Self-Care is Important

As a stay-at-home mom, I spend my entire day, everyday, mediating arguments, teaching, cooking, and cleaning. When that’s you’re entire life, and even when it’s not, it’s easy to lose yourself. It’s easy to forget to take care of you. We forget that we matter just as much as those we love and place our needs on the back burner.

Putting myself on the back burner is something that I did for several years. Both my mental and physical health suffered tremendously because of it. It took so long to get out of that pattern, but I finally did a couple of years ago.

These are five things that I like to do to give back to myself after a long day of giving my all to everyone else:

1. Wash My Face

Washing your face isn’t just a matter of good hygiene and removing makeup, it’s a necessary ritual. Even if you don’t wear makeup, washing your face is such a refreshing thing to do. It fights off acne, helps remove all of the dirt, oil, and germs that have built up on your face throughout the day, and aides in removing dead skin cells. Though it seems insignificant, it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself each day.

2. Drink Hot Tea

I love a good cup of hot tea, even during the warmer months of the year. It’s one of those things that really helps me wind down at the end of the day . In addition to tasting absolutely delightful, hot tea also comes with a handful of benefits to your health, including:

  • Enhancing your eye health.
  • Reducing your risk of stroke.
  • Sharpening your memory.
  • Preventing tooth decay.
  • Improving your digestion.
  • Reducing your blood pressure.
  • Strengthening your immune system.
  • Curbing your stress and anxiety

If that’s not self-care, I don’t know what is.

3. Read a Book

I love books and I have so many of them. A little of a year ago, I was dealing with some pretty awful insomnia. In my quest to find things to help me sleep, I came across an article about reading a book close to bedtime. Not only does reading involve doing something I truly enjoy, I found that it also helps reduce my anxiety, making it easier to get to sleep at night. Since I suffer from an anxiety disorder, anything that helps ease it without adding more pills to my medicine cabinet is a win.

4. Journaling

Even if you’re just writing down thoughts that have nothing whatsoever to do with your day, journaling is good for the soul. It has been known to boost memory, improve penmanship, and relieve stress. Keeping a journal also helps relieve stress, improve your writing, and keep your thoughts organized. All of those things are great reasons to make journaling a nightly ritual.

5. Meditation

This is a big one for me. Meditation. Sitting down at the end of the day, listening to soothing music or a guided meditation, and just relaxing. It has become one of those things that I really rely on for so many reasons. There are times when I will even go sit by myself in my room during the day to meditate and get my bearings. If that’s not enough, here are a few science-backed reasons to give it a try:

  • Reduces Stress
  • Controls Anxiety
  • Promotes Emotional Health
  • Enhances Self-Awareness
  • Lengthens Attention Span
  • May Reduce Age-Related Memory Loss
  • Can Generate Kindness
  • May Help Fight Addictions

Remember, even if you do something entirely different, something that isn’t on this list, it is important to take care of yourself. Self-care isn’t selfish. It’s extremely necessary.

“You’re Too Old”

As of writing this, I am 33 years old.

I am a 33 year old who loves clothes. More specifically, I love skirts and dresses.

Then I heard that awful six-word phrase used in an attempt to admonish me against wearing such things.

“You’re too old to wear that.”

It hit me hard. Being in my 30s means I am suddenly too old to wear certain things. Those things are intended for early 20s and not early 30s. My reluctance to wear or purchase such things since that warning got me wondering. Is there really a magical point where you suddenly become too old to wear certain clothes? Is there an age limit on skirts and dresses?

My husband loves the way I dress. He is the same age as me and has never once made a negative remark about my choice of clothing. Most of my non-work clothes look like the above image. Skirts. Tights. Rompers. Dresses. Feminine blazers. They are an obsession. I love them. I feel happy, feminine, and very comfortable in them. He only ever has nice things to say about the way I dress.

I still worry, though. I’ve been sticking to pants and blouses ever since hearing that I am too old. It’s such an awful thing to hear. It’s right up there with negative comments regarding your physique. No one wants to hear that they’re too thin, too fat, or too old. Whether or not you believe it, those statements stick with them, eating away at them, making them question themselves constantly. It destroys how a person views themself.

Is it entirely impossible to just allow people to feel good about themselves? Having an opinion is fine, but is it really worth voicing if it tears someone’s self-esteem down even by the smallest measure? Am I really too old to continue wearing skirts and dresses? Is it best to stick with shirts and blouses at my age?

What do you think? Leave a comment and let me know.

Weekly Motivation #3

Finally! I am over the six-weeks postpartum hump! Honestly, I have been waiting for this day since the day that I was admitted to the hospital to have my little girl. I am thrilled to have her, but I am also thrilled to have my body back to myself. Being beyond six-weeks postpartum, I am officially cleared to start getting myself back in shape. Since there are no more babies in my future, that also means it is the best possible time in my life to start working on improving my health and fitness.

This week’s motivation is dedicated to the beginning of a new journey:

Getting into the best shape of my life!

“Love your body.”
“Let exercise be your stress relief; not food.”
“You will never always be motivated, so you must learn to be disciplined.”
“Don’t eat less, just eat right.”
“Don’t use the weekend as an excuse to give up on your goals.”
“Only you can decide what breaks you.”
“Girl, you got this!”
“Don’t kill my vibe.”

Putting Yourself First

We’ve all heard the saying numerous times throughout our lives. “You need to fall in love with yourself first.” But how many of you actually do? If you don’t, you definitely need to start. Here’s why!

1. Your Family & Friends Benefit

When you actually put yourself first, when you genuinely love yourself, you’re ultimately a happier person. Think about it. When you are tired, you don’t think anywhere near as clearly and you’re more prone to becoming irritated over even the smallest things. Rest up and schedule some “me” time to recharge. Everyone around you will thank you.

2. You will see an improvement at work.

When you go to work tired, you’ll find that tasks take longer and you feel overwhelmed most of the day. A well-rested mind and body functions better making it take less time to accomplish tasks because you’re thinking more clearly and moving faster. Get adequate sleep, eat well, and take time outside of work to prioritize yourself.

3. Your mental health will improve.

This is something that has been major for me over the past year. I have spent so much time over the past decade neglecting myself because, having a family of my own, I felt as though it was selfish to do much of anything for myself. My hair and skin suffered, I gained weight, and I ended up being 30 years old owning literally the exact same clothes I bought when I was 18 and nothing else. As a result, I felt awful about myself. I was extremely unhappy because I was doing absolutely nothing for me. Over the past year, I’ve really started putting myself first. After all, if I don’t, who will? If I don’t love myself, who will? I noticed that I felt better and better about myself and my overall mental well-being improved tremendously. These days, I make time for myself on a regular basis, even if it’s just to sit in the tub for an hour and clear my head after a long day.

My anxiety and depression still get to me occasionally, the anxiety being more prominent than anything else, but it isn’t nearly to the degree that it use to be. During those times, I remind myself to take what my daughter’s teacher refers to as a “brain break” and give myself a few moments to just breathe and take time for me. Love yourself. It is the very best thing that you can do for yourself and for those around you.