How to Self Care during the holiday season

If you are anything like me, you have tried just about every self care regime you can think of. How to self care during the holiday season takes intentional, consistent motivation and discipline. The more you do self care, you will exercise the discipline of it. Be patient with yourself- this could take time.

So why not start small? No need to overwhelm yourself with all the things you “oughta do” just because people or yourself expect it or because the giving makes you feel good temporarily. We want and need to feel good about ourselves. The giving we do should be an overflow.

How to properly self care:

Take a break. Whatever this may look like to you. This might mean taking a 15 minute power nap. It could mean going for a walk. Make this apart of your routine – everyday. Take a break and take a step back from all the noise and distractions.  You are too important not to make yourself a priority.

Give yourself positive affirmations. Go around your house writing positive messages about you, as an encouragement. Grab some post it notes and write down what you need to hear. Say those things out loud and believe them!

A famous motivational speaker once shared that this is what broke her out of the depression she was in. This was in the misdt of her motivational speaking career. You have too much to offer as a one of a kind individual. Don’t just waste your time not caring about yourself. Then as a result not caring or giving your best to you or someone else.

Give after you have received. No it’s not selfish…just in case you were wondering. How do you expect to give if you haven’t first taken the time for yourself? You can’t give something that you don’t have. No fake substitutions help anyone. They just feed other problems.

It’s like if you haven’t taken the time for a full night of sleep- the chances of you acting like a grump are slightly high. That is, unless you are one of those rare types that don’t need much sleep. Your body isn’t fully ready or functioning at your normal speed.

Invest in you. Do something healthy that sets your soul on fire. This could change with time and circumstances. Look for opportunities to invest in your well being. Set up a time to go to the gym or fun workout class. Spend the afternoon reading a good book. An even better option- learn a new dance at the nearest studio. Yep, you active readers know that I have to talk about dancing in almost every blog😉

Whatever gives you joy and makes you feel alive from the inside out, are things that are important. These things need to be put into your schedule.  I don’t care how many excuses you have. If you need to completely re-do your schedule to fit in- do it. The people that surround you should care about you and your well being. Ask for support in this journey.

Nobody in this entire world gets to be you. Take full advantage and go be your awesome self. Read, write, dance, laugh, chat, run, walk, relax.

Be blessed and bless others,

❤Coach Dani

 

 

Gifts that keep on giving: gifts that bring a family closer together for more than a day

Any National Lampoon Christmas Vacation fans? My family quotes every line in this movie year around. But I would have to disagree with Uncle Eddie’s opinion- jelly of the month it is far from the gift that keeps on giving. So what are the gifts that keep on giving? 

Experience Minded  Gifts. 

These are gifts that the whole family can participate in weekly, monthly or yearly. Observe and remember what the family enjoys doing. Indoor waterpark (picture to prove how much my dad enjoys it below😉), trampoline park, or ice skating are wonderful ideas. 

You can have each kid open up little gifts that go along with the family deal. It doesn’t have to be expensive. For instance if you buy an indoor waterpark pack- then having kids open up swim toys would be fun. For teenagers, favorite snacks on the drive to the family activity is a great idea. 

An experience could be small and simple.  A gift basket for a game or movie night. Pack in some hot chocolate, blankets and movie or game. 

Fun Lesson Gifts. 

Enroll your child in a sport or activity lesson that teaches them something. Sign them up for swim lessons or cooking or dance classes. I’m a tad partial to giving dance lessons.  Depending on what lessons the family or kids enjoy or could enjoy, this could be a phenomenal gift. If you have a little girl dancer buy her a new tutu, ballet slippers or something related to go along with the lesson. 

Service Oriented Gift.

Offer to babysit a family members kids and give the couple a night out. Buy the couple a gift card to their favorite restaurant or activity.  This can be such a nice break and builds relationships all around.

As the kids babysitter, you can enjoy a fun night out or in. On Christmas, have the kids open gifts that relate to the fun night you have planned. Trust me, the kids will love this. To this day I have an adorable neice who will ask me (with a huge smile on her face) ever time she sees me “Auntie when are you coming to visit me?” It’s the best. 

The time we have with those we love is valuable. Time is something we can never get back. Why not use that time to build on what’s important? Create feelings that bring joy, love and laughter- memories we wont ever forget. Time well spent- this is the gift that keeps on giving.

              Be blessed and bless others, 

                              ❤Coach Dani

    

The power of purposeful giving 

Purposeful giving can be light and fun if our focus is on giving what is available and has thought behind it. Each of us has ways of giving that have potential to change lives. Being practical, creative and personal are great things to think about when you are thinking of ways to give. Your own personality and uniqueness is an asset to the giving  process.

Let’s first start with some good questions to get you thinking in a way that generates practicality, creativity and personal flair. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • What am I able to give?
  • What skills can I offer?
  • What is the need(s) of the recipient?
  • What can I learn to give best to my recipient?
  •  What sources outside of myself do I have to help contribute?
  • What opportunities are there to give?

Remember our end goal is to meet the need and want of our recepient. Once we have answered some of these questions we have a good idea of how we are going to meet the need and want of the individual.Purposeful giving goes beyond a nice gesture. It has the power to build a healthy family, relationship, skill or dream. When we have reached this type of giving, we have reached to the level of blessing.

I remember listening to a speaker long ago. In her talk, she said something like “People say “bless you” but they speak empty blessings.” You see a blessing is something that goes beyond words or a simple gesture. A blessing is a true sense of meeting a want and need that forever changes a person. One of my favorite movies to watch is Les Miserables. This movie has such profound truths and gives such a clear picture of what a life that has been truly blessed and changed, looks like.

Against all odds, the main character Jean Valijean who is an ex-convict is shown kindness from the Bishop. After Jean steels from Bishop he is caught and brought to the Bishop. Bishop gives him what he stole and additional items.

Bishop says to Jean “don’t ever forget it, you’ve promised to become a new man. ” Jean says “promise, why are you doing this?” His response “Jean Valijean, my brother You no longer belong to evil with the silver, I bought your soul.  I’ve randsomed you from fear and hatred. Now I give you back to God.”

This story makes me wonder what life would be like if we acted with this kindness towards every human being.  What if we met people with their deepest needs in a healthy way? If after having blessed someone, we leave it at that. No getting even, no strings attached.

I propose we get creative. Every person has the ability to be creative. I can remember a time where I rallied with a group of girls for a mission. There was a family that was in need of food and money for expenses. Not only did this bless their hearts but it caused a stirring for them to do the same and different blessings. It also drew our relationships closer. Our group started becoming like family and gave us all new ideas on how to reach people with love and kindness.

Wondering what blessings to give? Here are just a few favorite suggestions:

  • Volunteer for a charity
  • Grocery giveaways
  • Filling someone’s gas tank (especially appreciated in winter)
  • Helping introduce and welcome new people to the community
  • Letter to a depressed friend
  • Invest in a friends dream or business
  • Giving gift cards to the homeless
  • Buy and bring a coffee to a tiered and overworked mom

When we are willing to bless others, it softens the heart and gives us an appreciation.  Look for opportunities to bless. Don’t forget to look close. Sometimes those who need it most are some people you wouldn’t expect. They may seem perfect but people hide their sufferings and vulnerabilities.

Have an open heart, a gut that guides you in the right direction and a positive attitude with any and all purposeful giving opportunities.

Be blessed and bless others,

❤Coach Dani

21 days of Thanks: why 21 matters

We could all use a big, fat thankful heart. For this reason, I have made it my goal to research gratitude- why it matters and how to implement it so that it becomes apart of us every day. Being thankful is a process not an event.

It’s no surprise that we all go through tough seasons in life and it can be a struggle to find something to be grateful for. We experience painful things that take a toll on us and put us in a state of negative thoughts and behaviors. This can be paralyzing if you don’t look at what there is to be grateful for.

I have entitled this message 21 days of Thanks: why 21 matters” for a couple of reasons…

  1. 21 days has been proven to be a start where changes and new behaviors and habits start to form. This is not to say that it will automatically just happen after 21 days. Research has proven that on average it takes more than 2 months for a new behavior to become a habit.
  2. 21 days is a doable goal. When we focus on a number that isn’t too big and scary then we are able to commit to the process. It is my hope that you continue this journey with me and are encouraged/motivated to keep going, even if you have a bad day, or two or three😉

If you happen to miss a day, don’t feel bad. Pick yourself up and remind yourself you can do this.

Photo by Lydia J

Now if you’re wondering whether or not you want to embark on this journey, I have a few encouraging facts. Being grateful has many proven benefits. Studies show that gratitude can do the following:

  • Improve health
  • Increase happiness and reduce depression
  • Reduces toxic emotions
  • Improves self esteem and mental strength
  • Improves quality of sleep
  • Promotes optimism
  • Have a more positive outlook

In addition to this list, gratitude reduces entitlement and makes us more giving.

Now that we have established why and how being grateful matters, I would like to leave you with some ways to start putting it into practice. For the next 21 days (minimum and please go longer) you will keep a gratitude journal.

  • List one thing every day of the week that you are grateful for. You can write why or meditate on it throughout the day.

Another great idea I’ve heard done before is to create a gratitude jar. This can look many different ways…

  •  Fill it with money everytime you think of something you are grateful for. Then at the end of the day/week/month (however long it takes you to fill it) give it to a family in need.
  • Another option is to write down something you are grateful for with your family. Each of you will take a turn reading them on a family night at the end of the day/week/month.

I’m incredibly grateful to do this with you. We were made to encourage, inspire and motivate each other to even more greatness. Joy, impact, meaning, purpose- these are words you thought you knew. We are going to seek to understand on a deeper level in the journey ahead. Prepare yourself, the journey ahead is about to get really good. Adventure here we come.

Photo by Johnny Rodriguez
IG yoloing1234