Blog

Fun and engaging activities for kids during self-isolation without technology

Making Bath bombs | kids-activities | self-isolation

Are you running out of ideas to keep your kids entertained without technology in isolation? COVID-19 has been a huge obstacle for all of us as the demands of home life have increased. You have to provide, entertain, educate and try and maintain some normality through all the craziness. It can be a lot to deal with, but we’re all in this together!

As a mum, teacher and small business owner I understand the juggle. It’s hard to keep your kids entertained in isolation while trying to get some work done yourself. Let’s be honest, activities provided by teachers to learn at home will only keep them busy for part of the day. So what about the rest of the time?

Technology like phones, TV and computers can be useful for distraction, but what if you could keep the kids entertained without relying on screens? Technology-free activities can be much more fun, engaging and sociable. They help to break up the day and provide intellectual stimulation. 

We don’t know how long this isolation will continue. Maintaining engaging activities might just be the thing that makes isolation that little bit more manageable for your family. Try these activities from local businesses to mix up your isolation routine:

Literacy & Numeracy

‘Busy Hands’ create playdough kits designed to help with language development, imagination and play. It’s run by sisters and mum Amy and Kate, who have backgrounds in Early Childhood and Primary Education. They’ve used their expertise to create fun and innovative playdough kits to keep kids entertained. It’s all home-made and the kits come in a sturdy container that’s easy to set up and pack up. Check it out HERE.

What’s more entertaining than a good book? Melissa Gijsbers is an author, speaker and book lover. Her beautiful book ‘Swallow Me, NOW!’ tells the story of how Sam overcomes the bullies and builds her confidence to find some new friends. It’s the perfect book for 3-6-year-olds. Melissa’s website also has free resources that can be used with the book. Find out more HERE.

Swallow me now book | learning-at-home | CODVID19

Got a printer? Maria from Little Printables creates fun and engaging activities that are ready for you to print. There are prints for games, learning and arts and crafts at an affordable price. I’ve used her printables with my own children and as a teacher. She has a huge range of activities to select from and lots of different themes. Grab her printables HERE.

Little Printables matching activity | self-isolation | learning-at-home

Get creative

Think back to all those fun science experiments you did as a child. Science teaches your kids about the world around them. It’s fascinating, fun and easy to do at home! Try making your own play dough, kinetic sand, slime or bath bombs. Your kids will love making and using them afterwards. There are more science ideas HERE, or you can download my Bath Bliss Activity Booklet HERE with 10 fun-filled pages that teach your kids about the world of science.

Bath Bliss Activity Booklet | kids-activities | distant-learning

Science experiments can get messy, but there’s plenty of other creative activities to try. Steph from Stlyla has created an interactive printable kids activity craft pack. You can download up to 17 activities from colouring, cutting, pasting, puzzles and creating. Because you buy them online, you can print them off and use them over and over. It’s great value for money and a real hit with the kids. Check out her printable books HERE.

Rebecca from ‘Little Dream Catcher’ wants to help you keep the vibes high during these challenging times. She’s offering a set of 30 FREE fun worksheets that she’s created. Little Dream Catcher also has a beautiful gratitude journal, and my kids favourite the Moon Kit worksheet with prompts to release or manifest more. There are some great things to try on the site, and you can grab the FREE fun worksheets HERE.

Get in touch with emotions

It’s been a tough time for all of us this year, including the kids. Having activities to support their mental health is a great idea during isolation. Kasey, an Australian registered psychologist, has created a fun and uplifting activity to help kids recognise how their own special superpowers (character strengths) to help them deal with any stress, anxiety, and boredom that they may be feeling during the pandemic. The best thing is it’s absolutely FREE! While it’s best suited for children in the mid-primary school years, it could be adapted for the littlies or older children too. Grab your FREE copy HERE.

Your Strengths Superheros PDF | kids-activities | distant-learning

Hopefully, there are a few ideas that might work for your family. Do you have any other ideas for home activities that have worked well during isolation? Share them with me or other mums! I’d love to hear them. Keep up the good work and remember to support one another during these tricky times 🙂 

5 tried and tested steps for families to plan their week during self-isolation

note pad and grey cup | weekly-planning | self-isolation

Feeling like you’re home life is out of balance? Everyone’s weekly routine and daily schedule have been forced to change thanks to COVID-19 and self-isolation. Suddenly the kids are at home, work has completely changed, and household budgeting has got a whole lot more complicated. It’s normal to feel confused and frustrated, but it’s time to take back control! Nows the time to take stock of what’s important, enjoy the little things in life, and make the most out of what you’ve got. 

But how best to this? Say ‘I got this’ to the COVID-19 and start planning and organising your life to meet the new challenges.

Why plan while in isolation?

Creating a game-plan for daily and weekly tasks will make you and your family feel less overwhelmed. You’ll feel more in control knowing you have a plan every day and can get on with life without all the clutter. You might even find you have time to work on personal projects or hobbies!

A great place to start with organisation is to write everything down. Get out all your thoughts and concerns from your sub-conscious and brainstorm possible solutions. Physically writing things down relieves your brain from carrying around demanding thoughts and lets you logically get to work on making improvements. Once you’ve done this, you’re ready to create some plans! 

Writing in Saint Belford planner | weekly-planning | CODVID19
Photo credit Saint Belford

5-steps for Weekly Planning during CODVID-19

There are plenty of ways to plan your week, but my tried-and-tested 5-steps are a great place to start building a routine. On Sunday night before my week starts I sit down and look at my entire week. I use the app Lifesorted to schedule our weekly activities so that both my husband and I are on the same page. I also use the Saint Belford Curation diary to map out my week because I love to use paper and pen and get the benefits of physically writing things down. 

Life sorted app features | organised-family | CODVID19-organisation
Photo credit LifeSorted App

Step 1 – Add weekly routines to your new self-isolation calendar

Your family might have daily routines for work and school mornings, bath time, bedtime and mealtimes. You might also have weekly routines for washing, cleaning, meal preparation and calendar organisation. A well-run routine helps family members know who needs to do what, when, and how often.  Daily, weekly and even monthly routines develop with repetition and practice. Even if you had a working home routine, you’re going to need to adjust to the changes from COVID-19. You should consider adding new activities like kids online activities, online appointments, walking, exercise at home, meetings and online socialization to your routine.

An organised and predictable home environment helps children and teenagers feel safe, secure and looked after- particularly in stressful times like now. Routines can be extremely useful for children with Autism, ADD, ADHD and other developmental delays. These children thrive with structure and predictability. 

Step 2 – Make a list of all the single tasks for your week

I use David Allens concept of creating lists with context. These are like tags about where you will do the task. The ones I’ve been using that I find most useful are phone (messages and calls), laptop (emails, purchasing), errands (in-car), home (around the house).

The important thing is to be able to look at your list and work out when and where in your week you can do that task. It will help you stay focused and save time. The weekend is generally when I have time to do the home things, but with COVID-19 I’ve had more time to do things during the week. Take note of how COVID-19 has changed your week, and incorporate that into your weekly task schedule. 

Step 3 – Add only 3 tasks to each day

Take it easy on yourself and keep your days manageable. Limiting daily tasks stops you from feeling overwhelmed, and helps you to feel a sense of achievement. Make sure you consider the time and energy you have on each day before you add a task. Don’t forget to delegate to other members of your family, especially if you feel like you are taking on too much.

Some questions I ask myself are-

Does this need to get done today? Is it important? Is it urgent?

Is it going to help me to achieve a goal?

Could this be completed by someone else?

Family planner | CODVID19-self-isolation | organised-family
Photo credit My Family Planner

Step 4 – Declutter Projects

Trying to remain calm won’t be possible if your home is a mess. This is always the case, but particularly important now with COVID-19 isolation. A clutter-free home runs smoothly because every member knows where to find the things they need each day. It also reduces stress and anxiety, creating a calmer atmosphere for everyone. Now’s the perfect time to work on decluttering projects. 

Here’s how I like to tackle decluttering:

  • Write it as an outcome eg. Reorganise the toys & games cupboard.
  • Next, write out ALL the tasks that need to be done. 

Eg. search on Pinterest or Instagram for organisational ideas, sort the games and toys, organise them into – keep, donate or throw away if it’s broken and can’t be fixed, find the tape measure, measure area for boxes, research boxe sizes, purchase boxes, research labels, purchase or make labels, reorganise the games & toys cupboard.

  • Decide on one or two tasks from your project that you could do in your week.
  • Get to it!

Step 5 – Planner for the family

Including the family in your weekly plans to important to ensure they can be maintained and everyone contributes. Every week, meals, calendar events, daily tasks for kids are all added to our command centre. My kids are young and still need to see what’s going on each day so they can’t use digital options yet. It’s in the kitchen so everyone can see it. Everyone has a routine to follow and know’s what is happening when. 

Now that you can create a weekly routine, it’s time to think about exercise and relaxation to help you get through COVID-19! One of the best things to support your mind and body at the moment is with movement like Yin & Nidra Yoga. They help to relieve stress so that you can support your immune system.

If you’d like to Calm Your Mind & Body in 5 days at home with just a mat and blankets using Yin & Nidra Yoga then join me on the mat. Just 10 minutes each day, no yoga experience needed, it’s perfect for all ages. 

How Yoga Nidra can help you sleep and deal with stress

Women sleeping | nidra-yoga | benefits-nidra-yoga

Wow, what a crazy start to 2020! I’m sure you’re all feeling the impact of the Coronavirus epidemic. You might be feeling overwhelmed or scared about the future. It’s OK to be feeling those things, but it’s important to get some control over your worries. Adequate sleep and relaxation are more important than ever! Being able to deal with new challenges is so much easier when you’re properly rested.

Why sleep is important

  • When you sleep, your body goes into recovery mode. A good nights sleep leaves you revitalized and well prepared for the next busy day.
  • Good sleep even helps you consolidate memories and behaviours. If you skip out on good sleep, you’re not giving your brain the chance to put everything together from your day.
  • Lack of sleep contributes negatively to mental wellbeing and anxiety. It makes overcoming the challenges of life much harder.
  • Core body temperature rises when you don’t rest. Problems with higher core temperatures are inflammation-related conditions, autoimmune disease and allergies.

Adults require between 8 to 10 hours sleep a night and studies show that most are getting less than 6 per night. Many people also either have trouble falling or staying asleep. We just aren’t getting the amount of sleep we need. One of the main reasons for sleep deprivation is our lack of time to get everything done. 

As a teacher, there are high demands and endless things that need to be completed.  The ‘easy’ solution is to sacrifice sleep for more time. However, the lack of sleep creates more problems than it solves. At work, I can see how lack of sleep can impact productivity and relationships with students. It can also lead to stress-related illness, burn out and staff absence. At home, it can lead to emotional outbursts and strained relationships. 

Women on phone & laptop | sleep-rhythms | nidra-yoga
Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

How our natural rhythm is being effected

Everyone has a circadian rhythm, known as your sleep/wake cycle or body clock. It’s a natural, internal system that helps regulate feelings of sleepiness and wakefulness every day. Our bodies are designed to be awake during the day, and asleep at night. The visual cues of light and dark signals to our body to produce melatonin as the sun sets and to stop producing it when dawn breaks to wake us up. also signals the body to stay awake or sleep. 

sunrise over countryside | sleep-rhythms | nidra-sleep
Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash

However, this natural process is often disrupted with artificial lighting. Overuse of lights, phones and technology during what should be your bodies sleeping hours overrides your body’s natural circadian rhythm. Overriding your rest-activity cycle consistently leads to burnout. It clashes with your natural rhythm and activating your flight and fight stress response.

What is Nidra Yoga and how can it help with sleep?

Yoga Nidra is a sleep-based, conscious guided meditation. Don’t let the word yoga put you off! There are no yoga poses or physical exertion. You’re lying in a comfortable position and covered with a blanket. So there’s really nothing stopping you from giving it a go! Your body sleeps while your mind is awake taking in the guided instructions. It’s complete REST for both your mind and body. Yoga Nidra is a great way to let your body rest and balance your rest-activity cycle. You get all the benefits of meditation, as well as sleep.

Women doing nidra yoga | nidra-yoga| nidra-sleep

Yoga Nidra encourages rest by using breathing triggers the relaxation response. Your brain is guided to a delta brain-wave state where organs are regenerate and stress hormone cortisol is removed. Your nervous system is calmed and your thoughts slowed down. The hormone serotonin is released to help you feel more relaxed and reduce anxiety and depression. Practicing Yoga Nidra for just 20-minutes is equivalent rest for your body to an extra 2 hours of sleep. Getting to sleep and staying asleep is also improved with a regular Yoga Nidra practice.

With the closure of gyms and yoga studios, it’s time to look online for your health and exercise needs. Join me on the mat to ‘Calm Your Mind & Body in 5 days’ at home. You just need a mat and blankets. I’ll be sharing Yin Yoga shapes and Nidra Yoga. Just 10 minutes each day, no yoga experience needed, it’s perfect for all ages.

Sounds great right? It’s easy to try, doesn’t take long and offers amazing benefits.

How useful Yin Yoga is to calm your mind and body

Women sitting in yoga pose | yin-yoga-benefits | yin-yoga-online

Adjusting to social distancing and home isolation may feel overwhelming, but there are plenty of positive changes you can make to maintain your health and wellbeing through the coming weeks and months. I have always loved the calming practice of Yin Yoga. It’s easy to try and can be a great coping strategy for your mind and body. During these stressful and uncertain times, Yin Yoga is a great tool to have in your toolbox. You can try it all in the comfort of your own home and stay motivated with the support of other mums. All it takes is a bit of guidance to start. Are you ready?

What is Yin Yoga?

Yoga is known to be a relaxing, healthy and spiritual practice that can improve flexibility and strength. Some forms of yoga that you may be familiar with can be active and physical, or ‘yang’. While these types of yoga have great benefits, they are missing the ‘yin’. Yin Yoga is a quiet practice that slows down movement and focuses on a spiritual connection with your mind and body. Instead of flowing through active movements, Yin Yoga involves holding deep poses for longer periods of time. A pose may last a minute or two, or even up to 5 minutes.

Women laying in yin yoga pose | yin-yoga-benefits | yin-yoga-postures

Photo credit My Sore Yoga

What are the benefits?

Benefits for your mind

By slowing down your mind and body during Yin Yoga, you are gifting your body with gratitude and relaxation. Yin Yoga releases stress, worry and unease. The slow movements encourage you to sit with your emotions and learn to accept them. This can have lasting benefits with your mental wellbeing, well beyond the end of the practice. Overtime your resilience may become stronger, making it easier to overcome life’s challenges. The stillness in Yin Yoga is meditative and restorative. It offers a chance to connect to your mind, body and spirit. 

Candle for yoga session | yin-yoga | mindfulness

Photo by Hans Vivek on Unsplash

Benefits for your body

Yin Yoga is also physical. By holding deep strengths, your body’s tissues lengthen and release, leaving your muscles feeling as though they have been relaxed or massaged. This practice can improve your range of motion and help strengthen and heal reoccurring injuries. Yin Yoga can correct habitual posture problems, leaving you balanced and in control. The deep breathing you’ll learn during the practice is also a powerful trigger for the parasympathetic nervous system. This is connected to a number of benefits including improved blood pressure, digestion, sleep and immune function. What better tool to have during a public health crisis?

It’s so easy to get started!

Yin Yoga is one of the easiest home activities to do. It requires very little equipment and can be done anytime, anywhere. All you need is:

  • A yoga mat
  • Blanket
  • Bolster (or rolled blankets) 
  • Yoga block (optional)
  • A quiet place
  • Online class 

Create a comfortable place for your Yin Yoga practice at home, and use my guiding Yin Yoga videos to get started. Together, we can not only get through this difficult isolating time, but we can develop new skills and improve our health and wellbeing!

Women exercising using online yoga | yin-yoga | yin-yoga-pose

Photo credit Henry Ford Health System

With the closure of gyms and yoga studios, it’s time to look online for your health and exercise needs. Join me on the mat next Monday for ‘Calm Your Mind & Body in 5 days’ at home. You just need a mat and blankets. I’ll be sharing Yin Yoga shapes and Nidra Yoga. Just 10 minutes each day, no yoga experience needed, it’s perfect for all ages.

Which benefit do you most want from practicing Yin Yoga?

How to organise your life: from an organised mum

Organizing may not be everyone’s favourite thing… Lucky for you, I love it, and I’ve got some easy tips to share! 

I’ve always been a really organized person. Even when I was a child sharing a room with two sisters, I loved to find a way to organise. Throughout my school and university life, I discovered my organised habits helped reduced anxiety. By being organised, I’ve been able to maximise my productivity and achieve more with my time at work and at home with family. 
Sound like a distant dream? Even if being organized isn’t your natural way of being, everyone is able to adopt a habit to be more organised. You just have to be willing to learn and practice! 
Try some of these easy organisation habits to:

Organise your life

1. Write things down 

Don’t just leave it up to your brain to remember! Allow your brain to create ideas, not store them all your to-do-lists. Writing down shopping lists, birthdays, holidays, events, appointments etc and keeping them in a convenient place means they won’t be forgotten. Organisation also eliminates decision making, making planning your week a whole lot easier. 

Saint Belford planner | organise-your-life | organised-mum
Photo by Saint Belford

2. Create family routines

Routines simplify your weekly routines and help you share the load. Like writing things down, creating a routine reduces the stress and fatigue of decision making. Work commitments, school drop-offs and after school activities are obvious examples of weekly family routines. Try thinking about other areas of your week you could develop into a routine- like chores, errands, fitness or socializing. You’ll save time and energy while increasing productivity. Check out 9 common mistakes people make when trying to create a new routine.

House cleaning routines | organise-your-life | organised-mum
Photo by The Honest Company on Unsplash

3. Everything has a home

It’s easy to get lost if you don’t have a home. Same goes for all your things! Every single thing in your home or office belongs somewhere. Organising a system for your belongings eliminates the stress of losing important things and the discomfort of living in a messy place. Try decluttering and simplifying your home to get the organising process started.

Organised pantry | organise-your-life | organised-mum
Photo credit Popsugar

4. Weekly planning

Organising isn’t a one-time event. It takes maintenance to live an organised lifestyle. Find a time every week to organise and plan- even add it to your weekly routine! Every week I organise my calendar into our Lifesorted app and the family command centre so we are all on the same page at the beginning of the week. Stuff does not stay organised on its own; it needs to be reorganized consistently.

Life sorted app | organise-your-life | organised-mum
Photo credit LifeSorted App

5. Keep only what I need

There’s nothing organised about clutter. By having fewer things, you can enjoy those things more. Isn’t it better to feel good about the things you own and use, rather than let things just sit and gather dust? It can be a long and overwhelming task to declutter your whole home. Instead, practising decluttering regularly makes it more manageable. 

Try a little experiment: before buying one thing, throw out something old or something you don’t use. Need something more drastic? Throw out one old thing a day until you can’t find any more items to throw. Do that for a month and I guarantee you’ll have less clutter in your life!

6. Share the load

Organizing your life is a whole lot easier when you’re around other organised people! Don’t just take on your families organizing on your own, work together to have a more organised home. By teaching your kids to be more organised, you’ll save yourself from picking up after them every day. Practice delegating tasks from your to-do-list to your spouse and kids, or create a list of responsibilities for each member of the family. Stick with it and review the list with them every week to make sure everything gets done.

Remember, a new habit takes time! Keep at it and you’ll notice results. Which habit do you think would most benefit your life? Let me know in the comments below.

If you’ve enjoyed these tips and are looking for more then grab 7 secrets to Manage the Juggle with EASE now. With 7 Secrets to ‘Better Manage the Juggle’ you’ll be more productive so you can enjoy time with your family … no more nights of you falling on the couch exhausted from doing it ALL.

Why a retreat can meet your needs as a mum

Women with cup of tea relaxing | why-a-retreat | mums-retreat
You’re not just a mum; we’re all human being with varying personal wants and needs. We all have certain needs to be met in order to function happily and healthily. Everyone has 6 human needs that have a huge impact on the way we live our lives. Knowing these needs can help us understand our own motivations, and how to drive change in order to feel fulfilled. Tony Robbins explains the 6 humans needs:
  1. Certainty and comfort: Assurance of safety is important for basic survival. Comfort can be found through feelings of control, familiarity and pleasure.
  2. Uncertainty and variety: Unpredictability can be fun and exciting, adding new thoughts and feelings to your life.
  3. Significance: We all love feeling important, special, valued or unique. It’s also, about having a purpose and being recognised for your worth.
  4. Love and connection: Love is the oxygen of the soul. Feeling a sense of closeness and unity to someone or something is a fundamental part of life.
  5. Growth: It’s all about the journey! Personal and spiritual growth happens when we challenge and expand our comfort and capabilities.
  6. Contribution: Life is about creating meaning. Giving to others and the world around you is not only a great thing to do, but it also enhances your personal experiences too.
Every behavior we do can be explained due to these needs. At times, people will sacrifice their personal values in order to meet a need. Examples of this include self-sabotaging behavior and addiction. Understanding why those behaviors can occur can make it easier to intercept them and replace them with positive behavior.

How can a Mums’ Revive Retreat help?

The Mums’ Revive Retreat is packed with rewarding interactions that help to meet all those unmet needs! The retreat gives you a place to leave behind any unmet needs or negative behaviors, and go back to your core values. All 6 needs will be met in different ways:

1. Certainty and comfort: Gain pleasure through pampering, relaxation, good food and time for yourself.

Women having a back massage| why-a-retreat | human-needs2. Uncertainty: New faces and places add variety to your regular routine and give you an exciting and fun experience.

3. Significance: Show yourself and your family how much you value yourself when you say yes and invest in a retreat! 

4. Connection: The inviting environment and shared activities create the ideal place for connections to flow.Women connecting over dinner | why-a-retreat | mums-retreat5. Personal growth: Retreat coaching sessions and mindfulness activities like Yoga Nidra help you look after your health and manage stress and provide you with new strategies to add to your toolbox when you return home. This break will leave you feeling energised and more focused on what is really important in your life!

Taking notes during a wellness coaching session | why-a-retreat | human-needs6. Contribution: By listening to others on the retreat you’re giving them the space to share things, contributing to better well-being for others (and you!).

5 Women talking on a couch | why-a-retreat | human-needs

The Mums’ Revive Retreat is there for you to get in control over your unmet needs! If you feel ready to do something for yourself and connect with like-minded mums, now’s your chance to book your place.

If you’re interested in driving your behaviour change then let’s have a chat I’ll help you to identify the activities that swallow up your time and how simple tweaks can help meet your needs. Book a free call HERE.

Which human need is not being met for you? Let me know in the comments!

Tips to maintain simple routines over the summer holiday

Photo credit Link Hoang on Unsplash

Summer holidays are a time to enjoy the break from the regular school routine with your family. We all need some downtime, especially after the Christmas rush and the manic end to the school year! While holidays can be fantastic, they’re not always as easy as they may sound. 

Let’s be honest, holidays can be hard when your kids need structure and routine like school. Routines can be extremely useful for children with Autism, ADD, ADHD and other developmental delays. These children thrive with structure and predictability. 
Even as a teacher with heaps of activity ideas for my kids, I know there’s only so much activity co-ordinating any mum can take before she reaches her breaking point. On top of this, holidays can bring out extra sibling fights and strained relationships from spending too much time together. Take it from me, adding a bit of system and structure to holiday activities can really reduce your stress.
I’ve got a few holiday routines to help you stay sane these summer holidays…

Reduce the Clutter

Trying to remain calm won’t be possible if your home is a mess. A clutter-free home runs smoothly because every member knows where to find the things they need each day. If you’re wanting tips to reduce clutter and simplify things this summer then consider setting up a lost property box, designated ‘drop zone’ and an essentials ‘go-to drawer’. Just think of all the things that could go into those zones instead of on the floor or in the wrong place!

For more information to help set them up in your home check out my earlier blog HERE

Organised drawer | holiday-routines | morning-ritual

Maintain a Night Ritual

Over the Christmas holidays, it’s normal to indulge and stay up a bit later. Even if you’re going to bed later, it’s important not to forget the value of a sleep ritual. 
  • Start by dimming lights and turning off your phone and TV at least an hour before you plan to go to bed. Electronics such as computers and televisions emit a blue light that tricks the body into thinking it’s still daytime, inhibiting the release of melatonin and making it harder to sleep. 
  • Take a relaxing bath using bath products with essential oils that encourage sleep like lavender and chamomile. Try making your own simple bath salts using an Inspired Little Pot recipe this holidays!

bath salts | holiday-routines | morning-ritual

Create a Morning Routine

You can’t remain calm when you’re cup is empty. The morning is a great time to do one thing for yourself and start the day with your cup full. Don’t forget yourself — if you’re stressed out, your family will pick up on that energy. Here are some great ways to create your morning ritual:
  • Enjoy your favorite cup of tea or coffee by yourself outside. After eight hours asleep, your body needs fresh water to function properly. Connecting with nature helps to ground you so that you can deal with situations calmly throughout the day.

morning cup of tea | holiday-routines | morning-ritualPhoto credit  David Mao on Unsplash

  • Spending five minutes writing down 3 things you’re grateful for. Being grateful helps to deepen your connection with those around you so that you can enjoy time with your family.
  • Go for a walk or do some gentle stretches. When you move your body you get your blood moving and your body releases endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin that make you feel good so that you start the day on a positive note.  

Life doesn’t stop over the holidays. You’re probably juggling work, finding care for your kids and keeping them entertained as well. 

If you want to better manage the juggle and feel more energised so that you can enjoy time with your family without worrying about your to-do list then download a free audio now.

Which routine will help you these holidays? Let me know in the comments below.

How to End Your Year on a High?

Photo credit Saint Belford

As another year comes to an end, there’s a great sense of energy and excitement to make a fresh and organised start to the new year! I’m one of those organised people that loves buying a brand new diary and calendar to start the new year off with a clean slate. Can you relate to that new-diary feeling? I’ve chosen a Saint Belford diary this year.

The end of the year is a great time to channel your energy into creating a solid foundation for the year to come. My secret to making the next year just as successful as this one is to celebrate everything I’ve achieved.

Reflecting and celebrating your achievements allows you to gain clarity about what creates success in your life. It can help you see why certain events and achievements were important to you, and how those values can be built upon in the next year. Reflecting also gives you the opportunity to feel proud of yourself and increase your happiness. There’s nothing selfish about taking the time to acknowledge and enjoy your hard work. 

When reflecting on your successes, it’s also important to reflect on things that didn’t go to plan. You can see these things as lessons to learn from for next time. Celebrating achievements and reflecting on mistakes is something I use when coaching clients. It’s all about taking action and learning from our actions.  

A little exercise to reflect on the ups and downs of your year is to write down:

~What you’d like to continue achieving?

~Is there anything you’d like to stop doing?

~What are you going to start doing?

Take the time to think about why you’ve selected what you have, and what the intention is behind your reflections.

You can also grab a simple checklist with a few other prompts to help you.

Year Highs for 2019

I’m now going to take the time to celebrate and share my 2019 with you all!

I’ve enjoyed many highs in my business and home life this year. A highlight for my professional life was spending two lovely nights in the beautiful beach-side town of Anglesea with eight women who all said yes to taking some time-out to reconnect with themselves on my 2019 Mums’ Revive Retreat. It was a time to relax, laugh and enjoy the company of like-minded mums. I really enjoyed collaborating with local businesses for the food, pampering, yoga and art therapy. 

Mums connecting on a retreat | year-highs

Two years ago I started to practice Yoga Nidra, a form of sleep mediation I was drawn to Yoga Nigra to help re-balance my busy-life with a health rest-activity cycle. It was important for me to start to prioritise rest so I could better support my family after my son’s autism diagnosis last year. I love that a simple 30 minute practice gives my body the equivalent of an extra 2 hours of sleep. It also helps to slow down my nervous system and reduce my anxiety. 

At the beginning of the year, I did my teaching training in Yoga Nidra and restorative Yoga. In the middle of the year, I came across the beautiful Yoga Casa ran by the girls from Divine Journey. I’m so grateful for being able to teach from this beautiful space and so thankful for the support from everyone who has come along to Yoga Nidra class this year. I’m looking forward to teaching a combination class of Yin Yoga & Yoga Nidra next year. I’m also excited about sharing these classes with workplaces next year. It’s such a simple tool they can be implemented on a daily basis to support your body and mind.

yoga nidra class | year-highs

Lessons Learned

My business – Simply Happy

I’ve loved teaching and inspiring kids about natural ingredients at the Bath Bliss Workshops over the past twelve months. While I’ve enjoyed these workshops, I’m now reflecting it’s one of those things that I need to let go. By letting go of something, I’m able to create space for more retreats, to be able to build my Yin & Nidra classes and take on more clients who need help putting routines and structures in place in their home so that they feel more organised. I’m grateful for everything the workshops taught me, but I’m excited about this new chapter.

My family-life

In my family-life, I’ve been proactive in learning so much more about Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to better support my son. We now understand his problems with social situations and social behaviours better. We’re also able to provide him with so much more understanding and support, especially around his sensory needs. I’m so thankful for all his specialists that have shared such valuable knowledge with us. This is an area I will continue to focus on and learn more about in the coming year.

My wellness

I love that I have been able to find time for hobbies and activities that benefit my wellbeing this year. Taking part in the Surfcoast 40km trek was a highlight that I enjoyed so much that I’ve signed up to do again in 2020. I’m also back to practising yoga on a regular basis. While I love the gym and hiking, I felt both my body and mind needed some yin rather than any more yang.  Focusing on yoga has benefited my mind and body and I’m excited to share more of this with you in the coming year!

surf coast trek finish line | year-highs

If you have FOMO from this year’s Mums’ Revive Retreat, jump on the waitlist or join the Mums’ Mini-Retreat in February 2020. There are only a couple of spots left!

If you’re

Contact me if you’re interested in helping your workplace to prioritise rest and sleep through yoga nidra session. Like to know more about the benefits of Yoga Nidra then you can check out my earlier blog posts here.

What are you celebrating this year? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

How you can simplify your Christmas

Christmas tree decoration | simplify-christmas

Is it that time of year again? That’s right, Christmas is coming. I bet your calendar is already jam-packed with events, functions and family commitments. Not to mention all those presents to buy! It’s a busy time of year and it takes planning and organizing to keep it all under control. So let’s break it down and take it one step at a time. Here are some ways to get on top of the Christmas rush, simplify your Christmas and feel prepared:

1. Stock up EARLY

November is a great time to find your decorations, non-perishable foods and presents. The shops are well stocked, crowds are smaller and the stress isn’t out-of-control. Take to the shops with a level-head and get ready for December. Starting early is not only an easier and more enjoyable shopping experience but also spreads the costs over two months so it doesn’t all hit at once. Your bank account will thank-you. 

mums stocking up food for Christmas | simplify-christmas

2. Think practical-presents 

No one wants to give a gift that goes to waste. Simple every-day items like books, pyjamas, and socks are great stocking fillers. You know they’ll be appreciated AND it will save you buying them later when your kids run out. Simple presents are easy to find and easy to personalise too. If your son needs new socks, why not get them in his favourite fun colour? Practical and personal.

3. Gift an experience

Don’t know what to buy someone? Give them a gift of an experience they’ll remember forever. The best thing about giving an experience is you don’t have to hit the busy shops! It can all be done online thanks to the wonders of the internet and helpful online reviews. Experiences are a thoughtful gift, without the time and energy of present shopping. Not all experiences are expensive either. Some great ideas are zoo passes, museum, theatre or movie tickets, craft, surf or dance lessons. My kids have received Adventure Park and Trees Adventure passes to experience the high ropes course. They loved both experiences and they’ll treasure the memories forever.

4. Fill that freezer

Family meals don’t stop just because you’re on-the-go in December! You might not have the time to cook a fresh meal every night, but if you make the most of meal-prep you can keep you and your family well-nourished. Preparing bulk meals ahead of time will save you energy, and save some money for all the Christmas shopping too. Try a slow-cooked chickpea curry or spinach lasagne for easy, low-cost meal prep. 

5. Delegate or outsource on Christmas Day

Are you planning on cooking for a large group on Christmas Day? Don’t do it all on your own! Get your guests to bring some food or drinks along and share the experience together. Delegate elements like salads, desserts and nibbles to different people so nothing is forgotten. Another favourite of mine is to outsource. Why not find a ready cut vegies supplier in your town? Take the stress out of hosting and let them do all the hard work for you. 

6. Don’t forget self-care

In all the craziness of the silly season, it’s easy to let self-care slide. Whatever it is you do to wind down, keep doing it. Even if you don’t have time to do all your favourite activities, it’s important to take some time for yourself. Slowing down and taking care of yourself will make Christmas preparation that little bit less stressful. It can be something as short as a 15-minute meditation. Do it for yourself!

savasana meditation  | simplify-christmas

Good luck busy mum! If you need a hand to with your Christmas preparation to simplify your Christmas, I’m here for you. 

Grab my ‘Unbusy Yourself Checklist’ and in just a few minutes, you can map out your family’s entire routines so that you know exactly who needs to do what and when… no more nights of you falling on the couch exhausted from doing it ALL.

Which tip will simplify your Christmas? Let me know in the comments below.

7 Simple tips for a blissful nights sleep

women sleeping | sleep-tips
I’m sure you’ve heard it before: sleep is incredibly important for your health. But when you’re a busy mum, getting your 7-9 hours of sleep a night can feel totally impossible! There are 1000 things to do before you go to bed, nightly interruptions from the kids, early morning jobs and endless stress running through your mind. The good news is that better sleep may be easier than you think. Little changes may be all you need to get those all-important hours of sleep. 

Why is sleep so important? 

We all know that amazing feeling after you’ve had a good night’s sleep and you wake up feeling energized and ready to take on the world. There are so many reasons why sleep is good for you. There are obvious reasons, like giving you energy, improving your concentration and generally making you feel good. 

Also, there are many things you might not think of, like helping with weight control, immunity function, inflammation, socialization, mental health and chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. The average adult should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep a night. 

Imagine if you could have that amazing energized feeling every day? When you’re a busy mum, chances are you’ll need a solid sleep routine or schedule to get your recommended hours. 

Sleep tips

There are some tried-and-tested tips that can make those 7-9 hours of daily sleep a lot more attainable. Take a look at my top-tips and think about which one will be easiest to start with:

  • Set a sleep routine schedule. Know what time you’re setting your alarm each day and make sure that 8 hours before that time, you’re ready for bed.
  • Watch your sugar intake. If you tend to rely on sugar hits to get you through the day, start replacing your sugary snacks with more energy-efficient snacks like nuts, yoghurt and whole foods. This is particularly important in the afternoon and evening. You don’t want a sugar-high stopping you from getting to sleep!

reduce sugar with nuts | sleep-tips

  • Stop having caffeine after 12. Caffeine can make your mind more active when it’s time to switch off. When the productive part of your day is over, give your body a rest and leave the caffeine for another time.
  • Create your own sleep ritual. One or two hours before you plan to go to bed, start by turning off your phone and TV and dimming the lights. Do relaxing activities away from screens like having a bath, reading a book or listening to calming music.
  • Use the power of essential oils to create a relaxing atmosphere. It’s also a way to begin to associate the relaxing scent with bedtime. When you smell lavender, your body will subconsciously begin to wind down. You’ll be off to sleep in no time!

reading right routine | sleep-tips

  • Try yoga nidra (sleep-based guided meditation) or another type of meditation. Yoga nidra guides your mind though simple awareness practices, while your body is in a state of utter relaxation. What better way to get your mind and body ready for sleep?

yoga nidra | sleep-tips

  • Ditch your phone alarm and use an actual alarm clock. Keeping your bright phone and charging lights out of your sleeping space will make a much more relaxing sleeping environment. Phones have their benefits, but better sleep is not one of them!

Building a bedtime routine

Trying these tips every once and a while won’t help to build better sleep long term. Like any activity, blissful sleep takes practice. Creating a routine is the easiest way to build this practice. Start by trying just one or two activities daily. You don’t want to try and change too much at once, or you’ll feel overwhelmed and stop altogether. Your mind will begin to associate the activities with relaxation, rest and sleep. Routine and practice is the key to better sleep habits. 

Waking up fresh and energized will make your life as a mum a whole lot more manageable. Doing little things to make sleep easier can be all the change you need to increase your hours of quality sleep. You’ll have more energy, be in a better mood and get more done with your day. Long term you’ll be preventing major health problems and teaching your kids a thing or two about self-care. 
Looking for support, connection and conversation? Join my Simply Happy Mums Facebook group.

If you feel like you can never stay on top of things and are always frantically trying to keep up with that never-ending to-do list, my “Unbusy Checklist” will be a lifesaver. In just a few minutes, you can map out your family’s entire routines so that you know exactly who needs to do what and when… no more nights of you falling on the couch exhausted from doing it ALL. You’ll have more time to set a bedtime routine.

Which tip do you think could work for you? Let me know in the comments!