Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A Woman Who Takes Care of Herself, Teaches Her Daughter to Do The Same

“My happiness is tied to how I feel about myself. I want my girls to see a mother who takes care of herself.”- Michelle Obama

When we practice self-care, we teach our daughters to do the same. Our daughters are learning self-care by watching us. Historically, women’s needs have been suppressed and culturally, it was our role and responsibility to selflessly nurture those around us. This taught us to put others first and leave our needs for last. We, in essence, ignore what we need to help us live optimally. Therefore, it’s especially important that we model self-care for our daughters, so they don’t fall into the ways of the past.

Being a mother to two beautiful children is my greatest accomplishment. Not my medical degree, or the awards I have won, or the business I started and a whole host of other accolades; but the fact that I breathed life into two amazing human beings who changed my life forever. They taught me what it means to love unconditionally, to protect someone at all costs, and to want more for someone than I wanted for myself.

Having a daughter brought me joy and a sense of responsibility for raising a young lady who is confident, strong, caring and intelligent. A recent study from the University of Georgia found that, the mother-daughter relationship is the most important family dynamic that determines a girl's future relationship skills and self-esteem. When mothers are overly critical, their daughters are more likely to have poor social skills and unhealthy attitudes toward eating, compared with girls with more supportive moms.

I wanted to be supportive and say all the right things that would provide her with the necessary tools to develop a strong sense of herself, to build healthy relationships with others and know the importance of self-care. I became aware that being a mom was not only about providing her with unconditional love, but also respecting her opinions, providing boundaries, communicating effectively and being open to change. I realized early on that my daughter was watching me. She observed the way I dressed, my mannerisms, the relationships I had with others, my own fears and anxiety. She watched how I cared for myself and how I allowed others to treat me. I wanted to make sure she was receiving positive messages, so I started to listen for the underlying meaning in our talks and learned the importance of being present.

My daughter taught me the importance of self-care. My own exhaustion and burnout was recognized by her. She showed me that self-care is important by making me realize that I could not be fully present for her while I was drained and fatigued. She helped me find the balance I needed to be great mom, wife, and career woman. I began to take time out for me so that I could have the life I wanted for myself and for her.

The practice of self-care and taking time to cater to your needs teaches others how to treat you. It shows them that you value taking time for yourself and also that they should respect your ‘me-time.’ Developing these habits for yourself and changing the narrative for how women should care for themselves and others, gives our daughters a solid foundation for adopting and practicing healthy habits. This in turn will lead to lower rates of stress, anxiety, health problems and strained relationships.

It’s critical to develop a routine of self-care. Your self -care routine should be specific to your wants and needs. My practice includes meditation, prayer, walks, massages and reading. It includes preventive check-ups, volunteering in my community and spending time with family. My children, especially my daughter, remind me to have fun and to find that inner child who liked to be spontaneous, adventerous, and dance when there is no music—all things that made her feel joyous and free.

I can’t tell you how to practice self-care, but it should include taking time to rest, exercise, eat healthy and have fun. In return, you will enhance your immune system, reduce stress, control your weight, increase your energy and improve your mood. Teaching our daughters these lessons early on allows them the opportunity to practice and develop healthy habits that will last forever.

Ready to develop a self-care action plan and be a positive role model for your daughter? Register for my Signature Course, The Ultimate Roadmap To Finding Time For Yourself. The kick off for the course is July 23rd. The first 10 registrants will receive as a bonus, in addition to the online course, weekly live group coaching sessions with me. Find out more here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Self-care Mindset: The 5 Tools A Woman Must Have To Start Taking Time For Herself

Self-care is not selfish is a popular statement these days. Women are starting to realize that time for themselves allows them to be better wives, mothers, sisters, friends and coworkers. Women often fall into the trap of not embracing self-care because the idea of putting themselves first is a difficult concept to grasp. But why is that? It’s because, historically, women have always taken care of others before themselves. Women have been taught this behavior and it has been reinforced by society for many years. Unless women break the cycle, they are going to pass down those behaviors and beliefs to their daughters and also their sons who will then have those same expectations in their marriage.

What is Self-Care?

It’s self-love and it’s self-respect. It’s a commitment you make to yourself to take care of your mind, body and spirit. Self-care is as necessary as the air you breathe, so it’s essential that you reject the belief that taking time for yourself, equates practicing self-indulgence.

Self-care is real, and it matters.

Self-care is how you replenish all that you’ve given away and sacrificed. It’s the mindset, activities, practices and habits you embrace to guard yourself against stress, illness, depression, anxiety, and many more negative conditions. In the medical field it’s called practicing prevention. To care for yourself, you first have to know what you need and then go get it.

Practicing self-care can not only change your life but it can save your life. So, what happens when you practice self-care? What would that look like?

As with the scenario of a plane that has lost pressure, the right thing to do is to always help you first. Then, when you have your mask in place, you can assist others. The reason for this is simple. Until you are taken care of, you are likely to cause more problems and become part of the overall problem rather than being part of the solution. This is what self-care looks like. It’s about taking care of the things that matter to help heal you so that you can become part of the solution.

So how do we get in the mindset of putting ourselves first and practicing self-care?

These are the tools women must have:

1.       Boundaries:  Understand what it means to create boundaries. We have all heard that we must learn to say no. And I truly believe that it’s crucial to be comfortable with saying no and knowing when to say it. But the truth is that most people get uneasy just thinking about having to tell someone no. So, the key is to not concentrate on the negative connotation that the word no may bring. Don’t dwell on the feeling that you are going to hurt someone’s feelings if you say no. You can approach saying no with the intention of honoring the request of the person by letting them know that you understand their needs and would be happy to help if another opportunity arises, but now is not a good time. No explanation needed.

2.       Gratitude: Put self-care before your daily grind and wake up in the morning with gratitude. Practicing gratitude will get you in the mindset of what it means to take care of yourself. The fact that you wake up each morning and can live to see another day and be given another chance to make it better or make it right is the ultimate form of self-care. To continue the gratitude practice, you have to pour into yourself what your body needs in order to continue waking up each morning.

3.       Self-love: This goes back to #1 because you must love yourself enough to set boundaries. You must cherish your time and energy. When you love yourself, you will do whatever it takes to protect your mental as well as your physical health. You know how important you are and what you’re worth.

4.       A voice: A woman who puts herself first, is someone who has found her voice. She is able to know and verbalize her wants and needs. She does not let mommy guilt, wife guilt, or daughter guilt rule her decisions and she is unapologetic about taking time for herself.

5.       A schedule: Learning to schedule your time and prioritizing is the ultimate form of self-care. It allows you to be able to make time in your schedule for you and the things you love to do. Being able to let go of things that don’t serve you will allow you to make time for the things that really matter.

Self-care comes in many forms-physical, mental, spiritual and social. Developing a self-care plan that covers all these areas, that is easy to maintain and that gives you the results you need is important to your physical and mental wellbeing.

Before you lose your way and continue to live in survival mode—before you get into the habit of not checking in with yourself—let’s make a commitment to plant the seed of a wholesome self-care routine.

Ready to start planting the seed? Register for my Signature Course, The Ultimate Roadmap To Finding Time For Yourself. The kick off for the course is July 23rd. The first 10 registrants will receive as bonus, in addition to the online course, weekly live group coaching sessions with me. Find out more here

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Stay Healthy This Summer With These Low-Calorie Snack Options

To stay in tip top shape during the summer, it’s important to eat healthy. Often, when we look for a snack on the go, it’s easier to pick unhealthy snacks like chips and cookies. Let’s face it, it’s easier, familiar and convenient, but there are several healthy alternatives that you can grab quickly and enjoy poolside, in the park or even pack for work. When grabbing healthy snacks try to aim for items under 200 calories. 

Below are a couple of options:

Veggies and Hummus-You can have as many veggies as you like. Think celery sticks, carrot sticks, broccoli, green peppers with about 3-4 tbsp of hummus.

Almonds- 100 calorie pack almonds are easy to grab and go. Almonds are a great

Apple slices and almond butter or nut butter- Apples are a great source of fiber. The almond or nut better provides protein and healthy fat to keep you feeling full.

KIND Bars- Healthy, packaged snacks made with whole ingredients and under 200 calories.

Popcorn- Popcorn that is air popped and eaten without butter or salt can serve as a healthy whole grain food that is low in calories and high in fiber.

Fruit- Summertime is great for eating fresh fruit. Try frozen grapes, strawberries, grilled peaches. Fruits also count toward your fluid intake. Some kinds of fruit are more nutritious than others. Read more here for fruits you may want to avoid or consume in moderation https://health.clevelandclinic.org/5-overrated-fruits-and-why-you-should-avoid-them/amp/ 

Greek yogurt- Greek yogurt contains protein that keeps you satisfied and it’s low in fat. For a crunchy effect add granola or whole grain cereal.  

Make sure your next grocery shopping trip includes buying some of the items above and then take the time to package them so it’s easy to grab and go. 

A Woman Who Takes Care of Herself, Teaches Her Daughter to Do The Same

“My happiness is tied to how I feel about myself. I want my girls to see a mother who takes care of herself.”- Michelle Obama When ...