Hashtags I Wish Existed

Sometimes when I’m posting on social media, I come up with a hashtag that I think is really clever, and then I realize I’m the only one who uses it. Oops.

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Here are some #hashtags I’d love to see happen:

#MomdayMonday: When moms get Mondays off because weekends are exhausting and we deserve it. And, naturally, it would go hand-in-hand with #NeverMissAMomday

#TravelToosday: When you see all the amazing #traveltuesday posts and you want to go, too.

#InstaWhine: No, not well-lit photos of reislings. Real life photos of #TantrumToddlersinTarget to make social media a little more real and a little less staged.

#InstaFit: A magical power to make that bathing suit fit in the dressing room.

#WhereMyMomsAt: Helps you connect with other moms on the playground that have the same values as you so there are no awkward “you homeschool/you feed your kid sugar/why is your kid eating sand” conversations.

#BoyMomBackUp: For when your daredevil child gets stuck in a tree/knocks his front teeth out/shaves off his own eyebrows and you JUST CAN’T anymore.

#GirlsJustWannaHaveBuns: When you walk in the mall and you smell cinnabon and before you know it, your body has acted on of it’s own accord and you’ve eaten three.

What #hashtag do you wish existed?

 

 

Staying Healthy on the Inside This Holiday Season

Happy Monday, friends! Can you believe we’re starting the last full week of October?!? The holidays are official upon us–there is no denying it now.

There is a lot of focus put on staying healthy during the holidays: emphasis on finding your fitness pattern, which appetizers have the least calories, how to make Thanksgiving dinner more healthy…but today I want to talk about the other healthy. You know, that one that goes straight out the window the minute you start thinking about all those weekend plans, school vacations, and visiting family. The healthy on the inside.

I can feel my mental health fraying at the edges the minute I start thinking about the holidays. Lets be honest: the “most wonderful time of the year” is full of stressful events. I don’t have much advice on how to avoid them, but I do have some tips on how to handle them a little better. Here is what I’m doing this year to keep the stress in check:

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I’ll be so relaxed even this won’t rattle me!
  • I’m staying off Facebook. This was a rule I implemented several weeks ago when the chatter about the election just got to be too much. I set alerts to tell me when important people post things, or when someone posts in a group I need to pay attention to (like one of my homeschool groups or my virtual bookclub). If I don’t get those notifications, I ignore it all together. No mom-guilt over other people’s perfectly poised holiday photos, no seeing snarky comments from family members. And whole hours of my life back since I’m not scrolling, scrolling, scrolling.
  • We’re taking a day off on the weekends. My city is jam packed of amazing things to do in the fall and through the holidays. I could try and do everything, or…we could stay home and keep our sanity. I vote for keeping the sanity! Sunday afternoons (and sometimes the whole day!) have become “days off”: no grocery shopping, no laundry, not picking up clutter. Just books and games and hanging out. Does my house look a little rough Monday mornings? Sometimes. But I start the week rested and with a clear head.
  • I’m being choosy–and I’m choosing fun. When I asked my friends how they choose what to do during the holidays, someone mentioned that they ask their kids what they remember from the previous season. I thought this was a great idea. So this year, we’ll hit up the family favorites, and add one or two new events. And I’m cutting back and saying no to events and invites that we “should” enjoy–but don’t. We all have them in our life–and this season, they just aren’t going to make the cut.
  • I’m shopping online and I’m doing it early. I admit, I love to wander through the mall and look at the decorations and the hustle and bustle. I do not like standing in line with a whiny kid. Hello, online shopping. I’m in the process of making my list, checking it twice, and being done.
  • I’m asking for help. I read something in a magazine just this morning that really resonated with me: “asking for help doesn’t make you weak. It makes you an adult.” That is really true! As I work on my schedule for the week, month and season, I’m intentionally scheduling in help and time off: time for my son and husband to have boy time. Time to get a massage. Time for the grandparents to have a cookie-baking adventure with my son while my husband and I sneak away to find some mistletoe. Everyone deserves a break, especially around the holidays.

I’m already feeling better just thinking about it. I’d love to know: how are you going to keep healthy on the inside this holiday season? 

 

 

The Power of Hair

Something weird is going on in my world, and I’m pretty sure my hair is to blame.


A few weeks ago, the natural part in my hair–the one that has been there for at least 20 years– inexplicably switched sides. Since then, things in my world have been in a total uproar. Job stress, insomnia, digestive issues, heightened anxiety–all sorts of ups and downs.

I jokingly posted on my Facebook page about it, and I was shocked to see how many women responded that the same thing had happened to them. Is this a thing? Does our hair have life-altering abilities?!?

 

After so many people commiserated with me, I did some digging. Apparently, there is much more to the hair/mind/body connection than I ever knew.

Ancient yogis believed that hair supports the creative life force, vitality and intuition. When you cut your hair, you lose this. It was believed that hair had antennas that took in energy and aimed it toward the frontal lobes of your brain, aiding in meditation and visualization.

Yogis weren’t the only people that believed hair had powers. Many ancient cultures believed that cutting an enemy’s hair made them weaker and more easily controlled. When Genghis Khan conquered China, he forced all the women to cut their hair short and get bangs–not as a fashion statement but because he believed it would make them weaker and easier to control.

Some mystics believe that hair has its own aura, with longer hair having a stronger aura. When hair is cut short, the aura diminishes. They also believe that hair is important because it covers the crown chakra, which they believe is something of a conduit to the Higher Power or Higher Self. The kinder you are to your hair, and the more you let it grow, the closer you get to the Higher Power.

So maybe I’m not crazy as I feel. Or maybe I’m even crazier than normal, I haven’t decided yet. It is a nice idea to think that taking some time to get a blow out or a deep conditioning treatment on my hair would not only feel good, but might help my life calm down a little, too.

What do you think of the hair/mind/body connection? Has anything like this ever happened to you? 

 

A Change in Words

When I decided on my word of the year for 2016–security–I envisioned myself creating a foundation of schedule and pattern. I imagined planning ahead to create a vegetable garden, a homeschool plan, and workout routine. Other things on my list included a five year plan that included finances, buying a home (and maybe into the Disney vacation club) and professional development. Yes, 2016 was going to be the year I became secure.

Then January happened.

And February got even crazier. And since then life has been moving at a pace and a direction that I couldn’t have even predicted back in January. And this week, I decided that security–at least in the form of schedules and patterns that I had pictured–wasn’t in the cards for me this year.

And so I’m calling an audible and changing my word of the year. After some thought, I’ve decided on the word Embrace.

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Yep, that’s me this year: a glorious mess.

Life is offering me some pretty cool opportunities this year, and I don’t want to shy away from them because I’m so focused on feeling safe. Of course, working on financial security and keeping JC secure in his father and myself remain a priority. But since change usually inspires me to stick my head in the sand, I think my guiding word this year needs to help me make the most of things.

What’s the best way you handle a change in plans?

Week 7 Intention: The Best is Yet to Come

I apologize for missing a few weeks–it has been crazy here! I started out the week with this intention:

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Then yesterday afternoon, my husband got offered a new job at a yoga, meditation and cycling studio in downtown Atlanta. It’s a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor of an awesome concept. Even more exciting, the role will take him (along with me and JC, our son) to Honolulu and Los Angeles in the near future. I’m super excited about the opportunity to travel and see some parts of the world I’ve never seen before. I’m also slightly terrified, as I’m not really a traveler. I have very deep roots and very short wings (I’m like a penguin. I have wings for show, but I’m really meant to waddle around in the same place). But clearly 2016 is going to be the year I embrace change!

How is your week going so far? Did you get a long weekend or was it business as usual for your yesterday?

Week Two Intention: Set Your Own Standard

I actually had a different intention all ready for this week, but then this gem dropped in my e-mail this morning and I thought it was even more appropriate.

   

I had a lovely brunch with my oldest friend yesterday. She is in her early 30’s, with a successful career and in a happy, long-term relationship–but not married. She pointed out how she always feels like she has to explain and go into detail about her relationship and why they aren’t married with kids when she meets someone new, but that she’s tired of justifying it to people. She’s happy–so why feel the need to explain?

I think that idea, and my intention for the week, can be applied to a lot of different people and their situations. I constantly find myself yammering on to people about how I “only” ran three miles on my run and how I’m so slow and I used to be a long distance runner and faster but I’m starting over because blah blah blah…I need to stop doing that. I know my own story, I know that those three miles area big deal to me. I need to own it and be confident in my own standards–and keep raising them as the days go by.

Hope everyone has a great week! What standards are you owning this week?

Week One Intention: You Are What You Do

I’ve been setting weekly intentions on Instagram for a few weeks now, and I thought I’d start the year off by including them here on the blog as well. For the first full week of January, I want to focus on action.

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I think it’s appropriate for my first intention of 2016 to be a call to action.  So this week, I’m going to focus on actually DOING all the things I TALK about: being active every day. Eating less sugar. Finding more quiet time in my day. Finding time to write. I’ll probably exhausted by the weekend and no laundry will be done. 

I may be in the minority, but I’m so ready to be back in the real world after the holidays. 

  
Happy first Monday of 2016. May your adulting go smoothly. 

What do you often talk about doing but never actually do? 

2016 Word of the Year

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2016 is off to a great and strong start.

If you’re anything like…well, most people in the world…you’ve made your New Year’s resolutions. And usually I do, too. And–once again, like most people–they’ve flown out the window by early February. There’s even a “Break Your Resolution Day” this year (on January 17th, if you’re wondering).

Last year, I made resolutions but I also declared “bloom” to be my word of the year. I knew 2015 was going to be tough with job changes, relocations, and general life upheaval, and I chose “bloom” to remind myself that no matter what situation I was in, I could make the best of it and make it beautiful. When I looked back on the year, I realized that I couldn’t even remember what my resolutions were–but my word of the year stuck. So for 2016, I’m declaring myself resolution free and gearing all my goals to my 2016 Word of the Year:

                                                  Secure.

Secure isn’t a pretty word. Bloom made for a better Pinterest board, that’s for sure. But when I get to the bottom of all my wants, goals and resolutions, security is what I’m left with.

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  • I want to be financially secure. I’m not ready to go back to work full time, but I would like to contribute to my family financially this year.
  • I want to be secure in myself. I want to be one of those people that’s confident and comfortable in their own skin. I also don’t want to be a push over. I’m one of those people who NEEDS everyone to be happy and pleased with them. I think it’s time I got over this.
  • I want to be secure in my health. I really need to focus on building up my immune system this year. I’m tired of catching a cold and then still having it three weeks later.
  • I want my family to be secure in me and in their home. I want them to know that whatever craziness happiness, we have a pattern and comfort and safeness at home.

I also think one of the reasons my resolutions have failed in the past is because I do better with one overreaching, longterm goal and a handful of smaller ones. So I’m going to focus on smaller monthly goals and try to work on one big goal…but honestly, I haven’t settled on one yet. Unfortunately, goal setting is one of the areas where my type A personality goes a little berserk, and it takes me awhile to really lay goals out.

Are your goals set and ready to go? Have you ever made a word of the year?

 

5 Things I’m Giving Up This Season (And Maybe Forever)

‘Tis the season for over indulging, parties every weekend, Santa-themed 5Ks, family drama, overspending, merriment and cheer. With everything that’s going on–and January resolutions looming–here are 5 things I’m giving up for the season…and maybe forever.

  • Target: How is it that I go in for milk and come out with 6 bags of stuff I don’t need? That store just sucks me in. And–as one of my friends so aptly put it the other day–at Christmas time it resembles a war zone. Packed with shoppers, slow cashiers, impulse buys around every corner…I’m saying goodbye to the big red bullseye for awhile.   
  • Counting calories: I know it’s the best and most effective way to lose weight. But when I start counting calories, I become obsessed. Exactly how many ounces of cheese did I just eat? Does this apple seem small or medium to you? If I eat this slice of pie, I’m only going to have 12 calories left for the rest of my life!!! I have a love/hate relationship with the app My Fitness Pal. I become hooked, inputting every little morsel that enters my mouth…then I become competitive with myself. Can I get a little lower the next day? And the next? And the day after that? By the end of the week, I’m not eating enough and it’s not pleasant to spend time around me. Since I have spent time counting calories, I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on how much I need–and following a clean diet with limited sugar (most of the time) works better for me than counting.
  • Going to the gym. Note I did not say “working out”. I recently left the brick and mortar gym we joined when we moved and man, was it a hassle. Time to embrace the at-home workout! I might be hoping that an  at-home TRX suspension kit will be under the tree this year…   
  • Orchestrating the perfect moments. I wrote about this over on Mama Writes Words, and I think I’m going to apply it to more than just the holidays (you can read it here). Who needs the stress and exhaustion of creating “perfect moments” (such as the perfect Christmas card photo, the perfectly decorated tree, etc) when the things you remember are the unplanned, imperfect moments like when Grandma falls asleep at the dinner table and starts reciting recipes in her sleep (what, this doesn’t happen in your family?)?
  • Making a to do list: does it ever seem like your “to do” list is never ending? I have categories of lists. I need an intervention. Or, I just need to stop. 

What are you letting go of this holiday season? 

What Would you do if you Could do Anything?

I write a lot about fitness on this blog. After all, it is called Girl Seeking Healthy. But I believe that healthy is more than just fitness–it’s about finding balance and being happy and whole. So today I have two questions for you:

What would you do if you could do anything?

Why aren’t you doing it?

We all have dreams. Maybe you want to run a marathon. Maybe you want to write a novel. Maybe you want to be President, climb Mt. Everest, or learn to paint.

Along with those dreams, we all have realities. Families to take care of, bills to pay, jobs to go to. Sometimes our dreams are withheld from us because of other less tangible obstacles: you can’t run a marathon if you get winded going up the stairs. Writing a novel takes time. Climbing Mt. Everest takes training. There are so many things in the way of what we want to be doing that most of the time, we simply give up.

Today I say that it’s time to give up on giving up.

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Okay, so maybe you’ll never become President of the USA. But you could run for a position on your neighborhood association or PTA. I think they key is digging down to really think about why you dream about things you dream about. For example, I think that if I were to go back and do it all over, I would like to become an archivist or a librarian. I’m 32, have a degree in English and I’m the primary caretaker of my kid. I don’t really have the money or the time right now to go back to school and earn the necessary degrees or certifications to do either of those things (most entry-level archival positions require both a BA and an advanced degree! Who knew?)

So I thought about why those things appealed to me. I love books. I love being around them, organizing them, smelling them (yep, I’m one of those). I love to put things in order, categorize them, and keep track of things. I don’t need any more education to do that. With a few tweaks and minimal financial investment, I’m going to turn my office/homeschool room into a library. I may even dewey decimal system my books. Kidding. Sort of.

And I have boxes (boxes!!!) of photos, cards, notes, programs and moments that need to be organized. I don’t need to search for a new job. I just need to open my closet.

What’s your wildest, far-flung dream? How can you incorporate elements of it into your everyday life?