Sunday, October 4, 2015

31 Days of Self-Care Sunday Quotes

Saturday, October 3, 2015

31 Days - 168 Hours

Did you know there are 168 hours in a week?  Is it something you even think about? 

I honestly didn’t until this year.  I’m sure at some point I had heard that there were 168 hours in a week, but it didn’t have any significance to me, so I promptly let it out of my head.

At the beginning of this year I started reading some amazing books on time management.  Maybe time management is the wrong way to describe these books.  There were about finding margin, finding time to do the things that I love, finding time for myself, to have self-care, being able to say no when you should say no and yes when you want to say yes.  These are some really incredible books that I will talk about more throughout this series.

A recurring theme in these books was that everyone has the same 168 hours in a week, and it is our choice on how we use those hours.

How I use my time is my choice.

That is an interesting concept, choice.  I often felt like I had to do certain things.  I didn’t want to disappoint people, I felt like it was imperative for me to do certain tasks, like the world would end if I didn’t do it.

Do you ever feel that way?

I finally came to the conclusion that the world would continue to spin even if I said no, even if I stopped doing things that were not fulfilling to me, things that I felt obligated to, but didn’t enjoy and were more draining than anything.

I finally realized that if I wasn’t enjoying a task, I wasn’t giving it the best attention the task deserved, and therefore someone else would be better suited for said task.

What I want you to do this week: take an inventory of your time.

Why?  Well, this is going to help you find margin.

I know, it might sound silly.  I thought it was a little silly.  I know when I am waking up.  I know when I am doing school with the kids, when I am making food, etc.  But, how much time am I really spending on tasks.  How much time is wasted throughout the day?  Not that every day is going to be the most efficient, scheduled day, but this will help you find margin in your day for that self-care.

If you only look at a day, it will be hard to find margin, but when you look at an entire week, you are able to see patterns, and can perhaps shift things so that you have a block of time to do some type of self-care.

How long are you sleeping?  How many breaks do you take to check Facebook or Instagram (a lot, I check Instagram a lot).  How much time do you spend commuting?  Waiting in line?

I want to challenge you to take an inventory of your time for a week.  Write down everything.  Yes, it is easy to say I did x from 8-10, but were there interruptions?  Did you take little breaks to check e-mail or Facebook?  Did you have 10 interruptions from co-workers or little ones running around?

I honestly believe this is the first step in finding time for self-care.

Knowing when you have time to do what energizes you is something that will help you on your way to self-care.

Have you done a time assessment before?  When do you think you can make time for self-care?

Friday, October 2, 2015

31 Days - Why is Self-Care Important?

For a very long time after having my first child, I didn’t think so much about me.  I was so consumed with my daughter, that I didn’t even know how to deal with it.  Out went my normal routines of getting up, getting dressed, going to work, rinse and repeat.  Now, every day was different.

When we added number two, the personal time seemed to completely disappear.  Any idea of who I was seemed to be put on the back burner, and now I was “mom;” needed by everyone.

It is a somewhat heady feeling, knowing that you are the provider.  But, after a while, you can forget you completely, and be only the provider.

Perhaps it is just me.

However, if you are like me, putting everyone before yourself, then I might be able to encourage you to put yourself first some of the time.

Why is self-care important?

I think there are many reasons, but it mainly comes down to making sure you are healthy, for yourself, for your family.

Oftentimes we can go go go, this isn’t specific to mamas either, and we forget that we need to take a break and replenish ourselves.  We need to take the time to center ourselves on our goals, to know what our plan is, but to not work so hard at staying on task that we miss the right now.

Stress is a huge issue in our world today.  Everyone is stressed about something, their job, their family, finances.  All that stress is made much worse when we stop taking time for ourselves, when we don’t eat the proper foods to nourish our bodies, when we don’t take time for meditation and stillness, time in nature.

Why is self-care important?  Because it provides us with a sense of who we really are instead of being lost in our roles.  It helps us to move in the right and proper direction, not always seamlessly, but in a calmer manner, knowing our limits.

Do you always put others needs before your own?  Why?

I know that I need to make sure my family is taken care of.

With three little ones that need me for most things, I know that the urgent will often come up, but I still need to make time for myself, to recharge.

What is one thing that you have been putting off doing because you “don’t have the time”?  Can you make time today to do that one thing?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

31 Days - What is Self-Care?

When I say self-care, what do you think of?  What do you think self-care means?  I decided to do a little search using my friend Google to find out if there is an actual definition, and Google did not disappoint.

According to the World Health Organization self-care is:

Activities individuals, families, and communities undertake with the intention of enhancing health, preventing disease, limiting illness, and restoring health.

Well, that seems a little intense to me!  Who knew that self-care would be such a broad term.

I believe self-care to be the connection of physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of your life coming together to promote health and well-being.

As a mama, that can be somewhat tricky to manage.

I know that every day it seems like I have 101 urgent needs to attend to, and taking care of me seems to come at the very end of it, if at all. 

I mean, there are often times when I have trouble making my own lunch, so I eat whatever is left over from the kids’.  I barely have time to take a shower some days, let alone do my hair and makeup and dress nicely, and even if I did that, most likely one of the kids would spill something on me.

What are some examples of self-care?

I think that there are tons of different ways to provide self-care, here are some of them, and I plan to discuss them all much more throughout this series:

     o   Getting enough sleep
     o   Eating a whole foods diet
     o   Drinking lots of water
     o   Cutting back on caffeine – this is a hard one for me!
     o   Taking a retreat
     o   Setting life goals
     o   Having a good morning routine
     o   Journaling
     o   Bible reading and meditation

There are a lot of other ways to define self-care, but we will get into that more as the days and weeks move on.

I would love to know: What one thing do you try to do just for you every day?

For me, I try to get up every morning before the kids, have a HOT cup of coffee and write.  It helps center me, and prepares me for a day with 3 little ones!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

31 Days of Self-Care - Introduction

I am so excited to announce that I will be participating in 31 Days again this year!

This will be my fourth year participating, which is kind of crazy to think about.  The first year I wrote about Intentional Living, year two was Back to Basics, and then last year was Preparing for Baby #3

I love the premise of the 31 Days project.  To pick a topic and write about only that for 31 days is a challenge.  Heck, writing anything for 31 days is a challenge, but then for it to be centered on one topic, it is a huge challenge.

When I thought about my 31 Days project for this year, honestly, I couldn’t think of anything.  Then I had a few minutes to sit down and think without interruption – that doesn’t happen a lot as a mom of three little ones.  While I was sitting, I realized that it was blissful, and that I needed to do more of it.

That is when my topic came to me – 31 Days of Self-Care.

For every day in October I will be writing about self-care.  Now, I don’t want you to think I am an expert in this area, I am most definitely not.  In fact it will be much more of a story, my story, and my journey to self-care with some tips along the way. 

I am really excited for the month, and I think I have some great content to share with you all. 

This blog post is going to act as a landing page for all of my 31 Days blog posts for 2015.  Each day I will come back and put up a link to the current days blog post.  I hope that you will join me!

Are you participating in 31 Days this year?  Have you in the past?  What is your topic this year?

Day 1 - What is Self-Care?
Day 2 - Why is Self-Care Important?
Day 3 - 168 Hours
Day 4 - Sunday Quotes

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

TB Blood Test Feature

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for the TB Blood Test. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

As soon as the kids start going back to school, our days become extremely busy.  It seems like every other day there is a doctor’s appointment to go to, a sports practice, a field trip; it is busy!

I try to combine appointments and outings as much as possible.  With three little ones, going to the doctor’s office is a challenge, and we prefer to stay out of there as much as possible.

Do you remember getting a TB skin test?  Not fun, right?  First you have to go in and have them poke you, and then you have to go back a week later for them to check the spot.  With three kids, that can become a bit tedious – three appointments will turn into six, and we can write off productivity for a couple weeks.

I was really interested to hear that there is a new TB blood test.  It can help diagnose tuberculosis and is the only available method that is completely objective.  When you have the skin test, you rely on visual interpretation.

The skin test is also known to give a false positive.  If you have had the tuberculosis vaccine in the past, it can often still show a raised lump on the test site, which is what shows whether or not you are infected with tuberculosis. 

For peace of mind with my kids, I would definitely prefer something that is an objective and accurate result.

With the TB blood test you will get:

·       The most accurate reading with no cross reaction from a previous TB vaccination
·       Only a small blood draw of 3ml regardless of age and immune status
·       The convenience of just one visit to your doctor

I know that I will be asking about this option the next time we have to go to the doctor’s office for a visit!  It seems like a great option and a real advance from the previous skin test.

If you would like to find out more information about the TB blood test, you can visit their website here

Have you heard of the TB blood test before?

*I am not a doctor.  The information in this post is not meant to replace the information you receive from your health professionals.  This is only my opinion, and in no way should replace what you have discussed with your own health care providers.  Please refer to them for any changes in your health care regimen.*

Monday, September 28, 2015

Changing the Sheets

We had our first frost this past weekend.  It was a little jarring to me, especially considering it had been so warm just a couple weeks ago.  I am always looking forward to the change in seasons, but it always seems to catch me off guard – except summer, summer never seems to show up when I want it to!

I absolutely love the fall.  I think it might be my favorite season; although I think that every season is my favorite at the beginning.

This time last year I was in the final stretch before Miss Lucy would arrive, and it was a bit of a blur really.  And now, here we are again, almost to her 1st birthday, and it seems crazy how fast the past year has gone!

I have been in the mood for baking and cooking again, something I don’t really want to do in the summer.  I love to have a pot of soup on the stove simmering away all day.  It truly is amazing to watch water and veggies turn into something delicious by the end of the day!

I realized that with the change in seasons, I was thinking more about hunkering down for winter.  The things that we need to do around the house to be ready for when the cold arrives.

It reminded me that I should be revisiting some of my goals from earlier in the year.

I know that January is the typical time to set goals, to figure out where you want your year to go, what you plan to accomplish, but I feel like by the time the end of the year gets here, all the goals are essentially either lost or they have become habits.

Goal setting in fall seems like an odd thing, not quite the same as the newness of a new year, but it has been something on my mind.

Not the typical goal setting – “I will go to the gym every day!” but all of the seasonal shift goals. 

Perhaps I am just ready to change the sheets, put on the heavy blankets and buckle down for our longest season.

Getting out the warm blankets, making sure the pantry is stocked with plenty of dry beans and lentils, and putting vegetable stock and chicken stock in the freezer.  Planting my garlic. 

I am feeling incredibly introspective this morning.  Maybe because we are coming up on Lucy’s first birthday, maybe because of the change in seasons, maybe because of how busy we have been and will continue to be right through the end of the year.

It does make me want to sit back a bit and figure out what I need to work on in the next few months, even though they are going to be busy.  Is it possible to feel like nesting when you aren’t pregnant?  Maybe this is making up for the fact that I didn’t feel at all like nesting when I was pregnant with Lucy.

What are you working on right now?  Have you changed your bedding over to winter yet?