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.
Last summer, I wanted to set up (some) structure for my two boys. I wanted my oldest to start practicing cursive, and my youngest to work on his handwriting and letter formation.
In my mind, they would be excited. They would get their activities done quickly, and we would be on with the rest of our day. WRONG. Haha. I got SO much push back. So, I had them do some practice, here and there, but decided not to be too structured about it.
Fast forward to the school year. I began to mentally prepare them how we would be homeschooling “next school year”. Lots of talk about, “next year, when we homeschool”…In my experience, kids do a lot better when you prepare them for what’s to come through conversation.
Little did we know, they would have, sort of a, transition period half-way through the year. I won’t go all the way into all of the uncertainty that the corona virus pandemic brought, including my kids’ last year in public school. But, I will say, that it sort of gave us a transition period.
At home learning gave us a preparation season. It gave us a “dip your toes in the water”. I’m thankful for this. I’m thankful we aren’t jumping in with cold feet.
So, as the school year ended, we took June off completely from any intentional learning, with an exception to a short Juneteenth lesson.
This week, we have started being more intentional. The goal? To work on our homeschool stamina. I want us to have stretched our muscles, before we dive into homeschool, in September.
So, right now…my oldest has to spend some part of each day reading, and practice 5 pages of cursive.
And my youngest has to practice two pages of handwriting practice and read one book.
Right now, they are “advertising” to a frog trying to get it to live in a toy house, so they can keep it as a pet…I’m sure they are learning something from this…right?!
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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.