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Stop Trying Harder

I love this quote from Adam Robinson from the Tim Ferris podcast: “If you’re not getting the results you want, change what you’re doing.” It sounds obvious, but so often we double-down on what we already are doing and just try harder. Adam suggests if something isn't working, to instead try the opposite. My back has been bothering me for a year. I went to months of chiropractor appointments, changed up my workouts, and stretched daily. My back still hurt. Then I had an epipha

Normalize Balance

I've started emailing my weekly priorities and fuck yeahs to my team each Monday. This week, I almost removed this one: "Caught myself feeling burned out on Monday, so took the afternoon off. This is huge progress for me." But, this was the most important achievement on my list. Yes, we all need to take care of ourselves, but we also, as managers, need to normalize behaviors we want people to take. Tell your team that you are late because of a school event. Tell them when you

Take a Mental Health Day

Over the past two weeks, I've been battling burnout. I've worked hard this past year to learn my personal signs. I feel tired, but more importantly, sad. The old Kari would have just pushed through. I mean, I have work to do. The new Kari took the afternoon off. I caught up with a friend for an hour on the phone, bought a new favorite dress, and got a massage. The crazy part? Even with the time off, the week was my most productive all year. Your goal is to create a situation

Go ahead, Suck at Meditation

Even though I've done hundreds of hours, I still suck at meditation. The amount of progress I make on my to-do list during them is embarrassing. But, not only is that OK, it's the point. Meditation isn't about perfection. It's a practice. Every time your mind wanders, you are learning how to bring it back. You learn how to recover. How to focus. How to let go. So if your mind wanders 43 times in your short session. Great. 43 reps to build those recovery, focus, and letting go

Create a Mental Health Shelf

How is your Friday looking? You survived the week. Nice one. Today's hack: Create a mental health shelf. Designate a place in your house with items that bring you joy. Think of it as the comfort food of your stuff. Your favorite photo. Incense reminding you of backpacking in Thailand. That book you could read (if you had the time) for the umpteenth time. Or even make it virtual—your favorite curl-up-under-your-favorite-afghan RomCom or a Playlist of songs that bring you back

Add Sleep to Your To-do List

My mom has a vacation house about four hours from ours. Whenever we go, I create a massive list of tasks to maximize the car time, cramming in phone calls, email catch-up, and even writing these posts while Joe drives. This past trip, I had an aha. Sleep was just as important as any of those items. I slept for two glorious hours. It was needed. Too often we treat sleep as a nice-to-have versus as important as anything on your to-do list or schedule. My friend, Mike Malloy fro

The No Fun Deadly Sin

"Of the seven deadly sins, only envy is no fun at all." —Joseph Epstein So today, stop comparing yourself to the mom who seems to have it all together. (Trust me, she still struggles.) Stop scrolling through Instagram pics of perfect moments. (Trust me, you are seeing the highlight reel, not the bloopers.) Instead, focus on you. What do you need today? What is going right for you? I mean, if I am going to commit deadly sins, they better have chocolate or wine involved. #selfc

Doggone It, People Like Me

I love Halcyon Program Coordinator, Mike Malloy's daily habit. Every time he looks in the mirror, he tells himself something positive. Too often, our self-talk (especially around mirrors) focuses on the negative. So today, shake it up and repeat with me: I look fantastic. I am a good mom.  I am worth it. And, doggone it, people like me. #selfcare #selftalk #selfcompassion

Treat Yo'Self

I love getting my hair blown out. Great hair makes me feel like a million bucks, and I can get mine to last for 5 days thanks to the magic of dry shampoo. On my way into work at Google, I would stop at Dry Bar for a quick blowout on Mondays while I did my weekly planning on my laptop. What are the little moments in your life that make you feel like a queen? Is it burning a nice candle? Buying yourself fresh flowers? Or, simply sleeping in? Make a list. Then try to incorporate

Shift Gears

I preach the benefits of breaks regularly, but I'm still always surprised at how effective they are in my own life. Today's story: I was on a three-hour train ride this morning, in which it was hard to take real "breaks" since I was boxed in my seat. I spent a solid two hours working on a framework, ending with something that felt OK. The train arrived, and I grabbed a coffee and went to the bathroom. During that micro break, I had a breakthrough and completely rewrote everyt

That Time of the Month

Holy shit. I just got my period. For most of you, that’s NBD. However, I haven’t had one in almost four years. Mine never came back after Rowan was born, even after breastfeeding ended. When the Wall Street Journal piece about my health came out, I felt like a fraud. Regular periods are one of the two significant signals that our body is working correctly. (The other is my kid's favorite topic of conversation -- poop.) What was stressing my body so much that it didn’t feel sa

Don't Look Back

I battle with emotional eating -- especially out of stress or boredom. One night after Chloe's health scare, I found myself gorging on Cookie Crisp cereal. I had held it together during the height of the scare, but the relief of her being diagnosed triggered me. I have a nutrition coach, Melanie Barnshaw, whom I checked-in with the next day. I loved her advice: "We don't look backward unless we plan on going that way. Today is a new day." I learned something about myself: I a

The Platinum Rule

We all know the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." But, have you heard of the Platinum Rule? "Do not do unto yourself what you would not do unto others." Coined by Tal Ben-Shahar (author of The Pursuit of Perfect: How to Stop Chasing Perfection and Live a Richer, Happier, Life), this rule takes into account that we don't all love ourselves and often, are more demanding of ourselves than others. If your partner botched a few lines in a speech, wo

Play Hooky

As a working mom, obligations from family and work continually pull you in a million directions. Just last night, my kids made 25 demands during the fifteen minutes of dinner. (Yes, I counted.) The relentlessness of parenthood is why once every couple of months, I play hooky: take a day off from work, put the kids in school, and have a day to myself. I did this Monday, visiting the gallery shows I've been meaning to go, enjoying a picnic lunch with my husband, Joe, and even s

The Magic of Un-pairing

After I had Rowan, I lost 45 pounds, down 25 from pre-pregnancy, by adopting dozens of little rules in my life that led to good habits. One of the simplest is no drinking alcohol while eating. I could have a drink before or after dinner, but this prevented me from mindlessly downing glasses of wine while dining. This tiny step reduced my alcohol intake significantly and made the before and after dinner drinks more special and satisfying. Are there actions that you can unpair

Calm Body, Calm Mind

Our body and mind feed off each other. When I’m stressed, cortisol skyrockets, making my chest, neck and back tense up. It’s my body’s way of protecting me -- preparing me to fight or run. But, I’m in no inherent danger. The cortisol just makes me more anxious. I use that energy to ruminate on my worries. Sound familiar? Let’s break this cycle. I’ve recently fallen in love with Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR for short). Starting at the top of your head, you tense up muscl

What's Your Ritual?

I love rituals. They ground me and remind me of what matters. I try to sprinkle little actions throughout the day to symbolize the things I want to turn up in my life: First thing in the AM, I savor a mug of hot lemon water. Yes, this helps with hydration and waking up my gut, but for me, it's more about remembering to slow down and build micro-self care into my day. During my shower, I do 20 to 30-second spurts of freezing water, waking me up and detoxifying my skin. But, ho

Stop Listening to Yourself and Start Talking to Yourself

What does your inner voice say to you? Mine is super sneaky, full of self-doubt, fear, and excuses. "What if it doesn't work? Everyone will think you are a failure." "You screwed that up. What makes you think you can do this?" Or worst, swirling, conflicting thoughts that keep me in my head versus in the moment. Best way to get those inner voices just to shut up? Stop listening and start talking. Start feeding yourself positive thoughts of hope, confidence, and victory. Even

Remind Yourself

Here's a quick phone hack: Set reminders for things that you are prone to forget. No, I'm not talking about the milk or the kid's art folder. I'm talking about your mental game.What would help you be more positive and kinder to yourself? Here are some of my favorites: You are a great mom. Remember when you wanted what you already have. What do I need right now? Enjoy the process. You are a bad ass. Take a deep breath. 80% of people's self-talk is negative. So, we all need a r

Stop Dreading Play

Playing 'family' with my daughter is boring. There, I said it. However, 'play' is essential for developing creativity, adaptable, trust, and empathy for both our kids and ourselves. So, what's a mama to do? Play expert, Stuart Brown defines Play as (1) time spent without purpose that (2) we don't want to end and (3) causes us to lose ourselves and inhibitions. Yep - 'family make-believe' doesn't do that for me. It's way to close to real life. That's why I love Brene Brown's V

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