Find your Zen

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The Mental Health Idea

Mental health is not just about psychiatrists, pills and therapy. When you hear the term “Mental Health”, it’s mostly associated with “Mental illness” and that’s wrong.  Everyone has a breaking point when it comes to stress. The idea behind Zen helps break up the difference. Breaking points don’t mean there is something that needs to be medically fixed.  It means that the stress was not alleviated enough to work through and find a workable solution.  There are many misdiagnosed people every day and each year because of this idea. Now, if there is self harm or other red flag issues that’s a different story, and help can be found here.

 

Everyone Needs Quiet Time

There’s a reason that spas charge high dollar prices for relaxation. It’s often hard to find at home or in public (unless your happy place is outdoors). We need time away from the noise, chaos and everyday stress of living. This is where we find our thoughts and enjoy the ability to think clearly. That’s also why you can find hoards of laptop users at the local coffee shop or empty 24 hr diner.

The time you get away from stress helps reset your mind, ease anxiety about future tasks and lets you simply not fill the void with noise. My favorite things to do are: write, take a hot bath with a few drops of lavender oil and Epsom Salt, get a coffee and listen to music or go for a walk. Sometimes I’ll go a little crazy and put the spa music on in the bathroom and turn the light off for that spa feel if I’ve had a particularly long day. Just make sure you have an alarm set or someone one check on you to make sure you don’t fall asleep in the bathtub… that could be bad.

Everyone has there own version of a happy place. Some people prefer some background noise to help focus (think yoga or spa music). These can be found in an app on your phone too if you would rather have those vs the radio. I know I usually do because the lyrics often distract me from what I’m trying to accomplish.

 

Drink Preferences and Types of Relaxation

Drinking often is associated with relieving stress. “Getting drunk on Friday night” is seen as a stress reliever. I’m not saying you shouldn’t drink alcohol ever. I’m saying don’t forget to drink water too. Alcohol makes us dehydrated and can lead to a hole host of issues because of it. So if you decide to get your Mimosa or Margarita, make sure you are drinking enough water to offset that need. If you’re looking for a new favorite drink, I wrote a post on teas I recommend trying. I have found that I really enjoy finding new drinks I can make at home for very little money and effort. Another favorite is smoothies. I simply buy the frozen fruit from the grocery store and add Arizona Tea for the liquid ( you can add other things of course) and voila!

 

Get Out…Alone

Another thing I’ve done to help promote relaxation is the “big parenting no no”…. I send my kid to daycare for a half day or full day, depending on my needs. (My husband will often offer to keep her, but when he is busy or had enough himself, its an option) There are days you need to get bunch of errands done and dragging the mini me is not fun for either of us. She really enjoys playing with the kids at daycare and I enjoy not arguing with her about pointless things in the middle of Walmart. It’s a win/win.  I can also have lunch in peace…..by myself.

In my opinion, you should never feel guilty about giving yourself a day alone while you kiddo is having fun elsewhere.  Not only are you not stressed as much, but you can even go home for a couple hours and do some home yoga, home spa day or chores without looking over your shoulder. This lets you be mentally prepared for the rest of the week. Being a supermom/dad doesn’t require you to be with them playing “Present parent”  every moment of every day. You were an individual before the kids with interests and you need to be able to tap into that. You cant just wear all the parent hats (cook, maid, nurse, ect) and not allow yourself to wear your own hat too….The one that doesn’t have kid related stuff attached.

 

The Amazing Yoga Studio….in my living room

I wish I could afford the price tag pinned to those awesome studios. I have done some donation Yoga studios and they are awesome, but until the budget allows…. Home studio is where its at! I even wrote a post on 5 Reasons you need Yoga for Stress and Anxiety. Yoga is about focus, not about twisting into some weird shape and holding yourself hostage like that to prove you can. Getting started is pretty easy. All you need is a Yoga Mat ( I think the strap is useful for when you do join a class, you don’t have to carry your mat like a wood log). A water container that keeps your drink cool and preferably from “sweating” and making the floor wet. Something appropriate to workout in, I like Yoga Pants and breathable yoga top. Some do a Sports bra and yoga shorts. And a “yoga bag” and balancing block (A bag you can fit your wet clothes, block and towel in). Make sure to check with the studio before you go to assure you will have everything you need.

As I mentioned, I do these things in my living room. I run my console on the Tv, find YouTube and select yoga for beginners and away we go. This way I can  get use to the moves, take breaks, make tea, sit on my porch for a few minutes between sets or just go pee without disrupting anyone.

 

Tell Me About Your Rituals

Leave me a comment about what things help you collect your thoughts and keep your Zen buzzing. Then hit like and share to let me know you liked this post! Thanks guys!

 

 

 

7 Ways a Wardrobe makes YOU Stand Out

Wardrobe woes

We all do it. Sometimes without knowing it. We judge people by their wardrobe choices. The harsh, but evident reality is, it really does make a difference (and not solely in the workforce). Consider these points next time you head out to the clothing store.

  1. First Impressions

Does your wardrobe keep you from getting respected at the office or with clients? Having a polished outfit commands attention to your effort.  Unless you’re in a stay at home/work from home/ or in a get dirty environment,  your clothing choices say much more than you do. When clients work with professionals they want to be comfortable in their selection of business relationships.  (ie: A clean mechanic probaby doesn’t get much business) This applies to all types of relationships, not just professional. How many dates/encounters ended in your head after seeing the person you met? You may have exchanged info, but you just weren’t impressed? I’m not implying looks are everything, but looking like you care, holds water.

2.  Dress for the job you want

This is a great piece of advice no matter where you are on the totem pole. Newer hires can be chosen over seniority because of a difference in attitude and desire to look the part. This stays true for romantic interests as well. If you show up late and don’t even appear to want to be there, it’s unlikely they see you as a serious candidate. You could know that person 5 minutes or 5 years, it won’t make a difference. When you’re dressed up, it shows a level of motivation that can get you noticed in a good way.

3. Dressing nice builds confidence 

Thats right, in addition to getting noticed, being polished will make you feel better about yourself. As most ladies have “a little black dress” or men have the “3 piece suit”, these outfits make us feel good about how we look. When we look good, we perform better. It might feel awkward at first if you’re not accustomed to it. But when you’re succeeding, you’ll get use to it. You could hire a waredrobe assistant to help navigate the task of finding pieces. (I suggest an expert in body shapes to help determine what styles are best suited to your height and body type.)

4. Your personal style

You don’t have to wear $400 shirts and Prada shoes to dress nicely. Things that fit your body shape, colors that flatter and illuminate who you are will be enough. (Just remember, for all professions, you are dressing not only for yourself, but for the respect of your clients.) Embellish your stylish outfit and accessorize with pieces that both adds a punch of your personality and stays consistent with your look. Accessories make the outfit whole. Don’t discredit their weight in the final product.

5. Drab vs Fab tug of war

Meeting with a consultant will make picking clothes much easier.  I, myself are a HUGE fan of thrift stores for bargains. However, I don’t suggest using them as your main source. The clothes found are usually, over washed, overstretched, outdated or discolored. I’m not saying you can’t find good pieces, but understand they are still not unworn. These stores are great sources for accessories like jewelry and scarves. Take advantage of Salvation Armys’ 50% off days, if they have them in your area. It’s a great way to save. So why buy new? The styles are up to date, crisp and you won’t need to alter many pieces after they’re bought. Honestly, you will be best off with basics until you get the hang of trends and pairing colors and styles. Add color with accessories or peek a boo’s. A great way of getting fashion ideas is off Pinterest and using Amazon. It literally has everything and you can add or subtract from your cart without feeling the anxiety of register shock.

6. Shoes, shoes, shoes

No, you don’t need to buy a pair of shoes for every outfit. A few flats, a few heels and a couple pair of boots/sandles in neutral to begin with. No need to go wild if you aren’t a “shoe fanatic”. Don’t just buy ones that look good on your feet. That’s a horribly (literally painful) idea. I advise a shoe specialist who can show you types of shoes that work well with your feet. Insoles are also a great idea for those of us on our feet a lot. The way we stand (and sit) directly affects our posture. Posture is what makes us feel tired and achy.  If you start where it counts, it relieves the pain that ales us. This makes going out after work a much less exhausting thought, thus allowing for a productive social life. Not to mention, our elder selves will thank us later.

7. So many beautiful colors

We can all agree that not everyone looks good in the same colors. This is due to different skin tones , eye color and hair color.  Have your skin tested at the local Sephora. (Its free) It will print out your best color combinations for your skin tone. Hair color also makes a huge difference. Ask your stylist or consult a color specialist. They are free to talk to and more than happy to explain. Hair should complement both skin AND eye color. Your wardrobe should complement what’s going on after that. You should see the person first before the clothes. That’s right. After all that reading about how important your wardrobe can be, it’s still YOU who solidifies someone’s opinion about who you are. Clothes, hair, make up and extras just emphasize it. So go ahead, Rock it out!