Day 1: Attitude of Gratitude
Today, I am grateful for my breath. Without it, nothing else matters. Without it, none of the other stuff would even exist.
Day 2: Attitude of Gratitude
Today, I am thankful for the wherewithal to prioritize my health, be it physical, emotional, mental, and/or spiritual. It is a responsibility I regard with reverence.
Day 3: Attitude of Gratitude
Today, I’m grateful to live in a home that keeps us warm, dry, and safe. We landed in a great house and we’re having a wonderful time making it even better.
Hey friends, just popping in to let you know I was featured in a recent Rent.com article!
It's titled, "Winter Houseplant Care: How To Keep Your Plants Happy and Alive This Winter", and it's full of great ideas.
As we head into winter, it's important to acknowledge that plants need a little extra TLC to get them through the season. To help you keep your green thumb during the colder months, experts (like me!) were asked to share their winter houseplant care tips with Rent.com.
You can sse these recommendations to keep things green all season long.
Check it out and if you have a favorite plant tip, I'd love to hear it!
It’s ORGANIZING WEEK! (Plus a couple Bonus Tips at the tail end...)
A major part of self-care is getting and keeping your space organized. It’s a kindness, being able to function in your home/office, and it’s a kindness, being able to find your things when you need to.
Whether you do your work in an office, your home, or on the road, take a moment to assess what message your primary work space sends about you.
When you take time to clear the clutter, you set the conditions for your success.
Your external world is a reflection of your internal world. Fortunately, this can be reverse engineered.
Create peaceful surroundings, and a peaceful mind is more likely to follow.
There are 5 areas for potential clutter traps - pick the one that speaks to you, and start eradicating the clutter!
Depending on your current situation, you can stay focused on one area or knock ‘em down one by one.
📌aim to clear it of anything you aren’t actively using on a daily basis
🗂Piles of paper on the floor
📌Keep paper from coming in by keeping a small recycling bin just inside or outside your front door to get rid of junk mail instantly.
📌Take the few extra minutes it might take to immediately file the important mail you do have in your filing system.
📌Cancel any magazine subscriptions for titles you haven’t found time to read in a few months (or go digital for everything).
📌Consider doing a clean-out of shelves to clear out and donate old books and make room for new ones that might come in.
🗂Email newsletter subscriptions
📌Try “Unroll Me” for free help getting your subscriptions under control
📌Delete or deal with inbox items older than two weeks
Take the time - you will not be sorry!
Self-care means you’re nurturing your relationship with things like your physical and emotional self, to be sure, and ALSO things like your money.
Why your money? Because how you do one thing is how you do everything.
Feng shui is a concept rooted in Taoism and Buddhism that teaches us how to achieve harmony with our environment.
Today, we’re going to feng shui our wallets to enhance our relationship with abundance.
1. Clean it out. Pull out everything you have in your wallet - every receipts, every card, every coin…all of it. Then wipe it down with a towel or slightly damp microfiber cloth. Go the extra mile and burn sage while you do this, clearing any stagnant financial energy that has overstayed its welcome.
2. Sort through what you have. File receipts, and toss or safely dispose of anything that’s outdated or irrelevant, like expired membership cards. Straighten and smooth any cash bills, organizing them by value and keeping them in order all facing the same direction. According to feng shui principles, the better you treat your cash, the more it will respond favorably to your attention.
3. Store daily essentials in the most easy-to-access places in your wallet. The things you always reach for should be front and center. Streamline the contents so you only carry things you actually need to have with you.
4. Treat your wallet well. Acknowledge the abundance it represent with gratitude, and make a vow to keep it organized going forward. If that proves to be exceedingly difficult, consider a new wallet that suits your needs better.
5. Extra credit: add a dash of magic. Write an intention or affirmation down on a small note card and store it with your cash. Borrow an idea from the Law of Attraction and carry around a check you wrote to yourself for whatever amount of money you’re aiming to obtain. Thank your wallet every time you see, touch, or handle it.
Feng shui tells us that dynamic energy flows freely in spaces that are harmonious and organized. Even getting an area as small as a wallet in order can lead to big transformations. Give it a try!
It’s a space you (presumably) use every day, so it makes sense to get it organized and let it work for you.
As with ANY organizing project, start by removing things that don’t belong in the room.
Next, empty every shelf, drawer, and cabinet.
Take stock of what you have by going through each item one by one. Toss anything that is expired, empty, doesn’t work, or you don’t use.
When replacing items you use, consider what you use the MOST, and give it prime real estate - the eye level shelf, the top drawer, the closest cabinet.
Group like with like: make-up and beauty items, appliances, first aid, excess tissue and tp, etc. Use baskets and drawer separators where you can. Find a place for everything you want to keep, and put everything in its place. Consider moving full toiletries in good shape to a guest bath or donating to a women’s shelter.
Clean all surfaces. Once everything is sorted and put away, wipe down any and all counters, sinks, mirrors, toilets and floors; empty and wipe down the trashcan.
Establish a day for weekly or monthly maintenance, depending on your schedule and needs.
Here’s another space that likely gets used on a daily basis (or maybe even hourly, if your home is like our home).
The longer it’s been since you’ve cleaned and organized the fridge, the longer it might take to get it back into tip top shape. (On the flip side, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes!)
First step, as always, is to take it all out. Remove every single item from the shelves, drawers, and doors and take inventory.
Release anything expired, empty, you don’t like or don’t use; consolidate where applicable.
Clean all inside surfaces, remove and rinse/wipe drawers, wipe down doors and handles.
Only replace items you will use, and be mindful of where you put what. We keep our veggies on the eye-level shelf for easy access and easy inventory - seeing them every time I open the fridge acts as a trigger for me to assess if I can add them in to whatever it is I’m about to make vs. “out of sight, out of mind.”
I love, love, love organizing closets! I’m a strong believer that your closet should be a place that inspires and comforts you.
As such, everything in your closet should fit you comfortably, be aligned with your personal style, be in a clean, wearable condition, serve a specific function or speak to a specific type of occasion, and/or be appropriate for the season/s in which you currently live.
Does yours pass the test? If not, carve out some time to get it in order - the cusp of a new season is actually perfect timing!
To start, empty the entire closet out (just like we did with our bathrooms and our refrigerators). We do this because it’s much easier to be discerning about what goes into an empty space than about what should come out of a disheveled one.
Clean all the surfaces - vacuum, dust, spray and wipe. You won’t see this space empty again any time soon, so take advantage.
Go through each item one by one. Ask yourself: Does it fit? Do I love it? How often do I reach for it? Do I like the way I look and feel in it? Would I buy it again?
Decide if you’ll discard, donate, or repair items with stains, missing buttons, ripped hems, small holes, or other signs of wear and tear. (Don’t forget to also look at your shoes, coats, scarves, hats, purses, socks, etc.!)
Hang up as much as possible; group like with like. When you opt for hanging over folding, your cloths will have less wrinkles and it’ll be easier to see your options.
Categorize by type: tops (long sleeve, short sleeve, sleeveless), dresses, skirts, blazers, cardigans, pants, workout clothes, pajamas, etc.
Pro Tip: Color-coding each category can save you time in the long run (plus, color-coded anything is always more aesthetically pleasing!).
Mend, donate, or sell gently used items within 7-10 days. Any longer and you’ll suffer an unintended consequence of having to navigate a new pile of clutter in your home.
Final step: bask in the fresh energy and gorgeous state of your newly organized closet!
What’s something you want to do more of that would make your life healthier and happier?
It might be something you already do but want to increase its duration and/or frequency, or something you don’t do yet but are now ready to begin.
A key component to setting yourself up for success is knowing WHERE you’ll execute your chosen activity.
Whether you want to…
💛work from home
💛grow your own food
💛get better sleep
…then you need to make room for it to happen!
Designated space doesn’t have to be elaborate or expansive. You don’t need to have completed different rooms set up for meditating, exercising, and crafting - you just need to have spaces that cater to the activities you want to incorporate into your life.
Today, pick an activity you want to increase that supports your health and/or happiness, then designate the place in your home to set up specifically for it.
Outer order invites inner calm - we are happier and more productive in tidier spaces.
Plus, it’s much easier to KEEP an area tidy than it is to MAKE an area tidy.
PLUS, knowing there is a finite time you are going to dedicate to the task each day helps alleviate potential feelings of overwhelm.
Studies show a cluttered home can be a stressful home, and while there are different schools of thought regarding HOW to best declutter (touch everything! touch nothing! do it all at once! break it into bite-sized chunks!) the bottom line stays the same - a tidier home makes you happier.
Your Action Step here is to set a timer for 10 minutes each evening before (or as part of) your bedtime routine, with the goal being to knock out as many “it takes less than a minute” tidying tasks as you can before the countdown ends. When the timer stops, so do you.
I say it every month in my love letters - you are an investment worth making.
I believe in the power of self-care to serve as a foundational piece of our overall health and wellness, and I can testify to the way that habits like the ones we’ve covered this month can sustain you even during your darkest hour.
I do Self-Care September for a few reasons. One, I want you to have both the opportunity and the tools to boost your self-care game and strengthen some of the foundational pieces that lend themselves to a successfully healthy life.
I also want to spread the word that taking soulful, loving care of ourselves is accessible, affordable, and so, so, SO important.
Today, make it a point to acknowledge that you know you are an investment worth making. It doesn’t have to be extravagant - just choose at least one way you will invest your time, money, and/or energy towards prioritizing your own well-being.
Maybe you… sign up for that fitness program you’ve been eyeing, commit to the Thought Leader training you’ve been so curious about, book a weekend getaway, buy the new bedsheets, take yourself out to a fancy lunch, order more bath bombs or skin care products or books.
Hire a coach. Find a therapist. Call to make an appointment for your next haircut, facial, or massage.
Take the plunge. Pull the trigger. Treat yourself. Heck, *spoil* yourself.
Life is so short and you are so worthy.
“We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience” -John Dewey
Reflection is a skill worth honing, as it helps you learn from your mistakes, generate new ideas, gain fresh perspective, and understand yourself better.
“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” -Peter Drucker
Today, take a moment to consider the way you show up for yourself. Ask yourself:
It’s been a complete joy and honor bringing you along for this year’s Self-Care September, Soul Fitness Style. I hope you have gleaned at least a few nuggets of actionable wisdom to enhance your life experience through the rest of 2021 and beyond.
I love you!
Review Week 1: Back to Basics here!
Review Week 2: Nutrition Nuggets here!
Review Week 3: Mindset Matters here!
Schedule a Free Session to see if a Soul Fitness Coaching program is the right fit for you and your goals.
This week, we’re sliding into the #mindsetmatters portion of Self-care September, and we’re starting by replacing judgement with curiosity.
Learning to replace judgment with curiosity is about shifting your perspective. It’s about approaching a situation from a more positive and productive outlook, one that takes into account how a situation might be happening FOR you instead of TO you.
Judgment is a burden. It’s heavy to hold, emotionally draining, and drenched in negativity. It is also petty and closes us off.
Judgement assumes we know everything there is to know about a situation, when that is so rarely actually true.
Enter the freedom of curiosity. Curiosity is, essentially, a state of mind. Being curious is being joyful. It is lighthearted, open and inviting, buoyed in wonder.
A world of possibilities exists if we take the time to be more curious. To ask a few more questions, to be a bit more thoughtful, to be open to more and different ways of thinking and being, and to be more generous with others.
Shifting your perspective really is that powerful, that simple, and that life changing.
Today, and every day moving forward this month, notice where you habitually start to judge yourself or others, and check in with what it feels like to get curious about the situation instead.
Affirmations are short, powerful statements that direct thought patterns and evoke a positive state of mind.
Research shows if you change your thoughts, you can change your life.
Change is always possible, but some changes happen more easily than others. Affirmations alone can’t produce a complete turnaround in every situation, and if your affirmation focuses on a statement you don’t accept as true, it may have little effect.
Simply repeating “I am a gazillionaire” to yourself all day long isn’t going to grow your bank account, you know what I mean?
Affirmations tend to have the most benefit when they center on specific traits or realistic, achievable changes you’d like to make to those traits.
“I am open to new ways of increasing my financial abundance” might be a more believable fit if your financial health happens to be a focus of yours.
While affirmations aren’t meant to be a cure-all for every ingrained negative belief we’ve been conditioned to hold, the practice of repeating them *can* activate the reward system in your brain, which can have an impact on the way you experience both emotional and physical pain.
Basically, can’t hurt, might help.
Today, and every day moving forward for the rest of the month, choose an affirmation that rings true for you, and let it become a mental refrain. Watch what happens.
Today, your mission - should you choose to accept it - is to list out 100 ways that life has delighted you and/or gone perfectly right lately.
Why? Because you will always experience what you choose to believe so if you believe the world can - and will - delight you, then that will be the experience you have.
Science suggests that doing a daily happiness practice, like listing all the ways life delights us and/or is going smoothly, can actually rewire the brain by increasing and prolonging activation in pathways that signal pleasure.
The more we do it, the better we get at noticing, remembering, and seeking sources of goodness in our lives. The lens through which we see the world becomes more optimistic and hopeful, we judge other people as more trustworthy, and we’re more inclined to cooperate.
100 might sound like a lot at first, but as you practice noticing all the ways things are always working out for and around you, you’ll realize you can break it down reeeeeaaaaalllllll small.
💛Did you open your eyes in a place that protected you all night long?
💛Get yourself out of bed without help?
💛Is there electricity? Running water? A toilet that flushes? A hot shower just for you?
💛Do you have a way to feed yourself and your family multiple times throughout the day?
💛Did your car start…are the trains running…did you make your flight…did you remember your sunnies, your keys, your lunch?
Like that. Stripping life down to the basic fundamentals illustrates exactly just how smoothly things are actually going.
Ignore the bits and pieces of subtext that float to the surface, suggesting you might be silly, frivolous, or naive to bother glimpsing at the world through rose-colored glasses like this.
Just for today, we’re going to let all that go and practice letting it be easy. Choose your belief to choose your experience.
This is a #selfcareseptember staple - I take the opportunity every year to reinforce the critical need to stop the glorification of busy and take a damn break once in a while.
It’s why work weeks need weekends.
It’s why workout programs need rest days.
It’s why baseball games have the 7th inning stretch, football games have halftime, and Broadway shows have intermissions.
It’s why there was no post here yesterday.
You cannot pour from an empty cup. Rest is a fundamental part of productivity. Relaxation is a necessary component of success. Taking regular breaks is vital for better mental health, increased concentration and improved memory, a healthier immune system, reduced stress, improved mood, and even a better metabolism.
Today, and every day going forward for the rest of the month, take a break. It can be two minutes, 20 minutes, two hours, or the whole entire day. Take what you need.
Remember, you do not need to “earn” rest - you are inherently deserving of it.
This is actually one of the mottos of my marriage - my husband and I always expect the Best Possible Outcome, and we always look for ways to Let it be Easy, whatever “it” may be.
Today, and every day going forward for the rest of the month, stop overcomplicating what doesn’t need to be complicated.
Stop struggling unnecessarily. Stop relentlessly pushing back against what IS.
It’s exhausting and depleting, and it doesn’t need to be happening.
Just let go. Change the pattern.
Keep it simple. Keep it easy.
Reclaim your energy for things that light you up, that bring value and joy and serenity to your life.
Letting it be easy isn’t about ignoring hardship or dodging reality, it’s about releasing resistance and choosing peace.
How can you choose peace today?
Where can you just let it be easy?
As they say, the only way out is through.
Our emotions provide us with important information. They are messengers, even the ones we prefer to avoid feeling, like fear, shame, and sadness. But the tougher it is to sit with a particular emotion, the more likely it is that that emotion carries key details about our emotional wounds, details we need to move through our pain.
We can think of that tough emotion as an invitation to the parts of ourselves that crave healing. If we continue to run away from it, it will only get louder until it demands our attention.
Sure, sometimes it can hurt to heal, but it ALWAYS hurts to stay stuck in negative emotional loops from past trauma and old wounds.
So ask yourself, do you choose an endless repeat cycle of hurt or do you choose to really feel the intensity of an emotion in the name of healing, closure, and moving on?
Remember, transformation happens inside the pain.
Be brave, take courage, and let your emotions serve as guideposts to stronger emotional health.
Next up, Week 4: Let's Get Organized!
Review Week 1: Back to Basics here
Review Week 2: Nutrition Nuggets here
Schedule a Free Session to see if a Soul Fitness Coaching program is the right fit for you and your goals.
This week, we’re moving over to self-care #nutritionnuggets, and we’re starting with the importance of macronutrients; specifically PROTEIN.
➡️WHY DO WE NEED PROTEIN?
Some of the reasons include…
* to create muscle mass
* to rebuild body tissues
* for proper brain chemistry
* to stimulate the thyroid
* to balance blood sugar levels
* to strengthen our immune system
* to recover from illness and/or injury
If you aren’t eating enough protein, your body will borrow protein from another source in order to continue its function.
And guess where it borrows from?
Aw, snap. We don’t want that.
The thing is, there’s no place to store protein in your body, like there is for fat and carbs. This is one reason why eating enough protein throughout the day on a daily basis is super duper important.
➡️HOW MUCH PROTEIN DO WE NEED?
In general, understand that you need quite a bit of daily protein. So much so that it should be included in every meal and snack you have throughout every day.
Your specific amount depends on things like your age, gender, activity level, and physique goals, as well as your overall health.
Making an appointment with a Nutrition Coach to find your exact macro requirements can be a fun way to deepen your understanding of how your body works and what it needs, so long as, like with any numbers related to food, you don’t get carried away, fixated, or obsessed.
➡️Macros are a tool, not a doctrine.
Check out the second slide for common sources of high-protein foods and then EAT SOME.
TL;DR: you need to eat carbs. They are an essential nutrient that we need to thrive in a lot of different ways.
Carbohydrates must be the most attacked macronutrient of the carb-fat-protein triad.
It’s important to understand that carbs are not the enemy.
🍎SO WHAT *ARE* CARBS?
Carbohydrates are made up of three components: fiber, starch, and sugar. (Fiber is especially important because it promotes bowel regularity and helps to control cholesterol.)
Carbs come in two blends -- simple and complex.
Fiber and starch are complex carbs, while sugar is a simple carb. Depending on how much of each of these is found in a food determines its nutrient quality.
🍎WHY DO WE NEED CARBS?
Your body likes to use them for energy fuel. What kind of energy you get depends on what kind of carb you consume.
The energy from, say, a bag of chips or a box of donuts is burned through quickly, and doesn’t come with many (if any) of the vitamins and minerals our bodies need to run properly, which leaves us unsatisfied, hungry again (already?!), and eating more (and more and more).
In contrast, complex carbs from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables pack a powerful, long-lasting punch of energy, PLUS they come with some badass nutritional passengers like fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Since complex carbs take longer for the body to break down and absorb, we don’t spike energy, then crash. Plus, we feel satisfied because the vitamins and minerals our cells and hormones need to function normally and optimally are part of the package.
🍎Long story short (too late!), carbs help us stay full and satisfied longer, enable us to eat less with steadier energy levels, and consequently allow us to thrive in both physical and mental capacities.
Rounding out the macronutrients we need to survive are Healthy Fats.
💥WHAT ARE HEALTHY FATS?
Fat is a major source of energy that helps you absorb vitamins and minerals.
Healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) come mainly from vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fish.
There are two main types of polyunsaturated fats that your body needs to function normally, but does not make them on their own.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-6 fatty acids
💥WHY DO WE NEED HEALTHY FATS?
For a lot of reasons, actually!
💫help the body absorb certain vitamins and minerals
💫give us energy (9 calories of energy vs. protein and carb’s 4)
💫allow blood clotting
💫produce important hormones production
💫act as messengers to help protein do its job
💫assist in the building of cell membranes
💫protect internal organs
💫keep up warm
💫allow proper brain function
💫give food flavor
Today, and going forward this month, pay attention to where you are adding healthy fats into your meals. Knowledge is power.
When you include enough healthy fats into your diet, your body, mind, and health will thank you, which means so will your soul.
In a nutshell, the more you chew, the better your digestion; the better your digestion, the happier your body.
On average, food gets chewed about 3-5 times before it gets swallowed, which is significantly less than the 20 or so it actually takes to properly get the digestive process working optimally.
Once food is swallowed, the stomach and the small intestine bear the brunt of the digestive process, and they both have to work overtime to compensate for food that’s barely chewed.
Basically, chewing your food more is an easy way to vastly improve working conditions for your entire internal system.
Chewing also makes it easier for your intestines to absorb nutrients and energy from the food particles as they pass through, while preventing improperly digested food from entering your blood (which would cause a wide range of adverse effects to your health).
Today, and moving forward through the rest of the month, do your digestion a favor and chew each bite of food 15-20 times before swallowing it. It might take some getting used to, but as with most forms of self-care, it’s worth it.
Planning your menus helps you create balanced meals and make healthier choices, and saves you time and money at the grocery store.
(It also dismisses the tedious repetition of the “What do you want to have for dinner tonight?” conversation.)
On top of all that, planning also reduces food waste.
At our house, we plan dinners anywhere from a week to a month ahead, with a few openings to account for last minute plans or changes in our schedule - rigidity doesn’t belong in an eating plan, IMHO.
I always start with proteins and go from there. And because I grocery shop on Monday mornings, part of my Sunday routine is cross-checking our menu plan against our grocery list.
Today, take a few moments to do Future You a solid favor and think about what your dinners will look like this week, then bask in all the extra time you get by not having to think about it over and over and over again.
If you still make trips to the grocery store yourself these days (raises hand), use these guidelines to set yourself up for health/budget success. If you get your groceries delivered (such a smart way to save time, especially if you work full time and/or have kiddos to raise!), most of them are still applicable when making your choices.
S: Stay primarily around the perimeter of the store, where fresh foods like fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, and fish are usually located; be super selective with the center aisles you visit; this is where packaged, over-processed foods lurk.
H: Handle marketing ploys by steering clear of foods with cartoons on the label that are targeted to children. (Pro Tip: If you don't want your kids eating over-processed foods, don't bring them in the house.)
O: Opt out of foods that contain more than five ingredients, artificial ingredients, or ingredients you can't pronounce.
P: Plan ahead and take a list - know what you are actually NEED for the week rather than relying on what looks good to you in the moment.
L: Labels are important! They give you valuable information you can use to determine what kinds of packaged food you will allow into your body.
O: Opt for real food whenever possible, with as little processing and as few additives as possible. If you want more salt or sugar, add it yourself.
V: Voice your desires to management…sometimes all a grocery store needs to start carrying a product is the indication that their customers are looking for it!
E: Educate yourself on food safety; google for fast refreshers:
-Dirty Dozen (buy these organic if/when you can)
-Clean 15 (least amount of pesticides found)
Our final #nutritionnugget of Self-care September is super simple and super effective, just the way we like our self-care!
Make each meal you eat last as long as you can, aiming for an eventual goal of 20 minutes per meal.
The benefits of slow eating include:
😘 better digestion
😘 better hydration
😘 easier weight loss or maintenance
😘 greater satisfaction with our meals
Conversely, if you rush your meals, your digestion suffers, meals are stressful, and it might seem like each meal is over too soon, which often makes you want to eat more.
A few reasons why the 20-minute Meal is such a nifty trick to have in your self-care toolbox.
😘No one will know you’re doing it (love that - you can compete for the “slowest eater at the table” title anytime with anyone, and they don’t even have to know all y’all are playing!)
😘You don’t have to miss out on parties or dinners with friends or sweethearts.
😘You don’t have to postpone joy to accommodate a “diet,” because that’s definitely not what this is.
😘You don’t have to restrict the kinds of foods you eat.
😘Another opportunity to practice is always right around the corner.
Schedule a Free Session to see if a Soul Fitness Coaching program is the right fit for you and your goals.