A Month of Self-Love-What I’ve Learned So Far

There has been so much going on for me personally, and internally that you won’t see on my Insta feed because I don’t share it. But in keeping with realness, and wanting to always be sharing my journey with health and wellness (one that, like everyone else, has it’s MAJOR ups and downs) I thought I would share with you guys how I have shifted a few things, also in keeping with a theme of self love and self care for this month of February.

Obviously you know, I have a sweet little golden baby. As babies do, she hasn’t slept through the night since October, and to say the least that has been rough. It’s one of those things that I thought, it’s ok, I can power through this. But of course, I went back to my old ways of trying to do it all, saying yes to everything, and I most definitely got burned out. The kind of feeling where you wake up feeling very negative, you can see it in your body, in your face, and definitely in your motivation. I knew I had to give myself some grace.

I had been keeping up a pretty rigid schedule for myself-setting my alarm Monday through Friday to get up before Amelia, to clean the house and eat something, post something to Insta, check emails, etc. I would then get her up and ready for the day, doing breakfast and whatnot, and then powering through my BBG workout. At this point I would do my best to put Amelia down for a nap, and then instantly my head would get foggy like, ok, ok, ok, what thing do I do first?! Clean? Work? Edit photos? Shower? I felt like I was pushing against the natural rhythm of the way things needed to flow. I was putting an enormous amount of pressure on myself to get my newsletter out regularly, to post a blog post a week, to keep posting on Instagram and be socially active as well, on top of running a house, taking care of our animals, and taking on house projects that needed to get done. (That made me feel crazy just typing that out).

My body started suffering, I could feel it. I was NOT enjoying working out, something I usually do. The winter was starting to wear on me, and my energy. My skin has broken out worse than it has in years, which is so depressing! I know that the stress, and lack of sleep has caused adrenal fatigue, which has led to hormone imbalances, which leads to acne, which leads to low self-esteem….etc. etc.  I knew I had to step back and re-evaluate.

In February, I decided I had to shift my focus back to myself, because if I am not feeling my best, I can’t provide, for Amelia, for you guys, for myself even. I had to let go of expectations in order to let my life flow a bit more freely to get myself back to a healthier state, physically and mentally. Here are some things that I did (and you can do too) to reset and get back to feeling more sane (so far so good!):

I stopped using my alarm. 

I realized that the one thing I needed more than anything at this point was sleep. Even the extra half hour in the morning could be HUGE in how I felt, how my skin looked, and my overall energy and happiness. I realize this isn’t doable across the board, but as someone who primarily works from home, I was able to do this and it has helped so much. We wake up naturally, usually around 7-8, and have a slow start to the day, eating breakfast together, listening to music, and just getting together my thoughts for what I want/need to do in that day.

I’ve been drinking way more water.

I realized I wasn’t drinking nearly as much water as my body needed. In the winter it can feel less quenching to have a big glass of water when it’s chilly out, but I could see the effects of dehydration in my skin, in my mind (feeling foggy) and in my body. I drink a huge glass of water when I wake up in the morning, and make sure I keep a big jar filled and by me during the day-whether I’m working, watching a movie, or out grocery shopping. I am looking into investing in a better quality and greener water filter for our home too, as proper water quality is such a huge key to overall wellness.

I started taking supplements and adaptogens. 

I will do a post on how everything worked after I have used it for a bit more time. Before these new supplements that I got, I was only taking my pre-natal, and occasionally a collagen builder when I remembered.  A few of the things I am adding into my regime are probiotics, a digestive enzyme, and vitamin D (sunshine vitamin!). I also bought Pearl powder, for aiding in healthy skin, since mine is suffering big time right now, and Mucuna Pruriens, which mimics dopamine in your brain, an amazing adaptogen for seasonal depression. I have also started using my ashwaghanda powder regularly as well, and I am LOVING it. I am such a huge believer in getting your vitamins and minerals from the food you eat, rather than taking a bunch of pills, but sometimes our bodies really do need a little help. These supplements are all things that are going to help my anxiety, my gut health, and my skin.

I got a new face oil, toner, and soap. 

Do you ever realize that you’re always doing the best for your family, friends, pets even, and then you realize, when was the last time I got myself something I needed that I know will help me with x, y, or z? That’s me. With my skin suffering big time, I knew I had to do a little research and give it a little extra help in healing. Also, I will do a post on the products I bought and how I liked them as well!

I bought myself new underwear. 

Yes. Ok, two words, SELF LOVE. I treated myself to brand, spankin’ new underwear. Why is this one task that is so simple something that always gets put on the backburner? I know you know what I’m sayin’ ladies.

Work will get done, no matter what. 

I realized that I had to take some pressure off of my to-do list, and simplify. I will do as much work as I can get done in a week, but I am not going to make lists of things to post and write every single day (which I was). Re-focusing on yourself can seem selfish, but you can’t pour from an empty pitcher, and if I can’t even show up for myself, how is Amelia going to feel? Or my animals? Or my home? There is a balance to everything, and for now, it means bringing you new work, photos, ideas, and material when I can, and all in due time.

I started running again.

One of my goals for 2018-to run again. It’s crazy how intimidating this was! I used to run every day until I got injured-then pregnant. I have run here and there postpartum, but I am so ready to get back into it more seriously. It clears my head, energizes me, and makes me feel so strong and powerful. I feel unstoppable when I am at my best running shape. Right now, I am aiming for 2x a week to start. It has also been helping my sleep, feeling sleepy earlier, and sleeping more deeply.

We relax more in the afternoons.

That 4pm awkward time in the winter when it’s too early for dinner, and instead of just walking around trying to get this or that done, I realized that we are taking the time in the afternoons to snuggle up on the couch and breastfeed, watch a show, or read books together. I make myself some Moon Tea (for my hormones) and we just unwind from the day before we eat dinner and get ready for night.

Still working getting to sleep at a better time.

This is so challenging, yet the ONE thing that is so vital to my wellbeing. SLEEP. I’m sure other mamas out there can attest to this-once that baby goes to bed, it’s like ME TIME. I make myself a desserty treat, a cup of chai, and gear up for an episode…or two…or three…of my fave show, and before I know it it’s 11pm, and I know damn well that I am going to feel it the next day. I am trying to go to bed 30 minutes earlier each night. My magic bed time would be 9 or 9:30, just have to get myself disciplined.

I began eating 3 very solid meals as well as snacks.

Not that I wasn’t eating before…but sometimes I got so preoccupied with feeding Amelia and getting “things done” that I ended up eating little bits here and there instead of a real, filling, healthy meal. As someone with a high metabolism, and still breastfeeding, this has made a huge difference to my energy levels, as well as hormones. When you let your blood sugar crash (waiting until you’ve got the shakes to eat) you are disrupting the flow of your hormones. I have been staying ahead of the curve and eating a hearty breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and getting in two snacks and it’s made a huge difference. This has involved meal prepping a bit, using nap time as a time to make food, rather than creating content for my blog/Insta, but it’s worth it to get myself back to feeling’ good.

 

This could look different to everyone, but this is how I am showing myself some love this month. I know that I will be soooo grateful I took a step back to do this, especially with Spring fast approaching and the buzzing energy of a new season takes over. (I am so active in Spring and Summer) I plan to do a post on the new supplements I have been trying out, as well as my new beauty and skin routine. I want to test everything out for at least a couple months though to give you a real review on how I like (or dislike) everything. It feels good to show myself a little love and put myself first. It has felt uncomfortable, and even selfish at times. But our culture tends to have that effect on us-feeling like we always have to be going going going to get anywhere in life. It’s just not the case guys. Don’t forget to show yourself love.

If you want guidance on how to “self-love” go to our Facebook page, Straight Up Wellness, where we have been hosting a month long challenge on ways to show yourself love. The tasks have been really mind shifting and uplifting, I strongly recommend you join and check it out!

xEm

 

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Emily is an Aries, a health and wellness advocate, and an avid food lover. She is a certified Health Coach and the creative writer and photographer of Golden Wellness. She believes in balance, real food, self love, movement, and gratitude. She is all about creating a high vibin' life, getting outside, and inspiring others on this path.

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