In an age of social pressures to be better, go bigger, and taking a little time off or practicing self-care can be looked at as weak, wasting time, or not doing enough. All of those practices listed will give you more time, more ideas, more income, more passion, and more purpose.
For years I fell victim to the assumption that I had to keep going, that not going fast and hard was a sign of weakness, and even though I taught self-care, it was hard for me to practice it myself. I was burning the midnight oil 24/7, and it came at a cost. I was burnt out and disconnected from the very people that mean the most to me- my kids.
As an addict in recovery, I know first hand the need to practice self-care and put your health first. But owning your own business is not easy. It’s in my DNA to never settle, and since I was young, I knew that I am meant for more than what was served to me in school. It feels a bit uncomfortable to say, but I knew where I was going; I just had no idea how I would get there. And in the last several years, it has become apparent that no dream will be achieved without you.
It’s an exchange; when you give yourself time, you get more time.
When you practice self-care, you can better care for your business and the people in it.
When you take a time out, the time you step back in will be fresh, full of energy, and ready to achieve greatness.
I believe that it is about the little things, the small moments throughout the day that add up to your sanity by day’s end. Big empty promises will drive you nuts. And (at least for me) the idea of a 2 hour Morning Routine is crazy talk when I sleep, my kids getting off to school, and coffee are among my morning must-haves. I may not have 2 hours, wait, let me rephrase that, I‘m not willing to give up 2 hours of sleep to spend two hours doing something that takes me 5 minutes to do each morning. I”m practical, real, and motivated to do what it takes. I’m not as willing to spend more time on things than is necessary to get the same results.
Self-care is essential, but it shouldn’t take you hours a day, and it can be as simple as 1 minute here, three minutes there, five minutes over here throughout the day, every day. Because when your self-care routine starts stressing you out, it needs to go out.
Here are ten things I do every day to practice self-care, keep my body and mind healthy and my business blossom.
Drink a full glass of water each morning. Before you even think about it, chug it down. Each morning I wake up and reach over for a big 10-20 ounce glass of water and down it before I can even think about what my day will be like. I wake up, sit up and put my feet on the ground and drink it all down. Starting your day hydrated will only lead you to more hydration. Did you know that dehydration is a symptom of depression? Doing this every morning helps me in that no matter what happens, I at least drank 20 ounces of water. And that’s a good thing.
Hug a real human every day. This global situation has got us all social-distancing like the plague, and the trade-off is real human connection. Did you know that just 10 seconds of hugging someone can boost serotonin in the brain? When is the last time you hugged someone? Like full squeeze mode? I make it a point to hug each of my kids every day and hug my husband. That connection has been vital to our health on all levels. Who can you hug today?
Massage your feet.Every day I use my acupressure ball and roll out the bottoms of my feet. It May sound a bit odd, but our feet our connection to the earth. And we all wear shoes way too much, disconnecting us from what grounds us, and well, when your feet hurt, it can just about ruin your day. I keep my mini acupressure ball underarm my desk, and I travel with it wherever I go. A quick rub on my feet, and it’s incredible how much better I feel. And then after don’t forget to use some natural pain relief to leave you feeling great!
Take a deep breath. I’ve had a panic attack more than once and know how scary that can be. Many people in todays world are walking around stressed out, in a panic, and having an out of body experience, but not in the way you think. Breathing can help bring us back into our bodies and help us get out of our head and into the moment. Deep breathing is simple. Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest and take a deep breath in and feel your belly expand, and your chest rise. Briefly pause after your inhale and then exhale and feel your stomach deflate and chest collapse down. Work to get all the air out and repeat this at least two more times. Breathing not only brings more oxygen to your body and brain but also shifts your mind off whatever is stressing you out and gives you space to regroup and refocus.
Get outside every day. It’s winter and currently -1 outside. But I make it a point to step out for a few minutes to feel the fresh air and sun (or clouds, rain, or snow). There is a feeling of being alive that happens when I do this and has become a real game-changer when I begin to feel the heaviness of the midwest winters weighing on me. That timeout outside also helps me shift my focus when I’m having a stressful day back to nature and back to feeling alive.
Get up and get moving. I’m not going to tell you to exercise, but you do need to carry every day. Can you find one, two, or three pockets of time to get up and stretch, walk up and down your stairs a few extra times, squat in the bathroom, twist in your driver’s seat or chair? This all adds up. Instead of empty exercise promises, how about you focus on adding more moving into your everyday life. Then if you happen to make it to the treadmill, gym, or yoga mat (join our online mindfulness and yoga studio for just $9.99 a month!)- it’s a bonus!
Tell yourself something positive about your efforts. Every day I self-talk (Read 12 Nuggets of Advice That Have Changed My Life Blog). For years a negative internal dialogue took me down a path I wish on no one. And I discovered that your biggest enemy and critic is often sitting right between your two ears. Talk positively to yourself; what are you doing well? What has gone right? Look how far you have come. For some, this dialogue may not come naturally, but it’s one conversation you might want to have anyways. I recognized a few years back that I’d get so far, and then I was the one sabotaging my efforts because I didn’t believe I deserved success. Kicking that habit was the best thing I ever did.
Visualize your success before you go to bed. Your subconscious replays the last things you think about, read about, and watch while you sleep. Every night before I go to bed, I visualize my success. If I can’t get thoughts out of my head that is negative or stressful or tells me that I”m not successful, I pop on my headphones and listen to meditation to shift my thoughts and mind and drift off to sleep. This has been a game-changer for me and one that has borne much fruit. Plus, it requires little to no effort on your part but can be the cherry on top.
Eat good food. You’re foggy, and you’re tired, you’re irritable. Did you ever consider how you feel might be because you aren’t feeding your body good food? Food is fuel, and if you’d ever even considered putting questionable, cheap fuel into your car because you know the consequences would be expensive and could leave you carless, why do that to your body. If you are still reaching for quick fixes to change your body, may I suggest an apple? A salad. A something that didn’t come out of a box. I”m not trying to be rude, but somewhat real. You are a living being, so you need to eat living food. Start small, how about that apple? Your body craves junk food because it is searching for real nutrition, and you aren’t feeding it any. An apple a day really can do more than just keep the doctor away.
Offer gratitude.Every day I find ways to show appreciation. It’s easy to get wrapped up in your stuff, and I believe you get what you give. You don’t have to give money if money is tight. You can give your time, your love, your compassion, your support. I try to remember that everyone is fighting their own battle and has their stuff going on and if I can spread a little hope, a little cheer. Then I’ll do it. Because one day I may need that too.
I use to tell myself that it needed to be the perfect time to do X. And it was a way for me to stay where I was. Safe, but stuck. Happy in my unhappiness. All the empty promises I gave myself only left me more defeated. All the programs that promised me better health, more happiness, and a profitable business were a bust because it was too much. I wasn’t ready. And what I discovered is I needed to start even smaller, and that so-called self-care was not mean to be this big hill or crazy routine I was to add to my day (which, mind you, only gave me more anxiety when I thought about it). It was about the little things that kept nudging me forward towards the next right decision.
The results… It’s working. My suggestion for you today, start small, pick one of the ten I listed above, and do it until it’s like brushing your teeth ( and if you don’t brush your teeth, maybe start there). You will be amazed at what comes from a simple small action like this!
Check out My Meditations Custom Crafted just for YOU with music by Dennis Hawk >> HERE Click on MEDITATIONS to grab yours!
Creating, developing, and producing your own fitness channel is an exciting and fun journey. For starters, it’s a good way to motivate yourself to workout much more consistently. It can also be a great excuse to start your own ‘40 Days of Positive Posting’, inspiring others to pick up healthier habits. Whatever your reasons or motivations, starting your own fitness channel is actually not that hard to do.
Pick your niche or concept
If you’re already looking up ways to start your own channel or vlog, you’re probably already throwing around some ideas in your head about what you want to do. It can be easier to narrow down those ideas and pick out the best ones when you check out what some of the most successful and prominent fitness channels are up to. For instance, if you’re interested in Pilates, what can you do to differentiate yourself from Blogilates and the many other Pilates
-focused channels out there? Would it help to set your workouts to music like what The Fitness Marshall does? The reality is that there are already tons of other fitness channels and vlogs out there. And studying their moves can help you to stand out.
Invest in the right tools
Nowadays, even somewhat outdated iPhones are good enough for shooting and even editing videos for your planned fitness channel. But if you have the budget for better equipment, you can significantly increase the quality of your output and attract much more viewers. The good news is that there’s definitely no shortage of videography equipment out there. Adorama’s selection of video equipment showcases the wide range of professional video cameras, compact camcorders, lenses, lights, and filming accessories available to the modern videographer. Whatever your budget, there’s a video setup that’s right for your channel. Meanwhile, CBS 19’s list of mic and other audio equipment shows the different affordable pro-level microphones aimed at the gaming and streaming market. Any of the listed mics can also be highly useful for ensuring crisp audio on your fitness channel. Ensuring that your raw video and audio are crisp and clear will make editing easier, and can make your videos all the more watchable and shareable.
Don’t be afraid to get creative
Experiment with different shooting angles that can reinforce what you want to teach or show to your target audience. Try out different kinds of lighting to see which angles, brightness, and colors work best for your poses and movements. You can also use this opportunity to model different workout outfits. Take your channel to different locations for a varied look and feel throughout episodes. When you’re competing with hundreds of already successful and fledgling fitness channels, a little creativity can go a long way in finding your audience and establishing your niche.
Do your best to be a positive online presence
In the age of edited influencer photos, video filters, and like-based vindication, posting or streaming anything online can be a highly effective way of touching people’s lives. How do you want people to react to or interact with your fitness channel? Whether you want to become a TikTok sensation, bag a fitness media or advertising deal, or simply put out great content, it’s your responsibility as a content creator to be aware of how you can affect others. This is why it’s important to develop your content with the perspective of being a positive online presence. Audiences are very good at reading authenticity, and being genuinely positive can significantly help in attracting the right followers to your channel.
Imagine being in a room full of people and someone walks in and instantly commands the room without a word spoken.
How do they do that? Fancy clothes? Fireworks? Paid groupies?
No. Amazing posture.
Because how you carry yourself says a lot about who you are, your self-esteem, your relationship with the world, and how you feel about yourself.
Ever observe someone depressed. They posture says “don’t come near me, don’t touch me”, a fetal like position of protection.
But when you see that person whose posture screams confidence, openness, and ease, you can’t help but want some of that secret sauce they have been drinking.
Only they haven’t been drinking, they have been moving. Moving in the right way.
So to help you on your posture perfect path not only for your body’s health and alignment but your own mental, emotional and social health here are my TOP 5 POSTURE PERFECT YOGA POSES.
Top 5 Yoga Poses for Better Posture
1. Heart Opening Mountain Pose
Standing at attention with your weight even on your feet.
Turn your feet to face forward and draw your pelvic into neutral (pubis bone and front hip bones all parallel with the front wall).
Interlace your fingers behind your back (or grab a strap or towel if your hands can’t clasp or you can clasp but have no range of motion).
INHALE, drawing the shoulder blades together and down as the arms externally rotate.
Lift your chest gently and keeping space in the back of the neck gently lookup.
Play with rotating your arms and wrists to find the most appropriate release in the shoulders. Breathe deeply into the lungs to open the chest further. Enjoy for five to ten breaths.
2. Shoulder Blade Runner
Standing at attention in Mountain Pose, draw your arms up in front of you at shoulder height.
Turn your palms to face each other and the folds of your elbows to gently face up (no hyperextension), keeping a solid pelvis (see #1) and a stable rib cage (no thrusting). Only move your shoulders.
Inhale, pinching your shoulder blades together like they are going to come together over your spine.
Exhale: reach your arms away without rounding your shoulders forward like you are reaching for an object just out of reach.
Repeat this movement focusing on range of motion ten to twenty times.
3. Turkey Neck Stretch
Seated tall, relax your shoulders down and back.
Drop your head forward and using your fingers pull down on the skin at your clavicles.
Keep that connection and open your mouth as wide as you can.
Keeping it open, tip the head back, as you do so pull down on the skin creating a facial stretch.
Now close your mouth and imagine you have an underbite and push the bottom jaw upward.
Try sliding the bottom jaw side to side to find the most viable stretch. Hold for up to ten breaths.
Gently bring the head back to center.
4. Melting Wheel
Dust off your large Swiss ball (the one you bought thinking you’d sit on at your desk, make sure it’s well inflated). Take a seat on the edge of it and slowly start to lean back over the ball. If your lower back feels tight, tip the tail bone up between the legs to lengthen the lower back. Now play with where your arms lay to open the front line of the body and pretend that you are making a snow angel and when you find a point of release, hold your arms there until you feel release (your arms may not be symmetrical).
Play with your body and using your legs, experiment with squatting, and then moving your head towards the ground to choose where you want to focus-lower back and hip flexors or chest, arms and shoulders. Enjoy as long as you feel comfortable. To come up, begin to squat and roll yourself up back on top of the ball. And counterbalance by hinging forward.
5. Rolling Forward Fold
Staring in Mountain Pose, bend the knees and imagine you are like a flag blowing in the wind. Exhale and loosely roll yourself down into Forward Bend. Like you were jumping on a trampoline, bend your knees and think about being sprung up (rolling) into a standing extension.
In standing extension keep your knees bent and float your pelvis forward as you arch back. You should feel your core turn on and your front line of the body stretch. Exhale, bend the knees, and fall/roll back down (think less control and more flow). Repeat this movement fine to ten times.
Posture does make perfect. Because how you present yourself to the world is how you receive it back.
How to Ditch Your To Do’s and Start Thinking in Results!??
I have struggled for years feeling like I would always get so close to what I wanted, and then, I don’t know how else to explain it, but I just couldn’t get there.
What the heck was going on?
I could start the engine, but boy oh boy, why was it not taking me across the finish line?
Maybe you can relate. You see the vision, you know what needs to happen (at least most of it), you get it started, then WAMO! Something happens and all this other stuff starts to get in the way.
I mean, sure, it’s kind of important stuff. But none of it ever seems to help you reach your goal. There is just always MORE stuff piling up.
Yesterday morning I was gently reminded this morning that it’s not about a to-do list it’s about a results list.
For most of my life, including most of my adult life so far, I’ve only looked at the tasks in front of me.
AKA the overwhelming mountain that is just about impossible to climb up.
I pondered for a quite some time about the idea of looking at what you want versus what needs to be done.
And was reminded again just yesterday morning, through a morning motivation, that looking at the tasks in front of you as to-do items- already frustrated, complicates things, and build an even bigger mountain.
It’s like: “Someone help me, I’m drowning!”
But here’s the kicker and it’s not fancy. Things don’t change because of external circumstances. Things change because of internal circumstances.
Where instead, if you think about the results that you want to happen in your life. And then ask yourself, what do I need to do to get there?
Your focus is no longer all on the items that you have not yet done.
But on the positive result of that what you want to achieve.
Not to mention how many of us always pick the easiest to do list items and avoid the big ones that are going to push us towards our Dream results anyways?
I know I do this.
Why work on a big project proposal when I can clean the kitchen?
Total transparency… My brain often wants to choose the easier tasks, because then if by chance I fail, I’ve already protected myself from it.
I’ve had to train my brain to just start looking at life this way. To stop sympathizing with the side of me that likes the overwhelm, that validates my frustration with a mounting to do list. And a poor me mentality.
?What do I want? ?What are the results I’m trying to achieve? ?If I keep my eyes focused there, I’m going to stay more positive, and probably make better choices.
Remember this, change is hard. But it’s not impossible. It’s only impossible if you’ve already told yourself it’s going to be…
So today make it a point to physically write out your “Results List”... What do you want!? Keep that list handy and in easy sight. And when you start to engage in tasks, ask yourself “are these tasks, activities moving me towards my end game? Towards what I want most?”
After you write out your Results List reflect on why you want these things in the first place.
I wanted to land a big partner for my Mother Trucker Yoga company. I had one in mind. I thought about that partner all the time. And knew that would be a home run for me. Everything I was doing I was working to gain the notice and respect of that company. Then I landed an opportunity to work with them on a trial basis. I could have felt defeated in that I had to do a lot more than I had thought initially. And it was frustrating at times. It could have been easier to just do the minimum required. And when I got frustrated, I a few times found myself doing things that had nothing to do with landing this partnership.
HOPE WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING! I got so overwhelmed in those moments with other things, that in the end didn’t really matter. And would actually go away, and get handled later if I could land this partnership. But I let myself get distracted by those small tasks. Because achieving those small tasks gave me temporary happiness. Where climbing that mountain towards my BIG WIN, required a bit more grit.
I can hardly believe it’s already time for the holiday spirit!
The weather has surely changed and it’s about time for… snow.
But we all knew that was coming.
Lately, there is not a day that goes by that I am not finding myself self so grateful for all that is around me.
So much has changed, yet so much hasn’t.
I look at my life and what I have realized is I have changed. Internally that is.
For so much of my life, I have always had “stuff” to deal with.
stuff that was weighing me down
stuff that was consuming my mental space
stuff that was telling me I am somehow less than
And although I have forged forward through that all, it still was challenging for me to deal with, and the more aware of life, my thoughts, my actions, and what truly want in life and how I truly want to live.
I realized that this “stuff” had to go.
Maybe you can relate.
maybe you too have been there before
Maybe you are dealing with the same internal work I was and continue to work on.
I have had a few people say to me recently “Hope, what’s changed”?
And to be honest, nothing and everything, all at the same time.
Yoga has played such a HUGE role in my life that I am so grateful to be able to continue to share it, and still, fifteen years later, be passionate about my offerings to the world!
Yoga allows change
In yoga, we are asked to get quiet.
On the mat we are asked to feel, breathe, and allow.
When we move a bit more slowly and methodically somethings amazing can happen.
We (for the first time) meet ourselves where we are with a gentle hand.
More than fifteen years ago, yoga met me with a gentle hand.
Broken and feeling very alone, I met yoga.
But who I really met, for the very first time, was myself.
See, I spent nearly my entire adolescent upbringing running from myself, running from feeling, running from my potential, running from failure, running from anything that I didn’t already know (even if it could be better).
Have you ever been there?
Have you ever felt so disconnected, so lost, so misunderstood?
Yoga is so much more than a place to physically practice.
And it doesn’t have to just be physical postures.
Yoga is an opportunity to expand yourself.
Yoga is a solution.
Yoga is an opportunity to not only see your potential but live it.
Every time you come to class, even though you don’t want to, or your couch seems cozier, You are building up a strength to do the same with other “healthy choices”.
Every time you breathe through the urge to come out of a yoga pose, You are also building up the skills to not give up in life.
Every time you sit with the discomfort of the pose, move, or thought, It will only get easier out there.
Every time you allow yourself to feel, feel anything-anger, frustration, joy, bliss, sadness, forgiveness, happiness, whatever, You are opening yourself to an outlet and an inlet for such an experience in your everyday life.
Every time you say yes to yourself in a self-giving, self-caring, self-honoring kind of way, That will only help you for hours, days, weeks, years to come.
Come back to the mat: build courage, strength, and enrich character and life with yoga
A long time ago someone said to me
“Hope, the very things you don’t do are the EXACT things you NEED to do, and until you do them, they will continue to manifest in any and all areas of your life, over and over again”.
And how true these words were.
Yoga has allowed me to take baby, baby steps to building up the courage, strength, voice, ability, trust, and willingness to do such things in life.
And what felt like forever has now truly begun to come full circle.
See, if it wasn’t for my yoga practice (one that seeps into all areas of my life) I would not have begun to truly practice self-care and ASK for time to myself.
I wouldn’t have been able to tackle the hard aspects of my business, like learning finances, advertising, technology, and numbers.
I wouldn’t have been able to create reputable programs and a humbling reputation for offering some of the best yoga around.
I wouldn’t have been able to take a HUGE leap and step fully into taking my yoga tool box to the stage and begin my next steps in sharing my life, my lessons, my yoga to people beyond the yoga mat.
I wouldn’t have been able to successfully take on additional streams of revenue, that where I once flopped, I am now soaring.
I wouldn’t have been able to teach my kids a life that I wish I would have known when I was growing up.
I wouldn’t have been able to be here with all of you today to tell the story.
If it’s been a while, what gives?
Why have you been away?
If it’s been awhile, no stress, I have a spot waiting for you.
If it’s been so long, it just feels too long, the first step to making any change worth having, is to simply show up and the rest will just happen.
No matter how long it’s been, one day or three hundred.
I hope to see you on the mat really soon.
Not sure where to start? Join me on the mat ONLINE in my ONLINE Mindful Movement & Yoga Studio anytime, anywhere.
DISCLAIMER: The purpose of this website is to provide community support and knowledge of various lifestyle topics. This website is for informational purposes and should not be seen as any kind of professional advice unless stated otherwise. We are not physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, or therapists. All our advice is based on our own experiences. This website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new diet or exercise program.