The following is a list of life hacks and helpful tools we mention on the show. Some are practical “tricks of the trade” we use to help in our daily life; others are legit sources that can help with the yucks of life; and some good ol’ Psych ED articles (which can also be super validating) and are research-based. However, we highly recommend getting professional help if life gets to be too much.

“Asking for help is not giving up. It’s refusing to give up.”

-Charlie Mackesy’s “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse”

It’s okay not to be okay.

Episode 17

Spring Fever

Seasonal changes often trigger changes in our lives. Taking the time to reflect on this process and what our current needs are.  It’s a natural time to make plans, change goals, and celebrate your accomplishments! Even if you haven’t checked off all your goals, acknowledging the successes along the way helps keep us motivated to reach those big/scary goals!

Episode 16

Mama Tell Me ‘Bout The Good Ol’ Days

Reminiscing about the good ol ‘ days can be so much fun! Life is full of endless layers and being able to pull the onion back at times can really pull at all your heartstrings. This episode is a playful, yet thoughtful reminder of what it means to come home.

Episode 15

The Pulse

Living is a process, and self-reflection is a valuable tool for personal growth and overall health.  Doing this effectively is aided by taking a nonjudgmental stance toward yourself. Being accountable can be motivating. Holding yourself accountable and without judgment is an art.  In this episode, we take a look at our progress towards the personal goals we set for ourselves. Making changes is adaptive and healthy and may help you achieve that work-life balance so many of us are seeking.

Episode 14

I Need A Holiday

Summer is coming, but that also brings the possible stress of planning family vacations… Let’s begin by reframing our own expectations and challenging the “keeping up with the Joneses” thoughts.  Also, like nearly everything else, the first place to start is with you, your partner, and whoever else this may involve (kiddos, pets, friends, etc…).

Here are Sarah’s top  recommendations for planning travel:

What are the goals of the trip for you and anyone else involved?  To relax, explore a new place, “bucket list trip,” etc…

Climate considerations. What? Yes. It’s important to be aware of the role of a place’s climate and how it can affect your temperament.  Remember, you control your destination and season if you choose to go someplace.  Our family does not do well when traveling in extreme heat, so going to Disney in June … was a huge mistake. Now, we have adapted and tend to go places that serve to decrease emotional vulnerabilities triggered by climate.

Activities for the Ages.  When traveling with the kiddos, we try to balance the activities among the ages, which means the kids don’t always get what they want.  And that’s okay. 

Brainstorm places (without judgment and discounting more local feasible options, like state parks), duration options (several single-day trips instead of one big one), possible barriers (date conflicts) & backup plans, & needs (passport, visas, or planning ahead medically, for example).  

Be where you are. If you decide to go somewhere, be there. Try to allow other thoughts about stressors to stay back. For example, thinking about work while on a trip really defeats the purpose of going.

Episode 13

School’s OUT for SUMMER!

Whether you’re breathing a sigh of relief or feeling anxious about having kids home all summer, the end of the school year brings up all kinds of emotions for kids and adults. If you’re a fellow educator like Jen, you may be counting down the days left in the school year, but if your child is hitting a stride and you’re concerned they may fall behind; Jen provides some tips for navigating the school system’s resources and what parents can do to help their child! And also, what NOT to do!

The research on retention (i.e., being held back, retained in the same grade) is not favorable. What we do know is it simply does not have the impact adults believe it will, and it actually has negative long-term outcomes. This article linked provides an in-depth look at the research on retention. If your child has recently been recommended for retention and you disagree, this is a great article to bring when you meet with your child’s school to discuss options.

Episode 12

Aging Parents

Talk about transitions! At no point is it easy to have end-of-life decisions with someone, but this is one of those cases where “ripping off the Band-Aid,” may be the most helpful first step. Second, practicing good self-care. Other valuable tips include educating yourself on the needs of the situation and resources in your area.

This infographic is great for where to start when discussing your parents’ needs as they age. Having these hard conversations before they are absolutely necessary is key.

A great website for where to start when you’re faced with caregiving for a parent. 

This USA Today article is extremely validating for anyone going through this transition.

Lastly, The National Institue on Aging, can be very helpful for practitioners, but the tips shared here can be applicable for all.

Episode 11

Religious Mutts

 As George Michael (and Sarah) said, “You gotta have faith.”  Add that to the list of things that seemed easier in our youth! In this week’s episode, we talk religion, the good, the fun, and the yucks! Fun fact: Sarah and Jen’s friendship thrived through the church. As teens, they were extremely involved in youth groups. Their faith is probably what helped them survive their teen years! Now as mothers, Jen and Sarah reflect on how they are approaching religion with their kids and themselves. What if your spouse doesn’t have the same faith or specific religious practice? What if you feel like you haven’t found a place where you fit in or are completely aligned with a specific religion? We cover it all!

This link is a wonderful resource for how to talk spirituality with little kids particularly if you are a family that does not attend church regularly.

Episode 10

Rituals and Routines

Humans thrive in routine. Rituals, daily habits, routines–whatever you want to call them, are essential to everyday functioning and mental wellness. These practices are what bring us back to ourselves and make life predictable. Predictability reduces anxiety. It’s that simple. Kids and adults alike benefit from routines/rituals. In this episode, Jen and Sarah break down their non-negotiable daily routines and habits that help manage their mental wellness.

 Inspired by the book Atomic Habits by James Clear and a podcast she was listening to, Jen developed these 5 daily habits that she believed would help her to show up each day as her best self.  When choosing your routine/self-care ritual, choose some behaviors you already do each day in addition to behaviors you want to improve or initiate. This will help build success when implementing a new routine.

Jen’s Daily 5:

Hydration– Athletic Greens (AG1), hot H20 w/lemon, then coffee first thing in the morning

Meditation-20 minutes of guided mediation using the Melissa Wood Health app

Movement– move my body in a way that feels good (pilates, circuit, run, etc.)

Gua sha & Gratitude– Gratitude while gua shaing my face/body

Read/Journal/Listen to Podcast 



Episode 9

To Botox Or Not To Botox

Whether you have or haven’t, you’ve thought about it. Botox is everywhere and so much more accessible in this day and age. We mid-life mamas are the prime target, and if you haven’t had it, you probably feel as though you are one of the last who hasn’t. Whether you have or you haven’t, we hope that YOU think you’re beautiful and KNOW that “YOU  are entirely up to YOU” (to quote the great Melissa Wood Tepperberg).

This article was shared on social media recently by a friend from high school (GO KNIGHTS!) We had just talked about our views on aging and felt validated that so many other mamas like us feel the same way. 

Episode 8

Diet Culture

Diet culture has been a big part of our lives for so many of us mid-life mamas. Like it or lump it, it’s been in our faces since we were old enough to read. Low fat, Low carb, No carb, Vegan, Carb cycling, Intermittent fasting, Keto, Whole30, Plant-based, I mean, what haven’t we been exposed to?! We grew up watching MTV Spring Break with rock-hard bodies, 90’s pencil-thin model standard, and if you’re like Jen, a step-parent obsessed with dieting and weight loss. It’s really no wonder so many women from our generation have experience with disordered eating. What’s inspiring about women of our generation is our willingness to try something different for our girls. To show them body positivity, inclusivity, and that a healthy, strong body looks different on every BODY. 

Tips from the Show:

  1. Watch your words! The words you use (to yourself in your head, as thoughts) and speak that your kids hear all directly impact our actions (behavior) and feelings.
  2. The goal is to leave a meal feeling energized, not full. Food is fuel, and having that mindset can help resist non-nutritious foods.
  3. Food is fuel, not a reward (i.e., “I’ve been good, I can have a cupcake”) or punishment (“I’ve been bad, I have to eat a salad for dinner).”
  4. Eat a rainbow!
  5.  As a clinical & health psychologist, Sarah (aka Dr. Stevens), recommends reviewing the resources provided here!

Episode 7

Friendships In Your Thir-Fourties

It turns out mama was right. Again. Friendships change over time; some evolve, while others run their course. We can all agree that the sign of a true friendship is the ability to pick right up where you’ve left off, whether it’s been a week, month, or year(s). We can also agree that when friendships end, it can be one of the most challenging transitions we experience in adult life. Quality friendships are vital for good mental health; it’s that simple.  Research shows that having solid relationships aside from your spouse significantly impacts your mental health. While it may seem tricky at first, making new friends in your 30s and 40s, you are at a slight advantage because, at this point in life, you know what activities bring you joy! As discussed in the podcast, it is the best way to make new friends! 

“It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday…” now that one is ringing in your ears! But it’s true, especially when it’s a close friend.  Jen described this transition beautifully.  This essay reflects on the ending of a friendship and how moving forward can take time.

This article really spoke to me and validated so much of how I (Sarah) feel and see friendships. My favorite advice, which I also practice, is to make yourself a “regular” somewhere doing something you enjoy. This will break down the common interest barrier and help to build a good start to new relationships.  After all, relationships were formed from proximity in the first place!

Episode 6

Step Mummy

It is a gift to serve as an additional parent in a child’s life and a challenge… keeping it authentic here, lol! If you have some tips or shared experiences, help a sister by contacting us on our webpage!

We love the full-on coverage of this article… it hits on the different developmental stages of the child, relationships, coping, allllllll the things!

Episode 5

Parental Loss

The loss of a parent is life-changing. It’s the club no one wants to be a part of. You can’t know the devastation and difficulty until you’ve experienced it. Here are some resources that may support your grief journey. 

Lots of graphics on this page, but the content is on-point and mirrors the experiences and coping strategies discussed on the show.

In alignment with the expansiveness of this topic, here is a comprehensive review.

Episode 4

Imposter Syndrome

“Imposter Syndrome…” Who doesn’t feel this way at some point? And “isn’t it ironic” (cue Alanis Morissette, lol) that this term was first coined in the ’70s amongst high-achieving women?! Don’t worry; it’s not a diagnosis but it IS a yucky feeling filled with false statements we tell ourselves. No worries though! Below are some tips to help you remove that imposter mask! Most importantly, remember, “You got this!”

This is a great, quick, and helpful read on “Imposter Syndrome” and offers practical tips to “take off the mask.”

If you really want to “geek out” on this topic, here is a relatively short, more research-heavy read on “Imposter Syndrome.” Most importantly, your feelings are valid; but your thoughts may not be.

Episode 3

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease. There is no cure. Without insulin, we die. It’s that simple; however, managing the disease is uber complicated. Educating yourself on the signs and symptoms can be lifesaving for you or a loved one… Having a chronic condition does not define you. Sarah is the epitome of that statement.

JDRF has the best comprehensive resources on this condition… for the T1D, their parent, grandparent, school, support system, literally everything. 

Episodes 2 & 3

The Somethings Exercise

As you heard on the show, “The Somethings” are fun ways to stay reflective and positive, give some self-affirmations, promote interests/ curiosity, and stay on track with goals. Doing practices like this can serve as grounding when things get tough, and you need a boost, ways to push motivation, and keep that inner cheerleader voice going loud and strong!

If you liked this and tried it, share your “something’s with us!” by visiting our contact us page or comment on social media @thelylaspodcast!

The Somethings:

· Something I did last week that I am proud of…
· Something I am still growing in…
· Something I’m interested in… (cool news topic / learning point) …
· Something I loved and wanna support…
· Something I am looking forward to…

Episode 2

Ferris Wheel of Hell

Let’s say it… panic attacks suck. Jen’s heartfelt experience with this highlights they can happen to anyone, the internal struggle is REAL, and there are helpful tools to assist, including getting professional help. Below are a few resources on what panic attacks are and tools you can use to get off the Ferris wheel of hell.

This first is the traditional psych ed resource, a good overview of panic attacks

This one is great for grounding in the moment. It’s from an empirically supported model of care and these skills are excellent for panic. 

Welcome to Canada! Ok, not really, but in opening this link you will notice it is from the Canadian government. Here is why… the US does a great job of talking about “what’s up” not necessarily “what to do,” from a self-help perspective. Check this out:

Jen also mentioned basic grounding.  This can be a great tool to use when you think you may have a panic attack coming on. Use your senses (all of them) to focus on what is currently around you. For example, name 5 things you see, hear, taste, smell or feel (tangible like clothing on legs, hard seat). This will serve as a reset for your nervous system and may prevent a full blown panic attack.  Sometimes, creating a self-soothe kit can be helpful and discrete.