My tips for a healthier, happier, more productive office space are featured in Domino Mag! Check out Rachel Zoe’s Office is a Wellness-Focused Haven for all the deets!
I don’t know about you, but picking out my outfit every day feels like a gigantic inconvenience, especially now that I’m a mom. I totally understand why so many mamas default to their signature easy, comfy leggings and t-shirt combo — we just don’t have the brain power to dedicate to fashion right now.
But I, personally, am not content to just give up and go for the easy way out. I want to look good, I want to feel good, and having a time/brain/emotion draining little human in tow is no excuse not to make it happen.
My solution for the last two years has been to shop. I buy more and more stuff, thinking that just this one new addition to my wardrobe will freshen everything up and motivate me to look the way I want to feel. But the reality is that now my closet is overflowing with clothes, and every morning, I’m still plagued with the eternal question: What do I wear?!??! (Followed immediately by: “I have nothing to wear!”)
Back in the day, when I was a freewheeling ladypreneur who set her own rules and schedule, before the baby, and nap time schedules, and play dates… Back when all I had to do was take care of me, and I did a damn fine job of doing it…. Wayyyy back then, I had a lovely little meditation practice. I would wake up, put on the tea pot, and sit on my meditation cushion in front of the floor to ceiling window in our Brooklyn apartment. I had a little altar, with all the things I thought belonged there — a big ceramic buddha head, some candles and crystals, all the good stuff. For 15-20 minutes, I would sit and focus on my breath or listen to a guided meditation. I felt grounded and I felt good.
But that was oh so long ago. Now, my daily schedule is dictated by an adorable, opinionated creature with needs of her own. She wakes up in the ungodly hours between 6 and 7am, and so begins our daily adventure. During her naps, I cram in as much relaxation and self-care as I can, while still keeping myself fed, my business afloat, and my house in (relative) order. Needless to say, that leaves little time for my meditation practice of yore, and that hasn’t been a big deal… until now.
With all the work we do to manage our stress with exercise, yoga, meditation, we’re woefully unaware of the effect that the foods we eat have on our anxiety and overwhelm. With just a few simple tweaks to your eating, you can make a huge difference in your emotional balance!
Sign up for my free webinar on Eating for Less Stress next week, with an intro by the incomparable Buddhist psychologist and life coach, Vanessa Scotto to learn:
- What foods actually increase stress, overwhelm, and anxiety
- What foods create more create more calm, balance, and ease in your day!
- The 3 most important supplements for feeling your best, physically and emotionally
Sign up at: http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=EB54D687814D3C
Those of us who have spent torturous hours tossing and turning in bed, or who wake up in the middle of the night with a head full of thoughts unable to get back to sleep know the power of hitting the hay with a calm and restful mind. Though managing your stress throughout the day and having a really good pre-bedtime routine go a long way towards improving sleep in the longterm, you can commit to just 5 minutes of relaxing stretches to sleep better TONIGHT.
This sequence calms the mind and relaxes the body, priming you for a restful night. Best of all, you can do it in bed… No mat required! Spend at least one minute in each posture, though longer is better!
1. Seated Twist: This detoxifying posture helps with digestion (which in turn helps you sleep deeper) and calms the nervous system. Repeat on each side.
Greens. Grains. Gorgeous. is open for enrollment!
Are you a busy, stressed out woman ready to finally get off the dieting train, the stressed out mindset, and the body frustration? Are you ready to start living the gorgeous, calm, and radiant life you’re craving? Well I created Greens. Grains. Gorgeous. just for you!
Over the course of this 12-week online transformational program, you will:
- Know how to eat for YOUR body, for the rest of your life — and never utter the word “Diet” again!
- Understand the roots of your cravings and demystify the workings and needs of your body
- Be empowered with stress management tools that will keep you more calm, balanced, energized, and happy — no matter what life throws your way
- Detoxify your home, body, and life or harmful chemicals, patterns and practices that are making you sick
- Start living the GORGEOUS life you know you are meant to be living!
Enroll by Monday, August 4th to get $400 worth of awesome bonuses, including:
- AN OPTIONAL EXCLUSIVE EXTENDED PAYMENT PLAN to make the program even more affordable!
- A GGG GIFT BAG full of my favorite wellness and beauty tools to get you started off right! (a $100 value)
- A PRIVATE 45-MINUTE SKYPE STATEGY SESSION WITH ME! We’ll discuss your goals in depth and develop a custom strategy to help you get the most out of your program! (a $150 value)
- PLUS, THE FIRST 10 PEOPLE TO ENROLL WILL RECEIVE AN UP24 BAND to help you track your movement, eating, and sleep, and keep you motivated throughout the program! (a $150 value)
By: Natasha Uspensky
Yes, some stress and anxiety are a natural part of every day life. But how much is too much? How much is “normal”? If your stress and anxiety causes you to:
- Lose sleep, or experience poor quality sleep
- Emotionally eat or over eat
- Turn to drugs, alcohol, or other substances for relief
- Avoid social gatherings, giving presentations, or other situations that may out you on the spot
- Experience stress-related health issues like ulcers, IBS, fibromyalgia, adrenal fatigue, weight gain (particularly around your midsection), or chronic inflammation
…then your stress and anxiety are out of hand. This is not something to “just deal with,” ignore, or drown in medication.
Living a fabulous life is amazing, and of course, something we’re all striving towards (or should be!), but with all the emphasis on going out, doing, and taking over the world, we sometimes forget the therapeutic effect of a good night in.
Now I don’t mean the kind of sad, pathetic night in where you’re wishing you were somewhere else and bury yourself in reality TV and a pint of ice cream.
I’m talking about the luxurious, pampering, thought-out, fabulous kind of night in that leaves you feeling like there is no where you’d rather be! Lower your stress levels, feel more in-control of your life, calm your sweet little soul, and get some much needed self-love. Here’s what you’ll need:
(Clockwise from top left)
1. Delicious, organic popcorn like Hudson Valley’s Bjorn Qorn, or better yet, make your own (see below)!
2. A favorite, classic movie or book (you can’t go wrong with Clueless or The Secret Garden!)
3. An amazing, detoxifying face mask, like Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay ($8)
4. A cup of delicious, calming tea, like Yogi Kava Stress Relief tea in Honey Lavender ($3.46)
5. Comfy and luxurious loungewear (no dumpy sweats here!), like these Bamboo Dreams Sugar Pie Pajamas ($99)
Cheesy-Spicy Vegan Popcorn2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup organic popcorn kernels 1 tbsp nutritional yeast 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper Salt to taste Heat olive oil in small pot over medium-high heat. Add kernels and cover. When kernels begin to pop, shake pot every few seconds, keeping lid closed. When pops come a few seconds apart, remove pot from heat and keep covered for a minute to make sure all kernels have popped. Toss with nutritional yeast, cayenne pepper, and salt. Add a drizzle of olive oil, if you’d like!
By Callie McBride
Let me fill you in on a secret-I had one of the most stressful days of my life last week. Let’s just say leaving your phone in a cab, trekking it to an AT&T store in a downpour sans umbrella, while simultaneously dealing with unwelcome house critters -in the New York City humidity- doesn’t do a body good.
The worst thing you can do to remedy stressful times is to ignore your body and mind’s needs and shuck them aside for a later time. When stress creeps into your life, as it always does, its imperative for a healthy lifestyle to deal with it properly. How is this possible, when all you want to do is pull your hair out and shut off your brain for the day? I think I may have a pretty successful formula.
Here are my 7 steps to combating stress and maintaining peacefulness throughout your day:
1.) Always find a silver lining.
Believe in the power of positivity, and find the good in your situation. It could be anything from the weather, to an upcoming TV show, to your Twitter or Instagram feed. While I was soaking wet and getting more frustrated by the second buying a new phone, I kept thinking of my plan to crawl into bed and watch Girls on repeat that night (which I did, thankyouverymuch). Remember, your mind is the ultimate tool to changing your attitude and taking the focus off of whatever is causing you stress.
2.) Write out a list.
This one never fails. If you aren’t a constant list-maker, this may feel strange at first, but I find that writing things out always helps to alleviate stress. Schedule out your day or week, write out a to-do list, or even map out a list of things you want to accomplish. Getting thoughts out of your head and onto paper can release anxiety by simply changing a mental breakdown into a visual reference. Plus, its an excuse to buy an adorable notebook or notepad!
3.) Talk things over.
Tread lightly with this one, for you don’t want to turn a friend or significant other into an unwilling therapist. Still, finding someone who will listen to your problems, and even reciprocate with their own issues, can be extremely detoxifying, if you will. Here’s my cheeky go-to line: “So I need ten minutes to vent. What’ll it be, coffee or tea?” Your friend may just listen politely, or may try to offer advice. If you can find a confidant to rant to, be open to that advice! A second opinion or viewpoint is always helpful to find a solution to a complicated matter. Either way, talking out your problems out loud, similar to making lists, is stress-relieving in itself; often times you will end up seeing a new perspective as you are forming the words.
4.) Make an emergency “happy” kit.
Mine looks like this: Dark chocolate w/ sea salt, GIRLS on HBO, candlelit yoga or meditation, a long solo walk, the song “Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities, and a hot bubble bath. This one’s easy. Keep a handful of “favorites” on hand to lift your spirits and calm your nerves. Call it Insta-peace!
5.) Consider the Big Picture.
When things aren’t going your way, its never productive to dwell over it and wallow in sadness. One way to beat that easy trap is to think about things from a different, much wider perspective. If work troubles have you upset, remember your career goals; if a relationship is on the rocks, remind yourself of your values and your commitment. It could be that your weight loss goals are taking longer than expected. Imagine yourself accomplishing those goals, instead of impatiently dwelling on the present, however frustrating it may be. Again, let your mind be your tool for peace!
6.) Take out the unnecessary.
Declutter, downsize, and decrease in order to de-stress. Declutter your home and work space, downsize any “stuff” that has accumulated in your home, and decrease any unnecessary time or effort into people or things that do not bring you a sense of fulfillment or happiness. In stressful times, you don’t need to extend yourself beyond what’s manageable, which means that an unreliable or unpleasant friend shouldn’t take up your free time.
7.) Enlist the help of Youtube.
If all else fails, head to youtube to cheer you up. We’ve all done it: hopped online “for 2 minutes”, landed upon a funny Youtube video, and spent the next 45 minutes searching and enjoying plenty of others. No shame! Pure joy and laughter can erase stress in an instant, and if an adorable baby panda sneezing does it for you, more power to ya! I would suggest “I Knew You Were Trouble Goat”, “Sassy Gay Friend”, any laughing baby video, and go from there.
By: Heather Bergstein
Before I met Natasha, I used to say I was powered by M&M’s, caffeine and red wine – and I wasn’t joking! It was how I kept up with my crazy life. I’m a single mom with a gorgeous and precocious 5-year-old, a demanding career, a full social calendar, and a couple of side projects which include my own blog and an upstate cottage. All of that translates into someplace to be, someone to see, or something to do at every moment of every day – and excuses about why I couldn’t take proper care of myself.
But about 8 months ago, my lifestyle started to catch up with me. I was sluggish, gaining weight and just felt exhausted. As a birthday present to myself, I went to see Natasha Uspensky, and my journey to health and happiness began. We evaluated my diet and eating habits, and when we had tweaked my approach to food, we moved on to the root of the issue – my lifestyle. That’s where the real work started; I had to stop complaining and making excuses, and I learned that if I didn’t create time to take care of myself, I’d never have it. And worse, I’d be on a path to burnout.
If you’re reading this and can relate to feelings like ‘I don’t have time’, ‘I’m too busy’, and ‘Work is crazy’, I totally get it. But with Natasha’s help I realized I could do it, if I prioritized myself. Whether you are a Mom or not, if you find yourself falling into the ‘I can’t’ trap again, read my 5 tips for making time and space for YOU in your own life!
1. Accept That You’re Busy, and Move On
You know your to-do list is endless, and that probably won’t change. But you can change your approach. Don’t try to do it all, all the time. Instead, be reasonable and do what has to get done, and put yourself on the list as a non-negotiable.
2. Stop Making Excuses
I made every excuse I could – I played the working mom card, the crazy workweek card, you name it, I said it. But guess what? These are just excuses. If you really want to do something, you will do it, and if you prioritize yourself, you can do it. Stop the excuses, own your life, and just do it already!
3. Take Baby Steps, and Use Shortcuts
Start with small changes that lead to better habits – not sweeping changes that will lead to burnout. Maybe that means cooking one meal each day at home, or fitting in exercise by walking somewhere instead of cabbing it. And there is no shame is using shortcuts to get there, especially if they save you time. So go ahead – order Fresh Direct – and start creating a little more time for you to do what you need to do.
4. Don’t Make Everything into a ‘Thing’
This is a Natasha original! If you look at everything you have to get done as a ‘thing’, each day feels like a mountain you have to climb. Accept that you have things to do, and have fun while doing them. And refer to Tip #1 when your to-do list takes over your life.
5. Happy Mommy = Happy Family
As a mom, I always put my son first. But that approach doesn’t really leave time for you as a person, doesn’t provide a lot of balance, and sometimes leads to a martyr attitude! Do the things that make you happy too. If you want to make time for exercise in your weekend, get a sitter and do it. You’ll be happier, and if you’re happier, so is your family!
It won’t be easy to make changes, but it can be done, so buckle down, take a closer look at what’s standing between you and your health, and use these tips to stop the ‘I can’t’s!
Heather Bergstein is a digital marketing and media professional with beauty and fashion expertise. A New Yorker at heart, she and her son Micah (and born-and-bred, legit NYer) live in NYC, and spend weekends bouncing around downtown or relaxing upstate. Heather is the creator and author of City Meets Country, her blog (aka passion project) about their adventures, both city and country.