I have been feeling pretty crummy lately and generally struggling. Every day I want to work out, not look homeless, play with my kids, go to work, cook healthy meals, write this blog, remodel the house, see my friends and family and the list goes on. I try to do it all and when I can’t sustain it I beat myself up.
On our recent vacation, I really tried to unplug from social media. We went on hikes and took naps, read books (novels and self-help, see below) and grilled out. I came back mentally refreshed and determined to give myself a little grace, to not sweat the small stuff, and to quit trying to do it all. Who cares if my house isn’t spotless. Who cares if we order out twice in one week. I realized that these things aren’t really important.
When it comes to self-help I have always been pretty cynical. But honestly I have been feeling so overwhelmed that I decided to be more open to it. What do I have to lose? I’ve learned so many interesting things! While I still feel it’s a little hokey (I’m not going to start carrying crystals around), I have found a few things that I’ve found beneficial.
Which brings me to today’s favorites, all with wellness in mind. 🙂
The Jess Lively Show Podcast
Jess interviews entrepreneurs, bloggers, life coaches, etc… She shares tips on living a more intuitive life and going with the “flow.” Some of the topics are a little out there for me but I still find it all interesting. I’ve been listening to it on my commute to and from work. I’m a little addicted!
I’ve also been listening to the Huey Lewis station nonstop on Pandora. Don’t laugh. His music always puts me in a good mood.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Wow, I’m not surprised that this book is so popular. It has really opened my eyes in so many ways. I’m going to have to buy this one because I can see myself reading again and again. My favorite thing I got out of it (so far) is to focus on living with intent – that is to say, focusing on what’s most important to me and making sure that those things are at the center of my life. For example, Covey says to use your weekly planner to incorporate your values. Duh! This was a real aha moment for me. My weekly planner typically consists of lists of all the things I need to do – pick up dry cleaning, vacuum, pay bills, make doctor’s appointments, etc. These things are all important to me but if I say my Values are my family, health, friendships — where are these values in that weekly plan? It really made me stop and think and instead my weekly planner now lists top priorities for each day – like doing yoga or playing with the kids or calling a friend I haven’t spoken to in a while. Likewise, I’ve been trying to choose my time wisely. For instance, I almost always spend some time during the evenings on the internet/social media. I’m making a conscious effort to do more of what I actually enjoy doing like reading a book, going on a walk or taking a hot bath.
Beachbody on Demand – 3 Week Yoga Retreat. I bought the 21 Day Fix Extreme DVDs and subscribed to Beachbody on Demand so I have access to a slew of Beachbody workouts. This yoga series just came available and it is so good! I had a love/hate relationship with yoga. I had two problems. First, I thought the namaste talk was hokey. I would always roll my eyes and think “can’t we get on with the actual yoga and skip this nonsense.” I still sort of feel that way, but the above-mentioned podcast and book have made me reconsider. Maybe honoring myself and being mindful isn’t as silly as I originally thought. I also didn’t really know how to do the poses. The yoga studios in my (old) town were a bit advanced and didn’t offer beginner classes and I was always self-conscious in class. I can’t say enough good things about the 3 Week Yoga Retreat. Each day has a different focus. Day 1 starts out by showing and explaining the moves; Day 2 is all about breathing; Day 3 is balance. I LOVE it. They explain how to do everything and WHY. It makes much more sense if you actually understand the concepts behind each pose. I’ve been struggling lately with fitting workouts in and I always set myself up to fail because I try to do too much. I got home from vacation and vowed to do just two things each day: the 21 Day Yoga Retreat (I’ve been setting my alarm for 5 am and doing it before work/kids wake up) and get 10,000 steps every day. That’s it.
Good Culture Cottage Cheese – I just discovered this cottage cheese on a recent trip to Whole Foods. It’s made from whole grass-fed milk, all organic and non-gmo ingredients with zero additives. You can get plain or with fruit and chia seeds. Oh my gosh. The strawberry is off the charts good. I tried it and immediately worried about how I was going to get more ASAP (Whole Foods isn’t exactly close to me anymore). It tastes like dessert. So. freaking. good.
Pumpkin Pomander Candle. I picked up this candle at Target a few weeks ago and I have been burning it like crazy. I love pumpkin scented candles but sometimes they can be a bit overpowering. This is a perfect”light” pumpkin scent.