5 Tips to Become a Morning Person

5 Tips tp Become a Morning Person | Beth Gets Brave

I’ve never been much of a morning person. But with three kids, mornings come too soon. I’ve been getting up before they do, though it’s tough some days. I can get some things done before launching into Mom-Mode. Every good morning starts with a good night.

GO TO BED AT A DECENT TIME

I used to stay up late – reading, watching Netflix, scrolling through my phone. These days, I try to be asleep by 10:30 at the latest. More often than not, I am asleep by 10. I’ve been using the Bedtime option in my phone’s alarm clock app to track my sleep, but it’s hit or miss. (For instance, last night, it said I only slept three hours. Not quite. And sometimes, it doesn’t work at all.) If you have any good sleep app recommendations let me know!

GET THINGS READY THE NIGHT BEFORE

Making lists and setting out our clothes are two ways I prepare for the next day. I also make sure all the electronics get charged.

GET OUT OF BED RIGHT WHEN THE ALARM GOES OFF

It’s tempting to hit the snooze and sleep for nine more minutes, but once I’m awake, it’s hard for me to fall back to sleep. You can keep your alarm on the other side of the room, or trust yourself to get up when it goes off.

MAKE A PEPPY PLAYLIST

The Moana soundtrack is my current favorite – and bonus for me – it motivates my kids too! Or listen to a podcast!

ROUTINE, ROUTINE, ROUTINE

I’ve been getting in the habit of working out right away, using workouts I find on Pinterest. It’s not much, but it gets me moving and wakes me up. Plus, I don’t have to dread working out later – it’s already done! Then I shower and get ready for the day. Since I have psoriasis, taking care of my skin is more important than ever. Right now, I have several spots on my face I am trying to control. Face wash, toner and a good moisturizer help for now. After all that, I sit at the counter in the kitchen (my “office”) and get to work on the list of things I made the night before.

EAT A GOOD BREAKFAST

This is one I don’t do often. My stomach usually can’t handle food before noon, so I drink a bunch of water. When I could eat breakfast, I liked English muffins with peanut butter, bacon and orange juice. I always take my vitamins though (Vitamin D, B12 and Vitamin C, along with a multivitamin).

What can you do to have an easier morning?

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How I Set Myself Up For Writing Success

Finding sufficient time to write – as a single mom and full-time student – can be challenging at best. I am often forced to get creative with my time and space. I don’t have an office, or even a desk, so having a laptop is beneficial, since it’s small and portable, as opposed to a desktop computer. I’ve thought about just getting a desktop setup but I would need the room for a desk big enough to hold a monitor, tower, keyboard and mouse. I would be chained to the desk anytime I wanted to write.

In order for me to have a successful writing session, I do a few things.

  • I look ahead in the calendar – when will my kids be gone? What do we have going on at certain times in the day? When I figure these times out, I put a note in my planner to write on those days.
  • This sounds obvious, but I make sure my devices are charged, especially my laptop, since it only holds a charge for about 15 minutes.
  • I make a short list of things I need to write (one of my many WIPs, or a blog post) and how many I want to write.
  • Once I have time blocked out (usually an hour at a time), I sit down with some ice water and peanut butter m&ms.
  • I use the timer app on my phone to keep me on task.
  • Sometimes, if I’m writing to hit a word count, I will use the NaNoWriMo Word Sprints function. (Pro tip: if you click the DARE ME button under the timer, it gives you prompts to use for your story!)

Camp NaNoWriMo has come and gone. I ended it a few days early, hitting my word count of 10,000 words around July 25th. I lowered my word count from 30,000 to 10,000 because it just wasn’t a realistic number with everything going on in my life right now. November will be here before you know it, so I’ll try again then (except my word goal will be 50,000!)

My new habit will be writing at least 500 words every day. I found a few great articles to help give you some inspiration! Jeff Goins has a 31-day challenge (not sure if it’s still going on – I never received the daily prompts – but still useful advice!) Are you a morning person (or do you want to be?) Here’s a post about getting up early to write 500 words. And also a post about what writing 500 words a day can do for you.

Get writing!!

How I Set Myself Up For Writing Success | Beth Gets Brave

 

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When You’re In A Bad Mood

When You're in a Bad Mood | Beth Gets Brave

It’s hard, day in and day out, doing the same things. Feeling the same feelings. Fighting the same battles. I used to have a really tough time getting out this hole – deep, dark, bottomless but I’ve learned some tips to make my bad days seem…not so bad.

DRINK WATER

It’s obviously the healthiest beverage choice and the cheapest. I keep a 64oz container of water in the fridge, ready to go when I need it. Staying hydrated is important anyway – but this is the best choice when you are grumpy. Caffeine makes me jittery and hurts my stomach, which doesn’t do anything to improve my mood, no matter how good it may taste at the time.

GRATITUDE

I am grateful for so much in my life. My kids. My family. My friends (it still makes me smile, writing friends. I spent many years alone.) After all that’s happened, I look back on how far I’ve come – and my kids – and remember that God used that experience to shape me into what I am now – and what I have yet to become. Sit down and make a list of everything you are grateful for today.

MUSIC

Listening to some music usually helps me feel better. I use Spotify and have certain playlists I go to when I’m feeling icky. My current favorites are the Moana soundtrack (especially Shiny) and my Christian radio playlist. Unfinished by Mandisa and Hard Love by NeedToBreathe are some really motivating ones!

EXERCISE

I hate exercise. I hate being outside. I hate being sweaty. But there’s something about moving, burning calories, that makes me feel so much better when I’m done. My current go-to is walking, but I’ve been thinking about trying yoga – I know my kids would love it – and the benefits are endless. Do you have any tips, YouTube channels or advice on how to get started with yoga, especially as someone who is not flexible at all?

MAKE A LIST

Sometimes, I make a simple to-do list, adding things like: eat breakfast, wash the dishes, take a shower. When life gets crappy, seeing even routine things crossed off a physical list can be powerful.

JOURNAL

Write it all out. Get it down on paper, or type it out on your computer or phone. It can help you sort through what’s making you so grumpy. It’s like venting to a friend. Or…

CALL SOMEONE

Reach out to a trusted friend or family member. Most of the time, they will be more than willing to listen and they may even have some suggestions. Bonus points if they meet with you in person. Sometimes, when you feel crappy, you don’t want to be alone.

GET A HOBBY

Find something you genuinely love to do. For me, it’s taking photos of my kids, writing YA paranormal fiction and reading through the Harry Potter series.

When all else fails, lounge on the couch and binge-watch some Parks & Rec or Supernatural. Sometimes, you just need to feel crappy for a little while. Just don’t let it go on too long!

 

When You're in a Bad Mood | Beth Gets Brave

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7 Reasons Why I Write Fiction

7 Reasons Why I Write | Beth Gets Brave

I’ve been writing since I was a little kid. I went from writing about the future (how I thought my life was going to go, who I was going to marry, etc) to writing paranormal YA (young adult) fiction. Yes, I realize I am 31, but I find it’s easier to write about a teenager falling in love with a supernatural being than writing about a grown woman. I may never publish anything that I write, if I finish anything at all. But I need to write.

  • it lets me escape my own reality for awhile
  • I love going back and re-reading what I’ve written, and get mad when it ends too soon (because I never finish anything…)
  • it gives me something to do in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep
  • it’s fun (most of the time)
  • I love doing NaNoWriMo (November) and Camp NaNoWriMo (April & July), even though I’ve never hit the 50,000 goal…yet…
  • it gives me a chance to improve my writing, because I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not that great with grammar and following all the rules
  • I get to meet some pretty awesome writers on Twitter and Instagram. And next year, I’ll join a Camp NaNoWriMo cabin for even more support

I hope to finish at least a short story, and post it online somewhere. I hear Wattpad is a good place for new writers, especially for fan fiction (which I also write).

 

7 Reasons Why I Write | Beth Gets Brave

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What I’m Listening To

What I'm Listening To | Beth Gets Brave

I’m probably really late to the party, but I just downloaded Audible and Podcasts onto my phone recently. I signed up for the 30-day trial to Audible last night and got two free audiobooks.

Audiobooks

Next up on my list to listen to:

Podcasts

I’ll be writing a follow-up post, with my thoughts on these audiobooks and podcasts soon!

What are your favorite podcasts and audiobooks? What should I add to my list?

What I'm Listening To | Beth Gets Brave

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My Journey to Brave

Beth Gets Brave

I was recently inspired to get my s*** together from one of my favorite memory keepers, Ali Edwards. She wrote a post about her wellness journey and it made me think about my own life and everything I have going on right now. As focused as I am on my kids and getting them through this, I know I need to take care of myself too. Up until now, I’ve done a pretty poor job of that.

I eat too much junk and drink too much hipster coffee (even though I’m not a hipster). I binge-watch way too much Parks & Rec and read Harry Potter too many times. I don’t drink near enough water and don’t really like being outside (deer flies are the devil).

I’m negative and pessimistic. Every situation is the end of the world, and anxiety pretty much runs my life. I don’t have any really close friends and it’s social anxiety’s fault. Depression keeps me from feeling okay about my body and my life.

But that’s not how I want my kids to grow up. That’s not what I want for us – for me. We deserve better.

To me, being brave means stepping up – Rising Strong – and taking care of myself and my kids. Taking back control of all the things in my life and letting go of the ones that don’t matter anymore.

I am working on a solid plan right now to improve all the important areas of my life. I want to be honest and open about my struggles and triumphs, because I was silent for so long. I hope you’ll join me!

Beth Gets Brave

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