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”! 

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

8 Ways to Love Your Beach Body (Regardless of What it Looks Like)

How to Love your Beach Body

Hi friends! I have a little bit of a personal and somewhat vulnerable topic this week. If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you may know that I live in a beach town and I ADORE the beach; it is my happy place. Now that summer is getting into swing, my little beach town is livening up and my family and I have a lot of beach days on the agenda. One of the perks of living in a beach town is that we often get visitors dropping by during the summertime to get together with us and go to the beach.

Recently, I noticed that whenever friends would reach out wanting to get together at the beach, I wasn’t as excited about it as I usually I am. I started to get curious about this… clearly I love going to the beach, so what was the problem? I realized that my hesitation was because I’ve been feeling a little self-conscious about being out and about in my bathing suit.

I felt really disturbed to discover that I felt this way. You see, when I gave birth to my daughter two years ago, I started to really love my body and feel more empowered in it than I ever had before. I was in amazement that my body had been able to create my beautiful, healthy baby girl and continue to provide nourishment for her. I recognized my body’s true purpose and all of the feelings of self consciousness that I had carried with me for much of my adult life simply fell away. It was great!

At this time, I also vowed to myself that now that I was raising a daughter, I would never let her hear me speaking poorly about my body, or mistreating it in anyway, because I know that she will learn how to treat her own body by witnessing how I treat mine.

So, I was surprised to see that some of these old feelings have recently resurfaced. And I quickly decided to do something about it.

I am willing to bet that I am not the only woman who feels uncomfortable in their bathing suit, so I want to share the steps that I’m taking to learn to love my beach body, in hopes that it is helpful to you too!

How to Love your Beach Body

Prep Work

There are many things that we can do on a daily basis to start feeling more comfortable in our bodies. If you have a beach day planned, you can start using the following tips to build up your body love.

1. Take Good Care of Yourself

I find that when I am feeling the most self conscious about my body, it’s because I haven’t been taking very good care of it. Treat your body well by drinking enough water, making healthy food choices, and making time to move your body in ways that feel good to you, each and everyday.

2. Thank your Body

Think about all of the things your body does for you and begin to thank it for it. For example: “Thank you arms for being strong enough to hold my daughter. Thank you legs for allowing me to enjoy walks to the beach everyday. Thank you hands for letting me cook, write, type, and hold hands with my loved ones. Thank you body for sustaining a healthy pregnancy and feeding my baby. Thank you for letting me taste delicious foods. Thank you for letting me smell my husband’s cologne. Thank you for keeping me alive. I am grateful and I love you.” You can do this in a journal, in your head, or for an extra powerful exercise, try looking at yourself in the mirror and saying these words out loud.

3. Sleep Naked

There is something about sleeping naked that makes us feel more sensual and connected to our bodies and more at home in our skin. If you are not ready to sleep naked, invest in a silky or soft nightgown that feels luxurious on your skin. I promise this will be a gamechanger!

4. Treat Yourself

Treat yourself by getting a manicure and pedicure, a bikini wax, or a massage! These small treats feel great and pampering ourselves goes a long way to making us feel well cared for and relaxed.

5. Buy a Bathing Suit + Cover-up that you Love

There are tons of cute bathing suits for every level of modesty. I always liked wearing two piece bathing suits, but always felt like I had to be walking around sucking my stomach in! Once I made the switch to a one piece I haven’t looked back! I have so many nice cover-ups and cute strapless bathing suits in bright colors that make me feel happy and cover up the areas I’m most self conscious about. I suggest that you do the same! If you are feeling frumpy or like you need to hide in your bathing suit, that is not going to help you love your body! So buy a suit and cover-up that makes you feel good!

Bonus: Accessorize!  A fun hat and big sunglasses can show off your style and add a boost of confidence!

How to Love your Beach Body Now

The Day Of

Now that you have done your prep work it’s time to head to the beach! The following tips will help you enjoy your beach day without being consumed by what you look like.

6. Indulge in your Senses

When you get to the beach, take some time to really take it all in. Being surrounded by nature has been proven to decrease stress so make sure that you take time to appreciate your surroundings. Take some deep breaths and feel the warmth of the sunshine on your skin. Listen to the waves crashing and the sounds of children playing. Taste the saltwater on your lips. Feel the sand underneath your toes and look at the beauty of the ocean. Admire it all and soak it in with all of your senses.

7. Smile

A smile makes everything better. By having a joyful attitude, laughing, and smiling, you ensure that people will remember you as the happy woman enjoying herself instead of as the unhappy weirdo hiding underneath the beach umbrella! And let’s get honest… we are each our own worst critic, and no one is paying that much attention to you anyway!

8. Focus on Having Fun

Focus on having fun instead of on what you look like. When we are having good experiences, we get lost in the moment and don’t have time to feel self conscious! So make sure to have fun! Go swimming, play with your kids, make sand castles and toss Frisbees! A beach day is supposed to be fun, not stressful, so take the time to enjoy it and make some happy memories!

How to Love your Beach Body regardless of How it LooksI hope that you find these tips useful and helpful! I have started using them myself and can already feel my self consciousness starting to slip away.

There are so many women struggling with their body image and letting their self consciousness stop them from enjoying themselves as much as they could be. This is is such an important topic to talk openly about so that we can join together and know that we are not alone, and that we are committed to ending our body struggles.

Which of these tips will you be trying for your next beach day? I would love to know in the comments below!

Wishing you a week of body love.

Be well,
Ambar

P.S. Do you want more help learning to love your beach body? Sign up below to get the free Body Love Daily Planner!

How to Take Responsibility for Yourself and Learn to Love Your Life

How to Take Responsibility for Yourself and Learn to Love Your Life

Hi friends! If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, or you follow me on social media, then you know I’m a pretty positive person. I truly love life and try to always focus on the good stuff.

But, this wasn’t always the case. I have learned to greatly appreciate all of the wonderful things in my life, because I spent many years being stuck in darkness. For many years, I felt like life was just happening to me, and that I was a victim of my circumstances.

It wasn’t until I learned to take responsibility for myself that my life started to change for the better, and little by little I’ve become one of the happiest people I know.

Learning to take responsibility for my life helped me end a dysfunctional relationship and create space for the amazing marriage I now have.

It helped me stop drinking, smoking, and numbing myself from the world, and instead start experiencing life as it is meant to be experienced.

It allowed me to stop making excuses and move to the beach where I always wanted to live.

It lead me to decide that the time was right to become a mother even though it felt out of my comfort zone at the time.

It guided me to start this blog and start doing work to support other women.

It helped me decide that working full time was no longer right for me and guided me to quit my job to focus more on my family and other interests.

Learning to take responsibility for myself has become my guidance system. It has helped me develop trust in myself and my intuition and know that it will never lead me wrong.

But, it is not always easy. Taking responsibility for ourselves requires us to make massive decisions that are not always easy to make. It means taking complete ownership of our lives and deciding that we will not be victims to our circumstances. Many times, it means we have to step outside of our comfort zone and do things that feel hard.

Taking responsibility for yourself is not always about major life changing decisions like making a big move or having a child. It is a decision you make everyday. Taking responsibility for yourself might mean having a difficult conversation, setting some boundaries, or taking better care of yourself. It is about taking ownership over the kind of life you want to live and the way that you want to feel.

Taking responsibility for yourself means knowing that you alone have complete power over your feelings, thoughts, and actions.

I’ve developed a 5 step process for taking responsibility for ourselves and improving our lives. Follow the steps below and you will be well on your way to living the life you desire.

1) Notice how you feel.

Our feelings are our central guidance system. When we feel good, it is because we are on the right track. When we start to feel a little off, it is often because we are not listening to our desires and needs. For me, my go-to feeling is anxiety. Anytime I notice that I am feeling anxious, it is usually a sign that things aren’t working in some aspect of my life. Anxiety is the feeling that comes up most often for me, but for you it might be anger, sadness, or even dissatisfaction. Noticing that you are not feeling as good as you would like to feel is the first step to making positive changes.

2) Pay attention to how you are talking to yourself.

When times get tough, it’s easy to find ourselves wallowing in negativity. Paying attention to the words we use to describe ourselves and our current situation is the next step towards change. Even during challenging times, phrases like “I’m so anxious”, “I feel terrible”, or “This sucks” aren’t particularly helpful. If you find yourself repeating these negative phrases over and over, guess where that will get you? Yep, you will end up feeling anxious, terrible, and stuck in a sucky situation. Watch your words, because the stories we tell ourselves become our reality.

3) Change your words.

Now that we’ve noticed the negative thoughts we’ve been having, and the stories we have been telling yourself, it’s time to switch them into something more proactive. So, instead of saying “I’m so anxious”, you might say “I am managing my anxiety in creative ways.” Instead of “I feel terrible”, you might try, “I find small ways to feel good everyday”, and instead of “This sucks”, you might say “I am doing my best during a difficult situation.” Do you notice how much more empowering these words are? Make these new phrases your mantras, and repeat them to yourself over and over again until you start to believe them.

4) Focus on what you can control.

Many times, when we are facing challenges, we start to feel out of control. Many of life’s biggest challenges are completely out of our control, yet we spend so much time and energy fixating on these things that we cannot change. The best thing to do is to focus on what you CAN control. Even in the most seemingly hopeless situations, there is always something that is within our control. Sometimes, we may not be able to control the things that happen to us, but we can control the way we react, and the ways in which we choose to participate in our lives.

Noticing that there are parts of our lives that we CAN control, and taking ultimate control of them, is the best way to feel better during challenging situations.

5) Make the necessary changes.

At this point, you have recognized that you are feeling a little off, changed your self-talk, and noticed what is not working in your life. Now that you have this awareness, it’s time to make some changes.

For me, many times, the necessary changes that I need to make start with taking better care of myself. No matter what my circumstances, I can always make sure that I take a little bit of time for myself each day, and take good care of myself by meditating, exercising, and eating well so that I don’t make my anxiety even worse. I can talk to a coach, a therapist, or my husband about my feelings instead of keeping them all bottled up inside.

After my self care needs are being met, I am in a stronger mind space to make any bigger changes that need to happen in order for me to live the life of my dreams.

By being purely reactive to life circumstances, we quickly feel hopeless. Being proactive about the things within our control is the only way to live a happy and healthy life.

I have used this 5 step process to get me through many difficult times in life, and I know that they will continue to help me. I hope that this process is helpful to you as well.

Take responsibility for yourself, your feelings, and your actions, and your life will inevitably improve.

Be well,
Ambar

P.S. If you are noticing that you need to make some changes in your life, I would love to work with you to support you in taking the necessary steps. Working with me as a life coach means that you have me in your corner for support and encouragement. A life coach is a non-judgmental person who helps you look at your circumstances in new ways and pushes you to make the changes necessary to live your best life. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, I’d love to be that person for you! Fill out the contact form below, or send me an email to mamabirdwellnest@gmail.com for more information.

 

Top 5 Essential Oils for Anxiety

Top 5 Essential Oils for Anxiety

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier this week, my sister reminded me of the Lao Tzu quote that states that “If you are anxious, you are living in the future.” This is so true. When we feel anxiety arise, it is because we are worried or fearful about the future, and thinking about something that has not yet happened. When we focus on the present moment, we are able to see that all is well as it is right now, and that even if things are difficult, we are capable of managing whatever is happening in this moment. The present moment is really all we have, so it makes sense that this is where we should be focusing our energies and efforts.

Using essential oils is a great way to get grounded into the present moment. Essential oils have many healing properties, many of which are beneficial and helpful for coping with anxiety. By using these oils, we are able to bring our attention back to the present moment, and also reap the plant medicine of the oils.

These are my top 5 favorite essential oils for anxiety:

1) Lavender – Lavender is often called the “gateway oil”, because it oftentimes starts people off on their essential oils journey. I always recommend starting with lavender when dealing with anxiety. I like to diffuse this oil while I sleep to help promote a good night’s rest, and bring about feelings of calm and relaxation.

2) Frankincense – Frankincense is another great oil to use for anxiety. It is a special and grounding oil that can bring about feelings of being more peaceful, rooted, and grounded. I often mix frankincense and lavender in the diffuser before bed, and I also like to put a drop in my moisturizer, which feels really luxurious.

3) Clary Sage – Clary Sage has many soothing and calming properties. It is one of the most relaxing and balancing essential oils. I like to keep clary sage on hand and use whenever feelings of worry or anxiety pop up. I usually put this oil on my pulse points; wrists, back of neck, and over my heart, to help ease tension.

4) Vetiver – Vetiver is a lesser known oil, but it is one of my favorites for combatting anxiety. It has a very earthy scent that makes me feel more connected to the earth, which is something that I crave during times of high anxiety. Vetiver is very calming and has many stabilizing properties. I’ve recently started putting a couple of drops on the bottoms of my feet every morning, and then going for a barefoot walk in my backyard. This helps me start the day feeling calm and grounded.

5) Console – I tried to stick with mostly single oils in this list, but I would be remiss if I did not mention Console, doTerra’s comforting blend. Console is my #1 top essential oil for battling feelings of anxiety. It is extremely nurturing, comforting, and soothing, and feels like a hug in a bottle. I adore this oil, and it has been my saving grace through many anxious situations. I apply it topically several times a day whenever my anxiety starts to feel unmanageable.

Do you use essential oils to promote feelings of relaxation and reduce anxiety? What are your favorite oils to use? I would love to hear in the comments below!

If you are not yet using essential oils and want to learn more about how they can help you manage anxiety, or any other challenges you may be facing, I would love to help! These oils have been extremely helpful to me in managing my anxiety, as well as in countless other ways. I signed up as a Wellness Advocate with doTerra so that I can help spread this knowledge, since it has helped me so much in my own life.

If you want to learn more, you can head on over to my doTerra website here: https://www.mydoterra.com/mamabirdwellnest/  or send me an email by filling out the contact form below. I would love to help you get started on your own oily journey!

Wishing you a week of peace + calm.

Be well,
Ambar

Don’t Make things happen, Let them happen

Don't Make things Happen, Let them Happen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the last couple of weeks, as I launched my program for new moms, I was reminded of a really valuable lesson that I’m now applying to all areas of my life. It is a total game-changer, so I wanted to share it with you!

I had never publicly launched a program in this way before. Sure, I have been leading groups like this, but I have worked mainly by referrals and direct connections. This was my first time really advertising my program and putting myself out there publicly.

Launching a program in this way is kind of a crazy thing. It requires you to keep talking about your services over and over again without really knowing if anyone is listening, or if it will resonate with the people who need you. I went into my launch with an idea of a certain number of new moms that I wanted to join my program. The first few days, I was really anxious wondering if what I was sharing would attract the right people into my program. As the week progressed, I knew that I had to let go of my anxiety. I realized that all I could do was continue to share about my program and trust that the right women would be led to it at the right time for them. As soon as I was able to let go of my need to control the outcome, I felt peaceful. I was able to enjoy interacting with the women reading my posts, and feel the encouragement of the many friends and acquaintances who supported me throughout this process. It felt good! And, I now have a wonderful group of women in this program! It all worked out, in the right way, at the right time.

This got me realizing, that this wasn’t the first time in my life that I experienced the power of surrendering. When I got pregnant with my daughter, at first I was really anxious. I worried as to whether my body would be able to sustain a healthy pregnancy and I really stressed myself out about it. As my pregnancy progressed, I slowly started to trust in the process more. I started meditating and journaling daily, and focused on formed a connection with the baby that was growing inside me. I let go of my need to know that everything would work out a certain way, and instead surrendered to the process. As a result, I was able to experience a really peaceful and joyful pregnancy, and I know that I will always remember that sacred time when I learned to trust in the process.

I can continue applying this to every area of my life today.

We are currently in the beginning stages of potty training our daughter. I know that there is no way that I can make her potty train. All that I can do is continue offering the opportunity and trust that she will figure it out when the time is right for her. I can’t force it, I have to let it happen.

This also applies to my marriage. I am fortunate to have a really great husband, and we have a really solid connection…. most of the time. At times, we get caught up in the daily routine and there are days where I feel a little disconnected. But again, I know that there is no way that I can make my husband act a certain way towards me. All that I can do is treat him in the way that I want to be treated, let go of the outcome, and let him respond accordingly.

I am also using this concept with my health. I would really like to lose 10lbs in order to be at the weight where I feel my best. But, I know that I cannot force my body to lose 10lbs. All I can do is nourish myself with healthy food and make time each day to be more active. Then, I have to trust the process and let the weight come off on its own.

As you can see, the idea of letting things happen, rather than making them happen, applies in all areas of life: from motherhood, to marriage, to health and career. All that we can do is put forth some effort, and do our part in reaching our goals. We can keep showing up day after day taking small steps in the direction that we want to go, and towards feeling the ways that we want to feel. But, there comes a point where we have to just let go, trust, and allow.

What have you been trying to force in your own life? How can you start to let it happen, instead of making it happen? Let me know in the comments below!

Wishing you a week of trust + surrender.

Be well,
Ambar

How Yoga Makes Me a Better Mom

How Yoga Makes Me a Better Mom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoga has been my saving grace as a mother. I started practicing yoga with my daughter when she was just a few months old, and it quickly became a vital part of our morning routine. Yoga was my entryway to self care as a new mom. It allowed me to move my body, decrease stress, and share something that I love with my baby. My daughter is almost 2 years old now, and my yoga practice is more important to me than ever. Here are 3 ways in which yoga has made me a better mom:

1) Self Care – My yoga practice has become a non negotiable part of my life. I try to start most of my days with a short 10-15 minute yoga practice. Taking just a few moments a day for myself makes a tremendous impact on my mood. It allows me to make myself a priority and do something special for myself everyday. As a mom of a young child, this is extremely important. I spend so much of my days caring for my little one and doing things for our family, that it is extra important to make sure that my own needs are being met first. As a result, I am better able to take care of all of the people that rely on me, especially my daughter.

2) Slows Reaction Time – Practicing yoga consistently creates an inner peace that stays with me throughout my days. Since I am feeling more calm and at ease, I am able to be more intentional with my actions, rather than being so reactive. When stressful situations arise, I am better equipped to stop and take a deep breath before I react. In situations where I may have immediately screamed or lost my temper, I am now able to slow down and take deliberate actions. This is a handy tool to have in my back pocket with an energetic little toddler who is always exploring and pushing limits. Thanks to my yoga practice, I am able to be more intentional in how I react to her, and that makes me a better mom.

3) Sets a Good Example – My daughter has grown up watching me practice yoga everyday. It is simply part of our routine and something that she is very aware of. I believe that by having this experience of yoga ingrained in her so early on, it will always be something that she can come back to as she grows up. I also believe that by watching me practice yoga and meditate, my daughter is learning the importance of self care from a young age. She is learning valuable lessons about the importance of physical fitness and the mind-body connection. By watching me take good care of myself, she is learning to take care of herself too. There is no better lesson that we can teach our children.

Do you practice yoga? In what ways has it made a difference in your life? Please share in the comments below!

I am so excited to share that I’ve created a FREE 5 day Mommy & Me Yoga Challenge! It’s the perfect starting point for any mom who is interested in learning to take better care of herself by incorporating a little bit of yoga into her daily routine and sharing this gift with her little ones. Click here to sign up for the challenge!  Enjoy, and please share with any other moms who you think might benefit from this! 🙂

Join the Yoga With Littles Challenge!

mommy and me yoga challenge

 

 

 

 

 

Have a beautiful week and make sure to take some time for yourself!

Be well,
Ambar

5 Must-Have Essential Oils for Families

best essential oils for families

I first learned about essential oils at a moms group when my daughter was just a few months old. Having a baby made me extra aware of the products that I was using on my body and in my home. I wanted to reduce toxicity and find safer ways to promote health and wellness for my baby, as well as myself and my husband. I slowly started off on my essential oils journey, using just a few oils and incorporating them into our daily routine. Now, almost 2 years later, my collection has grown as I’ve learned a lot about these oils and the many benefits that they have. My husband teases me because anytime something is a little off in our home, I find an essential oil to treat it.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils have been used for thousands of years as healing agents. They are often described as mankind’s first medicine. These oils are extracted from leaves, flowers, stems, or other parts of plants. They are what give the plant its distinctive smell and contain all of the healing benefits of the plant that they are extracted form. Essential oils are highly concentrated. For example, 50 lemons are needed to distill one tiny 15 mL bottle of lemon essential oil. 30lbs of lavender flowers are needed to produce the same 15 mL size bottle of lavender essential oil. Because these oils are so highly concentrated, they are the most simple, accessible way for us to get the many benefits of these plants and their medicinal properties.

How do you use essential oils?

Essential oils can be used several different ways. They can be used aromatically, either by diffusing them in a diffuser, or inhaling them from the bottle. They can also be used topically, by taking a few drops and mixing them with coconut, jojoba, or another carrier oil, and rubbing them on your skin. A great way to use oils topically is by putting them on the bottom of your feet, where they are quickly absorbed. You can also place them on your pulse points; wrists, back of neck, behind the ears, and over your heart. Some oils can even be taken internally in a veggie capsule, by mixing in water, or even in cooking. Before taking oils internally, it is extremely important to make sure that you are using pure essential oils that are safe for ingestion. This is usually stated right on the label. When starting out with essential oils, it is important to remember that they are very potent, so start out small, using just 1-2 drops. More often than not, you will find that that’s all you need to achieve your desired benefit.

What are the benefits of essential oils?

One of the coolest things about essential oils is that each one has its own physical and emotional properties. As someone who is prone to anxiety, I was initially drawn to them for their emotional benefits. In using them, I’ve found that their physical properties are just as remarkable. There is literally an oil for everything and you can find the right oil for you depending on your desired benefit.

To help you get started, here is a list of the 5 must-have oils in our home:

Lavender

Lavender is the very first essential oil that I started out with. My daughter was colicky for her first few months, and I was desperate to help her find some comfort and get some rest. We started diffusing lavender essential oil in her room to help promote sleep. It worked right away! Since then, diffusing lavender at bedtime has become part of our nightly routine. On the nights that I forget to turn on the diffuser, she points at it and reminds me.

Lavender is a very calming oil and is often used to reduce tension and promote rest and relaxation. It can also be helpful in soothing skin irritation such as sunburn, diaper rash, or dry skin.

Lemon

Lemon is a great essential oil known for its purifying properties. I usually put a drop in my water every morning and it feels really refreshing and promotes natural cleansing.

Lemon is also really great to use in homemade cleaning products. Just mix with water in a spray bottle and use it to wipe down countertops and sinks. It will clean and purify all of your household surfaces, and your mind can be put at ease knowing that you aren’t using any toxic chemicals.

Another thing that it’s really good for is getting rid of grease or stickiness. It’s great for getting glue off of surfaces, and helps to get price tag stickers to come right off. (I know this is a really random use, but I am always buying picture frames and breaking my nails trying to scrape the price tags off of the glass! Lemon essential oil helps them come right off!)

Emotionally, lemon can be a really uplifting oil that promotes a positive mood.

Frankincense

Frankincense is one of my favorite oils. It is known as the “King of Oils” because of its many uses. I personally find frankincense to be really grounding and often apply it topically to the bottom of my feet to help balance my mood. I also like to mix it with lavender in the diffuser, which smells really nice and helps to boost peace and relaxation.

Frankincense is also really good for your skin, and can be mixed with your favorite moisturizer to reduce blemishes. It feels really soothing.

Peppermint

Peppermint is a great energizing oil perfect for tired mommies like me. 😉 I place a couple of drops in my hands and take a few deep breaths whenever I need an energy boost. Sometimes I apply a few drops to my temples if I’m going to be driving long distances or doing any other activity where I want to be alert.

Peppermint is also great to rub on your belly to promote digestive health and help alleviate an upset stomach. It can also be used as a natural breath mint to freshen your breath!

Immunity Support Blend

Most of the popular essential oils companies have an immunity support blend. This oil is essential to have on hand, especially if you have children. Anytime I feel that one of us is coming down with something, I immediately apply our protective blend oil to our feet every few hours to help support our immune system. I love knowing that I have this oil for protection and prevention against any threats to our immunity.

It is also a great oil to diffuse to cleanse the air in your home, and can be mixed with water to create another great household cleaner.

Emotionally, it is an energizing and uplifting oil and can help you feel well protected.


And that’s it! Those are our 5 favorite oils that are constantly on rotation in our home. As you can see, there are many different ways to use essential oils, and they can be extremely beneficial in many ways.

Do you use essential oils? What is your favorite?

Are you new to essential oils? I recently signed up as a distributor for the essential oils company that I use since I love them so much. If you have any questions or want to learn more about which ones might be beneficial for you and your family, I’d be happy to help you get started on your oil journey.

You can click this link to shop from my doTerra site.

If you have specific questions, or would like some individual help choosing the best oils for you, just fill out the form below or send an email to mamabirdwellnest@gmail.com.

Wishing you a week of good health + optimal wellbeing. 🙂

Be well,
Ambar

 

 

 

Sign up for Mama Bird’s Wellness Tips: Weekly email offerings on holistic mothering, positive living, & information on upcoming classes

* indicates required



How to Beat the Winter Blues

How to Beat the Winter Blues

I’ve heard it said that February can be the most depressing month. The holidays are long gone, winter has settled in with full force, the days are short, and warmer weather seems to be light years away. Many people start to feel a little down this time of year, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are some simple tips to help you support yourself so that you can fully enjoy this time of year.

1) Get outside

One of the main reasons for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is that during the winter months, we tend to get much less natural sunlight. Natural light is important because it helps keep the natural rhythms of our body in an optimal state. Make sure to take some time to get outside each and every day, even if it’s cold out. Bundling up and going for a quick daily walk can do wonders for your mood. Make sure to dress appropriately and take time to look around and notice the winter sights as you breathe in the brisk air.

If you spend a lot of time indoors at a desk, using a light box can be extremely helpful in replicating the effects of the sun. Light boxes have been known to increase happiness and promote an overall feeling of wellbeing.

 

Lastly, it may be helpful for you to take a Vitamin D supplement. Our bodies obtain Vitamin D naturally from being out in the sun, so taking a vitamin may help make up for any deficiencies you may experience from not getting enough sunlight in the winter months.

2) Go within

As much as it is important to make time to get outside each day, it is also important to honor the natural rhythm of winter by taking time to turn your focus inward. Winter is a time for quiet contemplation. Animals hibernate during this time of year in order to rest and prepare for the season ahead. The trees and plants start doing their deep work underground. We can take a cue from nature and do the same.

Journaling is a great way to connect with your intuition by doing some quiet reflection and introspection. Take some time to journal about the things that you need to let go of. What anger, resentment, or frustrations are you holding onto? Make a choice to let them go. Let go of old grudges. Decide to forgive someone that has hurt you, maybe even yourself. This time of year is the perfect time to have these difficult conversations with yourself. It is important to allow yourself the quiet space to make peace with your past and release all that is no longer serving you so that you can start to move forward as your best possible self.

After you have let go of the things that are weighing you down, it’s time to shift your focus to the future. Winter is the perfect time to start to focus on your desires and create a vision for what you most want from life. Set some goals and decide to go after your dreams. Get clear on your vision, create a game plan and decide to do something you’ve always wanted to do.

3) Warm yourself from the inside out

Since the temperatures outside are so cold during this time of year, it is important for us to learn to build heat from the inside out. Exercise is one of the best ways to do this. Find a form of movement that works best for you and make a commitment to move your body everyday. Take a hot yoga or vinyasa class, try a new pilates studio, start a weight training program, or begin training to run a 5k. Physical activity gets our inner fire burning and releases natural endorphins that make us feel good!

Another way to start to tend to your inner fire is by drinking and eating warm foods and drinks. This is the perfect time to experiment in the kitchen and try some nice, warm stews and soups, hot toddy cocktails, or soothing teas.

These three strategies may seem simple, but if you start to practice them consistently, you will notice a major difference in your mood. The key is to be gentle with yourself. It can be challenging to start new habits, so start slow. Pick the activity that seems the easiest for you to implement, and start there. Once you have made that a habit, you can start to incorporate the others little by little. Remind yourself that in order to feel better, you need to do the things that will help you make that shift. “If you do what you always did, then you’ll get what you always got.” Take good care of  yourself by deciding to do things differently this winter.

Wishing you a happy and warm week ahead.

Be well,
Ambar

Sign up to receive a free printable guide filled with 50 simple ways to decrease stress, regain peace, and feel better fast!

* indicates required



*Mama Bird Well Nest is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Although I may earn a small fee if you purchase through my links, I only recommend products that I personally use and love. Your purchase helps support me in continuing to provide valuable information through my blog, and is much appreciated.

 

5 More Tools to Stop Anxiety

5 ways to stop anxiety

A while back I wrote a post about my Top 5 Tools to Stop Anxiety. After overcoming the anxiety that I’ve experienced for most of my life, I’ve learned that the same tools that work to stop anxiety one day, might not work as effectively another day. That’s why it’s so important to have an entire toolbox of tricks and techniques to experiment with at any given time. This past week was challenging for me and I felt very anxious and stressed. Thankfully, I’m coming around on the other side of it now. I thought it would be helpful to share the tools that I’ve used to manage my anxiety most recently, so that you can have 5 more tools to add to your anti-anxiety toolkit.

1) USE ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils have been my first defense when anxiety arises. I love my oils and have found them to be very comforting and healing. Whenever I feel anxious, I dilute a few drops of my favorite oils with coconut oil, and apply to the bottoms of my feet where they are quickly absorbed, and also to different pulse points like the back of my neck, ears, and wrists. I personally use doTerra oils, and my go-to oil when I’m feeling anxious is called Console, which is a blend of frankincense, patchouli, ylang ylang, sandalwood, and more. I find it to be really soothing and feels like a hug in a bottle. There are many different types of essential oils, and each of our bodies responds differently to each oil, since we are all so unique. I would recommend trying a few different oils to see what works best for you. Some oils that are known to be particularly calming include lavender, rose, and frankincense.

2) TALK TO SOMEONE

Anxiety can feel really isolating. Whenever I feel anxious, the simple act of telling someone how I feel can be very helpful. We don’t always need a full blown therapy session, simply talking to a friend and stating that you are feeling anxious can be enough to validate your feelings and start the healing process. Whenever I feel anxious, I tend to get lost in my head a lot, which only exacerbates the anxiety. By voicing my feelings, it gets me out of my own head. A lot of times, if you are open about your feelings, it gives permission for others to do the same. In sharing about my anxiety with others, I’ve learned that there are many of us who struggle with anxiety from time to time. This has been helpful in showing me that I’m not alone, that there are many people out there who can relate, and that we can all join together to support each other through challenging times.

3) DRINK A CUP OF TEA

The act of making myself a cup of tea feels really nurturing when I feel anxious. Celestial Seasonings makes a brand of tea called “Tension Tamer“, which I have been drinking for over a decade. It reminds me of snuggling on the couch in the house I grew up in, and makes me feel warm and held. When anxiety arises, it can be really helpful to ground yourself with a simple pleasure. For me, it’s a cup of tea, but for you, maybe it’s chicken soup, hot water with lemon, or a cup of coffee. Know which of life’s simple comforts feel nourishing to you, and turn to them frequently whenever you need a little extra boost.

4) CRY IT OUT

Sometimes anxiety can feel terribly crippling and the only way to release it is to cry it out. At times, I have trouble expressing my feelings and tend to hold them all inside. I know that this is not healthy, and when I am feeling extra anxious, sometimes the best cure is to have a good cry. Crying helps move emotion through our body so that we can process our feelings. A good cry releases pent up frustrations and allows us the opportunity to let go of some of the stress that we are carrying. Crying is an act of self care. If your anxiety starts to feel like too much for you to hold onto, allow yourself to cry it out.

5) REMIND YOURSELF THAT THIS TOO SHALL PASS

The one thing I’ve learned from my struggles with anxiety, is that it always passes. Life is cyclical, and by nature, our emotions come and go if we allow them the space to do so. By trying all of these different coping skills, I am training my mind and body to process anxious feelings, let them move through me, and then let them go. I am aware that as long as I am doing what I can to manage my feelings and feel better, eventually the anxiety will pass. This is something really important to remind yourself when you are in the midst of an anxious spell. Remind yourself that you are doing the best you can, that your anxiety will not last forever, and that before you know it you will be on the other side.

I hope you find these tips helpful. Please let me know if you have any other tools for managing anxiety. I would love to add them to my anti-anxiety toolkit!

Wishing you a calm + peaceful week ahead.

Be well,
Ambar


If you want more tools for relieving stress, I’ve created a beautiful printable poster filled with 50 simple ways to feel better fast. You can download it by clicking on the above image. Enjoy!