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Dreaming About Getting Better Sleep?

You’re not alone! But fear not.

I’m so excited to announce the return of my Sleep Well Yoga classes!!!

Classes will be online making it easy for you to join from the comfort of your home

We begin this series on November 1, 2022.

I’ll be doing pre-recorded sessions for November due to my daytime work schedule, but I will release a new class beginning November 1st every week for 4 weeks.

This way you can do the class at your leisure depending on what your bedtime is and what your energy levels are.

There will be four classes for this series and the cost will be $45. I will post the classes in a private Facebook group so that you have ongoing access to them throughout the series and that way you can do them every night if you like!

The classes are geared towards setting you up for a great night’s sleep and will be a blend of slow-flow yoga, restorative-based yoga, and yin yoga.  Ideally, you’ll do the classes at a time that has you wrapping things up about 2 hours before bedtime.

Just email me to get all the registration details. info@breezewellnessbc.com

I’m so excited to share this with you!


Always from the heart,
Jennifer

The Other Kind of Flexibility

I’m a yoga teacher, so when I bring up flexibility, people usually think I’m talking about physical abilities and how far someone can get into a particular pose… which, let me just say, is definitely important for your general health and wellbeing. But you DON’T have to be flexible to begin a yoga practice!! Your flexibility levels are highly individualized. Start where you are. Leave comparison at the door. Tune into your body and you will notice the changes in it when you begin.

But that’s not the flexibility I’m talking about here. I’ve been pondering more and more about the kind of adaptability that we can tap into when something unexpected happens. THAT type of flexibility.

I recently wrote a post called “Chaotic or Calm?” about how planning ahead and having a routine in your daily life can help ease stress levels. Time management and budgeting are super important and I’ve found that having some set structure in one’s day can help us get more done and make the most of the hours we’ve got in a day, AND make the most of the dollars we’ve got in our bank accounts too!

So yes, having a regular routine can have a huge impact on the quality of life we experience.

That said, total rigidity in our schedules and habits can negate the benefits of set structure because, let’s face it… shit happens, crises occur, and surprises (both happy and challenging) can spring up at any time. And when that is going on, we need to decide how to deal with those unexpected events in ways that work with the time management and budgeting habits we’ve put into place.

So, you might be wondering how that can even be a thing?

Listen to me here, there’s freedom to be found in structure!

How…? First off, its crucial that you are able to recognize what your biggest priorities and non-negotiables are in your life. Which daily and weekly things are at the top of your list? You know the ones. Those things that if they don’t happen, everything else seems to slide sideways real quick. Those are the ones that you strive to keep in place on the regular because taking care of them and knowing you have a plan in place to support them will definitely lighten your daily decision making load and there’s been studies that show that having to make less decisions can reduce stress and feelings of overwhelm. Oh yeah! And that’s going to set you up for success!

So let’s call those things your baseline. It’s what sets the tone and structure of both your days and weeks. A few less things to have to actively think about because they are part of your everyday habits. Check!

Having that kind of routine in place frees up your decision making for the secondary levels in your life. These are typically things that pretty much have to happen at some point, but not necessarily in exactly the same way every week. So maybe this might look like deciding what groceries you are going to buy that week (and subsequently knowing what meals you’ll be making), or maybe you have time blocked off to work out but you need to decide what that will look like based on the weather. You know, stuff like that.

Those are the sorts of habits I’m encouraging you to put in place so you’ve got some sense of routine in your life that happens without you having to think on it too much.

There is, however, one big caveat I want to put out there though… you need to let go of complete and utter rigidity in your routine (wait, what?), because that can actually work against you in the long run. This is where flexibility can be your best friend!

What does this sort of flexibility look like?

Well, first of all it doesn’t mean that if something comes up and you can’t avoid dealing with it in a way that won’t disrupt the regular flow you’ve got in place that you end up abandoning all that you’ve worked so hard to put in place. Please don’t do that.

Rather, tell yourself “this is temporary, but unavoidable,” (like an illness or injury) or “this is a special opportunity that we don’t want to miss out on,” (such as family visiting from out of town or winning tickets to an amazing show) or “this is something that I wasn’t expecting to buy or pay for, but its necessary or a very good deal on something we use all the time,” (say if the furnace breaks, or the jars of pasta sauce your family loves is on case lot sale and you can save a bundle!) You know, those times when someone is ill, someone is visiting, or there’s an amazing sale on something you use all the time or something has broken and absolutely has to get repaired or replaced.

You’re allowed to make exceptions when you really have to, and this doesn’t mean you’ve failed or you’re weak, or you’re undisciplined.

When and if you find yourself in this situation, check in with yourself and your family if needed. Then take a moment to properly assess what’s going on and how important it is. Be super honest with yourself. If it is something that you really can’t ignore or put off, then make your decision, act accordingly, and get back to your regular routine as soon as possible.

Structure, flexibility, and freedom. Make the best use of them!

Chaotic or Calm? What’s the vibe as September rolls in?

How is it September already???

I absolutely love the summertime – it feels free and more fun and spontaneous!  Where I live, the days are LONG so it feels like there are actually more hours in a day, but I have a strong appreciation for September and getting back to my tried & true routine. A fresh start if you will.

The energy in September feels like a Second New Year to me!

When everyone in my house is back to the daily and weekly schedules they need to adhere to, whether it is work or school, my time management and budgeting tools get put into use full force.

In the past, when I tried to just wing it when dealing with everything my family had to do… well, let’s just say things didn’t go well!

As far as my TIME MANAGEMENT goes, my planner is how I keep things together for sure. I’ve tried many and have found one that works best for me (and it is creative and inspirational too).  For me, its a physical planner that I write in but you need to Be True to YOU and if a digital planner is a better fit for you then go for it!  But it really REALLY helps to have everything in one place for easy reference when life gets super busy.

I also use my calendar and reminders function in my phone to help with it all.

And this year, more than ever before, BUDGETING is happening big time to help me make the most of my family finances since things have gotten more expensive across the board this year.

What does this look like?

I know how much I bring in as far as income sources, it doesn’t change too much so I have that in mind then I deduct my monthly expenses (like water, hydro, gas, car) so I have a pretty clear idea what I’m working with for everything else.

Groceries have been the most challenging the past few months but I’ve been working on trying new recipes, and I definitely shop the sales!  This week my grocery store is having a case lot sale so I was able to stock up on some of my staples for a much better price and because it is a bulk-buy I won’t have to buy those things as often as I usually do freeing up a bit more money in the next couple of months.

I know a lot of people aren’t fans of planning ahead. Heck, I used to be one of them!  But I’ve found that doing so actually reduces my stress because I’m not feeling like I’m spinning out of control trying to deal with the next crisis.  I found FREEDOM in having a solid routine to set the foundation of my days.

That said, flexibility matters too… more on that in an upcoming blog post.

I recently asked the women in my online community a question: On a scale of 1-10, how much does time management and budgeting impact your quality of life?

Do you feel like you’ve got a good handle on it? Or are you caught up in the chaos?

Here’s some tips to help make it a little easier on yourself:

  • Have a consolidated space where all your and your family’s activities, etc. can be viewed (planner, digital app, wall calendar… whatever works best in YOUR world.
  • Make use of the calendar app and set reminders on your phone.
  • Clean out and assess your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Make a “cheat sheet” of the items you use and need to buy regularly and get into the habit of checking your stash before ordering or going to get groceries.
  • Try meal planning. It can seem overwhelming when you want to get started, but once you have a firm grasp of what you’ll be making for dinner in the coming week you’ll know what you need, how long it will take to prepare it, and if there’ll likely be leftovers to make use at another mealtime.
  • Take a good look at your finances. (I know, this can be tough sometimes.) Do your best to determine your usual monthly income, what your set monthly expenses are, and how much you have to cover all the rest after that. It might be a real wake up call for some, but it will help you plan ahead. If money is tight, be firm about what you can let go of either temporarily or permanently. (I paused our Netflix and Audible subscriptions to help make ends meet during a recently financial set back… little things add up!)

As a Solo-Mom and as a Life Coach, finding solid useable practices to help lessen stress levels is super important to me. The tools shared here are all things I personally make use of and can say they’ve helped improve the quality of my mom-life immensely!

Always from the heart,

Jennifer

A New Way to a Familiar Destination

I was planning on writing a blogpost about boundaries this week; their importance, why we struggle with setting appropriate boundaries, tips on how to get going… but this morning I realized that one was going to have to wait.

Instead, I feel the need to write about the “baby-steps” I’m taking to rebuild my strength after a crappy experience of being very ill this past winter.

So BABY STEPS it is!

Those who follow me on social media or who receive my newsletters might remember that I came down with shingles after injuring a nerve on the top of my head last November. (If you’ve ever had the chickenpox, you have the virus that can cause shingles sleeping in your nervous system. With all my heart, I truly hope it never “wakes up” so you don’t have to experience shingles.) Anyway, I was surprised as the only people I’d known of who had shingles were all women in their 70s – I’M NOT THERE YET – and I didn’t realize a nerve injury could trigger it, although in hindsight it makes perfect sense.

So, I had shingles on my scalp, my face and in my right eye. I have never been so ill in my life. I literally laid on the couch for almost 2 full weeks. I didn’t even sleep in my own bed because I wasn’t really sleeping. The pain was incessant and unpredictable. I’m not one for taking medications if I can help it, but let me tell you I was keeping track of every painkiller I took so I knew when I could take my next dose and even then they just dulled the pain they didn’t eliminate it.

My rash didn’t clear up until 5-6 weeks later and my eye is almost completely healed. There is a small patch in my vision where it feels like I’m looking through a smudge on my glasses but it is very tiny and I can live with it!

I barely ate. I barely slept. The pain was unimaginable. I’m so fortunate to have loved ones nearby who could help me out with groceries and getting to appointments as I wasn’t able to drive for weeks.

Recovery was slow. Especially given that it had gotten into my eye. So I tried to go slow as I eased back into my “regular” life.

It took so much longer than I expected!

I should also mention that while not single, I am a Solo Mom and the past few years – even before the pandemic – had been very challenging. I went into this illness already maxed out as far as stress-levels were concerned.

The first time I really realized how hard everything had been on my body was when I went snowshoeing in early January (almost 2 months after getting ill). I have been very active during the winter for 10 years now so going snowshoeing wasn’t anything new to me. We weren’t doing anything difficult, just a nice little loop that would take us less than an hour. Well, my body did NOT enjoy that and I ended up getting extremely ill afterwards which set me back a little bit as far as getting back into the swing of things to say the least.

My nutrition was up to snuff (I have the BEST supplements and shakes which truly got me through the worst of my sick days because I honestly could barely eat anything but my body desperately needed the nutrients to fight the virus and heal), so no worries there. However, my physical stamina was nowhere to be found.

How could this be? I didn’t understand fully because I’ve never been that ill before, so I started asking questions and looking into options to help me heal to a point where I feel stronger and more capable than I had been for a few months.

WHEN WE FIND OURSELVES IN NEW SITUATIONS WE NEEDTO BE OPEN TO FINDING NEW WAYS OF APPROACHING THINGS.

I found I could not do a full yoga practice as I am used to doing. After about 25 minutes I would feel drained (and while I am a yoga teacher and have been for many years, I typically practice a slow-flow sequence so it wasn’t like I was Power-Yoga-ing and then feeling pooped, lol!) So I created mini practices for myself #babysteps. Depending on how my energy levels were, they are between 10-20 minutes which I am just now able to combine to enjoy a half hour practice. Yay!

I discovered that my cardio strength had really diminished and it was keeping me from hiking all the gorgeous trails near where I live. But the weather, my family responsibilities, work schedules, etc made it challenging as to when I could actually get outside while it was daylight. I’m the kind of person who likes to have a regular routine as it makes things so much easier to stick to!

What new way could I build my cardio and stamina from home? One that DIDN’T cost a fortune or take up a lot of room as my home is tiny… I found an old-school stationary bike! And I love it! It is compact, easy to use, and didn’t cost me a fortune. To be honest, I found it for $50 on Marketplace. Yay!

I started slow, because I had experienced what happened when I tried to push myself too far too fast. Ten minutes in the morning and 10 minutes after work. Just enough to get my heart rate up a little! The next week I did 15 minutes twice a day. Now I’m up to 20 minutes before and 20 minutes after work and I’ve been able to increase the tension for a better workout! Again, #babysteps to the rescue!!!

Do I feel bad about myself because of how I’ve had to scale back what activities I do or how long I do them? NOPE. I feel proud of myself that despite coming up against new challenges and obstacles, I’ve been able to find ways of healing and improving my health that work with how things are NOW.

Things change. We need to be able to change too.

Different isn’t bad, its just different. And sometimes as we shift into something new and different, we need to do so gently and let ourselves take Baby Steps.

Always from the heart,

Jennifer

PS – if you’re looking for some help figuring out your own best next-steps to make positive changes in your life, I’m here! I’m certified in wellness, life, and sleep science coaching and I’ve been teaching yoga for almost a decade. Give me a shout at info@breezewellnessbc.com

Just Tell Me What to Do!

Yeah, I knew…

  • I knew that I was supposed to eat well. 
  • I knew that I was supposed to drink enough water. 
  • I knew that I was supposed to rest.  
  • I knew that I was supposed to make time for play & self care. 

But even though I knew all of these things it was like being caught in a whirlwind of “supposed to’s.” I had all the information but what I really needed was for somebody to just tell me what to do! 

I was so caught up in the chaos of all of the “shoulds,” that I couldn’t do any of them at all. And I paid for it. In every area of my life…

What changed for me? I reached out for help

This wasn’t easy for me, I’ve always been very very independent. I’m still very very independent. But I got to a point where I simply couldn’t keep spinning my wheels any longer. I was feeling like I was totally missing out not only on my life with my kids, but my life in general.

What did I do? 

Continue reading “Just Tell Me What to Do!”

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.

Continue reading “Mixed Feelings for Mother’s Day”

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:

Continue reading “You Could Get an Entire Day Back This Way”

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.

Continue reading “It’s Time to Get Moving!”

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