Friday, December 29, 2017

Room for Self Care in 2018

Each year we make new years resolutions that sort of fizzle out within the first few weeks.  I know this happens to others too.  Last year I didn't even decide on any because I knew it was unlikely I'd follow through.  The problem is I always make these far-fetched, extreme resolutions that I know I won't follow through with, can you relate?

This year instead of focusing on one specific thing, I'd like to focus on being more mindful of my self care and take small, simple steps to bettering myself.  I almost feel selfish typing this out, but that's something I've really been working on, mentally.  It's not selfish to take care of ourselves. It's really not.

Here's the thing, when we do not care for ourselves, we cannot give our best selves.  When we are drained physically, financially, emotionally, and beyond, it's hard for us to pour into other people.

Since entering into motherhood, I've not been one to place a lot of value on taking care of myself.  For example, when I take the time to sit down and read, my mind instantly starts to wonder and think about all I need to be doing rather than sitting and reading, so I get up and start on something I feel is productive for our family.

The same is true for exercising.  There once was a time when I loved to exercise.  In college I taught Pilates classes on the side.  I can still remember how uplifting and energized I would feel after each class.  I miss that.

Our quest to live a more natural lifestyle seems to have had a snowball effect on us.  I've heard others say it and it's definitely true.  I think about how much better I feel now both physically and mentally, and how much more energy I have to pour into my kids.  I can't help but think what could happen if I continue to build upon that through even more self care habits.

Taking care of ourselves is not selfish at all.  When we feel our best we can give our best, and I have no clue why it has taken me so long to figure this out.

I'm not talking about living lavishly and spending tons of money at the spa.  I mean if you can do that and it fills your cup, more power to ya, but I'm talking about a more realistic and maintainable approach.

To further explain what I mean, I'm going to share with you my goals and plans for myself this year to improve upon my self care.  It's kind of random, and this may look totally different for you, and that's okay!  We are all unique and at different places in our journey.  My prayer through sharing this is that we can all rally around each other and offer support and encouragement to one another as we tackle 2018 and strive to better ourselves all the way around.

1. Establish my non-negotiables and stick to them.  For me this will include my quiet time every day and attending church regularly.  When I spend time in God's word I feel closer to Him and refreshed for the day.  Even though I know this to be true, there are many days I do not do this as I should.  I pray and talk to the Lord all through out the day every day, but I really need to dig in and be more committed to spending time reading His word.  Another non-negotiable for me will be attending church regularly.  We love our church and church family so much.  Currently we attend on Sunday mornings, but our church has services on Wednesday and Sunday evenings as well.  We don't typically attend those due to my husband's work schedule, but I would like to attend some with my kids even if he can't join us all the time.  In the past if he couldn't go with me, I just didn't go at all.  We will have to see how this one goes as we all adjust to his new work schedule which is crazy town, regardless, Sunday school and Sunday morning services will be non-negotiables.


2. Less time on social media.  I can't give it up entirely because Instagram is how I communicate and share things with many of you and that brings me great joy.  Facebook must stick around as well because of our oily groups.  I learn so much in our team's private group and the ladies I've met there have become some of my dearest friends in the whole world! We have members all over the country and this allows us to keep in touch and share things daily. These groups allow me to grow and learn more about oils and ways I can better my family's health and that is super important to me. The problem I have with social media is learning when to call it quits.  I have this strong urge to "check my phone" way too often and that can result in me not being completely present with my family when I need to be.  I took a few days off from social media recently around Christmas. It felt so good not to feel tempted to grab my phone.  I was at such peace living in the moment and truly being present with my family, it was so good for my mind and soul.  My new rule is to have my phone put away once my kids are home from school, and then I can check it once more after I put them to bed.  I will make sure to have my daily Instagram post and group commitments complete before their school day ends.  I'll be honest, this one will be hard because it has become such a habit, but I know God will honor the way I spend my time. 


3. Continue to simplify. Simplifying our home and our outside commitments has truly changed the way we feel.  When our home is organized and clutter free I feel so calm and relaxed, and my kids love being around a mom who is calm and relaxed rather than a mom who is on edge.  As crazy at it may seem, the state of our home has a huge impact on me and the way I feel.  This also frees up more of my time so I'm able to focus on the other things on my list without feeling like our house needs my attention 24/7.  In our home, simplifying is not something we do one time and we are done, it's a way of life.  We will continue to de-clutter with the seasons and as new things come in, and we will continue to put careful thought into what we choose to devote our time to outside of school.


4. Physical fitness.  I used to count lifting and chasing my babies all day as my physical activity, but sadly those days are behind me.  I do get quite a workout on the farm some days, but it's usually not consistent enough to benefit me.  I mentioned before how I love Pilates, and even though it's been years since I've done it, I'm ready to get back to it. In the past I've made resolutions to join a gym and get in great shape, and I'm not afraid to tell you that's probably never going to happen.  I hate to run, I'm an introvert, and being surrounded by gym equipment and loud music is not at all my thing.  Pilates at home on the other hand could be my jam, and I already know it's something I enjoy. I may not get fitness model results, but I'm not trying to.  This is simply a step forward in bettering myself and keeping my sanity at the same time.  Should be fun!


5. Skin care.  This one may seem weird because I realize most people already have a skin care routine in place, but I'm not one of them. My skin gives me trouble from time to time so I'm always switching around my products without ever establishing a good routine. I will probably continue to change up the products I use from time to time - I'm that way with shampoo and soap too, I don't like to use the same exact thing over and over again.  Since I'm now in my 30's, I realize that some kind of consistent routine is necessary.  I have several products in my stash that I love, and I can't wait to put together a couple of go-to routines.  No more lazy evenings where I fall asleep with my makeup still on.  I know that's so terrible and I can't even believe I'm telling you I do that sometimes. :/


6. Time with my husband.  Sometimes at this stage, we get so caught up in life and work and taking care of our homes and our kids that we slack on quality time with our spouse.  We are so very guilty of this in our home, but we are setting out to change that. I love when I hear people talk about dating their spouse, it's so important.  With my husband's busy job and our farm, sometimes the only time we spend together is when we are working together, which is nice, but not always romantic.  Have you ever seen the t-shirts that say "I'm sorry for what I said while we were working cattle"? ;) Yep, it's true.  Marriage is such a beautiful gift, but it must be nurtured and handled with care.  Speaking of marriage, we have an online Lucy group study coming up in our group that I'm super excited about. Have you guys ever read the book Lucy Libido?  This free, group book study is open to anyone who wants to join in, it's not exclusive for our team, so if you want to be added to the group feel free to send me an email and I will get you added right away.  This class is all about ways we can incorporate oils to enhance our marriage, and yes it's all about marriage and the gift God gave to married couples, it's very classy, I promise.

So that's where my focus will be this coming year.  I know my list is kind of random, but these are the areas that speak the most to me at this stage.  Lord willing, I'm looking forward to getting to work to create a better, healthier me, so I can give my best self to those I love.  Now that I've made this public, I'll have plenty of friends to help hold me accountable, so I'm counting on you! What are some of your goals for this coming year?

Have a blessed day!

5 comments:

  1. I can relate to so much of this, Leah. This is the first year I have decided on a "word" for the year. It's SURRENDER. Surrender to whom God made me to be. No "adding to" this, because that's when I get disgruntled and discontented! I just want that freedom in Christ that let's everything else go. :):)

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    1. Absolutely! When we do that, everything else will fall into place as it should. We watched a movie last night called Facing the Giants, it was so good. It was about football, but the message still applied to my life as well. It's an older movie and I can't believe I did not see it sooner. Thanks so much for always bringing a smile to my face Laurie!

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    2. LOVE Facing the Giants!!!!! We've watched everything the Kendrick brothers have done. Good stuff and GREAT message!!!

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  2. Strange. #2 appeared to be all one paragraph before it published. :/

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  3. #2. Just wanted to encourage you on what a great choice you are making
    with your time. Not being on your phone during the valueable after
    school hours. In this life we don’t get any do-overs. We can’t go back
    and change how we have spent a particular hour. You will not regret this!
    (I know you know. ) Will continue to pray for you as I imagine just the
    habit (of looking) alone will be hard to break. It was, still is...for
    me. I gave up social media several years ago. I couldn’t figure out how
    to tame the beast. Matthew 5:30 kept coming to mind. If your right hand
    causes you to sin, cut it off... So, I left. (Which sounds simple. It
    wasn’t!) We reap what we sow. Continue to persevere. Later you will look
    back, having seen some fruits of your labor and be so glad you did.

    #3. I’m right there with ya. Who says resolutions can’t be fun?!

    #5. I thought showers were made for makeup removal. ;) And, I generally shower in the morning. :)

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