Self Care

May 15, 2018


What are your favorite self care rituals? I tend to forget about self care until I get into a fight with J, or have a terrible episode of insomnia, or yell at my children. And then I am reminded! Self care is so so so important. Not practicing self care really truly is not an option, and yet with all the demands of everyday life, it's hard to fit in and easy to neglect. So I have been brainstorming good options that kill more than one bird with each stone...

Here is my current list of favorites, and I would love to hear yours:

  • 10 minutes of meditation. I love the Headspace App for this, and I'm currently reading the book!
  • A brisk walk. My office mates and I love to do two laps around our block. Twice around equals one mile and takes 15 minutes or less. Perfect!
  • Painting my nails. Having painted nails makes me happy and life just better. That qualifies as self-care to me! Usually I paint them at home, but bonus for treating yourself and going to a spa where you can take advantage of the facilities and sit in a robe and drink water with fruit in it every now and then.
  • Drinking fresh, clean water. It's hard to stay properly hydrated! Drinking fresh, clean water is hugely important and can impact everything from regularity to mood. Drink up! 
  • Running. I'm not the biggest fan of running, but it packs more punch into a short amount of time than just about any other form of exercise. (Bonus: weight loss!) As a busy mom, it's easier to do a 30-minute running workout straight out of my back door with no travel time than it is to drive to the yoga studio and do a 90-minute class that necessitates a shower afterward.
  • Hot yoga. That said, nothing quite wrings my body out like a wet washcloth the way a Bikram class does. I got hooked on Bikram yoga when I was childless and very fit in my late 20's. It's harder now than it was then, but that's all the more reason to do it, right? And, breathe...
  • Cooking at home. Living in Zurich meant never eating out and making just about everything from scratch. I happen to love cooking and I find it really relaxing and enjoyable, so for me cooking at home qualifies at self care not only because it means healthier meals, but also the sense of fulfillment from engaging in a hobby.
  • Going for a massage. Obviously.
  • Dancing. Aside from the exercise benefits, there is something so fundamentally human about dancing. I love the feeling of expression and the emotional release it provides. I desperately miss my ballet class in Zurich!
  • Going to bed early. "Sleep is everything," said every mother, ever.
  • Journaling. When I was in a Montessori middle-school program for eighth grade, we were required to journal on a school trip. The practice was so gratifying and calming for me, I've been doing it ever since. 

My goal going into summer is to establish a good self-care weekly routine so that when school starts up again in the fall, it will already be in place and hopefully easier to maintain. Please share your self care tips with me! It's always good to mix it up from week to week, or depending on the weather and seasons, too.

And wouldn't an English seaside holiday with a proper cup of tea and a stack of good books and zero WiFi be good self care? Maybe we need to set up a Swiss Lark self care retreat and make it happen.Who's in? ;)

(Photo via Pinterest, however the link doesn't work. Photo cred, anyone?)

Join the conversation!

  1. So happy to see you’re back! I missed your posts.

    I love these ideas and completely agree that cooking is self care! I wrote about my unconventional version of self care here
    http://www.lakehouseeffect.com/2018/04/five-unexpected-and-totally-free-self.html if you’re interested, but basically I also think it’s those simple, everyday things like creating boundaries and forgiving yourself and others that make the biggest difference.

    That being said, I also find baths, long showers, lake views — any way I can weave water into my life — to be incredibly rejuvenating.

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    1. Thank you, Amy! I can't believe I left bathing off of my list. I love a hot bath with epsom salts and rose oil, but I guess that's more of a winter one and it has been HOT here the last few days. ;) I loved your post on your blog and I'll check out that podcast right away. xo

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    2. Thanks for leaving me such a kind comment! I think the podcast is worth a listen. Some parts were a little harsh in my opinion, but the message is about validating your feelings and setting appropriate boundaries is so important.

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    3. YES! I'm going to listen on the way home tonight. You're welcome - and same to you! xoxo

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  2. Such good ideas! I think the biggest one for me has been to find a fitness routine that actually makes me happy and I yearn for when I am not doing it. For me lately, it's actually been yoga. I have practiced on and off for the last 15 years oh so but it has never stuck until now. I also agree that it's not easy to squeeze in the driving time to a studio plus a long class, but I have been streaming an online "yoga retreat" class that is 30 minutes a day. I try to do it 6 times a week and it feels so good. I also like to paint my nails at home!! Also, wine is part of my self care. Xoxo

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    1. Okay, I'm going to check out the online yoga. It won't be hot yoga, but if it's 30 minutes and I can do it at home, bring it on!
      Also, WINE. :) Wine forever. xo

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  3. It's all about the music for me. Firstly, playing piano or guitar or singing... whatever floats your boat, but for me it is alternating those ones ;) I now commit to 10min piano twice a day, and have a lesson once a week, which is huge.

    But, same same but different, I also LOVE walking to the train, catching the train and walking to wherever with my earphones in, listening to my favourite music in my own little bubble. Can't do that when I'm with my kiddos.

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  4. Unfortunately for me I think the most important thing for my sanity is sleep! I’m a night owl (and have two small kids and work full-time, though i guess that goes without saying because isn’t every parent working full-time?) so would love to be able to stay up late to do fun things but alas....asleep by 10 (or even better, 9:30!) it is! Also love walks, tea, yoga, bath, and my essential oil diffuser. Basically I’m an old lady :)

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    1. Being an old lady is essential with two small kids and a full-time job. And, for the record, having done both I can say that working full-time outside of the home with two kids is infinitely busier and more demanding than being a stay-at-home-mom. That's not to say it's harder, because for me I found structuring my day and time really challenging while at home. But life is more difficult while working full-time. So, CHEERS TO YOU and your old lady ways! You deserve sleep and relaxation and calm wherever you can get it. You're awesome! xo

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