Incorporating Self-Care During the Holidays

The holiday season can be the most wonderful time of theeee year! And yet at the same time, it can be the most stressful. We try to enjoy the holiday season, but somehow, we also (feel like we need to) beat the rat race of catching up with all of our holiday tasks and we are left feeling tired (and stressed!) pssst, you don’t have to feel overwhelmed and maxed-out this year.

 

 

 

Do the holidays stress you out? How do you handle the hustle and bustle of the holiday season?

It may be hard, but you should still practice self-care during the holiday season. I know– it can be a bit hard to manage time for yourself when you are thinking about everyone else and possibly spending the month of December traveling– but making the time for yourself is easier once you make it a priority.

 

Let’s talk about how to make yourself a priority and how to incorporate self-care during the holiday season.

Can I ask you a question, mama? Does your routine go right out the window once the holiday season begins to approach? If you’re anything like me, well, my routine can get a bit lopsided with all the yummy foods and traveling that tend to occur around that special time of year.

I want you to live your best life this holiday season by incorporating more self-care into your daily life. It is possible!

 

 

Incorporating Self-Care During the Holidays

 

 

Hydrate

Incorporating Self-Care During the Holidays

Drink your h20… it’s crucial in feeling (and looking) your best. And it’s possibly the easiest thing you can do to incorporate self-care.

 

Work out

Incorporating Self-Care During the Holidays

Take a walk, go for a hike, practice some yoga, or stick to your gym regimen; whatever it is, you will be taking care of your body & mind, which may be the best self-care of all.

And perhaps a reason to eat one or two extra Christmas cookies.

 

Take a bath

Incorporating Self-Care During the Holidays

Perhaps one of my all-time favorite self-care things to do: taking a hot bath!

Soaking in a bath for just thirty-minutes is jam-packed with tons of health benefits…for your body and your mind.

 

Put on music and zone out

incorporating self-care during the holidays

Music makes me feel happy and it’s a good way to release stress. Crank up some of your fav tunes and zone out for a bit. Give your mind the needed break!

 

Meditate

Incorporating Self-Care During the Holidays

Meditiation may sound intimidating, but it’s amazing for the mind– for de-stressing, relaxing, and just being mindful, meditation is a great self-care tool.

I recently found an awesome meditation app called Headspace.

You guys, I think I’m hooked on this neat little app. I am super new to meditation (never could stick with it) but Headspace makes it easy to start off with short, three-mintue sessions

Put on hand lotion

Yesss…a little weird? Hear me out!

My hands are always so so dry in the winter (to the point where I start to pick at the dry skin by my fingers, ouch!) I need to make it a point to constantly smother my hands with lotion because let’s be honest, who really wants their hands to feel dry and scaly. Not this girl.

Pick up some hand lotion and get to pampering…preferably some lotion that smells nice and can leave your hands feeling super-soft.

 

Keep up with appointments

I know that this time of year is filled with so much craziness, but it’s not the time to skip out on appointments. Keeping up with your appointments is so important– whether for your mental health or physical health, make it a priority and just go.

 

Splurge on yourself

Whether it’s a new dress, a pair of earrings, or even a trip to paradise, splurge on yourself this year. Just do it! You’re worth it and you can use a spa-day, anyway.

 

Self-care is doable this holiday season, so mama, give yourself the BEST gift this year and make yourself a priority.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thrive This Holiday Season: Eat & Drink for a Healthy Mind & Body

 The busiest time of the year is here, yet again! Decorations, shopping, gifts, parties, and food. The month of abundance (overabundance, to some) has arrived and I’m going to share with you my tips for eating and drinking to survive it all with a healthy mind and body.

The holidays stir up a wide range of emotions for many people. Whether you’re happy or sad, excited or anxious, joyful or depressed…food can either help you feel your best or really drag you down. What you eat can, and does, affect how you feel. And with the season tempting us with more sweets and alcohol than we are usually faced with, this time of year becomes the most challenging time of year.

In my 10+ years as a personal trainer and dietitian, I’ve learned quite a bit about eating and drinking during the holidays.

This comes from life experience working with clients and patients as well as personal experience overcoming my personal food struggles. The tips I share here are a collection I’ve gathered from my studies and my experiences. And I know that if you apply one or more then you will walk through this holiday season with a healthy mind and body!

 

 

 

 

 Set limits to your alcohol

Alcohol, although fun and festive, is a depressant. It depresses not only your mood but also your energy, your liver function, and your body’s ability to metabolize fat. If you know you’re going to an event and will be enjoying a few cocktails or glass of wine, set your maximum to three drinks. Make it a priority to begin with a glass of water and then a glass between drinks. This helps with hydration but also slows your intake. Carbonated water with a splash of lime is refreshing and tasty!

 

Enjoy dessert but don’t overdo it

The holidays seem to spike our interest in desserts as if they are exotic treats from far off lands that we’ll never see again. Prepared with magical sugar and made by tiny fairies so, yes, we must enjoy as many and as much as we can. Now. And then they pop up everywhere so we snag more and more until we eventually don’t care that we’ve eaten an entire dessert spread over the course of a few weeks. So as tempting and delicious as so many sweets are, I encourage you to choose and few and savor them.

Excess sugar can take its toll on your mind (hello mood swings!) and body (blood sugar spikes and drops really play a number on your energy) and therefore should be avoided if you want to thrive. It took me years to realize that we are capable of obtaining sweets 365 days a year so there’s no need to shove them all into 30 days. And honestly, many sweets are store-bought and not that special. I say go for the homemade goodies and enjoy a few!

 

 

Hydrate your gorgeous body

Water should be the primary beverage you are drinking all day long. Excess caffeine from sodas and coffee leave our bodies feeling wired yet tired. Not only do they displace our water intake but they give us a burst of energy only to leave us with a crash hours later. Evaluate what your intake is now, and reduce it. Honestly, soda has zero benefits (even diet soda) so it’s in your best interest to wean yourself from it completely. Enjoy a cup or two of coffee and then indulge in water the rest of the day. Your skin, your eyes, your entire body will glow with hydration and you’ll notice your energy will be stabilized throughout the day.

 

 

 Get sleep and stay active

For some reason, December arrives and all of a sudden we are too busy to take care of ourselves because we are so busy doing all things HOLIDAYS! We stay up late, skip workouts, and we disrupt our sleep with alcohol. It’s far easier to go to bed 30 to 60 minutes earlier than it is to add that time in the morning so cut off electronics early and snuggle up to get your rest. I guarantee that a rested body will allow you more energy for staying active and co tell your hunger hormones so you’re not diving into the cookie tray twelve times!

As for staying active—make a commitment to yourself to do something at least five days a week. That allows you room for travel and events that are planned or pop up. And you don’t have to hit the gym for every workout. A quick 20-30 minute high-intensity workout, yoga, or an hour walk are all excellent choices to keep your body moving. If you have time and love the gym, do that! I sure do! Do what you enjoy and will keep you moving.

 

These are just a few major ways you can help yourself sparkle and shine this holiday season. Incorporate them now and with practice, they will become part of your life throughout the year.

 

This was a guest post written by my dear friend, Amanda.

GET TO KNOW AMANDA.

Amanda is a full-time stay-at-home-mother, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, and former personal trainer. She loves the outdoors, spending time with her husband and daughter, and living a healthy lifestyle with room for croissants.

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How to Manage the Mom Guilt from Postpartum Depression

Okay mamas, let’s admit it: we all have suffered from mom guilt from one time or another. Maybe it’s because we bottle fed instead of breastfeed or let our kids eat Fruity Pebbles for dinner– whatever the case, the mom-guilt just happens. We are all human.

Mom-guilt hit me full-force when I was struggling with my postpartum depression.

 

How to Manage the Mom Guilt from Postpartum Depression

 

As moms, we not only want the absolute best for our babies, but we want to BE the best FOR our babies. Let me tell you right now, mama: that is NOT always going to be possible (or realistic!) If you’re struggling with postpartum depression right now, you already know what I mean by feeling the mom-guilt— it can be so debilitating and exhausting! But, I can promise you one thing: it will not last forever.

I’ve managed to learn a few things along my journey with PPD and I want to share them with you.

 

How to Manage the Mom Guilt from Postpartum Depression

 

Admit that you need help sooner than later

If you believe that you have PPD, let me tell you something mama– it’s way better to seek help now than later.

I will admit that I waited too long to seek help and it was a lot harder for me to get back to being my old-self.

I also learned that it’s perfectly fine to admit that you need help! It doesn’t make you a bad mom!

 

How to Manage the Mom Guilt from Postpartum Depression

 

Stop falling into the traps

There are so many traps of motherhood– believing that we need to always be physically and emotionally present for our children may be ranked number one on that list. It’s very easy to get caught-up in these feelings, it’s even easier to guilt ourselves into thinking that we are a “bad mom.”

When we struggle with PPD, it’s incredibly difficult to feel like we are doing “our best” as a mom. The truth is, many days, we don’t even feel like getting out of bed and getting dressed, let alone plaster on a happy face to take care of tiny humans.

It took me over two years to realize something: I will never be the perfect mom. I will never be totally available for my kids 24/7– things may happen completely out of my control. I won’t always be able to make my kids happy. And all of that is perfectly okay.

You are struggling with PPD and in this moment of your life, it’s okay to not be totally available, it’s okay to not be happy all of the time. Remember: you are still human, and it’s okay to not be okay.

How to Manage the Mom Guilt from Postpartum Depression

Find your tribe

Postpartum depression can feel like you are the only one in the world going through it. I want to reassure you, that is the furthest from the truth.

It is possible to get through this, and finding your tribe makes postpartum depression so much more bearable to get through.

 

How to Manage the Mom Guilt from Postpartum Depression

When you find your tribe, other women that you can connect and relate with, you will find so much support with your PPD– you will know that you are not alone. It’s also essential to get out and talk with other moms and to vent about how shitty motherhood can sometimes be (I won’t sugarcoat that, honey.)

I think it’s critical to have at least one mom-friend that you can call whenever the proverbial shit hits the fan. We need to know that we’re not the only mamas struggling in the trenches of motherhood.

 

Do it for your babies

You need to get into the mind-set that your babies need you and they need you to be a healthy mama.

Perhaps you feel guilty whenever you practice self-care (again, another pesky mom-trap) but you need to know that taking time for yourself isn’t only beneficial for you, but for your babies.

How to Manage the Mom Guilt from Postpartum Depression

The same goes with reaching out for help– it’s all part of that self-care love that you, as a mama, need to practice.

Remember: you need to be the best mama that you can be for your babies. They need you. They love you.

 

Know your worth

Mama, you have to know your worth in this world, and that is this– you’re an awesome, bad-ass mama that can get through anything. Now is the time to say, screw those people that want to judge you, they don’t know you.

How to Manage the Mom Guilt from Postpartum Depression

I want you to start to focus on you. I want you to start to eliminate all of the garbage from your life– whether it’s a toxic relationship, social media, or self-loathing, I want you to eliminate all of that and focus on yourself.

You are so much more than you give yourself credit for, and it’s time for you to start to acknowledge that!

 

Those are some of the ways that I stumbled through my mom-guilt while I was struggling with PPD. I have to say, that I’ve really come a long way– the mom-guilt is no where near as strong as it used to be. Maybe I needed to grow more as a women, or maybe I needed to grow more as a mother, but whatever the case may be, I know I was able to push through it thanks to close support and of course, this blog. <3 so thank you, my trusted readers! You have given me the outlet I needed.

Now, I want to hear from you– have you experience the mom-guilt? What was it, and how did you deal with it? Leave me a comment or message me.

 

 

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Oh-So Yummy {And Toddler-Approved!} Elderberry Gummies

Goodbye Summer! The end of summer, for me, is a bit bittersweet– I’m always said to see the warm, sunny days go away, but on the other hand, I love the cool, crisp autumn days and seeing the beautiful fall foliage around me. (And do I need to mention, pumpkin spice lattes?!)  Yes, I’m a sucker for everything fall.

 

 

disclaimer: this post may contain affiliate links which, when you purchase an item, can help me continue to run my blog (yes, it cost money to keep this thing going!)

 

But what I’m not a sucker for is my kids getting sick. The cooler weather always brings on those seasonal ickies– Mother Nature’s reminder that it’s officially time to put the swimsuits away–the dreaded cold and flu season.

During this time of the year, I would rather stay in my house every single day then to risk exposing my kids to a potential germ. However, that is not possible and since nobody has invented a human bubble yet, my plan has been to load my kids up with vitamin goodness.

Which brings me the reason for my post: Elderberry gummies.

I will tell you how to make them…keep reading!

Last winter, I discovered the amazing benefits of Elderberry syrup. Holy moly. I swear by this stuff now. I really do. My I’m a believer story is when I was feeling a sickness coming on, so I took a tablespoon every 2 hours– I kid you not when I say that I felt better the next day. No Advil, Day or NyQuil needed! Elderberry syrup has since been stocked in my fridge ever since.

 

all that yummy goodness!!

 

With the cold/flu season approaching, I wanted the syrup in full-stock for my family, but I also needed an easier way to make sure my two toddlers were getting the goodness into their tiny bellies. Because if you have toddlers, you know how, *ahem* difficult, they can be.

It’s when elderberry gummies came into my mind– so I began to research how to make them. It turns out, making your own elderberry gummies is INSANELY easy. I mean, really, really, stinkin’ easy. And wayyy cheaper than buying them already made.

Before you make your gummies…

You will need elderberry syurp. I make my own because again, it’s so insanely cheap and easy.

Here is my favorite (and I’m tried quite a few) recipe that is tasty and equally easy to make!

courtesy of Wellness Mama

2/3 cup dried elderberries, or 1 1/3 cups fresh or frozen

  • 3½ cups water
  • 2 TBSP fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp cloves or clove powder
  • 1 cup raw honey (local honey is best)

Instructions

  1. Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.
  2. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool until it is cool enough to be handled.
  4. Mash the berries carefully using a spoon or other flat utensil.
  5. Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.
  6. Discard the elderberries and let the liquid cool to lukewarm.
  7. When it is no longer hot, add the honey and stir well.
  8. When the honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a quart sized mason jar or 16 ounce glass bottle of some kind.
  9. Ta-da! You just made homemade elderberry syrup! Store in the fridge and take daily for its immune boosting properties. Some sources recommend taking only during the week and not on the weekends to boost immunity.

Notes

Standard dose is ½ tsp – 1 tsp for kids and ½ – 1 tablespoon for adults. If the flu does strike, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear.

 

Now, what you have all been waiting for…..

 

recipe adapted by Coconut Mama

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons gelatin
  • 1/4 Cup Homemade Elderberry Syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 Cup water

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl mix 1/4 cup of elderberry syrup with gelatin.
  2. Let the gelatin sit in the water for a minute or until it gels up.
  3. Heat 1/4 cup of water in a saucepan on low heat. You want the water to be hot but not boiling.
  4. Pour the hot water over the gelatin mixture.
  5. Use a whisk and mix the ingredients together.
  6. Add the honey and mix until thoroughly combined.
  7. Pour mixture into molds.
  8. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until set.
  9. Store fruit snacks in a closed container in the refrigerator.

Take 2-3 gummies a day for optimal well-being!

 

toddler approved by my picky three-year old (:

 

 

I’m happy that I could share with you my trusted and well-loved recipe for elderberry gummy bears. These gummy bear vitamins will help keep your little ones healthy this cold/flu season.

Did you make these? I want to hear what you think in the comments, please!

 

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A List of Postpartum Resources that Every Mom Needs

After my first son was born, I was in the dark about postpartum depression and any other postpartum issues– I had to basically google and educate myself. I left the hospital, both times, with a million papers about breast-feeding and safe-sleeping for the baby, but nothing about taking care of me, the mother. That is why I wanted to write up a list of postpartum resources that every mom needs.

We really need to do better when it comes to mothers and postpartum health. We need to offer all of the resources that we can to every mother but more importantly, we need to support mothers, too.

If you’re about to be a new mama or someone close to you is pregnant, you will want to save this post because it will have SO much valuable information.

My youngest is over a year old now, but I vividly remember how overwhelming the first couple of weeks are with a newborn. It’s a tiring transition! In fact, as a mother, we focus all of our time and energy into our precious newborn baby that we lose sight of what’s just as important: us!

 

 

 

 

Phone numbers and support hot lines:

A List of Postpartum Resources That Every Mom Needs

Suicide Prevention and Crisis Hotline:
1 (800) 273-8255

SASS Line:
(775) 221-7600

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
1 (800) 273-8255

EMERGENCY:
CALL 9-1-1

Text:
“ANSWER” to 839863

 

A List of Postpartum Resources That Every Mom Needs
List of suicide crisis lines.

 

A List of Postpartum Resources That Every Mom Needs

24/7/365 Crisis Hotline

Call: 1 (800) 273-8255
Text: “ANSWER” to 839863

 

  • The PSI HelpLine is a toll-free telephone number anyone can call to get basic information, support, and resources-  1-800-944-4773(4PPD)
  •   Text the warmline at:  503-894-9453

 

 

A list of support organizations and health providers:

 

  • A list of organizations that offer support for postpartum depression or postnatal illness support in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Ireland, and South Africa:

 http://www.postpartumprogress.com/postpartum-depression-support-organizations-in-the-us-canada-uk-south-africa-australia-new-zealand

 

  • A resource from postpartumprogress.com that assembles a specific list of more than 100 female black mental health providers around the U.S.

Black Mental Health Providers List

 

A list of postpartum resources for every mom
Postpartum practitioner directory

 

A List of Postpartum Resources That Every Mom Needs
Find a therapist directory

 

 

A list of resources for postpartum depression:

 

A List of Postpartum Resources That Every Mom Needs

A List of Postpartum Resources That Every Mom Needs

A List of Postpartum Resources That Every Mom Needs

A List of Postpartum Resources That Every Mom Needs

 

A List of Postpartum Resources That Every Mom Needs

 

A List of Postpartum Resources That Every Mom Needs

 

A list of resources for postpartum anxiety:

 

A List of Postpartum Resources That Every Mom Needs

A List of Postpartum Resources That Every Mom Needs

A List of Postpartum Resources That Every Mom Needs

 

Other postpartum and mental health resources:

 

A List of Postpartum Resources That Every Mom Needs
Postpartum psychosis resources
A List of Postpartum Resources That Every Mom Needs
Perinatal obsessive-compulsive symptoms

 

A List of Postpartum Resources That Every Mom Needs

 

A List of Postpartum Resources That Every Mom Needs

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml

 

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml
Behavioral health treatment services locator

Facebook support groups:

Postpartum Depression & Anxiety Support Group

Support Group for Depression, Anxiety and Postpartum

PostPartum/ Depression/Anxiety Support Group

The Postpartum Stress Center

Pregnancy and Postpartum Depression or Anxiety Support

Postpartum Progress

 

 

Articles helpful for postpartum issues:

 

This article talks about the difference between the baby blues or postpartum depression.

 

I talk about 20 reasons why moms don’t speak up about postpartum depression

 

A list of postpartum resoucres for every mom
Here you can read about postpartum anxiety and how to cope.

 

I talk about the 5 things I want moms with postpartum depression to know

 

I share my postpartum depression story that was featured in scary mommy.

 

A list of postpartum issues for every mom
Here you can find great articles on postpartum issues such as PPD, PPA, and more.
Via Postpartumprogress.com- 6 tools to help you feel supported and understood through PPD

 

Support for husbands/partners:

 

A list of postpartum resources for every mom.
I talk about 3 ways you can help your partner through postpartum depression.

 

  • Tips for Postpartum Dads and Partners-  http://www.postpartum.net/family/tips-for-postpartum-dads-and-partners/

 

  • Do you have a helpful postpartum resource that you would like listed here? Please let me know.
  • Do you have a postpartum issue that you want to share or just talk about? I am here for that. I am a trustful and supported source.

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