Top 10 Tips on How to Slow Down

There's no surprise I'm the kind of woman who loves to be on the go. This past week I was in Portland with my barre3 fam and in San Diego to shoot a wedding with the hubs. For some people I know a life thats this busy and chaotic can seem very overwhelming and when people ask me "How do you do it all?" I have to remind them of the very important thing I learned at Institute for Integrative Nutrition which is perception of pressure. 

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TOP 10 TIPS

on how to slow da F&*K down

LIFE IS TOO SHORT

Some people, like myself, thrive in high pressure environments. It's one of my strengths and I utilize that strength often in life. Sometimes too often, and life begins teaching me to slow down through physical injuries, catching a cold, or by experiencing reactions such as breakouts, water retention, and my psoriasis flare ups due to increased levels of cortisol. 

In this digital age we have more tools at our disposal to help us become more productive and help us accomplish our tasks yet it leaves us feeling like our to-do lists are never ending. Life is too short and time flies way too quickly especially in today's world. 

Here are 10 exercises to help you slow down, enjoy life, and focus on the important things.

Top 10 Tips to Slow Down

  1. TAKE THE TIME TO PRIORITIZE DAILY OBJECTIVES. By focusing on the most important tasks to get done, we eliminate the stress of trying to accomplish everything at once.
  2. CUT PERSONAL INTERNET USE IN HALF. Technology has become a major element in most of our lives. Social networking, email, and web surfing hinder our ability to focus by throwing hundreds of ideas at us. Reduce your Internet use by 50% and use that time to explore new hobbies, exercise, or meditate.
  3. ENJOY NATURE. Take a 5-10 minute break to step outside and breathe fresh air. Disconnect from the rest of the world and admire the beauty of nature.
  4. EAT SLOWER. A lot of us speed through meals, missing the chance to appreciate our food’s textures and flavors. Start to chew slower and fully experience the smell, taste, and texture of your food.
  5. CONNECT WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS. We all want to spend quality time with close friends and family, but how often do we get to truly listen and connect? Put away the cell phones and steer clear of noisy environments. Connect on a deeper level.
  6. MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF. When did you last spend valuable time with yourself? Take a night to find a new book, watch a favorite movie, try yoga, meditate, or cook a new recipe.
  7. GIVE YOURSELF MORE TIME. Some of us like to stick to a tight schedule and plan all our daily events. Next time you’re jotting down new tasks in your planner, factor in a few extra minutes when estimating how long things will take. This will help you not rush through daily tasks.
  8. TAKE THE SCENIC ROUTE. Next time you’re driving somewhere, take the scenic route. Driving through open fields, mountains, or in view of a city skyline can be very relaxing.
  9. SIT FOR A MOMENT WITH YOUR EYES CLOSED WHEN YOU START YOUR COMPUTER. Even just a few moments of meditation can set the tone for the rest of your day. Try to empty your mind and take deep breaths before jumping into your tasks.
  10. REMEMBER YOUR GOALS AND ASPIRATIONS. Each morning when you wake up, take a few moments to think about your life goals and aspirations. Recall the milestones you’ve already reached in your life, and your drive to achieve new ones. Try doing this for five minutes before getting out of bed to start your day.

When life get's too chaotic, what are the things you do to hit that pause button?

Joanne E

I’m a mother of two beautiful daughters and married to a man who completes me. I started my fitness journey as a way to heal my soul and launched my blog in hopes to continue to inspire and empower women to use fitness as a tool to heal depression and find their self worth. I strongly believe that each woman deserves to be in love with herself just as much as her man does. I have an obsession with reusable water bottles, I enjoy action movies, and I’m in love with burpees.

Traveling Smarter with Biossance

This month I’m headed out to 4 different small trips this month and I’m the queen of overpacking. So one of the biggests areas I’m trying to work on is packing less and curating down what items are coming with me on my trips. One area that always seems to need more curation is my beauty/skincare. I’m a bit of a product junkie and sometimes I need just as many beauty product options on a trip just like I need the amount of shoes for wardrobe changes. I recently discovered Biossance in my quest to find the best skin care products that leave me bare skin (#nomakeup). After using it for 7 days I immediately noticed a difference with me skin and have been loving it during those weeks where I’m feeling very minimal about make up. It’s a definite must try and you can get 2 FREE samples here, no strings attached. These little guys are perfect to stash in your travel bag or gym bag.

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The first thing I did for this trip was actually create a packing list. The funny thing is in my house we have our girls make packing lists so that they can pack their own luggages efficiently, but I’ve always thought to myself “I don’t need one, they’re silly!” After making one the other night it made packing for this trip so easy because I had a game plan for it. I seriously felt like a lightbulb went on in my head which was silly because I’m such list maker in other areas in my life.

Before this trip I ordered some packing cubes after seeing my friend use them. I’ve seen them before but fought the need for them because I thought it was just an unnecessary expense. But after packing for this jet setter type of week, I don’t know why I lived so long without them. I’m using two cubes for my trip and one is packed specifically with everything needed for my workouts and the other has my other wardrobe. These things are so helpful because you can pack a ton of things in them and zip them up tightly.

With regards to packing skincare I’ve started to lean towards brands that offer travel sized options or even samples for several reasons. The most obvious reason: being able to pack less while traveling and the other reason is I hate forgetting my products in hotel rooms or in the AirBnB we’re staying it. I’ve done this several times and I’m always upset over it because I have to order and wait for a new one to come in.

Why I love Biossance?

Biossance is based out in Berkeley, CA and I’m a huge fan of supporting as much local business big or small that I can. They also pride themselves in innovation in biotechnology. GO figure for a Bay Area based brand where tech is on the rise. In addition to the nerdy science the Squalane they use in their products is plant based where traditionally squalane was harvested from sharks. Squalane is often found in luxury end skincare products that also includes a high price point whereas Biossane offers their high quality products at an affordable price.

This post was sponsored by Biossance and I was compensated to write this post, but all the opinions are 100% my own
 

Joanne E

I’m a mother of two beautiful daughters and married to a man who completes me. I started my fitness journey as a way to heal my soul and launched my blog in hopes to continue to inspire and empower women to use fitness as a tool to heal depression and find their self worth. I strongly believe that each woman deserves to be in love with herself just as much as her man does. I have an obsession with reusable water bottles, I enjoy action movies, and I’m in love with burpees.

The Refined Collective: Creating Space

When it came to write about this month's subject for The Refined Collective, I had major writer's block and if I'm being completely and whole heartedly honest I feel like I've had writers block for a few months now. With so many transitions and changes in 2017 for me a lot of my energy has been focused on trying to get grounded and centered. This evening during my Yoga Teacher training class it hit me.

photo by Tonhya Kae for #lafemmeforte

photo by Tonhya Kae for #lafemmeforte

 

Creating space is about giving permission not just to others, but to yourself. It's about giving yourself the permission to try something new knowing that failure might be at the end. Throughout exploring my life with fitness I've found that every stage required a new challenge to face. Sometimes the challenge was a physical one like trying to increase the amount of weight I was lifting or trying to get into competition training and other times it was a mental one like being able to find yourself enough grace and inner strength to keep pushing through. After class I couldn't help but reflect back on this past year and all the lessons I've learned in life and how it all intertwines with one another. From making a huge career change to trying to have to navigate through all the different transitions in life. I underestimated the amount of grace I needed to provide myself through all these life changes and how much more energy emotionally and physically.

Sometimes I wish someone had told me these things before I started my fitness journey, instead I heard messages like "Despite life happening you're going to have to stick to your plan, you just have to push through." or "Life is going to happen and you have to stay the course no matter what." As true as those words are I think the messages that need to be told to people starting their fitness or health journey's are things like "You're going to fail and you're going to have setbacks, it's part of it, and that's OK" or "Give yourself permission to go slow." 
 

One of the issues I see with fitness so often is people who give themselves a hard time for not being able to complete a plan, stick to their diet, and/or to have to slow down on their fitness goals because "life gets in the way." The idea that life is getting in the way of our fitness seems so bizarre to me because life is what happens while we fitness.  Give your self permission to grow, learn, and to explore all the possibilities that your life is unfolding. Your workout is only 4% of your day, don't forget to create space for the rest of your life. 

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This post is curated in conjunction with the ladies of The Refined Collective.  Be sure and read the other articles on love today by: The Refined Woman,  Jackie V., Lauren Scruggs, and Sarah Shreves.

Also, join us over on instagram today under #therefinedcollective to join the conversation.

Joanne E

I’m a mother of two beautiful daughters and married to a man who completes me. I started my fitness journey as a way to heal my soul and launched my blog in hopes to continue to inspire and empower women to use fitness as a tool to heal depression and find their self worth. I strongly believe that each woman deserves to be in love with herself just as much as her man does. I have an obsession with reusable water bottles, I enjoy action movies, and I’m in love with burpees.

U.S. Virgin Islands, The Perfect Getaway

It’s funny when the travel bug bites because the moment it does I think it’s natural to start looking for the next travel destination before you even have the chance to get back home and settled from your most recent adventure. It’s at least the case for me and as I sit thinking about my upcoming trip to Mexico with one of my best friends, and San Diego for a family getaway, I can’t help but plan for a bigger adventure next year. Not to mention it’s summer time and every time I scroll on Instagram someone’s enjoying the beach somewhere in the world. 

photo by @witherin

photo by @witherin

Although I haven’t had the chance to travel much to the ends of the world yet (thanks to making babies at an early stage in life), I’ve always looked forward to the idea of traveling the world when my kids are a little older. Both with and without them. One of the things that has always been on my top 10 was to travel to the Caribbean and after seeing one of my friend’s recent trips, I started to do a little bit of research on the U.S. Virgin Islands and decided that this would have to be some place I needed to escape to at some point in my life. 

There are three main islands that make up the U.S. Virgin Islands: St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas and each has its own unique character. My husband is a bit of a history buff and the fact that St. Croix was the island that Christopher Columbus sailed through would be enough for him to want to go and explore and learn more about what the islands went through in order to become who they are today. One thing that we love to on vacation is eat, but we love a little bit more of an eclectic and educational dining experience such as the one we had at O’o Farms in Maui. While searching up the dining scene in St. Croix I found this Ridge to Reef Slow Down Dinner experience. I’m a huge farm-to-table fan and I love being able to learn about the bio-individuality of food cultures from all over the world. It’s a great way to learn more about sustainable living and healthy eating from different perspectives.

Photo by @genevievehope

Photo by @genevievehope

Last year we had the chance to go to Kauai for the first time and one of the things that everyone had mentioned to me prior to our trip was that the island was really untouched and it’s not as busy as Oahu or Maui, which we frequently visit. I’ll admit after hearing that from friends I was worried that I’d get bored or not enjoy myself as much, but there’s something about the stillness that every busy woman needs from time to time. St. John seems very similar to that. It’s got a laid back vibe, pristine beaches, and tons of snorkeling. Which the entire family and I LOVE to do. 

If you’re not into water adventures there’s also a ton of hiking you can do to keep your vacation active. There are several trails you can hike on that range from short easy trails to more difficult all day adventures. Two of the trails that peek my interest are the Reef Bay Trail and the Cinnamon Bay Nature Loop.  

St. Thomas is the more cosmopolitan island out of the three. It’s known for its thriving nightlife and packed events calendar. It’s the gateway isle of the U.S. Virgin Islands with one of the most visited harbors in the world. Despite being only 32 square miles there’s still tons of adventure including the Skyride which takes you 700 ft up above the town of Charlotte Amalie for some of the most breathtaking views. 

photo by @gabyerice

photo by @gabyerice

photo by @heatheradamcewicz

photo by @heatheradamcewicz

My perfect getaway requires a whole lot of sun, beautiful beaches, great food, and a little bit of snorkeling. What does your perfect getaway include? 

This post was brought to youby U.S. Virgin Islands and POPSUGAR and I was compensated to write this post, but all views are my own. 

Joanne E

I’m a mother of two beautiful daughters and married to a man who completes me. I started my fitness journey as a way to heal my soul and launched my blog in hopes to continue to inspire and empower women to use fitness as a tool to heal depression and find their self worth. I strongly believe that each woman deserves to be in love with herself just as much as her man does. I have an obsession with reusable water bottles, I enjoy action movies, and I’m in love with burpees.

Sleeping on the idea of imperfection with Helix Sleep

I was going to write this entire piece on why sleep is important but I’m pretty sure we all know how vital it is to get a good nights sleep and why its essential for our beautiful bodies and I’ll get to that. But first I’m going to share my day with you and how rough yesterday was for me. I’m still learning the ins and outs of this concept of letting go and allowing the little things to roll of my shoulders and not stress over them. Some hours I really feel like I’m excelling in this area and other days I’m failing with a capital F. I swear it changes throughout the day and I’ve learned to embrace it. 

Yesterday was a busy morning, I woke up later than usual because its summer and the fact that I don’t need to wake up at 5 am or 6 am to start my day because of my kids going to school has been amazing. EXTRA SLEEP! Sorta… As you guys may have read I’ve been getting terrible sleep so Helix Sleep was kind enough to send the entire family brand new mattresses to help reconnect with our REM. So yesterday we decided to run to IKEA to pick up some new bedroom furniture for miss little Olivia. IKEA can be a jungle sometimes but thankfully yesterday wasn’t so bad. We got all our things and Airis had a teenage girl moment at IKEA so we spent a good 20 minutes talking about feelings, issues, what caused it, and what she could’ve done to prevent it. More importantly to not speak to me in a disrespectful manner.

We left IKEA during rush hour traffic which doubled our travel time home. As soon as we got home we started to set up Olivia’s new bed frame and get our new mattresses all set up. Airis was first since all we were doing was setting up her new mattress. It was such a fun experience opening up the Helix box and seeing a Twin sized mattress shoved into a tiny box. Amazingly enough the set up was easy enough for her to do with very little help.

Next came Olivia’s which was short of a minor shit show. We began to set her bed frame up and realized we picked up the wrong slats for her bed. It was already 9PM, IKEA was closed. The kids hadn't eaten dinner yet and my anxiety was starting to stir up. We opened up her mattress, and as soon as we laid it on the floor I jumped right on top of it and about 20 minutes in I fell asleep. That just speaks to how comfortable this mattress really is. 

This morning I woke up this morning to Olivia reading me a list of birds. Sharing me with me her journaling and telling me how she's going to dress me to match her for the day. 

I thought I should share this with you because often times I think as women and mothers we’re so critical about our days. If they don’t go the way we planned it in our minds we begin to stir thoughts like lack of self worth which is definitely is not good for our overall health. Anxiety can begin to rise and all of a sudden you're stuck in this conversation with yourself that's leading you to no where but a negative mindset. Number one rule: DON'T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF! Which of course is my note to self as well. 

Now on to the health benefits of sleep...

Sleep is the most devalued component to our health.

Think about it. In our society we have a tendency to praise those who are always on the go and consider those who rest lazy. We say things like “Let them sleep while you grind.” or “I’ve got a dream worth more than my sleep.” Amongst all the other health benefits of sleep a few that aren’t discussed are how sleep can cause metabolic disruption. 

Some of these metabolic disruptions are: 

  1. Impaired glucose tolerance

  2. impaired insulin resistance

  3. increased ghrelin aka the hunger hormone

  4. decrease leptin aka the satiety hormone

  5. increased body mass index (BMI)

The benefits of quality sleep include the following: 

  1. increased energy to make beneficial lifestyle choices 
  2. strengthen immune system
  3. heightened alertness, focus, and creativity
  4. improved mood by reducing anxiety, irritability, and mental exhaustion 

In our household we need a lot of sleep to function. We’re a busy family who’s constantly running around, utilizing our brains for creativity in different ways: photography, art, and writing. 

Here are some things you can do to get better sleep. 

  1. Maintain a consistent daily schedule. 
  2. Reduce your daily intake of coffee/caffeine
  3. Get off any electronics two hours before bedtime 
  4. Don’t go to bed on a full stomach
  5. Don’t go to bed on an empty stomach
  6. Exercise regularly 
  7. Invest in an amazing bed that’s customized for you like the ones from Helix. 
  8. Invest in comfortable bedding. 
  9. Go to sleep and wake using your internal clock (meaning, don’t fight it when you’re tired)
  10. Sleep in a dark room and diffuse ess

I’m partnering up with Helix to giveaway a free mattress of your choice. 

To Enter! Just head on over to my INSTAGRAM and head to my sponsored Helix post. Follow GOFITJO and Helix and tag a friend on the photo for one entry and for an additional share a photo that shows me what it means to #sleeplikeyourself.

Disclaimer: This contest is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. By entering, entrants confirm that they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s term of use.

I was gifted product by Helix in exchange for this post. However all these thoughts and opinions are my own!

Joanne E

I’m a mother of two beautiful daughters and married to a man who completes me. I started my fitness journey as a way to heal my soul and launched my blog in hopes to continue to inspire and empower women to use fitness as a tool to heal depression and find their self worth. I strongly believe that each woman deserves to be in love with herself just as much as her man does. I have an obsession with reusable water bottles, I enjoy action movies, and I’m in love with burpees.