Wellness Wednesday: Self Care (my list)

I’ve been a slacker lately.  I’ve been neglecting the most important person in my life.  I haven’t been speaking nicely to her, I haven’t been letting her have fun.  I’ve been stressing her out, making her feel less than, and putting everyone and everything before her.  In some ways, I’ve ripped some bandaids off of her that needed to come off, but also took away some vices that are no longer serving her.  She’s felt a little lost, confused, lonely, transitional.  She’s been so consumed filling her days with endless chores, work, tending to children, dogs, a sick husband.  I let her slip through the cracks of the day where I used to let her shine.  Instead of allowing joy and passion, I restricted her fun times and made sure she was constantly worrying and working.  Instead of breathing in positivity and love, and exhaling negative emotions and draining feelings, I made her spill her cup until it was no longer full…and she just kept pouring even though there seemed liked there was nothing left.  I didn’t even put her on the back burner, I took her completely off.  I stripped away parts of her that were not really what she wanted, and instead of filling her soul with what she craves, I pushed her harder into motherly duties, housework, and fatigue.  But do you know what friends? Our bodies, minds, hearts, and souls are all connected.  They know when something is off, when we are not living out our true abilities.  And I began to listen.  I started hearing the still small voice saying go to acupuncture, eat the right foods, move your body, write freely, spend time doing the things that you love.  It took awhile for it all to start to come together, and after a tearful breakdown before my kids’ birthday party, I realized something really had to change.

Mamas.  The weight of the world that we bear on our shoulders can be immense.  No matter if you’re working from home, working away from home, or simply working hard at being a mom, there are so many reasons we burn out.  Our bodies will tell us when something is off and mine has been trying to tell me for some time…but how often do we just push away our desires, feelings, thoughts, frustrations, needs, wants etc because we just simply don’t have the energy or the time?  Well that is not okay.  We need to pull out our calendars, our iPhones, our day planners and schedule it in.  Not just “me time” but sincerely put it into a time slot and prioritize yourself.  Then do it again.  Then again.  Then again.  Watch your health increase.  Your mood get happier.  Your life seem to get easier.

Don’t just say, “Oh when the kids go to bed I’ll take care of me,” because if you don’t have a plan, like me, I get to the end of my day and I just feel like a zombie.  I’ll pull up some distraction of sort, and scroll until my eyes cross.  Then I’ll just go to bed.  Wake up and repeat.

Not sure what to do? Stop right now and take out your phone or better yet a piece of paper or journal and write down at least 10-20 activities that you enjoy doing.  They can be free or they can be experiences that cost you money. I shared a list previously here on this post last year, as this was part of the process when I worked with Lindsay Preston my Life Coach.  Interestingly enough, I was just chatting with my friend and neighbor Katie earlier and she was saying how the Blogilates girl was sharing how her weight went down more when she was doing things for herself like taking dance lessons, getting massages etc.  We hear it all of the time, do more self-care–but self-care is NOT selfish and honestly should be one of the first things we schedule into our day.  Rachel Hollis even said she’s writing a book right now all about making your health a priority and to move your body every day for 30 minutes.

My current “do you time” aka self-care list:

  • Blogging
  • Reading
  • Journaling
  • Working out
  • Morning Routine
  • Actually playing with my kids (puzzles, outside, with their toys, video games, reading books, board games…)
  • Yoga
  • Dancing
  • Mani/Pedi
  • Massages
  • Facial
  • Tea time
  • Girl Time
  • Date Nights
  • Trips & Travel
  • Sipping a Starbucks drink in a Starbucks.
  • Cooking/baking
  • Detox Bath
  • Walk outside
  • Dates with Brooke
  • Dates with Bradley
  • The beach (Summer)

The point is we become so consumed with daily needs of the world and neglect ourselves.  And in my humble opinion, when I start taking everything so seriously and don’t allow myself to have fun, life feels so hard and isolating.  Now some of these can be bigger things like vacation or fancy spa days, and those are great incentives to work towards! Others are free and simple–they just require the time for us to do them.

You are the most important person in your life! Without your health, no one else can be taken care of.  I know there’s a ton of haters out there who think ‘self care’ or ‘self love’ is a joke, but don’t concern yourself with them.  I send them love from afar, and hope that one day they’ll value themselves as much as they should.  Once again, I always believe that those that don’t believe in self-improvement are those who probably need it the most.

I’ve been fairly consistent with my morning routine, and I do count that as self care as I enjoy journaling, writing in my planner, reading a motivational book and I’ve been trying to make more time for blogging.   I know waking up early is not easy, but once you start waking up 10 minutes, try 30, 45, then 60 minutes earlier than normal.  It will become a habit and honestly my day always flows so much better when I take “ME TIME” in my morning.

I love rolling on this “Peace” essential oil, sipping some green tea and writing in my journal.  Sometimes I write about what’s on my heart, what’s frustrating me, what I dream about, where I see myself one day…

I just write.

The point is, no matter how old you are, or where you are in life, you can always change and evolve.  The beauty of life is that you get to do what you want with it.  Silly, I know, but I tend to forget that.  It’s not my mom’s life, my husband’s life, my kids’ lives, it’s MINE.  How do I want to look back on my days? What did I do to make myself happy and smile?  I never claim to be perfect, I fail every day at something…but that’s the secret. Stop trying to be perfect and just be you.  Embrace it all. Do what you can with what you have and try to figure out what it is that you want.  Start small, but just start somewhere.

What’s one way you will take time to fill your soul this week?

Life Hack: Habit Stacking

As most busy mamas, I attempt to “do all the things” pretty much on a daily basis.  When I start to feel overwhelmed, I do have a few tips that seem to work for me.

I heard the term “Habit Stacking” after reading the book Atomic Habits. You can find out more here.   It made total sense when I heard it explained.  It’s not simply multi-tasking.  I feel that sometimes we feel overwhelmed because we are doing too much at once and not really enjoying things.  However, when you make conscious choices of who, what, where, why and when you are spending your time on, things start to fall together a little easier.

He explains it more in a sense of cues, and moment by moment, like pour your tea, read your book, write in your journal…combine the things that you need to get done anyway, but chunk them together.  I took it a step further…

If you’re feeling like you never get to do anything for you, or that you have too many things going on, I suggest you shrink your daily “must do” to about 5 or 6 things.  From there, are any of them able to be combined?

For example, this may be a list for me:

1.) Meal prep.

2.) Spend time with girlfriends.

3.) Unwind & enjoy some delicious tea.

4.) Clean the house/chores.

5.) Read more books.

6.) Work on business training.

Taking a look at the list above, I could be negative and just cross off #2 because, helloooooo, I’m a busy mom with NO TIME!

Wrong. 

The truth is, we all have the same amount of time in a day and the glorious part is, we get to choose where we are spending that time!  Of course there are obligations and such, but overall, you are in charge people!

So a better way to look at the things I’d like to do is asking myself, is there any way I can mix some of these together, so that I actually get some things accomplished and feel great.  In the list above, I decided to join my friend Cathy at her house for a Tastefully Simple Freezer Meal Workshop.  While I was there, I got to catch up with her, meet someone new and as an added bonus, I got to try some amazing Chai!   Y’all know I love me some tea.

As for reading more books, I consider audiobooks reading as well.  Nothing beats a a good book in my hands, but again, as a busy mama, instead of using #notime as an excuse, I find the time.  I listen to audiobooks (and podcasts) while I drive in the car, grocery shop, clean the house, fold the laundry, do the dishes, walk the dog…I mean really any time I can.  I choose not to watch TV, I choose to spend most of this time reading or listening.

Working on business training, through mastermind groups or watching videos, I set aside time to focus on that (instead of TV) or if possible, I’ll do some light housework while listening too.

Another example of habit stacking would be acknowledging your wants/desires.  In this case, we wanted to be outside, eat lunch, and work on some business.  We stopped at our favorite burger joint and went to a park. Bradley was content as there was a little playground, so we could also enjoy time with him.  It was honestly a win all around!

I think more than anything, when you are optimistic and see the glass as half full, your mood shifts.  You’re in the “I get to” mentality vs the victim “I have to.”  You realize that you do have time, you just have to really think about how you’re going to spend it.  Now I totally don’t structure my days 24/7, but if I can take the time to plan them out 80% of the time, things run so much better!

PS I told my friend Cathy she was even better at habit stacking than she realized! She was making money with her side hustle (Tastefully Simple), enjoying girl time AND making meals for her family.  #rockstar

img_5297

Focus on the wins and celebrate ladies.  We really can do it all!  (Not all at once, but if you put your mind to it, anything and everything is possible!)

What are some ways you already habit stack, or is it something you may consider? I’d love to hear some different ways you are choosing to spend your time wisely!