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 8 and 9

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.

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!!

Self-care Day 6

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.

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.