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self care

0 In Motherhood/ self care

Why every mom should take a night away

Why every mom should take a night away by themself

I recently was scrolling through Facebook when an article caught my attention – “Why every mom needs a solo vacation”. That’s exactly what I need I thought to myself. But is that selfish? Can I leave my husband alone with two little kids under 3 while I go on a vacation? Ok so maybe not a week, but I could go away for one night I justified to myself. So that is just what I did.

I booked a night at the Gideon Putnam in Saratoga, that way I wouldn’t be too far in case something should happen to the boys. I made plans for a mineral bath and massage the following morning at the Roosevelt Baths. I could hardly wait. A night away to myself. I hadn’t had a night to myself in almost four years.

Friday night as soon as the hubs got home, I kissed him and the kids goodbye and headed up to Saratoga. I hit tons of traffic on the Northway but I didn’t care. I was alone by myself in the car and rocking out to Eminem and 50 cent like I was back in the year 2000.

I walked through the doors of the hotel to check in and I had never felt so free. I made my way up to my room, slipped into a plush bathrobe and ordered myself some dinner and a glass of wine. It felt so indulgent. I settled in for the night in my large king sized bed all for me and my book. I couldn’t even recall the last time I was able to relax with a good book uninterrupted.

The next morning, I woke up and took a nice hot shower, got dressed and headed out for a cup of coffee and brisk walk. Alone in the fresh air, I was finally aware of my own thoughts. I thought about who I had become over the past few years and who I wanted to be, where I saw myself in the next few years. I re-connected with myself, the person I was before becoming a mom. My number one job will always be a mother, but I have other aspirations for myself too both in my career and in my personal life.  With my goals set in my mind, I strolled over to the Roosevelt Baths for my mineral bath and massage. As I floated in the large tub, I listened to the spa music and the sounds of the water in the tub. All of my tensions literally melted away and I felt like I left them behind in the bath.

As I got back in the car to head home, I felt energized and refreshed with a new sense of mental clarity. I walked in the house and was greeted with a huge hug from my three year old as he jumped in my arms and the baby smiling and cooing when he saw me. I realized then that taking a night away every so often wasn’t selfish at all. They deserved the best version of me.

So if you’re feeling frazzled and like you’ve lost touch with yourself, take a night away. I promise you it’s just what you need.

I think I might make it an annual thing 😉

And thank you to the Gideon Putnam and Roosevelt Baths for my little “momcation”.

0 In Motherhood/ postpartum anxiety/ postpartum depression/ self care

My top 4 tips for tackling anxiety

4 tips for managing anxiety
This post is sponsored by Walgreens but all thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.

(Zip up hoodie from Mother Bee Maternity)

For years I have struggled with anxiety, long before becoming a mother.  My first experience with it was my senior year of college.  I woke up in the middle of the night and felt like I was being strangled.  My body was paralyzed and I couldn’t move.  I was absolutely terrified and didn’t realize then that it was in fact anxiety.  Once I became a mom, I was a constant bundle of nerves – Is he breathing? Is he eating enough? Am I spending enough quality time with him? What I thought were normal worries and concern snowballed into a giant panic attack when I was 10 months postpartum.

The thing about anxiety is that it’s a constant battle that ebbs and flows – some days are good, others are more challenging.  For the past two years I have been able to keep my anxiety in check with some helpful changes.

Here are my top 4 tips for tackling anxiety:

 

1.) Create a routine – Coming up with a daily routine helps diminish any feelings of anxiety. It’s something that is the same each day and you can come to depend on. Eating wholesome foods, getting some exercise, daily medication and a good night’s sleep are the four major components of my routine.  I make it a point and my self care to ensure that I don’t stray from my routine because if I do, it throws me out of whack.

I first went on anxiety medication when I was in nursing school. I remember at my appointment asking my doctor to prescribe me something, I felt alot of shame.  I wasn’t the best at remembering to take it, some days I would, others I would go 3-4 days without. Shortly after finishing school, and becoming acclimated with my new job, I felt better and took myself off of my medication.  Those feelings of panic and dread slowly started to creep in again. After I had my son, I went back on anxiety medication.  This time, I made it a priority to take my medication daily so that I could be my best self for him and my family.  And now Walgreens is making it easier to stay up to date on your medication adherence. Be sure to download the app to make filling your re-fills a whole lot easier http://bit.ly/redphone-wakeup.

2.) Don’t procrastinate -Whenever we have a lot to do, it’s normal to want to put things off. The thing is, procrastination makes you feel even more overwhelmed.  I like to use lists and write down all of the things I need to do that day. I try to tackle the more challenging things early in the morning when I’m at my best, crossing things off as I go. Not only does this help keep me organized, but I also feel like I’ve accomplished something.

 

3.) Breathe – mindful breathing or meditation is one of my favorite tips I learned in cognitive behavioral therapy. It’s easy to do and you can do it anywhere. Mindful breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, shutting off our “fight or flight response” when we’re stressed and telling our mind to “rest”. To practice mindful breathing:

  • Close your eyes and inhale through your nose for 4 seconds.
  • Hold that breath for 7 seconds.
  • Then slowly exhale for 8 seconds.

After a few cycles, I feel more relaxed and centered.

 

4.) Talk to someone – Whether you talk to a trusted family member or friend, or enlist the help of a counselor or therapist, talking to someone is very helpful. Not only do you feel like someone is listening, but it can also help you identify your triggers so that you know what things make you feel more anxious or stressed.

 

4 tips for managing anxiety

 

 

 

2 In health/ intentional living/ Motherhood

10 ways I practice self care daily since becoming a mom

There is no job more exhausting than being a mom. Don’t get me wrong, it’s extremely rewarding but it’s also downright exhausting. All of our energy goes into caring for our families and making sure everyone is healthy and happy. As mom’s it’s natural we’re always doing for everyone else that so often our own self care takes the back burner.  But it’s like they say when you board the plane “put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others”. What good are you to everyone else if you’re not at 100% yourself?

If you go on the internet, you’ll see the term “self-care” all over. But self-care is more than just massages and bubble baths. (I love those things as much as the next woman trust me.) Self care is anything that re-fuels or re-charges you, mentally, physically or spiritually so that you can continue to give your best self. I’m sharing some simple ways you can add self care to your day to day routine.

Here are 10 ways I practice self care daily since becoming a mom:

 

1.) Enjoy a cup of hot coffee or tea by yourself – That first morning cup of coffee, alone and in silence, it’s sacred. That’s my me-time. My husband knows that if he or my son happen to wake up early, to stay in bed and give me my time alone.

 

2.) Get dressed in the morning – I don’t get all fancy, but putting on jeans and a top, doing my hair and throwing on some concealer and mascara makes me feel like a decent human. Think of when you were on maternity leave, hadn’t showered in a week and wore that same pair of leggings for the 5th day in a row how you felt. The power of a hot shower, real clothes and a little makeup does wonders for your mental health.

 

3.) Clean or organize something – For me, having a clean home is like my xanax. Now, don’t get confused, my house is in no way spotless. I’m not on my hands and knees scrubbing or vacuuming every day (that’s why I have a Roomba). But daily I go through our common living spaces and put things away to get rid of the clutter and keep it organized. Looking at things scattered around my house makes my brain feel scattered and anxious vs when things are orderly bringing a sense of calm.

 

4.) Cook or bake something – For some people this may seem like more work so if that’s you, then don’t do it. I love being in my kitchen. On my days off I love to either bake a yummy treat to have in the house (try my version of Joanna Gaines’ lemon poppyseed bread) or try a new recipe for dinner. It’s fun for me and makes me feel like I accomplished something.

 

5.) Practice gratitude – Each morning, usually during my morning coffee, I think about the things that I am grateful for and everything I have. When things start to go a little sideways, I bring myself back to that mental list and remind myself of all I have to be thankful for.

 

6.) Read a book or listen to a podcast – Reading is one of my absolute favorite things to do. I love to lay down with a good book and flip through the pages, getting lost in the story. It doesn’t have to be a book. You can read a magazine or a few articles from a favorite blog. I love The EveryMom and Nesting With Grace. You can also listen to a favorite podcast.

 

7.) Do some goal setting or daydream – I do this during my morning coffee (see why that time is so sacred?).  Sometimes it’s just daydreaming about a nice vacation or thinking about projects I want to do around the house to make our home my dream home. Other mornings it’s literally writing down things that I want to accomplish that day.

 

8.) Laugh – whether it’s laughing at myself or something my son said or did, I try to find the humor in daily situations.

 

9.) Say No – This was something I was lucky to learn a few years ago at a time when I felt like I was being stretched too thin. I’m a natural people pleaser and I like to make people happy. But if it doesn’t make you happy or stresses you out, it’s ok to say no to things.

 

10.) Go to bed early – Nothing recharges you like a good night’s sleep which since entering motherhood is few and far between. A couple night’s a week, I go to bed early before anyone else, leaving my hubby to do bedtime duty. I’ve been doing this since I was in college. When I was home from school it was a little joke with my parents that “I was retreating for the night”.  But that’s just what it is, my retreat. Some nights I read or meditate or doing nothing at all and just let my mind veg out. It’s a nice way to end the day and quiet the mind from all the constant thinking and worrying.

 

What are some of your favorite ways to practice self care?

 

 

10 self care ideas for moms