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.
Last week was super busy. In some good ways. . .and in some ways hard.
My husband and I had a lot of work and projects that overlapped. With all 5 of us being home, makes for tricky scheduling. We learned a lot about taking turns to get work done.
I was so thankful I’d already had a good week of concentrated self-care.
There was a natural transition into automatically doing self-care throughout the day.
I finished my read and finished my first fiction book. I was so proud of this, because I haven’t read fiction in such a long time. There was a sense of accomplishment. I FINISHED something.
I’ve learned that when anxiety is high, fear stops me from doing things. Most of the time, action helps me to overcome that fear. Completing a task helps me overcome that fear. Even the simplest of tasks.
Self-care I’ve been doing this past week:
* Brushing my teeth
* Taking a shower
* Listening to podcasts
* Playing worship music
* Time with Jesus
* Joining a virtual retreat with other moms- I didn’t get to spend the amount of time I wanted to this week to dive in deep. So, I’m looking forward to the next one!!
Some important takeaways from this week:
*Some of these self-care “activities” are not always self-care. If I’m doing good, brushing my teeth and taking a shower are just every day routine. But, on days when I’m not feeling it, things like brushing my teeth, taking a shower, and putting on a little make-up makes a world of difference.
* It’s super important for my kids and my husband to have self-care as well.
* Self-care resources are important and need to be shared!!
So, going forward in this 40 day self-care challenge, I’m going to start sharing resources that have been shared with me! I hope they will be helpful to you all!!
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.
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.
There were some times where I could feel myself tensing up and getting anxious. But, I feel like the work I’ve been putting in for self-care is paying off.
Something I have been doing, for myself and with the kids, is when our response isn’t as caring as it could be…we do a “start over”. We talk through responses that could have been better. Decide which one we want to go with, and replay the scenario.
Without self-care… I honestly wouldn’t have the energy or capacity that it takes to put effort in this training for our family. It takes a lot of energy to coach myself and the kids through this. Especially, when starting out, they throw full on fits to have to go back and relearn how to communicate.
Sometimes, we spend better parts of the day working on this…when it is reallly needed. Sometimes, we only have to work through this once in a day or so…
Self-care, yesterday, looked like taking it easy and not pushing myself too far.
And, by the end of the day, I realized I needed a little bit more than taking it easy.
All week, I’ve been making excuses for myself for why I cannot get into an at homework out on my TV.
And last night…I decided enough was enough.
I got the app set up, and I did a 30 minute work out.
Ya’ll…this workout was already SUPER modified…and I still needed to modify on a couple of the workouts.
In the past, I would’ve beaten myself up over this.
Yesterday, I was able to acknowledge it, know that my body is weak right now, process through…and end up knowing that it’s ok! It’s ok that my body is weak right now..I haven’t been taking care of it.
And that’s part of what self-care is about. It’s about giving yourself what you need, and loving yourself in the process.
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.
“Your homework is to spend at least an hour, a week, doing something for you”. I had just gotten done telling my counselor that I wake up, go to work, eat, sleep, repeat. “Well, that’s no way to live. No wonder why you’re so anxious”.
I was in my first two years of teaching, we just had our second baby, and my husband broke his leg. And, I was barely hanging on by a thread. I had let so many other things take priority…and I had forgotten, not only who I was, but what gave my life joy.
So, after my counselor “gave me homework”….I didn’t really know where to start…I remember asking friends… “What do people do for themselves??” I had no idea what I liked. So, I set out to learn.
My husband would often kick me out of the house, for me time, and I would go try stuff…anything…
Enjoy a dinner by myself and read a book, at Wingstop.
Meet up with friends.
Go on a run.
Go sit by the river and take pictures.
Go on a drive.
And, on the days that I had the kids by myself, I’d stay up a little bit later and:
Watch a movie or tv show. Journal. Spend time in the word, or just listen to worship music. Bubble Bath.
Switching from a smart phone to a regular phone.
Dictionary.com defines self-care as the practice of taking an active role in one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during times of stress.
So, why is self-care important?! Well, I can only answer that from a place of personal experience. When I’m not taking care of myself…I’m not myself. I am more anxious. I get more snippy and frazzled. My body is constantly tense. And, when I’m in that state of mind…I can’t be who I’m made to be as a person, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, society member. I can’t be who I’m made to be for this world.
And lately, I have not been doing what I can to make sure I’m taking care of myself? Honestly, right now it’s just so hard. It’s not as easy. I can’t just go grab a cup of coffee and sit and chat with a friend. Or go grab wingstop and read a book. Or go to a yoga class.
And the self-care that I typically do at home, well…we live in a super small space, and it’s just harder. (Yes…I know that I chose this life..and no…that doesn’t make it any easier).
We are in a major transition period, and I’m finding with each passing day, that I really need to be making time to take care of myself.
It takes 21 days to create a new habit. I really need something to focus on, something steady that I can control. And, for those in that moment..asking that same question I was asking… “What do people do for themselves??” I want to give resources and ideas…because stuff like this sure did help me, when I was first starting out….
So, I’m going to a 90 day self-care challenge.
I’ll post once a day on what self-care I chose, and how I felt at the end of the day.
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.