Self-Care Sessions – Ep. 3: Single Mom Truths

Hiya readers! Welcome to Episode 3 of the Self-Care Sessions!

Snapchat-111750867This time around I wanted to share the story of fellow single mom, Andrea Cunningham who runs the hilarious Instagram account, Single Mom Truths.  I’ve NO idea how I found her (probably when I got stuck in the vortex of the search function on Instagram), but I’m so glad I did! She makes me laugh, lets me cry (because let’s be real – sometimes needing to cry and getting permission is SO helpful) and reminds me to give myself a pat on the back for being a great mom. Read on below to learn more about Andrea and Single Mom Truths.

Hiya doll! I’m so happy that you’ve stopped by to visit. So let’s jump right in! How did Single Mom Truths get started?

I was seeing a lot of funny parenting/mom/single memes on Pinterest and Facebook and they would make me laugh and smile. I could relate to so many of them and thought that posting them on Instagram could be a fun way to reach out to other single moms (or single dads, married parents, single people, etc). Maybe they could be the source of encouragement to someone who needs it, or put a smile on someones face on a stressful day.

Oh yes! Humor is a great way to encourage others. I love it! What started this journey for you?

I have been a single mom for over 8 years now and its been a struggle, emotionally, physically, financially. And I don’t have anyone in my personal life who can relate to my journey as none of my friends or family are single moms who work full time. I found it hard to find anyone to talk to about my struggles because none of them had gone through what I had. Single motherhood has been a lonely journey for me, and I was trying to make it less lonely for me, and others.

I can definitely relate to the struggles of being a single mom. That’s why I’m so glad you started Single Moms Truths! So, what’s your mission with Single Mom Truths?

I don’t really have a mission! Its more like I just hope that silly memes, or words of encouragement that I post can help make someone smile and feel less alone.

Well on behalf of myself (and everyone who comes across your hilariousness) I want to thank you so much! Because I definitely feel lighter and more understood because of your silly memes.  And I do feel less alone. Who do you seek to empower with your work?

Mostly single moms! Single working moms like me. But really anyone who needs support or a laugh.

I’m glad that you focus on single working moms (myself included) because they sorely need encouragement. It’s awesome that everyone else can enjoy your posts, too. After all, everyone can use humor as self-care. What does self-care and wellness mean to you?

Oh gosh, I don’t really know how to answer this one. To be honest, I’m not really good at self care and wellness! Working and taking care of my kids can be very overwhelming, and oftentimes I find myself close to a break down! But I think Single Mom Truths is part of my self care. Especially in recent months as more and more people message me saying how much my page has helped them! Makes me feel good.

I think moms in general have a hard time with self care. Mom guilt is strong! You feel you need to give your all to your kids, but in order to be a good mom, you need to take care of yourself as well. So for me, I try to read or write, or find a good Netflix TV show!

(See ladies? Andrea is giving you permission to take care of YOU. ) Yes, the mom guilt is very real. And you already know that Single Mom Truths is part of my daily self-care because girl – you’re so dang funny! Now, tell me one fun fact about you that people wouldn’t know by looking at you.

Fun fact about me……hmmmm….well I don’t know if its a fun fact, but I collect Barbie Dolls! I LOVE Barbies.

Ooh, I’d love to see pics of your collection. lol You may have some that I had as a kid. So, what can folks expect from you and Single Mom Truths in 2019?

I think more of the same, funny and encouraging memes. But I am also going to start working on videos on Instagram and some Vlogs for my Single Moms Facebook page. I think videos are a good way to make a personal connection with people. And will probably be therapeutic self care for me at the same time.

Awesome! It’s great to know that single moms (and everyone else) will have more funny and encouraging messages to look forward to from you and Single Mom Truths. Happy dancing here! Thank you so much for sharing here, Andrea. 

There you have it friends. Isn’t Andrea amazing?! Love her! Please make sure to follow her on Instagram and check out the Single Moms Facebook page. You won’t regret making Single Mom Truths part of your daily self-care.



Create, set and keep time for you everyday with my guide

“Steal Your Time Back: 6 Secrets for Busy Working Moms”

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Give Yourself Permission

Permission: (noun) authorization to do something –

Women are conditioned to act a certain way, be a certain way and hit certain benchmarks. have that great career, spouse, kids and spotless house.

We’re taught that we need permission to do certain things. To get the okay from someone else to do the things we want to do. That we are limited in what we can or cannot do. It starts off when we’re kids and continues through adulthood. This is especially true for busy moms like you (and me) who don’t get the time they need to relax. They have a hard time granting themselves permission.

And I know because I’ve struggled to give MYSELF permission. 

Last week, I didn’t feel like writing. I was sad and had zero motivation. March 10th was my mother’s birthday. She would have been 77.

Mami left us in September 2002. My teen was a year and a half old and I was a month shy of my 25th birthday. And even though it’s been almost 17 years, I still miss her and sometimes, cry for missing her. Grief is hard. And it sucks.

I took the weekend to just be. To think of her and feel sad and be still. Gave myself permission to feel my feelings. And it felt SOOO good!

In the past, I’d have wrestled with my guilt about not writing. I’ve committed to writing a weekly blog to connect and share and inspire other busy working moms like you. And I didn’t want to let you down.

But, I had to be honest with myself. Letting myself be was what I needed most. So I gave myself permission and took the weekend off without feeling guilty.  Because it was exactly what I needed. To allow myself the space to miss my mom. To feel sad because I didn’t have her. And not feel one shred of guilt about it.

“Do you really need permission? Still waiting for that invitation to your life? No one is going to give it to you…only you can do that.”
Jennifer Ho-Dougatz (CEO/Host – Big Girl Panties Podcast) 

As busy working moms, we struggle SOOO much with guilt. Because we want to get everything done, perfectly and make everyone happy.

Guilt can feel so strong and stop us in our tracks. It can keep us from doing the things we want to do.  That includes taking time for ourselves. Loving on ourselves. Because we don’t want to take any time away from our families (or work or social events). Because we don’t want anyone to be unhappy because of the choices we make. Guilt makes us miserable. Guilt stops us from giving ourselves permission.

We have to acknowledge when we need to slow down.

Give ourselves permission to take a step back. To rest.  Recover. Get alone time.

Like Jennifer Ho-Dougatz notes, only you can give yourself permission. Only YOU.

This week, I challenge you to give yourself permission.

To order out instead of cooking dinner.

To take time out to declutter your mind.

To take a day off to rest (I used to love taking Wednesdays off when my kids were at school so I could do my own thing!).

To ask the spouse and kids to cook.

To read that book you’ve been meaning to read.

To find 5 minutes to do what YOU want to do.

To decline an invitation to go out especially when you’re having a bad day. (Seriously, NOTHING can be worse than to go to an event when YOU don’t want to be there.)

It’s okay to tap out. Stay home. Relax. And rest. Give yourself permission.

Do you. It’ll be the gift you give yourself.

Create, set and keep time for you everyday with my guide

“Steal Your Time Back: 6 Secrets for Busy Working Moms”

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Declutter Your Mind with this Easy Hack

Hiya Friend!

Happy weekend to you. How are you doing? Have you been getting your rest? Are you in weekend vibe mode yet? Or is your brain stuck on a major problem you’ve got? Or still mentally stuck at work?

If so, you’re not alone. Early on in my clinical career, I had a hard time leaving work at work. I couldn’t let go of the clients and their problems and the need to ‘fix’ them. Other times, I worried about work and projects that needed to get done.

Now, I know that it isn’t my job to ‘fix’ people, but to guide them as they heal themselves. But as a baby therapist back then, it was normal for me. And I suffered because I intensely felt other people’s pain and couldn’t let it go. Eventually I learned to clear the junk out.

My Hack? Clear the Junk out

woman looking at sea while sitting on beach
Photo by Pixabay on

If you’re like me, you often get stuck in your own head. Constantly thinking of everything and chewing over things. Your free moments are eaten up by the things you did or didn’t do. Or the colossal mistakes you made. See how that can snowball out of control? One of the best hacks I’ve found to let go of those persistent and nagging work (or life thoughts) thoughts  and declutter my brain was to write.

A famous writer, Julia Cameron, introduced me to this hack over 10 years ago when I started blogging. When doing research about it and asking my writer pals, I heard her name over and over again.

In her best-selling book, The Artist’s Way, Ms. Cameron recommends a morning pages ritual. Write out 3 pages in the mornings to clear out your mind and get the writing juices flowing. This hack was and is specifically for writers, but as a therapist who loves to write, I’ve recommended this often to my clients as a healing tool.

As a way to clear out stress and frustration, writing is a great option. I don’t do it everyday myself, but I write the junk out whenever I feel stuck on a decision, can’t stop being a negative Nancy or feel super stressed because I’m not the superwoman I thought I was. This hack improves my mood, outlook and helps my day run smoother.

Here are my tricks to declutter your mind and get the junk out. 

Start a “Junk” file on your computer.  Or use a notebook/journal if you’re old-school like me. Because it’s literally for all the junk that lives in your brain, you may want to consider making it password-protected. Or labeling it a boring title such as “Antenna types for 50-inch Mitsubishi Televisions.”

Commit to writing whenever you feel you need it. Now, Ms. Cameron was clear about the morning pages being a daily habit. But, I find that writing only when you need it is a great way to start. Writing is healing. And I love it so much that I’ve been known to clear out the junk several times a day on a bad day or not at all on a day when I’m feeling pumped! (As of this blog post – I’ve already cleared my junk once.)

round blue alarm clock with bell on white table near snake plant
Photo by Enikő Tóth on

Commit to writing for 5 minutes a day. If you’ve been visiting me for a while, you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of the Five-Minute Rule. 5 minutes is enough time to put into yourself painlessly without taking it away from anyone else.  It’s a short bit of time out off your day (because there 525,600 minutes in a year (any Rent fans out there?) that’ll motivate you. Who knows? You may find that you like this little habit so much that you’ll blow past the 5 minute mark.

Just get started. It’s not about right or wrong. It’s only about getting something on paper. Focus on the goal of getting those thoughts out of your head so you can feel better.

If you feel stuck on what to write, write exactly that. “I feel stuck. I don’t know what to write.” Keep flowing from there by writing everything you’re thinking in the moment. If you feel silly doing this, it’s okay. No one will see it (unless you allow that) and you’re not being graded on it. You’re allowed to be as silly, pissed off, happy or as dark as you like. No judgment here.

This hack has saved me from wasting time on stinking thinking. All those negative thoughts that kept me stuck and didn’t allow me to be the person I wanted to be. It has been a great tool to clear my head and declutter my mind. It allowed has allowed me to love myself better everyday.

So, if you find yourself constantly thinking about the crap at work or drama from somewhere else, I challenge you to vomit your thoughts out.  Declutter your mind. Try it and see how it helps you feel more relaxed and happier.



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Self-Care Sessions – Ep. 2: The Focus on You

Welcome to Episode 2 of Self-Care Sessions.

This week, we are hosting Stefanie Flores from The Focus on You. thefocusonyou

I stumbled upon The Focus on You via Twitter a couple of years ago and continue to be inspired. Stefanie shares all things self-care, mental health and wellness. Not only is she a force online, she is also a force in person as a therapist in Nevada. Read on to learn more about Stefanie and the Focus on You.

Hi Stefanie, welcome! So glad to have you here on the Self-Care Sessions. So, how did The Focus on You get its start? 

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. When my pup suddenly passed away in 2014, I started journaling to help with my grief. I channeled my writing into a blog that would help people learn about the importance of self-care.

I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m glad that you took the time to not only focus on your own self-care needs, but also educate others about it. What started the self-care journey for you?

When I read inspirational posts or messages on Pinterest and Instagram, I knew I could add my voice and sense of humor to these messages. I didn’t see too many licensed professionals sharing messages at that time. It’s heartwarming to see so many people of color lending their knowledge to this niche.

Absolutely! I’m glad to see more of people of color sharing their perspectives on self-care and mental health. This kind of education is sorely needed in the community. So, what is your Mission with The Focus on You? 

I want to be a resource for people who need an emotional lift. The messages I share in therapy are not just for people with addictions or mental health struggles. Self-care is vital for everyone. It’s why we go to bed at night. It’s why there are labor laws. Our daily routines have breaks already installed. These breaks are missed opportunities to inventory how our emotional wellness stands. When we ignore our needs and values, everything goes haywire. If people walk out of their house everyday and have already honored what they need, they have a better chance of making it through the day.

Self-Care is vital for everyone ~ Stefanie Flores (Focus on You) (Tweet this!)

YES! I love the points you make, especially that “self-care is vital for everyone.” There are so many people pushing themselves to the breaking point that they have a harder time recovering after falling apart. As you said, if we practice self-care everyday before leaving home, we have a better chance to handle what life throws at us. So, who do you seek to empower with your work? 

I seek to empower everyone. For example, on Twitter, I share hotline information for the transgender community and people who have been through natural disasters. I don’t write specifically for women or men. I definitely want to empower the populations that get left behind, like women of color, but, my message is for everyone.

That’s amazing! I think that’s how I connected with you in the first place – seeing your tweets about hotlines. I think people are starting to understand when they need help, but don’t always have quick resources to turn to. I’m so glad you share them. What does self-care and wellness mean to you? 

Self-care means honoring our needs and recognizing when we need nourishment. I think people confuse self-care with “downtime.” When people get bored or have a minute to sit down, they scroll online. Is that really nourishing? Self-care can vary from day-to-day because our needs vary as well. I think increased self-care can lead to emotional wellness, but needs to be inventoried regularly so we don’t break down.

I agree about the confusion between self-care and “downtime.” My definition of self-care is anything that increases energy, uplifts the spirit and improves mood. I love that you mention we need to check in with ourselves often so we know how to avoid breaking down. So tell me – what’s a fun fact about you that people wouldn’t know by looking at you? 

People would be surprised to know that I HATE mornings. Based on my crazy Instagram Stories you’d I’m bubbly and talkative. On the contrary. I can’t go to work without coffee AND breakfast. I need to sit, eat and sip my coffee. I can’t roll out of bed and rush to work. My morning routine allows me to be in the right head space to be a therapist.  Oh, and a little hip hop never hurts, too!

Self-care is anything that increases energy, uplifts the spirit and improves mood @HeiddiZ (Tweet this!)

Haha, I cannot agree with you more about the coffee. I also can’t believe you are NOT a morning person, because your Instagram had me fooled! I’m sure your clients get the best of you because you already give the best to yourself before leaving home. So wonderful! I’ve loved chatting with you here. What can folks expect from you and The Focus on You in 2019?

I’ll be adding a podcast and broadening some of my topics on the blog. I still enjoy micro-blogging through social media and you’d have to pry me away from Twitter. I’ve got a wellness conference I’m looking forward to this summer and hope to pitch some speaking gigs!

That’s so wonderful that you want to add new things to the blog and reach more people. Well, there you have it folks, Stefanie and The Focus on You is here for YOU to help you get your self-care ON. Be sure to follow her on Twitter and Instagram and read her blog to learn more. Thank you so much for joining us!

If you want to learn more about self-care without the guilt, check out my services.

Happy day!

Create, set and keep time for you everyday with my guide

“Steal Your Time Back: 6 Secrets for Busy Working Moms”

Gimme the Goods Heiddi!

The #1 Reason Why Self-love Matters

The other day, I had a conversation with my almost 18 year old son about love and relationships. He asked me if I thought I’d ever get married. (I’ve been single for many years now.)

My response? I don’t know. 

I told my son that I didn’t know if I’d ever get married. Because I didn’t know if I could find someone who would love me as much or as well as I love myself. And THAT was confusing for him.

You see, our experiences give us something to compare things to. When we go through something new (personally or professionally), our thoughts take us back to a previous experience. This isn’t anything we do out loud or even something we might be aware of. It just happens. We look through our memory banks to see where we may have gone through something like it before.  We just try to figure things out based on what we’ve been through before.

heart-914682_640Holding up two hands, I said, “When I meet a guy, I’ve got to see if what he’s offering me (left hand) is as good as or better than what I give myself (right hand). I’ve got to see that the love, compassion and nurturing I receive from a man is as good as (or better) than the love, compassion and nurturing I give myself. And vice versa. I want whoever this future guy is, that he also knows how to love himself first. That HE knows how to put himself first so that he can be happy and then share his love with me along with you and your brother.”

When it comes to loving others, we need to know how to love ourselves first so we know what to compare it to.

The #1 Reason why self-love is SO important – it is a tool you can use to make sure that your people, your work and your life gives you as much love as you give yourself.

Self-love is about giving to ourselves FIRST – physically, mentally and emotionally – so that we can be at our best for ourselves and THEN others. (Tweet this!)

Self-love includes setting limits and boundaries. Where we decide what we deserve and use that information to determine if others are worthy of us. And that is OKAY.

You deserve to be loved the same way that you love others. Because YOU matter, too!

In modeling self-love for my son today, I want him to understand how to put himself first. To love himself first so when he meets someone new (friend/romantic partner), he’ll do the comparison. That he’ll hold up one hand and list all of the things he does for himself and compare that with what the other person is offering.

I don’t just want him to be a good citizen, a gentleman and a decent human being for the world. I want him to be kind and loving to himself.

I want him to know his worth (priceless) so when another person comes along and shows him less than what he is showing himself, he can say “Thank u, next!” in a compassionate way.

And not just in romantic relationships, but in friendships, professional relationships, career, etc. Self-love matters in every area of our lives.

Because Self-love teaches us to:

  • Put ourselves first – physically, emotionally and mentally- so that we can be at our best in all areas of our lives.
  • Listen to ourselves, our bodies and our spirit so that we can take a step back when we need to recover.
  • Make better decisions based on the love we carry for ourselves.

My biggest hope for you, amiga (and my son) is that you get SO good at self-love, that you’ll know right away when a person, job or other thing is (or isn’t) WORTH your time and energy.



Create, set and keep time for you everyday with my guide

“Steal Your Time Back: 6 Secrets for Busy Working Moms”

Gimme the Guide Heiddi!