Last- maybe- round of baby gear has arrived! I ordered a full First Aid Kit on Amazon that comes with nail clippers and some other good stuff, a pillow, some baby hats (I am really paranoid about my baby being cold), and this classic book from my childhood.

The only other things to figure out are jogging stroller- do I wait 6-8 months for her to have head control and by whatever stroller I want, or am I going to want to run with her right off? (There are only two strollers that are compatible with my infant car seat and neither one has stellar reviews). I’ll probably wait a bit after baby is born to see how she handles the regular stroller and whether or not I’ll be too nervous to take her out on a run with me early on. More decisions…

Lately, I’ve been feeling a bit “blah.” Sure, part of it can probably be attributed to surging hormones and admittedly some nerves surrounding the baby’s due date. But part of it is a feeling of being disconnected. Some of it probably has to do with getting stuck in a to-do list every day. It’s been a routine of get up, cross things off list, sleep, and repeat, which is about as fulfilling as it sounds.

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Here’s the thing: it’s totally within my ability to change this (and if I don’t, it doesn’t make much sense for me to complain anymore).

For me, when I feel disconnected and isolated from others, there are a few options. One, invite friend(s) to do something fun. Of course, most of my friends have lives, families, jobs, and other obligations so this usually requires some planning in advance. Two, read and/or write. Nothing pulls me out of my own head quicker than picking up a book. Three, do something for someone else. Getting out of your own way by focusing on someone/something else pulls me back into the rest of the world, or at least my community. Not only do I get a feeling of belonging in these moments, but a feeling of purpose, like I’m doing something meaningful. Nothing pulls you out of a bad mood quite like that!

If you’re looking for opportunities to volunteer or get involved in the community, or realize that you have a passion for something that could be of service to others, there are plenty of ways to get started! Some examples:

  • Follow your favorite local nonprofits/organizations on social media (many will share volunteer opportunities)
  • Sign up for their email newsletter
  • Go ahead and ask them if there’s any way you can help out in your spare time
  • Take a look at YOUR passions (the things/topics you explore in your free time). Is there a direct or indirect way to make this of service to others?

Here’s how these examples have played out in my life recently:

Earlier this winter, I was trying to find some ways to align my passions with a way to help other people. Something that I noticed about myself earlier on in life- if my job didn’t somehow help out other people, I had a hard time finding happiness. And something that I’m passionate about is health and fitness. During my time at the MDI YMCA, I decided to pursue personal training certification via ACE Fitness (I am still studying for the exam). In the interim, I decided to try out being a Beachbody Coach after someone reached out to me about it around the same time. This was less for the potential income/getting involved in multi-level marketing, but because I was already using their programs and products and thought it would be a low-risk way to see if getting involved in the health and fitness industry would be a good fit for me.

While the answer is a resounding “YES!” I have been laying off the coaching side of Beachbody while focusing more on studying for certification. I still love and follow the programs, but personally felt a bit disingenuous with the Facebook posting and outreach that gets pushed onto coaches. Trust me, I do online marketing for other businesses as my full time job so I understand the importance of an online presence- but this was a bit of a gut check thing that didn’t really align with me and my goals. So long story long- I still love Beachbody and am signed up as a coach, but my focus is getting certified through ACE so I can use this knowledge to help others reach their health and fitness goals.

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Another volunteer opportunity presented itself in the form of email outreach. Last summer, one of my friends who is on the board at the local YWCA asked for some help during their summer pie sales. Since I love baking, I volunteered (I can’t remember how many pies I made but there were 3-4 weeks last summer of dedicated pie-making). This year I’d seen the call got out via email for volunteer pie-makers, but as I mentioned last week, I felt a little hesitant about committing without knowing how I/Baby Z would be feeling. Turns out we are both feeling pretty awesome, so I’m making pies on a week by week basis. In other words, doing what you CAN > doing nothing at all!

I also recently saw on Facebook one of my friends shared a volunteer opportunity to help with building the new Park Street Playground on September 9. Not knowing where I’ll be in terms of health/baby at that point, I have a mental note to get there (it’s right down the road, after all!).

Going back to “find something in your skillset and find a way to help others,” I’ve talked about Gift MDI before. This project was started not only as a way to make buying local gift cards more convenient for people, but as a way to generate income for local businesses and give the local economy a year-round boost. My friend Nicole has a unique skill-set of being able to see a problem (people wanting to buy gift certificates online) and developing a solution (creating a website that any number of businesses can be a part of, so they don’t have to worry about building a website, adding ecommerce capabilities, and marketing). Gift MDI is a great example of using the skills you have to create something bigger for the community. **Sweat and Sass is part of Gift MDI’s affiliate program, so if you decide to make a purchase, use code “sweatandsass” at checkout to get 10% off!

These are just a few recent examples of ways I/people I know have gotten out of a slump by looking at the bigger picture. I’ll probably think of like 5 more when I’m done writing…but we’ll call it a wrap for today 🙂

What are some ways you help out in your community?

Any last minute baby preparation advice?

 

Getting Out of Your Own Way
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