In partnership with Crest I share a part of my story and what I’m doing to take better care of me
“You owe yourself the love that you so freely give to others”
New year. New routine. New rhythm. New me.
Since the start of the new year, I have been trying to find a better flow for myself. Yes. That’s right. FOR ME. Not for them. Not for him. FOR ME. Toward the end of 2017, I found myself drained. Exhausted. Dare I even say it… BURNT OUT. I felt every part of me was depleted. From my head to my toes. My tank was empty. I drove myself from high energy, loads of ambition and drive, to quite literally the opposite. While it was a good year for us in many ways, it was also a year that left me feeling worn out and craving some necessary change. So what did I do? I took some time to pause. To sit back and think about what was missing. And these words kept whispering in my ear–self-care + self-love. Two things I completely put off. Ignored. Tossed them to the wind thinking, “I got this”. When in reality I didn’t.
It was the classic scenario of clocking in too many hours and staying up way too late. Only to wake up and do it all over again. I would tell myself this way of life was what I had to do to make home and business life work. My goodness was I ever wrong. Not only did it take a toll on my relationships, it took a toll a me. Everyone felt it. So I vowed to make a change. To detoxify myself from the old routine in order to find a new, healthier one.
Establishing a Healthy Routine that is Life Giving
The first thing that had to go were the late night hours. I have always been a person who needs sleep. Yet, I somehow tricked myself into thinking that I didn’t, like I had some kind of super women strength to be able to go go go go despite the empty tank–how powerful our minds are. The very root of my problem. So new year, new bedtime for this mama. I started putting myself to sleep no later than 10:00 pm and honestly my days started feeling not so daunting. Our bodies and minds need sleep to be able to work and keep us working and running. Sleep = Fuel. Not coffee. I know that is a no brainer. But us adults may need a reminder from time to time. So establishing a better sleep schedule was essential.
Early to bed, early to rise. I’m sure you’ve heard that saying. I’ve found since introducing this new sleep schedule to my routine that I have been able to sneak out of bed before the littles. Did you get that? Yes! I now have some quiet time in the mornings ALL TO MYSELF. It is a sacred time for me (insert self-love + self-care) and gives me an opportunity to gather my thoughts, get ready for the day, and organize the things that I need to give attention to for that day. It allows me to flow, like a delicate dance, right into a brand new day. Where as before I felt like I was being forced out of bed, starting off the day resenting the fact that I didn’t turn myself in earlier. Starting the day fresh, I set a positive tone for the day. For me. And for them.
Doing something physical 3-5 days a week. Working out is a big part of my life. However, I found myself giving this up when things got to be too much. It was one of the things I crossed off the list (insert ignoring self-care and self-love) because I felt like the time it took put me further away from that deadline. So what have I done to find the space and/or time? I simplified my routine to make it fit into my everyday. And you know what? It’s working. In fact, it’s working better than ever. Not only have I been able to achieve the physical workout that my mind, body, and spirit desires, I feel like I’m seeing better results. I’ll share more about these workouts with you soon– but let’s just say, GAME CHANGER.
Simplifying getting ready in the morning. If you’ve been following along on my instagram stories, then you know I have shared a bit about my natural wavy hair. Since I was little lady, I have done all that I could to cover up my waves. I’d blow dry it straight and follow up with a flat iron, such a magical hair tool, to make all the waves and curls disappear. It took time. A lot of time. Now thirty some years later, I’ve learned to embrace my waves and have fallen in love with my hair for what it is and what it wants to be (insert self-love). Occasionally, yes, I will soften her and spend more time on her. But during the week, I let my hair be wild and it saves me SO MUCH time. Heaps of time (insert self-care).
Another way I have simplified my ready routine is pairing things down. Using very few products but ones that work and give my mind and body what it needs. The natural oils and balms that I make here at home include a variety of essential oils that not only provide nourishment to my body but also mind + spirit. Breathing in the calming aroma of essential oils to start or end my day is like gifting myself a spa treatment (hello self-care). I treat my teeth and smile with the same care using Crest’s Gum Detoxify toothpaste, which gives my mouth a cool and clean feeling. What I love about this product is it’s soft, foam-like texture and the simple fact that it’s getting at all those hard to reach places. Using Crest’s Gum Detoxify toothpaste, I’m confident I am taking care of my smile. Oral health is just as vital as everything thing else I have mentioned here and building confidence in my smile is another hello to self-love + self-care.
Less time on my phone = Less distraction and more production. This is pretty self explanatory. But sometimes may need some explanation. Basically, every morning I’d open my phone and find myself falling down a rabbit hole and not being able to find my way out. On a normal day, I’d find myself looking down at my phone losing sight of my daily goals and tasks. When I would finally find the peek of light and attempt to climb up and out, I found myself dazed. Confused about what my daily agenda was. My mind literally clouded over and filled up with clutter that I lost focus. And all it took was one simple click. It would take energy. Energy that I needed to dive into my creative projects, to regain my focus and by the time I did I felt exhausted. Ready for a break from something that I didn’t need to exert my energy on. So now after taking what I have learned from experiences that were no longer life giving in specific moments, I changed the rules and made some rules for myself. No phone (this excludes texting with family relating to my children and/or plans, schedules, etc.) before noon, especially on work days. Since this change I have found myself to be more attentive and on task. More focused and driven.
As some of you know, I LOVE a good playlist. I think most of us do. Music is a tool I use often. I find it to not only be pleasurable, but therapeutic. I created this slow morning playlist. You can listen here. No matter how I’m feeling I find it a great way to start the day.
Phew! So there you have it. A small BUT helpful list that is turning some unhealthy habits around by simply establishing a routine that is MORE life giving.