fitness, Healthy Living, Mental Health, Self-Care

5 Self-Care Tips For The Overwhelmed, Working Woman

Hey y’all! You know your girl is BIG on self-care. So, let’s talk about it. One of the biggest misconceptions around self-care is that a lot of time is required. I know you’ve heard people say “I just haven’t had enough time”, “I’ve been super busy” or “As soon as things slow down, I’m going to do that” in reference to making time for their own self-care. It’s as if we’re waiting for our lives to make room for our self-care when, in all actuality, WE should be making room for self-care. According to an article from Psych Central, self-care is deliberate. This means it is to be done consciously and intentionally. Translation…MAKE IT HAPPEN! But how? Trust me, it’s much easier than you may think. There are ways to implement self-care into our daily lives that don’t require much planning or time. In fact, you don’t even have to leave your house. That’s right! Check out my list of effective and efficient self-care tips that are SURE to help.

Self-Care Tip #1: Essential Oils

Essential oils are my favorite! I use my peppermint oil to relieve headaches and lavender oil to help my son sleep. Below is a list of various essential oils and the ways in which they are effective.

  • Orange – uplifting
  • Lavender – heightens relaxation
  • Rosemary – eases anxiety
  • Peppermint – improves concentration
  • Basil – fights mental fatigue
  • Helichrysum – clarifying and grounding

And there are so many more essential oils out there. I even found a good Black owned essential oil brand on We Buy Black! I encourage you to do some research and find the ones that you feel would be most helpful to you. And be sure to purchase a diffuser while you’re at it. Click here for a list of specific ways that you can use essential oils to promote self-care.

Self-Care Tip #2: Exercise

Exercise is bigger than just making us look good. It also helps us feel good.  Exercise increases your level of endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. When we exercise, endorphins are released that can help improve your mood, help you feel more relaxed, and as a result, help you deal with stress and reduce the risk of depression. Exercise can also improve your sleep by helping you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

And you don’t have to devote hours of sweating buckets in the gym to your day. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week is all you need. You can even break it into two 15-minute workouts if that’s easier. If 30 minutes doesn’t seem doable for you right now, start with 5-10 minute exercise sessions and gradually increase your time.

Self-Care Tip #3: Feed your Spirit

My relationship with God is a major part of my life. I’ve been through some really dark times where I know that if it had not been for my faith, I would not have made it out with my sanity. Taking time to feed your spirit gives you a level of fortitude that you can’t find anywhere else. Here are a few ways that you can feed your spirit in order to keep yourself grounded and strong enough to combat the enemy.

1. Read a Devotional

Some people start their day with it while others end their day with it. For me, I’ve found it most effective to read my devotion in the morning. This allows me to start me day on the right foot with God at the center and better prepares me to respond in a more productive manner to the stresses that come. The YouVersion Bible App has a plethora of devotionals to choose from, and they are organized by topic. So if you want to actually read a devotional that will help with anxiety and stress, it’s there. You can find a devotional to cover just about any topic within the app.

2. Read the Bible

Sometimes you may find yourself in a place where you just need to go straight to The Book. I have yet to face a challenge or season in my life that stumped the Bible. There’s always been a scripture that I’ve been able to apply to my situation and find comfort and encouragement in. My pastor always says when you open your Bible, God opens your mouth. Make time for God to speak to you. Don’t rush it. Be sure to take time to hear him clearly through his Word.

3. Prayer

Make your requests known to God. Yes, he knows everything, but all relationships thrive off of effective communication. Even our relationship with The Father. Talk with him just like you would talk with a friend. Share with him the desires of your heart, your worries and anxieties, your dreams and aspirations. Then ask him for wisdom, guidance, and clarity. You will feel so much lighter once you do!

Self-Care Tip #4: Music

Music is a language that we all speak, no matter our race, ethnicity, background or upbringing. It heals the soul in ways that nothing else can. Here are some ways you can incorporate music into your life as a form of self-care.

1. Create Various Playlists

When you create your own playlist, you know you won’t have to skip many songs (if any) because they’ve all been handpicked by you! Having a set of playlists that will bring the vibe that you may need on any given day is a game changer. For example, I have a chill playlist that I listen to when I want to feel relaxed. I have a few gospel playlists that I use when I either want to feel close to God or I just want to jam out to something that’s edifying. I’ve also created a neo soul, a jazz, a love song, and a plain old ratchet playlist. No matter what mood I’m in or want to get to, I have music that will get the job done.

2. Add Music to the Mundane

The basic, boring tasks of life don’t HAVE to be basic and boring. Literally throwing some music on as you do it makes a world of difference. I LOVE to play music while I cook. Although cooking in and of itself is a form of self-care for me, that’s not the case for everyone. So try throwing on one of your playlists as you cook. The same thing goes for working out. You may find yourself going harder and working out for longer when you have good music playing. Washing dishes, cleaning the bathroom, taking a shower or bath, the list goes on and on. Start adding music to the mundane and I bet you money that you will feel the difference!

3. Relaxation Playlists

For me, Spotify is my place for all things music. Not only do I use it to create my own playlists, but I absolutely love their pre-made playlists for relaxation. They have everything from actual music to nature sounds, and they have playlists for babies and even some for dogs! I advise you to check it out.

Self-Care Tip #5: Just Breathe

There are various breathing exercises for relaxation and stress management, but my go to is the 4-7-8 breathing technique. Simply put, you breathe in for 4 counts, hold your breath for 7 counts, then exhale for 8 counts. “The 4-7-8 technique forces the mind and body to focus on regulating the breath, rather than replaying your worries when you lie down at night. Proponents claim it can soothe a racing heart or calm frazzled nerves. Dr. Weil, a world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, has even described it as a ‘natural tranquilizer for the nervous system.’”

While this is a short list of ways to practice self-care, you can click here for a more comprehensive list. This link consists of 151 self-care ideas to increase mindfulness and avoid burnout. I implore you to explore the article and take note of 2-3 things you will vow to implement in your life. Write them down and make a promise to yourself. Remember, don’t wait for life to make room for your self-care. YOU take charge of your life and make it happen for YOU! There’s only one you in the world and she is loved and needed. Take care of you!

I love you and I mean it,

Coach Jo AKA Lady Grace

fitness, Healthy Living, Mental Health

3 Mental Roadblocks to a Healthier You and How to Overcome Them

Fitness. It’s one of those things where either you love it or you hate it. Quite honestly, most people either hate it or have a love-hate relationship with it. Very few people actually love the thought of working out. But why is that? Why do we have such a disdain for something that has the power to change our lives for the better? Well, I can think of a few reasons. More than likely, you are suffering from a mental roadblock or two that keeps getting in your way.

Mental Roadblock #1: Defeatist Attitude

Example: “There’s no way I’m going to be able to reach my goal!” This mental roadblock is the one that causes you to give up before you even try. Maybe it’s been months or even years since you’ve worked out or attempted to eat healthy. The mere thought of making a change seems overwhelming. Instead of anticipating the best, you’re expecting the worst. Trust me, you are not alone. So often, we miss out on potential blessings because of our own beliefs. We believe we won’t be able to reach our fitness goals. Defeatist attitude. We believe that if we do try to pursue a life of fitness, we will end up failing. Defeatist attitude. We believe it will be too hard (and we haven’t even tried). Defeatist attitude. These are all beliefs that are set up to keep us from becoming our best selves.

How to Overcome a Defeatist attitude

One great way to overcome a defeatist attitude is through daily affirmations. This is something that we at MommiNation encourage and believe in, and our good sis Destiny Aja keeps them coming for us! If you participated in the Mommi 2.0 Challenge or the Fit Mommi Challenge that ended today, you know what I’m talking about. The affirmations Destiny provides add a layer of motivation, comfort, and ignite a fire of determination in us. Did you know that daily affirmations have been PROVEN to motivate and boost confidence? According to an article from The Intuitive Phoenix Blog, they even improve your quality of life and lead to better health. So, start talking to yourself, Sis!

Mental Roadblock #2: Pessimism

Example: “This is not going to end well!” This mental roadblock usually pops up in the beginning of your fitness journey, and sometimes it happens mid-workout. Pessimism is “a tendency to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen; a lack of hope or confidence in the future.” Now THAT is deep! A lack of hope or confidence in the future. Not to take it to church on y’all, but that sounds like the absence of faith to me. (insert big eye balls) Listen, the mind is a powerful thing, and if you believe that the worst will happen, it probably will. What the heck, let’s go to church!

How to Overcome Pessimism

Phillipians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” You have to take inventory of your thoughts, and any thought that does not align with this passage needs to be evicted. Period. Start replacing the negativity in your surroundings and in your life. Be intentional about finding the good in every situation. For more tips on how to how to stop being pessimistic, click here.

Mental Roadblock #3: Unrealistic Expectations

Example: “I’m not seeing any change!” This mental roadblock will have you thinking all kinds of backwards. Let’s just cut to the chase. Rome was NOT built in a day, Sis! What makes you think your dream body will be? The most effective health and fitness habits and routines are set up to yield long-term success, not instant gratification. Another example of this is dieting. Some of us end up frustrated with ourselves because we keep “failing” at our diet. But what does that diet consist of? One meal a day? This is something I’ve had to embrace for myself, at a deeper level. I’ve done the keto diet a couple of times. I have fun when I’m keto because I get to try new recipes that I normally wouldn’t cook. I also have an opportunity to get creative with desserts. However, I’ve realized that as a foodie, completely depriving myself of foods that I love does not work for me. I only end up indulging in the long run and falling completely off the wagon. So, I had to go back to the drawing board and set realistic expectations for myself.

How to Overcome Unrealistic Expectations

The first key to overcoming unrealistic expectations and creating realistic expectations for yourself is to know yourself. This requires a level or honesty, self-reflection, and vulnerability with the (wo)man in the mirror. What are your strengths and your weaknesses? What are you natural abilities. These are all things you should know about yourself. Then, you can set realistic expectations based on truth. Once you know yourself, you’ve got to stop comparing yourself to other people. God created YOU to be YOU, and there ain’t another person on this earth who brings to the table what you bring.

OK, follow me. We all make up one body, the body of Christ. We each play a key role in making that body function properly. If you are supposed to be a foot, but you want to be a nose like Keisha, we’re gonna end up with two noses. Oh, we’ll be able to smell things from a mile away, but it’s gonna take us longer to get to the thing we smell because you (the foot) decided you didn’t want to play your position. In the words of Jonathan McReynolds, comparison kills! So don’t do it. Be you and walk in who God has created you to be with your head held high! If you need help to stop expecting too much of yourself, click here.

I Get It, and I Got You!

I really hope this blog is helpful because I know these mental roadblocks are real, and they rob us of our best lives every day. I encourage you to make a choice today to push past those roadblocks, kick them DOWN!!! And push forward to a better future, a better life, and a better you. So, who’s ready to break down these mental road blocks??? We can do this thing together. It’s time to go after the life of health and fitness that you deserve! If you REALLY want to go deep, join my JumpFit Fam. All you have to do is register for a class, and you will automatically be welcomed into a group of amazing women who motivate and encourage one another. I hope to see you soon!

Yours in Fitness,

Lady Grace

All About Lady Grace

Who is Lady Grace?

Hey, Family! It’s me, Joanna Coatney, also known as Lady Grace. I wanted to take a moment to welcome you to my blog! In this brief blog post, I want to take the time introduce myself to some and further explain who I am to others.

Who Am I?

Me and my little family!

I am a child of God above all things. My relationship with God and commitment to follow Christ is the driving force in my life. I strive to bring light into this dark world in any way I can, and I use my gifts, talents, and my business as a way to show love to those who enter into my world.

I am a wife, happily married to one of the most amazing men in the entire world, Vecente Coatney, II. While marriage is not easy (I don’t care how Instagram makes it look), it is the craziest rollercoaster that I would never want to get off of. When you find the right person who cherishes you, honors you, and loves you like Christ loves the church, it makes the rough patches worth fighting through.

I am a mother to one amazingly energetic toddler whom we call Third. I could not imagine my life without our son. He brings so much joy into our lives. He is the kindest, sweetest little boy I could’ve ever prayed for, and I am forever grateful to be his Mommy. I strive every day to make him happy and create a life where he can flourish and grow into everything God is calling him to be.

What Do I Do?

My time as a truancy officer in Manor ISD

I have been in education for 11 years, and am now transitioning into full-time entrepreneurship. That’s right! As of February 5th, I will be saying goodbye to my current job and embarking on a whole new adventure. I’m choosing to take a leap of faith into uncharted territory. Why? Because working hard every day to build someone else’s business while feeling stressed, drained, and unfulfilled is no longer appealing to me. If I’m going to be drained and stressed, I want it to be over something that also brings me joy and rejuvenation. Something that I’m passionate about. My passion for education has fizzled out, and that’s OK! It just means that God is preparing me for something different. Something greater!

I’m a fitness instructor and newly Certified Personal Fitness Instructor. I have always been an athlete since elementary school, participating in team sports such as basketball, softball, and track and field. Team sports and group workouts give me so much energy! Which is part of the reason why I created JumpFit and launched the first class on November 28, 2020. JumpFit is my jump rope fitness class, MY baby, and I’m extremely passionate about it.

I am a blogger and social media influencer. My platform focuses on my 5 F’s (Faith, Family, Fitness, Food, and Fun) and how I’m “Learning to Balance it All.” As a foodie, I love most foods that conflict with my healthy lifestyle! (insert eye rolling emoji) However, I have been on a mission to find a healthy balance that will allow me to continue to prioritize my healthy and fitness while also creating space to enjoy life and all of the amazing foods if has to offer. Balance is attainable when it comes to your eating habits, and I think I’ve finally found what works for me.

What You Can Expect From Me

As you join me on this journey, you can expect to see an array of blogs that will fall under the umbrella of my 5 F’s. In those blogs, you can expect to receive helpful resources, encouragement, empowerment, transparency, and lots of laughs! Through my blog, I hope to connect with and support women who are wanting to live their best life as their best self in the midst of trying to balance everything that comes with life. My prayer is that I can help you learn to balance it all without having to neglect YOU.

Let’s Do This!

If you’re ready to go on this journey with me and would like to receive important updates via email, click here to subscribe to my mailing list! I promise you won’t receive a plethora of annoying emails from me (nobody likes those). But you WILL be the first to know when I post a new blog or share dope information and updates about what’s new with Lady Grace!

Thank you so much for rocking with me, and stay tuned for my new blog dropping later this week!