"Let's Get Real: You Need a Nightly Routine, Honey"

"Let's Get Real: You Need a Nightly Routine, Honey"

As I lay in bed, I couldn't resist the temptation to just quickly scroll through Instagram before turning off my phone for the night. I told myself it would only take a few minutes, but an hour and a half had passed before I knew it. My dry eyes were starting to feel heavy, and I realized that I had actually dozed off with my phone still in my hand. I shook my head at my lack of self-control and made a mental note to be more mindful of my screen time before bed.  But I said that last night too, and the night before.  Sounds familiar? 

Overall, a nightly routine can help you feel more balanced, rested, and in control of your life. A small investment of time can benefit your overall health and well-being. Here are some suggestions to help you get the rest your body deserves.  

1. Start by setting aside some time for yourself before bed. This might be as simple as taking a few minutes to breathe or read a book.  What is currently on my nightly decompressing list is Sugar Jar

2. Create a relaxing atmosphere by dimming the lights, lighting candles or incense, or playing calming music.

3. Consider incorporating some self-care practices into your routine, such as taking a warm bath or shower or doing gentle stretches.

4. Set some boundaries for yourself by turning off screens at least an hour before bedtime or limiting your time on your phone or computer.

5. Consider keeping a journal or a gratitude list to reflect on your day and focus on the positive things in your life.

6. Make sure your sleep environment is conducive to rest, with a comfortable bed, pillows, and a cool, dark room.

7. Try incorporating relaxation techniques into your routine, such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or visualization.

8. Avoid consuming caffeine or alcohol close to bedtime, as it can disrupt sleep.

9. If you have trouble falling asleep, try setting a consistent bedtime and sticking to it, even on the weekends.

It's normal to struggle to establish a consistent, relaxing nighttime routine, and it's important to be patient with yourself as you work to create this habit. Finding the right combination of activities that help you wind down and prepare for a good night's sleep may take some time. Don't get discouraged if you don't see immediate results - it often takes time and effort to create lasting change. Remember to be kind to yourself as you work to build this routine, and know that the effort you put in will pay off in the long run in the form of better sleep, reduced stress, and improved overall well-being.

Book Review: A Multi-Genre, Insider's Guide to the Publication Process

Book Review:  A Multi-Genre, Insider's Guide to the Publication Process

A new year has arrived, and new goals and dreams are often written down in journals and planners.  Maybe one of them is writing a book. That goal has been on my radar for a decade (just being frank).  

One piece of the book writing puzzle that has put me on a long pause is the publishing side of things.  When I was in college, a professor told me I couldn't write.  That one comment changed the trajectory of my entire career.  

Needless to say, when I think of writing a book, I think of rejection letters and publishers saying "no'!   So when I was asked to review Melanie Faith's new book "A Multi-Genre, Insider's Guide to the Publication Process," I was on board. I may be infusing fear into something that 1.  Has not happened.  2.  It could be a made-up story from my thoughts of the unknown.  3. Knowledge is power, and perhaps I could learn something to combat my fear.  So I began reading.  

Melanie Faith Author 

What is true about this book is that she has submitted her own writing 1,300 times and still has plenty more to submit.  In this book, she shares about writing, editing, preparing to publish or not to publish, and teaching writers like myself how to navigate.    

The first chapter is titled "First Identity:  You Are Who You Say You Are."  This was a defining moment for me.  It helped me shed away the painful stigma I still carried from that one professor so many moons ago.  Each chapter ends with an exercise, and this first assignment was to say by the end of the week to someone, "I am a writer."  It was powerful and changed my entire perspective on how I show up.  

My day came when someone was reading about my products and asked me, "How do you come up with these names and tell stories?"  Without hesitation, I said, "just like you like to cook, I love to write... I am a writer."  I felt my chest puff up like a red-breasted robin strutting my stuff.  I transformed personally and professionally in one sentence from the very first chapter.  

If you want the raw and no-fluff truth on writer versus author, you must take the time to add this book to your resources.  I ended my read feeling built up, and options I never thought of were gifted to me.  My power to forge along as a writer has been renewed.  If you are on the fence about publishing or not publishing, wrestling with imposter syndrome, or needing fresh ideas to get your work in front of many eyeballs, then you want this in your hands.  

I will be peering into other books by Melanie Faith; many lessons were learned.  This is the kind of book you have to highlight, make marginal references and re-read over and over again, and no doubt you will leave with a fresh gem every time.  

What are your writing goals?  Please share them below. I would be glad to clap you up.... all the way to your desired finishing line.

Hey Girl! Here Are 25 Ways to Relieve Stress

Hey Girl!  Here Are 25 Ways to Relieve Stress
Have you paused throughout your busy day, and thoughts about how you want to combat stress lightly jog through your mind?  Not only does stress affect us personally, but it can turn from ripples to hard-hitting waves, and it can also affect those around us.  

Book Review: Rebirth By Kate Brenton

Book Review: Rebirth By Kate Brenton
Did you say a book filled with stories and how people were able to overcome what could have been a total TKO?   I am a sucka for a happy ending and victory dances... hand over a tambourine, and I will give it a few firey shakes.  I want to introduce you to my latest read, Rebirth, By Kate Brenton, ED.M.

Wake To Be Inspired: 5 Things To “Kung Pow” Your Mornings

Wake To Be Inspired:  5 Things To “Kung Pow” Your Mornings
There's nothing quite like starting the day with the song of Folger's coffee running in your mind and running to a fresh cup of coffee and a few minutes of peace and quiet. But for many of us, the morning is a rushed, hectic affair that can run you out the door with wet hair and non-slick back edges.
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