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Making Room For Me Time

more me time

When I talk to women about why they have not been able to stick to their wellness routine or reach their health goals, I usually get one of two answers. They either tell me that they are too tired or there aren’t enough hours in a day. We spend a lot of time talking about sleep around here so today we are going to talk about the time conundrum. 

Time, the finite resource that is equal to us all yet some of us seem to be able to get more done in a twenty four hour period than others. Beyonce, Michelle Obama, you and I are all working with the same amount of time. So why is it that they seem to accomplish so much and look so good doing it while we struggle? Sure we could attribute it to their fortunes and the staff of people that they have assisting them. Yet the reality is, life hasn’t always been that way for them, but they still found a way. The real secret is not just having help, it’s time management.

How do people who have time to workout, take a girls trip, meal prep and pursue a career they love make it all fit? This is a question that I used to ask myself often, until I learned the art of life audits and more specifically a schedule audit. It is the practice of taking a look at your schedule, meaning everything that you do in the course of a day, and evaluating that against what you want your days and weeks to look like. Now as you take a look at your planner or the calendar in your phone and think, my schedule is not packed but I still don’t have time for me then you haven’t looked deep enough. 

The reason schedule audits are so important is because it looks at the parts of your day that you tend not to write down. This includes time to eat, sleep, watch tv, clean the house, do laundry, commute to and from work and the like. The seemingly mundane tasks that still eat up your time. Most of us are visual people, so being able to see what you are filling your day with will help you to evaluate what stays and what goes and what can be added. Completing this audit is a critical step in the path to more self care because without it you are likely to set unrealistic goals for yourself. Consider this a part of the foundational work to creating your self care master plan. 

Step 1: Write Down Everything That You Do Over The Course Of A Week

This will be the most tedious task of this process but it is also the most important. If you are going to make room in your schedule then you have to know everything that’s on it. All the way down to picking up the dry cleaning after work. Mark out the time for sleeping and eating as well as commute times. The goal is to see how much “white space” is left on your calendar after you have filled in EVERYTHING! 

If the page is full or you had to write on the back then you may have some work to do. If you have a ton of white space I encourage you to take a second look to see if you omitted anything. Remember that no one is going to see this except for you so don’t feel judged if you realize that you have overbooked yourself. 

Step 2: Categorize and Color Coordinate

Break your activities down into categories, things like essentials, work, things related to your kids etc. For ease of managing your time, group similar tasks together. For instance, laundry, cleaning the house and yard work can all go under domestic chores. Time spent commuting to work, working and returning home can be grouped together, unless you have other tasks that you fit in during your commute time. 

Now to make it pretty. Choose a different color for each category and highlight accordingly. The color coordinating part of this step is optional though it becomes extremely helpful when it is time to reorganize activities. It will also help to give you a visual representation of how you are spending your time. If you are seeing your time dominated by one color then you know it’s time to take a closer look at that category and see what can change. 

Step 3: Decide What Is Critical, Important and Optional 

Now to the fun part, prioritizing your tasks. There are some things that are critical to survival like sleeping, eating and at some level working. There are other other things that are important but not necessarily critical to your survival like household chores, familial obligations and kids activities. Finally there are the nice to haves, the things that you may or may not enjoy but probably need to be done. 

Some tasks will be easy to categorize others will exist in a gray area. For those we use what is called a priority matrix, to determine the level of importance. A priority matrix has four quadrants. At the top are the labels important and not important and on the side it’s urgent and not urgent. If a task falls in the “not important, not urgent” quadrant of the matrix then it is likely optional and may eleven be able to be removed from your list altogether. 

Step 4: Alter, Add & Subtract

Now that we have categorized and prioritized it is time to decide what needs to change, what can be added and what needs to go. Decide what things in your schedule that you may be able to get rid of altogether, either because it is unnecessary or because you can hand it off to someone else. Once you have gotten rid of the unnecessary, see what you can change. What tasks or responsibilities can you tweak to make life easier for yourself? Can you utilize public transportation instead of driving to work? This may allow you time to read or listen to that book you have been putting off. Can you utilize a car pool for yourself or your kids? This may free up some time to hit the gym after work. If we take the time to think about it, there are plenty of ways to reclaim some time. 

Of all the steps however this is the hard part. This is the part where you ask for help where you can, outsource if you can and let go of things being exactly the way you would do them for the sake of your own sanity. This is the part where you move from idealism to reality and do what works best for you. You may struggle with letting some things go, you may feel like you are somehow relinquishing control or responsibility. Both of those things are true and both are ok. The sooner we realize that we don’t have to do everything the better off we will be. 

Step 5: Rinse and Repeat

Now that you have had the opportunity to reassess the current state of your life you can go back and chart out your week based on your new priorities. As you glance through your newly revised schedule you should see more free time. Hopefully as you looked at ways to add and subtract you didn’t fill up all of your time. The goal is to end up with at least 60 minutes of time that you can dedicate to self care each day. Not multitasking time but dedicated time for yourself. That sixty minutes doesn’t have to be continuous but it should exist in at least 20 minute chunks of time. 

Inevitably this will have to be done again. Things shift and change, that is life. However now you are armed with a method to realign yourself when things get out of hand. The best way to handle it is to perform regular check-ins with yourself. Be proactive instead of reactive.

Need visual help walking through the steps? Download the worksheets for steps 1-4 below. And if you missed the live video of this lesson tune in on Instagram here

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WBL Podcast: Vera Cheng

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The pandemic has caused many people to feel anxious about what will happen next. Sometimes, when we don’t feel like we are in control, we become anxious. Everyone experiences anxiety at times. 

Facing a  new challenge, environment, or social setting, are just a few of the many reasonable concerns for feeling a bit anxious. These concerns typically subside quickly. When someone experiences increased levels of anxiety, they will typically have difficulty  calming down or releasing worry. Can you recall a particular trigger or experience that has caused you anxiety? Today we will dive into best practices for managing anxiety when levels are high or beginning to feel unmanageable. 

  • Live Well Tip of the Week: You don’t have to go backwards if you don’t want to. Sometimes going forward with a new routine, instead of revisiting an old routine, is the better route for you!
  • A Quote from Our Guest: “It’s okay to say no. It’s also okay to remove yourself from an environment or situation that is causing you a lot of anxiety.” ~Vera Cheng

6 Things You’ll Learn in This Episode: 

  • Some physical signs of anxiety include muscle tension, difficulty focusing, difficulty controlling worries, insomnia, fatigue, & being on edge or easily irritated. Physical symptoms of anxiety can last longer than actual concerns exist. Deep breathing techniques are effective when feeling anxious. Practice deep breathing 3-4 times a day for about 5 minutes at a time. 
  • You may pinpoint anxiety in children by asking them how they are feeling in order to create open dialogue and safety for them to open up. Every kid is different. Not having interaction with friends can cause some anxiety. Physical symptoms of increased levels of anxiety include, wetting the bed, sleep issues, or any unordinary repetitive behavior. 
  • Don’t rush into a large gathering if it feels too far outside of your comfort zone. Start small, by acknowledging your comfort level, and asking someone to meet you halfway by considering trying a one on one meeting or virtual zoom call. Don’t be afraid to express your comfort level. Your boundaries are important! 
  • Saying yes all the time can lead to a higher chance of burnout and feeling resentful.  You don’t have to feel guilty about saying no! It’s also okay to remove yourself from the situation. It may be hard at first, but the more you get used to saying no, the more people will respect your boundaries. If the person doesn’t respect your boundaries, you have to evaluate if you really want that person in your life! 
  • Evaluate how long you’ve been feeling increased levels of anxiety or experiencing symptoms. If symptoms persists longer than a week, consider reaching out to a family doctor or therapist for an evaluation, in order to assess what options may be available to help you. And remember, therapy can be good for anyone  to check in with yourself, even if you aren’t experiencing anxiety!

Connect with Vera: 




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WBL Podcast: Keke Seward

Self love 101 keke seward
Keke Seward Self lave

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In a society filled with the pressure of comparison, it can be easy to grow out of touch with the reality of your own truth! Other times, one may ignore what is needed in order to fully  heal, due to the fear of revisiting/reliving that place within your mind. 

Addressing trauma, or hidden emotions is vital in order to heal. How often are you taking the time to self reflect, acknowledge the space that you are in, and work towards what is needed to become the happiest and most fulfilled version of yourself? During your self love journey, you must develop a level of self awareness in order to understand what is happening within. Self reflection is key. Make a list of the things that don’t serve you well. Pinpoint the things that you are neglecting!

In this episode, our guest KeKe Seward teaches us where to begin on a self love journey. Shakera Seward AKA Keke Seward, is known for providing women all over the world with self-care & self-love strategies, as well as coaching services to assist women on their healing journey. Shakera holds a Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling and a certification in Substance Abuse Counseling. She also provides women empowerment workshops, courses, and retreats for women!

  • Live Well Tip of the Week: Self love requires acceptance, not perfection!
  • A Quote from Our Guest: “Self love is more than an emotion, it’s an action” ~ KeKe Seward

4 Things You’ll Learn in This Episode:

  • KeKe defines self love as being able to appreciate yourself, value yourself and purpose, embracing your flaws, and not sacrificing your well being for others!
  • Our experiences can shape our thoughts and behaviors regarding self love. Sometimes self love suffers due to being unhealed from certain experiences. Understand what thoughts you are feeding yourself, about yourself!
  • Appreciate yourself when it comes to your money. Love yourself enough not to participate in unnecessary spending that would put you in debt or in an uncomfortable situation. Set boundaries within your finances, so that others aren’t taking advantage of the money that you have. 
  • Don’t ignore what you need to heal from, due to being fearful of revisiting that place in your mind. Addressing it is vital in order to heal, and there are many resources available to help you. What you do outside of your coaching or support group, is what will make the ultimate difference!

Connect with KeKe Seward-

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WBL Podcast: Coach Joc

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In today’s episode, we discuss self care and the value of dismantling the stigma surrounding the strong black woman, with guest Jacquelyn Perry. 

About Jacquelyn

Coach Joc is a mom, wife, and the self-proclaimed “Black Women’s Coach.” When she’s not enjoying a glass of Stella Rosa, or spending time with her family, she is coaching black women to see their worth. Coach Joc’s goal is to dismantle the stigma of the “strong black woman” by teaching black millennial women how to take themselves off the back burner and prioritize their healing and inner worth so they can experience more joy and deeper connections.

Episode Takeaways:

  • Live Well Tip of the Week: Oftentimes, we may try and juggle too many things at one time. You can do it, but just not all at once! We need to prioritize, and take things one step at a time. Live life on your own timeline. 
  • Discussing the myth of the strong black woman. The stigma is that, due to being raised by iconic strong black women, we are never allowed to bend, break, complain, or cry. It makes black women carry unnecessary burdens. 
  • Learning that it’s okay to ask for help or admit that you need a break. 
  • Sometimes we feel like if we let certain things go, then everything is going to fall out of place. 
  • Delegate the little things. Communicate with your partner, friends, & or family that you may need an extra hand. Take time out for yourself! 
  • Self care time is so underrated! Self care doesn’t have to be overly thought out. It’s in the simple things, such as a relaxing bubble bath and some quiet time. 
  • You must be able to recognize your worth!
  • You can start by asking some friends or loved ones, what is something that they love about you? Begin to become more self aware and recognize the good things about yourself! 
  • Address the internal things before the external things become difficult to bear.
  • When looking for a good life coach, you will need to decide exactly what your goals are, in order to see if a particular coach matches up with your needs. Look for transparency from them. 

Guest Contact Info: 



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WBL Podcast: Dr. Erica Jones

Erica Jones

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In today’s episode, we discuss ‘The Art of Transition’ with Dr. Erica Jones, as it relates to understanding the right time to make a career or life transition.  Dr. Jones provides us with guidance on how to make healthy & fulfilling  life transitions, that will leave you feeling restful and content!

About Dr. Jones

Dr. Erica Jones is a Board Certified Family Medicine Physician, public speaker, and author of several books including F*uck This Job and The Art of Transition Journal. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Live Well Tip of the Week: Make sure you know what you need! This includes emotionally, mentally, and physically. Understanding what you truly need, can help you to live content.
  • Give yourself time to process and understand what you need from your career and personal life. Have the confidence to believe that you deserve the things that you need!
  • Discussing the common struggle of wanting to leave your job while also worrying about making ends meet, insurance & health care, and the opinions/questions from family & others. 
  • Value in mapping out your plan through assessing your skill set. Then choosing to believe that you are capable of accomplishing any goal!
  • Practice deep breathing exercises and become aligned with yourself, so that you can locate the fullness of your mental, physical, and emotional wellness. 
  • Having the mindset that you are capable of attaining what is best for you. 
  • Dr. Jones’ Art of Transition Journal is available now, to guide you towards habits that will help you become better aligned with yourself. 

Guest Contact Info: 




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WBL Podcast: No More #MomGoals

In today’s podcast episode, our very own host shares why she takes issue with the term ‘Mom Goals’! 

Podcast Takeaways:

  • Live Well Tip of the Week: Comparison is the enemy of alignment. You can not be fully present with your own life & experiences, if you’re always comparing your life to someone else’s. 
  • Social media hashtags such as #Mom Goals, can cause unnecessary pressure, emotional pain, and mental health issues for some mothers. The term ‘Mom goals’, can cause us to strive for unrealistic goals. 
  • Someone else’s mothering journey doesn’t have to be your journey. 
  •  We don’t know the truth behind closed doors or the reality of someone’s life behind a social media post. Social media only focuses on what can be seen publicly. 
  • Understand the difference between inspiration and comparison. 
  • Comparison interferes with our own intuition. It can cause you to question yourself and your own ability with raising your kids. 
  • Avoid comparison. Try to stay on the side of inspiration. Be realistic with what works for your family and your personal parenting needs. 
  • Remain in a place of humility even when receiving compliments on your parenting, so that you do not feel the need to keep up with a certain appearance of perfection. Afterall, parenting is not about meeting other people’s expectations!
  • Is there a particular hashtag that you see on social media that really gets under your skin? If so let us know! We may even use it as a topic for an upcoming episode! 
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WBL Podcast: Brea Johnson

In today’s episode, we discuss why we tend to people please and how to work past it, with guest Brea Johnson. 

About Brea

Brea is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 5 years of experience working in the field. She has experience serving a variety of communities. She’s worked with the LGBTQIA community, children, young adults, couples, the geriatric population, and those with disabilities. Brea has specific experience working with depression, anxiety, relationship conflict, mood disorders, grief, transitions in life, career development, ADHD, self-esteem, anger management, gender identity, traumatic brain injury, sexual abuse, domestic abuse and any form of trauma. As a therapist, she strives to provide her clients with the tools to navigate life as well as process any transition that they may experience. Her approach is eclectic. She uses a Person-Centered approach, as well as a Holistic approach. By doing so, Brea aims to meet her clients where they are in order to see them as the expert of their lives. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Live Well Tip of the Week: You were not made to make other people happy! Yes, we should spread joy and love to everyone around us, but happiness looks different for each person and that is not our responsibility. We can be considerate of others, but we weren’t put here to make sure that other people are happy. 
  • People pleasing develops in childhood. 
  • Begin to break out of people pleasing through awareness. Find out why you are a people pleaser? Although this may be tough, it will take internal reflection. 
  • Brea discussed the difference between little trauma and big trauma in childhood. 
  • Reflect upon what you may have wanted from your childhood that you didn’t receive, so that you can make the changes for your own kids. 
  • What does cultivation of self esteem look like for you and your children?
  • Avoid being overly considerate. Speak on what works for you and what doesn’t. Avoid being overly apologetic.  
  • No means no!
  • Accept when it may be time to seek professional assistance. Maintenance therapy/ a regular check in with a professional can sometimes be very helpful. 
  • Take baby steps with your healing. Continue to move forward. 
  • Find a therapist who works well with your personality. It’s not a one size fits all.
  • Guest Contact Info: Instagram: @therapywith_brreeaa 
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Finding Your Quiet Place

Finding Your Quiet Place

Have you ever tried to have a conversation in a crowded room or in a house with toddlers? If you’ve experienced either then you know that sometimes it can be difficult to hear the other person. If the room is loud enough, it may even be difficult to hear yourself think. The same difficulty you face trying to communicate with others when there are distractions around also applies to the conversations we have with ourselves. 

Now if you read that last line and now think that I am crazy because I am talking about having a conversation with myself, stick with me for a minute. Every thought that we have is a means of communication between our conscious mind and the still small voice that lives in us. That small voice is what tells us that everything is going to be ok when it seems that our world is falling apart. It is what holds our hand when we face our fears. That is the voice that cheers us on when we shoot for the stars, especially when everyone else tells us to keep our feet planted on the ground. It is also the voice that tells us if all of our needs are being met, if we are lacking in a particular area of our life and when we need rest. So what happens when we can no longer hear that voice and how can we be sure to keep those lines of communication open? 

“You react to exhaustion instead of proactively living in alignment.”

When your internal lines of communication are blocked by all the noise in your life you can lose perspective of your circumstances. You are no longer able to hear or respond to our own needs and begin to live reactively. You react to exhaustion instead of proactively living in alignment. You push through brain fog, pain and sickness instead of giving your body what it needs to thrive. This is what it looks like to be running on fumes. This is what it looks like to be in survival mode. This is how you burn yourself out. 

As we journey together this year towards more intentional rest, I cannot stress enough the importance of creating your quiet place. Making room for you to get in tune with yourself and your needs. Your quiet place is that time that you set aside free of distractions. It is not watching tv or listening to music. It can be your time to journal, meditate or pray. It is a time where you can recognize what your body is trying to tell you. Where the whispers of intuitions begin to sound like shouts. 

For me that looks like waking up thirty minutes before everyone else. One of the two times each day when my house is completely quiet,  It allows me time to meditate and pray, gather my thoughts and mentally prepare for the day. It is the calm before the circus that is our morning routine. That also means taking time in the evening to check in with myself. Checking to see if I met my needs for the day or if there is an area where I was lacking. This isn’t a search for perfectionism but rather holding myself accountable to the commitment that I made to me. 

So if you find yourself on the brink of burnout, utterly exhausted or tired of pushing through the brain fog; I encourage you to find your quiet place. Commit to making room for you to be alone with your thoughts, you just may be surprised by what they have to say. Struggling with the quiet, try this journal prompt “ Did I give myself everything I needed to thrive today”. Not only will this help you check in with yourself, but it will also help you to start thinking about how well you are taking care of yourself. 


LaKeisha , Chief Wellness Officer

Journal Prompt: Did I give myself everything I needed to thrive today?

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WBL Podcast: Chebria Bryant

In today’s episode, we discuss what it means to be an unapologetic woman with our guest Chebria Bryant!

About Chebria

Chebria Bryant is the owner of The Unapologetic Woman brand. She is also an encourager, an overcomer, a motivator, and mother to a beautiful baby girl. She empowers women to embody everything they are, and prioritize themselves unapologetically before their daily roles through sisterhood, experiences, evolution and self-care.

Key Takeaways:

  • Well Beauty Tip of the Week: Stop asking for permission! We don’t have to ask for permission to be our best selves. No one else needs to be ‘in’ on our personal plans. You don’t need someone else’s approval in order to do what God is calling you to do. 
  • The unapologetic woman is the woman who doesn’t apologize for choosing what works best for her. She prioritizes herself!
  • Become intentional about the time that you spend by yourself. 
  • Recognize when you need to get back to your true self.
  • Discussed how not to pour from an empty cup, but to instead pour from the overflow.
  • Discussed the value of shared experiences and supporting other women.
  • Guest Contact Info:  
  • Instagram: @chebria.b   
  •  Facebook Group: The Unapologetic Woman
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A Quest For More Rest

A Quest For More Rest

It’s the start of the year and we are all still excited about those new year’s resolutions. As we dream of all the things that we hope to accomplish by the end of the year, have we stopped to consider what it will take for us to get there. Have we really thought about all of the adjustments and some comforts that we may have to give up in order to reach those goals? When it comes to larger goals like losing weight, learning a new skill or even tackling a big project then yes, hopefully you thought it all the way through. Unfortunately when it comes to the more personal goals, you know the one directly related to our own needs, that’s when things get a little tricky. 

One of my big goals for 2022, is to get more rest and I know that it is something many of you in our community are committed to as well. Rest is one of those goals that can easily be sidetracked by the demands of life. Work gets more demanding, kids need you, family commitments or any number of things often leads to less time for you to decompress and rest. That’s why I have committed this year to not only creating more space in my own life for rest, but also helping you do the same. So if you are ready for more time dedicated to refilling your own cup then stay tuned. Our Lab Notes blog will be the place that I share my own experiences, the place where I take you along my journey for more rest.

In my quest for more rest the first thing I had to do was change my night time habits. The things I was doing to help me “wind down at night” were actually counterproductive. In my head I was relaxing but to my brain, I was providing more stimulation, making it harder for me to doze off. Below are my four biggest mistakes and easy swaps to help you catch more zzz’s. 

Swap The Glass Of Wine For A Cup Of Herbal Tea

As much as it pains me to say this, wine or alcohol of any sort is not the best option before bed. If you want to enjoy a glass or two, have it with dinner. Some medical professionals recommend three hours before bed which is great if you can manage to have dinner at six. If not then aim for two hours and hope for the best. 

As for what to sip before bed, herbal tea is the best choice. It is naturally caffeine free and some varieties may help you fall asleep faster. My go to is a blend of Chamomile and Tulsi (holy basil). It is delicious and helps me doze off faster. 


Swap Binge Watching For Binge Reading

Now this one has been hard for me as the only time I really have to enjoy my favorite shows is after the kids are asleep and the house is clean. That’s also the time I am trying to fall asleep which means I am losing hours in favor of “one more episode”. We have talked about this trade off at length in our post about Revenge Bedtime Procrastination, but the bottom line is turn the television off. 

The swap is a good book. I am a huge fan of audio books and feel that audio or old fashion print in hand will work. What you don’t want is a digital book on an e-reader or tablet. I’ll get to why in a moment so you’ll have to stick with me for a moment. Now full disclosure, having to actually read most books will put me to sleep so for the purposes of rest I’m going with a paper book. If I really want to absorb the information it’s audio for me. 

Swap Social Media Scrolling For Journal Writing

There are lots of reasons that late night social media scrolling is bad for our sleep habits but let’s just stick to the basics here. Our electronic devices emit blue light that has been proven to affect our bodies production of melatonin (the sleep hormone). This throws off our natural sleep wake cycle affecting not just our quantity of sleep but also the quality. Some have suggested wearing blue light blocking glasses to help with this and if you just can’t seem to give up the late night scroll then it’s a great option. However, journaling is a much better option.

Journaling over scrolling is probably my favorite swap and one that has been super helpful for me. First it helps to clear the clutter in our minds from the day. Journaling is a safe outlet for your thoughts and feelings, especially the ones you don’t feel comfortable sharing with another person. Also for me personally it helps to organize the never ending to do list that keeps me up at night. Having a central location that I can refer back to gives me ease, knowing I won’t forget something while I sleep. 

For those of you who are new to journaling or are just in need of a little inspiration, scroll down to grab my list of Five Journal Prompts To Declutter Your Brain Before Bed. Each prompt is designed to help you clear the common thoughts that keep us up at night so that you can rest easy. 

If you are guilty of any one (or all) of these sleep disruptors, I hope you find these swaps helpful. If you know that this is the year where you put yourself at the top of the priority list then, I can’t wait to take this journey together. 


Keisha – Chief Wellness Officer

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