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How you can benefit from restful Yoga Nidra

Women doing yoga nidra | yoga-nidra-benefits

Did you know that activities like reading, gardening, catching up with friends, yoga and walking are all active forms of self-care? These activities will NURTURE parts of your body, mind and spirit but they don’t allow your nervous system to slow down and to return to your basic 90 minute rest-activity cycle. 

As a mum, your entire way of being is focused on making sure everyone else is okay first. Right? You race between work, school pick up and after-school activities. You grab a coffee or sugar fix to get you through. The thing to keep in mind is that if you continue down the path of consistently overriding your rest-activity cycle you’ll burn out and not be able to support those around you. 

Over a year a go I started to practice Yoga Nidra, a form of mediation. I needed the rest so I could better support my family after my son’s autism diagnosis. I listen to a recording before I go to sleep each night. Sometimes, I fall asleep and other times I feel like I’ve fallen asleep but wake up right at the end. 

What is Yoga Nidra?

Yoga Nidra is a sleep-based, conscious guided meditation in which your mind is still active. Your body sleeps while your mind is awake taking in the guided instructions. It’s complete REST for both your mind and body. You get all the benefits of meditation as well as sleep. 

Don’t let the word yoga put you off. There are no yoga poses. You’re lying in a comfortable position with support under your knees and head and covered with a blanket. So there’s really nothing stopping you from giving it a go.

Casa Yoga Geelong | yoga-nidra-benefits

Benefits of Yoga Nidra

Relax the brain 

Your breathing in Yoga Nidra practice triggers the relaxation response. Your brain is guided to a delta brain-wave state where organs are regenerate and stress hormone cortisol is removed. 

Reduce stress

In the practice of Yoga Nidra meditation, 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. 

Create positive thoughts

During Yoga Nidra meditation we use an intention (sankalpa). It’s a positive statement or affirmation for yourself. Like ‘I am rested’ or ‘I am loved’. Your subconscious mind is very receptive when the body is relaxed and clears the nerve pathways to the brain to accept your intention.

Improved Sleep

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. 

Women sleeping |yoga-nidra-benefits

Better health

Yoga Nidra lowers your core body temperature which helps reduce inflammation. A lower body temperature helps with autoimmune diseases, allergies and other inflammation-related conditions. It’s also been found to lower cholestrol, improve symptoms associated with diabetes and improve hormonal function.

It’s easy to make excuses to avoid rest, especially when you have young kids. I hope these benefits will encourage you to take some time to try Yoga Nidra so that your body and mind has a chance to rest.
Download my 15 minute Yoga Nidra recording HERE
If you live in Geelong, I’m running a Yoga Nidra course for 30 minutes over 6 weeks starting on Tuesday 30th July. I’m also offering a trial Yoga Nidra session on Tuesday 23rd July. Book your spot HERE.
Which benefit motivates you to try Yoga Nidra?

Missed a post? You can check out my other Simply Happy blog posts like ‘How your family can benefit from you taking some time out’ HERE.

Winter holiday activities for kids without spending a fortune

Winter holiday activities | Boy using scratch junior app on a ipad
School holidays are here again! That means it’s time once again to organize endless fun activities or put up with that constant, “I’m bored mum!” As I mum, I know how exhausting this can be. This time of year the weather is dreadful and fun indoor activities can be expensive. Simply sticking your kids with gadgets and technology is not ideal for long periods of time, but what other alternatives are there?
Don’t worry, there are actually HEAPS of fun creative ways to keep your kids entertained AND learning this winter holidays. First things first, set up a ‘Bored Jar’. Get your kids to fill up a jar with suggestions of fun activities and every time they say “I’m bored”, pick out a suggestion and give it a go! Check out my Holiday Ideas Pinterest board for ideas. If that doesn’t work, I’ve got plenty more ideas…

Winter Holiday Activities-

Literacy & Numeracy at home

The learning doesn’t stop on holidays, it just becomes more fun! And nothing is more fun, stimulating and delicious than a good winter baking session. Cooking encourages your kids to use numeracy skills through measuring, and literacy skills through reading recipes. Cooking is also a life-long skill they will thank you for one day. Here are some recipes and fun activities that you can download from The Root Cause.

Once you’ve finished in the kitchen, crack open the board games, puzzles, cards and dice. Games encourage cooperation, problem solving and a love of numbers. They are also great value for money because they can be used time and time again, and be modified for adults and children. Invite some friends, or get the whole family involved!

Winter Holiday activity | Girl cooking in the kitchen

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 and fun! Try making your own play dough, kinetic sand, slime or bath bombs are great science experiments that your kids will love making and using afterwards. More fun science ideas here or you can even download my Bath Bliss Activity Booklet with 10 fun-filled pages that teach your kids about the world of science.

Children creating science experiments

If science experiments are a bit too messy for you, there are heaps of other creative activities to try. Got a bunch of old boxes lying around? Turn them into a cubby house!! Use large boxes or furniture to help make your kids a super cool hide-out. It’s a creative AND skill building. It’s also a great way to reuse old things lying around the house like towels and blankets. Just remember to pack up after! 

Holidays are always a good time for arts and crafts, and kids LOVE drawing. Instead of spending a fortune buying craft supplies that hardly get used, use technology to search how to draw your kid’s favourite things, and follow the online tutorial. Unicorn Pixel Art and Color Therapy are also great free apps that your kids will enjoy using. 

Be a creator

Coding helps to turn your kids from a consumer into a creator. Platforms such as Scratch & Scratch Junior on the iPad are free and come with self-directed tutorials. Your kids can create their own games and stories, so they learn to think creatively and understand systems.

I also absolutely love the online learning website ABCya. Kids get to practice a range of digital technology skills like basic keyboard skills and coding. There are also games to practice numeracy and literacy skills. Anything that is fun and helps with learning is always a bonus! I’ve also put together all my favourite websites in one place on a Scoop.it page. It’s a great way to save all your websites in one place.

See, holidays aren’t so overwhelming when you’re prepared with ideas. So set up that Bored Jar, fill it with all these ideas (and more), and maybe you can get to relax and have fun on school holidays too! 
Which idea do you think your kids would love? Let me know in the comments!

Organisational tips to support your families immunity in winter

Womens hands holding a cup to keep warm
It’s that dreaded time of year again- cold and flu season.
Every mum knows the feeling when a cold or the flu hits the family. It can spread so quickly and causes chaos to your already busy schedule. Unfortunately, you can’t always avoid it. Viruses are a part of life. However, a little preparation can improve your bodies immunity in winter! Follow my organisational tips to support your families immunity this winter and beat that dreaded winter slump! First, let’s understand a bit more about winter viruses…

Organisational tips to boost your families immunity this winter |Simple ways mums can beat the winter slump with some organisation and planning.|https://simplyhappy.com.au/winter immunity/Photo by Pixabay.com

Why we get more viruses in winter?

It’s more than just cold weather. In Winter we escape the outside weather and retreat indoors with heaters. The heaters circulate air around the room, sharing the viruses and germs between people. Viruses are also very sensitive to UV light. In summer, the UV zaps the virus away, so without all that glorious UV in winter, there are more viruses to catch. Summer’s got more than just powerful UV. There’s also a gene responsible for slowing down the body’s response to inflection that is more active in the warmer months. You can see how colds and viruses are almost inevitable in winter. But, there are a few things you can do to reduce the odds of catching one…

Love your gut

Gut health is the go-to for healthy immunity! It’s easy to fill your gut with probiotics and other goodies that build up your body’s strength and boost your bodies immunity in winter. Fermented foods contain probiotics and encourage the growth of good bacteria for a healthy gut. They help to eliminate toxins and boost your immune system. Fermented foods and drinks will decrease inflammation in your gut, improving your overall gut function. Think sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, pickled vegetables, gelatin jelly and even the gelatine in homemade stock to add to your families weekly food and drink routine. Easy done!

Organisational tips to boost your families immunity this winter |Simple ways mums can beat the winter slump with some organisation and planning.|https://simplyhappy.com.au/winter immunity/Photo credit https://theworldnewsgazette.com

Get some vitamin D in winter

Give your immune system a boost with the goodness of the sun (even in winter)! Your body absorbs vitamin D from the sun. It helps to boost your immune system as well as being essential for bone health. Just because it’s cold and the sun isn’t always out, it doesn’t mean you can’t get some much-needed vitamin D! 30% of Australians don’t get the recommended amount of vitamin D. All it takes is a few hours in the sun every week during winter to get your vitamin D dose. Make the most of any sunlight, and organise your day so you can spend a small amount of time outside. A short walk is all you need to take in some sun. Try walking to work, walking the kids to or from school or eating your lunch outside. Fatty fish like salmon are also great sources of vitamin D if you need an extra boost.

Organisational tips to boost your families immunity this winter |Simple ways mums can beat the winter slump with some organisation and planning.|https://simplyhappy.com.au/winter immunity/Photo credit https://www.rei.com

Start with breakfast in winter

We’ve all heard that ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’. It may be tempting to stay in bed that extra 10 minutes every morning, but making a healthy breakfast will help sustain you through winter. Breakfast is important to maintain your sugar levels and reduce stress. Excessive sugar and stress can leave you in a state of ‘fight or flight’, which will ultimately lower your immunity. It only takes a little bit of organisation to ensure you have enough time in the morning for that breaky boost. You could set your alarm 10 minutes earlier, or even prepare your breakfast the night before! Try soaking oats overnight, making bircher muesli or prepping smoothie ingredients and freezing them in bags.

Organisational tips to boost your families immunity this winter |Simple ways mums can beat the winter slump with some organisation and planning.|https://simplyhappy.com.au/winter immunity/Photo credit Pixabay.com

Restful sleep

Ever feel like your body feels more tired during winter? That’s because of the hormone melatonin, which is released during darkness and helps to promote sleep.  This can help you get some much-needed Z’s. A good night’s sleep is often just what your body needs to tackle all those winter bugs. Your body repairs and renews cells during sleep, so missing sleep increases the risk of catching a cold. The quality of your sleep is just as important as the amount of sleep. Try switching off bright lights from computers and televisions and avoiding sleeping with your phone on, to eliminate disruptions and create an atmosphere for rest.

Cold and flu season isn’t so overwhelming when you’re prepared with good immunity habits! Even if you do catch a cold, these healthy habits will also help you recover and get back to your life quicker. These tips are also great to try with your whole family, so everyone can be as healthy as possible during the colder months.
Which winter immunity idea do you think could work for you? Let me know in the comments!
If you enjoyed these tips, but feel like there’s never enough hours in the day to implement them. If you want to feel more in control of your to-do list and less exhausted then download 8 Simple Steps to UNBUSY Yourself and share the load WITHOUT letting anyone down.

Missed a post? You can check out my other Simply Happy blog posts like ‘How your family can benefit from you taking some time out’ HERE.

Five ways busy mums can find time to exercise

Five ways busy mums can find time to exercise |Simple ways mums can incorporate exercise into a busy life with some organisation and planning.|https://simplyhappy.com.au/mums-find-time-to-exercise/

We all know how great exercise is for our health.

Just by adding a bit of exercise to your routine you can enjoy amazing benefits including weight control, diseases prevention, more energy, better sleep, improved confidence and increased productivity. Sounds great, right?

I know what you’re saying, ‘when do I have time as a mum for exercise when I’m juggling kids activities, school drop-offs, work and running a house’??

Finding the time as a mum to make exercise a permanent part of your lifestyle takes a bit of work. A great place to start is by focusing on your motivation and setting a clear goal. You can always return to that goal to keep focused.

Benefits of Exercise

For me, the goal of completing the Surfcoast Trek 40km walk has kept me motivated and accountable for the last couple of months. Having an end goal encourages me to focus on my weekly exercises to maintain progress. I’ve been lucky enough to have three other mums to train with. Not only has this kept us all accountable but we also look forward to the chance to ‘walk and squawk’ while training 2 to 3 hours each week.

Five ways busy mums can find time to exercise |Simple ways mums can incorporate exercise into a busy life with some organisation and planning.

But you don’t have to have a specific training goal to stay motivated. There are simple things you can do to make exercise a part of your routine. I’m going to share with you how you can incorporate exercise into your busy life with some organisation and planning.

Exercise first thing in the morning

I find the best time to squeeze in a workout is before the day begins. I get everything ready the night before so I am mentally prepared and follow through with my plans. I know the thought of setting the alarm clock an extra half-an-hour early might sounds daunting! But when you prepare the night before it makes the process a whole lot easier. Once you’ve done it a few times it feels like no extra work at all! Preparation and routine are key.

Five ways busy mums can find time to exercise |Simple ways mums can incorporate exercise into a busy life with some organisation and planning.|https://simplyhappy.com.au/mums-find-time-to-exercise/

Photo credit Thatsquatbot.com

Include your kids

When you have kids it can feel harder and harder to find time to exercise. The good news is, your workouts don’t actually have to be solo or isolating! Exercise can be a whole range of different activities that can be very flexible. When my kids were babies I’d take them in the pram for walks around the park with other mums and babies. Another great way to include your kids is in a baby seat on your bike. Now that my kids can ride we usually go on a family bike ride each weekend. Kids don’t have to be an exercise burden, they can be your exercise partners! It also teaches your kids to value exercise. Win, win.

Find a creche

It’s amazing how many gyms offer affordable creche services. I joined a gym that had a creche when my first child was only 6 months old. When we moved to Geelong, I joined a gym that also had a creche. There are also netball & basketball stadiums that have creche facilities, so there’s always some kind of support in almost any sport! Make a few calls to gyms or sport centres in your area and see if there’s something that will work for you.

Use an online program

Rather exercise in the comfort of your own home? No worries! There are so many wonderful online programs that you can use without ever leaving your front door. I highly recommend the Merrymaker sisters MerryBody Studio that combines yoga, pilates and mindset for a monthly fee. If you’d like a high-intensity workout I recommend Sharee Anne Fitness Project Body Happy a 13-week program that requires minimal equipment that you can do anywhere. There are endless programs you can find online, and even simple YouTube tutorials for mums on a budget. Set a reminder on your phone once or twice a week reminding you to do your online program to help with accountability and routine.

Five ways busy mums can find time to exercise |Simple ways mums can incorporate exercise into a busy life with some organisation and planning.|https://simplyhappy.com.au/mums-find-time-to-exercise/

Photo credit Henryfordlivewell.com

Trade off workout times with your partner

Create a system and share the workout time with your partner. You can work together to create time in your schedules and maximise productivity in your quieter times. My husband and I take turns watching the kids on the weekends to carve out some exercise time for both of us. We also take it in turns during the week in the mornings.  Once a week we’re both able to fit in 30 minutes each before even our kids bounce out of bed! It only takes a little bit of communication and coordination, and the benefits are well worth it.

Five ways busy mums can find time to exercise |Simple ways mums can incorporate exercise into a busy life with some organisation and planning.|https://simplyhappy.com.au/mums-find-time-to-exercise/

Photo credit dailyexcelciser.com

It’s easy to make excuses to avoid exercising, especially when you have young kids. If you can use little tricks and strategies to create time for exercise, you’ll be able to enjoy the amazing benefits that come with being fit and active. You can be a great role model for your kids when it comes to exercise. When they grow, they’ll take your good habits with them. These five strategies to incorporate exercise into your busy life will help you get started.

If you enjoyed these ways to find time to exercise but are feeling like there’s never enough hours in the day to implement them. You’re always wishing you could just have a bit more time. Then grab 8 Simple Steps to UNBUSY Yourself and share the load WITHOUT letting anyone down.

Missed a post? You can check out my other Simply Happy blog posts like my ‘How your family can benefit from you taking some time out’ HERE.

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

Mums retreat are more than just a girl’s weekend away

Mums retreat are more than just a girls weekend away |Mum retreats are more than just a girls weekend away it’s an opportunity to give back to yourself and take on new ideas. |https://simplyhappy.com.au/mums-retreat-2/

Don’t know how to prioritize yourself? That’s no surprise. As a mum, your entire way of being is focused on making sure everyone else is ok first. Racing between work, school pick up and after-school activities. Worrying about where everyone needs to be and what they’re doing. Not to mention running a house and juggling your own career or business.

What happens if you don’t prioritize yourself? Unless you make that time for yourself, there’s no way you’ll be about to continue giving to others around you. Ever heard the saying, ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup?’ That’s exactly what it’s like!

A mums retreat is a great way to fill back up your cup. It’s so much more than a ‘girl’s weekend away’. It’s an opportunity to give back to yourself! The benefits of a mums’ retreat include…

1. Building well-being through connection

Mum’s retreat is a great way to meet friendly faces, build strong bonds and learn from one another. Having a relaxed environment, sharing meals and doing fun activities creates plenty of opportunities for connections to grow. Not a single team building game was used just good old fashion talking and laughing. You can also actually have a proper meaningful conversation, without your kid’s interrupting (imagine that)! Because you don’t have to rush off to anything, you can enjoy the benefits of being present in the moment.
Connecting with others will help build your own well-being. Personal growth happens when you have support, accountability and connection. You’ll have your very own team, cheerleading you on every step of the way. They’ll be there for you when you need some encouragement over the weekend, and when you go back home.

Mums retreat are more than just a girls weekend away |Mum retreats are more than just a girls weekend away it’s an opportunity to give back to yourself and take on new ideas.  |https://simplyhappy.com.au/mums-retreat-2/

2. Introducing you to new ideas

It can be so hard to try new things for yourself when you’re caught up in mum duties. Mums retreat introduces you to new activities like yoga, yoga nidra and meditation. You get the chance to really unwind, let go and rest. These activities also provide you with new mindful, calming strategies to add to your toolbox when you return.
There are interactive nurturing workshops and activities which introduce mums to a variety of other strategies to help them better cope when life feels overwhelming. Here you will develop life-long skills to help make you are a super mum AND a self-care hero. It’s all about balance!

Mums retreat are more than just a girls weekend away |Mum retreats are more than just a girls weekend away it’s an opportunity to give back to yourself and take on new ideas.  |https://simplyhappy.com.au/mums-retreat-2/

3. Relaxation and enjoyment

It can be hard to find the time to release all the tension of your busy life. On retreat, you can finally let go of the mental load and worry that you have as a mum. It’s so important to give yourself a break once in a while. Imagine carrying all that weight around forever? You’d barely be able to walk!
Mum’s retreat is all about YOU. You’ll have no-one else to worry about and nothing that needs organising apart from what to wear each day. This break will leave you feeling energised and more focused on what is really important in your life. You’ll have the chance to refuel so you can get back to managing all those amazing things you do for your family.

Mums retreat are more than just a girls weekend away |Mum retreats are more than just a girls weekend away it’s an opportunity to give back to yourself and take on new ideas.  |https://simplyhappy.com.au/mums-retreat-2/

4. Giving back to yourself

Say THANKS to your mind and body for giving you the gift of yourself! Giving to yourself is just as important as giving to others. If you don’t, how can you expect to be able to keep giving so much? Take the time to think just about yourself, and give your mind and body just what it’s asking for.
Mums retreat are more than just a girls weekend away |Mum retreats are more than just a girls weekend away it’s an opportunity to give back to yourself and take on new ideas.  |https://simplyhappy.com.au/mums-retreat-2/
Mum’s retreat is an opportunity for you to start giving back to yourself through relaxation, connection, laughter and learning. It’s not just about the weekend of the retreat, it’s about developing new skills and habits that are making your life easier and more enjoyable. Unless you start to prioritise yourself, life will carry on as it is and you’ll keep finding yourself burnt-out.
Take time. Breathe. Rest. Re-fuel. Re-take your life!
The 2019 Mums’ Revive Retreat is open. Click HERE to find out more.

Thanks to Ange from Ange Rae Photography for all the beautiful photos. Thanks to Tess from Bella-Esque Dance for the surprise and delight Saturday night activity.

How your family can benefit from you taking some time out

Do you ever just want to run away by yourself, no kids for a day or two? I’m sure you’d love to sleep in, wake up read a book and have the whole day to do something for yourself. Maybe you’d just love to sleep in a bed all by yourself. No one crawling in during the night and taking up half the space. You just need some time out from mum life.

I know what you’re saying, ‘how could I leave the kids behind? I’d feel so guilty’. Here’s something you might not realize, a mum’s entire way of being is to focus on making sure everyone else is okay first. But unless you start to slow down and prioritize yourself, take some time out, you’ll burn out and not be able to support those around you.

I’m going to share with you how the whole family can benefit from you taking some time out.

Simply Happy Wellness Coaching | Simply Happy Wellness Coaching can help boost energy | https://www.simplyhappy.com.au//How your family can benefit from you taking some time out | Taking some time out for self-care as a mum can benefit the whole family. |https://simplyhappy.com.au/mums-take-time-out/

Positive role model

When you’re good to yourself, you show people how to respect and care for themselves too. It tells others that you’ve worked hard and deserve a break. It’s that the type of influence you’d like in your family?

Self-care is a very important skill to both learn, and pass on to your kids. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you’re teaching your kids to be selfish or lazy! Taking time for yourself isn’t selfish or lazy at all. In fact, it’s the opposite. Taking that bit of time for you makes getting on with the tasks of week SO much easier. It can help everything slow down and appear much more manageable.

Being able to know when to take time out can help you be a great role model for your kids. Show your kids it’s OK to take time for yourself! You can demonstrate how to put yourself first sometimes, while still managing to keep up with all the essentials. This will help show your kids how important you are and that you deserve your own time to unwind.

Change in routine is as good as a holiday

You don’t need to fly to an exotic island or an expensive destination to have a holiday. Changing up your routine and finding that time for self-care is just as good as a holiday, maybe even better! By changing up a few things and increasing your ‘me time’, you’re giving yourself a break LONG-TERM, not just a short-term holiday. 

Not only you, but your kids will enjoy the change in routine. And as for your partner? Well, we all know ‘dads are more fun’. Changing the routine could give your partner an opportunity for some new responsibility. This can strengthen the family dynamic and ensure everyone gets the chance for responsibility AND relaxation. Mum’s can be fun too you know! How your family can benefit from you taking some time out

Photo credit pixabay

A relaxed Mum is more fun to be around

How much happier do you feel after a night of uninterrupted sleep? Or a long hot bath? Or even a great workout? That release of tension will provide huge benefits to your mental health and self-worth, but it’s not just you that will benefit.

A happier mum usually means a happier family. Do you know how stress can be contagious? Well, thankfully, so is relaxation. When you’re relaxed, people feel much happier when they’re around you. Imagine a calmer house where everyone is just that little bit more relaxed. How amazing would that feel?

Taking some time out for self-care as a mum can benefit the whole family Photo credit dailyexcelciser.com

Mum’s take on a lot of demanding duties. It’s OK to let others help with some responsibilities or to take some ‘me time’ regularly. When you prioritize yourself you’re saying ‘yes, I’m just as important as everyone else’. Your family will notice the change and enjoy some of the benefits too. Don’t for a second think that taking some time away means letting anyone down! Take a minute, put your feet up, kick back, and enjoy!

I hope these reasons for taking some time out minus the guilt will help you to prioritize a day or weekend for yourself so that everyone in your family can also benefit.

A Mums’ retreat is the perfect opportunity for you to start giving back to yourself through relaxation, connection, laughter and learning. It’s not just about the weekend of the retreat, it’s about developing new skills and habits that are making your life easier and more enjoyable. The 2019 Mums’ Revive Retreat is open. Click HERE to find out more.

Missed a post? You can check out my other Simply Happy blog posts like my ‘Get your family organised with a command centre’ HERE.

Which benefit resonates with you? Let me know in the comment below.

How decluttering and simplifying can help you create more time

How decluttering and simplifying can help you create more time | Decluttering and simplifying can help you to get organised so that you create more time and feel like you have a few more hours in your week. | https://simplyhappy.com.au/decluttering-and-simplifying/

Decluttering and simplifying are both buzz words at the moment. They help you to get organised so that you create more time and feel like you have a few more hours in your week. When everything has it’s own place there’s less chance of things going missing. You’ll waste no more time or energy searching and looking for things. No busy mum has the time or patience for missing shoes, keys or permission forms.

There are so many other benefits from decluttering and simplifying your home. Living in disorganised chaos can affect your mental and physical energy.  When you move things in your cardboards you move energy in your home and in your body. You’ll feel motivated and make space for new opportunities. To help keep everything in a place you need simple systems. I’m sharing three of my favourites systems.

Lost Property Boxes

We have a box for each child in our laundry. I throw in items I find laying around the house including shoes, toys and school work. When washing needs to be folded we use the boxes to store all the clean laundry. They’ve been really useful for keeping things neat. They’ve also saved everyone time. The kids go to their box when they are looking for something. I just go to one place to put their things away now. I’ve even used a lost property box in the classroom when teaching to help manage my time.

How decluttering and simplifying can help you create more time | Decluttering and simplifying can help you to get organised so that you create more time and feel like you have a few more hours in your week. | https://simplyhappy.com.au/decluttering-and-simplifying/

Designate a ‘Drop Zone’

A drop zone is somewhere in your home where you drop everything when you come into your house. We have a ‘drop zone’ in our kitchen pantry and a small desk in the kitchen. Another great place is near the front door. We place our keys, phones, wallets or bags in the pantry as soon as we walk in the door. There are also powerpoints to make it easy to charge our phones and other items. In the pantry, we also have a place for bills and prescriptions. On the small desk, we have a box for mail that has been actioned. We have a tray on top for mail when it first comes in. By having a designated spot for incoming mail, you’ll be able to cut down on mail clutter elsewhere in your house or like most houses on the kitchen bench or table. By reducing visual clutter your brain will be so much happier and you will feel calmer. There’s also less stress and more time because there are no more frantic calls for help “Where are my keys?” or searching through yesterdays clothes or retracing your steps when you last saw your phone.

How decluttering and simplifying can help you create more time | Decluttering and simplifying can help you to get organised so that you create more time and feel like you have a few more hours in your week. | https://simplyhappy.com.au/decluttering-and-simplifying/

Go-to Drawer for Essentials

We have a top drawer that is the go-to drawer for things we use all the time. You could also use a box in an easy-to-access space for your essential items. Within the drawer or box group similar items together in a small container or tray. Things we have in our go-to drawer are a few pens, highlighter, black texta, scissors, sticky tape, stapler, sticky notes, tape measure, bandaids, calendula cream for bites and scratches, sunscreen, tissues and affirmation cards. Make a list of all the things that you regularly use. Also, think about the items your family ask for all the time to help create your go-to drawer or box.

I hope the simple systems help you create more space in your calendar, reduce stress so that you can actually have time for the things that YOU want to do.

If you enjoyed these decluttering and simplifying tips but are feeling like there’s never enough hours in the day to implement them. You’re always wishing you could just have a bit more time. If you want to feel more in control of your to-do list and less exhausted then download 8 Simple Steps to UNBUSY Yourself and share the load WITHOUT letting anyone down.

Which simple system would you like to start using with your family? Let me know in the comment below.

Get your family organised with a command centre

Get your family organised with Command Centre | Family command centre help you feel more organised and are found in one spot in the home.| https://simplyhappy.com.au/family-command-centre/
A command centre can help organise any busy family.
You’re running late for work. You thought you were organised then you hear.
‘Mum, where’s my permission form?’
‘Did you get me a new drink bottle?’
‘Isn’t there any milk?’
Does this sound familiar? You’re trying to remember and coordinate everything but it’s a full-time job that you don’t have time to do on your own.
My secret to being able to juggle a family, work and run a house has been organisation. One of the main strategies I’ve been using to feel more organised and share some of the load is a family command centre. It’s one spot in your house to organise everything. It’s also helped solve scheduling conflicts, save time and money. Sound like something you could use?
Here are tips to help you create your own command centre. I also recommend Pinterest for ideas and inspiration before you start.

Select the perfect location

I chose a wall in the doorway into our kitchen for our command centre. I’ve used clipboards and folders to store paper. You may have a small bench area, cabinet in the kitchen or even a desk in the entry hallway that you could use. Make sure it’s in a central point that everyone passes through.

What do I include?

Make a list of all the things you need from a command centre. Some of the things to consider are:

What type of calendar do you need?

I wanted one that was big enough to hold everyone’s activities. It was really easy to make using a large whiteboard and coloured tape for the lines.

I also wanted to use a visual schedule for my son who struggles with unstructured activities. He is becoming more independent and developed greater self-esteem since using his visual schedule. I purchased pictures of daily home routines from Teachers Pay Teachers. Then I laminated them and used self -adhesive magnet tape from Officeworks on the back.

Are you going to store bills and mail in a file box or tray on a bench or the wall?

I’ve added a pocket on the wall for all the kid’s letters from school and other activities. We have a box on the desk for our other mail and bills.

Are you going to include a place for a meal plan and shopping list?

We plan our meals for a month to save money, feel more organised and to stop hearing the dreaded ‘What’s for dinner, Mum?’ Next, to it, I’ve also put a small whiteboard to write grocery items.

What type of board (cork, magnetics, white or chalk) will you use for leaving notes, holding invitations, photos or any other paperwork that you need to see?

I’ve got a clipboard for our families expectations and a small whiteboard for notes with amazingly strong magnets called mighties. They can hold up to 10 sheets of paper, a small pair of scissors or a set of keys. We also started to add a daily affirmation card from either Musings from the Moon or Affirmation Farm on our whiteboard. Affirmations encourage positive thoughts, resilience, confidence and mindfulness.

Do you need reward charts, visual to-do lists, chores or cleaning schedules?

I’ve used a magnet board for a rewards chart and visual to-do list for my son. He especially loves to move his to-do magnets across to the done column throughout the day. There is also no more nagging from me ‘Have you brushed your teeth yet?’. At a quick glance, I can now see what he still needs to do.

I hope this list of what to consider will help you to create your own command centre that works for your family. It takes a bit of time to set up but it’s worth it to take some of the stress of your shoulders and calm the morning chaos.
If you want to feel more in control of your to-do list and less exhausted grab 8 Simple Steps to UNBUSY Yourself and share the load WITHOUT Letting Anyone Down.

What do you think you would need in your command centre? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below.

Stay sane these summer holidays with a morning routine

Stay sane these summer holidays with a morning routine | Morning routine and healthy habits help reduce stress and anxiety for the whole family — especially the kids during the summer holidays. | https://simplyhappy.com.au/morning-routine/
It’s a common misconception that you can be lax with your family’s morning routine just because the kids are out of school. While you may be tempted to let them sleep in, disrupting their sleep habits will make it difficult for them to fall back in line when school is back in session. Plus, with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s important to have structured mornings. Routines and healthy habits help reduce stress and anxiety for the whole family — especially the kids.

Keep Things Clean

All the routines in the world won’t help you if your home is a mess. A clutter-free home runs smoothly because every member knows where to find the things they need to get going. If you’re overwhelmed by holiday responsibilities this year, consider hiring a cleaning service to make sure your place is nice and organized throughout the season. A lot of people don’t realize how affordable a housekeeping service can be — the national average cost ranges from $116 to $235, depending on the size of the property.
You could also consider a Get Me Organised session with Narelle from Simply Happy. She will help you pinpoint the number 1 drain in your day so that you no longer feel in that overwhelmed, exhausted state. You’ll discover the routine switch that will calm the chaos in your family so that feel organised and more in control of your to-do list.

Photo credit Pexels

A Good Night’s Sleep

A good morning starts the evening before, so stick to your normal bedtime routine as well. Of course, it’s not uncommon kids to go to bed later during the holidays. They may be excited about all the fun events happening or simply not so tired without school. To help encourage sleep, turn off the electronics about two hours before bedtime. 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.
If your kids are particularly hyper, try giving them a warm bath. According to a 1997 study conducted by New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, when a person soaks in a hot tub and their body temperature rises, the rapid cool-down period afterwards relaxes and helps them fall asleep. For an even more relaxing atmosphere, tap into aromatherapy and use lavender and chamomile products in the bath. This recipe for Midnight Lavender Rose Chamomile Bath Salts by Martha Stewart smells great and soothes tired muscles at the end of a long day.

 Stay sane these summer holidays with a morning routine | Morning routine and healthy habits help reduce stress and anxiety for the whole family — especially the kids during the summer holidays. | https://simplyhappy.com.au/morning-routine/

Take 15 Minutes for Yourself

You can’t pour from an empty cup, and you can’t help your family get through a hectic morning if you’re out of balance yourself. Before you wake up the children, take a few minutes to centre and care for your inner well-being. This 15-minute morning routine will help you stay sane and ready to tackle the day head-on.
  • Before you pour a cup of coffee, hydrate yourself with filtered water. After eight hours asleep, your body needs fresh water to get its functions going.
  • Spend five minutes meditating. If you have a hard time focusing, try a meditation app for your phone or check out five minute meditation videos on YouTube.
  • Limber up with a 10-minute low-impact workout that gets your blood flowing. Even a gentle workout can help release feel-good endorphins and neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin so you start the day on a positive note.  Stay sane these summer holidays with a morning routine | Morning routine and healthy habits help reduce stress and anxiety for the whole family — especially the kids during the summer holidays. | https://simplyhappy.com.au/morning-routine/
Just because school is out doesn’t mean your family’s morning routine should go off the rails. Keeping things the same makes it easier for everybody to transition back to normal hours when the end of January rolls around. To keep your morning routine flowing smoothly, you need a clean and decluttered home. If the holiday hustle leaves you too busy to clean, consider hiring a cleaning service for the season or a Get Me Organised Session. A good morning begins with a good night’s sleep. Help hyper children drift off to dreamland by creating an environment conducive to sleep. And don’t forget yourself — if you’re stressed out, your family will pick up on that energy. Give yourself 15-minutes to rehydrate, meditate, and mood so you start your day in a great mood.

Thanks to Daniel for his guest blog and sharing tips to stay sane these holidays with a morning routine. Daniel is a single parent who shares resources that have worked for him as a single parent on his website Dadsolo. Missed Daniel’s last guest post? You can check out HERE.

What is your morning routine like in the holidays? Let me know in the comments below.

Do you want to keep the kids entertained with engaging activities where they actually LEARN without leaving the house in the school holidays? The Bath Bliss Bite-Size is a great free resource that you can download for your kids HERE.

Pop goes the year as a busy mum

Pop goes the year as a busy mum | My secret to making the next year just as successful as this one is to celebrate and review 2018. | https://simplyhappy.com.au/celebrate-review-2018/
Next year’s diaries are already on display in the stores. Being a super-efficient, organised person means I’m so excited to celebrate, finish 2018 and bring on the new year. I personally can’t wait to start using my brand new 2019 Pop Planner – there’s something really nice about starting a new year with a clean slate and, of course, a brand new diary. Can you relate?
My secret to making the next year just as successful as this one is to celebrate and review 2018. I make sure I celebrate the highs but also review the challenges I’ve had in order to decide what important lessons can be learned.

Photo credit Pixabay mohamed_hassan

Celebrate Mums Revive Retreat

I’ve enjoyed many highs in my business and home life this year. Business-wise, a definite highlight was having the opportunity to spend two August nights in Hepburn Springs with nine beautiful women who all said yes to taking some time out to reconnect with themselves. It was a time to relax, laugh and enjoy the company of like-minded mums and I really enjoyed collaborating with local businesses to make it a weekend to remember for all participants. If you have FOMO from this year’s Mums’ Revive Retreat, jump on the waitlist and be one of the first to find out the dates and location in 2019.

Pop goes the year as a busy mum | My secret to making the next year just as successful as this one is to celebrate and review 2018. | https://simplyhappy.com.au/celebrate-review-2018/Pop goes the year as a busy mum | My secret to making the next year just as successful as this one is to celebrate and review 2018. | https://simplyhappy.com.au/celebrate-review-2018/Pop goes the year as a busy mum | My secret to making the next year just as successful as this one is to celebrate and review 2018. | https://simplyhappy.com.au/celebrate-review-2018/

Photo credit Ange Rae Photography

Celebrate Kid’s Workshops

I’ve also loved educating kids at my Bath Bliss Workshops about the importance of using natural ingredients and how to live a natural life free from toxins. The kids have loved getting their hands dirty. They’ve also enjoyed experiencing science in a fun and interactive way. They’ve learned all about how essential oils can help them concentrate and relax. I’m looking forward to teaching kids in Ballarat, Geelong and Melbourne over the summer holidays. If you’re looking for the ultimate school holiday fun to entertain your kids this January (and enjoy two whole blissful hours to yourself) then check out the details HERE.I’m also open to doing Kid’s Workshop for a birthday party, holiday program activity or an after-school care activity just contact me for details.

Pop goes the year as a busy mum | My secret to making the next year just as successful as this one is to celebrate and review 2018. | https://simplyhappy.com.au/celebrate-review-2018/

Celebrate Chaos to Calm

Stepping back from a regular teaching job and doing some casual relief teaching this year has also been a huge win. The result? A calming of chaos, especially in the mornings, with more time for kids activities and things I want to do. A happier family.

Lessons learned

I’ve faced many challenges as a mum this year. Having my son finally diagnosed as Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has actually been a relief. We’re now able to better understand his problems with social situations and social behaviours. We’re also able to provide him with so much more understanding and support, especially around his sensory needs. I’m so grateful for the help and knowledge I’ve gained from his Occupational Therapist, Speech Therapist, Psychologist and Allison Davies’ Brains=Behaviour course. Even though having a child diagnosed with a developmental delay is challenging, it’s also brought some positive changes. I’ve learned to be kinder to myself and tune into what my family and I really need.

Pop goes the year as a busy mum | My secret to making the next year just as successful as this one is to celebrate and review 2018. | https://simplyhappy.com.au/celebrate-review-2018/

In 2019 I want to…

I want to feel ease in both my home life and work.
I’ll continue progressing my business in the ways I have been this past year.
I’m going to devote more time to doing yoga and spend more one-on-one time with my husband.
Does any of this resonate with you? What are you celebrating from 2018? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Missed a post? You can check out my other Simply Happy blog posts like my ‘Organisation secrets to help mums create space in their calendar’ HERE.
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