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Me Time


Introduction Where are you right now? Is your mind swirling with your endless “to-do” lists? Do you wake up every Monday with your check list of responsibilities: job, kids, house, bills, pets? Do you feel like running away every day that list gets bigger and never seems to end? Do you crave some time where you can sit in silence and just “BE”? Do you imagine a magical world where you can get through the day smiling, with less stress knowing that you are grounded, confident and have harmony in your life? This book is written for the busy woman who wants to have it all, but simply can't seem to find the time. Here you will learn the truth behind the importance of setting time aside to nurture yourself every day, you'll also learn how to carve out this “Me” time guilt-free. There really is time enough each day to put your health, wellness, and sanity, as a first priority. When you do you will realize not only does it feel great and you are energized, you are better equipped to give to others. I Believe that after all you do ..."YOU" deserve it!


Me Time Introduction .....................................................................................................................................2 Chapter One: The Stress Test ..........................................................................................................5 Too Much of a Good Thing ........................................................................................................5 Quick note about the endocrine system...................................................................................... 5 The Cortisol Connection............................................................................................................. 6 Stress Leads to Illness.................................................................................................................6 Real-Life Gut-Check...................................................................................................................6 Do It For the Kids....................................................................................................................... 7 You Really Can Have it All ........................................................................................................7 Chapter Two: From Chaos to Calmness ......................................................................................... 8 Take Back Control.......................................................................................................................8 Discover Confidence...................................................................................................................8 Count Your Blessings .................................................................................................................8 Carve Out Time for Yourself.......................................................................................................9 Slow Down, Enjoy Life ..............................................................................................................9 Chapter Three: This Book is For You! ..........................................................................................10 You Deserve It! ........................................................................................................................ 10 You Are Worthy.........................................................................................................................10 Set An Example for Loved Ones ..............................................................................................10 A Relaxed Mom is An Efficient Mom...................................................................................... 10 Chapter Four: Simplifying Made Simple ......................................................................................12 Plan Your Escape ......................................................................................................................12 Start Small, Then Expand .........................................................................................................12 10 Minutes a Day .................................................................................................................12 One Hour a Week................................................................................................................. 12 One Day a Month ................................................................................................................ 12 Make it Happen ........................................................................................................................13 Start Small.................................................................................................................................13 Use the Buddy System.............................................................................................................. 13


Remember You're Worth It .......................................................................................................14 Go Out and Play........................................................................................................................14 Try Something New ................................................................................................................. 14 Make a Vision Board ................................................................................................................14 Keep a Journal ..........................................................................................................................14


Chapter One: The Stress Test In recent years stress has emerged as a major contributor to healthcare costs and missed days of work in many types of businesses around the world. What companies are just now coming to realize – persistent stress leads to serious health issues – is something mothers everywhere should pay especially close attention to. After all, mom's don't really get a day off from the responsibility of raising a family and tending to a home. From the moment you awake you are startled by your alarm (resulting in your first jolt of cortisol). A typical scenario might look like this: you wake up and half-dazed and asleep you let the dog out and start to pump caffeine into your system only to start to make lunches, get the kids and yourself ready and play a steady hand of beat the clock. Some days are smooth but my guess is, most are not. The kids (no surprise) are not listening, fighting, you are repeating yourself upwards of ten times for them to brush their teeth, you barely make it out the door and you just received your second dose of cortisol and your day has just begun.

Too Much of a Good Thing In days of cavemen and actual threats to our lives, cortisol production was a necessary component of survival. These days, however, too much of a good thing is simply too much. When you are constantly producing an abundance of cortisol, your body suddenly doesn’t know what to do and will eventually freeze up. Sort of like a motor running out of oil. You will start to notice symptoms such as: fatigue, joint pain, dizziness, weight gain (especially around your mid-section), headaches, fogginess and just feel lost and not yourself at all. Visiting a doctor to address these symptoms may result in a prescription of anti-depressants, sleep-aids, or birth-control. This may temporarily relieve some issues, but this approach fails to look at your lifestyle, the whole YOU, from a holistic standpoint. So what if you took their advice and took the antidepressant and birth control now you may have alleviated some of the symptoms but you are no better off in the long-run. You still have the crazy, super-busy lifestyle and now your entire endocrine system is out of balance as well. Then you wonder, “Am I crazy?”

Quick note about the endocrine system The Hypothalmus releases signals to the pituitary gland, which then sends out signals to the thyroid gland (otherwise known as the regulator). The thyroid gland is responsible for a host of autonomous functions, ranging from heart-rate and body temperature and everything in between. As a special note, if you suspect issues with your thyroid bland, I strongly suggest you seek a doctor's professional advice. After the signal passes your thyroid it then goes onto your adrenals where the production of cortisol takes place, and then down the line to the sex organs which produce: progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone. If at any time, the signal from any of the glands is off balance, not producing enough, or producing too much, it wreaks havoc on your entire system. You can go from a calm and in control person to a raving lunatic and do not understand why.


Your system is like a symphony and if parts of that orchestra is off key then the harmony sounds terrible. The same goes with for your body. In other words, it is not you-- it is the crazy busy, hectic lifestyle you have created that will be your demise of your internal symphony until you take back some control.

The Cortisol Connection Stop for just a moment and consider all the of stressful things that pile up in the course of a normal day. Consider this only a moment, though, because your brain can't tell the difference between a real stress-filled event or an imagined one. Either way, the response is the same – a surge of cortisol flows into the blood stream, resulting in what most of us know as the “fight or flight” reaction. Cortisol wasn't always considered such a negative hormone. As a matter of fact, we couldn't survive without it, so it does serve a valuable purpose. The trouble is, there are very few tigers chasing any of us around, yet we're more stressed out than any of our ancestors. Even the ancestors that ran from tigers of the saber toothed variety.

Stress Leads to Illness A great deal of today's cortisol production is a result of chronically high levels of stressed experienced on a persistent and daily level. Jam-packed schedules, traffic jams, unanticipated delays, each of these accounts for a source of stress that crops up in the course of a “normal” day. This constant state of running behind leaves our internal wiring frazzled and in a state of hectic that's simply a force of habit. Our bodies are equipped with methods of repairing the damage of long-term stress exposure. Trouble is, most of us don't allow ourselves to experience this self-healing process until our level of stress reaches such a point that we become bed-ridden for days at a time with a stomach virus or a cold we can't kick.

Real-Life Gut-Check When cortisol is released into the body, some other essential functions get put on the backburner until whatever stimulus is causing the stress goes away. One of these essential functions happens to be digestion, and it's for this reason that regular cortisol production has been linked with excess fat around the mid-section. Want a quick assessment of your own cortisol levels? Take a look in the mirror, if you're hauling around a spare tire, chances are good you need to relax once in a while.


Do It For the Kids As a parent, your various behaviors and habits are modeled for your children to witness and adopt. This is why your son tends towards the same shuffling gait as his father, and your daughter's laughter is very similar to your own. Unconsciously your children will learn, simply by watching the way you carry out daily tasks. Do you really want to teach them how to be stress-junkies and adrenal burn-outs? I didn't think so.

You Really Can Have it All Having everything, including a sense of calm and peace, doesn't mean you have to sacrifice other areas of your happiness. Really you just have to find time each day to recharge your batteries a bit, taking a moment to replenish your inner well of calm, so you can attend to your day's tasks with a clear head. Imagine how much more you'll be able to do in a day when you flow from one responsibility to the next with a calm, focused mind – no need to grow extra arms.


Chapter Two: From Chaos to Calmness As we approach our late 30’s and 40’s are bodies start declining in hormones. In the likely event, you probably have teenagers who are on the incline of hormones. This my friend will be the recipe for disaster unless you take some time to refill your well. Once you understand your body, what emotions you are going through it will better prepare you to cope with your teenager. However, if you are both fighting it and are both out of control it will be like two rams battering each other on the edge of a precarious cliff. Take charge now! Cortisol surging through the system, and a state of perpetual stress, leads to a false sense of security, the sense that your body can run on fumes and your home can somehow thrive amongst this self-induced chaos. Are you really getting more accomplished when rushing around in such a harried condition? Probably not. Approaching all of your same daily tasks with a sense of calm and focus, on the other hand, really will help you get more done. All without that sense of urgency and stress. When you learn to go from Chaos to Calmness you will take back control so you can be peaceful and confident all the while rejoicing and being grateful for your blessings. Not only will you feel more centered and in control, but you'll find that other wonderful people will want to bask in your glow. Carving out time for yourself each day is essential for your health and mental well-being. It's essential for the benefit of your family as well. After all, a happy mom equals a happy home. By setting an example of practicing self-care in the form of “Me” time, you'll encourage your loved ones to take their own health and well-being seriously also.

Take Back Control – Starting Now All paths towards self-discovery begin with a single step, taking back control of your life. In order to take control you must first acknowledge that a key area of your life – Me Time – has been neglected. Next you'll want to give yourself permission to indulge in regular doses of “Me” time on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. The only reason you really need is “YOU” deserve it.

Discover Confidence Who are you, anyway? Surely you're much more than a mom, wife, maid, wearer-of-manyhats, and all of the other titles you answer through in the course of a day. Taking time to nurture yourself each day, in as little as ten minutes a day, results in a sense of peace and calm that others can't help but find attractive. Something as simple as a 10-minute meditation session focused on calming your breath can leave you feeling dramatically refreshed and peaceful, which in turn leads to improved focus and renewed confidence.


Count Your Blessings Practicing these self-imposed time-outs of “Me” time is a fantastic way to evaluate all those things in your life to be grateful for – like your family, your home, your loving spouse. Surely you are well aware of what you do each day, and you even know how each task is carried out, but how often do you stop to think about why?

Carve Out Time for Yourself Finding time is only as hard as making time, and for some ladies making time may seem impossible. The truth is, you probably have a lot more free time each day than you imagine. Ten minutes of meditation in the afternoon before the kids get home, or while the baby is down for his nap, will make a significant difference in your mood. So much of a positive difference, in fact, that after enjoying 10 minutes of “Me” time each day you'll easily find a way to treat yourself to an hour of “Me” time each week, and maybe even an entire day to yourself each month. Wondering where you will find the time? Keep a journal for a few days, write down every thirty minutes make a note of what you're presently occupied with. In just a couple of days you may discover that you've got more free time than you've ever imagined.

Slow Down, Enjoy Life Now that you've discovered just how much free time you truly possess in a day, give yourself permission to adopt a more leisurely pace. You have plenty of time to finish all of your projects, why rush and risk errors? Instead, allow yourself to calmly focus on the task at hand, enjoying the process of working to completion before moving on to the next item on your to-do list. Enlist friends and family to help make dull tasks more enjoyable, and always choose the path of most fun.


Chapter Three: This Book is For You! If you are looking for help to slow down and enjoy life more, this really is the place for you. 

Do you ever feel like hitting the escape button when stress hits?

Do you wish life were simpler?

Do you crave some time just for yourself?

How long can you carry on with your busy hectic schedule?

Whether you’re suffering from total burnout or just want some handy tips to deal with everyday stress and restore the balance and harmony in your life, everyone deserves a plan and I have one for you.

You Deserve It! Think of all the times you've told your children, friends, and loved ones, they deserve all the best life has to offer. Now think of all the times you've told yourself this very same thing. Start talking to yourself like a friend! You deserve all the best life has to offer, starting with just 10 minutes a day of relaxation.

You Are Worthy We are all children of a divine creator, our soul purpose in life is to live as our best selves. This task simply cannot be accomplished fully unless we first acknowledge that we are, in fact, worthy of joy, bliss, confidence, focus and calm. This means you too! Each time you tell someone you love that they are worthy of great and wonderful things, stop and remind yourself of the same.

Set An Example for Loved Ones The behavior we exhibit throughout the day leads to habits formed by our children as well. As my daughter reached her teens I recognized similarities between the way she and I coped with stress. Not wanting to see her grow up to frazzled and constantly running late, I started taking steps in my own life to be more calm and focused. Sometimes I would even call upon her help when dealing with a tense situations, which ultimately helped her adopt better coping mechanisms as well.

A Relaxed Mom is An Efficient Mom I can understand the allure of wanting to be a super-mom, capable of juggling every last responsibility with equal calm and poise. This sort of maternal grace doesn't come overnight, and those model moms that make it look easy all share one thing in common – they make time for themselves. Relaxation and focus is essential. Reducing cortisol in the body allows the brain


to function much more clearly, allowing you to attend to tasks with ease, checking items off your to-do list effortlessly.


Chapter Four: Simplifying Made Simple Carving out a tiny wedge of “Me” time each day means getting back to basics. Arrange your priorities to put your needs first. After all, no one knows how to take better care of you than yourself. This may sound dramatically selfish to nurture yourself unconditionally for ten minutes each day. Yet when you consider the body's natural way of reminding you to take care of yourself is illness, doesn't it sound more appealing to leave this argument up to Nurture rather than Nature?

Plan Your Escape Give yourself permission to enjoy a mental vacation, then check out for ten minutes each day. Visit your mental get-away and indulge in total relaxation. It really is as simple as slowing your breath and imagining yourself in a tranquil, relaxing location. Remember, your brain can't tell the difference between real and imagined stress, it can't tell the difference between real and imagined bliss, the calming release of endorphins is all the same.

Start Small, Then Expand 10 Minutes a Day Take ten minutes every day to relax. Learn to B-R-E-A-T-H-E. Relaxing is when your whole mind and body can become calm and tranquil. Your whole central nervous system gets to chill. This can be anywhere from sitting in your car putting the seat back and listening to some relaxing meditative music, to taking a quiet walk around the block or sitting in the bath with a scented candle and book. Whatever calms you find 10 minutes/day …just for you. One Hour a Week Once you have mastered step one, you can introduce one hour per week of ‘me’ time – this is where you choose to do something relaxing just for YOU. Take that hour on Saturday and go and get a pedicure, go for a long walk on the bike path or if you are lucky on the beach. Sit on your deck or porch with a hot beverage and a book, catch up with an old friend for a cup of tea some laughs and great conversation Whatever it is, get away from your kids and distractions and take just one hour -BE with and by yourself. One Day a Month Once you have mastered step two, you can introduce one day a month of ‘me’ time. Now this, sometimes, is a bigger step than anticipated and needs to be approached gently. If you feel too guilty to indulge in a whole day all at once, then try starting with half a day and build up over the following months. However, you mustn’t feel guilty. Sometimes it is exactly what the doctor ordered and the serenity time away does the heart and soul good. DO NOT be afraid to ask anyone in your inner circle to help with the kids or pets. I am sure you have done your fair share for everyone else without asking for anything in return. If they say “No” do not take it personal, move to next person. Women who live in tribes help each other out all the time, it is quite normal and OK to ask.


Make it Happen Perhaps meditation isn't your thing and you'd like to take a more active approach to reclaiming your life, that's great too! No matter what route you decide to take as you travel the path of tranquility and relaxation, the important thing is you do something healthy and beneficial for yourself on a daily basis. Some simple habits to adopt right now that can help alleviate stress: 1) Learn to breathe and practice meditation. Twenty minutes a day can cut the risk of a stress-related heart attack in half. 2) Learn to say “NO”, let go and move one. Set your own goals and desires as a top priority, this will make saying “No” a bit easier when asked to do something that may conflict with your interests. 3) Watch your diet—Making simple changes to your diet can result in dramatic improvements to your overall health, mood, well-being and sleep. Some items to consider eliminating include: diet soda, coffee (or just limit to 2 cups/day), and processed foods. Switch to stevia as your sweetner of choice, it's a fantastic alternative to sugar. Increase the amount of fresh fruits, vegetables, and dark, leafy greens you eat each day and add lemon to your water for increased dietary improvements. 4) Add some form of light exercise – Walking around the block, swimming, yoga and pilates . Dancing is another great way to get some gentle exercise, release endorphins and elevate your mood naturally. Simply turn up the volume on some of your favorite tunes and get funky for a little while.

Start Small Finding time each day may seem like a daunting task, even something as little as ten minutes. What's important is that you try a little something each day, and build up to a comfortable routine that works for you. Even if you spend 20 minutes meditating every other day, the fact that you're trying and taking your wellness seriously is important. Be gentle with yourself, some setbacks are bound to occur and maybe you'll find several days passing before you find time to meditate again. Don't beat yourself up, simply get back into the game and keep trying.

Use the Buddy System One of my favorite ways to indulge a little “Me” time is to visit with friends. Too often, life keeps me too busy to call friends and catch up with them, so when I'm enjoying an hour to myself each week I like to walk to a local tea shop to enjoy a visit with one of my gal pals. It gives us a chance to freshen up and look forward to an afternoon of indulging in sweet treats and adult conversation. This works on a larger scale as well, like when several friends get together for a pedicure or an afternoon of shopping. Taking time to yourself doesn't always have to be spent alone, indulging in relaxing meditation. Laughing with good friends is great for relaxing and stress relief.


Remember You're Worth It You deserve a life of bliss and happiness. A rich and full life without all the headaches of being harried can be yours, just remember that you're worth it and you owe it to your family to live your best life. Bring the kids along from time to time so they can witness first-hand how important it is to relax and rejuvenate once in a while.

Go Out and Play Enjoying a daily dose of “me” time doesn't have to be spent meditating or breaking a sweat with a jog around the block. The sky is the limit when it comes to all the things you can do to get centered and just “be” for a while. Visit a playground, go dancing, or enjoy a free lesson at a martial arts academy. Make a list of fun, playful and adventurous things to try and work your way through the list for maximum enjoyment.

Try Something New Not sure where to start or what to try? You really can't go wrong! Check your local paper for community events and free classes. Community centers often offer art classes for free, or a reasonably low cost. Bring a friend along if you feel nervous, the important thing is you try something new and do something for yourself. How else are you going to know what you're passionate about until you try all of the things you've ever considered interesting?

Make a Vision Board An easy way of getting in touch with your inner voice is to create a vision board. Simply snip pictures from old magazines – anything that speaks to you in some way – and create a collage of images. Pay close attention to the visionary image which emerges, perhaps you'll discover a hidden desire to visit Hawaii, start a charity, or redecorate your bedroom into a peaceful sanctuary.

Keep a Journal Your life is an exciting journey, take a bit of time each day to write down what you can remember of each day's events. Keep a note of your thoughts, feelings, and reactions to each day's events. Maintaining a daily journal is a form of meditation in its own right and can provide insightful reflection for personal growth. Revisit your journal entries from time to time, looking for trends and patterns of behavior that may prove beneficial for realizing more relaxation and less stress in your life. Remember, just because you're taking time to yourself doesn't mean that you're in this journey alone. Enlist friends when testing the waters of a new adventure. Life coaches and counselors can also provide valuable support and feedback when venturing into unfamiliar territory. Should you wish to schedule some private coaching time with me, please do not hesitate to contact me. You deserve it, because you're worth it!


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