Was I Being “Body Positive” Or Destroying My Health?

I love my body. I love that it has carried four babies, two of them being twins. I love that it has birthed my children. I love that it has scars and stretch marks and dimples. It has many and it is the road map of my life. When you really think about it, a woman’s body is incredible and can do incredible things.

But lately… lately I have been letting it down.

Before twins I always had a negative relationship with my body. I got angry when it wouldn’t shed pounds. I covered it up because to me it wasn’t ideal. I starved it and overtrained it and cursed it when it didn’t perform.

During my twin pregnancy everything was stripped away, and my one job was to grow and incubate my babies. I felt my body stretch, my hips seperate, and my heart race. But despite the pain my girls thrived. My body did it’s job.

During those days as I lay on the sofa with a pillow between my knees I made myself a promise. I promised to thank it. I promised to care for it and treat it the way it deserved. That meant losing the weight I purposely put on during my pregnancy, feeding it the right foods and strengthening it. But above all, I would rehabilitate my body with love.

I did. I followed through with my promise. It was a journey but I kept my promise.

You can read about my body after babies journey in my popular blog post: What Having Four Kids (Including Twins) Has Done To My Body and My Confidence.

At least until last year.

Last year I had a couple of life events that shook me. I was stressed and started to reach for food as comfort. I overate at every meal and every snack. I gave myself constant stomach aches, (which is really risky for me because in the previous year I suffered from Diverticulitis), but in the moment while I ate I felt numb and numb felt good.

Besides, a trend was building that was telling me that curvy was good. That adding on some extra weight and embracing it was actually the kind thing to do for my body. Or at least, that was how I was interpreting it.

But I didn’t feel good.

So I’d try to be mindful of my portions and ramp up my exercise and then it would fall apart.

I began posting on Instagram, along with almost everyone else, photos of my curvier body and how I was embracing my curves and buying new clothes to fit the new me.

But I didn’t feel good.

I was out of breath, was getting light-headed often, I had a sore back, and felt lethargic. So I’d try again with a new goal of caring for my body better, (which for my small 5’2″ frame meant shedding some of those pounds), and I shared this goal of health online. The response? Some positive, but I also received some blowback because the goal I was after wasn’t popular. This threw me and once again, and I stopped.

Was it guilt that I felt? I’m not sure, but I felt like I was doing something wrong.

But I didn’t feel good.

In January I turned 36, and I started to notice my body felt stiff. Really stiff. I initially joked that it was just my age, but 36? Really?

So, a few weeks ago I decided to be really honest with myself and step on a scale. Yes, a scale, which in my opinion, can be a great tool for some if used properly. My jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe what I had done to myself. What about the promise?

Enough was enough. It was time to make positive changes for my health and make sure I protected what I knew was right. I went through my social media and unfollowed anyone who I felt was making me second guess my goal. It wasn’t anyone else’s fault that I had lost sight of my goal of health, but it was making me second guess myself.

I’ve made sure that what I was doing to move more was on my terms and left me feeling satisfied and proud. I am working out every morning. Sometimes it’s ten minutes of stretches and abs. Other days I hop on my treadmill and run while watching Netflix.

I am taking my time to pre-cook my meals days in advance, and slow down and enjoy every bite and today my gut health is better than ever. Don’t worry, I am enjoying indulging on our weekly date night and here and there. But not everyday.

Today I am choosing love. I am choosing health.

I have lost seven pounds, and plan to shed more.

I’m happy and I feel good. I’m climbing the stairs without getting winded and my body feels more flexible.

I think some really great things are coming out of the current body positivity movement. But somehow along the way balance was lost and a bizarre version of reverse body-shaming has begun. I fell victim to this trend and I am 36.

I worry about my three daughters entering a world where the conversation is so one-sided. I want them to love their body at all stages of their life. I want them to know that we are all different and our relationship with our bodies is a personal one.

I want them to treat their bodies the way they deserve to be treated. I want the goal of health to be important to them.

You can be curvy and be healthy. You can love yourself and still chase a goal.

Body positivity should be a movement based on knowing yourself, accepting other people’s choices and cheering each other on. Body positivity should be about listening to your body and knowing when it is in a season of grief, healing, growing another life, rehabilitation or renewal. Body positivity should be about knowing the difference between embracing health and settling into a body that may not be thriving.

Above all, body positivity should be about supporting each other, knowing that what may work for one person may not work for another. That one person may need a strategy or a diet to battle inflammation or digestive issues, and that a scale can be a great tool for one person, but a torment for another. Body positivity should be about erasing judgement and saying I support you and your journey towards health.

I am choosing what’s right for me. I am choosing to chase health, and happiness.

I will be documenting my journey on Instagram and I’d like you to join the conversation and follow along there.

My friend Ana at Bluebird Kisses has also written an article on this topic. I’d love for you to weigh in and let me know what you think about this current trend.

How I took my body back after having four kids – every single secret to losing weight and loving my body

How I took my body back after having four kids - Nesting Story

Have you ever felt like you have no control over your body? Ever since I can remember, I was always the chubby member of my family. It saddens me to reflect on how much I obsessed about my weight, even as a child.

My body was always my enemy. Even as I grew into an adult, occasionally stuck to a diet and lost some weight, I was always experiencing inner turmoil with my body. So, I abused it, made fun of it to my friends, and cursed it under my breath.

I get a pit in the bottom of my stomach just acknowledging that I had these kinds of feelings for thirty years of my life. It sickens me.

But nothing made me feel more out of control with my body than pregnancies. My body was in charge and I was a passenger.

It took me three pregnancies, the final one being a strenuous twin pregnancy to change my relationship with my body. It was that last pregnancy that shocked not just my body, but my mind and my heart so deeply, that it set me on a different course.

I have not only lost the 70 pounds since my twin pregnancy, but I’ve kept it off. Although I am not a fan of focusing on the number, (in fact I don’t even have a working scale right now and quite like it that way), but those extra 70 pounds on my 5’2″ frame were causing health issues, pain and depression. So yes, my journey to self-love through self-care has involved weight-loss.

I have for so long wanted to bottle my secrets and lessons as best I can to pass them on. To pass them on to a younger me. To pass them on to that girl who didn’t know how to not only be in control of her own body, but truly love and appreciate it. To that new mom that doesn’t even recognize her own body.

What actually has been my secret to not only losing the baby weight, but keeping it off? Well, the secret is years in the making. It’s not just a magic diet, or an intense workout routine, but so much more. It’s so much more that no one ever tells you. But I truly believe, without hesitation, that these tips can help anyone who is struggling with their weight.

Let’s rewind to the beginning, shall we?

twins day 1

The day I came home with my twins.

On the day I came home from the hospital after having my twins, the curiosity was killing me… how much weight had I lost now that two human beings had exited my body? They each weighed 6 pounds, so, I figured, maybe I had lost 12 pounds, or even more because you have to count the amniotic fluid and placentas. I hopped on the scale and was devastated. I had only lost 3 pounds.

I looked down at my massive swollen feet, and the logical side of my brain told me that I was retaining a lot of water and needed to be patient. I had been through this twice before after giving birth to my older kids. But come on, two freaking people, it didn’t seem fair.

As I looked down at my body, I didn’t recognize it. It was bruised and mushy. I had swelled to a weight that I didn’t think my 5’2″ frame was capable of.

I picked myself up and switched my focus to what was most important: caring for my four kids, healing from my C-section and basically surviving our family’s new dynamic.

weight loss after twins

Year one 

The time had come. I was given the go ahead from my doctor to slowly start exercising. This is it. This is the moment I had been waiting for. I had been dreaming about taking my body back since I spent day after day, on my sofa, with a pillow between my knees, growing babies.

At first my progress was slow. Keep in mind I was trying to care for four kids as well as myself. It was so difficult to carve out any “me” time. It wasn’t until I began waking up before anyone in our family each morning to exercise. That’s when everything began to fall into place.

I made time. I stopped waiting for time to find me and I made sure that I carved out time for exercise.

I began to love and appreciate my body. I have struggled with my weight since I was a child. Anytime I would make some strides with my weight-loss and strengthening goals, it came from an angry place where I felt I had to punish my body. Having twins was finally the event that changed the way I looked at my body. It has done incredible things and it was to be celebrated and cared for.

I was focused on my goals. Losing the baby weight was my number one goal. I planned to eat healthy foods, indulge here and there and not beat myself up about it. I also wanted to get in shape again, especially knowing I was finished having children. I would take my time. But this time it was different. I had simple goals that were for me and no one else. I wanted to be strong. I was over hurting my back when I pick up a baby. I want to be flexible. No more pulling my neck while reaching for a pacifier that had fallen under a crib. I wanted to go to my closet and feel good in whatever I put on. No more pulling at waistlines and being limited to leggings.

lost weight after twins

plateau

Year two

Little did I know that I was heading into a one-year weight plateau….

I started to play little mind tricks with myself, like, you’ve got this far, you can take days (or weeks) off of exercise. Or after an exhausting day of building my business, while giving enough attention to my family, I would “reward” myself by gorging on unhealthy, or ridiculous portions.

Every once and a while I would find my rhythm and work at getting a few more pounds off, but despite making “losing the last ten pounds” my number one goal, I would continue to self-sabotage.

Then, at around 17-months postpartum, I made the conscious decision to relax. I embraced my body again, and was proud of how far I had come.

This was also the year that I was starting to hit on something that would again pop up in year five. I realized that I needed to experience more joy and laugh more. But more about that later.

I switched my focus of weight-loss. I stopped making “weight loss” my New Year’s resolution. Maybe having “lose those last ten pounds” as my New Year’s resolution, did more damage than good? Maybe that’s too much pressure, and I was setting myself up to fail?

I rewired my brain. I also started to realize how much I was stress eating and began my journey of rewiring my brain to stop thinking, “you deserve this,” and instead think, “this won’t fix your problem.”

I began to see my body’s purpose and know it’s power. I knew that the war my body had been through was it’s own and couldn’t be compared to other bodies. I had no intentions of erasing my journey, just rehabilitating the body that brought my kids into this world.

bikini after twins

before photo

Year three

As year three began, I started to feel ready to go after a new goal… strength. But every time I tried to get myself into a rhythm with exercise, or healthier eating habits, I would get in my head again and self sabotage.

I began to dive deeper into reasons why I was self-sabotaging, which ended up going way back to some injuries and illnesses I experienced as a child and I stopped seeing myself as broken, and realized that I was self-sabotaging out of fear.

After this important realization, I told myself “I’m not broken, I’ve just been scared.” It was time to let that fear help propel me forward so that I can reach my goals, drop the excuses, be secure within my success and know that wanting to reach the finish line is not selfish, it’s self-love.

I got help. Sometimes going it alone isn’t enough, and it’s okay to get some help. First I trained with a personal trainer for three months. This taught me that my body was far from frail, or broken and that I can push it farther without fear. I also signed up for a healthy eating program just long enough to help me understand what size portions I should be consuming, and what times of the day I should be eating.

personal trainer

after photo

Year four

Last spring, after a quieter winter, life got busy. I lot of exciting projects came my way, I had a lot of travel, both for work and vacations, and the kids schedules were getting busier.

During that excitement I noticed my energy levels lagging, heart palpitations kept coming and I was often light-headed. I kept putting it off and finally I went to see my doctor when it dawned on me that I hadn’t had a physical in over FOUR YEARS!

Whoops!

My blood work came back showing that my iron levels were in the toilet. So I started to take iron supplements and my energy levels came back.

Just as I was starting to feel like myself again, I had another major setback. By the end of August I started having abdominal pains that were different than any IBS symptom I had experienced in the past. But, typical me… I ignored them.

Well, I ignored them until my husband convinced me to go have them checked out. I was immediately sent to the hospital and was diagnosed with Diverticulitis that day.

in the hospital

This for me has been a big wake-up call. I have been making some huge lifestyle changes including being less busy, moving towards a more minimalist life, having laser focus on work, but not trying to do everything and making more time to cook.

I have also been exploring my health on a deeper level. I have been peeling the onion as to why I am having so many digestive issues and struggling with my energy and using food as fuel instead of comfort.

Really knowing and caring for my body. Being more in tune with my body and making sure that it is better cared for has helped me stick to exercise routines. I now know that there is a handful of foods that I just cannot eat because I have food intolerances that cause excruciating pain. I would have never found these answers if I didn’t keep digging deeper and deeper.

skiing

Year five

As the fall approached, some tough stuff came our way, which forced both myself and my husband to self reflect and think about what we really want and what is really important. On the top of my list was to find my joy again. To actually experience life instead of surviving, or controlling life.

I have fun. This year I have been choosing joy and choosing me more. This has included getting a puppy and taking up skiing again.  I’ve made caring for my body fun and second nature.

Recently I realized was caring so much for a couple people in my family who were stumbling, and I was working so hard to help them find balance and happiness again, that I began to neglect myself. This formula doesn’t work. I’ve begun to put the oxygen mask on myself first, before anyone else in my life.

I am my first priority. I’ve begun a new journey of self discovery and lifestyle improvement that includes everything from a healthy diet and exercise, to meditation, listening to inspiring audiobooks, massage therapy and doing some things for myself that I’ve wanted to do for a while.

weight loss

It has taken me a long time to get where I am after having my twins. It has taken a lot of perseverance and hard work. But most of all, it has taken a lot of patience and love for myself.

I knew that post-babies would be a new chapter for my body and that I had to learn how to love my new curves, stretch-marks and dimples.

I have come so far and have been through so much. I have recreated who I see myself as, knowing that although I’ve changed some things, that it doesn’t mean that I have lost the best part of me. This change has come from a place of self care and of giving back to my body after everything it has given and created.

Make time. Love and appreciate your body. Focus on your goals. Try to have goals other than just weight loss. Rewire your brain to break bad habits. Get help. Truly know and care for your body. Have fun. Make yourself your first priority.

The truth is, reaching fitness goals and then maintaining a healthy body is a journey. Use these lessons as a roadmap for you to begin yours and whatever you do, don’t stop. Don’t settle. You deserve this.

Success isn’t perfection. Success is allowing days to slow down. Success is allowing a day to feast with your family. Success is to be at peace with those days and getting back on track the next. Success is embracing your health and knowing deep in your core that you deserve to treat your body like a temple. Success is being able to zoom out and see the big picture, see the humans it’s created, the war its been through and the strives you’ve made.

You can continue to follow my health and fitness journey on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube!

8 simple tips (from a mom of four and a personal trainer) that will make your at home workouts more successful

I used to be a gym rat. I had finally found success with weight loss and exercise when I was in my early twenties. I associated working out with leaving my house, away from the distraction, (and snacks) and I would get it done.

8 tips for working out at home

But after becoming a mother and a failed attempt at going to the gym, (while my son screamed the entire time he was in the daycare my gym provided), I knew that I had to find a way to workout at home.

So, little by little I carved out a space, did my research and invested in a few pieces of equipment. This little haven became even more important as I had my second child, and eventually my third and fourth: twins.

newborn twins

There would be times that I would find getting up in the morning, before anyone else, my sweet spot, and other times in the evening, just after putting my kids to bed would be when I could get my workout in.

But it was always nice to know that I didn’t have to rely on childcare, or waste time driving somewhere to workout.

For me it was and is the perfect fit.

After having my twins I was on a roll. I worked out almost daily, starting after I was three months postpartum and I eventually lost sixty of the seventy pounds I had gained. But those last ten pounds have stuck to me like glue.

Mom in bikini

Occasionally I will shake things up and find some success, but then life will happen and boom, back to square one.

That’s when I decided to work with an in home personal trainer twice a week in my home, and it has made a massive difference. I have realized that I was stagnant and not really pushing myself enough.

My husband has got in on the action too, which has held us both accountable. I am now working out six days a week, and not only have I watched the scale start moving again, but muscles I have never seen before are popping up, and I am happier and more patient with my entire family.

I have already learned so much over the past month working out with a personal trainer, and have seen such incredible results, I wanted to share some home workout tips with you.

I asked Rob, from Trainers On Site to share his tips, and I have also included some of mine…

Personal trainer tips:

1. Invest in home fitness equipment. What is worth the investment? Essentials like small dumbbells, (5-10lb dumbbells are a must if not adjustable dumbbells), a stability ball to act like a bench, or a stepper (bench and cardio in 1), 2 different levels of resistance bands (light and medium), a door anchor to attach them to, a cardio machine that lasts like a treadmill, rower or an elliptical machine. Using different equipment not only freshens up your workout, but it puts different stimulus reacting to your muscles being worked, therefore greater results!

2. Use your technology and entertainment devices. You can tap into great music from your smart device, (I personally like FitRadio). Or for boring or mindless cardio, you can watch a show or movie. (Netflix is great for this). Many studies have proven that music enhances your performance. Why sit on a couch to watch TV when you can be active, moving and burn calories?

3. Track your workouts. Don’t just track the days you worked out, but also the sets, reps, load pushed or pulled. Use a notebook or journal, or go high tech and use an app like we do with our clients. In order to achieve better results you need to know what results you had before. Using the Progressive Overload approach and adding more load, or more reps, or more sets, makes a big difference in increasing lean muscle while burning stubborn body fat.

4. Involve someone to help keep you accountable. This could be your partner/spouse, a friend with similar goals, or a personal trainer to keep you on track. Adding a workout partner for motivation and drive allows both parties a win/win scenario. Make sure it is someone you can count on when you don’t feel like showing up to your own workout. Personal Training at home works!

5. Carve out ME TIME. There could be many options here so you have to figure out what works, (early before anyone gets up, during nap or school time, late at night when kids go to sleep), the earlier the better (a moms day never ends! This is an essential tip that might go overlooked. Get in a groove and find out what works best for you and your family and then stick to it. Home workouts are great for efficiency and convenience but can also end up being minimal if you don’t stick to a regular schedule.

Tips from a mom of four who has fallen in love with working out at home:

6. Have a carrot. I find planning a little getaway, or get togethers with friends the best motivation. It can be so easy to not leave your house for days on end without really realizing it when you are in the trenches with your kids. Make plans and get excited about them.

7. Take progress shots. When you are so busy and in comfy sweats most days it can sometimes be hard to see any progress. I love referring back to the photos I have just after having my kids and thanking my body for creating those humans and how far it has come since.

8. Dress up like you are leaving to go to a gym. After having many months of success working out at home, I slowly started to let everything slide. At first it began with me being too lazy to put on my running shoes, then a bra, and eventually I was rolling out of bed and doing a couple sit-ups in my pjs and calling it a day. Putting the effort in to dress the part will set you up for a better workout.

Want to join in on a workout with us? Check out our Facebook live video as Rob, from Trainers On Site, myself and two special guests lead you through a workout you can do at home.

Trainers On Site has been servicing the GTA since 2008 bringing workouts to clients homes and workplaces.

Their mission is to help the world get a little bit healthier one workout at a time.

They offer:
– one on one personal training
– small group personal training
– corporate fitness

They service:
– Milton and Halton Hills
– Oakville
– Mississauga
– Brampton
– downtown and west Toronto

You’re their perfect client if you’re a busy mom or dad who has no time or motivation to get to the gym.

In order to try out their service they’re offering first-time customers a free fitness assessment, personal training session and meal plan to help them get started.

Check out Trainers On Site at www.trainersonsite.com or call them at one 188-826-91867.

Workout at home

Disclosure: Nesting Story is in partnership with Trainers On Site and has received free services from them.

How Anxiety Inspired Me To Start Running And Begin A Two-Week Challenge

A few weeks ago, I was anxious. I could audibly hear every breath exiting and entering my body. Every task, including putting my kids’ shoes on for them, was a struggle. I had a lot on my mind that included worrying about one of my kids, who was struggling, and some tough work-based decisions that I had to make.

anxiety and parenting

I felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders and I would be crushed at any moment. I wasn’t able to answer my kids’ questions without hearing a quiver in my voice. I was shattering.

One day, as I finally hit send on an email that had been weighing heavily on me, something told me that I needed to run. Physically run away from my problems and gain some perspective. Luckily, my husband Mike was just walking in the door from work at that moment and I was able to leave him with the kids and head out the door.

As I rounded the corner from the streets lined with houses and entered the path through the forest near my house, my feet began to move faster. I was running… fast. My muscles ached as my body tried to comprehend this new feeling.

running

You see, despite working out and getting my (new) body back after babies, I wasn’t doing any cardio, only resistance training. Up until this point, I didn’t see the need to do cardio. I was getting the results I wanted to see from portion control, resistance training and making healthy dietary choices. Why bother with sweaty, time-consuming cardio? Little did I know that my mind and body had been craving cardio the entire time.

running

As I continued to run along that path, something incredible began to happen. I stopped worrying. For the first time in a week, I didn’t feel like I was going to shatter. My mind was gaining perspective and new ideas and solutions were bubbling to the surface. My entire being was strengthening and I was flying.

running

Throughout the next week, I flew out the door each day as Mike came home from work. I was smiling again, and going through my day with ease and confidence. My anxiety disappeared and I was able to tackle each problem that came my way with a clear mind. I even began to feel my body strengthen. But as life with kids goes, illness decided to pay a visit to our home and my runs were put on pause.

Now that everyone is healthy again, I am ready to jump back into my running routine. I am beginning a two-week challenge to be #evenbetter. I will be running each day while maintaining my resistance training and healthy dietary choices. I will also start including my family in my cardio journey, including going on family bike rides and nature hikes.

running

Because I struggle at times to get enough water, Ocean Spray® will be keeping me hydrated with their Ocean Spray® PACt® Cranberry Extract Waters so I can dial up on all the healthy benefits.

Ocean Spray PACt

So, what are my goals during this two-week challenge? There are three main ones that stand out to me:

  1. To incorporate daily fitness into my routine and help strengthen my body.
  2. To use running as a stress-release and to control my anxiety.
  3. To not only set a good example for both my kids and my husband, but to include them in my cardio journey as well.

Keeping myself (and my family) hydrated with Ocean Spray® PACt® Cranberry Extract Water flavours – including Cranberry Pomegranate, Cranberry Raspberry and Cranberry Mango Passionfruit – will make the entire challenge a little more fun and sweet!

Ocean Spray PACt

The last time I was really into running, I either found that I would get bored of drinking so much water, or not drink enough and end up dehydrated. Ocean Spray® has created the perfect low-calorie drink that is full of ingredients I can feel good about putting into my body.

Ocean Spray® PACt® Cranberry Extract Water delivers unique cranberry benefits. It contains PACs, or proanthocyanidins – unique, powerful elements found deep inside cranberries – to help protect against certain harmful bacteria from sticking in the urinary tract.

Made from purified water, each bottle is only 10 calories, is naturally sweetened, and contains no GMOs or artificial colours – the colour comes straight from the red cranberries.

I am really excited to start this journey with my family and see what kind of benefits each of us gain from adding more cardio to our daily lives. Make sure to check in in two weeks to see how we did!

Ocean Spray® PACt® Cranberry Extract Water is a tasty and low-calorie way to hydrate in a more meaningful way. Packed with the power of 50 cranberries, PACt® cranberry extract water delivers unique cranberry health benefits. Visit http://pact.oceanspray.ca to learn more and find out where to buy PACt® water at a store near you.

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Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Ocean Spray® via Mode Media Canada. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Ocean Spray®.

What I Do To Reduce My Daily Stress

IMG_3378I never truly knew what stress felt like until I became a mother. Some days it’s the little things that get to me, like the stress of getting everyone out the door. Other days its the bigger things like health issues with my kids.

Over the years I have learned that I needed to work a few stress-reducing routines into my day, everyday, to keep myself happy and healthy.

Here are some ways I reduce my stress each day…

I work out. Rarely a day goes by that I miss my mini workout. I find taking those twenty minutes each morning to stretch and resistance-train sets the tone for the day. I know I have done something for myself, and feel stronger throughout the day.IMG_3335

I have a beauty regime. For a long time I would throw sweats, a sports bra and t-shirt on, maybe wash my face, brush my teeth and put my hair in a ponytail and get on with my day. First it was when I was doing the SAHM thing, then it was when I was working from home. I finally realized that doing this was not only making me unhappy, but I was gaining a little weight too.

Now, I take the time each day to shower, (I only wash my hair every three days, let’s not get ahead of ourselves), wear nicer clothes (including jeans) and a proper bra, and put some makeup on. This beauty regime not only helps me keep the weight off, but also reduces my stress.

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I rest and have a treat each day. Every single day, around 2 p.m., after I’ve had my lunch, I stop working, doing housework, or even playing with my kids and have what I call “mommy’s quiet time.” This is when our twins are napping, so I am able to protect this time each day. On the weekends I send our older kids to their rooms for their own quiet time, and often send my husband out to run errands, or he heads out to the gym.

I make myself a coffee, grab a sweet treat and cozy-up under a blanket on the couch and watch whatever TV show I am currently binging on for about 45 minutes. I will often doze off and take a quick nap. Doing this for myself each day is probably this biggest way I reduce my stress and reset myself. I am very protective of this time, and my entire family knows that I am always more patient and happy afterwards.

I go to bed early. I am very protective of my sleep. I always have been. I am a morning person and need to get to bed by 10 p.m. and be asleep before 11 p.m. to make the most of my early morning wake-up.

Doing this has many benefits. I stay healthy (even when my kids are sick), I fight off stress, I am less likely to eat unhealthy and am generally more happy.


Since April is Stress Awareness Month, Nesting Story has teamed up with Casper, the sleep startup that created the perfect mattress, sheets and pillow for everyone. Here is Casper’s napping guide 101, that shares different types of naps and even some reasons why you might need a nap (as if you really need a reason). Visit Casper.com to learn more about their mattresses and sheets.Casper Napping101_LRG

This post was sponsored by Casper. All opinions are my own.