Learn how to build confidence through acknowledging the skills you already have. You already have everything within you. Let's do this together!

Building Your Confidence

Sometimes we forget that the things we do on a daily basis are really cool. We just think “meh, that’s what I’m supposed to do”. But is it? You have really cool skills that not everyone has, and it’s time you acknowledge that!

Listen to the podcast episode below, or read the meditation script in the following section.

7. Celebrate Yourself Mindful Actions

How to be more Confident

Let’s talk about appreciating your skills.

The things that you do well and enjoy.

The things that are unique to you.

Nobody else does them in the way that you do, and you need to celebrate that! Seriously, this week, your mindful action is to celebrate yourself. Just go for it.


I was talking to a friend recently and she asked how my podcast was going and without hesitation I said, I absolutely love it, it is my pride and joy. I cannot believe how naturally it comes to me! I am just overflowing with content. Then I admitted that If someone had told me that starting a podcast was so easy, I would’ve done it years ago and that I felt so behind on it.

And she looked at me and said, Beth, it’s easy for you because it’s what You’re meant to do.

Oooooh, man, mic. drop.

Listen to that again: it’s easy for you because it’s what you’re meant to do.

That really got me thinking. if I had tried starting a podcast before I was in the place where I am right now, it would’ve failed. I am 100% certain it would have failed. Just like my previous blog attempts failed. They were on topics that I was interested in but weren’t truly meant for me. I was copying others in the field that I admired and wasn’t making it my own. I was working REALLY hard to try and fit in. But it just wasn’t working out. I wasn’t using MY talents, I was using others’ talents and trying to adapt them into my own.

That wasn’t me. But this podcast is me. My meditation practice me. And I am pretty darn proud of it. And that’s what I’m celebrating today.

And that’s what you’re going to celebrate about yourself this week. Focus on what comes naturally to you. What things in your life do you like to have fun with and add your own flair to? What is something that seems easy to you, but after you think about it, maybe think of it from a beginners mindset, it may not be an easy thing someone else? That’s you. That’s your skill and your talent right there. It can be anything, big or small, just own it, enjoy it, and make it yours. Celebrate yourself, friends.

So as we prepare to get into our meditation of reveling  in our own awesomeness, think about this mantra that we’ll recite together later: I know what I am good at, and what makes me happy, and I’m going to do more of that.

Meditation for Confidence

[meditation script]

Go ahead and get seated into your seated meditation position. Today we want to make sure we’re sitting up straight, grounded on the floor, palms facing up, back elongated and not hunched over, and head proudly poised proudly as the peak of our body.

Today we are created a confidence posture. A posture to soak up all the positive energy around us. Today we are telling the universe I am here, and I am ready.

Settle in to the space that you are in. Feel your body taking up the space that it deserves in this world. You own the space that you occupy. This space was created specifically for you. You belong here.

Now focus on your breath. Make a mental note of how your breath feels right now, because thinking through our topic today might change your breath pattern as we go. We will check back in with our breath at the end to see if you subconcously got excited and your breath pattern changed.

I’m so happy you’re here. Want to know why? Because you are amazing. And you are awesome. And you were meant to be experiencing this here with me today. The energy both you and I are putting out there connected on some level that put us here, sharing this podcast together, right now.

Allow yourself to dream big here today. Love the things your good at. Love the things you’re good at and that actually make you happy. If you’re good at something, but it doesn’t make you happy, that’s just something you’re good at. It’s not your soul shining from deep within.

Likewise, don’t think about something you think you should be good at and enjoy. Just because you were once good at something and that’s how your family and friends think of you, that is not who you are right now. People change. Goals change. Happiness changes. Your past does not define you.

“Take time to actually be present and enjoy the things you are good at and others will begin to notice your confidence too.”

Beth Backes, Mindfulness Coach

Now let’s really focus in on that positive energy. Sitting here with you is my positive energy, my high vibration, and I love sharing meditation with the world. And I hope you can feel that energy through this meditation, and that it brings you up.    

But what about you? What creates your positive energy? Your high vibration? What comes naturally to you and just feels right?

It can be a simple small characteristic that you identify yourself with. Or it could be a skill that you’ve worked towards your whole life. Whatever it is, I want you to feel happy and proud when you think about identifying yourself with it to create confidence within.

What is something that gets your gears turning, your body flowing, and makes you just smile and feel energized just thinking about it?

Dream big here today with me. Let your confidence shine through something you’re extremely proud of. Everything we’ve experienced in our lives so far has built us up to this moment. Right here.  Right now.

You can shout it from the rooftops, or keep it to yourself. However you want to celebrate yourself this week, just remember this joyous, proud feeling you have right now. And revisit it as often as you’d like this week to produce the positive energy you long for. You are your greatest cheerleader.

This energy will help yo attract amazing things to your life, because you were put here for a reason. You are fulfilling your purpose in life each and every day. And I have confidence in you. I know you are doing amazing things that are perfect for your life and the people that are in it.

So finally, let’s recite our mantra together to open ourselves up and preparing to shine in the week ahead:

I know what I am good at, and what makes me happy, and I’m going to do more of that.

I know what I am good at, and what makes me happy, and I’m going to do more of that.

I know what I am good at, and what makes me happy, and I’m going to do more of that.

Thank you so much for meditating with me today. Now go out, and be your own cheerleader. Do a high kick and rock your week.

But guess what, I didn’t even discover this energy until 6 months ago. But I am so thankful for it. I’m so thankful it showed me it’s energy when it did because it came at exactly the right moment in my life.

Connect everything in your life. Your home life, your work life, your family, your friends, your alone time. What are some common things that overlap between those areas that make you happy?

Maybe you are great at organizing. You organize your house. You’re organized at work, your friends and family always come to you for assistance in that area, and you love to spend time cleaning up your space when you’re alone. It rejuvenates you.

Identifying and honoring the things that are important to you through reflection and growth. | bethbackes.com

Identifying and Honoring your Intentions and Routines

I’m curious about if/how you identify the mindset, intentions, and actions that encompass your daily routines.

When journaling, I write out my plan every day. I start and end every day the same. It’s my routine, it’s my ritual. It’s how I treat my body and mind, so yeah, it’s kinda important to me… If you’re into the whole commitment to yourself kind of thing and all. I’m guessing you probably are if you’re reading this.

Your mindset and intentions shape you into who you are. They set the foundation for your daily routines and actions. Do you acknowledge and honor those impacts in your life? Let's do some digging!

I came to the conclusion the other day while writing out my schedule that “day prep” and “chill” don’t really fit those time slots anymore. Those are terms I first started using when I was learning my routine and figuring out my brain space. But now that those habits are engrained in me, I feel like they deserve a more worthy label that fits my vision and goal for the way I spend that part of my day. That’s 2 hours of my life every single day that I’m living with intention. Why wouldn’t I give it a name that felt special to me?

It took me a little while to figure out what fit there. I went through a lot of terminology for what I do during that time. Meditation, journal, gratitude, workout, mindfulness, affirmations, yoga, reading, hydrate, coffee time. But all of those are a single action, none of them holistically covered my intentions.

Then one night while practicing rhyming words with my 4 year old, I figured it out…

In Mind | Unwind

It’s simple, reminds me of my intentions, and encompasses everything I set out to accomplish. In the morning I’m getting in my head, in my mind, waking up and focusing on goals, stretching, movement, and preparing myself for the day. I’m prepping to be in my mind. Then in the evening I’m reflecting through gratitude and meditation to relax and prepare myself for a peaceful sleep (hence where the “chill” term originally came from).

I now get to write these bookend phrases on my schedule every single day and it puts a smile on my face knowing I go full-circle with intention. Intention that I created through my own personal wants, needs, and routine. Wakeup and get in my mind zone, then relax and unwind before bed. AM Mind | PM Unwind. Easy to write, easy to remember. {praise hands emoji}

Reflect on the routines, rituals, and things that are important to you. Besides the commitment, how do you honor their significance in your life?

Your mindset and intentions shape you into who you are. They set the foundation for your daily routines and actions. Do you acknowledge and honor those impacts in your life? Let's do some digging!
How To Find Your Purpose | bethbackes.com

How To Find Your Purpose

I saw a post recently that said something along the lines of: stop paying for classes that claim to have the answer to help you find your purpose. You will find it on your own through experiences and being mindful and intentional about everything you do.

Wow, that hit me like a load of bricks. Not because it was a tough gut-check to hear, but because of the raw truth behind it. The truth that I came to realize recently as well.

There is no one secret that will help you find your purpose. Everyone is different. But there are moments throughout your life that give insight into what your purpose might be. Here's how I learned to recognize those moments and started seeing my life more clearly.

I found my purpose, well… what I know right now to be my purpose, because I started a blog many years ago. It was a failed blog. That blog most definitely was not my purpose. It was based around a topic I enjoyed, but it wasn’t what I was meant to write about. It wasn’t about the things that cause the light within me to shine bright, but it was the start of something bigger. When I started that blog, I worked my butt off learning the in’s and out’s of blogging, bought the domain, set up my site, took the workshops, figured out how to monetize the site (before I had anything to sell, because #goals). Through what I initially thought was my passion, I built a solid foundation to grow through. Once I did actually figure “it” out, I was ready to hit the ground running.

This time, I didn’t need to waste time figuring out all the logistics. I already knew what I was doing, and that’s how I knew I’d found my purpose. It all just flowed together perfectly. No questions, no doubts, just clarity. All those things I’d worked so hard on before, and felt like a failure at, were really just leading me to where I was meant to be today. Just like the setbacks and failures I have today are setting me up for something else unknown in the future. It’s a never-ending cycle.

To be clear, though, by no means am I done searching for my purpose. I’ve only barely scratched the surface, and only just begun to align my life with what I know deep down is where I’m meant to be. I am so grateful for that failed blog. I am so grateful to past Beth for working hard and pushing towards something that didn’t feel quite right at the time, but felt it was worth something in the long run.

There is no one secret that will help you find your purpose. Everyone is different. But there are moments throughout your life that give insight into what your purpose might be. Here's how I learned to recognize those moments and started seeing my life more clearly.

So don’t put pressure on yourself to find your purpose before you’re ready. It will find you through subtle ways you’re living your life. The fact that you want to find “it” is the first step in opening yourself up to the possibilities. Start by acknowledging how you’ve live your life so far, and acknowledge the moments that stand out as something you’ve enjoyed, or something you’ve wanted. Those could be the very first signs of your true path dimly showing its light. But, truthfully, only time will tell.

Be patient. Stop searching, and start living.


“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future”.

Steve Jobs

The confidentiality of journaling and trusting others with your thoughts

The Confidentiality of Journaling and Trusting Others With Your Thoughts

Do you journal? Do you have a place you write down thoughts or reminders? I’ve had various ways I’ve jotted things down over the years. Sometimes it’s been digital notes on my phone, sometimes it’s been a notebook, and sometimes it’s a beautiful goal-oriented expensive AF journal that lays out all of my hopes and dreams. Right now, I’m into the latter, and I’m not gonna lie, it’s kicking my butt into gear!

I have some big things planned for you around journaling, but in the meantime, I have a serious question. How do you feel about adding your contact info to your journal or daily/life planner?

I track everything in my journal. Habits, schedule, goals, mood, and personal thoughts. What if you lost your journal? Would you identify yourself by name so someone could contact you, or would you rather be left anonymous? Head over to the blog and let's chat about our feelings on journaling, confidentiality, and anonymity.

My favorite one has a page to fill out contact info and says “if found, please contact….”, and the thought of this makes me extremely uneasy. If I were to lose my journal/life planner/goal keeper, would I really want a stranger to not only have my name, but also some of my most personal thoughts and goals? I have been doing some extreme soul searching over the past year, a lot has changed in my life and mindset, and I have some of my biggest goals ahead of me that I’ve ever attempted to reached for. I cannot even imagine someone having insight into all of that. And then either calling me up and saying hey, I found this thing of yours, and then constantly worry about what they now know about me.

But on the flip side, maybe having my name and contact info in it would actually prevent someone from looking through it. Instead of flipping through pages to find a way to identify who’s it is, it’s right there on the first page. Done and done. No reason to look at my daily schedule to figure out if we they can track me down (note: I live in a very small college town, someone could EASILY figure out what department I work for and where my office is by just looking at my schedule and some of my reminders).

Oh wait, I just answered my own question. Name or no name on the 1st page, if someone wanted to figure out who’s it was, it would be pretty darn easy to find me. Plus, I know most of the local business owners by name that I frequent. So if I were to leave my journal on a table after stopping in for coffee, I would get a personal text or DM. And I know those folks wouldn’t look through it if they found a name on the front.

Don’t you just love when you figure out your own problem just by chatting it out? And here I am worried about what someone will think about me after reading through my journal, and I’m publishing my own thought process on the internet. Ok, well, thanks for talking through this dilemma with me. Same time, same place next week for my next session?

But I’d still like to know your thoughts on putting your name on your journal or planner. If you live in a metropolitan area where it would be harder to be identified, would you want to add your name? I’m super curious about everyone’s take on this!


Heart Healthy and Healthy Living Blog | bethbackes.com
Create time to focus on you. Don't stress out by blocking out more time, but instead use the time you already have more wisely.

5 Ways to Practice Mindfulness When you’re Super Busy

The list is simple. Basically, whenever I have a little quiet time so I can reflect on the present moment.

1. Doctors offices, lines, or waiting rooms

Mentally scan your body, think about why you’re there in the first place. Be present and in-tune with your body so you can give them a full, truthful report.

2. Walking to the office or in between errands

I love walking mindfulness practices! It’s so simple and makes your walk more enjoyable. All you have to do is open your eyes and observe your surroundings. What do you see, what do you hear, what do you feel? Is it hot, windy, are your shoes loud on the ground? Use your different senses to be present.

3. Picking up groceries

Think about all the food you’re waiting on to be loaded into your car and how you’ll use it to nourish your body. Did you buy some of your favorite foods that you’re looking forward to, or did you buy some new foods for recipes you’re going to try out? Similar to mindful eating, think about you food, where it comes from, and how you’ll use it in your life.

4. Folding laundry

Look at each piece of clothing while you’re folding. And recall memories of when you’re worn them, or how confident or comfy you feel when you wear them. Notice and appreciate the clothes and how they represent you, or a family member, and add some fun flair to your life. Laundry doesn’t have to be a boring chore! Add some mindfulness to it and be present.

5. In the shower

Here’s another opportunity for a body scan, but this time think about how the water feels when it hits each part of your body. Is a hot shower helping to relax your muscles, or is a cold shower helping to wake you up and energize you? What if you treated your shower like a relaxing spa experience instead of rehashing conversations you wish had gone differently.

Create time to focus on you. Don't stress out by blocking out more time, but instead use the time you already have more wisely.

Blocking out time for meditation is great, and I highly recommend it, but practicing mindfulness throughout the day is just as important. What are you most likely doing during all those above tasks? My guess is looking at your phone, multi-tasking, or letting your mind wander thinking through the bazillion things you need to get done. How about next time you’re doing something where you have a moment to yourself, stop your mind from wandering and focus on exactly what you’re experiencing then and there.

These are simple ways to practice self-care and mindfulness, and again, it doesn’t add any more time to your already busy schedule. You’re not blocking separate time out to think about things, you’re just using the time you already have in a different manner.

What are some other places you can practice mindfulness while you’re on-the-go?

Blocking out time for meditation is great, and I highly recommend it, but practicing mindfulness throughout the day is just as important for a healthy life. | bethbackes.com
Doing basic moves throughout the day is ideal, especially if you're sitting at a desk for long hours. You don't have to put pressure on yourself to fit in an entire workout if your daily schedule doesn't go as planned. Check out some of my quick tips for adding movement and checking your posture while we work the day shift.

How to Keep Your Body Active During the Work Day

You have good intentions to work out, but you’re a working mom so your morning workout is never guaranteed. Or your afternoon workout. Or your evening workout. I talk about fitting in spurts of activity throughout the day in my post How to Workout When you don’t have Time to Workout, but today we’re going to talk about physical activity at work and in the office.

I work in higher education, and pre-Covid, one of the easiest ways for me to get in activity during the work day was simply walking to meetings around campus. I could easily walk 1 mile round trip just to a single meeting, or to grab lunch. Do that multiple times in a day, and you’re all set! But now that I’m working from home, I go from one meeting to another in 10 seconds via the click of a mouse. It’s so much easier to schedule back-to-back meetings now, and it’s not in favor of our physical or mental health. I’m sure if you work somewhere where all of your meetings are in the same building, or even on the same floor, you have a similar issue.


*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. There is no additional cost to you, but I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. For more information, see my disclosure here.


Doing basic moves throughout the day is ideal, especially if you're sitting at a desk for long hours. You don't have to put pressure on yourself to fit in an entire workout if your daily schedule doesn't go as planned. Check out some of my quick tips for adding movement and checking your posture while we work the day shift.

My solution is to keep some workout gear at my desk. I have a resistance band and some light weights. If I have a few minutes between meetings, I’ll do a few quick reps just to get my heart pumping and my legs stretched. But I also am lucky enough to have a few audio only conference calls, so if my camera is off and it’s more of a discussion instead of me needing to type or take notes, I will stand up and just do easy, slow, muscle-toning reps that won’t make me go out of breath so I can still participate in the conversation. I know once I’m back in the office, these are things I will still be able to do.

Now let’s talk about posture. Have you gotten yourself a simple standing desk yet? I’ve had this Amazon Basics Laptop Table for years and it’s served me well. I use it all the time, no matter if I’m sitting or standing. If I’m sitting, my posture is so much better because my screen is eye-level and my back and neck aren’t hunched over (not to mention the camera angle is much better for Zoom calls!). I also have a bluetooth keyboard and mouse that fit nicely under the stand to use if I’m sitting down.

To check on my posture throughout the day, I use my smartwatch movement reminder. If I’m in a meeting and not able to get in steps, I’ll make simple body adjustments. Are my feet flat on the floor, am I sitting up straight, are my shoulders down, is my neck and jaw relaxed instead of tense? These are all things you can easily adjust without drawing attention to yourself, and bonus, you’ll look much more attentive in your meeting.

What are other ways you like to stay active at the office?

No matter how busy you are, you can fit in a few moments are heart-pumping activity to get the blood flowing, I promise. Check out my quick tips for adding movement and checking your posture throughout the day as we go about our business.
You know lemon water can boost your morning routine, but you don't always have time to cut and squeeze a fresh lemon. Trust me, I've been there! Check out my hydration pro-tip on making lemon ice cubes to simplify the prep-time and improve your morning.

Hydration Pro-Tip: Lemon Water Ice Cubes

I have another hydration hack for you that I’m super excited to share.

Problem: You know a glass of lemon water is one of the best things for you first thing in the morning but you don’t have the time, energy, or brain function to cut and squeeze a lemon before your coffee. You’ve also tried pre-cutting the lemons and storing the slices in the fridge, but they never stay good long enough so you ended up tossing them anyway.

Sound familiar? Good, glad it’s not just me.

You know lemon water can boost your morning routine, but you don't always have time to cut and squeeze a fresh lemon. Trust me, I've been there! Check out my hydration pro-tip on making lemon ice cubes to simplify the prep-time and improve your morning.

Solution: Lemon ice cubes! This has been a total game changer for me. I buy 6 lemons, squeeze them, pour the juice into my old baby food puree silicone molds (I get about 16 small ice cubes from 6 lemons), and pop them into the freezer overnight. Then voila! The first thing I do every morning is grab a glass of warm water, pop in an ice cube, it melts and cools the while I’m going to the bathroom, and then I’ve got myself a refreshing glass of lemon H2O with absolutely no effort at all. I drink this while the coffee is brewing, and it’s magical.

I’m not a nutritionist, doctor, or health expert, but I’d like to note the actual change I feel, personally in my body, now that I have a daily glass of room-temp lemon water. I know it’s waking up and energizing my system and flushing out the crud. The only way I can attempt to describe it is that I am going to the bathroom twice as often and I’m not drinking any more than I used to. The only thing I’ve changed about my morning routine is adding the lemon. Now I pee 3-4 times by 10AM, whereas I used to only go about 2 times by then. And I’m normally a well-hydrated person! So something is definitely different, besides the fact that I just feel good in a way that I can’t explain and my skin has never been better.

Based on my basic knowledge around hydration and lemon water, what I understand is that my body doesn’t have to use up as much h2o to replenish and wake-up from the previous night because it’s using nutrients differently, resulting in faster digestion. I’ve actually often wondered why I didn’t go to the bathroom more since I drink a lot of water. I assumed I had large bladder, but in reality, perhaps it was that my body needed to use more of the water to get my body going every day.

The power of water, fresh food, and the human body is amazing! Right? So next time you’re at the grocery store, grab a handful of lemons and try making lemon ice cubes. Let me know what you think! I hope it’s the life hack you’ve been needing in your life.

Wishing you a well-hydrated, healthy day.

Helpful Resources:


Heart Healthy and Healthy Living Blog | bethbackes.com

No matter how good of a planner you are, you'll never be able to escape the extra stress a sick child brings into the mix. The mom guilt is tough, but by having a plan and communicating it to work, spouses, and family, you'll know that you are doing what is best for you and your family.

Dealing With Working Mom Guilt When A Child Gets Sick

My family has been battling germs for a few weeks now and we just can’t kick it. As soon as one person gets better, another gets sick. Last week, my youngest was sent home from daycare on Thursday afternoon, and the first thoughts that flooded my brain were all about mom guilt and blaming myself.

  1. I knew she seemed a bit off this morning, I should have known not to send her in, but it didn’t seem that bad. Why didn’t I see it sooner? — Denial
  2. I should have worked harder throughout the week to meet work deadlines early in anticipation of a child getting sick. Why didn’t I think ahead? — Blame
  3. If I can make nap time happen during these certain times, I can still attend these meetings. How can I make this work? — Bargaining
No matter how good of a planner you are, you'll never be able to escape the extra stress a sick child brings into the mix. The mom guilt is tough, but by having a plan and communicating it to work, spouses, and family, you'll know that you are doing what is best for you and your family.

The working mom guilt is real, and it’s tough. As a parent when something happens, even if it’s totally out of our control, we are so hard on ourselves for not being able to anticipate it. We can’t prepare for everything, and it’s absolutely ridiculous to even think of that as an expectation, but we still do it.

#2 above is the kicker for me and the one I always get stuck on as someone who works in an office setting. How could I possibly have worked harder to meet deadlines early “just in case” I needed the extra time? If I had extra time, I would’ve filled it with more deadlines! You want to care for your child, but you feel pressure to keep up at work. It may not even be pressure from work, it may be internal pressure to be both the perfect employee and the perfect parent.

During the pandemic when we were both working from home, my husband and I started listing our meetings on a whiteboard so we knew when the other couldn’t be interrupted. We’ve continued a generic version of this so that we know who has flexibility if childcare gets interrupted. It’s our loose sick day plan from week to week. It’s not perfect, and doesn’t solve all our problems, but even just thinking a little bit ahead and talking through a few “what if’s” will ease some of the tension when an issue actually arises. It’s also worth noting that talking through scenarios with others helps verbalize who needs to be involved, who is making adjustments, and how it’s all going to happen. It should never be assumed that one person is always on sick duty because they have a more flexible job or boss. That still abuses the employee-work-relationship.

Another tip is that you need to decide how you’re going to work it out with your job ahead of time. Your boss needs to know, and trust, how you are going to deal with interrupted childcare. Know the regulations set for you as an employee and where you have flexibility to negotiate. Will you agree to be available to work remotely, or are you totally signing off for the day? Set expectations. Set boundaries. Share them and stick to them.

No matter how good of a planner you are, you’ll never be able to escape the extra stress a sick child brings into the mix, especially if you’re thrown off-guard by a daycare phone call in the middle of a meeting where you have to pick them up within 30 mins (Eek!). But by having even just a simple plan and communicating it to work, spouses, secondary childcare options, etc., you’ll know that you did your best and now you can attend to your child’s needs and focus on getting them healthy. That’s what is most important.

Good luck, mama. You are so strong. You got this.


Heart Healthy and Healthy Living Blog | bethbackes.com

Don't let your free-time slip away with mindless social media scrolling that won't make you feel any better about yourself.Self-care is not about doing nothing and wasting time. It's about whatever brings your mind to the present and makes you feel more confident and energized to just be you.

How Staying off Social Media Has Improved My Mindset on Weekends

Most of the time, I practice unplugging and staying off social media on weekends. Scrolling Instagram does not equal worthwhile self-care time. Especially if you use it as part of your job or business. Your mind never takes a break and it makes it even harder to separate yourself from work mode.

Ultimately, it’s not that hard to do on weekends since I’m so busy with the family, and now I’m able to recognize the habits that were depleting my free-time. I used to find myself plopping down on the couch as soon as the kids went down for nap and scrolling social the entire time. Then I’d be bummed I didn’t get any “me time” or anything accomplished while the kids were asleep, which as a result, would affect my afternoon mood and my patience with the kids.

So now, depending on how the morning goes, I take note of what would serve me best while the kids are either sleeping or occupied. Sometimes the answer is really that I just need to put my feet up, take some deep breaths, close my eyes, and listen to an audiobook (or if you’re a napper…nap). Other times, I will feel refreshed and my best if I listen to some tunes, get some housework done, workout, meal prep, or call a friend. It all depends on the day, the kids’ moods, and my mood.

During the work week, us working moms have to plan every single minute in order to get to daycare, meetings, practices, meals, and bedtime on time. So my piece of advice is to try letting it all go on the weekends. Don’t plan every single minute or activity. Enjoy the time you have with the family, and don’t let your free-time slip away with mindless social media scrolling that won’t make you feel any better about yourself.

Self-care is not about doing nothing and wasting time. It’s about whatever brings your mind to the present and makes you feel more confident and energized to just be you. A new TikTok recipe isn’t going to make you feel the same way as being in tune with your body and your needs….even if you think you NEED to try the baked feta pasta. So next weekend when you’re temped to start scrolling, stop, reflect on your day, and do something that will address your needs and improve your mindset.

What’s your favorite way to spend your kid-free time on the weekends?


Heart Healthy and Healthy Living Blog | bethbackes.com

Dry July: Why I'm swapping out alcohol for water

Dry July: Why I’m Swapping Alcohol for Water this Summer

Unpopular opinion: I started the “Go Dry In July” challenge. I follow a few heart health organizations on social media who have been promoting this, and I’m hopping on board. For on thing, I am so over the “mom needs a drink” culture. Mom doesn’t need a drink. Mom needs to hydrate and eat healthy so that we’re the best we can be for ourselves, our kids, and our jobs. Alcohol will not help us in any of those aspects.

An ice cold summer drink can be tempting, but alcohol puts unnecessary stress on our bodies, which can be especially damaging in the summer heat. Your mind and body deserve a refresh so you can focus on self-care and being the best you can be. Join me in the dry July challenge!

Plus, I’ve pretty much had no interest in drinking since having children. Alcohol just doesn’t have the same taste to me as it did pre-pregnancy. So luckily all I really need to attempt is to cut out my 1 lite beer a week. I’m a badass working mom who survived a pandemic baby wearing a mask during birth, I’m pretty sure I can handle this. With that said, though, an ice cold summertime drink just hits differently. You never know when that craving will hit while you’re poolside or at a backyard BBQ. Ya, know? But I got this. We’ve all got this.

As with most of my decisions lately, it’s also for health reasons and focusing on self-care. In the rare occasion that I’ve indulged in drinks with friends, it’s left me feeling absolutely horrible. Alcohol affects are no joke after 35. Similar to how I was feeling last week with my sinus infection, or when I’m dehydrated, I 100% hated the way alcohol raised my heart rate and blood pressure. If blood pressure is a concern of mine, how can I knowingly do something that is reversing all of the progress I’ve made?!? Alcohol was putting an unnecessary stress on my body, and there was really no reason for it.

“Why would I want to put something in my body that makes me not have control over my body”?

– My Grandma’s wise words on drinking.

So I challenge you to join me in a dry July. Your mind and body deserve a refresh in this summer heat. Go grab some ice cold fruit-infused water, nosh on some watermelon and pineapple, and we’ll check-in with each other to see how it’s going.


Heart Healthy and Healthy Living Blog | bethbackes.com

Focusing on mental health will give you the confidence you need to trust your instincts to know what is best for you. You know your needs better than any other person, device, or app. So don't rely on others to validate your feelings. Trust yourself.

Why I’m Taking a Mental Health Break from my Smartwatch

Too much of a good thing can still be unhealthy. Just like obsessing over food, nutrition, or fitness can cause burnout, so can the little things we think are helping us. I was sick recently with a sinus infection, and I knew my body was working extra hard to kick the cold to the curb. I could physically feel my heart racing, and I told myself not to, but I couldn’t stop checking my heart rate and stress levels on my watch. I knew my body was stressed, I knew why it was stressed, but I still looked at my stats and panicked every time. Classic self-sabotage right there.

Focusing on mental health will give you the confidence you need to trust your instincts to know what is best for you. You know your needs better than any other person, device, or app. So don't rely on others to validate your feelings. Trust yourself.

This week, I’m feeling back to my old self. All my stats (including blood pressure) went back to normal, and I just can’t stop thinking about why I put myself through that. I should have given myself a break. I should have given my body the space and grace it needed to get better.

Mental health doesn’t always need to be focused on how you’re feeling right here and now. It can also be simply acknowledging a worry or feeling that you already had, taking note of what happened, and being aware of how you can make adjustments. You don’t have to fix everything immediately.

So it’s a bit retroactive, but I’m giving myself that mental health break now. No smartwatch this week. Let’s face it, we all know that 90% of the time we look at our smartwatches it’s not to see what time it is. A health coach once told me that we’re guaranteed 5,000 steps a day, and you have to work for the rest. As a parent of excited toddlers, I’m pretty sure I’m guaranteed at least 7,000 steps. I’ve also worked really hard at being in-tune with my body along my health journey the past few years. I know when something feels off and I don’t need a watch to tell me so.

You’ll see this theme often in my self-care messaging and it’s to trust yourself. Let your own mind and body drive your decisions. Do not let external people, things, or ads influence how you think you should feel. You are doing a great job keeping yourself and your little ones healthy, so keep on going and take that mental health break from whatever stressor is causing you doubt.


Heart Healthy and Healthy Living Blog | bethbackes.com

Identify the areas in your life that need more self-care | bethbackes.com

Identifying Areas in your Life To Focus on Self-Care

What is an unexpected way you find yourself practicing self-care? For me, it’s paying attention to the out-of-the-ordinary aches and pains of my body. We put a lot of strain on our bodies through pregnancy and keeping up with toddlers. I believe I’m referred to as a geriatric millennial, and honestly, I get it. I’m sitting here writing a post about how my joints hurt for crying out loud… and I just used to term for crying out loud. So yeah, it me.

Need help identifying areas of your life that need the most self-care? Look inward and trust your instincts. Many times, it's the thing we're putting off or neglecting because we don't want the attention on ourselves. But you deserve that attention and focus.

But anyway, I developed tendinitis in my wrist from carrying around my 1-year-old so much this past year, and knee problems from squatting with improper form to pick her up 10 billion times a day. Because of the pandemic, I’ve had more time with my kids (not complaining about that!), but at the same time family and friends haven’t been around as much to share the carrying/cuddling duties, and my body really feels it.

I thought I could push through if it only hurt when I picked her up, but it eventually got so bad I could barely type on my computer, and that got me thinking. Us moms tend to “push through” things too often on the mom side of things, until the issue starts to affect other areas of our lives. I was seriously willing to wince in pain every time I picked up my daughter, until I realized it was also affecting my work life too. Most of the time, we give everything we’ve got to our families and work, and don’t leave any space for ourselves.

So here is your cue to tune in to your mind and body and notice how you’re really feeling. Don’t just push through something to make it work. Identify the heart of the issue and find something you can do for yourself to make it better. It could be something seemingly little, like a little pain in your wrist, that could improve multiple aspects of your life if you gave it the attention it needs. Be true to yourself, practice self-care, and never forget to treat yo’ self.

The lotus flower is an inspiration to me as a mom. A symbol of triumph for its ability to grow strong and beautiful through muddy, imperfect conditions.
The lotus flower is an inspiration to me, as a mom. A symbol of triumph for its ability to grow strong and beautiful through muddy, imperfect conditions. Through the murky waters blooms a clean, bright, beautiful flower.
It’s the perfect metaphor for this messy and unpredictable thing we call mom life.

Heart Healthy and Healthy Living Blog | bethbackes.com

Hydration Pro-Tip Series Beat The Summer Heat by bethbackes.com

How to Rehydrate After a Day in the Sun

We drink a lot of water over here. But even so, it’s still not enough to keep up with the summer heat. In our house, we call this the sunshine hangover.

Last weekend we spent most of the time outside playing hard. We lathered up the sunscreen multiple times, made sure to drink our water (I had 10 glasses!), and indulged in lots of fresh, juicy fruit. And yet, I still woke up totally parched, headachy, elevated heart rate, and hot. Dude, what’s the deal, sun?!? I just want to hang out with my kids outdoors and not feel like I partied all night long!

There are a few “hangover” electrolyte drinks that I swear by to get me through the after-sun post-party feeling without all the sugar. I’m usually feeling good an hour or two after waking up if I drink one of these first thing, before my coffee.

Did you spend a little too much time in the sun and are feeling dehydrated? Check out my 3 favorite ways to overcome the sunshine hangover and get feeling back to normal in no time!

Beachbody Energize

You can’t buy this one at the store or on Amazon, but it’s my absolute favorite and the one I swear by. I can hook you up with one of my good friends, and Beachbody Coach, if you want it. I add double the amount of water it calls for to maximize my water intake while still getting the flavor and nutrients to fend off the hangover feeling.

Biolyte

My favorite local pharmacy carries this (check out yours too — shoutout to shopping small!!!), and I like to keep a few in the back of my fridge for when they’re needed most and I need an ice cold drink to feel better. There are a bunch of flavors, fun seasonal ones too, and I do the same here where I tend to water it down just so I get more water.

Vita Coco

Last but not least, we have coconut water. This one isn’t my favorite, but will work in a pinch if you don’t have access to the other two that can sometimes be hard to find. It has the hydration factor, antioxidants, minerals, and natural electrolytes that fend off the unwanted hangover when your kids wake you up at 5:30 and are ready to play. We all need that saving grace sometimes.

Did you spend a little too much time in the sun and are feeling dehydrated? Check out my 3 favorite ways to overcome the sunshine hangover and get feeling back to normal in no time!

What are your post-sun (or hangover) self-care tips? Please share! I’m always looking for new life hacks.


Heart Healthy and Healthy Living Blog | bethbackes.com

Slow and steady wins the race. Find out how personal growth helped me identify my ideal workout.

How Personal Growth Helped Me Find My Ideal Workout

You know that feeling when you realize you’re doing a task with ease that used to be extremely hard for you? I had that experience this week while working out. I used to hate planks. I always felt weak and shaky, and there was no way I could even attempt plank jacks or other variations the badass coaches were doing in the videos. I assumed it would just be a move I would never be very good at, and accepted it.

Cut to this week during a yoga session. I was just chillin’ in down dog and then slowly moved into plank. I was focusing on my breath and core, and before I knew it, I was in a strong, solid plank for longer than I’ve ever done before. And I wasn’t hating it!

Slow and steady wins the race. Find out how personal growth helped me identify my ideal workout.

It took a long time to get to this point. Years, in fact. I’ve learned a lot about myself and my body through this newfound heart-health journey. I know that if I go all-in on a hardcore workout or diet program right off the bat, I will quit. I know that I hate cardio and get more out of slow and steady workouts. I know that the numbers on the scale and my pant size don’t actually reflect my health. These are not things I knew about myself years ago. I even tortured myself for 2 whole years trying to tell myself I was a runner and absolutely hated every single run and felt like I was dying with every step. Was it worth it? Well, it’s cool I can say I once ran 8 whole miles (ha!). Was I healthy physically and mentally? No. Not in the slightest.

This is growth, my friends, and I am damn proud of it! Now give me a yoga mat and resistance band and I’ll happily be on my way.

Listen to the podcast and meditate with me as I go on this personal growth journey to find happiness through mindfulness.


Heart Healthy and Healthy Living Blog | bethbackes.com

The perfectly balanced snack hack: don't be restrictive in what you're allowed to eat, instead invite more variety onto the plate.

The Perfectly Balanced Snack

I am constantly learning new life skills/hacks from my kids’ daycare. One thing in particular from this year are the snacking requirements that I’ve now adapted into my own life too.

Protein + Veggie + Fruit + Grain

At daycare, meals and snacks must include a protein, veggie, fruit, and grain. In other words, I call it the PVFG plan. I have PVFG written on the fridge whiteboard that I’m always considering when meal and snack planning. And let me tell you, my fruit and veggie intake has wildly increased over time because of this, with almost no effort.

The perfectly balanced snack hack: don't be restrictive in what you're allowed to eat, instead, invite more variety onto the plate.

What I like is that it’s completely unrestrictive. It’s not saying “no, don’t eat that food”, it’s saying, “hey, think about including this if you’re going to eat that”. So if I’m craving something salty and want a handful of pretzels, I’ll also include sunflower butter and carrots. Think of it as a mini charcuterie board, every day, if you will. I know for a fact I’m eating less pretzels now than I would have if I grabbed “just a handful” of them….every time I walked past the kitchen. Now I have a satisfying, nutritious plateful and won’t be reaching for more snacks the rest of the afternoon.

My kids have subconsciously adopted these habits as well. My toddler often asks for a fruit and grain for her post-nap snack. She likes to pick her own food, so as long as the healthy options are visible to her, she will likely pick them. But that’s not to say she won’t try to consume an entire bag of BBQ chips in one sitting either. We all have our moments.

What are your healthy snack hacks?


Heart Health and Healthy Living Blog | bethbackes.com

Legs-Up-The-Wall -- my favorite relaxation technique to lower my blood pressure and heart rate.

My Favorite Relaxation Technique

Legs up the wall — the easiest way to relax and replenish, even with the kids running around. My heart rate and blood pressure immediately lower whenever I get into position, and I can just feel the tension melt away.

This position originates from a yoga pose called Viparita Karan. I love restorative yoga and practice it regularly to strengthen my mind and heart. You can view instructions on how to perform the position on Healthline or Yoga Journal. But I’m just here to rave about its awesomeness.

Legs-Up-The-Wall -- my favorite relaxation technique to lower my blood pressure and heart rate.

So how do I accomplish maximum relaxation with kids in tow? Easy, get them involved! Whenever I feel the tension rising, my blood pressure increasing, or just all-around stress, I yell “tunnel time” and the kids cheer and make a space on the floor for me to lie down. Then I get into legs-up-the-wall position, but leave enough space between my butt and the wall for the kids to climb through, like a tunnel. They are entertained for at least 5-10 minutes of solid running, jumping, giggling, etc. And, no, I don’t get peace and quiet zen time, but I do get to give my heart a break and be mindful and peaceful for a few minutes while also being present in my kids play time. Note: only a few times have I been injured during this activity because a kid trips and falls on my face. Ha. But the benefits outweigh the risks.

If someone were to ask me my favorite way to lower blood pressure quickly, this would be it. Try it, and let me know what you think!


My Journey to a Healthy Heart | Blog