If you are stressed-out and sleep-deprived, it is likely that you are turning to refined sugars and caffeine to get through the day. The problem is not your morning cup of coffee or enjoying the taste... the problem is when the resulting blood sugar crash leads to an afternoon coffee or sugar craving and then another, and another, and another...
Once the cycle has started, it’s very difficult to achieve a state of balance until it's broken. When the body’s natural energy rhythms are off, these issues can pop up: raging food cravings, weakened immune system, increased inflammation in the body, weight issues, difficulty with restful sleep, and more.
In order to proactively care for your body, soul, and mind, it is important to break the cycle. Some people can quit caffeine and sugar cold turkey. Most people struggle with that, though. Since sugar and caffeine are addictive, withdrawals are common, usually in the form of headaches and fatigue. Gradually reduce the amount you’re consuming AND find a replacement that will truly fuel your body's need for energy. Often we also become attached to the routine, so it is important to find something else that can be just as emotionally satisfying. I have LOTS of great healthful fuel ideas in Abundant Life Community.
It's not that you have to go the rest of your life without birthday cake or an occasional cappuccino. These foods are meant to be enjoyed in very occasional moderation. If daily indulgences begin to take their toll on energy levels, take simple steps to regain control and reconnect with feeling naturally alert and energized all day long. It's 100% doable!! But it starts with belief, mindset, and practical action steps. Having a cheerleader can be SO beneficial along the way, too. I'm starting a natural energy challenge mid-April if you would like practical steps, a mentor to walk you through it, and the determination to complete what you start! Contact me if you're interested, and I'll ask you a few basic questions to ensure that this challenge is right for you.
What is normal?
A mindset. Normal for everyone is a bit different.
Does everyone else get up in the morning and immediately let the pup outside? No, but that's my normal.
Does everyone else spend 1-2 hours per day talking with people about wellness goals, in service to others, to help them fulfill their dreams of feeling well preventatively? No, but it's my normal.
Does everyone eat fresh cucumbers for lunch during the summer, grow 5 kinds of mint while gardening organically, and drink chocolate or orange mint tea in the winter? No, but it's my normal.
Did everyone go to a private K-12 school growing up? No, but that's my normal.
Does everyone sing 5-8 hrs per day for FUN and get to pass that joy and skill on to adults and kids alike? No, but it's my joyful normal.
Does everyone sleep 7-8 hours per night? For most, that's a sad no, but it's my normal now! It definitely didn't used to be.
Does everyone go to church every Sunday? No, but that's my normal.
Does everyone work for themselves as their own "boss"? No, but it's becoming my normal.
Does everyone eat Einkorn instead of modern grain? No, but it's becoming our normal.
Does everyone play strategy board games often the way Gabe & I do? No, but we enjoy it, and it's our normal.
Does everyone believe the same things about God or humanity? No, but we each have a normal.
Our normal is governed by our underlying beliefs and mindset. Our normal is fundamentally governed by what we believe about ourselves -- who we are, what we say to ourselves.
Do you tell yourself:
I am anxious.
I am tired.
I am broke.
I am hurt.
I am in pain.
I am stuck.
I am stressed.
I am broken.
I am a sinner.
I am hopeless.
I am incapable of _______ (something that hasn't happened yet that you are dreaming of).
I have to work this job.
I have to marry this person.
I have to live here.
OR, do you tell yourself:
I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
I am blessed to be a blessing.
I am at peace.
I am serving others.
I am connected in community.
I am made new.
I am growing.
I am a sharer of my talents and knowledge.
I am healed.
I am a saint who sometimes still sins.
I am hope-filled.
I am already _________ (fill in the blank with a goal that God sees as done, but to me is "not yet").
I can change my mind.
I can develop new preferences.
I can be authentically ME.
How can you move towards a new normal, if you're telling yourself the former things? How can I help you on the journey of saying the latter things to yourself?
Love you, dear friends. 🥰
Do you struggle with performance anxiety or mindset and confidence? You are not alone. Sometimes addressing non-musical things can really help the issue at hand, speaking from a teacher and performer lens.
Here are a few non-musical ways to help you (or your child) experience success in addressing performance anxiety or general confidence and anxiety. Read on to the end to get a free recipe for my concentration and focus blend.
1. Encourage a Growth Mindset
Growth Mindset is not a new concept, but it is especially important when tackling difficult tasks or subjects. Studies show that if people believe they can do something, even if it is difficult and they may not get it right away, they learn it better, retain it longer, and stick with the hard task longer if they have a growth mindset.
Encourage your inner self to use phrases such as "Mistakes help me grow." or "My intelligence can be developed." or "I keep trying and never give up!" instead of "I'm not good at it." or "I give up easily.'
2. Get Good Sleep
“Daytime thinking is a building process, whereas nighttime thinking is a sorting process.”
― Caroline Leaf, Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health
Did you know that people with sleep issues are often misdiagnosed with attention or learning issues? This is because our brains make sense of and sort our experiences at nighttime from during the daytime. When we don't get enough good sleep at night, our brain isn't able to "download" and synthesize what we took in from the previous day. So maybe you did a lot of great learning and made progress the day before, but if you didn't sleep well or long enough, that learning may be lost. There are so many other reasons sleep is vital to health and wellness and learning! Read a scholarly example here.
Set a bedtime routine and stick to it! If you need ideas, I shared 11 tried and true ways to get better sleep here that can be adapted very well for anyone, including kids.
3. Strengthen Left- and Right-Brain Connections
Do you enjoy some activities that are completely unrelated to performing? Of course you do! There are many studies that show certain activities (like purposeful cross-body movement) strengthen the pathways in the brain between the two hemispheres. What does this have to do with performing? Well, music often requires that these pathways be strong. When practicing using these pathways, it's like exercising a muscle and will get stronger with use. The stronger you build a muscle, the stronger you feel when something heavy comes along that you have to pick up. By building strong pathways with something different -- like movement -- you can come back to it feeling stronger, like it is a bit less heavy than last time.
In the middle of a moment of anxiety or performing (or perhaps even right before it!), do this active listening + movement piece to activate those multiple areas of the brain.
"I Can Do This!" Focus & Concentration Roller Blend
10 drops Peppermint essential oil
10 drops Frankincense essential oil
15 drops Lemon essential oil
15 drops Stress Away essential oil
Add these essential oils to a 10 ml roller bottle and fill with carrier oil.
Roll on wrists, collar bone, bottom of feet, or the back of neck before tackling a difficult task.
It is very important to know that not all essential oils are created equal...
You can’t just go out to a big box store (or anywhere online) and trust that you’re getting the good stuff. Lucky for you, I’ve got a source I trust – want to know more? Click the button in the top corner to contact me.
2. We also see a specialized chiropractor, and utilize something that helps us stay in alignment longer. I wear a custom splint on top at night so I slide instead of clench, though I personally think that mostly just protects my teeth than stops clenching.