There Will Be Hard Days…

“You have to remember that the hard days are what make you stronger. The bad days make you realize what a good day is. If you never had any bad days, you would never have that sense of accomplishment!” – Aly Raisman

Today was a hard day.  I’m sure that it was a hard day for many of you because there will be hard days.  Some days it is as if you wake up to a universal conspiratorial plot to decimate every part of your life.  Even with the universe conspiring against you, you have to make the decision whether you are going to show up or cover your head and stay in bed.  It started last night just as I was going to bed; I have to walk around the front of our bed to the opposite side to get into bed and just as I walked around there was this BIG spider staring me down.  If you know me, you know I HATE spiders.  They give me the ultimate “heebie jeebies” and just writing this I feel icky.  I was faced with the dilemma: do I kill the spider, or do I just walk out the room and sleep on the sofa because my husband was at work?  When I tell you, it sat there and watched me as I cringed and gave myself the biggest pep talk of my life to end it’s life…it STARED ME DOWN.  I mustered every ounce of bravery within, heart beating out of my chest like one of those cartoon characters as I wondered if it was going to pounce or send out a signal for reinforcements when I brought the slipper down on it.  I was so scared and was just close enough to assassinate this invader of my space, but I was far enough away to pull or strain some muscle in my side as I did the deed.  I cleaned the corpse and went to bed.

Wait, that’s not all. At 3 am it sounded as though someone was breaking into my house. As a certified gun owner, I picked up the hammer…an actual hammer that you nail things with to go investigate. The culprit, my 6 year old playing in his room! I told him sternly to go to bed, and back to bed I went. I put him to bed at 9pm and he was asleep before the spider incident. Dad later reported he was awake at 5 am when he came in from work, so that gives you an idea of how school transpired today. My flood insurance dropped me after (1) claim on my rental property, so while trying to teach a cranky 6 year old, I’m tag teaming with dad on phone calls trying to find a replacement before the expiration date. Emails were constant, I had deadlines for other things on my list and life was beating me down hard. Oh yeah, because of the whole arachnid incident and 3am fiasco my sleep was not very peaceful so today was a three cup of coffee type of day. I called myself punishing my son for his lack of productivity and sleep, but I thought about it and realized I was risking my sanity so I allowed him a limited amount of video game time, early bath, and when I put you to bed tonight it means GO TO SLEEP.

Today was definitely a day where I could have covered my head and stayed in bed, but what good would that do? All the stuff I got accomplished today would have been waiting for me tomorrow – only doubled. Breaks are deserved and they are allowed, but schedule them accordingly. So when you feel that hard day coming on, find the positive somewhere. Remind yourself that it is just temporary, tomorrow is a brand new day with new opportunities. Talk with a friend – my lack of sleep and eight legged freak may be nothing in comparison to someone in need of a listening ear. Turn up the music and go for a ride. I had to go to the pharmacy this evening and I drove through, turned up my music and took a 30 minute drive all by myself. Assume control, do you know what that means? You are in control even when you think you aren’t. Your life is ALWAYS under your control no matter what your circumstances of the day may be. The question you have to ask yourself is, are you going to control the day or let it control you? There will be hard days, but they will not last forever. That my friends is the comfort in hard days.

Dear Mama’s, Let’s Stop the Mom Shaming!

Mother’s are the flowers in the garden of life. — Thomas Fuller

“Having kids – the responsibility of rearing good, kind, ethical, responsible human beings – is the biggest job anyone can embark on.” – Maria Shriver

Being a mother is one of the most rewarding things a woman can ever experience.  It is also one of the hardest things we go through in life as well.  From the time we learn that we are carrying a life inside of us until the moment we see them face to face, there is a constant worry.  If that isn’t enough, we worry even more once they are here because we never know if we are doing the right thing, and may constantly question and second guess every decision we make for them.  When I was pregnant with my youngest, eleven years after the first I was nervous.  I was older, I’d experienced some health issues that I hadn’t with my first child and was not sure how it would affect my pregnancy.  I decided to join an expectant mom’s group for the month that my baby was due.  Let me tell you about this group – they are some amazing women from different backgrounds of different ages, and our kids – who were not even born yet is what brought us all together.  Six years later and we still communicate, send gifts, letters, texts, birthday cards, and support even when our own families don’t.  This is a true example of a support group.

Not everyone is lucky to find such an amazing and diverse group of women. We don’t “mom shame” either. Speaking with someone today made me realize how often people, women, mom shame without even realizing what they are doing. I’ve noticed in this “social media” age, mom shaming is much more prevalent than it once was. Or is it just more accessible? What is mom shaming? It is when a fellow mom criticizes, degrades, or gives their unsolicited advice to another mom for her choices in parenting because that’s not “how they would do it.” Sometimes it may be a friend who comes over to the house and decides that what you feed your child is unacceptable, how you handle your child is unacceptable, or you should just do it like they do it. It can even be someone who knows not one thing about you – a complete stranger. Our society has created ideas and certain norms for how parents should parent, but no one knows that except you. You know your child better than anyone else because they were once that little bean growing inside of you. The only person who knows what your heartbeat sounds like from the inside. In essence, an extension of you.

This is a plea to mom’s everywhere, let’s stop mom shaming. We have to band together and support the differences that make us unique and make our children unique. If we all raised our children the same, we would be raising an army of robots with no ability to independently think. What you think is problematic may be the perfect solution for me and vice versa. As I said earlier, we start this job already in a state of constant and instantaneous worry – why would you, as another mother, want to put someone through that headspace where they’re once again questioning their choices. My hope is that we could all band together and create a “Universal Mom’s Group.” Our slogan would be, “Birth may be pain, but we don’t mom – shame!” That is just me and my wishful thinking. I do believe that before we critique another mother’s parenting style and skills, we should take a moment and think; how would I feel if someone told me this?

Knowing that mom shaming is a problem should encourage all of us to not participate in it. Times are hard enough with all the decisions we’ve had to make over the last several months, the limited amount of time women get to themselves; especially as a mother, and the fear of the unknown. What is known is that words are powerful, and once you release them, they are out there and will not return void. Choose your criticism carefully, and know that what another mom is going through may not be what you are going through. Treat each other respectfully, ask how they are doing, be inquisitive without being nosy – show you care. If you are reading this and you are in my motherhood support group, thank you. Thank you for your support, your judgement free advice, and for being the great group of women you are. To all the good moms that I know who support other moms – and I know a lot who do, thank you too for showing women can support each other in one of the most stressful, worry-filled areas of our lives. Non critical moms are the real MVPs!!💋💋

The Most Dangerous Gang

I am in a gang.  A notorious gang.  One that has crossed international borders and consists of millions of members.  We don’t traffic in any illegal substances, the only drugs we push are vitamins and the remedy for the common cold and flu on occasion.  As one of the leaders of said gang – I DON’T RUN ANYTHING…the lackeys do, also known as “the children!”  If you think about motherhood, it is simply a gang.  Orders are given, sometimes they are accepted and sometimes they are ignored, no one gets whacked, but the leader eventually wants a new identity and witness protection.  I realized the ruthlessness of my gang today after 5 months of quarantine with them and almost 17 years of running this show.  I stood in the shower, I couldn’t cry, couldn’t scream, all I could do was stand there and hold myself up against the tiles while letting the water beat the crap out of me.  I literally had to water board myself!  It is crazy that your children have driven you to the point of self torture!

Make no mistake; I love my children and I want to spend as much time with them as I can, but I really started losing it today and my daughter goes, “You need a spa day!” No honey, I need a weekend away, by myself, where I can lay in a bed and order room service and not answer to the word “MOMMY!”  Once upon a time, we’ll say January and February 2020 B.C (Before Covid) my children would get up in the mornings and get dressed and go to a place called school.  Those 8 hours were mine!  I could peacefully get things accomplished, I could carve out time for myself, my grocery bill was significantly cheaper, and I was supposed to be less stressed when we moved back home – not more.   After months of living in around 800 square feet while our home was ‘flood renovated” I was ready to pull out my hair and take a long walk off a short pier.  Quarantine with the “Dos Loco Martins” has me feeling a different kind of crazy.  Most days it’s welcome to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, the dog is Nurse Ratchet and the inmates are running the asylum.

Have you ever seen the movie, Analyze This with Robert De Niro? I’m like his character in the movie in the gang I run. I am not ruthless like Paul Vitti, but you may find me having an anxiety attack, crying for no reason, and generally having a hard time. Unlike De Niro’s character, I am not afraid to talk to my doctor and I may need a slight increase on my anxiety medication dosage. My gang is probably similar to your gang if you are reading this. They wake up everyday with a point to prove: she thinks she is the leader of this merry band of misfits, but boy is she mistaken. Regardless of my anxiety and my desire to run, my band of misfits are also my reasons I keep going, I don’t give up, and why I don’t run! My tears and anxiety are temporary and so are my children’s childhoods.

On a serious note, I can talk about my anxiety and how and what makes me feel the way I do because I regularly pray, meditate, and speak with healthcare professionals. If you know of anyone in trouble or in need of professional help, please encourage them to get the help they need. 💋💋

I Don’t Know If I’ll Be Alright…

Yesterday I spent most of the day doing a whole lot of nothing because last week was both draining physically and mentally; and to be honest – emotionally too.  If you’ve been reading my posts, you know that I also started the homeschool journey with my 6 year old son.  The same week, my husband went back to work after being off since February from having surgery and rehabbing.  We were all getting back into a schedule and acclimating to our old-new normal.  I got up to cook yesterday evening around 4, my daughter’s favorite; chicken spaghetti.  There is Fettuccini Alfredo and then there is chicken spaghetti.  She likes them both, but my chicken spaghetti is only second to my lasagna.

I was standing at the counter slicing hot chicken to add to my cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, rotel, and sliced mushroom mixture. (Can you picture it yet?). We were just conversing and she was saying how she loves my chicken spaghetti, something she does almost every time I cook it.  We started to talk about other things as well, school and where her friends were thinking of going to college, etc.  It hit me like a ton of bricks,  my daughter is graduating in less than a year from high school.  Yes, I know I discussed this before but I thought what if she decides to go away for school?  I’m that worrying mom.  I’m the mom that makes her daughter text pictures with her text to let me know she makes it to her destination.  I hate to be that way because I ran the streets like Usain Bolt when I was her age.  However, things were quite different when I was her age too.  I was either with my besties from church, my bestie from almost birth, or my brother.  Now, by the time I was her age I did have a boyfriend and she does too…I married my boyfriend from then.  I say this to say, if she changes her mind to not stay home for school, I may follow her to college.  I think I will be too worried about her safety and whether she made it to her destination and back.  I watch too many real crime shows where the college co-ed doesn’t make it home.

I want her to go out and experience life.  I do and I don’t want to keep her in a bubble.  I would like for her to see the world and experience life.  I don’t want her to follow my path.  There is nothing wrong with my path because it was mine to take.  I want her to have fun, finish school, establish herself and allow everything to fall into place once that is done.  If a detour comes, I’m going to be there every step of the way because that it was a good parent is supposed to do.  Support, love and care for their children under any and all circumstances.  I’ve seen people support their children when they’ve done wrong and wondered how can you still support him/her? This was before I had a child of my own, and now that I have my own children – I understand.  As a parent you love them unconditionally, but you can still stand against what they do and let them know they have to “stand accused.”  I pray daily that I am raising my children right and I will never be in that position.  I pray that when I fuss at my daughter about something she knows she should have done she will not resent me.  I pray that my children understand when I talk to them in my “mom voice” and take their things away when need be, I still love them unconditionally.  So no, I don’t know if I will be alright.  Who knew that 17 years would fly by so quickly?  I have regrets along those 17 years; I regret that I didn’t put her in dance as a young girl as much as I loved it.  I asked her, she said no and I left it at that.  We were talking the other day and she tells me, “I wish you would have put me in dance when I was younger.”  I regret not listening to myself and just doing it.  I hope she will not change her mind and stay home at our local university.  She can stay home, in her room, eat as much chicken spaghetti as she would like, with more freedom than she has now, and give her mom just a little more time.

To any parents reading this, time is the most precious thing we possess. One minute they’re in diapers and before you know it you are filling out college applications and crying yourself to sleep. Enjoy the time, all the time you can with your children and never take it for granted especially when they’re little because they really like you then. Once the hormones kick in, there are good and bad days and you never know what day is a good day. Will I be alright? Only time will tell…

What Is It You Do?

#momlife

I love the show Everybody Loves Raymond. It makes me think that if I lived across the street from my in-laws, that’s how life would be. I’m certain that I would not be as patient with my mother in law as Debra is with Marie because my mother in law is Marie to the 25th power. My father in law is more laid back than Frank and my husband is now an only child. I said that to say, one of my favorite episodes is when the twins are in preschool and their teacher wants to hold them back from going to kindergarten. After a parent/teacher conference the Barone’s are in bed asleep later that night – well Debra is and Ray pinches her awake. He’s upset that she’s not concerned about the boys not moving forward to Kindergarten and they begin to have their normal back and forth. She gives him a little dig, “Maybe if you were home more often, Michael would know how to cut paper!” His response, “You’re home all day, what do you do?” He realized as soon as he said what he said he completely made a ‘grave mistake.’ He hurriedly said “I’M SORRY!” That’s right you’re sorry, she reiterated. NEVER, I repeat – NEVER ask a stay at home mom what she does all day! I thought that things were busy before starting homeschool, but the busyness has increased ten fold. I have a shift working husband, a young child and a high school senior. I cook almost daily or at least enough for two days at a time. When I’m exhausted I use the crockpot and when my husband says: “Let’s just order something or pick up something,” I could dance all the way to the restaurant. My home is almost 3000 square feet and you can imagine what it takes to keep it clean. The constant dusting and mopping because the floors are the wood looking tile that shows everything. I sweep twice a day and we are not going to discuss laundry. What do I do all day? Work and think about all the shit I have to do the next day and the day after that. Guess what I did today? I sat in the recliner, scrolled social media, read, listened to music, watched my children play fight, watched my husband sleep across the room from me in the other recliner until he said he was going to lay across the bed. Also known as…absolutely nothing. I’m not cooking because there are ample amounts of leftovers and a steak that has marinated for 5 days in the fridge that can be split between 3 people. Hit broil on the oven, place steak in cast iron skillet and cook until level of doneness is achieved. (These are the meals they get after or while I’m working my tail off.)

Spaghetti with Meat-sauce & Salad and Toast
Okra Stew

Being a mother is busy, it’s messy, it’s sadness, it’s happiness, it’s elation and all sorts of other emotions. Add in the fact that you are a woman and oftentimes a wife along with it and BOOM, it’s a series of emotions and explosions.  You never know if you are giving enough time to you or them and somewhere; someone or something suffers.  This year is going to be a series of explosions and emotions because my baby girl, my first born, the one that taught me to be a mother and gave me the “on the job training” is graduating!  Over the years she and I have been mother and daughter, besties, laughing buddies, make up sharers, teacher and student.  Now, I have to make sure she has the best opportunity that is out there for her post high school education.  We have to work on college essays, SAT – which she was supposed to take in March and well PANDEMIC, applications for colleges and scholarships as well as keeping her grades at an A average for her to graduate with honors.  The last part, I would be proud of her even if she didn’t.  She is supposed to have a 4.0 or higher to graduate with honors…she has a 3.91.  You know what Mama Bear did, she figured out exactly what grades she needed to make with her current GPA and presented it to her daughter.  I explicitly told her that there wasn’t any pressure, because it isn’t.  If she wants to be an honor graduate that is her decision.  She has to make the decision to work hard and not get “senioritis” and to continue to work as hard as she has the last three years.  We’ve paid for college already, (she goes to private school) she has to do her part in making sure she secures a scholarship, which I know she is more than capable of doing.  She’s a member of the National Society of High School Scholars, she is a member of several clubs at her school, and a talented artist.  She believes in social justice which is a big part of her school’s motto.  I think with the protest during the past months, we’ve had conversations with our children prematurely or because they started the conversations themselves.  Between the state of our country and the uncertainty with this pandemic I am grateful that she has chosen to go to college in our city which has one of the best Engineering programs in the country.  My hope is that come graduation, she can have a normal graduation that doesn’t require social distancing and limited amounts of people because we have a BIG extended family.

My daughter’s painting.

What is it I do? So much, that at the end of the day I am so tired and exhausted that I can’t shut my mind off which leads to inability to actually sleep! Some days I completely shutdown as soon as my head hits the pillow. However, there are at least 2/7 days where I’m up writing things down or reading just to shut everything else out. Hey, I’m a WOMAN and that is my super power which allows me to do what I do. My husband has never asked me that question since I have been a stay at home mom. I think he knows better, especially at this point in our lives when everything is in a state of constantly moving and when my feet hit the floor in the morning I morph into an octopus.

Week One Is A Wrap!

Well, I can honestly say that we completed week one of homeschooling with only a few tears and with very little frustration. I was scared going into this endeavor and I’m not going to lie, I’m still scared and a little apprehensive. I am not going to show my son that I am. I am going to approach each day with confidence just as I want him to, but I want you guys to know…I’m shaking in my boots here. Each day we went into our class, he approached it with a little more confidence than the day before. Day one was of course the worse because he wanted to see his old teacher who he never was able to say goodbye to, he wanted to be with his friends – who are now all scattered, and I don’t believe he wanted Mommy to be his teacher. Through it all, he continued to shine day after day. He proved that he retained some things, forgot some things and showed me he knew things beyond his age group. These first two weeks will be us getting acquainted with one another as teacher and student, learning where I need to put a greater effort in my teaching him, and my continued learning of the homeschooling process and how to approach it. Social media is an amazing avenue to meet a variety of people and I have met some amazing women who have chosen homeschool for their children. With the pandemic and having to make the decision whether or not to send your child to school in person has given these amazing women the opportunity to come together and educate the “newbies” or give refresher mini courses on the basics. When I say these women are amazing, it doesn’t do them any justice. They are all from different backgrounds, family dynamics, ex-teachers and just good old-fashioned humans helping other humans in the most difficult of times. I chose a motto for our class, actually two that we say everyday before we begin our work. (See picture below).

I interpret the first saying that no matter what, we are going to make sure everything we do is counted. The amount of work we do will be counted. The effort we put into the day, will be counted. We will be counted because every time we step into that room or any room in our home to have class we will work to make sure it counts. The second one means just what it says: You are amazing just the way you are! No one can make you feel any less, don’t allow anyone to make you feel any less, and if someone says any different tell them you are amazing just the way you are. After writing this, I’m not as apprehensive or scared as said I was initially because I am amazing just the way I am. I’m not going to allow self-doubt to seep in and ruin what can be the best year of my life, teaching my son. I missed a big gap of time with him right after he turned one because of a broken leg that required me to be immobilized and unable to do the things a mother does with her one year old. Maybe time is being kind and giving me those moments back. Maybe not those exact moments, but the ability to make something new with him, something that we can share for years to come.

If you are a teacher or homeschool parent and would love to share your knowledge, I am a well; waiting to be filled. Feel free to share whatever you think is helpful to this mom teaching on a Kindergarten – 1st grade level. 💋💋

I’m A Homeschool Teacher??

Reading Rug & Informational Posters

One thing I have learned in life is that no matter how much we plan – things can change in an instant. You cannot live a life well-lived if you’re constantly making contingency plans to accommodate your original contingency plan and on and on.  Where and when would find the time to enjoy life?  With that being said; this past year has been TUMULTUOUS!  When school started in the fall of 2019, we had great expectations. We would have an exciting and successful school year filled with football games, Kindergarten programs, Homecoming and Jr/Sr. Prom.  A month into the year we were hit by a tropical storm that flooded our home and our rental property for the second time in 3 years.  Living on the Gulf Coast of Texas makes us quite familiar with hurricanes and their offspring tropical storms and depressions which have proven to be even more devastating.  We would spend the next four months in a cramped apartment while our house was being repaired,  but we planned to make life as close to normal as possible for both of our children.  School was not closed as long as the last flood and things on the education front got back to normal fairly quickly.  Homecoming, football, and school programs continued and we attended – in between meeting contractors, picking paint, fixtures, tile and everything that comes with a renovation.  This was done while mom slowly descended into insanity and dad worked 12 hour shifts, overtime and descended into insanity somewhat quicker than I did.  The new year rolled around and moving home was becoming a reality. I was THRILLED! Hagrid had moved in upstairs from us and he would start his days at around 3am, most days I felt like Chicken Little and I thought the sky was falling.  When I finally ran into our upstairs neighbor, he was more the size of Harry Potter than Hagrid, but the sound of his feet said differently.  

The third Friday in January was officially “move home’ day. We had the apartment through the end of the month so we moved the major things and took our time with the rest. We were just happy to be home. We did everything as quickly as possible because dad was having surgery the first week of February and would be out of commission for a while. We begin to hear rumors of this novel virus and friends, family and classmates I know overseas started making their way back home to the states at an alarming rate. When the kids leave school for Spring Break in March, both of their schools alert us that they may not restart after the break for a while. Learning turned into Zoom meetings and Google hangouts until the year ended. My descent into insanity continued and it met anxiety and depression along the way.

Fast forward to July – Texas is a HOTSPOT, uncertainty is commonplace and all anyone is saying is, “Send the kids back to school, no matter what!” Yes, I agree that children need to be in school or in some sort of classroom setting, but at what cost?  I knew that my youngest would not be able to attend anyone’s school because he has severe allergies which compromises his immune response and I wasn’t prepared to take that risk by any means.  The studies surrounding how his group is affected were not concrete enough for me to be “good” with him in a class of 20 or more other children who generally are “germ carriers” once school begins anyone – any parent knows this.  I consulted people whom I deemed, “homeschool MVPs” to find the best way to approach my new found situation and job title.  They all said the same thing: make it fun.  Approach it according to his learning style. Don’t throw everything at him at once because you don’t have to.  Our Sensei, who homeschooled all 5 of her children and one is in law school and one I know attended an Ivy League University said to me, “Don’t move on from one thing until you know he’s got it!” Have class at the beach, the backyard, the park – you have full control and your classroom can be anywhere you want it to be.  I’ve read homeschool blogs, books and visited any teaching website that I could.  I wanted to be prepared because I know that his success depends on me and how well I can get him to comprehend each subject.  I then turned my spare bedroom into our formal classroom setting for the days we need to get serious and the days we take our learning on the road – we may take you with us.  Our entire house, well the living room and playroom may be our art room and gym, but we are going to succeed no matter where we are in the house or out in the wild. 

If you follow me on Instagram; you saw some of the process of me converting my spare bedroom into our official classroom. That meant giving up my spare bedroom that we planned to turn into a closet/office so I could move my desk out of the playroom which was being converted into the family room. So, now when we don’t have class I can shut the door and get some work done. The background work and putting work together was an arduous task. It’s not like I had a particular curriculum in mind, but wanted to pull from many. I had to find everything I was comfortable with teaching and what I knew he would consume without fail. Did I want to make it easy for him? Absolutely not. Did I want something challenging yet entertaining? That was my goal. Curriculum isn’t created to be entertaining but to be informative, but when homeschooling your child you want to create that ‘enchantment” as Julie Bogart explains in her book: “The Brave Learner.” Our curriculum will be one full of surprises, mystery, risk and adventure! He may find that his mom may come dressed as one of the characters in the books we read (one he really likes) and teach every subject using that book.

Again I say, the choice to homeschool was mine to make and I am grateful that I was in a position that I was able to make it.  We have two mottos that I chose and we will say them daily.  He will know these statements as well as he knows math, reading, spelling and other subjects because  I chose them for their importance.  The first is a statement from Albert Einstein, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”  The other one is from an unknown source and it is simple and meaningful: You’re AMAZING just the way YOU ARE!”  So be brave, be counted and be AMAZING just the way you are.  If you find yourself like me, having to decide  whether you have the capacity to homeschool your child…you do.  Do your homework, research, talk to as many people as you can and believe in yourself above all else.  I also urge you to remember that even well made plans fall apart, but be patient because in homeschool, winging it is what makes it fun from what I hear.

If you have any homeschool experience you would like to share, please do so. It is more than welcome. Follow me on Instagram @wife_woman_mother_ for more behind the scenes prep.

How To Keep Moving While Quarantined

For some of us it is week 2 or maybe 3 of quarantine …who knows at this point right?  What we do know is that we are all getting a little stir crazy and anxiety is setting in because infections are going up, deaths are going up and restrictions are becoming tighter.  If your child’s school hasn’t closed for the remainder of the year, you may have received notice today or some point this week extending the homeschooling protocol. My child’s teacher didn’t say anything about an extension, but she did set up a virtual classroom for my son’s kindergarten class after a week; last week they were officially on Spring Break.

So, how can you ease the quarantine blues?  So many businesses where you would normally go to relieve the stress and tension are closed such as gyms and spas – so my suggestion would be to bring it to where you are.  Of course it’s hard to do when everyone is in the house and you are never alone, but find the time…even if it requires an early night and an early rise to treat yourself to meditation and spa time or a good old sweat session before everyone wakes up. 

Although gyms are closed, there are several outlets offering free trial periods during this time of quarantine.  Not only is it good for the mind and spirit, but it is also good for the body and the immune system as well. Exercise improves your overall health and helps the body boost the immune system.  Physical activity can help to flush bacteria out of the lung and airways which may reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu or other illness.

What can you do to move your body? First off, go outside and soak up some good God – given vitamin D! Walking, bike riding or just getting some fresh air can change the way you feel.  Even introverts like myself feel the walls closing in from time to time and need to feel the sun on my skin and see the natural landscapes. I’m upset right now because my yard guy hasn’t come and my grass needs to be cut something awful.  The way my allergies are set up at the moment…I just can’t do it and I really want to sit in my backyard and read.

Next, if someone calls you, don’t sit for the call unless you have to work at the computer.  Get up and move for the duration of the phone call. I know a lot of people don’t actually talk on the phone anymore, but with the working from home and families having to be in contact from afar I think there is less texting and more talking.  So while you’re talking get up and move.

The kids are home, take time throughout the day and drop the electronics and JUST DANCE!  Don’t yell at the kids, yell at ALEXA and tell her to GET THE PARTY STARTED! Dance until everyone is sweating and out of breath.  Switch it up. If you don’t have and Echo, turn on YouTube and find one of the million dance exercise videos you can jam to. You can move, sweat and have lots of fun while doing so.

If that doesn’t get you moving, the following Apps are offering free workouts from the comfort of your home:

  • Daily Burn – 60 day free trial. Normal cost $20/month
  • Tone it Up – 7 day free trial.
  • Beachbody – 14 free trial.
  • 7 minute workout – in app purchases
  • FitOn
  • Peloton App – 90 day free trial.  Aside from running and cycling you can find strength and yoga workouts which would normally cost $13/month.
  • Adidas Training by Runtastic (non premium membership)
  • Yoga for beginners. (Completely free)
  • Yoga Down Dog. (Free while COVID-19 is keeping people home per website.)
  • Obe Fitness (they normally have at least a 7 day trial available and fun workouts.  They even shout you out when you join a class!)
  • YouTube – there is an exercise video for everyone on there…happy hunting!

These are just some of the offerings to get your blood pumping and get your body releasing endorphins to make you feel good, happy and forget the world outside your window at least for 7 minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes or however long you decide to move your body.  Double check all offerings for the fine print to make sure you’re not charged if you wish not to keep them. We are all in this together all over the world. I hope this can help ease some of the tension and anxiety we may be feeling at this time.  

If you know of any other sites, apps or ideas, please leave a comment!💋💋

Don’t Stress The Situation

Another week, another round of closures, another round of quarantines.  In my lifetime, I never thought I would see the day that entire cities were coming to a complete shutdown because of a virus – it’s something out of a movie.  At this point, you can’t even see a movie unless you are watching from home. In my city, all children under the age of 18 are under a 24 hour curfew unless they are with a parent to keep them from grouping with their friends and possibly contracting or spreading the novel COVID-19.

This is a stressful time.  People are either away from their jobs because their jobs are shut down and they don’t know how they are going to pay their bills.  They are working from home, with their children who are home from school and still may be responsible for a school schedule. So, both parents and kids are working remotely which can create friction because the workload is that much heavier.  So what do we do in these unprecedented times and how do we stay the course?

First of all, none of this is your fault.  It is not your child’s fault, the school district’s fault or your job’s fault.  They are only doing what is best for you – their employee and your child – the student.  All this is being done in an effort to keep everyone safe, healthy, alive and to keep the virus from going further than it needs to go.  While it may be a slight upper respiratory infection or feel like an extreme case of the flu to some, to others it could mean life or death.

The important thing to remember during this time is to keep your stress and anxiety in check.  Stress can lower your immune system and make you more susceptible to viruses and other illnesses.  Stress hormones affect your respiratory and cardiovascular system, which are both taxed if you contract COVID-19 or the Coronavirus.  During a stressful response, you will begin to breathe faster in an attempt to distribute more oxygen rich blood to your body. Doing this will raise your blood pressure and if you are under stress for too long, your heart is working harder than it should be as well.  There are also the mental components of stress: depression, anxiety, intermittent explosive disorders and the inability to deal with people socially. I’m here to tell you, you can get through this without alienating your family, friends, and others during this difficult time.  

I know that some of us can’t leave our homes, but if you have to take a trip to your garage or your backyard to get some peace – do it.  We’re shut up with our thoughts and families and maybe the kids have had enough and they are fighting endlessly. Put in your earbuds and block it all out.  Make you a playlist of some of your favorite tunes that inspire, encourage or just make you feel good and tune out. Pick up a good book and allow the words to transport you to a different world.  When do you have time to read? When do you have time for much of anything? The world is on pause at the moment, so now is the time for you to take advantage and do some things you may have wanted to do.

  • Write that book you’ve been wanting to write.
  • Find workouts on YouTube…you don’t need a gym.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Clean out that closet.
  • Try that new recipe. (I’m baking bread for the first time).
  • Declutter all the unnecessary things in your home.
  • Read that stack of books that has been collecting dust.
  • Start that business plan so when the world comes off pause, you can start your business.
  • Start a podcast, people need to be entertained during these times.
  • Listen to the rain on a rainy day.
  • Do something that makes you happy!

You can make it through this quarantine with minimal stress and even doing things you like if you just try to avoid the negatives in the situation. Do your part, stay away from crowds, if you’re sick stay home, be patient with your children and spouses and take the time to meditate and/or pray. We all need a reset, this is our reset and I am confident we will be better for it. NO STRESS!💋💋

How do you plan to stay stress free during this time? Please share.