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9 Simple Tips To Start The New Year Off Right

Everyone always talks about having balance in life.  What does that even mean?  When I hear people talk about achieving balance I imagine it coming from a vegan who doesn’t have kids and spends their afternoons doing yoga on the beach.

Coincidentally, my niece is a vegan with no kids who seriously does yoga on the beach in the afternoon.  Go figure. Check her out on IG @ modern_day_hippi

For the rest of us, how can we achieve that in our busy, complex lives?  Well, I’m no expert on the yin and yang of the best way for everyone to live, but I’ll tell you what I did to get myself back on track.

Backed away from social media.  My cell phone is never far from me, therefore neither is social media.  It is easy to get overwhelmed by all of the sad or frustrating posts on Facebook (my media of choice) so my goal was to stay away from Facebook for just one day a week so that I could get a break.  I ended up staying away for 10 days consecutively!

Meditated.  I know, I know, you’ve probably heard this one a million times, but it really works.  According to Live And Dare, there are 76 scientific benefits to meditation including stress reduction and mental clarity.  I meditate before bed, when I first wake up or on my lunch break (aka the baby’s nap time).  If you need meditation music click here.

I made a list of 7 things I like to do and 7 things I have to do.  Everyday I picked one from each list and by the end of the week I felt pretty productive.

Meal planned.  I’m a newbie and only prepped food for a few days, but it freed up my evening so I wasn’t rushing to squeeze in my son’s bath before his bedtime routine.  Plus Mister didn’t starve.  Gold star for me!

Drank more water and took a walk outside.  ‘Nuff said.

Pampered myself.  I did a home pedicure, put on a dress, had a glass of wine and read a book.  Self-care is wildly undervalued, yet highly important.

Set up boundaries with toxic people.  Making conversations quick and utilizing texting has reduced some stress in my life.

Did something fun (NOT watching tv).  I picked up 5 books from the library, a bit ambitious I know, to get me back in the groove of reading.   Went outside and my son made chalk art in the driveway while I huffed and puffed on a cheap bubble wand.  Note to self: get a bubble machine.

Hung out with friends.  Getting together with the girls revives me.

So there you have it.  Start simple.  Give these tips a try and let me know how it works out.  What are your New Year’s goals?  What steps are you taking to achieve balance in your life?  Leave your suggestions below!

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The End of an Era: Nap Time

Me: “It’s too soon. We can’t give up yet.”

Mister: “I really think it’s over babe.  Sorry.  He’s 2.5 years old.  You have to let go.”

Me:  “I will NOT let go of nap time until he’s four!”

For the past few days, LittleCrankyBoots has not taken his afternoon nap.  And you know how much I love nap time – read about it here and here.  About this same time last year, he stopped taking his 2nd nap.  Both transitions have been harder on me than on him.  He seems totally content to run amuck or express his toddler angst all day, I however, NEED nap time.  Most appropriately, my mom mailed this magnet to me and though I don’t sleep while he is awake, this perfectly captures how I feel.

magnet

Pic: Dave Coverly

I’ve always been a cheerful early riser, but now that LittleCrankyBoots has decided to forego nap time, I am struggling to wake up.  My alarm clock is the sound of his mattress screeching for help as he mercilessly jumps on it while yelling, “he’s jumping!”  I slap my arm across the bed reaching for my phone to see what ungodly hour it is, then reluctantly peel the sheets off of me and slide out the bed.  With eyes half shut, I zombie walk toward the bathroom for my last 30 seconds of silence, wash my hands then look up in the mirror at my crazy hair and think, “please universe, let this boy take a nap today.”

A few months ago it was easy to tire him out.  Playing with balloons in the living room, chasing each other around the dining room table or letting him run to the fridge to grab magnetic alphabet letters and bring them to me one-by-one as I chill on the couch (alphabet + phonics + exercise = awesome mommy!).  He’d tucker himself out and I’d still have energy for the rest of the day.  Now, I have to take him to the park, which is not a problem, except he’s not old enough to wander by himself.  As I chase him around, I glance over at the moms sitting in a circle talking as their kids run around alone. A twinge of jealousy hits me as they sit in a circle catching up with the latest discussion about I don’t know what because I’m not over there!

BUT… l will not complain.   My life is blessed and even though I am exhausted most days, I am so thankful to be able to spend these precious moments with my LittleCrankyBoots.  I celebrate every stage of his life – though I’m happy to be done with teething and I can’t wait until he’s fully potty trained – and it fills my heart with joy to watch him grow.

How old was your LittleCrankyBoots when s/he stopped taking naps?  Was it a smooth transition?