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7 In health/ wellness

How to remember to do self breast exams

How to remember to do self breast exams

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. We all know someone who has been effected by Breast Cancer. According to the CDC, Breast Cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the United States. Regular and routine Breast Cancer screening is the best way for early detection and developing a treatment plan. Scroll down for my free printable reminder to do your monthly self breast exams.

Who should be screened annually for Breast Cancer?

Women ages 45 and older should get a mammogram every year. If you have a family history of breast cancer, you can talk to your provider about early screening before age 45.

All women should do monthly self breast exams to check for any changes in your breast tissue or appearance. If you notice any changes, tell your provider right away.

How to remember to do self breast exams, breast cancer

What are the symptoms of Breast Cancer?

  • a change in size or outline of breasts, especially with arm movement.
  • any puckering, dimpling or redness of skin.
  • Any changes in your nipple, if it has become pulled in, changes shape, discharge, bleeding or if the skin has become dry or flaky.
  • any lumps or swelling in your breast that feels different from the other.
  • any lumps or swelling near your armpits or collarbone.

Monthly self breast exams

monthly self breast exams

How to remember to do self breast exams

Monthly self breast exams are important for getting used to how your breasts normally look or feel. This will help you better recognize any changes if they occur.

I will admit, when it comes to doing monthly self breast exams, I don’t always remember (nurses make the worst patients). When I do perform my self breast exams, it’s usually in the shower. I had the idea to make a little shower card for myself to help me remember to regularly check my breasts. I printed this little graphic out, laminated it and hang it in my shower so that I see it every morning.

How to remember to do self breast exams

I’ve created a free printable so that you can have your own to remember to do your self breast exams!

Click here to download your free reminder to do your self breast exams

And if you haven’t already, here is your reminder to have your annual check-up! Stay healthy ladies and save the ta-tas!

For more health related posts, check out

Postpartum Anxiety/Depression

8 Tips for preparing for your c-section and recovery


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How to remember to do self breast exams

How to remember to do self breast exams

0 In mental health/ self care/ wellness

10 Journal Prompts for Self Discovery and Reflection

10 journal prompts for self discovery

Recently, I started journaling. I have always enjoyed writing and for me, putting my thoughts to paper has been great for self reflection, goal setting, and overall mental health. I’m sharing some easy ways to get started journaling and 10 journal prompts for self discovery and reflection.

Why journal?

Writing in a journal has been shown to be an effective way to organize one’s thoughts and clear the mental clutter. Given the fact that we have been living in a pandemic, social distancing, homeschooling, working from home, etc. many of us are feeling the stress and burnout.

Journaling can be a great resource for helping one recognize their feelings if they tend to bury them (ahem, me!), cope with anxiety or depression and aid in personal development and setting goals. It’s a safe space where you can have a little check in with yourself daily and may also be useful in helping recognize any patterns.

Tips to get started

1.) Get a journal. You don’t need anything fancy, a simple notebook is just fine or you can choose from several pretty ones on Amazon.

2.) Write! You can start with just brain dumping where you basically just write whatever is on your mind. For me, I sometimes find that blank page intimidating and I like to start with some journal prompts. (See below). However you start, just write.

3.) Be consistent. Make it a habit . Try to do it at the same time each day. And if you a miss a day, or 2 or 5, don’t beat yourself up. Just pick up the pen and write again. Eventually, the more you do it, it will become second nature.

4.) Make it your own. You can draw, add photos, do whatever you want. It’s just for you. The main thing is to be honest with yourself.


Here are 10 journal prompts for self discovery and reflection


1.) What are my top strengths?

2.) What is something I thought I couldn’t do but did anyway?

3.) What does my ideal life look like? How can I achieve it?

4.) Top 5 short and long term goals.

5.) Write about something that’s been weighing heavy on you or causing worry.

6.) What made me feel good today?

7.) If my body could talk it would say…

8.) Write a list – bucket list, books you want to read, places you want to visit, etc.

9.)How do you feel right now? Why do you think you feel that way?

10.) What’s something I need to let go of that’s holding me back?



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10 journal prompts for self discovery and reflection



1 In mental health/ self care/ wellness

10 Ways to love yourself

10 ways to love yourself

Around Valentine’s Day we shower our significant others and our kids with love but it’s important to show yourself love too! And self love is important every day, not just Valentine’s Day. As women I think it’s natural for us to nurture others and so often we forget about numero uno – ourselves.

Here are 10 Ways to love yourself:


  1. Buy yourself flowers – when was the last time you bought yourself flowers just because? It’s an instant mood boost!
  2. Write yourself a love letter – What are some things you love about yourself? Write them all down whether it be on a list or in a journal. Read that to yourself every day.
  3. Treat yourself to a spa day – whether it’s going to an actual spa or giving yourself a few treatments at home. Make yourself feel pampered.
  4. Silence the inner critic – I think this is a hard one because naturally we are all so critical of ourselves. But it leads to feelings of shame. Instead, talk to yourself like you would talk to your friend. Would you tell your friend her thighs looked big? Probably not, so don’t say it to yourself. Love yourself in your current state for who you are.
  5. Find a passion project and pursue it – What sets your soul on fire? Do you love writing? Are you crafty? Find a hobby and practice it regularly.
  6. Treat your body well – nourish it with good foods and water. One of the things I frequently tell myself “you are not a garbage disposal”. I hate to see food go to waste and often my lunch looks like me leaning over the counter shoveling my kid’s leftovers in my mouth. Make yourself a nice nutritious meal, serve it on a nice plate or bowl and sit down and enjoy it, actually taste it. Move your body daily.
  7. Go inward – When was the last time you sat somewhere alone and in the quiet? It can be a pretty powerful thing. This is a good way to practice slowing down. Recognize what feelings come.
  8. Do your hair and makeup just because – Even if you’re not going anywhere. When you look good, you feel good!
  9. Take a nap – Give yourself time to recharge the batteries without any judgment.
  10. Shorten your “to-do” list – We all have lists a mile long of things we need to do. Instead, write down 3 “have-tos”, or things that must get done that day. Accomplish those and then give yourself grace and allow time for relaxation or fun.


What are some ways you show yourself love?


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10 ways to practice self love

6 In health/ wellness

I was suffering from Postpartum Depression and Anxiety and didn’t realize it

I was suffering from postpartum anxiety and didnt know it

I still feel the need to defend my postpartum anxiety.  After a three day long induction process, an emergent c-section and breastfeeding issues, the first few weeks were no walk in the park. I wasn’t sleeping (but what new mom does?), there were lots of tears and constant worrying.  I dreaded when the days would turn into night because I would spend the entire night watching my son obsessively, fearing he would stop breathing in his sleep. I had no interest in holding him and I would cry every time I had to breastfeed him because I absolutely hated it but I chalked it all up to the baby blues and being new at this motherhood thing.

It was at my two week check up that I realized I was suffering from postpartum anxiety and depression.  My sister came over to watch the baby so that I could go to my appointment and I remember feeling so relieved for the break from the constant breastfeeding and pumping. I broke down in tears in the car to my husband. This was supposed to be such a joyous, happy time. After going through infertility I was over the moon when I found out I was pregnant yet here I was thinking “What have I done? I hate being a mother. I don’t have this immediate love for my baby like everyone else does, I’m not cut out for this. What is wrong with me?”  I made the difficult decision to stop breastfeeding and once I went back to work I started feeling like my old self again.

10 months postpartum and the demons crept in again, this time worse than ever. I felt like things were spiraling, I had lost control of everything and I literally wanted to escape my body. I walked around in a fog and felt so selfish for what I was feeling. “What do I have to be so depressed about? I have a beautiful, healthy family I should feel grateful.”  I felt shameful for the way I was acting but I had no control over it. I wished I could feel happiness when my son smiled at me. I remember the day I was driving to get my hair done and I felt like I was having a heart attack. My heart was beating out of my ribcage, my arms and hands were all tingling, my lips were numb and it felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest.  I pulled into the urgent care that was in the same parking lot as my hairdresser, convinced I was having a cardiac event. I am a nurse after all.  I can recognize the difference between postpartum anxiety, panic attacks and a heart attack when I see it.

Well I was wrong. The thing is postpartum depression and anxiety looks different on everyone.  Depression doesn’t always look like an unkept, person who hasn’t slept or eaten in weeks.  Anxiety doesn’t always look like fear or panic attacks.  Successful, put together people can suffer in silence as we’ve recently seen in the tragic cases of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Mental illness doesn’t discriminate.

I’ve learned there is nothing wrong with reaching out and asking for help from family or friends, going to talk to a counselor, or taking something to help ease your anxiety or depression.  You are not illogical in what you are feeling and you are not “burdening others with your problems.”  I wish it didn’t feel so embarrassing and shameful and I hope that one day it won’t. So until then I will keep sharing my story and I hope that I can encourage you to reach out to someone you trust and ask for help.

(For more information on ways to cope with postpartum depression and anxiety check out this article I wrote for Consumer Health Digest.)


For more health/wellness related posts check out

How to remember to do self breast exams

8 tips for preparing for your c-section and recovery