How 30 Minutes a Day Changed My Life

I used to wake up exhausted.  I cried while on vacation because I was just so DONE! I was tired of the constant ON. While I love my kids, motherhood was hard…and exhausting.  Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed my kids. But I felt like I could just never get a break.  I literally showered, slept, and went to the bathroom with someone at my feet.

I was in desperate need of self care but didn’t feel like I had the time, money, or energy to invest in myself.

There was always something that needed to be done, or someone that needed me.  It felt like I was asking for a lot and was nearly impossible. If you had asked me what I did for self care, I couldn’t give you an answer…and I’d probably have denied that I actually was in need of it.  And spend money doing it??…forget about it!

inside I was drowning but I didn’t want to admit it.

I felt overwhelmed and frustrated.  At times I thought I might have had postpartum depression but when I reached out to other moms, I found that I was just like the rest of them.  We were all struggling…frustrated, overwhelmed, exhausted, and feeling like we just “had to get through this season.” But why should we be okay with just getting through it? Just getting by? Life passes so freaking fast, why would I want to miss any of it? Why would I be okay with “getting through” the season of life when my kids are learning about the world for the first time?

then it happened…

Let’s be real…my motivation was the 25lbs of postpartum baby weight, but I decided to start a workout routine.  It was only 30 minutes.  It was something I could do from my living room during a nap.  I could pause if I needed when life called (and I often did!).  I had a plan for my nutrition. And above all that, I had a group of other women all doing it with me. Those first few weeks weren’t glamorous AT ALL.  Trust me….I look back and wonder why I kept going…and I probably wouldn’t have had it not been for my community. But that first 3 weeks, sparked something in me that I didn’t know I was missing.  I realized that it wasn’t selfish for me to take only a small fraction of my day to invest in myself.  In fact, it was THE absolute thing my family needed me to do so that I could go through the day with a little more patience and a little more love (for them and me!).

but I can’t lie to you…

I’d love to tell you that my fitness journey has done the trick. It’s solved all my self-care needs.  But it’d be a lie. Because while fitness was the catalyst and still something that I so need as a part of my day….the true self-care came when I started to love on my soul.  Fitness taught me that I could push past my limits. It encouraged me to grow.  I had to expose the areas of my life I was most weak so that I could refine them.  It gave me an opportunity to believe that I could do something impossible… to be the best person I could be.  I had to love myself first so that I could in turn love those around me.  And taking action to achieve my goals was no longer a wishful thought….dreaming is beautiful and amazing BUT it’s in the action where we see our results.  I can wish to lose the weight all I want but if I don’t make the choice to work out and eat well, nothing will change.  I can dream of a different life…more calm and patience, more freedom….but without the action nothing will change.

I invested $160 and 30 minutes a day for 3 weeks….and it literally changed the direction of my life. I would pay $5000 for the gains I’ve received since I started. It’s no longer about what I weigh, or how big around my belly is…but about the strength and endurance I’ve gained for this one and only life! It’s that first step…that first investment into yourself and taking action that matters.

Take a step.  DO something that pushes you outside of your comfort zone.  Love yourself a little more. And if you need support in the process, #Nourished is where you need to be.

 

Keep loving yourself!

xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Breather on Unsplash

7 Signs that You Need Self-Care

How you know you need self care? When do you know you’ve been pushed too far? And what do you do about it when it happens?

Moms are known for being the worst at indulging in some self-care.  As soon as we’re given that tiny bundle of joy, we immediately begin to sacrifice…time, sleep, focus, going out, clean laundry, a decent meal. The problem is that over time….that much selfless giving turns into MonsterMom. Trust me, I’ve been there, and she ain’t pretty. You truly aren’t doing the best for your kids if you don’t take care of yourself first.

So here are 8 signs that you might be in need of a little time for yourself.

You’re reaching for the coffee 5 times a day.

When you’re just completely drained and relying on other means to keep you going, you need not only some more sleep, but a good dose of good nutrition and exercise to boost your natural energy boosters.

You’re thinking of the 1 million things you have to do.

We’re always going to have a list.  But if you can’t turn it off and relax, that’s when you’re going to get yourself into trouble.

It’s been 3 days since your last shower.

Now it’s one thing if you just naturally smell of roses, but for me…if I haven’t showered in 3 days, it’s more likely mama neglect.  And trust me, the people around you will be thankful you’ve practiced a little self-care too.

Exercise consists of pacing back and forth to get the baby to sleep.

Where can we squeeze in 30 minutes of exercise, right? I get it. I remember asking if walking at work would suffice as working out (the consensus was “no” btw). Boosting your activity just a little bit can do wonders for your energy, confidence, sleep, and strength.

You’re bouncing between #allthethings and not getting anything accomplished.

Call it “chasing shiny objects” or “SQUIRREL!” or just simply “juggling it all,” it’s all the same.  It’s called multi-tasking.  And man on man does research show that it just doesn’t work.  Focus, mama! You need to take a few breaks and focus on just one task so that you can actually get something done.

You’re easily snappy at the hubs and the kids.

Well, hello, monster mom. And not just the time of the month monster mom. But the monster mom all-the-time-mom.  When those little things, like the finger prints on the windows really irk you….When you start to get on your kids for their mistakes instead of giving them a little bit of grace.

Each day feels like another day on the hamster wheel.

I whole heartedly believe that you and I were both made to live and love to our utmost potential.  I don’t believe life is meant to be “just lived.”  I believed we’re made to live in abundance and excitement.  When you start to dread waking the next morning…you need to take a little reset.

 

If you said “yes” to any of these, you need to go read my post a few weeks ago….9 Tips to Avoid #mamaOverwhelmed.

And share this post with someone who needs a little TLC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Natalie Collins on Unsplash

Why You Should NOT Workout Everyday?

I’m going to tell you why you should NOT workout. Yup, these are the reasons you should NOT exercise on a daily basis. If any of these are you, then just keep on skipping your workouts. Working out is NOT for you.

Working out can cause the following side effects:

Increased Energy

If you wake each morning with boundless amounts of energy, then you don’t need the energy rush from a good workout. Heed the warning: if you work out, you may have enough energy to get breakfast ready, the laundry done, the dishes put away AND still have energy to play with the kids at the park (without the 3pm caffeine shot).

Decreased Stress

Stress can feel great, can’t it? When you have that heavy weight on your shoulders from taking care of it all, it makes us….stronger? But if you’re not wanting to decrease any stress in your life, be sure to avoid the sweat sesh.

Increase Your Sex Drive

This is a serious side effect, ladies.  Be sure your hubs doesn’t find out about this one. But that increased energy and decreased stress, and additional hormones running around your body can make you a little more ready to go at night.

Increase Your Strength

Lugging around 3 kids, a stroller, snacks, and diaper bags is a piece of cake. And those times when you run a toddler down the beach to a bathroom while carrying an infant? Who wants to have the strength to perform such a task??

Increased Lifespan

While a good sweat session can’t take the credit entirely, this is definitely a side effect you need to consider when partaking in this activity.

Positive Mood

Watch out! Those endorphins and hormones can eliminate your sit in frustration, grouchy with the kids and hubs, sort of mood.

A Better Community

While some people work out solo, lots of people work out with at least 1 other person. Or maybe you’re like the women over in the #Nourished Group who help keep each other accountable throughout the year. That would lead to a workout friend(s) which then leads to community….and we all know what can happen with that

Boosted Immunity

A runny nose and being down for the count is a right of passage every winter, right? Who wants to avoid that?

So heed my caution and consider whether or not these side effects are worth it for you or not. Share this post if you have a friend that needs to head the Workout Warning!

xoxo-Renae

How to Divorce Proof Your Marriage When You Have Kids

Did you know that the divorce rate in the United States is nearly 40-50% of marriages? While I think that’s a crazy high number….I totally get it! Prior to having kids, every activity Joe and I did was pretty much he and I.  We had ample amounts of time to sit and talk.  We got to go walk together, we got to watch TV together, we vacationed together.  Life was pretty much work/school and then us being together.

Then rolls in parenthood….

It’s no longer just Joe and I. And while I have nothing against my dear children, their added dynamic completely shifted Joe and my relationship. Our conversations shifted from what we were feeling and how we were doing, to who needed to pick up what kid where and who was doing laundry. At the end of the day, we’re both mentally taxed and our conversations than revolve over the details of the next day.

But I don’t know if you’re like me, but I’m already looking forward to the future….

Some day my dear sweet children will no longer be living here.  I won’t be responsible for where to pick them up.  I won’t be juggling their soccer practice, homework, and daycare drop offs.  And it will be Joe and I once again.  Now tell me, if we spent 20ish years ONLY talking about the details of life, where do you think we’ll be when we no longer need to talk about those details?

But how do we connect right now?

Statistics show that time spent together substantially increases marriage satisfaction (click here for some deets on that). But I’m an introvert….and a night out isn’t always the most appealing to me.  I certainly crave the connection but the hassle of finding a sitter, going out, figuring out what to do….it’s not something I want to do on a consistent basis. BUT I certainly want the consistent connection.

In walks date night in box

For the last few months, we’ve been getting a #datenightinbox delivered to our door.  There’s no planning needed cause everything’s all in the box. (See pictures below to see the box we got this month).

We’ve been able to get silly together, talk, show each other gratitude, and make time to be intentional towards each other.  And you know me, I’m all about intentionality. Last year we set a goal to have a date night once a month, and being totally honest, we weren’t very good about it. Life happens. But going forward, 2018 is going to be the year we are intentional about connecting and spending more time together. Cause I want to divorce proof our marriage the best I can. I don’t want to leave our relationship to chance.

and the final key step

Whatever you do this year, be sure to show more gratefulness and intentional investment into your relationship.  Think positively about your spouse EVEN when he does something that drives you bonkers.  Your energy will shift when you become grateful for him….your conversations will shift.  Your actions will shift. And then…..you will seal your relationship for the long haul.

 

PS- If you’d like a discount code on Date Night in Box, click here and use code: ONEFREE to get a free box on 3, 6, or 9 month subscriptions.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

9 Tips To Stop Being #mamaOverwhelmed

We all here know self-care is important, but do we REALLY believe it. When you’re sitting there with baby spit up on your shirt, a toddler pooping on the floor, and no dinner on the table….thinking about self-care can be, well….nearly impossible.

But let me be honest with you mama…..I’ve been there. Exhausted. Wiped out. Depleted.  Running on caffeine.  Feeling like I was going to lose my freaking mind! I wanted to run away.  I found myself in tears on numerous occasions.  And I will admit, I locked myself in the bedroom door and left my kids to fend for themselves for awhile cause I was going to lose it.

Self-care is most important when we feel like it’s the last thing we can squeeze into life.

It doesn’t need to be a spa day away (although that would be nice). And it doesn’t need to be an evening out with the girlfriends (not going to dig that one either!)

But it needs to be consistent. Something that is a no-brainer win. Something that doesn’t take all day, but still leaves you feeling full and ready to go.

So here are my top 10 self-care practices that you can totally do.

Breathe.

This one may seem super simple and like “duh.” But you’d be surprised what a few deep breaths can do for your inner mama soul. It’s easy to take with you (cause your lungs ain’t leavin’) and can be done in seconds. Give it a little more and do it with your eyes close.

Meditate.

Pray. Meditate. Whichever you feel more inclined to.  Both allow you to be still, practice your inner calm, and focus on who you want to be.  Want to be a little more peaceful? Focus your prayer time towards that. Doing this first thing in the morning can have 10x the impact. And, I know you may not like it, BUT which means you may have to get up earlier.  The way you start your day sets the tone for the rest of the day. We’ve both had those days when you wake late, you spill your coffee, and you can’t get it together for THE rest of the day. Your energy started in a not so great spot…..so take control of those first few moments of the day.

Move Your Body.

Not only can you tone up that mom bod and feel good rocking a bikini, but you can release some serious energy boosts and endorphin rushes. You’ll be able to play with your kids easier, feel less out of breath, and feel more confident in yourself. And all that sweat and muscle building can play a big factor in reducing cortisol (that nasty stress hormone that can wreck havoc on your body & your sanity). P.S.-If you want 1:1 support with your health, check out #Nourished.

Eat Wholesome.

Those granola bars you grab and snack on cause their great for on the go, and the few bites of the kids leftover food that you are eating….are killing your energy.  The sluggish, exhausted, grab your 5th cup of coffee feeling….that we all want to rid of comes not just from the crazy amount of going that we need to keep up with the kids, but also from what we fuel our bodies with. Give it a clean diet and watch the energy increase (and maybe a few pounds will take a hike too!) P.S.-If you want 1:1 support with your health, check out #Nourished.

Say No.

It’s a hard one. I get it. I’m a doer too. But in order to be able to give my best to the people that mean the most (me and my family), I had to say no to some things.  Make yourself a priority scale. On the top of the scale, you put “absolutely wouldn’t miss it for the world, means the most to me” and on the bottom “I wouldn’t really realize if I missed it.” When you have a new opportunity or invite, evaluate where it falls on that scale.  Take into account the impact missing or attending would have on those that mean the most to you too.

Say Thanks.

When your kids are throwing themselves on the floor in the middle of Target, it can sometimes be a little challenging to keep your cool. The looks. The staring. It can make nearly ANY mom want to cringe and run. But try this out for me. Next time things are going less than stellar, take a moment and find something to be thankful for. And there’s ALWAYS something. Finding something to be grateful for can instantly change your focus and energy. I’d also encouraging writing down things you’re thankful for each night too. Kids are blessings, even when it feels like they are running our lives. When we start to reframe and focus on that…we can bring a little more calm and wellness to our souls.

Unplug.

The world WILL survive if you turn your phone off for a little while. Better yet, get out in nature and take a stroll. The outdoors and the “not being ON” with your phone can completely change your day. Going to the park with the kids while leaving the phone can behind can give both you and the kiddos some moments we tenderly need.

Get Creative.

You could draw, read a book, take some photos, paint. Whatever you enjoy that gives you a chance to focus on something creative.

Declutter.

The clutter reality is real. It creates anxiety, stress, and overwhelm.  We go to Target and immediately see all the really cool holiday and house decor that they so conveniently change out on a nearly weekly basis and think “I need this! This is beautiful.” Then it comes to our house, and it becomes something we have to clean, store, fix, and take care of.  Clear out some space. Learn to stop buying more.  Less IS more. Living a decluttered life can bring so much freedom to your life. Need more support with decluttering, check out my FREE 5 Steps to Break Free From Clutter.

 

And lastly, know that if you feel overwhelmed….it’s ok! Just take one step at a time to free yourself from overwhelm!

Comment below with something that you struggle with in regards to mama self care?

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Photo by elizabeth lies on Unsplash

The Key to a Blissful Morning…with Kids

the dreaded mornings

I don’t know about you, but mornings haven’t been my favorite thing. It’s always been a constant scramble…racing out the door, guaranteeing to forget something behind. Well, I guess this is what my life has looked like since I had 3 kids and entered the world of kids going to school.

I feel like I say “Get on your shoes!” “Brush your teeth” “Get your homework” a million bijillion times. I felt like the constant nag and was exhausted and frustrated to just get out the door in the morning.  Even when I woke up earlier, it seemed like motivation for my kids to get ready was…well….just not there.

something’s gotta change…

One morning, I had enough.  I put on my OT mom hat and made a visual schedule. It was a simple list written with pink highlighter. But gosh golly, it worked.  My daughter got dressed, brushed her teeth, packed her lunch, had her homework ready, shoes on, and all with EVEN time to spare!!! Gasp!

let me help you out too

Knowing that I was on to something but wanting to make it official, I took that simple little list and printed it and placed in a simple frame to hang near the door. And wouldn’t you know it….we’ve had some pretty awesome mornings.  Yup, I even took them to froyo one afternoon just to say “I saw that. Thanks guys!”

If you want to download my checklist for FREE, I’ll share it with you here! 

 

 

The Secret to Getting What You Want

How many times have you wanted something more? New car? A baby? To go to work? To stay home? An extra vacation?

I can raise my hand and say I’m right there with you.  That grass is always greener on the other side mentality can be a real doozie to beat.  We see our neighbors with the new boat and the new car and think, “why geesh…I want that too!” We buy a new house and it’s not long before we wish we had a different one…a bigger more fancy one.

The problem with this…

It puts us in a state of want and need.  That’s no good. We end up operating from a state of lack. Like what we have isn’t good enough. We lose our gratitude. We lose our contentment.  It robs us of our joy.

So the remedy…

  1. Practice Gratitude
  2. Give freely
  3. Bless those who have what you want

There isn’t a quicker way to finding joy, happiness, and contentment than through gratitude and shifting your mind to believing your life is abundant.  When you hold onto things or money like you’re supply is going to run out, you hoard.  You begin to hold on to it. And when you hold on….more stops coming to you and you begin to lose the joy and contentment.

Being thankful for what you have puts you in a place of feeling abundant.  You begin to give more, live more, and be more satisfied.

This morning I read this verse in my Bible.

“If you give to others, you will be given a full amount in return.  It will be packed down, shaken together, and spilling over into your lap.  The way you treat others is the way you will be treated.” Luke 6:38, CEV

Sometimes I read about gratitude, mindfulness, and the law of attraction and feel like it’s venturing into a little bit of the woo-woo territory. Like how does our minds really have that much impact on our lives.  Then I read a scripture like this and it all comes together.

xoxo- Renae

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