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Mixed Feelings for Mother’s Day

Let me begin by saying that being a mom is without a doubt the best experience of my life. And that I am constantly in awe of how much so many moms are able to handle not only while raising their children but also throughout the rest of their lives.

But, like some other holidays we celebrate in our society, Mother’s Day brings up many conflicting feelings and thoughts for me. This doesn’t mean that I don’t think mothers should be celebrated, it simply stirs up a lot of “stuff” for me and I feel like maybe I’m not the only one.

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You Could Get an Entire Day Back This Way

Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in a rut of plunking yourself down in front of the TV and suddenly the evening has disappeared? It happens. We are creatures of habit and sometimes those habits don’t always serve us very well.

I’m not going to be that person who tells you “you should get rid of your TV and never watch it again!” because honestly, this is real life and sometimes watching a show or a lighthearted movie can be helpful. And sometimes, we need a half hour to ourselves to get something done (like dinner!) and if the kids can watch one show while we do that, then so be it!

I will, however, keep encouraging you to decrease the amount of time you watch. And there’s very good reasons for that. Here are just 5 of them:

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It’s Time to Get Moving!

It seems like it wouldn’t make sense, right? I mean, you’re wiped-out tired, barely enough energy to get through the day and someone is telling you that you should exercise ?!?

I get it, I’ve totally been there and honestly there are still days that hit like that in my life. But what I’ve learned over the years is that when I’m feeling exhausted, getting myself moving is usually EXACTLY what I need to do!

Why?  Really… why???

Well, exercising not only improves your energy levels YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT, but it also helps improve your overall health and sense of wellbeing… including your mood!  I know I always feel better emotionally after I’ve gotten myself moving.

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Making Time to Unwind

The Mom Life is a busy one, no doubt about it. But its not very realistic for any of us to expect to be able to go-go-go and then hop into bed and promptly fall asleep, right? I mean, we probably have a little routine when we want(ed) our kidlets to fall asleep and this is your gentle reminder to do the same for yourself!

Unwind time is the signal we send to our bodies that we are preparing to rest and it can be super simple or elaborate if you like! As I always say, not only are our circumstances different, but while we are all made from the same stuff, we are all put together a bit differently… so its best to Be True to YOU and to figure out how you unwind best.

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The Bedtime Brain Dump

One of the best ways to prepare yourself for a good night’s sleep is to unburden your brain before bed!

Something I used to really struggle with was bedtime monkey-mind… you know, when you finally get to crawl into bed and get all cozy and then your brain remembers every little thing that you had to put off “til later”! Ugh!

So I modified a creativity tool that I learned years ago and worked it into a nighttime routine to help me clear my mind so I could have a better chance at falling asleep and staying asleep.

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The Boring Part of Bedtime (and how it works FOR you!)

Getting Up & Going to Bed around the same time each day might sound boring, but let me tell you… feeling great because you sleep well is anything but boring!

For mommas of all ages and stages (and with their kids at all ages and stages), I want to reassure you that disruptions will happen BUT the more consistent you can be with waking up and tucking in, the better your chances are at improving the sleep you get.

As much as mornings can really (really!) suck when you’re already tired, you’ll want to begin by figuring out what time you actually need to wake up n the morning. So you want to factor in your work schedule, getting kids ready for school, that sort of thing and then make your decision about the time you’ll be setting that alarm. It’s easier to get a handle on how much sleep you can get when you start at the beginning of your day.

Next, see if you have an idea of how much sleep you actually need. For me, around 7-8 hours is ideal. Some people need more, some need less. This might be something you’ll need to track for awhile to figure out. But just for example, if you know you do best with 7 hours of sleep and you have to get up for the day at 6am, then you’d best be setting yourself up to be in bed BEFORE 11pm at night (very few people hop into bed and fall fast asleep right away).

Once you’ve got that figured out STICK WITH IT as much as possible. Like, actually 7 days a week.

When we’re just feeling exhausted all the time and we look towards the weekend with those stars in our eyes thinking about sleeping in on Saturday and Sunday to “catch up” we are deluding ourselves… and when we follow through with this plan we are actually making our sleep cycle worse! Our bodies are set up with this natural circadian rhythm that flows with the rotation of the sun. Sadly we often develop habits and routines that disrupt this natural cycle, but we can help retrain ourselves by being consistent!

One tool that I’ve added to my Sleep-Success-Toolkit, is the Sleep Cycle app on my phone. I just have the free version and it gives me great info. I can see when I sleep solidly, when things disrupt my slumber, and track those to what is happening in my life (and in my home!). I get super stoked to check out my sleep regularity progress each morning!

A key part of waking at the same time each day may also be getting exposure to 15-30 minutes of sunlight when you wake up. This light exposure reinforces the body’s circadian rhythm and promotes wakefulness in the morning and then allows you to sleep more easily at night. I live in Canada, so for a good part of the year, it is very dark in the mornings. To help maintain my sleep cycle (and for other benefits as well) I got a Verilux Happy Light light therapy box to use in the mornings. It’s now part of my morning routine that I share with my daughter… we sit for half an hour each morning in front of the Happy Light drinking our morning shake and chatting about life and playing with the cat. It’s a pretty nice way to start the day!

There’s lots of benefits of to waking up and going to bed at the same time…

  • Easier to wake up
  • Easier to fall asleep (less insomnia)
  • Decreased sleep deprivation
  • Fewer naps needed & less dependence on caffeine
  • Improved alertness through the day
  • Better focus and mental clarity
  • Improved mood
  • Less irritability
  • Better immune system function
  • Safer driving

Sounds pretty good, right?

While you are getting into this new habit, do what you can to Avoid Hitting the Snooze Button repeatedly. I’ve been there. Kind of amazed that I never actually broke an alarm from hitting the snooze so much! Here’s the thing, it’s important that when your alarm goes off at your selected wake time, you get up. You don’t want to lay in bed for an hour trying to catch just a couple more minutes of sleep. You want and need consistency, and this might take some real determination in the beginning.

One last note, things are going to come up …, like kids are going to wake you, fire sirens in the middle of the night, there will be some disruptions at some point. No worries. We deal with what we’ve got to deal with, right? But then we get back on tract and stay committed to the things that are helping us feel better so we can get the most out of our Mom-Life!

Catching Some ZZZs (and why how you fuel your body matters!)

Most likely its come to your attention at some point in your life that there are certain things we should avoid if we want to get a good night’s rest. The most common thing we’re warned about is CAFFEINE and I know its a tough one to give up (or even cut back on). So I’m not going to tell you to go cold-turkey on that unless you want to… but I am going to let you know that because caffeine has a half-life of 8 HOURS, you’re gonna want to make sure you aren’t having any coffee, tea, pop or energy drinks a good 8 hours before bedtime to give you your best shot as sleeping well. Oh, sadly I need to add chocolate to that list as well as it contains caffeine too. Have your treats a little earlier in the day!

In addition to caffeine, eating too much food, or having fatty foods like burgers, pizzas, or fully loaded nachos late in the day can stress the digestive system and wreck havoc on your nighttime rest by causing indigestion and/or bloating. Best to enjoy in moderation, maybe by enjoying a good sized salad along with a piece of pizza or smaller helping of nachos. Keep it a bit more balanced and less taxing on the tummy.

One more thing to be mindful of as far as what you’re consuming close to bedtime… alcohol. Yup. I know it can be super tempting to pour a nice big glass of chardonnay or something to help unwind at the end of the day, but hold off. While a bevvy like this might seem like it helps you drift off to sleep quicker, it actually interferes with you getting quality sleep at night. So yes, you might be snoring away in bed for the whole night but you’ll like wake up feeling like it was only for 4 hours. Best tip if you are looking to improve your nightly slumber? Avoid the bedtime drink or have it at least a couple hours before you’re going to tuck in.

Okay, so those are the thing you want to try to reduce or eliminate to improve how much rest you’re getting at night. Happily there are certain things you CAN have closer to bedtime to help make things better!

Try adding a nighttime snack of a handful of nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, or pistachios. These all contain natural melatonin which helps regulate our sleep/waking cycle. Your grandma’s standby of a warm glass of milk before bed is actually a good idea if you like milk! It contains both tryptophan and melatonin. CHERRIES were such a lovely surprise to me in my research to find sleep-supporting foods! This fantastic fruit is a powerhouse of sleep support. Cherries contain 4 different sleep regulating compounds: melatonin, tryptophan, potassium, and serotonin. Finally, while I advised against caffeinated tea above, chamomile tea IS recommended and has been used traditionally as a remedy to help insomnia. Chamomile contains a flavonoid compound called apigenin which has sleep-inducing properties… but just have one cup – you don’t want to be waking up in the middle of the night because you’ve had too much tea and need the bathroom! LOL!

On that note, staying hydrated throughout the day will also aid your sleep at night. When you are dehydrated, it can cause leg cramps and sore joints which can wake you or prevent you from dozing off easily. One last note on fueling your body for better sleep quality… sometimes our diet simply might be lacking in a nutrient that our body is low on or has trouble assimilating so we need an extra boost. This was a big discovery for me as I made my way on my own wellness journey. I spent a decade trying to ditch my exhaustion and get some decent sleep and everything I added to my daily habits helped, but it was finding the right supplement that finally clicked everything together for me. That final missing puzzle piece, if you will.

Magnesium, B12, Calcium are just some of the supplements that can help improve quality of sleep. As I always say, “We are all built from the same stuff, but we are all put together a little differently.” And we all have differing life circumstances. If you feel like you might need to supplement to give your body a nutritional boost, I highly encourage you to check in with your healthcare practitioner to see what you might be lacking. I’ve taken supplements pretty much my entire adult life because I was aware of some gaps in my nutrition. Now that I’ve found a super simple and effective 3 step supplement system that I can get done as soon as I wake up in the morning has made all the difference in fueling my body well. If you’d like to know more about the line of nutritional supplements I’ve fallen in love with, check out the Nutritional Support page at http://www.breezewellnessbc.com

Soooo, are you up for taking a good look at what you’re putting into your body and how it (or lack of it) might be impacting your sleep? It is one more step you can take in setting yourself up for sleep success with a routine you can stick with!

Cheers to catching those quality ZZZs!

Did You Know that Clutter Can Affect Your Sleep?

Ideally, a bedroom is a place that’s dedicated to rest, with only essential furniture like nightstands, bed, dresser, and, possibly, chairs in it. Maybe a reading lamp with a warm-white bulb in it, can provide a calming light source. That’s it. Everything else could be seen as a distraction to the task at hand – some shut-eye.

When you try to fall asleep surrounded by stacks of papers, piles of laundry, miscellaneous toys, gadgets, projects… well, you might not think it is messing with you but studies have shown that clutter like that can trigger both anxiety and stress in some people. Your subconscious is very much aware of the disorder around you.

Take the first step to improving your quality of sleep by decluttering your sleep space, and creating a peaceful environment to relax in. People who had more clutter also reported more sleep disturbances – and even daytime disturbances – showing that a cluttered and chaotic feeling room can affect your whole day, not just your night.

Seriously, getting rid of clutter will both relieve the tension in your mind and allow you to take advantage of the bedroom’s benefits. Remove the clutter in order to let your eyes and your mind rest.

A super simple way to do this is to take an empty laundry basket, tote, or even just an empty box, and gather all non-essential items to relocate elsewhere like the closet, a spare room, or the basement if you’ve got one. As you clear space, don’t forget the area under your bed. According to feng shui, the area under the bed should be open so energy can circulate and nourish you while you sleep. One BIG caveat to this suggestion: I want you to mark each basket, tote or box with a letter (“A”, “B”, etc) and then make a note on your calendar or planner to sort and deal with that letter on a specific day. And do it on that day. You don’t want to stuff the “stuff” just anywhere and then forget about it! LOL!

EASIEST thing to do to begin decluttering your sleep space and start creating that peaceful place where you can slumber peacefully? Make your bed each morning for a fresh start to your day. Not only will your bedroom look calm and peaceful all day – there is nothing better than crawling into a freshly made bed when it’s time to sleep. How is making your bed “decluttering”? Well, I know that when I see a rumpled messy bed it feels cluttered and chaotic… when I see a bed that’s put together, it feels tidy, less stressful, and totally inviting. Super simple way to start to set the stage for better sleep!

Sweet Dreams to you!!!

Did you know that I host a private Facebook group for moms? It’s called Level Up Your Mom Life and its a super supportive community for moms who are ready to ditch daily exhaustion and finally get their energy & focus to a place that allows them to live their best Mom Life! If this sounds like you, please check it out HERE.

Because I’ve Been There…

Why did I choose to create a wellness coaching program just for moms?

Because I know what it feels like to have the bulk of parenting responsibilities fall to you in addition to working and keeping a home.

I know the struggle of sleepless nights, daily exhaustion, and feeling like everything is out of control.

I’ve experienced the despair and feelings of inadequacy when the day slipped by yet again with little quality time with my children and the overwhelming sense of “missing out”.

I turned all those things around for me and my family through a lot of trial and error, by connecting with experts in the fields I needed help most with, and via ongoing education until I had a system in place that I could easily work into my life and stick with!

I don’t want any other moms to lose years to struggling like I did.

THAT’S why I created The Real Life Reset System – to help moms ditch their daily exhaustion, level up their energy, and find the focus they need so they can do all that they have to do (and WANT to do) in their busy mom-lives

It’s all online, so it can work into any mom’s schedule

If this sounds like something you want to know more about, I invite you to book a free 30-minute Mom Life Clarity Call. At the end of our call together, you’ll leave with a better idea of what your best “next steps” can be regardless of whether or not you choose to join The Real Life Reset System.

Looking forward to chatting with you!

Always from the heart,

Jennifer

Turning It All Around

Seeing me today, you’d be forgiven for not having a clue that I spent my first decade as a mom barely getting out of the house, let alone doing anything active or outdoorsy.

But let me tell you, the exhaustion that arrived with the birth of my first child hit HARD and kept growing with every passing day.

Sleep issues, erratic eating habits, and growing disorganization at home wore me down to a shadow of my former self. In fact, it got to the point where I wondered if I was going to end up completely missing out on the best parts of momhood because I was always feeling totally wiped out.

Sometimes it takes a real “wake-up, shake-up call” to make us aware of the fact that we have been pulled miles away from the life we dreamed of… and that’s exactly what happened to me. And I’m so grateful for it because it forced me to make the changes that led me to finally ditch that daily exhaustion, level up my energy once and for all, and finally take control of my mom-life.

It was over a decade of “lost time,” for me, but I am MORE than making up for it now!

Quality time with my kids – ✅
Getting outdoors and making the most of all 4 seasons where I live – ✅
Having the energy to do all that I HAVE to do AND what I WANT to do – ✅

It took time, education, and a lot of trial and error, but I figured it out… and I put it all together to share with other moms so they don’t have to go through the frustration and “lost years” that I went through. I’ve been there. I totally underst

If you’d like to find out more on how you can get additional support in levelling up your energy, making the most of your Mom Life, and getting the rest you need to function at your best, just send me an email with the Subject: I’m Ready To Hear More, Jen by clicking HERE.

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