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self care

0 In Motherhood/ postpartum anxiety/ postpartum depression/ self care

My top 4 tips for tackling anxiety

4 tips for managing anxiety
This post is sponsored by Walgreens but all thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.

(Zip up hoodie from Mother Bee Maternity)

For years I have struggled with anxiety, long before becoming a mother.  My first experience with it was my senior year of college.  I woke up in the middle of the night and felt like I was being strangled.  My body was paralyzed and I couldn’t move.  I was absolutely terrified and didn’t realize then that it was in fact anxiety.  Once I became a mom, I was a constant bundle of nerves – Is he breathing? Is he eating enough? Am I spending enough quality time with him? What I thought were normal worries and concern snowballed into a giant panic attack when I was 10 months postpartum.

The thing about anxiety is that it’s a constant battle that ebbs and flows – some days are good, others are more challenging.  For the past two years I have been able to keep my anxiety in check with some helpful changes.

Here are my top 4 tips for tackling anxiety:

 

1.) Create a routine – Coming up with a daily routine helps diminish any feelings of anxiety. It’s something that is the same each day and you can come to depend on. Eating wholesome foods, getting some exercise, daily medication and a good night’s sleep are the four major components of my routine.  I make it a point and my self care to ensure that I don’t stray from my routine because if I do, it throws me out of whack.

I first went on anxiety medication when I was in nursing school. I remember at my appointment asking my doctor to prescribe me something, I felt alot of shame.  I wasn’t the best at remembering to take it, some days I would, others I would go 3-4 days without. Shortly after finishing school, and becoming acclimated with my new job, I felt better and took myself off of my medication.  Those feelings of panic and dread slowly started to creep in again. After I had my son, I went back on anxiety medication.  This time, I made it a priority to take my medication daily so that I could be my best self for him and my family.  And now Walgreens is making it easier to stay up to date on your medication adherence. Be sure to download the app to make filling your re-fills a whole lot easier http://bit.ly/redphone-wakeup.

2.) Don’t procrastinate -Whenever we have a lot to do, it’s normal to want to put things off. The thing is, procrastination makes you feel even more overwhelmed.  I like to use lists and write down all of the things I need to do that day. I try to tackle the more challenging things early in the morning when I’m at my best, crossing things off as I go. Not only does this help keep me organized, but I also feel like I’ve accomplished something.

 

3.) Breathe – mindful breathing or meditation is one of my favorite tips I learned in cognitive behavioral therapy. It’s easy to do and you can do it anywhere. Mindful breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, shutting off our “fight or flight response” when we’re stressed and telling our mind to “rest”. To practice mindful breathing:

  • Close your eyes and inhale through your nose for 4 seconds.
  • Hold that breath for 7 seconds.
  • Then slowly exhale for 8 seconds.

After a few cycles, I feel more relaxed and centered.

 

4.) Talk to someone – Whether you talk to a trusted family member or friend, or enlist the help of a counselor or therapist, talking to someone is very helpful. Not only do you feel like someone is listening, but it can also help you identify your triggers so that you know what things make you feel more anxious or stressed.

 

4 tips for managing anxiety

 

 

 

0 In beauty/ chemical free/ self care

The Best DIY Coffee Face Scrub

As a busy mom, the first step to my low key beauty regimen is a nice, glowing complexion.  This is the Best DIY Coffee Face Scrub recipe.  It combines my love of coffee with 3 easy natural ingredients for brighter skin.

The Best DIY Coffee Face Scrub

When it comes to my skincare and beauty regimen, I’m a low maintenance girl. My routine is usually a face scrub for some exfoliation, a moisturizer, a swipe of bronzer for some color, and maybe some mascara.  I love this DIY Coffee Face Scrub recipe.  It seriously works better than any other expensive product I’ve ever used.  The coffee contains antioxidants which works to help protect our skin from free radicals thereby increasing bloodflow, reducing fine lines and wrinkles and reversing the effects of UV damage from the sun. The sugar helps slough away any dead skin cells leaving behind fresh skin. And the coconut oil packs an extra punch of moisturizer as well as antimicrobial properties for any acne prone skin.

After a cold winter my skin’s been looking pretty dull and lackluster.  Rubbing on this DIY Coffee Face Scrub seriously felt like an energy shot for my skin!  And it left my skin looking so refreshed after, much like I look after drinking a cup of my favorite joe.

See recipe and directions below:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of ground coffee
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil

Directions:

  • In a bowl combine coffee and sugar mixing together.
  • Add in coconut oil, stirring well.
  • Apply a warm washcloth to your face for a few minutes (this helps to open your pores so it can drink up more of the coffee goodness reaping more of the benefits.)
  • Apply scrub mixture in circular motions, being careful not to get into your eyes or mouth.
  • Let sit for 15 minutes
  • Wash off with a warm washcloth
  • Store the rest in a mason jar in your bathroom or in a cool place.
The Best DIY Coffee Face Scrub
The Best DIY Coffee Face Scrub

There you have it! A quick, cheap and easy DIY Coffee Face Scrub recipe that will leave your skin looking and feeling like you just had an expensive treatment at the spa.  If you happen to try this recipe let me know how you like it! Have a great weekend!

0 In chemical free/ intentional living/ self care

4 Reasons You’ll love Float Therapy

self care

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Requiescent Float Center however all thoughts are my own. 

Last week I tried something totally new and hung out in a float tank at Requiescent Float Center in Ballston Spa.  If you haven’t heard of float therapy, it’s also referred to as sensory deprivation therapy. Basically you float in a dark tank of water filled over with 1,000 lbs of epsom salts and are forced to relax and shut out the outside world for awhile.

As someone who suffers from anxiety and is a constant worry wart, I have tried several cognitive behavioral techniques whenever I feel myself getting stressed.  I have to admit, when I saw the tank I was very skeptical, what was I going to do for an hour while I floated? I totally unplugged and it was the most relaxing experience I ever had.  Here are 4 reasons you will love float therapy:

1.) Eases sore, tense muscles – Thanks to the epsom salt, your body is totally weightless, taking pressure off of any tense or painful areas.  It also helps to promote circulation and reduce inflammation.  Many athletes swear by floating to help their muscles recover.  My body felt like jello afterwards.

2.) Detoxes the body -The magnesium and elements from the epsom salt are absorbed into the body and help draw out any toxins allowing your body to heal itself.

3.) Relaxation – It has been said that floating helps the brain get to the “theta state” which is a state of deep meditation and relaxation.  The first few minutes into my session I was beginning to think I was going to have a hard time shutting off my mind, but once I got into it, I completely got in the zone. It was the most relaxed I’ve been in a long long time.  I slept like a baby that night and felt much calmer for the next few days.

4.) Me time – This year one of my intentions was to practice self-care and make time for myself each day (read more about my intentions).  Once in the tank, it is dark, except for some twinkling lights on the ceiling that you can shut off if you choose. The temperature of the water and the air is the same temperature as your body and it is pure quiet.  So quiet in fact all I could hear was my own heartbeat.  I was totally in tune to my body and my thoughts.

Overall I had a great experience floating. If you haven’t tried it, I encourage you to check it out for yourself.  It’s a nice change of pace from all of the sensory overload we experience on a daily basis and a great way to get in touch with yourself.   Thanks for an awesome experience Eric at Requiescent! I will definitely be back!