped. If they weren’t, ‘insane in the membrane’ would be the best description of my capacity for the rest of the chaos happening.

I’m sure you can relate. Every mom on the planet is in awe of the destruction of peace those once-angels have the ability to cause.

The past year I’ve made it my mission to create more mindful moments, though. I’ve decided to embrace a term I heard at church a few months ago called, ‘silencio.’ It basically means silence. (Duh.) Like, shut your trap and simmer on down, and let God and the universe help you figure out how to act instead of react.

That helps tremendously. But I also have incorporated some freakin’ fantastic mindfulness apps to reinforce–or dare I say–supercharge (?!) that as well.

Here are the 6 best mindfulness apps that I’ve found to inject some much-needed calm into my days. (Please don’t use these with kids around… they’ll most likely just ruin it.) 😂

 

best mindfulness and meditation apps headspace app

 

Calm

 

My search for the best mindfulness apps actually started with Calm. It has tracks of music and guided meditations. But there’s a really cool feature for when you can’t sleep. It’s called Sleep Stories, and is a person reading an interesting story, but their voice is so calming and smooth that it’s hard to ever get to the end of the story. Some of these are free, and there are paid options as well.

 

Aura

 

This app is pretty cool (as long as you’re not wigged out by artificial intelligence.) The more you use it, the more the app adapts to your patterns. It offers quick sessions to match your mood, and you can also customize the content.

 

Breethe

 

This app also has music and meditations for bedtime, but the sheer number of options is crazy! It has meditations for success, stress, and health plus master classes you can take. Among the features are also calming nature sounds and videos as well as breathing exercises, which I’ve personally found to be extremely helpful in pushing away daily stresses.

 

Headspace

 

The 4.9 star rating the Headspace mindfulness app boasts should give some insight to how great it is. It has a free basics course to teach the fundamentals of meditation and mindfulness, then has meditations for everything under the sun. It also features ‘mindful moments’ throughout the day as well as quick 2-3 minute meditations for those super small time pockets you have in the day. Another feature that I love as a panick-attack-sufferer is what they call ‘SOS sessions’ for extreme times of stress and anxiety (or if you feel a panic attack coming on.)

 

Breathesync

 

This app claims to ‘biohack your breathing’ by using synchronized biofeedback breathing. It uses guided imagery in combination with reading your pulse through your finger touching the camera lens to get your breathing in sync with your heart. Again–breathing correctly can be extremely powerful in keeping your stress levels in check. Which is why I love this app!

 

Momentum

 

If you have issues with mindfulness during the day, and you’re on your computer a lot, this app (which is technically a Chrome extension) creates those periods for you. It provides mindful quotes combined with gorgeous images to squeeze in little moments to just ‘sit and be’ throughout your day.

 

How about you? Do you use any of these? What are the best mindfulness apps that’ve changed your days? Let me know in the comments!

 

Need a roadmap to your ideal relaxation? Click the image below to grab your Roadmap to Relaxation Journal and start creating your perfect relaxation plan!

 

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Need help gettin' your mindfulness and meditation on the daily? Here are the 6 best apps for just that! I've used number 1 and 4 for over a year now, and holy cow! #stress #stressrelief #stressmanagement #meditation #mindfulness #moms #mindfulnessapp

4 Ways to Ease the Stress of the Female Mental Load

4 Ways to Ease the Stress of the Female Mental Load

Tips for ways you can work with your partner to ease the stress of the female mental load women inevitably take on in your household.

 

One of the most frustrating arguments I can have with my husband revolves around this topic. Not because I feel it’s taboo, or because I believe the whole ‘women’s work’ BS (I grew up in the South where unbelievably demeaning attitudes involving gender inequality in household work, among other things, still exist.) I think it’s because I could never quite put my finger on what “it” was for a long time.

One of our biggest blowups involved going to a kids birthday party one Saturday. I am always expected to be the one who knows the day and time, has bought the gift, gift bag, and card, and then prepped everyone for the party, in addition to picking outfits, making the kids get dressed, and then doing hair for 4 females in the house. That doesn’t count me getting myself ready either. And one day I’d had enough.

My husband, after lounging on the bed watching TV during the whole ordeal of us getting ready without his help, couldn’t understand why I was fuming when he didn’t remember to grab the darn gift on his way out the door. And I lost it. (Please remember that I have a short fuse, and up to this point I had exercised extreme patience with this whole situation…or maybe not patience, but holding my sh!t together, minimum.)

 

female mental load

 

The load

 

I had to explain that this wasn’t an isolated occurrence. This kind of thing happened on a daily basis with literally any family or household thing going on. I realize I’m a SAHM, but when he honestly doesn’t even put a single thought into anything regarding the kids or family, that’s where I’d drawn my line. And I just could not, for the life of me, put my finger on what the real issue was.

He’s repeatedly said to me, ‘Tell me what to do and I’ll do it!’ So from the outside, it should look like he’s totally innocent and I’m the nastiest Momzilla that ever lived. (Or maybe Wifezilla.) But what had been festering for years finally made perfect sense when another mom with the same issue gave it a name: The Female Mental Load women take on in nearly every household.

It was the mental load.

The overbearing, heavy, unmovable mental load.

The mental load women take on of having to remember everything, coordinate everything, plan everything, buy everything, assemble everything, and do everything–which smothers me with the stress of it all. It was a lack of initiative from him in any one single part of all those things. He didn’t want to have to think about anything. So he left it all to me.

I already ran the household by myself, especially since he’s gone for work so much. That means I’m already a single parent the majority of the time. So I had that plus the mental load of all of it. All to myself.

 

Guilt steps in…as always

 

For a while I felt guilty; I mean, I am the one staying home instead of working outside the home. But one day I snapped. Ya know, the birthday party day. Yes I stay home with the kids, I’m not at a job outside the home. But I thought back to when we both worked full time. And it finally dawned on me… he was the same way back then.

And I don’t think it’s an on-purpose thing for him (or any male partner.) It’s just, for one–we think differently than men. But I think a little of it is that they don’t want to have to think about anything. (It is for my husband anyway.)

And this happens in soooo many households even though we’re supposed to have evolved from this whole ‘traditional’ attitude of the woman doing everything involved with the kids and household. That whole gender inequality in household work thing. Many friends have told me they feel it’s come from how their husbands were raised. Meaning: we have to be very direct and communicate the fact that they’re not guests in the household (nor are they king of the 7 realms that sits on the iron throne.) They’re our partners. Plain and simple.

So in all this hefty load-bearing, we’ve come to use these 4 ways to work through the communication of the whole issue, to help the load get split more evenly.

 

Open a conversation about it

 

One of the first things I always have to remember in this is to NOT start our conversation while in attack mode. Using ‘I feel’ statements to communicate the burden you have makes a huuuuge difference. Maybe even make a list to give examples. And reiterate that he is one of two parents here, and half of a couple.

Let him know how much you feel this is on you. Maybe even talk about how this kind of thing puts you in a bad mood, stresses you out, and makes sexy time feel so-NOT-sexy. (It does for me anyhow!) Open up about your feelings and let him know that you shouldn’t have this entire load to yourself.

Then make a list of all the things you handle and anything he handles, then split it up. Be very clear that you will each be responsible for those things without the other’s help unless necessary.

The whole point is for you to not have to remind + direct when it’s time to do each thing.

 

Tips for collaboration

 

Make sure you’re planning ahead, first and foremost. It’s super simple to either set a timer, or create a system for something. For example, if his new responsibility is to do one load of laundry a day, ask him to set a timer on his phone, or ask that he throws it in while dinner is going.

Reminders are always going to be your friend (well, actually his since you already remember this stuff.) But using things like lists, sticky notes, and reminders on phones are always really helpful.

Make sure you’re dividing things up by either skill level, or what one or the other likes to do. My husband actually really likes to cook. So when he’s home–I don’t have to cook! 🎉🙌 I don’t mind doing floors, so I sweep and vacuum. (Also, we delegate stuff to the kids as well, and they have chores. If your kids are older, make sure they’re doing their parts, too–sometimes we forget how capable our kids actually are!)

 

Reversing roles

Don’t feel like specific tasks need to go to one or the other based on gender. My husband likes mowing the yard, but I used to do it as a teen at my dad’s house, and actually loved the peace and quiet. And what mom couldn’t use that, right? 😂 So I’m absolutely not opposed to doing the yard in lieu of him taking something I do inside.

I also got a big wakeup call on this after my brother got married and had their first kid. His wife was in the Navy, and he was a ‘military mom’ for years because she was out of the country on tour. Since her being back for months at a time, he’s never handed over the roles he started out with. He still takes the kids to school and daycare, picks them up, and does all afterschool activities. They both work full-time. It’s actually been refreshing to see him in that role–especially since we both grew up in a traditional, male-dominated community. Honestly it makes my heart smile. 😍

 

Learn to let go

 

If you have a real problem with things getting done a certain way because you’ve always done it that way… you’re gonna have to just let some things go. Trusting that it’ll get done–even if it’s not exactly how you do it–is gonna be huge in letting some stress fall away from your shoulders.

If it’s a matter of it being done properly (either by your partner or your kid), that’s a different animal. Take some time to teach how it’s done correctly, whether it’s the hubby or a kid, then move on.

The biggest takeaway here is to understand that your house doesn’t have to look like a Pottery Barn catalog all the time. People actually live in it. So if the tasks that have been handed out don’t get done the minute you think they should, you’re gonna have just step back a little. Leave the load on the other person. That’s why you handed it over in the first place, right?

 

How’s your female mental load women friends? Have you had this discussion in your household? How did you go about splitting it up? (Let me know in the comments!)

 

Need more relaxation and less stress in your life? Click the image below to grab your Roadmap to Relaxation Journal!

 

stress management relaxation journal female mental load women

 

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Ever feel like ALL responsibility for the house, kids, and life are on your shoulders? You're not alone! It's called the Female Mental Load, and here's how to alleviate the stress of it without causing WW III in your home! #stressrelief #stressmanagement #stress #moms

8 Ways to Pay it Forward With Random Acts of Kindness

8 Ways to Pay it Forward With Random Acts of Kindness

8 fun ways to pay it forward and teach your kids that random acts of kindness are the way to happiness. 

 

Listening to my nine-year-old bark irritated orders at the five-year-old grated on my nerves every single morning. And every morning it spurred me to bark back at the nine-year-old. It aggravated me to no end that she was always so angry at her sister–four years younger than her–because she didn’t understand everything the 9-year-old did. But it rubbed me even worse that she was so snarly about it. The tone of her voice was just…downright mean.

It took me reading that the way our children talk to and treat others come from our voices that they hear in their heads every day.

WOW– was that a slap in the face!!

I’d spent several years being borderline miserable because of the see-saw family life of my husband traveling for work so much. I felt like a single mom most of the time, and got very little support from someone who could never ‘catch us at the right time’ on the phone because of incessant meetings and conference calls. Not to mention our marriage was suffering. It made me irritated all. the. time.

But the worst part wasn’t that I was inadvertently taking it out on my kids. It was that they were learning that this was how you speak to people. This was how you tolerate–or don’t tolerate–others. And this was the level of patience that was expected from them. None. It broke my heart that this is what they were learning from me.

It took that lesson to really understand that my actions weren’t just feeding my own miserable temperament. They were also teaching my kids to treat others just as poorly.

In that moment, I knew that not only did I need to change my way of dealing with the heavy burden of being a see-saw single mom, but I also needed to keep it together to SHOW my kids that you speak to each other with patience. And you treat others with kindness–even random acts of kindness. Whether they’re family or not.

And when you can find that place of being centered enough to see love in others and show kindness, even if–especially if–they’re in a cruddy mood, it brings about real joy and happiness.

Here are 8 random acts of kindness ideas I use to show my kids how to pay it forward on a regular basis, that I find bring me a whole new level of joy and, therefore, stress relief.

 

random acts of kindness ideas

 

1.Donate Things

 

Ok, so we do this a lot just for the sake of clearing clutter out of our house. But really getting into the reasoning behind WHY you’re donating this thing instead of throwing it on Craigslist is an incredible lesson for our children.

I totally understand needing money sometimes. But if you’re in a position that you don’t have to sell it to pay some bills, make a point of finding things that other people can use and will find joy in. We’ve actually done this enough times that when I tell my kids I think we’re getting too many toys to handle, the 5-year-old will find 3 or 4 toys and tell me, “Mama, I think we need to give these to other kids that will love them.” This makes my heart so happy!!

 

2. Pay someone a compliment

 

So, since reading The 5 Love Languages book, it’s been pointed out that these techniques can actually be used even in friendships or work situations. (Not necessarily being physically affectionate with a co-worker; that’ll probably get you fired.) But the concepts can be changed a little to apply to everyone. And it’s crazy to me how many people have ‘words of affection’ as one of the top ways they feel loved and appreciated.

So next time you’re waiting in line somewhere, find something you like about the person in front of you, and tell them about it! It doesn’t even have to be something they’re wearing–it could be the way they speak to their children or the healthy options in their shopping cart. Or how about complimenting your coworker or even mail carrier as your random acts of kindness? Everyone loves a compliment–and seeing the happiness you spark in them gives you the fuzzies as well!

 

3. Send a Bouquet of Beautiful Stems

 

I know very few people that don’t like flowers. Next time a friend, family member, or coworker is sick or down in the dumps, have a bouquet (or even a pretty potted plant) delivered to them.

It’s guaranteed to elicit a gigantic involuntary smile from them!

 

4. Stick it To the Parking Meter Cops (on behalf of someone that’s parked)

 

Grab some extra change and go fill the meters to make sure no one gets fined. Nothing makes me happier (personally) than seeing a frustrated parking meter cop with (apparently) nothing better to do than hand out fines for expired parking meters.

 

5. Bake up Some Yummy Surprises

 

Show some appreciation to someone who’s done something kind for you, or even to show someone random acts of kindness for no reason! Everyone loves baked goodies, and if you can find a yummy + healthy recipe, all the better!!

 

6. Pay it Forward…Literally

 

In line at Starbucks or the drive-through for lunch? Pay for the person’s order behind yours! Or how about shoving a bit of cash and a note into a book or magazine in the Dr’s office or a bookstore? There are tons of ways you can pay it forward with cash! You honestly never know when that money might be the tiny push that person needs to make a difference! Or just make them happy!

 

7. Be a Book Fairy

 

Random acts of kindness can also happen even if you never see the other person! Ever heard of a book fairy? It’s someone who hides books with little notes tucked inside for others to find! It can be under a seat on the subway, on a parkbench, or even on a bus! Just write a sunny, inspiring note, insert into the book, and leave for someone to find!

 

8. Let Others Squeeze In

 

Honestly, traffic is one of the banes of my existence. I hate it. But I also hate it not only when nobody will let me in, but when someone cuts in as if they’re entitled to move in front of me simply because they are who they are. (Grrr!!)

I’ve found, though, that MOST people are very appreciative if you just go ahead and wave them in. It saves them a few minutes commute time, brightens their day, and only took 3 seconds of your time. Win-win!

 

What ways do you pay it forward to elicit more happiness and keep the stress at bay in your life with random acts of kindess? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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stress management relaxation journal random acts of kindness ideas

 

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Looking for ways to spark joy + stress relief on the daily? Check these 8 ideas for random acts of kindness that adults can teach their teens or kids for total strangers! #kindness #randomactsofkindness #stressrelief #stressmanagement #stress

How to Embrace Imperfection in Life as a Tool for Coping With Stress

How to Embrace Imperfection in Life as a Tool for Coping With Stress

4 ways we can embrace imperfection as a tool to cope with stress as a busy mom every day.
Guest post by Ryan Howard.

 

Parenthood is a funny thing. I don’t think that there is a single, more transformative experience out there. When people think back to their pre-kids days, they are often astonished at just how much time they had on their hands. More astonishing still is how people spend that excess time: brunches, TV shows, fine dining, and all sorts of unimaginable entertainment. Coping with stress hadn’t even hit their radar.

 

coping with stress

 

The Making Of A Perfectionist

 

Once kids arrive, your perspective is bound to change entirely. All of a sudden, you have a real live human being in your care that requires constant attention. Gone are the carefree easy-going days of your youth. These are replaced by all sorts of responsibilities. While having children is a wonderful experience, it can also be overwhelming dealing with stress that comes with parenthood.

A lot of people step up to this challenge and resolve to do their absolute best at parenthood. On the surface, this is very much a good thing. However, it’s also easy to take things too far. Some new parents will try to do everything they can to make their little one’s life the absolute image of perfection.

Children in these households sleep in high-end cribs with high tech baby monitors watching over them. They wear the finest onesies and most expensive diapers. They play with all sorts of toys to help their development, listen to nine books each day, and never miss a bath. Once these children start with solids, only organic will do. As they get older, they attend the finest preschools and participate in all sorts of character building extracurricular activities.

 

The Downside Of Perfection

 

The trouble with the perfect lifestyle is that it comes with impossibly high standards. Many parents trying to keep up such a lifestyle spend a lot of time fretting over minor details in their child’s life. A toddler watching a few minutes of non-educational TV can get their heart racing. A few cookies after dinner can cause a near panic attack from a lack of coping with stress.

Then there is the financial burden. When you’re trying to make sure your little one gets their fill of enrichment activities, eats all of the highest quality foods, and dresses like a child model, things can get pretty expensive. Look, even under the best of circumstances, kids are really expensive. Between clothing, strollers, car seats, diapers, health care, and child care, the costs really add up. If you’re trying to get the best of everything, they add up even more. This financial strain can only make life seem more difficult.

After a while some parents in this situation find themselves dealing with stress they didn’t expect, and not all that happy. Believe it or not, some of this stress gets transferred to their kids as well.

 

Sometimes We Have to Embrace Imperfection

 

It can be easy to get lulled into the line of thinking that your child needs to attend the best preschool, so that they are ahead of the curve in grade school, graduate at the top of their high school class, and go to an Ivy League school. Presumably, a wonderful life will follow.

Life, however, doesn’t exactly work this way. There are all kinds of twists and turns along the way. In fact, when you look at a lot of really successful people, you find out that they come from all different backgrounds. Sure, some of them when to all the best schools starting at a very early age. But, a lot of them faced challenges early in their lives. These challenges were formative and provided a strength of character that helped propel them to success down the road. The point is that having a great life doesn’t necessarily mean having a “perfect” childhood.

Growing up in a happy household can actually have a massive impact on your child’s life as well, and that’s not to be ignored. If you’re happier and coping with stress in a healthy way, you might just end up doing a better job as a parent. After all, your children are looking up at you and learning all the time. So, if they see you living a stressed out existence, they might just grow up to do the same. If that’s not the life you want for them, then why would you choose to live that way? It’s much more healthy to model stress management correctly to them.

 

Coping With Stress With a Less Perfect Life

 

One of the keys to deal with stress and live happier is to stop seeking perfection at every turn. Indeed, inviting imperfection in can do wonders for you. That doesn’t mean you suddenly phone in parenthood altogether. But, it does mean that it’s ok for your two-year-old to watch a TV show every once in a while. It also means if you’re busy and need to skip bathtime, the world won’t come to an end. You might even take your little one out for ice cream after dinner, knowing full well that it’s not the most nutritious thing in the world and that it might make bedtime later than usual.

 

Relaxing the rules on occasion for dealing with stress can make for happier parents, happier kids, and a happier life. At the end of the day, isn’t that really the point?

 

Author Bio: Ryan Howard runs SmartParentAdvice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Ryan writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase for babies and toddlers.

 

Mindfulness activities are more than just meditation! Find out activities and techniques to add affirmations and practice daily mindfulness at work or home! Free Shoo Away Stress Mindfulness Journal #mindful #mindfulness #stressrelief

 

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Feeling the pressure of being a parent? Yo, it can be really hard some days! Check out how you can lighten the load and get some relief with these stress management tips by embracing the imperfection in your life! #stress #stressmanagement #stressrelief #imperfection

5 Ways to Let Go of the Past and Live in Joy

5 Ways to Let Go of the Past and Live in Joy

The steps to take to let go of the past so you can finally live with peace, joy, and less stress in your life.

 

If you’ve ever had your heart broken–I mean really broken– you know just how hard it is to live in the present without feeling the heartwrenching effects of another person’s cruel and heartless actions. I was married once before, and I always thought the things he did to me would stay with me forever. They affected how I looked at men. How I treated men. And how I went into–or usually avoided–relationships. But also how I vowed to never fully trust another human in my life. It made me cynical and angry and…exhausted. There wasn’t a single minute of any day that I thought I could let go of the past. It defined me for a while.

Carrying that hurt, cynicism, and anger with me drained the life out of me. The thing is, my dad had an affair and left our family when I was fifteen. Then my first husband was a pathological liar, a user, and cheated on me within our first six months of marriage. So these feelings were nothing new for ten years. And when I had the option of what felt like aimlessly dating forever, or marrying one of my best friends and having a family, I knew things had to change. I knew the key was to let go of the past.

It took a lot–I mean a LOT–of patience with myself. But it also took a lot of trying to put myself in the other person’s shoes. I’ll admit it didn’t take all the hurt away. But it helped. It takes time, healing a heart and finding love and joy in everything again. Especially in other people. But these 5 things guided me in letting go of the past so that I could see all the love that God and his universe have provided.

 

how to let go of the past

 

1.Make Peace with the Past

 

Making peace with your past doesn’t mean you agree with what anyone else has done to wrong you. It simply means making peace with the fact that it happened to move onto figuring out what to do with that hurt you’ve been carrying. It’s really the first step in being able to move beyond that pain you’ve been holding on to for so long.

Depending on the situation, this can take longer for some. But the point is that you’re able to acknowledge it, make peace with there being a reason for it, and understanding that you’re committing to taking steps to move past it for your own sake.

 

2. Get Outside Points of View

 

Sometimes we don’t know how to let go of the past because it can be so incredibly difficult to see anything else in a situation except your own truth. We have to remember that there are always 2 sides to every story. Maybe you don’t want to, or can’t, get the POV from the other side. But you can get a viewpoint, and even advice, from someone who isn’t invested in the situation. That may be a therapist, or a trusted friend or family member. Ask them to be truthful, not giving you cliches or words of sympathy that they think you want to hear. This is the time for you to really get an outside point of view to be able to see a new side of the situation.

 

3. Open Your Mind and Heart

 

One problem that many of have in letting go and moving on is that we’re so upset about the outcome of a situation because it’s not how we wanted it to go. One of the biggest lessons I’ve had to learn in my life is that even if it wasn’t the end result that I wanted, I had to trust in God and the universe that he had my back, and had a plan for something even BETTER than the end-game I had hoped for.

I had to give that original view a 180 turn to see that this thing happened FOR me–not TO me. I had to keep my mind and heart open, and TRUST that it would be even better than I could’ve imagined.

 

4. Dump the Emotional Clutter

 

In opening our minds and hearts, we have to go further and actually let go of those past hurts. Those bad feelings are creating heavy places in our hearts. They no longer serve us. In fact, they probably never served us. Seeing this and knowing that you’re only hurting yourself by keeping hold of it helps you to dump all that emotional clutter weighing down your spirit.

It’s so incredibly hard to see love and joy when it’s buried under all the clutter of resentment, anger, and hurt. Really work on letting that clutter go, piece by piece, and you’ll feel lighter by the load with each one you let go of.

 

5. Journal About It

 

One of my most favorite tools for any emotional dilemma is to journal about it–especially when it comes to how to let go of the past and move forward. I learned long ago that I have way too many words for any one person to handle! I understand that others can get eventually get overburdened when we want to mull things over endlessly about this thing we have on our minds and hearts. So I turn to my journal to get it all out. (And hopefully spare a friendship or two!)

Another great thing about journaling is that it creates a physical document of your emotional journey and growth. You can always look back and remember how you felt, and how you worked through it. This is really powerful when you think about it. Few methods of therapy allow you to actually track your journey. But journaling is the most raw, unfiltered way to do just that.

A really incredible journal option I’ve found specific to letting go things of the past is the book Judgment Detox. You can also get the accompanying journal to go through the steps she lists in it. I got hung up on the title of the book initially, but it really is about how you’re judging others for the wrongs they’ve done to you, and how to release that hurt and move on. It’s helped me with multiple pieces of baggage I’ve held onto for years.

But honestly, a simple spiral notebook works just as good!

Shoo away stress with the free Mindfulness Journal! Click the image below to grab it!

 

Mindfulness activities are more than just meditation! Find out activities and techniques to add affirmations and practice daily mindfulness at work or home! Free Shoo Away Stress Mindfulness Journal #mindful #mindfulness #stressrelief

 

Let me know in the comments what’s helped you the most in letting go of the past!

 

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Ready to let go of that thing in your past so you can move on in joy and happiness? Check these 5 tips for moving on so you can be happy. #happiness #joy #mindfulness #stressrelief #stressmanagement

 

The Real Secret to Happiness and How to Find It

The Real Secret to Happiness and How to Find It

Wondering how to be happy? The real secret to happiness may be in the bad things. Say what?? Yep. Find out why and HOW to find your own happiness.

 

Recently I’ve read many an article about the secret of happiness. Over and over I read that you need to sit back and list all the things you’re grateful for. When you understand how bountiful your life really is, you garner happiness in yourself.

 

how to be happy

 

Listing the things you’re grateful for should be easy, right? It should be a snap to find your favorite perfect-bound journal with the extra thick paper and fabulous design on the front; and that spectacularly smooth gel pen you splurged on should just glide across the page as all your blessings flow through your fingers and onto that heavy stock paper.

But you wanna know something it took me a long, hard time to admit? 

Sometimes I used to let my stress levels get so completely out of control, that between steaming over my adult husband leaving sparkling water cans all over the house, the mounting piles of laundry that I could never get finished, dealing with constant food issues with 2 of my kids and severe behavior issues with the third, and the constant school papers and bills piling up that needed sorting and tending daily–I couldn’t bring myself to find gratefulness in anything.

I was so overwhelmed and stressed to the gills that my life was running from one pressure to the next and never getting anywhere, and feeling totally unappreciated. I was kinda mad at the world. (And honestly probably had clinical post-partum depression.)

The *secret* to gratefulness…

As a mom that’s been in the trenches for 17 years now, I can tell ya–especially when the kids are little–and MOST especially when you have little help, we get so far into the ‘care of others first‘ mindset that we can’t pull ourselves out to see the good in our lives sometimes.

It’s hard to remember that we chose to create those little monstersWe chose the path of motherhood. We may not have known how hard it would be–but we did choose it.

So when we’re in a situation we feel like we can’t control, the very first step has to be understanding that it’s not the situation we’re in–but how we deal with it that matters. 

Seriously, just taking that first tiny step back will allow you to get a teeny bit of perspective. And when you can grasp that little ounce of perspective, you’re able to see a medium sized light in all of it. And when you have a visual of that medium point of light, you can pull yourself into a whole different mindset of *how* to deal with your situation and see the benefits you actually have.

 

How the bad things are actually good

 

I heard a quote many years ago that talked about how you always need to thank God for the bad things that happen in your life, too. I thought that was utterly crazy. But I started to try to apply it in real-world situations as an experiment to see how it would change my point of view.

The first example was that I was driving to work one day in crazy thick Florida-morning fog. I was late, and at one point caught up to a driver going just below the speed limit. I got in such a tizzy that I was tailgating and just generally being a jerk.

After only about a mile of catching up to them, the car in front of me slowed down so they could turn left, meaning I had to slow as well. Immediately after they turned off the road, I sped up to just over the speed limit.

And that’s when I saw it. The clarity of a situation that was happening *for* me, not *to* me.

As I approached a major intersection with only a 2-way perpendicular stop, a car totally missed the stop sign and went straight through it at 55-60 mph. I was barely close enough to see it, but far enough back to have missed it.

And I understood that getting stuck behind that car that turned off earlier was a blessing. It was FOR me. I would’ve been at that intersection otherwise, getting t-boned by a car at 55 mph that didn’t even see the stop sign in the fog. I may not actually be here–like, alive–right now had I been at that intersection.

There have been countless other examples that have happened for me since then. But I generally don’t recognize them until I pull back to grasp that perspective.

 

How to *see* it

 

Sometimes pulling back requires doing purposeful exercises like deep breathing or mindfulness. These sound simple enough, but they’re really targeted at helping us manage our stress levels.

And that’s where the secret actually lies: Managing our stress. Taking that step back. Finding the tiny perspective and medium point of light shining through to see how it’s happening *for* us. And you know what the conclusion of those thoughts are? Gratefulness.

So take a deep breath….and take a step back from your frustrations today. And clear your mind just enough to see that point of light that can shift your perspective.

Now…how is your frustration happening *for* you?

What are you grateful for?

 

Mindfulness activities are more than just meditation! Find out activities and techniques to add affirmations and practice daily mindfulness at work or home! Free Shoo Away Stress Mindfulness Journal #mindful #mindfulness #stressrelief

 

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Struggling to be happy? Hey, I've been there, done that. I still struggle sometimes with how to be happy. Check out these thoughts on how people can turn bad things around in their thoughts to find love and choose happiness. #happiness #mindfulness #selfcare #selflove #momlife #stressmanagement

5 Ways to Celebrate Your Ladies this Galentines Day

5 Ways to Celebrate Your Ladies this Galentines Day

5 fantastic ways to celebrate your ladies this Galentines Day!

The month of February is full of love and who better to extend it to then your best lady friends? Galentine’s Day, which happens to fall on February 13, is a day to get together with your girls and do something fun. Many women don’t know that having girlfriends for emotional support is an awesome way to add to your stress management efforts.

While I personally think it’s great to show your ladies some love every day, Galentines Day gives us an excuse to make things extra special. Keep reading for some ways in which you can let your girls know you love them this Galentine’s Day, and every day!

 

galentines day

 

Write it down

 

I know, it’s 2019, who uses a pen and paper anymore right? While it may seem like a silly thing to do, a handwritten note to your gal pals can be just what they need to remind them how much they mean to you. Whether it’s a long letter full of inside jokes and memories from over the years or a motivational quote to keep them going from day to day, once you start writing, you’ll know just the right things to say to make your girls feel good. If you want to jazz things up a bit, pick out some cute stationery or find a photo of the both of you and leave your message on the back. This will be a sentiment they can keep for years to come.

 

Step outside your comfort zone

 

This Galentine’s Day throw caution to the wind and try something out of the ordinary. It’s easy to get caught up in the same routine and go to the same places all the time. Stepping outside of your comfort zone and encouraging your girls to do the same is a great way to not only feel empowered but can also lead to self-discovery. From an activity as extreme as skydiving to a calmer venture such as taking dancing lessons, you and your ladies can conquer anything if you’re in it together. Who knows, you may even make this newfound activity a more frequent occurrence and master a skill you never knew you possessed.

 

Plan a getaway

 

Sometimes a change of scenery is the perfect way to celebrate. Whether it’s a weekend away in wine country or a day at the spa, you and your ladies deserve some time to relax and clear your minds. Some of your girls may be full-time moms or moms with full-time jobs, but kids or no kids, who doesn’t love a day, or several, of being carefree and spontaneous? This idea works great for your long-distance gal pals as well. Plan a central location and meet up for a little reunion. Whether it’s a few days in Vegas to party hard or a weekend yoga retreat to get your Zen on, if you’re with your best girls, you know you’ll have the best time. If you’re looking for a trip that won’t break the bank, check into locations that offer “girl’s trips,” packages. Many of these include a special rate along with activities designed with you and your ladies in mind!

 

Listen to each other

 

I know it sounds like a no brainer and you may feel like you’re ALWAYS listening to your friends, but are you always hearing what they say? Even if you talk every day, you may be missing something major happening in your gal pal’s life without even realizing. Galentine’s Day is a great opportunity to make some extra time to sit down and catch up on life with your girlfriends. Invite them over and put out some snacks and a beverage of your choice and just talk. Let your friends know this is a judgment-free zone and you’re willing to hear them out on any topic they want to discuss. Allowing them to vent filter-free gives you a better understanding of what they’re going through behind the scenes. For example, you may learn that the friend you thought had the perfect marriage is taking a medication to help combat low sex drive or another is having trouble with her middle child getting bullied at school. These are topics that may not come up in your everyday conversations but it’s important to create a space where you and your friends can share these details about your lives comfortably.

 

Surprise them

 

Everyone loves a good surprise now and then! Show up at your besties place of employment with her favorite sushi roll and catch up over her lunch break. This is a great way to spend some extra time together and let her know she’s special to you. If she works from home, you guys could even watch the latest episode of your favorite television show together! You could also send her a surprise flower arrangement or a bouquet of chocolate dipped fruit. Either way, it’s the little things that mean the most! You can also extend this to your work bestie or any ladies at your job. Bring in donuts from everyone’s favorite bakery or grab coffee you know they love. This gesture may seem small but it’s sure to make them feel good!

 

This Galentine’s Day, and every day, it’s important to let your girls know how much they mean to you and everyone else in their lives. Female empowerment is a great theme for Galentine’s but should also be incorporated into our daily routine. Something as simple as a smile can turn someone’s day around, so be conscious of that. We need to do our best to lift up our fellow lady friends and let them know we are there for them on Galentine’s Day and all the days of the year.

 

Self care is absolutely essential for Moms! Get started with ideas and tips for true self care, even on a budget or for cheap or free. It doesn't have to be complicated. Find out how to get started plus grab your free self care starter kit! #selfcare #selflove #healthylifestyle #healthyliving #moms #momlife

 

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If you don't know what Galentines Day is, you're in for a treat! Here are 5 fantastic ideas and activities to celebrate it, whether your gals like gifts, food, games, or an all-out party! #galentines #galentinesday #momlife #moms #mommygoals

 

Not Feeling Very Merry Before the Holidays? 4 Self Help Strategies!

Not Feeling Very Merry Before the Holidays? 4 Self Help Strategies!

Feeling down before the holiday? Here are 4 effective strategies to help you get back to feeling merry!

Collaborative post.

 

The holiday season is the time of festive cheer and goodwill to all… But for many of us, it’s extremely hard to get into the festive spirit. While many glean colossal enjoyment from the holiday season, there are some of us for whom it brings little or no joy.

Perhaps the holiday season is a time that we associate with past sadness or trauma which is exacerbated by the feeling that we’re obliged to put on a happy face for the holidays.

For others, the season itself is part of the problem. A lot of us suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) around this time of year. Even if everything in our lives is going very well, this can dull our sense of enjoyment in the season. It can mute the colors on the Christmas tree, it can rob us of our energy and drive, and it can make even the simplest of tasks seem like a grueling chore.

Whatever the reason, if you’re feeling down before the holiday, you have the power to turn things around. There are a number of strategies you can use to transcend your sadness, boost your mood and get the feeling of enjoyment and fulfillment that you deserve.

 

feeling down before the holidays

 

Talk to someone

 

Very often, simply talking about your problems can be extremely therapeutic. It can afford you a sense of perspective on your problems and worries as well as helping them seem more manageable, easing the pressure they put on your psyche.

For this reason, while you should certainly consider talking to a mental health professional if you are seriously depressed, sometimes talking to friends or family can be therapeutic and helpful. Even if they aren’t able to give you actionable solutions to your problems, it can feel better to get them off your chest.

If you’re really not feeling up to human contact, at least consider employing some CBT strategies to help you to catch and deconstruct unhelpful thoughts. 

 

Get out of the house as much as you can

 

Your home can be a great refuge from your problems. Sometimes it can be therapeutic being able to close the door on the outside world and all its problems and relax and unwind in the one place in the world where you can truly be yourself.

However, when we spend too long indoors this can have a range of adverse effects on our mood. It can exacerbate depression, anxiety, and even insomnia. Even if you don’t feel up to interacting with other people, sometimes the simple act of going outside and being among people, plants, trees, and animals can be therapeutic in and of itself. Pick up a book, sit in a cafe and people watch. It’s a much healthier and more enjoyable than sheltering under a duvet scrolling through your Netflix watch list.

{Read about how therapeutic Forest Bathing can be in this post!}

 

Let the light in!

 

One of the primary contributors to SAD is the absence of natural light and all of its inherent mental health benefits. During daylight hours you should take steps to ensure that your home gets as much natural light as possible. Whether this means replacing your dowdy old windows with brand spanking new replacements from Renewal by Anderson windows or simply opening up your drapes to let sunlight flood in. A brighter mood starts with a brighter home.

Outside of daylight hours, consider investing in a light box. This is a synthetic approximation of natural light and can be very therapeutic and make up for the light we miss out on during the winter months.

 

Eat right, no matter how tempting it is not to

 

When the weather grows colder, we feel a sudden and powerful urge to wrap ourselves in a duvet, order a pizza, and immerse ourselves in a deer, deep jar of M&Ms. While this is understandable (perhaps a hibernation instinct from our cavewoman days), it’s not terribly helpful in maintaining our mental wellbeing.

A healthy mind requires a healthy brain, and the surest way to a healthy brain is drinking lots of water and eating a healthy diet. Very often, piling your plate with these mood boosting foods can make a huge difference to your mental state. Let’s not forget that self care starts with self love, and the best way to be kind to yourself is with delicious and nutritious brain healthy food!

 

This can be a difficult time of year for many of us, but with the right strategies we can make the most of this wonderful time of year and chase the blues away!

 

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Feeling less than merry before the holidays isn't really that uncommon. Especially with everything we've got on our shoulders as moms. Try these 4 self help + self care strategies if you're feeling a bit depression during leading up to the holidays and Christmas. #depression #SAD #selfcare #momlife #moms

The 3 Most Nurturing Things For Postpartum Wellness

The 3 Most Nurturing Things For Postpartum Wellness

The 3 most absolute nurturing must-dos for postpartum wellness for new moms.

Collaborative post.

 

Frustration at that stupid book didn’t even begin to cover it. I had read two different books about postpartum ‘what to expect’, and I still didn’t anticipate feeling as lonely, and isolated, and…absolutely exhausted as I did three weeks after my first was born. I teetered on the edge of a nervous breakdown–not just from the exhaustion, but also because I’d moved into the anxiety territory. I’d have nightmares that I may hurt the baby in a haze of headache, sleepiness, and irritation. And that nearly sent me into full-blown panic attacks every day.

And that’s the thing–even though there’s supposedly a ‘manual’ for how to do it these days, it’s still so completely unexpected how you feel. It’s a shock to some new moms that they don’t feel on top of the world and magically elated now they have their new baby. The shock of this alone can make it difficult to cope. There’s often a feeling of not being a good mom, and loneliness, because you think you’re the only one that has ever felt this way.

Here’s the newsflash: You’re absolutely NOT alone. Most new moms go through a period of feeling like this, and with hormones in turmoil together with a lack of sleep, it’s perfectly natural. That’s why it’s so imperative for post-partum wellness to include some super nurturing must-dos for Mommy as well.

postpartum wellness



Meet Other Moms



It doesn’t matter how much your mom or grandmother tells you this is the way it is after giving birth, it’s too easy to think of them as generations past and that now things have changed. Women feeling rough after having a baby is no different now than it ever was, but it can help if you meet up with some other young moms.

It could be the last thing you feel like doing when all you want to do is sleep when the baby does. But it could be vital to your mental health. You’ll soon realize after chatting to other new moms that you all feel the same. Once you’ve accepted that you’re not the only one, you can support each other through this often very difficult time.



Ask For Help



You don’t have to try and manage everything on your own. If you have family or friends close by, never be afraid to ask for help. They’ll not think any less of you just because you need some help. In fact, most time they’ll be excited to be able to do something that will help get you through the first few weeks of turmoil.

If you don’t have anyone that can help you, speak to your health advisor as there are usually support networks to help new moms.



Take Care Of Yourself



Taking care of yourself is just as important as caring for your new baby. From things such as postpartum underwear, which you can find out more about at innerparents, to eating a healthy diet and getting some exercise, will all help you feel better.

Generations gone by did not have the support needed to give them a well-deserved break for self-care, and it was frowned upon if they wanted to leave their new baby for a while. Now the advantages of just a couple of hour’s time for you have been realized, and the medical profession actively encourages this.

You just need some time to have a soak in the bath, read a book or watch a film. Some time where you can take care of your own physical and mental well being. Then you can cope with other issues much more easily.

Being a new mom is exciting and exhausting at the same time. You suddenly have this little being that is totally reliant on you to care for them, and that can be a bit overwhelming.

The period of exhaustion lasts for just a few months, although it feels a lot longer when you are actually experiencing it. But the good news is, it absolutely gets easier the older they get!

 

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Feeling the baby blues after having your little angel? Here are 3 must-do things and tips to make sure you're getting the basic postpartum wellness that every mom needs. #baby #postpartum #anxiety #momlife #postpartumrecovery #mom #newbaby