Welcome to June aka summer time! Well, at least if you are in Chicago. Last month, I didn’t set any official goals in my Powersheets, but I did commit to some things so May wasn’t a total wash. That being said, I set some intentional goals for June related to parenting, fitness, faith and relationships. While May ended on an incredible note, the middle weeks were a little all over the place. Without having a clear sense of what I needed to accomplish, I was flying by the seat of my pants as far as what I was and wasn’t doing. That is not what intentional living looks like!
Last week, our family left rainy Chicago in search of sunnier skies on the Gulf Coast. My oldest stepson graduated from high school down there so our trip was the perfect excuse to celebrate his accomplishments, catch up with my husband’s family, and honestly just whoosah.
Leading up to the trip, I was burnt out to the max from work and some other tasks on my plate. I have been saying “Yes” to too many things, people, and projects. And, it finally took a toll on me. Honestly, I’m still in “generosity recovery,” but that’s another post for another day.
Last week, I was showered with love and fuzzy feelings as I celebrated my second Mother’s Day. Motherhood has brought me so many incredible moments but I have to admit that I am still struggling with some of the physical aftereffects of carrying Caleb.
Thanks to Whole 30, I’m below my pre-baby weight, however parts of my body just aren’t the same as before. One of the biggest insecurities had to do my how poorly my bras fit post-baby. After breastfeeding, my girls just weren’t themselves anymore.
All of my life, I have held myself to incredible performance standards which propel me far but not as far as I know that I can truly go.
I cut myself off at the knees and think things like, “Well, those things worked because you were fortunate. Don’t go any further or people will see you for who you really are.” That last part… That fear of being “exposed” has haunted me my whole life. It has affected everything from personal relationships to passion projects. Remember Real Women Give?
Welcome to April! Knowing that we are on the verge of spring temperatures has me feeling super energized and ready to knock out some major goals over the next three months. I’ve been using Powersheets to help map out my year. In 2016, I had the tool but didn’t use it like I should have. However, I’m doing MUCH better this year. One of the things that I like most about the Powersheets are the 3-month refresh pages which allows you to take stock of the prior months and what you did or didn’t do. This refresh also helps with assessing whether or not your annual goals need to be tweaked.
Last fall, I became a believer in Whole30. I’m talking “Omg, why didn’t I do this sooner” kind of believer. I made the decision to do Whole30 after my manager started sharing some of the benefits that she’d been seeing since starting it. As she rattled off things like less headaches, less bloating, better sleep, and looser fitting clothes, I became even more intrigued. But, the true kicker was when she told me that Whole30 isn’t a diet. Say what? However, it’s true.
Today is your 1st birthday. I hope and pray that this is just the first of many celebrations in your honor. This past year, you have taught me how to love, how to be patient, how to care, how to pray, and how to truly smile from my heart. You are the sweetest baby that I have ever met and I am not just saying this because you are mine. Your spirit and energy lights up any room that you are in. Your eyes remind me that God is real and so is a mother’s love.
“Just keep swimming…” I have been muttering those three words to myself over and over again for the past two weeks. I have placed so much value on doing things perfectly that I often fail to celebrate the art of just getting something done.
However, I’m in the middle of learning that any forward-moving progress HAS to be celebrated. For many, this is such a “duh” concept but I’m a perfectionist-in-recovery. The fear of not doing something right (whatever the heck that means) would keep me paralyzed with anxiety for days, weeks, or even months. I would rather not do anything then to deal with feelings of imperfection.
Now that I am “settling” into my routine and new lifestyle, I have started to make a more conscious effort to prioritize my mental, physical, and emotional state – even if only for minutes at a time. After all, I have to look out for little old me because if I fall apart then I’m not going to be of much help to my baby boo.
While I may add in a massage here or aromatherapy session in there, the five items below are the core of my self-care routine. Meaning that without them, life would be a little more bleak for your girl!
When I was in college, I would buy kids’ coloring books from Walmart and just fill the pages for fun. I didn’t intentionally do it for the therapeutic factor but that was a welcome outcome. These days, my go-to coloring book is “Color Yourself Happy: 100 Positive Passages to Color.” In addition to intricate designs, the pages are also filled with quotes designed to inspire and uplift. That is so perfect for days when I’m feeling less than my best.
For the past year or so, I’d been thinking long and hard about seeking out a therapist but I never pulled the trigger. Until motherhood. Becoming a mom was the life change that finally pushed me into therapy. Let me tell you something, guys. If you are thinking about therapy, DO IT. Your mental stability is so important and many of us take it for granted. My appointments have been nothing but a blessing to me and give me the space that I need to open up and develop the tools that I need to juggle all of my current responsibilities. Therapy doesn’t make you weak. It makes you smart (and brave).
I’m still easing back into exercise, but I have started taking walks as a way to quiet my mind AND meet my daily steps goal. Whether it is a stroll around the office or an evening stroll through the forest, this activity is exactly what I need. Of course, you can substitute walking for any physical activity that centers you.
When we first moved to our current place, I was so excited that there was a jacuzzi tub in the master bathroom. “I am going to take baths all of the time,” I exclaimed. It took my two years, but I am finally starting to take advantage of the soothing abilities of that tub. My girlfriend, Arionne, gifted me with a lavender bubble bath from Shea Moisture after Caleb was born and it is my go-to when I need to “whoosah.” Add a little Erykah Badu into the mix and I am good to go!
Coffee isn’t just about the caffeine for me. During maternity leave, Starbucks was one of the first places that I ventured to by myself. Even now, coffee runs feel like one of the few “acceptable” solo outings that I can take without the baby. Every time that I take a sip, I am fully embracing the moment to prepare for the day, reflect, and catch my breath.
Am I perfect about doing them regularly? With the exception of my (almost) daily cup of joe, not at all. But, I’m trying.
How do you take time to show a little love to yourself? I’m always looking for other ideas. Share!