This past year has been a serious struggle for me. I’ve gone through, and dug up, more darkness than I ever have before. Going back to work was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, because I loved my last job so much (I was laid off after an acquisition moved my department 200 miles away). I adored my job and I knew I wouldn’t be able to find that good of a fit again. It also meant that my goal of getting my bachelor’s degree, along with running a successful Beachbody business, and blog, would have to be put on hold as well. Looking back, it was all for the best, because this past year, while filled with darkness, has also pushed me (HARD) to deal with issues from my past, like my mom’s death, and the resulting anxiety of the entire situation.
Over the past year I realized that my blog’s direction was completely wrong for me, Beachbody is not what I’m meant to do with my life, and my bachelor’s degree is not nearly as important to me as I thought it was. I learned that a degree does not equal intelligence. I learned that I have a huge passion for helping people, but not necessarily with health and fitness. I learned that I am very passionate about GOOD mental health care, and self care. I learned that I want other moms to know that there is hope and help. I learned that therapy, with a good therapist, is invaluable. And I learned that not all therapists are a good match for each individual person, and that that’s ok.
As I’ve started to dig myself out of the darkness, with the help of an amazing therapist, I’ve also learned the value of self care. I’ve learned that if I want to keep my sanity, I have to find a way to incorporate simple self care practices into my everyday, often very busy life. I know there are other super busy moms out there that also struggle with self care. As moms, we are told to put our children and our families before ourselves, which often means we put ourselves on the back burner. But with increasingly busy lives, this can mean that we never get around to caring for ourselves. These are some of my favorite SIMPLE ways to practice self care.
1. Drink tea
-But make sure it isn’t caffeinated, as caffeine can increase anxiety. Here is my favorite tea to help with anxiety and depression.
2. Read a book
-If you need suggestions, check out my Personal Development Book List on Amazon.
-Check out the Headspace app for guided meditation. You can sign up for a free trial and get 10 guided meditations, and they will sometimes offer extras for free as well.
7. Take a bubble bath
-This is the kind of bubble bath that we use for Gabe. But I’m not going to lie, I use it too sometimes. I like that I don’t have to worry about harsh chemicals and poisons, especially if I’m going to be soaking in it for any length of time.
8. Have a glass of your favorite wine
-A yoga or pilates program, like this one, can help with mindfulness and relaxation.
10. Call a friend
11. Go for a walk
12. Get your nails done
13. Declutter one area of your home
-Maybe I’m weird, but cleaning actually relaxes me, as long as I don’t let myself get overwhelmed by it. Take one small area at a time, and declutter. You will feel much lighter and happier when you are done.
14. Go for a run
-If you are not a runner, this may sound stressful, but it can actually be very relaxing. If you want to start running, but don’t know where to start, or don’t think you “can” run, check out the C25K app by ZenLabs. You might have to repeat the first several weeks a few times (I definitely did), but this is the app that helped me to begin my half marathon training. Before I started, I literally couldn’t run for 60 seconds straight, but within just a year of starting, I completed my first half marathon.
15. Diffuse lavender oil
-I recommend Young Living, because that’s what I use, but I know there are other good brands out there as well. Just make sure that what you get is high quality.
16. Get your hair done
-Ask someone to watch the kids for a few hours and go get your hair done. A new ‘do always lifts my mood.
17. Netflix binge
-Send the kids off to a friends house, change into your pjs, curl up on the couch and watch back to back episodes of your favorite show. I recommend Scandal or Gilmore Girls.
18. Meet a friend for coffee
-Just make it decaf, or limit yourself to just one cup, so the caffeine doesn’t have the opposite effect on your mood
19. Go to a park
-Getting outside and into nature can have a very calming effect. For a list of local parks, simply Google your state name, with “state parks”. You’ll be amazed how many local parks are just around the corner.
20. Take a scenic drive
-Who doesn’t like the freedom of the open road? While driving, you can listen to Audible with their Free Trial, and Get Two Free Audiobooks to get you started. Or try Amazon Prime Music 30-day Free Trial which includes their Prime free shipping offer.
Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope this list gave a few ideas, and helped you to realize that you are not alone in your struggles. Do you have a favorite self-care practice? Please share it below!