Friday, June 29, 2018

How I Self Care

The last month or so has been stressful for us. I spare you the details of that annoyingly vague declaration because this post is based on positivity. Since we've had a lot of high stress situations-ok one being the baby breaking my nose and having surgery to repair it-I have been thinking a lot about slowing down and self care.

Self care is one of those topics I see a lot on social media and it is one I think is very important. Slowing down goes hand in hand with this. As a family of five, some days feel overwhelming.  A lot of them do. We are in the thick of it as far as life goes. Our kids are 16 months, four and seven, and some days I am treading water just to get to bedtime.  I take every spare moment to be productive and most days this is a good thing, but some days it's more important to slow down and focus on me.

Did that sound selfish? I know, it did a little. And you know what? That's ok!  I don't know about you but I can usually tell when I need a break. I'll get short with the kids or annoyed at my husband for something very mundane. That's the moment I stop and indulge in a little self care. Here are some ideas for what you can do to take a moment or two for you. It doesn't have to involve a lot of money or a lot of time but maybe one a day, or more, can help you reset your mind.

1. Retail Therapy: I bet you're saying, "But Amanda, you just said this wouldn't involve a lot of money."  I know. But it doesn't have to! I splurge on this jumpsuit the other day using credit I had at ThredUp. If you have $30 to spend on yourself, you can indulge in my favorite nail polish, or my favorite hair product.  To give your skin a treat, Everyday Oil will make you feel like a million bucks. Whatever it is, spoil yourself! A little luxury doesn't have to cost a fortune and you deserve it!

2. Re-read your favorite book-or magazine, or blog or whatever. I've been feeling the tug in my brain to read my fave, The Great Gatsby again so I went to the library and grabbed a copy. My copy is lost in the attic because I'm temporarily hiding my books in a safe spot until the baby stops being so destructive! But whatever it is, whatever comes to mind right away, grab it. Take ten minutes a day and read. Get lost in something that isn't the chaos that can be our lives. Sit back and enjoy it. Or better, get your bestie to read the same thing so you can chat about it too.

3. Start a gratitude journal-this doesn't have to be an official thing, don't feel like this is another commitment in your already busy day. But there is something so nice about grabbing a journal you love and a pen that writes well and jotting down things you are grateful for. It's easy to vent about what makes us mad or frustrated but what if we focused on the good? Even if it's just for ten minutes, take a few notes on what you're happy about. For me, friendship tops my list. Without my friends and support group, I really don't know what I would do. Other gratitude list toppers are the love between my babies, our health and my husband-who is the most supportive person I have ever met.

4. Exercise-go for a walk, a run, go to a yoga class at your local YMCA. Do something active. This can be hard because who actually wants to work out? Not me. If you had told me I was going to enjoy running a year ago I would have shut you down so fast. But now I crave the time I have when I go the gym, put my headphones in and run. My head gets clearer, my mind more steady and I feel good about doing something positive for my body. Plus, my kids enjoy the daycare there and get to socialize with their friends while I run. It's a win-win.

5. Grab a drink with some friends-or have your friends over for a glass of wine. Whatever it is, take time to be with your people. When I'm having a hard day or feeling overwhelmed, my go-to is to get out of the house and find my friends. If you can't get out or the schedules aren't jiving, just shoot them a text or a call. Including friends in my day is a top priority. Friends are very important to my self care.

6. Find what makes you relax and do it-whether it's a bath or a game of scrabble with your spouse. Do it! If it's grabbing your favorite coffee, go get it. Whatever it is, if you need a moment of self care, stop what you're doing and get on your relax go-to! I love a good Everyday Oil bath, so that's often my de-stresser. Maybe it's an episode of your show of the moment. Or listening to a song you love. It doesn't have to take long. Just do it.

7. Sit outside-I often go out to my yard in my favorite spot and knit or read or just sit. Just taking ten minutes outside makes me feel better.

8. Find a hobby-for me this is knitting. It's my job too but when I'm looking for self care, I work on a knitting project that is for me. Even if I get only an inch of knitting done on it, I feel good about it and enjoy the process as much as I do the final product.

Now that you know some of things I do to take a moment or two, I would love to know how you self care. I don't always get to this daily but I try to. I am a firm believer in slowing down, taking the time to heal the mind or taking time for ourselves in order to create our best selves. The laundry can wait. The dishes wait. The chaos can wait. Your well being cannot.

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