wellness wednesday

7 Ways to Recharge Your Creativity

7 Ways to Recharge Your Creativity - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.comTruth: Sometimes Ace and I will text each other something on the lines of:

Can I post tomorrow? I’m just not feeling it.

Creativity isn’t reserved for artists. Creative thinking skills and coming up with original ideas are useful in a wide variety of fields. So we’ve all had those moments when we’re just uninspired and unable to create or produce anything.

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, the just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while” – Steve Jobs

 

A constant push for creativity can leave you burnt out and unhappy. For me, this blog is my creative outlet. I don’t really have that many opportunities to showcase my creativity at my 9 to 5. However, sometimes the blog can feel more like work than my actual job when I’m experiencing a creative block or I feel like I’m forcing myself to be creative. So today I’m sharing seven ways to recharge your creativity.

7 Ways to Recharge Your Creativity

      1. Move your body!

        For most creative pursuits,with the exception of performing arts, you pretty much have to  remain stationary as you work on your project and many jobs require that sit at your desk all day. Give yourself a reason to stretch out your muscles and move. Expending energy can jump start your body and brain. 

      2. Try a new creative outlet or hobby. 

        If you’re a writer – you cannot write all the time. Hello, burnout. Find something else you love to do and you’ll end up valuing the time you spend on your art even more. Check out Ace’s post on hobbies.  Look into taking a class to further your skills or to learn something new entirely – this could be your new source of inspiration.

      3. Break your routine. 

        Do some of your work outdoors on a coffee shop patio, or take your laptop to a new part of the office. Sometimes you just need a change of scenery to give yourself the opportunity to refocus or to be inspired again.

      4. Don’t let a deadline limit your creativity.

        Trust me. I understand deadlines. My job consists of nothing but timelines and immovable deadlines. However, sometimes we can let our time limit pressure us into just creating a product without allocating time for thinking and brainstorming. Quick results may impress, but I’d bet innovation would be considered even more impressive.

        “Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try” – Dr. Seuss

      5. Find a buddy.

        Another great way to recharge your creativity is get a new perspective. Seek out a coworker or friend to run your idea by. However, don’t limit the people you speak with to only those who are artistic or creative by nature. Sometimes it’s the people who think the most unlike you, that will spark your creativity.

      6. Revisit past ideas.

        Circle back on things you’ve created in the past to help spark new ideas.Y’all should know by now that I’m a list girl and I keep a notebook and pen with me at all times. For example, when I’m looking for inspiration for new blog posts, I flip through my notebook for ideas. If you’re not a notebook and pen kind of person – start a running list on your phone and jot down your observations.

      7. Get some zzzzs. 

        Sleep. Well that sounds reasonable right? Check out the research. A 2009 study from the University of California – San Diego found that participants who spent more time in REM sleep performed better on tests that demanded creative problem-solving. A 2012 study from Georgetown University, suggests that taking a power nap can boost your creativity. In my research, I also found a number of articles that outlined how dreaming and daydreaming enhances creativity.

So peeps, I hope these tips are helpful and I’ll leave you with a quote:

“Creativity is contagious, pass it on” – Albert Einstein

How do you recharge your creativity? Leave your tips and tricks in the comments below!

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

The Importance of Self Care

The Importance of Self Care - The Palmetto PeachesI am a blogger, daughter, employee, puppy mother, friend and burgeoning #girlboss. Many of you have additional titles: mother, wife, girlfriend, fiance, boss, etc… With all of our daily responsibilities it is easy to lose sight of the importance of self care. 

Earlier this month Ace talked about the importance of having a hobby as it relates to self care, but I want to back-up a little and just talk about the importance of self care. Self care is about taking proper care of yourself and treating yourself as kindly as you treat others. Without self care, we are overloaded with stress and suffer from burn-out and emotional fatigue.

Raise your hand if you’ve skipped lunch or dinner because you were overwhelmed with your to-do list.

Perhaps you stopped going to the dance class that you loved because you’re trying to make more time for a work commitment or a commitment you’ve made to help someone else. Maybe you used your daily run as your time to think and now if you sprinted to your mailbox your lungs would be on fire. When we’re stressed, self care is usually the first thing to go and that only makes our stress and anxiety worse.

I was talking to a friend the other day and she mentioned how stressed out she was. Her to-do list rivaled the never-ending CVS coupons. I mentioned to her how it might be helpful to put a little emphasis on self care before she dived into her to-do list. Her automatic response was that it would be a waste of time. I think many of us can feel that way, but I urge you to take some time to make sure you’re taking proper care of yourself so that you can take care of others or business. 🙂

 

11 Simple Self Care Ideas

  • Make a date with yourself. Spend an hour by yourself doing something that reinvigorates or relaxes you. This is not a time to check off something on your to-do list.  Try reading, one of your hobbies, or go see that movie that you’ve been wanting to see for the longest. It doesn’t matter what you decide, but do one thing just because it makes you happy.
  • Have a long bath or shower, sit around in your bathrobe, read magazines, or binge a couple episodes of your favorite TV show. The point is give your mind a break. This could also be your date with yourself — make a weekly thing.
  • Do a mini-declutter.
  • Stretch. 5-10 minutes to get out the kinks helps your body and mind.
  • Spend time with  friends who lift you up.
  • Eat something you enjoy. I know. I know. Bikini season is around the corner. That’s not lost on me, but I’m telling you sometimes you need that slice of pizza and extra glass of wine.
  • Praise yourself when you do something awesome.
  • Meditate. Unplug.
  • Do something that will allow you to use your creative energy.
  • Journal.  A study from the journal of Advances in Psychiatric Treatment found that journaling for 15–20 minutes helped study participants cope with traumatic, stressful, or emotional events. So beyond to-do lists write
  • Learn something new or research something you’re interested in. You may find a new class or activity that you love.

Don’t think of self care as selfishness. In order to make sure the best version of ourselves available in the multiples roles we are juggling, we have to take some time out to reset our minds and relax our bodies so that we are able to operate at full capacity.

Do you forget to take proper care of yourself? What are some things you do to exercise self care?  Leave a comment below.

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

5 Tips for Meal Prepping on a Budget

5 Tips for Meal Prepping on a Budget - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.comI don’t know about you, but the busier I get the harder it gets for me to eat healthy or eat at all – which is why I began meal prepping last year.  The Wendy’s 4 for $4 is so tempting, but when I’ve taken two or more hours out of Sunday Funday to meal prep – I tend to stick to what I’ve cooked, which is usually the healthier option.

I’ve seen some gorgeous meal prep photos on Instagram. Every time I scroll through a hashtag search looking for inspiration, I think about how my meal prep never looks that pretty. I then try to guess what their grocery budget is for the week/month.

I want to eat healthy and be summertime fine, but some of those meal prep posts look like some serious champagne lifestyle. With my goals to debt-free by the end of the year, I’m living on more of a lemonade budget. So for all of you out there that still want to eat healthy, I have five tips for meal prepping on a budget.

Also, you may want to checkout my intro into Meal Prepping for some basics.

Meal Prepping on a Budget

 #1 – Buying in Bulk

About every other month, I head over to Sam’s and buy what seems like an illogical amount of meat for one person. I usually stick with chicken breasts or lean ground turkey, but will sometimes mix it up with some sort of lean fish. While I obviously can’t eat 10 pounds of chicken in one week, buying in bulk saves me money.  I simply separate my bulk purchases into portions and store them in the freezer for future meal prep. FYI – Ground turkey and chicken can stay in the freezer for ~ four months.
I love a good salad, but buying all the ingredients to build a  fresh salad from scratch can add up. So Sam’s win’s again. I get about six or seven large salad servings out of a container of salad mix from Sam’s for about $4. To keep the greens fresh, I line a plastic storage container with paper towels, dump in the salad mix and then cover it with another layer of paper towels before locking down the lid. This method keeps my salad fresh for ~10 days. (Thanks for the tip, Kim!)

#2 – Find Inexpensive Fruits & Vegetables

Would I love to eat blueberries all year? Absolutely, and so would my dog – yes, Sgt. Pepper is obsessed with blueberries. Unfortunately, when they’re not in season – they burn a hole in my pocket. I quickly learned that I could save some coins by sticking to buying produce that is in season. Produce is cheaper when it is in season because it doesn’t have to be shipped from other areas of the country. So before you add your fresh fruits and veggies to your list check out this guide to figure out what’s in season.

#3 – Don’t be afraid to go Frozen

Wait, Donni. Didn’t you just tell us to stick with what’s in season? I did, indeed, but stick with me for a minute. While my previous tip was to go with fresh seasonal fruits and veggies, that shouldn’t limit the types of fruits and veggies you consume. When you’re feeling like some “off-season,” fruits and vegetables – go with the frozen option. Frozen fruits and vegetables are a good alternative and may be superior to the off-season fresh vegetables sold in supermarkets.

#4 – Spice it up!

When I talk to my friends about meal prepping (this happens rarely) one of the things I hear the most is I can’t eat the same thing every day – it gets boring. Meal prepping doesn’t have to equal redundancy. For example, let’s say I’m doing something basic like grilled chicken. I usually season the chicken with two or more different combinations so that my meal varies slightly day-to day. Find simple ways to spice it up so that your flavors change a bit.

#5  – Stick to the plan!

Where I have and occasionally still mess up, is not sticking to my list. Damn you, Talenti Gelato! I’m not going to be the one to tell you to stay away from all of the goodies. Looking at the average age of this blog’s demographic – you’re an adult and sometimes you deserve to treat yourself.
5 Tips for Meal Prepping on A Budget - The Palmetto Peaches
What I’m suggesting is to get your list and budget together beforehand. I am a couponer and sometimes I have to hit Trader Joe’s, Publix and Sam’s Club, before my shopping is complete. Just be mindful of the fact that just because something is on sale doesn’t mean you need it. I have one two many jars of Nutella because of the Publix BOGO sales. Le sigh.
Make your list with your budget in mind and when you get to the store stick to the plan!

Do you have any tips for eating healthy and meal prepping on a budget? Please leave a comment below.

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

No Vision, No Hope: Creating a Vision Board

How to Create a Vision Board - The Palmetto Peaches

Creating a vision board is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. A vision board or dream board is a collection of words, phrases and pictures that represent your dreams,  life goals, or is a visual representation of something you want to achieve. Apparently, vision boards became popular when the book “The Secret” came out. Confession, I’ve never read “The Secret”.

Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.” – Napoleon Hill

I’ve frequently come across articles talking about the power of vision boards. This tool’s purpose is to help you focus on what you want to manifest in your life, visual goal-setting, if you will. While sitting down recently to do some goal-setting in my journal, I finally decided to make one.

Creating Your Own Vision Board

Your vision board should focus on how you want to feel, not just on things that you want. You can include places you want to go, goals you want to achieve, things you want to own or people you love or inspire you. Some people decide to create separate vision boards for different areas of their life – career, personal, blog, health, etc.

  1. Take time to think about your goals. Write a list of the specific goals you have set for yourself in the areas of career, love, family, school, health and wealth. What do you dream of doing?
  2. Next you must decide on how you want to display your vision board. Paper or poster board will work, but other options also include canvas or cork board.  You choose the size you feel is right for you.  Pinterest is a wonderful way to make vision boards online. You can gather images that inspire you and add to it all the time. I choose to go with a cork board.
  3. Gather some magazine and cut out words, phrases and photos that speak to you. Go on instinct and get a good picture bank going. Remember you want to find pictures or words that represent the experiences, items, and feelings you wish to attract into your life.How to Create a Vision Board - The Palmetto Peaches
  4. After you have your collection of images grab glue, markers or whatever other materials you may need to complete the look of your board.  Glue, tape, or pin the images to your board.
  5. Post your vision board in a place where you will see it frequently. Perhaps, in an area where you would see it when you wake up every day and before you go to sleep. Someone suggested I post it in the bathroom in a place where I could focus on it as I brush my teeth. Choose whatever works best for you.

Work towards the goals you’ve set. Simply looking at the board without any action to manifest these dreams won’t help. Remember that as you complete goals and your dreams change and expand so should your vision board. Add new images – replace old ones.

Do you have a vision board or any success stories about accomplishing your goals? I’d love to hear them. Leave a comment below or tweet us at @PalmsinATL.

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

Health is Wealth (Guest Post)

Guest post by Krystal Angelique.

I’m currently lying in bed with my 2 year old who is doing what I’m going to call Reiki, for sake of a reference term, on me. She’s got her warm little hand on my arm with her eyes closed, taking deep breaths. I can feel the pulsing in her fingers. She is 2, and I know this would not be going down if I fed her chemical laden foods, refined sugars and protein teeming with hormones. It’s times like these that I am reminded of why I switched to the lifestyle that I did.

My Health is Wealth Journey

My healthy, clean eating and living journey started when I conceived my first daughter. I was constantly reading and researching and cross referencing and making notes of things. I wanted my baby to be 100% certifiably pure and I knew that I had to change the way I ate. Without getting into novel sized detail, I’ll say that I made a cold turkey decision and commitment to my child in the womb, to myself, my lover and to my children to come that I would be consciously aware of what I put into my body.

In this day and age though where grapes are cotton candy flavored and the words, “natural flavor” can mean just about anything, I’m glad I made the switch. My toddler’s idea of a sweet is a golden kiwi from New Zealand and my baby girl just had wheat grass, kale and blueberries for dinner, with a big ole gummy smile. It doesn’t get any better than that.

A question I’m frequently asked is, “Why?

This side by side is why. The photo on the left is me in 2007 as a heavy meat, dairy and starch eater with makeup on, in high school. The photo on the right is me a few days ago, on a plant based diet with no makeup on. Our skin cells replace themselves every 2-3 weeks. It is important to have some nice oxygenated cells for the skin to regenerate with.

Health is Wealth--The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Health is Wealth – pH

I hold a personal belief as it pertains to health and wellness: what goes in dictates what comes out. Newborns are born with a pH of 7.4. I also know if my body has a pH of 5 or lower, I can’t even assimilate any beneficial nutrients I would be consuming if I ate something nutritious. Babies are the purest form of human I know, so I base what I eat off of what will keep me in an alkaline state like a baby. It’s been said that disease cannot live in a state of alkalinity, and while I cannot certify it for anyone else, I can certify it as truth as it pertains to my experience. There are numerous sources on the web which list alkaline forming and acid forming foods as a guide. Here’s one of my favorites:

Health is Wealth--The Palmetto Peaches
Source: Pinterest

Function Optimally

Health and Wellness for me is all about commitment to oneself to function optimally.  As the familiar saying goes, “when you know better, you do better”. That’s it for me. If I know the water is full of toxins, I’m going to get the best water I can find to nourish my precious vessel. If I know refined flours and sugars have the potential to be the death of me, I’m going to run like hell. Fire is fun to play with for a while but when that burn comes, it hurts.

As a mother, I witness monkey see monkey do first hand. My daughter copies everything we do. Because she witnesses healthy eating and living from us, she willingly chooses zucchini noodles and broccoli, avocado and bananas among other things. We encourage eating the rainbow. One of my favorite things about life right now is being afforded days full of experiments in the kitchen meeting my toddler’s outlandish food demands in a creatively healthy way.  Why eat naturally flavored products, when you can eat the pure thing the flavor mocks?

This lifestyle has afforded me so many joys. I’ve been fortunate enough to give birth to both of my daughters in the peace of my home. I have clarity of mind. I breathe more easily than I used to. My skin is clearer and so many doors to be creative continuously open.

Health is Wealth--The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

100% pure cranberry juice with local organic honey

Health is Wealth--The Palmetto Peaches -palmsinatl.com

Green salad with cherry tomato, celery, squash and tabbouleh. Dressed with red wine, olive oil and apple cider vinegar.

 

Put one foot in front of the other and stride toward alkalinity. It takes dedication and a bit of diligence, but your body will thank you. And when the pineapple juice starts seeping out your pores instead of sweat..then it’s really on and poppin! 😉

Thanks for reading,

Love, big hugs & kisses to you all!

Krystal Angelique
Health is Wealth--The Palmetto Peaches -palmsinatl.com

Want more from Krystal? Follow her blog at krystalangelique.wordpress.com or email her your questions at KrystalAngeliqueBey@gmail.com!

Headspace Review

If you’ve been keeping up with The Palmetto Peaches, you know I’m a rising Deepak Chopra. I’ve written a few posts (Spring Cleaning with Ace & Meditation: Soul Food) about meditating. I usually rely on challenges or my favorite YouTube videos to get my meditation fix, but this time I used Headspace: a “free” app to help train your mind.

Headspace Review--The Palmetto Peaches
Source: iTunes

 

For 10 days, I assumed the position before the turn-up squad (my nephews) woke up: plugged in my headphones, brewed my Yogi tea and lit my 3-wick candle. Then, I let Andy Puddicombe, the Headspace creator/narrator, and his super relaxing British accent completely put me in my zone. Previously I mentioned how I prefer to lay down when I meditate, but Andy required me to have my “hands in my lap and my soles on the floor”. No big deal, I survived.

There are 5 mindful meditations to choose from: stress, creativity, focus, relationships and anxiety. All of them were tempting, but naturally, I chose anxiety. Here are the pros and cons…

Pros

User-friendly: As a visual learner and a big kid, the animated videos helped me see the bigger picture. (Ya girl loves cartoons.) Metaphors like bad weather and traffic helped me understand the power of the mind. Example: a few dark clouds doesn’t mean clear skies aren’t ahead. Cheesy, I know, but so true.

“It’s easy to forget that what we’re looking for is still here. That’s why we need reminding.” -Andy P

I also liked that I didn’t have to remember which session or day I was supposed to listen to. After completing one meditation, the app automatically chose the next session for me to play on the following day.

Length: “Take10” was the free program I tried on the app. The Deepak/Oprah challenges and the meditation videos I watch are usually 15-30 minutes long, while the Headspace sessions are only 10 minutes. In my typical routines, the 10-minute mark is usually when I start to wonder, “is time up yet?” (That my friends is the main reason I should be meditating on a daily basis.)

Valuable information: Before choosing which meditation I was going to practice, I did a little research on the website. Under the “The Science” tab is a breakdown of the different types of mindful meditations and how they can be useful to subscribers. After reading the infographics, quotes and statistics, I didn’t feel as crazy.

“Many of us worry. The rates vary, but in western countries between 14 and 29% of us are likely to suffer from an anxiety problem in our lifetime.1 So if you’re a worrier, don’t worry – you’re not alone.: (Headspace)

Cons

Price: The free app ain’t so free. Subscriptions range from $6 to $13/month.  I’m all about investing in your craft, but damn Gina. Maybe I haven’t practiced enough to make that kind of investment just yet, but there is too much free information on the Internet for all of that.

Not enough time with my own thoughts: I know I mentioned loving the sessions being 10 minutes and that I love Andy’s voice, but I wanted more alone time. Homeboy Andy talked through most of the meditation, and it was a bit of a distraction. Whenever he wasn’t talking, it felt like an awkward silence. A few times I caught myself checking my phone to make sure my battery didn’t die in the middle of the session.

Headspace Review--The Palmetto Peaches

Overall, I enjoyed Headspace and would recommend “Take10” to all newbies! Annnnd, I’m super proud of myself for starting and finishing something in a timely fashion. 🙂 Still looking for guided meditations to practice and mindfulness experts to follow, though. If you have any recommendations, drop their names by leaving a comment below!

P.S– if you want to give Headspace a try, download the app and let me know what you think!

Ace Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches