I was just thinking. I've actually done this before. Twice. I've been isolated and been anxious about the health of myself and one of my family members. Now it's not exactly the same, obviously - but I'm drawing on this example. Because it's so much easier to look back and know we have conquered hardship before.

The first time was when I was on bed rest with my daughter.  I had high blood pressure and gestational diabetes but felt totally fine. I remember that doctor's appointment on MLK Jr. Day - sitting on the bed and the doctor said I wasn't allowed to go to work anymore.  I still had 6 weeks to go. I had every intention of being at school that following Tuesday, but nope. Done. Not to return until May. I didn't say goodbye to my students, I wasn't allowed to go into my work and plan for my sub, and in 2012 - there was technology, but not like today. Getting into the remote server to get files was painful at best and I wasn't even allowed to sit up long enough to type on a computer anyway.

I didn't know or care about Audiobooks or Podcasts, and Netflix had streaming - but not everything. I signed up for the 5 DVDs at a time service and the Gilmore Girls Binge began. Since I had to lay on my side all the time except to make myself a little something to eat and go to the bathroom, I became pretty acquainted with Lorelai and Rory that spring and was definitely Team Logan! It was hard to read because holding a book up got tiring and I didn't yet have a nook or kindle to just prop up. A few people came to visit and I went to doctor's appointments, but pretty much it was me at home in Stars Hollow. It was boring, but I figured it out.  And it was all for the health of my sweet girl. I never once thought about disregarding her health so I could go have fun "like normal."

The second time was after brain surgery in 2017. I distinctly remember coming home from my 5 day stay in the hospital with a soft hat on my head and taking my daily "walk" to the end of the block.  I was tired, and on pain meds, but I wept inside as our neighbors were having a little get together across the street.  I couldn't go, so we just waved and said hello as I walked back into the house. It had been 5 days in the hospital with only a few family visitors, and about a week of isolation and anxiety before that. My last day at school in April was rushed because I didn't really want to face saying goodbye for the year. I wanted to be with people! But I just couldn't.

As the days went on, and a friend or family member would bring me lunch one at a time for about an hour because I was too tired and needed to lay down, I clung to those visits.  But it wasn't a bright bustling restaurant or a party or date with Marshall at the bar. I spent a lot of time those 6 weeks snuggling with my kids and watching cartoons (and dozing), listening to podcasts and audiobooks because using my eyes was hard, and doing my coach work for just a little part of the day from my phone.

In each of these times, I can look back and realize that I have been isolated AND anxious before.  I survived and found things to do and ways to keep busy.  I looked to the brightsides of everything and took advantage of the luxuries I could. Soft clothes, food that made my body feel good, TV that I felt connected to, and the people closest to me were around as possible. I also clung to a stable routine. I tried to go to bed at a consistent time and wake up and follow the same morning ritual every day.

Yes, this isolation is for everyone, and it's definitely more challenging with 2 bustling kids at home, but there are still ways that we can feel really blessed during this time. We can work on our soul, learn something new like a language or other new skill, get "shredded" like the coaches and I laughed about last week, start a home business, tackle projects or guilt-free binge Netflix.

What connections can you make with all of this? Have you conquered isolation or anxiety before? Can you look back and do some of those same things you did then to cope or maybe learned that those weren't the best ways (like all the wine and chocolate? ;)

These are some of the things that are keeping me sane right now.  Free home workouts, mindfulness, audiobooks, and I'm going to try the virtual field trips and zen coloring pages with my daughter - who is struggling with this so much right now.  Send me your email address here. My auto-bots will send the PDF to your email and maybe some of this will help you, too.

Much Love,


Treat yourself well right now.

What does self care mean when massages and spa trips aren't an option? Try these to stay calm and happy during this crazy time.

Thanks! Keep an eye on your inbox for updates.

Have you been isolated and anxious before, too?

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

With my absolute passion for teacher health and wellness, I wanted to put together a list of resources that I have found among the entire teacher-self-care community to help you take care of YOU during this time of transition. I hope you will find these resources helpful, and I am here for you. Reach out for a chat anytime.

1. These ladies have thought of everything! Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy! This webinar recording is worth it - and it's totally cool to pause and watch in chunks. It is specifically for teachers, and I encourage you to follow each of these ladies on Instagram as well! Here's the link to sign up: From Crisis to Calm: A Success Plan for Balance, Workflow, and Collaboration While Teaching from Home During the Covid 19 Safety Precautions.

2. My very first podcast I ever listened to was Happier by Gretchen Rubin. Besides binging her podcast, seeing her live, and buying and obsessing over all of her books, I'm recommending these two articles from her website. 
3. Planning your day is so important especially now - and it's good for kids, too! Check out this free template from the Best Self Company - the producer of my favorite journal/dayplanner.  I've been using the Best Self Journal for years.  Enter Code HHTEACHER for 15% off your first order!

4. I know these are everywhere on my site, but my daily self care routine of working out, eating well, celebrating others, and filling my soul with personal development has been the single constant thing in all of this. You can grab the free workouts here. And if you want to invest in yourself and sign up for my private coaching along with a full program that delivers measurable and life-changing results, you can see the details of that at the "start a program" tab above. I'll be offering various discounts throughout this #stayhomeMN campaign that you will see on my IG and FB or if you request info. (At the time of writing this, it's $50 off through the end of March)  

5. We gotta look cute from the waist up, so I'm looking forward to rocking a different doublehood many days! There might be jammie pants on the bottom. hee hee You can look at my favorite online boutique, Mindy Mae's Market to pick one (or 3) 

We will get through this! And hopefully these tips will help ease us into our new routines at home. 

Our matching doublehoods and smoothies! 

Surviving Covid-19

Saturday, March 21, 2020

With this crazy coronavirus outbreak or just because you can't find time to go the gym, working out at home is totally doable and more effective than I ever dreamed! I've been doing this for 4 years and am so grateful this is the one part of my life that isn't altered at all!

So as gyms have closed, for the time being, I thought I would give you my advice for working out at home.  It is SOOOOO important that you move every day - especially when much of our work will be so much more sedentary than usual. (teachers that aren't standing all day??)

Your workout should just be a highlight and small part of your day - you do it because it makes the rest of your life better. If you know you need more help with this, fill out this form to get more info on how to work with me as your coach!
  1. Determine your goal  ---  Do you want to just keep moving or see results in weight loss or toning? If you just want to move, go for a walk, dance in your living room, or find a free video online. If you want to see weight loss or toning results, it definitely worth it to subscribe to a service that guides you with a comprehensive program.  Most aren't crazy expensive but having that plan is keep.  Just like if you really wanted to learn a language, you could just search for some things for fun, or enroll in a class to really learn it.  The benefit to joining my program is that you get ME as your coach! 
  2. Pick a program/activity that's foolproof  ---  Don't decide you are going to lift weights for 2 hours and then run 5 miles if you have never worked out before.  You will dread that! But a 10-minute yoga session is a lot easier to get off the couch for! Running outside every day can be canceled by rain, so have a backup. Make it doable! You know your schedule - will the kids derail you or colleagues schedule a meeting during your time? 
  3. Be mindful of injury  ---  One of my favorite parts of the videos (click here to get 9 free samples!) is that the trainer is guiding me through form and giving directions on how to stand, lift, move to avoid injury.  Often I think "How does he know I was doing it wrong?" and I make the slight shift. But if you aren't using a video, be mindful of the difference between muscle fatigue/soreness and join pain or muscle injury. Being safe staying uninjured is key! Also not overworking body parts is another thing to consider. Varying your workouts each day will allow muscles to heal. Rest is also KEY! Rest days are worked into programs for a reason! 
  4. Have equipment ready   ---  You don't need a big space to workout! I think about the small part of the fitness classroom I personally occupied. Just a small square. Stand in one place and do the electric slide.  That's the amount of space you need! I like the dumbbells that are covered with neoprene.  They are easier on my hands.  My friends also swear by workout gloves! 
  5. Focus on the ROUTINE & Habit  ---  Whatever you do, try to do it at the same time every day. Put the same activities before and after it.  In a short amount of time, you will begin to feel a sense of calm and accomplishment just by beginning that routine.  Mine is wake up, walk downstairs, mix energize, get dressed in the leas resistance outfit I have laying there.  (No one cares what you look like, I may or may not wear the same sports bra and shorts until they smell.)
  6. Do something that's just a little bit harder  ---  Often at the gym, we will push ourselves in competition with the person next to us - but at home, it's a little harder not to just sit on the couch and watch the video instead of doing it.  So, I try to just keep the following in mind. "Is this just a little bit hard?" It doesn't have to be really hard (see #8) is just has to be a little harder than normal.  That is if your goal is to actually build strength and cardiovascular health. Breathe a little heavier, feel the burn just a little, and break a sweat. You are spending the time anyway, might as well make it count! 
  7. Abs are made in the workout but revealed in the kitchen.  ---  You can't eat terribly, workout and expect to see changes in your body.  Nutrition is actually more important for most people. Lots of veggies, several bottles of water, lean protein and fiber filled carbs - foods from the perimeter of the grocery store are more filling, have better nutrition, and are a more dense calorie footprint.  Eat smart! 
  8. Do it Daily  ---  A little bit every day is WAAAAY better than a lot every once in a while. The compound effect is good in savings accounts, and in your personal health bank inside your body.  A short workout is a smaller barrier to overcome so you are less likely to skip, and those small changes over time are proven successful.
  9. Find your motivation - then work your discipline  ---  You are not going to want to workout everyday. Do it anyway.  After about 3 weeks, you begin to form the discipline to just do it. You know what to expect, it's become a habit, and you realize that it's better to do it than to skip it.  It doesn't have to "fun", but there are enough things out there to try that it shouldn't be awful. At some point, you start to distinguish when it's a rest day and an excuse day.  It's hard to describe, but I guide my challengers through it all the time. 
  10. Find your connection & celebrate success  ---  After a workout, you might find that just completing it and smiling in the mirror is all of the celebration you need.  I really love to check in with my virtual fit club, talk about how sore we are, how proud we are that we met a goal or just made it through, and give each other a virtual high five as we head to the showers in our house to keep going with our day! 
If you'd like more information on joining one of my boot camps and being privately coached with group support and accountability through this transition, fill out this form and I'll contact ya!

How to Workout at Home

Thursday, March 19, 2020

I slept terribly for the last 2 nights.  All of the planning and work we did on Day 1 of Distance Learning Planning was exhausting and we left with more questions than answers. Day 2 was filled with waving at students from afar as their families picked up work, iPads, and items from their lockers to get them through if school is closed longer than 3 weeks.  We sent home books and if families asked to check out from our library, the only limit was how many books they could carry. The fact that the MN governor's office has given us this gift of 2 full weeks to completely change the way we teach and kids learn is also a call to excellence.

Last night, it was everything I could do to not start sobbing and pull it together for my family at home.

We can't just throw together an enrichment board and check-in with students sometimes, we need to be prepared to actually teach them the standards, differentiate for all levels, accommodate differences in family support and technology access, honor special ed plans, in addition to caring for our own families and teaching our small kids at home, too.

The work is ever-changing and we are trying to work together to be cohesive and thoughtful.  As encouraged and optimistic as I am, at the beginning of a challenging climb is always overwhelming. And last night, I woke up several times with an anxious pit feeling in my stomach. I know my teachers are feeling the same.

However, I feel really equipped to handle such volatile and scary times. Because in the best of times I started taking care of myself first, the bad times seem more manageable.  Before we even get in to what to do next, we need to start within.  When we are whole, we can give so much more. Here's a compilation of how I'm dealing with all of this. I hope something on here reaches your soul today.

  1. Your physical needs come first. 
    • Eat well. Lots of veggies and fruits alongside solid protein and fiber-filled carbs.  Find "comfort food" that also nourishes you. Simple veggie-based soups, food on the grill, pot roast with extra salad first.  Try to avoid packaged food when you can. I roasted a head of garlic last night and spread individual cloves on crusty bread. Delicious!
    • Drink water. A lot of it! Your energy, mood, and overall feeling of wellbeing is often tied to this. If you need some flavoring, I like to add a couple drops of Young Living Vitality Citrus Fresh or Tangerine oil to my big thermal cup. 
    • Sleep. Go to bed early. Your sleep is the thing you can do for your wellbeing and so many of us think it's skippable.  My life is easier when I am well-rested.  I'm more creative, patient, and able to solve problems. It's easier to handle my emotions.  You all know that your students who don't sleep enough are a mess at school.  You are not different, just more practiced at coping. 
    • Get some movement. Outside, a home workout, dance party in your living room.  It doesn't matter. Just move. 
  2. Work on your mind. 
    • Years ago when I was going through an awful time (death of a close friend and brain surgery) - I learned that I could fill my belly with wine and chocolate to feel better for a moment, or I could fill my soul with hope.  The soul work helped me on that phyiscal body focus AND on the emotional side.  Check out the more resources page for my favorite podcasts and audiobooks.  Turn of the news, shut down the social media stream and relax to one of these pep talks for your life. A little bit every day makes a huge difference in how you look at the world. 
  3. Manage the feelings. They are real.  
    •  I listen to the Calm app in my bed, laying down cozy style. I simply listen and let my mind wander where it will as the soothing voice guides my thoughts. If I fall asleep, awesome! If I don't, I feel more grounded. 
    • This book, The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein, got me through the anxiety of brain surgery and I've got it on repeat again now.  
  4. Recognize that growth and discomfort is what makes us better.
    • Think back to your proudest moments.  Were they things that came easy to you? Accomplishing goals are ALWAYS sweeter when the work was hard first.  As we navigate some really hard work right now, keep in mind that you will be proud of what you did in the end. 
  5. Practice Gratitude and Celebrate Small Wins
    • The work seems overwhelming and the world out of control, and that big win and rush of pride we are hoping for is a long way off.  In the meantime, think of the small wins each day.  No, you haven't launched a full lesson online today, but did you learn how to use video conference software? Did you identify the priorities - even if you haven't taken action on them yet? Are you grateful for a little extra sleep or time with your family because other activities are canceled? Are you grateful that you didn't have to fight with your most challenging student today? As you find yourself feeling defeated - look to the little things to celebrate.
  6. Find positive connection.
    • If your social media is full of a bunch of anxious people, unfollow them or spend time in positive groups. Search hashtags of cute dogs and comment on Instagram posts from a few weeks ago, call a friend or practice that video chat software and talk about the latest book, craft project,  or trashy tv show you have in common. Play video games with your kids and laugh and giggle and smile as much as you can. 
  7. Journal
    • Your grandkids want to know about this someday.  This is a time for the history books.  It's temporary, and we will never be the same.  I believe we will be better. 

We are human BEINGS - not human doings. Give yourself permission to slow down, take care of you first, and your natural need to serve and give will feel effortless. I can't wait to look back and see how proud we are of the work we did and how far we have come. Thank you for being with me on the journey. 

Your Physical and Mental Health First

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

I LOVE the energy of a new program launch and I LOVE the results I always get with programs that stretch me!

This one will not disappoint! When I did the sample workout myself, it FLEW by and my arms and abs were just that right amount of "Oh, I worked out!" soreness for the following day.

Let me keep you accountable, give you meal plans, group support, and private coaching while Supertrainer Joel Freeman gives you an amazing and effective workout. 
Some highlights for you:

Program length: 6 weeks

Workouts per week: 5 (3 days of boxing, 2 days of weight lifting)
Workout length: 30-40 minutes
Equipment needed (I do mine in a small space in my house!):

  • Light, medium, & heavy dumbbells (lifting workouts)
  • 12” resistance loops (lifting & boxing workouts)
  • Small towel (boxing workouts)

Pricing depends on which package you want and what you already have and need.  Fill this out for a simple online consultation and a link to the sample workout so I can match you with the services and products to meet your goals. I'll help you get the best results on your teacher budget!

New! Boxing Fitness at home!

Saturday, March 14, 2020