Striving for Wellness

Striving for wellness…..It has been a struggle. And, I keep coming back to it….because, health and wellness is important to me.

Part of my struggle is I feel like I have to have the perfect situation to be able to move forward, when in reality, all I need to do is show up.

I need to show up to make healthier nutrition choices.

I need to show up to make healthier lifestyle choices…another round of Hulu…or get that workout in.

A couple of days ago…I half- way showed up.

I did half of a home workout, doing all of the moves half-way.

But, I was glad I did it…because I got my body moving…

And, for some reason…I was having a block…I was making excuses as to why I couldn’t do my home workouts.

And then…I was like…STOP. This is silly…so, I went and did it.

It wasn’t perfect..in fact…far from it…but I did it.

And you can too.

If you are waiting for the perfect situation, like I was…that moment is never going to come…you just have to jump in and do it.

Eventually, you will get where you want to be…but first, you have to start somewhere…

This time, as I jump back into my wellness journey…I want to keep a journal of it.

So, be on the look out for a daily Health and Wellness Journal. It’s mostly for accountability, for me…and a record of my journey…but hopefully, it can also be something for someone out there.

Let’s do this together!

Car Convos

When my oldest son started PreK4, it was the first time that he was at a school where I would not also be there.

It was harder on me than it was on him.

By this time, our bedtime routine was also getting harder. Making sure that I tucked in both boys, and listen to their stories from the day…or whatever they wanted to tell me…on top of bathtime, and brushing teeth…made for a verrry long bedtime routine. So, I was looking for ways to make our routine shorter. I started singing to them and stopped asking about their day at bedtime…and started asking about their day in the car.

For 2-3 years, it got increasingly harder to get my oldest to talk to me…about anything. This little 4-7 year old.

Then, I remembered an article I had read a couple of years before.

It talked about instead of asking “How was your day? What did you learn today?”

To ask this list of other questions.

So…I did that. For months, it felt like pulling teeth, getting him to talk to me.

He is a car rider, so every day, when he got in the car, I’d ask him “What was your favorite part of your day?”

Then, one day…I purposefully didn’t ask. He would screech, cry, not want to answer…so, one day…I just let it be…

(In a whiny voice) “Mom. You forgot to ask me about my day!”

We were half way home.

“No, son. Every day, you get upset with me when I ask…so, today I decided to take a break. Do you want to tell me about your day?”

“Yes”

“Ok. What was your favorite part of your day?”

That day unlocked a little piece of his heart.

He needed to know that I cared about his day, and he had grown accustomed to me asking.

So, for three years, every day, in the car, I’d ask. Some days, I’d get an answer. Some days, I’d get the dreaded screeches and whining. But, most days our car convos would branch into other things he would want to talk to me about.

Then we moved schools. And that felt like another unlocking moment. He loved where he was at, and he was a completely different kid.

Now, I greet him and his brother, every afternoon with “What was your favorite part of today?”

They love it. It’s something that has brought them closer. And it even gets them talking about their day to each other…

I just have to make sure they have a snack, first….because, you know….#hangry runs in the family.

Photo of the Day

Love this photo for a couple of reasons.

1. Silhouettes are fun.

2. At this moment, my little side kick is almost always at my side. I know that soon, she’ll be her daddy’s little girl and not long after she’ll want more to do with her friends than with us. So, I’m loving soaking up all the moments and all the pics.

Photo of the Day

Photography is one of my greatest passions….I love capturing stories and just love sharing the beauty of photography.

So…I’m going to start sharing a photo of the day.

Today’s photo of the day comes to you from one of my favorite spots. It’s brought to you by #iphonephotography (haha), because #momlife.

I love sitting by the river. It’s quiet. It’s peaceful. And it’s also one of my favorite places to sit and think.

It’s where ideas come to me.

And where I sit and talk with God.

Comment with one of your favorite places to just sit and be.

One Thing: Health and wellness/ Exercise

Background:

Growing up I liked junk food. It was good, and so I ate it.

In college, I’m pretty sure I ate 3 meals a day from the drive-thru. Don’t judge me. (Yup, I saw the gasp and horrified look in your eyes-haha) It was just so easy.

I also started thinking about the things that went into my body. Through classes and seeing all these recalls on products, my eyes were opened to the fact that all these things entering my body…may not be the best thing for me.

As we got married and starting having kids, we still went through the dive-thru some, but not as much.

When my oldest was about 1.5, we went and watched my brother-in-law run a half-marathon. He had also recently become a vegetarian, and then soon after, vegan. That weekend, my husband and I went home and decided to make some changes. We watched a documentary called “Forks Over Knives”. We, cold turkey, stopped eating meat. We gave away all the meat we had left over. And…we started running and hiking.

With my pregnancy with my second son, I was more anemic, more foggy brained, and had more postpartum depression. Just before I found out I was pregnant with him is when I had my last long run of 10+ miles. And to this day, I miss it.

Shortly after he was born, I found one of two health and wellness companies that I love.

Since then, I have been in and out of making healthy decisions for me and my family.

I’ve learned a lot.

And now, it’s time to move forward.

So, what did the process look like?

* For a solid year, I was making great choices and learning a lot about what it meant to support my body. We were running all.the.time. And, participating in races. But, in all honesty…I let it get to my head…I was a little too prideful.

* With the postpartum depression, I had to put all my focus and energy on healing my mind. So, nutrition and exercise growth went right out the window.

* I’ve spent the past 6 years doing heart work, and mind work…exercising as a stress reliever. I’ve found that I like home works outs, yoga, running, hiking, and kayaking.

* So, now I’m ready to move forward.

Going on:

*My first step is to start exercising every day, again. Although, this time, with a little more love for myself. I was hard on myself last time, and I’ve learned a lot about loving myself in the process.

*Right now, I am up to walking 2-3 times a week.

*Once I get my daily exercise down, all my other goals should naturally fall into place….but here they are

Health goals:

*Eat more natural, less processed

*Lose about 40-50 lbs.

* Exercise daily with running and cross-training.

* Share my love of wellness with others!

* Drink 1/2 my weight, in oz, of water, daily.

Have you been overwhelmingly searching for ways to support wellness in your life?

I encourage you to take it One Thing at a time. Love yourself in the process. Share what you love and learn with someone else- just be sure that they are looking for it, too.

One thing: Cleaning and organizing

Cleaning and Organizing.

This has been an area that has been hard to come back from.

Background:

I love cleaning. When I am stressed (you know..the good kind), getting everything into order feels great. I love it. I love everything looking nice and neat and having its place….it gives me peace.

When I moved out of my parent’s house at 20…21…I didn’t have much. I had some paper stuff I needed to go through, but I always had the mindset that I’ll do it later when I have time. (Insert shocked face emoji). Newsflash….you will never just have the time…you have to MAKE the time. Remember how I said that in my early to mid twenties I woke up, ate, went to work, school, and slept. There were life events thrown in there, too. Getting married, having kids, spending time with family, friends. Doing things to be busy. All the things, and avoiding all the papers I had to go through. We kept so busy that while I lived in my apartment by myself, my house was a constant mess, and I didn’t make the time to create habits early on. Yikes. That’s ok, though. I’ve learned since then….

Jump ahead to that time of deep anxiety and some depression. All that paper stuff I didn’t take the time to go through and organize and get rid of when I was living by myself got combined with my husband’s stuff when we got married. When we first got married, we lived in a tiiiny one bedroom apartment, and all of the stuff that needed to be organized got stuffed in this one tiny area. We were both still in school. Newly married, and becoming new parents. So, guess what happened? Yup, all our high school and childhood stuff got combined together, and now we were adding more stuff when we welcomed our new sweet baby. Because I never made myself create the habit of going through it….it all just kept growing. And growing. As we moved into our house, and added another kid…it kept growing. I would start organizing it, and that’s when I started working full time as a teacher. My husband was in his second or third year teaching, I was beginning my first year teaching. We were also having our 2nd baby. Now we had two kids 2 and under. With that followed my husband breaking his leg, and it made the perfect storm for a tough year. It’s when all of the things started falling apart. And that meant I didn’t have the energy anymore to do all the things. Including the house work.

Up until that part, I was basically doing all the house work on my own. Not all, but a big majority of it. That’s because while I was working part time, I had the ability and the space to do a lot of the work myself. It was annoying at times, but I had the time and energy, so I did it.

Side note: My husband has said on occasion, that he feels like he is doing all the work. He has felt just as I have. In reality, it’s all about perspective. Each one of our perspectives have felt true to us. The most important part is communicating that and then finding a common ground, leaving each other room and space to grow.

When I started working full time, I just couldn’t handle it anymore with all of the other added stress, so I slowly started letting things go. I didn’t have the energy to care about things being cleaned to my extremely high standards. So, a lot didn’t get done. And things just piled up. And I didn’t realize how bad it had gotten until my husband broke his leg. While we were in the hospital my family came over and cleaned the house for us, and that’s when I realized I need to get back to where I was. I just didn’t realize how long it would take.

The one thing that was the key….I had to let go of control. As my husband healed from his surgery, I had to allows myself to break down. All of the anxiety and depression from other circumstances had taken a toll, and I needed to deal with it. I had to learn how to take care of myself, and allow my husband space to do things around the house without my nagging. Granted, maybe I shouldn’t have to ask over and over again….but I also could have handled it differently.

This is the process I went through to build back up. And honestly, I am still climbing out of that hole. I have gotten back to cleaning specific areas daily, weekly, and monthly. But, I’m also having to go through 10+ years of junk that I didn’t have the energy or time to go through. Here’s the process:

* Let go of control. Allow my husband and kids the space to contribute on their time and terms. This one is hard. I struggle with it every day, still. It also means learning how to be ok with your home not looking to your standards daily, and learning to know when to say enough is enough. Eventually, your family will feel it, too and they will know that they love your home to look peaceful.

* Pick one chore that I can do. Likely, the first one will be one that has to be done. My mind says…I don’t know about alll of those other things, but this one has to be done and I can do it.

* Day in, day out. Make that chore a habit. Until it becomes something you just do. Now, look up. Look around. Look up. That’s when I tend to notice the next thing that causes the most tension, and then get to work on adding in that chore into the routine. Day in, day out.

* Repeat. There have been times where energy is low. I get used to doing most everything, again. Or just because I have time, I do it all myself. I just have to remind myself to go through the process of allowing and encouraging my family that this is a team effort, and adding new projects to my routine.

If you’re thinking “how can I ever do this?” Trust me. You can. Take it moment by moment. Breathe by breathe. Day by Day. Eventually, you will be able to see past your current storm. You’re building perseverance and resilience. You’ve got this.

Much Love.

Rooted Mama.

One Thing: Time with Jesus

Often times, we try to over complicate things. We look around at other people, where there are in life. When we do that, sometimes, we are hard on ourselves. We try to do things that they are currently doing, because if they are doing those things…they must have done those things from the beginning to get where they are. And if they are doing things, then I must need to do those things, too. Right. Right? Wrong.

We were each made uniquely. What works for one person will not work for each one of us individually.

We can get ideas from other people. We can look at what they are doing, study what they are doing, and practice what they are doing. But we can not copy what they are doing, exactly. We have to be true to who we were made to be. We can take ideas from different sources, and combine those together, and then spin them all around into what works for us.

That’s what this is intended to be.

As I share about my “one thing” that was a key to unlock the other things….know that this is just one of many resources.

If you are a person that finds yourself barely able to keep your head above the water…take what you can and practice it. Don’t try to make things happen that aren’t designed to be practiced yet. Some of the information you will find will be to hold on until later. Until you have unlocked other pieces in your life. Some of the information will not be for you, and that’s ok. Some of the information you will need to tweak and make it work for you, and that’s ok, too. Take solace in hope. I’ve been there. It’s hard, and as you keep pushing forward. You will come out the other side. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be other hard things. What it does mean is that you are stretching your perseverance muscle in this area. When you do that, you’ll be able to take what you learn and use that in other areas.

If you find yourself in a similar season, take solace in the fact that you are walking this road with someone beside you. I’m right there with you, in the trenches.

If you’ve been there and done that, gained a ton of wisdom, and this brings back fond or even painful memories. Thank you. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and thank you for the wisdom you pour out into others.

Background:

Growing up…I went through this process…

1. Confusion…Who is Jesus? Who is God? I don’t really understand any of this….during this time, I tried to make myself fit into a box that I wasn’t understanding, tried to do things I hadn’t built a foundation for, and did I say I was confused?

2. Ok…I kinda get it…if you want to be good….you follow God. Is that right? I do good things, I go to heaven…right? (I would later find out that this is not quite how it works…but its where I was at.)

3. Accept Jesus as my savior. I was about 13…and I had no idea what it meant or what I was doing….again, this is where there was still confusion and more of the trying to do things I wasn’t ready for….like reading my bible on my own. I didn’t know where to go what to do, how to do it….but, I also didn’t ask for help. I didn’t let anyone know that I needed help…so, I didn’t allow for a foundation to be built the first time I gave my life to Jesus.

4. Live life. Do things my way. This went on until I was about 27. I had lived my teenage years, ventured into adulthood. Early adulthood looked like, wake up, eat, go to school, go to work, sleep repeat with life events like getting married and having kids, graduating, and starting a career. From 24-27 is when I was having a ton of anxiety and depression. This was my rock bottom. I knew that I couldn’t keep going doing things my way.

5. Give my life to Jesus. For real this time. This time, I surrendered a whole lot more…not completely..because surrender has been a process for me. Honestly, its a lifelong process. Living life, continuing to go to church, allowing seeds to be planted…I understood what was happening this time. But this was the key. This was the one thing that unlocked the other things.

Out of my Daily 5, Time with Jesus is number one, because relationship with Him means that everything else falls into place. Not perfectly, but the way it should be with room for human error.

I had tried all the things first…journaling, reading my bible, worship, going to church, going to retreats and conferences. Those are all great…but without the one thing, its like putting a square peg into a round hole.

It’s ok to practice all of those things. They build a foundation, too. They build up your perseverance in other ways. But, I needed to realize that I needed to focus my attention on one thing. The key that I was missing was having a relationship with Jesus and surrendering my life to HIm.

Once that took place. I put my attention on that. What it looks like to have a relationship with Jesus and tell him day in and day out: Jesus, I can’t do this without you. Until then, there was tension in the other areas. This journaling isn’t working. I don’t know how to read the Bible and find your voice. Feeling awkward worshipping. And not even know what worship is or how to do it.

But once I gave my life to Him, the tension in that area released, and everything started slowly (for my time table- and perfectly on God’s time table) coming together and making sense.

From there, I was able to learn how to Journal with Jesus. Read the Bible looking for God’s voice. Worship. Praying. All the things that make up spending time with Jesus.

Here’s the thing. We get overwhelmed when we need to make it simple. What it boils down to, is pinpoint the tension. If there’s more than one source of tension, pick one that gives you peace. Practice them all here and there, but put your focus on one. When the tension releases, look up. Breathe. Now, tackle that next area.

You know where you are at in your journey. Maybe you have already given your life to Jesus, but praying is your tension. Put your focus on learning how to pray. Whatever your tension is. Learn how to do that one thing. Go to the conferences, the classes at your church, meet with mentors. Sometimes, you even have to put the basics of learning how to spend time with Jesus down for a minute to learn how to deal with giving your junk (you know- anger, sadness, all the hard stuff) to Jesus. Sometimes, that’s the key to go deeper. It’s like a wall- and you have to walk through letting him break that wall down, and that’s your tension. Then, you pick back up to adding those other things into your time with Jesus.

There’s no perfect way. There’s no one right way. This has just been my process, and one resource to you. Another perspective that hopefully breaks it down a little more and makes it simple. Stop trying to do it all, if it isn’t working. Focus on one thing at a time.