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. 🙂

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! 🙂

 

 

 

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

 

 

A Special Way to Welcome Spring

special spring ritual

Happy Spring friends!

Earlier this week we celebrated the Spring Equinox, where we have equal amounts of daylight and darkness.

Now that springtime is underway, the amount of daylight is slowly increasing each day. I like to think of this time of year as a time where we are all moving toward the light.

The energy of spring brings new life and renewal. This makes it the perfect time to set new goals or intentions for what we want to grow in our lives.

My daughter June and I celebrated the Spring Equinox with a special ritual that I want to share with you! It is a simple, but powerful way to welcome spring and start moving toward the beautiful visions that you have for yourself and your life in this new season!

spring equinox ritual

How to Create a Simple  & Special Spring Ritual:

  1. Buy or gather fresh flowers

2. Take a moment to set an intention, or goal, around what you want to see grow in your life this spring.

spring ritual

3. As you cut your flowers and pull out any dead or bottom leaves, imagine that you are pulling out anything that has been keeping you from achieving your intentions/ goals/ dreams.

4. As you arrange your flowers into containers, imagine that you are arranging everything that needs to fall into place in order to allow your dreams to bloom!

As an added bonus, you can light a candle to symbolize the increase of light, and play calming or uplifting music while doing this ritual.

Dedicating some time to intentionally welcome spring and think about your hopes and dreams will create positive momentum in your life. This will help you stay focused on your ambitions and cultivate your desires.

Please let me know how you feel after trying this ritual! It is so simple but powerful, and easy to do either on your own or with your little ones!

I am wishing you all that you desire and more this spring.

Be well,
Ambar

How to Process Grief

how to process grief

Hi friends,

I am coming to you with the heavier topic of how to process grief today. My community of friends from college was hit hard this week with the tragic and untimely death of one of our own. I know that some of you who follow my blog and read my emails are currently coping with this massive loss. I imagine that others of you in other parts of the world may be dealing with your own experiences of grief. Whether you have experienced grief in the past or you are grieving right now, the truth is that grief is a human emotion that every single one of us will face from time to time. I am writing this for all of us.

I have experienced a lot of loss in my life. I don’t say that so that you feel sorry for me; it’s just the facts. Throughout the years I have lost many people who I loved and cared about. I have learned a lot about grief from going through these experiences, and I want to share this knowledge with you in hopes that it will make your grief process a little more easeful. At the very least, I hope that this will help you see that whatever you are feeling is completely valid, and that you are not alone in this process.

You may have heard about the 5 stages of grief. I will briefly outline them below:

1) Denial – The first stage is often denial. When we face a major loss, oftentimes the first emotion that we feel is denial. We think “But that’s not possible, I just spoke her to yesterday”, or “this can’t be real”. We shut ourselves off from the pain. These thoughts are the natural way in which our minds process the shock.

2) Anger – Anger is often thought to be the second stage of the grief process. After the initial shock wears off, it’s natural for us to feel angry and pissed off. We think about how unfair life can be. We get angry at God. We wonder how we can live in a universe where things such as this happen.

3) Bargaining – The third stage of grief is said to be bargaining. We start to think thoughts along the lines of “Maybe if I had stayed with him last night, this wouldn’t have happened.” or “I should have called her.” or “Why didn’t we get medical attention sooner?” This is part of the grieving process as our minds are trying to make sense of a senseless situation and process what has happened.

4) Depression – The fourth stage is often described as depression. We fall into a deep, dark sadness over the loss that we are experiencing. We cry and mourn. We are slowly coming to terms with our loss and realizing it that it is real and there is no going back.

5) Acceptance – The fifth and final stage of the grief process is acceptance. By this point, we have processed many of our emotions and are starting to come to terms with what has happened and starting to accept this new reality that we find ourselves in.

For anyone that is coping with death or loss of any kind, I have 5 suggestions for how to manage this difficult time as gracefully as possible.

1) Know that these 5 stages are not linear. The 5 stages of grief are often thought to be a linear path where you go from denial to anger to bargaining to depression, and that by the time you get to acceptance, you have completely moved on.

In my eyes, it’s not quite so simple. Grief is such a personal process and you may find yourself returning to one of the earlier stages at any given time. I believe that time lessens grief and makes it easier to cope, however, it is very natural to get to a point where we are living in acceptance most of the time, and then something happens that triggers us to feeling angry or depressed again. This is all part of the process and does not mean that you are doing anything wrong, that you are moving backwards, or that you are not on your way to healing. It simply means that you are on your own individual journey.

2) Don’t judge yourself. A common thing that happens when we are grieving is that we begin to judge ourselves and our feelings. If we find ourselves lingering in the depression stage, we may start to think thoughts like, “But, it’s been 2 years, I should be over this by now.”, or “I wasn’t even that close with them, this shouldn’t be hitting me so hard.” Other times, we judge ourselves by thinking that we are moving on too quickly. We find ourselves laughing and enjoying life, and we instantly feel guilty and think that we should not be feeling anything other than sorrow.

There is no place for judgment in the grief process. Each one of us grieves in our own unique way. There is no set time limit for how long it should take to feel better. There is no hierarchy in the grief process; all feelings are valid. It is completely valid to feel grief for the loss of not only our closest friends and family members, but also acquaintances, old friends who we lost touch with, and even celebrities who we never met personally. Life is about connecting and touching other people’s lives. Grief is a sign that you were emotionally connected to someone; that their life mattered to you; that they made an impact and touched you in some way. Also, it is perfectly natural to be enjoying a happy moment laughing with your family one moment, and then be hit by a wave of sadness over the loss of your good friend in the next. This does not mean that you loved them any less. This is all normal. It is all natural. There is no right or wrong. In life, there are moments of beauty even in the midst of darkness. Try to soak in every light-filled moment you can get, especially when you are grieving.

3) Be with your feelings. I think that many times when we are grieving, we want to skip over the unpleasant feelings. But, by not taking the time to sit with our sadness, anger, or whatever else we may be feeling, we prolong the grief process. Unprocessed emotions have nowhere to go, so they get stuck in our bodies, making us feel worse. Take time to sit with and acknowledge anything you may be feeling.

4) Let your feelings out. After you have acknowledged your feelings, it’s important to get them out so that they don’t wreak havoc on your body. Let your feelings out by talking with someone you trust, doing physical activity, crying into a pillow, or seeing a therapist. The important thing here is to give your feelings a way to leave your body.

5) Don’t grieve alone. When we are faced with the heaviness of loss, many of us have the instinct to isolate ourselves. We want nothing more than to crawl into a cave where we can hide out for awhile and not have to face the world. This is one of the worst things that we can do.

If you get one thing out of this post, let it be this: Don’t grieve alone. Tell people how you feel. Write in a journal. Send an email. Schedule a therapy appointment. Join a support group. Speak with others who understand. Create new rituals to honor those you have lost. Do this all in the company of good people who care about you and your wellbeing.

You are not alone.

Sending love and strength to anyone who is grieving right now.

Be well,
Ambar

 

Click below to download a free guide with 50 ways to relieve stress and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. 
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3 Reasons Why You Need a Morning Routine

3 reasons why you need a morning routine

Hey friends!

Earlier this week I had asked my friends over on Instagram stories if they have a morning routine. My morning routine has become an integral part of my life, so I was surprised to learn that a lot of people don’t currently have a morning routine in place! I truly feel that you are missing out by not having a simple, daily routine of your own.

Here are 3 reasons why a morning routine is so important:

1) A morning routine guarantees that you get some “me” time each and everyday.

So many of us are aware that we need more time for ourselves. The problem is that most of us are so busy that we have trouble finding time to fit it in! By creating a morning routine, you are making sure to take time for yourself first thing in the morning. By taking this time early in the day, you are no longer struggling to find time for it. This way, even if the rest of the day gets away from you, you still know that you took some time for yourself that day! Taking consistent time for self care helps us feel happier, less stressed, and well taken care of.

2) A morning routine sets the tone for the rest of your day.

Implementing a daily morning routine ensures that you start your day on your own agenda. When we sleep in until the last possible second, wake up to the sounds of our children screaming for our attention, or jump out of bed and immediately start tackling our to-do list, it’s very easy for our anxiety levels to run high. These are all very jarring ways to wake up and start the day. If instead, you start your day with a few moments of peace and quiet, it allows you the opportunity to ease into your day with peace and presence. These feelings will be more likely to stay with you as you go about the rest of your day.

3) A morning routine helps you focus on what matters to you.

Everyone’s morning routine looks different. I personally try to start each morning with 10-15 minutes of yoga and meditation. Your morning routine might consist of lighting a candle and drinking your coffee in peace, going for a quick run, or taking a few minutes to journal. There is no wrong way to create a morning routine; they are a very individual thing. By creating your own morning routine, you are taking a stand for what is important to you and making time for the things that matter most. This shows you that you are a priority and that you deserve to make time for the things you enjoy.

Now, I know that you may be starting to recognize the value of having a morning routine, but you might be thinking that this sounds great, but you simply don’t have that kind of time in the morning. Well, let me prove you wrong, my friend. 🙂

Here are 3 simple ways to get started with creating your own morning routine:

1) Work with what you have.

I believe that whenever possible, the ideal time to implement your morning routine is first thing in the morning. However, you have to do what’s right for you.

In some occasions, it might make more sense to take time for your morning routine once you’re alone in the house. If it feels more doable for you to start your morning routine after your kids leave for school, or your husband leaves for work, then start there. For others of you, the best time to take a few minutes to yourself might be as soon as you get to work in the morning. When I was working outside of the home, I would always take a few minutes as soon as I got to my office to make a cup of tea in my favorite mug and sip from it slowly before starting my day.  This simple act helped me feel calm and grounded before jumping into my workday.

Find the pockets of time that work best for you and start creating a simple morning routine during these precious moments of time.

2) Start small.

Your morning routine should not take a lot of time or be overly complicated. In fact, I believe that the simpler it is, the better!

If you’ve never had a morning routine before and don’t consider yourself a morning person, the idea of waking up earlier might seem impossible to you. If you tell yourself that you’re going to start waking up an hour earlier each day, it’s very likely that you will set your alarm, but then keep hitting the snooze button until that hour is up. That’s why it’s so important to start small when creating this new habit.

Start with something that is simple and doable. Many of my coaching clients have had success with starting their morning routines right in bed, from the moment they open their eyes. Keep a journal on your nightstand and take a few moments to make a short gratitude list first thing in the morning. Sit up in bed and do a short meditation before getting out of bed. Keep a tall glass of water next to your bed and take a couple of minutes to slowly sip and savor it as soon as you wake up. Starting with small, simple steps like these feels much more doable.

3) Work your way up.

Once you are in the habit of waking up just a few moments earlier to enjoy a few moments of solitude, it starts to get a bit easier to add on to your morning routine. You may find yourself rolling out your yoga mat and doing a few light stretches or sun salutations next to your bed. You might walk over to your bathroom to use some luxurious face cream. You may find that you are feeling more energized to get dressed and cook a healthy breakfast before anyone else wakes up.

Take it day by day and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Start small and slowly work your way up to the morning routine that feels just right for you!

I hope that you’ve found this helpful! In the comments below, I’d love to know about your relationship with morning routines! Do you currently have one? What does it consist of? Is the idea of having a morning routine new to you? Are you feeling inspired to create one now? Please share in the comments below!

Wising you a week full of peaceful, intentional mornings.

Be well,
Ambar

 

How to Change your Life by Changing your Thoughts

how to change your life by changing your thoughts
Photo by Bilimama Photography <3

Many of us have heard the concept that by changing our thoughts we can change our lives. When we think negative thoughts, our life experiences become unhappy and negative. On the other hand, when we think positive thoughts, our lives feel more positive. And so, it seems that the key to living a happy, positive life is to think happy, positive thoughts. It sounds simple, right? The tricky thing is that it’s not always easy to do.

Most of us know that we want to feel good as we go about our lives. We may see the correlation between our thoughts affecting our feelings, which in turn impact our life experience. We want to think good thoughts so that we can live good lives… but where we get stuck is the HOW. How exactly do we change our thoughts? Here is my 3 step process:

1) Notice how you feel

Our feelings are the #1 indicator to whether we are thinking positive thoughts or negative thoughts. If we are feeling pretty good, chances are that our thoughts have been positive, or at the very least neutral. If we are feeling angry, sad, or anxious, it’s very likely that we have hopped on the negative thought train.

2) Pay attention to your thoughts

Once you notice that you are not feeling as good as you would like to feel, it’s time to explore your thought patterns. Start to pay attention to the words you are saying to yourself. This may feel a little bit strange if you have never done it before, but it will get easier the more you do it. Pretend that you have a bird’s eye view of what’s going on in your brain. Become a non-judgmental observer of your thoughts. Start to notice what you are saying to yourself. What phrases do you find yourself repeating over and over again? What are you telling yourself about yourself?

3) Change the script

Once you’ve established your negative thought patterns, it’s time to change them! Creating a new thought pattern is simple; it just takes a little bit of commitment. Create a mantra or affirmation that describes the new thought that you want to have. If you’ve been telling yourself, “I am so miserable” instead start saying, “I find something to smile about everyday.” Instead of thinking, “I’m poor and I have no money.” try, “Money-making opportunities are coming my way.” Instead of, “I hate my body” try “I treat my body with love and respect.” Make your new mantra stick by repeating it to yourself over and over again. Each time you find yourself thinking your old negative thought, replace it with your new mantra.

After following this process for a few days, you will start to feel much better!

I recently used this 3 step process in my own life. I realized that I had been feeling pretty anxious for several weeks. I started to notice that the first thought I had most mornings was, “I have the worst anxiety.” Throughout the day, I found myself repeating different versions of this same thought. I was walking around my daily life telling myself, “I’m so anxious” over and over again, and then I wondered why I was feeling so anxious!

Thankfully, I remembered that my feelings can be influenced by my thoughts. So I consciously started working to change them.

I created a new mantra: “Every day, in every way, I am feeling better and better.” I started repeating my new mantra each time I caught myself thinking about how anxious I was. I went to sleep reciting my mantra. I woke up and repeated it in my mind before I opened my eyes.

For the first couple of days, this took a little bit of effort, as I was still reprogramming my mind. But, by the 3rd day of doing this, I noticed that when I woke up, my first thought was “Every day, in every way, I am feeling better and better.” without my even having to think about it! It was working!

In the days that followed, new, more positive thoughts started replacing my inner dialogue. I started to notice myself saying things like “My life is really good and I’m really lucky.” By changing the one major negative thought that had been consuming me, my other thoughts started to become more positive. And, more importantly, I started to FEEL so much better! This is how I knew that I was on the right track.

Now, that’s not to say that everything is rainbows and butterflies all the time now. But, I’ve remembered that I can change my thoughts. Whenever I notice that I am feeling off, I follow this 3 step process of noticing how I’m feeling, paying attention to how I am talking to myself, and creating a new script. It always helps me feel better!

Have you ever tried to change your own mind before? It may sound a little bit crazy but I promise it works!

If you would like some help reframing your thoughts and creating a more positive life experience, I currently have one opening for a new private coaching client. Send an email to mamabirdwellnest@gmail.com to see if coaching might be right for you!

Wishing you a week full of happy thoughts!

Be well,
Ambar