3 Steps to Bust Through a Bad Mood

How to bust through a Bad Mood

Through the years, I’ve learned many different ways to relieve stress, decrease anxiety, and cope with the stressors of life. You might think that I’m walking around in a little happy bubble all the time, but that’s not the case. I have challenging days just like everybody else, I get into bad moods, and sometimes I have trouble snapping out of them. The most interesting thing I’ve noticed is that the times in which I am feeling particularly stressed or anxious are usually the times when I am most resistant to doing the things that I know will make me feel better!

Things like taking an hour long yoga class or going in a quiet room to meditate are my go-to ideas for getting out of a bad mood and feeling better. But, they are not always conducive to my life. So, I’ve developed a simple 3 step process that I use to clear my energy and bounce back quickly whenever I find myself in a bad mood. The whole process does not take very long, and when I take the time to do it, I find myself feeling better immediately. I wanted to share with you, so that you can give it a try too!

3 Steps to Bust Through a Bad Mood:

1) Breathe

Many times when we find ourselves in stressful situations, our breathing gets shallow. When we are not taking big, full breaths, it sends a panic signal to our brain, that makes us feel even worse! Whenever I am feeling stressed or anxious, the first thing I do is bring my attention back to my breathing. I take deep belly breaths and imagine that my belly is a balloon that I am filling up with air. I breathe in and out slowly, counting to 5 on each inhale and exhale. Bringing the focus back to our breath is the simple first step to feeling better.

2) Feel

When we are in a bad mood, there is usually a reason behind it. It can be a simple irritation or aggravation, or result from weeks of pent up frustration. Instead of trying to forget about the things that are bothering us, it’s best to allow ourselves to feel them out. Take a few moments to try to recognize what you are feeling and try to give a word to it. It might be anger, sadness, guilt, anxiety, or something else. Notice what you are feeling and let yourself feel it. Sometimes I end up crying when I sit with my feelings, and other times I just breathe into them. The important thing is to give them permission to be there and actually FEEL them. (I have another blog post on How to Feel Your Feelings that you might find helpful if this is something that is difficult for you).

3) Move

Now that you’ve focused on your breath and given yourself space to feel whatever it is that you’re feeling, it’s time to move! Our emotions can get stuck in our body and make us feel worse if we don’t do something to get them out. Doing some sort of physical activity is a great way to move that negative energy out of your body. If you have some time at hand, this would be a great time to go for a long run or take your favorite exercise class. If time is limited, I might put on an upbeat, high energy song and have a dance party in my living room. (June and I have made dance parties a part of our regular routine for this very reason!). It’s almost impossible to stay stuck in a bad mood when you’re dancing like a maniac to Pharrell’s “Happy” or Katy Perry’s “Firework”. Other quick ways to move the energy out of your body might be to do 20 jumping jacks, jump on a mini trampoline, or even just hit a pillow. A few minutes is usually all it takes to get things moving and flowing through you.

And, there you have it; 3 simple steps to help you bust through a bad mood. Next time you are feeling a little bit off, I encourage you to take a few minutes to Breathe, Feel, and Move your way to feeling better! Please let me know how this goes for you in the comments below.

Be well,
Ambar

How to Create Simple Rituals to Celebrate Autumn

Rituals to Celebrate Autumn

Hi friends!

Autumn is upon us, even if the weather doesn’t particularly reflect that (at least here in NJ) right now! One thing that has been really helpful for me in my self development journey, is learning to celebrate and live by the seasons. Nature offers us so much wisdom. As human beings, we are part of the natural world. By making peace with the different seasons and getting curious about the gifts that they have to offer us, we learn to live closer to nature.

One of my favorite ways to celebrate the change of seasons is by having simple seasonal rituals in place. If you follow me on Instagram and Facebook, you may have seen a photo I posted of my daughter June and I celebrating the Autumn Equinox by having an outdoor picnic and reflecting back on the seeds that we planted last spring, that are now coming to fruition. As I thought back on the springtime, I remembered that June was just beginning to string sentences together, and I was still adapting to my role as a full time stay at home mom, and learning to be more patient and present. We have both come a long way since the spring, and it was nice to have this little ritual to anchor us into the celebration. I like to have June be a part of my seasonal rituals, and she is only 2 years old, we kept this ritual simple and basic, but you can feel free to make it as extravagant as you wish.

I encourage you to take some time to celebrate where you are right now, this autumn. What seeds have you planted that are now coming to fruition? You can gather with friends and family and discuss this together, or make it your own private time. The important thing is that you take a moment to think about what you were desiring for your life just a few months ago, and think about the progress you have made, even if you didn’t realize it at the time. Think about the changes, big and small, that have occurred for you in the last several months. Then choose a fall inspired activity to help you celebrate!

Here are some ideas for ways to celebrate the arrival of autumn:

  • Go apple picking
  • Walk through a corn maze
  • Go pumpkin picking
  • Put up a festive fall wreath on your front door
  • Bake an apple pie or apple crumble
  • Light fall scented candles
  • Use warming essential oils like clove, ginger, and cedarwood
  • Purchase fall scented cleaning products (my favorites are from Mrs. Meyers, who always comes out with the best fall scents like apple cider and mums)
  • Go on a nature walk with no phone and no distractions
  • Hunt for leaves and see how many different colors you can find
  • Make a nature mandala out of leaves, acorns, rocks, or whatever you can find in your backyard
  • Cozy up by a fireplace
  • Add some seasonal fall decor to your home
  • Color your hair a darker hue
  • Buy a new cozy blanket or sweater
  • Paint your nails in fall colors
  • Make a leaf crown, instead of a flower crown
  • Create a fall craft

Have fun with these ideas, and make them your own! Take some time to welcome in the fall season and celebrate all of the bounty and blessings in your life.

What in your life are you celebrating this fall? What will you do to celebrate? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy Fall, y’all!

Be well,

Ambar

Opening Up About My Struggles With Anxiety + Depression

my struggles with anxiety and depression
This photo was taken 12 years ago, at the height of my struggle with clinical depression. If you knew me back then, you would have thought I was fun and carefree, but really I was miserable and careless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi friends,

I have a really heavy topic to talk about today. An old friend of mine took his own life this week and left a lot of people heart-broken. He was the kind of person that had a sparkling personality; charming, charismatic, always befriending everyone he encountered and making people laugh. We weren’t the closest of friends, but we were friends, and his life had an impact on me. This news has been really saddening and shocking. He was the last person that you would ever think was fighting their own inner battle.

But clearly, he was suffering. A lot. And it’s gotten me thinking about mental illness. And about how many people are suffering in silence.

I want to open up about my own struggles with anxiety and depression. As someone who has fought through the darkness and loneliness of mental illness, and come out the other side, I’m now learning that it is my responsibility to share what the experience is like, in hopes that someone else out there reads this and knows that they are not alone, and that happiness and healing are possible.

The photo above was taken 12 years ago at the height of my struggle with depression. If you knew me back then, chances are, you would not have known that I was depressed. Quite the opposite, really. I was in college, I was in a sorority, I had a lot of friends, and an even more active social life. I went out almost every night and spent the nights dancing on top of bars and laughing with my girl friends. I appeared happy and carefree on the outside.

But, on the inside, I was a mess. I was so miserable that I felt like I had to go out every night and drink as much as I possibly could to numb the pain that I was going through. I was dropping out of all of my college classes because my anxiety was so severe that I couldn’t make it to class. I was losing my job because I woke up depressed and hungover everyday and stopped showing up to work. I had stacks of unopened mail because I had so many unpaid bills piling up that I was too anxious and overwhelmed to even open them. At night, while I was drinking, I would engage in really careless, self destructive behavior. I was reckless with my life, because I didn’t think it held much meaning. I would wake up every morning filled with shame and anxiety over my poor choices the night before, and I would start figuring out a way to numb myself from my feelings all over again.

This is the darkness of depression. You care so little about yourself that you do things that you are not proud of, and then that makes you even more depressed. It’s a vicious cycle.

Just as we don’t expect a body that is fighting an illness to function the same as a healthy body, we cannot expect a mind that is ill to function optimally. Mental illness causes us to do things that we would not do if we were mentally healthy. And then we feel ashamed, or guilty, and we are too embarrassed to talk to anyone about how we are feeling. Many times, we think that our problems are trivial, or that no one will care, or that we are bringing these problems onto ourselves, or that we have privileged lives, so we have no right to feel this way. And so, we hide. And the pain gets worse.

This is what mental illness does to you.

As humans, we all experience a wide array of emotions. But we judge them as “good” or “bad”. We think that we should be walking around feeling good and happy all the time, and we feel like we are doing something wrong if we aren’t.

We ALL go through hard things. We all have parts of our lives that we wish were different. We’ve all done something that we are ashamed of. Even those of us who seem to be happy all the time, are not. Nobody is.

In this blog, I talk a lot about natural healing. I’m really proud of the fact that after struggling with my anxiety and depression for the better part of a decade, I was able to get off medication, and continue feeling better by practicing yoga and meditation, changing my mindset, and developing somewhat of a healthy obsession with self development.

But, it took me a lot of years in traditional therapy and on medication to get to a place where I was stable enough to heal naturally. I think that there is tremendous value in mainstream treatment such as therapy and medication. In some cases, it can be life-saving. I don’t know where I would be today if I had never asked for help by going to therapy.

I don’t often talk about it, but I still struggle with depression and anxiety from time to time. The only difference is that I now have so many more tools to manage it, that it does not feel as extreme as it once did, and it doesn’t last as long. But, I’ve come to terms with the fact that anxiety and depression are something that my mind is naturally prone to. It’s a battle that I’ll likely be fighting every time my life gets a little too stressful.

If you know me personally now, at this point in my life, you know that I’m a really happy and positive person. And the reason for that is that I’ve had to fight to get to this point. I am so grateful that I’ve been fortunate enough to heal myself and live a happy, healthy life. I feel extremely blessed. I’ve experienced the darkness and it is impossible not to be giddy with happiness that I now live in the light most of the time.

I personally believe that healing from mental illness starts by taking baby steps, and that the best approach is a holistic one. We can take medication to stabilize our symptoms. But if we are not also doing the deep inner work of talking about our feelings, learning healthier coping skills, and finding new ways to manage our feelings, medication alone is not enough. It can feel overwhelming to think about all of this when you are in the midst of a clinical depression or a full blown panic attack. But, the good news is, you don’t have to know all of the answers. It all starts by taking one small step: opening up to someone and sharing how you are feeling.

Mental illness thrives in the darkness. It takes on a life of its own by being kept in secret. It grows and festers in the darkness. It becomes all consuming when it is hidden.

What would happen if we all decided to stop suffering in silence? What if we stopped sharing only the good, happy-go-lucky parts of our lives, and started to let people know where we are struggling? What if we shared how we are really feeling? What if it could become normal to ask for help?

We might save each other. We might save ourselves.

If you are struggling or going through a hard time in anyway, please tell someone. It doesn’t have to be a big, major thing that you are going through. Even the smallest challenges deserve to be brought to the light. And when we get in the habit of talking about our small challenges, it makes it so much easier to talk about the bigger ones.

Reach out and talk to someone today. Share your struggles, and ask them what theirs are. And then, really listen. We all need each other more than we know.

Thank you for listening to my story.

Be well,
Ambar

 

 

How to Ask for Help (And Actually Get It)

How to ask for Help and actually Get It

I’ve noticed a pattern with many of the women I talk to. A lot of us have a hard time asking for help, and sometimes, we desperately need it. As busy, driven women, we wear many hats: wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, co-worker, boss, etc. We like to think that we can do it all by ourselves. This puts a lot of pressure on us. It can be difficult for one person to juggle all of these hats, and to try to balance them all without any help can be plain exhausting.

I’ve come to accept the fact that just because I CAN do it all, does not mean that I HAVE to. Life is so much easier when we feel supported. The people around us love us and want to help us. Many times, all we need to do is ask.

Here is my 3 step process on how to ask for help (and actually get it!):

1) Figure out where your struggles are

Many times, we can feel completely overwhelmed without pinpointing exactly where the source of overwhelm is coming from. It can be helpful to take a look at your daily routine from morning to night, and figure out where the trouble spots are.

Let’s say you are a stay at home mom with a colicky baby. Your mornings start out pretty well, you have a morning routine down, make sure to get out of the house for a little each day, and everything runs smoothly until lunch time. You start to notice that by the afternoon, you are starting to feel exhausted, and during the evening time, “the witching hours” where your baby is extremely fussy, you start to feel extremely stressed out and on edge. During this time, you are trying to get dinner on the table, soothe your crying baby, and spend time with your partner who is just getting home from work.

By looking at your routine, you’ve noticed that the evening hours are the time where you need help. Now that you know this, you can move on to the next step…

2) Find at least 3 possible solutions to your challenge

It can be helpful to come up with more than one solution to our challenges; this way we know that our circumstances are not just happening to us; they are a choice that we are actively making. It can be empowering to think about our challenges in this way.

So, in the above scenario, you might decide that you need some time to yourself each evening, so you will ask your husband to watch your child for an hour each night while you unwind by taking a hot shower, or going for a walk. Or, you might decide that what you really need is to order a meal delivery service so that you can stop stressing out about cooking dinner during this challenging time of day. Or, you may consider joining a moms group so that you can get support from other moms whose babies have colic. After coming up with these 3 options, you may find that one in particular stands out as the first obvious choice, or you may even decide to use all of them. These 3 options can now become your plan of action, or your solution to the challenges you are facing.

Now that you have some options for the type of help you desire, it’s time to move on to the last step…

3) Ask for help and be specific

The secret to asking for help and getting it, is to be specific about what your needs are.

Let’s go back to the same situation we’ve been working with. If your husband comes home from work, and you’re feeling like you’ve had it after a long day, you might be tempted to scream at him and say something like “I can’t do this anymore! I need help!” And while it’s great that you are asking for help, the way that you are asking is not particularly conducive to getting the help you so desperately need, because by simply saying “I need help”, you are leaving it up for interpretation. Your husband’s idea of what type of help you truly need might be completely different from yours. Or, he may not know what he can do to help you without being given direction. This is why it’s so important to get clear on what you need and how you can get it (which you’ve already done if you’ve followed the steps above).

Now that you are prepared, you can have a conversation with your husband and say something like, “The evening hours have been really tough for me. Do you think you could help me by taking the baby for an hour every night so that I can have some time to regroup?” This request for help is simple and clear, and chances are, he will be happy to help you.

And that’s my 3 step process for asking for, and receiving help. I know that it can be difficult to ask for help, but life is so much better when we feel supported. It can be empowering to stand up for yourself, recognize what your challenges are, and take steps to improve your situation.

I hope that you find these steps helpful, and that you are able to get help in whatever way you see fit. What do you need help with? Let me know in the comments below! I’ve learned that sometimes just saying it out loud starts to send a message out to the world that we are ready to receive the help we need. 🙂

Wishing you an easeful week full of help + support.

Be well,
Ambar

 

P.S. If you are a mom looking for some extra support, I have a few spots open for my private coaching packages. Whether you are struggling with relationship challenges, feeling emotional due to lack of sleep, or having trouble adjusting to motherhood or any other major life change, life coaching can help you. Learn more about my coaching packages by clicking HERE or sending an email to ambar@mamabirdwellnest.com. It would be my honor to help you. 🙂

How to be Holistically Happy and Healthy (Mind, Body, & Spirit)

holistic happy and healthy

Hi friends!

Mama Bird Well Nest is all about encouraging you to live a holistically happy and healthy life. To me, this means making sure that ALL parts of our well-being are being cared for; mind, body, and spirit. I believe that if one of these areas is not being met, it is simply not possible to feel truly happy and healthy.

September always feels like the beginning of the year to me; a time to refocus and set some new goals. This fall, I’m taking some small, doable actions to work toward a healthier mind, body, and spirit. I wanted to share the simple goals I’ve set and the small steps I have been taking to encourage you to set some simple holistic health goals of your own.

Healthy Mind

I am someone who always likes to be learning. One of the ways that I most enjoy learning and keeping my mind working is by reading. I have committed to reading a little bit each night before going to bed. My husband just bought Rich Dad, Poor Dad to encourage me to get more interested in our finances. Have you read it? By reading this and other self development books I am learning something new and keeping my mind working. A working mind is a happy mind. 🙂

Healthy Body

I have started meal planning for the week each Sunday and am focusing on eating whole, fresh foods. Starting next week, I will be participating in the Nourish to Flourish Society’s 14 Day Reset, which is all about eating seasonally and having the tools to feel good in our bodies and figure out the emotional reasons behind our cravings. This will be my third time participating in this cleanse, and I learn something new each time!

Healthy Spirit

If you follow me on Instagram and Facebook, you may have seen that I am participating in a 30 Day Yoga Challenge throughout the month of September! After letting my yoga practice become nonexistent this summer, I am easing back into my practice by committing to getting on my mat for a minimum of 10 minutes a day. To me, yoga is so much more than a physical practice; it’s a way to take time for myself and tune into my spiritual side. I’m a week into the challenge and already feeling so much better!

As you can see, setting holistic health goals does not have to be earth shattering. Small, consistent steps are all it takes to live happier and healthier lives. I made sure that these goals are achievable by making sure to keep to the SMART goal criteria, and making them specific, measurable, actionable, results-oriented, time bound.

Now over to you! What small goals can you set to be a little happier and healthier this fall? Let me know in the comments below! Let’s support one another and keep each other accountable for reaching our goals! 🙂

Be happy. Be healthy.

Be well,
Ambar

P.S. If you would like to join me in the 14 Day Reset that I’m starting next week, you can get all the details here! After participating in this cleanse last spring and fall, I’ve now become an affiliate for the program because it has helped me so much! If you are looking to lose weight, feel great in your body, and finally do some inner work to figure out the emotional side of your eating habits, this cleanse might be perfect for you! Get all the details here and let me know if you decide to join so that we can support each other! 🙂

5 Simple Ways to Add Mindfulness to Your Everyday Life

5 simple ways to practice mindfulness

Mindfulness has become something of a catchphrase in the wellness world. Everywhere you go, you will find advice telling you to be more mindful. But what does mindfulness really mean? Mindfulness is just a fancy word for paying attention. When we are mindful we are fully present in the moment. We are paying attention to the task at hand without multitasking or distractions.

When we are paying attention, it becomes easier to enjoy the mundane moments of our lives. When we are mindful, we are more award of the gifts that exist in our daily routines. When we are focusing on the present moment, we are less anxious, because we are not worrying about the future. In these ways, mindfulness leads to a happier and more fulfilled life.

Mindfulness is not just something that you do on a meditation cushion. It’s something that can be easily incorporated into our daily routines and tasks.

Here are 5 simple ways to add more mindfulness to your life.

Mindfulness While Making Your Bed

Every morning when you make your bed, you can use that time to set an intention for your day. An intention is simply a goal, or a sentence that describes how you want to feel. An example of an intention that I use often is “I am patient, peaceful, and present.” Take a few moments as you make your bed each morning to lovingly tend your sheets and feel the warmth of your blanket, the softness of your pillows, and the gratitude for the person you share your bed with. From this place of mindfulness, you can set your intention for the rest of your day.

Mindfulness While Using Water

Water has cleansing properties, so every time you come into contact with water throughout the day can be an opportunity to cleanse yourself of anything that you want to get rid of. Every time you shower, wash your hands, or do the dishes, you can imagine that you are quite literally rinsing off stress and negativity from your life. When you drink water, feel its coolness moving through your body and imagine it cleansing your body of any negative thoughts and emotions.

Mindfulness While Eating

Eating is a perfect opportunity to be practice being more mindful. We all have to eat several times throughout the day, and each of those times is a chance to focus and be present with your food. Eat your meals intentionally. Sit down and set a beautiful place setting. Put away your phone, shut off the TV, and eat for pleasure, not just for the sake of eating. Thank your food for nourishing you, and fully enjoy every single bite.

Mindfulness While Driving

The car can also be a good place to pick up some new mindfulness habits. Every time you are at a red light, focus on doing some deep breathing exercises. Take in your surroundings, feel yourself sitting down, and breathe deeply in and out of your nose. By doing this, you will arrive at your destination feeling much more calm and relaxed. It even works when you are stuck in traffic!

Mindfulness While Walking

As you are walking about your day, take some time to feel your feet on the ground and the breeze on your face. Put your phone away and practice walking without distractions; it will help clear your mind and relieve stress. You will enjoy every step!

I hope that these 5 simple ideas get you started with adding more mindfulness to your life. We are so lucky to be alive, we might as well pay attention so that we can truly enjoy it!

Which of these mindfulness habits will you be trying first? Let me know in the comments below!

Have a lovely week full of mindfulness. 🙂

Be well,
Ambar

Want more ways to feel happier and more fulfilled in your daily life? Get my FREE e-guide, “50 Ways to Feel Good Fast”! 

I was nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award!

Blogger Recognition Award

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi friends!

I have some exciting news today! I am so honored and humbled to share that I was nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award by my friend Shelby at Fit As a Mama Bear. (She has an awesome blog too, and I encourage you to check it out!). The Blogger Recognition Award is an award given from blogger to blogger to acknowledge all of the hard work and dedication that goes into creating an inspiring online space. I am truly honored to accept this award and share a little bit about my blogging experience.

How My Blog Started

My blog started out as an idea I had shortly after becoming a mom. As a new mom, I was completely in love with my precious baby girl, but I was overwhelmed by how much energy she required of me. I had spent years prior to getting pregnant diving deep into self development, and had learned a lot about using holistic methods such as yoga and meditation to manage my anxiety, and be a happy and healthy person.

I quickly realized that I would need to double up on these tools in order to survive and thrive in new motherhood, and knew that I couldn’t be the only mom out there that needed a little extra help. Mama Bird Well Nest became my way to create a community of new mothers interested in bettering ourselves and creating more balance in our lives, and learning to embrace the gifts of motherhood without losing ourselves.

My intention in creating this blog was to help other mothers know that they are not alone in whatever they are experiencing in their motherhood journey. Motherhood is complex, and the feelings it brings up in us can be an exercise in extremes, from the most profound joy, to the most difficult challenges. I want mothers who visit my blog to instantly feel seen, heard, and understood, and to know that they are strong and capable of rising above their challenges to be the loving and patient mamas they most want to be.

My Advice to New Bloggers

My advice for new bloggers is to choose something you are passionate about and start blogging, even if you don’t feel ready. There is so much to learn in the blogging world (I’m over a year in and I still feel like a newbie alot of the time!). If you wait until you have it all figured out, you may be waiting a long time, and there are people out there who could benefit from hearing what you have to share right now. So don’t wait, be brave, put yourself out there, and start sharing your story today! 🙂

My second piece of advice is to form connections with other bloggers. One of my favorite parts about blogging has been the friends I have made along the way. It’s so awesome to be able to connect with women all around the world who have similar interests. It reminds me that no matter our backgrounds or life circumstances, we are all more alike than we think.

On that note, I would love to nominate some fellow bloggers for the Blogger Recognition Award!

Nominations

  1. Bernadette at Mom + Carrot
  2. Jennifer at Lil Posies
  3. Katie at Joyful Messes
  4. Dr. Terry at The Enchanted Blog
  5. Mish at Tiffin Drama
  6. Berklee at Faith-Filled Motherhood
  7. Tiffany at Happy Mom Brain
  8. Anne at One Determined Life
  9. Laura at Little Bit of Learning
  10. Jacinta at Snuggles And Kisses
  11. Kirby at None Plus 5
  12. Tracy at Raised Good
  13. Lexie at Mommy: Home Manager
  14. Sheila at In Search of Sheila
  15. Krista at Blog Beautifully

These ladies’ blogs are some of my favorite corners of the internet. They share their expertise on motherhood, blogging, mental health, faith, and everything in between! I highly encourage you to give them a browse. 🙂

Rules of the Blogger Recognition Award

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Write a post to show your award
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started
  • Give pieces of advice to new bloggers
  • Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

Again, a big shout out to Shelby at Fit As a Mama Bear for nominating me for this award! It’s such an honor to be recognized for my blogging journey. 🙂

I want to thank a moment to thank YOU, my readers, for being part of this community. I love writing to you and sharing my musings each week, and truly hope that you find my content helpful and relevant.

I would love to hear from you! What is your biggest challenge in motherhood, or in life? What are you currently struggling with on your quest to peace and happiness? What would you like to learn more about? Let me know in the comments below or send an email to mamabirdwellnest@gmail.com. I’ll respond to you personally and use your suggestions for future blog topics!

Thank you so much for being here.

Have a beautiful week and start going for your dreams!

Be well,
Ambar

Our Children’s Stories are Not Our Stories

Our Children's Stories are not our stories
Photo by Bilimama Photography

Hello my friend! If you follow me on social media, (and if you don’t, I would love to connect on my Facebook page, Instagram, and be friends on FB!), you may have seen that my daughter fell down and fractured her collar bone earlier this week. It was a rough day that included 4 hours at Urgent Care with a hurting 2 year old, and lots of tears on both of our parts.

I myself, have never broken a bone, and I didn’t have my first surgery or stitches until I was well into my 20s. Navigating this world of broken bones with a toddler seemed unfair to me. I felt so badly for her and wanted to take away her pain, but of course I couldn’t. Having never experiencing this myself, I realized that I had been hoping that her experience would have been more similar to mine; that she wouldn’t have to handle a broken bone until much later in life, if at all. That’s when I had my epiphany:

Her story is not my story.

My daughter’s story, is not my story. She is her own unique individual, and she is here to have her own unique life experience. She is a human being with her own share of strengths and challenges to navigate in this lifetime.

We all want the best for our children. It can be so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that we know what’s best for them, or wanting them to experience life in a similar way in which we did, or to protect them from the challenges that we ourselves faced.

But we must remember, that our children are on their own individual paths. Their stories are not our stories.

It’s human nature to want to protect our babies, to hold them close, to keep them safe. And yet, that is not our job.

Our job as mothers, is to provide our children with unconditional love and unwavering support, through the ups and downs of their own individual journeys.

Their journeys are part of our journeys, yes. But, they are not OUR journey. They are their own unique selves meant to experience the world in their own unique way, with their own unique set of circumstances.

We can advise them, guide them, and love them. But we cannot choose their story. We cannot dictate their journey.

We must stick to our own journey. And know that by honoring our own individual journeys, and living our lives as we see fit, in the best ways we can, we are giving our children permission to do the same.

So, next time that you find yourself wishing that you could take away your child’s pain, or that things could be different, stop for a moment, and give yourself the grace to know that they are on their own individual journey. Trust that whatever they are experiencing is a necessary part of their story, and believe in them enough to know that they have the inner strength to get through it. And then, give them lots of love and extra hugs. 🙂

Is this something that you struggle with? What’s the hardest part about trusting that your little ones need to have their own stories? Let me know in the comments below.

Take good care this week.

Be well,
Ambar

5 Must-Have Essential Oils for New Moms & Babies

5 must-have essential oils for new moms and babies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Essential oils can be a lifesaver for new moms. Have you been curious about the best uses of essential oils for new moms and babies? Then this post is for you. 🙂

I first started using essential oils when my daughter, June, was about 2 months old. Since then, they have become a part of our daily lives. I talk to a lot of new moms who are dealing with challenges that can be helped by implementing an essential oils protocol, so I wanted to share my most recommended essential oils for new moms and babies.

You can get an in depth overview of what essential oils are in the first post of my essential oils series, 5 Must-Have Essential Oils for Families. In short, essential oils are a quick and effective way to get the therapeutic, emotional, and physical benefits of plants. Much like you might drink a cup of tea to get the medicinal properties of certain herbs, you can use essential oils in a similar way. However, essential oils are much more potent and concentrated. For example, one drop of peppermint essential oil is equivalent to 28 cups of peppermint tea. This makes essential oils extremely effective.

The following are the top 5 oils that I used with June as a new mom, and would recommend to other moms:

1) Orange – If there is one thing that new moms need, it’s energy! Orange essential oil is very uplifting and helpful for a quick energy boost. I like to rub a couple of drops between my palms and take a few deep breaths whenever I feel my energy starting to slump. It also works great in the diffuser! Orange has a very clean and refreshing scent and is super helpful in uplifting mood and energy levels. Its uplifting and energizing properties make it one of the best essential oils for new moms.

2) Lavender – As much as new moms need energy, we also need adequate rest… and so do our babies! Lavender essential oil is the perfect oil to start using with babies in order to promote sleep and relaxation. This is the oil that initially got me started with essential oils… the first time I tried it with June, she took her first nap in her crib and slept for hours! This was a significant change for us, because up until that point, she would only nap while I was holding her. Lavender is very calming and relaxing, and can help promote peaceful sleep. To this day, we diffuse lavender essential oil in June’s room every night as part of her bedtime routine. On nights where she is extra fussy, I dilute one drop of lavender with coconut oil and rub on the bottom of her feet. I also add a few drops to my pillow, and apply to over my heart when I am feeling stressed or anxious.

3) Digestive Blend – Most of the popular essential oils companies make a digestive blend. This is a must-have to have on hand with little ones. Many young babies tend to have digestive troubles such as reflux or colic, since their digestive tracts may take awhile to build up. The digestive blend can help soothe an upset stomach and reduce uncomfortable gas and bloating. Whenever I notice that June’s stomach seems to be bothering her, I mix 1-2 drops of the digestive blend essential oils and apply directly to her tummy. It also works great for adults! I have been known to use this blend after overindulging and it provides instant relief.

4) Melaleuca – Melaleuca is better known as tea tree oil and is a great oil with many different uses. Melaleuca helps promote healthy immune function. I like to dilute it with coconut oil and apply up and down June’s spine whenever she is going to be playing with other children to give her immune system an extra boost. It’s also great to diffuse throughout the house to freshen and purify the air. Another great use for melaleuca is to add a few drops to a spray bottle with water and use to wipe up baby spit-up or as a natural cleaner for the surfaces in baby’s room. I also like to put a few drops on my nails after showering to keep them looking healthy. After having my baby, my regular manicures stopped happening as frequently as they used to, so having this trick on hand helped keep my nails healthy and felt like a simple and doable DIY spa treatment.

5) Balance Grounding Blend – I often jokingly refer to Balance as the “oil of motherhood”. I mean seriously, what mom doesn’t need more balance, right?! Balance is the perfect oil for moms. It helps promote tranquility, balance emotions, and bring harmony to the mind and body. These qualities are essential for new moms. After having our babies, our physical bodies are trying to recalibrate and recover from pregnancy and childbirth, while our emotions are trying to process all of the big feelings that new motherhood brings. The grounding blend of Balance can help support our bodies in promoting calmness and tranquility during this transitional time. I like to start my mornings by applying a few drops of Balance essential oil to the bottom of my feet. It is part of my morning routine and helps me start my day feeling great! I also like to  diffuse in my daughter’s playroom in order to create a soothing and calming environment, and apply it to my wrists and back of neck to help ease anxious feelings.

I hope that these suggestions help you start to see the many benefits of essential oils for new moms and babies.

Do you use essential oils for yourself or your little ones? Which are your favorites?

If you are not yet using essential oils, but are wanting to start, I invite you to learn more and shop directly from my doTerra website here: www.mydoterra.com/mamabirdwellnest.

If you have any questions or want individual help choosing which oils might be right for you or your family, please fill out the contact form below or send an email to mamabirdwellnest@gmail.com. I would be happy to support you in using these oils that have been so beneficial for me and my baby!

Have a happy and healthy week!

Be well,
Ambar

I’m a Wild Dreamer. Are You?

Wild Dreamer

Wild Dreamer

I have a confession to make.

I’m a wild dreamer.

Let me explain…

Earlier this year, I had a wild dream.

I dreamed of a life of fun and freedom.

I dreamed of more time with my daughter.

I dreamed of working for myself and being my own boss.

I decided that the way to pursue these wild dreams, was to leave the stability of my full time job.

This may not sound all that wild to you.

But for me, it was.

You see, my paycheck gave me validation.

My daily routine gave me structure.

My career gave me safety.

But, I’m a wild dreamer.

So I left the familiar in search of the unknown.

And it hasn’t been as easy as I thought it would be. In fact, at times it’s been really freaking hard.

When I left my job, I lost the identity that I associated myself with and defined myself by.

Having a full time job was comfortable. It gave me something to do everyday. It filled my life with meaning. It made me feel like I was contributing to society, and to my household.

Without this outside source of validation, I’ve had to find a new sense of self worth; one that comes from within. And that has been tricky.

There is nothing in this life that I love more than being a mother. But being home with my toddler 24/7 can be intense.

I’ve been bringing my daughter to daycare 2 days a week. I tell myself that she needs and thrives on the socialization… but if I’m honest with myself, the truth is that I also need that break.

Not having my own steady stream of income coming in has also been an adjustment. I’ve always been financially independent, and now I feel like I need to ask my husband for money. This too, has been challenging.

Without a job to define myself by, I’ve had to find my new identity. This part may be the most difficult of all.

I am home with my daughter most of the time, but I’m hesitant to say I’m a stay at home mom.

I work on my blog religiously, but I don’t always think of myself as a blogger.

I coach clients through my private and group coaching programs, but I don’t always think of myself as a life coach.

I write a weekly newsletter, but I don’t always call myself a writer.

Basically, I’ve been playing small.

I’ve been scared to label myself.

I’ve been feeling lost as I figure out this new life stage.

But, I’m a wild dreamer.

And I know that I’m meant to live life on my own terms.

And that means setting an example for my daughter…

By fully living out my life’s purpose.

I know with every ounce of my being that I am here to help and encourage other mothers to find their purpose, and live out their own wild dreams…

So that they can set an example for their own sons and daughters.

We need to show our children that their own wild dreams are theirs for the taking…

And this starts by having the courage to go after our own dreams, hopes, and desires.

The first step to actualizing our dreams is to declare them out loud.

So today, I’m declaring that I’m a wild dreamer, yes, but also…

I am a blogger, I am a life coach. I am a writer.

I am a wild dreamer.

I dream of a life that is more play than work.

I dream of family adventures.

I dream of a marriage based on love, devotion, and romance.

I dream of being the type of mother that my daughter wants to be around.

I dream of time and location freedom.

I dream of playing outside everyday.

I dream of fully inhabiting and enjoying my one wild and precious life.

I dream of stepping out into the world as the blogger, life coach, writer, wife, mother, and woman that I am here to be.

And I’m ready now.

Want to join me?

We are all wild dreamers.

We are the dream weavers, and it’s time to make our dreams a reality.

Your wild dreams may not look like mine.

In fact, they probably don’t.

But I know you have them.

What wild dreams do you dream of?

What do you think about, dream about, yearn for?

What have you been wishing for, perhaps not even admitting to yourself?

What desires are whispering to you, trying to be heard?

Remember, the first step to creating your dreams, is to declare them out loud.

What are your wild dreams?

Please share in the comments below! Let’s support one another in rising up and making our dreams a reality.

Dream big and have a beautiful week.

Be well,
Ambar