self-care

Self Care in the New Year

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Starting a family changes you on a cellular level. Something that I did not anticipate when my son was born. I was sure I’d bounce right back to my usual speed of 90 MPH in no time. Just with a baby in tow – no big deal. It didn’t take me long to figure out that I wasn’t going to fit in the remodeling project and clean out my closets during my maternity leave as I’d originally planned! When my daughter was born three years later, I didn’t even make a ‘to do’ list for my time at home because at that point, a successful day consisted of taking a shower AND getting food on the table. Am I right??  

While I loved most things about raising my children when they were young, I realized over time that I was ever-so-slowly starting to lose myself. Life had gone into reactive mode. I saw my friends less. I went to fewer yoga classes. I couldn’t tell you the last book I read! Guess what that all translated to? One crabby mom. And a crabby wife, if you ask my husband when I’m not looking.  

On one of our rare cabin weekends when the kids were 2 and 5, I went on a kayak ride. It was another one of those things I loved doing pre-kids, but I barely had time for since. On this particular afternoon, I really needed to go somewhere where no one could bother me. The middle of a lake sounded like a safe spot. As I paddled out and found my meditative rhythm, I started thinking…something HAS to change! I was working full-time. Trying to be this “perfect” mom. Trying to maintain a “perfect” house. And it wasn’t working. I’d find myself on the weekends organizing and cleaning and then feeling guilty for not playing more with the kids. And that led to negative self-talk. It was an unhealthy cycle. 

At this point, I had stopped paddling. I’d made it to the middle of the lake, and the sun had set. I noticed my husband waving me in from the dock, but I wasn’t ready to come in. I gave a quick wave of my paddle but didn’t move. As I watched him walk back in the cabin, probably to some hangry kids, I just sat in my kayak taking in the silent breeze and singing loons. What could I possibly do to break the cycle I was in? And then it hit me – I need help and support. I don’t have to figure out everything on my own. So simple, yet it profoundly changed my life. 

Fast forward a month later, I had started attending a class that focused on self-compassion, protecting your energy and making choices to serve your highest good. I had also hired a high-schooler in need of some pocket cash to come over to the house four nights a week for one hour after dinner to put our food away, wash our dishes, sweep, vacuum…whatever I needed her to do, so that after the kids were in bed, and my husband and I could fall onto the couch and catch up on Netflix! By finding the support I needed and focusing on my mental and spiritual health, my kids had a much calmer and happier mom.  

Here are a few benefits of my self-care journey:

·        Practicing self-care and being loving and gentle toward ourselves helps us to be more present and calm, so we can respond wisely, intuitively and effectively to a variety of circumstances.

·        Nurturing ourselves makes us naturally feel more loving, which makes us better friends, partners, parents and more fun to be around!

·        By filling our cups first, we tend to feel more generous and can avoid building resentments toward others who demand our energy and time.

 I’ll be facilitating a Personal Renewal Workshop at Blooma, a two-hour group life-coaching program for women at all stages of life. Topics will include the transformative power of self-care, managing your energy, saying “no,” and asking for help. It will provide the opportunity to connect, relate and learn from other women, plus give you the time and space to connect with yourself and access your own inner wisdom through soul-searching journaling exercises. The goal of the workshop is to have you leave feeling renewed and motivated to use self-care techniques to cultivate your own practice at home.  

You can join Shoma for her “Personal Renewal” Workshop at Blooma Minneapolis: January 30 

Shoma Hokanson is a certified life coach and Renée Trudeau & Associates-Trained Personal Renewal Group Facilitator. She recently opened Solera Self-Care to bring experiences and events focused on self-care to others who are ready to cultivate a practice or simply take a break from the daily grind.  

Visit her website at www.soleraselfcare.com and follow her on Facebook at Solera Self-Care and Instagram @soleraselfcare.

 

 

Honoring the Significance of Pregnancy & Birth: The Fourth Trimester

Carrying a baby, birthing a baby, and mothering a baby is one of the biggest life experiences.  This transformational journey continues once baby joins a family earthside.  Each mother deserves time and space to heal from the effort of birth, honoring her own unique circumstances and needs.  Planning ahead for the fourth trimester can impact your entire postpartum experience.  Studies have shown that care, nourishment, and guidance during this time can result in long term health benefits to mother, baby, and the entire family.  

No matter what type of birth you experienced, your body went through a significant transformation.  This time is about you mamas and your body needs rest.  In Chinese culture, “Zou yuezi is a sacred 40 day period following birth that is a time to shower the new mother with nourishment and self care through therapeutic baths and deep oil massages.  In Western culture you may not be able to set aside a full 40 days and we understand that, but try making your first two weeks postpartum a sacred time, bonding with baby and resting.  

“Mothers cannot give from a depleted source.  Every mother needs emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual validation, nourishment, and support.  When a mother is respected and well cared for, she, and her whole family, will benefit.” - A motherwoman principle

In our childbirth education classes at Blooma we encourage students to abide by the 5-5-5 rule the best they can.  New mothers should plan to spend at least 5 days in the bed, 5 days on the bed, and 5 days near the bed.  Do you remember birthing your placenta?  There is a wound that size that needs to heal.  Low activity and rest can promote healing of the perineal tissues, allow birther’s organs to reposition themselves, and reduce the length of postpartum bleeding.  Have your partner or others bring you anything and everything you may need.  Request warm nourishing foods from your support team.  According to research, warm, soft foods such as bone broth, soups, or a good combination of carbs, protein and fats can help aid in digestion and provide the needed energy to nourish you and your babies body.  

 

 

After speaking with several postpartum mothers about their postpartum experience, responses were very individual and unique.  More than once, however, mamas noted they wished they would have asked more for what they need.  You are the gatekeeper of your space.  You may decide to decline visitors until you and your partner have enjoyed alone time to connect, get a handle on breastfeeding, and rest.  It’s important to keep in mind that following birth you will experience physical and emotional changes, many of which happen within the first 2- 6 weeks.  This can be a sensitive time.  If you don’t feel comfortable being naked, crying, or sleeping in front of certain family or friends here are a couple ways to decline visitors until you are ready.

*Avoid posting on social media outlets unless you are ready for people to start reaching out.  

*Ignore your phone.  Honestly, this is one of the times in your life it’s totally acceptable to be severely tardy in your replies to text, emails, and voicemails.

*Leave a nice sign on the doorstep saying thank you for celebrating in the arrival of our little one, we are not quite ready for visitors but will let you know when we are.

You may be a mama who is dreading all the alone time and know you will crave connection with others.  Make a list before baby arrives that includes family and friends who have flexibility in the daytime or evening to stop by and keep you company. A postpartum doula can be an amazing lifeline and worth every penny.  Postpartum doulas have specialized training for childbirth recovery, emotional well-being, and breastfeeding.  Postpartum doulas can help during the day or night.  If you would like a list of local postpartum doulas please reach out to a Blooma staff member and we will hook you up!

Regardless of what kind of postpartum choices you envision will best suite you and your family, have a list of people nearby you can call on to help you feel nourished, held, and supported.

Attention family and friends of a new parent: Consider asking, “How can I help you?”  or think “What can I do to make your life easier?”  Instead of bringing a baby gift, bring a meal.  Something that can be put in the freezer is a gift that will be received with gratitude.  Offer to help with laundry, care for baby so mother can take a healing bath or nap, or bring the older children to school.   We’ve included a great list of helpful “gift” ideas for new moms below:

Origins herbal heating pack for muscle tightness in the shoulders/back, etc or make your own rice pack

Padsicles (see Educator Jamie’s recipe here!)

Healing Herb Soaks (we sell a variety at Blooma St. Paul & Minneapolis)

Gift cards for Massage

Set up a meal train or drop off a meal on the front steps  

Robe (mamas keep this by your door and put it on before someone arrives to give the hint they shouldn’t stay long)

Build Your Nest: A Postpartum Planning Workbook

The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother

 

Written by Amy Kelley, Doula, Childbirth Educator, Prenatal Yoga & Kids Yoga Instructor and mama-to-be.  You can find me on Instagram as @amykelleydoula or visit my website at www.amynkelley.com

The Importance of Self Care for All Mamas

When does a mother take a break? Often, the answer is rarely, if ever. Self-care can quickly fall by the wayside as we take care of everyone and everything else. We know this; taking better care of ourselves is a broken record we all hear. But, what can you do?

Chiropractic care is an excellent tool to focus on self-care and spend some well deserved time on your body and mind. It’s a gift you can give yourself, one that benefits you beyond your appointment. This type of wellness care is an easy way to take care of your body, with little personal effort on your part. Just give Blooma a call. Then you show up, talk to us about how you're feeling, and relax! We do all the work to help your brain better communicate with your body, decrease muscle tension, and improve mobility. You may receive a little homework to help you along the way!

Mamas can experience a wide variety of symptoms while pregnant and postpartum, from headaches to muscle tension to low back pain. We can help with all of these! Low back and pelvic pain is so common in pregnancy due to the change of weight distribution. As those low back muscles tighten to keep you upright and hormones are relaxing your ligaments, it's much easier to have those joints move out of alignment which causes extra tension and pain. The same goes for mamas breastfeeding and carrying an infant when shoulders often slouch, creating headaches, neck pain, and upper back tension. 

Taking time out of your week to focus on your health is important. Our society focuses so much on “sick care.” We wait until something is wrong or painful before we get help. Changing the focus to wellness helps you feel and function better. Being preventative in our choices increases energy, comfort, and happiness. Isn't that something we could all use?

Dr. Ellen and Dr. Danielle are now taking appointments at Blooma. To schedule Chiropractic Care, please give us a call.

 Minneapolis & Plymouth: (612) 223-8064

St. Paul: (651) 340-8538

Contributed by Ellen Jabs, D.C. & Danielle Finden, D.C

* Gift Cards can be purchased and used for Wellness Services at Blooma. Learn more HERE.

Looking Ahead in 2017

We continue to rock our New Year's REVOLUTION in 2017. Our Revolution isn't just about January, it's about having an amazing year (ups, downs, and everything in between). With 2016 a few weeks behind us, we wanted to share what we're looking forward to most in the New Year! Babies will be born, our community will grow, and families will celebrate milestones together. Blooma's Leadership Team is looking forward to all different things, from vacations and celebrations to walks in the sunshine and yoga trainings.

Sarah Auna - "I've been asked by one of my dearest yoga teachers to assist her on a yoga retreat to Tuscany, Italy in 2017!!!"

Marina Polvitzki - "I'm looking forward to visiting my little sister in Copenhagen for her graduation, and then traveling to Norway for a camping trip with her + our partners. I am also excited to drink the first batch of beer that we brewed on New Years Eve! Imperial Smoked Chipotle Porter... Mmm :)."

Sarah Longacre - "I am looking forward to being kinder to myself."

Tyler Copeland - "I'm looking forward to living in my new apartment. I has huge southern facing windows with tons of light and is only 4 blocks from Lake Calhoun. I can't wait to walk around the lake on a daily basis with my dog."

Lauren Herbeck - "My baby girl starting Kindergarten this fall.  I am excited about her growing up and enjoying school (which she has been asking to start for 2 years now!) but also the extra time I will have with my boys while she is there."

Meghan Foley - "I am looking forward to continuing my yoga therapy training out at Kripalu in the Berkshire mountains. I am excited to have more time in my schedule to relax and take classes. I am excited for this frozen tundra to warm up."

Greta Fay - "I am looking forward to escaping to the beach, snuggling my best friends fresh babies, staying home more, potty training and summer adventures!"

Sam Boyd - "I can't wait to finally go on a honeymoon with my husband, and stick my toes in the sand. I am also very excited to expand our CSA to more members this summer and grow even more veggies!"

Laura Gillespie - "I am looking forward to exploring my second summer in the Twin Cities (I don’t know how much longer I can take the cold!), making more friends in the area, and taking a trip home for my niece’s first birthday!"

 

And, of course, we are all looking forward to more Blooma love, more mamas, more babies, and more time on the mat or at the barre! What are you looking forward to in the New Year?

 

Thank you to Megan Foley, Sarah Auna, Greta Fay, Sarah Longacre, Tyler Copeland, Laura Gillespie, Sam Christopher, and Marina Povlitzki for your contributions!

A Lesson in Acceptance

As we break into the New Year, many people are focused on the "New You". At Blooma, we think you are great just the way you are. You are perfect. You are enough. Thank you to Blooma mama Shea for teaching us a lesson in acceptance. Of our talents, our failures, and all that life throws at us!

Be an individual. Be yourself. Be unique. Follow your dreams. Be who you are. These are all maxims that we hear every day. They are meant to be inspiring and move us to work on ourselves.  However, it often takes a dose of bravery to truly show and be your individual and unique self, instead of hiding behind the person you think you should be.

As a married mother of two on the ground and one in utero, sister, friend, neighbor and confidant, am still trying to figure out who I am. Yes, I can tell you that the beach by the ocean (doesn’t even matter where as long as there is saltwater and ocean waves) is my happy place. I can tell you the books I have devoured and the ones that I slogged through, just to finish for book club. I can tell you that I enjoy going on a run and practicing yoga. And, I can tell you that there was great joy in my heart when all of my siblings were together for Christmas, as we live in all different states across the country.

But, I can also admit to you, that sometimes it’s hard to accept who I am. It is amazing when you look at humanity, and even smaller, at the local culture, and see how similar we all are. Each of us follow very similar patterns – patterns in our day, in our human development, in our manners of speech. However, even in all these similarities, each person is gifted with specific characteristics that make us, us. For example, I’ve been given the gift of gab. I can pretty much chat with whoever walks into my path. I find it relatively easy to small talk, and can usually find something to talk about with whoever I am with. Yes – I know those who are even better at it than I am. But, I do know it is a gift, and I love having this strength in my pocket.

 I have, however, NOT been given the gift of craftiness. It will take a lot for me to pull out the scissors, glue, and glitter. I can sew on a button, but I cannot make a Halloween costume. A few years ago, I tried to make my son a Halloween costume from scratch – because I truly thought that’s what a successful mom should do. However, it was a complete disaster, and was only saved by my own mom, who can actually sew. I learned that, frankly, I don’t really want to learn how to be crafty. That being crafty does not excite me and brings unneeded pressure and stress. I will accept my failure at a homemade Halloween costume, hand it off to another person, and I will marvel and compliment you on your talent. But, I am going to be right here, with my own set of strengths.

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I am still learning to accept who I am, what strengths (and weaknesses) I have been given, and how I can learn to be the best version of myself. And, I am grateful for those that already accept me as I am - My family, children, friends. I remind myself that I must practice what I preach. I want my children to love themselves, accept their strengths, and accept the times that they may fail. To instill this in them, I first need to fully accept myself. My strengths. My failures.

I have been given many gifts, and for this I am grateful. My strengths are different than those of the mama next to me. They may be similar to the mama in the other room. But these similarities, differences, strengths, and weaknesses are what make us human, and what make it so important to support one another in the community. So, begin your own journey of acceptance and what you are meant to be for this world.

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Written by Shea Olson- Wife & Mama Trying to Make it All Work

Photo Credit: Laura Rae Photography

New Year's REVOLUTION-Changing the Conversation in the New Year

At Blooma, we are taking an ANTI resolution stance for 2017. Instead, we want to focus on a revolution - of our bodies & our minds. We want to stop looking at the scale and focus on the love we share in the Blooma community. Thank you to Blooma mama and teacher Jessie for sharing her outlook for the New Year! Bring on 2017!!

 

It's that time of year again, we start discussing the things that we need “to get rid of", "get over", "lose", or "kick". Our resolutions usually start with something we feel bad about-weight, money, habits, time. But as women, mamas, sisters, friends, and partners, we do amazing things every damn day, all year long. Why do we feel the need start our New Year by punishing ourselves with restrictions and limits? I was just having a conversation this morning with two women I love dearly. I look up to them both, especially when it comes to life management and health. Here we were berating ourselves over our sugar "addiction", however, within minutes we were able to change the way we spoke about our plans by saying "I want to add more vegetables in our daily meals". Yes!

Let’s change the conversation. Let’s not make our New Year’s plans about restrictions, let’s make it more about expansion. Forget about getting rid of the pieces of our lives, let’s just focus on adding something into it. So, instead of dieting-let’s add a veggie to every meal. Instead of giving up sweets- let’s add in a Yoga class. Instead of giving up something to make more time for our children-let’s add in an activity that we can all do together.

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Don’t get me wrong, it is great to make guidelines for ourselves to become better in the New Year, but I was forgetting about all the good things I had done the year before. I was a good mother to my kids. A good partner to my husband. A good friend and daughter. So, for this year I’ve started planning all the of the things I will “add-in”. And, I remind myself that I take care of my mind and body because I am worth it. Because taking the time to focus on me allows me to be a better version of myself for the other people in my life.

Change the conversation. Add things in. Enjoy the New Year.

 

Contributed by Jessie Seehof Carlson

Just another human trying to be kinder to myself

Celebrating Nine Years of Blooma Love: A Personal Account From A Blooma Mama

As Blooma celebrates its 9th Birthday, we want to celebrate the people that have contributed to our success and have held our mission so close to their heart. Lauren started at Blooma as part of our childcare team. Nine years later, she basically runs the place. Not only has she seen her career grow, and Blooma develop into the community it is today, but she has become a mother herself, THREE times! She is kind, warm, hardworking, and dedicated to the mission of Blooma. We asked her to reflect on the past nine years, and we won't lie, some moments brought us to tears. Thank you for all that you have done, and continue to do! Happy Birthday Blooma!

I started my journey with Blooma as a college student, completely unaware that my hourly job in the childcare room was going to impact the next decade of my life.  At that point, I hadn't thought much about yoga or birth and I couldn’t imagine then what my life would be like 9 years later.  But here I am!  Now a mama of 3, married to my incredible husband, and the Director of Operations for Blooma. 

Reflecting on the last 9 years with Blooma, I am overwhelmed with the abundance of personal and professional growth opportunities I have experienced and witnessed. 

As a business, Blooma has grown in many different ways.  Our staff has grown from a handful to almost 100. We have moved and added locations across the twin cities and trained yoga instructors and birth doulas across the world.  We’ve developed and fine-tuned class offerings, education, and wellness services.  We’ve touched the lives of thousands of mamas and their families, made mistakes and celebrated enormous triumphs.  And, with the heart and passion of our leader, Sarah, we will continue to identify and serve the needs of our mamas.  

Blooma’s growth wouldn’t have happened without the perseverance of the women (and a few men!) that pour their energy into Blooma.  I have met so many inspiring people through our studios in the past 9 years.  Women and men who are on a mission to make our world a better place.  Our staff and support team has been comprised of mothers, sisters, doulas, writers, teachers, artists, designers, farmers, lawyers, midwives, accountants, grant writers, marketing managers, world travelers, photographers, small business owners, musicians…and I can keep going for hours!  It is humbling to think of the talent, passion and knowledge I have been surrounded by for so many years.  

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I smile when I think about the ways Blooma has impacted me personally, as a mother and sister.  While working for Blooma, I have been blessed to give birth 3 times. Three very different births. I had a natural hospital birth, a beautiful home water birth, and an unplanned 35-week cesarean birth - each with my friend, doula, and boss Sarah by my side (Literally, I wouldn't let her leave my side). During each birth, I drew from the knowledge and strength that Blooma had given me.  Through yoga I learned to manage my breath, Doula Training provided me with comfort measures, and I found strength in every woman who had shared their birth story.

In the last nine years, I have walked with my fellow mamas through their own unique journeys. From infertility and loss, to planned and unplanned pregnancies.  While I have witnessed hard pregnancies and traumatic births, I have been humbled to witness smooth, complication-free pregnancies and swift births.  I have journeyed through perinatal mood disorders both personally and with other mamas, and have been honored to provide postpartum care to my sisters that they had provided for me - holding their newborns, bringing meals, and offering encouragement.  

 

We all have a journey. I never would have predicted this would be mine.  My passion for pregnancy, birth, and postpartum life has turned into a career in a supportive work environment, allowing me to navigate the "working mom" balance.  I have been given an opportunity to apply my skill set in a business with a mission so near to my heart. I am thankful for each client I encounter, each co-worker that’s worked alongside me, every challenge we overcame together, the support I received during my pregnancies, and most significantly of all, for Sarah.  I am beyond grateful for what Blooma has given to me in the last 9 years and can't begin to imagine what the next 9 will bring!

 

Written by Lauren Herbeck

Director of Operations at Blooma

Wife and Mother of Three, Friend to Us All