The plan

Life is so weird….especially life in 2020…

Early in my 20s…it’d make me anxious if things didn’t go according to plan. I’d cling to the plan, and act like a toddler (if not outwardly, definitely inwardly) when things didn’t go how they were “supposed to go”.

I like to know what “the plan” is. I don’t like going into things blindly.

Somewhere, over time, I started to let go. If plans change, more often than not. . .I’m able to wing it. I think it was almost a coping mechanism. I couldn’t hold onto the stress of things not going my way, anymore.

So, I stopped making long term plans.

For my kids’ birthdays, I started planning last minute. And for most anything, it seems like my best plans always come together last minute, anyways.

When we started “planning” our road trip, I was so excited!! After years of not planning super far ahead, we had this plan of where we would go, and when we would be there. It was a general plan, but it was a plan that was starting to come together.

And then, 2020 happened. And I have to laugh. Because, like for everyone else this year. . .2020 has definitely not gone according to plan.

Through this year, I’ve been reminded of why exactly it is, I’m more of a “wing-it” girl.

The last couple of months have reminded me that not clinging to my plan, allows for God’s plan to unfold. And, His plan always ends up better than mine!!

Traveling….finally

I was beginning to think that I’d never get to say that we were really traveling. . .

There for awhile, we were bouncing from Texas to Missouri, and back.

But, the last two months, we really started traveling, and have been able to have more adventures.

Never in my life, did I think we’d get to say that we had your traditional summer nights. . .cooking s’mores and going swimming. . . AND get to see snow ( real snow) all in one summer!!

We also got to go see the St. Louis Arch!! That’s one place that we really wanted to take the kids!! The tram was still not up and going (COVID), but it was a great experience for them-nonetheless. I can’t wait to take them back, when they can see from the top of the Arch!! We also found Cardinal Stadium.

I love how much a lot of our adventures turn into learning experiences, as well!! This is what I dreamed! That my kids would be able to learn about the world through traveling experiences!!

Resource: Podcast

I’ve taken more time than I wanted to start sharing resources. . .But, I’ve wanted to make sure and listen to, read, and research before sharing.

Because podcasts are sooo easy to listen to, this is where I’ve started!!

Some time ago, I asked some friends for some recommendations on resources to share for anxiety, depression, and motherhood.

And they shared some real gems.

These are the two I’ve started listening to:

Untangle:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/untangle/id1073460738?i=1000360413196

This podcast is a great resource, when it comes to mental health. The episodes in this podcast talk about the science of meditation and the benefits it has on our bodies.

Natal:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/natal/id1508013775?i=1000479392069

This podcast tells stories of black women and their experiences of pregnancy. It is super informative. I’ve learned so much.

What I love about these two podcasts, are that they share stories.

I firmly believe that sharing our stories not only brings us healing, it brings hope and healing to others who are experiencing things we have walked through.

I hope that you will enjoy these podcasts.

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.