for the past few months, i have felt completely overwhelmed. i have goals i am constantly setting for myself (this blog being a large one) and the responsibility of raising two girls is no joke. on top of that, andrew has been working crazy long hours and just being able to spend a little time with him is few and far between. i have been living too long with stressing and being sleep deprived and though i’m still working on getting enough sleep at night, i am working very hard at de-stressing my life. i’m quickly realizing that if i’m not taking care of myself, i won’t be able to take care of my kids or achieve any of my goals. over time, i’ve made a few changes that have helped significantly. i don’t feel nearly as stressed anymore and i can relax and enjoy everyday again. i have come up with eight tips that helped me to de-stress my life and hopefully they can help you too!
1. dedicate one night a week to myself alone. after the kids go down, one night a week, i go into the bathroom, take off all my makeup and put a face mask on. these have been helping my skin a ton and makes it feel so refreshed and renewed. i also paint my nails (or at least take off the old polish) and try out some new product that i have been wanting to try whether it’s a new lotion or shampoo or bath scrub. confession: i have a TON of sample products i used to get in the mail that i’ve never tried so i’m constantly finding something new to play with in my beauty supplies.
2. read a book. instead of using my spare time to catch up on some mindless television, i find myself reaching for a good book more and more. now that doesn’t mean that i’ve cut out TV, i mean let’s not be ridiculous. but i have been reading a lot more and it’s been giving my brain more to think about.
3. get moving. i’ve made it a point to incorporate exercise into my weekly routine. i usually work out to some sort of DVD at least four or five times a week. i still haven’t joined a gym and i’m sure i will soon but doing a workout DVD has worked really well for me. i exercise when amelia takes her morning nap and addison busies herself with a game or book. she enjoys watching me exercise and encourages me and i get a good sweat session in. the three of us also go on daily walks and yes, it’s good exercise but i mostly do it to avoid that after dinner before bed slump that the girls get in to!
4. plan on being early. this is NOT EASY for me. growing up, my family and i were always late. it happens to everybody and i thought it was a pretty common thing but i’m realizing more and more that when i’m late, it drives me crazy. i’ve been trying a trick lately where i tell myself we need to be in the car ten minutes earlier than we really do. that way when we leave five minutes late, I know I’m still early even if I’m not according to my original plan. (does that even make sense to anybody?)
5. think twice about what i’m eating. this has pretty much been my mantra for 2016. after amelia was born in december of last year, i told myself i was really going to focus on watching what i was eating and only treating myself to something if i really wanted it. so yes, if there’s a piece of apple pie or cupcake sitting on the table, i’m going to eat it. but i’m also going to keep things in perspective. do i need the whole bag of chips or will a few bites do? do i really want that soda or will a glass of water with lemon work? i’m not in my teens or twenties anymore and my metabolism isn’t what it used to be so reminding myself to think twice has been working for me.
6. keep a journal. every few days, i’ll pull out my journal and i’ll jot down some things. happy moments throughout the week, things that i find calming and soothing. i try to keep it positive but sometimes i find myself writing out frustrations or things that are worrying me. either way, it’s getting on paper and out of my head so it’s not consuming me anymore. and i know that years from now, i’m going to open that journal and love that i kept memories in it.
7. drink more water. anybody who’s been around here for a while knows i.suck.at.drinking.water. it’s just a fact. my newest trick and probably not a surprise for anybody. find a great cup you like to use. i have a specific cup that i wash and use everyday and throughout the day i fill up my water cup and squirt a little MIO into it (not sponsored, just love the stuff). it gives it added flavor and makes me drink more!
8. put my phone down. from the time i start dinner, usually about 4:30, to the time the girls go to bed (7:30), i try to always put my phone away. there’s no reason why i can’t give them my undivided attention during that time. the only time i will bring my phone out during that time is if we FaceTime with our family but otherwise that’s when the girls and i pull out all the books, i get down on the floor and play with them, most nights resulting in them crawling all over me. but that’s alright because it’s me giving them my undivided attention and that’s what matters. plus it’s FUN. we laugh the hardest during those evening hours.
do you do anything that helps de-stress yourself? i’m always curious and open to more suggestions!