Monday, August 24, 2015

2015 So Far & Thoughts on Self Care

2015 has admittedly been a really hard year for me. I got a new job, my family moved across the country, we traveled for work, we got stuck on planes, were in our first car accident... the list goes on. Sometimes bad things, or hard things just happen. So why was all of this SO much for me? Why was it SO stressful?

It was because in those glorious free moments, the ones where I was at home, or without a task...  I wasn't taking care of myself.

To be fair, there really was not time to get as organized as I needed to get. There just were not free weekends, days, or afternoons to overhaul our schedule, budget, or goals. And that couldn't be helped. And the small bit I was able to use calendars and to-do lists wasn't cutting it.

But looking back on those rare evenings at home or chunks of time here or there, I can see that spending that time on self care would have helped in the long run.

Some things I could have done:

  • Read a book - a better escape than TV, because it feels so much more productive. & when you are working on a screen all day, not looking at a screen is important.
  • Painted my nails - not a huge thing right? But it makes a big difference in how I feel.
  • Said "no" - to overtime, to family or friend obligations... when there just wasn't time.
  • Stayed home with KC more - because going out (even to Target) is not usually a good way to wind down when you're too busy.
  • Yoga - Duh
  • Cooked for fun - there wasn't time to meal plan, or be successful at meal planning... but I could have made cookies, or breakfast on a weekend  morning.
  • Slept - staying up so you can have fun after a stressful day is not the answer to actually having fun, and it's certainly not healthy.
  • Wrote it down - talking to KC and others (and blogging!) about all of the stuff going on is certainly helpful, but sometimes physically writing it down is so much more cleansing.
  • Cut myself some slack - I didn't realize until last week that I really was doing the best I could. There wasn't any way for me to be more successful at the things I felt I "should have been doing" (i.e., cleaning, cooking, seeing my family more, etc.). There just was not time. There would have been no way to reasonable "make the time" either.
  • Go for more walks - nature, movement, all that jazz
  • Play with our cats - pets relieve stress (when they aren't climbing the shower curtain)
  • NOT had soda after lunch to stay awake - not healthy, not helping.
  • Had a drink after work - I am not a drinker you guys, I don't think I have ever had more than 3 drinks in a day. I drink socially, from time to time. But while we were in Alaska for work (read: mega stress), I found that there can be a benefit to having a drink after a hard day. Drinking every night? No thanks. Drinking to excess? No thanks. But an occasional margarita or glass of Sangria? That can be helpful.
  • Got a haircut - I legitimately have no idea when the last time I did this was.
  • Listened to more music - When you are too busy to listen to music, that's probably when you need it the  most. 
  • Cried - I didn't do this enough. I should have. Maybe I couldn't figure out what to cry about?
  • Gone Out on Dates - we didn't really make a point to spend time together, just the two of us. Not as much as we needed to.
  • Treated Myself - I don't know about you guys, but it's the same as with self care, I treat myself least.
  • Took Care of my Environment - clearing clutter is good for the soul, and easy on the stress level.
  • Eating Healthfully - we did ok at this, especially for how many meals we had to get out. But the better I eat, the better I feel.
  • Use a Planner - you know that's bad...
  • Identify My Goals - (or be excited about existing ones) goals are so important, especially when you are trying to feel more in control of your life, or have a sense of accomplishment.
From what I am gathering, self care is hard for many of us. Especially us ladies... so ...

I'm working on a list to share of ways to take care of yourself big & little. I would love to hear all of your ideas on taking care of yourself, and maybe even add them to my list! :) 

Please share in the comments!! 

August has been the greatest month of the year by far. A lot of it is because we haven't been busy, but also because I have been trying harder to take care of myself. I'm really excited for the rest of fall! :)



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