Self Care


Over the past few years I have heard women toting on self care. It is defined as the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health. This I have done poorly over the years. I like to push until my body crashes which in turn helps no one. If you have been with me over the years you may recall my on and off again battle with health. A few years back it was discovered that my body rejects certain foods to the point of shutting down and I am on a continual battle with candida overgrowth. I have found when I eat within my somewhat restricted diet I function well. I have energy, the aches subside, the mind clears, and I can breath deep without pain. I have come to love to eat simply and by no means feel deprived in any way. Fast forward to a few months ago and I was struggling to get out bed most days and loosing weight at a rapid pace. I kept on wracking my brain on what I was eating that was throwing my whole system out of whack. Well it seems I somehow contracted babesia, a tick parasite that dwells in and then devours your red blood cells. The treatment that my dr choose for me takes months and on some days leaves me feeling less than stellar. This by no means is a whoa to me post. This is a post about teaching myself that self care is important not only for me, but my loved ones. I can’t be the mother, wife, nor friend that I want to be if I don’t intentionally take steps to care for myself. Some ways in which I am taking steps to self care are simple and some may seem frivolous yet they excite me. What I do know is that every person has the ability to do something in their life that can improve your health. I strongly believe this applies to not only physical health, but also mental and spiritual. I’ve already mentioned a quite few this month that lead me on the right path such as limiting my time online and severing the cord to my phone, giving myself time and space to dream again, ordering my steps in such a way that keeps me from becoming easily overwhelmed, keeping our home somewhat minimal helps limit the visual chaos, being intentional on how we handle our money, moving my body without stressing it, and my favorite way is to stretch my mind through reading and podcasts. All the latter sets me on a path that reduces stress, keeps my mind active and my body in motion.

A few more intentions that lead to my very own self care... 

  • Spiritual health is highest on my list as I know without the helping guidance of God I would not be where I am today

  1. I pray daily

  2. Make a habit to try to read my bible daily. Normally first thing in the morning works best for me.

  3. We play worship music every morning as everyone wakes for school. Cuts down on fuss time considerably.

  • Rest is key for me to function wholly. This I have struggled with for quite some time, almost with shame. Now I embrace it as part of a must in order for me to function in a healthy way.

  1. I have had to learn to listen to my body before is crashes. If I’m finding it hard to focus or my body starts tensing up I know a crash is coming.

  2. After taking into account said alert then I rest. Sometimes it can’t be immediately, but I can always intentionally go to bed much earlier. I no longer wait months, weeks, or days to listen to what my body needs, but take cues immediately and adjust.

  3. Naps are my friend on lazy weekends and no-one balks, because my family knows what the cost is when my body has had enough.

  • Being intentional with how I order my week let’s me build in time for self care. Granted I realize not everyone can plan their own schedule quite like I can, but what I think is necessary is finding your own schedule and seeing where that self care can be built in whether it’s a day or just an hour here and there. Keep in mind this is a loose ordering as kids sports, travel, and the unexpected are always present, but this rough draft allows me space to not go overboard daily.

  1. Mondays I dedicate to myself at home. I focus on items that set me up for a better week ahead, aka being intentional with keeping my stress low for the next seven days. Whether that’s writing blog posts for the week or month, digging deeper on podcasts or sermons that I need to hear again, do a home project that needs wrapping up, and some days it’s just a time to recharge and do much of nothing.

  2. Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s I dedicate strictly to my freelance work. All meetings get stacked and I focus 100% on the work at hand. I do not focus on anything else so that way I can give that person or company my best work and energy.

  3. Thursdays shift week to week. Some days I need an extra work day if I can’t complete my task at hand well during the prior days. Some days I visit with a friend. Some weeks need a little extra rest especially if I know we are shooting a wedding the up coming weekend.

  4. Fridays are dedicated to my husband. His off day is on a Friday so we have day dates then normally end with a weekly grocery store run. We then wrap up the night with family time, except for the first Friday of every month. That is set aside for a scheduled girls night out.

  5. Saturdays again shift depending on time of year. Some days are family cleaning or yard days. Some days we get outdoors or take a day trip. On those cold rainy days we may do movie marathons. Then other days we shoot weddings although we try to space them out greatly.

  6. Sundays we head to church and let the rest of the day go where it may lead.

  • Physical health can go into so many facets, but I like to keep it simple as a I can.

  1. Doctor Visits ~ Remembering to go to the dr not only when I am sick, but the other times too. Yearly, now every 6 months after I received a less than favorable result, the Mr and I go on a date to the dermatologist. We also go the eye dr. Jealous yet? I then see my primary dr yearly for labs and such to see how my body is reacting. The dentist I see every 6 months and stack it with kid appointments. Finally it’s important to see your GYN every year ladies. This I have faulted on greatly since I am no longer in the baby years. I called a few weeks ago after thinking I just skipped a year and soon enough I was told I have missed the past three. I know it is important and hope to do better. Hoping putting it here will be the force I need.

  2. Chiropractor ~ I have been seeing mine for a few years now after having severe jaw/ear pain for years. He has since relived the pressure and we are on a maintaining schedule. I go twice a month. When certain parts of my body freeze he gets them moving again without me having to relay on pain relievers any longer. Chiropractic also helps keep toxins from building and has in turn helped with my overall health. I have experienced such favorable results that for the last year I had been bringing the kids once a month. I only wish I knew more about chiropractic care during pregnancy.

  3. Skin care ~ I try to keep all our beauty products with as little toxins as possible. When I do wear makeup I have found the Beauty Counter line to work best, you can read more here. To keep my face fresh and hopefully young I use Tata Harper. I have been using her products for years and I classify them as an investment, but one I find worth taking. My dry, cystic acne prone, skin thanks me. Plus she is a kindred South American who now lives up north not too far from where I spent my adolescent years.

  4. Eating ~ as I have said my diet is somewhat limited and I have grown to love it that way. We keep it simple most nights with a meat or fish with a side of vegetables. Over the years I have been able to reintroduce potatoes, rice and some gluten free grains so they make great sides here and there. I drink this cinnamon tea with a vengeance when I grow weary of only having water. I stay away from most sugars including being light on the fruits category. Sugar causes a candida flair up like no other and my body rejects eggs quickly. I have to be mindful to always have a quick gluten free bar on hand incase I get stuck where food isn’t readily available as not many fast food options are viable for me. We also cook extra at night so I can have easy lunches during the day. Currently a few of my favorite products are by kite hill, theses noodles by cauli’flour foods, and these cookies by sweet loren’s are my go to for when in need of a good cheat on the weekend.

Now does this seem like a long list, well it is. I find that in order to do self care well it needs to be weaved within our daily lives. It is not just a moment that makes all things right in the world, but is made up of many small small moments. This is also a practice I want Ellie to adopt as she gets older. I want her to know it’s okay to take care of herself and not live a life fully burnt out at all times. I want her to especially know that it takes intention to get there. Do you practice self care? What are your favorite ways that speak most to you? Would love to hear the simple ways and the indulgent. I just made myself an appointment for dermaplaning. I have a few friends that swear by it and I thought it would be worth a try.

tata harper photo sources: clarifying cleanser | clarifying mask | resurfacing mask {perfect for all skin types} | purifying cleanser {apply it dry} | retinoic nutrient face oil {use when my cheeks feel extra dry} | hydrating floral essence {use throughout the day} | reparative moisturizer