Self-care

As I was preparing a workshop, the concept of self-care came to mind.  I don’t know about you, but it is something that I find difficult at times and as I researched it, I found that it appears I am not alone!  I want to share here some snippets I found!  The full article is linked here.
May you find some self-care time today. R x

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“in order to truly mother others well, one must first mother themselves. This does not always mean getting massages and going on girls’ trips–which is all wonderful and well needed–but it is about learning how to nurture and nourish yourself on a daily basis.

Nourishing yourself in the madness of motherhood, in our age of constant digital connection, is as important as ever. You can begin in small, simple ways. But they can make a world of difference in how you feel, and, in turn, how your family feels.

The power of rituals: Beginning or ending your day with a daily ritual helps to give you time to sit and reflect. My daily ritual is my coffee time in the morning. It is not just about the delicious flavor, it is about taking a little time in the morning to sit and relax. I tell my kids, “this is mommy’s time.” It is 15 minutes of peace. A daily ritual can be your morning or afternoon tea, a brisk 15-minute walk or even doing a self-foot massage at the end of the night. It is more about taking the time to honor yourself and relax.

Nourish your spirit: A very important aspect of nurturing yourself is to simply do the things that make you happy. It is these simple yet profound things that nourish your soul. Trying taking a class to simply taking time once a week to paint or doing a hobby that you love. You can take time to plant or join a book club. Learn how to meditate (try an app like Headspace or other quiet guided exercises). Invest in your own journey.

Give yourself a mental break. Nourishing yourself means instilling good, positive thoughts that help lift yourself up. Often times, mothers can be way too critical (of themselves!) for their own good. At the end of the day, pat yourself on the back and say good job for being a great mom. Just articulating those words, even silently to yourself, can go a long way towards a more positive mental state.

Nourish yourself through food: Food is such an important aspect of self-care. I had such a great diet before my children and once I had kids I found myself skipping breakfast and eating their left overs at dinner time. Take time out and eat good nutritious food. Prioritize healthy eating for you as much as you emphasize it for your kids! Then eat with your children and make food time family time. Food helps to stabilize mood, nourishes your energy and keeps you balanced.

Get your Zzz’s: Mothers often stay awake to get all the things they need to do done or to have their down time. But sleep is essential to repair our bodies and enables you feel replenished to deal with the demands of motherhood. Make sure to not eat dinner within two hours before sleeping and avoid TV, computer and phone use right before going to bed. This is easier said than done. Try putting your phone out of reach of your bedside table, and try chatting –in real life!–the person lying next to you. And then, hit the hay: Good sleep means good stable energy and mood the next day.

Get help! I find many mothers feel guilty getting help. But in order to be a balanced mother, you can’t do it all. No one can. If you find yourself crazed at the end of the day, then it is time to think about how others can help you. It can mean hiring a mother’s helper to asking your husband or partner or family members to pitch in around the house in new ways.”

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kind words

It is a long time since I last wrote, and I have really missed it. Time has been of essence as I increased my work time this year. I have really missed not taking the time to read and reflect on the lifestyle habits that make such a difference to our well-being. I have discovered that for me sharing these habits is part of my well-being!

One of the things that I have noticed as my world has got busier with more deadlines and tighter time-frames is that my words are not always as kind and encouraging as I would like.  A kind word is a beautiful and power thing. I was reflecting that in my parenting I have so many opportunities to make a difference with a timely kind word!

The minimalist wrote about this recently and I want to share that here, with this community.  May you be encouraged and inspired in your speaking of kind words to those around you.

“Please don’t forget today that a kind word can speak power into someone’s life. It can inspire. It can motivate. And it can provide strength to someone who can’t find it within themselves.”

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The full post can be read here at this link  – it is a nice short story of what happened for him.
https://www.becomingminimalist.com/power-of-a-kind-word/

 

Read a book.

“She loved balmy August evenings.  Loved walking barefoot across the beach, the touch of the fading sun on her skin and the soothing sensation of warm sugar sand sifting through her toes…”  (An August Bride)

We are towards the end of what has seemed a cold, long winter.  These words brought back such nice memories and nice hopes of things to come!

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I wasn’t surprised recently to read that reading a book can increase ones life span and sense of well being.

Watch a 50 second clip…

“Josie Billington, Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director of the Centre for Research into Reading, University of Liverpool, helped to conduct this research. She explains that reading can help to improve well-being:

“Reading not only helps to introduce or reconnect readers to wider life systems and more broadly shared meanings. It can also remind people of activities or occupations they once pursued, or knowledge and skills they still possess, helping to restore their sense of having a place and purpose in the world,” she writes.

“It can also remind people of activities or occupations they once pursued, or knowledge and skills they still possess, helping to restore their sense of having a place and purpose in the world.”” (World Economic Forum)

May I encourage you to make time, find a book and enjoy.  Encourage those around to read too, it’s just an all round great activity!

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Photo Credit: reloveplanet.com

 

 

Recently I was privileged to run a workshop with some parents on ‘Kids and Anxiety’.  I always feel humbled by these parents who attend and who want to know more for their families.  As I researched material and was thinking about the increase of anxiety in both adults and kids lives, I was thinking about the way we are continually bombarded with images and stories of amazing people doing amazing things and the way it is so easy to feel like we are missing out and then anxiety slips in.

We are living in world where we actually have to fight to stay content as there is always bigger and better, but to be aware of that fact actually helps in the pursuit of contentment and simple living . As we pursue this, it helps our families to be able to appreciate the simple things in life and as this happens, anxiety can be reduced.

img_6976“The world we live in is not friendly to the pursuit of minimalism. Its tendencies and relentless advertising campaigns call us to acquire more, better, faster, and newer. The journey of finding simplicity requires consistent inspiration.”   Josh Becker

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Spoon fed generation

I saw recently that parenting expert Michael Grosse has put out a new book called “Spoonfed Generation, How to Raise Indepedent Children”. When there are books that catch my eye I like to do a Google search and read excerpts online.  I really enjoyed looking at this particular book.  Grosse quotes another parenting expert that I found very thought provoking.  It is  relevant to parenting, teaching and people in general.

“Never regularly do for a child the things a child can do for himself.”

(Maurice Balson, the Australian parenting pioneer and author of Becoming Better Parents…this is what he was fond of telling aspiring teachers and parent educators.)

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A nice reminder

I read this on the Becoming Minimalist blog…I enjoyed the reminder of simplicity.
Below is a cut and paste version, for the full blog, click on this link.

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“Designing a simple life invites us to measure our lives differently. We realize as we pare down that we don’t have to keep up. We don’t have to buy, borrow, upgrade, or upsize to secure our place in the world.

5 Better Ways to Measure Your Life

1. Gratitude.
With a measure of gratitude, you gain the world. When you are grateful for what you already have, you don’t need more. Gratitude is always enough.

2. Generosity.
To measure the man, measure his heart.” Malcolm Forbes once said.
A great gift of simple living is the freedom to give. The infinite freedoms available when we design a life of less allows for infinite ways to be generous. Whether it’s with our time, money, talents, hospitality, donations, or airline miles—when the measuring stick of things ends, generosity keeps growing.

3. Contentment
Contentment is not the satisfaction of want; it’s the pursuit of having enough. And it invites an unmistakable freedom into our lives.

4. Availability
Busyness is no way to measure a life. Busy is a thief. It’s a phantom measure of worth and success and it will never get as much done as availability will. Remain available. Learn to say no, and measure your life by the things you get to say yes to.

5. Purpose
The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” Ralph Waldo Emerson is quoted as once saying.

If we pay too close attention to how the world measures life we will never understand the difference that our life, our one life, can make. Simplicity of home, time, and character magnifies the very things we were designed for—it points us to the significance of who we are.

We are purposed for much more than our net worth and closet size. Simplify and live well.

The Great Recession of 2008 changed us. More and more people are looking for a new way, a simple way to live. As advertisers revamp their messages toward this post-recession culture, we can redefine the measure by which we live. It helps to remember the best things in life can’t be pitched in thirty second ads.”

 

 

 

 

https://www.becomingminimalist.com/better-ways-to-measure-your-life/

It can be tough

I read this yesterday and wanted to copy and paste it so my readers can just read it! In this world of sleek advertising and media telling us what we should do, look like and achieve I loved reading this about the ‘normal’ people, those of us living each day as it is.  May you be encouraged and inspired.

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It is from Joshua Beckers Blog   http://www.becomingminimalist.com/bad-situation/

Here’s to All of You Trying to Make the Most of a Bad Situation

I have a beautiful friend. She is the single-parent of two equally beautiful daughters. Her husband left when the second was born with special needs.

Coincidentally, my neighbor is a single father of two. His wife left him, choosing a life of drugs over a life of responsibility.

My guess is you will never hear the names of these two amazing individuals. You’ll probably never read their blogs or follow them on Facebook. And their faces will probably never be on the cover of a magazine. But I can tell you, without a doubt in my mind, they both work harder at life than I do.

This past Saturday, I got up early to do some work on a new book. In the early morning hours while the sun was still rising, I drove to a quiet location to write. Enroute, I passed a young man, significantly overweight, out jogging. He was sweating profusely. And I was inspired because of it.

His body-shape isn’t the type you’ll see on posters in the local fitness center. But here was a guy, up early on a Saturday morning, working hard to change his life while most of my neighbors were still sleeping.

One more story.

Last week, a colleague of mine led a funeral for a friend who had recently died of a drug overdose. The deceased was a young man who had been born addicted to heroin.

Through no fault of his own but because of the actions of his mother, he waged war against addiction every day of his life. Some days, he won. Some days, he lost. In the end, it took his life.

As my colleague shared his story, he summed it up this way:

Our lost friend will, unfortunately, be remembered by most as a drug addict. But that’s not the man I knew. Quite the opposite in fact. I will remember forever my friend as the man who fought endlessly against an addiction unfairly passed onto him. I will remember him as a man who worked hard to make the most of a bad situation.

Our world loves to glorify beautiful people. We look up to and praise those who have seemingly accomplished much in visible measures. We lift up as role models and examples those who excel in sports, write books, own the stage, or excel in business and politics. And I don’t want to look down on those accomplishments and those examples, there is much we can learn from them.

But let’s face it: Life can also be messy. And not everybody gets to live in the limelight as one of the beautiful people. Some people find themselves struggling to just tread water through very difficult circumstances.

Sometimes, the trials we face in life are a result of our own doing. Sometimes they are a result of a wrong committed against us. But there is little doubt we are surrounded by people facing unfair circumstances in every direction we look.

And many of them, those fighting to make the most of it, deserve our respect and our praise. But they are often overlooked by a society that often praises all the wrong measures of success.

So allow me today… in my own small little way… to recognize those of you who are working hard to make the best of a bad situation. We see you and we applaud you.

Here’s to those of you raising kids without the support of a responsible partner.

Here’s to those of you striving to overcome the cycle of poverty or addiction in your family.

Here’s to those of you working two jobs to provide your children with more opportunity than you had growing up.

Here’s to those of you working to change the unhealthy habits that have defined your life for too long.

Here’s to those of you who have been treated unfairly in the workplace and are working hard to start again.

Here’s to those of you battling a disease that seeks to destroy your body.

Here’s to those of you caring faithfully for a loved one who is nearing the end.

Here’s to those of you who have been knocked down by life, but are staggering to get back up.

We see you and we applaud you.

Not only that, we also thank you. Thank you for inspiring us. And thank you for working hard to make life better—not just for yourself, but for those closest to you. We need more people like you in our world.