With the start of a new school year, I always set aside time to collect my thoughts, set a few goals and generally get organized so that I feel like I am on top of things before everyone's scheduled get busy.
As an creative-entrepreneur and a stay-at-home-mom, life gets a little bit hectic once the school year kicks off! You'd think that with 2 teenagers, I'd get a bit more time to myself?! Nope! It seems to get busier with their social calendar along with activities, part-time jobs and volunteering. Add in a husband who travels a great deal and I turn into the Uber driver and makes sure they get where they need to go on time and have eaten something along the way!
I really can't complain though. I made the conscious decision years ago to stay home with them and work from home and I have loved being around for the kids after school and during school holidays. It really is a blessing.
A few self care tips
What I have decided to do differently this year is to schedule some of my "chores" so that I spread them out throughout the week more and to also schedule "me". I thought it was really important to lay out some self care ideas and tips to help ensure that I set aside more time but also to make sure that I am checking in weekly with how I am feeling and where I can create more space for me.
I feel like we all can benefit from slowing down a bit more and enjoying the moment that we are in versus rushing through every task of our day. Like sipping on a cup of tea while reading a magazine not taking it to go as you drive to an errand.
So here are my top self care ideas that I've put into place starting in the month of September!
SELF CARE TIP NO. 1
JOURNAL! yup, I've noticed a difference already since getting back to regular journaling. It doesn't have to be complicated or deep and meaningful every time you sit down to journal. I am experiencing lots of peri-menopausal symptoms at the moment [isn't aging wonderfule?!!], so I've been keeping track of how I am feeling, what I noticed that day and just easy, surface stuff. So again, no need to go deep, just check in at the end of the day and see how you're feeling. Not the kids. or the hubs. or the biz. YOU!
SELF CARE TIP NO. 2
Spend time with people who fill you up!! Another easy thing to do right?!! But wait?! How many times do we bump into someone and really truly wish you could spend more time chatting, but don't have the time to?! I am guilty as charged but have started to actually schedule those dates! We all need to eat lunch, or a dinner out, where someone else cooks and cleans up for you! AMIRIGHT?! Self care ideas don't have to be hard. Just make time for them. That's taking me right to my third tip!
SELF CARE TIP NO. 3
Carve out more time for reading or flip through a magazine [an actual book or magazine!]. There's nothing like flipping pages and reading to slow the pace down a little bit! Yes, a kindle is convenient, but it seriously doesn't replace the experience that a book offers. I've been making more time for reading and choosing from a variety of genres, which led me to our local used book store. I'm a sucker for old books and beautiful paper! Another thing I've done recently, let myself browse and explore quaint stores!
SELF CARE TIP NO. 4
Get some fresh air and/or exercise!! Whatever you do, don't sit in front of the TV with a bowl of cheesies watching Netflix! [seriously, my go-to every night]! My hubs and I have been taking walks in the evenings which have turned into an hour of talking. un-interrupted. conversation. So I actually check-off two things with tip No. 4, more time for me, with him, getting fresh air and exercise! Find something that interests you which also gives your a physical outlet. We are so sedentary these days that I think it's even important now more than ever to get our blood flowing, deep breaths of oxygen and movement. Walking is free, gets you outdoors and if you are lucky enough to have a forest area close by, you can experience Forest bathing!! Google that!
SELF CARE TIP NO. 5
Something that I don't do often enough is soak in a hot bath. Quick, hot showers can be comforting and refreshing but nothing beats a long, hot soak with some epsom salt and a podcast playing in the background. If you soak in Epsom salt for 20 minutes or more, it helps to draw out toxins from your body and you get a beautiful does of magnesium which is a vital mineral to help relax your nervous system and body. Now with the cooler weather, I am scheduling time for long soaks!
There you have it! My simple, but really effective tips for self care ideas. Make a short list of things that you want to incorporate into your personal self care routine and check back each week. For me, I like to sit with my journal on Sunday evenings and think about the week ahead but also the week that just passed. Questions I ask myself are; how I felt, what my mood was like, what made me feel good and how I can continue that "good" feeling so it spills over into the new week.
I hope September will be a month of self care for you too!