Over the last several months, I have gotten the opportunity to meet some truly amazing women–most of them are “mom-preneurs”, and all of them are incredibly inspiring and motivating.
Anna Shalray is one of those women. She is a certified holistic health coach whose goal is to empower busy women (just like us) to create our ideal lives. Sounds amazing, right? She has so graciously put together a list of “Happy Hacks” meant to help us find joy, even on the not so good days.
It’s 9 am and bedtime couldn’t come any sooner.
You woke up before the sun to the thick stench of a blowout.
The pile of clothes next to his laundry basket, has “magically” washed, dried, folded, and neatly put itself away.
Your three year old princess has discovered where the markers hide and, as the dog tracks mud across your momentarily clean floor, hubby walks in asking “What’s for breakfast?”
Before the downward spiral of reaction sets in seize this glorious moment, and exit stage left.
Embrace this opportunity Mama, for self-care.
Self care includes any intentional actions you take to care for your physical, mental and emotional health.
“But wait a second,” you ask, “I don’t have time for this hippy dippy nonsense. How do you expect me to fit another activity into my already jam packed day?”
Let me challenge you for a second…
What would happen if you chose not to take care of yourself?
No doubt things would fall apart, right?
So what I’m saying is, self-care is not just about selfishly taking a day off from life, or adding more onto your to do list.
Above all, self care is choosing to give the world, your family, and yourself; what’s best of you, instead of what’s left of you.
It seems like there’s never enough time to fit things in. But, self-care doesn’t have to be a long drawn out process.
“So how do I incorporate this easily into my everyday?”
Let me introduce to you, my quick and easy “Happy Hacks.”
Happy Hack #1: Breathe it In
- Take a deep breath. Breath based activities oxygenate the blood, lowers blood pressure, and consequently activates your parasympathetic nervous system allowing you to relax. Check out a few of my favorite breath based activities.
- Using essential oils can also offer a quick pick me up. Oils like Lavender and Roman Chamomile encourage calm and relaxation. Citrus oils like Lemon, Grapefruit, and Orange promote that extra boost of energy. While Bergamot and Ylang Ylang inspire joy!
Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils can be used in three ways: topically, aromatically, or internally. Oils applied topically should be diluted with a carrier oil. They can be applied to the hands, ears, chest, or feet. Essential oils applied on the feet enter the bloodstream and begin working within 30 seconds, because pores on the feet are the largest and most open. In addition, aromatic use of essential oils quickly impacts the limbic system (the part of the brain controlling basic emotions and drives). As a result, you can feel shifts almost instantly. You can diffuse oils or inhale from the bottle or your hands. Finally, some Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils can also be used internally under the tongue, with water, or in a capsule.
Happy Hack #2: Move it Out
- Have a Dance Party! Make it fun. Turn the music up and get your blood pumping, as you rock out your frustration. Did you know: dance elevates our mood by raising our endorphin levels?! Bonus points if you sing along. As a matter of fact, singing releases oxytocin, the bliss hormone. This hormone “plays an important role in birth, lactation, bonding, and orgasm.” Karaoke, anyone?
- Get your heart rate up! Take a walk, go for a jog, or do some yoga. Incorporating empowering movement relieves stress, boosts your mood, and creates self-confidence. There are even more advantages if you can manage to get outside. Gotta love that Vitamin D!
Happy Hack #3: Think it Up
- Practice Gratitude. Seriously! Thankfulness can have a humongous impact on your health and well-being! This is because of Hebb’s Law which states “neurons that fire together wire together.” So, as you consistently practice gratitude, the neural pathways that your “feel goods” (serotonin and dopamine) travel, strengthen and become more automatic. Life’s silver lining becomes brighter as you continue to focus in on it.
My favorite way to practice gratitude is by keeping a journal. Daily write down 3 specific things you are grateful for, then when the $h!t hits the fan, you can come back to your journal and remind yourself of reasons to give thanks. You can also get the whole family involved by creating a gratitude jar. For instance, any time a family member finds something to appreciate, they simply write it down on a slip of paper and throw it in the jar. This is an awesome way to lead by example and encourage family unity, communication, positive reinforcement, love and support.
- Develop a spiritual practice! Prayer and Meditation are a key component to a long, happy, healthy life. Case in point, have you heard of the blue zones? In these five regions people are living measurably longer lives. As a matter of fact, not only are they living longer, but they are dying shorter. In other words, they are living exuberantly, well into their last days. Your unique spiritual practice can be a source of purpose, extend and enrich your lifespan, prevent depression, decrease stress, and promote relaxation and joy!
Finally, if today is “one of those days,” and you are looking for manageable ways to make it through more joyfully, I invite you to pick a “Happy Hack,” try it on for size, and find a little joy to carry you through! More power to ya Mama! You can do this!
Anna Shalray, is a Certified Holistic Health Coach Empowering busy women, and their families, to create their Ideal Life through better nutrition and small manageable shifts.Your wellness journey begins by grabbing your free class “Crowd Out the Crap -5 Simple Strategies to Eat Clean, Calm the Overwhelm, and Create Your Ideal Happy, Healthy You” at www.annashalray.com!