Life has been pretty challenging for most of the world over the last year, hasn’t it? Are you wondering how to be happy again? Do you feel a little lost right now?
Stress management has become ever increasingly important. The rise in technology has given us access to information and friends, family, coworkers, and even strangers 24/7. I’m not here to tell you what I think about whether technology is a good thing or a bad thing. It’s like the weather. It simply is. What I am here to talk about is the stress and anxiety that comes from being always “on.”
We have to learn how to navigate this technological world without being consumed by it. Self-care has to become as much of a habit as picking up our phone to scroll. I’m as guilty as anyone, by the way! Even as I type this, it’s 6:20 am on a Saturday. I woke up with a desire to work, which isn’t a bad thing when you work at home and quiet time is rare. But, it wouldn’t be a bad thing to be snuggled up in bed with my Honey and puppy either.
Here are three ways we can utilize the technology that can be the bane of our existence (whether we admit it or not) and use it in a way that builds us up, encourages us, and helps us be better humans.
Number 1: Audible
Before I had a dozen babies, I was a voracious reader. (Okay, I only have five, but when they were all under ten years old, it felt a lot like a dozen some days.) I love books and tend to focus on nonfiction. My personality says that I should utilize my time wisely and not waste it on frivolous things that don't teach me anything. (No need to lecture me here. My English major daughter has that covered.)
A few weeks ago, I realized that I wasn’t doing anything to unwind. I thought, “maybe I could find some fiction to listen to while I walk.” I asked for a set of AirPods for Christmas, linked those puppies to my Apple Watch, and BOOM! Full disclosure: I’ve listened to exactly one book that was really just an autobiography…but it WAS NOT non-fiction. It was riveting and kept me walking longer each day. Sidenote: Matthew McConaughey is not hard to listen to.
I got more exercise than normal and I got to shift gears in my brain! Alright, alright, alright!
Number 2: Exercise App
I don’t care what type of exercise you do. Time spent moving is not spent in front of a screen.....or at least that screen time doesn't count. People are doing all kinds of things with technology that helps them move more. If a peleton bike isn’t in your budget, there are plenty of free or super cheap apps you can use!
I like the freebie that comes on an iphone, but surely androids have something similar. Look for the Health App with a heart on it. Check your movement chart. OOOPH. Hopefully it is not a sad awakening.
Look back over your last week or month and note your average number of steps. Decide on a goal for the next month. Maybe a 10% increase? 25%? Focus on doing that for the next month!
Want to do more? Explore! There are apps for everything from yoga to running to HIIT workouts! When you set it up, be sure to say yes to notifications so you have that extra little push to shut your phone up!
Number 3: Podcasts
Find a podcast that you love and makes you feel better. No, not one for work. Not one on investing. Not one on the latest marketing trends. Those are all fine and good, but I want you to find at least one to subscribe to that is just for you because you like it. I have a friend that listens to true crime stories while she walks. Not my cuppa tea, but you do you!
I’ve struggled to find things JUST FOR ME. My enneagram 1w2 personality (we’ll talk about that in a future blog or blog series if you aren’t familiar) means that I tend to give everything of myself to everyone else and leave an empty bucket for me.
Right now, I’m not listening to a podcast, per se. I’m listening to one of my favorite priests. Father Barnabas Powell is a Protestant convert to Eastern Orthodoxy. I liken him to Friar Tuck, only without the drunkenness. Father Barnabas has an amazing gift of being witty and fun while getting right to the point. His messages have been a balm to my soul.
Find something that you could refer to as a “balm to your soul” and make it a priority in your life.
Do you have tricks for utilizing technology to your advantage? I’d love to hear them! Leave a message below so everyone can benefit!
P. S. In case you were worried about the aforementioned abandoned puppy, he toddled out halfway through this writing and is snuggled happily on my lap. Pets are a pretty awesome stress reliever, too. I highly recommend. Five Stars.
Hey. You. How are you? Hmmmmmmmm…….
Let’s try that again. How ARE you? Like for real? Are you loving life? Are you thriving? Do you get up each day looking forward to what’s next? Do you have goals? Plans that make you happy? Are you thinking of the future?
Or maybe do you have a seat on the struggle bus right now? Are you having a hard time looking forward to much of anything? Do you find yourself just putting one foot in front of the other?
I confess that I’m a whole lotta both right now. I have done so much personal development in the past 6ish years that I truly don’t stay in the valleys very long anymore. I’ve developed some coping skills. I’ve learned enough about myself to know when I need to change things up……or realize when I’ve forgotten to stick to the routine that keeps me in the center of the road!
We sold our house in three days. YAY! We had nowhere to go. BOO!
We found a house to rent. YAY! It’s only available for two months. BOO!
It’s on a beautiful island in a lake. YAY! There is a gator. BOO!
It’s quirky and cool and the kids love it. YAY! I drive a minimum of four hours a day now. BOO!
We are building a new house. YAY! The site plan isn’t approved. BOO!
Life is just full of light and dark, good and bad, mountain tops and valleys. So, what do you do when things seem out of control? I don’t mean hypothetically. I mean for real. What do you actually get off your heiny and DO? Here are a few of the things I do.
Clay and I took a walk around a beautiful lake this weekend. After all, it’s called Lakeland for a reason, right? It was lovely and we got to spend time together outside while we moved. Lakeland is our home only for a few weeks and it’s a charming little town. We are going to find a new lake to explore this weekend. And yes, we’ll keep our eyes open for gators, because…..Florida wildlife is big and scary.
As I’ve mentioned before, Clay loves breweries. The vibe. The relaxing atmosphere. We have noticed a lack of fear of the virus in these places, too, which is a blessing to us. I’m pretty sure beer kills viruses anyway. (wink wink) Out of all our time in Florida, our favorite brewery is in Lakeland, so we are enjoying spending time there right now. It’ll be a bit of a drive again soon enough.
I forgot to do my oily routine a couple of days in a row. Big mistake. HUGE. A quick lesson as to why they work. Everything in the world has frequency…..including you and me. When our frequency drops, we feel crummy. When it drops further, we get sick. When it plummets, we die. No. Really. It’s not a joke.
Oils also have frequency. Pick high-frequency oils and you will support your body in raising your frequency. Certain oils have frequencies that match particular body organs, parts, or entire systems, which is why we have favorite uses for them.
But you don’t have to know all that. You can just pick the ones you like and use them and know that it’s good for you. I oiled up this weekend when I was feeling particularly yucky and within minutes (I’m not making this up) I felt like the sun came out.
Typically (but not particularly right now) I would like to take a drive. Something about a change of scenery makes everything feel a little better. Drive alone and crank up Hamilton in your car. It certainly works for me, although this morning I got distracted by my desperate attempt to master rapping Guns and Ships and missed my exit…..detours are good.
Music is an easy way for me to keep my mood in check. Recently I switched back to listening to Contemporary Christian music. The music on the other stations is okay, but the talk between was not edifying in any way. Even just the benign stuff was affecting me. I turned back to Joy FM and found that the same DJ I listened to every day ten years ago is still there. It was like coming home.
I’ve also plugged back into a faith community. After weeks (maybe even months) of prayer about whether to go, God whispered something I didn’t expect. For now, I’m back at my old church and attending with Clay, which is such a nice blessing. I love this church for so many reasons, and it’s lovely to be welcomed back.
Lastly, I offer the advice of my father in law. Look around. There are always people who have it worse off than you. Always. Don't stop at just looking, though, you will be blessed if you find a way to help. Recently I was reintroduced to this song by Matthew West. Have a listen!
Do any of those things resonate with you? Leave me a comment and tell me what you do when things feel heavy. Let’s encourage and inspire each other!
For many people, 2020 has tested their belief, their faith, and their daily walk with God.
Have you noticed? It always seems that we look for answers or support whenever there’s a major upheaval in our lives . . . and, so far, this year has brought plenty of turmoil.
As part of my continuing series, I’ve been introducing you to a series of self-assessments that Dr. Dave Braun and Dr. Troy Amdahl—The OolaGuys—use in the popular 10-week coaching program we conduct together. Now I’d like to share another one with you about your faith.
“Faith” is one of The 7 F’s of Oola—those major life areas that all our problems, happiness, improvement, and challenges seem to fall into.
Is your faith strong? Or could it be stronger?
On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your faith? If you answer “1,” that means low/bad/least true, while answering “10” means “high/good/most true”:
•. I would rate my faith.................................... ____
•. I feel connected to a higher purpose............... ____
•. I am plugged into a faith community and continue to learn/grow................................. ____
•. I spend at least 20 minutes a day in meditation and/or prayer.......................... ____
•. My beliefs and the way I live my life are congruent............................................. ____
•. I use my faith to help resolve conflict and issues in my life..................................... ____
•. I reflect on my faith often throughout the day.. ____
•. I forgive easily............................................. ____
•. I rely on my faith to guide my choices and my decisions......................................... ____
•. I feel comfortable sharing and teaching my faith to others........................... ____
While The OolaGuys don’t tell you what to believe or which religion to follow (and neither do I), we DO know that having a strong faith is a critical part of a balanced and happy life. What I have found is that if the biggest thing you believe in is yourself, you will struggle to find contentment, happiness, and peace. We simply have to live for something bigger.
If your life could be better in every area—fitness, finance, family, field, faith, friends and fun—I’d like to invite you to have a chat about the 10-week Oola Coaching Program.
Message me and we can jump on a 30-minute call to discuss it.
It only takes 10 weeks to make massive progress. Let’s work together to make that happen!
Can you believe it? 2020 is almost over. Which makes these final months of the year your best opportunity to make sure 2021 is more balanced and more abundant. If you are like most of the world, this year has felt a bit chaotic and haphazard.
If you’ve been following my posts, you know that I’m big into getting what you want in the 7 major areas of life. It’s something I learned from Dr. Dave Braun and Dr. Troy Amdahl—The OolaGuys—who teach how to create balance in our unbalanced world.
Now, as a Certified Oola Life Coach, I help clients address what’s not working for them in the areas of fitness, finance, field (career), family, faith, friends and fun. Then we go to work correcting those stressors and bringing about the lifestyle, relationships and financial security you need to be happy, balanced and growing. Because, after all, who doesn't want to be happier, more balanced, and growing in all the right directions?
Two Months to Go: What Will YOUR 2021 Look Like?
With October winding down and this whole crazy year almost behind us, people are starting to call 2020 a wash. The Lost Year. An epic fail. But before you give this year the heave-ho, why not spend the last couple of months of it deciding what you want your next year to look like? Why not start putting the tools in place to make 2021 so great that you don't give 2020 another moment of negative energy?
Whether it’s make more money, be home with your kids, improve your marriage, have fun, get healthy, or something else – the Oola formula gives you the steps to get there. The key is to decide where you need to make changes, write out your wish list, and start taking small steps every day toward 2-3 goals at a time. It’s a three-step process that’s part of the 10-Week Oola coaching experience that I offer to my clients.
The reality is that you can have anything you want, but you need to start focusing somewhere. Follow my next few posts and you’ll have a wish list of things that will transform how you live—and even who you are as a person.
Have some ideas of what you want already? Whatever your wish list includes for next year, drop a comment below and share it. Maybe some of those dreams and wishes feel so big that you don't feel like you can even put them to words. (Pssst....they are NOT too big!)
The Oola formula can be a big help toward getting there—so if the 10-week Oola coaching experience is something you’d like to pursue as 2020 winds down, message me and we can jump on a 30-minute discovery call to explore the idea of working together on your goals. I’m here to help 2021 be a breakthrough year for you.
A few weeks ago, I shared that we were putting our house on the market. No big deal. People do it all the time. Truth be told, we’ve done it three previous times ourselves. We know what to expect. We know what to do.
No longer is the military moving us. We’ve moved ourselves by choice before, but never in conjunction with the selling of a house and nowhere to move to once we vacate. Yes, you read that correctly. We have nowhere to go.
We are building a new house and it’s so super exciting. It’s not centered on 100 acres with a ten foot high electric fence around it as I’ve longed for most of my life, but other than that one detail….it’s pretty much exactly what I want. It’s a toss-up whether I’m more excited about the kitchen island that will seat all six of my favorite people at once or the fact that I will have a spacious (one might even say extravagantly huge) office for the first time ever. For this work at home Mama, that is hard to beat!
The market was right for selling our house. We knew it. Even if the timing wasn’t perfect, it was the thing to do. After all, can you imagine trying desperately to sell a house knowing your closing on the new construction home was looming. Let’s be honest, there really wasn’t a perfect option to be had.
Knowing all this, we decided to just go for it. Clay painted a few rooms. We had a handyman touch up a few minor things that we had been just living with because they weren’t a big deal. I picked a date for pictures and went for it.
The house went live mid-day last Saturday. Showings started Sunday with four, one of which gave us the cutest little “pick me” letter written to Ginny & Moomer (our cats who hosted the showings.) Monday night yielded five more showings and two more offers. We decided to allow showings one more night and choose by noon on Wednesday.
Now we are under contract and our closing is November 6. You read that right. Far less than a month. Nowhere to go. Oh, God will work it all out, but I have to tell you, I’m sick of looking at rental options. We need a 4 month lease with the agreement of month to month after that, because let’s be honest…..no new construction home ever closes when they say it will. I’m expecting 6-8 months in this “halfway” house.
We’d prefer to just have a furnished place so we can “Pod up” our stuff and just have it magically appear at our new house. We have four pets. We have 4-7 people living over the next few months depending on the timing.
In short, life is a little nuts. It’s interesting that I did that blog post a couple weeks ago about God giving us more than we can handle. It’s almost like He knew I’d need my own words. But isn’t that just how He works? Always giving us exactly what we need exactly when we need it. He’s never early, but He’s also never late.