February is Self-Love Month

Hi Friend,

Happy love season! It’s February 1 and by now, you’ve seen chocolates, Valentine’s Day cards and teddy bears lined up in your local stores. Jewelry commercials and ads blowing up your tv.  Once the season hits, it’s all about on one type of love – romantic love. But, did you know there are many types of love?

PsychologyToday names Eros (erotic/romantic love) as one of the 7 Types of love drawn from classical readings as well as J. A. Lee’s book Colors of Love (1973). But, romantic love isn’t the only one. Read on for a round-up of the loves we share everyday.

My babies.

Love for our family (Storge) is the one we learn first because it is based on the family.  It is all about the parent-child relationship. IE – you’ll probably be getting chocolates (and toys) for your kids AND your parents.

<—- These two will be getting chocolates from me.



What about your friends? – TLC

Philia is love for our friends. This may mean you going out for drinks and gifting your friends box of Ferrer Rocher chocolates to show her much you care. Pets are included in this one because hey, pets ARE our best friends (make sure to get a sweet for your sweet pup or cat). It is the kind of love we need when we stress over our romantic or family relationships.


donations-1041971_640Agape (pronounced Ah-gah-pay) love is love for others who are strangers or acquaintances. It could be as simple as holding the door for someone on the train or donating to a charity or volunteering your time. It also includes our love for nature or God (higher power). When you share kindness with the world, you’re sharing Agape love. It is a love based on doing something for others without the expectation of anything in return. It just feels good. Show your agape love today!


These different forms of love are part of our everyday lives. But, the one we don’t talk about… the one that seems to be a mystery to alot of people is Self-love. Psychology Today calls this one Philautia, which is defined as self-love in relation to our self-esteem (how we feel about ourselves).


A Google search defines self-love as “regard for one’s own well-being and happiness” (but not in a self-centered way). Self-love is so very important because it colors everything we say or do. It shows in how we care for ourselves or don’t. But, it isn’t something that’s taught. For me, self-love came after I started doing therapy. I realized that in order for me to be happy with myself, I needed to love on myself. Therapy was my self-care.

Self-care is the new buzzword these days, but I believe that the best way to express self-love is by practicing good self-care. My definition of self-care is “anything that we do to increase energy, uplift our spirit and improve our mood.” When you practice good self-care, you’re loving on yourself physically, spiritually and emotionally.

To help you love on yourself better, I’ve declared February Self-Love Month. I will be posting a self-care tip every single day on Instagram.  The Self-Love Challenge is a month long event to help you practice good self-care. Each daily tip is a  quick 5 minute activity to challenge you to love yourself better. Because you deserve it. Be sure to tag me on your posts.

Here’s the thing, you are a beautiful, wonderful gift that needs to be appreciated more. It’s okay to love yourself. And who better than you to love you? Take on the self-love challenge, get your self-care on and love yourself better today. (Don’t forget the chocolate!)

Happy Self-Love Month,


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Welcome to Self-Care Sessions – Ep. 1

Hi there and welcome to a new series here on HeiddiZalamar.com!

In trying to figure out how to best serve you, busy working mom, I was inspired to feature people who inspire me everyday. These amazing people have all struggled with their self-care and have overcome those challenges to go on to do wonderful things for the world.

My hope in doing these Self-Care Sessions is to inspire you to take time out everyday for self-care. You ARE worth it and you deserve the joy and happiness that comes with practicing good self-care.

These folks are people I’ve connected with through social media or in person who’ve taught me valuable lessons in how to live a happy life by tuning in to themselves, focus on their well-being and let go of anything that doesn’t work for them.

The first person in the Self-Care Sessions is my pal, Tamara Plant (owner of Soul Messages, author and all around badass). She’s the first person I thought of when I came up with the Self-Care Sessions. We connected via Twitter way back in 2012. At the time, she created and hosted the Fierce Awards for several years – to honor amazing fierce people in Alberta, Canada.

While Tamara’s focus have shifted from the Fierce awards to Soul Messages and book-writing, she continues to be a fierce woman. She’s one of my sheroes. Please check out Tamara’s video interview and be inspired in 2019! Let me know what you think in the comments below!




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5 Emotional Traps to Avoid to Hit Your New Year’s Goals

happy-new-year-1063797_640Welcome to 2019 and resolution season. It’s that wonderful time of year when you’re excited to live your best life by making big changes. 

You’re psyched and ready to get the ball rolling. Except when you decide on a goal. Maybe you want to practice more self-care or you want to get fit this year.  According to the Business Insider, about 80% of people give up their resolutions six weeks into the new year. That’s mid-February, people. While there are many reasons why people fail at their goals for the new year, a huge part of it is your emotional state. Say you want to 30 minutes of self-care per day. That’s a lot of time to dedicate if you don’t do anything for self-care. Something that we don’t count on is how we feel while trying to achieve our goals. Just make sure to avoid the 5 emotional traps below that can derail your New Year’s resolutions. Make it happen in 2019!

  • You’re overwhelmed. Your goal is too big or you’ve got too many things you want to change. Goal-setting can be overwhelming, especially when you’re creating new routines in your life. If you make your goals too big (or too hard), you won’t do it. Keep it simple and give yourself the gift of a goal that you can accomplish over time. Choose something that you can easily add to your schedule and get done. 
  • You’re afraid to mess up. Fear stops more people than anything else. Guess what? You’re going to mess up. You’re not perfect and no one expects you to be. Take the pressure off. Know that you will mess up. If one thing doesn’t work, try something else. It takes time to learn something new. You’re literally building new connections in your brain when you establish new patterns, habits, routines and lifestyle changes. The saying goes – 21 days to form a habit, 90 days for a lifestyle. Feel the fear and do it anyway. 
  • You’re angry with yourself. You beat yourself up in the emotional butt for getting off track and you end up staying there. Rather than being negative towards yourself, just keep going. If you miss one day of your goal, get it done the next. If you forget it at 9am, do it the instant you remember it. Just do it when you can.  And be kind to yourself.  Say to yourself, “It’s okay. I can start over right now.” 
  • You’re lonely because there’s no one to cheer your on. We women, especially busy working moms, tend to do things alone because we don’t want to bug anyone. Get support. Ask a friend to be an accountability buddy. Post your goal on social media or start a small group. Consider getting a coach. Having someone to check in with regularly will motivate you even when you don’t want to keep going. If I wake up today not wanting to write, I can tell myself that my pal Pauline wants to know if I wrote in my journal today. A cheerleader will encourage you and help you stay on track much better than you would on your own. 
  • You’re discouraged. By focusing only on what’s going wrong, you miss out on what’s going right. I’m a big believer in celebrating small wins. Small wins matter. They positively encourage you and build momentum. Did you drink your tea away from your desk? Get a walk in today? Take a picture of a rainbow? Good for you! Give yourself a pat on the back and focus on your next self-care time. Did you write for 5 minutes? Woohoo!!! Mark it in your calendar and celebrate you! The small wins all count. 

These 5 emotional traps can derail your resolutions and keep you stuck. To change your behavior, you need to change your thinking. Ensure that you hit your goals (self-care or otherwise) this year by avoiding these traps. You’ll stick to your New Year’s resolutions and meet your goals.

Happy 2019 and cheers to you!

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10 Signs You’ve got Superwoman Syndrome

          In comic book history, Superwoman (or Supergirl) first appeared in an Action Comic by DC Comics in 1959. She had superhuman strength, hearing, vision and could fly. Go back a bit further and you’d find that even Lois Lane was Superwoman several times beginning in 1943.

          Usually when people today think of a Superwoman, they think of a cape-wearing super-heroine with magical powers, great hair and makeup who manages to rescue someone in distress in the last 10 minutes of an hour-long show.

Stressed Out WomanOr in terms of us puny humans, she’s an extraordinary woman who is outstanding at every role she has – worker, partner, mother, community member and her house is spotless!     

     This new definition of a Superwoman came as more and more women began working. In 1988, Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz wrote the book on Superwoman Syndrome, to help women do everything they want to do and be happy while doing it.

          “The superwoman identity refers to a woman, who performs a combination of multiple concurrent full-time roles such as wife, mother, worker, homemaker and caregiver [72, 73].” Authors Sumra & Schillaci researched the effect of stress on woman in multiple roles (aka Superwomen). You have all the jobs all the time. The stress comes from trying to do everything perfectly…..even though we know we can’t.

Here are 10 signs you’ve got Superwoman Syndrome:

  • You work (in/out of the home) and you’re a caregiver (kids, parents, partner)
  • You feel like a failure because you aren’t doing everything perfectly at home AND at work
  • You stay awake all night thinking about everything you need to do the next day, week, month or year
  • You’re to-do list is longer than a trip from here to the sun
  • You worry that your kids/partner/parent aren’t getting enough of your time
  • You stay up late cleaning/cooking/packing lunches/ironing because you can’t stand the thought of not getting everything done
  • You get frustrated with yourself because you CAN’T do it all perfectly
  • You say yes to EVERYONE and EVERYTHING because you don’t want anyone to judge you
  • You’re afraid of losing your partner, kids, parents’ love if you take time for yourself
  • You get physical symptoms (headaches/stomach problems) from all of the stress, worry and guilt

          If you agree with at least two or more of these, guess what?  You’ve got Superwoman Syndrome. And that makes you a Superwoman.

          Sure, your cape is probably wrinkled, faded and has a few stains and tears, but you still have it. You’re still a Superwoman. You put tons of pressure on yourself to do everything right. You’re a perfectionist. You have trouble saying no and don’t like disappointing people (so you say yes to everything). You try to be all things for all people all the time because you feel bad if other people feel bad. And the more you do, the more stressed out you get and put yourself at an increased risk of various physical, emotional and mental health issues.

         The best way to stop Superwoman syndrome from stressing you out and creating havoc in your life is to be kinder to yourself. You can be kinder to yourself by practicing good self-care. By loving on yourself a little bit everyday. Self-care means doing all the things that increase your energy and joy while decreasing stress and guilt. Taking 5 minutes to listen to your favorite song. Putting up your favorite quotes at your desk. Self-care can also mean going to therapy or getting a coach to guide you through the process. 

Being a working mom doesn’t have to mean you come in last place. It means that you need to take better care of yourself so that you can be at your best for yourself, your family and work.



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3 Myths about Self-Care You Believe

If you do a google search on self-care, you’ll get 1.8 billion results in less than a second. There are tons of resources out there about self-care and there are lots of people wanting to know what self-care is. I believe self-care is a combination of big and small things that we do to recharge our batteries, uplift our spirit and increase our overall energy (physically, emotionally & mentally) so that we can live our lives.

While there is an abundance of information about self-care, there are also myths about self-care. Here are three myths about self-care that I’m busting for you right now.

Self-care is an escape.

It can feel like one especially if you’re very stressed out and overwhelmed. When you have a million things to do and a million other people (or pets) to focus on, you WANT to escape. I know I want to escape sometimes. But self-care is more than just an escape from life’s stress.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, self-care is “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.” It’s a broad definition and really doesn’t show what self-care is.

I agree with this to a point. There is so much that falls under the umbrella of self-care. This is why the word self-care can be so misleading. People easily get confused by it. This confusion is why I focus on energy. Well, what does energy have to do with self-care?

A Google search shows that energy is “the strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity.”  I love this definition of energy because it helps define the point of self-care: to get your energy back. 

I believe that self-care is a combination of big and little things we do to recharge our batteries and increase our energy. Self-care helps us get back the energy we need to live our lives. It helps us fill ourselves up so we can take on the busy-ness of life.

But, what DOES self-care look like?

It means going to your annual doctor’s appointments. Or for me…eeek – the dentist! It means taking lunch AWAY from your desk so you aren’t tempted to do any work.  

(Tip: Take lunch away from your desk once a week and see how you feel after). Self-care means taking time out of your day everyday to reconnect with yourself. To focus on your wants and needs. 

Life is tough – bills to pay, families/pets/parents to care of and work to do. Plus all of the things that we see happening in the world. It’s alot to handle. Self-care CAN be an escape from your life. But it is an opportunity to focus on building up your energy and spirit so that you can handle the toughness of life.

Self-care is the daily process of taking care of you BEFORE putting your focus and energy towards other people, tasks, etc. When you take time for you everyday, you’ll get your energy back. You’ll better focus on work, family/pets and social activities. AND, most importantly, you’ll feel happier.

If you’ve taken ever flown on a plane, you’ve heard the flight attendants make announcements for emergencies. You need to put your oxygen mask on first BEFORE helping anyone else with theirs. There is no way you can be strong or present for the people you care about forever. You’ll run out of energy.  Self-care is YOUR oxygen mask in life.

Self-Care costs an arm and a leg.

Self-care is an investment in YOU. It is an investment in your emotional, physical and mental well-being. It is an investment in recuperating your energy so that you can maintain the life you have. Taking care of family/pets, working and social activities take a toll on you. We invest so much money in our education, buying a home or in training to advance at work. But, an investment in you is an investment in your health and well-being. 

You ARE worth it! You matter. You are important. You may read this and think “yeah right.” But, I know something you’ve probably forgotten – there is NO ONE like you. You are unique and special and you are worth it. Health is wealth and when you invest in yourself with self-care, your health will give you much more that you could imagine.

Take a picture like this one.

One of my self-care tips is easy to do and it’s free. I’m great at getting overwhelmed. I’d be the gold medalist at it if it was an Olympic sport. Everyday, I take a quick walk after dropping my youngest off at school. I just shut up and look and listen to everything around me. My walks help me breathe and re-center myself. I go at a slow pace and take in the city sounds. Look at and take pictures of flowers. This is a grounding technique I use to keep myself from feeling overwhelmed. 

While free is great, it isn’t always helpful long-term. Sometimes, getting your self-care requires some cash or a little work that can pay off later on. Just like taking a college class toward a degree, paying for your self-care can help motivate you to put in the time and effort to achieve your goals. 

Tip: Do some research with your insurance company. You may find it will cover a variety of self-care activities such as going to the gym, therapy or even acupuncture (if recommended by your primary doctor). Some insurance companies will send you gift cards for attending your annual doctor visits. 

Or you can try something else, like paying for a life coach or trainer (note: be sure to carefully research these before buying so that you know what you’re getting). You may not need a therapist, but maybe you need a life coach or trainer who work with you to achieve your goals. 

Self-care can wait until later.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women ages 16 and older worked an average of 40.9 hours per week as of 2017. That number is slightly higher for men (43.4) ages 16 and older. When you add family and social activities, you end up spending a lot of time doing things for other people. Then you decide, “well, I don’t have time for this now; I’ll do it later.”

Except that later comes and you STILL put off doing something for your self-care. One of the greatest examples of “I’ll do it later” is my mom. She was a very busy woman with work, church responsibilities and social activities. Mami counted the years to her retirement, often sharing her dreams of traveling to different states and countries. Except that later came and she was gone. She died 18 years ago and that lesson is the biggest one that stayed with me.

My gorgeous Mom.

Tip: Your time is NOW!!! All of the choices you make for your self-care need to happen now. The best time to take lunch away from your desk is now. The best time to read that uplifting book is now. 

All of the choices I’ve made since losing Mami is about focusing on the present moment. What brings me energy now. What makes me happy now. Mami taught me to enjoy the now. Because time is a precious commodity. And tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.

Your time is NOW! And what a better time than now to focus on YOUR self-care.

So let’s recap the self-care myths:

  1. Self-care is an escape. Nope – it is a daily practice to get your energy back. 
  2. Self-care is expensive. Not – it’s an investment of time and/or money in YOU!
  3. Self-care can wait until later. No way – the time is now!

These myths often stop you from getting the self-care you need. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. You CAN have alone time with the support of your family. You deserve it. 

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