Every year I typically pick a theme or phrase that guides me and my decision making throughout the year. This year I am doing something a little bit different and am picking the idea of self-care and putting ourselves first as my goal for the year. I guess you could say this is going to be the year of ME! I do not mean this in a selfish way at all. In fact, I think that the idea of self-care, while it has become much more popular in recent years, has gotten a bad wrap. As women, and especially as mothers, we always tend to put everyone’s needs above our own and typically only get the time and attention that is left as we scrape the very bottom of the barrel. I think we are afraid that if we do put ourselves first sometimes we will come across as selfish or self-absorbed. I am here to tell you that there is absolutely nothing further from the truth.
Pajamas (same style, different pattern)
I have learned over the years that by taking care of myself and doing things that make me feel good I am a better wife, mother and friend. No one can constantly run with their tank on empty. It is a recipe for burn out, broken relationships, and exhaustion. The saying that you can not love someone if you don’t love yourself is so true. So this year ladies let’s resolve to make an intention to put ourselves first every once and a while and NOT feel guilty about it. I think that is the key. You have to all promise me that you will try some of these things and not feel guilty about it.
I don’t want you guys to assume that self-care has to cost a ton of money or requires hours of time. It is honestly so much simpler than that. It is the little things that we do that add up, and while it is fun to splurge on spa days and girls weekends every once in a while, that is not the only type of self-care. Today I wanted to share some of the things I do for self-care, as well as some thing that I would like to try and incorporate in my routine this year as I focus more on self-care.
essie polish | color: urban jungle
GET UP EARLY
This is probably one of the simplest, but most important things that I do for myself. I like to wake up anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour before the rest of my house does. I love the chance it gives me to sit in quiet and have my first cup of coffee. It gives me time to think, plan my day, and gather myself before the onslaught of demands that we all face. My husband is very much a morning person. I am not necessarily that way naturally and so I like to have a few minutes to myself before he comes bouncing in all chipper and ready for the day. I also want to be ready for my kids to come down so I am not sushing them and and telling them to leave me alone until I have had my first cup of coffee.
I get that not everyone is a morning person, so if you can’t get up earlier find a time to have quiet time to yourself, then try to carve out another part of the day. Maybe it is before you pick the kids up from school or during nap time or before bed when you draw yourself a hot bath. Whatever it is, just take that time to shut off the TV and just sit and do something that relaxes you.
Because I get up early during the week, I like to try and sleep in a little on the weekends. I don’t know about you guys, but sleep is a critical component for me in terms of how I feel and how I act. As a nation that suffers from an epidemic of lack of sleep, this is such an important thing to do for yourself. I am lucky and my kids are older and don’t need me to fix them breakfast, turn on the TV or wipe their bottoms anymore. I know that some of you guys are not in that stage of life yet. When the kids where little, Steve and I would take turns sleeping in. If I did one weekend, then he would do the next. You can also split it up and one person sleep in on Saturday and the next person sleep in on Sunday, depending on what your schedule is.
This is something that I love to do for myself. If I am feeling good about myself, I feel better about life. Whether that is because I like my outfit, my skin looks good, my nails are done, etc., it just makes me happier and more positive. As you guys know, I always do a mask on Sunday nights and more often if I need to. I love that ritual and how it makes me feel. I like to get my nails and lashes done regularly as well. Again, all of these are superficial things, but they really do impact how we feel about ourselves. So try to carve out some space in the budget and time in your schedule to do some of these things for yourself. You will be so amazed what a pedicure does for you, even if it is every few months. You have to remind yourself that you are worth the investment and your happiness is worth spending time and sometimes money on. I am going to share my three favorite masks down below, so you can try some of them out.
EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE
This one is right up there with getting up early as one of the most important self-care activities that I do for myself. I have a confession to make. I am still really STRUGGLING to get back in to a regular exercise routine. I honestly am not 100% sure what my problem is. Even with making a commitment to Orange Theory, I can’t seem to make myself go. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it, it was just way out of my comfort zone and I am still not sure it is the workout for me. However, I haven’t really been fair to it either seeing as I have only gone once. I have said it time and time again, I am a better wife, mother and general human when I am working out. I know this about myself for a fact, yet I still am struggling to get back to it. This is something that I am really going to focus on this year and try to find my groove again. I would love for you to comment below about some of your favorite types of workouts. I am in a total RUT and need help!
READ A BOOK OR MAGAZINE
This is another thing that I am going to try and be more intentional about this year. I actually really like to read, but never manage to squeeze it into my day. I am a go, go, go kind of person and generally charge through my days at full speed. Because of that I typically fall right asleep as soon as I get in to bed. A blessing and a curse because it doesn’t really leave me any time to read before bed like most people do. Maybe I will try starting to incorporate it into my quiet time in the morning. I would love your suggestions on some good books to read, so leave them in the comments below.
I alluded to this in my organizing post, but the cleanliness and organization of my home is a huge component of my self-care routine. I know it is non-traditional because it is technically a chore, but isn’t the whole point of self-care doing things that make you feel good. Well, a clean and organized space makes me feel good. I know it is not for everyone, but I get a lot of uneasiness and anxiety if my space is in disarray. Think of it this way, if you keep everything organized and in order you free up so much time and mental energy to do the things you really want to do, like get your nails done or read a book. You guys might think I am crazy, but don’t knock it until you try it.
TIME WITH GIRLFRIENDS
Women need women. It is just a fact of life. We all crave connection and closeness and finding and maintaining your tribe is such an important component of self-care. As we get older, get married, have kids, work, it becomes harder and harder to keep those connections with your girlfriends. I really try and make an effort to see my girlfriends but it is something that I am going to be more intentional about this year. I always feel like my cup has been totally filled up whenever I get to spend a night with my friends. If a night out isn’t a possibility or your best girlfriend lives out of town, try to schedule some phone time with them so you have guaranteed time carved out to focus on your friendship. Even if it just means a group text or sitting down to right an email to catch everyone up what is going on in your life, it all makes a huge difference. Nurture those friendships!
Thanks for the tips on self-care! I’m reading "Women Who Work" by Ivanka Trump. It has given me new energy in all components of my life. Plus, under the book cover it is White and Gold lettering! Perfect for your book shelf 🙂
Fave workout: beatboxfit.com Hands down! Check it out.
I am in the same RUT with working out. One of my favorite workouts is Les Mills Body Combat. They have an On Demand subscription for $12.99 a month. I don’t pay for a gym so this is the next best thing when I need a really good a** kicking. I burn up to 700 calories in an hour. I’m also getting more into yoga. Let me just tell you….it’s not easy! Some of those poses are down right HARD! And I’m going to start the 21 day fix workouts. Only 30 minutes but they incorporate weights, which I need… Read more »
I can definitely relate to feeling better when things are organized. I love when things are in their place and my house or area is tidy. It’s hard for me to function in clutter. And I too have been struggling with getting back into my workout routine. In the past, I have enjoyed a subscription to Beachbody on Demand. I like that there are many programs to choose from, each specified by intensity level. It’s also a great perk that I don’t have to leave my house in the winter to get a good workout in.
I am not a person who exercised regularly in the past. I’m not athletic or coordinated. But last year I made the decision to work with a personal trainer one on one, mostly for health reasons, for strength and protection of joints. It definitely was a big financial investment. A really good trainer is not cheap. I met with her twice a week for six months. I have finally found “my workout”. Running and high intensity programs and classes are not for me. But put a weight in my hand and I’m in love. I have discovered that weight training… Read more »
I couldn’t get into Orange Theory either and have had a lot of friends with injuries from there. I love ClassPass for workouts! It’s a very user friendly app and about $89/month for at least 12 classes/month which averages out to be an incredible deal/class. There’s spin, barre, boot camps, yoga- even flotation. Most gyms and studios in my area participate (not Orange Theory). Flywheel participated and is my favorite. Here’s a link for $40 off first month to try it- http://class.ps/hFTtP
Come see us, at Vigor Fitness & Wellness Studio in Nashville! It’s small group fitness classes – we offer everything from Pilates, Spin, Buti Yoga, Barre, and HIIT Power Hour (which I think you would LOVE & crush!) It’s super individualized, and catered to each client. We would love to have you! <3
Also, read Daring Greatly…it’s an AMAZING self-empowerment book all about embracing vulnerability in love. Love love love.
I am a devoted fan of Bar Method here in Nashville. The instructors are knowledgeable and so encouraging. The workout is very challenging even if you’ve been going for a long time. I love that the focus is on maintaining safe form while building strength, toning, and improving flexibility. There are also classes that add a great cardio boost too. Location is a big plus for me too. I find that it’s much more of a chore if the location is not convenient for me.
where are those white textured large bed pillows from? Seen in pictures 1 and 3!
You should try something like Zumba! Dancing is something that is totally out of my comfort zone, but about a year ago, I found the most amazing studio. I may not be the best dancer, but the amount of fun that we have during class makes it so worth it. And from doing Zumba for 1 year, I’m down 65 pounds!! So, working out can be fun as well…it doesn’t have to be just getting your workout over with for the day. Also, I’ve gained my best friend and tribe from going to that studio…never know how people you might… Read more »
Try Studio Novo, on White Bridge (kinda across from Target). It Lagree fitness, whatever that is, but it is Pilates on the megaformer. It is such a hard workout. I too go to SHED and this is completely different than that. It is zero impact, but it is cardio. Not your typical cardio. Anyway, I’ve never been more sore after a NOVO class. Every. Single. Time. Trust me, your abs will be sore in places you didn’t know existed. Good luck. I need to get back into Novo too. I SHED in the Gulch, but need to implement pilates too.
I would recommend trying Barre for workouts. I have always been a runner and a rower, so I wasn’t sure a group class was for me, but I have been doing it for about 3 years now and I absolutely love it. It has greatly increased both my strength and flexibility.
I also recommend trying Barre for workouts. Specifically, Pure Barre. I follow Virginia thanks to your recommendation and she’s been going to a class at the Pure Barre Nashville once a week, you should join her! I love it and had never found my "fitness place" until I started going to my studio in DC.
Book recommends for you Friend….so I took @anniefdowns suggestion and started reading Madeleine L’Engle ~ A Wrinkle In Time. Not the type of book i typically read, but really enjoying the different genre. Very cute and I love the characters.
Anything by Brene Brown (to learn), Elin Hildebrand (mindless beach reads-mostly read in summertime). Parker Palmer (again to learn). All of Annie’s books are great too 🙂