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5 Beneficial Ways to Take Time for Yourself

5 Ways to Include Self Care Into Your Busy Life

5 Beneficial Ways to Take Time for Yourself

5 Beneficial Ways to Take Time for Yourself

This week, I will keep it short, simple, and sweet (with a side of tough-love) as I imagine you may have some last minute shopping or cooking to do.

Taking time to be alone is so important. You need space to be able to think for yourself. You need time with yourself to practice gratitude and to simplify. Learning to love alone time with yourself is the key to a healthy, happy life and a wedding day of ease and bliss.

Here are 5 beneficial ways to take time for yourself now:

1. Wake early, before your roommate(s) or your fiance. Enjoy a cup of tea. Make time to journal. Do some light yoga or stretching. Make breakfast and prepare for your day in silence (no tv, or try soft music). Waking just 10 minutes early to enjoy some solo-solitude will have you feeling more calm and collected. How you spend your morning is very important in setting the tone for how you feel and react throughout the day. Experiment with these variations and notice how you feel when you step out the door. Smile at the new-found spring in your step.

2. Take lunch away from the desk/technology/co-workers. This is a piece of advice I give to nearly all of my clients. Mindfulness at mealtime is so important for proper digestion, weight management, and maximum absorption of nutrients. Far too often, we swallow our lunch whole, either sitting at a desk while staring at a computer, while responding to messages and social media on our phones, or while gossiping with co-workers in the lunch room. Catching up with a friend over lunch can be food for the soul, but take time to look at your meal, to taste it, smell it, and chew it. Notice your dialogue, and try to include more listening, more positivity, and more gratitude. Focus on the good, and always come back to The Golden Rule.

3. Get in nature. Take 5 minutes to look at the sky, to walk in a nearby park, or on the beach. Don’t take the power of nature for granted. We become very detached to it and even I forget the serenity it brings after a day or two without exposure to it. Another way to do this is take a different way home from grocery shopping, or add in more time around your errands to sit on a bench and watch the clouds. We spend so much time and energy rushing from point A to point B without really knowing why. Take control of your place in your environment. And who knows, you may find yourself hugging a tree, or pouring your soul out to the fallen leaves. No judgment here!

4. There are more popular and obvious forms of self-care, like baths, massages, and facials. This can all be done at home to save money and time if you wish. I recommend making this a weekly or bi-weekly practice – don’t wait for the big day! Caring for your physical body is very therapeutic and increases your ability for self-love and compassion. Self-massage can be done with essential oils, (or sesame or coconut oil from your pantry) or your favorite lotion. It feels especially good on the neck and shoulders or legs and feet, depending on your day job. Facials can be done using pantry items like honey and baking soda, or oats and yogurt. And a warm bath become a luxurious ritual with soft music, candles, and Epsom salts. Make a date with yourself and schedule self-care. It is the easiest way to lower your stress levels and is a necessary part of a healthy lifestyle.

5. Create boundaries around your wedding. Keep secrets! Have something that will be a surprise. Allow aspects of your union to remain sacred. Share what you wish and keep the rest to yourself. When people ask why, tell them because its what you and your partner want. Feel free to be vague and not show everyone you meet pictures of the dresses you have tried on. I was surprised at how inquisitive mere acquaintances were about the details of our wedding. One day at work last year I was approached in the elevator by someone whom I didn’t even know who asked what my veil was going to look like. When I responded that I wasn’t wearing one she looked appalled and asked me “why not?”. I told her because I didn’t want to and changed the subject. It is that simple. Limit the amount of time you actually talk about your wedding – it is an important event, not a full-time job. Keeping healthy boundaries around your wedding will also prevent the post-wedding celebration blues that sometimes show up once we return to life as is.

Taking time for yourself prevents burn-out and allows you to be more present at family gatherings, holiday parties, dress fittings, and catering meetings. It allows you the space to make decisions that matter. It is necessary for a happy and healthy body, mind, and spirit. You are worth it.

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Jennifer Jakes is a Certified Health Coach who is on a mission to support people in living their best life. Through simple recipes, daily motivation, and 6-month programs she helps people achieve their wellness goals. J.J. loves to run, cook, bike, make homemade face masks, be in nature, laugh, play, dance, and find balance as a yogi. She is a student of the world and is always ready for the next book or adventure. Please join her at fastpacedfoodie.com, on Facebook and on Twitter.

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Simplify

www.njohnstonphotography.com

Simplify

N Johnston Photography

The main reason why we get overwhelmed in any situation is that there is too much on our plate. We over-promise and over-commit our time and energy to too many people, projects, and events. This can be especially true during the holidays and while planning such an important event as your wedding! We feel it is our obligation to be stressed out. We feel we are doing something wrong if we don’t have a never-ending to-do list. It can be hard not to get lost in the keeping-up-with-the-Jones’ mentality. If you are feeling like it is all too much, I encourage you to pause and take a step back.

Ask yourself “Why am I doing it?”

The best advice I received from a dear friend who is like a mom/cool aunt/honest girlfriend (aren’t those the best?) while my now husband and I were planning our wedding was: “If it isn’t necessary, say “no”. Now, being a people-pleaser and a true “yes” person, this was very uncomfortable and scary for me. In hindsight, I am so grateful for it. To give you a little background, my husband and I decided to do a very non-traditional celebration. Our guest list was 40 people. We rented a property of 4 homes in the Catskill mountains over 4 days. We bused our friends and family from NYC and spent the weekend playing games, cooking, and enjoying the surroundings. We set up a big tent in the back yard and had a long “rehearsal” dinner full of speeches, laughter, singing, tears, and a serious dance party, that rivaled the actual reception. We decided to spend money on what was most important to us, like awesome food from our favorite restaurants and handmade recycled quilts for our guests. The point of the story is, this didn’t “look” like most weddings. It was different from what our friends did, and different from what our family may have envisioned. And it was missing most of the components that blogs and magazines focus on. Every time we thought we “needed” something we asked ourselves “why?”. If it fit our vision and our priorities, then we would work it in. If it didn’t, then we moved on.

Simplify

As a bride-to-be, it is important you take whatever time you have and prioritize it. If your wedding isn’t until the Spring, I encourage you to hold off on any planning until after the holidays. Try to be present and enjoy being engaged! Enjoy all that the holidays mean to you and your fiance, and your soon to be in-laws. Take time to speak with your fiance about traditions that are important to you, and what traditions you would like to have as a new family. Focus on the bigger and intangible aspects of your union. Anything that doesn’t require your immediate attention (be honest with yourself) can wait. You are building the foundation of your life together, and that is the most important thing to remember.

If the big day is fast approaching, and/or the holidays create more than you can handle, I encourage you to see where you can create more space. The first step towards change is the willingness to make it happen. This can be the greatest obstacle. But I can attest that the real magic happens outside of your comfort zone. Practice saying “no”. Take a look at the reasons behind your purchases. Pause before saying “yes”. Is your heart in it it? Why are you doing it? Is there an solution that you haven’t considered? Taking control over your decisions is incredibly liberating. Knowing the purpose and motivation behind your actions is empowering.

It is so easy to get lost in the noise. It is easy to spend hours obsessing over candle holders. But your time, money, relationships, and well-being are far more important. So simplify. Ask yourself what is truly necessary and what isn’t. Ask yourself why you are doing it. And trust yourself enough to know what is best. Your friends and family love you for who you are, not for the superficial stuff. Take some time now to define what matters most. The holidays are the perfect reminder to get back to what we value and what we hold as sacred. Use this to your advantage. Own this important and temporary time in your life to take control as the bride-to-be. And don’t be afraid to say “no” or “I’ll get back to you”. It will benefit you and your future husband for years to come.

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Jennifer Jakes is a Certified Health Coach who is on a mission to support people in living their best life. Through simple recipes, daily motivation, and 6-month programs she helps people achieve their wellness goals. J.J. loves to run, cook, bike, make homemade face masks, be in nature, laugh, play, dance, and find balance as a yogi. She is a student of the world and is always ready for the next book or adventure. Please join her at fastpacedfoodie.com, on Facebook and on Twitter.

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Practice Gratitude

Practice Gratitude

Practice Gratitude

Practice Gratitude

We all know there is a lot of added pressure during the holidays. We feel the need to have the prettiest tree, bring the best dish to the potluck, pick out the perfect gift for the boss, and so on, and so on. Every magazine, commercial, and news show highlights this, only adding to our stress. We are trying to keep up with the needs of our day to day lives with the added demands and requests that the holidays bring. Now add in wedding planning! You may feel completely overwhelmed by your countless to-do lists and calendar appointments. It doesn’t have to be this way! Below are three quick and simple exercises to bring you back to the present moment feeling lighter and brighter.

Practicing gratitude has been scientifically shown to reduce stress and anxiety, while allowing you to experience more joy and focus. Your mindset is an incredibly powerful tool in taking control of your life and how you feel throughout the day. It is the difference between being in the driver’s seat, or feeling as though you are being pulled around by obligations and expectations. Gratitude is creating awareness around and acknowledging the things in our lives that we appreciate. The idea of expressing gratitude may seem fluffy or hippie-dippie, but the effects are real.

Here are 3 simple ways to practice gratitude in your busy life:

1) Make it a part of your morning routine.

Set the alarm 15 minutes earlier (trust me, hitting the snooze button isn’t doing you any favors). Take a moment first thing, before you look at your phone, or respond to emails, or search Pinterest for “place-card holders”. How you act upon waking dictates your day, so create a little space between you and all that you must do. Sit down with a glass of warm water and lemon, or tea, or coffee. Take time to write down all that you are grateful for, in that moment. The thoughts and emotions may come easily. Or, you may be surprised that it is hard to think of anything – and that is ok, too! Try to get super specific. For example: “I am grateful for my Mom”, can be expressed as “I am grateful for my Mom’s great taste in flowers. I am grateful for her ability to speak her mind. I am grateful that she wants to be such a big part of our special day”. Can you feel the difference? Try to write 5 reasons for each person or subject you list. You can either write until you’ve filled a standard sheet of paper, or set a timer for 10-20 minutes. Take a deep breath and now go about your normal morning routine. Notice how taking just a few minutes to pause and focus on all of the good that you already have makes you feel. When we live our lives from a place of comparison and lack, we forget how incredibly blessed we already are – with or without shiny envelope inserts, or the perfect “something blue”.

2) Tell someone.

Whether it is your fiance, the caterer, or your future mother-in-law. Take a moment to call, to text, or to send an e-mail simply saying “thank you”. Tell them why you are grateful for their place in your life. Express this gratitude without any ties to a response or to your own ego. They will be so happy to hear from you without any strings attached. It will also be therapeutic for you to take a break from your day to share love and appreciation with someone important to you. Even in your basic interactions at the grocery store, or when shopping for bridesmaid gifts, pause to look the salesperson in the eyes and genuinely thank them for how they assisted you. If that doesn’t have you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, then get yourself a hot cocoa and try again!

3) Choose your words wisely.

The words you choose also have a huge impact on your feelings and emotional state. How you think about a task, a person, or a decision, determines how you approach it. If you view a situation as being a burden or an obligation, you won’t be very excited to “deal” with it. Again, bring the idea of creating space into these interactions. Pause and rephrase your internal and external dialogue surrounding the tasks in your day. How you do something is equally (if not more) important as what you are doing. When you find yourself wanting to complain about something or someone, first find one thing that you are grateful for in regards to the situation. Taking the moment to express appreciation will have you feel differently about the situation, and have you feeling more at ease. For example: “I am dreading calling the rental company. I don’t have a final count because my relatives in California won’t get back to me. And, I can’t decide which style chairs I want!” can become “I am so grateful for Mark at the rental company. I trust he will help me make the best decision. I am grateful to have so many family members who want to celebrate with us. I know it will all work out.” See the difference in the tone? Think of how statement one makes you feel versus statement two.

Your ability to express gratitude is responsible for how much joy and ease you experience. I encourage you to begin to incorporate these exercises into your day. Remind yourself how excited and happy you are to have so much to do, and for all of the love in your life. Embrace the abundance that these big events bring. Express gratitude to acknowledge how temporary it all is. Smile and move through your day feeling genuinely grateful. This is a lifelong practice that will support you every step of the way.

Jennifer Jakes is a Certified Health Coach who is on a mission to support people in living their best life. Through simple recipes, daily motivation, and 6-month programs she helps people achieve their wellness goals. J.J. loves to run, cook, bike, make homemade face masks, be in nature, laugh, play, dance, and find balance as a yogi. She is a student of the world and is always ready for the next book or adventure. Please join her at fastpacedfoodie.com, on Facebook and on Twitter.

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Vendor Spotlight: Shop Allie Anderson

Shop Allie Anderson

Vendor Spotlight: Shop Allie Anderson

Shop Allie Anderson

One of the biggest challenges of being a bride is finding the perfect gift to compliment your amazing bridesmaids. Your main girls put so much love and effort into making you feel like a a Queen on your wedding day and oftentimes it’s hard to find them the perfect gift. Lately, one of the trends we see is tote bags for the wedding party and of course the Bride! Another reason why tote bags make a great bridesmaid gift is because they can serve as a day of emergency kit for everyone in the wedding party! No one wants to be a disorganized bridesmaid or a bride who forgot to pack an extra waterproof mascara after the tears start flowing!

Our favorite vendor for tote bags and other bridal party swag is Shop Allie Anderson. Her tote bags are custom made and include hand sewn monograms to make your girls feel extra special. You can choose the colors, patterns, and really create a special gift that matches the theme of your special day.

Shop Allie Anderson takes pride in following the latest fashions & trends to help fabulous fashionistas feel beautiful during extensive wedding planning. They are building a one-stop shop for all of your wedding gift essentials.

bridal tote bagsmaid of honor tote bag

Shop Allie Anderson was founded by Allie Anderson in the summer of 2014.

As a bride herself, Allie wanted the very best gifts for her very best bridesmaids. She was overwhelmed with all of the bridal items out there, but couldn’t find exactly what she was looking for. So why not make it herself? Her Etsy site was a hit in the first year, and from there, she had to share it with the world.

We think Allie’s designs are a little bit of Vera Bradley mixed with the right amount of Lilly Pulitzer at a price that no one will be able to pass up!

Thank you Allie Anderson for being one of our favorite featured vendors! We can’t wait to see how your blossoming business flourishes!

Have a product you would like to include in The Bride Box? Click here to contact us.

Cheers!

The Bride Box Team