Self Care and Wellness

Today I’m linking up with my friends at The Blended Blog to talk self-care.  It’s nearing the end of January and by now hopefully we’ll see less and less diet and exercise commercials – they get annoying after awhile!

Wellness means different things to different people.  For me it means not only my physical health but my mental health as well. In fact the two are intertwined at least in my opinion. For 18 years I have regularly exercised at a gym.  For the most part 5 times a week.  I have found it is essential to help me maintain my sanity as well as my physical health.  Sure I have aches and pains but they’re from lifting weights or running not from being overweight or just getting out of bed in the morning.  I’ll say this as well – a good workout should be about sweating and working hard, not looking cute.  The gym is no place for a full face of make up!








I know, I know I make miracles happen with make up! The thumb’s up picture was just after our first run of 2018.  At not even 6am I am sweating like a beast! #floridawinter



It’s no secret I meet my bestie Lorie at the gym each morning before 5 so we can get started.  There’s a nice community of us there each day and I can tell you not a one of us is concerned with our appearance.  The point here is if you can’t find time to work out try going early in the morning.  It’s less crowded and you start the day off right.

Here’s what my morning looks like: 4:10ish wake up (I set my alarm for 4:30 but I rarely stay in bed that long).  Head to the bathroom to wash my face and change into my gym clothes that I’ve laid out the night before.  I head to the kitchen to grab my morning “cocktail” and settle into my chair in the living room to read my daily devotional and have a few minutes of prayer.  Then I scroll through Bloglovin before heading out the door at 4:45.  The gym is roughly 10 minutes away and they usually open the door before 5am for us early birds.  Lorie and I alternate days with leg and arm workouts that always include weights and cardio.  On Fridays we run outside weather permitting. Then I head home by 6 to get on with the rest of the day!

I mentioned my morning “cocktail” – well here it is:

8 oz. water

juice of 1 lemon

Himalayan Pink Sea Salt (approx. 1/2 tsp)

It is supposed to help with digestion and metabolism.  I usually make 4 or 5 of these at a time and store them in the fridge so they’re ready to go in the morning.  I am not gonna lie, the drink takes some getting used to! There are a lot of recipes out there that include cayenne pepper and ginger too – that was a little too much for me but I could handle this.

When I return from the gym I have black coffee blended with coconut oil. I got this tip from another blogger and I really like it! The coconut oil keeps me feeling full until I eat and generally I don’t eat until lunch time, around 11:30ish (me and the ish!).  The reason is that I try to practice Intermittent Fasting.If you read the article that’s linked it will help you understand the process and why drinking the coffee with the coconut oil blended in is ok.

For lunch I usually make something with lots of veggies and protein. I love this Low Carb Chicken Thai Salad Chicken Salad. I haven’t tired of it yet and it is delicious! Sometimes I make eggs with spinach and onion topped off with avocado and greek yogurt.

In the afternoon I snack on almonds and then for dinner if I’m not eating what I made my family I’ll have salad with some kind of protein on top.

That my friends is what a good weekday looks like!

Now here’s the real life side: I love a glass of wine, I LOVE to go to happy hour, we eat out on the weekends, and I LOVE to cook and bake. So I’m not disciplined 100% of the time but I sure try and I know what to do I just don’t always do it. You know what? I’m okay with that. This year over the Christmas break I didn’t step foot in the gym. I walked a few times but I didn’t work out. That was a huge accomplishment for me – letting go and just relaxing. I enjoyed myself immensely and it felt good. A few short years ago I would have been at the gym everyday or else I’d be a nervous wreck about not going; seems I’ve learned to relax a little and be okay with it.

So sometimes wellness means stepping back and cutting yourself some slack. Did my break from exercise and all the holiday food come with a price tag? Yes it did. I gained some weight. Big. Deal. I’m getting back into my routine and trust that things will level out.

The other side of the wellness coin has to do with mental health. The very best thing that could have happened to me was changing jobs. About a year ago I read a blog post about living your best life. The blogger is younger than me and as I read what she wrote about being your best self and not settling into an unhappy job I felt desperate. I thought I was stuck in my position. If you’re in education you understand that unless you leave the field completely there aren’t too many changes you can really make. The realization hit me hard when I thought about how I’d answer if anyone asked me to describe my life – my thoughts swirled around words like “not realized yet and stuck” I also felt incredibly unhappy at work. I used to feel like the luckiest girl in the world going to work each day but that had ended. So this change has been incredible and I once again feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
Here I am in my new job! I talk all day long and I’m never lonely. I work with the sweetest counselor and It’s nice working with another counselor as opposed to being the only one. You know what else is nice? Feeling VALUED.

The bottom line is that I needed to get away from negativity and the toxic relationships that surrounded me. Even though it’s only been two weeks I have more energy and I am sleeping so much better. The point here is don’t settle – do everything you can to change your situation for the better.

So, how do you practice self care?  Any tips to share for wellness?  It’s such a hot topic and so important.  I’d love to hear from you!  Wishing you a fabulous Monday my friends!



  1. Andrea Nine
    January 22, 2018 / 7:35 am

    I love seeing how well you take care of yourself! You are beautiful inside and out and that 2nd to last paragraph, I could’ve written. So proud of you for following your heart and wow….hitting the gym with gusto! You go girl!

    • Kellyann
      January 22, 2018 / 1:45 pm

      Thanks so much my sweet and beautiful friend! I am excited for you and what the future holds. I feel like since I’m turning 50 this year I need to make sure this next chapter of my life is full of all the characters I want to include and that I realize I write my own story!

  2. jodie
    January 22, 2018 / 10:36 am

    First—that’s so impressive that you work out in the mornings like that Kellyann!!
    And what a great story about finding a new job to feel valued. I think that’s the core lesson. We all want to have that feeling!!

    • Kellyann
      January 22, 2018 / 1:42 pm

      Thanks Jodie! Getting up so early was out of necessity, once I’m up and I have make up on there is NO WAY I’m headed to the gym so first thing in the morning works best. Also pretty much takes care of that excuse about a time conflict or someone needing you because NO ONE needs meat 4:30am, lol!
      The job change has been an answered prayer for sure!
      Hope you’re having a fabulous Monday!

  3. Kim Palmieri
    January 22, 2018 / 10:55 am

    Love this post and I needed it today!! Thank you for your constant inspiration! 🙂

    • Kellyann
      January 22, 2018 / 1:39 pm

      Anytime my friend, anytime! Please give that sweet girl of yours a huge hug for me!

  4. January 22, 2018 / 12:55 pm

    Well I just loved this post and getting a peak into your daily habits. Good grief, girl! You get up early. I’m up between 6-6:30 and think that’s early. Kent is always like, “why don’t you stay in the bed”…to much to do. (read blog. HA) What an awesome blessing to have a workout buddy. I hope someday to have that. I walked all the time with one of my besties in VA and I really miss that. I am SOOOO very happy that you are loving the new job. I’d love to hear more about exactly what you’re doing! I know this much, you are rockin’ that headset😉. Here to a wonderful week#3!!! XOXO (I fell off my morning lemon drink last week…I couldn’t tell it was doing anything, so I just quit.👎🏻)
    Lisa Richardson recently posted…One Of My FavoritesMy Profile

    • Kellyann
      January 22, 2018 / 1:38 pm

      Well I can tell you this, if I didn’t work I’d be staying in BED!!! I just had to get up early otherwise I’d never get to the gym and I NEED it! I am planning to do a post about the job and a work from home wardrobe.
      As far as the lemon drink goes…I can tell a difference when I don’t drink it so it’s become a keeper. There are so many crazy drinks out there who can ever tell!
      Thanks sweet friend for all of your support and kindness!

  5. January 22, 2018 / 1:40 pm

    Wow! You are an early riser! I’d love to know what time you go to bed at? Does your husband go to bed at the same time or keep the same schedule as you? I am up by 5am most mornings, because I like to get my workout in early as well. Then I don’t have to take two showers, etc. People wear a full face of makeup at the gym?!! I hope not! Lol! I workout at home, but I do love to get outside to run when the weather is warm. I had no idea you liked to run, that is awesome!! I need to work on healthier meals, the lunches you have sound really good (and healthy). For your morning cocktail, do you ever feel bad about the teaspoon of salt that you add? I have seen pink salt in stores, but I’ve never purchased it. I do love water and lemon together and I should start drinking the two together at home and not just at restaurants, since I’m trying to increase my water intake this month as one of my goals. I am so glad you made a job change, I used to work in a corporate environment and I was there at least 10 years and near the end I was really unhappy with the environment. It wasn’t healthy at all. Thankfully my husband and I talked a lot about it and I was getting ready to put in my notice and then they landed up letting me go days before I was going to put in my notice. Landed up getting a nice package. Crazy how things workout sometimes.

    Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom recently posted…Winning Game Day Food IdeasMy Profile

    • Kellyann
      January 22, 2018 / 3:07 pm

      Yes, I am an early riser! Most nights I’m in bed by 10. When I worked at school I was more physically exhausted, now that’s not the case but I still like to get as much sleep as possible. My husband goes to bed later than me. It’s really not the best idea as far our relationship goes but on the weekends we go to bed at the same time. The salt in my morning drink is important although I don’t know the science behind it. I drink a gallon of water a day so I honestly don’t retain any! I sure do use the restroom alot though! I used to think all salt was bad but that isn’t the case.
      I have done a few half marathons and lots of 5ks. I do enjoy running but I need to be careful, bad knees and joints in general run in my family so I’m careful not to do too much. Once a week is good and breaks up our workouts.
      Girl you lucked out getting a nice severance package! Life is definitely too short to stay in an unhappy work environment. Honestly since I am turning 50 very soon I thought I was stuck so I am so very grateful for the change!

  6. Laura
    January 22, 2018 / 2:24 pm

    Love love love this blog today…..mental health is so important. Proud of you for the positive changes you’ve made in your life! And hey…’s all about the “ish”! Love you!

    • Kellyann
      January 22, 2018 / 3:01 pm

      Oh Laura, you are so sweet! Thanks my friend! Honestly we MUST get together. Tell me when you’re free!
      Love you!

  7. January 22, 2018 / 3:40 pm

    Loved this post, Lisa! I am so glad to read about your new job and that it is going well. Good for you for taking a bold step towards your personal fulfillment and happiness!

    • Kellyann
      January 23, 2018 / 7:56 pm

      Thanks Jennie, it is pretty empowering to make a drastic change. I consider myself technologically challenged so to immerse myself in a digital school and curriculum is waaaaaaaay outta my comfort zone but it sure feels good!

  8. January 22, 2018 / 4:09 pm

    Fab to hear that your new job is making your huge heart sing from the rooftops.
    And all was good until I got to the 4am rises … And TP said “she’s definitely NOT your sista!!”
    So sad 😢, but you’ve put in half a day’s workout before I start MY morning exercise … lifting my eyelids!
    You are a very clever, fit and healthy lady, and it shows in your beautiful glow. Keep on doing what your doing, girl, hugs, x.
    Mary, The Pouting Pensioner recently posted…Light Touch 2018 – I Find A Waistcoat !!My Profile

    • Kellyann
      January 23, 2018 / 7:53 pm

      Oh Mary, hahahahahahaha!!! This early morning thing will go by the wayside when I no longer have to work! Then I will hopefully be waking when my body tells me to like I do on the weekends. It’s funny because when I would go to work at 8am my co-workers would be groggy and just starting to get going and I would come in like a crazy person on steroids because I’d already been up for hours and had worked out, lol! I’m sure they don’t miss my energizer bunny self now! You are so sweet to me and I appreciate all the kindness friend, I really do!
      Hugs to you and TP!
      p.s. we saw Commuter the other day – SO GOOD! Go see it!

  9. Windy Ellard
    January 22, 2018 / 4:27 pm

    Great blog post! Glad to hear about the new job going so well and you are sleeping better!

    • Kellyann
      January 23, 2018 / 7:49 pm

      Thanks Windy! You need to stop by one day, we need to catch up!
      Love ya,

  10. January 22, 2018 / 8:38 pm

    I love thjs’ Very inspiring – particularly your dedication to your health!
    So true about the job… this is something I need to work on

    • Kellyann
      January 23, 2018 / 7:49 pm

      Thanks so much Shaunacey! I had no idea how much my job was bringing me down, I guess I just felt helpless. I hope your week is going well!

  11. January 22, 2018 / 8:39 pm

    Fantastic post- I seriously loved every word of it…so sincere and insightful- you gave me many things to think about. First being the coconut oil! Thanks for linking up with us.
    Deena recently posted…Happy MeMy Profile

    • Kellyann
      January 23, 2018 / 7:47 pm

      Thanks Deena, that means so much to me coming from you – I really admire your writing! Give the coconut oil a try but be sure you blend it otherwise it looks gross! Once it’s blended it looks like you have creamer in your coffee – yum!

  12. January 22, 2018 / 11:28 pm

    I am glad your new job has you feeling happier! That is so important. I have been in jobs where I don’t feel appreciated and they are so stressful. It’s hard to make a change, but once I did it made all the difference!
    Laura recently posted…How to Stay Warm and Look Cute in WinterMy Profile

    • Kellyann
      January 23, 2018 / 7:46 pm

      No kidding Laura! Man, I am not someone who likes change, especially at my age and the fact that this whole thing is digital! So. Much. To. Learn. But I think it’s been so good for me to accept the challenge. I appreciate the kindness!

  13. January 23, 2018 / 9:07 am

    It sounds like you have such a balanced lifestyle. You are disciplined but willing to give yourself a break at the same time, and kudos to you for being able to get up that early in the morning! I don’t think I could ever e disciplined enough to get up that early. I am also so glad to hear that you are loving your new job. Looks like you have a great year ahead of you!
    xo, Whitney and Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

    • Kellyann
      January 23, 2018 / 7:44 pm

      Thanks Blaire, it has certainly been a learning process for me. I would have never dreamed of getting up so early to work out but it became a necessity; once I went back to work I had no time. Thank goodness it’s a habit now so not so much of a struggle. I am hopeful that 2018 will be a good year for everyone, boy we sure need it, don’t we?!

  14. January 23, 2018 / 2:14 pm

    Morning workouts are the only thing that work for me…If I don’t go at 5:30 I am 100% likely to skip any plans I have for another workout. Mental health is so important and the older the get the smarter I get about taking the time to recognize and respond to what I need. So glad you have found a place you feel valued! I’m in a situation where my boss appreciates us all sooooo much but she only truly values one of the 3 of us. It is obvious and a real knife in the heart sometimes.

    • Kellyann
      January 23, 2018 / 5:47 pm

      If someone would have told me 10 years ago that I’d be getting up around 4:15 everyday to go to the gym I would have laughed! Ha! But it’s the only time that works and now it’s a habit.
      I’ll tell ya this job has been such a blessing. I was so unhappy and didn’t even realize it, wow! Doesn’t that just sound so sad? Ugh, I thought I was stuck. I’m sorry about your situation, I honestly don’t understand why people can’t just treat one another with kindness and respect. Seems so simple.
      Hang in there friend!

  15. January 24, 2018 / 2:41 am

    Loved this post and a little insight into your routine. I’m amazed that you get up that early to work out. I workout every morning but not until later! I’ve also been doing intermittent fasting and I love it. Thanks so much for the chicken salad recipe – I need some new low carb ideas. So happy that you’re enjoying your new job. I don’t love what I do – but since I work with my husband in our business, I don’t have much choice. There’s no point in hiring someone else to do what I do. That’s why I love blogging so much! Hope you’re having a great week.
    Lana recently posted…Self CareMy Profile

    • Kellyann
      January 24, 2018 / 12:16 pm

      Thanks Lana! Well that getting up early to workout started because I had no other time due to work and I hated taking away time with my family. The good news is that no one misses me that early! I started the blog so I would have something fun to do and it could be a creative outlet for me, I didn’t realize how unhappy I was at work until I started this job. Your family business may not be your dream job but at least you can see the value in it and there’s no one there telling you what you can’t do, I’m glad you have the blog as an outlet and all your wonderful friends in TBB!

  16. January 25, 2018 / 10:45 am

    I was so glad that you showed how a 100% week would be but, in reality, it doesn’t always go that way. So many times it seems like everyone has it so together on self-care but I know no one is perfect on diet and exercise all of the time.

    • Kellyann
      January 25, 2018 / 2:07 pm

      Oh yes Victoria! I have found over the years that the people who are 100% disciplined for a period of time can’t maintain that for an extended period of time. I’m trying not to be an all or nothing kinda gal and this works for me!

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