I feel like a big fat hypocrite for even writing this. At the moment, I could use about six additional hours of sleep, a hot shower, haircut, pedicure, and maybe just a moment or two to myself without a baby grabbing at my chest, a husband asking me a billion questions I don’t have the answers to, or a dog begging me for my lunch.
As much as I love being a mom and wife, working from home, and now blogging, it can be overwhelming. There are days where I put 110% of myself into other people. And I’m exhausted. I’m slowly learning how to take time for me, though, so I wanted to share some of the ways I do that with all of you.
I have a box of journals that I’ve kept since my childhood stored away. I think I started my first one when I was seven years old. To say that self-reflection is important to me is probably an understatement (it’s the introvert in me). That’s why I started blogging in the first place, to write about my experiences and share them with others. The sharing part can be really scary, but I’m always glad when I do. More often than not, I meet someone who can relate to my experience and my world doesn’t feel so isolated anymore (because if you’re a stay-at-home mom, you know how isolating it can feel).
This post is in collaboration with my new friend, Shiuan Butler, who recently invited me to join her at a Women’s Self-Care Virtual Retreat she’s hosting on December 3rd. Shiuan has 20 years of intensive counseling experience and helps women pause and reflect through customized journaling prompts, guided meditation, and sharing/listening experiences. She also has some really great free journaling prompts that I’m going to try out because there’s something about writing things down in a physical journal that just feeds my soul.
I’m so excited to take some time for myself and create some goals for the coming new year. The best part is that it’s completely virtual so I can do it from my bed, in my Christmas jammies with a hot cup of tea. I would love for you to join me, so we can all have an afternoon to recharge and form a little community of badass journaling women. Check out her site for all the details and let me know if you sign up!
I’ve been a yoga amateur for about eight years now. I’ll go on a streak of practicing regularly and going to classes. Then I let life get in the way and stress me out until I need to start again for my own sanity. I actually was doing a weekly yoga class after work at Practice Yoga in East Austin when I conceived Emerson. I have no idea if that had any impact on how fast we conceived, but I like to think it helped my mind and body become the best home possible for our little nugget. After I gave birth and was given the all-clear to start exercising again, I started following along with yoga instructors on YouTube while E napped. We also like to go on long walks. There’s a park not far from our home where we like to stroll along the river. E stares at all the towering pecan trees and I listen to music and inhale some fresh air.
Eating nourishing foods
My instinct when I was stressed before giving birth was to devour all the comfort foods. That’s not the case anymore. I’m still breastfeeding and Emerson has shown signs of being sensitive to dairy, so I’ve completely cut it out of my diet for the past 6 months. On top of that, I’ve been having some issues with my health (I’ll explain in a later post), so I’ve had to focus on eating foods to help my body feel better. I always feel whole when I eat a well-balanced, home-cooked meal so that’s become my way of treating myself, especially in the morning. My favorite mornings are the rare times when Emerson sleeps in a little longer than me and I can make myself some scrambled eggs or an English muffin and have a few moments to myself before I start the day.
Going to bed early
This seems simple enough, but I’m seriously slacking on this one lately, even though I need it now more than ever. There is this constant battle as a mom to either spend the time when your kid is asleep trying to catch up on sleep yourself or enjoying adult, kid-free time. I usually get caught up in trying to do all the things I couldn’t accomplish when he was awake. Emerson has been going through some serious separation anxiety though and started occasionally waking up once or twice a night again. It’s taking a serious toll on my sanity. I am always a better mom, wife, human being when I’ve had enough sleep. Sometimes I have to leave the dishes, the laundry, the dirty floor, and go to bed instead of continuously trying to pour from an empty cup.
Enjoying screen-free time
I hate to admit that this is a hard one for me, but because I now work from home, blog, and do a lot of social media work, it is. I have to make a conscious effort sometimes to turn off the TV, power down the laptop, put the phone down, spend quality time with the people I love, or read a book instead of scrolling on a screen. I wish I was that mom that’s a great multitasker but I’m just not. I want my kid to remember my face, not my iPhone.
Exploring a new place
Dallas and I love discovering new places when he’s home on his days off. It doesn’t have to be traveling far or spending a lot of money. Sometimes it’s nice just to go to a neighboring town and find an antique shop or flea market we haven’t been to before. Emerson gets to enjoy some fresh air and new views and I get a little bit of adult interaction and parenting reinforcement from Dallas. Win-win.
This one goes a little beyond just journaling or blogging. Photography is still one of my favorite hobbies. When we do go out exploring I always bring my camera. It helps that I have such a cute muse. I also have a serious obsession with adult coloring books, DIY projects, scrapbooking, etc. Follow me on Pinterest if you want to know what projects I’m currently into. When I’m stressed, it helps me to put that energy into creating something not related to work. And it’s always satisfying to have a finished product I can take pride in.
I always like to hear what other people do when they have time to themselves, so leave a comment telling me what you do to practice self-care. I would love to try a few new things.