MINDFUL MONDAY

It’s Monday! Monday’s seem to be pretty hard on almost everyone. I was thinking a few weeks ago about ways that could make Monday’s better, things that would be attainable and simple for everyone to try. I was trying to incorporate some aspect of yoga, because I love it so much (I am certified in yoga!).

The thing that came to my mind immediately was mindfulness. It’s something that I have been meaning to work on for a really long time, but prioritizing things like this can be really hard sometimes. I feel like so many of us, especially moms (and dad’s!) put ourselves last on the to-do list, which needs to stop! I am the worst at it, so I really try to be better. I also feel like so many of us are living in the future, or in the past, and rarely fully aware of our present. I’m totally guilty of this. I hope that this blog series will help me and some of you!

Today’s Mindful Monday is going to focus on something easy: breathing. Mindful breathing is really simple. Sometimes breathing exercises are really vague, which makes them really hard to achieve for the majority of us. So I will guide you through this exercise as in depth as I can, in hope that everyone will be able to try it out!

Today I want to start out with something basic that will get us started in the direction of mindfulness. I know it may seem a little silly at first, but I PROMISE you it will be beneficial! By the end you will be surprised at how much you noticed!

Here is how we will get started:

  • find a quiet (or semi-quiet, I know it is hard for some of us!) place to take 5 minutes to yourself. It can be the shower, before your kids wake up, while you are eating, etc. Do what you gotta do!
  • take 3 deep breaths to get yourself started.
  • in your head, name off 3 things that you see.
  • take a deep,slow breath.
  • in your head, name off 3 things you smell.
  • deep, slow breath.
  • in your head, name off 3 things you hear.
  • deep, slow breath.
  • in your head, name off 3 things you feel. (this can be physical or emotion, or both!)
  • take 3 deep breaths.

Take just a moment to reflect on the things you noticed being fully present for just a few moments. Note how you feel afterwards; was it easy, or difficult? Do you feel refreshed? Do you feel peaceful?

Please share your feedback with me! I would love to hear if this has been beneficial for you, or not, and maybe help find a way that would work for you.

I would also love to hear what you guys think about this series?

Share in the comments below, or on Instagram!

Thank you so much for following, and reading. I hope that everyone has a great Monday!

XX

CROOKED STACK BRAID TUTORIAL 

SWEATER: CARA LOREN SHOP / DRY SHAMPOO: PANTENE

Cheers to Saturday! Today I am fighting the overwhelming desire to pull out my Christmas trees and decor! I don’t know how much longer I can hold out though… I love Christmas! To make it even harder, we are attending the largest tree in Utah being lit tonight and I can. not. wait.

It’s been awhile since I have shared any tutorials, so I wanted to get one out there this weekend. Lately I have been loving stacked braids. Postpartum has been hard on my hair (stay tuned for a post on help with that, mama’s!) so a stacked braid adds a lot of depth and volume that I really need right now.

  1. I like to start a stacked braid with messy hair. I allow my hair to air dry without brushing it, and instead run my fingers through it when it is dry!
  2. I HAVE to add dry shampoo for texture right now, and it works amazing.
  3. Gather up a small amount of hair at the crown of your head.
  4. Pull it slightly to the side, to make it crooked, and do a regular 3 strand braid all the way to the ends. Secure with elastic. Instead of pulling out the whole braid, I do every 3 strands pulled out and leave the rest alone. I think it looks super cute and unique! (Sometimes I stop here if I am feeling like wearing my hair down!)
  5. I tease the sides just a little now for a little volume. Gather it all and do a dutch fishtail all the way to the ends. Pull the braid out, and knead it with your thumbs to create a thick, messy look.
  6. Take both braids and secure them together with an elastic. I use about 4 pins in the back of the braids to secure them together. Just be sure they aren’t visible in the front.
  7. Pull some pieces out in the front to frame your face, and mess with any pieces that need to look messier.

I hope that everyone is having a great Saturday, and if you try this braid out, use my hashtag on social media so I can see it! #tessamariehair

Thank you so much for reading and following!

XX

POSITIVE THINKING

Hey everyone! I have been having a hard time with social media this week, as most of you probably have as well. This election seemed especially stressful on the majority of people. The hardest thing to see, for me, has been the fighting happening between people on social media. It’s painful. I wish we could all just agree to disagree and come together for the greater good. I feel like a good place to start is by thinking positively, which is something we can all do everyday, no matter what is going on in the world. Now just felt like a really appropriate time to share positivity, and I hope these things will help you as much as they help me!

When feeling negative:

  1. read something inspirational
  2. get fresh air
  3. drink more water
  4. write something down that you are grateful for
  5. play with your kids!
  6. volunteer
  7. get involved with something you are passionate about
  8. small acts of kindness
  9. invest your energy in the present
  10. celebrate the small successes
  11. practice meditation and yoga
  12. find your peace
  13. disengage in social media

This year has been really hard on me, and while I still battle postpartum depression and anxiety, these things really help me when I am struggling. I hope that they help some of you too.

I love you all, and thank you for reading and following along!

xx

TESSA

DEAR NEW MAMA

Dear mom’s,

There is something I want to share with you, something I really was too afraid to share before now. Something I thought I COULDN’T share, because of this reason, or no reason at all. Just plain fear. But I am going to. Because I wish I had read something like this, and I hope it will help even one mom, one time.

Being a mom is my favorite part about my life. It’s what I always wanted to be, and it has been even better than I ever could have imagined. Although, there have been some things that I didn’t ever anticipate happening to me. That’s how it always is though, right? You hear about bad things happening to other people but think, “that would never happen to me!” And sometimes, you are right. Sometimes you are unscathed and those bad things don’t happen to you.

And sometime’s, you are wrong. So dead wrong that you don’t even know what to do, or where to turn because you never even considered that it might be you. 

This was me.

When we lost our first pregnancy, I wanted to get pregnant again right away. I didn’t know how to cope, and I knew that was what would help me. And it did. My pregnancy was hard, I had HG and struggled to keep up with life. After her birth, I expected everything else to be soooo easy. Yet, I was wrong, again. I fell into depression, while unable to cope with my struggle to breastfeed. Back then I didn’t even realize I had postpartum anxiety, and depression. I thought it was normal. I blamed it all on breastfeeding and grew an unhealthy and unrealistic (for me) attachment to it.

After going through that, I knew I needed to have no attachment when we wanted to get pregnant again, and I didn’t. I was as unattached to it as I could be. I thought everything was going fine. The birth left me with a lot of anxiety and terrible thoughts, but I had some of those thoughts while pregnant (morn=bid thoughts that Calum and I were going to die), and brushed them off as best as I could. I still didn’t realize I was suffering postpartum anxiety and depression.  The first few months of Cal’s life were hard, and I blamed the way I was feeling on that.

Until finally, one day it hit me. Amelia was standing on the toilet and I saw her falling off of it, several times, but she wasn’t falling. She was secure, and she was fine. I felt crazy and then was hit with the thought: “something is wrong. I think I have postpartum anxiety.” So I called my midwife. We talked about all the things I was feeling. All the things I was feeling so anxious about, all the emotions I was struggling with that made no sense and were so intense that I couldn’t cope with the basics of life. I couldn’t leave my house. I didn’t talk to anyone. I was depressed.

I got on several herbs and supplements and started taking more of my placenta pills (yeah, I encapsulated mine each baby, and I am so grateful I did!). I wanted to share all the other things I did to help:

The herbs I took daily:

  • 2-3,000 mg fish oil
  • ashwaganda
  • lemon balm
  • passion flower
  • evening primrose oil

Other things I did daily:

  • yoga/meditation
  • time for myself
  • Spending time outside (even just walking to the mailbox to start)
  • eating healthy again (when you feel this way you really do stop taking care of yourself)
  • breathing
  • writing
  • talking to my husband and my best friend about the things that were hard to talk about
  • Taking one day, one moment, one task at a time
  • each day I wrote down 3 things that went well, no matter how small!
  • got back to writing
  • started my blog (something I always waned to do!)
  • prayer and meditation
  • slowly worked on being present in each moment, and finding the joy in it even if it wasn’t the most joyful moment.
  • getting more sleep and rest
  • (probably the biggest) spending quality time with each of my kids

There are so many things that will help, and some were not for me, and some won’t be for you. I wanted to share what helped me. I am 9 months pp now and mostly doing great. I am definitely feeling more normal than I have for a long time, and I am so grateful to all of the people who helped me get here. My biggest advice is do NOT try to go it alone. I thought I could the first time, and I ignored it, and I never healed. It made the second time so much harder and so much more severe. It was terrifying, and I hate that this happens to so many mama’s. Being a new mom is hard enough.

I honestly never wanted to share any of this, but lately I have been feeling that I need to. I feel that if I had read something like this all that time ago, I would have maybe realized what was going on, or understood it better. I would have started getting help a lot sooner, and I know that if ppd was talked about more, I would not have been so scared to share it publicly.

But I hope that changes. I hope that more women open up about it, and share it with others so we can all support and lift each other. We need it so much, sometimes more than we realize.

If you think you might be suffering postpartum depression, anxiety, or psychosis, please tell someone. Please get help, and please know that you are not alone. It happens all the time, more than we ever even know. And it’s okay. There is a light at the end of that tunnel. If you ever need anyone to talk to, you can always reach out to me. I am not a doctor, of any kind, but I know what it is like. I have survived it. I can and I will be a friend, someone to talk to, to vent to, to lean on, someone who can understand, someone who will help you in anyway you need and in  anyway that I can.

naturallychelsblog@gmail.com

Never forget that you are amazing, and strong, and you are doing an amazing job as a mama. There are millions of other moms out there who are cheering you on, who have your back, and would be there for you if you ever needed them.

xx

Chels