Bursts of Energy - From the Outside, IN! (AKA - The Lazy Girl's Guide to Energy 😄)

Bursts of Energy - From the Outside, IN! (AKA - The Lazy Girl's Guide to Energy 😄)
When we talk about boosting our energy, we often hear things like "drink more water", "get some exercise", "take your vitamins", and other things we need to physically DO. 

But what are some external sources that can sometimes increase - or zap - our energy?

Exposure to Light

Have you heard of Seasonal Depressive Disorder? It's a real thing. That's when some people experience feelings of depression during the months when there is much less sunlight. The weather isn't as pretty, so we often stay indoors.

It's also common for people who work indoors under florescent lights all day to experience some symptoms of fatigue and depression, due to lack of natural light.

If you find this is the case for you as well, try making a habit of spending at least 10-15 intentional minutes outdoors each day. Even if it's cloudy, you can still reap the benefits of UV exposure and increased Vitamin D, which will boost your energy.

Scent

Our sense of smell is very powerful and can bring up a lot of memories. If we smell something that reminds us of something painful, that can drain our energy. Synthetic fragrances made in a lab with lots of chemicals can be incredibly draining as well, because our bodies weren't designed to process manmade chemicals. When we're around a lot of "fragrances", our bodies are fighting to work through those which means other functions (e.g. energy producing functions) can sometimes lag. 

It's helpful to surround yourself with natural scents that uplift and encourage you. Fresh baked bread or desserts are wonderful if they invoke happy memories. Flowers and plants are great choices. An easy way to access scents like this is with essential oils! Just be sure you know the source of the oils you use, because so many are mis-labled and actually contain fillers or synthetic chemicals to make them more cost effective (I will only use Young Living because of their transparency and commitment to quality).

What You See

Scientists tell us that many different colors can invoke certain emotions, which can greatly affect our energy. Surrounding yourself with bright colors like yellow, orange, and green can be helpful. More muted colors such as grays, browns, and blacks might drain energy. 

If you're able to paint your walls with colors that energize you, go for it! If that's not an option, some things you can do are to buy decorations like wall art, flowers, pillows, desk accessories in the colors of your choice. 

What You Hear

When you surround yourself with sounds of complaints, or the musings of the melancholy, it's easy to take those feelings on yourself. Negative feelings like these can very quickly suck the life and energy right out of you! 

If you find yourself listening to people who tend to complain a lot, make an effort to infuse the conversation with positivity, or consider spending less time with those people and more time with those who are upbeat. 

Take some time to think about the music, podcasts, and shows you listen to. Do you feel encouraged, lifted up, and optimistic afterwards? Or do they leave you feeling sad or downtrodden? What enters our minds via words and music can have a dramatic effect on our emotions, which can then affect our energy levels.

After evaluating these different external elements, what are some areas where you think you could benefit from a few tweaks or changes? 

To grab my FREE guide on 5 Ways To Boost Your Energy, click here!

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Need a pick-me-up? Here are some easy ideas!

Need a pick-me-up? Here are some easy ideas!
In our current social climate, with COVID and riots and now hurricane season approaching, it's easy for us to feel overwhelmed, stressed, exhausted, and just unmotivated. We can sometimes get anxious or depressed when we focus on the things that are troubling us.

One surefire way to turn yourself completely around is to focus outward. 

When we take our thoughts away from our own problems and shortcomings, suddenly the world seems a little bit brighter. 
A positive outlook is easier to cultivate when we focus on those around us. So how can we practically put this into action?

By doing the simplest of actions: Random Acts of Kindness, affectionately called RAKs.

Not only can these help us to focus on others, but we get a rush of endorphins when we do something nice for someone else, and this can also help us to feel more empowered and in control.

Let's start with RAKs in the home.

  • Do someone's chore for them (even a parent doing a child's chore!)
  • Leave love notes around, on their pillow, in their bathroom, at their seat in the kitchen
  • Bring them a treat from the grocery store
  • Make their favorite meal or dessert
  • Announce a movie night and have their favorite movie (or one they've been wanting to see) all cued up and ready to go
Here are some ideas for RAKs in the office, for those who aren't working remotely or will be going back to the office eventually:

  • Bring in bagels or donuts
  • Leave a note of encouragement on their desk
  • Bring in an extra cup of coffee from Starbucks
  • Buy someone's lunch
  • Wash out someone's coffee mug or lunch dish in the breakroom
Need some random ideas for when you're out and about? I have some of those for you too:

  • Bake bread or cookies to bring to your neighbor (this is especially great if you don't know them or better if you do but don't like them!)
  • Pay for the order behind you in the drive through
  • Give someone a sincere compliment instead of just thinking about how much you admire their outfit or hair or whatever
  • Leave a substantially larger tip than normal
I know you could easily do an internet search for these, but I wanted to share a few to get you started.

Here's my suggestion: make a list of 5 RAKs that you will do within the next week and as you cross each one off, write the name of the person next to it. 

What other Random Acts of Kindness can you think of, or what have you done or had someone do for you that really blessed you?

How To: Fall Asleep Peacefully (And a FREE Checklist to Help!)

How To: Fall Asleep Peacefully  (And a FREE Checklist to Help!)

It’s 11 p.m.


You’re staring at the ceiling, rolling over, tossing and turning, then staring at the ceiling again. Your mind is going a million miles a minute and you just can’t settle down to a peaceful enough state so you can fall asleep.


Is there anything more frustrating?


Sometimes our bodies are in overdrive and our adrenaline is pumping, whether it’s from physical activity, a stressful conversation, or too many worries on our minds.


The good news is that there are certain things you can do to help your mind relax, so you can drift off into blissful sleep.


1. Turn off your devices.

Sometimes it’s not about knowing what to do, it’s doing what we already know. We’ve been told time and time again to put our screens away at least an hour or two before bedtime. If you’re not already doing this, you’ll be surprised at the difference it can make when you start.


2. Exercise - in the morning.

We know that exercise can help us to sleep better, but exercising in the afternoon or later can get our bodies energized to the point of being unable to settle down for sleep. If you normally exercise after work, try exercising on your lunch break instead. If at all possible, get up earlier and work out first thing in the morning. BONUS: your body burns body fat more efficiently on an empty stomach!


3. Warm skin, cool room.

One of the best feelings ever is rolling over to feel the coolness of the unused side of the pillow against your cheek. It’s so comforting to snuggle down into warm sheets when the air is chilly. A great way to do this is to set your room to cool down by lowering the AC temperature or opening a window in the winter, and then take a warm bath or shower while the room cools. When you get out, your warm skin will feel the comfort of the cool air, and getting under the blanket will only amplify that comfort to further relax you.


4. Empty your brain.

Put a worry box next to your bed, where you can write down your worries and concerns then lock them away. Keep a notepad on your nightstand so you can write down any pressing to-dos or reminders for the next day, so you can release any anxiety of forgetting them. Gratitude is also hugely important for peace of mind when falling asleep. Consider journaling things for which you’re grateful before turning off the lights. BONUS TIP: Lavender essential oil is fantastic for helping your brain to slow down and turn off. 


5. Settle your stomach.

The harder your body is working to process what you’ve eaten, the more unsettled it will be and make it more difficult to fall asleep. Avoid spicy foods, anything with caffeine, cheese, alcohol, fatty foods, and chocolate. The best foods and drinks to consume closer to bedtime are warm milk, lemon tea, bananas, kiwi, nuts, and honey.


It’s easy to feel frustrated and as though sleep is just beyond our grasp, but there are so many things we can do to prepare our bodies to fall asleep easily and peacefully. 


Click here to grab your free Sleep Checklist with more tips to make sure you’re getting a great night’s sleep!

5 Instant Self-Care Ideas for Busy Moms

5 Instant Self-Care Ideas for Busy Moms

Most of the moms I know who are stressed out and in desperate need of self-care are the same moms who insist that they simply don’t have time


Between full-time work; distance learning with multiple children; running a household; building a business; supporting a husband; and being a friend, there just seems to be no time left at the end of the day.


I think a lot of the time, we equate self-care with taking a long bubble bath, or spending an hour at the gym.


What if I told you that some self-care activities could be done in just minutes, or even seconds? 

If you find yourself too busy to commit to regular self-care, check out a few of these instant (or almost-instant!) self-care ideas.


1. Stretch


Stand up, put your hands on your back like they’re in your back pockets, and do a back extension. We spend so much time hunched over our computers, leaning forward over the stove, putting laundry away. This simple stretch is SO good for our backs! Then just raise your hands overhead and stretch upwards. 


2. Drink water


The time it takes to get up and fill a glass of water, then drink it, can be used as just a minute to breathe. This also helps you to get a little more hydrated, which can do wonders for your mindset and health. 


3. Check out the daily story on the Bible app


This is a new feature that has only just recently rolled out. It’s the verse of the day, a 1-3 minute video thought from a pastor or Bible teacher, a quick devotional to read, and then a 1-2 sentence prayer. It’s new every day, it’s not a plan that requires you to stay caught up, it takes only minutes, and it’s always refreshing. If you miss a day, it’s no big deal. You’re not behind, you just check out the story the next day.


4. Use a Stress Away roller


Stress Away is one of my favorite Young Living essential oil blends. I keep a roller in my purse to use any time I need it, and I diffuse it a LOT now being home all the time. If you’ve never used it before, I would be more than happy to send you a sample! Just one quick inhale of this blend and you feel like you’re transported to a tropical island. 


5. Pet your dog or cat


Did you know studies show people with pets live longer? Why is that? Because spending a minute petting our furry family can slow our heart rate and release dopamine and seratonin, which regulates your mood and reduces stress. Just make someone else clean up the poop. 


Here are a few other bonus ideas for you:
  • Send a short Facebook message or text to check in on a friend
  • Mail a hand-written letter or quick postcard
  • Go for a quick, 5-10 minute walk

I also know that the idea of making sure you complete some kind of self-care can feel daunting and stressful in itself, because it’s just one more thing you “should” be doing. If none of these activities resonates with you, find something that DOES.


True self-care is taking care of yourSELF, not anyone else, so you need to find things that make you feel good. If you miss a day, don’t stress. 


Just know that YOU are important. You can’t serve anyone if you’re stressed to the point of sickness. It’s imperative that you stay healthy, and one major component to this is finding whatever self-care works for you.


So tell me, if you had all the time and money in the world, what act of self-care would you choose?


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5 Ways to Stay Positive During a Pandemic

5 Ways to Stay Positive During a Pandemic
How often would you say you complain?

According to an article on entrepreneur.com, research shows most people complain about once a minute during a typical conversation. That's a LOT! 🤯

Most of the time we complain because we want to "vent", and it just feels good to know that other people feel our pain and empathize with our situation.

When we complain, our brain builds pathways to ease the flow of information, which just makes it that much easier to complain again and again.
And again...

Eventually complaining becomes our default behavior, which not only damages our relationships, but it can also physically damage our brain as well.

Stanford University ran a study that shows complaining can damage the hippocampus. The hippocampus is what Alzheimer's primary destroys, so let that sink in for a minute.

You can cause the same type of damage that Alzheimer's causes just by complaining.

Complaining can wreak physical havoc as well. When we complain, cortisol is released in order to prepare our bodies for fight-or-flight mode, and this raises blood pressure and blood sugar. The extra cortisol released also impairs our immune system which makes us more susceptible to a whole host of issues.

Have you heard the saying that you are the sum of the 5 people closest to you? That's because our brains tend to subconsciously mirror the moods of the people we spend the most time with. If you're around people who complain a lot, you can experience the same damage as if YOU were the one complaining.

Likewise, when you complain, you can damage those you love and are closest to you in those ways as well.

In this season of stress and unrest due to the unpredictability of the COVID-19 virus, it is more important than ever to protect ourselves against anything that can damage our immune systems, our bodies, and our minds.

Fear makes it so much easier for us to complain under these circumstances, though, right?

So what can we do to keep ours hearts and minds positive and avoid the damaging effects of complaining, when our worlds feel like they're in a tailspin?

1. Be grateful. 
We've all heard the suggestion to start our day with gratitude, but I would challenge you not only to start your day, but maybe set a reminder for throughout the day to think of more things to be grateful for. The floors in your home, the roof, the people who built it, coffee, your family, your pets, a safe environment, anything you can think to be grateful for.

2. Hear truth. 
Recognize that our feelings are NOT truth. We may feel scared, we may feel hopeless, we may feel lonely, but we have to remember that God promises to protect us, to give us hope, and to never leave us. Focus on TRUTH.

3. Practice self-care.
Take some time to participate in some soothing self-care. Take a bath, go for a walk, search YouTube for some quick workouts, read Scripture, pray, listen to worship music. Just enjoy some relaxation and peace.

4. LAUGH! 
Watch a funny movie on Netflix, search YouTube for comedians, Google jokes you can share with your family. Laugh together, play some board games, just have fun.

5. Stay connected. 
Make sure to stay connected with the outside world however you safely can, whether by phone, social media, video chatting, or sending snail mail. Now is the perfect time to handwrite some letters to loved ones and brighten their day. Staying connected and doing something kind for others will surely brighten your day and lessen any need to complain.

The next time you feel tempted to complain or release any kind of negative energy, keep in mind that our goal right now is to stay healthy.

Try this: keep a rubber band or hair tie on your wrist and snap it when you notice yourself complaining. You'll start to see just how often it actually happens, and it can be surprising!

Which one of these tips will you try today to help yourself break the habit of complaining and get through this pandemic successfully?