3 Self Care Practices that will add 1 Minute OR LESS to Your Daily Routine

3 Self Care Practices that will add 1 Minute OR LESS  to Your Daily Routine
If you're anything like me, self-care can take a backseat between the responsibilities and obligations and never-ending to-do list. But, I've figured out some hacks for the days when it just seems like there is no time to squeeze in a moment for myself.  

Here's 3 of my favorite self-care hacks that will add 1 minute or less to your daily routine.

1. Turn Your Shower into a Spa

Usually, I get about 5 minutes in the morning to shower. Between getting the kids ready for school and my husband out the door, there’s barely enough time to scrub down. 


But I’ve learned to make the most of those 5 Glorious minutes by turning my shower into a SPA by dropping a few drops of essential oil on the walls. 


My favorite oil to do this with is Eucalyptus. The steam of the shower mixed with the scent of the oil turns my whole shower into a Fresh-Smelling, Invigorating, Dream. It’s Amazing. And it will make the tiny bit of time you get to wash yourself so much more Luxurious feeling!


2. Drink Your Water


Drink a Full Glass first thing in the morning. Prepare it the night before and leave it on your nightstand if you have to!


Most of us don’t get our daily water intake as it is, leaving our skin looking dull, making it harder to focus, and leaving us feeling sapped of our energy. 


One of the best things we can do to care for ourself is drinking adequate amounts of water, and one of the easiest ways to start our day off right is with a big ‘ol glass first thing in the morning!



3. Get Quiet


While You’re Getting Ready, When You’re In the Shower,  On Your Way to Work . . .


In today’s day and age we are going Constantly. There is so much noise, it can make it impossible to think. 


If you’re someone who doesn’t get a lot of peace and quiet, make it a priority to add it to your daily routine- whether that means taking a minute of silence before you turn on your phone in the morning, turning off the radio in the car, or keeping your shower time your quiet time. Prioritize a few minutes each morning to be in the quiet and hear your own thoughts.



If you liked these 3 Self Care Tips, I bet you’ll love my blog post on “Identifying and Eliminating Triggers to Take Back Your Peace of Mind.” Check it out here!


How This Self Proclaimed Coffee Addict Accidentally Gave Up Coffee

How This Self Proclaimed Coffee Addict Accidentally Gave Up Coffee

Hi, My name is Alison, and I am a self proclaimed coffee addict- or at least I was until about 3 weeks ago.


Now just so you understand how deep my love of coffee runs: I have a coffee bar in my house. I own a pour over, french press, Turkish coffee set, a Nespresso, and too many mugs. I was the friend who was Always up for coffee, and I never turned a cup down. My childhood favorite ice cream was Coffee flavored, and I drank my coffee black. I LOVE coffee. 


So how on earth would this self proclaimed Coffee Addict Accidentally give up coffee?


Let me Share with you my Story.


In addition to being a long time coffee lover, I am also a lifetime long anxiety struggler


My anxiety has always been a struggle, but up until 3 weeks ago, I didn’t realize (or didn’t want to admit) that my coffee habit had anything to do with it.


Now let’s be clear, I’m not saying that Coffee was the *cause of my anxiety, but that it contributed to it. 


For a while now, I had been noticing a trend: my anxiety seemed to be worse after drinking coffee. At first, I thought perhaps I didn’t have enough food in me, so I began eating with my coffee. Nothing changed.


So I tried giving up coffee for a day.


And I noticed something. 


Though my anxiety was still there, I didn’t have the racing thoughts, tight chested, heart thumping out of my chest anxiety that I was used to fighting.


I wanted it to be a fluke, so I tried again.


Same Result. My anxiety was there, but it was more subtle and easier to manage.


So on Day 3, I had my usual morning cup. This time, I was a jittery, anxious mess. So I went 2 more days without drinking any. 


My next cup, gave me a raging headache so quickly I couldn’t even finish it.


That had never happened to me before. It was like my body was saying “Don’t you dare go back, I like it so much better this way.” 


And so here we are, 3 weeks later, and I’ve accidentally given up coffee. 


I have had it once since the raging headache, hoping desperately something had changed. It hadn’t. My body is still anti-coffee. But it’s been easier than I thought it would be. I have re-discovered my love for hot tea and found a way to replace the energy I desperately sought from the caffeine. 


Don’t get me wrong, I still miss my coffee. It was like a warm blanket on a chilly Autumn afternoon. And yes, I’ve tried Decaf, but it’s just not the same.


So while I hope that someday, I can return to enjoying my hot morning cup, I can’t deny that life is much more peaceful when I don’t have my mind and body running a hundred miles a minute. And that I don’t miss a bit. 


Here's the Full Story:


If you liked this post, Check out this post on Identifying and Eliminating Triggers to Take Back Your Peace of Mind!


When Your Spouse Doesn't Do the Dishes . . . And Other Annoying Things in Marriage

When Your Spouse Doesn't Do the Dishes . . . And Other Annoying Things in Marriage

I’m convinced that one of the hardest things about marriage is not allowing the “small stuff” to get to you. 


A sock on the floor, a chore left undone, not being 100% present in the conversation, in the grand scheme of things, they are all pretty minor. But, when we allow them to compound, they can become a bitter root that tears up the whole foundation.


So what do we do about these small irritations??


Here’s 3 things Ryan and I have learned when it comes to sweating the small stuff:


1. If it bothers you, mention it.


It can be so easy to think “it’s not that big a deal” or “it’s not worth mentioning.” And while our mind may (and even rightfully) tell us it’s not that big of a deal, if it’s enough to sit like a grain of sand in an oyster and irritate us, it’s worth mentioning, because unlike an oyster, the result isn’t a pearl.


One thing I will throw in here though, is mentioning it at the right time. Mid-irritation is rarely the right time to bring things up. Another no-no is when you spouse is already irritated with something else. If at all possible, wait until both parties are relatively free of other stressors. But don’t wait too long either. Within 24hrs or before bed is generally the rule we keep.


2. Humility is Key


As human beings, we are naturally defensive creatures. Recognize that approaching your spouse with an irritation will likely trigger a defensive response. Ryan and I have learned one of the best ways to combat this is to use language like “This made me feel” rather than language that assumes your spouse’s motivation. 


Sometimes your spouse will argue that their motivation or intent was not what you believed it to be. In those times, it is not our job to correct them, but to trust that they are being truthful in their intent, and it is our job to work together to assure that we are on the same page moving forward. Which brings me to Number 3 . . .


3. Recognize you share the same goal


I cannot stress this enough. 


At the end of the day, both spouses have to operate from the belief that these conversations are necessary and that both parties share the the ultimate goal of a healthy and Joy-filled marriage. When you trust that your spouse is coming from a place of pure intention, it changes the way you communicate.


If you like videos and want to see Ryan and I in Action, check out this 10min unscripted video of us chatting about this very subject!



Identifying and Eliminating Triggers to Take Back Your Peace of Mind

Identifying and Eliminating Triggers to Take Back Your Peace of Mind

Have you ever stopped to consider why we as a society feel almost Perpetually OVERWHELMED?


I’ll argue for a moment that part of it, has to do with the fact that we are Constantly Triggered. And many times, we don’t even know it’s happening. All we know is that we were having a somewhat good day and now, almost suddenly, we are anxious, tense, and irritable. 


Living in a world where we are constantly triggered is EXHAUSTING


Here are some ways I combat this and TAKE BACK MY PEACE OF MIND.


STEP 1: IDENTIFY


Before eliminating triggers, we must first identify them. The simplest way I’ve found to do this is by taking a moment when I notice I’m stressed/irritable/overwhelmed to pinpoint when it happened. 


Was I in a relatively good mood 10min ago, if so, what happened in the last 10min? Did I scroll facebook? Receive a phone call or text? Hear a loud noise outside? 


Make a mental note (or write it down if you’re the journaling type) and keep an eye out for patterns. 


STEP 2: ELIMINATE


Once you know what a particular trigger is, it’s time to Eliminate. Now this is often easier said than done. And it usually takes a LOT of discipline. 


Sometimes, this means deleting an app, turning off notifications, or ultilizing the “unfollow” button. 


Not every trigger is easy to eliminate, there are certain triggers we don’t have control over (hellooo Tiny Humans!), so we may need to get creative or else find ways to help us COPE.


STEP 3: COPING


There is a lot that can be said about this and like Triggers, everyone’s means of Coping look different. 


What is most important is that we find ways to cope that are both HEALTHY and EASILY SUSTAINABLE. For example, If you way of coping is taking a bath, while that may be healthy, it may not be easily sustainable if you’re triggered in public, or at a time when you can’t slip away. 


Your Peace of Mind is in YOUR HANDS.


If you’re interested in more encouragement, make sure to follow me on Instagram: Intentionally_AlisonStrange

4 Simple Habits I Practice Daily for Mental Health

4 Simple Habits I Practice Daily for Mental Health


Have you figured out yet that I’m a huge fan of “simple!?” 


If something is too complicated or takes too much time, I just won’t keep it up. 


So, in my quest for Quick and Uncomplicated, I’ve come up with 4 personal habits of mental health that are so Simple, I’ve been able to keep them up even amidst an out-of-state move.


1. 5 Minute Morning Stretch


Hello, exercise that doesn’t really feel like exercise! I rarely have time for formal exercise (not to mention I despise most types), but one thing that gets my body moving, looses up my muscles, calms my breathing, and sets me off on the right track for the day is a simple 5 minute morning stretch. Sometimes it’s in the quiet of the morning by myself, most of the time its with my 1 1/2 hanging on me and my 3 year old demanding food. It’s all good.


2. Conscious Language

    

Ok, this one I’ll admit took me a while to actually try because it sounded way too “out there” but I’m kicking myself now for not starting it sooner. The fact of the matter is that our brain is a powerful tool and if we spend a majority of the time wiring our brain to complain and sulk, that’s what we are going to do. Taking the time to re-wire our brains by consciously thinking (and even better speaking) things that are hopeful, positive, and optimistic can help rewire our brains so it becomes 2nd nature. 


3. Deep Breaths


Taking deep breaths slows down our heart rate and blood pressure which is vital when the cortisol is pumping and we just can’t seem to slow down. My favorite way to do this is accompanied by a “scent tent” with a drop of essential oil. Basically, I put a drop of calming oil in my hands, rub them together, cup them over my nose and mouth and take 3 deep breaths in and out. It takes less than 30seconds and can completely reset my mood/mindset.


4. Cuddle


Physical touch is important, especially if you are like me and it’s one of your love languages. Never underestimate the power of a quick cuddle with your partner, child, or pet!



If you liked this post, make sure to follow me on Instagram at Intentionally_AlisonStrange

    

 
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