Self-Care: Days 10-18

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

* Reading

* 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!!

Self-care Day 7

Today, has been pretty chill.

Last night…I didn’t go to sleep until 1:30 am.

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!!

Day 5

Yesterday, was a pretty good day.

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.

Self Care Day 3

I didn’t fall asleep until after 2 am this morning…so, self-care today, looked like sleeping until 10 am.

Thankfully, my hubby works completely from home, now. Otherwise, that wouldn’t have been possible.

Over the years, I’ve learned that making sure I get enough sleep is sooo important.

So, in previous seasons, I have napped when the kids were napping.

Or, when my hubby has gotten home from work.

It makes for a weird schedule, sometimes…but, I’d rather have a weird schedule, every now and then- and be able to show up for my hubby, kids, family, and friends….than be frazzled and burnt out.

Making sure I have enough sleep also helps me be able to cope with anxiety, better.

I’m learning that I need to be in tune with each day, to know what I need each day to care for myself.

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Self-Care Day 2

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.

Self-Care Day 1

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.

Self-Care

Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com

I was getting better at this….

“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.

Pedicure.

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.

Talk Soon,

Rooted Mama

One Thing: Connect

Social Anxiety.

The fear of being nervous or uncomfortable in social settings” (webmd.com)

Connecting with other people is so hard for me. And, although I was “diagnosed” with social anxiety. I’ve come to the point where I’m not claiming it. I’m not going to let that define who I am, in the sense that it stops me from living the life I want to live, and it stops me from being the person I was designed to be. It’s not happening.

What is happening, is I’m using that to help me grow. I’m using that to connect with other people who have walked the same or similar path.

I’m thankful for Network Marketing. There’s one company in particular that threw me into Personal Development like no other. If it weren’t for that company, at that time, I wouldn’t have made the progress I’ve made.

I’m thankful for my mom. She helped me say “no” to solutions that were not beneficial for me, and frankly that sent me on a path of creative solutions- teaching me to be resourceful.

I’m thankful for my loving God. For the healing He provides.

Let me set the record straight. Healing comes from many different ways, and healing is different for each person. And for many, if not most, healing is a daily habit- not a once and for all.

Side note: 3 years ago, I made a vision board. One of my areas of growth, that I wanted was deeper friendship. I have a very similar picture to the one in this post pasted on my vision board. 3 years later, I’ve seen how that vision has come to pass in many different ways.

Background:

Let’s just paint the picture, real quick, and get a little vulnerable.

I was the little girl who was afraid of light switches. The kid/teenager who timed it right, on most occasions, that other girls/women didn’t see the stall I walked into in public restrooms. I waited in the public restroom for the other girls and women to finish their business, wash their hands, and walk out of the bathroom before I exited the stall. (I’m sure more people saw me than I realized, but I tried really hard to time it just right). Don’t ask me why I did these things. I have no idea. Haha. I’m sure it relates to the fear of social settings, and a need for control of that fear?

I was the teenager who had panic attacks in places like the fair and IKEA. Sweaty, itchy, swelling hands. Heart racing. Hard to catch your breath, panic attacks.

Got the picture?

It affected me in one way or another on a daily basis.

It wasn’t until I started talking about most of these things with my husband (then boyfriend), that I realized these things are not “normal” to all people. (Yikes).

Side note: Normal is a relative term. I’m thoroughly aware that most people have something they struggle with. Anxiety and social anxiety are common. When the anxiety is high, and affects your daily functional level- is not typical of people functioning in their healthy state.

To this day, I still have a hard time looking people in the eye when I am mad, frustrated, angry, or uncomfortable.

Most of the struggles that I have had due to “social anxiety”, I have overcome or at least improved upon.

I’ve gotten much better in many of these areas. I’ve grown so much, and am proud of that growth. I’ve worked hard and overcome a lot for it.

Yet, connecting with people, is still an area that I have to continually work at, process, and improve on, and it feels hard and uncomfortable most days.

So what has the process been for this?

* I don’t think that I really did much growing in my high school and early college years. I just survived the anxiety and avoided uncomfortable situations to the best of my ability.

* Taking classes in college that pushed my limits, helped.

* After I hit my “rock bottom” with anxiety and depression, I started going to therapy. This helped me a ton.

*Pray. Read my Bible. Pray. Bible study. Pray. Go to Church. Pray. Read more in my bible. Pray. Go to all on the conferences at church available, the classes too. Did I mention pray?

* Shortly and also overlapping this time, I was with a network marketing company that valued personal development. All the time spent in personal development, giving my life to Jesus, classes at church, and discipleship school….my friends and family…all contributed to me moving past the debilitating part of social anxiety- into growth and standing firm into who I was made to be.

* I went through a time where answering phone calls, text messages, and emails, immediately, was too much. So, I answered when I could…and sometimes not at all- mainly because the notifications drove me crazy, so I would open, read, and then forget to respond until days/weeks later…or I would just not remember at all.

* Eventually, I came out of all of that, began enjoying hanging out, calling and texting, again.

* Creating a weekly, and then a daily habit of building relationships with my family and friends. If I’m not careful, I could accidentally go weeks to months, before I see the people closest to me, outside of my husband and kids. I can very easily get stuck in a routine of dropping kids and hubby off at work, being at home, and daily pick ups. So, I make a habit out of connecting with other people, in some way. Making connections and building relationships has easily gone from something I dread (you know the part where you have to make yourself go be around people) to something I thoroughly enjoy.

My process most likely won’t work the same for you as it did for me. All the same, if I did exactly what you did..it won’t work for me.

We were all designed differently.

The most important part, is I took One Thing at a time. Slow steps. When I took on too much, I had set backs and started over again.

The best thing you can do is figure out what One Thing you can do.

Is there anything you can do to connect with other people right now?

Make a list of the areas within relationships that you want to grow. Start with one.

What’s the One Thing you can do? Write it down. Add it to your daily list. Check it off once a week. Once a week will become 2,3,4,5,6x…and then a daily habit. Sometimes, it’ll take months just to make that one thing a daily habit.

Seriously.

Growth doesn’t happen over night. You may not even see it until years later…

It takes a lot of work to get past any struggles related to connecting with people, but once you do….you meet some pretty amazing people.