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!”

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

Dear ‘Vid, (a personal letter from me to you…)

A business letter usually begins with an introduction or reference to the business at hand.  This is not business; its personal.

While I’ve, thankfully, not met you personally, you have been having a profound impact on my life over the past few months. Indeed, not just my life but the lives of my loved ones, my friends, my community, and the world at large. You have made your presence known in a way I’ve never witnessed before.

I’ll admit, I’ve had my fair share of “wake-up, shake-up calls” in my lifetime so far… and in hindsight there has always been something very valuable for me to have learned from each experience, BUT your world-wide-wake-up-call is on a scale I can barely wrap my head around.  It’s as though you arrived to shine a spotlight on everything we’ve let slide, everything we hoped someone else would deal with, or anything we simply couldn’t face for whatever reason we came up with.  All the cracks in our systems are now being illuminated so that we can no longer ignore what needs repairing, rebuilding, or re-imagined anew. I can appreciate this aspect of your arrival, however, I am personally struggling to try to deal with everything all at once.

In my heart, I believe that your appearance ought to be the beginning of a grand unification of humanity. “We are all connected.”  There is nowhere on this beautiful planet of ours that one can hide from you; you’ve encased us in a net of mind-boggling proportions.

This sense of global community is perhaps something you intended.  Maybe you’ve been sitting in a quiet corner of the world, hoping humanity would sort itself out and come to the realization that we really are all in this together, although our experiences may be (and in fact ARE, there’s no denying that) VERY different.  Yet we did not have this epiphany in time and now we strive to band together in the face of a common enemy.  Did you intend to be “the enemy?” Perhaps. It’s possible you actually meant to present yourself as “the teacher,” but we didn’t view you as such, we found it difficult to unite like that.  I don’t know.  As I said, I hope that we will come together as one during this global crisis, and yet I witness daily a spreading  divisiveness… the perpetuation of an Us & Them mentality. It’s hard to watch.  I don’t think it pleases you and yet your survival may depend on it. It’s a messed up situation and my mind goes round in circles trying to make some sense of the never-ending, always-changing information about your travels, visits, and evolution.

It’s Mother’s Day today.  I’ve much to be grateful for and I actually do count my blessings every day.  Your insinuation into my world has made that practice even more poignant. I am safe at home, with my children. We are healthy. We have food, comfy beds, and hot running water.  I will never take those things for granted.  My little backyard is truly an oasis, now more than ever before.  I’ve been laid off from both jobs, but I qualified for some emergency assistance so I do not have to worry about how I will pay my bills this month.  Forced isolation has afforded me some time to study, to write, and to work in my garden at the perfect time as it is springtime, the weather is good and there is much to be done.  I am fortunate to live in a part of the world where we have easy access to the internet so I can stay in contact with those I care about while staying home.  However, I miss a lot of things from the “Before Times.” I can barely believe that refer to our lives before your arrival as The Before Times. It’s surreal and unsettling. That’s quite an achievement on your part.

I miss a lot of little things, like going to the grocery store several times a week for fresh produce and to visit my favourite cashiers.  I miss the sassy repartee with the tellers when I go to my bank.  I miss chatting & collaborating with my coworkers and the volunteers who I work with.  I miss going “treasure hunting”  with my daughter at our local thrift stores.  I miss going dancing at the clubs that host live music in town.  I miss stopping in at a local pub or restaurant on a whim. I miss spontaneous road trips, camping, and family get-togethers.  I miss having my friends over for a girls-night.  I miss, more than anything, spending time with my most-favourite person… we’ve had a few, properly distanced visits over the past few months which I love, but the physical distance we respectfully maintain feels like its miles wide compared to what I’m used to.  Yet, because of you, we do this as we have many in our lives we want to keep safe – many seniors as well as people with compromised immune systems.  We feel perfectly fine, but you’ve made it known that you can hide within the healthy just as easily as in the obviously infected, so we respect the requests from our medical experts (whom you keep on their toes daily if not hourly with your chameleon-like changeability) to keep our physical distance.  It is hard to do.  It sucks. Right now, I really really hate it… but we are doing it to keep others safe.

I understand that it is most likely that at some point, each of us on this beautiful planet we call home will get to know you personally.  For some, the encounter will barely go noticed.  For others, it will be devastating; life altering.  I am not in denial that physical distancing now will prevent you from reaching almost every one of us.  But I am keeping my distance so that the impact will be less overwhelming to those of us in our healthcare system.  With that said, I am desperately tired of all this separation.  I am sorry to have ever heard your name. I am doing my best to learn what I can from your arrival in our collective lives so that I can take something from this experience.  I will not be sorry to see you go.

Don’t let the door hit you on your way out…

Making the Most of the Micro-Moments When You’re Busy

Happy #WellnessWednesday!
 
Do you sometimes feel like you just don’t have the energy or time to support your health & wellbeing? Yup, it’s a busy life!
 
But did you know, that just a few minutes a day doing something that improves your heath & happiness (yes, happiness is a BIG part of our overall wellness!) can make a profound difference? It’s TRUE!
 
I’ll give you my own real-life example:
Right now, I’m working a lot. Around 50+ hours a week, with most of those hours at a computer. Not what I’m used to! The first couple weeks were rough – my body hurt, my brain felt super taxed and my eyes were just done by dinnertime. I was feeling quite frustrated until I realized that I needed to approach my situation as if I was my own client! What would I do to assist someone who’d come to me as a wellness coach/yoga teacher? Well, I’d help them find what would work in their life as it was in that moment! So the next day, I began a much shorter than I’m used to yoga practice… seriously, 10-15 minutes of sun salutations. It’s all I could fit in, but I tell you, by the 2nd day my body, my mind, and my mood were all improving by leaps and bounds!
 
So please don’t give up on doing something to improve your quality of life because you can’t leave the house for a series of classes, or go for a run or to the gym for an hour each day.  Small actions can have a big impact – like the ripple effect of a tiny stone creating bigger and bigger waves as they move away from the center of impact in the water.
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
 
I’m here to help you find your way…

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