Thursday, January 26, 2023

How A Mother Can Improve Her Mental Health


The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that one in five adults will have a mental health problem in any given year, and it seems that keeping your mental health in check can be an especially difficult task for mothers. This could be due to the number of things mothers have to do (especially if they also work or home school, for example), as well as the fact that social media lets us see the ‘perfect’ world of other mothers, making us feel as though we’re just not good enough. 

This can all lead to serious mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and stress. It might lead to burnout. Therefore, it’s crucial that a mother needs to know how to improve her mental health where possible (and where it’s not possible to do it yourself, you must seek expert advice from a medical professional). Read on to find out more. 

 

Photo by Gustavo Fring

Set Realistic Expectations For Yourself

Many women have adopted the idealized depiction of motherhood presented in magazines and the constantly updating feeds on social media platforms like Instagram. However, it's important to remember that you shouldn't decide – or be told – what parenthood is based on a handful of carefully chosen, staged, and curated photos. 

In other words, if you want to feed your children something quick and easy for dinner rather than spending hours on a from scratch recipe, that’s fine – feeding them is the important part. If you can’t bake a cake for a class charity event, just buy one – you’re still participating. Some people will have the time and inclination, and some won’t, and it doesn’t matter what camp you fall into as long as you are happy and your children are too. Stressing out over things because you’ve set yourself too high an expectation is just making things hard for yourself and everyone around you. 

Take Help When It’s Offered

Another issue that can cause moms to have poor mental health and to feel bad is that they feel they have to do everything by themselves. They don’t want to ask for help, even if they really need it, and can’t move forward without it because they don’t want to seem ‘less’ somehow. Surely all mothers are meant to be superheroes? 

All mothers are superheroes, but being a superhero isn’t about being as strong as possible for as long as possible before collapsing under the weight of everything. It’s about ensuring your children have the happiest, healthiest life you’re able to offer, and it’s about knowing that it takes more than one person to raise a child in that way. Whether you ask for a lot of help or a little, it’s important to know that you can do it and not feel any shame in that. It could make all the difference. 

Plus, when help is offered, don’t turn it down. If someone has noticed that you could do with some assistance, take the offer of help and use it to your advantage. For example, a neighbor might suggest they cook for you and the kids a couple of nights a week if they can see you’re busy, or it could be that your boss arranges a mental health speaker at work for everyone, and you know you would benefit from this. Maybe someone offers to take the kids to school to allow you to get started on your work earlier in the day, ensuring you’re done by the time you get home. Whatever the help is, even if it’s ‘just’ a shoulder to cry on, accepting it is always a good idea. 

Allow Yourself To Say No Sometimes 

Moms are known for being able to do a lot of different things at once. But the truth is that a lot of the burnout moms feel comes from trying to do everything. When we say no to someone or something, many of us feel bad about it. But if we don't set limits for ourselves by saying no, we could burn out even faster or more than we are now.

If your family wants to see you or you want to see them and it feels like too much right now, it's okay to say no. If there is an afterschool activity that means you have to take your kids to a far away place that leaves no time for rest, you might have to tell them they can’t do it. This can cause upset, but you need to be able to look out for yourself as well as trying to do the best for your children, and sometimes that means a no for them and a yes for you instead.

Do Something That Isn’t Being A Mom

You probably had interests and hobbies before having children. Perhaps you and your friends enjoyed going out dancing, playing in a dodgeball league, reading for fun, making crafts, going on trips, or visiting new places. When children enter the picture, it's common to put personal interests on the back burner. However, it can be very taxing to constantly be in "mom mode," with no time to focus on anything but taking care of your child.

Maybe it's a stroll in the park without the burden of a baby carriage or a group of kids to keep an eye on. Perhaps getting the girls together online to form a book club is the answer. Or perhaps enrolling in a watercolor painting course would help you rediscover the joy of creating. You should talk to your partner about how important it is for you to take this time for yourself without having to worry about the kids. Just a few hours doing something for yourself can make a huge difference in terms of your mental health; you’ll be happier, calmer, and a lot less stressed. 

Be Open About Your Issues 

During times of difficulty, it can be quite challenging to accept, even to yourself, much less to others, that you're struggling with your mental health as a mom. Moms are often proud of the fact that they can do everything, even if it means they are breaking and cracking. We might worry about what other people will think of us if they find out the truth. But the truth is that a lot of other moms and women in general feel the same way, but they don't talk about it because they don't like to admit their own problems either. So you wouldn't know that they are also feeling burned out because they don't talk about it.

Telling someone you're stressed out and having problems, be it your partner, best friend, or even a total stranger in a local Facebook group, can help alleviate some of the stress and suffering you're feeling. By being honest with other people about how we feel, we can start to relieve some of the stress that comes from trying to keep it together and not let anyone else know how we feel. When you tell others and yourself that you are tired and stressed, they will be able to help.

Talking to someone about what you're going through can help you sort out your thoughts and come up with new ways to deal with your problems. Moms often don't have time to go to an appointment, but working with an online therapist can make it easy to get the mental and emotional support you need. You can talk to an online counselor at home while your kids are napping or at work during your lunch break, so you don't have to worry about finding childcare or driving somewhere. 

Make A To-Do List 

This can seem like a strange way to tackle your mental health, but a to-do list could make a big difference in a positive way. When there is so much to do, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, feel stressed, forget things (and then feel guilty), and so on. The more this happens, the worse your mental health will be, and the worse your mental health gets, the more this will happen – and so on. 

A to-do list can help to make you feel calmer and more organized, and at the very least, it means you’ll always know where you’re meant to be when and with which child. 

Often it’s a good idea to have two lists. One will contain the things that have to be done that day, like work deadlines and cooking dinner at a certain time, or the kids’ extracurricular activities, and so on. The other can contain things that you would like to do, but that you’re flexible about. In other words, if you do get them done, that’s great, but if they wait a day or two, that’s fine too. In this way, you won’t have to feel so stressed, and you’ll actually feel a lot more in control of your life as you start to cross things off your list. 

Not only will this be helpful for you, but it will help your children as well. If you can teach them how to make to-do lists for themselves, this is a habit they can grow up with, ensuring they are as organized as possible in their adult life. 


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How To Reduce Sleep Issues


Every year, sleeping disorders affect more than 40 million people in America. There are many things that can keep you from getting enough sleep, like work, household tasks, babies, worry, parties, or watching TV late at night. No matter why we don't get enough sleep, research has shown that it hurts our minds and bodies. Our bodies release hormones while we sleep that affect our mood, energy, memory, and ability to focus. Recent research has also shown that not getting enough sleep for a long time can lead to high blood pressure and make diabetes worse. With that in mind, here are some useful ways to reduce sleep issues where possible. 

 

Photo by Maierean Andrei

 

Sleep Issue – You’re In Pain

It seems obvious that a comfortable place to sleep is important for a good night's rest, but it's not just about having a soft mattress and a warm duvet. It's important to deal with pain the right way so that it doesn't keep you from sleeping and so that you have everything you might need during the night on hand. "Winding down" before bed is a good way to get our brains ready for sleep. For some people, taking a warm bath, drinking a milky drink, or doing some light muscle stretches can help them feel sleepy and reduce pain. For others, it's best to seek medical help. 

 

Sleep Issue – You’re Stressed 

Sometimes you might feel sleepy, and you might even make it into bed and feel comfortable, but then your brain will start worrying about all the things you have to do the next day or the problems you’re facing in life – you might even start to think about things that happened years ago and that are still troubling you. 

 

The best thing to do is to reduce your stress levels as much as possible. This might involve the warm bath mentioned above, or it could mean listening to music. Some people like to go for a walk or meditate. You also need to deal with the things that are worrying you, so you don’t lie awake thinking about them. Whether it’s your job, your money, your relationship, or the fact that you need to find a good nursing home abuse lawyer, making changes and taking action will help you sleep much better. 

 

Sleep Issue – Your Bedroom

Rooms should be kept between 18 and 24 degrees Celsius, be kept dark and quiet, and be kept neat and tidy if we want any possibility of falling asleep there. Some people find that blackout shades, thick curtains, or earplugs help them get a better night's sleep in the bedroom, especially if noise is an issue.

 

It's crucial to make sure our bedrooms aren't being used for anything other than sleep, so separating the bedroom from the rest of the house can help. In the end, light and the distraction of the TV or other electronic gadgets can stimulate the brain and make sleep elusive, so it's better to leave them in another room, if possible, or set them on airplane mode while you're attempting to unwind.


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Sunday, January 15, 2023

Kick Off 2023 with a Wildgrain Artisanal Bread, Pasta and Pastry Box Subscription - Delivered Directly to Your Door Monthly (Review) #WildgrainReviewToday #AD

Disclosure: I was sent a sample box from the folks at Wildgrain in exchange for an honest and thorough review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.






It is a new year...so why not try something new?  If you have never experienced a Wildgrain Box firsthand, you have been missing out!  But, right now you can join me and so many other fans of this monthly subscription box and have sourdough breads, fresh-cut pastas and artisan pastries delivered right to your door, with no prep work required. And, right now Inspired by Savannah readers can score $10 off their first box, and get croissants for life with every box they order and receive by shopping through this link and using coupon code INSPIREDBYSAVANNAH.

What is Wildgrain, and why do you need this monthly subscription box?...

First, let me start by giving information about Wildgrain and their monthly subscription box, which is delivered FREE to your door monthly, with new and delicious tasting artisanal breads, pastas and pastries.



"Founded by Johanna and Ismail, Wildgrain is a company on a mission to replace supermarket breads and pantry staples. Small-batch bakers and pasta makers across the country partner with Wildgrain to provide nutritious artisanal breads, pastas, and pastries in a monthly themed subscription box that’s too delicious to resist."




When signing up for a monthly subscription box, you can choose for their the mixed wildgrain box, or the bakery box (which doesn't include pasta).

The Mixed Wildgrain Box will include an assortment of sourdough bread, hand-cut pasta, and artisanal pastries.   The Bakery Box includes an assortment of sourdough bread, breakfast baked goods and artisanal pastries.  Both box contents come read-to-bake from frozen with no prep required.  Just pull out of the freezer and pop in a pre-heated oven to bake for 18-30 (depending on product), or add frozen pasta to boiling water and have fresh pasta in under 5 minutes.  

This month, they are shipping out the following when you order the Mixed Box:





And, if you choose the Bakery Box, you will get these goodies:




Is your mouth watering yet?  Mine sure is...especially thinking about just how good the giant chocolate chunk cookies taste. If only I had one right now to pair with a tall glass of cold milk.  Yum! :-)



Now, to answer why you need this monthly subscription box....

I have tried so many different subscription boxes over the years -- from baking boxes to foodie boxes, but nothing compares to the amazing assortment of products you get with the Wildgrain Box.  Being Italian, I have grown up on breads, pastas and pastries and can't go a day without having one of the three.  But, when you are busy mom who not only blogs, but also homeschools her two girls, and busses them around to extracurricular activities, all while making sure everyone is fed and the house is tended to, the last thing you think you have time to do is make fresh sourdough bread to have ready for your family to enjoy.  Usually I save baking such breads to the weekend when I have more time to spend in the kitchen.  If I make bread it has to be made from scratch and baked fresh -- never frozen.  But, it seems like with the holidays falling one after another once Halloween rolls around, and then the crunch time of blogging and working on my annual holiday gift guide, my time is limited to make delicious homemade breads for my family to enjoy.  

But, when I received my first Wildgrain Box last month, I knew my whole family was in for a treat, as were family and friends who would be stopping by to visit and help us sample this amazing assortment of breads, pastas and pastries.  


The December Box Included the Following:  Fresh Fettuccine, Fresh Tonnarelli, Plain Sourdough Loaf, Sourdough Walnut Bread, Slow Fermented Olive Oil Bread, Chocolate Avalanche Croissant (4-pack), and Croissants (4-Pack), all packed in dry ice, ready to be put in your freezer to store until ready to pull out and make right from frozen (no need to thaw!)


If you are looking for a convenience monthly subscription box, then you will love Wildgrain.  Everything arrives fresh and frozen using dry ice.  Once you receive your box, simply pop all the products in your freezer and pull out when you want to use. There is no need to thaw overnight or in advance, which as a busy mom, I love.  


Both of my girls love pasta, and could eat it every day if I let them. I like to make homemade from scratch pasta, as it not only cooks up faster, but I find is better tasting that the boxes I keep on the pantry shelf.  But, sometimes there are not enough hours in the day to whip up a batch of pasta dough and then go through all the steps to roll out and then cut or form the pasta shapes my girls like...so, I have to reach for a box of shelf-stable pasta to boil up.  That alone takes forever as you have to boil water for 10-12 minutes, and then drop the pasta in the boiling water and cook it for another 12-16 minutes.  My girls always seem to ask for pasta when I am the midst of doing something, or they are super hungry and then start complaining as they wait for the pasta to be ready.  Times like this I wish I had fresh pasta handy or an alternative way to cook up a fresh batch of pasta in half the time of box pasta.  Thanks to the monthly Wildgrain subscription box and their inclusion of hand-cut pasta with each monthly box, they answered my call and now make serving up a fresh plate of pasta a breeze.  And, boy can you taste the difference between fresh pasta and boxed pasta.  Even with this pasta being sent frozen and kept in the freezer -- as soon as it hits the boiling water, it only takes 4-5 minutes to cook up, but tastes like just like unfrozen, freshly made pasta.  My youngest thinks this pasta tastes even better than my pasta recipe I have been making for 30+ years, and that has been passed down through generations from my Italian ancestors. 

In addition to the hand-cut fresh pasta, the monthly Wildgrain subscription box also includes an assortment of artisanal pastries for you and your family to enjoy. In the box I was set back in December, I received a package of chocolate avalanche croissants (4-pack) and a 4-pack of croissants. OMG, the Wildgrain chocolate avalanche croissants were amazing!  


They puffed up so big, and were full of flavor. I am a chocoholic and couldn't believe how much chocolate was layered between the croissant dough.  Unlike other frozen croissants I have tried in the past, as well as ones I have bought at bakeries in my area, none stood up to the amazing taste of these ones. I couldn't get over that I could have chocolate croissants from the oven to a serving plate in a half hour's time.  I ended up baking them up and serving them Christmas Eve morning for my family, and everyone was asking for more as they started devouring their croissants.  


Too bad it only came as a 4-pack, as we could have all went for another -- they were oh so good!


Wildgrain is running an offer right now that if you sign for a monthly subscription box, you will get croissants for LIFE!! Yes, you read that right.  Each and every box you are sent each month will include a 4-pack of croissants to enjoy. This is a great offer if you ask me, as the croissants were a huge hit with my family, and come in handy for baking up and then using to make bacon, egg and cheese croissant sandwiches for the family to enjoy.  


What is so great about this monthly subscription box is that you get different products each month, which allows you to sample an assortment of delicious Wildgrain artisanal breads, pastas and pastries with your family, and find your personal favorites.  My family and I loved everything about the first box we received, with the two pasta packages being a life/time saver, and the chocolate and plain croissants left up wanting more.  If you have ever made sourdough bread from scratch, then you know how time consuming it can be to make the dough, let is rise and then bake it up.  I have never baked up anything sourdough in under 30 minutes -- that was until I started to receive the Wildgrain Box.  

I received a sample to try with my family in December, and was quick to sign up for their January box, after devouring all the breads, pastas and pastries in the sample box sent for review. I was hooked, and could finally so why so many people have been raving about Wildgrain and their monthly subscription box.  I spent the entire holiday season raving about Wildgrain with family and friends, as I would bake up the different sourdough loaves sent to serve up with a holiday meal, or bake and bring to holiday dinner parties.  Everyone who sampled the Wildgrain sourdough breads couldn't believe the bread were baked from frozen. They tasted homemade and were full of flavor.  Out of the three breads I was sent, I have to say the Sourdough Walnut Bread was favorite with my family and my relatives who were staying with us for the holidays. 


I baked it up Christmas morning and it was so heavy, that we have to cut smaller slices and enjoy over a few days time. 


But, every time we reached for a piece of this bread we knew our taste buds would awaken and our mouth's would water. This bread was full of flavor, and the additional the toasted walnuts made for a nice crunch that added to the sourdough flavor.  




The slow fermented olive oil ciabatta was also a huge hit, and made for great bread to use for deli sandwiches while my husband was home for the holidays on vacation.  While I was busy making batch after batch of holiday cookies to gift to family and friends, and for cookie swaps, I didn't have to worry about stopping to make lunch for him, as he was more than happy to cut a couple slices of this ciabatta bread and make a sandwich.  He said he would wake and look forward to lunch as he really enjoyed this flavorful and crispy ciabatta bread. And, he was sad when he ran out.

I can't wait to try upcoming Wildgrain boxes, and am so happy I had the opportunity to sample a box, as it got my family and I hooked on this amazing sampling of sourdough breads, artisan pastas and decadent pastries.  Yes, I thought the $89 monthly price tag was a little steep, but after trying out the breads firsthand, I feel like what you get in a monthly Wildgrain box is worth double that.  I am saving so much time in the kitchen as I don't have to make sourdough or pasta from scratch, and can have these delicious Wildgrain products on the table in no time at all, for my family to enjoy.  

If you are on the fence about trying this monthly subscription box, I want to remind you that when you sign up, you get FREE SHIPPING with each and every box, and lock in the croissants for LIFE special available for a limited time, and right now can score $10 off your first box by using my exclusive coupon code.  


Just follow this link to save $10 off your first Wildgrain Box.  Don't feel pressured that you will be locking yourself to an ongoing box. You can cancel any time or even pause a month if you find you aren't eating everything sent to you from the month before.  




But, after trying out two boxes so far, I haven't found that we have a freezer full of Wildgrain product needing to be baked or cooked up. Instead, my family is asking when the next box will be arriving as they want to cook and bake everything up as soon as our monthly Wildgrain Box arrives at our door.  

-- ORDER NOW AND SAVE $10!!! --
(Plus, get croissants with each monthly box for LIFE!)

So, what are you waiting for?  Why not give Wildgrain Box a try for the new year.  You will not be disappointed!  And, be sure to click here and enter coupon code INSPIREDBYSAVANNAH to save $10 off your first box, making it only $79 for the first box, and locking in the croissants for LIFE offer!  I can't wait to hear what you and your family think of your first Wildgrain Box, and hear which products are your personal favorites, if you can choose, as everything tastes amazing. :-)



 


 Disclosure: I was sent a sample box from the folks at Wildgrain in exchange for an honest and thorough review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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