Sleep vs stress… I needed to reread this!!

I wrote this post for my newsletter a few weeks ago, when my computer crapped out on me just before my launch.

Today, I receive some news that is potentially a lot more challenging and difficult to deal with than a computer malfunction. I will be sharing more soon, as I’m still not entirely sure how everything will unfold.

What I do know is that Friday is B-day (Blog day!) for me, yet by the time I was finally able to be in front of my computer again, my thoughts were swirling with what ifs and I was unable to focus. Nothing really seemed as important as the news I’d just received, yet my commitment to this work and my budding blog is so strong that I started feeling anxious that I wasn’t producing content. I was also physically exhausted, yet too wound up to sleep.

I realized, again (!!) that I needed this reminder, and instead of pushing through (that “chin up, and soldier on” mentality still runs strong in me sometimes) I needed to practice radical self-care.

I’ve also read that that lunar eclipse is stirring up a lot of intense energy and emotions in some people. I’m hoping this re-post will be timely…

So here it is!!

A few weeks ago…

On Monday morning I was reclining in the hammock in my office, writing the beginnings of this blog post with pen and paper.

 With the imminent launch of my online biz and a long-ass to do list, this might seems an unlikely place to be sitting at the start of what was supposed to be a super busy week. In fact, only a few days earlier, I had posted this message on Facebook: if it weren’t for the need to eat, dance/exercise/teach my classes, sleep and spend QT with family and loved ones, i don’t think i would leave my computer…

The truth of the matter was that I was becoming more than a little obsessed. In fact, the day before (Sunday), I almost had a total meltdown.

I was feeling torn between spending time with my brothers who were in town visiting (and whom I rarely get to see) and all of my “should dos” for my business. I almost cancelled taking them to a plant nursery (which was one of my brother´s must-dos for his visit and something I KNEW would be really good for me). I told my partner I couldn´t go to the beach with him, something that we always did on Sundays, our one day to spend the whole day together. Then feeling panicky about not spending enough time with him, I renegged, and planned my afternoon to look like this: 1 hour at the beach, 1 hour filming vlog, 2 hours editing and working on my website, dinner with family, then several more hours of computer time.

Well, my computer (and The Universe, God, my Higher Power, etc) had other plans for me.

My hard drive had crashed. Total system shutdown. My google search on the symptoms wasn´t hopeful.

My brain wanted to meltdown, freakout, crawl into a hole and re-emerge with my computer magically working again. Yet my body felt different. My heart rate stayed steady, my breathing even.

I took a few deep breathes and set my intentions. I was going to release control, trust the timing, and love myself through this.

I sent messages to a few friends who knew about computers, and arranged to see them in the morning.

 After my dad and brother started in with catastrophizing comments, I asked for their loving support, without the dire predictions.

I anointed myself with my support and rescue blends of essential oils, as well as a special rose quartz infused heart-protecting blend.

At the grocery store, I walked past the bottles of wine (and yes, I was very tempted to reach out and grab a least one) and picked out the nicest chocolate I could find.

We had our family dinner as planned, and I actually sat through and enjoyed the entire movie.

I asked my family, my partner´s family and a close group of women friends to pray for me, and that my computer could be backed up and fixed without too much time or money.

I went to my partner´s house, and made an aromatic, calming blend of tea.

We prayed together.

I asked him to give me a sensual massage, and then we made love.

And I slept, a deeply soothing sweet sleep.

I woke up on Monday pretty clear on the message I was receiving: I had been getting way ahead of myself, and I needed to slow down. I wasn´t walking my talk, I wasn´t even practicing the same level of self-care that I recommended to my clients. To the contrary, I was actually being quite hard on myself, by pushing to accomplish too much, too fast.

It wasn´t just self care I was missing, it was self-love, compassion, and kindness.

THANK YOU!! Got the message, LOUD AND CLEAR!!

By giving myself permission to limitless self care and love on Sunday night, I was IMMEDIATELY rewarded by a beautiful, restful sleep and more presence, clarity and calm the next day.

What will you do the next time you realize you are pushing yourself too hard, letting stress creep up on you, or when life throws you a curve ball? It may seem counter-intuitive, but try this. Do the EXACT OPPOSITE of what *think* you should been doing!

Slow down, take a nap, remove something from your schedule, and then heap on more self care, support, and love than you thought was possible. If you run out of ideas, enlist your family, your partner or your friends. You´ll be setting a good example for them too!

 As my father says, it´s not what happens in life, it´s how you deal with it…

I`ve already outlined a number of things that worked for me this week.

To recap:

– set clear boundaries and ask for what you need in terms of support

– lavish yourself with self-love

– give yourself permission to slow down

– create nurturing bedtime routines to ensure great sleep

What are your favourite self-care tips ? How do you make sure you are practicing self-love as well as self-care?

I´m looking forward to hearing from you! Make sure to take some extra time off for yourself this long weekend, lavish in self-love!


When restricting yourself isn’t working… try adding in!

I was talking to a client this week who was beating herself up after the cleanse we had created for her “fell apart.” As she described what had happened over the past couple of weeks since our last 1-1 call, she kept using words like “I cheated” and “I was bad.”

 As we dug deeper, she described a pattern in her behaviour. She would set unrealistically high expectations for herself, and then somehow find a way to #@!* it up, then beat herself up more, and as a punishment, set an even stricter program for herself, which she would inevitably F-up again.

Sound familiar?

I meet and work with a lot of women who are really hard on themselves. I myself have certainly gone to extremes of self-flagilation as well. It wasn’t until I got so tired of being hard on myself (and basically crashing and burning) and started filling my life with pleasure and positivity that I actually started seeing the results I wanted.

What’s even better is that this is one of the foundational approaches we learn at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I studied to become a coach. (If you’d like to know more about IIN, let me know!)

 Instead of focusing on everything she did “wrong,” I challenged my client to celebrate her successes. What were the elements of the cleanse that she had stuck to? What were the changes that she enjoyed?

Not surprisingly there were many: she loved her daily green smoothies, was adding more greens and salads to every meal, trying new recipes, getting great sleep and waking up earlier with more energy, and instead of drinking wine daily in the evenings, was limiting her intake to special evenings with friends. Oh and in 2 weeks had lost 5 pounds, despite a back injury that had kept her on the sofa for half the time. That’s a lot to celebrate!!

Next we talked about how to “flip the script” and reverse the cycle of restrictive diets and negative self talk. Instead of designing a program that revolves around “limiting, eliminating, and abstaining” what if we simply focused on “adding in” more good-for-us stuff? MORE green smoothies in the morning, more veggies, more yummy alternatives to red wine in the evenings, more self care, more baths in the evening, more enjoyable moderate exercise, more pleasure, and more sleep.

Sounds a lot better, doesn’t it?

The more good, pleasurable, positive, healthy, fun (insert your desired adjective here) we can ADD IN to our lives, the less we feel as though we are depriving or restricting ourselves, and the less likely we are to trigger those negative cycles.

So tell me, what are you going to add in this week? I would love to hear in the comments section.

And as always, if you know someone who would benefit from reading this, please share with them!