5 Summer Fashion Trends for Moms Who Want to Be Comfortable

Moms need to enjoy summer vacation as much as the kids do, which means that we need to feel comfortable.

Our mom bodies have changed and grown and it can be hard to find the right style that fits us.  It’s easy enough to hide that extra baby weight under heavy sweaters all winter long but hot weather means that it’s time to show off a little skin.  We love all the new summer fashion trends, but are they comfortable enough to chase the kids around? 

Thankfully, our resident fashionista, Jess, is here with a little advice for moms.  Here are a few of her favorite summer fashion trends that any mom can try out this summer and still feel beautiful, comfortable and beat the heat! 

5 Summer Fashion Trends for Moms Who Want to Be Comfortable


It seems like in an instant the weather changes from warm to HOT and then all of a sudden, if you are like me, you panic! Wait… what summer clothes do I have from last year that I still want to wear? And what trends do I want to try this year?

I put together this post to inspire you to try something new. I am constantly inspired my so many people and so many Pinterest boards, but these 5 have been my favorites for the season so far. Definitely give one or all of these summer fashion trends a try!

1. Slides

These are HAVING a moment at the moment. You might have noticed celebrities are a huge fan of the sock and slipper trend, but since filtering the slide into my everyday rotation, I can honestly say I am a HUGE fan. Slides (or slippers) are a great way to implement comfort for the summer months.

There are so many different styles out there right now, but I am partial to the athletic slide.  This one from J/Slides on Zulily is affordable but I also love the Nike Benassi and the Adidas Adilette Cloudfoam

JSlides on Zulily
Zulily.com

2. The Midi Dress

This style has been on my radar for awhile now but since I am a short 5’2″ I was always afraid to jump into this summer fashion trend. However, with the right style tricks, you can rock this look like a pro no matter what your height is.

Reasons I love this trend:
    • It makes #momlife more comfortable. I hate when I am wearing a short dress and playing with my kids but I can’t stop worrying about my butt hanging out.
    • You can wear them with cute sneakers or instantly dress it up with a wedge.

I actually used to tie a knot on the bottom of my maxi dresses because I preferred the length and the fact that you could see my shoes better.  Little did I know that I was just missing the midi from my life!

Polka-Dot Fit & Flare Midi for Women
Old Navy
If you are unsure about the midi, here are 3 easy style tips:

The length is important.  Ideally, you want the dress to hit just past your knee, but above where the “juicy” part of your calf is. Or you want it just past the biggest part of your calf, a few inches above your ankle. Basically, you want to avoid the dress hem cutting into your calf for the most flattering fit.

Avoid wearing shoes that have a strap around the ankle. This will just make your legs appear longer without cutting it off visually.

Wear heels or a wedge. There is something about feeling taller that makes us stand straighter and feel more confident. Now, if you are like me, heels are saved for a special occasion.  I rarely wear them anymore these days, because… kids. But a block heel sandal or lower wedge is more comfortable and looks great with a midi!

3. Athleisure

I’ve talked about this one before because it’s not just a summer fashion trend, it’s a year-round one. We might all own a few “work out” clothes that we may or may not use to actually work out.  And there’s a good reason we have them, because they are SO comfortable.  How do we get away with wearing yoga pants everyday, and not looking frumpy?  

Take some inspiration from Grit & Zest, who specialize in athleisure style clothing for women.  Read more about exactly what “athleisure” means and how these pieces can do double duty in your wardrobe.  This season,  put those pieces to work and break down the barriers of casual only or work out only wear.

Athleisure Style
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4. Bike Shorts

I’m aging myself here but I remember wearing these in the 90’s, in the spandex variety, with a bright neon stripe on the side and an oversized Looney Tunes tee shirt.

So when Kim Kardashian started sporting her signature bike shorts look recently, part of me was like “ew, no!” and another part of me was like, “okaaaay… maybe.”

Let me tell you something… THERE IS NO GOING BACK.

Bike shorts are the summer version of leggings! They are versatile, comfortable, perfect for playing with the kids, lightweight, basically The Best. Thing. Ever.

How do you wear them and not look ridiculous?
    • Dig in your husbands closet and “borrow” an oversized t-shirt (roll the sleeves for a more fashionable take)
    • Wear them with any tank top. Longer, shorter, cropped, fitted or flowy, you can’t go wrong.
    • Wear them with any of the shoe options mentioned above for a perfect every day look.
    • Wear it dressy.  Yes, bike shorts, with a blouse and longer blazer, pair with heels and voila! Perfection!
    • Layer. One of my favorite fashion tools. Layer on your tanktop, a denim shirt, or a flannel shirt, an oversized cardigan or a kimono.

If you are hesitant about this summer fashion trend, basically put on any outfit you normally would wear with black leggings and sub it out with a bermuda length bike short (bonus is that they are so inexpensive!)

Check out this post from Refinery29 for more inspiration!

5. Kimono

If there is ONE piece I couldn’t live without in summer, it is a great printed kimono! They are the easiest way to make an outfit.  It’s lighter than a sweater so you can stay cool and comfortable even on the hottest of days.  Pack light for your summer vacation this year because this versatile piece can be worn so many different ways.

Zulily.com
Four different ways to wear it:
    • Over a tank top and jeans/jean shorts
    • As a bathing suit cover up
    • Over a little black dress
    • Belted and worn as a top

The Final Touch

Complete any of these looks with the perfect piece of jewelry.  Avoid heavy, layered chains this summer and opt for something light and minimal like this circle initial necklace from Sincerely Silver.  Wear it over a plain tank top and you instantly elevate your look while still feeling comfortable.  Use the code SINCERELY15 to get 15% off your perfect summer necklace! 

Circle Initial Necklace By Sincerely Silver
Get 15% off with code SINCERELY15 at SincerelySilver.co

Summer is hard on a lot of women, moms or not, we tend to feel self conscious.  But when it’s hot outside, there is absolutely NO reason that we should have to hide or cover up. Wear the shorts. Put on your bathing suit. Find pieces that make you feel AMAZING! These are just my own personal spin on some fun summer fashion trends, and they should be just that, FUN!


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Jess Sankar is a happily married stay-at-home mother of two young daughters.  She currently manages the Running in Triangles Instagram page @running_in_triangles, where she shares self care tips for moms and creates beautiful content for both the blog and social media.  To learn more about Jess, click here.

25 Easy Self Care Ideas That Will Get You Outdoors

Self care can be easier than you think…

Being outdoors has several incredible benefits for moms, but it’s not always easy to do.  Trying to juggle kids, plus housework – it’s not uncommon for a stay at home mom’s outdoor exposure to be limited to an open window.  And when we do get outside, it’s usually to chase after the kids or do more work outdoors.  Some of these self care ideas can help moms get outdoors with the sole intention of rest and relaxation.

Try one of these outdoor self care ideas this summer!
25 Easy Outdoor Self Care Ideas
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.
25 Easy Outdoor Self Care Ideas

1. Go for a walk or run around the block

One of the easiest outdoor self care ideas is to go for a walk or jog around your own neighborhood.  It doesn’t cost anything, require any scheduling or take up much time.  Whether you’re in the mood for a marathon run or just a leisurely stroll – your own neighborhood is the best place to start! 

2. Pump your legs on a playground swing

Moms always seem to get the boring jobs at playgrounds.  We stand at the bottom of slides, push our kids on the swings and hold their legs as they attempt to make their way across the monkey bars.  Instead of being a playground servant – free your inner child and go for a swing or a slide!

3. Visit an outdoor spa

Outdoor spas are becoming more and more popular these days.  The benefits of fresh air and nature are unmatched by anything else.  Check out a Scandinavian-style spa, a hot spring, or soak in an outdoor hot tub.

Why All Moms Need to Spend the Day at Thermea
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4. Take a hike or follow a forest trail

Hiking can be intimidating to anyone, especially a mother fresh off of postpartum recovery or who has to take little ones along with her.  Strolling down a well maintained path through the forest still has a lot of benefits.  For the more adventurous mom, make a bucket list of trails that you’d like to conquer and check one off as often as possible.

5. Relax in a hammock

Nothing says relaxation quite like napping in a hammock on a hot summer day.  The gentle swaying motion is sure to lull you into a relaxed state, just like a baby in a cradle.  Plus, the light summer breeze and sunshine on your face provides the perfect atmosphere.

6. Spend some time gardening

Another excellent self care idea is to start a backyard garden.  Digging your bare hands or feet into the soil is actually good for your mental health, as soil contains a special bacteria that works like a natural antidepressant.  Caring for a garden is sure to get you outdoors all summer long and at the end of the season, you’ll have a healthy batch of crops to show for it!

16 Ways Ecotherapy is Good for Moms
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7. Go for a bike ride

Park the minivan and go for a bike ride instead.  It’s not a practical form of transportation for everyday life, but going for a bike ride regularly has it’s benefits.  Biking improves your physical health and can be an enjoyable form of self care, either alone or with the whole family.

8. Enjoy a picnic in the park

Another simple activity to get you outdoors is to eat one of your meals picnic-style.  You can go to a park or eat in your own backyard.  Spread a picnic blanket or gather around an outdoor table.  Go out on your own, with your spouse or as an entire family… the kids will love it just as much as you will.

Malibu Picnic Set
Zulily.com

9. Shop a local farmers market

Local farmers markets sell much more than just fruit and vegetables these days.  You can find all kinds of organic, locally made things like health and beauty products, jewelry, clothing and so much more!  Not only is it wonderful to support local businesses, but you’ll get your hands on food and products that are so much better for your health.

10. Camp out for a night or two

Camping is not for everyone.  In fact, most mothers with small children will swear that it’s more work than anything else.  Even glamping has it’s pitfalls.  But if it’s something you’re open to – definitely give it a try!  Or just set up a tent in your backyard and listen to the relaxing night sounds as you sleep.

11. Pick some wildflowers

Fresh flowers have a way of brightening up anyone’s home.  One of the simplest self care ideas is to pick some yourself.  Obviously, don’t invade your neighbor’s prize tulips, but anyone with a lilac bush will surely be glad to let you help trim it back.  Fields and parks are usually full of all kinds of wildflowers.  Or sprinkle some wildflower seeds in your yard this spring and have an abundant supply all summer long.

12. Go for a boat ride

Being on the water in a middle of a lake is a wonderful way to help clear your mind.  You can literally get away from it all.  Choose a hot day because there’s nothing quite like the breeze off the water.  But beware, the rocking motion of a boat can be soothing for some – not so much for others.

Self Care Routine for a Stay at Home Mom
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13. Volunteer to walk a dog from a pet shelter

If you don’t have your own furry friend to take along with you on walks, then check out if your local pet shelter needs volunteers.  The dogs there are always in need of some extra love and you can both benefit from spending some time together.  

14. Paint your nails

What’s the most annoying thing about painting your nails?  Waiting for them to dry.  Use that as an excuse to get outside and stay outside.  Paint your nails and then relax in a lounge chair without any need to get up.   You can even try a face mask, soak your feet or exfoliate your skin outdoors.  Take the pampering outdoors, I promise you wont regret it.

15. Swim or float in a lake or outdoor pool

Swimming is a great low-impact exercise and perfect for hot summer days.  If you’re looking for something more relaxing, then blow up an inflatable tube and float around on the water without a care.

Intex Canopy Island Pool Float
Amazon.com

16. Build a bird house, bat house or bee hive

Sometimes stress and frustration can build up and come out in undesirable ways.  Finding a creative outlet for all those pent up emotions is a great form of self care.  Try building your own bird house or bat house for your yard.  Not only will you be doing nature a favor, but you can help control the pesky mosquito population.  If you have a garden, making your own bee hive can increase your crop production! 

17. Spend a night star gazing

If it’s a clear night outside, lay down a blanket and watch the stars.  Head outside the city and away from the street lights for a better view.  Star gazing is a great form of stress and anxiety relief and can remind you of just how small your problems are in this giant world. 

18. Sit on the beach

A beach day is one of my favorite self care ideas.  Get out your lounge chair or blanket, a beach umbrella and some sunglasses and relax in the sand.  Dig your feet into the wet sand to exfoliate and massage them.  Cool yourself off in the water.  Listen to the sounds of the waves, the seagulls and the children playing.  

19. Visit a greenhouse or garden center

Greenhouses are fantastic places to look for inspiration for your own backyard.  From plants and flowers to water features and deck ideas, you can create your own back yard self care sanctuary.  Focusing on an outdoor project can help keep your mind sharp and distracted in a good way.

7 Ways to Make Your Space a Self Care Sanctuary
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20. Have a bonfire

Sitting around a bonfire is an excellent stress reliever.  The smell of the wood, and crackling of the flames is a feast for the senses.  Roast marshmallows or hot dogs if you want to.  It’s a nice treat anytime of the day, not just for nights at the cabin.

21.  Visit a farm

Spending time with animals is great for our mental health and considered a form of ecotherapy.  There are usually lots of local farms that open up to visitors.  You can pet animals, ride horses, climb up hay bales, milk a cow or collect eggs from the hen house.

22. Watch the sunrise

While I would never deliberately encourage a mom to lose out on sleep – getting up early to watch the sunrise can be totally worth it.  The way the sunlight moves slowly over everything is breathtaking.  You can meditate, do yoga or just sip some hot coffee.  It’s an amazing way to start the day.

12 Thoughtful Gift Ideas for the Sleep Deprived Mom
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23. Do some fruit picking

Spend the day at an orchard or strawberry farm.  Not only will you get to experience the beauty of it all, but you’ll get to go home with some fresh, organic fruit as a result.

24. Take nature pictures

Whether you’re an amateur photographer or a selfie queen, nature provides an endless supply of photo ops.  Try taking pictures of the birds, the trees or a sunset.  If you get a really good shot, have it printed and framed and you’ve just created a free piece of art for your walls.

25. Dance in the rain

Getting outdoors isn’t reserved just for the hot summer days.  Even rain storms can be beautiful.  The next time it rains, don’t run and hide.  Ditch the umbrella, kick off your shoes and dance in the rain.  Embrace it and let all your cares wash away.


16 Ways Ecotherapy is Good for Moms

Ecotherapy is the act of using the healing benefits of nature to improve our mental health.

Sometimes referred to “nature therapy” or “green therapy,” ecotherapy has several amazing benefits for moms.  In our modern, industrialized world, we spend so much more time indoors than we do outside in nature, and it’s starting to have a tangible effect on our mental health.

Ecotherapy is a broad term used to describe all kinds of outdoor activities that have health benefits.  These can include everything from the simple act of sitting outdoors in the sunshine to hiking and mountain climbing.  With benefits for the entire family, it’s a great way for moms to spend time with the kids as well as take care of themselves.

Here are some ways that moms can benefit from some of the various forms of ecotherapy.
16 Ways Ecotherapy is Good for Moms
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.
16 Ways Ecotherapy is Good for Moms

1. Fresh Air

The obvious benefit of getting outdoors is simply to enjoy the fresh air. Inhaling fresh air, as opposed to the circulated, stale indoor air, is a great way to clear our minds and bodies.  A little bit of fresh air everyday can help ward off headaches and congestion, and is great for our overall health.  For those who live in crowded, busy cities, it’s worth it to get out to the country side every once in a while for a decent dose of fresh air.  It’s something that far too many of us take for granted.  

2. Sunshine

Warm sunshine is another building block of ecotherapy.  Exposure to sun can top off our vitamin D levels, which is super important for maintaining our serotonin levels and avoiding seasonal affective disorder.  Vitamin D is also important in calcium absorption, can lower your blood pressure and even help you lose weight!  But make sure to protect your skin while outside, the sun’s power is both great and dangerous.

3. Physical Activity

Ecotherapy works because being outdoors has a way of inspiring us to explore, run and play.  When it’s a beautiful day out, we don’t want to waste it by staying inside watching television.  Just walking outdoors for an hour each day is enough to boost our moods and help us to live healthier lives.  Often, the elements of nature can encourage us to take up more extreme forms of physical activity, such as hiking, biking, swimming or mountain climbing.  The opportunities to get our heart pumping and work up a sweat while out in nature are endless. 

12 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health This Year
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4. Stimulates The Senses

It’s rare to find a form of therapy that can stimulate all of our senses at once.  But ecotherapy does just that.  When we’re out in nature, we feel the sun’s warmth, the delicate tickle of green grass on our toes or a light breeze against our skin.  We smell the fresh air, flowers, earth and the wood of the trees.  We hear birds singing, leaves rustling in the wind and the gentle trickling of water.  We see flowers and landscapes in all different colors and shapes.  We taste sweet berries or fruit freshly picked from the trees.  Simply being outdoors is a feast for the senses.

5. Spending Time With Animals

Ecotherapy also includes spending time with animals and experiencing the benefits of some of nature’s greatest gifts.  Spending time with animals can help to reduce our stress levels and boost our moods.  You don’t need to have your own pet in order to get the benefits of pet therapy.  A visit to a farm, petting zoo, animal shelter or even just some simple bird watching is like an instant mood booster without all the responsibility of raising your own pet.  

6. Talking in Nature 

Talking about feelings can be difficult for a lot of people.  Especially so for moms battling a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder such as postpartum depression.  Many people find it comforting to talk while going for a walk outdoors.  The distraction of the sights and sounds can ease tension or awkward silence.  The physical act of walking while talking can actually encourage the mind to open up even more, because it’s now being asked to multitask and thus feels less inhibited.  So the next time you have something important to discuss with someone – try inviting them on a stroll through the park.

9 Reasons Why Mothers Don't Talk About Postpartum Depression
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7. Digging in the Dirt

Contrary to popular belief, dirt is not dirty.  Pure, rich soil from the earth is actually really good for you!  By digging your bare hands (or feet) into the dirt, you can absorb the good bacteria known as Mycobacterium vaccae which is a natural antidepressant and can improve your overall health and immune system.  Ecotherapy is all about ditching the gardening gloves and flip flops and becoming one with the dirt!

8. Gardening

Since you’re already barefoot and ankle deep in dirt, you might as well plant a garden while you’re at it.  There are so many health benefits of gardening that it’s the most popular form of ecotherapy.  In addition the health benefits you get directly from the soil, caring for a garden is a great way to nurture your motherly instincts.  Planting seeds and watching them grow into full grown plants will give you a sense of pride and accomplishment.

9. Eat a Healthier Diet

We would all love to eat farm fresh fruit and vegetables everyday, but it’s a sad fact that healthier food often tends to cost more at the local grocery store.  Instead, grow healthy fruit and vegetables in your own garden.  Not only will it be organic, but it will be free!  A healthy diet is especially important for moms battling a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder, as well as for children of all ages.  Everyone in the family will be much more inclined to eat food that they’ve grown themselves.  

Self Care Routine for a Stay at Home Mom
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10. Cultivate Healing Herbs

In addition to healthy fruit and vegetables, you can also grow certain herbs that offer medicinal benefits. Lavender, Chamomile and Valerian are  popular ones, especially to help with sleep and reduce stress.  Peppermint, rosemary, oregano, thyme and basil are great for cooking but their oils have several healing benefits as well. St. John’s Wort, known for it’s natural antidepressant properties, can easily be grown in any herb garden.  There are so many different herbs available that you can grow easily and always have on hand when you need them.

11. Boosts Confidence

Growing your own plants from seedlings is a real confidence booster.  In a world where parenting is so complicated and full of different opinions and methods – gardening takes you back to the beginning.  Plants don’t need complicated methods – they need soil, water and sunlight to thrive.  Being able to produce fruit or flowers from a tiny seed can give you a sense of pride and confidence in yourself. 

12. Sleep Better

When you combine all of the fresh air, sunshine and physical activity, it adds up to one thing – a better night’s sleep!  This holds true for both moms and babies.  Ecotherapy is an excellent course of treatment for those with insomnia as it reduces the common culprits: stress, anxiety and depression.  Try taking a nap outdoors, in a hammock or on a blanket in the grass.  Between the warm sun, light breeze and bird songs you’re sure to feel relaxed.  Who needs a white noise machine with “nature sounds” when you can get the live version in your own backyard?

Postpartum Anxiety Insomnia 1
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13. Community

Spending time alone in nature is incredibly peaceful, but ecotherapy can also be done as a community.  Community gardens, stroller walking groups at the park or even yoga on the beach are all great forms of ecotherapy that can help to encourage social skills.  Once you find an activity that you enjoy doing outdoors, reach out to see if others want to join you or if there is already a group of like-minded people who gather regularly.  Being outdoors increases the probability that you will encounter and socialize with others in your community, which is great for your mental health.

14. An Outlet for Anger

Ecotherapy can also help with anger management issues Try bushwhacking some hedges when you’re feeling frustrated and full of rage.  Kick some rocks or punch a tree – I promise, they can handle it.  Sitting alone in nature is also a great place to find peace.  Meditate, even speak out loud to the plants, insects, animals and trees.  They make great listeners and they won’t judge you or tell your secrets.  It might sound silly, but saying something out loud, regardless of who is listening or not, is a lot different than simply thinking about it.

15. Reduces Anxiety

A major cause of anxiety for many people is the thought of death, illness or harm.  Spending time observing nature can give us a better appreciation of the life cycle and realize that everything happens for a reason.  The old leaves fall off the trees to make way for new growth.  Plants sprout from a single seed, produce their fruit, get old and wither.  Their fruit grows several new plants and the cycle continues again.  We see some plants lost to neighborhood rabbits, others to nature’s elements.  And we realize that all life has a meaning and purpose.

A Mother's Guide to Postpartum Rage
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16. Find Hope for the Future

Taking care of the earth, whether it’s in the form of gardening, raising animals or simply observing nature around you, is one way to remain hopeful.  A mother suffering from postpartum depression, for example, may have trouble seeing the future beyond all of the darkness.  Ecotherapy reminds us all that life, like nature, continues despite bad weather, cold, darkness and drought.  Even when things seem at their worst, the sun will come out again and all will be well.


Why You Should Never Give a New Mom Unsolicited Advice

New moms often find themselves in a vulnerable state – physically and emotionally.

Unfortunately, many people don’t see the vulnerability of a new mom’s spirit and inadvertently do things to harm it.  Offering unsolicited advice, judging a new mom’s parenting choices, or making her feel incapable in any way can all do damage to a mother’s mental and emotional health.

Jess shares some of her experiences as a new mom, feeling judged and made to second guess her choices.  She talks about how dangerous it can be to do anything but support a new mom.  New moms don’t need us to tell them what to do, because we all figure it out eventually.  What they do need is a community of people who they trust and can go to for advice when they need it.

So the next time you see a new mom struggling, don’t give her unsolicited advice.
Why You Should Never Give A New Mom Unsolicited Advice
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.
Why You Should Never Give A New Mom Unsolicited Advice How to Handle Unsolicited Advice As a New Mom
How to Protect Your Spirit from Unsolicited Advice

It really isn’t that hard to not judge other moms. Whatever your excuse might be, it does not matter.  Whether you are from the older generation where you did things differently, or maybe it’s because the way you opted to do things worked for you, you assume it’s the only way. 

But when you give unsolicited advice to a new mom, the only thing that she will take away from your statement is that she is not doing a good job.

When I had my first child, I felt so prepared. I was ready. I read the books. I went to the classes.  My husband and I had talked endlessly on how we wanted to raise our children.  We talked about what was important to us, our family values and the importance we placed on everything from Montessori toys to how we felt about screen time. I knew we were in for a huge adventure as we became parents, and as scary as it was, I felt like “yes, I can do this!”

How to Handle Unsolicited Advice As a New Mom
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And then you came along. Someone who obviously knew more than either my husband or I when it came to raising our own child.  Everything I did received criticism or was questioned. Maybe you felt entitled to say it because you are older than me, or you had raised a child of your own.

I honestly don’t know what triggered it, but I started to hate you. I had a newborn baby and I was exhausted.  Sure, I didn’t know what I was doing, but I 100% knew better than you did when it came to the well-being of MY baby.

This was not just one person, it was several people. Maybe I was just overly sensitive, but you don’t know how the words you said to me affected me. I would cry in the car on the drive home because your unsolicited advice made me feel inadequate. I cringed at the thought of seeing you and even avoided gatherings that I knew you would be at.

11 Things Moms Do That Can Harm Their Mental Health
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That unhelpful, toxic energy was not good for my soul.

I was so new into motherhood and I was not prepared for the unsolicited advice that was being thrown at me left and right. I did not know then, as I do now, how much I would have to protect my spirit so I would not be broken.

Motherhood is heavy, oh so heavy, and the weight of it can crush you.

People feel as if they have the right to give you unsolicited advice because you NEED it. I was fortunate that I never went through the darkness of postpartum depression.  But having someone question or belittle me when it came to making decisions about this perfect little human that I shared a bond with, was one of the most frustrating things I have experienced as a mother.

6 Warning Signs That it's More Than The Baby Blues
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As a practice of self-care, I developed a circle of support.  I now surround myself with people I love and trust and can turn to at any minute of the day when I need my spirits lifted. I could also feel my “motherly intuition” grow stronger as my baby grew. I knew when she was hungry or tired. I could sense her emotions and I grew confident in my abilities.

Now, fast forward five years down the road and another baby later, I do not let what other people say get to me when it comes to parenting.   Yes, I let my kids watch YouTube Kids and occasionally have a lollipop with their breakfast.  But I know I am a good mom to my kids and I have stopped comparing myself, or my kids, to anyone else.

So while the same people might still make the same sly comments every now and then and offer their unsolicited advice, I have learned to just smile, nod and hum Backstreet Boys songs in my head until they stop talking.

12 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health This Year
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Here is my advice to all the new moms out there.

No one knows how to take care of your baby better than you.  It will be hard to remember at first, but eventually you will find that mama bear spirit lying deep within. 

And to all the well meaning people out there who have so many words of wisdom or “helpful” comments, here is some advice for you:  unless you are directly asked for advice about something, all you need to say is… repeat after me…

How to Handle Unsolicited Advice As a New Mom

12 Mother’s Day Gifts That Will Encourage Self Care

Mother’s Day is a holiday where we recognize moms for all the amazing things they do for others. 

When we think about all the diapers changed, meals cooked, loads of laundry washed, books read and baths given, we wonder how a mom finds time to do it all in one day.  And it becomes very clear that she’s given something up in order to achieve that.  That “something” is usually self care. 

Self care is so important, but in the struggle to reach perfect mom status, we spend more energy than we have.  This leads to mental health issues, stress, anxiety, rage, insomnia and even physical pain.  In other words, it IS a big deal.  And there’s no better occasion than Mother’s Day to focus on mom’s needs for a change.

This year, consider these Mother’s Day gift ideas for the mom in your life who might need a little extra help getting in that self care time.
Mother's Day Gifts That Will Encourage Self Care
*This is a sponsored post, meaning that I received compensation in order to promote some of these products, and it may contain affiliate links. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.

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We’re gonna start this gift guide off right… with a giveaway!

In collaboration with SincerelySilver.co, we are excited to be giving away a free necklace to one lucky winner!  The winner will be able to select one of five different styles in either silver, gold or rose gold.  The contest runs from Monday, April 15th until Friday, April 19th, with plenty of time to have the necklace delivered before Mother’s Day! 

*Please note: The giveaway is now closed!  Thank you to all who entered!  You can still find great gifts for Mother’s Day at Sincerely Silver and use the code SINCERELY15 for 15% off!

There Are Three Ways to Enter

On Facebook: 

On Instagram:

On Twitter:

Mother's Day Giveaway
Contest closes April 19th 2019 at 11:59 pm CST.  Must be 18+ to enter.  Winner will be notified within 48 hours and provided with instructions to redeem their prize.
Mother's Day Gifts That Will Encourage Self Care

Let Her Be Comfortable

Shine The Light On

The ultra luxurious clothing line from Shine The Light On is perfect for lounging around the house, but also great for running errands, doing school pick ups or watching soccer practice.  Bonus points for helping to spread mental health awareness! Use coupon code RUNINTRIANGLES15 for 15% off your purchase!

Mother's Day Gifts That Will Encourage Self Care

Weighting Comforts
Weighting Comforts

Self care is especially important for the over touched mom who has been climbed on by kids all day long.  She’s going to need some way to reset each day and a weighted blanket can help.  Using a weighted blanket has been proven to reduce symptoms of anxiety, stress and insomnia. 


Let Her Relax

Essential Oil Diffuser Kit
Rocky Mountain Oils

Aromatherapy is an easy way for moms to experience healing benefits.  Use a diffuser in the bedroom to induce better sleep, the office to encourage productivity, or the living room where she can go about her day and let the essential oils work their magic.  And an aromatherapy diffuser that comes with a set of the most popular essential oils makes gift giving super simple.


Cowin Noise Cancelling Headphones
Amazon.com

One of the best (and only) ways for a mom to relax in a house full of children is by with some noise canceling headphones.  A wireless, Bluetooth version will ensure she can go anywhere in peace and quiet.  Make sure to create a playlist for her on Spotify and let her escape to a world away from snack making and diaper changing.


Let Her Pamper Herself

Thermea by Nordik Spa-Nature
Read more about thermotherapy here

I will promote a spa day for every single holiday.  It is, by far,  one of the best gifts a woman could receive for Mother’s Day.  If you want to change things up, look into thermotherapy spas instead of a traditional massage and pedicure.  Try out a new place in town.  Or get her a Spa Finder gift card and let her book the spa day of her dreams.


Amazon.com

Skin care is often neglected by moms due to the cost and time associated with it.  So skin care gifts can mean a lot to a mom in need of some pampering.  If you’re not sure where to begin looking, then consider products that are popular and trendy such as this Anti-Aging Vitamin C Serum that has over 3,000 positive reviews on Amazon.  Or, the ever popular Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. If you’re looking for something organic, try the TOHI Skin Care Line from Rocky Mountain Oils.


Let Her Indulge

Say It In Chocolate - Personalized Chocolate Message
SendABetterLetter on Etsy

Cards are great and all but what do you do with them once you’re done reading them?  How about sending her a personalized message written in delicious milk or dark chocolate instead?!  You can even upload a custom picture to be included on the box.  This unique gift from SendABetterLetter on Etsy definitely beats a Hallmark card and box of chocolates from the grocery store! 


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Or how about a variety of candy delivered right to the door every month?  She doesn’t have to share it with the kids either – she can hide in her closet and eat it like all moms do.  Or stash it away for one of those really bad days when she needs a sugar rush to keep her going until bedtime.  The Instacandy subscription box is the ultimate indulgent Mother’s Day gift. 


Let Her Get Creative

Mommy Drinks Because You Cry | A Sarcastic Coloring Book
Indigo.ca

A creative outlet can come in many forms and adult coloring books are great ones.  The stress-relieving properties of coloring books combined with sarcastic quotes that only moms will understand make this one my favorite.  But there are so many different ones to choose from, including fashion, tattoos and some designed specifically to reduce stress.


One Line A Day Memory Book
Indigo.ca

Journaling can also be a great outlet for creativity.  Bullet journals are all the rage right now and combine writing with art for a wholesome experience.  A One Line A Day journal can help a busy mom keep track of her moods, memories and document exciting changes as the kids grow.  It’s a great gift that would be easy to incorporate into any mom’s lifestyle. 


Let Her Be Proud

Mama Bear Necklace Mother's Day Gift
Sincerely Silver
Get 15% off your favorite Mother’s Day necklaces from Sincerely Silver using the code SINCERELY15.

A main reason why moms neglect self care is because they feel guilty.  So this Mother’s Day, make sure that she feels proud to take care of herself.  Get her this mama bear necklace to remind her that she is like the mama bear, who stays strong in order to take care of her babies.  And that taking care of herself is one of the best ways she can take care of her family. 

Mother's Day Contest Featuring Sincerely Silver Mother's Day Contest Featuring Sincerely Silver

Why All Moms Need To Spend A Day At Thermëa

Thermëa by Nordik Spa-Nature is a Scandinavian-style spa in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Focused around the concept of “thermotherapy,” Thermëa is a secluded getaway located in the heart of the city of Winnipeg.  Like many other spas, you can get massages, facials and other body treatments performed by licensed professionals.  But there is one thing that sets Thermëa apart from your average day spa.  It’s called The Thermal Experience.

Jess and I got the opportunity to check out Thermëa for ourselves and explore the unique benefits of this outdoor spa.  Janis, Thermëa’s marketing director, gave us an exclusive tour of The Thermal Experience, as a crowd gathered outside waiting for the spa doors to open.  Despite the spa being at maximum capacity that day, it wasn’t crowded and the mystical steam rising up over the outdoor pools provided a sense of separation from the other guests.

Read more about all the benefits of thermotherapy, and why it’s an awesome form of self care for moms.
Why All Moms Need to Spend the Day at Thermea
*This is a sponsored post meaning free passes were exchanged for an honest review. Please note that while this post does contain health and wellness information, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.

Why All Moms Need to Spend the Day at Thermea Why All Moms Need to Spend the Day at Thermea


What is Thermotherapy?

Thermotherapy is a type of physical and psychological therapy powered by temperature.  Heat therapy is known to have many benefits, and has been used by medical professionals, physical therapists and athletes for decades.  The process of alternating heat and cold is known to speed up recovery in cases of muscle injury.  A rapid change in body temperature can also eliminate toxins from the body, increase blood circulation, relieve stress and strengthen the immune system. 

Thermëa offers a unique way to experience the benefits of thermotherapy. The outdoor spa is a beautiful maze of pools, saunas, steam rooms and various indoor and outdoor rest areas – all available for use with one daily pass.  The Scandinavian style of the spa, with it’s minimalist wood and stone elements, fit perfectly against the backdrop of Winnipeg’s ever-changing weather.  The bare trees and snow covered ground made it feel like a mountain-top retreat away from the noise of everyday life.

Thermea by Nordik Spa-Nature
Thermea by Nordik Spa-Nature

As breath-taking as the grounds of Thermëa are, they’re not just for show.  The layout is actually designed to encourage guests to follow the 3 Step Thermal Cycle.

Hot.

The first step in the thermal cycle is to heat things up. Exposing the body to heat helps to open up the pores and causes you to sweat out all the bad toxins in your body.  There are two dry saunas and two steam rooms to choose from for the heat cycle. 

The popular Finlandia dry sauna holds Aufguss rituals every hour, during which a staff member infuses the stones with ice and essential oils and then uses towels to circulate the hot air and steam around the room.  These sessions do get crowded, so make sure you get there early to choose a spot.  And keep in mind that the higher up you sit, the hotter it gets and the faster you’ll sweat it out.

Thermea Finlandia Sauna
Finlandia Sauna

The two steam rooms are located in the Vaporo building, one infused with eucalyptus, the other with orange essential oils.  The steam in the rooms is incredibly dense and as soon as you walk in the door you can feel it take over your entire body.  After a cycle in the steam room, there are scented exfoliating salts available to scrub all over your body and a shower to rinse them off.  This helps to get rid of dry skin and wash away the layer of gunk that you’ve just sweat out. 

Most importantly, remember to drink lots of water, especially after a hot cycle!  You will need to replace a lot of the fluid you’ll be sweating out.  Throughout Thermëa you will find delicious flavor infused waters, and you are encouraged to bring your own plastic refillable water bottle.  (Jess and I thought we were drinking enough water, but we didn’t, and ended up with headaches at the end of the day – so drink twice as much as you think you need!)

Thermea Infused Water
Pineapple Rosemary + Cucumber Mint Infused Water Station

Cold.

Once you’ve completed a hot cycle, you now need to expose your body to a cold temperature. This will improve your blood circulation, close up your pores, speed up your heart rate and boost your adrenaline levels.  If you’re brave enough, plunge through the Polarbër pool which is extremely cold and works really fast.  Or you can stand underneath the Icebër waterfall for a few seconds.

Thermea Polarber
Polarbër Cold Plunge

As shocking as the icy water might feel, try your best not to scream.  The main areas of Thermëa are silent, and if you missed one of the hundreds of signs that say “whisper” a staff member will gently remind you (Jess took the liberty of testing that theory out for herself).

If you’re not a fan of submerging yourself into icy cold water, the Tempër pool is comfortable but still cool.  If it’s a colder day outside, you can simply walk around or sit by one of the many fire pits instead.  The cold cycle only needs a few seconds to work, but you can literally feel your heart start pumping and the adrenaline rushing through your veins.

Thermea Temper Pool
Tempër Pool

Rest.

And finally, our favorite part of the thermal cycle – the rest cycle. Resting after exposure to heat and then cold will turn all that adrenaline into endorphins.  Increasing our endorphin levels can help relieve stress, improve our mental health and create an overall sense of calm and happiness.

Thermea Flam Outdoor Cottage
Fläm Outdoor Rest Area

The Gëser hot tub was, by far, the most popular resting spot on this cool spring day.  There are also several outdoor areas, including Fläm, a little wooden cottage with a fire pit in the middle surrounded by Adirondack chairs and cozy blankets.  One of the most unique features to relax in were the heated hammocks.  You can zip yourself right into them and take a nap or just swing and relax in complete bliss. (In fact, some people were zipped up so snugly that it was hard to tell if there was anyone in there at all – the best way to tell is to look for empty flip flops on the ground!)

Thermea Heated Hammocks
Heated Hammocks

The Relaxa relaxation chalet consisted of two different areas.  One had comfortable heated benches with tons of natural sunlight and was perfect for reading.  It even had ropes to help you get comfortable in the seats without too much effort.  The Tellura section was warm, dimly lit and stocked with heated mattresses, perfect for meditating or napping (which we totally did)! Just outside the room, you can help yourself to a variety of organic teas – supplied locally by Cornelia Bean

Thermea Rellaxa
Relaxa Heated Benches

The Restö on-site restaurant was another great place to relax while enjoying a gourmet meal made from locally sourced ingredients.  If you’re visiting with friends, it’s one of the few places where you don’t need to whisper.  There were several different places to sit but all the areas are heated and closed to the public so fine dining in a bathrobe was the ultimate luxury.

Thermea Resto
Restö Upper Level

We choose to have our lunch in the newer lounge area and enjoyed the view through the floor to ceiling windows.  These window panels actually open all the way up during the warmer months to provide a unique indoor/outdoor dining experience.  Make sure to load up some money on your electronic bracelet when you check in so that you can dine at the restaurant wallet-free. (I highly recommend ordering a pitcher of the White Sangria!)

Thermea Resto Lounge
Restö Lounge

Repeat.

After you’ve had a sufficient rest period, you can begin the thermal cycle all over again.  By completing the cycle three or more times, you can enjoy the maximum benefits of thermotherapy, as well as explore all the different features that Thermëa has to offer.

The facility is open from 9 am until 10 pm and guests are welcome to stay for the entire day.  Interestingly enough, the atmosphere seemed to change constantly throughout the day.  The early morning sunrise brought a sense of peace and serenity.  By the early afternoon, it felt warm, sunny and uplifting.  We ended our visit around 4 pm but would have loved to stay longer and see how beautiful the place is when it’s lit up at night.

Thermea Herbal Tea by Cornelia Bean
Herbal Tea Selection by Cornelia Bean

There are no time limits, schedules or restrictions, which was a welcome change to our normally busy lives. You’re welcome to take a 2 hour nap in your favorite spot or hang out in the hot tub all day long if you want to.  Everything is self-serve and you can wander throughout the grounds as you wish.  It was clear that the staff worked hard to maintain the environment of peace and relaxation.  They were constantly restocking, discreetly cleaning, tending to the fires and gently reminding everyone to keep their voices down.

Thermea Tellura
Tellura Meditation + Nap Room

Why is This So Good for Moms?

Thermëa is an amazing place for all adults, regardless of age, gender or physical limitations.  But moms in particular can benefit greatly from using thermotherapy on a regular basis. 

Both pregnant and postpartum moms can get relief from muscle aches and pains (obviously, check with your doctor first).

It tones the skin and increases elasticity, which will help restore post-pregnancy skin.

Encourages better sleep and helps ward off fatigue and exhaustion.

Reduces stress, anxiety and tension.

Increases mental clarity, concentration and memory.

Detoxifies the body which boosts the immune system.  This is especially important for moms with school age kids who bring home all kinds of germs.

A spa day is the ultimate luxurious self care option for moms and a visit to Thermëa or one of Groupe Nordik’s other thermotherapy spas should be on every mom’s bucket list.  After spending the day at Thermëa, including a hearty lunch and an afternoon nap, I felt completely renewed and refreshed.  And as we drove away, I was simply counting down the days until I could return again.

Thermea Front Desk
Get A Thermal Experience for less than $60 CAD.

For less than $60 CAD, you can spend an entire day enjoying The Thermal Experience, but make sure to arrive early, especially on weekends and holidays!  To learn more about Thermëa, including accommodation packages and to purchase online gift certificates, visit their website https://www.thermea.ca/


 

8 Natural Methods for Coping with Anxiety

Anxiety is a common condition among moms and not just in the postpartum period.

It can be difficult to recognize the symptoms of anxiety, especially for new moms.  Once you become responsible for another life, it’s natural to worry about everything.  So how do you truly know when your worries are a normal part of motherhood, or when they’re a condition that requires further treatment?  You can read about the specific types of anxiety disorders and their symptoms, but what it comes down to is whether or not your constant state of worry is disrupting your life. 

If they are, then check out some of these natural methods for coping with anxiety from mental health advocate Brandon Christensen of Modern Therapy.
Natural Methods for Coping With Anxiety
This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. The information provided here is not meant to be a replacement for medical advice or treatment.
Natural Methods for Coping With Anxiety

Everyone faces anxiety daily, but some of us live with more persistent symptoms. Anxiety is actually the most common mental health issue, reportedly affecting more than 18% of US adults. Natural remedies and lifestyle changes are a great way to remedy some of these symptoms, but they are never meant to replace or stop any treatments you are currently receiving. If you are already getting treatment, check with your doctor, psychiatrist, or therapist prior to implementing any changes.

1. Exercise

Exercise helps anxiety by burning off anxious energy. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, there is evidence that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than those who are sedentary. The reason that exercise may improve mental health is because it helps the brain cope better with stress. The study actually showed that those who exercised regularly had a 25% less chance of developing depression or anxiety over the preceding five years.

2. Meditation

Meditation eases anxiety by slowing racing thoughts, which is a very common symptom. Once you are able to slow your thoughts down, you can manage your stress and other anxiety symptoms more effectively. Brain imaging has been used to show that meditation is associated with the activation of the anterior cingulate cortex, ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and anterior insula. These areas of the brain are involved with executive function and the control of worrying. When meditation activates these three regions, it shows a relief linked to anxiety.

How to Reduce Mom Guilt by Embracing a Hygge Lifestyle
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3. Journaling

Journaling is simply writing down your thoughts and feelings with the intent of understanding them more clearly. Keeping a journal allows you to reflect on the way certain situations make you feel, which can help you regain control of your emotions. Sometimes even just expressing your anxious feelings makes them more manageable. As you sit and reflect on how you are feeling, you are going to gain a lot of insight to yourself.

4. Time Management Strategies

Having too many commitments at once is a big cause of anxiety symptoms. Time commitments usually involve family, work, and health related activities. When you are able to manage your time effectively, you can focus on just one task at a time, while being sure to leave room for self-care. With online calendars, it is becoming even easier to plan your days and weeks out. This can help you avoid multitasking, which leads to anxiety symptoms.

7 Ways to Make Your Space a Self Care Sanctuary
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5. Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils that are found in plants, which are used for their healing properties. Essential oils are great to smell, but can also be absorbed through the skin through massage or inhalation. It is widely used to reduce stress because certain scents, such as lavender, are known for their calming effects by reducing the heart rate in the short term. Behavioral psychologists will also tell you that if you associate a certain scent with being calm, you will naturally begin to feel those effects over time.

6. Herbal Teas

Chamomile tea is widely used as a natural remedy to decrease anxiety and treat insomnia. It is actually regarded as a mild tranquilizer or sleep inducer. The calming effects can be attributed to an antioxidant call apigenin, which is found in chamomile tea. There is direct effect on the brain, including reduced anxiety. Some people also find the process of making and drinking tea soothing.

16 Ways Ecotherapy is Good for Moms
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7. Time With Animals

Research confirms that pets can be beneficial to people with anxiety because they offer companionship, love, and support. Pets and therapy animals can help to alleviate stress and anxiety because they provide a sense of security and routine that provides emotional and social support. Pets are generally facilitators of getting to know people, friendship formation, and social support networks.

@running_in_triangles on Instagram

8. Talk Therapy

Research shows that talk therapy is usually the most effective way to treat anxiety disorders. Therapy will do more than just treat your symptoms, it will help you uncover the underlying causes of your worries and fears, help you learn to relax, look at situations differently, and develop coping skills. When you engage in talk therapy, you get the tools to overcome anxiety. If you are ready to work with a talk therapist who specializes in anxiety treatment, click here!


Author: Brandon Christensen

Brandon Christensen is a passionate business leader and mental health advocate who is on a mission to leave the world a better place than he found it. Brandon is the co-founder of Modern Therapy, a mental healthcare company that provides talk therapy services in person or online through messaging, phone, and video sessions. Brandon has been featured as a keynote speaker on mental health topics at colleges like NYU, Skidmore College, and Columbia University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Ramapo College of New Jersey.

How to Avoid Frumpy Mom Fashion This Spring

Fashion can be a great form of self care for moms.

The “uniform of motherhood” has been associated with frumpy mom fashion for far too long.  Putting time and effort into functional, comfortable fashion is not a sign of vanity but actually a way that moms can practice self care.  Not only does it allow a mother to focus on herself for a change, but it can encourage good self-esteem and boost a mom’s confidence, which is great for her mental health.  

Check out some of these tips for avoiding frumpy mom fashion this spring.
How To Avoid Frumpy Mom Fashion This Spring
This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.
How To Avoid Frumpy Mom Fashion This Spring

Comfortable can still mean fashionable, there is no need to sport frumpy mom fashion this season.  If you are looking for an easy way to spruce up your mom wardrobe here are a few things to try!

“Ath-Leisure” Style

This look is my favorite new trend we are seeing everywhere and it’s already what most moms are wearing anyway.

Think workout clothes minus the actual working out.

It consists of super-soft, comfy, cozy, throw on and go pieces such as leggings and sweatshirts, hoodies and runners. (Awesome right?!)

But “athleisure” is not just for errands.  These grown up play clothes can easily transition to casual dinners out, coffee with the girls, and perfect for travelling comfortably and still in style.  It’s an easy way to replace the frumpy mom fashion, without losing any amount of comfort. 

These super soft shirts from Shine the Light On are perfect for the athleisure style.  And by wearing them, you’re helping to spread awareness about mental health!  Get 15% off using the code RUNINTRIANGLES15.

Athleisure

To implement this look or update your current pieces, look for:

  • Striped, color blocked or patterned tights.
  • A flattering shaped hoodie.  (I personally love a slightly cropped boxy hoodie in a super soft fleece.)
  • A classic notched v sweatshirt. (Either plain or something with a saying is also pretty on trend.)
  • A windbreaker. (Yes, you read that right but these little extra layer is everywhere right now, and its such an easy piece to replace when you would wear a jean jacket.)
  • The fashion sneaker is still a great basic. (Choose either a fabric mix or a slip on.)
7 Ways Moms Can Look and Feel Good This Spring
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Switch From a Purse to a Backpack Bag

It’s been just over 6 months since I converted from a cross-body bag to my leather backpack and let me tell you, there is no going back! Since my youngest is still in diapers, my purse doubles as a diaper bag and endless snack sack. I love that I can throw everything I need in it and wear it comfortably while I chase my kids around. Backpacks are still very popular and I love the convenience.

MATT & NAT – BRAVE DWELL
Matt & Nat Backpack by Boes

Avoid frumpy mom fashion by choosing the right bag so that you can look trendy and still be functional.  My recommendation would be to find one with good zippers and padded straps. Having an outside pocket is also handy to have easy access to keys and cellphone.


5 Spring Fashion Must-Haves for Busy Moms
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Updated Footwear

Jump in Puddles

The slushy season is about to start (fingers crossed our huge snow hills will actually melt) with that comes PUDDLES! There is almost nothing I hate quite as much as the feeling of wet socks!  Our kids love tromping around in their bright colored rain boots, and what’s better than being able to join them?  I find the taller, standard boots to be too bulky and can come off as frumpy mom fashion.  So instead, I love the look of this sleek shorter rain boot as a transition shoe for the spring.

product photo
Ankle Rain Boot – Old Navy

Sneakers Are fashionable

Tying back in the “athleisure” style, sneakers are perfect with any look. Pair them with, of course jeans or leggings, but don’t be scared to wear them with a dress for a total cool girl vibe (read: I’m not a regular mom, I’m a cool mom)You can never go wrong with a classic pair of Vans.

Loafers Are The New Ballet Flat

Move over ballet flat, the loafer is going to be your new BFF.  In place of ballet flats for a slightly dressier look, these comfortable shoes go great with a pair of skinny jeans!

How To Avoid Frumpy Mom Fashion This Spring
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Switch Up Your Jewelry

Hoops

For a super long time I was strictly a stud girl when it came to earrings but lately I am addicted to hoops! I feel like they are the ultimate “lazy girl who wants to look put together” life hack.

Wearing leggings and a t-shirt but don’t want to look like you are going to the gym?  Hoops.

Wearing a printed dress that feels a little too cutesy and you want to give it a little oomph?  Hoops!

Small hoops, medium hoops or big ones, I think they look good on everyone.  This is also a super easy way to look dressed up when your hair is tied back in that mom bun or ponytail. Throw on some hoops and lipstick and you are good to go!

Bar Necklaces

I personally have never been a fan of traditional “mom” jewelry. You know which ones I mean, the hearts with MOM in the center or the rings with everyone’s birthstone. I feel like they fall into the frumpy mom fashion category.

But this “be kind” bar necklace takes the trend of dainty and delicate jewelry and personalizes it.  The simple message can make a mental health fashion statement so that you look good on the outside and feel good on the inside.  It’s a great piece to wear with just a T-shirt or layer it with other chains for a fancier look. 

Plus, get 15% off with coupon code FRIENDS15 at sincerelysilver.co

Be Kind Necklace by Sincerely Silver
Be Kind Necklace by Sincerely Silver

Jacket Earrings

Date night or girls night coming up and want to be a little extra fancy? Enter the jacket earring. These are easy and painless to wear but can give your look a little sparkle. They look especially great with your hair back or with short hair.


I hope that any of these tips or ideas inspire you to try something new this spring season.

Many of us spend time and money making sure our kids have the appropriate clothing and shoes for the new season, but it’s time to put ourselves on that list too.  Download a free self care workbook to help you prioritize yourself!


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Jess Sankar is a happily married stay-at-home mother of two young daughters.  She currently manages the Running in Triangles Instagram page @running_in_triangles, where she shares self care tips for moms and creates beautiful content for both the blog and social media.  To learn more about Jess, click here.

7 Ways Moms Can Look and Feel Good This Spring

Putting effort into our outward appearance is not a sign of vanity.  It has a significant impact on how we feel inside.

Being happy means aiming to both look and feel good, but it’s not always easy to do.  For mothers, how we look is not always representative of how we feel (and other times it is all too accurate).  

We may feel young and sexy and full of life but we look tired, worn out and as though we’ve given up on ourselves.  Or alternatively, we may feel like we’re dying on the inside, so we overcompensate by layering on makeup to give the appearance that “everything is fine.”

This spring, as the weather begins to warm up, we should challenge ourselves to match how we look with how we feel.
7 Ways Moms Can Look and Feel Good This Spring
*This is a sponsored post and contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.
7 Ways Moms Can Look and Feel Good This Spring 7 Ways Moms Can Look and Feel Good This Spring

Start From The Inside

How we look on the outside all begins with how we feel on the inside. Self esteem comes from within and if we are happy with who we are, it shows in a physical way.  If you are struggling with stress, anxiety, depression, or substance overuse, then the first place to start is therapy. 

Working with a therapist, either in person or online, can help you manage everything that is creating self-doubt or a poor self image.  Online therapy in particular, is extremely convenient, especially for moms. 

Schedule your online or video therapy sessions over the winter, ensuring that you get the most out of spring and summer.

Shine The Light On Clothing | My Dog is My Therapist
Shine The Light On – The Leah

Focus on Health

Weight issues are some of the most common hurdles to looking and feeling good.  As mothers, we’ve stretched and shrunk, been cut open, torn apart and pieced back together.  Our bodies have changed in so many ways and it can be difficult to accept it as it is now.

One way to look and feel good is to forget about the extra skin on our stomachs or how much we weigh and just focus on being healthy.  Exercising to stay healthy is different than exercising to lose weight or tone muscle.  Don’t worry about counting calories or inches, just try to eat healthier food and incorporate vitamins and nutritional supplements to avoid deficiencies.

If our main focus is on being “healthy” rather than being “fit” there is less pressure on us to meet certain goals and we can learn to love our bodies again.

12 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health This Year
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Find Strength

In addition to being healthy, we also need to feel strong.  Strength comes in many different forms.  We can train ourselves to be physically strong by joining a gym, lifting weights, swimming, or playing a sport.  It’s important to find emotional and mental strength, as well.  Try meditation, journaling, art or aromatherapy

Being strong, both physically and mentally will inspire confidence and a sense of pride in ourselves.


Make a Statement

Be Kind Necklace by Sincerely Silver
Be Kind Necklace by Sincerely Silver

Your outward appearance tells the world about you, so what is it you want to say? Make a statement with your appearance by choosing clothing and accessories that speak to you.  This “Be Kind” Necklace is a simple and elegant way to remind yourself and others of the power of kindness (get 15% off with code FRIENDS15).

Clothing lines like Shine The Light On create pieces that help raise awareness about mental health.  Modern, minimalist messages imprinted on soft, luxurious fabrics make it simple to spread messages of hope and acceptance wherever you go.

In addition to looking good while making a statement, a portion of the proceeds from the Shine The Light On collection goes towards mental health initiatives – so you can also feel good knowing that you are helping to end the stigma of mental illness.

Click here to see the stunning clothing line from Shine The Light On and get 15% off with coupon code RUNINTRIANGLES15

Shine The Light On - Be You.Bravely
Shine The Light On
Make A Mental Health Fashion Statement with Shine the Light On

Take Care of Your Skin

You don’t need to do your hair and makeup to look and feel good this spring, but you should always take care of your skin.  Glowing, healthy skin looks good from the outside and can make a person feel good on the inside. 

As mothers, when we feel over-cuddled and overstimulated after a long day, it’s our skin and sense of touch that suffers.  This is why caring for our skin plays such an important role in how we look and feel.  Plus, the act of massaging lotion onto our skin can stimulate our lymphatic system and help keep our bodies healthy from the inside.

So splurge on a good, all natural skin care line to make sure that you’re not coating your skin in chemicals.  Soak in a bath filled with Epsom salts to help soften and relax your muscles.  Use sunscreen all year round, especially when you plan to spend longer amounts of time outdoors.

And make sure that you schedule yourself enough time each day to perform your daily skin care routine.

My Self Care Workbook - A Free Printable PDF
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Change is Good

Try a new look this spring. Cut or color your hair, try out a new clothing style or color that you would never normally wear.  Get a piercing or tattoo, eyelash extensions, permanent makeup or micro-bladed eyebrows.  You don’t need to go so far as getting plastic surgery, but if there are specific problem areas that have always bothered you, then consider booking an appointment with a doctor or dermatologist to discuss your options.

Don’t be afraid of change, though it might take some time to get used to.  Only make changes that are truly something you want to do, and never in an effort to please anyone else or be someone other than yourself.   Changing something about your outward appearance can make you feel mysterious, spontaneous and empowered. 

Deciding to change something about your appearance should remind you that you are in control of your body and what happens to it.


Comfortable Is Beautiful

“The mom look” is normally one associated with comfort and function.  But comfortable can also be beautiful so don’t feel like you need to trade one for the other.  It is entirely possible to look good and feel comfortable at the same time, as long as you choose the right pieces.

If you feel uncomfortable in your clothing, whether it’s shoes that pinch or a waistband that’s too tight, you will act uncomfortably.  So just bite the bullet and get rid of anything that you hate wearing, no matter how expensive or “designer” it might be.

Being comfortable in your own skin is the best way to show the world your confidence and beauty.

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11 Things Moms Do That Can Harm Their Mental Health

Moms are hardworking and give all of themselves to their children and families… but at what cost?

While these are qualities that everyone admires about mothers, they often come at a cost.  A mother who works endlessly to provide for the needs of her children can often forget to take care of herself.  A mother’s mental health, in addition to her physical well being, is so important because moms definitely cannot afford to take sick days.

Many mothers don’t even realize some of the things they are doing to harm their mental health.  It’s easy to fall into “survival mode”  and not think about anything other than just making it through to the end of the day.  Some of the things we do each day to survive, whether intentionally or not,  can have a negative impact on our mental health.

Here are a few things many moms do that can actually harm their mental health.
11 Things Moms Do That Can Harm Their Mental Health
This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.

Forget to Eat

This one is at the top of the list because it’s something all moms are guilty of. We get busy preparing meals for the kids and when we try to sit down to eat our own food, someone spills something, or wants seconds or needs ketchup.  Moms may have every intention of eating a full meal while it’s still hot, but it rarely ever happens.  And when it does, it probably consists of sandwich crusts with a side of half eaten fish sticks.  

Good nutrition is important for maintaining our mental health.  Many symptoms of depression and anxiety worsen when our bodies experience vitamin and nutrient deficiencies.  By forgetting to eat throughout the day, it’s easy to fall into the unhealthy habit of binge-eating at night, which can cause feelings of guilt and contribute to depression.

Don’t let bad eating habits harm your mental health.  Eat healthy and use supplements to make sure your body is getting enough energy.

Go to Bed Late

It’s no secret that moms are always tired. Raising kids is exhausting work, both physically and mentally, and it requires a good amount of sleep that we often don’t get.  But even the most sleep deprived mom is sometimes guilty of staying up way past bedtime.

After the kids are in bed is sometimes the only chance a mother gets to herself all day.  Whether it’s catching up on recorded TV shows,  scrolling through social media or just enjoying the peace and quiet, we never want it to end.   But staying up late is a habit that does a lot of harm to our mental health.

Schedule yourself some self-care time throughout the day if possible, so that when bed time comes around you’ll be ready for nothing else but sleep.

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Ignore a Phone Call

Actual phone calls are becoming more of a rare occurrence in this modern world. Plus, everyone knows that the kids think “mom’s on the phone” translates to “scream as loud as you can.”  A text message is so much more convenient for a mother and it’s the preferred way of communicating.  So when our phone rings, it’s instinctual that we silence our phone and ignore the call.

Of course, it all depends on who the call is from, but if it’s a friend, don’t ignore it.  Talking to someone on the phone can be therapeutic and mean so much more than a simple text message.  Mental illness works by isolating us from others, so being able to connect with someone on a real, human level is important for keeping us sane.

The next time someone calls you, just answer it.

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Avoid Looking in Mirrors

This is kind of a weird one, and I bet you don’t even realize that you do it (or don’t do it).  If you’re a stay at home mom, chances are you probably haven’t changed out of your sweat pants in three days.  Maybe you forgot to brush your teeth this morning and you can’t even remember the last time you washed your hair.  You may avoid looking at yourself in the mirror for fear of what you might see.  

Avoiding a mirror means that we’ve created an idea of what we look like in our minds and it’s one that we feel unhappy with.  This idea can lead us down a path to poor self-esteem and lowered confidence levels, an environment in which mental illness thrives.

All you have to do to maintain your mental health is look at yourself in the mirror at least once a day, and find something that you love about what you see.

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Skip Doctor Appointments

The doctor, dentist, therapist, optometrist, chiropractor, etc. – we haul the kids around to regular appointments and yet procrastinate our own. Pregnancy means doctor appointments so frequently that we get to know the staff in our OB’s office on a personal basis.  We cared about those because they were important for the well being of our child, which is one of our biggest priorities.

I’m sure we can all come up with a hundred excuses as to why we do this.  It costs money we may not have and it’s hard to find time to attend these appointments without the kids.  But this act of self-sacrifice is dangerous for both our mental and physical health.

Try booking all your checkups for the year in advance so that you can make whatever arrangements you need to in order to attend them.

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Depend Too Much On Coffee/Wine/Advil

Addiction is not something that’s spoken about enough among mothers.  We tend to think of addicts as people living on the streets, wasting their lives away.  But addiction can happen to anyone, and at different levels of intensity.

Caffeine, alcohol and medications are common addictions among mothers.  And while it may not be at a point where they are destroying our lives, we’re unsure how we would function without them.  Relying too heavily on coffee or needing that glass of wine to help us relax at the end of the day are all forms of addiction.  Addictive behaviors are something we should try to avoid for better mental health.

Try to limit how much you depend on stimulants to make it through the day and choose healthier options that are better for your mental health.

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Pile Things in a Closet

You know which closet I’m talking about, everyone has one (or four) in their home that’s filled with junk. If you’re not sure where to put something, pile it in a closet until you get to it, right?  But you’ll probably only get to it when that closet is so full that you can’t even open it anymore.

Clutter can weigh heavily on our minds, destroying our mental health in the long run.  Knowing that we have a closet filled with junk, being unsure of what exactly is in there, and putting off cleaning it out can make us feel depressed and unproductive.  You don’t need to go full minimalist, but avoiding hidden clutter is a good place to start.

Spring cleaning time is nearly upon us, so make those junk-filled closets a priority.

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Shop Only For the Kids

Not only are kids fun to shop for, but they also need a LOT of stuff.  They grow so fast that it’s hard to keep up with their sizes.  And if you’re like me, then you live vicariously through them and buy things that you would have loved to have as a kid.  But then what happens is that you have kids who look like children of celebrities and you get mistaken for their nanny.  

Remember what it was like before kids, when a little retail therapy was the perfect cure for a bad day?  It still works, but you need to actually focus on shopping for yourself.  Moms tend to feel guilty or selfish spending money on themselves, especially when they’re on a tight budget.  But splurging on something just for you is good for your mental health. [Start now and get $10 off a spring FabFitFun box using coupon code FAB10!]

So make a shopping trip alone and don’t you dare wander into the kids section!

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Avoid the Outdoors

Whether it’s the cold weather or your greasy hair keeping you indoors, it’s doing harm to your mental health. Our bodies need fresh air and sunshine, they literally cannot function properly without it.  If you think the trip from the house to the car and back again is enough, it’s not.

It’s not just about the fresh air, though, otherwise you could just open a window.  You need to talk to people, make eye contact, feel their touch and smile at them.  Find space to move your body – run, walk, swim, whatever makes you feel good.  A change of scenery and some time outdoors is the easiest way to improve your mood.

So make it a habit to get outdoors at least once a day, and twice on weekends.

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Put up with Negative People

You don’t need negative energy in your life, especially if your mental health is already suffering.  However, cutting people out of your life is easier said than done.  You don’t need to be rude to anyone, make a big deal out of it or even say anything at all.  Just avoid spending time with people who cause you to feel stressed.

It could be the mother of your child’s friend who constantly tries to “one-up” you.  Or maybe it’s that pessimistic family member who makes you worry about everything happening in the world.  Don’t feel obligated to socialize with people who’s negative attitude affects your mental health. 

Distance yourself from the negative people in your life, and surround yourself with those you love instead.

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Compare Themselves to Others

You will never experience peace of mind if you’re constantly comparing yourself to others.  This is especially common among the parenting community, despite the fact that all children and parenting styles are different.

It can be difficult on our mental health to see others doing well when we are clearly struggling.  But remember that people are more inclined to share their success stories, than they are their struggles.  This explains the stigma surrounding mental illness and the reason why so many mothers don’t talk about it.  

Speak openly about real motherhood and all the struggles that come with it.  And encourage others to do the same.

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11 Things Moms Do That Can Harm Their Mental Health

11 Things Moms Do That Can Harm Their Mental Health

11 Things Moms Do That Can Harm Their Mental Health