Archive for the ‘Wellbeing’ Category

This is a fairly personal post, and one which I have been pondering for a while. My situation was fairly unique, in that I was 6 weeks pregnant when I got made redundant, which definitely, erm….’complicated’ matters.

But let’s start from the beginning. Backtrack to 2013. I was going along happily in my role as a marketing manager for a book publisher based in Sydney. Rob and I had just got back from several weeks in London and Thailand, we’d gotten engaged in London and I was already in full throttle wedding planning mode. We’d decided to try to fall pregnant, as we thought it might take a while due to my polycystic ovarian syndrome. We tried for 2 weeks and lo and behold, we shouldn’t have worried, as I feel pregnant immediately! Cue some trepidation, but excitement too.

I had a blood test to confirm the pregnancy, got the positive results on Friday, had the weekend to let it digest, then went into work on the Monday to find out 5 people in sales & marketing were being made redundant, and I was one of them.

redundancy

 

It’s a funny thing, redundancy. You never think it’s going to happen to you. And then it does, as it will at least once in your life unless you work for yourself (statistics show).

In hindsight, I should have taken a few weeks to relax, sleep in, think about my options and enjoy the payout and the time off. But I was conscious that I had a deadline – I had to find a job before it was obvious that I was pregnant, as let’s face it: who would hire someone when they knew they would be leaving 8-9 months down the track? It turned out that I found a job 3 weeks after I was made redundant, and I was honest with my employer and asked if they would consider the role as a contract role for 8 months, to which they agreed. They said they appreciated the honesty, as I wasn’t obliged to tell them I was up the duff, but I couldn’t have consciously lived with myself if I had lied to them. So, there was a happy ending to the story, however it was still tough going.

You battle with feelings of not being good enough when you’re made redundant. Even if circumstances dictate that people had to go, and it wasn’t a personal reflection on you, it still FEELS personal.

So if you’re going through this right now, know that I know how you feel. That it’s a constant battle between motivating yourself to check out jobs on Seek, or lie on the couch watching bad daytime TV.

Here are some things I did after I was made redundant, which helped me. I thought I’d share them, as they could help some of you out there too.

  • Get some regular exercise – I started swimming, because I had the time and I also needed someplace to go every day, a sort of schedule if you like.
  • Do nice things for yourself – Treat yourself to a pedicure, have a long lunch with a friend, go away for an extended weekend or just buy yourself something beautiful. It helps to indulge yourself (just don’t go overboard once the redundancy payout comes through!)
  • Use the time to really think about what you want to do next – Don’t just switch into auto-pilot and start looking for the same job you had. Take the time to think if you want to continue down your career path, or try something new. Maybe you might want to study? Maybe travel? For me, I took the 8 month contract role in marketing, had my baby, and then chose to study counselling and set up my own social media management business. Which I would probably never have done, had I not had the wake up call to get off the work treadmill and really think about my future.
  • Revise your CV and make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to scratch – I may be the first to tell you this, but LinkedIn has been an amazing avenue for me in terms of finding work. Quite apart from being contacted by recruitment agents via LinkedIn, three of my current clients reached out to me on LinkedIn because we had connections in common. And let’s face it – if your CV isn’t up-to-date, well-formatted and spell-checked, you aren’t even getting a foot in the door when it comes to interviews.
  • Think about starting a creative project – Start a blog, write the first draft of the book you’ve got in you, paint or draw. Start cooking all those long and complicated recipes that you’ve never had time to make before. Or declutter your house. All productive uses of your time, and you’ll feel a sense of achievement as you’re doing them and afterwards.

And remember, this too shall pass.

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

Being December, first up it’s…

  • Christmas! – Yes, I am one of THOSE people. The people that embrace Christmas like it’s the last time they’ll ever see Santa again. I love putting up the tree while listening to Christmas carols.
    I love wrapping presents and decorating the house. I love the chaos of Christmas lunch and I love Boxing Day where you lay around all day watching the cricket and eating leftovers. My wonderful husband is Jewish so this year we’ve embraced Chanukah with a Menorah as well as a Christmas tree. Our son loves it – he calls the Menorah ‘Nora’ :)i love christmas
  • Re-reading the Harry Potter series – Every year at the beginning of December I re-read the entire seven-book Harry Potter series. To me, Harry Potter = holiday reading.
    Before I had a child I would have them all read easily by Christmas Day. Now I am a parent, I estimate I will have them read by February LOL. They are truly magical tales, and I can’t wait to read them to my kids once they’re old enough. The ones are the editions I have – the best ones, in my opinion.
    Harry Potter series
  • Building my business – This month I am working my butt off, scheduling work for my clients so I can take a couple of days off over Christmas.I plan on using December and January to plan what I want my 2016 to look like, how many more clients I can take on once Harrison is in daycare, and how to manage the increased workload. Fun, challenging, stressful and exciting times! I am finding the life of an entrepreneur VERY similar to the life of a parent, I have to say.

    life of an entrepreneur

  • Pedicures – When I have the luxury of time, I love a massage, facial or pedicure.
    This month I indulged with a long session at my favourite beauty salon and got my toenails painted a lovely pale blue colour, similar to this… (caveat: these are not my toes). Everyone has their way of relaxing, and this is mine.pedicure
  • Coffee! – I am really enjoying the Republica Organic brand of coffee right now, specifically the Paris blend. We were given a Nespresso coffee machine as a wedding present, and since having Harrison, I have been more and more into coffee (and the caffeine hit it give you!). After a while I decided to try the supermarket brands of coffee pods and some of them are outstanding. I love choosing what flavour and intensity I feel like that day, and making it myself to whatever strength I want.
    BUT, I’ll be away from the beloved Nespresso machine over Christmas so I’ve decided I’ll go on a coffee detox. Wish me luck!coffee

That’s all from me this year. I’ll be back in a reduced capacity next year, dependent on how busy Lisa Seltzer Social Media Management gets – at the moment it’s looking like I may put the blog on ice until I have more time, but we will see.

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

This month has been HUGE for me. I’ve launched my new website – www.lisaseltzer.com – and put a lot of time and energy into planning how I’ll be working for the next few years. It’s energising, challenging, frustrating (particularly when it comes to technology fails!) but most of all exciting. For so many years I’ve worked for other people, often thinking “I could do this better than you” and now I AM. By the by, if you need any help with your social media, or just want to chat about what I think of your social media presence, feel free to get in touch – info@lisaseltzer.com

Now, onto other things in my life that I’m enjoying this month…

  • Fresh flowers – I love flowers. Some may say my love borders on obsession (namely, my husband) but I think flowers add a great energy to a room and to a home. I’m particularly partial to pale pink roses at the moment.

pale pink rose

  • Homemade pizza – Our family LOVES pizza. And by far the healthiest and tastiest option we’ve found is to make our own. We use wholemeal lebanese bread and whatever toppings we each fancy, and it makes for awesome leftovers for lunch the next day. A super easy and pretty healthy dinner (depending on how much cheese you use!)

lebanese bread pizza

  • Canva – I’m proficient in Photoshop and InDesign, but they’re expensive design programs to buy. A cheaper, quicker and easier online tool I’ve found is Canva. Canva is a website that allows you to design everything from Facebook cover images (already sized to the correct dimensions) to printed posters. I use it to create social media images for work and personal use, and it’s a fantastic tool. They even have a photo library that you can purchase images from for as little as $1. Too easy.

Canva

  • The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant – I have very little time to read these days, and when I do I want an escapist pleasure read. Anything by Sarah Dunant fits that bill, and The Birth of Venus is the latest book to grab me. Historical fiction, with a huge amount of fact thrown in, it’s got me gripped late into the night when I should be using my precious time to sleep! That’s how you know you’ve found a good book.

birth of venus

  • Tamburlaine organic wine – My husband and I recently had a long weekend away in the Hunter Valley, which is a fantastic wine region in NSW, Australia. We visited loads of wineries throughout the weekend, but went back to our all-time favourite, Tamburlaine. We love Tamburlaine so much that we even got married there last year! (and drank more wine than had been consumed by a wedding there EVER – great claim to fame!). This visit we discovered a beautiful Marsanne, another couple of bottles of the GSM (Grenache Shirz Merlot) we had at our wedding, and took home a case of the Semillon Sauvignon Blanc – it will be our go-to wine this summer.

tamburlaine organic wines

 

Stay Fit & Well this month,
Lisa x

 

Well, Spring is well and truly here! And Spring in Australia means topsy-turvy weather – hot and humid one day, chilly the next. This month a lot of great things have happened (I’m pulling together my new website – exciting!), a few not-so-great (someone ran into my car and caused me minor whiplash, so exercise is out for a bit) and the usual ride-a-minute of Parenthood has continued. These are a few of my favourite things this month…

  • Glasshouse Candles – I’ve loved these candles for years, but my current favourite is Kyoto. It’s a blend of Camellia, Lotus and Amber and seems to convey the feeling of Spring while also promising a hint of Summer. I find it relaxing, and it also helps rid the house of the smell of baby poo 🙂
    Glasshouse candle Kyoto
  • Trilogy Rosapene Night Cream – Above all else, I love the smell of this night cream. I adore rose scents, and this cream has that in spades. It’s also super moisturising, but doesn’t make my combination skin oily. A winner!

Trilogy Rosapene night cream

  • Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream SPF 30 – I was up-sold this in David Jones a couple of weeks ago, and I have to say I’m converted. This cream does three things for me: it helps hide the slight rosacea I have on my nose, it provides a smooth base to put my foundation on, and it gives me sun protection. Loving it.

Clinique moisture surge CC cream

  • Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port – This is a book I bought on recommendation. I can’t actually remember where I saw it recommended, but it obviously struck a chord, and I bought it online. Often business books can be hit-and-miss, but this one is seriously useful. I’ve started my own social media management company (well, I started out freelancing for a couple of companies a while ago, then decided to increase my workload, and it snowballed from there) and it’s given me great clarity on what I want to achieve through working for myself, what my brand should mean to my customers, and how I want to portray myself. And I haven’t even got to the part about how to get more clients! It’s an inspiring read, and I can’t wait to finish it so I can go back over it again and again and clarify things even more.

Book Yourself Solid

  • Banana and Raspberry Bread – This is a really easy banana bread recipe, uses no butter and fresh raspberries. It does take 1hr 30mins to bake in the oven though, so make sure you’ve got the time. On the plus side, because it’s baking for so long at a relatively low temperature, it will make your house smell amazing. And it’s delicious plain, or toasted with butter.

banana bread

 

What are you loving this month?

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

I’m not going to beat around the bush here – motherhood sure isn’t easy. And it can be a rude awakening to find out that being a new mum doesn’t mean just staring lovingly at your adoring baby while they sleep. No no no – housework still needs to be done, you need to eat, and also – babies often don’t sleep! Or sleep for only a few hours at a time. Hello sleep deprivation for new parents! Here are some things I have been doing regularly since Harrison was born, and I really found they helped me initially, and still help me now, to feel like myself again as well as being ‘Mama’.

  1. Go for a coffee – While that first time leaving the house along with bub may feel like it’s never going to happen (it may take an hour to get everything ready, then the baby poops right before you leave the house. Just warning you), you HAVE to get out of the house and also: COFFEE. Take your mum, your friend, your partner, your neighbour and just go to the closest and easiest place you can find. Cafes without change tables are a no-no, so do your homework before you go. You’ll feel revived, you will have gotten some fresh air and a bonus could be that your baby sleeps in the pram the whole time you’re there.I need sleep but I'll settle for coffee
  2. Make time for exercise – This is hard. There just never feels like there’s any time for you when you have a newborn baby (umm, make that any sort of child of any age actually), especially if you’re breastfeeding on demand. But do what you have to do to make exercise happen – check out YouTube for workouts you can do from the comfort of your living room, walk around the block 5 times every morning with bub in a baby carrier or pram, go swimming once a week while your partner looks after the baby. Anything is better than nothing, and your body and brain will thank you for the stress relief and endorphins. make time to workout
  3. Spend at least a few hours away from your adorable family per week – I know, I know – they can’t be without you. As soon as you leave the house, the baby will cry, daddy will cry because he can’t figure out what’s wrong, with the baby and even the dog will cry from all the noise! Trust me – this will not happen. Or if it does – I’m sorry, you’ve married the wrong person. Joking! Sort of. But seriously, getting back some ‘me’ time really does make you feel so much better it’s not funny. Some mums I know take Saturday morning to sleep in until 10am while their partners take care of the kids, other mums have monthly massages, weekly manicures or brunch dates with friends. Whatever it is, take the time to do it and you will feel better, your family will be happier with a happier Mama, and it will save a lot of resentment from building up. relax
  4. Join a Mother’s Group – This REALLY saved my sanity. Not only was it great to talk to other mums who were new to the Mama game, but we could all ask each other “Is it normal that he’s waking up every 4hrs?”, “Do all formula-fed babies have poos like that?” and “Will we ever lose the baby weight and be normal again?”. I have laughed with, cried with, supported and been humbled by every one of the mums in my Mother’s Group and I wouldn’t be without them. After you leave the hospital, the local community health nurse should call you and set you up with a Mother’s Group and honestly, it may feel like a drag to go along to that first meeting, but go. You’ll meet some amazing women who will inspire and comfort you like no other friends you have!mothers group
  5. Date nights – do them! – It will take planning, it will take preparation, it may take using a breast pump if you’re breastfeeding, but please, please, please – for the sake of your relationship, go on dates with your partner. You may often end up talking mainly about the baby, but you’ll also be able to enjoy nice food not cooked by one of you, no washing up, maybe a glass or two of wine, and a bit of quiet time to actually talk to each other about how you’re feeling. Checking in with your partner is the number one thing you can do to maintain a good relationship. If your main relationship with your significant other isn’t strong, how can you expect to build a strong and loving family unit? It’s an investment that is worth it’s weight in gold. And it’s fun 🙂

Date night when you're a parent I’d love to hear any other tips from Mamas out there – what do you do on a regular basis to keep your sanity intact as a mum? Stay Fit & Well, Lisa x