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

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

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

Here is what I shared:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have 3 suggestions –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Take good care and be well my friends.

Lots of love,
Ambar

 

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 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!