11 years ago, this girl had NO IDEA that the pain she was going to walk through over the next few months and years….it would be hard. It would be dark. It would affect her relationship with her fiancé. It would affect her future pregnancies. It would take time to heal herself, and her future marriage.
If you have lost a baby- no matter how long you knew you were pregnant… your pain is real. I have no words for the hurt and pain you are feeling, because although I have been there…your story is different than mine.
If you’ve been feeling the hurt and the pain for days, weeks, months, years…yes, even after you’ve welcomed other children into the world…know that you are not alone.
I can’t promise anything to you. I can’t promise you a rainbow baby. I can’t promise the hurt will never go away. I can’t promise that around certain dates your mood won’t be affected.
But there is one who is a promise keeper. And it may not feel like it now, but He is sitting with you through your pain.
And if you allow it…the pain you are going through can allow you to grow, heal, and see that the days that were associated with deep grief and hurt…new days come and they can be associated with joy, love, and peace.
We spent a portion of this weekend catching up on cleaning.
I don’t know about anyone else…but, this is a form of self-care for me. Having everything clean and tidied up clears my brain and allows me to relax.
When things are cluttered, I feel anxious. My thoughts can’t stop racing on all the things that need to get done…
But…when everything is clean…I feel more peaceful. I feel more calm. I feel like I can operate from a place of peace and calm. I have found that my outer environment deeply affects my inner environment. And, often times what’s going on in my outer environment can be a reflection of what’s going on, on the inside and vice verse.
I also started reading book this weekend. I’ve loved taking moments here in there to a) get lost in a story, and b) set an example for my kids.
Right now, we have a “Summer Rules” paper up on the fridge. My kids have a list of things they have to do, before they can have tablet or tv time.
Some of them are self-care. Some of them are prepping us to get into our school season. One of the rules is reading for 20 minutes. Kids, they pay attention to what we are doing, as adults. Are we holding ourselves to the same standards?! Are we making ourselves have some self-care, are we making ourselves read and write everyday? Are we spending time cleaning and taking care of our environment?
It’s a lot easier to do what we say, when our actions and our words match up.
So, I’m thankful for creating these habits of self-care, so that I can have the energy to do the things I say my kids should be doing.
So, I was anticipating today being a very hard day.
But, it wasn’t as rough as I’d expected it to be.
Self-care today was FaceTiming with a friend.
We talked for two hours, just about all different things…and it was just what I needed.
Today made me realize, before the pandemic, I was doing little things throughout the day to take care of myself.
And then, as we have progressed through this, and transitioned as a family to our new normal at home…I was taking less time for myself. Which started creating more anxiety in me, than what I’d been having the previous month.
I’m so thankful I decided to do this challenge to help me sort through why my anxiety was increasing in June. I’m thankful that it’s giving me a source to process, and a reservoir to draw from.
Self-care is sooo important, y’all. And so is community!!
Today has had some rough parts, more than I anticipated. But, I felt like, for the most part, what the kids and I are working on I’m thankful for my workout last night! I felt like I had more energy today, and am looking forward to my workout tonight.
I’m also excited, because I got a new book that I’m excited to read! It’s my first fiction book in a suuuper long time!!
Today, self-care looked like running errands.
For me, sometimes I can let things that overwhelm me, allow me to shut down. But, I’ve learned that when I take actions steps, that helps me to overcome and draw out of that “shut down” mode.
Today, we were mostly inside. (It still gets hot super quick in the day-and also…we are just around a lot of people, currently…so…social distancing!)
One trigger for me lately has been all of the asking “Can I watch a movie” “Can I be on my tablet?” “I don’t wanna _______.”
A lot of days, I let my obstacles get the best of me…
Well, I can’t ______, because of _____.
1. Am I really going to allow ________ to get in my way?! Really??
2. Am I really about to teach my kids to make excuses for why not to do something that is going to be helpful? Really??
So, today, while my husband and the kids were outside for a few minutes…I wrote out 3 pieces of paper that I feel like will help our house run smoother, and will give clear expectations on when the kids can have their tablet and TV time.
This is self- care for me…because, I need a flexible-structure. My kids need a flexible-structure. Also, too rigid of a schedule just doesn’t work for me. I used to be more rigid when I had one kid, but with each kid…too much structure just stresses me out…I don’t know why..it is the way it is.
So, flexible on the timing, but knowing x,y, and z will happen in a day. This is how we work best.
This structure helps with my kids knowing that when they complete x, y, and z…then, they will get to ______.
It helps them to feel like what they want, or how the day will go is not this obscure scene of events.
It lowers the amount of tantrums in a day.
And in return, lowers every one’s stress levels throughout the day.
Our flexible-structure creates self-care all around.
Has the day been perfect?! Far from it…
But, this really does create an atmosphere of peace, calm, and being able to work through problems in a healthy way throughout the day.
Today, we are moving from Eufaula, Oklahoma to Branson, Mo. We break up our long trips into 3-4 travel days. Driving 3-6 hours in a truck with three kids…can be hard. Today, my self care is to breathe through the hard parts.
Kids fighting and yelling?! Take a deep breath in, and let it out.
Kids loud, laughing, and having fun?! (This is hard because loud in general makes me feel anxious and tense) Take a deep breath in and out, and remind myself to enjoy their joy.
One kid whining and complaining about something that he doesn’t want to help with?! Take a deep breath, and teach him that our family unit helps each other.
Breathe in, breathe out.
I’m thankful my watch as a “relax” setting. You take two minutes to breathe in and breathe out, and it vibrates to prompt you for each inhale and exhale.
Now that I’m thinking about it, it might be helpful for my kiddos to use, too!!
This was super helpful during the day….Now, I need to extend practicing taking deep breaths at night…when my kids are still not asleep at 9 pm, asking for this, wanting that, and getting out of their bed for the 100th time…and I just.need.a.little.peace.
Wow. When I wrote this…it was back around Thanksgiving. I remember this one-two week period, distinctively. It was the moment I realized that I really and truly have to shut down, all of the things, so that I may feel all the feels and sort through all of the thoughts. Now that we are 3 months into Corona time, with all of the things that are currently going on in our world. I’ve realized that there are some amazing people out there who don’t know that what they are going through is ok. What you are feeling is ok. You are not alone. If you are someone who lacks the support you need, I’m working on creating a resources page. If your situation is urgent, I implore you…find and seek help in your local community. In the meantime, I hope this reflection of what I wrote back in November is helpful and brings you hope.
Anxiety and Self-care:
Over these last couple of weeks, I felt myself winding up…anxiety wise. I couldn’t figure out what was going on…but I felt like I needed to slow down. So, I did.
I allowed myself to not go full steam ahead.
I allowed myself to slow down and tune in.
If I didn’t feel like writing, I didn’t. In fact, I slowed down to pretty much only my 30 Days of Thankfulness that I was 100% committed to.
I slowed down on house work—to what needed immediate attention…
You know, I have talked about my “5 Daily Things” I started making progress towards, after hearing John Maxwell speak this summer…and for 2 weeks…I didn’t focus on those at all.
And that’s fine. I needed to slow down and figure out what was triggering me.
It took a couple of weeks, and one good night of crying…but I finally figured it out and got all of that anxiety tension released.
We really need to make ourselves, and listening to our bodies a priority.
When we are taking care of ourselves, we are better able to take care of others.
There is room and grace for survival mode.
There is room and grace for missing out on taking care of ourselves. It happens.
But, once we cue in…we can slow down to figure out what’s going on. And what we need to do.
Check out the article. Tell me what you think. I’ve tried all of these tips and agree.
It’s funny, because I used to hate yoga for exercise. It felt slow and awkward. But last year, I tried it for a season and loved it. It was just what I needed..and I’ve been missing it, since I gave it up last summer.
When you think about self care, don’t be surprised if something you used to hate or would never think about doing for you turns into a something you like.
If something crosses your mind to try…try it.
If you’re a mama-or someone who needs self care, but doesn’t have a budget to spend on yourself…don’t worry.
When I started my self-care journey I had to get creative, because we didn’t have the budget for me to go get massages, pedicures, and the like every week.
I’ll share resources on some budget friendly and simple ways to find self-care. As well as, things that are self-care that you may not have thought about. I certainly didn’t.