How To Become More Beautiful and Balanced

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Beautiful and Balanced! It’s what we all desire to be – and one of the first steps we should take is to get and keep ourselves in a positive frame of mind.  The more positive we are, the more happy we are – so it’s very important to cultivate a positive mindset.

Easy to do? No, but it’s possible to overcome any negative thoughts we dwell on so we continue to grow. So let’s talk about ways we can keep ourselves in a positive frame of mind so we stay balanced and beautiful each day.

Stop repeating the same mistakes. Stop doing the same things over and over again and expect different results. Mix it up! You will have to step outside of your comfort zone because if what you’re doing makes you unhappy, then a positive change would be to shake things up. Take your past mistakes and use it as a way to improve in the future.

Glass Half FullSee the glass as half full. Having an optimistic outlook on things will lead to positive changes within your life. You will feel more in control and invested in things.

Stop the negative self-talk. Don’t blame yourself for everything that goes wrong. Surrounding yourself with positive uplifting people can help keep those negative thoughts at bay.

Change Your Focus. Instead of focusing on what is happening to you, focus on what you can do to change things and make things happen.

Less competition. If you’re always comparing yourself to others you will lose your positive attitude. Each person has unique talents and strengths and comparing yourself to others can lead to depression, anxiety, and sleeping problems.

So if you focus on what you’re good at instead of being better than others, then you will be far more successful in life.

Take Care of Yourself.  Be sure to focus on your health and wellness. Take your vitamins and drink lots of water. Don’t ignore illness, face it head on and keep your mind and body well. Take your medications so you stay healthy and can maintain a positive spirit about the future.

If you’re suffering from depression, please don’t hesitate to seek help. There is no shame here! Seek help for your depression. If you are depressed, then you need professional health which can include medication and therapy. It’s important to get your depression under control so you can achieve a positive lifestyle. You can’t be depressed and have a positive outlook on life.

Change your habits. Cutting bad habits out of your life will help you to be more positive. Cut out smoking and drinking and start eating better. All of these things can lead to physical health problems and thus a feeling of negativity, so removing these unhealthy habits from your life is a great start to a more positive lifestyle.

Learn to be grateful. Learning to love what you have is important to staying positive. It’s very true that the grass is always greener on the other side – but that’s usually because your side hasn’t been watered as much!

The sooner you stop looking at others and coveting what they have, the sooner you will find that you have so many reasons to be grateful for YOUR life.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below because I know that taking these steps to be more positive will not only have a positive emotional effect on you, but a positive physical effect as well.

To Your Beauty and Balance!

How to Really Get a Good Night’s Sleep!

Our health and well-being depends on getting a good night’s sleep and a lack of sleep affects how we perform in our day-to-day activities. So we should make sure we’re putting a good effort into improving our sleep.

Check out the suggestions below, give them a try and see if you feel much better in the mornings.

Exercise –Early in The Day

Exercise is a great way to prepare o
urselves for a good nights’ sleep but it’s best to exercise early in the day. A consistent schedule of daily exercise will help you to exert energy and feel calm when it is time to retire for the night. Avoid exercise immediately before bedtime as this can have the opposite effect of waking you up instead of calming down.

Play Relaxing Music

Music is a great mood enhancer. When using it for the purpose of falling asleep, play relaxing music such as soft classical, smooth jazz, or ambient music. Avoid anything too fast, loud, or with dramatic changes throughout. Make a playlist of songs which keep a consistent and soothing tempo and sounds and use it at bedtime.

Use Essential Oils

Essential oils can help as well.  If you are having trouble getting into a relaxed state, try putting a few drops of essential oil of lavender or chamomile into a bottle of water, and spraying your pillow and sheets a few times. You can also put a few drops of oil either into your bath directly before bed or use a diffuser made specifically for the purpose of diffusing essential oils.

Avoid Electronics

Feeling buzzed when you’d rather feel sleepy? Maybe it’s time to unplug the electronics. Blue light emitted from devices such as computers, smartphones and the television suppress the production of melatonin – a must when we’re trying to sleep.  So try to avoid using these electronics for at least a few hours before Sleep PIcbedtime.

Consistent Bedtime

There is no arguing this point! Your body is at it’s best when utilizing its natural sleep-wake cycle – and we all know what happens the next morning when we go to bed later than usual (or when we sneak in an afternoon nap).  So we have to make sure we get to bed on a regular schedule EVERY day and that includes the weekends as well.

Have a Consistent Bedtime Ritual

Being able to de-stress from the day is essential to getting a good night’s sleep. So make a consistent bedtime routine for yourself and you will send a signal to your brain that it is time to get into sleep mode. In addition to the essential oils, add in relaxing extras such as a few minutes of reading, journaling, stretching, eating a light snack, or taking a warm bath.

Sleep can be elusive at times but with a few small changes, you can make bedtime an enjoyable part of your day rather than a frustrating one. We can all agree that it’s well worth the effort because sleep is so important to the length and quality of your life.

Try the steps mentioned above and see just how big of a change you can bring to your life through a few simple ideas that bring you a greater quality and quantity of sleep.

Be sure to leave any ideas you have in the comments below.

Slumber On!


Stress #10 – Make Sure You UnPlug Regularly!

It’s hard to avoid and has become a part of our daily lives – yes, the digital world!

We’re bombarded constantly with digital media all day long. Computers and smartphones – so much to see, so much to read, so many digital games to play. Into the evening, we’re guilty of sitting down as a family plugged into some kind of digital device and not talking to each other.

I’ll admit that I love being instantly connected to the internet, email, texting, social media, etc. but sometimes it does make me a tad irritable for no good reason. When that happens, I plug my phone up in another room so I’m not tempted to check every notification sound I hear, only to find out it’s junk email, a sales message from one of the many reward programs I’ve signed up for, or the wonderful text from you cellular provider telling you your data plan has been exceeded! Talk about stress level.

Enough already!

Let’s stop the madness and make an effort to get unplugged and stop all those things that beep at us constantly, disrupting everything we’re doing. Whether you unplug in the evenings or choose an unplugged day for your family, there are many benefits. You’ll be able to focus on those things you’ve been meaning to get done, and if the family is all unplugged you might be surprised at the fun and connection you can all have together.

Ready – Set- UNPLUG!!!

Stress Buster #9 – No Gym Needed for Exercise!

Manage your stress by making exercise a part of your daily routine. But please change any beliefs you have that means you have to join a gym for best results. A gym is not the only way to get good exercise.

Where did that belief come from anyway? The notion that exercise is all about cardio machines and weights only? Well, there are many ways to get exercise that don’t involve paying someone a monthly fee to use equipment in a crowded room. You can participate in a variety of sports such as walking or riding a bike.

Also, rather than sticking to the “same ole” exercise beliefs and techniques, think of engaging in things you’ve never tried before or try a different take on regular activities – and make it fun. Walk with the children after school (they always walk faster so you’d have to walk faster and burn more calories to keep up), toss the softball in the park (the act of running after a run away ball, tossing the ball, running to tag them before they reach the base will definitely provide a workout), ask a friend to play tennis or try swimming a few laps at the community center pool. These are great ways to get a workout without it feeling like exercise.

However, if you prefer the gym and its equipment, then by all means make time to visit your favorite location as often as possible – at least 3 times a week. Some locations offer child care that’s included in your monthly gym fee so please take advantage of this option when possible. To supplement your gym efforts at home, purchase weights or a used cardio machine at a yard sale or on these popular local online “yard sale” type websites that are popping up.

However you decide to add more exercise into your life, make sure it’s a routine that works best for you, your schedule, and your lifestyle. Learn to be mindful of the workout opportunities throughout your day and you’ll be well on your way to handling your stress with a regular physical routine!

Stress Buster #8: Exchange Babysitting Services

If the reason you say you never get out is due to the cost of a babysitter, the rest of this post will help you avoid using this excuse any longer!

There are bound to be other mothers you trust that could use a mommy break but want to avoid the expense of a babysitter. So join forces and exchange babysitting services so everyone wins.

If you’re still feeling reluctant to try this method, take a moment and think about the things you can accomplish with this “free time”:

  • Date Night.  Go on a date with your spouse or significant other. You need time together without the kids because it’s your relationship that holds the family together. If you happen to be single, maybe it’s time to meet someone new and enjoy some time out.
  • Meet with a friend. Go for coffee or bring homemade appetizers and wine to share at her house. Just make sure to get a safe ride home.
  • Extra Personal Time. Use the time to get errands done all by yourself. Now, I think it’s better if you spend your alone time having fun, but I completely understand the excitement of getting groceries without someone begging to buy everything that catches their eye. Or maybe it’s the opportunity to try on some new clothes for yourself, without fear that your little one will escape under the change room door and run for her life. Either way, use this extra personal time for refreshment.

Exchanging babysitting services is a win-win situation for all. You get mommy time and your family or friend gets their own mommy time. What’s not to love about that?

Stress Buster #7: Make Sure You Have a Girlfriend Support System

Friendship is one mind in two bodies.” ~ Mencius

We have a lot of important things to take care of in our daily lives and yes, it is easy to get caught up in taking care of family, homes, spouses and every other important obligation that sits on our plate – and it so wonderful that we dedicate this time to our families.

However, we must make time for our girlfriend support system that keeps us on the road to sanity. Just as easy as it is to get caught up in family obligations is the same ease at which we’ll deny ourselves this much needed resource and sometimes that can lead to disastrous results. Everyone needs someone to talk to who understands how they feel, who can just easily chat about anything and someone who is so easy to just hang with and have fun.  As women we are social creatures and we need the sisterhood connection and the support it provides.

So that to-do list we all have –  add a task for “contact my support group” and make it a priority to touch base with and keep in touch regularly with your support system. Keep it simple as well. Sometimes you won’t be able to leave the home but you can bring the fun and support to you. Children have to sleep sometimes and that’s the perfect time for you!



Stress Tip #6: Daily Scheduled Personal Time is A Must!

“Time is what prevents everything from happening at once.” ~ Marvin Cohen

Approaching our days in a go, go, go fashion seems like a good idea to get a lot done but the truth is we’re likely killing our productivity. We have to make ourselves more efficient by carving out a little bit of personal time each day. When your brain gets a break, it functions a whole lot better when it’s time to put it to work!

Here are some ideas for carving out time for ourselves:

  • Schedule a lunchtime for yourself and make it time just for lunch. Pick some place quiet so you have time to think and actually enjoy (and taste) your food.
  • Schedule a walk to get some fresh air.
  • Be sure to take 15 minutes to sit down and relax.
  • Draw a bubble bath, set a manicure or pedicure appointment or anything else you enjoy.

If you feel like you can’t make time during the day for yourself, please make adjustments in another area to make time for yourself. Mom’s personal time is very important if you want to present your best self to your family. Make sure everyone understands that you are not to be disturbed during mommy time but you would be happy to schedule something fun for everyone afterwards.

Make the time necessary to take good care of yourself and you’ll find it a great way to manage your stress.



Stress Tip #5: Allow Our Kids to Be Responsible

Your child will be better prepared to tackle the bumps on the road of life if he has been given the gift of guided independence.” ~ Jacquie McTaggart

It happens to all of us! We so easily handle the management of our homes and families so well, that delegating tasks to our more than capable children is something we dream of doing yet when the time comes, rather than having the conversation, we continue to stress ourselves out trying to handle everything.

Sometimes it’s just easier and other times, relinquishing control of something makes us feel less needed. Regardless, it’s Superwoman Syndrome at its best and NO MORE!  Today, we talk to our tribe about sharing the household experience and reducing our stress.

Our children must be given age and maturity appropriate daily chores and responsibilities that they are held accountable for completing. They can handle it and if you don’t think they can, reassign a task to them and see just how wonderfully they complete it.

Do not be afraid to tie in their receiving an allowance to the completion of their assigned chores. It’s not cruel and it is a great prep exercise for the workplace they’ll enter later on – because you will have to work for your money or there will be no paycheck! If it makes you feel better, create a list of regular chores and one for extra chores they can take on where they can earn additional allowance. I’ve tried this technique with own my munchkin and it works wonderfully!

What kinds of things can they do:

  • Make their school lunches (which I’ve found they tend to eat more of versus me making lunch)
  • Help with dinner (Fill the pan with water for boiling, set the table, gather recipe ingredients)
  • Do the dishes/Load and unload the dishwasher
  • Help with laundry (loading their clothes into the washer, transferring to dryer, folding)
  • Take out the garbage/Organize the recycling
  • Feed and care for pets
  • Clean their own rooms! (This is the biggest area The UnCluttered Mother needs to work on)

How many things on the above list would relieve you of some household duties which then frees up more time for yourself? Make the decision today to start reducing your stress by sharing your responsibilities and know that in the process. you are raising responsible children that are prepared to successfully take care of themselves when they reach adulthood.



Stress Tip #4: Take A New Approach to Your Daily Schedule

“One always has time enough, if one will apply it well.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Now it’s time to make changes to your current schedule because we can all attest to how stressful it becomes when we over commit our schedules.  So let’s chat about how to approach our schedules and to do lists so we’re being realistic not overly ambitious!

We have all been guilty of this at some point – make a long to do list of all things that must be done right away.  Oh how nice it feels to cross off items on our list and experience a feeling of accomplishment. Wow! Look at ALL this I completed today.  That’s when we get crazy and up the stakes on our schedules by adding even more. And I don’t know about you, but that’s when I get crazy and add things that I know will take more time than I think it will – cleaning the fridge (that’s housing stuff science projects are made of ), alphabetizing the canned goods in the pantry, rearranging the master closet (that has clothes from the 80’s in there), etc.  Then I get stressed out when I can’t complete the task and have to keep moving it to the next day.

No more! Our new mission is to make a shorter to-do-list and ensure tasks on our list truly deserves its place. We have got to start asking the hard questions:  “Is this necessary or am I being too ambitious? What on my list is really essential to accomplish today? How much of my list can be rescheduled to another day? Does this task have to be completed by me or can I delegate the task?

That last question applies especially with household chores. Do you have to do all the sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, dishes or laundry folding? Where is that rule written? What will happen if that dirty cup stays in the sink, the fridge waits one more day to be cleaned, canned goods are stored disorderly, or you keep relocating the empty fast food cups in the SUV to the next available cup holder? Nothing, and the world, your world, will continue on.

So let’s lower our stress and give ourselves a much needed break by creating a realistic schedule each day so we get the essential tasks completed. We’ll feel better and we’ll create more time to appreciate and participate in all those wonderful moments in our lives.



Stress Tip #3: “No” is a Good Word!

Yes! Yes! and Yes again! Where have all the “No’s” gone?

How many times have we been guilty of people pleasing? As tough as I’ll swear I am, what I really am is a repeat offender in the Yes Zone!  It’s a problem we all share as women and I do not think it’s a bad thing unless we don’t ever learn to say no.  We SHOULD be helping and have a willingness to help others but what happens is we spend a lot of time on others and leave only an exhausted shell of ourselves in the end – when we have needs that must be met.

We spend a lot of time teaching our children, especially our daughters, to think for themselves and speak up and be honest about your needs, yet we do not follow our own advice and we’re left exhausted and stressed out.

So consider the following BEFORE someone lays another request on you and you’ll be well prepared to start using our new word “NO” and without the guilt.

Don’t agree right away. Tell the person asking that you will have to get back to them, ASK for more details about the tasks, and really give yourself time to think about it. Otherwise, you’ll end up agreeing to something that you really don’t want to do, then be upset, especially after you agree and THEN finally get the full details (that you didn’t ask for and they didn’t volunteer because they wanted a yes) about what you’ll be handling – and we know this is how it works!

Resist the Flattery. Of course, you’re the best organizer, make the best brownies, and are the best volunteer ever but remember – so are plenty of other people. So consider your saying no as your giving another parent or volunteer an opportunity to shine – and you more opportunity to take care of your own needs.

Stop feeling guilty about saying “No”. There are so many demands on our time these days. So we have to learn to protect our time and be selective about who is allowed access to it. And for those people who work so hard to guilt us about not helping – learn to see right through that tactic and say no anyway.

Here’s something else:  Stop explaining yourself. Avoid saying things like, “well, I can’t because I’m working or I have to do such and such for my kids”, because “guilters” will always come back with what they also have to do but how they are sacrificing their time and you should too. Just keep it simple and say, “No, I’ll be unavailable to help out, handle that, bake, etc.”.

And keep this in mind:  Do you know what will happen if you say no to these people? Yes, they will find someone else. If you are truly neglecting someone, then you may need to take that into consideration. But in most cases, you have to realize you are only one person and you cannot be all things to all people.

You have the power to say no and no one should be allowed the power to pressure you or guilt you into a yes. You have to take care of yourself or you will be no use to anyone – and that would be a real shame.

So let’s make it our new practice to say “No” without guilt, “No” without explaining, and “Yes” to a life with less stress.