July 30, 2018
Doesn’t it always seems that when one thing in your life goes wrong, every other part of your experience seems to follow closely behind? You know what they say, “when it rains, it pours.” I have recently begun to wonder if it is me causing the ball to continue rolling downhill or if it is a natural occurrence that happens in the universe (mercury in retrograde?). Honestly, I think it is me. Here is why: Mindset
Sure, my theory isn’t exactly scientific, however; I think there is something to be said for the energy that you put into the world, and I think that the mind is where that energy originates. Think about it this way: if you could magically adjust your mindset when things are on the downslide, would it make a difference to your lifestyle, business, or relationships? Is it possible that your positive vibes would stop that negativity in its tracks and set you on the path to happier days? I think so.
So, when times are tough and you can’t seem to find a light at the end of the tunnel, how can you make a mindset change that will keep you positive and moving forward?
Gorgeous photography courtesy of Julia Trotti. Find her brilliant work here!
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July 29, 2018
As much as I want to be the type of person who coasts into Monday morning clear-headed, meal-prepped, and organized, with an early bird workout under my belt — and on time for work — I’m not. I’m the person waking up late after hitting the snooze button multiple times, groggy from my “just one more episode!” late night Netflix habit, scrambling for breakfast, and gulping coffee in the car.
No bueno. This latter approach is stressful, annoying, and rarely sets anyone up for success at the start of a busy week. That’s why I sourced the six best things to do on Sunday to make your weekdays somuch easier.
There’s nothing worse than realizing you have five meetings in a row on a given afternoon, or you forgot about meeting your friend for lunch. On Sunday, look at your calendar for the next several days with intention. Are you traveling? Do you need to cancel, add, or adjust anything? What’s missing from your to-do list? Reviewing what’s already on your schedule in the coming week makes you feel more prepared to handle it.
Also, remember to make time for the good stuff: a date night, wine with your bestie, walks with your dog. It is easy to plan, plan, plan for all the things you *have* to do, but you’ll go crazy if you don’t create space for a little fun.
You don’t have to go all Betty Crocker and spend your last precious weekend day slaving away in the kitchen, I swear. However, you will benefit from doing a little meal prepping on Sunday. And everyone is different: some people like to cook a whole bunch of meals at once and then freeze them, others make a plan based on what’s in the fridge or pantry, and some of us (ahem) simply make it to the grocery store (or order online) for the basics. This not only helps you eat healthy throughout the week, but removes the hassle of having to figure out what to eat at 8 pm after a long day or needing to stop at the store for more milk mid-week.
Notice I didn’t say clean. By all means, if you like cleaning your living space over the weekend, that is a fantastic time to break out the vacuum and mop — but if that feels like too much, especially after a solid Sunday Funday, simply tackle all the clutter in about 15 minutes or so. Clear off the kitchen counter, wipe the bathroom mirror, fold the blankets on the couch, put away your make-up bag, get rid of the receipts spilling out of your purse, et cetera.
Wherever your eye catches a glimpse of messiness, just straighten up for a couple seconds until your place looks semi-presentable. Trust me: nothing’s worse than rolling out of bed Monday morning and immediately seeing the laundry basket of clean clothes that’s been staring you in the face for five days.
Half the time I arrive at the office after a weekend, I don’t even know where to start: E-mails? Google Drive? My planner? Text messages? Making a quick list or plan for Monday morning, when you’re cool, calm, and collected on Sunday, will help you prioritize accordingly and be more efficient to begin your week.
I repeat. Go. To. Bed. Early. This allows you to wake up fully rested on Monday, which sounds like a small thing, but it is not, my friends. I can’t tell you how many Mondays have been a total waste because I didn’t get enough sleep. I know, you wanna stay up and scroll Instagram forever, but put your phone down, turn off the lights, and catch some z’s. Even better if you have clean sheets!
By hitting the hay earlier than usual, your body, mind and spirit will thank you (and probably your friends, parents and significant others, because listening to someone bitch about how Mondays are the worst is a total downer). If you find it challenging to go to bed early, try giving yourself an extra hour to wind down before bed.
I’ve been guilty of maxin’ and relaxin’ all weekend only to arrive at Sunday night with a serious case of the blues, and I’m probably not alone. To combat this, many people suggest shifting most of your weekend tasks to Saturday, so you can free up Sunday for self-care. Attend an extra-long yoga class, read a book, eat healthy, catch up with a friend, take a hot bath, do a face mask, see a movie — whatever feels semi-indulgent in a way that still allows you to start the week fresh and prepared. (Note: day-long mimosas seem like a good fit, but the Monday hangover is the worst, so choose wisely!)
Original Content and Images courtesy of Julia Dellitt for The Everygirl. Find the original article here!
July 29, 2018
Hormones. They’re messy and telling and can create either incredible balance or complete terror within our bodies. The word hormone is actually derived from the Greek word impetus—and hormones indeed have the power to either activate or inhibit our cells and organs. But just because something is powerful and often unpredictable, it doesn’t mean it can’t be controlled. Many things, like diet, impact our hormonal balance both positively and negatively.
Hormones are chemical messengers in your body. They’re created in the endocrine glands and secreted into the blood for your tissue and organs. They affect every process of the body, including growth, mood, sex drive, reproduction, hunger, sleep, emotions and metabolism. They’re like messengers telling the body how to function. When hormones are imbalanced, a slew of health problems can ensue.
We give hormones a bad rap, complaining about how terrible they can make us feel. But the truth is, we should embrace them. When our bodies are hormonally balanced, we function at our peak: speedy metabolism, deep sleep. Start by familiarizing yourself with how you feel—pay attention to mood and hunger changes—to learn the language of hormones. Drink plenty of water, get fiber in your diet, go to bed on time and make time for fun! All these things help balance your hormones and regulate your inner world.
Sometimes hunger may not be as simple as your body’s physical need for food. And it isn’t about your willpower (or lack thereof), either. According Sara Gottfried, MD, hormonal messages swirling in our bodies can cause cravings. Always need a dairy fix when PMS-ing? Turns out, dairy contains casomorphins, an opioid that keeps you addicted. By mindfully tracking how food makes you feel, you can recognize true hunger versus emotional cravings your brain is looking to satisfy. Try sitting with the craving for a moment. Ask your body, “Do I really want ice cream, or am I trying to cope with a feeling?” Sometimes you really do just want that bowl of cookie dough! But sometimes you’ll identify a different need that a hug, a walk or something else can satisfy.
Our culture is inundated with cleanses, and sometimes it’s great to give your body a reset, but balance comes from eating the right foods. Dr. Gottfried explains that clean, organic, vegetable-based diets help stabilize and maintain healthy hormone levels.
We’re not here to knock those who like to indulge in a drink or three. But as much as we enjoy alcohol, our bodies need an occasional break. A study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that booze can affect estrogen levels, blood sugar, hunger and bone density. According to the Global Healing Center, eating lean protein (eggs and fish are great) can also help eliminate unwanted estrogen and balance liver levels. Carrots, turmeric and grapefruit are also known liver boosters.
We can all agree sugar is terrible for us. Studies have shown that it’s a drug, it’s addictive and it generally leaves us feeling unsatisfied and lethargic. Insulin decides how to take energy from the foods we eat and what to do with that energy. In her book Younger, Dr. Gottfried explains that when we give our bodies too much sugar, insulin can turn from our fat-burning best friend to our fat-storing enemy. Unfortunately, sugar triggers reward centers in the brain and gives us little spikes of dopamine (that feel-good chemical). When we overdo it on sugar consistently, our bodies begin to crave more to get that same high, creating a hormone imbalance that can trigger overeating and in turn lead to shame and guilt. The reality may simply be a hormone imbalance.
Estrogen is the hormone we credit for making us women. We’ve foundthat it’s the messenger that tells the female body to be female. But too much estrogen can cause weight gain, water retention and other health problems. One cause of excess estrogen? Red meat. Yup, it’s true. That burger, as delicious as it is, may be causing estrogen pollution in your body. Dr. Gottfried explains that in our current food system, meat is often packed with steroid hormones, which can drastically affect estrogen. In addition, diets high in meat are often lacking in fiber, which is a tool for stabilizing estrogen. The bacteria needed in the gut to digest large amounts of meat may be a culprit as well, as estrogen decreases in those with meatless diets. So if you’re struggling with weight gain, bloating, mood swings or headaches, consider reducing the red meat in your diet.
Many of us turn to coffee as our daily upper, but caffeine also elevates cortisol, which happens to be a key hormone for storing fat. According to Dr. Gottfried, cortisol is sometimes referred to as the stress hormone, because when it is too high, it can rob you of joy, steal your sleep and take over your weight. If your stress levels are high, that cup of coffee is the last thing you should reach for. Sip on tea or water with lemon instead.
Make it a practice to listen to your body. Go as far as asking, “Stomach, why are you upset?” It may sound silly, but it’ll slow you down enough to become mindful of what may be going on internally. And move! Dr. Gottfried says that exercise and even laughter are known to stabilize hormones and create more of those endorphins that keep us feeling great.
June 19, 2018
Ugh, Starting Over… This past 12 months has been rough. I have talked about this couple of times on the blog, and it’s possible I am starting to sound a bit like I am dwelling, but the truth is, I am recovering.
Recovery is an interesting word. It implies a previous illness, or a lingering physical or emotional burden, but in reality, it is so many things. This has been twelve months of losing people that I love; the same twelve months in which I made a poor business decision that cost me thousands of dollars and still has me building and restructuring to make up for it. The year that I failed and lost over and over again. But the good news, is there is a light at the end of the tunnel, I can see it, and I am moving toward it. That, my friends, is my version of recovery.
I’ll be completely honest. This past year, for the first time in a very long time, my business wasn’t my number one priority. That was a hard pill to swallow, but my priorities had shifted, not because I wanted them to shift, but because sometimes that’s just how life is. It throws you a curve ball or two (or four) and you adjust.
Add to that the fact that my business is a central part of who I am. I love what I do, every single second of it. I actually think that is why I am still here, working in the industry. I love it so much that I absolutely refuse to quit. No matter what. The idea that my business was affected during this particularly less than desirable time of life truly keeps me up at night. But what can you do? You just go on. You failed, you lost. Keep moving.
The way I see it, sometimes starting over can be the most liberating experience you will ever have. A clean slate, a bit of fresh air, the room to create the future. Freedom. And in my opinion this is when it matters most, because you get to learn from your past and make choices that will effect your new normal. You know that saying, “if I knew then what I know now…”? Now you do! Use the lessons and the feelings to let go and move on to the next phase, whatever that means for you.
I am embracing the space and the room to breathe. My business will be stronger for it and I will have a new lesson to carry with me. Cheers to starting over.
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