Loading...

Follow InDependent Blog on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

There’s a growing interest in incorporating more plants into our diets. It is downright easy these days to find excellent plant-based cookbooks and restaurant menus, which is nice for variety even if you don’t follow the lifestyle all the time. There has also been a growing interest these past few years in growing our own vegetables. Having even a small garden can be good for the soul, our palates, and it’s a great way to show our children where food really comes from.

To that end, I started a small backyard vegetable garden several years ago and really enjoy growing basic veggies like lettuce, green beans, cucumbers, green peppers, kale, Swiss chard, and all kinds of herbs. My garden doesn’t get a lot of sun, so I have learned to stick with vegetables that can tolerate some shade and still thrive. 

Through trial and error, I have learned the following:

·      Lettuce is a cool weather crop and easy to grow. Once the heat of summer comes on, however, these plants are done. 

·      Tomatoes can only thrive in full sun. Only attempt to grow tomatoes if you have full sun for most, if not the entire day.

·      While zucchini will grow without full sun, it is prone to mildew, so more sun is definitely better than less. Once mildew strikes, the plant usually dies.

·      Eggplant is relatively easy to grow without full sun, but the growing season is longer than what I have here in the Northeastern United States. 

·      Broccoli and cauliflower can grow without full sun, but can be victims of very destructive pests late summer. You wait and wait, and then the bugs eat your crop! I don’t want to use chemical pesticides, so I choose to simply buy the vegetables we eat, but I can’t successfully grow in my current garden. 

·      Garlic is a fun crop as you plant the cloves just before the ground freezes in the fall and then harvest and dry them the following spring.    

·      Buy small plants from a garden store rather than trying to grow vegetables from seed under a grow light. The plants will bear fruit earlier and fewer plants succumb to the elements. 

·      It is unlikely you will save money by tending your own garden, unless it is large and something you can devote a lot of time to. For me, it’s all about the satisfaction of seeing a plant grow, mature, and bear fruit. It’s the process, rather than the product, that gives me joy. 

Bringing more plants into your life can provide wonderful benefits. Eating them fuels your body with clean and bountiful energy. Growing them reminds us of the beauty and miracle of nature while nourishing our souls and bodies. Any time is a great time to turn your attention to putting more plants in your life. And it doesn’t have to be a big change. In fact, small steps will likely be far more satisfying and lasting.  

My 20-year-old daughter recently had a blood test and her doctor was stunned by her high protein, vitamin C, and calcium levels. She’s a college student taking 19 credit hours, working a job, and preparing her own meals. And all she eats are—PLANTS! That’s right, she’s vegan. 

I too am vegan, but I grew up eating the standard American diet. The shift was gradual. First I gave up red meat while in college. Poultry followed 15 years later, then fish and seafood, and finally, eggs and dairy.  

To help those of you tempted to take the first step to add more plants in your diet, here is an easy and healthy Snobby Joes recipe for your family to enjoy, and below are some of my favorite cookbooks. Happy digging and bon appetite!  

The BEST Vegan Cookbooks:

Isa Does It, by Chandra Moskowitz

Chloe’s Kitchen, by Chloe Coscarelli

Veganomicon, by Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romano

The Joy of Vegan Baking, by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau 

As an Amazon Associate, we earn a small amount from your qualifying purchases. Thank you for your support!

ABOUT CELESTE COBB

 Celeste currently lives in southwestern Connecticut. She grew up in Maine and has lived in several places over the years including Sydney, Australia and London, England. Cooking and baking are two of her interests in addition to gardening, painting, and reading a good book. Celeste works full time as a marketing and communication consultant after many years in the insurance industry. She works with our sponsor, Military Benefit Association. Celeste been married for nearly 30 years and has two daughters in college. 

ABOUT MILITARY BENEFIT ASSOCIATION

 We’re pleased to have Military Benefit Association (MBA), our title sponsor for this year’s Wellness Summit, back again as a sponsor this month. MBA is a nonprofit who has worked for over 60 years to safeguard and promote the economic welfare of current and former service members, federal employees, and their families. MBA recognizes that a military family is a powerful unit that depends fully on the spouse. They’re here to help spouses complete their family’s “circle of financial protection” with life insurance, financial education resources, and other services to support the many demands on a military family. MBA has over 15,000 spouse-members who have taken important steps with MBA. Learn more at militarybenefit.org.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
The Wellness Spotlight Series highlights military spouses and their real world health and wellness journeys in a Facebook Live series. Below is an excerpt of Laura's feature.
“Wellness is a creative journey of self-love that connects you to being and feeling good, while having an inner peace emotionally, spiritual and physically.”
— Laura Turner Laura is a Nashville-based creative, environmental consultant, plant novice, mother, and storyteller. If you can’t find Laura admiring her plants or styling beautiful spaces, she’s probably hiking with her family. TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY AS A MILITARY SPOUSE.

My journey with the military started in 2010 when my husband and I first started dating. I didn’t understand the military lifestyle because I didn’t grow up around it. My husband and I spent our first few years apart with his continuous deployments and my traveling for work. Once we wed in 2014 we immediately moved to North Carolina, which we thought was a perfect place to be newlyweds. We traveled and explored the mountains and coast, and in 2017 we had our daughter and PCSed back to Tennessee.

Click on Image for Facebook Live Video

IF YOU ARE A HEALTH OR WELLNESS EXPERT, TELL US ABOUT IT AND HOW IT HAS IMPACTED YOUR WELLNESS JOURNEY.

If you consider plants and our natural world being a huge benefit for health and wellness then yes, I would group myself with being a wellness expert. I went to college and received my B.S. in Biology with a focus in Environmental Studies. Even without education, I have always had a strong environmental consciousness. I have worked with The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation for five years and being within this organization has inspired me even more to live a lifestyle that is respectful of my surroundings. Understanding how conservation is the root of it all allows us to become more environmentally aware. And for me, nature heals, soothes, and restores my general wellbeing.

WHEN HAVE YOU FELT YOUR HEALTHIEST AND/OR BEEN AT YOUR HIGHEST MOMENT?

I would not say I experienced any extreme lows as a military spouse. When we moved to North Carolina it was a difficult transition because I was leaving a really great job and my family behind. Starting over is never easy but the thought of moving to a brand new place, knowing no one was exciting and fresh to me. After a few months of having no luck with a job search, I read about a local military spouse company, R. Riveter, in a local magazine. They had just opened their first shop and I was so inspired and eager to join their team. I spent the next four years helping grow the business and create with the most empowering women in the military spouse community. Being surrounded by these ladies, I felt grounded and at my healthiest, mentally and physically. These people were my people and that is where all my creative passions started to fall into place.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FORM OF SELF-CARE?

Other than namasting with my plants, my favorite form of self-care is hiking. It is the ultimate practice of self-care because I get time with Mother Nature, allowing me to be mindful and present as well as benefiting from physical activity and exercise.

WHAT IS ONE PERSONAL HABIT THAT CONTRIBUTES TO YOUR SUCCESS?

Not sure if it’s a habit but it’s definitely a “go-getter” mentality. I put myself out there. I try to surround myself with inspiring and empowering women who lift me up, support me as well as teach me so many things. I also know that kindness, friendliness, and an open mind have been huge in my success since I work heavily with people. I communicate and relate to people so that when we speak they feel comfortable. I ask questions and I put myself in intentionally uncomfortable situations which can be terrifying for me at times but I learn and grow with those experiences. I am not afraid to hear the word “no,” and I learn from constructive criticism.

IF YOU COULD SHARE A HEALTH AND WELLNESS RESOURCE WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

PlantSnap app. I use this daily to identify plants and trees. A great way to reconnect with nature and learn about the plants and trees you encounter every day.

IF YOU COULD RECOMMEND ONE BOOK OR PODCAST TO MILITARY SPOUSES, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

I’m a big fan of the “Bloom and Grow Radio” podcast. Episode 37, Horticultural Therapy is a great one that I think would benefit military spouses. The host, Maria, discusses with Barb Kreski, Director of the Horticultural Therapy Department at the Chicago Botanic Garden about the ins and outs Horticultural Therapy, how stress reduction studies are measured, as well as other talks about plants used with healing.

As military spouses we move a lot and redesigning our homes can be expensive. I love the book Design by Nature because it encourages you to find your own personal style, source or creativity and connection to the natural world.

Design by Nature: Creating Layered, Lived-in Spaces Inspired by the Natural World By Erica Tanov ABOUT LAURA

Laura is a Nashville-based creative, environmental consultant, plant novice and storyteller. She resides in her urban jungle with her husband, daughter, and precious pup, Bonnie Blue. During the week, she is protecting the environment and the residents of Tennessee from the effects of ionizing radiation. Most days you can find her admiring her plants, styling beautiful spaces, or hiking with her family. Recently her work was featured in the Volume IV of Legacy Magazine in which she shares how creating a beautiful environment with plants has both design flare and health benefits. Much like her plants, Laura thrives where she can build off the energy around her.

CONNECT WITH LAURA

Twitter: lauraturns | Instagram: @laura_turns | Website: LauraTurnerCreative.com (Coming Soon) | Email: Laura Turner

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Have you ever considered the importance of nature on your well-being? What about the benefits of a single plant? Besides beautiful design elements in our homes and offices, have you ever thought about houseplants reducing your stress? For me, cultivating a houseplant haven is my go-to for designing spaces, but it’s also my favorite form of self-care. 

Since having my daughter and working full time, making time for the gym or a hot yoga class, which used to be my outlet for stress relief, has become a challenge. While houseplants won’t necessarily raise my heart rate and burn calories, they do aid in my psychological health and boost my creativity, allowing me to relax, mediate, and disconnect from the noise. 

As military spouses, our lifestyles are often affected by chronic stress which can leave us unmotivated, uninspired, and even depressed. So, where do you start with using plants to mitigate that stress? Here are a few fail-proof plants that have helped me cope with everyday challenges as well as make a happy and healthy home. 

SANSEVIERIA

The Snake Plant is a great beginner plant! They love bright, indirect light but tolerate low-light interiors. Less is more with these guys and despite what you’ve heard, you can kill them if you overwater. Other than that, they are hardy and thrive on neglect. 

Health Benefit: Emit oxygen at night allowing for a better night’s sleep. Great for bedrooms. 

How I Benefit: Divide and conquer. Propagating sansevieria is easy and for me it releases happy hormones. Either by taking a leaf cutting or through division, being immersed in this activity allows levels of serotonin and dopamine to rise (similar to exercising), which results in lowering cortisol levels, the hormone associated with stress. 

Design Tip: Their long vertical stems add a striking design impact and look great on a stairwell landing or in a neglected corner. They can easily move between the indoors and outdoors and look amazing alone or potted with other plants.

Care Tip: Treat just like any other succulent—water sparingly. Sanseviervia’s thick leaves hold water so they are drought tolerant. Allow soil to dry out between watering. I water them like my cacti, once or twice a month, depending on how much light they are receiving. 

PHILODENDRON

These statement plants look great hanging from the ceiling or climbing up a wall. They even thrive when you forget to water. They are low-maintenance plants that add a beautiful leafy backdrop to any location. 

Health Benefit: Another plant that improves air quality and on Nasa’s top 10 list for removing harmful toxins.

How I Benefit: I love wiping down my philodendron’s glossy shiny leaves. This is relaxing for me and allows me to connect with the plant, something beneficial for me and the plant. While wiping down the leaves, I’m not worrying about the future but instead focusing on the present, admiring the shape, the color, and every detail of the plant.

Design Tip: A vining philodendron can benefit from a trellis or moss pole, perfect for vertical dimensions and conversation pieces. My personal favorite is ‘Lemon Lime’ philodendron hederaceum. The bright leaves add a pop of color to any interior. 

Care Tip: Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between watering. They love sunny spots but not direct sun on their leaves. Pay attention to their signals. If leaves turn yellow, it’s probably getting too much sun. If stems are getting lengthy with space between leaves, the plant is stretching to get to more light. 

POTHOS

The forgiving plant that looks perfect sitting high on a shelf or trailing in a hanging planter. Pothos don’t demand a ton of attention, which is ideal for busy people or the ones that claim to have a black thumb. 

Health Benefit: Remove formaldehyde benzene and carbon monoxide from the air while also helping eliminate odors like a previous tenant’s pet smell or cigarette smoke.

How I Benefit: Improve my mental fatigue at work caused from computers and lighting. Having a pothos on your desk that you can simply glance at it, according to research, boosts moods, combats depression, and generates opportunities for cognitive restoration, something we can all benefit from. 

Design Tip: There are so many varieties and come in an array of green hues. My personal favorites include scindapsus pictus ‘Exotica’ and a ‘Neon Pothos’, epipremnum aureum.

Care: Pothos can get leggy. Prune to control shape. Pay attention to their leaves. Loss of variegation means too little sun. Pale leaves may mean too much sun. When leaves droop it’s time for a drink.  Let soil dry out between watering.

 ALOE VERA

The striking easy-to-grow succulent purifies the air but also provides great medical value.  They can stay rather small which is ideal if your home is lacking space.

Health Benefit: The gel and the juice from aloe vera are used in many health products today. From pain relief of minor cuts and acne, to  supporting thyroid and intestinal health, aloe vera is a great natural healer. The juice can boost immunity and soothe the digestive tract. Be sure to consult with your doctor before you ingest any of your aloe vera’s juices. 

How I Benefit: Aloe vera emits oxygen at night, creating purer quality air. I use the gel inside to treat sunburns and psoriasis on my scalp. I add the gel to my shampoo which strengthens and heals my scalp with just a few washes. 

Design tip: I keep mine in our guest bedroom to provide our guest with a better night’s sleep.

Care: Loves a sunny spot like a kitchen windowsill, a perfect place to have a handy natural first aid remedy. With its shallow roots, aloes enjoy wider pots rather than deeper. Mine enjoy terracotta planters since they dry out quickly. 

While these are only a few plants that you can benefit from, there are many that come in many shapes, sizes, and varieties, so choose the one that speaks to you. Plants will bring new life into your home and will support your happiness and good health. If houseplants are not possible for you to own, consider other methods with engaging with the natural environment.  Nature walks, forest bathing, or simply stepping outside to breathe are all effective ways to improve our well-being. Staying close to nature, observing all the little and significant elements of it, will allow you to leave some stress behind and self-heal during the process. 

ABOUT LAURA

Laura is a Nashville-based creative, environmental consultant, plant novice and storyteller. She resides in her urban jungle with her husband, daughter, and precious pup, Bonnie Blue. During the week, she is protecting the environment and the residents of Tennessee from the effects of ionizing radiation. Most days you can find her admiring her plants, styling beautiful spaces, or hiking with her family. Recently her work was featured in Volume IV of Legacy Magazine in which she shares how creating a beautiful environment with plants has both design flare and health benefits. Much like her plants, Laura thrives where she can build off the energy around her.

CONNECT WITH LAURA

Twitter: lauraturns | Instagram: @laura_turns | Website: LauraTurnerCreative.com (Coming Soon) | Email: laura.s.turner3@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Hey friend, I’ve got a secret. I haven’t always put myself first and it affected me in the worst way. For so long, self-doubt, feelings of inadequacy, and physical illness ruled my life. As a wife, mother, writer, and volunteer, my personal needs were the last things I thought of when checking off items on my laundry list of daily priorities. 

One day, I woke up feeling defeated. I felt as if nothing mattered anymore. None of my goals were attainable, so why continue to try? I stopped working. I began to have symptoms of anxiety which later turned in to full blown panic attacks. Something had to change. I was overwhelmed and under inspired. My physical and mental health were at risk, and if I kept going down that road it would likely lead to disaster. Luckily, I had a friend that loved me enough to say, “Stop, you are doing too much.” 

As a military spouse, we are known to do ALL the things. I have learned over the years that it is so easy to get lost in all the things. Finding yourself and doing what’s best for you is tough, especially when you don’t know where to start. Here are three ways you can begin putting yourself first:  

PRACTICE GOOD MENTAL HEALTH

I was the woman working nonstop every single day, believing that the harder I worked, the more I would obtain in life. I was tired and irritated all time. I could not focus, and I had a hard time sleeping. I unintentionally talked negatively about myself. I learned to counteract this with daily affirmations. Daily affirmations are a great and easy way to transform your thinking. Get in the habit of telling yourself that you’re beautiful strong. If you want something more intuitive, go online a look for a list of affirmations you can print. Cut them into small pieces. Place them in a jar. Every day, pull out a piece of paper and read the affirmation aloud. 

Another way to practice good mental health is by talking to someone about the things that are bothering you. Being open and honest is one of the best ways to alleviate stress from within. Establishing clear boundaries in relationships helps you, your partner, and your friends maintain respect for one another. 

IT’S OKAY TO SAY NO

I’ll have to admit, I like it better when those around me are happy. But, sometimes saying no is what’s best for me. Do you have a hard time saying no? I suffered from a severe case of FOMO in my career. I was afraid I was going to lose that one good opportunity that may have come along. That isn’t true. Opportunities will come and go. Saying no to one won’t close all the doors in your future. Try making a list of priorities in your personal life and your career. Decide what things you absolutely cannot say no to, and decide what in your life is negotiable. After a health scare, taking care of my body became something that was non-negotiable for me. 

TREAT YOUR BODY WITH RESPECT 

Self-care isn’t an option. It’s necessary for your survival. Eating right, getting rest, and staying hydrated can ensure you maintain good cognitive function. Getting enough rest keeps your mood stable and helps you remain alert throughout the day. Eating a well-balanced diet that includes vegetables, protein, and other vitamin-rich sources will keep your energy levels consistent. Drinking water throughout the day helps your body process your food easier, helps replace oxygen in your blood, and gives you clearer skin. Tell that to your teenage self. Good health care starts with us, in our homes, and at our jobs. 

There is nothing wrong with putting yourself first. Matter of fact, it’s the best thing you could do for yourself. Taking a vow of Me First, isn’t selfish. We are no good to others if we are not okay ourselves. Listen to your intuition. If your mind and body are tired, rest. If you’re hungry, eat. If you need to take break, do it. Put yourself first because you are invaluable. Do you, be you, and love you. 

ABOUT MARLA

Marla Bautista is a military spouse and a mother of three beautiful, talented, and clever children. She is an author, freelance blogger, and speaker. Volunteering within the community, and telling the stories of the people who are often unheard is her passion. She is the Armed Forces Insurance 2018 & 2019 Military Spouse of the Year (Fort Drum). 

CONNECT WITH MARLA

www.MarlaBautista.com

www.linkedin.com/in/marlabautista

www.facebook.com/MarlaTBautista

www.instagram.com/marla.bautista.author

www.thebautistaproject.com

www.hoodcents.wordpress.com



Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Becoming familiar with the system of core muscles and learning how to use them properly is important for all female military spouses, whether you’re on the journey of motherhood, you love to work out, or you need to safely move boxes around during a PCS. Your core system can help with the pushing phase of delivering a baby, but these muscles are also used in every movement you make, big or small. When you tune in to these muscles and their functions, you will be able to move in a strong, pain-free way. 

 First, I’ll introduce you to the muscles that make up your core. It’s more than just your abs! Then, we’ll look more specifically at the pelvic floor and transverse abdominis, because these are the powerhouse muscles that, when properly trained, can help you gain complete control of your body. Finally, I’ll give you a simple breathing exercise to help you put your knowledge and muscles to use. 

 THE CORE SYSTEM

 Your core system of muscles is made up of your:

·     diaphragm

·     pelvic floor 

·     transverse abdominis muscles (and other ab muscles to include rectus abdominis and obliques)

·     multidifus (spine stabilizers) 

 

Any woman can suffer with pelvic floor and core dysfunction, with symptoms like urinary/bowel issues, lower back pain, and discomfort during sexual intercourse. Getting this education about your body and then having tools to use when needed should be part of every woman’s journey. This area of women's health continues to be ignored and women are often suffering in silence. We often don’t know how to ask for help, or even where to go to seek it. We have let these topics and conversations become taboo over the generations. 

Becoming familiar with your pelvic floor and transversus abdominis muscles and then learning how to use them properly is a very important tool. Let’s get started.  

Pelvic Floor

Location: the floor of the pelvis works like a hammock and attaches from the pubic bone all the way to the coccyx (tailbone). 

Functions: for women, the pelvic floor is responsible for keeping organs (bladder, uterus, and bowel) in place and in an upright position, urinary and fecal control, and sexual function. 

How to find it: my favorite cue is to imagine that you are drinking a smoothie with a straw through your vagina. Feeling anus lifting in the back is important too during these engagements. Remember the location is from the front (pubic bone) all the way to the back (tailbone).

Transverse Abdominis

Location: deepest core muscle located underneath the rectus abdominis (six-pack muscle) running horizontally across the abdomen. 

Functions: provides stability for the back and pelvis. Acts like a corset keeping core strong. This is very helpful if you suffer with symptoms due to diastasis recti. This muscle also protects the bladder from the front and strengthening it can help with incontinence and leaking. 

How to find it: my favorite cue for this is to imagine you are going to bring your belly button to your heart—drawing up rather than sucking in. The great thing about this muscle is that you can feel it in action. Find your hip bones and place your middle and index fingers on them. Now move your fingers an inch (towards belly button) and an inch down. This is where you will feel that muscle fire when engaging correctly. 

Learning about the pelvic floor and the transverse abdominis is a huge piece to the puzzle. Now you can put them to use in a simple breathing exercise. Once you master this technique, you can incorporate into everything you do—from yoga to CrossFit and everything in between. 

BREATHING EXERCISE

Find a relaxing space, dim the lights, and play some relaxing music. You can do this sitting up or lying down. I recommend lying down to start because gravity is your friend when dealing with the pelvic floor in a supine position.

  1. Lie down and get comfortable with your feet flat on your mat.

  2. Place your fingers on your hip bones to locate transverse abdominis engagement.

  3. Make sure your pelvis is in neutral with your back flat against the mat and your ribs relaxed.

  4. Take a few deep breaths.

  5. Inhale—let your belly rise (imagine a balloon filling in your belly).

  6. Exhale and engage. Think of the cues mentioned above for the pelvic floor and transverse abdominis. Can you feel your pelvic floor in the back toward your anus? Can you feel the transverse abdominus under your fingertips?

  7. Practice this breathing technique for 10 whole breaths.

This may feel very overwhelming and that’s okay! With practice, it will become easier. Most of us have never been taught this technique before or are even familiar with these muscles. Remember a few things as you are practicing this new technique. Inhale and relax, exhale and engage. Your core works together as a system. When the transverse abdominis engages, the pelvic floor should automatically fire as well. This may not happen initially, but with time you should feel a difference. These movements may feel very choppy at first, but eventually they should become more fluid and relaxed. Start simply with lying on the floor. Once you master this technique, try adding it to other movements such as squatting or lifting something like your baby or moving boxes. 

Tricare covers women's health physical therapy and I highly recommend for women to see a specialist if they can. All you need is a referral from your primary care manager. 

To learn more about my women’s health mission and the symptoms I dealt with before finally receiving help, check out my previous post, Connecting with Friends About Women’s Health Issues. You can also visit my blog and download my PDF, “10 Things Your Doctor Didn’t Tell You.” Please also feel free to email me with questions. The suffering and the silence around this area of our health stops here! The answer can be something as simple as education or tools. That is what I am here to do. Please feel free to reach out to me and ask me anything. If I don't have the answer, I promise to have a resource for you. 

ABOUT ASHLEY

Ashley Gammon is a certified personal trainer, MUTU Pro, and M.O.M.S. community manager. She has made it her mission to bring awareness of pelvic floor and core health to military spouses and female service members across the globe. Her personal journey with MUTU and healing her postpartum body inspired her to bring awareness to military communities. Ashley and her husband have three girls all named after presidents—Mckinley, Madison, and Monroe. Ashley’s husband has been serving in the Army for 19 years and they have been married for 14. They have spent a great deal of time being stationed at Ft. Bragg and Germany but are currently stationed in Detroit, MI where they have been able to experience a taste of what civilian life might be like. When Ashley isn’t busy spreading her M.O.M.S. mission, you can find her sipping hot coffee from one her Polish Pottery mugs or chasing her eight chickens and rooster Hank to get them in the coop. 

CONNECT WITH ASHLEY

FacebookInstagramM.O.M.S 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
The Wellness Spotlight Series highlights military spouses and their real world health and wellness journeys in a Facebook Live series. Below is an excerpt of Ashley's feature.
“Wellness is anything that you do for yourself that makes you feel good both physically and mentally. There is no wrong way to do it. ”
— Ashley Gammon Ashley is a military spouse, mom to three girls, and a huge advocate for women's health. She empowers women with vital resources, education, and tools on pelvic floor and core health.TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY AS A MILITARY SPOUSE?

I have known my husband for 30 years. We met when I was seven and he was 10. Never would I think that four years after he left for the Army we would run into each other at a little Mexican restaurant in our hometown, Anderson, Indiana, and be married five months later. Fate brought us together that day, and this year we will celebrate 15 years of marriage.

I knew nothing about the military lifestyle and it was really hard for me in the beginning. We were so young and really learning things about one another along the way. I had never been away from home and shortly after moving to Ft. Bragg with my husband, we got orders to Germany. We would then spend the rest of my husband's career going back and forth between Ft. Bragg and Germany. Since this had been the pattern every three years, we were shocked to get orders to Detroit, MI in 2015. Timing is everything and this duty station was exactly what we needed to prepare us for retirement and give us a feel for what civilian life might look like.

The military has taught me so much about myself and life. I will forever be grateful for the experiences we have had and all of the lessons and wonderful people we have met along the way. The military has been a huge part of our lives for a long time, and I plan to stay plugged into the community after retirement. I'll just have to add “retired” military spouse to my title.

Click on Image for Facebook Live Video

IF YOU ARE A HEALTH OR WELLNESS EXPERT, TELL US ABOUT IT AND HOW IT HAS IMPACTED YOUR WELLNESS JOURNEY.

I am a certified personal trainer with specialty certifications in pelvic floor and core health. I became a personal trainer because I loved working out and the way it made me feel. It became an outlet for me after we started to have kids, and was such a great stress reliever in this often unpredictable and stressful lifestyle. Deciding to specialize in pelvic floor and core health felt like a very natural step to me after suffering with pelvic floor dysfunction for six long years. I was told over and over again that my symptoms were normal and this was all a very normal phase of motherhood. When I finally found my answers to heal my body, I made it my mission to specialize in this area of women's health to empower women with resources. Far too many women suffer with symptoms and I want to bring light to this area and hope to those who have bodies that don't work right or feel good to them. I’m determined to normalize this taboo topic and be the conversation starter for things that are not always easy to speak up about.

WHAT WAS A LOW MOMENT WHEN YOUR HEALTH SUFFERED THE MOST AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME IT?

The military lifestyle is full of highs and lows. Lowest moments for me personally were the times I was dealing with postpartum depression. It was a time when I really needed my husband, but deployments or schooling  always seemed to come after babies. The overwhelm of doing all of the things on top of struggling with my mental health and pelvic floor dysfunction. Unfortunately, this left me with feelings of resentment toward my husband. Our marriage is strong though and we always come out on the other side together. My husband’s duties have left me alone for more than half of our marriage and often during my darkest hours when I really needed to have solid support.

I would have never survived this life without my military sisters. They are what always got me through the hard times. Sometimes it was a simple phone call or sometimes it was them taking my kids so I could have time to reset. Having a community of people who truly understand your life is invaluable. One of the things I will miss most after retirement is the built-in community and easy friendships that are always waiting for you when you show up to your new duty station.

WHEN HAVE YOU FELT YOUR HEALTHIEST AND/OR BEEN AT YOUR HIGHEST MOMENT?

My highest moment was when I was finally able to get control of the way my body felt. I suffered with symptoms that affected my daily life for years. I never realized how bad it was until they were gone. It affected me both physically and mentally. Timing is everything. Right about the same time I found my answers was also a time that my husband’s work load drastically shifted. This allowed me the time and support I needed to get the schooling done that would later launch my business and passion to support women in a very important area of their health. Every single little detail completely made sense and I knew we were exactly where we were supposed to be. It was really amazing to look back and see how everything along our military journey had a purpose. Even the hard times!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FORM OF SELF-CARE?

My favorite form of self-care is working out. I love a nice long run or walk alone with my earbuds in. I love meeting friends for a workout class. My favorite is getting my girls involved and just moving! All of these things make me feel like the best version of myself. It’s important for me to make sure I’m carving out that time to incorporate self-care in my daily life.

WHAT IS ONE PERSONAL HABIT THAT CONTRIBUTES TO YOUR SUCCESS?

Getting up early every single day and having at least one cup of hot coffee all by myself. Starting my day off slowly and completely chaos free really sets the tone for the rest of the day. It’s one little part of the day when I feel like I’m in complete control with zero interruptions. It’s not always easy getting out of bed, but it’s always worth it to start my day off right!

IF YOU COULD SHARE A HEALTH AND WELLNESS RESOURCE WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

M.O.M.S. - Military Outreach MUTU System. This online program changed my life drastically. So much so that we launched an outreach program specific for military women. I know the daily struggles of this life and I want to make sure women have a resource and someone they can turn to when they have questions or need help.

IF YOU COULD RECOMMEND ONE BOOK OR PODCAST TO MILITARY SPOUSES, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

Below Your Belt - How to Be the Queen of Your Pelvic Region. I highly encourage all moms to buy and read this book with your daughters. I feel like a big reason we are in the situation we are with the statistics of women suffering with symptoms is because we are never taught these things. Nor do we talk about this area of our health. Let’s start empowering our younger girls with education and resources so they can all feel in control of their bodies during every phase of womanhood. When trying to learn something I find that reading a children's book can be so helpful. This can be such overwhelming topic for so many that I always encourage to start with a simple read.

Below Your Belt: How to be Queen of your Pelvic Region By Missy Lavender, Jeni Donatelli Ihm

The Female Pelvis. I recommend this book because it was one of the first books I read when taking a course so I could specialize in this area. Another simple and quick read. I learned so much about my own body in this book and it was very helpful. Things I learned in this book were things I wish someone would have told me about a long time ago!

The Female Pelvis Anatomy & Exercises By Blandine Calais-Germain

I also recommend the podcast: Dear MilFamily Podcast - Sheena Arting. This podcast brings light to a little bit of everything in this military life. Highly recommend everyone checks it out!

ABOUT Ashley

Ashley is a military spouse, mom to three girls, and huge advocate for women's health. She empowers women with vital resources, education, and tools on pelvic floor and core health through Military Outreach MUTU System. She and her family reside in rural Michigan in their dream home that they are slowly making their own. They are currently counting down the months until retirement and eagerly waiting for the next chapter to begin. This will give Ashley the consistency she needs to better support the women of the military community with her mission.

CONNECT WITH Ashley

Facebook: Military Outreach MUTU System  | Instagram: Military Outreach MUTU System | Website: www.MutuStrong.com | Email: Military Outreach MUTU System

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Ah, spring. Flowers blooming, birds chirping, sun shining. It’s the time of year to really soak in the beauty and changing of the seasons. And then, for some of us military family folk, there is PCS season. Spring sets the stage for not only the upcoming summer, but for military families around the globe. It’s time to pack up, move out, and settle in for the adventure that lies before us. It’s not really a time when we’re thinking about our personal wellness goals. 

 This year, our family contributes to the forty percent of military family moves occurring in the summer time, and this year, we move with two children under the age of three. Woohoo!

 Being a military spouse, I can attest that relocation can be one of the more stressful things we go through. The reasons why are plentiful and they vary depending on the nature and timing of the move. We have challenges and this is why it is so very important for us, with all the hats we wear in this military spouse life, to take care of ourselves.

 You won’t be able to help others if you don’t take care of yourself first.

 This is true in so many aspects of life, and yet, it seems like one of the more difficult things for us, as women, as mothers, as mil-spouses to do. We have this code built into our minds telling us we must do everything, take care of it all, take care of everyone, and make it appear as though it were easy.

 I say this because not only have I been there, but it is something I still sometimes struggle with, and I know so many of my military spouse friends do as well.

 So, how do we take care of ourselves amidst one of the more stressful times of our military family journey? With May being Women’s Health Month and with many of us preparing to endure another PCS, or having the kids being home for the summer, I want to share with you some tactics to help you take care of yourself while you’re taking care of business.

 You might be thinking that now is not the time to start pursuing wellness goals. Wouldn’t it be better to wait until the PCS is over, or the insanity of the end of the school year passes, or January? The answer is no. Now is the time. Here’s how to establish and execute your goals a little at a time to make now a good time to start.

 When we talk about taking care of yourself, one of the most important things to do is to schedule yourself some “me time.”  Take a moment before your week begins and really look at your schedule, capitalize on the pockets of time you have, and outline time specifically for you to work on your goals.

Identify things you enjoy doing for yourself that help improve your mental or physical state.  

For example, do you like to relax by listening to a meditation track or reading a book? Do you enjoy getting a workout in? Do you want to have a healthy breakfast before the morning hustle to get out the door begins?

 After you have identified what you want to do and when you will do it, make it a priority. Make it a non-negotiable part of your day, like a doctor’s appointment. Don’t be a no-show to these self-scheduled appointments. You deserve this time, and it is more than okay to take it!

 My tip for setting a sustainably solid goal is to start small and build consistency over time. For example, if you want to increase your activity, plan to get up 15 minutes early three days this week to go for a walk. Once you have completed this consistently for a couple weeks, you can add another day or more time and continue to build from there. 

 Summer may require you to adjust your routine, but the key is to start now. Get into the routine of giving yourself this time before the kiddos are home for the summer or before you take that long road trip across the country. The more momentum you build up through being consistent and deliberate with your time and actions, the more you will see the value of making and taking this time for yourself.

 Cheers to a healthy spring and adopting healthy habits to carry you through your PCS and summertime!

ABOUT RACHAEL

Rachael Meyer is a military spouse, boy mom of two, native Pennsylvanian, and women’s health and wellness coach. She earned her graduate degree in health promotion and exercise science and is an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, which has allowed her to pursue her passion of helping women reach their wellness goals all over the globe.

 CONNECT WITH RACHAEL 
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

 

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
The Wellness Spotlight Series highlights military spouses and their real world health and wellness journeys in a Facebook Live series. Below is an excerpt of Heather's feature.
“Wellness is a dynamic process of finding balance in life in the areas of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual wellness.”
— Heather Walsh Heather is a mom, Marine wife, Navy child, and blogger. She is one of three women who founded MilMomAdventures, sharing travel tips for military families. She is also a lover of all things crafty, travel, and Disney.TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY AS A MILITARY SPOUSE?

I met my husband at church. I was seated in front of him and during “passing of the peace” (shaking hands and saying good morning) we said hello. He walked away without my name after service, but the next time I saw him, he got my name! We became part of a small group that would go to dinner, have game nights together and our friendship developed. When he was moving to the West Coast, we road tripped it from Virginia to California – a make it or break it moment – and we made it! We got married that year, a few months before he deployed. We have lived around the world since.

IF YOU ARE A HEALTH OR WELLNESS EXPERT, TELL US ABOUT IT AND HOW IT HAS IMPACTED YOUR WELLNESS JOURNEY.

I am a physician assistant and have worked in emergency medicine, family medicine, and deployment health. Health is an ever-evolving science with newly emerging research. I have been practicing for over 10 years and during that time there has so much change and development.

Click on Image for Facebook Live Video

One of my favorite things to do is read historical non-fiction, and reading medical books from the 1950s to now is so fascinating in regards to the changes and what we have learned. Working in medicine sometimes means putting yourself last because there is a patient waiting. But after working the last decade, I have learned that self-care is paramount to staying healthy and active. A provider that is well-rested and happy is a better provider. This translates to parenting too – I am a better mother when I remember occasional self-care.

WHAT WAS A LOW MOMENT WHEN YOUR HEALTH SUFFERED THE MOST AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME IT?

This one is recent. After over a year of looking for, applying to, and interviewing for clinical medicine jobs, I continued to receive rejections. Verbally I was told it was because I was a military spouse and would eventually move. It was very frustrating and disappointing that my spouses’ job and our potential to move was the reason I was not working clinically, especially when I had a physician assistant friend and former co-worker who had more job changes than I had in 10 years and she never moved. The continued rejection made me feel sad and angry. Sometimes that frustration led to giving up my workout for the day because I was just feeling so blue. Or emotionally eating. Both of which are not healthy choices.

During this time, I continued doing administrative medical work which fed my desire to continue to help others with my education. And I kept applying for jobs. Since I was not working clinically, I had more time to develop my hobby of writing and explore our area with my children, which I love. It brings me so much joy to go to a new museum and watch my children’s eyes grow large when staring at the fossils of a dinosaur or when they ask questions about the fascinating bug they found. From this love of writing and desire to share my adventures to encourage others in my area, I embarked upon co-founding a blog with two friends and fellow milspouses. With the blog, I have been going outside my comfort zone by networking within the community, improving my photography and writing skills, and learning a lot about building a website.

WHEN HAVE YOU FELT YOUR HEALTHIEST AND/OR BEEN AT YOUR HIGHEST MOMENT?

The best moment of mental and physical health is probably after the birth of my first daughter, and now. After the birth I felt mentally sound as I had a balance of work-life and an amazing community overseas, and walked everywhere but work. Now I am more physically active than I was in my past, and I am working on finding a new balance between my work/volunteering and mother life. My personals goals for healthy living are to work out daily in some form, no eating after 9 pm, and continue balance.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FORM OF SELF-CARE?

My favorite form of self-care is exploring and adventuring. Trying a new food or going somewhere new is exciting. As someone who currently lives in Southern California, when the kids are off for the summer, my favorite form of self-care is downtime in Disneyland. There is something magical about walking onto Main Street and hearing the music.  Our budget cannot support self-care days at Disneyland all summer, so exploring and adventuring where the military sends us is my self-care.

WHAT IS ONE PERSONAL HABIT THAT CONTRIBUTES TO YOUR SUCCESS?

I am my happiest and healthiest when I put my workout on the calendar. There is some flexibility. If I have a sick child on the bathroom floor, I am not running out to work out. But I do a workout during nap or in the evening so I can get those endorphins going.

IF YOU COULD SHARE A HEALTH AND WELLNESS RESOURCE WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

The apps I use for working out when I have to piecemeal it into my days are free! Swork it and Swork It Kids have paid and free versions. The free versions allow you to choose 5-60 minute workouts with videos of the moves. They aren’t as intense like other video-based workouts I have done, but it is something to get you moving and the kids can be included too.

IF YOU COULD RECOMMEND ONE BOOK OR PODCAST TO MILITARY SPOUSES, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

The digital audiobook options at your local library, or a service e-library (Navy/Marine: https://mwrdigitallibrary.navy.mil/, Army: https://www.armymwr.com/programs-and-services/libraries/account-registration, USAF: http://www.myairforcelife.com/libraries/). They offer recipe books for healthy eating, books on meditation, yoga and so much more. The beauty of this resource is it is available wherever you move!

ABOUT Heather

Heather Walsh is a mom, Marine wife, Navy child, blogger, and lover of all things crafty, travel, and Disney. Professionally, she is a physician assistant and has a passion for helping others stay positive and supported. She has been writing since KidPix was on floppy disk! She is one of three women who founded MilMomAdventures, sharing travel tips for the military family at www.milmomadventures.com. They are currently sharing exploration of Southern California, New Orleans, Virginia, and more with tips for the military family on how to enjoy the adventure with every PCS and save money while doing it. Recently, she has contributed for NextGen MilSpouse, Daily Mom Military, and Military Disney Tips.

CONNECT WITH heather

Facebook: MilMomAdventures  | Instagram: MilMomAdventures  | Website: MilMomAdventures  | Email: MilMomAdventures

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Mothers and caretakers are busy people. Working, at home, volunteering, parenting -- it is a 24/7 job. In the phase of life with young children or in a season of intense caretaking, it is easy to let your own health and self-care go to the back burner. After working in medicine for over 10 years, I have often neglected eating or visits to the bathroom to help the person who came for help. Caretakers do the same. As both a mother and a health care provider, the struggle to self-care is real. Mothers and caretakers provide the best care when they take care of themselves. 

Here are a few areas of health that need your attention.

Breast Health

Women’s bodies go through many changes from adolescence through adulthood. While growing a human during pregnancy, the body changes the shape of the face, belly, and chest. After delivery and potentially breastfeeding, breasts do not look the same. While the American Cancer Society no longer recommends self-breast exams, being aware of the feel of the skin of your breasts is still valuable.  Check the skin -- if there are changes in the texture or color, talk to your provider about it. After pregnancy, your breasts will be lumpy so checking for lumps will seem ridiculous but if you ever feel anything concerning, share this concern with your medical provider. There are different recommendations from different medical organizations on when to start mammograms. Age 40 is typically used as a talking point.Talk to your doctor about your family history, your concerns, and your worriesMost military treatment facilities (MTFs) also have a breast care center that have dedicated to staff to discuss concerns. Yes, you will typically need to go in person to discuss personal history but most MTFs allow little children to accompany an adult on a visit. 

Pap Smears

In 2011, the Pap smear guidelines changed. Lots of research showed that Pap smears didn’t need to happen annually if a previous Pap smear was considered normal. This is great! This means there is one less procedure to do annually. Yay! Women ages 21-29 are recommended to get a PAP smear every three years. For women age 30-65, a PAP smear and an HPV test can be done every 5 years. And you guessed it, if that Pap is normal and the HPV test is negative, you can wait another five years.

The Pelvic Floor

If you pee when you sneeze, this is sign of weak pelvic floor muscles. Personally, at every stoplight I do Kegels. If I watch a TV show, I do Kegels during commercials. It is almost second nature now. Kegels are not the end all be all in regards to pelvic floor health, but it is something you can do at home. Yes, peeing when you sneeze is a common problem for women post pregnancy. There are tons of memes about it. If more than a drop comes out in your underwear with every sneeze, or if you leak consistently with lifting or a cough, it might be a sign of something more. Incontinence, or urinary leakage, can be a sign of bladder irritation, uterine prolapse (the uterus moving down the vaginal canal to the opening) or urethral (where urine comes out of) irritation. Abdominal core exercises can help strengthen the pelvic floor. Kegels help with the pelvic floor as well. If there isn’t improvement with what you are doing at home, don’t ignore it as a commonality of post pregnancy. Make the appointment to be evaluated. 

Tummy Trouble

Becoming a parent means that you will be tracking poop and potty, but probably not your own. In newborn classes, sometimes you are shown cards of what normal poop will look like, and what to watch for, but there aren’t any for the parents. If there are any changes in your bowel habits -- your stool is thinner or watery often, or there is blood when you wipe or in the bowl, these could be signs that something needs to be evaluated in your gut. Women who have been pregnant commonly suffer from hemorrhoids. Blood in the stool isn’t uncommon. But any blood in the stool warrants a colonoscopy. While the idea of a colonoscopy may seem scary, you receive medication that allows you to sleep, oblivious to what is happening, and even provides a little amnesia about the event. 

Self-care comes in many forms. Working out. A night out with friends. A massage. Getting your Pap smear. Going to the dentist. Make sure you put yourself and your needs on the to-do list. Self-care improves both mental and physical health.

I hate using personal days from work to go to the dentist or get a pap smear. But, the reality is that taking care of myself means I will be around to take care of my family. Twice a year, I have appointments to look after my personal health, and later that day I can check out that new ice cream shop. By taking care of your health, you are providing yourself self-care and taking care of your family. 

ABOUT HEATHER

Heather Walsh is a mom, Marine wife, Navy child, blogger, and lover of all things crafty, travel, and Disney. Professionally, she is a physician assistant and has a passion for helping others to stay positive and supported. She has been writing since KidPix was on floppy disk. She is one of three women who founded MilMomAdventures, sharing travel tips for the military family. They are currently sharing exploration of Southern California, New Orleans, Virginia, and more, with tips for the military family on how to enjoy the adventure with every PCS and save money while doing it.Recently, she has contributed for NextGen MilSpouse, Daily Mom Military and Military Disney Tips.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Happy Women’s Health Month! 

 To be honest, every month should be women’s health month. Our health should always be prioritized and celebrated. As military spouses, that can be quite a difficult task. 

 I will be the first to admit that it took me way too long to come around to this way of thinking. It took my own health crisis to understand its importance, but I also learned another invaluable lesson as well -- the healing powers of getting vulnerable about my struggles. Not only did I suffer for years, but I suffered in silence so no one would know what I was dealing with. I just assumed I was the only one. 

 The only one who couldn’t have a second baby.

The only one having miscarriage after miscarriage.

The only one dealing with crippling anxiety and panic attacks.

The only one suffering from chronic pain.

The only one battling bouts of depression that left me unable to get off the couch.

The only one whose hormones were completely out of control.

The only one paralyzed by fear every minute of the day.

 I believed everyone else had it all together and I was the only broken one. 

I felt the need to uphold this image of the strong and capable military spouse. The one who dealt with deployments, single parenting, everything breaking during a TDY, cross country moves, you name it…like it wasn’t a big deal. The one who smiled every time a civilian friend said, “I don’t know how you do it all!”

 Because that’s what we do, right? We get it done. We handle the hard stuff while our spouses serve and protect. It’s in the (unwritten) handbook.

 But is it at the cost of our health? Often, it is. And that can manifest in many different ways -- physical ailments, mental health issues, and emotional instability. Sometimes those health issues can be seen by others, but sometimes they are invisible. And regardless of whether they are seen or unseen, obvious or not, I think it’s time we speak up, get honest, and understand the value for our health in vulnerability.

I speak from experience when I tell you that incredible healing takes place when you stop hiding it from everyone. 

 As I mentioned above, I went through some very dark years while trying to have a second child. I had seven miscarriages in a five-year period, and all those other ailments tagged along to make it extra traumatic. I spent every ounce of energy I had hiding it from everyone and trying to keep up this facade that I thought was necessary. It wasn’t until my second baby’s first birthday (yep, I was blessed with another healthy baby!) that I decided to break down those walls and speak up about my mental and physical health issues. I sat down at my computer and poured my heart out (into what I now realize was a blog post for my future wellness business), heart pounding in my ears, hands shaking…and I posted it on my private Facebook account.

Everything changed. The real healing began. 

 Not only did I feel this huge weight lifted from my shoulders, but I realized I had been lying to myself all this time. People came out of the woodwork to tell me they had been through many of the same things. It turns out that everyone is struggling, and once I spoke my truth it was as if it gave others the freedom to do the same. Our challenges may not look exactly the same, but we as military spouses all understand the unique challenges that come with our lifestyle. We really do have a special bond.

I want to leave you with some things to keep in mind when you battle with that, “I need to pretend I’ve got everything together” mentality.

1.    No one is crushing it. Do not get caught up with the idea that you need to have it all together or that everyone but you has it all together. It’s a big fat lie.

2.    It’s okay to say no. Military life, family life, work life…they are all filled with a lot of events and activities. Sometimes saying no for the sake of your health is not only good but necessary. We all know our society celebrates the busy and encourages us to wear it as a badge of honor. But in reality, that lifestyle is contributing to many modern-day health issues. 

3.    But don’t say no to everything. When we struggle, we tend to isolate ourselves and hide from everyone and everything. And that can be really detrimental to our health. Community is extremely important for military spouses since we are often separated from our loved ones, and finding your tribe wherever you are is a really healthy thing.

4.    Be honest and speak up when you are battling. Now you don’t have to make a public Facebook post detailing every little thing, but seek out people and/or a community that supports and understands. Thanks to this age of technology, we really can find everything from Facebook groups to community groups dedicated to so many issues. Struggling with infertility? Do your children have food allergies? Is your spouse deployed for the year? Trust me when I tell you there are others who are dealing with the same stuff and need you just as much as you need them.

5.    Pay attention to the military spouses in your community. Sometimes we are in the trenches so much with our own issues that we don’t have anything to give to others. And that’s okay. But there are also other times when perhaps we are doing pretty good or in a place where we can pour into another, and that’s when we can be a support for others who need it. Sometimes the smallest thoughts or actions can have a huge impact. Delivering dinner, inviting someone to coffee, dropping a card in the mail, or just a quick text letting someone know you’re thinking of them are all significant.

6.    Know that your struggles may someday be used for good. Now if someone had told me this when I was crying on the floor of my closet after yet another miscarriage, I would have wanted to punch them in the face. But now I get it. After all my challenges, I now have an entire wellness business because of all those years of struggle. None of that would have happened without that health crisis, and it’s amazing to see the beautiful things that continue to come from those incredibly dark years. So just file that away for later.

ABOUT AMANDA KOCH

Amanda is a Texas born and raised girl (or middle aged woman) living in Alaska. Her husband is a pilot in the Air Force, and he is currently stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson in Anchorage where they are raising their two boys. Aside from the mom and wife gig, Amanda is a Pilates Master Trainer, Nutritional Therapy Consultant, and Director with Beautycounter. She is also the founder of My Well Balanced Life, where she helps busy women establish well-balanced lives of their own through real food, healthy movement, and safer products.  

CONNECT WITH AMANDA

Instagram: @mywellbalancedlife  | Facebook: My Well Balanced Life | Web: www.mywellbalancedlife.com  | Email: mywellbalancedlife@gmail.com | Pinterest: @mywblife

Read Full Article

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview