Browsing Category: healthy lifestyle

10 Ways to Practice Real Self-Care

Bath bombs, glasses of wine (or caffeinated soda), chocolate and shopping sprees aren't ways to practice REAL self-care. REAL self-care is actually caring about yourself and trying to help yourself get better and healthier. Here are 10 ways to practice REAL self-care.

Self-care. That’s a hot topic right now. Every blogger, everyone online, is talking about the importance of self-care. There are lists upon lists of ways to self-care NOW. How to drop everything and all responsibilities and self-care now. The most important person to take care of is you. Do what you want. Ignore all else. That is self-care.

I have to disagree. Self-care is not ignoring responsibilities. It is not putting yourself in front of others. It is not indulging. It is not an excuse to be lazy, to eat what you want, to give yourself unnecessary “grace“, to buy what you want, to get away now. No. Self-Care is actually caring not only about yourself, but for yourself.

Bath bombs, glasses of wine (or caffeinated soda), chocolate and shopping sprees aren't ways to practice REAL self-care. REAL self-care is actually caring about yourself and trying to help yourself get better and healthier. Here are 10 ways to practice REAL self-care.

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Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

How to Self-Care When You Are Pregnant

Self-care is very important when you are pregnant. Your body and mind are both working overtime creating a new baby. It is super stressful, emotional, and wears on you physically. Here are some easy ways to care for yourself when you are pregnant!

Recently, I talked about how my anxiety is getting ahead of me during this pregnancy sometimes, even though I’m on top of my medication. I gave a few ways how I personally begin to de-stress. I feel that it is very important to take notice of when life seems to get the better of you, especially when you are pregnant. That is something I didn’t really do, notice, or understand with my first pregnancy (of course, I was teaching a new subject at a new school with a 50 minute commute and didn’t really even have time to think!). This pregnancy, I’m trying to pay more attention to my own needs and self-care, and thankfully, I have a wonderful husband who has completely supported me in doing so.

Self-care is very important when you are pregnant. Your body and mind are both working overtime creating a new baby. It is super stressful, emotional, and wears on you physically. Here are some easy ways to care for yourself when you are pregnant!

Get Enough Sleep

There is a special time after your kids go to bed–you and your spouse’s “happy hour.” However, it’s important to listen to your body and get enough sleep at night. I try to go to bed round 10 pm because I’m usually up (because of either my husband or my 2 year old) by 6:30 am. Also, take naps when you can. Last pregnancy, I didn’t have any kids, but I didn’t have any opportunity to nap until dinner time…which meant that sometimes I napped past dinner and got up at 8 pm starving! This time, I take a nap with my son if I’m feeling exhausted. Or, I’ll plop him down in front of the TV while I close my eyes for 20-30 minutes.

Get Clothes That Fit

Last pregnancy, I didn’t gain a lot of weight. But, I still stretched out my shirts a bit. I mainly got maternity slacks and wore a ton of maxi dresses and skirts while I taught. Which meant, this time round, I didn’t have a lot of leisure maternity clothes. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money since we had just paid for a move, but I was tired of either feeling slouchy in my husband’s tees or showing every line and bulge with shirts that weren’t maternity. I finally convinced myself it was ok to spend money on maternity clothing. Thank goodness for Old Navy and Target having cute, inexpensive maternity wear! I didn’t know you could be this comfortable while pregnant, and I am so grateful that I spent the money to do so. It definitely has helped me to feel more confident!

Be Healthy, But Spoil Yourself Sometimes

Last pregnancy, we ate out a lot and didn’t have a ton of real meals for dinner. I was getting home at around 4:45 pm and my husband after that. Neither of us really felt like cooking. I ate like crap, and although I didn’t gain a lot of weight, it was definitely hard to recover after giving birth. This time round, I am trying to eat healthier and exercise. I pay attention to my body and don’t over do it while exercising. I actually use this awesome low-intensity HIIT home workout app three times a week. Go on walks. Rhys and I take the stroller out on mornings sometimes (when it’s not an oven down here in Texas!). We also go to the mall and take laps in the AC. Thankfully, my cravings have also been a bit healthier: salad, fresh food, sandwiches, etc. But, it’s also ok to spoil yourself sometimes. Every now and then, I have a Pepsi and make some dessert.

Self-care is very important when you are pregnant. Your body and mind are both working overtime creating a new baby. It is super stressful, emotional, and wears on you physically. Here are some easy ways to care for yourself when you are pregnant!

Get Away For a Night

There have been two times this pregnancy that I have just been overwhelmed with life, with relationships, with stress, with motherhood. It has ended in full-blown panic attacks and lashing out. My wonderful husband told me to go out to dinner and spend a night at the Marriott hotel. It was exactly what I needed! Some solitary, quiet hours to just relax and catch up on life. Oh, and I slept in past 9 AM both times!

Do What Needs to Get Done

A lot of people think that self-care is all about self-indulgence or spoiling yourself. Not always. Sometimes, the best way to care for yourself is to eliminate stress of procrastination. Get your to-do list done. Be productive. Clean up. Take small steps in doing so, and take numerous breaks, but don’t put things off. You’ll feel a lot more relaxed and happy.

Stay Religious

No matter what religion you proscribe to, pay attention to it during your pregnancy. It can be a lot of comfort to yourself. Read scriptures, meditate, pray, attend church.

Care About Your Looks

Take a shower! A full shower! Wash your hair, shave your legs and armpits, brush your teeth, actually do your hair, and put on at least some makeup. Your confidence levels and self-esteem will raise dramatically if you do. Use nice products. You don’t have to get top of the line brand name makeup or hair care products, but be willing to spend more than a few dollars on them. A shampoo that I’ve recently started liking is this Winter Blend Shampoo from Maple Holistics.

Maple Holistics is a natural and holistic beauty product company. All their products are made in the USA, all natural, cruelty free, sulfate free, and safe for color. Their Winter Blend Shampoo is great for the winter time because it takes care of your wear during harsh weather that would break it or cause it to frizz. It is a mint blend and includes wild mint, bergamot mint, spearmint, peppermint, eucalyptus mint, and jojoba oil. I absolutely loved the scent of it while using it–it permeated the entire shower and really helped to relax me. It works perfectly with the Winter Blend Conditioner!

The best thing is, you can even get some free samples of Maple Holistic products by clicking here!!

Self-care is very important when you are pregnant. Your body and mind are both working overtime creating a new baby. It is super stressful, emotional, and wears on you physically. Here are some easy ways to care for yourself when you are pregnant!

Self-care is very important when you are pregnant. Your body and mind are both working overtime creating a new baby. It is super stressful, emotional, and wears on you physically. Here are some easy ways to care for yourself when you are pregnant!

How do you self-care while pregnant?

Tayler from The Morrell Tale.com

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

How to De-Stress While Pregnant

Pregnancy can be anxiety inducing in of itself, but it you already suffer from anxiety or depression, these tips on how to de-stress will really help.

If you’ve read my blog for a while now, you know that I have suffered anxiety my entire life. However, since first becoming pregnant with Rhys, it just continued to get worse, even after I gave birth, eventually turning into PPD. Now that I’m pregnant again, and after going through a rough summer financially and full of transitions, it’s really important for me to focus on my mental health. I know that I’m prone to getting PPD again with this second child, and I want to avoid that. I still do have some panic attacks or pits of depression. There are some days that my anxiety gets the best of me. But, I try to use different techniques to try to overcome my anxiety and to de-stress.

Pregnancy can be anxiety inducing in of itself, but it you already suffer from anxiety or depression, these tips on how to de-stress will really help.

[ctt title=”FIVE ways to de-stress while #pregnant! @themorrelltale” tweet=”FIVE ways to de-stress while #pregnant! @themorrelltale” coverup=”rzsU0″]

Have some alone time

This is the biggest one. When I’m having a bad day, my husband always gives me a bit of time to de-stress and de-compress when he gets home. I go in our room, close the door, turn off the lights, and lay on the bed. Sometimes I’ll watch some TV, sometimes I’ll take a small nap, sometimes I’ll surf through social media on my phone. This works regardless of being pregnant or not!

Take a shower

Thankfully, Rhys is so well behaved when I shower. I let him know I’m going to hop in and ask him to be a good boy. He’ll go play in his room with his toys or sit on the couch and watch a show. Whether or not I need a shower, the warm water and enclosed space is very relaxing to me. I’m not really a bath person–plus, I haven’t really had a good, big, bath-taking tub for years. But, I could stay in the warm water shower for hours if it didn’t run up the water bill and if I didn’t have things to do! Just make sure it’s not too hot when you are pregnant!

Take a nap and cuddle time

Rhys still takes a two hour nap in the afternoon. Some bad days, I’ll take a nap as well. Regardless of if I physically fell more rested after the nap (only about 50% of the time), more than likely, I’m calmer and more positive. I am so lucky to have such an adorable, sweet, caring, sensitive two year old boy as a son. He knows when I am having a bad day and will try his best to be super cuddly or comfort me. I let him. I relish his cuddles. A lot of times, I’ll nap when my arms wrapped around him as he naps. Hugs really do wonders, especially when they come from your children!

Think of the positives of your new baby

There was a time during the first trimester when Justin had just been laid off that I had a hard time accepting the timing of this pregnancy. It was a source of stress: would we be able to afford the pregnancy and birth, what if it’s a girl and we have to buy everything, where will we fit her in a small 2 bedroom apartment (or if we were still in my parents’ basement, where!?!?!–Rhys was already literally in the closet). The space issue and getting girly stuff still is a source of stress for me, as is wondering how I’m going to do 2 under 3 with different schedules and needs. But, I’ll just rub my little bump and relish in the movements that Evelyn makes inside of me. Everything will turn out for the best.

[ctt title=”De-stress while pregnant by thinking of the exciting future! @themorrelltale” tweet=”De-stress while pregnant by thinking of the exciting future! @themorrelltale” coverup=”3drq9″]

Bring it to God

I can’t tell you how many times I have been on my knees during the day, crying to God, in the past two months since moving to Texas. Even before then, even before Justin found a job. Without fail, always, God comforts me when I’m having stress, anxiety and depression. It may not be immediately, but I always do stop crying by the time I’m down praying. Having faith in Him to get me through my stress is a huge uplifter.

How do you de-stress when you are pregnant?

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

10 Ways to Have a Healthy Pregnancy

10 easy ways to have a healthy pregnancy.

I was very lucky with my first pregnancy two years ago–my OB would continually tell me I had a “textbook pregnancy.” Before I got pregnant the first time, I was at the bottom of the accepted weight range for my height. I had a super fast metabolism, and I worked out when time allowed. I got pregnant during the school year–I was teaching at the time. Between forcing my husband to cook, standing all day teaching, and the stress of my job (and the fact that I had a posterior placenta), I didn’t gain a lot of weight during my pregnancy–about the minimum recommended. However, I wasn’t the healthiest during my pregnancy either. Again, I really didn’t have time with being a first year English teacher!

After I gave birth, I got within 10 pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight, then was diagnosed with PPD. I was given medication, which slowed my metabolism but burned my energy quicker. So, I was hungry more often, but storing the calories rather than getting rid of them. When I got pregnant this time around, I was 30 pounds heavier than before my first pregnancy. Due to that fact, and the fact that I am now a Stay-at-Home Mom who doesn’t stand and walk around as often, I am determined to make this pregnancy healthier.

10 easy ways to have a healthy pregnancy.

1. Drink your water!

Drinking water is always important, pregnant or not! As a “retired” teacher, I am used to always having a water bottle at my side. And honestly, I don’t think there is much that is better than ice-cold water. But, water can help curb your cravings and subside headaches. It also helps you sleep better and gives you more energy. If you do anything for your pregnancy, I would highly suggest drinking more water. If you are going to have a soda, drink 8 full ounces of water first. Have water with you when you go out on errands. Keep a water bottle at your desk, on your nightstand, on the table with each meal. Your body and your child will thank you for doing it.

2. Get your sleep!

I know getting 8 hours of sleep at night is sometimes difficult, and many of you wonderful women have full-time jobs. But sleep while you can. Right now, I make sure I go to bed at 10:30. My two year old isn’t allowed out of his crib until 6:30. That’s 8 hours. Plus, right now he is taking an hour and a half nap in the afternoon, and I sleep while he does. Seriously, it doesn’t matter how little or old your baby is…the mantra “sleep while your baby sleeps” can still apply to toddlers and preschoolers! I know I’m lucky that I can nap in the middle of the day, but I couldn’t during my first pregnancy. However, I still took naps. During my lunch break, sometimes I’d lock my classroom door, put my head on my desk, and took a quick 20 minute cat nap. Or, I’d nap when I got home…around 4:45 pm…and take an hour nap. Sleep while you can!!!

3. Take your medications!

Make sure you take your daily prenatal vitamins. Not only will it help to supplement your healthy diet (hopefully you have a healthy diet), but those vitamins also help your child’s growth! Two for one! And, it gives you more energy. I can honestly say I can feel a difference between the days that I do take my prenatals and the days I don’t. Also, if you are on any other chronic medication, talk with your OB about staying on it and the pros and cons and possible side effects. Like I mentioned, I take an anti-depressant/anxiety pill. There are *some* inconclusive studies about side effects it could cause my child. But, after talking with my OB (who prescribed it and knows me and my mental/physical history) and talking to my cousin who is also a doctor, they both recommend me staying on it. My medication affects my mental and emotional health. Did you know that your mental health can affect your physical health? And your physical health affects your baby’s health? Therefore, your mental health affects your baby’s growth. I am a much happier, healthier, calmer person with my medication, and staying on it will help me, therefore helping my baby and outweighs the *possible* cons.

4. Be smart in food choices!

I have cravings, too. With my first, it was potstickers and Sonic chili cheese tots and Sonic milkshakes. With this baby, it’s tamales and Pepsi. But, like April said, we have to keep them in check. I have been loving making tuna melts (another craving this pregnancy). However, I’ve stopped putting it on bread. I make a salad and put the warm tuna, cheese, and balsamic vinegar on top. I use lettuce instead of a bun for hamburgers. I chose to have oatmeal or eggs in the morning instead of cereal. I bake my desserts and dinners rather than fry them. I stay far within the recommended amount of caffeine during pregnancy. I buy fresh meat rather than packaged deli meat. I don’t take medications that aren’t recommended for pregnant women. Thankfully, I’ve never taken drugs or smoked or drank alcohol before in my life, so I don’t have to worry about that. But, for those who have, drink grape juice instead of wine.

5. Move your body (part 2)!

April mentioned continuing to workout and being active. I, personally, try my best to have a low-intensity workout at least 3 times a week. However, I still move my body every day. If you have little kids, take them to the mall. Let them play on the playground, then when they are done, put them in the stroller and take a few laps around the mall (I currently do this). Go swimming. It’s summer! It’s hot! Get in the water! STRETCH! This is very important! I have a bad back and have been getting tension headaches from my neck aches often. I have to remember to stretch every day. (Just be careful stretching your legs if you are in the third trimester–you could get seriously painful Charlie Horses.) Get a message ball or beg your husband for messages often. Stand when you could be sitting. Play more with your children. I have written a previous post with 7 ways to “exercise” at home…check it out!

I definitely know that April will continue to have a great pregnancy and I’m super excited to see pictures of her beautiful baby girl come November! I know that I, too, will have a healthy pregnancy by following these tips. They are all super easy for anyone to follow. Make sure you do!

I have a good friend (and client) of mine who is also pregnant right now. She is expecting her first child, a girl, in November. April is a beachbody coach, and staying healthy and fit is important to her, no matter what stage of life you are in. She also has a few tips on staying healthy during pregnancy.

So this is my FIRST pregnancy and we are due with our baby girl November 2016! I want to state that I’m by no means an expert because this is my first rodeo, but I do want to share my tips on how I tried to have a FIT{ish} and healthy{ish} pregnancy! I say ISH because I know that I could have made smarter decisions, I could have worked out more, ate LESS crap, but I am allowing myself grace AS YOU NEED to because your body is doing an AMAZING thing.

As easy as it would be for me to say, “Don’t eat that, or workout 30 minutes a day”, we all know our BUN IN THE OVEN may have other plans for us! So here are my tips to have a healthy and happy pregnancy!

1. Listen to your body in the beginning!

I could tell you, “DON’T eat too many carbs or watch your sodium,” but the truth is, sometimes pregnancy in the beginning is DOWN RIGHT HARD. If all that sweet baby wants is carbs and if that’s what you can stomach, you have to listen to your body. What I did, was let myself eat the carbs and french fries I wanted, but I really tried to not ENGORGE MYSELF. For example, if the baby wanted pizza, I would allow myself 2 pieces but stop there and CHUG water, because I needed my belly to know it wasn’t hungry, it was just being greedy and the baby was trying to brainwash it into EATING ALL THE CHEESY GREASY GOODNESS! Sometimes, you just have to remind the baby you’re the boss, and you gave it what it wanted lol!

2. When you have a sweet tooth – GO FOR FRUIT!

I never had a sweet tooth before baby girl took over my body lol! I can’t say I haven’t made my husband go get me Reese’s or M&M’s, and I’m actually eating a bag of Honey Mustard and Onion Pretzels right now… BUT, 9 times out of 10 watermelon has hit the sweet tooth spot! I also have loved sliced peaches and nectarines when I’m craving sweet! PLUS, the watermelon helps to hydrate you, which is also awesome, because I feel like a CAMEL and that I can never quench my thirst! SOOO, instead of texting your hubby to bring home cookie dough ice cream, try a juicy piece of fruit or all natural fruit popsicle!

3. Give into your cravings and don’t feel bad, but try to not give into the craving ALL WEEK LONG.

So, I had this freakishly weird craving of IMITATION CRAB MEAT {NO JOKE lol} and Cherry Coke. The first week, I bought 3 bags of it and ate 3/4 the bag in the car on the way home hahaha. This craving WOULD NOT go away all first trimester, so I would buy one bag a week because I didn’t trust myself with more and I let myself enjoy it. I also LOVED Cherry coke, so I would buy a 6 pack {no more} for the week. If you have a craving, KNOW that your pregnant self will not have much self control for moderation. SO, if you’re craving Cherry Coke, stocking up on the Deal of the week of BUY 3 12 packs get 2 free is a BAD BAD BAD idea lol! Your human, you deserve to feed your cravings, but again focus on moderation.

4. GET your body MOOOOOOVingggg!

Try yoga, walking, pilates, whatever!!! Just do it for 30 minutes because it’s good for you and BABY! Avoid abdominal exercises after the first trimester, but honestly just listen to your body. That baby is a lot more protected in there than you think! If you’re working out previously, just take the intensity down a notch. I was at my top fitness shape, so my first trimester I was doing Insanity Max 30 and just modifying jumps where I needed. I am actually a Clinical Exercise Physiologst and a Health coach, so if you’d like to talk more about a workout program, shoot me an email at april.pinkney@gmail.com and let’s chat! Obviously, you want to run things by your doctor, but if you are having a healthy pregnancy, you will most likely get a DOUBLE THUMBS up to keep you and that baby moving!

5. EMBRACE the extra FLUFF.

Yes, cellulite is not cool, but that’s a part of building a human, and it will be a long 10 months if you spend the rest of your pregnancy dwelling on it. FLUFF HAPPENS, embrace it. Yes, your thighs may rub together, your butt might jiggle for 5 minutes if you shake it, but, by following tips 1-4, you’re well on your way to keeping your weight gain under control. Sometimes I feel like saying, “what the heck? I’m not pregnant in my butt?!” But you can’t be upset or tear yourself down, because you know what?! YOUR BODY IS CREATING A LIFE! Cut yourself some slack, enjoy the process, know that it’s not all going to be butterflies and rainbows, but it will ALL be worth it in the end.

Remember that you are beautiful and you are creating a tiny human who you are going to love more than anything in this world the minute you lay eyes on him/her. Keep your eye on the prize mama, this is just a drop in the compared to all the amazing memories you have before you!

XO,

April McDonald
Registered Clinical Exercise Physiology
Founder of April McDonald Fitness www.aprilmcdonaldfitness.com

5x5blog // facebook // instagram // pinterest

April is a beach body coach who blog at BeYOUtifully Made. She is a #girlboss when it comes to starting a business and taking care of finances. She is always optimistic and believes that self-confidence and self-love is key to better physical health. April is married to her sweetheart, has a fur baby, and is expecting her first child in November.

Tayler from The Morrell Tale.com

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

7 Ways to “Exercise” at Home

Being a stay-at-home mom with a toddler in the middle of winter makes it very difficult to exercise. Motivation is at an all-time low. Equipment and resources are limited. Time is hardly to be found. Attention is never fully given to exercise (especially if you have a toddler climbing on you playing or needing your attention).

I know that spring is in the air now, and winter is behind us. But, there are still some days that I don’t want to go out–if the air pollution is bad, it’s raining or windy, or I’m just not feeling well. But, there are still very easy ways to “exercise” in the house as a stay-at-home mom without having to actually exercise! [ctt title=”But, there are still very easy ways to ‘exercise’ in the house as a stay-at-home mom without having to actually exercise!” tweet=”There are very easy ways to ‘exercise’ in the house as a stay-at-home mom without having to actually exercise! @themorrelltale” coverup=”b70o5″]

Being a SAHM of a toddler in inclement and cold weather can be hard when you want to exercise and work out. But, no fear! There are easy ways to "workout" at home without any equipment and doing what you would normally be doing during the day anyway!

Stand while folding laundry | Doing laundry, I would typically sit on my bed while watching Netflix. But, I was always slumped down, so it wasn’t helping my back. And, I was stationary. So, I made the decision to stand up while folding laundry. I only do laundry one day a week, so it’s quite a bit of folding and putting away. I’ve also noticed that my fitbit steps increase when I stand up to do laundry.

Have a cleaning marathon | I typically do all my scrubbing and cleaning on Friday mornings. It takes about 2-3 hours to clean everything in the house. But, I’m definitely in a sweat and wanting a shower when I’m done! Scrubbing really does burn calories! Elbow grease for the win!

Put the computer on a counter | Obviously as a blogger and a virtual assistant, I spend a lot of time on my laptop. That means a lot of sitting! Yikes! If I put my computer on a counter, I have to stand to use it. Standing actually burns a lot of calories. I didn’t gain weight at all being a teacher (because of all the standing), but since quitting, I’ve been sitting down a lot more and have gained a bit of weight.

Have a dance party | Holy guacamole! Do you even realize how much energy 20 month olds have? Rhys loves dancing to music, especially music in his shows and movies. So, sometimes, I’ll dance with him. It’s an easy way to be silly, let loose, bond with my son, and get up and moving. Justin and I have even put in Just Dance on the Wii and played that with Rhys.

Play follow the leader with toddlers | Just like the above suggestion, this one requires a whole heck of a lot of moving. Rhys has recently found it very hilarious when we copy him. So, I’ll copy him running from place to place, swinging arms around, laying on the floor and getting back up, and all sorts of movement. I can really only do it for less than 10 minutes because he’s so active![ctt title=”Being the mom of a toddler allows you to get a LOT of exercise inside the house!” tweet=”Being the mom of a toddler allows you to get a LOT of exercise inside the house! #healthylifestyle #sahm @themorrelltale” coverup=”0086E”]

Find and use an exercise app | I’ve recently found Sworkit via Shark Tank. It’s a wonderful app that gives timed and video workout of either yoga, cardio, strength, or stretching. I’ve used it a few times when the weather has been inclement. It doesn’t require any equipment, and  you can make it anywhere from 5-60 minutes long. But, what I love more about it, it gives daily reminders to get moving and workout.

Play TV workout gamesWe’ve all heard of them…they’re the same as the shot-drinking TV games, but for workouts. I’ve actually made a few for some of my favorite sitcoms and games shows.

How do you “exercise” at home?

Tayler signature

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.