Are You Strong Enough to Ask For Help?

No one enjoys asking for help. We instinctively want to be self-sufficient, to manage for ourselves and have everything under control. How many times do you mutter on auto-pilot, “I’ve got it!”, or “No thanks, I’m good!” when asked if you need help with something, especially around the house or at work?

Asking for help is hard to do! It’s easy to feel inadequate relying on someone else for things you can normally do, for tasks you’d happily do if you had the time, energy, or strength. While you may feel weak asking for help, it’s truly a strength to ask for what you need.

Two weeks ago I had a c-section to deliver my son. Having a C-section isn’t uncommon, but it’s still a major abdominal surgery, requiring significant recovery time, all while caring for a newborn. The few days I was in the hospital it felt easy to ask for help. I had nurses checking on me throughout the day, bringing me what I needed before I knew I needed it.

I wasn’t in my home so there was no dog to walk, no dishes to do, nothing I needed was outside of my reach, and room service was free and a phone call away. The surgery was so recent that I couldn’t move much anyhow.

Then, I came home. I kept the advice from our childbirth classes in my mind, that even if you feel pretty good, your body has been through major trauma (no matter the type of delivery), and to take it extremely easy. Like, Netflix, couch, and delivery food easy. Luckily it’s February in Chicago so the temptation to go outside is at an all time low.

Still, even with all of that in mind, I was actively fighting feelings to put the dishes in the dishwasher, fold the blanket on the couch, clear off the kitchen island, and so on and so on. It felt lazy to let things sit, and bossy to ask for someone to refill my water, take the baby so I could stand up, change him while I rested on the couch.

I asked anyway, so I could recover. So I could be back to my normal self as soon as possible.

I asked anyway, so I could recover. So I could be back to my normal self as soon as possible. Click To Tweet

Whether you are ordered by a doctor to take it easy, or you’re simply having a hell of a week and your typical mindless tasks seem impossible, here are some things to keep in mind to make it easier to ask for the help you need.

Get Comfortable with Stepping Back

Once you set your bar for normalcy in the daily tasks you tackle, doing anything less can feel like you’re letting go, like you’ve lost control. You feel full of “can’t” and that can be uncomfortable. What helps me is remembering that overwhelm or injury is often temporary. You’re stepping back for now, but that doesn’t mean you’ve given up.

Ask for help with one thing at a time, but on a regular basis, and it will get easier.

Ask for help with one thing at a time, but on a regular basis, and it will get easier. Click To Tweet

There will be big life changes that disrupt your normal routine, and the help you need may not be temporary. That is OK. At 6 months pregnant I got overwhelmed with dishes, cooking dinner, taking out the trash, etc. I can keep up and not feel overwhelmed with working and the tasks I’ve taken on, and I knew maternity leave would let me adjust to taking care of a baby and getting these things done.

The overwhelm came when I thought of returning to work, taking care of the baby AND getting all these things done. My husband and I talked about it and we decided to get a cleaner a couple times a month, and that he could take over trash duties.

What felt super overwhelming and out of control, suddenly felt doable. All I had to do was tell him I was going to need help after the big change heading our way. This made it easier in the weeks that followed to let him know when something felt like too much.

Taking Care of Yourself is a Strength, Not a Weakness

When you’re in the moment, asking for help can feel weak, like you can’t handle things for yourself. Take a step back and look at the bigger picture. When you ask for the help you need, you’re not only getting more accomplished, you’re setting yourself up so you can fire on all cylinders.

It’s that familiar instruction to put your oxygen mask on before putting on your child’s. Especially when it comes to your home and family life, taking care of yourself by asking for help ends up helping everyone. If you take on too much, you can’t perform to your full capacity. It’s stressful, setting you back if you’re physically recovering, and draining your energy and tanking your mood if you’ve simply taken on too much for the time you have available.

Asking For Help is Not Being Bossy

Personally, this is the biggest issue I have with asking for help. Asking someone – even your spouse or parent – to do something for you can feel like you’re bossing them around. In reality, asking for what you legitimately need is not bossy at all, but a sign of strength that you are delegating when you need to.

The other amazing thing I’ve found, is that people love to help and be useful. When you are able to help out a friend, doesn’t it feel good? You feel helpful and that you’ve made a difference, no matter how small, in their day.

I first remember this from my wedding day. Everyone wanted to help in some way and for the first time I didn’t feel bad accepting their offers. It made my stress level go down, and they felt great for being able to contribute in some small way.

Demanding things you actually could do yourself can be bossy. But asking for what you need from someone who supports you is a strength where you both feel valued in the end.

Know What You Need

This was another highly valuable piece of advice from our childbirth classes. Especially when you know you will need help for big life events – moving, getting married, having a baby, etc. – make a list of what people can help you with. Friends and family want to contribute, and when you’re overwhelmed and they ask how they can help, you’ll likely draw a blank.

Make a short list of what would help you the most so you’ll be prepared when someone asks if you need anything. Instead of being vague, you can say, “actually can you pick up laundry detergent on your way over?” or, “It would be super helpful if you could take the trash out when you leave.”

Final Thoughts

If you have to practice asking, practice! The more you normalize it, it won’t feel like a big deal, and the more comfortable you are saying specifically what you need, the easier it is for others to help.

If you still feel like you’re asking too much, think about how you react when a friend asks for something specific. If she’s having a party and you ask if you can bring anything, do you feel put off if she says, “actually, if you could pick up a bag of ice that would be awesome!”? I doubt it!

 

 

dōTERRA’s Emotional Aromatherapy Touch Kit

As much as I love making my own blends using essential oils (like for cleaning, skincare, and haircare) I very much enjoy dōTERRA’s proprietary blends. I diffuse Motivate many mornings, wear Elevation like perfume, and enjoy Balance or Peace when I practice yoga (although don’t miss out on the new Yoga Kit!)

dōTERRA’s Emotional Aromatherapy Touch Kit is made for having quick access and application of their 6 proprietary blends that target emotional health benefits. Each roller bottle is premixed with fractionated coconut oil so you can apply to specific points on your body and reap the benefits of aromatherapy even on the go!

First, I want to quickly look at how essential oils can positively affect you emotionally, then I’ll review all the oils in the Emotional Aromatherapy Touch Kit.

Using Essential Oils Aromatically 

We know scent is powerful. The smell of your mom’s cooking makes you feel comforted, the first smells of spring uplift your mood with warmer days ahead, and the minty aroma of your toothpaste makes your mouth feel even cleaner. What’s happening here?

The molecules of these scents, like the molecules of essential oils, stimulate the olfactory receptors and their sensory neurons carry these signals to the olfactory bulb which filters and starts processing the input signals of the specific scent. Next, mitral cells transport the output signals from the olfactory bulb to the olfactory cortex, making it possible for you to recognize the scent.

However, these mitral cells don’t only go to the olfactory cortex. They carry signals to other areas of the brain’s limbic system, some connecting directly to the amygdala, making it the only sensory system that crosses the amygdala and the limbic system in its primary processing pathway. This is why scent is so strongly tied to memory which affects your mood. (yalescientific.org)

Essential Oils Included in the Emotional Aromatherapy Touch Kit

Cheer

This blend of citrus and spice oils was created to counteract negative emotions, providing a positive boost of happiness. Cheer promotes feelings of optimism, positivity, and happiness. Roll on Cheer Touch over your heart, or to your wrists in the winter for uplifting boosts throughout the day. For children, apply to the bottoms of the feet for a positivity boost!

What’s in Cheer?

Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Star Anise Fruit/Seed, Lemon Myrtle Leaf, Nutmeg Kernel, Vanilla Absolute, Ginger Root, Cinnamon Bark, Zdravetz Herb.

Console

Sweet floral and tree essential oils create dōTERRA’s Console Comforting blend to promote feelings of comfort, helping you find hope to get on a path of emotional healing. Apply over the heart when you’re feeling sad to remind yourself to be patient and find positive thoughts. Console counteracts negative emotions like grief and hopelessness.

What’s in Console?

Frankincense Resin, Patchouli Leaf, Ylang Ylang Flower, Labdanum Stem/Twig, Amyris Bark, Sandalwood Wood, Rose Flower, Osmanthus Flower.

Forgive

Forgive’s fresh and woody scent evoke feelings of contentment, patience, and relief, while counteracting negative emotions of anger and guilt. Forgive helps you move forward and let go of resentment. Apply to the heart and pulse points to feel content and grounded.

What’s in Forgive?

Spruce Leaf, Bergamot Peel, Juniper Berry Fruit, Myrrh Resin, Arborvitae Wood, Nootka Tree Wood, Thyme Leaf, Citronella Herb.

Motivate

When you’re feeling frustrated and cynical, with shaken confidence, the minty citrus scent of Motivate will guide you back to your creative powers. Feelings of courage, confidence, and belief will counteract feelings of doubt and pessimism. Apply to the bottoms of your feet in the morning to get a positive start on the day, Roll over pulse points before big events like speaking engagements, sports, or work events.

What’s in Motivate?

Peppermint Plant, Clementine Peel, Coriander Seed, Basil Herb, Yuzu Peel, Melissa Leaf, Rosemary Leaf, Vanilla Bean Absolute.

Passion

The spicy, warm, rich aroma of the Passion Inspiring blend will shake off feelings of boredom and disinterest, bringing on excitement and joy. Passion helps you discover a renewed feeling of joy for all the day-to-day blessings in your life you’ve started to overlook. Apply over pulse points and your heart to encourage inspiration and passion for life!

What’s in Passion?

Cardamom Seed, Cinnamon Bark, Ginger Rhizome, Clove Bud, Sandalwood Wood, Jasmine Flower Absolute, Vanilla Bean Absolute, Damiana Leaf.

Peace

Feeling anxious? The sweet, minty, rich scent of Peace Reassuring blend was crafted to promote feelings of composure, contentment, and reassurance for times you’re feeling overwhelmed with anxious and fearful emotions. Rub onto your temples for peace of mind when feeling untethered, or onto the palms of the hands and rub together, inhaling deeply when feeling anxious.

What’s in Peace?

Vetiver Root, Lavender Plant, Ylang Ylang Flower, Frankincense Resin, Clary Sage Flower/Leaf, Marjoram Leaf, Labdanum Leaf/Stalk, Spearmint Herb.

I’ve been using my kit daily since it arrived! Typically, I take whichever blend I need most at the time – this week both Motivate and Peace have been my go-to’s as I wade through my last week of pregnancy – and apply to my wrists and above the heart. I love getting whiffs throughout the day (a little truly goes a long way), and I’m instantly reminded why I put that particular scent on in the first place.

For more info on the Emotional Aromatherapy Touch Kit, click here, and for more on essential oils in general and how to get them into your home, check out my Essential Oils page here!

 

 

 

Meditation Apps

Maybe you’ve been meditating before smartphones existed, or maybe meditation made it to your New Year’s Resolution list and you’re not sure where to start. Wherever you are on the meditation spectrum, there are a number of useful apps to make meditation more accessible.

I’ve tried a few apps myself, especially helpful when my Lenten commitment was to meditate for at least 15 minutes each day, and many more have come out or improved since then.

Here are the most popular meditation apps to test out for yourself!

10% Happier

Description:

10% Happier was created for skeptics who want to learn the basics of meditation and build from there. This app gives a clear, simple approach to meditation. Author Dan Harris (Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics) teamed up with some of the most respected meditation leaders to teach the basics of mindful meditation and help people keep their practice going.

Features: 

  • 7 completely free introductory course and mindful meditations
  • Different subscription levels give you access to more features
  • New monthly content to deepen your practice and keep things fresh
  • Daily videos teach you meditation in a simple streamlined manner

Calm

Description:

Intended to bring more clarity, joy, and peace to your daily life, Calm offers 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 minute guided meditations so you can easily find a length to suit you at all times, everyday. Calm is perfect for beginners, yet offers many programs for intermediate to advanced users. Free basics, premium subscription and/or in-app purchases.

Features:

  • Daily Calm: updated daily 10-minute guided meditation
  • Unguided timed meditation
  • Exclusive music to choose from
  • Sleep stories designed for adults to lull you to sleep
  • 30+ nature scenes to choose from

Headspace

Description:

With the free Basics pack, beginners learn the essentials of living a healthier and happier life through meditation and mindfulness. Users upgrade by subscribing to gain access to more advanced packs and hundreds of more meditation packs from sports, to healthier relationships, to anxiety, sleep, and more. Subscription is $12.99/month or $94.99/year.

Features:

  • Varied length guided meditations; bite-sized minis, singles, and full packs
  • SOS exercises for sudden meltdowns
  • Personal meditation guide
  • Meditations for kids

Simple Habit

Description:

Designed to empower super busy people to stress less, achieve more, and live better by offering 5 minute guided meditations. By meditating just 5 minutes every day, users will improve focus, sleep better, relax faster, breathe easier, and more. Limited access is free, unlimited premium $11.99/month or $95.99 for the year.

Features:

  • Meditation guides from Google Mindfulness experts to monks
  • Track your progress with Mindful Minutes
  • Situation specific meditations; commute, wake-up, tough day at work, etc.

Insight Timer

Description:

Insight Timer is primarily a free meditation app, big on community. Simplicity is what stands out from this app, a simple timer with your choice of bells, duration, and thousands of meditations at our fingertips. For added features you’ll pay $2.99/month.

Features:

  • Playlists for different focuses; anxiety, sleep, relaxation, etc.
  • Track stats and milestones as you practice
  • Join local meet-ups and discussions run by other users
  • Enjoy over 7,000 meditations, music tracks, talks, and courses

 

The Essential Oils in My Hospital Bag

At 36 weeks I packed a hospital bag in hopes that it would be like bringing an umbrella to prevent rain. If the bag is packed, hopefully he won’t come too early!

Although our idea of a natural labor and vaginal delivery changed at 37 weeks when we found out little bud was breech (but healthy!), most of my hospital bag items remained the same. From day one I planned to bring some of my essential oils for our stay, and after some thought, I landed on the following oils for our trip.

Here is what I’m bringing and why:

Lavender

My initial reason for including lavender was to create a calm environment and to help my husband and I get some sleep between nurse check ins. However another great use is to ease postpartum contractions. After delivery your uterus isn’t done, it’s contracting to get back to it’s normal pre-pregnancy size which I suspect will not be pleasant.

Diffusing lavender at night, or simply applying some to the bottoms of my feet and wrists will help calm my body for better sleep, and mixing with a carrier oil and massaging over my abdomen will help with postpartum contractions.

Frankincense

Known as the King of Oils, Frankincense has a ton of uses. Mixing it with lavender over the abdomen will help with the contractions, and it’s healing properties make it ideal to mix with a carrier oil or dilute with water and apply to the umbilical cord to prevent infection.

Frankincense has a grounding effect and promotes relaxation which some midwives recommend applying one drop to your newborns head or spine to help ease their transition into the world.

Deep Blue Rub

I recently wrote about my love of Deep Blue Rub, and the entire Deep Blue product line here, so you can bet I’m bringing this soothing lotion along with me!

With a C-section I’m going to be in the hospital longer than I originally thought (I go home on the 4th day) so laying in bed longer than I’m used to, and the new positions of holding and breastfeeding a baby are sure to cause muscle soreness. I can easily apply some Deep Blue Rub to whatever areas need it most and get instant relief.

Helichrysum

Helichrysum is one of the newer oils in my personal collection which I bought specifically with childbirth in mind. This oil is known for it’s skin restoring properties, meaning it can help with skin blemishes like scars and stretch marks. Helichrysum also helps stop minor bleeding by encouraging blood to coagulate while giving a soothing sensation and promoting healing.

Fennel

I’m primarily bringing Fennel to help increase my milk supply, which I will continue to use once I’m home. You can take internally in a capsule or simply dilute and rub into your breast tissue to promote milk production and protect against clogged ducts, infection, and thrush. It should be noted to only use Fennel up to 10 days consecutively before taking a break for a few days.

Fennel also has a positive effect on muscle cramps and spasms so between baby-holding muscle fatigue and abdominal discomfort, Fennel is going to come in handy!

Aroma Touch

Along with the idea of Deep Blue, Aroma Touch Massage Blend was created to help lessen tension and was made for massage. Between tired feet and tension tight shoulders I’m going to take every massage offered and I’ve already pinpointed my mom to be in charge of foot massages with Aroma Touch!

Elevation

Elevation, also known as the Joyful Blend, has been a go-to of mine for a while. I like to diffuse it in the mornings with a drop of Wild Orange and I regularly rub one drop onto my chest so I can smell it all day. This uplifting scent will give a positive boost to all who visit the room and be a little pick-me-up when I’m ready to go home.

Note on Clary Sage

Clary Sage is a very powerful oil that can actually encourage labor to start by promoting contractions. I had planned to bring it to help strengthen contractions once labor had started. If you are not having a planned C-section you’ll definitely want Clary Sage in your bag! It also helps increase milk supply and has even been noted to aid in postpartum depression and anxiety so I will be using mine once I’m home!

Did you use or do you plan to use essential oils during childbirth and postpartum? Tell us what you used most in the comments!

Do you use essential oils? If you’re curious about where to start as a wholesale customer or as a business opporunity, check out my page on essential oils here or email me with your questions at samantha@simplywellcoaching.com!

8 Healthy Breakfast Casseroles

I’ve said it many times, but I’ll say it again; breakfast is my favorite meal!

During the week I tend to stick to the same routine for breakfast, alternating between oatmeal and a yogurt parfait, but the weekend or breakfast for dinner is a different game. Making a breakfast casserole will set you up for the weekend and then some, and are great for bringing to a brunch or when you have guests.

Here are some healthier ideas to make breakfast special without overstuffing yourself and everyone else!

Spinach-Artichoke Strata
Cookinglight.com

Spinach and Feta Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust
Cookinglight.com

Broccoli and Feta Breakfast Casserole
eatingbirdfood.com

Baked Oatmeal Casserole
Loveoffamilyandhome.com

Denver Omelet Egg Bake
Fitfoodiefinds.com

Makeover Breakfast Sausage and Mushroom Strata
Skinnytaste.com

Blueberry Almond French Toast Bake
Foodnetwork.com

Potato Egg Bake
Tasteofhome.com

What do you do differently for weekend breakfasts versus weekday? What’s your favorite breakfast food?

Soothe Yourself with Deep Blue

dōTERRA’s Deep Blue was created to soothe. I always tell people it’s the idea of Icy Hot, but better and natural. This blend includes the oils:

  • Wintergreen
  • Camphor
  • Peppermint
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Helichrysum
  • Blue Tansy
  • Blue Chamomile
  • Osmanthus

This minty aromatic oil is my go-to for massage, and after a long day – either highly physical or simply sitting at a computer for too long – it helps alleviate all kinds of aches and pains. While the oil itself is great, and can easily be mixed with a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil to quickly rub onto tight areas, dōTERRA has a more ways to use Deep Blue with their collection of Deep Blue products.

Deep Blue Rub

When you need Deep Blue Rub, you can’t imagine living without it. Seriously, I can attest! This topical cream is made with all the soothing oils of Deep Blue, plus moisturizing emollients (non-cosmetic moisturizers) that combine to both cool and warm the targeted area.

I’ve had low back aches from lifting weights, and most recently from pregnancy, and this has been a lifesaver. Soon after rubbing this into my low back, a warm sensation radiates through the ache and feels like a massage! What I really like about it, aside from the instant relief, is that it goes and and soaks in like lotion, not greasy in any way. Plus, it smells more minty than medicinal.

Primary benefits include:

  • Formulated with the Deep Blue proprietary blend of essential oils and other powerful ingredients
  • Perfect for the athlete in your life, Deep Blue Rub is blended in a base of moisturizing emollients that leaves your skin soft and non-greasy
  • Provides a cooling and soothing sensation to targeted areas

Deep Blue Polyphenol Complex

To compliment the physically soothing aspect of Deep Blue oil blend and Deep Blue Rub, these power packed veggie capsules are intended to soothe and support the aching muscles from the inside out. The blend of indian frankincense extracts along with turmeric and ginger combine to healthy mobility and function, plus soothing support for the entire body. You can take these capsules daily or just as discomfort presents itself.

Primary benefits include:

  • Patent-pending, fast-acting frankincense extract shown to help support muscle and joint comfort and function*
  • Includes proprietary, standardized extracts of ginger, curcumin, resveratrol, and other polyphenols to soothe occasional aches and discomfort*
  • Can be used in tandem with Deep Blue Rub or Deep Blue Soothing Blend
  • Contains the doTERRA Tummy Tamer blend of Peppermint, Ginger, and Caraway Seed

Deep Blue Soothing Blend

This is probably the most convenient way to use the powers of Deep Blue. Held in a 10oz roller bottle, this Deep Blue product is perfect to keep in your bag for quick and clean application anytime you need it! This one is perfect to have at work, too. You can roll it onto your low back and neck, or apply to your wrists and fingers when you start to feel the strains of a long day on the computer.

Primary benefits include:

  • Soothing and cooling oil blend
  • Easy to use applicator
  • Comforting part of a massage 

For the full line and more details on Deep Blue products, check out dōTERRA’s website here.

Do you use essential oils? If you’re curious about where to start as a wholesale customer or as a business opporunity, check out my page on essential oils here or email me with your questions at samantha@simplywellcoaching.com!

Setting an A, B, and C Goal

As I enter the homestretch of my first pregnancy, I’m drawing more and more from my running background. Although I haven’t run since our embryo transfer 8 months ago, I’m still a runner and the lessons I’ve built from over a decade of running keep popping into my head as I prepare for delivery and life afterwards.

Most recently, I was reminded of the importance of having an A, B, and C goal.

Last week we learned that at 36 weeks my baby boy is most certainly breech. A little disappointed as we thought he was for sure head down, I tried a variety of natural strategies; acupuncture, Moxibustion (both during acupuncture and at home), postural techniques like downward dog and forward leaning inversions, and even propping up the end of our bed!

Our last attempt took place at our hospital where we tried an ECV (External Cephalic Version) where my doctor and a nurse pressed with their hands (and all of their strength) onto my abdomen attempting to physically turn the baby into the correct position. After a few attempts, it was apparent little bud was not going anywhere, his butt lodged in my pelvis.

As I waited for the epidural to wear off while both of us were being monitored, I started thinking through what we discussed with the doctor about our next steps and how it changed my vision of what his birth would be. My goal of a vaginal birth was my ideal, we had taken 6 weeks of childbirth classes and although it was still a little scary, I was wrapping my head around it, envisioning what each step would be like.

With my baby stuck in the breech position, a c-section was quickly becoming the reality, and although I was disappointed, I found myself regrouping and thankful that he was healthy and would be here soon. This surprisingly quick change of goals, focusing on the next steps for the situation at hand, is exactly why having A, B, and C goals saves you from feeling like a failure, and puts your focus on the goal you can achieve.

A Goal

Your A Goal is your baseline goal. Think about the minimum you want out of a situation. This isn’t exactly setting the bar low, it’s reminding you why you set out on whatever adventure you’re on. Whenever I step up to a start line, my A goal is always to run across the finish line smiling (or at least able to!).

I’m not a professional runner (clearly), so my A Goal is to always feel good about myself after finishing a race. I race for fun and am adamant about not allowing a race to make me feel bad about myself. As long as I ran a smart race – not going out too fast, listening to my body, taking my training seriously – I defined success as finishing a race feeling good about myself.

With this new information about a C-section, I was brought back to my A Goal of bringing a healthy baby into the world. However he needs to enter it is cool with me, as long as he’s healthy and safe, that’s what really matters to me.

B Goal

Your B Goal is a stretch goal. Think about what your preparation can push you to achieve. This is a realistic goal but one you will have to work for, to push yourself to hit.

With running I usually have a time goal that I think I can hit if I train, but will have to work at. It’s more than just completing the distance, but it may not be a huge PR depending on the race. When we weren’t talking C-section, my B Goal was to labor at home as long as I could and get an epidural as late into active labor as I could manage so I could move around.

C Goal

Your C Goal is if the stars align. Think about the absolute best case scenario. Not something impossible that could never happen, but if your preparations and events of the day all go perfectly, what could the result be.

When making a race day goal, I tend to leave a time goal out of my A Goal, but my B and C Goals have benchmark times. If I get no stitches, the weather and wind are on my side, and I’m feeling awesome, my C Goal could happen. I had barely set a C Goal for Baby K’s birth, but I think it would involve not needing the epidural and for a short time of pushing (which, yes, I realize I don’t have much control over but this is a C Goal!).

Your C Goal should be believable, but understand that it’s relying on everything to go in your favor.

Let’s look at setting all three in a career-based example

Maybe you’ve switched careers or set out as an entrepreneur and have a networking event. Your A Goal could be to enjoy the event, feel comfortable introducing yourself, and leave wanting to do it again. Your B Goal may be to leave with 3 solid contacts to follow up with and a perfected business pitch. Your C Goal might be leaving with a one-on-one with someone in your new field, and/or a call with a potential client.

The idea is to start with a baseline goal that you know is possible but not guaranteed unless you show up. From there, layer on the next possibility if you work hard and it pays off. Add one more possible-but-almost-a-dream layer and you’re all set.

When you feel your C Goal isn’t going to happen – it’s raining with a headwind – regroup and look at your B Goal. If that starts to slip, instead of throwing in the towel or starting your pity party, remind yourself of your A Goal. Pat yourself on the back for starting the race, for showing up to the networking event, etc.

You aren’t always going to hit your big stretch goals, but that doesn’t mean things are awash.

You aren't always going to hit your big stretch goals, but that doesn't mean things are awash. Click To Tweet

Want some help setting A, B, and C Goals? Working with a professional health coach will help you set meaningful and realistic goals, and help you get there by holding you accountable. I would love to talk with you about where you’re struggling and come up with an action plan to finally get the results you want! Click here to see how you can work with me, and here to start the conversation.

Create Your Signature Scent with Essential Oils

Admittedly, I was never been one to have a collection of perfumes, much less one that I wore as a signature scent, but I do have a small collection and use them semi-regularly. Well, until recently. Now, I use my oils!

Drawbacks of Perfumes

Chemicals

A major reason I switch from any product to essential oils is to eliminate as many chemicals and toxins as I can, for a more green and natural home. The vast majority of perfumes are packed with chemicals which you are spraying directly onto your skin, agh!

Much like the world of supplements, there are loopholes for companies meaning not all ingredients have to be tested or event listed. To protect trade secrets, perfume producers are not required to list every ingredient, so you don’t know what all is in that bottle. In fact, “The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition of over 100 groups seeking transparency about chemicals in cosmetics, commissioned independent laboratory tests that revealed 38 secret chemicals in 17 leading fragrances.” (Source)

This alone is scary enough, that there are ingredients not listed and of which 66% are not assessed for safety, but even more startling are the effects of the chemicals they found when testing well-known fragrances.

A 2010 article from the Environmental Working Group highlights a few findings;  “A total of 12 different hormone-disrupting chemicals were found in the tested products, with an average of four in each product.” and that, “The products tested contained an average of 10 chemicals that are known to be sensitizers and can trigger allergic reactions such as asthma, wheezing, headaches and contact dermatitis. All of these were listed on product labels.” (Source)

Cost

While it’s not nearly as harmful to your health, the cost of perfume isn’t exactly painless. Of course perfumes run the price spectrum, you’ll pay a minimum of $50 for any well known perfume, and if you are paying a lot less, do you think the ingredients are better or worse? Just saying.

By making your own with fractionated coconut oil and at most 8-12 drops of any combination of essential oils, you will not only save a lot of money, but you’ll save your health.

Make Your Own Signature Scent

It’s insanely easy to make your own perfume using essential oils, and the fun thing is you can try a ton of different combinations for different moods. You’ll also have fun figuring out your own signature scent that no one else can buy!

Here’s how:

  • Get either a small spray or roller bottle.
  • Put 8-12 drops total of your favorite essential oil; either a single oil or combination.
  • Fill the rest with fractionated coconut oil.
  • Shake before you spray and use just like you would perfume.

Need some inspiration? Here are a few combinations to get your creative juices flowing!

Flirty Floral

6 drops Lavender
4 drops Bergamot
2 drops Roman Chamomile

Fresh Outdoors

5 drops Cypress
2 drops White Fir
1 drops Sandalwood

Citrus Delight

4 drops Wild Orange
2 drops Lemongrass
1 drop Ginger

Mother Earth

6 drops White Fir
2 drops Patchouli
2 drops Geranium