FREE 3 Day Simple Self Confidence Booster

Confidence Booster

Earlier this week I did a FREE 3 day confidence boosting activity in my good friend Saje’s Facebook Group hand in my stories on Instagram. It was a super simple, yet effective way of giving ourselves a little boost of confidence that sometimes, we could all use.

I know I have my times when I don’t feel 100% about myself for whatever reason.. or maybe for no reason at all! And need a little something to bring back my awareness to how I’m feeling about myself.

So I decided to share this booster here I’ve used in case you didn’t get to participate when it was happening elsewhere! I hope that it is as helpful for you as it is me!

And on a side note, if you look at the tasks and think, “this won’t work!” I get it! But what do you have to lose? You could at least just try it and see what happens! AND as with anything else that you want to produce change with, you have to be all in! YOU WILL ONLY GET OUT WHAT YOU PUT INTO! In other words, if you half ass it, you won’t get anything out of it. BUT, if you whole ass it, you just might get something out of it!

You have the power to make changes and to spark growth in yourself. I can give you all the tools in my tool bag but if you don’t use them, there’s nothing I or anyone else can do for you.

Take control and do something about your lack of happiness, self esteem, confidence, whatever it is that you are lacking. Im giving you a tool to take one teeny tiny step forward. TAKE IT!

Now let’s get on to the good stuff! Here are the tasks you will need to complete for 3 consecutive days!

day 1 confidence booster activity

If you do decide to try it out I would love to know your progress and how you do with each task! So with each day I’ll ask you a question or two and you can send me your answers on social media (Instagram, or Facebook, or Twitter) through email (thesmartlioness@gmail.com), or just comment them below!

For the first task, write something positive about yourself on a post it or something similar. Then put it somewhere you will see it often throughout the day today. Read it every time you see it, reading it out loud is even better!!

Day 1: What was your statement about yourself?

day 2 confidence boost activity

For this task you can put your statement up at work somewhere it will be seen, or on your refrigerator at home (as long as other people will see it), anywhere other people are going to be able to see it!

Day 2: Where did you post it? Did you get any comments about it? What were the comments

day 3 confidence booster

This time you’re going to write a positive statement/message about someone else & then give it to them. It can be a friend, a spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, coworker, parent, etc.

Day 3: What did you write? What was the person’s reaction?

Repeating things over and over creates new neural pathways in your brain, in other words, you start to embody and believe these statements you are repeating. In the same way a person can be emotionally abused and begin to believe the hurtful statements their abuser makes, we can also do the reverse.

And when we connect with and feel empathy for others it gives us a feeling of security and in turn, confidence in ourselves.

After your 3rd day of the Booster, how are you feeling? Did you have a good experience? How did it feel to give someone else a positive message? Was this difficult or easy for you to complete? Did this help your confidence?

Email me your experience: thesmartlioness@gmail.com

Confidence is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets.
mommy and son

Top 4 YouTube Channels for Baby Brain Development

Top 4 YouTube Channels You Need to Be Following for Baby Brain Development

mommy and son

Me and Braden. He’s 7 months old now!

So I was going to post this for “Mommy Monday” this past Monday but #momlife got in the way and I wasn’t able to finish it until today! Better late than never right? Mommy Monday on Wednesday.. here we go!

I don’t really talk about development much here, I want to change that because it’s a huge interest/specialty of mine. My Bachelors degree is in Human Development & Family Studies. Here’s a snippet from Auburn’s (my Alma Mater) website:

“What makes a family work? How do children develop? What is a healthy marriage? What do teenagers need to succeed academically, personally, emotionally? These are some of the questions we strive to answer in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS). “

HDFS Mission:

“The mission of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) at Auburn University is to generate, disseminate, and apply scientific knowledge of human, family, and community development. We focus on understanding and supporting optimal development across the lifespan using multidisciplinary approaches and cutting edge methodologies. Our core areas include the intersections of individuals, families, and communities, with a special focus on relationships and the biopsychosocial underpinnings of healthy development and well-being. We are committed to creating and applying knowledge to prevention and intervention efforts with the goal of assisting individuals, families, and communities in reaching their full potential.

So anyway enough about that! On to the YouTube channels! (Side note: I’m not affiliated with or receiving any kind of payment for this post! I genuinely love these channels!)

1.) Hey Bear

“A stimulating world of high contrast scenes designed to engage & delight your baby. These videos are a great way to encourage eye coordination & focus in babies.”

Research has shown that baby’s brain is doing some major development during the first year of life. To encourage brain development we need to engage all of their senses.

This channel is for sure my favorite because they have tons of different videos to choose from so Baby doesn’t get bored and Mom doesn’t go crazy watching the same thing over and over!

2.) Tiny Adventures TV

“Visual and auditory stimulation for babies that can help calm, soothe, entertain as well as influence your child’s brain development.”

It’s really hard to rate these two as one being better than the other. They are similar in the content they provide but still give you and baby unique videos to learn from! This channel gives you different types of videos though– some that are high contrast and more stimulating and then others that are more soothing and relaxing. I like to turn on relaxing videos for Braden if– 1) I can’t find any other way to get him to stop crying (last resort) 2) In the morning when he wakes up and I’m fixing his breakfast and need him occupied for a minute or 3) when he wakes up from a nap and I need to finish whatever I was doing (probably laundry).

3.) Baby Einstein

“Experience the world of Baby Einstein & spark your baby’s curiosity through discovering language, exploring the arts, & embarking on adventures alongside wild animals. Nurture musical appreciation to the tunes of lullabies, nursery rhymes, & Baby Einstein classics like Baby Bach, Baby Mozart, Baby Noah, & Baby MacDonald. Need parenting inspiration? Take notes from DIY tutorials, monthly milestone videos, & families just like you.”

So I HAVE to first say that the whole claim about the Baby Einstein Videos causing baby to grow to be smarter has been proven to be false. (Click here for the info/research) But we also know that real human interaction is what does teach our children so as with most everything in life these videos are to be watched in moderation and to not be substituted for actual human interaction.

Otherwise these videos are very different than the previous two I discussed and just something different for baby to watch and you can get some ideas for different ways to interact with your baby from them.

4.) Sparkabilities

“Smart fun for babies and toddlers! You and your child can enjoy entertaining and educational clips of Sparkabilities.”

So this channel is just a preview of DVDs that you can order but it’s different and Braden seems to really like the videos when I show him these. They are different from all of the others I discussed though! They kind of combine them all though in that it’s high contrasting colors and shapes but add in the educational “this is a square,” and you get Sparkabilities!

As I said above it’s important to not rely on video too much for keeping your child occupied. It can be much easier for you right now but in the long run it’s not going to be worth it! Your child much prefers interacting with you! However, in moderation these can be great for cognitive development by creating more pathways in the brain which in turn causes more neural connections which causes quicker responses in our brain.

One last bonus video my son absolutely loves: Click here 

cute baby boy & mommy

One more cuz’ he’s cute!

Emotionally Abused Women

Sunday I talked about emotional abuse and the effects it can have on us, without us even realizing it. In that post I also talked about the different categories or types of women that are or have been emotionally abused. And I want to reiterate of the importance of not labeling ourselves as one of these or multiple types because labels do no one any good. They are just simply to help you to see the types of behaviors and beliefs that are associated with emotional abuse. Everyone is different and so none of these are set in stone!

The first category is the “Selfless Woman.”

This woman has no concrete identity and a weak sense of self. She might have been kept from being able to form her own thoughts and perceptions at a young age. She sees herself negatively and feels empty frequently. She may also be depressed and feel helpless at times. She is usually sensitive to rejection and can be fear abandonment but also of being suffocated by someone. She will have issues maintaining healthy, stable relationships and might “take on” characteristics of a close friend or partner. (Think Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride) And she most likely pursues people who are not available. This woman doesn’t learn from her past mistakes and constantly feels victimized.

Some questions to ask yourself to decide if you fit into this category:

The Pleaser

The pleaser is a woman who is always trying to make everyone happy, she will seek peace at any price. She rarely feels she is worthy, appreciated, valued, or loved and feels she must earn acceptance and love. This woman wants everyone to like and approve of what she does and needs to be the “good girl.” She tends to believe that most people are better than her and often feels pressured to perform. She is a perfectionist, apologizes often, and will almost always take the blame. When she is treated poorly she will make excuses for others bad treatment or rationalize that things could be worse.

Some questions to ask yourself to decide if you fit into this category:

The Sinner

This woman is not unlike the pleaser. She has strong feelings of guilt and/or shame and has a tendency to blame herself because she feels responsible or like things are “her fault.” She constantly apologizes and obsesses over the “what if’s,” “should of’s,” and “would of’s.” She may also believe that she doesn’t deserve to be treated with respect or to be loved.

“Sinners” have a propensity to:

  • Get involved with those who are cruel, uncaring, and abusive
  • Suffer intense feelings of self loathing
  • Feel they must pay for their past sins/mistakes
  • Be overly self critical 
  • Always blames themselves for anything that goes wrong

The CoDependent 

The Codependent woman has a pattern of getting involved with people whom she tries to “help,” take care of, or rescue and lives her life for other people. She anticipates other people’s needs and wonders why they don’t do the same thing for her. Often she will find herself doing more than her fair share of work in her different relationships. (friends, family, romantic partner, coworkers) If people don’t do what she wants, she feels victimized, angry, unappreciated, and used. She has low self esteem and only feels worthy when she is giving to others and likes to feel like a hero. This woman doesn’t feel like she is enough just as she is, feels she must be dependable, and is constantly trying to prove that she is good enough. She does not feel happy with herself so she feels she has go to outside sources to feel happy.

She has trouble asserting herself and getting her own needs, and wants met. She also struggles with expressing her emotions and feelings openly and honestly especially if she feels hurt. She tends to believe lies from people who have given her plenty of reasons not to trust them but she blames others for her unhappiness. She tries to control other people with coercion, threats, advice giving, helplessness, guilt, manipulation, and domination. She feels afraid to let herself be who she truly is and can appear rigid and controlled.

The Drama Junkie

The Drama Junkie has a lot in common with the CoDependent. They tend to be adrenaline junkies, and can often be depressed or anxious when life is stable and/or uneventful. She is attracted to people who are distant, or hard to reach– someone they can’t be too sure of.

Some questions to ask yourself to decide if you fit into this category:

Victim or Martyr

The woman who is the victim/martyr sees life as a series of problems to survive and obstacles to overcome. She has a pessimistic outlook on life and has one bad thing after another happen to her. She sees herself as a victim and she sacrifices her own health, happiness, and well being for others.

Some questions to ask yourself to decide if you fit into this category:

Again, it is important to be aware of these characteristics in yourself so that you can recognize the roots of the problems, and it will help you to understand why you have a tendency to choose a particular type of abusive person. It can also help you recognize how and why you allow others to abuse you as well as help you to identify they type of emotionally abused person that you are and can help you to focus on what you need to work on. 

If you relate to any of these categories you will probably relate to more than one, which is normal! BUT you probably will see ONE of the categories as the MOST like you. Either way, bringing your awareness to this will help you to grow in the future. 

If you have ANY questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me on Facebook or Instagram or leave a comment below! 

Source: The Emotionally Abused Woman: Overcoming Destructive Patterns and Reclaiming Yourself, Beverly Engel, M.F.C.C.

Not good enough quote

Don’t Get Stuck in the “Less Than” Mindset

I think we have all had a moment or experience where we have felt like we are “less than” other people in our lives and that’s ok as long as we don’t get stuck in that mindset. .

If we do get stuck in this mindset it spills out into every other part of our lives. You might have trouble standing up for yourself, or feel hopeless, or are becoming increasingly critical on yourself. You might choose to befriend or fall in love with the WRONG people.
.
And even though you have tried, you just can’t figure out what you’re doing wrong.
You may be suffering but can’t figure out what is causing it. And you might be dealing with one or all of the following issues:

  • depression
  • lack of motivation
  • confusion
  • difficultly concentrating or making decisions
  • feelings of failure or worthlessness
  • low self esteem
  • Self blame
    Self destructiveness

And I can understand and relate to your pain, I was emotionally abused too. And now I’m stronger for it and you can be too. You just have to deal with it and work on you and I can help!

As you very well know, we are all unique and we all have our own journeys we’re going on. And the last thing I want to do or suggest is that we should assign labels to ourselves because I completely disagree with that. BUT as it relates to emotional abuse I do think it’s important to talk about the different types of emotionally abused women.

We must remember though that these are kind of like categories of types of women who are emotionally abused and that we only use categories to help us to organize general information so that it’s easier for us to understand. Furthermore, to heal we must first understand what hurt us, how we ended up getting hurt, why we got into the situation that hurt us, and then how to avoid getting hurt like this again in the future. The following is a list of the general types of emotionally abused women:

  • The Selfless woman
  • The Pleaser
  • The Sinner
  • The Codependent
  • The Drama Junkie
  • The Victim or Martyr

I will be doing a follow up post tomorrow with more information on each of the categories I discussed above, so make sure you check back to see that!

*If you have any questions please feel free to message me on Facebook or Instagram 

Source: The Emotionally Abused Woman: Overcoming Destructive Patterns and Reclaiming Yourself, Beverly Engel, M.F.C.C.

Beer Fear & Cheer Podcast

So I did a thing..

Beer Fear and Cheer Podcast
Me and my Brother

 

So I did a thing and started a Podcast with my brother! I absolutely LOVE podcasts! You can find a list of my favorites here.

And since I got addicted to podcasts about a year or so ago I wanted to start my own, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted my podcast to be about! So I thought about it for a long time and finally came to a decision.

And I’m sure you’re thinking, “of course you would do a podcast on self love or mental health or something like that right?”

Actually, no. I decided I wanted this project to be one that is a form of self care for me. I want to talk about something I love, something I know, and something that will be beneficial for other people, even if it’s just for a laugh!

Thats why I decided on a true crime/comedy podcast! Now.. I know you’re thinking, “man that seems pretty off brand for you.” And yeah I guess you’re right! BUT my “brand” is being yourself and doing what makes you happy!

Why true crime/comedy?

Well I love true crime and I love psychology and I like to talk about both of them!

I chose to do this with my brother because we have always been super close and I think we’re hilarious together haha😁 But in all honesty, my brother Rich is a lot funnier than I am!

Beer Fear and Cheer Podcast Logo

So we named it Beer, Fear, & Cheer because we get together, drink some beer (or wine) and tell each other stories and try to make each other laugh. We talk about a true crime story, ghost stories, or a story that has to do with one of our fears– our last episode was based on one of my biggest fears which is the water or the ocean. And we discussed the true story behind the movie Open Water. Then when I’m done telling my story Rich tells a story that will make me (and the listener) laugh! We try to cover all of the bases! 😁

I have really enjoyed doing the podcast and I’m looking forward to doing more episodes this year. If true crime is your thing too I would love for you to check it out! Just click here to listen! If you don’t have Apple you can find us on Spotify or just about anywhere else you listen to podcasts! If you would also be so kind as to leave us a review we would both be SO grateful! It really helps us out when people leave us reviews! You can also like us/follow us on:

Facebook and join our Facebook group!!

& Twitter

If you have a ghost story or funny/embarrassing story you want to share, we will read it on the podcast in an upcoming episode! Just email it to us at beerfearandcheer@gmail.com We would love to hear from you!!

Enough about me! What is something you would like to do but you are hesitant because it’s not what everyone else thinks you should do. Tell me in the comments!

Mental Health: Beliefs & Emotions

 

Not very long ago I did a few posts on my Instagram about our beliefs and emotions and how the two are connected, and why being aware of them is so important. So I decided to do a blog post as well in case you missed those or want a little more information!

So first off….

Why do our beliefs about our emotions matter?

Well, what we believe about the things in our lives shapes how we perceive the different things in our lives. For example, your emotions. How do you feel about your emotions? If you believe emotions are too hard to deal with, what happens when you get angry?

You may let your anger get out of control and do something you might regret.

Even though you aren’t always consciously aware of your beliefs they still have an impact on your actions. They steer how we want to feel and the actions we take to deal with those feelings.

I used to believe that it was a bad thing to be sad. Now I know that it’s normal to be sad and as long as I’m acknowledging the feeling and then letting it go and not stewing in it. Since I now believe that sadness is normal and Ok, I’m better able to deal with it when it comes up.

Next…

How do our beliefs about our emotions affect our mental health?

Our beliefs affect our mental health through a process, most commonly through “emotion regulation.” Emotion regulation is our ability to deal with and react to an emotional situation.

So my belief that it’s bad to be sad or depressed is only going to make me feel worse when sadness comes up. But when I change my belief to it’s normal to be sad I can better manage my sadness.

One way to do that is by “down regulation” which is just consciously lessening the intensity of an emotion. You can do this by intentionally shifting your thoughts to something that makes you feel happier emotions. Essentially distracting your thoughts to something else. For example, your child or your dog or your significant other, maybe even a song!

This coping skill is something you can use to help you to be more mindful in your daily life. But for deeper issues you should definitely talk with someone!

How would you describe how you feel about emotions in one word? Tell me in the comments!

Finally…

Can we really control our emotions?

To be honest it’s more about experiencing our emotions naturally as they come and let them run their course. The difficult part is the balance act. It’s hard to just let an emotion come and go.

Think about it!

Especially if that emotion is hurt. Say you’re pissed because a friend left you out of an important event. It’s hard to not play the situation over and over in your head, essentially making things worse rather than just feeling the hurt, acknowledge it’s source and then let it go. Instead of trying to control our emotions we need to get better at accepting them.

But what we can change about our emotions is our beliefs about them.

What belief do you need to change?

Emotional Health for Women
Pin it!

Mommy Monday: Hospital Bag Essentials

Everything You Need for Your Hospital Stay When You Deliver

Not sure what all you need for the hospital when you go into labor? Ive got a list that will tell you everything you need! Before I went into labor with Braden in August I spent SO much time scouring Pinterest and Mom groups for lists of what to take with me because I wanted to be over prepared. I ended up having to stay a few extra days as well so my husband had to make a few trips back home! So through my experience I created this awesome list of everything I couldn’t have lived without!

1.) Loose & Comfy PJs — After birth you can get out of that hospital gown and into your own clothes! I took a night gown (super cute and comfy one from Target as well as some oversized pajama pants I found on Amazon. You want to be comfortable so whichever of these you prefer or both like I did!

2.) Oversized underwear — If you are giving birth vaginally this is key! Get some cheap undies that are way too big! You’ll have to wear pads and ice packs so you will want something that allows this comfortably.

3.)  Nursing bra &/or Tank Top — I got both of these but really didn’t use the tank top until I was home. (It was more tight fitting and I wasn’t as comfortable in it, so be conscious of size! However the bras were so helpful! (Also getting a gown that makes it easy for you to nurse is something to think about as well! Mine had a low neck and then buttoned up the chest so I could just unbutton to breastfeed.

4.) Phone Charger and Extension cord — Of course you can’t forget your phone charger and having an extension cord was so helpful because all of the outlets were too far away to reach the bed without! It just makes your life a little easier!!

5.) Pillow/Blanket — I took my own pillow because I’m picky and also a queen size blanket that I didn’t end up using but my mother did when she slept on the couch in the room with me and so did my husband so its nice to have for the people that are staying with you because that room gets COLD!

6.) DVD’s — I didn’t take any but really wish I would have and my husband forgot them when he made his trip back home! But if you have to be there for a while like I did (over 24 hours of labor) + 3 nights after delivery I was so tired of watching TV and it would have been nice to be able to just pop in a favorite movie.

7.) Toothbrush & toothpaste — Do I really need to explain?

8.) Hair ties — Obvious reasons right?

9.) Bedroom shoes — My feet were SO Swollen most of my pregnancy and for several days after delivery, so I got some bedroom shoes a size too big for the hospital. They want you to walk around pretty soon afterwards and you need something comfy to hobble around the hospital in!

10.) Yeti Cup (Or something like it) — That hospital ice is the BOMB and its the only the besides jello and popsicles that you can eat until you deliver! Plus the cups they give you are pretty small and require a lot more refills than a larger cup.

11.) Robe — This one was so important for me! I got a long robe from Amazon that I lived in! I wasn’t comfortable just being in my nightgown in front of visitors so throwing on my robe was super easy and comfortable! Plus I got a really pretty silk floral robe and it just made me feel good!

12.) Snacks — For your guests up until delivery and then for you afterwards! I was starving by the time Braden finally arrived and hadn’t eaten for over 24 hours!

13.) Headphones — for music during delivery or to listen to to help you go to sleep. Hospital rooms are hard to sleep in with nurses coming in and out but if you have your headphones you can drown it all out!

14.) Body wash — when you take a shower!! Duh!

15.) Shampoo & Conditioner or Dry shampoo

16.) A comfy loose outfit to go home in!

17.) Stool softener — If you are giving birth vaginally, you’ll thank me for this!

18.) Chapstick — Delivering a baby is intense and chapstick was key for me! All that breathing and pushing and everything! Your lips get really dry!

19.) Socks — One thing I left off the list above are socks! If you are anything like me, your feet will get cold! Fuzzy socks were a life savor!

20.) Positive attitude — Labor is scary but your perspective matters too! Stay positive and believe in yourself! You’re stronger than you realize!

Click here to download a printable version of the Hospital Bag Essentials Update

Look On the Bright Side

3 Simple Steps to Help You Look for & Appreciate the Positives

According to Rick Hansen’s Method – Taking in the Good, if we store more negative memories than positive memories, we start to see the world as depressing and/or threatening.

We as humans are mostly hardwired to remember the bad things and forget about all the good! Our brains tend to act like velcro for our negative memories and like “repellant” for positive memories. This is clearly not a good way to live life!

If you really think about it words, can have a “sticky” property to them, when someone calls us a name or makes fun of us or just makes us feel bad about ourselves, those things tend to stick with us more than the positive things that happen to us.

BUT! Not to fear! Hansen provides us with a way for us to make our positive feelings more “sticky” to us! Here are 3 ways to take in the good:

     1.) Actively look for the positive in every experience you have

2.) Hold those positive experiences in your conscious awareness             for as long as possible

3.) Savor the positive experiences- Remember the feelings you felt

If you’re not a part of my Smart Lioness Pride Facebook Group for women yet, what are you waiting on?! 🙂 You can watch a video on this topic that I did as well! If you are really trying to make some changes in your life, I have created a worksheet to help you to “see the good” in your experiences, or at least it will remind you that’s the goal, if nothing else! 🙂

Download the worksheet here:  Look on the Bright Side

Rip Off Your Label!

Ripping Off Your Label

It can be suffocating to have all of these labels thrust upon us as women in today’s world. Instead of letting the negative labels hurt you and your future, rip those off and stick new ones on instead! I made a worksheet you can use below to help you work through your personal labels. Tell me in the comments:

What label are you dropping? What label are you replacing it with?

Sharing is Caring!!