A Drama-Free Way to Get Rid of Your Kids’ Halloween Candy

how to get rid of halloween candyHi friends! I hope you all had a happy Halloween week celebrating with your families!

After a fun filled week full of trick or treating, friends and family, we’ve hit a turning point related to the sugar consumption in our household. That’s what I want to talk to you about today!

I’ve always been really conscious of the effect that sugar has on our little ones. I’ve seen firsthand how quickly it can affect my 3 year old daughter, June, and have noticed that whenever she has too much sugar she becomes hyper, a little crazy, and really emotional. I’ve also witnessed the addictive nature of sugar, and how one treat quickly leads to a desire to have another, and then another, leading to an unhealthy cycle.

As a result of this, we try to limit sugar in our house. We drink water instead of juice unless it’s a special occasion and try to make healthier choices with snacks. I believe in moderation, so we still have treats and desserts but we make a conscious effort to choose them wisely.

Due to the nature of Halloween we’ve had more candy than usual in the house this week. This is the first year that June really understands Halloween so I’ve let her indulge a bit more than usual. On Halloween day, she had way too much candy which led to a terrible night where she was hyper and rambunctious in the bath, which was not only chaotic, but also dangerous, and then she refused to go to sleep. It was a rough night that reminded me why I usually limit her sugar intake.

At the end of the night, I felt terrible because I knew that this was something that could have been avoided. I felt guilty seeing June not acting like herself and knowing that it was a direct result of my permissiveness with the candy, so I decided to throw the remaining candy away.

I knew that this would lead to tears the next morning when she inevitably asked for more candy, but luckily, I heard about a Halloween legend called the “Switch Witch” and that saved the day!

The Switch Witch is a witch that comes on Halloween and switches out your kids’ candy with a toy or present! I LOVED this idea and knew that it was the right choice for our family since we were all at the end of our rope with the candy consumption.

The next morning when June woke up, we talked about what happened the night before and how eating too much candy can make us feel a little wild and crazy, and can even make us sick. I told her that the Switch Witch had taken her candy, but would be coming back to replace it with a gift while she was at school. She got really excited about it and forgot all about the candy, instead talking about the toy she hoped she would get.

When I picked her up from school, the first thing she said was “Mommy did the Switch Witch come?!” I told her that she had and then when she get home she opened her present and played with it the rest of the afternoon… candy long forgotten!

I love the idea of the Switch Witch because I believe in rewarding ourselves for making smart choices.

If you are a candy hating mom like I am ;), I invite you to try this idea! Talk to your children honestly about why giving up their candy is a good idea. Tell them about the Switch Witch and see how they react.

Seeing the negative effects of sugar on my little one has also made me more conscious of the effects that it has not just on children, but on all of us. I have always had a sweet tooth and as a result, it is something that I try to limit in my diet, however, it’s also something that easily sneaks back in. Watching the addictive effects of it on my daughter has caused me to reflect on my own addictive tendencies with sugar, and I’ve started to really clean up our pantry and start my own sugar detox.

If sugary snacks and candy are something that you struggle with yourself, I invite you to use the Switch Witch idea for yourself! Clean out your pantry of excess candy, sugar, and sweets and reward yourself with something that you have been looking forward to! I am treating myself to a new pair of sneakers as a way to symbolize the healthier lifestyle that I am embarking on.

Please let me know if you try out the Switch Witch idea and how it goes for you!

Wishing you a happy and healthy week ahead!

Be well,
Ambar

P.S. If you are looking for other ways for you and your little ones to stay healthy, I am teaching a FREE Mommy & Me Yoga class at Athleta in Shrewsbury later this month. If you are a local NJ mom, I’d love for you to come! Click here for all the details and sign up! πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to see you and your little ones in person!

3 Words to Stop Stress in its Tracks

 

3 words to stop stressStress is something that we all experience from time to time. It’s a part of being human. However, in today’s modern world it can be all too easy for feeling stressed to become the norm. Our lives our busy, we are constantly stimulated, and many of us can feel pressured to keep working harder, do more, or respond to every little thing that calls out for our attention.

When this starts to happen, the stress response in our bodies starts to go off as a way of telling us to slow down, be quiet, and take a moment to breathe.

When we ignore that voice, we can get into trouble.

What exactly is stress, and why does it happen?

Stress is our body’s way of keeping us safe.

The stress response developed back in primal times as a way of keeping us away from danger. When our bodies noticed that we were faced with a life or death situation, such as being chased by a bear, it would signal the stress response in our bodies. When the stress response was triggered, our adrenaline would spike up so that we were able to run faster, fight harder, and have a better chance of survival.

The problem is that we no longer live in a world where we are faced with this type of dangerous situation, but our bodies continue to fight everyday stressors in the same way.

When it comes down to it, stress is just trying to keep us safe. It is not our enemy or something that is working against us. It is our body’s way of making sure that we are out of harm’s way.

Knowing this, we can start to recognize that the best way to keep stress at bay is by showing our bodies that we are safe.

The first thing that we should do when we feel stressed is to give a voice to how we are feeling. Say, “I feel __________.” (Fill in the blank with a word to describe how you feel).

It sounds so simple, but it really works!

Most of us respond to stress in the opposite way… we hide from it, ignore it, try to numb it out, or keep going despite of it, pretending that everything is fine.

The problem with doing that is that when we ignore our body’s stress signals, they continue getting louder. They are trying to keep us safe so the stress response keeps getting stronger until we feel so stressed out that we can’t ignore it.

On the other hand, if we start to recognize our body’s stress response quickly and give voice to it right away, it starts to quiet down.

Why is saying how we feel the first step to managing stress?

1) It gives us permission to feel whatever it is that we are feeling. When we state our feelings out loud and acknowledge them, we immediately feel seen, heard, and understood. We stop making ourselves wrong for not being happy-go-lucky all the time and give ourselves permission to feel human. The simple act of giving ourselves permission to feel our feelings helps to validate them, and as a result, we start to feel better.

2) It empowers us to do something about it! Once we have recognized how we are feeling by stating it out loud, we are put back in the driver’s seat of our lives. By voicing how we feel, we take responsibility for our life experience. We recognize that we are capable of changing how we feel and we are empowered to do something to feel better!

Next time that you notice that you are feeling stressed out or overwhelmed, try it for yourself! Stop whatever you are doing and take a moment to say how you are feeling. Say, “I feel __________.” (And insert a word to describe how you feel; i.e. stressed out, anxious, overwhelmed). Notice what happens next. Do you feel better now that you got that off your chest? Are you now thinking of the next steps that you can take to feel better?

Getting into action and doing something that makes you feel better is the second step toward relieving stress, but it always has to start with acknowledging how you feel first!

Yesterday I lead a workshop on using meditation & mindfulness to relieve stress. I taught 11 different meditations, breathing exercises, and mindfulness practices to relieve stress and anxiety in just minutes. If you want to learn some simple, practical, and doable steps to take to stop feeling stressed, you can still sign up! Just sign up for the workshop here, and you will receive immediate access to the recording, + a printable worksheet of all of the different exercises that we covered.

I hope that you find this helpful!

Wishing you a stress-free week ahead!

Be well,
Ambar

 

 

Are You an Emotional Eater? 4 Steps to Food Freedom

emotional eatingHello my friends! Today I want to talk to you about a topic that feels a little bit vulnerable to talk about… emotional eating!

Can you relate to being an emotional eater? Do you ever turn to food for comfort instead of nourishment? If so, then this is forΒ  you.

I have had my own share of struggles with emotional eating since I was young. I’ve always had a sweet tooth and remember sneaking cookies and sweets as a little girl, or grabbing a pile of snacks and sitting in front of the TV whenever I wanted to veg out after a long day. As I grew up, I found myself continuing this habit which started to lead to a bit of an unhealthy lifestyle.

What started to happen was that I found myself in this constant pattern of yo-yo dieting. For years, I would either be on a diet or off a diet. When I was on a diet, I would try to be meticulous with my eating and only eat things that I considered “healthy”. And, when I was off my diet, it was a total free for all of cookies, chips, and processed foods. This would continue until I would either notice that I was gaining too much weight, or just start feeling physically ill to the point where I had to stop… and then it was time to get back on a diet!

This unhealthy cycle consumed me for many years, until I became pregnant with my daughter. I suffered from terrible morning sickness during the first 4 months of my pregnancy, and had no choice but to start developing a relationship with my body and listening to it for clues as to what it wanted me to eat. Sometimes this was a cookie or a chip, and other times it was fruit and veggies. For the first time in my life, I started to find balance.

After I had my daughter, my mentality around food had shifted, and I decided that I was never going to go on a diet again. I didn’t want my daughter to grow up with a mother who has an unhealthy relationship with food and is always trying to lose weight! I want her to grow up learning healthy habits from me, and seeing that I love my body and treat it well. I know that our children learn more from what we do than from what we say, and so the only way to teach her to love her body is by loving my own body and treating it with kindness.

I’m proud to say that I’ve stuck with my non-diet mentality for the past 3 years. However, the one thing that has continued to plague me is the instinct to use food as a coping mechanism. When times in my life get stressful, I still find myself wanting to turn to food for comfort. This is something that I continuously have to work on.

Last week, I was talking to my friend Angelle who happens to be a women’s health and nutrition coach. I was talking to her about how I had been in a bit of a slump the past couple of weeks. As I mentioned in last week’s blog post, I have been feeling really emotional about my daughter starting school this year, coming to terms with the fact that the baby years are over, and that both she and I will be starting on a new journey this fall.

I started to realize that I had fallen back into my old patterns of emotional eating because I didn’t really want to deal with all of the emotions that I was facing. For the past few weeks, I had fallen back into the habit of using sugary and processed foods to numb out and avoid coping with my feelings.

This in turn, had caused me to fall into a little bit of a slump where I was feeling really anxious and a bit depressed. Angelle helped me see that the food that we eat really affects our mood. When we use unhealthy food to cope with our feelings, it leads us down this vicious cycle where we are eating too much sugar, processed foods, salt, etc… and then the food has a physiological effect where it physically makes us feel even worse… which then leads to us feeling even more anxious and depressed, and going back to the unhealthy foods to try to cover up those feelings!

It’s really a crazy and harmful cycle.

Once I recognized that this was what I had been doing, I started to realize that I could interrupt this pattern and take steps to change it.

Now, just one week later, I am happy to report that I have stopped my emotional eating cycle and am feeling SO much better! My anxiety and depression have completely lifted! I have lost 4 lbs. And, I was able to handle my daughter’s first day of school with grace. I still shed a few tears, but I didn’t feel completely consumed by anxious thoughts as I had been the past few weeks. All of this after just ONE WEEK of eating well and giving my feelings a voice.

If you can relate to this unhealthy cycle of bad food causing a bad mood, then here is a 4 step process that you can use to help stop the cycle of emotional eating:

1) Notice your patterns – Take a nonjudgmental look at the actions that you’ve been taking. Have you been using food as a coping mechanism instead of as a source of nourishment? Do you ever turn to food when you feel sad, down, or anxious?

2) Take stock of your emotions – How are you feeling? Are you trying to avoid feeling difficult emotions? When you are honest with yourself, can you admit that you have been feeling angry, overwhelmed, or depressed?

3) Make a commitment to feeling your feelings – Next time that you find yourself wanting to turn to food for comfort, make a commitment to being with your feelings for a few minutes instead. Get out a journal and write out anything that is bothering you. Give your thoughts and feelings a voice. Let it all out and don’t hold back. Give yourself permission to feel whatever it is that you are feeling.

4) Decide how you will move forward – Now that you are conscious and aware of your emotions, it’s time to decide what to do next. Ask yourself: what will REALLY make me feel better? Be open to new ideas such as talking to a friend, going for a walk, taking some alone time, or getting some fresh air. See if you are willing to take one of these actions instead of turning to food for comfort. If you still want to turn to your comfort food, you can, but this time you will be fully conscious of what you are doing, which will create a completely different experience.


I hope that you find this process helpful!

The thing about these 4 steps is that they are fairly simple and straight forward, but they are not always easy to do when we are feeling stuck in old patterns or deeply entrenched in a vicious cycle.

If you would like some additional support as you navigate your relationship with food, then I have a really great program to share with you!

My friends Angelle and Jill at the Nourish to Flourish Society are running their seasonal 14 Day Reset this fall!

This is a program that I do every year to help me get back on track with healthy eating and set myself up for success!

The 14 Day Reset includes:

  • 14 day meal plan including recipes, prep lists, shopping lists, & seasonal fall food chart
  • Full menu plan including – smoothie guide, breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, eating out guide, and no recipe needed, simple & easy meal ideas
  • Daily emails with soul practices and self care strategies to support you on an emotional level
  • 2 live coaching calls on how to handle cravings
  • Group support via a private FB group for community, encouragement, and inspiration from hundreds of other women who are going through the program with you

I love this program so much and will be going through it for the 4th time this fall! If you are ready to get to the bottom of your emotional eating for good and stop this negative relationship with food from taking over your life, then I hope you’ll join me!

After my first two times going through this program and noticing how different I felt, I decided to become an affiliate because I found it to be so well rounded and helpful. As I mentioned before, I am not at all into starvation cleanses or fad diets, and I find the 14 Day Reset to be a really holistic way of taking care of our bodies as well as our minds. If you need help in this area, I know that you’ll love this program as much as I do!

Click here to learn more about the reset and sign up!

I am wishing all of us a year full of good health and happiness!

Be well,
Ambar

 

Back to School! Saying Goodbye to Summer & Hello to Fall

transition from summer to fall

Hey friends!

September is upon us and all of the back to school/ back to work energy is in the air! I have been feeling a strong shift from the more relaxing, laid back energy of summer to the busy-er, hustle and bustle of fall! Have you been feeling it too?

With the change of seasons I have been feeling excited to get back to blogging more consistently again! I’ll be back to writing new posts every week with tips, information, and motivation to help you live your happiest, healthiest life! I have really missed writing and connecting with all of you on a regular basis and am so looking forward to getting back in connection with our wonderful little community!

My daughter June will be starting preschool for the first time this week and I am just a bundle of emotions over here! If you have been with me for awhile, you might remember what a big deal it was for me when I left my full-time job in December of 2016 to be home with June. Now that she is getting ready to start school and we are evolving to a new phase of our journey together, it feels like a big milestone. I left my job because I truly wanted to soak in June’s baby years. Now that they have gone by in a blink of an eye, I am so thankful that I made that decision (challenging as it was at times!). I can hardly believe that my little baby is growing up into such a “little big girl” as I like to call her. πŸ˜‰

Does anybody else feel extremely emotional and bittersweet about watching their babies grow?

Regardless of how old your children are, or if you are entering a new “back to school” season or not, the shift in energy from summer to fall is something that affects all of us.

I encourage you to do something this week to mark the unofficial end of summer and create a smooth transition into fall. Marking these transitions is a beautiful way to honor the different seasons in our lives.

Here are some ideas to get you brainstorming!

Ideas for celebrating the end of summer:

  • Get outside and soak in as much warmth as possible
  • Pick seashells or rocks and bring them into your home as a reminder of a summer well spent
  • Wash and put away any beach or summer gear that you won’t be using again in the near future
  • Go for a walk with your family and talk about your favorite moments from the summer
  • Take a moment to look at the sun and thank it for the warm, sunny summer memories

Ideas for marking the upcoming fall:

  • Spend time outside in the evenings and notice if you feel a shift in the air
  • Bring some falling leaves or pinecones inside to start preparing for the upcoming autumn season
  • Declutter a room or closet
  • Buy a new calendar or planner
  • Create a new morning routine for the “back to school” mornings

Being intentional and creative can be a helpful way to create easeful transitions and get excited about what is to come.

I am planning to spend the next few days engaging in the above activities to help set myself up for success as my family and I adjust to our new routine and schedule.

I’ve also decided that the best way to channel my emotions about my changing roles is to dive deep into new projects to keep me learning and growing. With June starting school and my new burst of creative energy, I am excited to start working a bit more this year and am lining up some new virtual and in person events, so stay tuned! πŸ™‚

The first event that I have planned is a virtual workshop on Meditation and Mindfulness for Stress Relief. During this workshop I’ll be sharing different practices that you can use to relieve stress anytime, anywhere whenever you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed (no meditation cushion required)! If this is something that would be helpful to you, you can click here to learn more and sign up! Early bird pricing is available through Labor Day.

meditation and mindfulness for stress relief

Now, I’d love to catch up and hear from you! How was your summer? Are you or your children embarking on any new transitions this fall? What exciting plans and intentions do you have for this upcoming season of life? Please comment below and let me know! One of the things I want most is to get to know each of my readers on a more personal level. I personally read each and every comment I receive and would love to be in true connection with you!

I am so happy to be back to blogging and look forward to talking more soon!

Have a beautiful week, friends!

Be well,
Ambar

Let’s get REAL about how we FEEL. Life is not a highlight reel.

Last night, I shared a post on social media about a bad day that I was having. I’ve been taken aback by the outpouring of support and solidarity that I have received in response to this post, and I wanted to share a little bit about this here on my blog.

You can click here to see the FB post I am talking about and read all of the comments.

Here is what I shared:

Today was not a good day. I had terrible anxiety. I cried about 12 times. I argued with my husband. I got angry at people (mostly myself).

For the last 10 years I’ve been coping with anxiety in all natural ways, and it works really well about 90% of the time. But the other 10% of the time, on days like today, I feel crazy and wonder if there’s something really wrong with me.

And still, there’s a big part of me that believes that it’s really normal, and really HUMAN to feel a little bit crazy sometimes. To have ups and downs. To experience the full spectrum of emotions that the human experience affords us… even when they are uncomfortable.

So tonight, I’m ending the day the best way I know how… with beach walks and hugs from my little family. Tomorrow I’ll try again. I’ll do some more yoga. I’ll take some supplements. I’ll use my essential oils. I’ll get outside. I’ll eat more veggies. I’ll work a little, read a little, and relax a little. I’ll enjoy some alone time and then some family time. I’ll try to have a better day and give myself grace even if it doesn’t work out that way.

I don’t know why I’m sharing this. Maybe in hopes that this helps someone out there who feels similarly. Maybe in hopes that someone says “me too” and lets me know I am not the only “crazy” one. Maybe just because I needed to get this out so I’m not bottling it all up inside, and writing is my best outlet.

Either way, this is me today. My life is not a highlight reel. We all have good days and bad days. If you happen to be having a bad day, you’re not the only one. And we might both be just a good night’s sleep away from our next good day. I certainly hope so! Goodnight, friends. Be well!

 

In just the 12 hours since I shared this post, I have received hundreds of likes, comments, and personal messages.

And here’s the thing. What I wrote is really not that special! I think that the reason that so many people felt called to respond is because they saw a piece of themselves in what I had written. We ALL have bad days! We ALL have feelings of anxiety, fear, anger, frustration, and sadness. It’s just that we don’t always talk about it.

This is the downside of social media. We are surrounded by people sharing the very best parts of their lives. And there’s nothing wrong with that… I do it too, and I get it! We all want to remember and hold onto the good days, the happy moments, the great times.

But, the shadow side of that is that in ONLY acknowledging the highs, we make ourselves wrong for feeling the lows. And in doing that we do everyone a disservice.

The human experience is not all good, no matter how much we wish it could be. We are meant to feel ups and downs, highs and lows, elation, sorrow, and everything in between. This is all a part of life! We need to get real about our life experiences and normalize not just the good, but also the bad.

When all that we see around us are shiny, happy moments, we feel that there is something wrong with us when we do not feel shiny and happy. But the truth is that there is NOTHING wrong with us. We are perfectly normal in ALL of our human experiences, in all of our feelings, in all of our shortcomings, in all of our imperfections.

This does not mean that we should stop striving to be happy. In fact, just the opposite. In having the courage to acknowledge and feel ALL of our feelings, we are able to move through them more quickly. We are able to get curious about our patterns and begin to truly heal them. We learn to appreciate the good moments even more. It is in this process that we find TRUE happiness.

So, what can we do about this?! How can we start to normalize the not-so-happy feelings?

I have 3 suggestions –

1) Be as kind to yourself as you would to a (Facebook) friend. I think that part of the reason why my Facebook post received so many interactions, is because as humans, we are naturally programmed to want to help one another. (And I am so grateful for that!)

When we see that someone is struggling, it is in our nature to want to help, to reach out with a comforting word, to let them know that they are not alone, and that whatever they are going through is perfectly normal, and that things will get better.

But, the problem is that we don’t always extend these same niceties to ourselves! How many of us judge ourselves for having a bad day? How many of us beat ourselves up after making a mistake? How often do we obsess over arguments and past hurts?

We are all our own worst critics. It’s time for us to work on the relationship that we have with ourselves. It’s time for us to start treating ourselves just as kindly (if not moreso!) as we would a friend, acquaintance, or stranger who is going through a hard time.

2) Talk about how you feel. – The ONLY way that we will every normalize anxiety, depression, anger, rage, and sadness is by talking about it! We have to get real and start talking about ALL of our feelings, NOT just the ones that we think are “good” ones! They are all good. It’s all good. We are all good! We need to stop labeling ourselves, judging ourselves, and compartmentalizing ourselves. We need to stop hiding parts of who we are. We need to start speaking up about all of our experiences.

You don’t have to talk about it on social media. But you can talk about it to your close friends, parents, husbands, partners, and other loved ones. The important thing is that you get it out there. Make it a part of your everyday conversations. Let the people you love and trust see ALL of you. I promise they are strong enough to handle it. Chances are, they will relate. In sharing our struggles, we give others around us permission to share theirs, or at the very least to see that they are not the only ones going through something.

So, start talking! It’s the only way to normalize these feelings and start creating a change.

3) Be your own advocate. – YOU are always the #1 expert on YOU. When you are going through a difficult time and begin sharing about it, you may receive advice and suggestions from others who want to help, which is great. However, always trust yourself and tune into your own inner wisdom. YOU are the one who knows what’s best for you.

If you are feeling mad, sad, anxious, or depressed, it’s time to advocate for yourself and give yourself what you need. Do you need to go for a run? Do you need to take a break? Do you need time alone? Do you need a night out with your girlfriends? Do you need a hug? Do you need to talk to a therapist? Do you need outside help? What do you need?

Figure out what you need and then don’t be afraid to ask for it.


To be honest, it was a little scary for me to share this post yesterday, but now I am so glad that I did. It certainly helped me see that I am not alone, and that even more people than I was aware of share in similar struggles.

I was a little bit nervous to share about my own struggles, not only because they are not often talked about publicly, but also because I thought it might damage my credibility. I mean… part of my job is helping women who are struggling with stress and anxiety! Would anyone trust me to help them if they see that I still struggle myself?

But, now I am starting to see that the reason why I am an expert on anxiety relief is BECAUSE I still struggle with it myself! The fact that I still have my own challenges, but am 100% committed to working my way through them is what allows me to relate to my clients and support them in the ways that I want to be supported myself.

In my experience, the best kind of coaching is about getting support and guidance from someone who is just a few steps ahead of you, not about learning from some sort of holier than thou superhuman who has every aspect of life figured out! (Does this even exist?) I understand these struggles firsthand. I am always learning, always growing, and always devoted to living my best, happiest life, despite whatever challenges I may be facing. I am here to help you do the same.

So, if you are struggling with feelings of stress and anxiety and are looking for some support… here are some resources to help you:

1) I currently offer 2 different ways of working with me privately. One is a one time strategy session and the other is a 3 month package for women who are looking for ongoing support. Click here to learn more.

2) If you are a mom with young children and you want to teach them healthy ways of coping with their feelings (while learning them yourself), my Yoga With Littles course is currently open for enrollment at a special presale price of 50% off! This special offer ends tomorrow 7/31, so click here to check it out now before the price goes up.

I started teaching yoga to my daughter when she was just 2 months old, because I didn’t want her to grow up with the same struggles with anxiety that I did. If you can relate to this, this course may be the perfect gift for both you and your child(ren)!


I hope this message serves you in some way. Let’s go out into our lives and create change. Let’s be brave enough to stand up for ourselves and our wellbeing. Let’s be real and share how we feel. No matter what we see pictured around us, life is not a highlight reel!

Take good care and be well my friends.

Lots of love,
Ambar

 

My baby’s turning 3 & my blog is turning 2!

mommy and me yoga challenge

Hi friends!

I’ve missed you! It’s so nice to be here writing to you after taking the last month and a half off from blogging.

I’m coming to you today with an update on what’s been going on in my world, and some info on a fun new project that I want you to be a part of!

As I write this post, I’m getting ready to celebrate my daughter’s 3rd birthday, and also the 2nd anniversary of my blog!

This is always an emotional time of year for me. I find myself reminiscing and thinking back on those first few days of bringing my baby girl into this world. I think about how much my daughter has grown and what a blessing it is to be able to witness her young joy, love, and spirit. If you are a mom, maybe you experience some similar bittersweet feelings around your child’s birthday too.

This time of year also makes me think about why I started this blog. I decided to start blogging just as my daughter was nearing her first birthday. At the time, I was thrilled that I had survived my first year of motherhood (ha!), and was feeling really proud of myself for going from a rocky start with a newborn to being completely in awe and gratitude of the many gifts of motherhood. Around this time, I had really embraced mommy and me yoga, essential oils, and other holistic methods that were greatly improving my life, I was halfway through my year long life coaching certification program, and I wanted to share all that I was learning with other mothers around the world. And so, Mama Bird Well Nest was born. πŸ™‚

And now, 3 years later, I am celebrating the birth of both my human baby and my blog baby!

If you read my last newsletter that I sent out in early May, then you already know that I’ve been taking a little break from blogging. After blogging every week for the last 2 years, I felt myself being called to step away from writing a little bit to focus more on my home and family life.

I’m a big believer in intuition, and so I listened to this little voice.

I stepped away from my business.

I started focusing more on creating a happy home life.

I took charge of my health, started eating healthfully, and recommitted to my yoga and meditation practice.

I started doing more mommy and me yoga with my daughter.

I hired a babysitter so that my husband and I could have more date nights.

I’m happy to report that all of these seemingly small changes had a big effect on me! They were exactly what I needed to feel refreshed and revitalized.

And then, in the middle of this break, something interesting happened…

I started to feel inspired to create a new project!

If you follow me on social media, you’ve seen that I’ve been sharing photos of my mommy & me yoga practice with my daughter, June, since she was a newborn. As I recommitted to doing more yoga with June over the last month, I started noticing that every time I posted a photo of us doing yoga together, I would get messages from other moms who were interested in doing yoga with their children, but didn’t know where to start.

And so, I decided to create a free, 5 day mommy & me yoga challenge!

Throughout this challenge I will be teaching moms how to start their own mommy & me yoga practice with their babies, preschoolers, and toddlers! You’ll learn fun yoga poses, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques… basically, everything you need to know to help stop toddler tantrums and mommy meltdowns!

In just 5 days, you will have everything you need to start sharing the gift of yoga with your little ones. And the bonus is that as a result of learning these skills, you will start to feel more peaceful, patient, and present as you go about your mom life!

I’ve created this yoga challenge as a way to celebrate the anniversary of my blog and my journey as a mother. I hope you’ll join me in the celebration! I am honored to be able to give back to my community in this way. We are going to have such a great time doing yoga together as a way of kicking off a summer of fun with our little ones!

Click here to sign up and join us!

mommy and me yoga challenge

 

 

 

 

If you are a mom of little ones, I would love to have you join us in this yoga challenge! If you are not a mom of little ones, I invite you to share this with any mom friends who you think might benefit from it.

As always, I greatly appreciate your support and am so grateful to have you in my inner circle.

Thank you for sticking with me throughout this much needed sabbatical, and for your support as I launch this new project! I firmly believe that this new inspiration for my yoga challenge would not have come if I had not given myself the time and space to step away from blogging and focus more on my family. I really appreciate you being here and being a part of my process!

In closing, I just want to encourage you to listen to your intuition. If you are feeling that something is a little off in your life, listen to your wise inner voice. We always know what’s best for us; all we need to do is make space to listen.

Wishing you a summer of fun, love, and connection!

Be well,
Ambar

P.S. Make sure to click here to join us in the Yoga With Littles Challenge! πŸ™‚

 

 

 

How to Have an Attitude of Gratitude

how to have an attitude of gratitude

Hi friends!

Each week, in my Facebook group, The Stress Free Society, we celebrate Thankful Thursdays where we do a weekly gratitude blast and share what we are grateful for. (Click here to join us if you haven’t yet!)

This week, as I was going through my own gratitude list, I was reminded of the quote, “The things you take for granted, someone else is praying for. Be thankful.” – Unknown

I quickly realized that looking at our lives in this way is one of the fastest ways to be grateful for what we have.

Here is an exercise that you can do right now to shift to an attitude of gratitude.

  1. Think about the things that most stress you out about your life.

  2. Shift this circumstance into a positive, by looking at it from the point of view of someone who is currently praying for the very same thing that you are currently experiencing.

  3. Now that you have adopted this new mindset, there is no going back! Take a moment to feel grateful for your life… ALL OF IT. Exactly as it is right now.

Here are some examples of how you would put this into action:

Maybe you are frustrated that you are single, while everyone around you seems to be getting married and living happily ever after. Instead, think about all of the people who are praying for the courage to leave dysfunctional relationships. Think about how much they would love to feel independent and not have the weight of a relationship that’s not working holding them down.

Perhaps you are stressed out by your job. Think about all of the people who are praying for the security of a weekly paycheck.

Maybe you are annoyed that you live with your parents. Think about all of the people who would love nothing more than to be able to go back to their childhood home or be supported by their families.

There is always something to be thankful for if you search deep enough.

If you want to take this one step further, look at your current circumstances and see where in your life you are currently experiencing the very things that YOU once prayed for.

Have you accomplished your life-long dream of having babies and being a mother? Are you able to support yourself and live on your own without having to depend on anyone? Have you accomplished your goal of becoming a teacher, getting a raise, or owning your own business? Are you in the happy relationship you always hoped for? Are you living in the beautifully decorated home you always pictured yourself in?

In our world, it’s very common to accomplish our hopes and dreams, and immediately move on to the next goal that we want to accomplish, without taking the time to celebrate all that we have already achieved!

Take some time this week to hit pause. Look back on all of the things you once prayed for. Notice the ones that have become your reality. Be grateful for that. Stop wishing for more for a moment, and take a minute to enjoy all of the beautiful gifts that you already have.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah

Be well,
Ambar

 

Mom Life is the Best Life

mom life is the best life

Earlier this week my daughter, June heard me say that “mom life is the best life”, and she asked, “what’s mom life, mommy?” Ah my child… where do I begin…

Mom life is beautiful, joyful, messy, and unfiltered.

Right now, for me, in this season of life, mom life is waking up early to start my day with a few precious minutes of alone time, even though I’d rather be sleeping in.

It’s mornings spent at story time, the park, or at play dates.

It’s meeting a friend and her kids for lunch, and realizing that you barely finished a full sentence in between encouraging your kids to eat and making sure no one catapulted out of their booster seat.

It’s craving a quiet afternoon but constantly catering to requests for more toys, stories, and snacks.

It’s being in constant awe of how big you’re getting, how much you’re changing, and how much independence you’re developing.

It’s knowing that even though I think you’re so big right now, a year from now I’ll look back and realize how little you were.

Mom life is constant nostalgia.

It’s counting down the minutes until daddy gets home, not just for the extra set of hands (although those matter too!), but for the moments the three of us get to share together, our own little team.

Mom life is wondering why a little person that’s so tired fights so hard to stay awake, when I myself would love nothing more than to crawl into bed each evening.

And then, mom life, ironically, is me fighting to stay awake every night after you go to bed so that your dad and I can have some alone time, which we so desperately need.

Mom life is me realizing that although all I’ve just said makes mom life sound a bit like a drag, it’s really the sweetest, most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.

Mom life is knowing that the priceless memories we’re making matter so much more than a full night’s sleep, days of peace and quiet, and uninterrupted meals.

Mom life is the most unconditional love and the purest joy you can imagine.

Mom life is a blessing.

Mom life is a gift.

Mom life is the best life.


What is your definition of mom life? We are each at different stages of our motherhood journeys and all have our own unique, personal experiences of mom life. Maybe you are an expecting mom, or maybe your children are already grown. Maybe you mother your grandchildren or your nieces and nephews. Maybe you are not a mother to your own child, but you are a teacher caring for students each day. Perhaps you have birthed a business, a book, a garden, or a new home. We are all mothers caring for the people and things we love.

What does mom life mean to you? Please share in the comments below! I would love to start an open conversation about this. I think it will be beautiful to read about the different experiences of mom life, and see that even though each experience is different, we are all on this beautiful journey together.

May you love your mom life each and every day (even the hard ones).

Be well,
Ambar

The ONE Question that will ALWAYS Help You Make the Right Decision

one question to make decision making easy

Hi friends!

I spent most of the day yesterday at a half day yoga retreat and it was so wonderful! Taking this uninterrupted time for myself to practice yoga, connect with my spirit, and meet other like minded women was exactly what my soul needed.

However, I almost didn’t go… I had signed up for this event a week in advance, and as it got closer and closer I started second guessing myself and asking myself if I really wanted to go. I started to feel guilty that I would be missing out on a whole morning of activities with my husband and daughter. I started worrying that I didn’t really know anyone going to the event and would feel awkward or uncomfortable. I was a little anxious because I had never been to a retreat like this before and didn’t really know what to expect.

Does this happen to you before doing something new? Maybe you can relate…

But, then I asked myself the one question that always helps me get clear in situations like this:

“Who do I want to be?”

Who do I want to be?! I want to be a woman who goes on yoga retreats! I want to be a woman who takes care of her mental, spiritual, and physical wellbeing. I want to be the kind of mother that shows her daughter that taking good care of herself is absolutely necessary. I want to be someone who takes time to nurture her own needs, wants, and desires. I want to be someone who has local friends who are interested in yoga, spirituality, and share similar interests. I want to be someone who is brave enough to try new things. I want to be someone who knows that taking good care of herself is just as important as taking care of others. I want to be a woman who has a strong connection with God, who knows how to quiet her mind, who listens when she is being guided.

These are all things that yoga does for me… and so, from this place of looking at the person I most want to be, it became crystal clear that I needed to go on this retreat!

This could have gone a different way… If my answer to the question, “Who do I want to be?” was something along the lines of: I want to be someone who spends every waking moment with her family. I want to be someone who feels safe and comfortable and isn’t interested in trying new things. I want to be someone who has a solid home yoga practice and doesn’t feel the need to be part of a community… if this had been my truth, then it would have been clear that this retreat was not something that was in alignment with the person I want to be.

It all comes down to asking the question, “Who do I want to be?” and then taking time to answer it truthfully. Deep down, we all know who we most want to be… what our best selves look like. We just need to make the space in our lives to answer this question and then do the things that help us move forward as this true version of ourselves. When we do this, we can rest assured that we are making the right decisions. Our desires are always guiding us in the right direction.

And so, after spending the morning at this yoga retreat yesterday, I am feeling peaceful, connected, and inspired. I am proud of myself for trying something new. I returned to my family feeling refreshed and spent the afternoon being fully present with them. I am glad that I took this much needed time for myself.

Next time that you are feeling a little stuck or anxious about doing something new, ask yourself this question: Who do I want to be? And then go forward and do whatever you need to do to start being the person who you most want to be! This is the path to fulfillment.

Be well,
Ambar

 

3 Reasons Why You Need an Evening Routine

why you need an evening routine

Hey friends,

I’ve talked a lot about why having a morning routine is so important. Now I want to share why having an evening routine matters just as much!

I have found that having both morning and evening routines is a beautiful way to start and end the day feeling calm, centered, and well taken care of. Taking just a few minutes for ourselves at the beginning and end of our day goes a long way toward decreasing stress and anxiety.

Now that you’ve learned about the importance of morning routines, let’s talk about 3 reasons why you need an evening routine:

 

1) An evening routine helps you shift from “go” mode to relaxation mode.

Many of us spend most of our days running from one activity to the next without taking a moment to rest. This can make it incredibly difficult to wind down when it’s time to go to sleep, as our minds are still running and processing all that we have kept up with that day. Having an evening routine gives our minds white space and allows our bodies to slow down and get ready to rest.

2) An evening routine promotes better sleep.

Every mother knows that having a bedtime routine is critical in order to get young kids to go to sleep and stay asleep. The same is true for adults! Having the same evening routine night after night creates signals in our brain to let it know that it’s time to go to sleep. Taking a few moments to relax before bedtime helps promote deep relaxation which allows us to get a better quality of sleep.

3) An evening routine sets you up for success the following day.

Better rest equals better sleep quality, which equals a more productive morning! When we are well rested, it becomes easier to wake up feeling happy, positive, and energetic the following day. Having a solid evening routine is where our rest cycle begins.

Now that you are starting to see the value of implementing an evening routine, here are 3 ways that you can start your own evening routine, no matter how tired you are:

 

1) Set a shut down time for electronics

Our phones and tablets are the enemy of sleep! Scrolling through Facebook or Instagram can seem like an easy way to wind down at night, but it really does more harm than good. The lights from our devices can be stressful, and scrolling mindlessly can lead to comparing ourselves to other people’s highlight reels, or clicking on articles that are anything but relaxing. Also, it is all too easy to lose track of time and find ourselves up way past our bedtime because we were on our phone. Put an end to the temptation to scroll through your phone by setting a strict curfew and shutting your phone down or placing it in another room at least one hour before bedtime.

2) Keep a notebook next to your bed

Having pressing thoughts or items to add to our to-do list can prevent us from falling asleep, as we feel like there is still something left to do, therefore we can’t fully relax. I like to keep a notebook next to my bed, so that if something comes to mind as I’m trying to wind down, I can simply make a note of it for the next day. Getting our thoughts out on paper keeps them from wreaking havoc on our minds so that we can start to truly rest and relax.

3) Start slow

If you are starting an evening routine for the first time, it is unrealistic to think that you are going to take an hour or more to relax each evening. Start with taking just 15-20 minutes each night to do a relaxing activity before bed. You can choose to take a bath, read a book, write in your journal, or anything else that feels calming and relaxing to you. Choose something that will help you unwind from the day and get ready to sleep.

I hope that you are starting to see the benefits of having an evening routine. In the comments below, I’d love to hear about your evening routine! What do you like to do right before bed? Do you currently have an evening routine in place, or is this something new to you?

Wishing you a week full of rest and relaxation.

Be well,
Ambar