It’s not always easy being a mother. Actually, forget that, it’s never easy. There’s always something to be done, and when there’s not, you’re left there wondering what you’ve forgotten to do — or worrying that all your children are happy and healthy. Because being a mother is just about the most stressful job in the world, it’s important to remember to treat yourself from time to time. If you don’t, then the hectic nature of parenting will only turn into stress, and who needs that? Life is hard enough. In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the best ways to treat yourself. You deserve it!
If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to bring you back to life, it’s a day at the spa. This will tick all the boxes that sorely need to be ticked. Your body will feel amazing, your skin will look fresh, and you’ll simply leave feeling as if you’ve been on a two-week break. It’s a way to feel completely amazing, and all you need is a few hours — and perhaps a friend or two to join you.
Update Your Style
Remember when you were younger, and you were always wearing the latest fashions? Once you have a child, your priorities will likely change. Now, it’s less likely that you’ll dedicate time to getting that perfect outfit. However, it’s worthwhile putting some effort into your style from time to time, for no other reason than it’ll help you to feel good! If it’s been some time since you upgraded your look, then think about making some changes. There are many things you can do. If you’re unhappy with your current glasses, then visit this website, and invest in a high-quality pair. If your clothes are looking a bit dated, then hit the stores, and engage in some retail therapy. In most cases, simply getting rid of your old and faded clothing and investing in new pieces will do a world of good.
Go Out On the Town
Just as with your style, your evenings out on the town also probably feel like a thing of the past. You don’t get too many opportunities to grab your friends and hit a restaurant or bar when you’ve got kids. But that doesn’t mean you should never head out; you absolutely should, at least once in a while. Hand over parenting duties to your partner or family member, call up your friends, and enjoy some laughter and good times, just like the old days.
Give Yourself a Break!
Finally, what about simply giving yourself a break without feeling guilty? You can draw a lot of pleasure from simply spending a few hours on the couch, reading a book, or playing an online game, or whatever it is you like to do unwind. You’ll be doing an excellent job as a parent; it’s fine to take a couple of hours for yourself. It’s absolutely fine to put yourself first every once in a while; you deserve it, you really do.
High-level stress can cause hair loss and for some people, the effects of stress on hair health are more serious than you think.
Clinically known as alopecia, hair loss is common for both men and women. But some factors can intensify shedding and disrupt hair growth, including stress. To make things worse, seeing fistfuls of hair caught in between your fingers while in the shower can be an emotionally taxing experience. While hair loss can be a common occurrence throughout life, especially for women with long hair, large amounts of hair loss can be a sign of excessive stress.
Here are several ways to help you fight massive hair loss triggered by stress so you can protect your “crowning glory.”
The first thing that you need to do is to arrest the major cause of hair fall and, in this case, it’s stress. While you can’t completely avoid stress, you can minimize its effects on your body by managing it. It sounds easy but figuring out the right stress-management technique can be difficult for some people.
Exercise is one popular way to combat stress. When you exercise, your body releases “happy” hormones called endorphins, which reduces your perception of pain. Enrolling in yoga or tai-chi classes can combat stress as these will teach you some meditation and breathing exercises to help you find your zen.
Another way to manage stress is by pursuing your hobbies as it can keep your mind away from stressful thoughts. Artistic activities like painting or crafting, outdoor activities like gardening or sports, or joining a class or group can all help to reduce daily stress.
Eat a balanced diet
A balanced diet is crucial if you want to fight stress-induced hair loss as it will give your body all the nutrients it needs to encourage hair growth. While supplements can give you some of the essential nutrients, getting enough of them in your diet is still the best route for you.
Make sure you eat foods rich in vitamin C to promote the production of collagen, which your body needs to build hair proteins. Beans and nuts are packed with vitamin B that is vital for hair growth while vitamin E can nourish your scalp. Also, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Get enough rest
Getting enough sleep after a tiring day is one of the best ways to fight stress and, in turn, avoid receding hairline and bald spots. Resting means you are allowing your body to recover from stress, helping promote the cycle of hair growth.
You may find that you experience more hair loss due to sleep deprivation. Many mothers in the postpartum period experience hair loss due to hormonal changes, but sleep deprivation can also play a role in this. Whether your lack of sleep is due to a new baby or postpartum anxiety, there are several things you can do to ensure you are getting enough rest.
Invest in treatments
If hair loss due to stress becomes noticeable, then it is time for you to consult a dermatologist, who may prescribe you with topical treatments that can stimulate hair growth.
One of the popular products used to treat hair loss is topical minoxidil, which you can apply to your scalp as directed by your doctor. Topical corticosteroids are also your hair’s best friend at times like this. Some also use products with malunggay for hair regrowth because this plant has vitamins and essential fatty acids that your hair needs.
If stress triggered your massive hair loss, avoiding stressful situations as much as you can is what you need to do. Keep in mind that stress is not the only culprit when it comes to hair loss, so if you’ve made some changes to your lifestyle and still don’t see improvements, consult a doctor to find out the root cause and best course of treatment for you.
Not all women instantly enjoy being pregnant, some need additional motivation.
There’s little doubt that being pregnant is one of the most profound experiences of a person’s life, but it’s not as if it’s always a stroll in the park. Indeed, sometimes women begin to feel sick of carrying a child, and look forward to it being over. Since wishing for it to be over won’t make time speed up, it’s best to find ways to enjoy being pregnant. But good news: this isn’t so difficult!
Below, we take a look at a few tried and tested methods for getting the most out of your pregnant period.
Embrace the Status
Don’t forget – pregnant women have a special status in society, so make the most of it. You’re unlikely to get so many strangers offering to do things for you on a regular basis, so why not relish the status and let them do it for you during pregnancy? There’s going to be plenty for you to do when you’ve had your child; for now, enjoy being treated as a queen. This is also a chance for you to indulge yourself. If you want to spend 10 hours lying on the couch, then go ahead – you’ve got a free pass to rest as much as you want.
Handle the Problems
One of the downsides of being pregnant is that things can become a little uncomfortable from time to time. And that’s not surprising, since you’re putting your body through a pretty intense experience. So it’s important that you have the right set up at home, so you’re able to handle the problems that pregnancy may throw your way. Create comfortable seating and sleeping areas, stock up on stool softener and indigestion relief medicines, and be mindful of your mental health. The more problems you’re able to quickly handle, the more you’ll be able to enjoy being pregnant.
Share Your Joy With Friends and Family
One of the best things about being pregnant is that you’ll have so many people who are happy for you. So embrace the happiness of others, and have some fun. There’ll be times for celebrations with your friends and family, and special weekends away with your loved ones. Essentially, pregnancy should be fun — it is, after all, a wonderful experience that you’re going through. So if you have opportunities to get together or you have people who want to get involved and make a fuss over you, take it.
Look to the Future
Pregnancy can feel like a whole new world, but really, it’s just the beginning of a long journey. In order to enjoy being pregnant, remember that this phase only last 9 months and then you have en entire lifetime that follows. So while you’re pregnant, take some time to think about all that you’ve done so far and where you’re going in the future. It’s a time to reflect on all areas of your life, and be blessed for all that you have.
It’ll Only Happen Once
Finally, keep in mind that this pregnancy is only going to happen once. Even if you end up having more children, every pregnancy is unique! Be present, and aware of all that’s going on. Schedule a maternity photo session to help you remember your changing body. It’ll allow you to see just how wondrous and magical a pregnancy can be.
If you are a parent then you might feel as though at times, your work is never done. You may find that you are being constantly torn between homework, dentist appointments, soccer practices and more. If you want to help yourself, then you need to practice self-care. This will help you to become way less stressed in the day and it will also help you to recharge too.
Find Ways to Recharge
As a parent, you may feel as though you need to put other people’s needs before your own. You need to start focusing on yourself more and you also need to set some money aside so that you can pamper yourself too. Of course, the way that you do this will depend on your circumstances and your budget. If you are stuck for ideas then get a manicure, buy yourself a new item of clothing or even go for that haircut you’ve been meaning to get. This will help you to stay focused and it will also give you the chance to truly unwind.
Children and their Bedtime
If your children have a bedtime, then don’t be afraid to take advantage of it. Children are often deprived ofsleep, even if they don’t know it themselves. If you set an earlier bedtime, then you may have to face a bit of a battle but if you are able to push through, then it will benefit everyone involved. Your kids will be more alert, and they may even do better in school as a result. If finding your children a school that they can attend next year is on your agenda then you can find outinformation on Montessorri schools here.
Mindfulness is the practice that helps you to be in the current moment. If you are able to do this then you will lower your stress levels and you may even find that you are able to enjoy your day to day tasks more. If you are driving, then don’t let your mind race ahead. Instead, just focus on your hands being on the wheel. Mindfulness will take time to master but if you are able to do it then you will soon find that you can reap the benefits far more than you realize.
Carve out Time for Yourself
Designate two or even three 15-minute intervals per day to focus on yourself. If you have a schedule or a planner then do this in a way that you would everything else. When you do, you will soon find that you are much more likely to stick to your plans and this can really work in your favor. You may be tempted to avoid doing anything in your alone time, and this is understandable, but you have to avoid it as much as possible.
Prioritize Partner Time
If you have a partner, then you need to do everything you can to spend time with them when you can. This could involve putting the kids to bed early or it may even mean trying to book the day off work from time to time. Either way, if you don’t make time for each other then you may find that you never have it, and this is the last thing that you need.
Keep in Touch
Keeping in touch with your friends or even your family can be a way for you to recharge your batteries. If you want to do this then try and hire a babysitter or even have a special afternoon out. You can also plan some afternoon activities at home if you want, either way, if they have kids then there’s a chance that they’ll need a break as well and the more you can give them this, the better you’ll all feel.
Have a Good Diet
If you don’t have a good diet then this won’t work in your favor at all. You may feel that you are far more tired during the day and that you struggle to get through the day without having a nap. If you want to get around this then you need to try and make sure that you are eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, and that you are also staying away from caffeine. After all, caffeine may give you a short-term fix, but it won’t do you any good in the long-term so do keep that in mind. If you don’t have time to have a good diet then making meals ahead of time is certainly the way to go, not to mention that you can get the kids involved too!
When it comes to winter fashion, expectant moms often struggle. Any mother can tell you that, while pregnant, there’s a whole separate set of fashion challenges to face. Simply put, your body is changing, and this can leave even the most confident of fashionistas uncertain about how to dress. This is especially true during the winter, when it can seem that all maternity clothing consists of bulky outerwear and unflattering sweaters, without too many stylish options mixed in.
Thankfully, there are so many comfortable pieces that can be found outside of the maternity section that will keep you stylish and warm, and fit just fine.
So here are five chic, cozy winter fashion staples for moms-to-be!
A figure-hugging turtleneck dress is a great way to show off your adorable baby bump without really feeling confined or compressed. There are actually a lot of good options for this kind of garment making the rounds this winter season, though we’d have to say Elizabeth and James’ latest turtleneck dress is a particularly festive choice. The Clementine Space-Dye Wool Turtleneck Dress from the brand looks like something straight out of a 1970s fashion magazine – which, with vintage looks trendier than ever, is always a major bonus!
Fleece Lined Footless Tights
Even when you aren’t pregnant, fleece lined footless tights can be life savers when temperatures drop. They’re also quite handy, given that they’re fairly versatile and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. For instance, some of these tights paired with a jersey top and tennis shoes is an adorable look when you have to head out on some holiday errands – but you’d also look incredible rocking the tights with a sequined silver sweater and a pair of chunky black boots at your next festive get-together. The main draw of these pieces for expecting mothers specifically, though, is that they’re super stretchy, meaning they can adjust and last through the duration of your pregnancy.
Wool-Blend Long Plaid Coat
A plaid wool coat is arguably one of the classiest types of winter fashion outerwear you can buy. Typically though, some pregnant women may feel that wool coats can be too restrictive (especially during the last trimester). A long, more relaxed version of the coat, however, can be just the thing. The brand Woman Within presents a number of coats and jackets suitable for all sizes, and happens to have a Wool-Blend Long Plaid Coat that perfectly combines the chic quality of the garment with the inclusive fit so many moms-to-be will appreciate. Its flattering cut will suit any body type, and it can even be worn open if it’s not too cold outside.
A good pair of blue jeans is always a winter fashion essential (if not a year-’round one) but wearing denim can be somewhat tricky during pregnancy. It’s not the most forgiving fabric, particularly with a new pair, and so it can be difficult to find a pair of jeans that is both comfortable and fashionable. But this is where boyfriend jeans come in. These jeans – which tend to have a far more generous cut and relaxed design – happen to be very much “on trend,” and will look great with other seasonal staples, such as a black thermal top and a cozy cardigan.
Lastly, if you’re in a bind and can’t figure out to what to wear for a holiday party while pregnant, we’d suggest an always-fun billowy jumpsuit. For this season, the stylish designer Halston has a gorgeous option with a relaxed fit that’s well worth looking at, either as a specific option or simply as inspiration. The Asymmetrical Wide Leg Jumpsuit is designed in ultra-chic fashion, but made such that it’s roomy enough to remain comfortable during your pregnancy. A piece like this in white, or perhaps a festive red, can actually be quite the statement at your next holiday party!
Being pregnant can make some women feel extra large and unattractive over the holidays. And no one wants to splurge on maternity wear they may only wear for a single season. These winter fashion tips can help you enjoy your pregnancy, and the holidays, even when it’s cold outside. And the best part is, they’ll likely be staples in your wardrobe for years to come!
Mobile ultrasounds are a great way to beat a case of anxiety for expectant mothers.
Many women choose to get non-diagnostic ultrasounds during their pregnancy, where they can view their baby in the womb in 2D, 3D and 4D (video). But thanks to modern technology, a mobile ultrasound is the newest option for expectant moms to view their babies in-utero from the comfort of their own homes. This helps moms feel more relaxed and at ease during the process.
With Jess expecting her third baby in February, we thought it would be a great opportunity to test out the mobile ultrasound process for ourselves. So we collaborated with Prenatal Peek, Winnipeg’s ONLY mobile ultrasound company, and the first mobile ultrasound company in Canada.
Check out some of these awesome features of mobile ultrasounds that can help put anxious moms at ease.
Jess elected to have a mobile ultrasound from Prenatal Peek at her home, surrounded by her husband and two girls. At the time, she was 24 weeks pregnant and they had been told the gender of the baby over the phone by their doctor but wanted to confirm it. Jess had non-diagnostic ultrasounds with her two prior pregnancies, each at different locations in Winnipeg. This was her first mobile ultrasound experience.
One of the best things about Prenatal Peek‘s mobile ultrasound process is the service. Owner, Tracy, has been doing mobile ultrasounds for nearly 7 years and as a mother herself, she knows exactly how to make moms feel comfortable and at ease. She has seen hundreds of babies via ultrasound, but when it was finally time to see Jess’s baby on the screen, she was just as excited as if it was the first time.
An amazing benefit of the mobile ultrasound process is the flexible scheduling. Unlike most elective ultrasound locations, there wasn’t a long wait to get an appointment. Tracy fit us in on a Saturday afternoon and often works evenings and weekends because she understands what it’s like to be a busy, working parent. We even had to make a few last minute changes to our appointment time, which she easily accommodated.
Atmosphere + Environment
One of the biggest factors for an anxious mom-to-be when it comes to an ultrasound is the atmosphere and environment. For moms who have suffered a pregnancy or infant loss or who have anxiety about hospitals, ultrasounds can make for an unpleasant experience. This includes siblings and fathers-to-be who might also have a fear of hospitals due to a past trauma. The option of having the ultrasound done in your own home is a great alternative.
It took almost no time for Tracy to get her equipment set up in Jess’s living room. In fact, I was surprised at how little equipment was actually needed for the process. With just a few cables, Tracy was able to link her screen onto the television, making it possible for everyone to view baby.
A Family Affair
With the ability to project the screen, a mobile ultrasound would make a fantastic option for a gender reveal party, a baby shower or to include grandparents and other extended family members. Or, as Jess and her family chose to do it, a private and intimate family affair. However you decide to host your mobile ultrasound, Prenatal Peek can usually accommodate. But keep in mind that moms should be relaxed and comfortable in order to get baby to cooperate.
Great for Siblings
Many children can have a fear of doctor’s offices, hospitals or new places and strangers. This can make taking siblings along to an ultrasound quite difficult. But Tracy did a great job of including Jess’s two daughters during the mobile ultrasound process. The girls felt at ease in their own home and were excited to see the new baby on the television screen. They each got their own stuffed animal that had a recording of the baby’s heartbeat and it was clearly their favorite part!
One of the most special moments during the mobile ultrasound was when Tracy handed over the controls. Jess, her husband and her children each took a turn performing the ultrasound themselves. This was a great way for them to connect with the baby. And I’m certain it made dad and big sisters feel more involved in the pregnancy. This unique experience really made mobile ultrasounds stand out among standard ones.
In the end, we think that the personalized one-on-one service, convenience and comfort make mobile ultrasounds the way to go for moms to be and their families. It’s a great option for moms suffering from prenatal anxiety or depression as they get all the benefits of seeing baby without the hassle normally associated with elective ultrasounds. With the variety of different packages available, Prenatal Peek mobile ultrasound is totally affordable and you get to keep the images and video of your ultrasound for no additional cost, regardless of which package you choose!
It’s normal for moms to experience weakened pelvic floor muscles.
Pregnancy, labor and delivery weaken our pelvic floor muscles and so it’s especially important to work at strengthening them during the postpartum period and afterwards. The added weight of pregnancy wears down our pelvic floor muscles and the pressure of labor contractions overworks them. And then there’s the big deal of pushing a human being right through them. Women who experience a c-section are not exempt either, as we tend to tense our pelvic floor muscles whenever we feel pain or strain to move after surgery.
How do you know if you have weak pelvic floor muscles? Check out some of these signs and find out how to strengthen them.
You pee when you sneeze.
Or cough or squat or bend over to put on your shoes. Leaking pee (a.k.a. urinary incontinence) is one of the most common signs of weak pelvic floor muscles. It’s almost become a right of passage for moms, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
You need to pee all the time.
Another common sign is the urge to pee more frequently. If you’re feeling the urge to pee and just can’t hold it in, it could be due to the weakened muscles supporting your bladder. During pregnancy there is added weight on the bladder combined with additional fluid intake so it makes sense that you need to pee more often. But in the postpartum period, you should be able to go longer periods between bathroom breaks, or at least hold it in until you can get to a bathroom.
You have trouble emptying your bladder or bowels completely.
The inability to empty your bladder or bowels completely is another warning sign to watch out for. The muscles in your pelvic floor are used for pushing out pee or poop. They might need strengthening if you really need to strain on the toilet. If you’ve been using a stool softener but you’re still having trouble pooping, this could be the reason.
Can’t control your farts.
(Oh this just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it?) Do you avoid yoga class because you’re worried about farting during downward dog? Afraid to bend over in public or get up too quickly? The uncontrollable passing of wind is yet another sign that your pelvic floor muscles are weak, as they should be tight enough to keep those in until you can release them privately.
Tampons or menstrual cups don’t stay in place.
Inserting tampons or menstrual cups might be easy enough, but if you find that they slip out of place or feel uncomfortable when they’re in, it could be due to your pelvic floor muscles. You shouldn’t need to try too hard to hold your menstrual products in, as your pelvic floor muscles should automatically keep them in place. But when they’re weak, they don’t do a great job at that.
Sex isn’t as enjoyable.
And finally let’s talk about the ways that weak pelvic floor muscles can affect sexual intercourse. Many moms report that sex isn’t as enjoyable after giving birth and a lot of the time, it’s due to those weakened muscles. Since these muscles control the vaginal opening, if they are weak then both partners will feel less sensation. In addition to the uncontrollable peeing and farting, the entire experience may cause a woman to feel stressed out and not be able to enjoy it all.
There’s a bulge in your pelvic area.
This can be a sign of a pelvic organ prolapse. Basically, it means that one or more of the organs located within your pelvis falls through the pelvic floor. It can cause a whole bunch of uncomfortable symptoms, depending on which organs it is. The most common sign is that you will notice a bulge near the vaginal opening.
How to Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscles
There are specific exercises we can do that target the pelvic floor muscles, including pelvic lifts, squats and perhaps the most famous… Kegels. But similar to working out our other muscles, it’s hard to remember and/or find time to do them. And the results are often less impressive than working out a bicep.
Pelvic floor physiotherapy is helpful in that you get targeted exercises to work the right muscles. Plus, there are ways for physiotherapists to test your pelvic floor strength and monitor your progress. But it does have it’s downsides as well. Besides the costs and time associated with seeing a professional, many women also feel embarrassed talking about it and would prefer a more private solution.
Thankfully, there’s a third option.
It’s called Perifit and it combines the power of pelvic floor exercises with the benefits of professional guidance. Perifit is a small, medical grade silicone device that connects to an app via Bluetooth. Once inserted, you use your pelvic floor muscles to play games on your smartphone which actually help to strengthen them over time.
Yes, you heard me right… you get to play video games with your vagina.
It sounds a little strange to stick a game controller up your hoo-hah but it’s the only way to test your pelvic floor strength. Inserting it is similar to inserting a tampon and once it’s in, you don’t even really feel it.
All you do next is get comfy, grab your phone, download the Perifit app and follow the on-screen instructions. Basically, all you need to do in each game is squeeze and release your pelvic floor muscles. It feels similar to doing Kegels, but having a purpose for each one keeps you from getting bored and giving up. Like other games, the levels get harder and harder, so they work to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles over time.
At the end of each session, you get to see how strong your muscles are and track how they have improved. Perifit also keeps track of how often you are performing the exercises as it should become a regular habit. Try to incorporate a few minutes into your daily self care routine and you can see results within as little as 2 weeks.
The thing that surprised me the most while using Perifit was how hard I had to squeeze my pelvic floor muscles to complete some of the levels. While doing Kegels, I never would have squeezed that hard, which is probably why they didn’t work well enough. Having a real guideline for how hard to squeeze, and for how long, makes such a difference compared to winging it with Kegels.
If you are struggling with symptoms of a weak pelvic floor, Perifit is the best way to strengthen them. You get the professional guidance of a physical therapist within the convenience and privacy of your own home. Having weak pelvic floor muscles following pregnancy and childbirth is totally normal and never something you should be embarrassed about. But that doesn’t mean that you have to live with it forever.
I recently collaborated with Katya and Cait, the founders of The Fragile Club. One thing we have in common is our shared passion for raising mental health awareness. We recognize that in order to do that, we need to encourage the conversation around mental illness. The more people who are brave enough to speak up about what they are battling, the less stigmatized it will be.
On both our sites, those suffering from mental illness are invited to speak up and share their stories, no matter how scary it might be. The Fragile Club also offers a line of merchandise, with profits going towards mental health organizations around the world. These simple pieces, including clothing, hats and even an adorable fanny pack, are branded with a single word “fragile.”
I took the opportunity to interview these two incredible women and find out more about what it means to be part of The Fragile Club.
1. What is the Fragile Club?
Katya:The Fragile Club, first of all, is a community. The place where we share our stories and support each other.
Cait:The Fragile Club is a socially conscious brand created to bring awareness to mental health. For every item sold we donate the profits to one of our partnered Mental Health Organizations. We know that everyone has their own powerful story that can impact individuals and we encourage sharing as a core way to empower and support.
2. In what ways does the Fragile Club help raise awareness for mental health?
Katya:We are building a network of people with social influence (celebrities and social media influencers) who share their experiences dealing with mental health-related problems in order to show that it is okay to be open and talk about it. Also, we donate part of the profit from sold products to Mental Health organizations around the world.
Cait:Through our ambassadors, collaborators, partners and community we aim to bring mental health into normal conversation. And it’s through sharing our individual stories that we can raise impactful awareness.
3. How do you two know each other?
Katya:We both work remotely in the area of digital marketing and advertising. We met not too long ago through friends in common during our travels in South-East Asia and stayed in touch since then. We have a lot in common – modelling, that we both do, remote work, travel, etc. Cait helped me with the content for a few projects and during one of the brainstorming sessions, the idea of The Fragile Club was born.
Cait:As Katya explains, we both have lots of experience working remotely and we met via mutual friends during our travels in South-East Asia and have stayed in touch since then. The first time we worked together I was creating content for some of Katya’s projects and we really enjoyed working together.
4. Aside from the Fragile Club, what kinds of things are you interested in?
Katya:As a full-time job, I do digital marketing and advertising and I’m absolutely loving it! Besides that, I’m interested in fitness, art and travels.
Cait:Both Katya and myself have been in the modeling industry. I love fitness, health, personal growth and content creation.
5. What inspired you to start the Fragile Club?
Katya:As an entrepreneur, I always wanted to create something that would bring some value to society. As I personally have experience with depression and anxiety, I want to support people who deal with mental health-related problems.
Cait:Katya and I both are very passionate about creating positive change and our biggest conversation has been around mental health. We wanted to create something in the mental health space and the Fragile Club fell into place.
6. Tell us more about your personal experiences with mental illness.
Katya:I had depression, hypochondria and anxiety. After my first thought that suicide isn’t a really bad idea, I went to the psychiatrist on the same day. Had to go through the therapy and course of antidepressants to get to the point where I am now. I lived with it over 3 years without understanding what’s wrong with me (most of the time I was thinking that I have some kind of disease and I’m dying). I’m happy it’s over.
Cait:My sister’s story has had a huge impact on me and is a big reason why I care so much about Fragile. She grew up a middle child of 4 girls and always felt like the underdog in our religious family. Along with being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, this lead to her drinking and getting into drugs by the age of 12, pregnant by the time she was 16, and leaving home at 17. Years later, when she was 22, my family learned that she had become addicted to heroin two years earlier. This was devastating to my whole family. My mom has been amazing in helping her rehabilitate and she’s been safely on methadone for the past few years.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cried over my little sister and how much I just want her to know she is loved and she doesn’t have to feel so alone and outcasted. I want anyone who’s felt the way she has to know that it’s okay to be vulnerable, and for the people around them to know how to help the people they love.
Personally, I’ve been through periods of depression, anxiety, self-hatred and multiple mental breakdowns. I’ve had anemia and endometriosis which both has fed periods of depression. And I know what it feels like to feel like no one supports you and you don’t know what to do.
7. What does being “fragile” mean to you?
Being fragile means that you are human. We want to highlight that everyone around us has gone through situations that we can’t understand, much less judge. Being fragile means that you accept your pain and become stronger by owning it. It also means that we need to remember that the person next to you has struggles and pain of their own, no matter who they are.
8. What do you feel is the biggest barrier to proper mental health care?
There are many barriers, but the biggest we believe is the stigma surrounding mental illness. This is why we care so much about our mission to raise awareness and funds for mental health. We need both community and government to support each other as well as the funds to bring about proper treatment and research.
9. What do you hope to achieve in the future with the Fragile Club?
We want to bring this important issue to the forefront of conversation in society and culture. That is our biggest hope and dream.
10. How can others become involved in your mission?
Simply by making a single purchase donates funds to mental health organizations we’ve vetted and believe in their work. By someone wearing Fragile it helps to bring mental health to conversation in their daily life.
11. Anything else you’d like to add?
By removing judgement, we have room support and encourage each other to be the best versions of ourselves, and that includes understanding and supporting each other in our darkest moments.
For more information about The Fragile Club, to share your story on their site or to make a purchase and support mental health initiatives around the world, please visit http://fragileclub.com.
If you think about it, the “athleisure” fashion trend is not a new idea.
Athleisure is the fashion trend that supports wearing athletic clothing for purposes other than athletics. And while the term might be new, it’s been around for a lot longer than you think. In the 90’s for example, sporting a classic striped Adidas track suit was the hottest trend, whether or not you were a professional athlete.
But wearing baggy track suits wasn’t the most fashionable option. Athletic wear evolved over time and soon it was the famous Lululemon yoga pants that everyone was spotted in. And it was moms, in particular, who got a bad rap for wearing yoga pants 24/7.
There’s a reason why athleisure is so popular, especially among moms. We collaborated with Grit & Zest, a leader in athleisure style clothing for women, to find out more about this comfortable and fashionable style trend.
Motherhood is an Extreme Sport
When we talk about athletic wear for moms, it actually makes perfect sense because taking care of kids is not that different from a full body workout. We get pulled and pushed in different directions, and there’s a lot of lifting and bending and squatting. We need clothing that’s going to move with us and allow us to feel comfortable while we’re chasing after kids at the playground (or the grocery store).
The good news is that we don’t need to look like a frumpy hot mess in order to be comfortable. Athleisure style clothing lines, like the one from Grit & Zest, give us the option to look fashionable and put together, while still being comfortable and able to move freely.
The Little Black Legging
Black leggings or yoga pants are something that are a staple in every mom’s wardrobe. They’re versatile, comfortable and can be styled so many different ways. The black leggings from Grit & Zest are not like your average, every-day leggings. They’re made with high-tech materials, so they’re durable and heavy duty. Since they’re designed for athletics, they wick away sweat and dry fast, which comes in handy when your kid spills their drink on your lap.
Most importantly, they have a high waist which all moms know is important for added support after growing babies. The seams don’t rub or irritate in annoying sensitive spots so they’d be great to wear postpartum or after abdominal surgery. Make sure to pack a pair in your hospital bag!
A Fashionable Sports Bra
Sports bras aren’t just designed for function anymore, they’re fashionable too. You can feel confident wearing just a sports bra as a top on those hot summer days. Paired with the high-waisted black legging, you’ll look trendy and fashionable while still feeling cool and comfy. If you’re not comfortable wearing the sports bra alone, wear a button up shirt over top but leave the bra visible because there’s no sense in hiding that cute style.
A Versatile Tank Top
A mom’s wardrobe wouldn’t be complete without a comfortable tank top. Black is the most versatile but different colors can make you stand out without too much effort. The Grit & Zest Circle Tanks come in a variety of colors and are also made with quality materials. The mesh panel is completely on trend right now and gives you a chance to show off a little bit of that fancy sports bra, while still offering full coverage.
This tank top is longer in length but it has slits on both sides so that you can move around easily and not feel restricted. It’s also a loose fitting tank which is rare to find in athletic wear. But it still has all the stretch and moisture-wicking properties of any other athletic tank top.
Mix it Up
My favorite thing about athleisure style is the versatility of it. You don’t have to wear a full athletic outfit, instead try to mix and match certain pieces. Leggings with a blouse, a sports bra under a low cut dress or an athletic tank top with jeans can take your outfit to the next level.
No matter what combination you can come up with, I can guarantee that you’ll feel more comfortable. And being comfortable will make you feel more confident. And confidence is beautiful and so important for your mental health. Head over to Grit & Zest and check out their full line of athleisure wear and the incredible reasons they do what they do.
Finding out that you’re pregnant is an incredibly exciting, but also terrifying moment, especially if it’s the first time. Your initial reaction is going to be one of joy, but then you’re going to start thinking about all of the things that you need to sort out before the baby arrives and all of the difficult pregnancy stuff that you have to deal with. It’s easy to start panicking here but that’s the worst thing that you can do.
There are some important things that you need to sort in the first few weeks and months of the pregnancy and the sooner you get it done, the sooner you can start preparing yourself. As soon as you find out that you are expecting, subscribe for monthly Bump Boxes to make your pregnancy go smoothly.
These are the things that you should do when you find out that you’re pregnant.
Calculate Your Due Date
The first thing that you need to know is when the baby is going to arrive, so you need to calculate your due date. You can use this calculator to work out roughly when your baby is due. The reading from the calculator isn’t going to be completely accurate but it will give you a rough idea of when the baby is likely to arrive, so you know how long you have to sort everything out. When you go in for a scan, you’ll get a more accurate due date, but this initial estimate is useful to have right away.
Next, you need to get in touch with your doctor and let them know that you are pregnant. They will set up a booking appointment which usually happens around 8 to 10 weeks into your pregnancy. They may want to see you right away but it differs depending on the doctor and your medical history, but they will tell you when you need to see them.
Consider Legal Issues
This isn’t something that people think about as much but when you have a baby on the way, there are certain legal issues to deal with, so it’s a good idea to hire a family lawyer right away. You will need to update your will to include your new baby and some couples like to put a parenting agreement in place to decide what happens should the relationship break down. It’s not a nice thought but you have to put the needs of your child first, so it’s worth considering.
Tell Family And Friends
Lastly, it’s time to tell your family and friends the good news. A lot of people prefer to wait until around 10 or 12 weeks because the chance of miscarriage drops drastically after that. This is one of the most exciting parts about the early pregnancy stages because you get to share your amazing news with those closest to you and they can get started with planning the baby shower. If you’re going to put an announcement on social media, make sure that you tell family and close friends in person beforehand, otherwise, they might feel that they were missed out.
You’ve got a long road ahead of you and there are so many other things to arrange, but these are some of the first things that you need to do when you first find out that you are pregnant. Once these things are taken care of, you can focus on some of the more fun stuff, like designing the nursery, and choosing baby clothes and equipment. Most importantly, educate yourself on what to expect after baby arrives, especially on maintaining your own mental health.
P.S. Thinking about the baby shower?
A baby is always a reason to celebrate and a fun time to gather all your loved ones together to take part in welcoming your bundle of joy. But, between baby shower invites, food, decor, gifts and preparing all the final details for your baby shower, you may be forgetting the most important part, baby shower games.
Keeping the guests entertained is not always an easy task, especially if they don’t all know each other. That’s why games are just the perfect ice breakers. To make life a little easier, feel free to assign the task to someone who will take care of handing out printables, reading the rules to your guests and choosing the prizes for the winners.
This list has plenty of games to enjoy: Baby’s First Book, Baby Bingo, Mommy Trivia, Nursery Rhyme lyrics and 20 additional family-friendly games for everyone. Keeping the party filled with joy and laughter is the perfect beginning to a baby’s life. Download some of these free printable games for your baby shower!