How to Make a Vision Board & Why You Need One!

How to Make a Vision Board and Why You Need One

Hello my friends and happy new year!

Angelo, June & I celebrated New Year’s Eve with a quiet evening at home making vision boards. It was so much fun to do together as a family! This is not really Angelo’s type of thing, but he humors me and is willing to try new things. I loved getting him involved and getting an inside look at what his dreams are! And, it was extra special to help my little June create her very first vision board! She chose all of her own photos and is apparently planning to spend the year playing superheroes, swimming, eating cookies and apples, and playing with bunnies. 😉

I’ve received a lot of questions about vision boards after I shared some photos on social media, so I decided to write a post to teach you how to make a vision board of your very own!

What is a vision board?

You might be wondering; what the heck is a vision board?! A vision board (also called a dream board), is a way of creating a tangible way of looking at your dreams. Vision boards help us get clear about the future vision that we hold for ourselves and our lives. They help us answer the questions: What do I really want? What are my dreams? What are my desires? Who do I want to be? By creating a vision board, you get clarity on your dreams. Once we have clarity on our dreams, we are more likely to achieve them!

How do I make a vision board?

Here is what you will need:

  • Magazines that you don’t mind cutting up
  • Scissors
  • Glue or glue stick
  • A poster board or large picture frame

Step 1: Set the Scene

Creating a vision board should be a special experience. It’s all about getting clear on your hopes and dreams, and this is a process that deserves its own dedicated time and attention. Set aside 1-2 hours to work on your vision board. Light a candle and put on some music that makes you feel good. Get into a space where you are ready to be inspired and creative.

Step 2: Cut out photos

Go through your magazines and start cutting out pictures of everything that appeals to you. Do not sensor yourself. Cut out every photograph, word, or phrase that strikes a chord with you. You can choose different pictures to represent different aspects of your life, for example, I often use pictures of mothers and daughters to represent my daughter and me, and pictures of couples to represent my husband and me. Choose photos where the people are doing things that you yourself would like to be doing. Choose words that you find inspiring and motivating. Choose pictures that make you feel happy and excited.

Step 3: Edit photos and create a collage

After you have collected all of your picturess, it’s time to create your vision board! Take some time to lay your photos out in a way that is appealing to you. This is the time to make any last minute changes, such as leaving out any pictures that do not truly resonate with you, or looking for things that you feel may be missing. Put your pictures together in a way that looks and feels good to you.

Step 4: Put it all together

After you have your collage all lined up, it’s time to make it permanent. Glue everything onto your poster board. Tip: Take a photo of your collage before you take it apart to glue everything together, so that you remember where everything went!

And that’s it! Now you have your vision board! You are officially ready to make your dreams come true!

What do I do with my vision board?

Place your vision board somewhere that you can see it every day. Take some time each day to look at everything on it and notice how it makes you feel. Imagine yourself living your best life; the life that is depicted on your vision board. Then, stay open to new possibilities as you go about your everyday life! Your visions will become clearer and your desired life will start to creep into your subconscious. You will find yourself naturally starting to take small actions that lead to the creation of your dreams. Check back in with your vision board periodically and notice if any of the things on your vision board have come true! You will be surprised at the ways in which your dreams become a reality.

I hope this inspires you to create your own vision board! Please let me know if you do, and share your photos with me! I would love to help hold space for your dreams to come true!

Dream big.

Be well,
Ambar

 

P.S. If you would like some personalized attention in making your dreams a reality, I would love to support you! Please check out my coaching program, Self Care Queen which starts next week! This program is for a small group of women who are ready to take ownership of their lives, start taking great care of themselves, and make their dreams a reality. Get all the details here. I would love to have you join us!

P.P.S. I am holding a FREE 5 DAY LIVESTREAM TRAINING all bout SELF CARE FOR STRESS RELIEF! If you’ve been wanting to learn more about why self care is the BEST and EASIEST way to relieve stress, I would love to show you my best tips and tricks! It’s all happening over in my FB group, The Stress Free Society. Click here to join the group and get access to the free training!

 

Do THIS before you make your New Year’s Resolutions

Do This Before you make your New Year's ResolutionsHappy almost new year my friends! 2018 is right around the corner. The new year brings a time of goal setting and focused intention. But, before you get started on creating your big dreams in 2018, it’s important to take a look back and reflect on 2017, the year you are leaving behind. This will help you start the new year with a sense of closure and clarity, which will make it easier to make your new goals a reality as you move forward.

Here is a simple exercise that you can use to walk you through the process. You can do this on your own with a journal, or share aloud with someone you trust. My husband and I did this exercise together on a long car ride, and it was a meaningful experience for us both.

Go back through the year of 2017 month by month starting in January.

What stands out to you about each month?

What major and minor life events occurred?

What did you do?

Who were you with?

Who did you help?

What did you create?

Notice any celebrations that you can recall.

What made you happy?

Where did you find joy?

Now look at the challenges.

What was difficult for you?

What did you learn from these challenging experiences?

What lessons did they hold for you?

Bring to mind all of your achievements big and small, personal and professional. Notice how you feel when you think about them. Take some time to soak in these positive feelings.

Bring to mind all of the lessons that you learned from the hardships you faced this year. Feel grateful for these learning experiences. The difficult parts are over, and now the lessons remain. Soak in the gratitude for these lessons.

Now you are ready to begin 2018. Now that you’ve taken a look at where you’ve been, you can decide where it is that you want to go next.

You are a different person than you were one year ago. You are ready to step into 2018 with all of the achievements and lessons of 2017 to back you up.

From this place, you can get clear about what you want to create in your life in the coming year. How do you want to feel in 2018? Who do you want to be? What consistent, daily actions can you take to feel the way you most want to feel? What small, doable action steps can you take to become the person you most want to be?

Cheers to a beautiful year ahead.

Be well,
Ambar

P.S. My new coaching program Self Care Queen is currently open for enrollment. I created this 6 month program for women who would love a high level of support to help them step into action toward making their dream lives a reality. You don’t have to do this alone!

If some of your goals for the new year are to release stress and anxiety, take better care of yourself, and form deep, meaningful friendships with like minded women, I hope you’ll consider joining us in Self Care Queen. You’ll be supported every step of the way to making 2018 your most fabulous year yet! Click here to get all the details.

 

 

3 Ways to Keep Calm on Christmas (and every other holiday!)

how to keep calm on Christmas and other holidays

 

Hello friends!

The holidays are upon us! Merry Christmas eve to those of you celebrating! I know that the holidays can be a stressful time for many of us, despite our best intentions. It’s easy to get carried away by the high energy of these special occasion days and find ourselves feeling stressed out, crazed, and overwhelmed.

I don’t want that to happen to you this year, so I am sharing my 3 best tips for keeping calm on Christmas, and every other holiday!

1) Start the morning off right

It’s easy to start the holidays by jumping out of bed and tackling your holiday to-do list. Now, I understand that you have a lot of things to get done. Some of you may be hosting large family gatherings. Others have children who are itching to wake up at the crack of dawn to open presents. These are all beautiful things, and part of the holiday experience. But, when you start your day on someone else’s agenda, it’s easy to fall into the stress trap.

Try to take just a few moments to create a mindful morning. Sip your coffee in peace while looking at your beautifully lit Christmas tree. Take a few minutes to do a little yoga or meditate. Go for a quick walk around the block. These simple activities do not take very long and they will help you start the holiday feeling calm and tuned into yourself. From this place of peace, you are better capable of enjoying the busy day ahead!

2) Take a time out

Find quick and easy ways to take a break from the holiday hustle and bustle so that you can tune back into yourself and restore your inner peace. Go to the bathroom to meditate. Step into a spare room to close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Step outside for some fresh air. Mix a little quiet time with the busy-ness of the day. This will help you feel more grounded and centered.

Another effortless way to do this, is to stash your favorite essential oils or stones in your pocket or handbag as an easy way to bring a little Zen into your holiday experience. I personally always carry little seashells and beach rocks in the pockets of all my coats. The beach is my happy place, and now whenever I reach into my pockets I’m reminded to slow down, breathe, and ride things out, just like I do when I’m at the beach. 🙂

3) Focus on Connection not Perfection

A lot of us turn into perfectionists during the holidays. It’s easy to want to be the perfect hostess, buy the perfect gifts, wear the perfect outfit, have our kids behave perfectly. This is exhausting and leads to stress! Plus, it’s impossible to be perfect, and a lot of these things are actually out of our control, so we might as well give up this quest for perfection now.

Instead, focus on connecting with the people you are with. Put away your phone and have meaningful conversations. Look into people’s eyes. Ask them about themselves. Talk about what’s important to you. Focus on the love you have for the people around you. Create a real connection, one that you can feel. This is the real meaning of the holidays. Instead of focusing on things being perfect, focus on what really matters; love and connection.

Wishing you a calm and happy holiday! May your days be merry and bright, my friends!

Be well,
Ambar

 

How to Celebrate Winter Solstice

how to celebrate winter solstice

Happy Winter Solstice friends! This day marks the longest night of the year, and also the slow emergence back to more sunlight. Today is a great day to tune back into nature and bring the energies and wisdom of the natural world into your life. This day of darkness is a great time to go within and spend some quiet time tuning into yourself and your innermost desires.

This may sound a little mystical and “out there”, but it’s really quite simple. Below, I will share some ideas for creating a Winter Solstice ritual and tradition that you can start this year, either on your own, or with friends or family.

Winter Solstice marks the end of darkness and the return of light. So, it makes sense that both light and dark be a part of your solstice ritual.

Here is what you will need:

  • outdoor space
  • candles, flashlight, fire, or holiday lights
  • a way of recording your thoughts, either on paper, or simply by using your voice

The way in which I personally like to celebrate Winter Solstice is by taking a few moments to think about two different aspects:

  1. First, I think about the darkest moments that I’ve had in the past year. I think back on these times, not for the sake of feeling sad and depressed, but rather to bring them into the light. I think back on the dark times and then I think about the lessons that they brought. Once I have the lessons, or gifts from these dark times, I am ready to let them go.
  2. Next, I like to focus on what I am ready to bring in to my life; what I want more of; what I want to be brought to light. I set intentions and make my list of desires.

And that’s it! A Winter Solstice ceremony is really just about these 2 aspects; letting go of the darkness and bringing forth the light, or in simpler terms, letting go of what we do not want, and focusing on what we do want. I like to physically spend time out in the darkness of night, and then bring some element of light into the experience.

There are many ways that you can create your own ritual using this framework, but here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Go for a winter walk with a flashlight and spend some time talking about what you are ready to let go of (darkness) and what you want more of (light).
  • Drive around with your windows open while looking at the Christmas lights and take turns talking about your wants and don’t wants with everyone in the car.
  • Start a fire in your outdoor fire pit. Write down the things that you are ready to let go of and throw them into the fire. Then write down the things that you want brought to light and put them somewhere you can see them everyday.

My personal winter solstice celebration this year is going to be very simple. My husband is working late, so I will be home with my young daughter. We are going to go for a sunset walk by the beach, and then return home to light our Christmas tree along with a candle and talk about what we want more of and less of.

A solstice ritual does not have to be hard or complicated. It’s just a way to tune in to the seasons and use them as a way of helping you to create a more intentional life.

I hope you enjoyed this topic and that you feel inspired to create your own Winter Solstice ritual. If you do decide to celebrate, please comment below and let me know what you do!

Happy Winter Solstice friends! Let there be light! 🙂

Be well,
Ambar

 

3 Ways to Be a Meaningful Gift Giver

how to be a meaningful gift giverWith the holidays quickly approaching, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to gift giving. Gift giving is often thought of as a way of showing our love and appreciation for others. However, it can be easy to cross the line from thoughtful to stressful, when we are overspending and overdoing it with gifts. So, I wanted to share 3 simple ways to give meaningful gifts to everyone on your list!

  1. 1) Make them feel seen

The best gifts are the ones where our loved ones can tell that we put some time and effort into seeing them for who they are. Gifts that make someone feel seen are often the most meaningful. For example, my husband is a runner, so I usually get him some type of running gear each Christmas. This year, he is planning on training for a marathon. I’ve seen him go through these trainings before and know how strenuous it can be, so I’m thinking of buying him a massage package that he can use after his long runs. I am hoping that this gift will make him feel seen and appreciated. What hobbies, interests, habits, and routines do you notice about your loved ones? How can you use these to get them a gift that makes them feel seen for their own unique ways?

2) Make them feel heard

Another way to purchase meaningful gifts, is to focus on what your loved ones are saying and asking for, and then purchasing accordingly. For example, my 2.5 year old daughter has been asking for these little toys called Calico Critters. Every time the commercials come on she says how much she loves them, and whenever we ask her what she wants for Christmas, that’s the first thing she says. Now, if I were to ignore what she is saying and instead buy her a doll for Christmas, I’m sure that she would love the doll, but chances are that she would still be asking for her Calico Critters…. 2 year olds can be relentless that way! Ha! But really, can’t we all? Don’t we all like to know that our wishes are validated and that we are worthy of what we most desire? Take some time to listen to what your loved ones are asking for, and then get them gifts that make them feel heard.

3) Whenever possible, choose PRESENCE over PRESENTS

The best gift of all is always the gift of time and attention. When I think back on past holidays, I find that what I remember most are certain moments– watching my mom create an elaborate nativity scene as a child, watching Daria and Beavis and Butthead marathons with my sister and cousins on Christmas Eve when I was in middle school, spending the holidays in Miami Beach the year I turned 20, taking a walk to the beach with my little family on June’s first Christmas… these moments are what make a holiday memorable, not the presents that I received. I’m willing to bet that the same is true for you. So, it makes sense that we should focus our efforts on being present with our loved ones and creating memories that will last long after the presents are gone. What can you do to create special memories with your loved ones? How can you be fully present for the people you love?

I hope that you found these 3 tips helpful! I would love to know which of these you’ll be incorporating into your own gift giving this year! Please share in the comments below.

Happy gifting!

Be well,
Ambar

Holiday Gift Guide featuring JORD wood watches

Hey friends,

I am super excited to share that I am partnering with JORD wood watches this holiday season. I have been a huge fan of this company for quite awhile, and am thrilled to be part of their holiday campaign.

JORD makes the most beautiful, unique wood watches. Their watches are truly one of a kind and are the perfect gift for anyone on your list! Some of you might remember that I gifted my husband one of their unique men’s watches for our 5 year wedding anniversary earlier this year. He loved his men’s wooden watch so much that now for the holidays, I decided to do things a little bit differently and treat myself to a JORD women’s watch!

As you all know, I am all about taking care of myself and treating myself well. One way in which I’ve been slacking, is when it comes to buying myself Christmas gifts. Before I became a mom, I would always make sure to treat myself to something special each holiday season. I saw it as a way to reward myself for all that I had accomplished that year. But, the last couple of years since having my daughter, the focus of the holidays has shifted over to her, which of course is natural, but I’ve been realizing that I also deserve to celebrate myself too!

So, this year, I treated myself to the JORD Cora series watch in Zebrawood & Rosé. Isn’t it a beauty?JORD Cora zebrawood & rose

 

All JORD watches come in a beautiful wooden keepsake box. Their handcrafted watches are truly works of art. You can tell that each watch is created intentionally; it is evident in every part of the watch, from the all natural, quality materials, to the packaging itself.

JORD Cora Zebrawood & Rose

I love this watch so much! And now, every time that I wear it I am reminded of all of the milestones that I accomplished this year, whether through this blog, in my coaching business, or in my personal life.

JORD Cora series zebrawood & rose

We all deserve to treat ourselves from time to time. I invite you to treat yourself to something special this year.

JORD is gifting 25% off to all of my readers. –>> Click here to redeem your instant coupon code! <<–

They have cool watches for everyone on your list, so whether you are looking for a men’s wooden watch or women’s wooden watch, JORD has you covered.

I hope that you love these wooden watches as much as I do!

Treat yourself well this holiday season.

Be well,
Ambar

P.S. In case you were wondering, toddlers love JORD watches too. 😉

 

 


Watch Gift Ideas

How to Take Care of Yourself and Put Yourself First

How to Help Yourself

I have recently been thinking of the Audrey Hepburn quote, “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

I had never felt the truth of this statement as much as I have now before I became a mom. I didn’t fully understand selfless, unconditional love, or the fierce devotion I’d have to wanting to help and protect my daughter as much as possible.

At the same time, I also never understood how vital it is to take care of myself, or that the ONLY way to take care of others is by taking care of myself first.

Becoming a mother has taught me what a great helper I am, and it’s also forced me to learn to help myself by taking simple, doable, and consistent actions that make a big difference in my quality of life.

By learning to help myself, and take great care of myself, I am better able to show up in the world as the wife, woman, and mother that I most want to be.

I am currently facing some new stressors in my life. My grandmother, who I am extremely close with had to have emergency surgery and has been in the hospital for almost two weeks. My 90 year old grandfather has been alone in their home, and needs help going back and forth to visit my grandma. I’ve been spending most days at the hospital with them, while also trying to juggle motherhood and all of my other responsibilities, and I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t stressful.

The only thing that’s keeping me sane through this ordeal is my commitment to self care; my dedication to helping myself first.

This is what helping myself first looks like these days:

  • Practicing yoga every morning
  • Spending a little time outdoors each day
  • Eating a healthy breakfast
  • Bringing my own lunch to the hospital
  • Using essential oils to ground me throughout the day whenever I need it
  • Taking a daily break to go for a walk
  • Listening to good music and inspiring podcasts on my drives to and from the hospital
  • Putting away my phone and being fully present with my husband and daughter each night
  • Crying to my husband or a friend whenever I’m feeling particularly burdened
  • Relaxing and reading before bed every night
  • Asking for help when I need it

These activities may seem trivial, and maybe doing one of them by itself wouldn’t have as big of an impact. But the culmination of taking these small moments to take care of myself daily adds up to my feeling grounded, safe, and supported, even during uncertain times.

It is only from this place of being cared for, that I am able to help others. By filling myself up first, I can show up as the patient and loving mother that I most want to be. I can help and support my grandparents as they age. I can be a devoted wife, and a good friend. I can hold more space for my coaching clients and be of greater service to them. I can write meaningful blog posts. I can show up to the world ready to give and ready to help…. But ONLY if I am helping myself first.

This is true for all of us. I would love for you to take some time this week to think about the ways in which you are helping others, and also the ways in which you are helping yourself. Notice if this give and take feels balanced to you. We are here in this world to help one another, but we simply cannot do that to the best of our ability if we are not first helping ourselves.

What can you do to help yourself today?

Please share in the comments below, or reply to this email to speak to me personally!

Take care and have a beautiful week.

Be well,
Ambar

 

P.S. If you are someone who struggles with making self care a priority, I would love to help! I am getting ready to start working with new coaching clients and am offering a free Self Care Strategy Session to anyone who is interested in seeing how life coaching works. I know that this time of year can get a little stressful, and I would love to support you in putting yourself first so that you can have an easeful and peaceful holiday season. Simply send an email to ambar@mamabirdwellnest.com if you would like to claim your free session and we will get it scheduled right away!

 

How to Thrive During Daylight Savings Time

How to Thrive during Daylight Savings Time

Good morning my friends!

Today is the first day of Daylight Savings Time. Some of you may be enjoying an extra hour of sleep. For others of you, especially those that are parents, maybe not so much! Today I want to share one simple step that you can take to make the most out of the time change this year.

I know that for many of us, this time of year can lead to seasonal depression, or the winter blues due to the lack of daylight hours.

It has been proven that spending just 10-15 minutes outside everyday can help counteract these effects.

There are many reasons why getting outdoors daily is beneficial to our health. The first is that it helps increase the levels of vitamin D in our bodies. Vitamin D is often called the “sunshine vitamin”, as our bodies naturally produce vitamin D when they are exposed to sunlight. Research has shown that vitamin D is particularly helpful for regulating mood and warding off depression.

Another reason why getting outside daily is helpful in improving our moods, is that it helps us get closer to nature. As human beings, we are part of the natural world. However, many times, particularly during the colder, darker months, we spend much of our time indoors surrounded by electronics and the worldly pleasures of the material world. While there is nothing wrong with this, the material world will never compare to the natural world. By getting outside everyday, our bodies become more in tune with nature which leads to feelings of optimal health and wellbeing, since being a part of nature is our natural state.

Getting out in nature everyday, feeling the sunshine on our skin, and breathing fresh air, can do wonders to uplift our mood all year long. Colder temperatures and darker days should not be an excuse to confine ourselves to the indoors, when nature has so much to offer!

Here are 25 different ways to spend some time outdoors each and every day:

  1. Go for a walk around your neighborhood
  2. Play outside with your kids
  3. Jump in a pile of leaves
  4. Sit outside and read
  5. Garden
  6. Go hiking
  7. Clean your yard and rake leaves
  8. Go sightseeing in your town
  9. Shop at an outdoor mall
  10. Go to the beach
  11. Take a trip to the zoo
  12. Go for a nature hut and look for leaves, acorns, etc.
  13. Create a nature mandala from your nature walk findings
  14. Sit on your porch and just breathe
  15. Play basketball
  16. Do outdoor yoga
  17. Ride a bike
  18. Go to an outdoor festival
  19. Go walking with a friend
  20. Take your child for a walk in a stroller
  21. Walk aimlessly with your children and let them lead the way
  22. Go to a park
  23. Play at a playground
  24. Rollerblade or rollerskate
  25. Swing on swings

In order to ward off the winter blues before they start, I’m joining a great group of ladies in a 5 day challenge to get outside everyday for a minimum of 10 minutes! The challenge is taking place right in our Facebook group, The Stress Free Society. Click here to join the group, get all the details, and join us in this fun challenge! We start tomorrow, Monday 11/6.

Wishing you a fun week ahead. Get outside, play, and be happy.

Be well,
Ambar

Stop Stress with this One Simple Step

how to stop stress and overwhelm

 

Hey friend!

I have a question for you… how do you handle stress and overwhelm?

I’ve recently had the realization that there are two major ways in which most of us manage stress in our lives.

The first way that many of us manage stress is by shutting down. Many of us feel a need to retreat when we feel overwhelmed by the world around us. We feel like there is just too much to manage, and so we choose to close ourselves off and take a break from dealing with the stressors at hand. We may isolate ourselves from the people that matter to us, avoid responsibilities, and feel a bit rundown and lethargic.

The second way that many of us manage stress is very much the opposite of the first. Instead of shutting down, many of us decide to add as many things as possible to our to-do list. We turn into overachievers and spend every second of the day checking things off our list. We believe that by being productive, we are proving that we can handle it all, and oftentimes handle it all by ourselves. We overextend ourselves so much, that we don’t have time to even think about our stressors. We may feel a bit exhausted and drained as a result.

The truth is, neither one of these two extremes is particularly helpful. In both instances, we are avoiding the very difficult task of coping with our feelings. Whether we choose to avoid our stressors by laying on the couch, or by adding on to our never-ending to do list, we are still very much avoiding something that needs to be addressed. And avoidance never leads to us feeling good. The only way out of stress and overwhelm is through these difficult feelings. We must take the time to figure out what is causing us to feel this way, do what we can to change the circumstances that are within our control, and accept and let go of the ones that are not.

So think about it… which of these two habits is your natural method of coping with stress and overwhelm? Do you tend to avoid and isolate, or overextend and overachieve?

Once you have figured out your natural tendencies, you can start taking small steps towards balance. The best way to do this is to notice when you catch yourself falling into your old patterns, and start to take a small step in the opposite direction.

If your natural tendency is to shut down and retreat from the world, you might decide to meet a friend for coffee, go for a walk, or have a dance party. These activities will uplift you and may give you the extra bit of motivation that you need to keep moving in a more positive direction.

If your natural tendency is to add on to your to-do list, you might instead decide to slow down by drinking a cup of tea, listening to some soothing music, or binge watching your favorite show on Netflix. These activities will encourage you to give yourself some space to breathe, rest, and recuperate.

I hope that you find this helpful! In the comments below, I would love to know which of these two tendencies do you naturally gravitate towards? I personally am more of a lay on the couch and avoid the world kind of girl, and I am well aware that this behavior is not serving me so I am going to be taking steps in the other direction. I hope that this encourages you to start noticing your own patterns and start taking steps towards more balance in your life.

Wishing you a peaceful week.

Be well,
Ambar

P.S. If you enjoyed this conversation, you would love my new Facebook group, The Stress Free Society. It’s a private space to connect with other women who are working to find inner peace in their busy lives. We have daily discussions on simple ways to decrease stress and anxiety and would love for you to join us! Click here to join the group now! 🙂 I look forward to connecting with you more personally in the group!

 

Want some help reducing stress and increasing peace? Click the photo below to download my FREE e-guide, 50 Ways to Feel Good Fast!

 

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