Monday Musings: marriage musings & date ideas

Monday Musings: marriage musings & date ideas

Happy Monday!

Next month is Brenton and I's 2 year marriage anniversary which is so insane because it has gone so quickly! Marriage and the dating to marriage journey as a Christian was a highly, highly requested topic when I posted on my stories last week asking what you guys were wanting to read about. With that, I wanted to share a few things I have learnt along the way, including keeping your marriage alive during different seasons. One thing I will say is: marriage and relationships take work - it's not always going to be 100% smooth sailing. You are two different people with two different expectations, pasts, upbringings etc. So you have to be willing to put in work, admit when you're wrong, honour your partner and communicate! Which leads me to my first (and very important) point.

 

Communication

We did pre marriage counselling when we got engaged, before we got married. It was a safe space for us to chat about expectations, worries and anything we were nervous about going into marriage. It was hands down one the best thing we ever did for our marriage! Being able to smoothen out bumps and speak about expectations of the role of myself and him in the home and in the family dynamic helped prevent so many arguments which could have happened. I recommend it to everyone who is engaged!

Communicating your needs is so important in relationships. As cliche as it is, communication is key! It's important to be upfront. Be honest, be open and communicate. Your partner can't read your mind. On that same wavelength, no matter how busy or chaotic the day has been, we will have dinner at the table together every single night. I set the table with nice tableware, we put our phones away, put some nice music on and we sit and enjoy dinner together and catch up on each others days. We are really intentional to slow down during this time and just be, together.

 

Support each others goals and dream together 

Talk about your goals and make sure that you dream together! Also, make sure that you are supporting each other in your dreams. I love that Brenton encourages me in my endeavours and will constantly check in with me and ask how I'm going on certain projects / goals. He also is my number 1 hype man and the man behind all of my workout videos, pictures etc. He will always without grumbling be happy to film me, take photos and help me in any capacity I need. When I reach my goals, he celebrates me and vice versa. Remember that you guys are on the same team. Cheer each other on!

 

Continue to date each other and have date nights/date mornings

Prior to having Luca, we were able to go out a lot more on date nights. Movies, dinner dates, night walks, etc. Since having Luca, we definitely go out a lot less at night and instead do a lot more breakfast, coffee and lunch dates. We still have date night every Thursday. I also mentioned in my September goals blog post that I want to do date mornings as well as date night as well because our date nights has been getting a little lost when we are home. We want to start doing a 'date morning' where we schedule an hour or two where we work-free/phone-free to go for a walk or a sauna or a gym session together or go out to breakfast. Whatever we feel like that week. 

Some date night ideas:

  • Going out to dinner
  • Cooking dinner together 
  • Watching a TV show that you save together for date nights and making a little charcuterie board (we have been doing this a LOT lately! Especially on the sleep-deprived weeks).
  • Picnic at the beach/park 
  • Going to go see a movie
  • Going bowling 

Date morning ideas:

  • Making breakfast together (pancakes, bagels etc. It's always fun to make something from scratch).
  • Go for a walk or hike
  • Go for a swim
  • Get a coffee together
  • Play tennis together (Brenton and I loved this in lockdown!)
  • Get a massage together

  

Know each other's needs and love languages

If you haven't heard of the 5 love languages, have a look on Google! Knowing your partners love language is so important. In a nutshell, your love language is how you express love and how you feel love/receive love. For some people it's quality time, others it's acts of service etc. It's important to know that sometimes you and your partner have different love languages. This means you have to remember to be loving your partner in a way that they feel loved. If they feel love by quality time, carving out some time to sit and get a coffee with them could make their whole day. Be intentional with this.

xx  

September 05, 2022
REAL TALK: How to manage stress & anxious feelings

REAL TALK: How to manage stress & anxious feelings

I have learnt to put a few strategies in place when I am feeling overwhelmed or anxious about things or am in a particularly stressful season of life. Life isn't always easy breezy. There are going to be times that test you and stress you out. So here are 8 practical things I do to manage these moments:

   

Brain dump

Get a pen and some paper and write down everything that is on your mind. Your tasks for the day, work, texts you need to get back to, worries, anxious thoughts, to-do lists, chores, whatever. Just get it out from your head and onto paper. It doesn't have to be neat or have any method behind it.

 

Write a daily to-do list 

The next step after brain dumping is to write a methodological list. If I am super overwhelmed, I like to write out everything I need to do for the week. From there, I divide it into urgent and not urgent. I tackle the urgent stuff first and then I delegate the non-urgent stuff throughout the week. I write a to-do list every night before bed. That way, I know exactly what I have to do the next day and I wake up feeling on top of everything rather than behind.

 

Quiet time / thinking time

When was the last time you just sat in complete silence, doing nothing? Not scrolling, not watching anything, not working, not exercising. Just giving yourself space and time to think. My most creative ideas come to me in these moments. When I silence the noise and am either praying, in a massage, doing the middle of the night feeds, walking in silence (podcasts and music doesn't count haha) or just simply sitting quietly enjoying a coffee. When I get rid of all the noise around me, I am always amazed at how much less stressed I feel. 

 

Exercise = endorphins

I feel like I don't even need to explain this one. Move in whatever way feels good for you.

 

Talk about it 

A problem shared is a problem halved. I will always tell Brenton when I feel overwhelmed or spread too thin. He helps bring me back to what's important and speaking about it really helps clear the messiness in your mind. Sometimes I can be so in my own head that I need someone to help me just stop and take a second. Find someone you can trust to help you navigate stressful seasons.

 

Ask for help

Different to talking about it. Sometimes you just want to be heard and listened to and sometimes you actually want advice and help. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you are feeling like there is too much on your plate. I have tried to carry everything in my own strength wayyy too many times, which always leads me to feeling burnt out and exhausted. Praying about stressful situations helps me immensely and reminds me that I don't have to do it alone. Asking God and my trusted circle for help is something that I have gotten a lot better at since becoming a mum and I'm proud of that.

 

Stop scrolling

The highlight reel. It can make you feel like you have your life even less together than you already feel when you feel stressed and behind. It's easy to compare yourself to the 'perfect' lives portrayed on social media but just remember, social media is a tiny tiny glimpse into someones life. Instead of scrolling, try tackling the laundry, writing your to-do list or doing literally anything else. You can spend half an hour scrolling or you can spend half an hour doing something productive. I'm not saying to always be productive. What I am saying is if you already feel stressed, scrolling won't help those feelings. It will distract you for a little while, but once you exit the app you will still have all the things to do.

 

Make the mundane things fun

When I have a lot of housework to do, I love to watch YouTube, listen to a podcast or put a fun throwback playlist on. It makes the chores go faster and I actually find myself really enjoying cleaning, organising and sorting the house.

 

Know that it will pass

Easier said than done. You have survived every single stressful and anxious situation so far. Just know that it is a season and not forever. Be kind to yourself, have grace for yourself and know that everything will be okay.

May 31, 2022
Real Talk: Dealing with burnout & my reset routine

Real Talk: Dealing with burnout & my reset routine

Welcome to the first of my 'Real Talk' blog posts. It was time to create a new blog post category where I get a little real, a little deep and a little vulnerable (I know, a scary word). In a society that pushes positivity and self-help, it's hard to break down barriers and be vulnerable. But it's important to show you that IG is predominantly a highlight reel! So let's get real here.

Last week was crazy. In one week I had 4 flights, my birthday, a night in the city for my birthday, a birthday lunch, a girls long lunch and 2 interstate work trips. Honestly, it got to Saturday morning and I was SPENT. I was exhausted, burnt-out and felt behind on everything. I was under-slept which meant even the little things felt overwhelming. I'm not trying to glamourise being busy and I am the first to admit that I absolutely over-committed. I want to chat about how I pull myself out of a place of burnout. Before I continue, please know my heart when I talk about burnout from a busy week of travelling. I know it’s such a privilege to be travelling. I grew up with barely any opportunities to travel and I am so grateful that we can give Luca these opportunities as he grows up.

Burnout is a state of complete exhaustion, and can be on a mental or physical level. Honestly, I felt it more emotionally than I did physically. I want to give you 5 tangible ways I come back from feeling burnt out.

 

HOW I COME BACK FROM BURNOUT

1. Rest

It's the last thing you want to do when you feel behind, which is why you need to do it. Let you mind and body rest. If you feel exhausted, the solution is rest and respite for your body and soul. I struggle with this big time. But if you don't take rest, you're not actually recovering. If burnout and exhaustion is the issue, then you need to do the opposite: rest. After church on Sunday, we had a full day on the lounge. I'm not kidding. We left to make food, but that was it. We watched TV shows, napped, cuddled, listened to worship and spent time together as a family resting. It was so, so needed and by the time Monday rolled around we were feeling so refreshed.

 

2. Get the house in order

My home is my sanctuary. My safe space, my oasis. It's important to me that our home is clean, tidy and full of warmth. After I take time to rest, I will put some music on (usually Hillsong Worship when I feel low) and make a coffee. From here, I will catch up on laundry, change the sheets, tidy anything out of place, put our bags away and do a stocktake of the fridge and cupboard and plan our dinners to see what produce we need to get for the week.

 

3. Nourish

If I am totally exhausted (aka: me last week), I will order the groceries online. I usually love going to the grocery shops to get our fresh produce. But this week, it was all too much so I did my order online and got it delivered. After a week of eating out, I was so ready for home-cooked meals. Don't get me wrong - I am all about balance. There is absolutely a time and a place for indulging and eating out. There's food for the body and food for the soul. Always foods and sometimes foods. A bunch of my fondest memories revolve around food with friends and family. But there comes a point where I start to feel sluggish, my digestion is off and my energy is low. 

 

4. Movement 

Stretching, walking, gym, pilates, whatever you need. I find sleeping in different beds and sitting on planes can make me feel stiff and sore, so getting some movement in is really important to me. 

 

5. Set boundaries and be okay with saying no

Boundaries look different for everyone. I need alone time to recharge, so I had to learn to get comfortable saying no when opportunities arose. Last week, I didn't exactly nail it because I absolutely committed. Of course, being a new mum, alone time isn't available whenever I want it. But I find pockets of time like when Luca is sleeping to really take some time to spend with myself. Saying 'no' is something I really want to get more comfortable with. I can sometimes feel guilty but as long as you are honest, people totally understand. Being honest and vulnerable such as "I would have loved to come, but I feel really burnt out at the moment and need some time with my family" or "unfortunately I feel very overwhelmed at the moment, but I hope you have an amazing time and I would love to take you for coffee next week" helps the person on the receiving end understand why you are unable to spend time with them at that point in time.

Let me know if you enjoy the real talk segments and what you want me to chat about next. I love our little community and want to be able to have open and honest conversations with you all! 

B x

 

May 25, 2022