51. 10 Lessons I Learned From Watching Queer Eye

If you’ve been living under a rock then you may no idea what today’s show is really about. A few weeks ago Netflix released the show Queer Eye which is a reality show where 5 gay men go around Alabama and make over the entire lives of straight men.

This show is the second phase of the show – it was on a few years ago with a different cast but same premise.

If you just type in “queer eye Netflix” into Google you’ll see so many new stories, tweets, & comments about how amazing this show is. And spoiler alert – get a box of tissues because you’ll be crying almost every episode. At least, I sure as hell did.

And again, spoiler alert – if you haven’t seen this show yet, turn me off go binge watch all 8 episodes and come back here to chat. Not that it’s suspenseful in any way but, I’ll be talking about some of the episodes and I really think it’s best if you see it first for yourself and then listen in.

So, you’ve been warned!

10 Lessons I've Learned From Watching Queer Eye

  1. Don’t resist change
  2. Be ALL you
  3. Dig a little deeper into why you are the way you are
  4. Take the time to take care of you
  5. Speaking of self-care, cooking is too.

To hear the other 5 lessons - tune in to today's show!

Whether you plan to watch this show or not, these are all lessons we can hear again. This show is a feel good one and I have no doubt in my mind that I’ll be watching it several times every time I have a bad day, need a little pick me or just want a good laugh.

Check out the show now, on Netflix & prepare to be inspired.

Today's episode is sponsored by CandleLit Box. Get 10% off your first box with the code "lodown10"

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50. Fear of Money, Budgets & Knowing Your Numbers

I believe that money is one of the most difficult personal relationships we have. And for me, that's definitely the case. I have struggled with my relationship with money ever since I was in college. I've had a job since I was 15 and so I've been making my own money for quite awhile but, I didn't have true bills until I was in college. Unfortunately, I had no idea how to manage money. I didn't have to know until I should've already known - if that makes any sense. In other words, I've been learning as I go.

My Money Relationship

Over the last year or so I've finally taken my relationship with money more seriously and have decided to stop living in fear.

I can remember several instances where the idea of looking at my bank account or opening up my bills gave me such anxiety. It was really tough to face the reality of how much owed versus how much I actually had in my bank account. During those times, it was easier to just not know and hope for the best. I understand that to some people, that mentality may make no sense. But when you're drowning in debt, working more than ever and not able to make ends meet, it's a very scary situation.

I grew up in a home where we didn't really talk about how to manage money. When money was brought up it was usually around how something was expensive or how we couldn't afford this or that. And we were a middle-income family - we weren't living in poverty to the best of my knowledge but we also were not rich by any means.

But I don't ever remember a time where we talked about how much college was going to cost, how it was going to get paid for (outside of student loans), what getting student loans even meant, what type of a college degree you should go for so you can pay back those loans, how you should spend your money in college, etc.

And, I'd like to say for the record - I don't blame my parents for any of this. I just think it's a generational thing. Their parents probably didn't talk to them about money and so they didn't really realize we were supposed to talk about money either. And as much as I wish that had played out differently - it doesn't do me any good to wish that.

I've always lived paycheck to paycheck. Actually, the only time I think I haven't lived paycheck to paycheck was when I was 15-17 years old, working as a server at Steak N Shake and literally making so much money. I had Adidas drawstring bags filled with money because I didn't have a bank account yet. Now, in all reality, it may have been about $300-$400 from tips but, that's A LOT of money to a 15-year-old.

Other than that moment, I've always lived paycheck to paycheck. I've always been chasing money while my bills have been chasing me. I've always had a job, thankfully, but for some reason, the income has never been enough. Plus, when you add in student loan payments, it's even harder.

I remember living in New York City and being more broke than I'd ever been in my life. This isn't something I've openly talked about before but I think this is the time to do it. I moved to New York City with $1000 in savings and a part-time job at Athleta for $10/hour lined up. Thankfully I moved into my sister's apartment and my rent was dirt cheap. I also didn't have a closet and my bed almost touched all 3 walls. I remember the day after I moved in we all went shopping. Well, my sister's shopped while I walked around. And we were in one store and I just started crying. I was so scared and I had just paid rent and utilities on my first month's rent in NYC and I was now down to $500.

I was only making $10/hour and only working 3-4 days a week. How in the WORLD was I going to make it another month? I had no idea - and standing in that store that day it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I hustled to find new jobs. I remember on one of my days off I sat in bed and applied for 15-20 jobs straight. I don't even know if I changed out of my pajamas that day. I got a call from Sweaty Betty and got an interview. I had nothing athleisure to wear so I went to Macy's and bought a bunch of clothes, kept the tags and receipts and wore it to my interview. I took all of those clothes back the next day.

Thankfully, I got the job. It was full-time and paid a little bit more than Athleta. I worked hard and eventually got a promotion that got me a $1 increase. I hustled & hustled & hustled until I asked for another promotion. At this time I had also been applying for other jobs because I was drowning in credit card & other debt. Sweaty Betty went with someone else and I took a job with Lululemon that was a 2-hour commute one way.

I was making the most money I had made so far in New York but now I was waking up at 4 am to get to our 7 am managers meetings and not getting home sometimes until almost 11 pm. I knew I couldn't hold on to this for long. I finally switched to a different store in the city but ultimately decided that it was time for me to come home.

I thought my relationship with money would get better being in a cheaper city but, finding a job isn't an easy task. I took the same approach that I once did that day in New York, I sat down in Albert's apartment and applied for so many jobs I was losing track of what I had applied for.

Times were really tough during these days. Bills didn't stop coming in but money wasn't coming in either. A lady in a Facebook group posted about a job that sounded perfect. I applied and got it. 6 months later I got a message on LinkedIn for another opportunity that I had been waiting years to get and that leads me up to now.

As you can see, and as many of you can relate to, the struggle has truly, truly, always been real for me. I've constantly been trying to make ends meet and get away from living paycheck to paycheck.

Throughout all of these circumstances, the #1 thing that has helped me stay afloat is a budget.

The Power Of Budgeting & Knowing Your Numbers

About a year before I moved to New York is when I had my very first excel sheet budget. It's the simplest thing ever but it works. It's the one I still use to this day. Budgeting takes the guesswork out of everything. Yes, it requires that you open your bills and look at your bank account but I'll tell you how to do that in a minute.

When you enter your numbers into the budget and see exactly what needs to go out and exactly what's coming in, your anxiety or worry around making ends meet can lessen. Because, now you know if you have enough to cover your expenses and if not, you can look at what you can cut back on or how much you need to ask your loved ones for to help you out.

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My actual budget

And I promise, asking family or friends for money - while it can be scary, it's scarier to get your wages garnishes, it's scarier to be evicted, it's scarier to get your car repo'd, it's scarier to get late fees. Asking for help means you're recognizing that things aren't okay and you're leaning on those who understand and love you at this moment.

So how do you get the courage to look at your bank account and your bills?

You have to be really clear on what you want your relationship with money to look like. You have to know with conviction that your past with money does not determine your financial future. You have to understand that money is neutral and that it's what you think about it that makes it good or bad.

Believe me, I understand that not having money is one of the scariest things to experience. I've been there and have lived that. I know that. But I can promise you that by just looking at your bank account and bills and giving gratitude to whatever you see is the most important first step to improving your financial relationship.

If you'd like, create an entire experience around it. Turn on some music, grab a glass of wine and look at your numbers. Maybe you can even light a candle or burn some sage to release any negative emotions around your numbers. But this is a crucial, crucial step.

I want to leave you with 6 steps you can do right now to lessen your fear of money & help you face the numbers. And yes, these 6 steps are ones I currently use as well.

  1. Start talking about money.
  2. Create a budget.
  3. Do an audit of your bank account/expenses.
  4. Read blogs of people who have become debt free (Cait Flanders, The Worth Project, The Minimalists, Mr Money Mustache, Broke Millenial)
  5. Understand what you want your financial future to look like.
  6. Recognize that your past does not predict your future.

I hope this conversation around money was helpful & inspiring. I know these conversations aren't easy ones to have but, I believe they're so important. We should not be in debt and unhappy simply because we're scared to talk about something. Afterall, this is the rest of our lives we're talking about.

49. Social Media, Comparison & Adding Value

Lately, I've been having this internal dialogue around social media. I go through these phases where I really enjoy social media and I enjoy being engaged on certain platforms. But then, I usually come back to the same vibe or feeling that I want to release my grip on social media.

Now, all the marketing gurus out there will tell you that when you're creating anything - social media is where it's at to talk about it. And hell, I work in marketing, I know how powerful the platforms can be and how much they can leverage a product or business. I do that type of work every day.

But, I also know how social media is showing up in my life and where I'm feeling a pull instead.

The Power of Social Media In My Life

I know for a fact that I'm on social media way too much. And that's just personally - not anything for the blog or podcast. Personally, I scroll through multiple platforms far too often and at times I even annoy myself. Sometimes, I catch myself mid-scroll and I don't even remember why I picked up my phone in the first place. That is mindlessness. That is doing something purely out of habit and without any intention behind it. 

And with that being said, that's out alignment with my values again, not only for the podcast or blog but, also personally.

One of my values is to do things with intention, with meaning behind it. And I can honestly & openly say that that doesn't happen with social media sometimes.

Now sure, there are definitely times that I come on to social media for a specific purpose, to share a personal story or message or to talk about something that has a purpose in my life. I pride myself on only talking about honest & true moments on my pages.

But, if we are all being really honest, I'm sure we all have those posts that we have posted in hopes to get something back. Maybe we're having a shitty day and we want to feel accepted or loved. Or maybe we're feeling a little brag-y? Look, I don't have too much pride to be honest and say that I've had those moments in the past.

Thankfully, I've been able to catch myself before posting or sharing but, other times the realization comes afterward or even a few days later, which then I choose to delete the post altogether.

For some reason, social media has become this thing that makes us feel bad about ourselves when we're not on it and even worse when we are. We see beautiful photos and feeds of people we've never met and we leave the app wishing our lives were like that.

We get into a game of who can post something better than the last time. Or who can make this really ordinary thing be super trendy and likable. 

Sometimes our value or worth comes more from social media than it does from our real life. And at times we forget that the two are actually separate.

The Comparison Game

One of the reasons I'm ready to release my grip on social media a bit is because I've fallen into this comparison trap. I go online with a purpose and intention of doing or posting something genuine to my life or my experience but then I see someone post something similar and I begin to compare. 

I begin to question if what I was talking about was as good, is my photo as enticing will my caption be engaging. And sometimes it snowballs into a bigger comparison about my overall brand or purpose and it can get out of control sometimes.

I've done a great first step with being extremely careful about who I'm following and allowing into my feeds. That's been very helpful and has diminished a lot of negative feelings I was once having. But, there are times when it's hard to know if the work you're doing is really making a difference or if it's falling on deaf ears or blind eyes.

Especially now that there are so many social media influencers that are getting paid to talk about things and being paid to have all of these followers. It's really difficult to weed through the bullshit and to know who is being genuine and who is just saying this because they're paid to do so.

There's a girl, that I think I've talked about on this podcast before, her name is Belle Gibson and she's an Australian blogger. Well, she was at least. And for a long time, she talked about her struggle with a brain tumor and different health complications. And her entire message was about how she had kept her cancer at bay through changing her lifestyle and eating a plant-based diet.

She was very popular with thousands and thousands of followers, she was just about to release a cookbook and her app to accompany it was about to be released on the Apple Watch.

Anyone looking at this account would be inspired by her. Families were coming to her for advice about their loved ones who were suffering from similar conditions as her. Followers were constantly showing their love and support and cheering her on through moments when she said she nearly died on an operating table.

Until one day someone outed her. And said that someone needed to look into her background and check her medical records because she didn't and never has had cancer.

And someone did just that and found that she had lied about it all. SHE LIED ABOUT IT ALL!

These are the types of situations that we compare ourselves to and yet we don't even know if they're telling the truth. I've heard of countless stories similar to that one about bloggers and influencers that aren't telling the truth at all.

Which is why I pride myself so much on always being honest when I'm sharing a message. But I'm not superwoman, I too, fall into the comparison game.

Adding Value

I've decided that my approach to social media is changing moving forward. I'm not deleting everything or going rogue. But, I am cutting out the excess. My goal and promise moving forward is that I will only show up in your feed if I have something of true value to offer.

Social media is cluttered and saturated and everyone has something they want to say. I get it.

But, I want to make sure that if I'm taking up 30 seconds of your time, that it's because it truly matters. And that it's something that will bring you happiness, inspiration, motivation or knowledge.

There will no longer be posts just to post because I don't want to be forgotten about. Or posts because I feel like I "should" post every single day. There will continue to not be posts just wanting likes or to fill a personal void in my life.

And truthfully, the best places to stay connected with me, hear my work, read my work is on the podcast, in my newsletter, and on the blog. I recommend you subscribe to my newsletter where I also hold those some values true - I will only be in your inbox if I have something of value to say. 

This change is to create more time in my life for the things I love and to put more intention on my social media use. It can be a time suck and a confidence suck. And those aren't things I'm willing to sacrifice in my life right now.

In every other area of my life I've created intentions around what I'm doing. I've stopped dieting so that I can create an intention around my relationship with food and my body. I continue to purge items that I no longer need so that the spaces in my home have specific intentions. I've done a lot of soul work to create intentions in my relationships and friendships.

My social media use won't be any different. I want to make sure that when I'm picking up my phone to put something out for you to consume that it's worth your time and attention.


As always, I want to leave with you a few points for what you can do should this inspire you to take action with your social media use. So I leave you with a few questions to ask yourself each time you pick up your phone for social media:

  • Why am I here?
  • WAIT - Why Am I Talking?
  • How am I doing this story/message justice?
  • What do I want my audience to know, believe or feel from what I'm about to post?
  • Is this post providing value?

48. How To Manage Stress & Why Stress-Free Doesn't Exist

Stress is something we all deal with on a consistent basis. The stress levels may be higher for some and lower for others but overall, stress is present in everyone's life. Even mine.

I am a person that doesn't cope with stress well at all. This is something I have grown to learn about myself, give myself grace around and open up about with loved ones around me. I tend to get stressed out and overwhelmed very easily and find it difficult at times to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

For a long time I used to feel the saying "when it rains, it pours" pretty deeply. And while, to some this may sound dramatic, when you live this day in & day out - it doesn't feel that way. I never truly understood why some people could handle stressful circumstances really well when I, on the other hand, would get extremely anxious, angry, upset & overwhelmed. Why couldn't I thrive in stressful situations too? This was a question I always asked myself.

I realized sometime in college that I wasn't only feeling mental symptoms from stress such as stressful thoughts, anxiety, etc. but I was also feeling physical symptoms from stress too. These physical symptoms would range from an upset stomach to a severe sore throat and even a terrible headache that only sleep could cure.

Even to this day should my stress levels get too high, throat is the first thing to become inflamed. I assume that this is my body's signal to say "hey! we need to level this out. we're in too deep over here!" And while painful, I'm grateful that my body alerts me when it's had too much.

2016 & 2017 were probably the most stressful years I've ever had. Between moving, switching jobs a few times, ups & downs in my relationship and just overall growing pains, I can say that it was one for the books for sure. And looking back, I think the biggest problem of it all is that I just didn't know how to cope or manage high-stress situations.

I've said this many times before but, the people in my life always see me as Susie Sunshine - you know, the girl who basically has the sun following her around, skipping down the straight with a glass-half-full perspective. In their eyes, that was me. And, I guess in my own mind that was & still is me to an extent. But, I think with that idea of me, I forget (and I am sure others do too) that I'm still human. And that life isn't always sunshine and rainbows and while it's important to be able to stop and smell the roses, you also need to know how to roll up your sleeves and get through the muddy times too.

I don't think I ever properly learned how to get through the muddy times. That's the truth.

Looking back, I didn't really grow up in a family that stayed too long in the muddy times. As in, it was just like a "put your chin up, you'll be fine, keep going" mentality. And I can totally appreciate that at times. I think that type of outlook is so important and keeps you from being walked all over in other parts of life as well. But I think it's equally important to understand that tough times will inevitably come your way and when they do, don't run. Stay right here and these are some things you can do to get through it.

Why Stress-Free Doesn't Exist

My perspective now on stress is that, a stress-free lifestyle doesn't exist. There is no such thing as a stress-free life. Stress comes up in so many different forms for different people that it's impossible to escape. And honestly, it's not always a bad thing. It's like, how else do we recognize the sweet moments of life unless we equally recognize when times were tough?

I truly believe our inability to cope with stress is because we believe a stress-free life exists. I believe that we suffer during difficult times because we continue to wish for something that isn't realistic. Once we recognize and truly understand that stress is constantly surrounding us and that our work is really about building up our toolbox to cope with and manage stress, the suffering can begin to melt away.

At least, this is where my work is beginning. I understand that stress comes in all forms - worrying about money, fighting with our bodies, resisting a craving, comparing ourselves to other people, not enjoying our jobs, fighting with a friend/family member/loved one, raising children, moving, getting a new job, getting fired, losing unexpected weight, gaining unexpected weight, exercising too much, etc. The list truly does go on.

But if we can begin to build up our personal toolboxes to help us manage our stress levels I think we'll be on a better path to enjoying our lives.

What Is A Stress Toolbox?

A stress toolbox is a few things you can go to really easily that can help you reduce stress in the moment or just help you cope with it while it's happening. These tools aren't things that are difficult to access, will inevitably cost you more stress in the end, etc. A few of my tools are journaling, listening to music, watching reruns of The Hills or turning on a comedy show. All of these things are inexpensive, at my disposal right away and won't cause more stress in the end.

Sometimes people put things in their toolbox that, in the moment provide relief and happiness but in the end cause a negative emotion. Some of these things are alcohol, drugs, shopping, eating something they normally wouldn't eat, calling up an ex-friend or partner, etc.

Again, while these tools may help in the moment, sometimes these can end up adding to your stress in the end and so they are better to be left out of the stress toolbox.

Ideas to Add to Your Stress Toolbox

  • a bubble bath
  • a meditation
  • volunteering
  • visiting an animal shelter
  • visiting a nursing home
  • listening to music
  • cooking
  • journaling
  • calling up a trusted friend
  • crying
  • watching a funny movie
  • coloring
  • rearranging furniture
  • cleaning the house
  • taking a long drive
  • lighting a good smelling candle
  • watching an old TV show
  • yoga
  • sleeping
  • turning your phone off

Any of these are great ideas to add to your stress toolbox. And of course, the list doesn't just stop there. I'm sure you have plenty of easily accessible ideas at your fingertips that can help you cope with stress and get you through difficult times in your life.

47. Why I'm Done With Dieting

Recently I’ve made the decision to stop dieting. I no longer want to restrict the foods I’m eating & over-exercise in order to reach a goal. I know that we’re still in the beginning of the year and New Year’s Resolutions for many people are going strong. But, for me, I’ve decided I’m done with it.

My Dieting Past

I’ve been dieting since my junior year at college. I remember getting to college, waving mom & dad goodbye and realizing I was completely on my own. This meant I could truly eat any and everything I wanted, and that I did. There were truly no limits to my food except for the amount of money on my meal card. I didn’t even think twice about the health factor in the food, I just ate what I wanted. That tended to be a lot of fried & processed foods; things I didn’t have a lot growing up.

And with that, I continued to gain weight. Right around my junior year of college, I must have been talking to my roommates a lot about my weight because she asked me if I’d be the focus for her Biggest Loser segment in the school newspaper. And I said yes.

It wasn’t long until I couldn’t keep up with the rigorous workouts and I was constantly having to think about what I was eating. My picture was going to be in the newspaper, I had to lose something. But, I don’t think I ever did.

After I graduated college I remember signing up for Weight Watchers. Each week I would drive about 20 minutes to the meetings, weigh in & stay for the message of the week. I was excited when I lost and embarrassed when I didn’t. I felt terrible about my body and food was the only thing that made me feel better. Even if for a second.

A 6-year relationship ended and I moved home to my parents’ house. I had no idea who I was, what I wanted or where I was going. But I knew I was overweight and that was something in my control. So I started working out 6 days a week, went on a juice cleanse and started tracking my calories.

I didn’t stick with counting calories for too long but I continued working out 4-5 days a week, drinking green smoothies every morning and staying as healthy as I could. During this time is when my gut inflammation began and I was completely lost. A few years later is when I found the Whole30 and did a few rounds of that while continuing to work out 3-5 days a week.

The theme I’m getting to here is that dieting and exercise have always been at the forefront of my mind. And while there have been times I’ve lost weight, there’s been an equal amount of times that I’ve also gained it back if not more.

Where I Am Currently

Currently, I’m at the point where food and my body consume my thoughts. It began with this last round of Whole30 and hasn’t quite stopped yet. But, I’m creating new practices and rituals to change that. But, if I’m not thinking about what I’m going to eat, then I’m thinking about what I’ve already eaten or about what I’m craving and if I should or shouldn’t have it. I mull it over a few times wondering if it’s going to make me gain weight or cause a gut flare up. After I decide to eat it or not, I continue to think about that choice too.

I’m telling you, it’s constant. And I’m done with it.

In the past, I tried Intuitive Eating and when I got into the thick of my Candida issues, my connection to my body started to dwindle. I didn’t know how to trust what my body was telling me anymore. It didn’t matter if I followed my cravings or not, something always caused a gut flare up.

But, I’m at the point in my life where I’m ready to put the work back into my body and create a stronger connection to my intuition and spirituality. My body and I are so disconnected that I often don’t trust it and end up just choosing just to choose, or make a decision based out of fear or some other negative emotion.

Intuitive Eating is the practice of listening to your body’s hunger, fullness & craving cues and moving forward in that direction. It’s the practice of letting go of diet culture, diet talk and of making weight loss the end goal. It helps you become more in tune with your body so that you can trust that it will support you in the way you need it to.

Sometimes we are trying to lose weight in a body that is actually comfortable at a higher set point. How will you know if you keep forcing it to do what it doesn’t need to? Often times we resist cravings that our body actually needs. And many times we overeat when our body has clearly expressed that it doesn’t need anything more.

We’ve become numb to the signals our body’s give us because of external factors such as stress, emotions, etc. I truly believe that if we treat our bodies well by drinking water, getting 8 hours of sleep a night, managing our stress levels & eating a mixture of healthy & satiating foods, it will take care of us.

I know that I have been silencing my body’s cues so that I can emotionally eat and numb other feelings or push my body to a place it’s maybe not meant to go. I honestly have no idea if I’m hungry or just bored. I often get to the end of the meal and realize I could’ve stopped 3-4 bites ago and have been at a more comfortable level. I also know that there are times that I eat emotionally and regret it later.

All of this is a result of being actively engaged in a diet culture for most of my life. I know I said I didn’t begin dieting until I was junior in college but I have always been surrounded by diet culture. My mom has been a part of diet culture for most of her life so I have heard and seen the ups and downs of weight loss & weight gain. From a young age I can remember my mom weighing herself or coming to conclusions about her body from what the scale said.

I’ve always been very aware of my body and believed for a very very long time, like, up until recently that being skinny was good and being anything but was frowned upon. Mind you, I’m not stereotypical “skinny” person so, in my eyes, I’ve always needed to change.

I’m ready to finally give up the fight against food and my body and let my body finally settle in. This is mostly for my mental sanity, honestly. I don’t know if it’s the show This Is Us or me watching Drop Dead Diva for the past few months but, I have been thinking deeply about how many more beautiful things there are to think about outside of food and my body. I’m recognizing how much time & energy is being taken up wondering & worrying about food.

6 Ways To Let Go Of Dieting

If you’re thinking about giving up dieting as well, here are a few things I’m doing that you can consider:

  1. I’ve unfollowed diet culture in all forms of social media.
  2. I’ve begun to follow several HAES & IE accounts that promote body positivity and a healthy relationship with food
  3. I practicing taking the words “good” and “bad” out of my vocabulary in relation to food
  4. I have started to ask myself if I’m really wanting what I’m about to eat
  5. I have begun quieting the negative conversations in my head around my body
  6. I have decided that not every meal needs to be gourmet

46. My Morning Routine + Why You Need One Too

Let me ask you a quick question; what was the first thing you did when you woke up this morning?

Hit snooze?

Checked your email?

Responded to text messages?

Scrolled through social media?

I bet, if you're anything like me, you fall into one of those categories or somewhere in between. And honestly, I'm not here placing any judgment because you know that's not my jam. But, also because I used to (and sometimes still do) a few of those things too.

Listen, I remember mornings where I'd be down a deep rabbit hole of my friends, sister's, co-workers, nieces new puppy's Instagram account and it wasn't even 7:00 am yet. I really hope I'm not the only one here.

And on those same mornings somehow I was always frantic, running around & trying to get everything together at the last minute. I mean, rightfully so, right? How is it possible to scroll through puppy Instagram accounts, shower, make breakfast & lunch, get dressed & remember to turn off all the lights & not lock yourself out in like...1 hour?

Pro tip: it's not really possible. 

With that type of a morning, you're bound to forget something, do something a little half-assed or simply just start your day off on the wrong foot. And, I don't know about you but, the way I begin my morning truly does set the tone for the rest of my day.

For example, let's say you get in an argument before going to work, your dog shits all over the place or you realized last minute that the shirt you had planned to wear never got washed...any of these scenarios would make for a rough morning. And hey, I get it. Sometimes the things that happen in your morning are out of your control. But, those aren't the type of mornings we're talking about.

What I want to do is help you create a morning routine that works for you 9 times out of 10. The 1 time being the dog shit, argument, etc. 


So let me tell you about how my mornings used to work & then what I changed to improve them.

My Old Morning Routine

Knowing I needed to be out the door at 7:30 my alarm would go off at 6:15. I'd hop out of bed, turn on the light right away and go shower. After getting squeaky clean I'd stand under the warm water for another 10 minutes or so. I'd get out and toss on whatever outfit was the easiest and head to the kitchen to see what I could make for breakfast & take for lunch.

Sometimes I would just grab some oats or make a quick smoothie, other times I would make chia pudding, scrambled eggs or roast potatoes. Then I'd pack my leftovers from dinner the night before or realize I had no leftovers and decided I was going to have to buy lunch out that day.

I'd go put on the simplest amount of makeup to get out the door and look presentable, grab all of my stuff and be out the door.

Now, nothing is truly wrong with this routine. But I knew that I didn't want to keep rushing like that. I wanted to take my time in the mornings and enjoy my day a little more. Sometimes I hear people talking about "all I do is work" and, I think we have a bit of control over that. It's like, let's take a look at the time we do have and recognize how we're spending that time.

For me, that recognition came from my morning routine.

My New Morning Routine

I knew that I was a morning person but I wasn't enjoying it the way I wanted to. So I decided to take back some of my days and wake up a little earlier. So instead of setting my alarm for the last possible minute at 6:15 am, I set it for 5:45.

I never hit the snooze button (I know, I'm weird like that) so, no change there. Then, I decided to not turn on any bright lights. I turned on my soft glow lights that are on my headboard to let my eyes slowly adjust to the light. I also don't turn on the light in the bathroom while I'm showering. I live in a studio apartment so, instead, I turned on the light in the kitchen that's a tiny bit brighter than the ones on my bed and that light flowed into the bathroom just enough.

Once I'm out of the shower, I turn on the bathroom light and start to get ready. With these curls, they need a lot of TLC. So I take my time with them and twist and turn them with hair product.

What comes next is probably one of the most important parts of my morning. I literally stand buck naked in the mirror and take my time putting on lotion - really looking at myself and giving gratitude for my body. I don't know about you but, I'm a person that will shy away when given a compliment or will respond with a "ha! yeah right, you see this cellulite?!" But, I've decided to change that conversation and really recognize my body and give it gratitude.

Then, I either grab my journal and brain dump what's taking up space in my mind or I go through a basic yoga flow to loosen up my body. This takes about 10 minutes or so.

After I'm dressed, I finish off my morning gathering food for the day & I'm out the door.

The biggest change I made here was giving myself more time. And I know we all value sleep (especially me...I have a whole episode on sleep health coming soon). But, there are sacrifices we must be willing to make to improve our life overall.

If you're hesitant to get up early, take a glance at when you're heading to bed. And don't tell me you can't go to bed earlier when all you're doing anyway is scrolling through puppy Instagrams. Make the time to improve your life.

Why You Need A Morning Routine:

  1. Your morning is your first chance to decide how the rest of the day is going to go. Why not put more effort into it?
  2. You're begging for more time to do the things you love. Why not add them in before you head off to work?
  3. Brene Brown says "we wake up and think 'i didn't get enough sleep' and go to bed thinking 'i didn't get enough done.' Both of those are in your control and both can be improved by a morning routine.
  4. My favorite phrase is "you can't pour from an empty cup" and I think one of the best ways to fill it is by giving yourself permission for me time. Now, you don't have to have "me time" in the morning but, we give a lot of ourselves to others throughout the rest of the day so it may be best to.

I would love to hear if you have a morning routine and what it looks like for you. Don't have one? Maybe share your afternoon or evening routine with me! Shoot me an email over at lodownliving@gmail.com or a DM over on Instagram.

Until next time!

With gratitude,