It's a new year! A time to feel rejoiced and excited about what's ahead and the possibility of what could be. But if you're a parent, chances are you're caught somewhere between the excitement of making this year the year you pull yourself together, andjust trying to survive life. I'm wiling to bet you're feeling a bit lost and stuck, because I've been there and those are the feelings I have in this situation.
I am constantly striving to improve my life and constantly seeking outside help to keep my life together. I can accept defeat and recognize my weaknesses. Over the years, many people (mostly family) have commented on my need to do it all. What most people don't realize is how much help I seek outside myself in order to "do it all."
It takes a village to raise a child? Ha. It takes a village to keep a mother sane and together in order to lean on said village to raise said child. Totally hypothetical, of course.
So, in honor of the New Year and perhaps a fresh start for us all, I unveil to you the list of resources, apps, programs, and individuals who have helped me turn around my life. By "turn around," I strictly mean the fact I went to yoga today for an hour, and did not cry from overwhelm over the lack of time in my schedule to have actually attended a yoga class today.
When you need to laugh: UnqualifiedPodcast, by Anna Farris
I never paid much attention to her as an actress (sorry Anna) but I am a huge fan of her podcast and the guests she brings on board to talk about, as she says--"Not-so-great relationship advice from completely unqualified Hollywood types."
This is a great podcast if you want to not think, be entertained, but also be inspired by the stories and humorous tales and wit of Anna and her guests.
When you need a bit of hope, encouragement and a plan: The Life Coach SchoolPodcast, by Brooke Castillo
I drank from the Brooke Castillo kool-ade and am never looking back. I first heard about The Life Coach Schoolthrough Jess Lively (see my next tip). Eventually I moved over to listening religiously to Brooke's podcast and last year was a member of her Self Coaching Scholars program--best investment ever.
Her podcast though is free and I cannot recommend it enough. She covers everything from dealing with negative emotions (and people), to why super goals can have massive impact in your life, to how to fail, to dealing with anxiety, to dealing with over drinking or over eating. Her whole premise is that your thoughts create your feelings, which leads to action, which creates results.
Her podcast series is part virtual hug and part ass kicking. Which many of us could use from time to time.
When you need to find balance and joy: The Lively Show, by Jess Lively
Jess Lively used to have a program I lovedcalled, Life With Intention Online(if you go to her site, you can still download a free, mini version). Her earlier podcasts focused on finding joy, living with intention, and some really inspiring interviews with women such as Brené Brown or Joy Cho of Oh Joy! About three years ago she changed her primary focus and format and I honestly have not listened much since.
I know her podcast is still fantastic and inspirational, but she focuses now on her concept of learning to "Flow with Intention," which personally I have a good grasp on (even if just in my head). I still highly recommend Jess and checking out her current programs and podcast.
Her former Life with Intention Program was a resource I needed right after I became a mother. I felt confused, stressed, overwhelmed and just needed something and anything to help me find internal alignment, so that I could be the best possible mother and wife. The following year my daughter turned two and thus how and why I became a regular listener of The Life Coach School Podcast and program (aka I needed something new and "stronger" to help me survive).
When you need one-on-one help: Therapy and Life Coaching
Through Brooke Castillo's Self Coaching Scholars Program, I met Anjanette Ludwigwho is a soon-to-be certified Life Coach through Brooke Castillo's program. I have been working with her personally over the last four or five months and I love her so much! On my first session with her, in full disclosure, I basically cried and said I didn't want to talk to her. I was so overwhelmed from life. By session three I felt immensely better and continue to do so. I cannot recommend her enough!
Oh yes, and I am also a big fan of therapy. Which I am also doing, along with everything else listed in this post. Because you know . . . #life.
I probably don't need to say much about Marie Kondo's The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Apparently she also now has a show on Netflix--but if you feel overwhelmed by your "stuff," go read her book. Mother, I'm talking to YOU.
Shira Gill is the sweetest gal and has a more personal hands-on program to help you declutter and organize your life--specifically, a Virtual Closet Makeover Program. I know we met at some point or took a course together, because we're Facebook friends (Shira, do you know?), but I also loveher interview with Brooke Castillo (Vital Changesinterview + Organizationinterview) and regularly read her blog which is super spot-on. Seriously, check her out and sign up for her program if you're metaphorically drowning in your material belongings.
When you feel like the world's worst parent: Read Mommy Has Struggles
Just subscribe to my blogand Instagramand hopefully, just hopefully, you'll start to feel better. If not, then I probably had a moment of weakness and posted something positive--for the other half of my audience. Which means, check back the next day for my regularly scheduled programming.
When your career is stuck or you have writer's block: Read Seth Godin's Blog
You've probably have heard of Seth, perhaps have listened to one of his podcast interviews, or have read one of his books. I religiously read his blog posts every morning. His background is in marketing, but his advice is relevant whether you're in sales, education, government, or a creative field. He will inspire you to think big and continually evaluate how you choose to see the world and show up each day in your job.
When you need something unrelated to work and parenting: Read Brain Pickings by Maria Popova
I love this weekly email so much. Founded in 2006 as simply a weekly email for her friends, Maria's weekly following and website grew tremendously into an inspirational resource for all things literature, science and creativity. Every year she does an annual Best Children's Books review, along with other wonderful musings on such topics as what inspired Mark Twain, "Life, Loss and the Wisdom of Rivers," or "How to Grow Old: Bertrand Russels on What Makes a Fulfilling Life." It isn't a light read, but it is worth it and should be carried with you each week as a little intellectual treat away from thoughts on daily chores and tantrums.
Did I forget something? Send me a note or comment if there's a specific struggle you have and I bet I can come up with something. After all, those who can't do . . . teach!