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Areas of Alignment: Mindset

The most important Area of Alignment – Mindset!

We all know how important it is to keep our minds healthy, but how many of us take time each day to work on it?

We know meditation helps with stress, but grab a coffee instead.

We know journaling our thoughts helps our brain think through our most difficult problems, yet we still don’t have the energy to stop watching tv.

Mindset care is easy. It’s easy to do it, but easier not to do it.

Mindset care varies from person to person. When I was in Japan, I knew a businessman who would take their lunch break at a private karaoke room every day to sing their heart out! This would relieve his stress for an hour, so that he was re-energized going back to his job. Another person likes to go for nature walks in solitude, finding the beauty of nature as a much needed break from the noise of the day.

What is your mindset activity? This should be something that acts as a reset for your brain, something enjoyable that helps the constant swirl of thoughts die down. This can be something active such as a hard workout, practicing your favorite sport, dancing, or even extreme sports such as skydiving.

It can also be something calmer like meditation, reading, breathe work, or just taking a nap.

Whatever it is for you, just make sure it makes sense for you. Yoga can be relaxing for one person, but a stressor for another. What types of activities makes your head clear? What helps you keep going through the week?

 

Ask yourself these questions to figure out what your mind needs:

  • If it was the end of a terribly stressful week, what would you look forward to doing to relax? (taking a bath, getting a massage, working out, etc)
  • If you gave yourself 30 minutes to relax, what activity would you want to do? (workout, meditate, clean, etc)
  • During high stress situations, what do you do that calms you? (deep breathing, going for a walk, working out)

NOTE: This should be a mindset activitity, NOT a disassociation!  What is a disassociation activity? This is anything that covers up your stress without dealing with it head on. Let’s take a ship as an example. Stress is like a leak in your ship, that needs to be taken care of before it gets worse and takes down the whole ship! A small leak can be dealt with, the ship can still make it from point A to point B. However, too much of a leak, and the ship won’t be able to sail. Mindfulness activities would be things that patch the leak, for the good of the ship. Disassociate activities are equal to just closing the door to the leak and hoping it’ll fix itself.

Disassociative activities are times when you can “zone out” such as video games, watching tv, napping, etc. Though these can be a great way to relax, if they are used to ignore your mindset problems, then you aren’t doing it right.

Have you ever felt so overwhelmed with things you need to do that you didn’t do any of them and decided to take a nap? THAT is disassociation!

We will be talking about this more and more this month, but try some mindset activities for yourself and let me know what activity YOU like to do!

Lost on where to start? Here’s a link for getting your head right in the new year! 

Part 2 of Video

Stay Present

 

Today, I wanted to talk about staying in the present moment…

How often are we thinking of all the things we need to do, or missing someone, or getting angry at forgetting something?

you with your mind in the past –>🙁

you with your mind in the future–> 😣

you with your mind in the present –> 🙂

When you have your mind set to the past, you are thinking of all the things you should’ve done, words you’ve said that you could take back, time not spent with a loved one, etc..

It doesn’t have to be all bad either! You could be thinking of the time you went on vacation with a significant other, maybe remembering your child’s first steps, relishing in that time you got promoted…

 

However, what do all of these things have in common? They are not attainable anymore. They are memories, no longer existing in the real world. The only place these things exist are in your head. Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe that reflection is a beautiful part of life! However, it is when you get lost in these memories or have them effect your current emotional and mental state that they become a problem.

I’ll give you an example. The other day, I woke up ready to get work done! I had all these great ideas floating around my head, and I couldn’t seem to get them down on paper fast enough. I was on a roll! It was exhilarating feeling these thoughts flow through my brain and into reality!

*Tink*

I felt a plastic tube hit the back of my head. Confused, I turned around and saw my two and four-year-olds play fighting with plastic straws.

“Okay,” I thought, ”that was RUDE, but it was an accident. They weren’t watching where they were going, they were just being kids..”

I started to feel my concentration fade. All those lovely whirlwind thoughts disappeared. I was left with only what was written on my paper.

“Kids! Go Play Somewhere Else I’m Trying To WORK!” I said sternly, desperately trying to grasp back on to my epiphany moment.

The kids got sad, their little faces drooping from getting in trouble. They slowly walked to their bedroom to play with their doll house.

“You were too stern with them, they were just playing. They’re just kids, you shouldn’t lose your temper on children, you should really go apologize, this work isn’t really as important as spending time with them.. maybe you should buy them a toy to show them you love them.. but then are you just feeding into a materialistic world where love is equal to materials? No, go spend time with them BUT I HAVE TO FINISH MY WORK I WAS REALLY GOING STRONG! No, no, it’s rubbish anyways, you’re working far too much and they can see that. Go take a break and show your kids you love them so you can raise them right.”

 

What happened there? I got distracted for a moment from my current world, my current thought processes and tipped ever so slightly into the past. Even though the past was only a few minutes ago, I allowed it to distract me to the point I became frustrated at being interrupted, then shameful for not spending time with my kids. I got even MORE distracted by the inner voice telling me that my ‘Fix It Quick’ thoughts weren’t good enough – but none of it had happened yet!

 

Quick Mind Dive: Name a time in your life you brooded over a seemingly small event that took hours out of your life. i.e. someone making fun of you, missing a deadline at work, arguments with a significant other, etc.

How did you react? What could you have done differently to improve the outcome?

 

While some people brood over the past, others can’t stop thinking of the future. I don’t know about you, but how many times have you woken up for the day, realized you had a thousand and one things to do on your task list and decided to go back to sleep, because it all felt too overwhelming? Sometimes, when we feel like we have too much to do, it can drive us to inaction. Nothing makes me more sleepy than a full ‘To-Do’ list!

Some people LIVE in the future, and NOT in the ‘I have a Goal and am keeping my eye on the prize’ type of way. Have you ever heard a worried mother frantic over things that could happen to their kids while their playing?

“Don’t stand on the couch, you can sprain your ankle! Sit on the chair correctly, you could fall and hurt yourself!”

Though the person is doing this out of kindness, their anxiety is not helpful. Best case scenario, the kids do as they are told and learn not to take risks because something could happen to them. Worst case scenario, the kids learn how to live an anxious lifestyle, seeing everything for the danger it presents and not for the opportunity for growth.

So how do we stop thinking in the future? How do we control those anxious thoughts?

Thinking of the future can seem daunting in your mind, especially when you don’t know where to start! Some experts recommend to write down all the things you need to do in your life and start with the smallest things first, to show yourself that you are progressing. Other experts say to write down all the things you need to do and start with the BIGGEST tasks first, that way you get the most important ones done first. For me, I think it really depends on your personality. And you know what? BOTH experts have at least one thing in common – start by writing down your list!

When you have a large list of things to do, start by writing them all down in one place.

Here are some other helpful tips and tricks you can do to help stay present:

  1. Practice mindfulness by focusing on your 5 senses in the present moment – what do you hear? see? taste? touch?
  2. Focus on your breathing, in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  3. Do a task that focuses your mind back in the present such as washing the dishes, folding laundry, sweeping, etc.
  4. Go for a hike – use all your senses to observe what you see.
  5. Journal your thoughts. I like this one especially since I feel it is a good way to get the ever-swirling thoughts out of my head. Once I write it down, I feel I don’t have to worry and try to remember it anymore.
  6. Take a bath.
  7. Grab a cup of coffee or tea.
  8. Step away from your phone, computer, social media, etc and enjoy a short stretching routine. Here is an hour of foam rolling for your whole body. 

Stay present, my friends.

Foot Health Over Everything

Foot Health Over Everything

Yeah, it’s cold as sh*t, I’m wearing two sweatshirts and had to warm my kettlebells up next to my space heater. And I’m BAREFOOT.

 

 

 

 

I’m not kidding. I had to warm my kettlebells up before the workout!

No, im not crazy. My foot mobility is super limited even with socks on. Im starting to train for one of the biggest fight years of my life, the LAST thing I need is a dumb injury because my feet weren’t able to function correctly. I learned my lesson last year with my high ankle sprain. That took a full 6 months to heal with daily exercises, stretches and rehab! I don’t have an extra 6 months to do that again.

No matter how uncomfortable or embarrassing something feels, I will do it in the name of keeping my body healthy.

How weird is it seeing someone workout without shoes on? If you’re at home, or at a martial arts gym, it’s normal- but how do you feel seeing someone take their shoes off in the Squat rack at a gym? It feels weird, right? We need to normalize our foot health before it gets too late!

 

How to Promote Foot Health:

  • be barefoot as often as possible
  • Wear barefoot, zero-drop shoes with a wide toe box
  • Get a foot strength assessment! (Yes, this type of thing exists and its amazing)
  • Practice flexing and extending your toes as often as possible
  • If you cant spread your toes easily in socks, you need bigger socks (some people even like toe socks for this)
  • Foam roll and stretch your foot and calf muscles weekly

 

Want some more information? Schedule a free assessment with me today!

Flex Your Confidence Muscle!

Ever wonder how to build yourself up? I’ll show you how.

Confidence is just like anything else in your body-
If you use it more, it’ll become stronger. I remember back when I was (believe it or not) a shy, quiet book worm who had no idea about fitness or fighting. I was that lady who didn’t want to take up too much space on a train or bus, in fear of “getting in the way”.
I had lost myself in alcohol and video games, numbing myself to the life I had built in fear of realizing I was a shell of myself.
I never used to stand up for myself.
I never would try to win arguments in fear of someone ‘not liking me’.
I tried to toe the line, do what was expected of me, and keep quiet.
That’s When I Realized I Wasn’t Happy With My Life. 
In my head, I wanted to be this strong, confident, young woman, who didn’t need NO man to keep her company. In reality, I was a 24-year-old stuck in a job I hated (and honestly, wasn’t very good at). I never worked out, and would run a mile and a half in over SIXTEEN MINUTES. I hated myself for not standing up for anything I believed in, or even having a hobby. Things had to change, and I knew it started with me.
Confidence Comes from Knowledge.
Training martial arts taught me the knowledge of self defense. At one point, I was a weak, mild-mannered girl, afraid to have my own opinion. Once I started training jiu jitsu, I realized there are SO many situations out there that can be nullified just by training martial arts! How do you react when you think you’re being followed? How do you turn someone who asked you out down? How do you handle the aggressive guy at the bar? Once you know HOW to handle those situations, the fear of it dissipates.
Confidence Comes From Strength.
Do you think Arnold Schwarzenegger lacks confidence? Maybe on some days, but the constant challenge he puts himself under in order to get strong every day is a HUGE deterrent of doubt.
Confidence Comes From Discipline.
This one is tricky, but bear with me. The person who practices doing ‘the hard stuff’ when they reeeaaalllyyyy don’t want to is the one who becomes stronger. Challenging yourself every day to lift heavier, jump higher, fight longer is a KEY trait to those among us who really reap the benefits of life. Discipline forms courage, the key to living a confident lifestyle.
Flash Forward 8 years.  
I’ve become a completely new person, the one I’ve always wanted to be. I am Knowledgeable, teaching others about self defense and the importance of exercise in a healthy lifestyle. I am Strong, constantly exercising, running, jumping, grappling, fighting and leading others to do the same. I am Disciplined, living my life day after day with the goal of becoming the best version of myself, the best fighter in the country, and the best personal trainer in the world.
Want to become more confident? Let’s set up a time to chat! 

Fitness Moms Monthly: How the Heck Do You Get a Workout in Around Kids?!

You are probably like the rest of us, working at home during this LONG pandemic. Though it was good to see our kids more during the day (and I mean a LOT more), it really makes it hard to get everything done. We were superheroes before the pandemic, but now, we’ve been forced to be superheroes, stay-at-home-moms, fitness gurus and our own psychologist ALL THE TIME.

Not going to lie, as the pandemic has worn on, there have been days I stay a few extra minutes in bed, relishing that I’m awake and no one is asking anything of me. I used to feel guilty about staying in bed. All the greatest people in history are known to be early risers and not to “waste time” lying around when you could be starting to work on your dreams!

This quote from Marcus Aurelius, a famous Stoic philosopher, sums it up quite nicely:

“At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: ‘I have to go to work — as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for — the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?’

— But it’s nicer in here …

So you were born to feel ‘nice’? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands?

— But we have to sleep sometime …

Agreed. But nature set a limit on that — as it did on eating and drinking. And you’re over the limit. You’ve had more than enough of that. But not of working. There you’re still below your quota.

You don’t love yourself enough. Or you’d love your nature too, and what it demands of you. People who love what they do wear themselves down doing it, they even forget to wash or eat. Do you have less respect for your own nature than the engraver does for engraving, the dancer for the dance, the miser for money or the social climber for status? When they’re really possessed by what they do, they’d rather stop eating and sleeping than give up practicing their arts.

Is helping others less valuable to you? Not worth your effort?”

All in all – Don’t be lazy, don’t waste your time, live for the moment, yada yada yada…

Marcus Aurelius must not have been the sole caregiver of kids.

So how do we get everything done, Amanda?!

Here’s some things I’ve learned that works well.

1. Your First Workspace is Your Bed.

work in bed

My kids are VERY light sleepers, just like their mom. So when my alarm goes off in the morning, I have roughly 20 minutes before my sweet little monsters wake up and crawl all over me for morning cuddles. Whether its the noise from the water running from me brushing my teeth, or the sound of me walking around the house, they are awake sooner than you can pour your first cup of coffee. Working from my bed in the morning buys me a little bit of time to focus my energy, meditate a bit and get my affairs in order for the day.

2. Go With the Flow, Don’t Force It.


I find myself constantly having to remind myself of this one. I find myself getting the most frustrated when I am on a roll, super focused, all of the best ideas are flowing through me and THEN- your kids have a meltdown over not sharing, they-want-something-ELSE-to-eat-no-not-that-something-ELSE-I-don’t-know-what… and you think to yourself “I just need to finish this one. last. thing.”

Yeah, this is when my anxiety kicks into overdrive. Take a breath. Kids aren’t exactly Completionists. They’ll start playing with 5 different toys within the span of 20 minutes, jumping back and forth from different activities.

Best advice I can give you is this – when the kids are jumping off the walls and you are still just trying to finish that one thing… Take them to a playground. No matter what, your kids are probably bored and bursting with energy. Where does that energy go when they don’t have an outlet? It goes into breaking stuff, hitting siblings and tantrums. Save yourself A LOT of worrying and trouble by bringing them to a playground for 30 minutes. This will let them get some energy out, give you some headspace and keep those anxiety attacks at bay.

3. Take Advantage of Your Driving Times

driving
Talk-to-Text is probably the most underrated tool a home-working mom has at her disposal. Some days, the only time I have to myself is when I’m driving or cooking. These are times that I can use to my disposal to ‘brain dump’.
I will use the Talk-to-Text on my phone to jot down all the important information floating around in my head. This can later be dissected and rewritten into a post, blog, newsletter, email, etc. later on in the day.

 

4. Don’t Forget to Squeeze in a Workout!


When it comes to BIG projects that need HOURS of my time and attention, it’s easy to get lost in the computer. There are times when I hit a ‘mental wall’ and just can’t seem to get past it. I’ll keep sitting there, spinning the proverbial wheels in my head, trying to push past the obstacles in front of me, but it just leads me to being stressed out because nothing is getting done.
Again, Breathe. Push back from the computer, get some workout clothes on, and get your sweat on. There is TONS of research out there that shows how beneficial exercise is to your brain, especially when it’s used as a break from sitting in front of a computer.
Whenever I feel myself getting anxious because nothing is ‘going my way’, I put my life on the shelf and go do a kickboxing workout. Not only am I doing something I love, but it also is a form of meditation for me that is irreplaceable in those times of stress.

What are your strategies to work around your kids? Leave a comment below!