Posted in General

Stuck at home? Quarantined? 6 things you can still do to practice self care.

It’s a strange time we’re living in right now. Most everyone I know would agree we’ve not lived through moments like this before. We don’t have experience in lock downs and stay at home orders. We aren’t used to seeing folks in masks at the grocery store. Or viewing empty shelves and lines just to buy the essentials. This moment in time is new and unprecedented for most of us.

While my morning looks the same today; quiet, sun shining, coffee in hand and my family still sleeping; the world we live in isn’t the same. We sat glued to the television last night watching the expected”stay at home” order announcement. As we went about our evening after I couldn’t help but think what that means for tomorrow when I’m to go to work. It’s hard to know how this order effects my day to day life. I’m not in an essential job (in my opinion) but I’m sure my employer sees this differently. So I’m waking up in a new reality trying to make some decisions.

One thing I’m thinking on though is how to get some self care in when everyone is home and there’s very little chance to get alone time. As a mother how do I still take care of myself while all the children are around every moment? I’m sure many of you parents are stressed and worried and are busy caring for so many others that your own needs are lost in the fray.   Besides the new worries about health we still have the same stressors as before with jobs, bills and now how to make sure these kids’ education stays on track. It is a different world already and here in the US; only under 2 weeks into this crisis. 

So how do we cope?  How do we function in a world gone mad in some ways?  What do you do to stay focused on goals? To stay healthy mentally and physically?   We all know to keep distances from others outside our homes.  We know not to shake hands or hug on others.   But what do we do for our own individual sanity each day?  

Here are a few things I am doing to keep myself from becoming too overwhelmed by this moment in time: 

  1. Believe this too shall pass!  Having Faith in times of trials has always helped me.  No matter what that faith is in, call it God, Universe, etc…believing there is a purpose to life and our own individual place in it, helps me get through moments that do not make much sense.  Faith is like a house foundation for me.  It holds everything else up.
  2. Continue to keep similar routines, even with everyone home.  I have been the first one up (most days) for the last few years.  I am still continuing that.   Still starting my day with quiet meditation, reading and journaling.  Still setting my alarm to get up and start the day; not hiding under the covers.  
  3. Keep active!  Exercise is always important for physical and mental health.  Keep going for a walk; even if in your house.  Do sit ups.  Squats. Push ups.  Do things that will get your heart rate up (if you are healthy to do so) and help those positive endorphins release.  
  4. Set a time for how much you read or watch the news.  Just like crisis’s in the past, the news coverage is on 24/7.  We have access to news from all over the globe.  We have to learn to turn it off now and again.  Creating a boundary for the amount of time we devote to being hammered with information is important. Boundaries are for our protection, set limits. 
  5. Learn a new skill.   Now is the time to try something new at home that you may have always been interested in.  There have been numerous websites that are listing classes, videos, webcasts or podcasts for free.  You can probably at least get an introduction to something you have been waiting to learn.  
  6.  Get enough rest.  Do not stay up late watching another news cast.  You will be able to see it all the next day.  Do not stay up late eating cause you are stressed about how to pay everything and what will you do next.  Sleep is vital to your brain function.  You need your mind and body to function at optimal health and sleep is necessary to achieve this.  If you suffer insomnia (especially in times of stress) try to take rests often; at least close your eyes and try to turn the mind noise down.  

In times of stress it is very hard to make time for yourself and your needs.  I know we are all experiencing different reactions to this crisis, but remember each life is valuable.  YOU MATTER!  Your family needs you to be at your best.  No matter what crisis comes our way we will get to the other side.  Taking care of yourself makes you better prepared to care for others.  Keep fighting to stay healthy and sane. 

Wishing each of you good health. 

Posted in Monday Musings

Monday Musings–Do you struggle with staying committed to goals?

I didn’t want to get out of bed this morning.  I was not feeling that 430 am wake up alarm!  My first thought was “not already!”  There just did not seem to be enough down time this weekend.  Too many activities, hours in the car and late nights, I was not feeling as rested heading into a Monday morning as I prefer.  And to top if off, the team I wanted to win the Super Bowl lost (this is an American football tradition for those not familiar).  To say the least I was less than excited to the day.

But I got up anyway! See I committed to making my health a priority this year.  I decided to be active Every Single Day.  Not when it was convenient.  Not only when I want to or feel like it.  I made a deliberate commitment to myself.  So even on mornings I do not want to workout.  Or the mornings I do not want to get out of bed.  I do not always want to read or journal.  BUT, I always feel better once I follow through on that commitment. I always feel accomplished when I see those minutes rack up on my Fit Bit.  Or when I see the string of entries without any missed days.

Commitment is tough at times. It requires sacrifice often.  Today it was a struggle to not just be lazy and fall back to sleep on the sofa.  And once I completed that workout and the rest of my morning rituals, the better I felt about facing the day.  I had more energy. I was in a more positive frame of mind.

What commitments have you made to yourself this year?  How are you working on them after the first month of the new year?  Did you set a resolution without a plan for follow through?  I think many of us know that if we “fail to plan our plans will fail“~Churchill quote.

Because this commitment to my health is my number one priority this year; I made a plan to execute.  Here is what I do daily:

  1. Get up between 430-500 am.  This took some gradual adjustment.  I was already getting up consistently at 5, so each work day in January I moved the alarm back by 5-10 minutes.  Now waking up at 430 is not that challenging.  But I do head to sleep between 9-10 pm.  Sleep is vital to health and knowing your optimum amount of rest needed will help you if waking up early is a goal.
  2. Be active every day.  I started the first week with a set amount of squats each day for a week.  Then I added in walking a specific amount of steps.  Then push-ups.  Now at 6 weeks into the new year, I am up to about 20-25 minutes each day, lots of weight training activities and 8-10K steps per day.  This was a change from setting a weight loss goal, this was about being intentional with activity every day.
  3. Read and journal every day.  I have done both of these for the past couple of years.  Reading has always been something I love so this is pretty easy of a commitment.  Writing everyday is a bit tougher to follow through on.  But I want to see the progress.  I want to see the string of dates without a break.  So after my daily workout, I read and write.
  4. I write my goals (5 of them) everyday.  The main one I am focusing on, I write multiple times a day.  I am thinking about that one thing all day, everyday.  I am  jotting down what I want to do each week to work toward that goal.

Keeping our commitments to ourselves seems really easy to give up on.  Making changes is tough! For some reason, it seems easier to keep when we make a commitment to someone else.  But you are just as important!  In fact if you don’t make yourself a priority you do not have as much to give to anyone else.

So this month, renew (or keep going) your focus to keeping those promises you make to yourself.  Make a plan.  Write it down.  And mark it off when you complete those tasks.  You are not alone! Keep going. Even on those Monday mornings when you want to sleep in, just keep at it!

Posted in Sunday quotes

Sunday reflections (23): Finding Rest

It’s another Sunday here. I’m back online this weekend; woohoo. I’ve been battling a bad cold all week, still not fully myself. Being overly tired and drained keeps me from being my best self. I’m easily annoyed and short tempered. And not very productive which frustrates me. I’m not very good at resting. My mind nor my body.

Thinking about what to write today, I decided that perhaps I need to focus on Rest. How an important part of living your best life is learning how to relax, rest and recharge. How vital learning to quiet your mind is to your overall health. It’s all right to take a nap occasionally. It’s ok to read for pleasure. Yoga and meditation are great practices to implement in your daily life.

I have not been doing the activities that I know keep me feeling my best. That help me feel mentally recharged. Whenever I get sick I’m reminded how much I needed that downtime. Think it’s nature’s way of forcing us to rest.

So today I’m taking that time. I’m going to read a bit. Maybe take a nap. Definitely take a walk in the sunshine. Sit outside and breathe the fresh air.

It’s ok to take moments; daily I recommend, for just yourself to learn to rest. It’s important to claim alone time for rejuvenating. When we get these moments, when we lean into rest, we learn how to work through our emotions quicker I believe. We have more patience, become less annoyed when things go sideways. Because we know how to practice quieting our minds. Learning how to rest isn’t only for moments of exhaustion, rest is important for becoming our best selves.

Have a great restful day!