So today on the blog I am sharing a fantastic article written by my friends at http://www.betterhelp.com about the signs and symptoms of depression. Mental health is a topic that I think is very important and as a mom who struggles with depression and other mental health issues, I feel the need to share some info with you all as it seriously impacts us as moms and women. I have written about mental health before since it’s such an important topic to me, so I was very thankful for this article to share. Continue on to read how to better understand how you may be feeling. – Jess XO
Why Do I Feel So Empty?
Feeling empty is one of the loneliest feelings there is and it is so difficult to explain to people too. How do you tell someone what feeling empty is like? It is sort of like knowing there is something missing but not knowing what it is. It is a helpless and sad feeling that changes your whole outlook on life. If you cannot figure out what it is that is making you feel that way, that feeling may not go away. You may think it is because you are broke or because you had a fight with your best friend. However, these external things do not usually last. You may be sad for a while due to external issues like this but it does not continue day after day. That is about your inner perspective and what your expectations are. Figuring out what is causing this feeling is not easy.
What Does Feeling Empty Feel Like?
You may be feeling tired and rundown or you may feel numbness. These feelings are usually a sign that there is something going on with your mental health. You may be stressed out or anxious about something or you may be depressed. Figuring out why you are feeling this way is important so you can get back to your normal life. Has anything happened to you recently that is affecting your mental health like losing your job or the loss of a family member? These things can trigger an episode of emptiness that may not go away until you address it. Maybe you are suffering from a physical illness that you cannot get rid of or you may be having trouble sleeping. These feelings you are having can affect your life, your work, and your relationships as well.
Getting Some Help
It may be time to talk to someone about these feelings so you can get your life back on track. This does not mean that you need to run out and find a psychiatrist or psychologist. Your first step should be talking to your regular doctor. Get a physical checkup and tell the doctor how you are feeling. He may find something simple that is wrong such as a hormone imbalance or vitamin deficiency. If that is the case, a prescription may be able to fix your emptiness feeling. If not, he may suggest you talk to a therapist.
If you do not want to make an appointment and see a therapist, there are other options that can make it easier. Online mental health resources such as BetterHelp.com can help you find someone to talk to and you do not even need to leave the house or make an appointment. In fact, you can try a chat room at first to see how you like that. A chat room is a good place to talk to others anonymously about your feelings and get advice from others who have similar issues. If that is not for you, there are over 2,000 licensed professionals available to talk to you online anytime on your smartphone or other electronic devices. Give it a try and you could be feeling better today!
* This post was proudly sponsored by BetterHelp.com *
So I need to confess something, I am not a morning person. Nope, not in the slightest. I avoid them at all costs. But life has a way of forcing me to get out of bed and face the world far before I am ready. So when this happens, which it happens fairly often, having a perfect morning routine is very helpful. I find that having a set routine in the mornings, especially as a mom and entrepreneur, it is key to starting the day right. Whether you are an energetic morning person, or more of a bed bug like myself, I think you can make all of these elements work for you. So here is what the perfect morning routine consists of:
Wake up to delight. What do I mean by that? Well to really start the day off with positivity, have your coffee already set to auto brew around the time you wake up, so the first thing you smell is hot, delicious, brewing coffee. Also, use a clock radio as an alarm if you need one, so when it’s time to get up your favorite radio station comes on instead of a loud annoying alarm. You can start your morning with music, the smell of coffee and looking out of the window to see what the day looks like and let the light into your room. Sounds perfect already! Here’s a really neat clock radio if you don’t already have one: Clock Radio
Breakfast. Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it matters what you eat. Something healthy, filling, and delicious should be top choice. I personally make either homemade pancakes and top them with berries and whipped cream, or if I’m more crunched for time I whip up a quick superfood smoothie. Fueling up with delicious goodness is the perfect start to the day, I say. For a great pancake recipe click here.
Do you like to read? I find that reading something encouraging, like a daily devotional, or inspirational book of some kind while eating breakfast and having coffee is the perfect way to put some positive notes into your mind for the day. Or maybe if reading isn’t exactly your thing, just pick up your phone and scroll through some inspiration quotes on Pinterest or even just find some awesome recipes, DIY’s, whatever you like! It’s sure to start you off with a smile and a creative pep in your step! Here are links to some awesome daily reads! Book 1Book 2
Next up is getting started on the morning to-dos. Make the bed, feed the pets, brush your teeth and all that jazz. Sometimes putting on an entertaining morning tv talk show, podcast or music helps the morning chores feel less…chore like, more enjoyable and it seems to make everything go faster. Get r’ done! 😉 For a list of the 30 best podcasts streaming right now, check this out.
Exercise is great for the mornings because it gives you energy for the day at hand. It can be hard to find time to fit in a workout or some type of exercise, the struggle is real! So this is why throwing in a quick exercise routine before you start on the day’s work is so important. Even just 10 minutes is great. Be strong, be fierce and be well. If you need a quick workout to do each morning I highly recommend this one right here! 10 Minute Workout
Now it is time for the day to begin, and you feel ready to tackle anything this day throws at you because you now have the perfect morning routine! I wish you all wellness, happiness and the perfect morning.
I have something very special to share with you, and I know you are going to love it! I am very excited to share this mom self-care toolkit with you that a friend of mine has put together. Read on to hear her story and to get this awesome toolkit for yourself! (It’s free!) 😀
Six years ago, my friend Jen Riday was struggling with her at-the-time 5 kids.
She had just suffered a miscarriage.
And she baaarely liked her husband.
She hit rock bottom and started to feel like there was no purpose to her life. She had given everything to her family… baking bread, throwing elaborate birthday parties, trying to be the “perfect” mom.
But she kind of lost herself in the process.
Today, she is feeling great and happier than ever (and she now has 6 kids!). She has become a Women’s Happiness Expert so she can help other moms find their way out from those low points we sometimes fall into.
So the big question is — how did she make such a huge shift in just 6 years?
Well, Jen has created a free digital toolkit that compiles all of her best tips on exactly what she did.
And guess what? She’s letting me hook you up with that toolkit — for free! (Yasss) 😀
It includes a video training, a workbook, the “Wheel of Happiness” (if you like wheels and you like happiness, you’ll love this! Seriously, though, the WoH is amazing!), and 2 guided meditations Jen created just for moms like you.
The toolkit is packed with some of Jen’s best teachings.
The thing I love about Jen is that she has a fun teaching style where she’s able to break down complex ideas into simple, easy-to-follow steps. (Her thousands of students would probably agree!)
And the best part about this training? It’s all online– so you can get crackalackin’ right now on learning how to take time for yourself (without guilt and without any hassle).
However you got here, whether by losing your job, taking temporary leave or by your own desire, here we are. I chose to be a SAHM and have been struggling to keep what minute ounces of sanity I have left for the last 5 years, I have had the odd online job, tried selling everything under the sun and even went back to school during this time, and am now the proud owner of my own home business and dabble in other entrepreneur activities. Though it has helped some, I still needed to find ways to keep myself from throwing myself in the looney bin. I know you feel me when you’re taking care of your child/children all day every day,or part of the day if your child/children attend school. We must learn to survive through every early morning, late night, temper tantrum and natural disaster equivalent mess. Sometimes you just need to lock yourself in the bathroom and take a breather. So, I’ve decided to share a few of the (better) ways I’ve discovered how to handle the everyday stresses of motherhood.
Follow me if you want to live…..
The Stay At Home Mom’s Guide To Sanity:
Find “me” time.
It probably sounds like a total “DUH” but trust me, you need to take it seriously. Creating time just for yourself is imperative to keeping hold of your sanity. If you don’t get enough time alone you’ll become a slave to the world of the short people. They can control you, consume you and turn you into a crazed zombie. Don’t let it happen! No matter when or how you have to do it, take control of your life and give yourself some time to relax and find a peaceful moment. It could be taking a hot bath after the little ones have gone to sleep, it could be browsing Pinterest while the kids are zoned out in front of the t.v, or leaving them with dad while you run a quick errand alone, or heck, sit outside by yourself with a cup of tea and just listen to the birds sing, the wind blow and take a deep breath. Each day, whether it be for 3 minutes or an hour, make sure you get your “me time”. Mine is at 12am, but I hope you find yours at a much less late hour.
Take a walk with your kid/s
This is something I try to do with my son on a regular basis, not so much in the dead of winter, but on the nice weather days he and I go for 15-30 minute walks outside, just around the house. I found that this is good for so many reasons. Not only does it give you a bit of exercise and some fresh air, but it helps you to suddenly zap out of whatever funk you’ve been in all day; yelling, cleaning, cooking, teaching, emails, phone calls etc, it all adds up and taking a break to go outside and take a walk with your little one/s is so revitalizing. It gives you energy, relaxes you and it also gives you the perfect chance to spend quality time with your child and talk to them. Ask them questions about their day, about school, their interests, their friends, their thoughts on things going on at home, and just have a real conversation. It’s good for them and good for you. They need to express their thoughts, learn conversation skills and spend time with you. You will feel a million times better, so when you’re feeling too stressed, just grab the kiddos and step outside and take a walk. Observe nature, the outside world and talk to them about it.
Prep & Plan.
It may sound time-consuming but actually, it saves you time overall. Taking the time to do beforehand preparation for your daily activities, meals, etc are worth it, and also schedule out things that you need to squeeze in like homework to be done, people to get back to, shopping trips, places the kiddos need to go, things you need to remember to do around the house, set a certain time aside to get these things done. Write them down and don’t forget. Planning ahead and making the necessary preparations ahead of time make all the difference. I promise you. It saves you time, energy, and most importantly, sanity. You can find simple to follow instructions for meal prep online and you can even pick up some make-ahead food containers to make it even easier. Getting a detailed planner is an easy and fun way to write down all your “to-do’s” and schedules. You can add planner stickers, colored pens, and washi tapes to add fun and customizable detail to your planner. I highly recommend investing in something like the Erin Condren life planners. Check out all her amazing products here: Erin Condren Planners
You probably already shop online at least occasionally but don’t forget there is an entire world of products you can find in a gazillion places on the internet. No traffic, long lines, in-store temper tantrums or real pants required. If you’re having a crazy day but need to shop and it’s something you don’t need right away, avoid all the time on the road and the stress of dragging resistant little ones all over creation and just hop online. (You might even find better deals!)
Rediscover your favorite game or movie to share with the kids.
It’s fun to have game and movie nights with the fam bam and sharing something special from your childhood with them not only gives you the warm and fuzzies, but it introduces them to something they’ve probably never seen before and gives you something to bond over. So dig out your old dusty favorite board game from when you were a kid or put in that classic Disney movie and cuddle up with them as you enjoy something that warms your heart and go create some new memories together. Even if they’re not that into it, at least you know you will enjoy it and have a good time in nostalgia land.
Good old fashioned stress relief.
There’s nothing wrong with taking in some good old-fashioned stress relief. Some great ideas are to make some chamomile or lavender tea, get friendly with a heat wrap on aching muscles, ask a friend/significant other for a massage, watch your favorite tv show before bed, or read a few chapters of a good book, do a low-key workout or take a long shower. Find something relaxing to unwind before the end of the day, do some stretches and deep breathing, tie it in with your “me time”.
Connect with other SAHMS
It’s easy to let a social life disappear when you’re a stay at home mom, and staying connected to other adults is important, right? My advice is to connect with some otherstay at home moms for relatable social networking. You might meet some new friends, swap stories, advice, recipes and more! It might sound silly, but Facebook groups are awesome for this, go look up some SAHM groups now!
Have you ever considered talking to a therapist? I know, doesn’t seem to fit in here but actually…it does. Personally, I have never felt comfortable talking to someone about myself but I know lots of people are helped by having some time with a therapist. Maybe talking with someone will help you come to terms with stay at home mom life and feel more confident in raising your littles on your own. If this interests you, please check out BetterHelp.com
I hope I’ve helped and given you hope. You can save your sanity after all! For another look at my tips, here’s my YouTube video: My YouTube Video
Stay sane and stay fabulous! Follow my blog and find me on social media!
Are you single this year on Valentine’s Day? Here’s my personal guide on how to deal…..
All the single ladies…all the single ladies, put your hands up, put your hands up….(ah hem) It’s the beginning of February, and we all know what that means. The ever dreaded Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and if you’re single, like me then it can be a real downer. Some single women get really depressed, cry in their wine, mope around and throw themselves little pity parties and wonder if they will ever have a romance filled V-day if their own. Others are not that bothered by the holiday and just brush it off as another day of the year and try not to get too upset over being single on this particular love fest of a day. Some women don’t even care at all. I usually fall somewhere in the middle of all that, and this year I am determined to not wallow, to not cry, not to think about Valentines past…but just simply have a nice day. How you ask? I’m about to show you! So whether you’re miss tears-a-lot, or miss I don’t give a….on Valentine’s day, I’m going to show you my best tips on how to deal and not feel like shiz (yes I used the word shiz. #dontjudgeme) while being alone on the romance driven day.
1. Watch an anti-romance or relationship gone wrong film. One of the best things to do to not allow yourself to fall into a funk is to remember/realize the reasons why it’s not such a bad thing to be single. Sure, having a boo can be nice, but we are women after all and can tackle this big wide world on our own. It’s good to remember that not all relationships are butterflies, mushy kisses, cuddles and happily ever afters. The reality check is that a lot of relationships are hard, full of heartbreak, broken promises, hurt and are not always pretty. So if you want to feel relieved and glad that you are single, then girl for heart shaped chocolates sake, do not watch The Notebook! Don’t find yourself crying in your gallon tub of ice cream crying out “Why can’t I have that! Where’s my Noah!” Instead, spend your night watching a movie that shows the complicated reality of love and relationships, something like Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, or if you really want to see a bad outcome, then heck Sid And Nancy? Make sure it’s a film that shows the progress of complicated love, the realities of heartbreak and the downward spiral of two people who were better off alone. In order to make yourself appreciate being single and reminding yourself that hey, single life isn’s so bad, it’s good to take a look at how things aren’t always romantic and wonderful when you’re in love. Sometimes you find yourself like Kate Winslet’s character in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, going to extremes to erase a person from your mind. Let’s be real, it’s not always fun. So I advise watching a good film that shows just that. Trust me, you’ll be very happy you are single afterward. 😉
2. Got any single girlfriends? Then get together with them! It’s unlikely that they will have plans so make a night of it! It’s always fun to get together with friends and have a night out on the town, especially when you’re single and so are they. So grab your single GF’s and spend the night being flirty, fabulous and enjoying the single life! Invite them over, go out to a movie (non-romance of course) have a bite to eat, go dancing, whatever! Just enjoy time with your fellow single ladies and not be alone. You never know what the night could bring, it could be the best Valentine’s Day ever. Have fun!
3. Bake something for yourself! One of the aspects of Valentine’s Day is that is comes with lots of chocolates., cupcakes, candies of all sorts and when you’re lacking that special someone to buy them for you, it’s a good opportunity to be productive, practice your baking skills and make your own delicious, ooey gooey dessert for one. I found some ideas that might help, grab over 91 single serve dessert recipes here: http://pin.it/_xyp570
4. Pamper yourself. Do something to make yourself feel fresh & pretty. No need to go to a salon or spa, just something you can do right from home, maybe while watching your bad romance movie? Give yourself a mani, color your hair, or lay in a warm bubbly bath with the newest bath bomb from Lush. Whatever you do, enjoy it, make it fun and give yourself a boost of confidence. Don’t forget, you are sexy, radiant and unique. Now go paint your nails a bloody red!
5. Avoid the V-Day doomsday explosion at all costs. If you must go in the stores during the month of February, which of course you do….do your best to look past all the displays of boxed chocolates, long-stemmed roses galore and pink and red heart shaped everything down an unsuspecting aisle. Also force yourself to go elsewhere in your mind when those happy couple Valentine’s Day commercials appear while watching your fav show. It’s hard I know, it’s everywhere! The lovey-dovey cards, the candies, sensual products and so on. The reason you want to avoid it all is sometimes, even when in the best of moods or carelessness the bitterness can seep in. That little part of you that feels jealous of all the happy couples and women receiving such gifts, the anger of being alone, and not having your own hunk to buy things for or go out to dinner with. Even if you think you’re a brick wall, trust me, you’re not. You will notice these things and feel the bitter lonely emotions creep on you. So it’s best to just ignore it all as best you can. It’s pretty simple generic advice but if you put enough effort into it, it can be done and if it helps then great! I know I look right past it all without a thought and it keeps me in a decent mood while grocery shopping. Give it a try and be happy flying solo!
So, in closing…you can make Valentine’s Day a lot less of a bi*otch, just stick to my simple advice and keep your sanity as the day approaches. Remember, you are strong, you got this and you are never alone. I will be fighting the good fight right along with you. I will leave you with this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJfFZqTlWrQ
Have a fabulous Valentine’s Day you rock star you!