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TAKE A MOMENT AND THEN KEEP TRUCKING

Some weeks I feel invincible, strong, fearless, and determined...Some weeks I feel like I just cannot stay afloat...Nothing seems to go as planned...I am exhausted...I am cranky...I am definitely not fun to be around. That was last week. It kicked my ass. I am the first to admit when I do not have my shit together. I acknowledge it. I have that moment. I pick myself back up. I lean on Shannon. I practice self-care and then I keep on trucking. 

My job is a roller coaster. Social Media is a BEAST and some weeks it can just wear me down. This is life. Life has speed bumps. And when we hit those speed bumps we have two choices. We either let the stress and negativity take over or we put on those "Positive Patty Pants" on and YES, we just keep trucking. As I get older and somewhat wiser and definitely a little more stubborn, I won't give in to the negativity. I have learned what works for me to get out of that place and back up on my feet. Because as I always say, when we look at the bigger picture...Life is really good. Here are a few of my "go-to's" for getting myself back up and moving forward - 

Take A Moment

SWEAT IT OUT - Whenever I feel stressed, overwhelmed, frustrated, angry, sad, or need to take some time away from work, relationships, and life, sweating it out is always my favorite way to get my shit back together and start fresh. And usually, that type of sweat session involves my yoga mat and showing up to Sarah’s “The WORKS” class.

This class challenges me physically and mentally. It pushes me...It inspires me...It helps me feel grounded and grateful. I went to 3 “The WORKS” classes last week 3 days in a row and it was exactly what I needed. I was sore as heck and really freaking tired, but I needed someone to tell me to do those dreaded Vinyasa burpees and squat jumps. I needed Sarah to push me. I needed that support system and it worked.

I love my yoga community and I cannot brag enough about Sarah and how she has helped me on and off the mat with my yoga practice, building my strength and endurance, but also being a friend. Yoga is not just about stretching, building strength, and sweating, as amazing as to how this makes me feel. It is also a  wonderful reminder that we have to love ourselves inside and out. That we all have moments, struggles, and breaking points. We just have to take some time to acknowledge this, but also remember to keep moving forward, because life is good and when you look around and remember what you have it is REALLY good.

NOURISH YOUR BODY - Feed your body what it wants and ENJOY it! When I am having one of those weeks, where I feel like I have no control over my workload and life, food USED to be that one thing where I felt like I did have some sort of control. This was not a good thing. Trust me, it is not healthy mentally, physically, and nutritionally. Controlling your food intake is exhausting and takes up a lot of energy. Energy that could be going to someplace else. Food control during stressful moments does not solve anything. It can actually make things worse. Honor your body. Give it what it needs. This moment and this week will pass, so nourish your body with the foods that it is craving and it will all balance out in the end.

Nourish Your Body

We have to remember that our bodies are always changing and craving different things each week. Some weeks I just want to eat BIG salad bowls and smoothies...Some weeks I just want waffles and thick slices of bacon and more bacon. You have to honor these cravings and give your body what it wants. How cool is it that this happens? Life would be so boring if we ate the same thing every day. There have been nights where I just wanted to eat ice cream and cookies. And guess what I ate just that and it tasted and felt awesome. I fulfilled that craving and then moved on. Yes, it has taken me time to figure this out, but I can honestly say that I am so much more aware of these moments and it feels good to not have to worry about controlling the food.  

Nourish Your Body

DISCONNECT - JUST DO EXACTLY THAT! Stop scrolling, liking, commenting, emailing, and even turn your phone on silent. It is an amazing feeling. This past weekend we went to the RBC Heritage Cup in Hilton Head and it was a huge relief that I had to keep my phone on silent. It felt AWESOME. I was more present with our friends, with Shannon, and soaked up that beautiful sunshine, food, cocktails, and the experience.

I needed the weekend to disconnect, because it is so easy to burnout, especially when you are managing multiple accounts, and always trying to stay on top of the comments, mentions, and tags. I was starting to go bat crazy. So I 100% needed to just take that time to breathe, recharge, press restart, and just live life. Thank goodness my friend took all of our pictures, because by the middle of the day I didn’t even bother checking my phone. WAHOO!!!

DISCONNECT

During the hustle and bustle of the work week, I obviously cannot disconnect like that, which is fine, as this is my job, my livelihood, and it is what pays the bills. To stay somewhat sane on a daily basis, I always take Lucy for our afternoon walk and leave my phone behind and I am “trying” to shut it ALL down around 9:00 PM. It is hard because I love what I do and I get excited to see the growth, the interaction, and the excitement for the brands I represent, but I always need to remember, SLOW DOWN and turn it off!

HAVE THAT FLIPPING MOMENT - We are all allowed to have “that moment”. Whether it is crying, screaming, or just being silent, give yourself permission to feel all the feels. It is okay to break down. It is called being human. Once you get all that crap out, put those “Positive Patty Pants” on and just keep on trucking.

What self-care tips do you practice when life is just a HOT MESS?

THIS IS 39

“When you look back at your past, look tenderly and gently at all you have been through. Look with the eyes of the soul. See that each experience was necessary to bring you home to your heart” - Melody Beattie

I cannot believe I am 39 years old today!?!?! How the heck did that happen? How am I one year away from 40? Where is time going? Can someone please press a pause button, because time is going by too fast!!! Seriously...Where did this year GO???

As I look back on this past year, I can HONESTLY say that I finally do feel at home, after many years of searching, traveling, and feeling like I was living that gypsy life. I am ready to stay put! I feel 100% in LOVE with my life, my relationships, and my work. The road to this place has not been easy and it is still not easy...it is called LIFE. I have hit a lot of speed bumps, but I have learned a lot. I have opened myself up more than I have ever before. I am living authentically. I am being honest and true to myself and to those who I love.

What is in store for this year?

I am not setting any goals...I am going to go into this year and continue to do what I am doing. I am going to hustle. I am not going to give up on making this brand HAPPEN. I will continue to push my body, listen to my body, and do the things that make my body look the way I want it to look. I will continue to nourish my body, but also make sure I enjoy wine, buttery scones, and lots of delicious burgers and fries. I am going to just be and do ME. Like I have said, again and again, you are going to see the good moments and the not so pretty ones because this is real. Hell yeah, I get scared about putting myself out there, talking about my relationships, my struggles, my accomplishments. But what I have learned through blogging and social media is that I have made some pretty amazing connections, friendships, and I have learned a lot.

This is 39

So before things get too mushy here...Today I am treating myself to all the things I love, doing the things I love, enjoying time with the people I love and celebrating making it through another year of life. Better with age...Just like a fine wine!

I wanted to give a gift to ALL of you as a thank you for your support, love, friendship, comments, and for following me on this journey. And YESit is a workout, because what else would you expect from me?!?!?! I absolutely LOVE this one, because just like the title says, it gets the job DONE. You should most definitely print this workout out and put it on your fridge...put it in your gym bag...leave it on the treadmill and tackle it whenever you feel the need to move your body.

I created this workout when I was stuck inside during a snowstorm. I, of course, was antsy from doing nothing and wanted to move and sweat. BOOM...the “Get It Done Workout” was created. It is quick, efficient, effective, and targets every muscle in your beautiful body. It works on strength, endurance, and gets your heart rate up to burn fat and calories. And the best part is it requires no equipment and can be done ANYWHERE. No excuses my fabulous friends.

15 Minute "GET IT DONE" Work Out

I am grateful for ALL of you and want you to join me as I tackle 39 and everything that this year is going to bring me. Now it is time to enjoy my birthday...To have some FUN...And keep on hustling!!!

xoxo

5 Ways to Build Your Instagram Presence

Social Media is a BEAST! It is a full-time job. It takes a LOT of work, time, patience, and experimentation. Some weeks I feel like an Instagram rock star and then other weeks, I want to pull my hair out. I do know that, for my own personal brand, my main goal is to always be REAL! It is definitely hard to keep up with the "Joneses", trends, and to not compare yourself to others. Just DO YOU! 

Now with that being said, I also think it is important to continually educate yourself, especially if you are using social media to grow your business and earn an income from it. You can still DO YOU, but if you want to continue to grow there are definitely some "tips" to help you do that, while still being authentic. That is why I asked my good friend Jess to share some of her favorite ways to help GROW YOUR BUSINESS! Take it away friend...

Hi, everyone! I’m so excited to be here as a guest for Katie today. As a social media strategist, I help small businesses establish and grow their social media presence. My goal today is to share a number of easily actionable tactics that you can implement in order to build your Instagram presence!

Instagram might be one of my favorite social media platforms, and it is a focus when I work with social media clients. With over 500 million active monthly users (source), it’s pretty safe to say that Instagram is a great place to be when trying to make an impact in your community! As a business owner, Instagram can be an effective tool for you in regards to connecting to customers, increasing reach, and growing your business.

Why Using Instagram Can Help You Grow Your Business


If you’ve established that Instagram is an effective tool for you to grow your business, you may wonder: how will it actually help me? Ah, the million dollar question. Over time, building your Instagram presence helps you:

  • Build trust with current and prospective customers

  • Establish and nurture a relationship with your readers

  • Reach more people

  • Give your readers a chance to share the love, by reposting your photos, tagging you, etc. which will continue to drive traffic to your profile and business.

5 Ways to Build Your Instagram Presence

Once we understand that Instagram can be a useful way to grow a business and connect with our niche, how do we go about building our presence? Let’s talk about five tactics that I believe are 100% realistic and easy to implement.

Be Clear About Your Presence

Ideally, when someone comes to visit your Instagram page, he/she should be able to immediately figure out what your brand is all about. Being clear about your presence includes making sure that your bio is direct and concise. Including WHAT you do, WHO you serve, and where you’re located can help you reach the right people.

Use Appropriate Hashtags

Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post, and I would encourage you to take advantage of it! Do you need to have 30 for each post? That’s debatable, but including at least a handful of relevant hashtags can help your posts get seen by more people in your niche. Users can search particular hashtags and connect with people who have used the same hashtag, which in turn can build your presence and help you grow your business!

Post Consistently

Consistency is key when it comes to building your Instagram presence. Within your direct community, being consistent with posting will basically “train” your audience to be accustomed to your presence! If they’re used to seeing your content, they’ll be more likely to engage with you and be aware of your brand and messaging.

Having content that goes out more consistently will also help you get seen more often across Instagram: in feeds, within hashtags, and in “explore” feeds. All of these factors can help you build your Instagram presence.

Engage With Your Audience

In order to build an Instagram presence, we must seem personable, trustworthy, and reliable. That includes making time to engage with your audience! If someone takes the time to post a comment on your post, please try to respond to them in a timely manner. I’ll admit, I’ve fallen behind and have waited a few days to respond to comments. Try not to do that ;-).

By starting and keeping up with REAL conversations on Instagram, you’re building long-lasting, trusting relationships that will build your presence in the long run.

Be Authentic

My final and possibly most important suggestion for you is to be authentic with your audience. Prioritizing just the sales of your product/service will likely get you nowhere in the long term, as far as relationships go.

A quality growth in your Instagram presence includes building real relationships with your audience, establishing a presence in your community and niche, and staying true to your brand. That could mean practicing being vulnerable with your audience - can you share both successes AND failures in your posts? If we show people that we are human and relatable, we’re more likely to build our presence in a quality way.

Building your Instagram presence does not require crazy-complicated tactics. Being consistent, authentic, engaging, and clear about your presence and brand will result in all the good things for your business!  

Leg day + a good workout outfit + giggles = 💯 Photo cred: @erinsinsidejob

A post shared by Jess (@hellotofit_) on

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Jess is a social media strategist in Charlottesville, VA. She helps local small business owners establish and grow their social media presence.

Connect with her! Website | Facebook | Instagram