I have decided that I am no longer complaining about weather. I know I know, you're shocked and appalled and wondering what the heck you're going to talk to me about right?! It is so interesting to me when people say things like “Crazy weather we’re having eh?” or "Ughh it's so cold!" I mean honestly if we all had a dollar for every time someone said this to you or you said this to someone else you would probably be able to retire early or at the very least take a pretty great vacay no?
Here’s the thing, even though we have decided that as Canadians we “bond” over the weather chit chat, it actually reinforces that negative loop in our brains. Humans have on average somewhere between 20K and 60K thoughts in every single day. Even if they are thought fragments or just an image that pops up in your mind, that counts towards that overall number. I don’t know about you but the weather comes up at least once or twice a day in conversation with others and so added up over time we spend a lot of our thoughts and time on the weather.
Dr. Rick Hanson says that we are hardwired for negativity. Our brain did this thousands of years ago for survival. So, okay it might be an ancient response to complain about the winter weather because yes thousands of years ago it really could have been a survival situation if we weren’t properly prepared. But now? Now we have peppermint mocha lattes, ugg slippers and gas fireplaces to get cozy with. It’s really no longer a matter of survival on a daily basis for most of us (I’m willing to assume that if you’re reading this you have adequate shelter in these winter months and of course I’m not talking about freak storms that actually do threaten our well-being in an acute way.)
If we want to work towards a more positive way of life (and I know I do!) then we have to be willing to get off of the “weather complaint” band wagon. It’s such a simple topic of conversation that so many people use as an ice breaker which is why I think that it becomes such a force of habit. But imagine if we could use other topics of conversation instead? Imagine if we asked someone instead “what do you like to DO in this weather?”, you might just be surprised by the answers that you receive.
In fact, even those of us who are guilty of weather “group think” complaining may own a pari of skis or snowshoes which indicates to me that at some point you decided that you weren’t just going to make the most of the season but that you were actually going to give an honest effort towards enjoying it. Imagine…enjoying winter weather!
Danish people have a saying that “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” If we could embrace this principal then we could probably be better able to enjoy the cold or damp weather that comes our way. In fact if we could get outside more often and move our bodies and feel comfortable while doing so then we can also increase our immune system’s ability to fight off winter viruses. Yes it seems like a real investment when purchasing high quality outer wear but I have personally been blown away by the difference and have been able to more comfortably enjoy outdoor time in colder temperatures.
Here are some suggestions to enjoy the winter weather this year:
I have a question for you...
Do you ever hear yourself saying things like "ugh I wish I had more time!" or better yet "There's just not enough time!"???
I know that this was something that I was complaining about a lot earlier this year and I really had to check myself because - umm did you know that we ALL have the same amount of hours in the day? Uh ya. Well, we do!
I had to really check myself and see if I was *actually* using my time wisely. As in, how much time was I ACTUALLY spending on my phone scrolling? Turns out it was quite a lot! I ended up really becoming more mindful of my online time and scaling back and I can honestly say that I have been a happier, more focused and more ACTIVE person since doing this!
I was lucky enough to work on an episode of the MGA Podcast with Veronica from Time Management Minimalist who really brought to my attention the link between anxiety and depression with cell phone and social media usage. Well, if you've followed along with the MGA Podcast you will know that I have really been working hard to tackle my anxiety. Knowing this, I really focused on putting down my phone. I was so thankful that Veronica pin pointed one of my time usage problem areas because it has been an incredible summer since this awareness came about!
Then to really put the heat on Veronica's family came to visit us from Montreal! Talk about wanting to impress the time management queen!
I wanted to maximize our visit and not spend half the time in the kitchen with food and beverage prep so I did a little meal planning - which by the way I had never really done before. I always thought it was a ton of work. But I thought I would give it a try if it meant better time management.
LO and BEHOLD! It worked out SO well that I can honestly say that I felt like we were fully engaged during our visit and meal prep never felt like it was taking away from friend time. I doubled up so that I had enough leftovers of certain things for lunches and I had pre-made side salads in the fridge ready to go before Veronica and her family even pulled in the driveway. It truly made our visit a breeze! Plus I was so happy when she opened my fridge and saw all of the prep I had done to make her family feel comfortable and at ease.
So, because I love you SOOO much and because I really believe that meal planning is now the way to go (I also have been saving way more on groceries because I know exactly what I need and I don't have to buy things that I **might** make - ya know what I mean???) I have created a 5 day meal plan with recipes (for the non-self explanatory stuff) just for YOU to try out!
There are vegan options and if you're vegetarian you can just omit the meat.
I hope this helps you save a little bit of time during your week so that you can get back to doing the things you love!
Check out the full episode about time management with Veronica here.
Also, if you try out any of the meals or try the planning, let me know how it went and comment below!
Have you ever bought a lottery ticket hoping that you would score big and get rich? I will confess that I have probably bought enough lottery tickets in my day that I could have gone on a nice overnight stay in a hotel somewhere with that money instead. I have since shifted my mindset around lottery tickets - especially since knowing the stats - by the way when you buy a ticket for 649 you have a 1 in 28.6 million chance in winning. So honestly - save your $6 bucks.
I recently went to an event called the Atelier where I heard a number of inspirational entrepreneurial women speak and one of those women happened to be Melissa Leong. Now Melissa is the financial adviser to The Social and has been featured on many media outlets and has written for the financial post. She had such great wisdom to share that I bought her book at the conference and even stood in line like a groupie to have her sign it!
As soon as I saw what she wrote in my book I was so excited to dig into the pages - she signed it "Make Life Rich!" And I just knew that somehow gratitude would be somewhere in her book. I was right. In it she says “Instead of comparing ourselves to others, we need to be grateful for what we have, focus on the opportunities ahead of us and turn off our phones and get a life outside the glow box.
When you are constantly moving through life jumping from task to task it makes it difficult to see the true wealth that you have accumulated throughout your life. Not to mention if you’re constantly distracted by what you see online and in social media - you start to get stuck in the comparison trap of keeping up with joneses. You could even fall into that feeling where what you have is never enough. And that is where I want to start.
If you want to get rich or feel more wealthy it’s just a matter of stopping to look around you at what you already have and how far you’ve already come.
Now yes you could take stock of all of the “things you have” but in Leong’s book Happy Go Money she doesn’t point us in that direction. In fact, she touts study after study that demonstrate that true happiness comes from social connections and community with others.
So, let’s start by looking at the rich connections that you have with others. Now again this doesn’t mean that you look to your instagram or facebook account to see how many friends and followers you have - in fact it may be just a handful of deep connections with people that truly get you or that you feel joyful to be around. It’s in those relationships and connections where we find happiness - not in how much stuff we have!
Another way to get rich with gratitude is to look at the experiences that you’ve had in your life - or even just today. For example, I am grateful that I have created self discipline for myself on Monday’s to work on the Podcast and to add to that I am so lucky that the Quinne’s grandma lives so close to us that she goes to her house on Monday’s while I work on the Podcast and she gets grandma time. It’s a win win experience that happens every week and while I could sluff it off as being just part of the norm, I’m choosing to see the deep value in this Monday experience for everyone involved.
But you can think of any experiences that you’ve had. It could be the time you travelled with friends or the time you went to that museum exhibit that you were so excited about. Studies show that when we take the time to recall the experiences that have brought us joy in the past that we can actually ignite those joyful brain centres again and again while reflecting upon them! It’s like watching a movie of your own happy life whenever you want to!
In Melissa’s book Happy Go Money she recommends spending money on the following things - experiences, and time savers.
I love these categories so much because they can both be linked to gratitude.
Being grateful in the moment of an experience is an incredible gift that you can give yourself - even if it’s a daily experience like Quinne going over to grandmas. But you can also look at big life time experiences that you’ve done or maybe even something that you’ve gotten through and be grateful that it helped shape the person that you are today.
Spending money on time savers is something that I am a huge fan of but that some people resist. For example spending money on house cleaners or landscapers is one way that some people save time. I personally am not good at organizing or cleaning and therefore I have no problem spending money on having people come and help me do this. One reason I like to do this is because it also holds me accountable in that I can’t let the house get out of control and have to stay on top of tidying for the cleaners to be as effective as we want them to be. Now some people might say “wow, isn’t that so nice maybe if I had more money” And I get it it seems like a luxury but I look at it in a few ways - one it allows me to spend more time being happy and content with my family. When the house is a disaster I am irratble and can’t focus - clutter does this to me. I feel better and I am better able to connect with my loved ones when the space is clutter free and clean. Two, the people I am paying are in it to make money and I love helping and supporting local businesses to make money. Honestly it’s a win win! The fact is we have to get over the notion that we have to do it all - instead let’s be grateful that there is someone who is really specifically talented in an area that you or I am not and that we can hire them to benefit everyone involved!
Look all I’m trying to say is that if you want to be rich the fact is that you probably already are - and it’s just a matter of taking a look at what you already have and where you’ve already come from.
May you always have the courage to be yourself - until next time.
As a new mom I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I was told that nothing can really prepare you for the birth of your new baby and I just want to say that whoever told me this was right. I thought I had my ducks in a row so to speak but when she arrived I was really thrown for a loop both physically and mentally.
I have been a yoga instructor for 4 years now and I was surprised at the toll pregnancy and birth had on my otherwise limber body. I have extensive training in Psychology and Psychotherapy and I was still absolutely overwhelmed by the flood of hormones the seemed to hi-jack my mental and emotional state.
I like to do things well and have a tendency to put pressure on myself so when my new baby and I weren’t getting the hang of breastfeeding right away I felt like I was failing. My post partum anxiety took off like a bat out of hell. I would be fine and relaxed one minute and then extremely anxious the next. I didn’t like being in crowds with baby and I really didn’t like other people holding her. In those first few months I honestly couldn’t understand why people didn’t see that what she needed most was me and what I needed most was her - it just wasn’t helpful for my anxiety for them to hold her.
Once I was given the clear to start a post-natal movement routine I was so looking forward to getting out and about and to join mommy and me classes.
Let’s just say that the mommy and me classes were few and far between. And dare I tell you about a mom and baby yoga class that I took where the instructor actually had the splits in her sequence. THE SPLITS. I was shocked, insulted and upset at the possible injury that myself or other post partum moms could acquire. I just couldn’t find a mommy and me yoga class that felt “right”.
So, I went searching online and came across MOGA. I immediately reached out to Amy to find out more about the programs that MOGA offered and was so impressed by her personal attention and consideration to me.
I have since purchased the MOGA online Mom and Baby Yoga and have found it tremendously beneficial for those days when my baby and I can’t make it out of the house and because it has been so difficult to find a Mom and Baby Yoga class that legitimately takes into consideration the careful attention needed for post partum bodies.
The cool thing is that since I contacted Amy to find out more about MOGA back in the Fall, we have kept in touch and she has been so supportive of my Podcast: My Gratitude Attitude and just my own personal motherhood in general.
Both Amy and I have similar passions for supporting those who might be struggling with their own post partum (or otherwise) mental wellness and have become cheerleaders for one another in creating our own unique avenues in doing so. That’s what the MGA Podcast is all about - giving listeners brain changing tips to use Gratitude or other strategies to shift into a more positive mental mind set as well as interviewing inspiring women (most often moms) who share their own stories about life and overcoming difficult times.
I was fortunate to interview Amy on the My Gratitude Attitude Podcast and I’m touched by her vulnerability and level of sharing because I know that she does so with the intention of holding space for those listening who might also be feeling or have felt the same way in their post partum journey.
Now fast forward almost half a year since first contacting MOGA I am getting ready to take their teacher training and become a MOGA Mom & Baby Yoga Instructor myself. I want to create an accepting space where moms are safely supported through movement and connection with themselves, their bodies and their baby. It’s literally my job to find help others shift their mindsets using gratitude, but I can honestly say that I’m so grateful to have this MOGA online class at my fingertips as a tool to shift my own mindset when I need it.
Use Promo Code GRATITUDE to receive %20 off of the Mom and Baby Yoga Class with Hannah!