Author: admin

a woman looking away, with a green and gold background and title trauma is not your fault but healing is your responsibility

Trauma is not your fault, but healing is your responsibility.

A few years ago, I went through a trauma that really messed me up. Afterwards, it was like I lost all control of myself. I felt like I couldn’t breathe no matter what I did, and I couldn’t think about anything else. My entire body would shake, panic attacks were constant and I couldn’t close my eyes without seeing what had happened to me. I cried myself to sleep and then woke up screaming from the nightmares. It honestly felt like my whole world had been ripped apart.

Everything I thought I knew felt wrong and I was terrified all of the time. I had trouble finding motivation to get out of bed, lost interest in all of my hobbies, and moved through my life like a zombie for months. I’m pretty sure that everyone could tell that there was something wrong with me long before I was officially diagnosed with PTSD.

My husband convinced me to go to therapy and during my very first session, the therapist said something that changed everything.

“What happened to you was not your fault, but healing is your responsibility.”

At first, I was livid. Why was I the one that had to do the work when I was the one that got hurt? I wasn’t the one who made life-destroying choices, yet I was the only one suffering.  How was that fair?

All I wanted was to go back home, crawl under the covers and continue shutting the world out. But as we talked through it, I realized that he was right. No one else was going to fix me. I could sit around and let myself drown in my misery, wishing things had been different, or I could work towards rebuilding. I’m really proud of myself for choosing to rebuild.

I’ll be honest with you; there are times where I’m still going through it.

I still have bad moments some days where I start thinking about the past and feeling bad for myself. Moments where I am suddenly terrified or angry or wracked with pain.  But while they used to consume me every minute of every day, now they’re few and far between. I’m so much better than I was, and I’m continuing to get better. I’m building a life that fills me with joy and purpose. Because I am so much stronger than my trauma, and once I owned that, I was able to change everything.

Over the years, I have made some MAJOR changes in my life.

The most important change was becoming a mom. My daughter breathed a new life into me and motivated me to work even harder to heal and become stronger. And then my son increased that drive and made me even more determined. Every single moment with them is healing on it’s own.

On top of those little blessings, I cleaned house on all of my toxic relationships, set some major boundaries, and started learning about self-care and empowerment. The relationships that were good for me were strengthened and I found a whole new sense of self-worth. I also traveled, left my full-time job, started my own business, moved to a new state where I’ve been renovating my dream house, and started conneting with other women who want more out of life. I’ve taken a bunch of new classes and got certified in things that have interested me, participated in multiple summits for women who want to take their lives to the next level, learned new skills, and so much more.

Not bad for someone who just a few short years ago had pretty must lost the will to live, right?

The point of all of this?

Basically, I wanted to tell you that if you’ve been through something traumatic or scary or sad that wasn’t your fault…

You didn’t deserve it. How do I know? Because no one deserves to be traumatized. But even if you were a victim- even if you were just the collateral damage of someone else’s horrible choices- you still need to heal. You need to do it for you. That is your responsibility.

Don’t let them take your life from you. Don’t let them win.

Even if it seems like your world has ended and there is no hope of happier days, you need to try. Start with small goals and don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. Some days, your goal might just be to get out of bed, and that’s okay. Heal at your own pace and start building a life that you love. I promise you, you will not regret it.

You are stronger than you think.

If you take nothing else from this, please just remember that you matter.


And of course, a reminder that if you need a little extra support, I’m your girl. I offer one on one coaching as well as a free facebook community for support. You can check get more info by clicking the links, and of course feel free to reach out to me with any additional questions.

barefeet in the grass with flowers, a green and gold background and the words Grounding for your health.

Grounding for your health

Have you ever heard of grounding?

With the weather finally warming up, the kids and I have been doing a lot of it. So much so that my daughter thought it was BEYOND strange when my mom came to visit and told her to put shoes on to play out back. That combined with how much I think grounding has helped me, especially while dealing with grief over the last two weeks, made me want to share about the why and how so that you can reap the benefits too.

First I’ll start with the why.

Grounding is amazing for mental and physical health. It’s a way to reconnect with the world and with nature that leads to less stress, lower blood pressure and better immune health. The process itself involves transferring electrons from the earth to your body, which helps with inflammation, circulation and even your sleep quality. Depending on how you do it, it can mean more exercise which means more endorphins while also building muscle. And then of course, there’s the vitamin D boost, the fresh air, and the peaceful feelings.  Some other benefits include better mental clarity, more creativity, and a more regulated nervous system.

How to get started:

  • Set aside 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Find a place in nature that calms you… a park, the woods, the beach, your backyard…
  • Observe your surroundings and try to clear your mind so that you can engage your senses.
  • Stand barefoot in the grass, dirt or sand. Feel the texture beneath your feet.
  • Listen to the sounds and take deep breathes of that nice fresh air.
  • You can add in a walk (remaining barefoot), meditate, do yoga, etc.
  • Just focus on feeling the ground under your feet, let go of everything weighing on you and embrace the beauty of the world around you.

It’s an easy way to get some amazing benefits.

It really is that simple. The hardest part is just being patient with yourself. Allow yourself to relax, grow and heal. If you start to get distracted or frustrated, just acknowledge it and try again. But this simple practice can really help you to draw strength from nature and to feel more at peace. If you have tried grounding before, I’d love to know how it worked for you and your favorite place to do it.

If not, let me know if you give it a shot! And of course, I’m here if you have any questions or would like some additional support of guidance along the way.


And of course, a reminder that if you need a little extra support, I’m your girl. I offer one on one coaching as well as a free facebook community for support. You can check get more info by clicking the links, and of course feel free to reach out to me with any additional questions.

 

a woman's hands holding a journal and pen with a green and gold background and title affirmations: you get to choose how they work

Affirmations: You get to choose how they work.

Every thought is an affirmation. If you’re constantly repeating things to yourself that paint you or your life in a negative light, you’re going to see everything negatively. You’re going to bury those thoughts further and further into your brain, until they’re true. Because you believe them and therefore act accordingly. However the opposite is true. If you’re constantly saying and telling yourself good things, those are the thoughts that are going to take root and affect what you say, do and believe. That’s what makes them affirmations.

So I am challenging you to make your affirmations positive.

Choose thoughts to repeat to yourself that are going to program your mind for success. Let them help you stay focused and motivated on your goals, and increase your self-confidence.

When actively and intentionally using positive affirmations, choose statements that are in the present tense. I am achieving my goals. I am worthy of success and happiness. For the best results, be consistent and repeat the same affirmations often.  Keep them realistic.  Use them to remind yourself of what you’re doing and what you’re looking to achieve. I am taking steps to achieve my goals. I am doing the work to be more financially stable or emotionally stable or in better shape.

Don’t just say the words and think it’s going to change things. Put your heart into it. Choose to believe the things you are saying so that you can make it a reality. Make sure it resonates with who you want to be and what you want to achieve. Put feeling into it. Use confidence and conviction.

I also recommend saying them out loud, as well as writing them down.  Write them in your journal or put them somewhere you’ll see often. Say them to your reflection or just put it out there in the world. Let your mind really take it in.

And remember, all changes take time.

Give yourself grace and be patient with yourself as you work towards a more fulfilling and purposeful life. Even on hard days, remember what it is that you want. Who you want to be. And then believe in yourself and your ability to make it happen.

If you’re in need of some additional guidance…

Here’s a little reminder that I do offer one-on-one coaching and I am currently taking clients. You can also check out my website (www.daniellelapteff.com) for a free quiz to help you figure out what sort of affirmations might help you the most with where you’re at right now. I also have a free download where you can grab a bunch of different affirmations to incorporate for empowerment, as well as some visual affirmation options in my shop. Just let me know if you have any questions or are looking for specific links. You can also use this group to get more support- just comment on this video or on the main feed, shoot me a dm, etc.

And of course, I’d love to hear if any of this resonates with you, if you’ve had success with affirmations in the past, if you have a favorite affirmation or process that you use in your own life… Let me know!

a woman with here hainds in the air in front of a mountain with a green and gold background and title building your self-confidence

Building your self-confidence

I went live in my facebook group this morning to talk about self-confidence after it was mentioned to me by a few different members of the group as well as from a past client. Low self-confidence is an issue that affects many of us, but it doesn’t have to. That’s why I wanted to share a few options with you to help kick those doubts to the curb.

When it comes to building self-confidence, I usually go right for mindset work, meditation and journaling. I’ll start off by briefly mentioning that I do have a couple of paid but affordable options, and then I’ll go into more detail with a whole lot of free things that you can try.

Paid options:

So for the paid things, I have a guided journal that I created to help with self-doubt and self-limiting beliefs which is on amazon.  It has exercises, prompts, etc to help to build confidence and self-belief. And then on my website, I have a guided meditation which is to build up things like confidence as well as lessoning stress and increasing self compassion which all tie into each other.

You can find my guided journals on amazon here.  And my website shop here.

You can also check out my website for things like affirmation downloads or reach out to me about coaching if you want something more hands on.

But now onto the free things that you can try.

For most of these, I still use a journal, but not a guided one. It can just be a blank journal or scrap paper, a notes ap or word doc. Just something to be able to write things down.

First, basic self-care like nutrition and getting enough quality sleep.

It might not seem like it would be connected, but it affects the way your brain processes everything, how you focus, how you feel, etc.  So if you’re doing better physically and mentally, it’s going to affect your mindset and your confidence for sure.

Give yourself grace/self compassion.

Basically, don’t be so hard on yourself. Think about how you would treat a friend and apply that to you. This is one that I’ve done a lot and recommended to my mom… write down whatever you’re struggling with and then go back and read it as if a friend wrote it. You can make someone up or think of someone in particular. And then write a letter back as if you were talking to that friend. So for example, look at whatever you wrote and pretend my mom wrote it and think of how you would answer her. Then once you’ve written the response, go back and read it as you again. Often, we’re a lot kinder and more supportive to the people we care about than to ourselves, so this is sort of a way to trick our minds into being more supportive of ourselves.

Challenge your negative thoughts.

If you have a doubt or negative thought or something holding you back, write it down. Then try to list any reasons that this thought is true.  Then re-write it as a positive thought challenging it and list the reasons that it is or could be true. This helps to get rid of unfounded doubts that often have no real basis or are really other people’s voices in our heads.

You can also try giving that negative voice in your head a different name.

This helps so that you can separate it from yourself. This sounds silly, but it’s effective for a lot of people. For example, let’s call it bob.  Every time you start to have the negative thought or doubt, you can actually say out loud, be quiet bob. I know I can do this.

Set smaller, realistic goals.

Rather than focusing only on the big picture which can be intimidating or overwhelming, focus on the next small thing you can do. What is an achievable step in the right direction?  And then make sure to celebrate the success! Doesn’t have to be a party (though it could be) but do something to acknowledge the accomplishment. A happy dance, an excited call to a friend, a piece of chocolate, etc.

Focus on your strengths.

Make a list of the things you love about yourself, skills that you’re proud of, areas where you didn’t quit and saw success. If you can’t think of any, ask friends or loved ones and write them down. You can even word it as what words come to mind when you think of me or what would you say I’m good at, etc. (I did this a few years ago and I was really nervous at first that it would look like I was fishing for compliments or something, but the people I reached out to were very quick to send me a few things each that made me realize more about myself than I had before. It was a very cool experience.) write these down and keep the list in a place that’s easy to reference on days where you need a reminder of your amazingness. Add to it as often as you feel called to.

Affirmations

You can use affirmations in so many ways. Print them out and put them somewhere you’ll see often, include them in a meditation, say them out loud as part of a morning or bedtime routine, etc… you want them to be something like “I am” and then whatever belief you’re trying to instill. Ex, I am confident. I am capable. Make it part of your daily life and your brain will start to recognize it as part of who you are.

Support system

Reach out to your friends, your family, a coach, etc… (feel free to post in my group whenever too) remember that you are not alone. If you have people who are constantly pulling you down or making you feel like you can’t do things, consider implementing firmer boundaries with them or some space. Notice who hypes you up, supports you, encourages or makes you feel better and nurture those relationships more.

Be willing to ‘fail’.

I’m using quotations for fail because I don’t really consider it to be a failure to try something new or to get it wrong as long as you don’t just give up. No one is perfect and expecting perfection is one of the quickest ways to get down on yourself. So this kind of goes back to giving yourself grace and compassion- realize that everyone makes mistakes or has a learning curve. And that it’s okay. That’s why we practice, start again, call on mentors, etc.  Replace the ‘I failed’ mentality with ‘I didn’t get it yet but I can try again.’ Or something along those lines that resonates. But you can’t succeed if you never start.

Hopefully these are helpful. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or want to talk about any of these further or whatever.

 

 

a woman with dark hair making pizza dough in a cedar kitchen with a green and gold background and title hands-on healing

Hands-On Healing

How often do you work with your hands? (And by work, I don’t necessarily mean a job- but just hands-on activities in general.) So many of us sit at a computer all day and sure, typing uses your hands to a degree. But I’m talking about hands-on activities, meaning phsyically moving them around and using those fine motor skills… Have you noticed any benefits to it when you do?

I’ve noticed that if I’m feeling stressed or frustrated, that getting my hands moving in some sort of activity can help me feel better, so I started looking into it. It turns out that these hands-on activities actually affect us in a lot of ways- from our mind to our body to our heart/soul.

I wanted to share some of the things that I learned with you.

When you actively use your hands, you’re creating new neural pathways. This affects how your brain processes information. And so the more pathways you create, the stronger your brain is, meaning you can learn more. You get better at things like problem solving or remembering details.  But there are a lot of other benefits as well.

Improved fine motor skills:

Through participating in activities that use our hands, we’re using our fine motor skills.  The more we use them, the more they improve which means our precision and coordination will get better.

Improved cognitive function:

Many hands-on activities, like puzzles, stimulate your brain and therefore help with cognitive function. There is a definite connection between hand movements and brain activity, so this can help us to strengthen our mind.

Stress reduction:

Hands-on activities usually have a calming effect. These hobbies can help reduce stress as well as help us to relax and focus our attention.

Increased creativity:

Many hands-on activities allow us to create things that were not there before. From actual art (painting, sculpting, doodling) to other creation type activities (baking, writing, dancing), these activities allow for self-expression and can inspire creativity and innovation.

Sense of accomplishment:

You know that feeling when you finish a project and you just feel so proud? You can grab this feeling again and again with these activities, meaning boosted self-esteem and motivation. This leads to a positive mindset which can ultimately change the way you experience life.

Learning and growth:

Hands-on learning can be more effective than passive learning for a lot of us. Actually using your hands and engaging with different materials can help us to understand and remember things more deeply.

Physical health benefits:

Some hands-on activities, like gardening or DIY home improvement projects, can provide some enjoyable exercise. This can improve physical strength and increase flexibility. Plus the serotonin that comes from moving your body.

Mindfulness and focus:

I sort of mentioned this earlier but wanted to highlight it on its own. Hands-on activities often require concentration and focus. This means having to stay present which can help us to detach from stressors, triggers or fears.

Social interaction:

A lot of hands-on activities can be done with a partner or group which can be a lot of fun and deepen relationships.

These are just some of the benefits that come with moving your hands. If you’ve noticed others, I’d love to hear about it- drop it in the comments!

I’d also love to know what some of your favorite hands on activities are.

Mine are drawing, painting, cooking, gardening and puzzles. But the thing that works best for me, and honestly what inspired this training, is baking. I was rolling out some homemade pizza dough and it honestly felt like I could feel all of the tension just leaving my body. It’s such a rewarding experience and it’s also a lot of fun! With that in mind, I figured I’d share the pizza dough recipe that I use with you.

This makes one family size pizza, but I’ve also doubled or tripled it and divided it up for several personal sized pizzas. The personal pizza activity can be a really fun bonding experience to do as a family or a date night or with friends. Have all of the toppings on the table, section the dough off and everyone makes their own. I’ve done it a few times now and it has never not been a good time.

I’ve also used this recipe to make breadsticks, adding just a bit of oil and oregano, maybe a bit of cheese. It’s really hard to go wrong with it.

Ingredients:

• 1 cup warm water
• ½ tbsp. of active dry yeast (one packet)
• 1 tsp sugar
• 2.5 cups flour
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tsp salt
• 2 Cups of mozzarella cheese
• Any wanted seasonings and toppings (oregano, garlic, rosemary, etc)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 450 and either grease pan or use parchment paper
  • Mix yeast, warm water, and sugar in a bowl and set aside to let bloom. This should take about ten minutes- will look puffy when done.
  • Add flour, oil, salt and mix until smooth. Kneed it for a while until it is mixed well and smooth, not sticky but still has a bounce to it.
  • Let sit for at least 5 minutes.
  • Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface and roll out to your desired shape. You don’t want it so thin that there are holes, but you don’t want it too thick either. It will double in thickness when baking so aim for about as half as thick as you want it.
  • Add your seasonings, sauce, cheese and toppings.
  • Bake for about 10 minutes.

Please let me know if you try it and how it goes! Also, what are your favorite hands-on activities?


And of course, a reminder that if you need a little extra support, I’m your girl. I offer one on one coaching as well as a free facebook community for support. You can check get more info by clicking the links, and of course feel free to reach out to me with any additional questions.

 

a woman's hands holding a red heart against a gray sweater with a green and gold background and title self-love and affirmations

Self-love and affirmations

In honor of Valentine’s day being a day of love, I wanted to focus on some self-love today.

Have you ever felt like you were stuck in a cycle of just working and doing? Or maybe just stuck in general? Maybe because of it, you aren’t feeling content, or happy, or fulfilled even though you’ve got a lot going for you?

If so, it might be a sign that you need some self-care. Taking care of yourself should be a priority in your life. Often when we think of self-care, we think of things like bubble baths or candles or massages. But there are a lot of other aspects of self-care that should be non-negotiable in your life. Things like being patient and kind to yourself and working on your mindset.

One of my favorite ways to practice self-care is through self-love affirmations.

They can help you to change your mindset, which allows you to change your life in BIG ways.

That’s why I’m giving you this pdf with 50 of my favorite self-love affirmations. Take a look and see if any speak to you!

Use one, use them all… Whatever works for you.

(Click here to view/download, no strings attached!)

What’s important is that you show yourself some love.

And of course, I’m here if you need any additional support. I’ve got one on one coaching as well as a free facebook community. You can check get more info by clicking the links, and of course feel free to find me on IG or to reach out to me with any additional questions.

You’re awesome!

a woman's hand holding flowers. green and gold background and title give yourself grace

Give yourself grace.

Some advice that I have often needed: give yourself grace. You see, I’ve always been an over-achiever, multitasker, etc… And you know where that leads? Burnout!

I’ve written about this before.

You’d think that knowing that overextending myself would lead to burnout would make me reel it in, but that isn’t always the case. My natural instinct (or maybe it’s conditioned?) is to keep pushing. Keep moving forward, don’t give up. Don’t you dare admit defeat or exhaustion. I was taught that I always had to do and give more and that’s not a lesson easily forgotten.

Success doesn’t always come to the one that works the hardest.

I’m not saying that working hard doesn’t pay off. But the expression ‘work smarter, not harder’ exists for a reason. You can work your ass off every minute of every day until you collapse but if you’re not working on the right things, it really won’t matter. What could end up happening is that you are frustrated and exhausted and you start to lose interest and focus. Your relationships might end up jeopardized and your health might be affected. Even if you do end up successful in whatever you’re working towards, you could still end up having these negative affects.

Sometimes you need someone else to tell you to give yourself grace.

When you get into your head that you have to keep going, sometimes even the knowledge that you’re on the brink of burnout isn’t enough to stop you. Having an outside voice actually tell you to give yourself grace or some other variation of the phrase can be monumental in having the ability to take care of yourself. It’s like an override for your inner (demanding) voice, allowing you to put your mental and physical health first.

You can’t pour from an empty cup.

This is a popular phrase that is a popular for a reason. Like many of you, in my life, I’ve got a lot of different things going on. So many personal projects, business projects, and then of course, my family is the priority. But towards the end of last year, that really started to catch up with me.  Despite the fact that I was so exhausted that I could barely keep my eyes open, I was frustrated when I didn’t get everything on my list done each day. I was venting to a friend when she pointed out that I needed to rest.  She reminded me that ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup.’ I laughed at first, but then she got more serious and was like “Seriously Danielle, give yourself grace.”

I remembered that I can’t do it all.

Not only that, but I can’t do anything if I’m burnt out! And so I thought about everything that I had going on and everything that I had wanted to accomplish and I wrote it all out in my journal. Then I went through the list and circled my priorities. You know what those were? Taking care of family. Making sure that we all had a comfortable place to live, food in our bellies and that we got decent amounts of laughter and sleep. My current clients were also circled as a priority of course.

But everything else got moved to a secondary list. The ‘if I get to it’ list. Because my projects will still be here next week. The chores and the errands aren’t going anywhere. If I get that stuff done, there will just be more of it after that. But my family, my health, and my clients who are trusting me to help them? Well, those are much too important to push off. And so after creating this list, not only did I go and take a nap, but then afterwards I spent the rest of the day cuddling my babies and not feeling guilty at all for all of the things I didn’t get done. And then I made the decision to slow down and keep myself in this graceful headspace.

Some days are harder than others.

I’m not going to lie, I did have to write ‘give yourself grace’ on a post it note and put it on my bathroom mirror so that when I wake up each day, I’d remember not to have a panic attack. But doing so means that now I get to have nights where I’m lounging comfortably on my couch writing or working on the things, knowing that the important people and things were taken care of.

Did I get a ton of work done every single day? Nope. Not at all. Am I proud and feeling accomplished anyway? You bet your ass I am!

Because I give myself grace.

I focus on what and who matter. And I don’t let that wanna-be overachieving voice in the back of my head win.

Thanks to a friend for the pep talk, my journal and visuals for processing and reminding me. And thanks to myself, for remembering how strong I am.

If you need a journal or some visual affirmations, head on over to my shop and I’d be happy to hook you up. If you need a friend, reach out here or on my Instagram and say hello!

And if you need some hands-on support, a reminder that I offer one on one coaching as well as a free facebook community. You can check get more info by clicking the links, and of course feel free to reach out to me with any additional questions.

a woman's hand with dark nail polish, holding a pen, writing in a journal.. green and gold background and title set boundaries for how you treat yourself

Set boundaries for how you treat yourself

Last week, I spoke about boundaries and how they are a necessity when it comes to self-care. I wanted to expand on that, because while the boundaries you set for the relationships in your life are crucial, so are the boundaries you set for self-treatment. So today, I’m focusing on those.  This ranges from things like your routines to self-talk and more.

Just like the boundaries we set in relationships, personal boundaries for how we treat ourselves are important for building a healthier and more fulfilling life. I believe they are the foundation for almost every area of our lives and determining how things will play out.

Ditch the negative self-talk:

The first step I recommend in self-boundaries would be addressing negative self-talk. Set limits on your self-criticism and establish a positive internal dialogue. Pay attention so that you can recognize harmful thoughts and actively replace them with affirmations. Remember, the things you say and think directly affect the things you feel and believe. This means that curbing that negative self-talk can greatly improve your quality of life. And so a commitment to speak to yourself with kindness and compassion is a great start to setting your boundaries with yourself.

Prioritizing self-care over neglect:

Next, I’d say to set clear boundaries between self-care and self-neglect. Figure out the things that genuinely rejuvenate your mind and body, and commit to making time for them. Whether it’s a relaxing bath, reading a book, or practicing mindfulness and meditation, these moments need to be non-negotiable. You don’t need to be ‘busy’ all of the time. You just need to be intentional.

Make sure you’re getting quality sleep:

Moving on to your quality of sleep; this is a really important one. Set a consistent sleep schedule, create a bedtime routine, and make getting a good night’s sleep a priority. By setting this boundary with yourself to guarantee that you get the rest you need, you’re investing in both your mental and physical health which means you’ll feel better and even be more productive. Some other bonuses from this are better cognitive function and emotional resilience.

Find a balance with work and personal life:

Another big boundary to set is the separation or balance between work and personal time. This is especially important for entrepreneurs who often work crazy hours at crazy times. Overworking can lead to burnout and compromise your overall well-being. So it makes sense that we need to be firm on setting limits. Learn to say no to excessive work demands and create a schedule that allows for both productivity and relaxation. Also make sure that you’re getting some ‘me time’ every single day.

Pay attention to your nutrition.

Setting boundaries around nutrition involves making conscious choices about what you consume. Prioritize nourishing your body with wholesome foods, and establish limits on indulgences that are negatively affecting you. Listen to your body’s signals and respond with mindful eating. This might mean a little more time, effort or work, but the convenient and quick solutions are not always the answer. By making sure that your body is getting the nutrients that you need, you’ll feel better and have more energy. Odds are you’ll probably also see positive effects on things like your hair and your skin when you’re making sure that you’re getting the proper nutrition, along with less aches in your muscles and joints. Your mood and focus could also improve depending on what your current diet looks like and the changes that you put into motion.

Exercise and movement are important too.

I also recommend creating boundaries around exercise or movement that promote a healthy relationship with physical activity. It doesn’t have to be a hardcore workout. Choose things that bring you joy and make sure it aligns with your energy levels and capabilities.  For some this could mean things like yoga or walking. For others it could mean swimming or kickboxing. The important part is just to get your body moving.

How to set these boundaries:

(This is where I recommend breaking out the journal to form your plan.)

Start by thinking about your current habits and areas that might need adjustment. Clearly note these boundaries to yourself. Make sure that you’re viewing your commitments to yourself with the same importance as you would view your commitments to others. Be firm in enforcing them, but also give yourself grace. It can take time to establish new normal which will probably feel very uncomfortable at first. Like I mentioned last week, our brains are wired for the familiar. So even if a new thing is super positive compared to the old thing that might even be outright toxic, our brains struggle to make the transition with ease. It does get easier- don’t give up after one hard day.

Let your boundaries adapt with you.

Just as your boundaries with others are going to change as your life and experiences change, so should the boundaries you have with yourself. Be open to adjusting them as you grow and be sure to check in every once in a while to make sure that they are still having a positive effect in your life. Again, this is where journaling can be super helpful. Pay attention to how your new boundaries make you feel and what changes you see in your life. Change them up when they’re no longer effective or practical for your situation.

You don’t have to do it alone.

Overall, the biggest thing is that by choosing self-love and well-being, you are choosing you. I applaud you for that choice and wish you all of the success.  If you should need some additional help or guidance along the way, I’m here. Feel free to reach out to me. And again, I also offer one on one coaching as well as a free facebook community for additional support. You can check get more info by clicking the links, and of course feel free to reach out to me with any additional questions.

a piece of paper with the word no on soil with leaves and paints near it. green and gold background and title Boundaries are an important part of self care.

Boundaries are an important part of self care.

I talk a lot about self love and self care. It’s really the whole premise of why I got into this business in the first place- to empower women to love themselves and treat themselves well. And so I wanted to write about boundaries, because in my opinion, that’s the most important version of self care that there is.

What are boundaries?

The simplest way I can think to explain boundaries would be rules for how you allow others to treat you. (And for how you treat yourself.) When you set boundaries, you’re telling the people around you what you will accept and what you won’t. They define your needs, your wants and your deal breakers. I firmly believe that these should be put into affect with every relationship in your life- romantic, friendship, professional, stranger, etc… (Though the boundaries you have with one person may be different from the ones you have with another.)

Boundaries are something that everyone should have.

It should be a given that everyone would have boundaries, but that isn’t always the case. For instance, I didn’t really have any boundaries at all for the first 29 years of my life. I’m an empath and I was a chronic people pleaser so I let people walk all over me and take advantage all of the time. It was rare that I stood up for myself or expressed my needs, and when I did, I felt guilty. It took me a really long time to realize how important boundaries were, and that they’re actually a necessity for every person looking to live a healthy life.

You’re allowed to say no.

The biggest change in going from someone without boundaries to someone with boundaries is realizing that you can say no. You don’t have to be everything for everyone anymore. Just because you’re capable of doing something doesn’t mean that you have to. Even if it wouldn’t be that hard or you can do it better than someone else, you can still say no. But it isn’t limited to just saying no, I don’t want to do that. It also involves saying no, I will not allow that or no, I’m not going to think about this or even just plain no. No is a complete sentence.

At first, it might feel selfish.

This doesn’t mean that it is. But when you’re used to saying yes all of the time, no feels uncomfortable. Give it some time and some practice and you’ll be amazed at how easy it starts to become. Eventually, you’ll accept that saying no to someone else can mean saying yes to you. You’ll realize that you have more time and energy that you can spend doing the things that you want to do rather than being stressed about situations you may have been guilted into. This doesn’t mean that you can never help anyone ever again- it means you get to decide. To pick and choose.

If you always say yes to everyone else and you allow people to get away with anything and everything regardless of how you feel, you will be the one that suffers. Odds are you will find yourself exhausted, stressed and maybe even resentful. You’ll probably burn out and not be able to help anyone at all after a while, and then you’ll have to watch as the users and abusers start to disappear and leave you to fall apart because they can no longer get what they need from you.

Boundaries are a way of valuing yourself.

By setting boundaries, you’re putting an emphasis on your values and your own beliefs. You’re standing up for yourself, asking to be treated well and not settling for anything less. By saying you won’t tolerate a certain type of behavior, you’re also saying that you know you deserve better. By stating what you are comfortable with and what you are not, you’re recognizing that your feelings and opinions matter. (This is important, because it’s true!) By enforcing your boundaries, you’re requiring respect from those around you. You’re stating that you are just as worthy as the next person of being treated with consideration.

Not all boundaries need to be rigid.

There are different types of boundaries depending on the situation. Some may be make or break, absolute requirements. Others may just require some discussion or be open to compromise. The easiest way to navigate this is communication.

By communicating your boundaries with the people involved in the situation, you can figure out the best way to move forward. You may have to take other people’s boundaries into account here as well. Sometimes, a compromise may be in order. Other times, maybe it’s best to just go your separate ways. Again, it depends on the situation.

How to set boundaries

The first step would be to look at your life currently. How do people talk to you? Touch you? Interact with you? Does any of this make you uncomfortable? If so, that would be a good indication that you need to set some new boundaries. Figure out what you are comfortable with as well as what makes you anxious and start making a list. What is okay and what is not? Maybe somethings are okay with one person, but not another. As you go through the different areas of your life, you may see a need for different boundaries. That’s perfectly okay. Figure out what’s already there and what needs to change. What do  you want? And what do you need?

Once you’ve figured this out, you can start to communicate those wants and needs to the people around you.

Some people are going to give you a hard time. Some may be offended and maybe even get a little hostile. That my friends, is usually a giant red flag. In my experience, the people who get mad at you for setting boundaries are often the people who would benefit from crossing them. They don’t want you to be strong and stand up for yourself because it means that they have to change and can no longer take advantage of you.

On the flip side, there are going to be others in your life who will embrace your new boundaries. They may even applaud you for them! Even if the new rules require some changes and effort on their end, they’ll try for you. Those are your people. Hold onto them. Because these are the people who want you to succeed. They want you to be happy and to have what’s best for you.

Boundaries can be a neat little tool for figuring out who’s who.

Boundaries can change.

Your boundaries at 20 are going to look different than your boundaries at 30 and at 40 and so on. As you go through life, you will have different experiences, different challenges, different feelings, etc. The things you go through will change your wants and needs, which means you will have to adjust your boundaries. This is totally okay. You can literally wake up one day and decide you want something different. That just means you have to set a new boundary, and be sure to communicate it to the people in your life that may need to adjust a certain behavior or expectation.

It’s really important to show yourself some compassion and patience as you figure out what you want your boundaries to be and how to enforce them. But you do have to enforce them and have actual consequences! Otherwise, people will just keep crossing them and they will inevitably be pointless. By enforcing your boundaries, you’re choosing yourself. And that’s really the best choice you could make.

I hope you choose yourself today. You deserve it.


If you’re struggling with boundaries and would like someone to work one on one with you to move forward, I’d love to work with you. I offer one on one coaching as well as a free facebook community for support. You can check get more info by clicking the links, and of course feel free to reach out to me with any additional questions.

 

hand holding pen, taking notes, green and gold background, The Eisenhower Matrix title

The Eisenhower Matrix: for overcoming burnout and people pleasing

Have you been finding yourself feeling overwhelmed, burnt out, and falling into the trap that is people-pleasing? Then I’ve got a powerhouse tool for you- the Eisenhower Matrix. This has been my not-so-secret weapon when it comes to conquering the chaos and I’m excited to share it with you. I talked about this in my facebook group last night, but also wanted to talk share a bit here as well.

What is the Eisenhower Matrix?

To put it simply, the Eisenhower Matrix is a framework that splits your tasks into four categories. You’ve got your Urgent and Important (Do), Important, Not Urgent (Delay), Urgent, Not Important (Delegate), and Not Urgent, Not Important (Delete.) Basically, you’re looking at all of the things on your to-do list with intention and purpose so that the list gets a whole lot shorter.

Productivity and the Eisenhower Matrix:

There’s a definite difference between being productive and being busy, but for a lot of us, that line gets blurred. The Eisenhower Matrix is a way to get some clarity. You can see what’s actually important so that rather than just trying to get things done, you’re focused on getting the right things done. It helps to be selective with what we choose to do. This helps to redefine success so that your accomplishments are more meaningful. It gives you back control so that you can be strategic and make every action count.

Avoiding Burnout with the Eisenhower Matrix:

Before I discovered the Eisenhower Matrix, I had a tendency to burn out. I wasn’t prioritizing things for my long-term goals or creating sustainable routines. Things might work for the short-term, but then I’d end up exhausted, unmotivated, and bitter. This method helped to get better with strategic planning so that I had more time and more energy. Once I was no longer drowning in the relentless hustle, I was able to stop burning the candle at both ends and feel much more connected and excited about the work that I was doing.

How it relates to People-Pleasing Behaviors:

When it comes down to it, people pleasers mostly just want to feel liked or loved. This can come at an extreme cost, because we take on way too much with little to no return. We say yes to everything and often end up neglecting ourselves which leaves us exhausted and emotionally drained.  By using the Eisenhower matrix, we can be more aware of what tasks are actually worthy of our attention and align with our values and which are purely for seeking approval. This can help with setting better boundaries and saying no to the tasks that would continue to drain us. You become aware of where you’re spending your energy and no more overcommitting, which is a great way to prioritize self-love.

Another key benefit of using the Eisenhower Matrix, which can help to reduce people-pleasing, is increased self-awareness. By forcing yourself to consider each task on your to-do list, you’re able to better recognize patterns of over commitment and what sort of things you are adding to your to-do list that really shouldn’t be your burdens to bear. This awareness can help to ease the guilt that you might feel when you first start saying no.

Using this matrix is super easy.

To get started, you just have to create four sections. Label them with the four categories (do, delay, delegate and delete) and then start breaking your to-do list between them. Make sure you are assigning each one to the appropriate category- this is the hardest part in my opinion. You might be tempted to put all of your tasks under ‘do’, especially if you’re a recovering people pleaser. But if refuse to let that validation-seeking side of you win, and instead you delegate and delete ruthlessly, your entire life could change.  Think about all of the things that you could do with the extra time and energy. All of the fun you can have, the relationships you can nurture, and the accomplishments you could achieve.

chart for using the eisenhower matrix for breaking up your to-do list, with a green and gold background

It’s not just a tool for success, but for total domination!

It might be a little tricky to get the hang of at first when it comes to using the Eisenhower Matrix. But if you embrace your challenges and learn from them, this could be a real game-changer for you. You learn to become solution-oriented, to adapt and conquer, and to better use your time. This in turn will help you to claim victory over your own life and make magic happen!

You don’t have to do it alone.

If you’re still struggling with overwhelm, burnout or people pleasing, I’d be happy to work with you to help you to take back control. I offer one on one coaching as well as a free facebook community for support. You can check get more info by clicking the links, and of course feel free to reach out to me with any additional questions.

Do you think you’ll give this tool a try? Let me know how it works out for you!