The minute I sat down at my computer to begin writing this post both of my kid’s started crying— like, literally as if they were in a choir, started at the exact same time. So, needless to say, I am going to do my best to put ALL of these self-care tips into practice today. Obviously, you can practice self care any day of the week, at any time of the day, but for me (when possible) I love to focus my Sunday’s on self-care. I think it’s the perfect day of the week because obviously, tomorrow is Monday, which means that a new week lies ahead with all of it’s appointments, drop off’s and pick up’s, football games, tantrums, etc. I find that when I can wake up on Monday feeling refreshed that I am a much happier, more patient me (and who doesn’t want that?).
For a really long time I viewed self- care in the same category as “selfish”– if that makes any sense at all. I felt like taking the time to take a bath was selfish because, well, there’s laundry to be done. I felt that taking the time to read was selfish because, well, there are hundreds of emails and messages that deserve my response. But, the truth I found is that you don’t realize how absolutely necessary taking time for yourself is until you literally run yourself into the ground. I now view this whole self-care thing almost completely the opposite and I see NOT taking the time to practice self care as selfish, because truth be told, I am not my best self, best wife, best mother or best friend when I am focusing on merely “staying afloat.” Been there? It doesn’t matter if you are a college student, a mother, a married woman without children, a stay at home mom, or a career savvy kick ass woman– life can get heavy, the world can be suffocating, and the truth is that until we take the time for ourselves we don’t realize how absolutely necessary it is to do so.
The beautiful thing about self-care is that it doesn’t have to cost a lot, if anything. Obviously, a spa day, or an overnight where you get to sleep in and eat breakfast in bed sounds like literal heaven on earth, but, if that isn’t your reality (mine either) there are other things that can be done that will leave us feeling refreshed and revived. I have shared below a few of my favorite self-care practices, but I would absolutely love to hear back about how you practice self-care, too!
Wash My Sheets
Again, as I said above, it doesn’t have to be fancy, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot. I wash our sheets on Sunday’s. There is something really nice about getting into a freshly laundered bed on Sunday night and waking up there on Monday morning.
Take A Bath
I save my Sunday evenings for a bath. I got away from this for a while and I really missed it. Between packing for our move, moving, traveling and having babies that were figuring out their nighttime schedules this kind of took a back burner there for a while, I find that when I am pregnant I am FAR more intentional about my bath time, probably because it’s one of the few things that bring relief to a tired pregnant body. But, I made a deal with myself as of two weeks ago that I was going to get back to this— lol, until we start having Sunday night games. I love to add epsom salt and some kind of body oil to my bath water. When I am pregnant I love to add Vitamin E oil because it helps to prevent stretch marks by moisturizing the skin. Coconut oil also works wonders! I always leave my phone on the counter or in our bedroom so that I am not tempted to respond to messages or emails. The only time that I will bring my phone into the “bath” with me is when I am listening to a podcast. If you find that you have a hard time sitting in silence, I recommend listening to a podcast or book on tape until you can quiet your mind enough to just sit with yourself (it takes so much practice, and some days are a lot easier than others). Be patient with yourself.
Fake A Facial
There are few things that I love more than having a good facial. But, again, they add up in cost and they also require planning– scheduling a baby sitter, finding a time that works, etc. So, I have learned how to fake a facial at home. I invested in a facial steamer and honestly, that in itself makes it feel like a whole different kind of thing. Anyone that has read along here knows that I am a skincare junky. I am always trying out the newest masks and products, and to be honest, I still feel like I am searching for that “perfect” skincare regiment. From changing hormones to pregnancy, breastfeeding, humidity, I am still trying to get it right. Typically I cleanse my face super well, steam my face, apply a mask (depending upon what my skin is currently like I will either do a clarifying mask, moisturizing, or anti aging) and i’ll allow the mask to stay on while I bathe. When I am done I will rinse my mask off and follow it with my night time serums and creams! There was once a point in time when I could do a face mask at any point in the day, but now it requires a bit of planning. Lennon is legit terrified when I have a different color face and she refuses to nurse, lol.. so, again, planning is now necessary.
I love to spend some time in prayer or meditation, especially on a Sunday. We typically wake up and listen to our church service, which is really nice because it kind of sets the tempo and the vibe for Sunday. Again, Sunday’s change a lot depending on whether it’s off season or Football season. We roll with it, but, I will say that I have to be more intentional about finding this time during season when it isn’t as “convenient.” To be honest, sometimes I do my meditation while driving. Obviously, I can’t close my eyes– but, I can quiet my mind and that’s more than half of what meditation is about.
Make A Gratitude List
This may sound cheesy and not be your style, but trust me when I say: we don’t know how many things we take for granted until we sit down and list out all that we are thankful for. Challenge yourself to go deeper than “my family, my health, my kids, my home”– it really reveals a lot to me whenever I do this. I really try to live in an intentional, mindful way, but even so, I miss and overlook things daily. A gratitude list really helps me to center and shift my focus.
Take A Phone Break
Honestly, whenever I am feeling burnt out this is the first thing that I do. I take a day off from posting, scrolling, engaging, etc. For a while I was uncomfortable doing this and felt that it deserved an explanation when I would choose to step away, but honestly, it doesn’t. The world will go on whether or not I post to my story, respond to messages and emails, like someones photo. Instagram, Twittter, Facebook, and whatever it is that we spend our time on will still be there tomorrow. Take a break when you need it. Listen to your body. Listen to your mind. Nothing is as important as that.
Spend Time Outside
If the weather is nice there are few things that I love better than going out for a walk, or simply having a meal, or cup of coffee outside. I find that I refresh fastest when I am outdoors. The ocean is my favorite, but obviously living in ATL that isn’t an option, so my next favorite is to get a bit of sun and move my body. Ever since we moved and now have a pool I have this new found love of doing yoga outside. If I close my eyes long enough I can fake that I am at some awesome beachside yoga retreat– until my kids wake up, lol.
Plan Ahead For The Week
I like to look ahead to the week before it begins because let’s be honest, life with small children requires planning. Moving into a new home means a lot of appointments, deliveries, and service calls. Whether it’s someone coming out to install our security system, deliver our grill, hook up our cable and internet, etc– there is a lot going on. I like to have one morning a week that I have no plans, nothing needed of me. I try my very best to make sure that I have at least one day that there isn’t something on the books. Some weeks I get lucky and I have more “down days” than appointments, but other weeks it’s the opposite. All I know is that I am more peaceful when I can plan ahead.
self care isn’t selfish, it’s love. xo, G