But while I totally fail on the physical realm of self care, I do make sure to take care of my overall health in pretty basic ways which I can boil down to these four topics… sleep, food, meditation/prayer, and knowing when to say no. So here we go…
SLEEP: At the beginning self care is more self survival. You get the sleep when and where you can (You can read our real mom series on how I got as much as I could here). I need a lot of it and I make it a priority. When I start to feel drained or tired to the point of distraction it is time to take a step back and often a good nights sleep will be the cure. Oh and never underestimate the power of a nap. Also even at the very beginning, I did manage to take a shower every evening before bed. It sounds so simple but it is a luxury for some and I never take it for granted. It’s become part of my bedtime routine, the warm water washing off the day and getting me ready to curl up into bed all warm and cozy.
FOOD: Like I said, my self-care seems pretty basic. We all need food but I LOVE food, like major flavour hound foodie here and since I am not a cook, I probably invest a lot more into it than the average person. And by invest I mean monetarily. I make it a priority to eat whole, delicious, and balanced meals but how do I do that without cooking them myself? Well thankfully in California you can’t throw a stick without hitting some healthy meal delivery service, or a vegan cafe, or a gourmet restaurant that uses quality ingredients and accepts orders for pick-up, or a Whole Foods grocery store that has a huge cafeteria section. I am a major foodie and the things I can make myself usually don’t cut it. When I have a belly full of good food I am a happy girl but since actually preparing it is not fun for me, I do a lot of ordering in, picking up, and getting food delivered. Yes, it can be expensive to have others prepare it, but I figure, I don’t spend money on my hair, I don’t spend money on cosmetics or creams, I don’t have a gym membership, I don’t collect expensive hand-bags, I don’t drink coffee (which out here can be an expensive habit), etc. etc. I just choose to spend my money on food and by buying a lot of it pre-prepared it saves me time to do other things that fulfill me oh and it usually tastes WAY better.
MEDITATION/PRAYER: I could also just call this quiet time but whatever you do in your quiet time it doesn’t matter, I have just found it to be really helpful to carve out some time every single day to take 10 minutes or so to just sit with my thoughts, pray and say thanks for all the good things happening in my life. One benefit of nursing is that you get a few sessions of quiet time built right into the day. Right now I am down to nursing Archie 3 times a day but the one right before his bedtime is one that I cherish (Sidenote: remember how much I hated nursing for so long because it was SO hard and so painful? well, update: I finally made it to the place where I enjoy that time of the day). We both sit in the dark, say our prayers and it’s my transition from a crazy hectic day to a more calm evening. I will have to find a way to make this a priority once nursing is over because just sitting in the dark and clearing my head at that time of day (a couple hours before my bedtime) has been really beneficial.
SAYING NO: It is all about investing in the things that fill your cup, whatever that may be (in my book there are no wrong answers there) and saying no to more of the things that drain you. I feel incredibly lucky that a lot of my work actually fills my cup so I can happily work a ton of hours (as long as it doesn’t cut into my designated sleep and family time) and still feel balanced. But if I don’t say no to enough of the projects and parts of work that are total drainers, I feel it. It’s all about knowing your own personal “speed limit” and paying attention to it so you know when it is time to stop, say no, refuel and replenish to restore your energy and your soul.
See all of my posts from the series here.
and make sure to check out all the other mama’s thoughts on self-care:
Could I Have That
The Effortless Chic
The Refined Woman
A Daily Something
Our Style Stories
I love the idea of your personal speed limit. It’s do true – some people can go at 60, but others cap out at 40. Nothing is wrong with either!
Being a mom is being a caregiver, and you can only do that if you have stock from which to give 🙂
No way! I was first thinking on the only 1 haircut for years, and hairy legs. But you know what? Then came your what you do do list … And I’m smiling. You got it figured out 😉
I’m so taking your advice – I need to be better about sleep and using my nursing time for a little meditation. Right now I tend to fall asleep with Carter!