It’s Sunday night. The rain is falling, Zach is downstairs doing homework, Emmylou is asleep and Jack is curled up next to me on the couch. I just finished eating a big salad for dinner and now I’m sipping on a glass of wine. This is what self-care looks like to me. Nourishing my body, finding time to relax, and indulging in things I enjoy. I’ve been thinking about self-care lately for a couple of reasons, the first being I’ve come across a few blog posts on the topic – specifically self-care as it relates to being a mom – and second because I don’t think I’ve been doing enough of it lately.
I’ve been feeling a bit run down the past few weeks, and since I stopped breast-feeding I’ve gained a few pounds which totally blind sided me (seriously WHY DID NO ONE WORN ME I HAD TO STOP EATING LIKE A LINEBACKER AFTER I STOPPED BREASTFEEDING!!). Zach and I were talking about how we want to make some healthy changes to our diet this weekend (but so hard… because the 7-11 is so close) and I’ve slowly begun to formulate a few ways I want to take better care of myself so I can fit back into my jeans (just in time for fall), have more energy, and maintain my overall health. So here they are, in no particular order:
- Greens, greens, greens. I am a big fan of green smoothies. I like to have them first thing in the morning to get things off to a healthy start. I want to make sure I am getting up early enough to have time to make myself a smoothie during the week, and also make sure I stay stocked up on greens for salads, smoothies and side dishes.
- SLEEP. Seriously. So important. If I’m not getting enough sleep I will literally eat sugar for breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night snacks, middle of the night snacks… anyway, you get the picture. I am sugar obsessed. I eat it way to often and I know it’s TERRIBLE for me, but if I’m tired I loose all control of what little restraint I have when it comes to the sweet stuff. Therefore, I must make sleep a priority. On Saturday night I went to bed at 9:00. You do what you have to do when you live with a toddler who is absolutely incapable of sleeping past 6:45, quality time with your husband be damned.
- Drink wine. I’m not a huge drinker, but I do like a nice red wine. And I’ve been reading lately that 3-5 oz of red wine a day for women can be beneficial to your health. So enter my new hobby of picking out a new red wine to try on the weekend and having a small glass every evening during the week. It’s fun, it’s relaxing, and it brings a bit of fanciness to an otherwise unfancy Monday night spent doing laundry.
- Cut down on the snacking. I LOOVVVVEEE to snack. Which was just fine when I was breastfeeding because you need the extra calories. But now I find myself snacking out of habit even though I am not at all hungry. Having the small glass of wine at night has been helping cut down on night time snacking, and during the day I’ve been trying to have fruit and nuts when I need a little something between meals.
- Pelvic floor strengthening – my fellow moms know what I’m talking about… After you have a baby your care practitioner is quite adamant about re-strengthening your pelvic floor muscles by doing kegels to prevent issues down the road. But let’s be honest, when you have an infant demanding 100% of your attention, it can be hard enough to get a shower in or feed yourself never mind dedicate time every day to perform kegels that I’m never even actually sure I’m doing correctly… So when I recently came across this article on Chalkboard magazine about strengthening your pelvic floor muscles through certain yoga moves I was intrigued… I’ve decided to add it to my self-care routine and try to do it three times a week.
I feel like before I had a baby I was the self-care queen. I loved relaxing nights in, taking baths, doing a yoga class, having a glass of wine with a friend… But priorities shift when you have kids and are constantly balancing the demands of working life and home life. Now that Emmylou is two and getting more independent every day, I think it’s a good time to bring some of these self-care practices back into my life and create new ones tailored to what I need right now.
Also, here are some quotes about self-care… because who doesn’t love a good quote!
“To experience peace does not mean that your life is always blissful. It means that you are capable of tapping into a blissful state of mind amidst the normal chaos of a hectic life. ” – Jill Bolte Taylor
“Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths. ” – Etty Hillesum
“Love yourself first, and everything else falls in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world. ” – Lucille Ball