Category Archives for "Self Care"

The Mindful Divorce

Divorce is one of life’s most stressful events. It affects everything important to us: our children, our finances, where we will live, our identity and our expectations about the future.  Going through a divorce is emotionally draining. The hassles involved in the divorce process can make a person irritable, frustrated, and short-tempered. Practicing meditation and yoga during and after divorce promotes self-love, clarity, and balance. There are only a few other things in life as traumatic as going through a divorce. If you are trying to manage a divorce, your work, and your kids, you may be neglecting your own health and peace.

During these difficult times, it is more important than ever for you to take good care of your mind and body. Yoga is a nurturing practice for your emotional well-being and great for your physical health. The combined mind and body approach of yoga makes it an ideal practice for improving overall health.

3 Ways Meditation and Yoga Can Help You Manage the Stress That Surrounds Your Divorce

1.      It builds a community – Going through a divorce can make you feel isolated. You may feel like you have lost the constant support that you had. Experiences of personal growth and relaxation are common to those who practice yoga. Being surrounded by people with the same values as yours will help you fight any anxiety and stress that has stemmed out of your divorce.

2.    Cultivates self-love in you – Getting overwhelmed with doubt ,guilt, and self-blame while going through a divorce is natural. If you are getting separated from a violent and abusive partner, you might even be facing aggression and gas lighting. Practicing yoga and mindfulness is integral to curbing the effect of stress on your mind and body. Yoga and meditation teach a radical approach towards relationships and life, an approach based on love. You will begin to set yourself free of worries and regrets after you start practicing mindfulness.

3·      Helps you gain clarity – Getting divorced brings you to a crossroads in life. While this is terrifying at first, it can be equally empowering with the right approach. Yoga and mindfulness will help you get better clarity of the past and plan for a better future. If you are unable to fathom your situation at the moment, mindfulness will help you find order out of chaos. When the fog of doubt, negativity, regret, and fear will fade, you will see your life clearly.

Mindfulness comes from practicing yoga and meditation. In general, mindfulness helps you stay in the present moment at all times without rehashing over the past or worrying about the future. Using a mindful approach to your divorce can have many benefits including less stress, better relationships, better decisions and lower legal fees because you aren’t making your decisions based upon reactive emotions.  

In addition, being part of a divorce support group can have enormous benefits to help you through your difficult time. You can share what your are going through with others who understand firsthand the challenges you are experiencing. You won’t feel alone. It is also a great way to build new friendships in your post-divorce life.

Divorce is not easy, but putting important supports and tools for selfcare in place will make it easier for you and your children. Life after divorce can be happy and fulfilling, but you have to be proactive in taking care of yourself as you begin this next chapter of your life.


 

2 Why I No Longer Date Tire Kickers & Why You Shouldn’t Either

If you have ever worked in a sales job, then you are most likely very familiar with the "Tire Kickers".  A "tire kicker" is someone who appears to be interested in buying something, asks a lot of questions, uses up a lot of your time, but then does not buy anything.  There are lots of them around and if you try to sell something on the internet, it can be even worse. Sadly, the "Tire Kickers" have expanded from not only wasting people's time in the world of sales, they are now a force to be reckoned with in the dating world of 2018.

Continue reading

Good Vibes Only. That’s Ridiculous!!

All too often in social media and other places I see people posting about how they want "good vibes only" and how they have a "no negativity" zone.  At the risk of emitting "negative vibes", I have to say that I find these mantras to be ridiculous.  I will even go further and say that not only are they ridiculous, they are harmful to people, our relationships and our ability to connect with one another.

Continue reading

Surviving The Holidays After Divorce

The holiday season is always a tough time during a divorce and for the first few years after. It serves as a reminder of happier family times, and also puts enormous stress on divorcing parents who feel pressure to maintain the status quo while their whole world may be falling apart. While there is no magical solution to cure the holiday blues, here are some tips to make the season a little bit easier:

Continue reading

5 Key Things To Consider Before Dating After Divorce

Whether you were married 5 years or 25 years, returning to the world of dating after a divorce can be a daunting task. If you were married a long time, it is especially scary, but it is important not to let yourself become so paralyzed by fear that you choose to rule out putting any effort into finding love again.  Life after divorce can be lonely so it is important to be open to finding love again, but you must be ready.  Here are 5 things to consider before returning to the dating world after your divorce that will help you gage whether or not you are ready:

1.  Where are you in the healing process?

Divorce is a major life event.  Like any other life changing event you may go through, it requires time to heal.  How much time is a very individual issue.  Often after a divorce it is natural to feel guilt, to blame yourself, and to question your instincts, especially if you didn’t see the divorce coming.  It is also natural to have strong feelings of anger towards your ex, and this can be prolonged if the legal settlement takes time.  If you are still thinking about your ex frequently, whether your thoughts are good or bad, you are not ready to date.  To be able to attract a healthy relationship, you need to have healed from your previous one so take the time to heal and work on you.

2. Have you reclaimed you?

After a divorce, it is common to feel insecure, unwanted and full of self doubt.  This is not the way you want to feel about yourself when you re-enter the dating world.  You want to be confident and secure.  You need to take the time to work on yourself so that you feel this way.  Also, following divorce many people feel a loss of identity.  They don’t know who they are anymore.  In order to know what you are looking for, you need to know who you are as a person, separate from your ex-spouse.  Reclaiming your identity is part of the healing process, but it is so important, it is being stressed as a separate consideration.

3.  Are you in a position to attract what you want?

The law of attraction states that we attract into our own lives what we put out into the universe.  If we are bitter, untrusting and have walls up, we will attract people who are similar.  If we are emotionally available, we will attract others who are emotionally available.  In order to attract what we want, we need to know what that looks like. We need to make sure that we don’t repeat negative behaviour patterns from our previous relationship that may cause us to make the same mistakes.  We also need to consider whether we are ready for a long-term relationship, or whether we are better suited to just get out there and meet a variety of new people by dating.  Those of us a little older sometimes want to get serious again too quick.  There is no harm in just having fun for a while rediscovering who you are and meeting lots of people.

4.  Do you have a realistic vision of your ideal mate?

All too often people approach dating with a rigid checklist of what they want and they won’t even consider someone who doesn’t meet all of the criteria.  It is easy to forget that we have aged and have some baggage, so of course a prospective partner will have aged and have baggage too.  It is easy to become extremely picky as you get older, especially if you are happy with the other areas of your life, and feel that you just need someone to complement an already good life.  While I would never suggest for a moment that anyone should settle for something less than they desire, just be mindful that you haven’t set the bar so high that there is no living person who can meet it.  Don’t settle, but be open to a Prince or Princess Charming who perhaps doesn’t look or seem exactly like the one you envisioned.

5.  How do your children factor into your dating life?

First and foremost, dating is an adult, individual decision and children should never be the one telling you whether or not it is ok for you to date.  Young children won’t understand it and older children should not be telling their parents what they can and can’t do.  Having said this though, children are always our first priority.  If you have young children you will want to be protective of them and need to decide who it is appropriate for them to meet and when.  Children are only young once and it is important that they never feel that they are secondary to mom’s or dad’s dating life.  It is also important though that when you are ready you don’t let your children hold you back from finding a new love.  Be mindful not to use them as an excuse, when the reality may be that you just aren’t ready yet and that is perfectly ok.

We all deserve to find love again following a divorce.  Don’t let the hurt, betrayal or blow to your self esteem hold you back from doing something that could bring a great deal of happiness to your life.  If you need some support on how to approach dating after divorce, coaching can really help.  Please contact me at leanne@leannetownsend.ca for a free 30 minute consultation.

The Best Mother’s Day Gift You Can Give Yourself

With Mother’s Day coming this weekend, I want to give other mother’s the best piece of advice that I have:  Celebrate You. 

Yes, being a mother is wonderful and it a fundamental part of your identity, but to be your best, to thrive in your life, you need to celebrate the other aspects of who you are, not just motherhood.

Once we have children, it is all too easy for many of us to completely lose ourselves and our identity separate from being a mother.  We think about our children all the time, talk about them all the time, put them first, and often this is at the expense of the other areas of our lives.  Careers get put on hold.  Marriages suffer. Women let themselves go.  We lose touch with what it means to be a sexy, vibrant woman. These are the many truths of motherhood.

The mothers that I know who are the happiest are the ones that don’t just derive their identity from being a mother.  They have careers they enjoy.  They go on date nights with their husbands.  They make time for fitness, friends, hobbies and other things beyond motherhood.

When my children were younger, I thought that I was being selfish if I made time for these other things.  I felt that because I worked, I needed to always rush home to my kids.  No time for workouts, friends, hobbies or any form of me time.  I mistakenly thought that such things were selfish.  I love my children more than anything, but leading my life for them, caused me to suffer.  I felt like a doormat.  I lost my sense of self.  I slowly began to let myself go, and this caused me to lose my passions for life, and my desire to be my best. Feeling sexy and vibrant were concepts I thought were reserved for pre-motherhood only.

What I have learned though is that the best mother is a woman who loves herself and her children, and in that order. 

It’s a woman who models what high self esteem, boundaries, self-care and continuous personal development look like.  This is a woman who shows her children that while she loves them, it is ok for her to have a life away from them too.  This is a woman that her children will respect and want to emulate, rather than a martyr who felt she had to constantly sacrifice for them.

If you are a single mother, like me, it is even more important that you do these things for yourself despite the greater challenges you have to manage as compared to married mothers.  You must find time for yourself.  Workout, date, find a career you enjoy, spend child-free time with friends.  These things are imperative to do if you want to truly thrive, be happy, and be an excellent role model for your children.

So this Mother’s Day, celebrate YOU!  Do something for yourself that makes you feel good and has nothing to do with being a mother.  I am confident that you are good to your children, and meeting their needs.  I am not so confident you are being good to yourself and meeting your own needs.  If you would like some help on how to find time for yourself and identifying what you need to do in order to rediscover passion and be your best, I have developed an excellent coaching program to help.  It has been personally tested by me, so I know firsthand that it works.  If you would like to learn more about how coaching can help you, let’s chat.

Stop Playing Small – The 3 Ingredients to Being Your Best

If someone told you that in order to reach your full potential and lead a life of true happiness, you had to do 3 things, would you be willing to do them, no matter what it takes?

It seems like the answer to this question should be a resounding YES, but in reality, most people are not willing to do what is necessary in order to live an extraordinary life. There are 3 ingredients to being your best, and while they may seem simple, the reality is that consistently practicing these 3 actions is too challenging for most people.

The 3 ingredients to being your best are what I call my MNF principle. You must:

  1. Move your body;
  2. Nourish your body; and
  3. Flourish by discovering your why and developing yourself to get there.

If you consistently do these 3 things, I promise you that you will become the best version of yourself, feel happy and be fulfilled.

First, we must MOVE our body. Exercise provides both physical and mental benefits that are essential to a happy life. It is good for your heart, your lungs, and every organ in you body. It ensures that you maintain your mobility, flexibility and strength. Aesthetically, it has many benefits too. Fit people tend to look better and having a nicely toned beach body is something many people aspire to have. Looking better often results in increased self-confidence. Exercise also releases endorphins that make our mood feel better. We feel happier and less stressed after a good workout. If you want to be your best, you absolutely have to exercise regularly.

Second, we must NOURISH our body. This means that we must feed our body healthy food and ensure that we are always properly hydrated. Starving ourselves to lose weight plays havoc with our metabolism as well as our moods, so eating healthy is the only way to maintain long-term successful weight management. Drinking enough water is also essential to maintaining a good energy level. If we are hungry, thirsty, too full or suffering indigestion from eating the wrong foods there is no way that we can be our best. Proper nutrition is essential for us to maximize our potential.

Third, we must FLOURISH by discovering our why and developing ourselves to get there. We must ask ourselves these questions: What is our purpose? What makes our heart sing? What do we feel passionate about? Once we have answered these questions, we need to develop a plan to incorporate these things into our life as much as possible. We need purpose in our lives, a reason to hop out of bed in the morning with excitement, joy and gratitude for the day ahead. Without purpose, we can never be our best.

These 3 ingredients are not difficult or complicated, but sometimes it is challenging to consistently practice them. This is where most people stumble. Often it is helpful to have someone assist you in developing a plan and most importantly, holding you accountable. This is why so many people benefit from coaching. A coach will help you design a realistic plan to ensure that you MOVE, NOURISH and FLOURISH. This involves holding you accountable for your actions or inaction, and helping you stop the self-sabotaging behaviours that keep you playing small. If you want to be your best and develop your plan to MOVE, NOURISH and FLOURISH, let’s chat. Remember, the best is yet to come.