When thinking of trying something new like launching a side hustle or starting a new fitness program, I’ll be the first to admit that feelings of fear can creep in. All too often we let the fear of the unknown stop us from starting things that we really want to tackle when it’s actually pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones that help us grow. Example: A young woman who is new to working out was nervous about taking a spin class at a swanky gym in San Francisco. She’s never been on a stationary bike and feels nervous she might not be in good enough shape. She’s brave and she goes anyway. She started going every week and eventually bonded with the instructor. They’re married now and have two kids and a dog. (We actually know this woman.) Sure, it’s intimidating to try something new, but can you imagine if she never tried? Moral of the story: risk something or forever be the same. The benefits of trying new things are abundant. Here are some benefits of taking the risk to try something new this year.

try something new: comfort zone

1. Trying something new that shakes up your routine can really give you a fresh perspective.

2. New ways of doing things can enhance experiences that already bring you joy. Love to run? Try the same route but backward to stimulate your brain and shake things up!

3. Increased creativity often comes from trying something new. When I feel stuck on a piece I am writing, I put my phone away and look around—the trees, dogs passing by and new people on the street help me feel more alive and creative.

 

try something new: switch things up

4. New physical activities can aid you in becoming healthier. Try a boxing class or something else you’ve been thinking about. The calorie burn and endorphins alone will make it worth it!

5. You could make new friends! Head out on a yoga retreat or go to that festival you’ve never made time for. Who knows what kind of memories you will make with new people!

 

try something new: make new friends

The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to trying something new, and whether it’s a big or small leap outside your comfort zone, you’ll still reap the benefits of trying new things. Get out there and do that thing you’ve been thinking about!

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Everything’s better with a friend: a glass of wine, a road trip, and a cozy night in. One thing I really enjoy doing more if I have a pal there with me? Working out. Partner workouts are not only more fun with someone there to give you a good laugh when you feel like your muscles are about to fall off but they are also a great way to stay connected with those you love even when ‘me time’ becomes scarce. While I love meeting friends at the gym, there’s a lot you can do outdoors. Outdoor workouts will give you the benefits of a fantastic full-body workout and some fresh air. I’ve put together a total body workout that will get your muscles working and (hopefully) help reduce stress this holiday season. All you need to do is grab a buddy and head outside to get moving!

total body workout: push-ups

Push-Ups: 10 Reps

I love starting out any workout with push-ups—especially if I am training with someone I haven’t trained with before. Push-ups are a great test to assess people’s current physical abilities. After watching someone execute a pushup, I will know a lot about what I may need to modify to ensure my friend or client gets the best workout for them. There are endless modifications you can make to a pushup to make it easier or more difficult! Push-ups are also a total results producer because they recruit so many muscles from your shoulders, arms, core and even glutes all while increasing your heart rate.

 

total body workout: v-ups

V-Ups: 20 Reps

When working out with a partner, I love to focus on the core because 1.) a tighter midsection is something just about everyone wants to work on and 2.) there are so many core exercises you can do with a partner! V-ups are my favorite way to get started with core work since there are many modifications. Here we are using our hands to help stabilize us, but you can also lay hands just under your lower back to increase the intensity. Or, keep your whole torso on the ground to decrease the intensity by turning it into more of a leg raise than a full v-up.

 

total body workout: scissor kicks

Scissor Kicks: 40 Reps

Leg movements will recruit muscles from the lower abs. Here you can do scissor kicks with your torso flat on the ground or at a 45-degree angle. Having your torso raised will recruit more muscles and will be more difficult. With this one, always remember to keep your spine aligned—no lower-back arching here!

Go through each exercise for 4 rounds making modifications as needed. Push your friend and yourself to go as hard as you safely can!

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In a world where we jump from one holiday to the next (sometimes even before the previous holiday is over), it can definitely be daunting to focus on your resolutions before the new year even starts. But, this is the one tradition I believe we should start early. How early? Start them whenever you’re ready—there’s no wrong time! In an effort to get ahead—and potentially use some of the magic numerologist’s place on the occurrence of 11/11—I started mine on November 11th this year. I’m not really sure if that has any validity, but I’ll try anything in the name of personal growth. I started by writing everything down in my phone on a goal-setting app. Hey, if I don’t put it in writing, it’s not happening. So far, I am happy to report there has been small but measurable progress. I’m hopeful and confident going into 2020 with a small amount of progress towards what I want to accomplish in the New Year. Plus, it’ll help ensure that I don’t give up and that I’ll reach them with less resistance than I would have had I waited. Read on for a few other benefits I have found from getting a headstart on your New Year’s resolutions.

new year: practice makes perfectPractice Makes Perfect

I personally love that getting a head start on making positive changes will give you a little grace period to put those goals into practice. One of my goals is to drink more water so I got myself a new water bottle (a huge one!) and have been adjusting to the practice of bringing it everywhere with me. I’m not quite where I want to be with intake, but have increased it with the new bottle! It’s all about giving yourself grace when it comes to implementing new habits.

Take the Pressure Off

Starting early will take some of the pressure off of you in the New Year! None of us need added pressure, am I right? Getting a head start will help you reach your goals and allow you extra time to experiment with the ways that work best for you to implement new habits.

 

new year: room for growth

Room for Growth

Many of us start with more than one resolution—which is a great thing—but starting earlier might mean you have time to conquer even more! If you realize you’re effectively acting on your resolutions, add a few more in that you had on your goals list. Adding them in small batches will feel much less overwhelming than trying to accomplish them all at once. Remember, habits take time to kick in. Don’t get frustrated if you’re not seeing immediate results!

There’s No Time Like the Present

Remember how I talked about reaching goals with less resistance? Just about every time we try to make a change, the ego, the ID, the fact that many bad habits are simply habitual will make us resist that change. Starting early gives you time to push through the resistance period and have a plan ready for overcoming any struggles that may arise.

No matter when you start, reaching any goal takes intention, hard work, and a plan. Remember to make SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. Write them down somewhere you can revisit whenever you need to and consider sharing them with someone you trust so you can have some help with accountability. Happy New Year!

 

 

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Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is defined as a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality. It engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being and is regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture. When one of the happiest countries in the world makes something a huge part of their culture, we all want to follow suit. What is it about hygge that brings so much joy? Well, it embodies a sense of togetherness—think cozy family meals and nights in spent cuddling and singing. That means no Netflix!

Everyone’s needs are different, and lifestyle experts are uncovering another covetable Danish concept we might all soon be jumping on to: pyt (pronounced pid). Pyt is all about cultivating healthy thoughts to better deal with the stress of everyday life. If hygge keeps your heart and house warm and cozy, pyt is more about maintaining mental health and making your thoughts warm and cozy.

In honor of the holidays being thrust upon us (did 2019 go by extra fast or is that just me?), I am sharing a few easy ways to cuddle up, get cozy, and make the most of the rest of this decade with a little help from our Nordic friend’s tried and true principles.

hygge: get outside

Get Outside

The Scandavaians believe there’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothes. Spend some time outdoors every day to connect with nature (and your family) away from screens.

Host a Simple Meal

The holidays are all about getting together and it doesn’t need to be fancy. Skip the usual holiday dress code and opt for a casual, simple meal focusing on the company and everyone’s comfort.

 

hygge: practice gratitude

Practice Gratitude

Many of us get pretty religious about practicing gratitude this time of year, but the key is remembering to practice it all year. Moms, get the kids in the habit of practicing gratitude by writing down what they are grateful for.

 

hygge: read

Read

Not just a juicy magazine in the salon for your pre-holiday party blowout, but really cuddle up with a soft pair of sweats and your best blanket to read something substantial. Alone or with your kids, this will help you settle your mind and body during this busy time of year.

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Each fall, we set the clocks back for daylight savings time. And, each fall I spend no less than one week adjusting to a new circadian rhythm and feeling a bit run down. When I’m feeling low energy and there are a dozen tasks on my plate, the first thing to go is my workouts. Who wants to go get their sweat on when it’s dark, chilly and they’re running on empty? If you’re like me and you find it a little difficult to stay motivated during the busy winter months, I’ve got just the thing you need.

Grace. That’s right. During the busy holiday months, give yourself the gift of a green light to enjoy the holidays, nights in with family, tree decorating—whatever it may be that makes this season joyous for you. Enjoy it without the pressure of hitting the gym a certain number of days per week.

Fast and effective workouts. For those days when you just really need to get your body moving, opt for a workout that torches calories fast so you can go on with your day with loads of endorphins (and increased energy) and save yourself an hour+ at the free weights.

Here are 3 plyometric exercises you can do at home (or outside if you happen to live in a warmer climate) that are guaranteed to get your blood pumping quickly. Unfamiliar with plyometrics? No worries. Plyometrics, commonly called plyos, are exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time. The goal is to increase power (a.k.a stamina) so you can go on with your to-do list with the natural energy made by you! You want to do anything involving jumping or explosive movements like jumping rope, hopping, lunges or jump squats. These are 3 of my favorites:

 

plyometric exercises: lunges

plyometric exercises: lunges

Jumping Lunges:

Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, jump your left leg forward and your right leg back into a lunge with both knees at 90 degrees. Jump up and switch your legs in midair so that you land in a lunge with your right leg in front. Continue jumping back and forth pausing as little as possible.

 

plyometric exercises: burpees

plyometric exercises: burpees

Burpees

First I want to note that some trainers wouldn’t consider this a plyometric move, but a cardio move. I don’t care either way—just do them because they are super effective! Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend at your hips and knees to lower yourself into a squatting position. Place your hands on the floor in front of you so you’re on all fours and kick your feet back so that you are in the plank position. Then, drop all the way down to the floor in a pushup. Bring your feet towards your hands in a frog-like leap and jump up explosively with your hands towards the sky.

 

plyometric exercises: squats

plyometric exercises: squats

Jump Squats

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and start by doing a regular squat, then engage your core and jump up explosively. When you land, lower your body back into the squat position to complete one rep. Land as quietly as possible to avoid injury. Keeping your core tight will help!

My favorite part about these is that you can do them ANYWHERE: hotels, living rooms, your front yard with the Christmas lights shining down on you. It doesn’t matter and you really need no equipment aside from water and maybe a yoga mat if you need a cushion. Try to go through 4 rounds of this doing 10-12 reps of each exercise. Chances are you will be sweating afterwards and I just know you will feel increased energy and stamina throughout your busy day!

 

 

 

 

 

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Ask any trainer. They’ve all heard the same unfounded request from clients: “I want to get toned arms without the bulk.” I totally get that, because, girl, same. I have good news for you, though. You’re not going to get bulky. I’ve worked with the same trainer for over two years while I myself am studying to get my Personal Trainer’s certification. Everything I’ve heard from my certified PT and everything I’ve studied over the past 12 years of my fitness career is that women in their natural state (i.e. no muscle building supplements) are pretty unlikely to build a lot of bulk. Lifting as we would naturally, we simply won’t lift heavy enough, often enough or consume enough food to make us bulk up. Remember, you want to increase muscle and work on a healthy diet. Not just one or the other.  Still nervous about picking up the weights? Here are some things to keep in mind. If you want to build strength go for heavier weight and do fewer reps. If you want to build muscular endurance, use a lighter weight and do more reps. Here are 9 tried-and-true arm workouts that will help you build those arm muscles and help rev up your metabolism.

arm workouts: upright row

1. Upright Row

This is one of the best muscle builders for back and shoulders. Start with legs at a shoulder-width distance apart and your arms down in front of your thighs. Standing straight with a supported abdomen, lift the weights straight up towards your chin keeping elbows and arms parallel to the ground. Lower and repeat.

 

arm workouts: shoulder press

2. Shoulder Press

Start with your arms at bent shoulder height (in the shape of a “w”)  with your palms facing away from you and your feet shoulder-width distance apart. With your core braced and your gaze facing forward, press your arms straight up towards the sky. Bring them back to shoulder height and repeat.

 

arm workouts: bent-over tricep extension

3. Bent-Over Tricep Extension

Start by bending your knees slightly and leaning your torso forward (make sure to keep your back straight). With your arms in a 90-degree angle, begin to straighten your arm using your tricep bringing your forearm parallel to the ground. Lower your arm back to the starting position and repeat.

 

arm workouts: bicep curl

4. Bicep Curls

This exercise is simple but essential! They might just become your biceps best friend. Start with your arms hanging by your side. Keep your elbows close to your sides and your palms facing forward. Curl your weights up to shoulder-level keeping your upper arms stationary. Lower your forearms and repeat.

 

arm workouts: lateral raises

5. Lateral Raises

Start with your arms at your sides with your palms facing your thighs. Double-check to make sure your back is straight and your core is engaged! Slowly raise your arms up and out to the side until they are parallel with the ground. Lower your arms and repeat.

 

arm workouts: bent-over fly

6. Bent-Over Fly

Just like the bent-over tricep extension, start by bending your knees slightly and leaning your torso forward (make sure to keep your back straight). Begin the exercise with your arms hanging down towards the ground with your palms facing inwards. Slowly raise them up and out towards the side. Lower and repeat.

 

arm workouts: weighted tricep dip

7. Overhead Weighted Tricep Dip

Start with feet hip-width distance apart and—you guessed it—core engaged. Raise your arms straight up over your head, Keeping everything from your shoulders to your elbows stationary, bend your elbows bringing the weight behind your head to a 90-degree angle. Raise your arms back up and repeat.

 

arm workouts: weighted punches

8. Weighted Punches

Start with your arms at shoulder-height with your arms bent and palms facing in. In a controlled motion, punch your arm out in front of you keeping it steady and parallel to the ground. It’s okay if your torso rotates slightly! Bring your arm back in and switch sides. Repeat!

 

arm workouts: push ups

9. Push-Ups

Much like a bicep curl, push-ups are a classic workout that’s a must for building strong arms and shoulders. Start in a plank position and slowly lower yourself towards the ground keeping your elbows close to your torso, back straight, and core engaged. Push yourself back up and repeat.

 

arm workouts

I’m doing all of the weighted exercises with 8lbs here, but you do whatever is best for you. If that’s 2lb, great! If it’s 35lb, cool. Just modify this according to your goals and you will notice your arm muscles getting more defined in no time. After each workout, give yourself a hug—you deserve it! Plus it’s a great way to check your progress!

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When’s the last time you took a personal day and spent some time pampering yourself, catching up with a friend or just relaxing uninterrupted by children, work or phones? For me, it’s been years and I am not proud of that. Many of us feel guilty spending time or money spoiling ourselves, but self-care can really be one of your greatest investments as it can go a long way in enhancing your overall well-being. I’m talking about tending to your emotional wellness. What is that, you ask?

Emotional wellness is a vague, but important term. It has to do with how you generally feel—your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors as a whole. It’s about your relationship with your emotions—the positive and the negative ones—and how you handle them. Your emotional wellness is all about you and how you label, acknowledge and accept your emotions. Do you generally embrace your emotions—sadness, boredom, anxiety, happiness—as a normal part of life? Do you like who you are and how you handle ups and downs? If you answered ‘yes’ you’re likely pretty emotionally healthy. Here are a few ways you can strengthen your emotional wellness and ensure you stay that way.

 

emotional wellness: plan

1. Plan for the Hard Stuff

In an article in this month’s Women’s Health, I read a short piece I really wanted to share because it is one of the best darn pieces of advice I’ve heard in a while… “Deliberately planning for taxing or irritating situations could help buffer the negative feels before they hit, research shows. “Stress is more of a perceived reaction,” says James Gray MD a cardiologist with Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine. “The situation doesn’t change but you can alter how you respond.” In your calendar, use another color to highlight events you anticipate to be emotionally demanding, so you can make a mental note about what’s coming, prepare your mind, and schedule extra self-care time accordingly.” -Women’s Health, Oct 2019 pg. 78

 

emotional wellness: squad goals

2. Squad Goals Change—And That’s O.K.

Surrounding ourselves with good friends is one of the best ways to increase emotional wellness. Surrounding yourself with toxic relationships will decrease your emotional wellness. It seems easy enough, but this one can be so tricky.  If someone in your circle started out making you LOL until your face hurt but now can’t stop ranting about things they can’t control, you may need to consider letting go. We all change and adapt and if someone in your squad has really turned negative and you can’t help them turn it around, it may be best to let ‘energy vampires’ go and free up space in your calendar and heart for someone that might be more of what you need right now. You don’t have to end it harshly, but do be honest.

 

emotional wellness: ask for help

3. Ask for Help—And Offer it When Nobody’s Asking

We are unquestionably strong and independent people. Once we have a goal, there’s nothing that can stop us. Having big goals often means even bigger to-do lists and asking for help can make us feel vulnerable. Next time you get really stuck remember, there’s no better way to build a really strong support network then by supporting your community and asking them for support when you need it. Bring dinner to a fellow preschool mom who just had surgery without her having to ask. Help a neighbor carry in an oversized package. You’ll be surprised how much easier than might make your life (and emotional wellness) down the road.

I hope some of this helps you next time you find yourself under stress. Don’t forget to keep checking in with your emotional health whether it’s on an app, a journal or even better, an emotional health check-up with your S.O. or bestie.

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September 22 is Car-Free Day and as a frequent pedestrian in a non-pedestrian city (L.A) I have all the feels about this. My husband and I share one car which he typically takes to and from work and I navigate my day-to-day with the two kids primarily on an electric box bike. We mix it up with a little help from scooters, skateboards, running, walking, or regular bikes. Anything to make running around town with two kids and no car a little easier! All these different means of transportation give us great exercise—I log 15,000 steps daily on average! Not to mention, it’s way better for the environment. Certainly, getting around this way is a little sweatier and it definitely means my wardrobe isn’t what it used to be when I was driving to my corporate job every day. However, I’ve discovered the best outfits for a few of my favorite outdoor activities that help you go green and get moving!

outdoor activities: running

Running

Clearly, I love outdoor fitness. Some days, when I am lucky enough to get a little more time outside, I love to go for a run in the evening. Running in the evening ensures the UVA and UVB rays aren’t too intense! Nothing beats a nice long run to cleanse the mind and the body. It’s energizing, cathartic and it’s less time consuming than heading to the gym. Plus, running outside will leave you drenched with sweat which is just so rewarding sometimes. Given that, I do love to run in leggings and a sports bra. If you’re running during the day, a healthy dose of sunscreen and a sports bra allows for some Vitamin D to enter the body without the sun damage.

 

outdoor activities: biking

Biking

Going on a bike ride is a quick and easy way to run your errands or hit up your favorite spots in town. Don’t have one? Check out rental options in your city! When I go biking, I wear workout leggings and a top either a sweatshirt like this Spiritual Gangster one or a similar tee if the weather is warmer. I’ve tried real pants and the bike chain ate them (I know—they were too loose). It was a sad, sad day but wearing leggings has helped me ensure that it never happens again.

 

outdoor activities: walking

Walking

If we’re not going far we get moving on foot. Morning coffee from the local coffee shop and my newest responsibility—walking the dog—ensures I walk quite a bit every day. I love seeing new things around LA this way. I feel like I discover things I would never see on my bike because I am so focused on bike safety. Those electric bikes go about 15 mph, which in LA, can be faster than cars during rush hour! For my walks, I’ve been throwing on a comfy and versatile top paired with bike shorts. Bike shorts are both trendy and comfortable making them a win-win!

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Squeezing in a workout when you have a busy schedule can feel impossible—especially if you’re looking for a full-body workout. The good news is, you don’t have to sign up for a gym membership or dedicate hours of your day to making it happen. I’ve nailed down a 20-minute (yes, you read that right) full-body workout that you can do anywhere. While it doesn’t require any equipment, I personally love adding a resistance band to at-home workouts. They’re so convenient and quickly add a lot of punch! I recommend doing these repetitions with a band if you have one and simply tossing it aside if it gets to be too much. Here’s a step-by-step guide to my 20-minute full-body workout. Pro tip: click on the link for a gif of the exercise in action.

full body workout: arm raises

Arm Raises

Quickly tone your arms and shoulders by doing arm raises. Just slide your arms inside of a resistance band and press out on it with your forearms. Raise your arms up over your head and lower back down until your fingertips are pointed to the floor. Repeat 15 times.

 

full body workout: kneeled shoulder press

Kneeling Shoulder Press

This is such a good full-body exercise and I love doing it when I don’t have a lot of time to work out because it is so efficient. Simply squat down then kneel down on one knee, then the other. From a kneeling position, place one foot forward on the ground, then the next so you are back to squatting position. From there, stand up and do a front raise. If you have light weights you can do a shoulder press instead of a front raise or omit it altogether if your shoulders need a break. Repeat 15 times.

 

full body workout: glute bridges

Glute Bridges

If you follow me on Instagram you know this is one of my favorite workouts to do at the gym. Luckily, it can easily be modified to do at home. The easiest (but still incredibly beneficial) version is laying down with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Then press your hips up squeezing your glutes at the top and releasing down. Add a resistance band to torch more muscles. Just place your legs inside of it right above the knee and push your knees and outer thighs outwards. Repeat 15 times.

 

full body workout: clams

Clams

Keep the band above your knee after glute bridges and turn to your side with your knees bent at a 90° angle. Keeping feet together, lift and lower the top leg then switch sides. Repeat 15 times on each side.

 

full body workout: lateral kicks

Lateral Kicks

Laying on your side, slide the band down so it sits at your shins. From there, lift your top leg up 6 inches and kick forward then backward. Repeat 15 times on each side.

 

full body workout: squats

Rotating Squats

Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart with the resistance band around your ankles and toes slightly turned out. Engage your core and keep your chest lifted and back flat as you shift your weight into your heels. Bend your knees to lower into a squat. Keeping the right foot on the floor, bring the left foot off the ground and pivot the right foot to the left side of your body and come down with the left foot to squat facing 45° to the left. Repeat again and pivot back to the center. Repeat pivoting to the right side and then again back to the center. That’s one rep. Repeat 10 times.

 

full body workout: v-ups

V-Up

This is one of my go-to core exercises because it doesn’t leave any part of the core out—you have to utilize all of your core muscle groups to do it! This one is tried and true and needs little explaining. From lying flat on the floor, reach your fingers to your toes in unison so you meet in a v-like position. Then release and lay flat. Just be sure to keep your belly tucked in and squeeze your thighs together to reap all the benefits. Repeat 10 times.

 

full body workout: russian twist

Russian Twist

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. You can keep your feet here or lift them up to a 45° angle to make it a bit more difficult or straighten them out for even more of a challenge. Now hold out your arms and clasp your hands in front of you. Rotate your torso side to side bringing your hands to the ground by your side each time you rotate. Repeat 20-30 times.

 

full body workout: plank

Commando

This is more difficult than a regular plank, and, when done correctly, will quickly give you some amazing results. Start in a high plank position with your palms flat on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended behind you, and your core and glutes engaged. Tap your right hand to your left shoulder and then switch. Try not to rock at the hips. Repeat 20-30 times.

 

Whew—you did it! If you have time, go through that all once more, but don’t be hard on yourself if that took the full 20 minutes. We are all at different places and none of them are exactly where we’re supposed to be!

 

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It’s National Relaxation Day and I’m finding myself a little stressed about getting inspired and stoked to celebrate accordingly. Not an intended symptom of the day I am sure, but we all have a lot going on (hello, the world can’t run itself). The very notion of making time to relax can have a cortisol raising effect. I can’t let that happen to you all so I am sharing 7 of my favorite low-cost, small-time commitment ways to practice self-care and—ahhh—relax.

self care tips: make your home calm

Make Your Home/Office a Calming Place

Okay, maybe just part of your home unless you have Chip and Joanna level skills, in which case, call me. Your home is your safe haven from the stress of the outside world. You need to make sure that it is a relaxing space when you need to destress. Even the smallest change like adding a new plant can have a positive impact! You also shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with some bigger design concepts like painting bedroom walls cooler tones to evoke more feelings of calm.

Accessorize With Gemstones

I’ve been embracing the resurgence of gemstone bracelets lately. Gemstones were always a thing that I wore when they were ‘in’ and abanded shortly thereafter because I simply didn’t realize how powerful they can be. Now that they are back I am learning so much about the effect they can have on the wearer. They can aid with anything from feeling calm to increasing self-empowerment. I’ve shared some favorites on my personal blog if you’re interested in reading more.

 

self care tips: meditate

Foam Roll

Whether you worked out today or not, foam rolling is one of the most underutilized therapies out there. It’s so convenient that you can do it yourself. Roll it out to relax after a hard workout or set it up in front of the TV on rest days and notice the stress melt away as you release the tension on the foam roller. My favorite foam rolling posture for stress relief? Diaphragm release. Opening up the diaphragm has a cooling effect on the mind and body because it helps us breathe deeper. Put the foam roller under your upper back, clasp your hands behind your head and relax into the gentle stretch and chest opening. Use slow, deep breaths to release any feelings of anxiety or stress.

Harness Full-Moon Energy

Interestingly enough, National Relaxation Day falls on a full moon this year. If this isn’t the perfect time to harness the moon’s energy, I don’t know what is.  In an effort to utilize the moon’s energy better myself, I googled ‘best ways to celebrate the full moon’ and found all sorts of things I never even thought about. No shocker there. Apparently, Taoist women have long been using a full moon meditation to help them cultivate and retain their youthfulness, sensuality and feminine power. Step outside, face the moon when it is just rising, and gently breathe in the lunar energy, swallowing it. Repeat thirty times. I mean, you can’t possibly be grumpy at the end of that breathing exercise!

Meditate

I’ve talked about this one a lot, Namely, how it’s often easier said than done, but hear me out. Mediation does not mean you have to sit on a hard floor for 30 minutes being a perfect meditator. If you can slow down a little bit and zen out for even 3-11 minutes, it can make a huge difference for your day. No screens, no distractions. Just you and some peaceful, empowering thoughts will make you feel blissed out and more in harmony with yourself and your surroundings than you were before you started.

 

self care tips: restorative yoga

Mantra Up

You probably know what a mantra is and may even use one! Do you have a personal mantra though? If not, it’s time to make one. A personal mantra is an affirmation to motivate and inspire you to be your best self. Don’t worry, there’s no need to chant it out loud, but you do need to think it internally a few times a day for it to really get into your consciousness and begin to work. How do you pick one? I cycle through mantras depending on whatever season I am in. Right now I am super focused on growing my business. I say “you are worthy of success” like a broken record. Also, all my passwords have to do with growth. I feel super empowered whenever I type them and since most of my work is on the computer it really sets the tone for my work.

Say ‘Yes’ to Restorative Yoga

It’s not going to torch 800 calories like your favorite spin class or give you amazing glutes like deadlifts, but restorative work is no less vital to a good, holistic fitness and wellness regimen. I especially love these classes when I am feeling too lazy to do anything active, but know it in my heart I need to move my body. Poses that are mostly seated or on the floor will recharge, relax and invigorate you in all the right ways. It’s also a great time to just bliss out since you have someone guiding you back into the moment when your mind starts to wander.

 

 

 

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