It’s home tour time, beeches!!
Actually, it’s way past home tour time. But I got to it when I got to it, okay? I’ve kept cleaning, then getting messy, then cleaning, then getting messy. And the entire house has never been totally clean all at the same time since the moment right before we walked in with our boxes. We’ve also had roommates, so it’s been difficult to find time when I’m home alone, not to mention I’m not gonna film rooms that someone else is living in. I didn’t bother watching last year’s video before I start rolling. And I didn’t watch the video before I started uploading it to YouTube. God knows what all I said. I’m actually watching last year’s video as I wait for this one to upload, and keep thinking “Oh, right…I should’ve said something about that.” My bad. Oh, sweet past Sarah had so many plans. It’s crazy to see how much has changed in the past year! And how much hasn’t… I’m pretty amused by how much I apologized for the messy house, compared to what things look like now and I’m just like “whatevs” – God knows what it will look like NEXT year, when I’ve got a child!!
Meditation provides a framework in which we are able to step back from habitual thinking and emotions, so that we can witness them with clarity and perspective. When we learn to do this, the mind begins to calm down, as does the body. In turn we experience more quiet and a greater sense of ease in every area of life. It is a remarkable shift in perspective, which really needs to be experienced, rather than explained. It is with this shift that we are able to make healthier choices in our daily routine.
How do we balance what we want to do, with all the things we have to do? How do make time for the things that matter?
How to meditate in six easy steps:
Get settled – Find a quiet place where you can relax.
Breathe deeply – Take five deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. On the last exhalation, close your eyes.
Check in – Settle in to your body, taking note of your posture and how your body feels, and any emotion you might be experiencing.
Scan your body – Turn your mind inwards and take note of your body from head to toe, acknowledging any tension or discomfort and then scan again noticing parts of your body that start to relax.
Observe your breath – Bring your attention to your breathing and start to count your breaths. One, in, two, out and so on, up to 10.
Allow your mind to be free – After a few minutes, give yourself a minute for your mind to be completely free. If it wants to think, let it think. If it wants to be busy, let it be busy. Let the mind do whatever it wants to do. After a minute or so, open your eyes, and appreciate the feeling that getting a little headspace can produce.
We had our first birthing class on Sunday, and one of the things we did was a relaxation method that was pretty similar to this. She recommended doing it regularly to help me get in tune with my body so I can more easily relax while I’m in labor. Or…relax as much as possible as my body absolutely falls apart and a human emerges from my nether regions. *shiver
So, yeah – I should probably do this! The trick will be not falling asleep after having my eyes closed for that long, and remembering all the steps. Oh, hey – I just noticed that the email includes a link to download a meditation app. Well there you go. I’ll give it a shot and let you know how well I do! Oh, and as far as a check-in for the previous lessons…
Lesson 8 – diet, I haven’t started on this one yet. Next week!
Lesson 7 – yoga, Oh. Oops. I did the leg cramp one, which was nice! And I made it most of the way through the “Preparing for Birth” one…and then my phone died. >.< I’ll get back on this tomorrow morning and try out the “Releasing the Spine” video, because my back is getting tired, son!
Lesson 6 – mindfulness, I did put the note on my mirror. It says grateful / impact / focus. I definitely don’t spend 3 minutes thinking about it, though. And I had forgotten what “focus” was for. >.<
Lesson 5 – snooze, So I do still hit snooze fairly regularly… But I’m about 50/50 on stretching!! I have to be really careful about it, though, or my legs will cramp. >.> Which is probably a good indicator that I need to be doing my yoga videos!!
Lesson 4 – sleep hygiene, I’m still using that app that I downloaded. I keep the bedroom so cool that Mr. T freezes at night. Seriously – I’m under a sheet and he’s got a sheet, blanket, and either a jacket or bath robe. lol! Oh, and we have a sound machine now. My sister got one for us (mainly LBW).
Lesson 3 – sleep journal, I didn’t even last two days on this one. sorrynotsorry
Lesson 2 – roadblocks, Well…my roadblock fix was to change my alarm so I could hit snooze more…then Lesson 5 told me to stop hitting snooze! That app goes off anywhere between 5:30 and 6:00 so I’m going to renew my goal of not hitting snooze and waking up whenever it thinks is best. And then stretching. And doing yoga.
Lesson 1 – goal, My goal was to get out the door by 7:20am, and I’ve done a pretty good job of that!! Go me. :)
When your body is not nourished, feeling drained, or taxed by bad food choices – it shows. You feel lethargic, it’s harder to concentrate and you may even feel down and negative about life. If you want to feel vibrant, clean, fresh, capable with energy and gusto for life – your everyday food choices make all the difference.
How do you start to eat for your body, to feel your best?
Eat nutrient-dense food, close to nature.
Upgrade your breakfast – strive for a balanced breakfast of carbohydrates, lean protein and fat.
Feed your brain – aim for at least 1 rich source of foods high in omega 3’s every day…like salmon, walnuts, spinach, kale, or kiwi.
When it comes to being a morning person, you’ll notice that a well nourished body has more energy to get up, get moving and sustaining throughout the day. So mindful nutrition is not about resisting temptation – it’s about being aware the food choices you make throughout the day. Often when we think about healthy eating, the first thought is eliminating the bad. Not only is this not sustainable – the “I’ll never eat that food again” mentality never lasts – but it puts all of your focus on the very thing you don’t want.
Start thinking in terms of more:
What can you do to include more whole foods in your meal?
What’s one small change that you can make everyday, to put the focus on giving your body more nourishment?
Make a plan this week to upgrade one meal every day.
I think the easiest meal to upgrade would be my lunch. What exactly I should upgrade it to, though…I’m not sure. Also, it’s already Tuesday and I’m working from home on Friday. So I think I should strategize my lunches for next week rather than this week. This week is already lost. Maybe I’ll get some good trail mix to snack on…make sure it’s got walnuts and dried kiwi in it. Eh? Eh? Oh blech…do you know what has a lot of Omega 3s? Nasty stuff is what. Flax seed is easy to add to stuff…but what should I eat? I really don’t enjoy salads and they’re a huge hassle. Plus everything goes bad way too quickly. Maybe some sort of sandwich? But I’m not really supposed to have deli meats while I’m pregnant. I just Googled “healthy lunches to take to work” and the first list I pulled up…80% salads. >.<
I did find a few things I might try next week, though:
I’ve missed at least one week of crock pot recipes, too… :\ I did buy some frozen stuff at the grocery store, though! We’ve got a couple of lasagnas and some frozen meals for two tucked away in our freezer.
Just checking in with a blog post that isn’t me failing at some personal life goal. ;)
Mainly I want to say that I’m really really freaking tired this week. SO TIRED. I blame LBW but it’s probably my own fault. For real, though, I think I’m gonna take a nap after work today. I really need to do the dishes. Maybe after the nap. Actually, I might go sit in my car on my lunch break. It’s supposed to be like 60-something degrees today. Which is nutso. I remember talking to someone around the end of fall/start of winter when we were having a warm day. I said something like “The next time it’s this warm, I’ll probably have a baby!” NOPE. Well, hopefully not. LBW still needs to percolate a few more weeks, please and thank you. I didn’t even wear a coat today. Just a long-sleeve shirt. I wouldn’t even call it a sweater, really. Part of that is because I get hot as balls these days. My hands and feet sweat like it’s going out of style. I for real have to take my shoes off. And I pray no one wants to shake my hand or touch something I recently touched. “Shh, no…give that time to dry off a second…” Oh oh oh, and twice this week a coworker has commented that I’m moving more slowly than normal. One was my boss!! >.> Someone came up looking for me and he said “She just went that way. But if you hurry you can probably catch up with her – she’s not moving so fast anymore.” DUDE’S GOT JOKES. The other was a woman from another department. She walked by me and I think you can just see how tired I am right now, because she kind of did a double-take and was like “Well you’re getting around slower now, aren’t you?!” Haha, yes. I’ve also noticed that I have NO patience anymore. People talk to me and I’m just like stfu and gtfo. It’s not good on a personal or professional level. I’m SURE having a newborn will put me in a better state of mind. I’m sure of it! I have started a little freezer section of food for post-baby. I think we’re slowly getting prepared. And then all of a sudden we’ll have a TON of stuff, thanks to the baby shower tomorrow. TOMORROW. omg it’s tomorrow. I’m also going to get my eyebrows waxed and do early voting for the primaries. Which I have never done before. #feelthebern I need to take a bath, too. I haven’t shaved my legs in ages, and the dress I’m wearing tomorrow stops at the knees. I think I’ll have better luck reaching at least parts of my legs if I’m in the tub rather than the shower. But I might also get stuck in the tub… I should probably wait until after Mr. T gets home from work to embark on that adventure. Or time it just right so he can help me out of the tub… So tonight the plan is: nap, dishes, cook dinner, eat dinner, bath, help from husband to get out of bath, bed. If you haven’t noticed this post has turned into a rambling stream-of-consciousness post. It’s because I’m tired. I’m not sure I’ve mentioned that little factoid yet. ;) Someone crashed their car into my chiropractor’s office. A couple people had minor injuries, but one had to be flown out. So that’s kind of scary. It just happened yesterday afternoon and I haven’t seen any updates other than the initial report that it had happened. I really hope everyone’s okay. :( And I really hope they get the office back up and operational again soon, because this pregnant lady needs her back cracked!! We have our first birthing class on Sunday. I’m pretty excited about it. It’s going to be one-on-one with the instructor rather than a class with other pregnant couples, so I’m curious to see how that plays out. I was kind of looking forward to getting to meet other pregnant ladies, but after our bizarre L&D tour last month maybe I don’t care to interact with any of them after all. ;) Plus this way it’s a little more personal and might help us participate more. We’ve only got two classes, but each one will run three hours. We’re meeting up with the instructor this Sunday and next Sunday. And then we’ll be pros and totally 100% prepared for labor at any moment!! At some point in March we’re also doing breastfeeding and newborn care classes. I think with the same person? Maybe? Oh, right – that’s supposed to happen on like March 20 which is like 10 days before my due date…so those plans may fall through. Or we may show up to class WITH a newborn to practice on. lol! I also have to pee all the @#*! time…and my feet have started to swell. My vet actually commented on my cankles when I took Chairman in last week!! I do not have cankles, ma’am!! She’s an old friend of my sister’s so I don’t hate her too much. But anyone else try to tell me I have cankles… >.> I’ve also developed some smexy stretch marks, let me tell YOU. They’re all under my bump, so I can’t see them unless I’m looking at a mirror. I can’t really see anything under my bump…if you know what I’m saying. Honestly, I’m not even sure what I’m saying at this point. But I really have to pee. – Okay, I peed. I really feel like I should wrap this up, but at the same time I never want it to end. I just love you so much… And don’t worry, I haven’t sat here and just word-vomited all this out in one go. It’s been up and active for probably a couple hours at this point. I just pop over any time I think of something important to tell you. But, alas, I think our time has come to an end. I’ll leave you with some photos from our maternity shoot earlier this month:
Willpower is like a muscle, it can be strengthened. Willpower is the moment you remember your goal, fight the urge to snooze and lift your body out of bed – despite how hard it feels. It’s your brain and body working together. The good news is that you can train your willpower. The better news is that as you develop your willpower, sticking to your goal goes from feeling like a stress or chore – to feeling positive and empowering.
How do you train your willpower? Practice and repetition. The idea is to pick one thing, one action that you commit to doing everyday. Something that has meaning for you. Not hitting snooze is a good one. But, let’s go further this week – and experiment with exercise as a way of training our willpower. An exercise that connects your mind and body is best for this practice. Things like yoga, stretching, pilates… smart, mindful exercises.
Alright. She gave us a couple of videos to use if we wanted – a 10 min stretch and a 30 min workout. But I’m like…super pregnant. lol! Plus I don’t feel comfortable sharing everything that she tells us, since it’s supposed to be a class you sign up for. The emails are actually way longer than what I copy/paste in my little blurbs at the top of the blog posts, fyi.
Anywho, I went to Do Yoga With Me and found their beginner-level prenatal yoga videos:
So I’m thinking…leg cramps/spine on Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri mornings. Preparing for Birth on Wednesday evenings. Modified Flow on Saturday. Let’s do this. (The best part with that schedule is I don’t actually have to do anything until tomorrow night. Go me!)
Ask yourself these 3 questions and spend one minute thinking about each:
What are you grateful for?
Spend one minute feeling the emotion of gratitude for what you already have. From the most mundane to the most fundamental things in your life. When you approach the day with gratitude, you feel more confident about what you have, are more excited about your small wins – and engage less with stress about what you don’t have or haven’t done.
What impact do you want to have on people?
Think about your partner, your boss, your clients – even the barista who gets you your coffee. Everyone who comes in contact with you today – how will they feel from having you in their life? This strengthens you, puts you in a place of giving which can be one of the most fulfilling experiences.
What are 3 important things you want to focus on today?
What are 3 important things that you will do today to make you feel great about how you spend your time? This gives you focus. You’ll see a clear roadmap: exactly what you need to do, what you need to prepare and anticipate in order to accomplish these 3 things today.
Hmm… I think I’m going to write “GRATEFUL – IMPACT – FOCUS” on…something. Maybe hang it in my closet or stick it to my mirror. Because otherwise I’ll definitely forget to do this. At least I know myself? lol! Yes, I Just did it. I got a Sharpie and wrote that out. I’m gonna take it home and stick it on my mirror right next to me “check the sink before bed!” post-it. Hopefully this one will work better… >.<
Choose one room in your home where the surfaces could use some attention. Set the timer on your phone (or stove, for you nostalgia lovers) for 3 minutes and GO. Dive in and straighten as if your life depends on it, flat out FAST for the duration of the timer. Scoop stuff up, gather it together and put it where it goes. Start doing a 3 minute “surface sweep” once a day for the next few weeks – I think that once you see the returns on your (very small!) time investment, you’ll be hooked.
Note: Everyone’s household is so different – you may want a slightly longer regular daily “sweep” time, but no matter what, definitely keep it to under 10 minutes. This is a quick daily habit to slip into your life to make it easier, not another dreaded task for the already too long to-do list.
See, told you I’d done this before. I am working from home today, though, and this kitchen table is jacked. Starting the timer now!
Oh, this is what the table looked like:
Told you it was horrible.
And here is what it looked like 3 min later:
Let’s play “spot the difference”!
And here is what it looked like 10 min after that:
You’ll want a door mat and hooks or proper, usable space in a coat closet to hang your outerwear and bags. Set up a spot or hook for your keys, a bowl or container for change and your wallet on a surface (like a small side table) to sort the mail and other items (newspapers, books, magazines, purchases) as they come in. Two other super helpful and nice components to add to your landing strip area are a small wastebasket/recycling bin to hold your discarded incoming mail and a mirror.
I had actually just pulled all our “landing strip” equipment out of my closet for Mr. T to hang back up! We took it all down when we were painting the walls. Yeah, that was a…few…months ago. What? The good news I was already working on this one!! I did switch it up some from what it looked like last year. We’ve got a contractor coming out next Friday to take a look at the stairwell, so we can get a quote on getting that painted. Then I want to put some cubby shelves over there, and hang hooks on the wall. Anyway, the point is I was totally doing this before you told me to, Apartment Therapy. ;)
So I’ve been using my new SleepBot app for about a week now.
Feb 6 – The first night I forgot to turn on the movement tracking. Oops.
Feb 7 – This was one of the first nights my acid reflux really hit me…as you can see from my note. lol! I’m not really sure if you can tell the difference between when I rolled flailed over and when I actually got up to pee. But you can see how many times I woke up…freaking pregnancy.
Feb 8 – I actually got a pretty decent night’s sleep! You can see every time I hit snooze there at the end, though. lol!
Feb 9 – I can’t remember if I bought the Tums on the 8 or the 9, but they made a huge difference. Look at that sleep!!
Feb 10 – This was nota good night. I took at nap around 7 which was a HUGE mistake. My reflux/heartburn got crazy bad – I ate about half my bottle of Tums that night with no relief. And then Chairman jumped up on the bed and put WET PAWS on my face. He may have gotten into the shower…but the only other source of water was the toilet, which I don’t flush at night because of how often I get up to pee. SO I COULD HAVE HAD PEE WATER ON MY FACE. That’s the area of excitement there in the middle. I also tried sleeping on the recliner, but didn’t doze off for very long…then I became very aware of the air vent blowing directly onto my face so I staggered back into the bedroom and got that hour or so of flatline sleep you see right at the end.
Feb 11 – I was very much exhausted yesterday thanks to my sleepless night the day before, so I passed out pretty hard.
So…yeah. I don’t really know what, if anything, I’m supposed to do with this data. And don’t worry – I won’t make a post like this every week. I bet it will get crazy exciting in April, though. lol!
You’re going to practice a new way of waking up. If you spend just 60 seconds on this routine, you won’t need to spend the next 20 minutes hitting snooze. This stretch routine is great because it’s not passive, it’s active. It’s empowering. Commit to a full body experience – the more you get into it, mentally and physically – the sooner you’ll feel yourself waking.
Good Morning Sunshine!
Point your toes and pull your arms back.
Hold the stretch and breathe as you count to 10 in your head.
Hip Joint Stretch
Pull your knees up towards your chest and hold (you can do one leg at a time). You’ll feel the stretch in your hip joint – where we often hold a lot of discomfort.
Hold the stretch and breathe as you count to 10 in your head.
With your shoulders pressed flat on the bed – twist one leg over the other to stretch and awaken the spine.
Hold for a slow count of 5 for each side.
Keep your bottom on the bed and gently stretch as far as it feels comfortable – without lifting your sit bones off the bed.
Hold the stretch and breathe for a slow count of 5 on each side.
With one leg folded over the other, feel a great stretch from your backside along your hip and side thigh.
Hold the stretch and breathe as you count to 10 in your head.
Stand up straight and strong. Place your hands together or place your hand to your heart.
Take a deep breath and smile – this will actually trigger emotions of happiness.
Remember: It’s the beginning of a new day. You can waste it, or use if for good.
D’oh! I forgot the Hip Joint Stretch. I tried to remember to do this this morning when my alarm went off. I still hit snooze, because that app is supposed to wake me up at the most optimal time in my sleep cycle…whatever that means. So it could go off anywhere between 5:30 and 6:00. But so far it’s only ever gone off either at 5:30 or 6:00. lol! It went off at 5:30 this morning and I went “Yeah, no. I’m not actually getting out of bed at 5:30.” So I need to change that window. Or maybe get rid of the window and just have my alarm go off right at 6:00. I did get way better sleep last night than I did the night before. I thought it would be a good idea to take a nap on Tuesday. To be fair…we were going to go see a movie, so I would’ve been up later than I usually am. With all the weird weather we’ve had, we decided it wasn’t worth getting out on the roads that late, so we decided to stay in. It was a long night. No more naps!!
But, yeah – the stretching was fine. I was actually able to do most of it without too much difficulty, even with this big ol’ belly.