Category Archives: Babies

New Year Self-care Jump Start , Day 8

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Good morning, beauty! Today I’m suggesting that you invite someone out to coffee or tea. No need for it to be a long, drawn-out thing. Just 20 minutes will do. And if you aren’t feeling social, that’s okay. You can go alone if you prefer. The goal is to sit for 20 minutes and enjoy your cup without working or playing on your phone.

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Get it in a cup “for here.” Then settle in and relax for a few minutes so that you can go back to your responsibilities feeling recharged and refreshed. This mission may sound harder for the stay at home mamas. But is it? Today may be a great day to bring a cup of something warm to the park, strike up a conversation with another mom, and let the kids play without interruption. They may need the break to play with someone their own age just as much as you do.

Have a sweet one,
Kirsten

Kirsten Quint Fairbanks is health coach and holistic living expert who loves offering real-world holistic coaching for mamas who want to consciously cultivate big lives that get them totally fired up.  Kirsten lives happily, works gratefully, dances inexpertly, paints badly, cooks traditionally, and rocks a tiny homeschool in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She believes that connection can change your life.   Read more about her here.

New Year Self-care Jump Start, Day 4

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Good morning, beauty! I’m writing this message who knows how long before you get it and I know that as you open it and start to read, it will be a simply gorgeous day. How can I be so sure? As parents of energetic kids who need to get outside no matter the forecast know, There is no bad weather, only the wrong clothes. I also know that any day we’re alive and breathing is going to be a stunningly gorgeous day on this beautiful big blue Planet Earth. Rainy, windy, sunny, foggy… it’s all good. In that spirit, I invite you to check out today’s self-care challenge:

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You probably know that time outside is linked to less stress, more concentration, better physical fitness. Whether your terrain is city steps, a green park, redwood hills, or the rolling ocean, outdoor time (especially outdoor exercise) just makes life better. Can you spare a few outside hours today? A half hour stroll through your city or town? Lunch or dinner on the back patio or a late afternoon cup of something warm on the front stoop? Where will you get outside today?

Warmly,
Kirsten

Kirsten Quint Fairbanks is health coach and holistic living expert who loves offering real-world holistic coaching for mamas who want to consciously cultivate big lives that get them totally fired up.  Kirsten lives happily, works gratefully, dances inexpertly, paints badly, cooks traditionally, and rocks a tiny homeschool in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She believes that connection can change your life.   Read more about her here.

New Year Self-care Jump Start, Day 3

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Good morning, beauty! Today’s little mission for self-care is to make a small corner of your life organized and calming to look at. No need to spend the whole day cleaning house, but tidy up a small corner you use a lot. Clean with loving intention, perhaps meditating on your good fortune at having warmth, shelter, and a place to call home.

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A good, small spot to focus on might be your desk, your bathroom counter, your vanity, or a kitchen cabinet. (That’s my kitchen cabinet above, and you can probably tell from looking at it that, 1. I don’t have a lot of pantry space, and 2. I’m kind of a birth junkie. Yes, that’s a printout of an Alex Grey piece taped to the inside of my cupboard. Makes me happy every time I look at it.)

A tidy space is calming to the psyche, and there is even a school of thought that says living in clutter contributes to overweight. I believe that a calm environment brings a sense of peace and a feeling of competence. How about you? Do you thrive on a bit of chaos or do you need order in your personal space? Let us know in the comments!
Warmly,
Kirsten

Kirsten Quint Fairbanks is health coach and holistic living expert who loves offering real-world holistic coaching for mamas who want to consciously cultivate big lives that get them totally fired up.  Kirsten lives happily, works gratefully, dances inexpertly, paints badly, cooks traditionally, and rocks a tiny homeschool in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She believes that connection can change your life.   Read more about her here.

New Year Self-care Jump Start, Day 1

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Good morning, beauty! Happy New Year! Welcome to your 30-day Self-care Jump Start. Every day this month I’ll be posting some simple ideas for self-care that will help you get your new year off to a healthy, happy start. Too many of us approach January 1st with a litany of perceived flaws we would like to change: Drop a few dress sizes. Stop(!) eating cake. No more alcohol again, ever. Be less selfish and give more to charity. Stop being lazy and finally train for that marathon. And maybe learn a couple of languages in my spare time. (I don’t know about you, but I have tons of spare time.) There is nothing wrong with a little bit of self-improvement. But my goal with my clients and my aim with myself is to start with nurturing and nourishing the person we are right now, today. Building a foundation of self-love and nurturing daily habits can be a powerful (and pleasurable) springboard for tackling the bigger, longer-range goals and challenges. And it comes from a place of sweetness rather than mean self-judgement so it’s a lot more fun.

The aim of this program is to help you establish some happy, nourishing daily habits, pleasurably and simply.

And now, without further ado…

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NAP.

Chances are you are home from work today. Chances are also good that you stayed up until at least midnight. So take advantage of the cozy home and the sleepy eyes to grab yourself a little snooze. A recent Wall Street Journal article on naps says,

“Sara Mednick, an assistant psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside, said the most useful nap depends on what the napper needs.
For a quick boost of alertness, experts say a 10-to-20-minute power nap is adequate for getting back to work in a pinch.
For cognitive memory processing, however, a 60-minute nap may do more good, Dr. Mednick said. Including slow-wave sleep helps with remembering facts, places and faces. The downside: some grogginess upon waking.
Finally, the 90-minute nap will likely involve a full cycle of sleep, which aids creativity and emotional and procedural memory, such as learning how to ride a bike. Waking up after REM sleep usually means a minimal amount of sleep inertia, Dr. Mednick said.
Experts say the ideal time to nap is generally between the hours of 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Napping later in the day could interfere with nighttime sleep.”You can read the rest of the article here. Perhaps after your cat nap?Again, a very happy New Year to you. We’re off to a happy, healthy start!

Warmly,
Kirsten

Kirsten Quint Fairbanks is health coach and holistic living expert who loves offering real-world holistic coaching for mamas who want to consciously cultivate big lives that get them totally fired up.  Kirsten lives happily, works gratefully, dances inexpertly, paints badly, cooks traditionally, and rocks a tiny homeschool in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She believes that connection can change your life.   Read more about her here.

Three Ways to Hit “Reset” on a Bad Day

mommiedearest reset a bad dayIt’s 10am and your day is not improving. You woke up to last night’s dishes in the sink (don’t you have an agreement that when one of you cooks, the other one cleans?). The kids are whiny and hangry and your partner hasn’t texted you back about that Really Important Thing you texted about three hours ago. You feel frustrated, alone, and ready to scream Mommie Dearest-style that you’ll cut the next person who has the nerve to ask you for something.

Slow down, mama. You don’t have to lose your cool. You can reset this day to move on to happier things AND model for your kids how to deal with stress and disappointment in a healthy and productive way. Win-win!

Here are three of my favorite ways to hit Reset on a bad day:

1. Get outside and into the sunlight. This is a great reset for stressed-out mamas and cooped-up kids alike. Getting into the sun for a little walk gives you crucial Vitamin D, raises your happiness hormones, improves immune system function, and reminds you that you are part of the living world and not just dusty furniture in your living room Island of Isolation. When everything else fails, get outside.

2. Sing out. Instead of yelling at your kids, say it with song. Try a silly operatic trill, or belt out a soulful blues number. “So-faaaaaaaaas! are for booooooooootaaaaaaaaays,” I will sing to my kids in my best R&B diva voice when I’ve asked too many times for the monkeys to stop jumping and I feel my yell coming on. Singing to them this way confuses them into stopping what they are doing (jumping on my couch like wild people), and it signals my brain that we’re not in a crisis situation that will only be solved if I commence screaming in 5-4-3… (My brain was raised by parents who screamed. Left to its own devices it would make some silly, misguided decisions sometimes.)

And if you’ve already started yelling and the day is looking grim, it’s time to call in the big guns:

3. Paging Captain Do-over! This is a code word my kids and I use when things have gotten out of hand, voices and words are unkind, and we need to get back to the present moment and remember that we actually like each other. “Captain Do-over!” we yell and almost immediately we stop grouching and fall into a hug. It takes a couple of seconds to feel that calm, safe, feeling of oxytocin flooding our system (mmmm, sweet bonding hormone we get from hugging and smelling kid heads)  and then we can start the process of repair. For the yelling mama, this is a great time to apologize and start over. I’ll say, “I’m sorry I spoke so rudely to you. I was feeling stressed out. What I meant to say was that sofas are for booties and I’d like you to sit quietly and read for a few minutes. Will you please do that? And then we can go outside and run around and get our energy out? Great! I love you. I’m sorry I yelled. You are so special to me.”

They will often start bouncing again, or doing some other annoying thing until we get dressed and out the door to get some sun and start our day. But at least we have all calmed down and I’ve taken responsibility for stopping the bad day before it gets too out of hand. When things are calm and the mood is good, I’m better able to deal with the little stresses: the whining kids, the non-responsive husband, the pile of dishes. They still annoy me but they don’t have to hijack my day– or my kids’.

Want more support dealing with the stress and isolation of motherhood? Get in touch, mama!

Kirsten Quint Fairbanks is health coach and holistic living expert who loves offering real-world holistic coaching for mamas who want to consciously cultivate big lives that get them totally fired up.  Kirsten lives happily, works gratefully, dances inexpertly, paints badly, cooks traditionally, and rocks a tiny homeschool in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She believes that connection can change your life.   Read more about her here.