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 |yoga-nidra-benefits

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!

bath salts | holiday-routines | morning-ritual

  • 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?

  • 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 practise 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. 

If you’d like to experience the benefits of nidra yoga join me on the mat to ‘Calm Your Mind & Body in 5 days’ at home. You just need a mat and blankets. I’ll share Yin Yoga shapes and Nidra Yoga. Just 10 minutes each day, no yoga experience needed, it’s perfect for all ages.

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

Three Easy Steps to Help When Your Feeling Overwhelmed as a Mum

circles of wellness | feeling-overwhelmed
Rewind to five years ago and I was constantly snapping at my kids, yelling at the top of my voice for some peace and quiet, turning up to appointments on a wrong day and falling on the couch at the end of the day completely exhausted.
I was an overwhelmed mum who was unhappy and felt stuck. I’d managed to get into a cycle of measuring my self-worth and value from how much I could get done. I knew I needed to make some changes.
I started by making small and simple changes around three areas of my life so I’d feel more focused, organised and have more energy. Now I feel less overwhelmed, more productive and more present with my family. I value myself through who I’m BEING rather than what I’m DOING. There’s always space to review, tweak and improve, but improving your energy, time and attention is a good base to build from.

More Time

When my daughter was at kinder, my son was a toddler and I was teaching Physical Education part-time. I was also (somehow) on the kinder fundraising committee, secretary of the local toy library and wedding planning for our own wedding. At that time in my life, I had zero boundaries and said ‘yes’ to everything. Guess what? I took on too much. I had NO TIME. I was running myself into the ground and I felt like I was doing so much but achieving very little. After our wedding, our son was diagnosed with Perthes Disease (when the blood is temporarily disrupted to the femur and bone cells die). I started to unpack what I had on my plate, and how it was making me feel. I dropped the extra commitments and made some simple meal preparation tweaks, started to follow a washing routine and began using a shared calendar for our families activities. Through sharing the load and simplifying how we do things, I’ve created more ease for myself and our family.

command centre | feeling-overwhelmed

Feel Energised

When my son started kinder I decided to study Wellness Coaching (as well as teaching). The strenuous workload resulted in skipping lunch or just grabbing something on the go. But, guess what turned up at 3 pm? Sugar cravings. Internally, my immune system shut down and I was getting sick often. I knew it was time to change, so I started to meal prep my lunches and snacks on the weekend. I now eat a more fulfilling breakfast, healthy prepared lunch and snack on high-energy nutritious food like nuts, chia pudding and smoothies so I’m not running on empty or grabbing a sweet treat all the time.

berry smoothie | feeling-overwhelmed

Photo credit - flickr

Exercise has always been an important part of my life (I suppose that’s why I become a Physical Education teacher)! I love the boost of energy and how much easier it is to concentrate after doing exercise in the morning. Fueling up on healthy, sustaining food makes keeping up with my exercise routine so much easier and enjoyable. 

Fueling up isn’t just about good food, it’s also about that all-important sleep. Sleep has been something I’d often sacrifice for more time since I became a mum, until recently. I used to do jobs or be on the computer till late in the night. I now have a bedtime ritual that includes reading, journaling and listening to a Yoga Nidra meditation. I look forward to bedtime and sleep since starting my ritual. It makes falling asleep easier and I wake up feeling more energised.

Attention Mum!

Over a year ago our son was diagnosed with Autism. To better support him I needed to switch off and give my brain a break, so I could be more patient when holding space for him. I started to practice Yoga Nidra, a form of sleep meditation where your body rests and your mind benefits from meditation. I’m now more focused on the present moment and less anxious. I can take time off thinking about my ever-growing ‘to-do’ list and just live in the moment. 

yoga nidra class | feeling-overwhelmed

Gratitude is something we started to practice several years ago as a family. At dinner time we share our favorite parts of our day and something we’re thankful for. I’ve also started to do this in a journal either before going to sleep or first thing in the morning for myself. These simple gratitude practices have helped our children feel more connected at dinner time. There’s plenty of research that suggests this is increasing our happiness too. 

These three easy steps are designed to help you when you’re feeling overwhelmed as a mum. They’ve helped me a long way in my journey! Making small and simple tweaks to the area that you feel is out of balance will help you feel more energised, organised or focused. You’re only a few simple steps away from being a calmer, happier and more productive mum!

To be able to start a bedtime ritual or plan nutritious weekly meals or start a regular exercise routine you need space and time out from the daily juggle. The Mums’ Coaching Circle group will give you that space, support and motivation to start the things you’ve been talking about. Click HERE to learn more about the next Mums’ Coaching Circle.

Looking for support, connection and conversation? Join my Simply Happy Mums Facebook group.

Which small and simple tweak would you like to try? I’d love to hear your thoughts, or help you on your own journey like mine! 

Simple steps to organize your family with easy routines

bucket of cleaning equipment | family-routines

Being a mum is like taking on multiple demanding careers… You’re a chef, cleaner, Uber driver, events coordinator, teacher and basically anything else your family needs. It’s no wonder that your to-do list feels never-ending and you fall on the couch exhausted at the end of each day!

I used to feel just like this too… until I learnt how to unbusy myself. Unbusying yourself isn’t about giving up important things, it’s about prioritizing, delegating and looking after your own needs. 
You’ll need to evaluate and develop your family routine so you aren’t left doing all the work. Routines can take some effort to create. But once you’ve set them up, they have lots of benefits like:
    • Feeling organised and in control
    • Reduced stress
    • Sharing the workload
    • No more exhaustion
  • Extra time for yourself and the things you love
Convinced it’s time to create or review your family routines? Let’s break it down…

What are your families routines?

Routines are how families organize themselves to get things done, spend time together and have fun. Every family has its own unique routines. 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.

mum doing chores | family-routines

Why are routines so important for children?

Routines let your children know what’s important to your family. These can help strengthen your shared beliefs and values and build a sense of belonging and togetherness. 

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

Routines can be really fun! They help strengthen family relationships and increase quality time spent together. Routines have created special memories in my family. Both my children still love a story being read to them at bedtime and my son also enjoys going for a hot chocolate and lemon tart after playing football on a Saturday morning. 

It can be tricky to get your kids to keep up with household chore routines, but it’s hugely beneficial. It helps children and teenagers develop a sense of responsibility, independence, and time management skills. They’ll continue to use these skills throughout their life. My children select a new age-appropriate chore at the beginning of each year to add to their routine. My son’s new chore this year is to put up a new affirmation card on a Friday, whereas my daughter cooks something over the weekend to have in their lunchboxes. 

boy selecting affirmation | family-routines

Family Routines to start with…

Meal planning: Getting ahead of weekly meals saves you time, energy and money. Having routines around meals allows you to simplify the shopping process, food preparation and dinner time.

House maintenance: There are lots of small household routines that can be shared with the whole family. These routines help to reduce clutter and keep our homes organised so that everyone is more productive and less stressed.

Clothing: How else will you have clean clothes to wear each day? A clothes routine means less running around trying to get school/work clothes dry at the last minute! 

Activities: Caring for children involves routines like school lunches, helping with homework, after school activities, driving, and waiting and helping at activities. Following a routine makes all these extra activities feel like second nature!

children’s lunchbox | family-routines
Photo credit

Errands: It can sometimes feel like there are hundreds of little errands every week like shopping, appointments and projects. Creating and sharing an errand routine makes it much more manageable.

Caring: There’s caring for pets, keeping up the families hygiene/washing, providing support for everyone and all that self-care like exercise, grooming and downtime. Sound like a lot? Not when it’s developed into a routine.

Ready to get started?

I suggest you select one area of routines to start with. Review how they are going after a fortnight and make minor tweaks before moving onto the next.

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.

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

Which family routine do you want to work on? Let me know in the comments!

Simple tips to make family meal planning easy

Meal planner | meal-planning-tips | meal - planning |

How often do you find yourself last-minute scrambling to find something good for your family’s dinner? 

Finding a healthy and manageable family dinner routine can seem impossible at times. However, with just a little bit of organisation and variety, dinner time can be a whole lot easier. My simple tips for family meal planning will save you money, time and energy; leaving the dinner time scramble a thing of the past.

Fresh is best

Planning your meals in advance gives you the time to provide healthy, fresh and delicious food! Your growing kids need a variety of healthy foods to get all the essential nutrients that help them grow up healthy and happy. Last minute dinners usually end up being ‘convenience foods’ of basic carbs, minimal fresh veggies or unhealthy take-away. The more time you spend meal planning, the more time you have to make a great dinner.

Food preparation | meal-planning Photo credit

Saves money

All this healthy and fresh food sounds expensive doesn’t it? Nope! Planned meals are so much cheaper than take-away, eating out or last-minute meals. My favorite money saving trick is to batch cook healthy meals and freeze extra portions. This means I only have to shop once a week for staples and fresh food, and once a month for meat. When I go to the shops with a mission, I don’t add extra items to my trolley. I end up saving so much money!

More time

Time is one of the biggest benefits of meal planning. Batch cooking means you get to have nights off. No supermarket trips. No cooking. No dishes. With all the other hundreds of errands mums have to run every week, it feels great to know dinner is sorted. You might even get to have a little time left for yourself. 

Decrease mental load

Without realizing it, if you haven’t planned dinner, you’ll spend a lot of your day with the stress of dinner in the back of your mind. Having a plan decreases your mental overload, and gives you one less thing to think about during a busy day.

Healthy habits 

Creating a meal plan gives you and your family consistency and routine. Over time this will cement healthy habits for you and your kids. Your family will be more likely to eat together, and the kids will be encouraged to be involved in the meal process. Meal time = family time!

How to meal plan

It doesn’t have to be complicated. There are a number of different strategies, but I like to plan over a whole month. I’d recommend you start with a week and grow from there. These are the 5 steps I recommend:

    1. Have each family member select four favorite meals for a month. This allows them to be involved and excited for dinners.
    2. Select a theme for each day of the week, like Italian, Asian, one pot meal or BBQ. This reduces decision fatigue while creating variety.
    3. Add all events to the calendar, including extra curricular activities, sports, appointments and anything that might change meal requirements or cooking time.
    4. Put your families favourite meal selections under the appropriate themes. 
  1. Finally, fill in other meals for the rest of the month, making sure to have variety in nutrition.

Writing meal plan | meal-planning Photo credit –

Tricks to save time

Recipes in one spot

In addition to following a meal plan, start by keeping your recipes organised. It doesn’t matter if you prefer books, online or family recipes; keeping all your favorite recipes in the one spot will make meal prep easier. I’ve started to use the app Paprika to organize my favorite recipes. It’s great!

On line groceries

Using the wonders of internet and apps are great tricks. Why not try doing your grocery shopping online? This saves time, and stops you spending money on eye-catching food in store. You only buy what you need. You don’t even have to pay delivery as Click n Collect is free to pick up. You can even save lists on your account for next time, make ordering really easy each week. 

Love your freezer

The best trick is to love your freezer! Freezers allow you to keep food fresh and save big batch cooks for weeks to come. I make time every weekend to do a big batch of cooking. This helps me get ahead with meal preparation so on the nights we’re home late, a healthy dinner is already organised, ready and waiting. Batch cooking sure beats making a big mess in the kitchen every night (dishes, argh!). It also saves time so I can be more present with my kids.

Batch cooking | meal-planningPhoto credit –

See, cooking isn’t so overwhelming when you’re prepared with meal ideas! A little extra time preparing will save you SO much time in the long run.

If you enjoyed these meal planning tips, but feel like there’s never enough hours in the day to implement them 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 ‘Get your family organised with a command centre’ HERE.

Which meal planning trick do you think could work for you? Let me know in the comments!

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. I feel less exhausted at the end of each day from regularly listening and are able to enjoy time with your family and be more present.

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 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 have a chance to rest.
Download my 20 minute Yoga Nidra recording HERE
If you live in Geelong, I’m running a Yoga Nidra course over 8 weeks in term 4. Click HERE for more details. Maybe you’re interested holding Yoga Nidra sessions at your school, workplace, mothers group or community group. Contact me HERE and I’ll help you tailor something to meet your needs.
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

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 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.| immunity/Photo by

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.| immunity/Photo credit

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.| immunity/Photo credit

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.| immunity/Photo credit

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. If you have trouble falling asleep you could try Nidra Yoga, a form of sleep meditation. Your brain is guided to a delta brain-wave state where organs are regenerate and stress hormone cortisol is removed. The hormone serotonin is released to help you feel more relaxed and reduce anxiety and depression. Practising Yoga Nidra for just 20-minutes is equivalent rest for your body to an extra 2 hours of sleep. 

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’d like to try Nidra Yoga then join Calm Your Mind & Body. Over 5 days I’ll share yin & nidra yoga videos to help have a more restful sleep.

Missed a post? You can check out my other Simply Happy blog posts like ‘Tips for a Blissful Nights Sleep’.

Five ways busy mums can 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.|

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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. 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.|

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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.|

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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’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.

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!