What to do if you suck at meditating

I often hear busy moms complain that meditation doesn’t work for them. I get it; our minds are going a million miles a minute and pausing sometimes can bring up more anxiety, not less. Enter breathwork. It has the same mind (and body) calming effects as meditation, but is active. You are doing something, which makes it so much easier to execute. Breathwork combats stress and depression. So today, grab 10-minutes and breathe. #selfcare #stress #beingpresent

Don’t Step on a Crack

The other morning, I was super stressed. The hyper-efficient Kari wanted to drive the kids to school instead of taking the extra 10-minutes to walk them. I resisted and walked. On our way. Chloe started chanting, ‘Step on a crack, break your mother’s back.’ I smiled. I vividly remembered that game as a child. How many generations of kids have passed along this silly rhyme? Then I played along. I didn’t step on any cracks. Each thoughtful footstep took me out of my head and in

Savor your ordinary

Loving this quote this week. It seems like good advice for us moms, too. Wishing you a magically ordinary week! “Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives. Such striving may seem admirable, but it is the way of foolishness. Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life. Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears. Show them how to cry when pets and people die. Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand. And ma

How to make the year feel long

As I mentioned yesterday, each week (and sometimes each day), I write down why I will remember that week. Whenever I’m feeling a bit down, one of my favorite activities is flipping through those lines: Fire pits at the shore house Going to the world series Korean spa day in dC Photoshoot for Washington Life So much happens in a year, but often we are moving so fast to even notice. It feels so good to slow down. #slowingdown #self-awareness #gratitude #beingpresent

Visualize How Little Time We Have

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be sharing some “Dad hacks” from a Marc Picket, who is raising two young kids on his own. I love his approach and hope it can help us all see a different perspective. The first dad hack to help fix my mindset is to realize that with kids 3 and 5 years old, I only have them both in the house for 13 more years. That's 676 weeks. I made a chart showing what this looks like. If every O is a weekend, then this means I have this many weeks with

Go on a listening walk

Over the past few weeks, Rowan’s Pre-K class has been going on ‘listening walks’ around the school grounds. His teacher encouraged us to try them at home. On Tuesday, we turned our walk to school into one. All of us were quiet and paid attention to the sounds around us. I heard so many birds, planes, and cars. Shockingly, all my other senses also perked up. I noticed things on my street that I’d never seen after two years of living here. When we debriefed on what we heard, th

You’re a poet and didn’t know it

Sometimes I need something to just get myself out of my head. Interesting enough to distract me from worries or that looming todo list, but not hard enough that I’m drained. So this week, I tried Gretchen Rubin’s idea of writing a haiku. (As a refresher, a three-line poem with has 5 syllables in the first, 7 in the second, and 5 in the last.) I was surprised at how much it calmed me and was fun. Here is mine: Kids wake before dawn TV Chromecasted from bed Grateful for Netflix

Ride the rides

Last night we went to Zoo Lights at the National Zoo. We went last year, and the kids had fun riding the rides while Joe and I watched. This year was more crowded, so with spare tickets, Joe and I joined in. What a difference. I screamed on the tube slide. Rowan and I had a special moment on the carousel. I felt much more alive than when we stood on the sidelines. So in life, ride the rides. Use your kids as an excuse to tap into your inner child. Trust me, it’s way more fun.

I'm Stuck with My Feelings

Week 2 of my 30-day digital detox is done. I've been far from perfect, slipping into a few old habits when I was sick earlier this week. But, I'm proud of cutting out 95% of my digital distractions. I've been shocked at how much more I'm forced to sit with my feelings. I use blogs, Instagram, and podcasts to not feel. A negative emotion comes up (whether that's stress, boredom, embarrassment, or sadness), and I want. On. My. Phone. In the absence of these digital distr

Be Alone with Your Thoughts

Inspired by Cal Newport’s new book, Digital Minimalism, I’m seven days into a 30-day digital detox of no podcasts, social media or blogs. It’s amazing. I even have started going on evening or morning walks—by myself, sans headphones. These 30-minute sessions with just my thoughts made me recognize how rarely I just think. Guess what? Thinking is good. I’m finding myself making better decisions and being less stressed overall. So today, risk being bored a bit. Put away you

Make Eye Connection

Last week, I heard Allison Shapira talk about her new book on public speaking, Speak with Impact. Even though I do public speaking quite a bit now, I still find it draining. I do much better in one-on-one settings. That's why I loved Allison's suggestion to think about making 'eye connection' instead of 'eye contact.' In a big group, stop thinking about speaking to the group as a whole, but identify individual people in the audience, lock eyes and speak as if you were s

Do a Digital Detox

Inspired by Cal Newport's new book, Digital Minimalism, I'm doing a 30-day digital detox. I've found myself tightly wound recently and want to gauge the effect of detaching from my phone. Here are my rules: No podcasts. Audiobooks are OK No blog research (huge time suck for me!) No Facebook or Instagram (except for work, accessed on my computer) No Whatsapp (except for work) I'm 24 hours in. I've found that I've checked off all the annoying things on my todo list just to

How to Feel Better with a Simple Click

Oh, Instagram—I both love and hate you. Being a working mom is messy, hard, and doesn't really fit into a beautifully composed square. It's easy to underestimate the impact of only seeing the highlight reel of people's lives. Don't forget that people are both curating and filtering their lives to look better. So today, scroll through your feed and notice how you are feeling. If any post makes you feel less-than, first remember that you aren't and then un-follow. Let's

How I Shut Myself Up

One of my worst habits is interrupting. I get so excited that I want to jump in at the expense of thoroughly soaking in the opinions of others. I stumbled across the next tip by accident. My phone went on mute during a conversation with a friend adviser. I kept wondering why he wasn't stopping talking when I would start. Then saw my phone. The conversation ended up being more in-depth and impactful because I was silent (even if by accident). So now, in meaningful calls,

Really See Them

A friend, Margot Machol Bisnow, wrote a great book on Raising an Entrepreneur, where she interviewed parents and entrepreneurs to glean parenting best practices. My favorite advice from her? Truly see your children, not the version of them you want to see. Kids are sharp. They know when you do this. In the hustle of daily life, this act can easily get lost. Here is a trick—do it once a month on the date of their birthday. For example, the 16th of each month, you could take

Life is All Too Short

If you want a reminder that life is short, fit it all on a sheet of paper. The image below has a circle represent each month of a 90 year life. How full is yours? To make it feel even shorter, you most likely spent 93% of the time you will spend with your parents by the time you graduated high school. Just let that sit for a minute when you start thinking about your kids. Yes, I am tearing up typing this. I'm not trying to be Debbie downer here, but to encourage you—Sei

Stop yourself (with a little help)

Ugh. I've become addicted to my phone again. I recently have found myself lost in email when I want to be playing with my kids. Not disconnecting has also started to burn me out and mess with my sleep. To counter this, I've started being intentional about when I am going to check email. I only do it when I can actually address issues, so I don't have to-do items swirling in my head. My lo-fi trick? A simple rubber band. This creates a bumper that reminds me to think abo

Living in Dog Years

When people ask how I have been recently, I keep answering, "I'm living in dog years." Every week feels like a month, in a good way. Every week is a new challenge that I get to tackle. I've never learned more in my life. According to Psychologist William James, we gauge by memorable events. Time feels slower when we are younger because so much is new: your first day of Kindergarten, first kiss or first time trying pop rocks make the day memorable. The more memorable days you

Create a Post-Work Transition Ritual

As someone who works from home, it's easy for work to bleed over into family time. To help me set boundaries, I rely on a daily post-work transition ritual: Put my coffee maker away, clean off my desk, and write down my three priorities for tomorrow. If I'm feeling ultra-ambitious, I even sneak in a few minutes of meditation. These help me close the chapter on my workday, so I can be more present at home. Here are some ideas to steal from if you want to craft yours. Create yo