7 Days of Self-Care: Day 5

I am a big believer that mental health and physical health impact each other. When one improves, the other tends to follow along. That’s why, at least for me, taking care of my physical health is such a big part of self-care.

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A few days ago, my self-care focused on physical activity. Today, my focus is on healthy eating. Before I say anything else, I want to explain what healthy eating means to me. As an eating disorder therapist, I may have a different definition of what healthy eating is than others do. 

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7 Days of Self-Care: Day 4

Welcome back to my series, 7 Days of Self-Care. We are on Day 4 now, so if this is the first post of the series you are seeing, check out Day 1 and follow along with all 7 days.

Day 4 – Focus on the positive

Our thoughts are powerful things. They have the ability to change how we feel, and influence how we behave. As a therapist who uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which focuses on challenging negative thoughts to positively impact our feelings and actions, I recognize the impact of thoughts constantly in myself and my clients. I know how devastating dwelling on negative thoughts can be for me. If you’re interested in learning more about this, check out this post

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7 Days of Self-Care: Day 3

Welcome to Day 3 of my series, 7 Days of Self-Care. I hope that if you’re reading along, that you have been focusing on taking care of yourself over the weekend. The weekends are busy, I’m out of my routine, so it’s easy for self-care to be put off.  Not this weekend!

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I’ll be keeping this short and sweet tonight, because Day 3 focuses on family time.

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7 Days of Self-Care: Day 2

Welcome back to my 7 day series on self-care, where each day I am focusing on something I can do to take care of my mental, emotional, and physical health. We all deserve to take time for ourselves, but it’s not always the easiest thing to do. So often, especially as parents, we put everything and everyone ahead of ourselves and we suffer as a result. There are so many things that I “need” to do. I am working on thinking of self-care as an equally important priority.

Yesterday, I focused on deep breathing. I had multiple opportunities to practice, which was great! It was easy to practice during a yoga video, or on a walk. It was more challenging to remember to practice when having a stressful conversation, or anticipating a phone call I was anxious about making, but those are the times when it is so important to breathe deeply! By practicing deep breathing, I was able to stay present in the conversation and manage my anxiety about making the phone call. 

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7 Days of Self-Care: Day 1

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Welcome to my 7 days of self-care series. During the next week, I will be focusing daily on ways that I practice self-care, to take care of my mental, emotional, and physical health. I’m purposefully starting this on a Friday because it’s always easy for me to get away from self-care when I’m on a busy weekend schedule. This mama puts herself last when a lot is going on! I also think that the accountability of making this a series will help me get back on track with taking care of me, and get me closer to making all of the behaviors I practice this week more of a hair. So let’s get started!

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Making time for me

One of my main purposes for starting this blog was for self-care. To help take care of my own mental health, to write about challenges I am facing, to motivate me to keep up with health and fitness goals, and to join a community of supportive women and parents.

Over the past month or so, I have gotten way off track. I’ve had many distractions (mostly positive) and disappointments (obviously, negative) that I have let push me away from the purpose I described. The distractions have been temporary: going on vacation, activities as a family, time off from work. These are the things where I thought I’d get right back to my goals after. Then the disappointments roll in and I feel anxious and depressed, and my well intentioned plans get pushed to the back burner. Immediately after putting the baby to bed, I move to the downstairs couch where my evenings are unproductive and do nothing but facilitate further sinkage into feeling negatively overall.

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How my life changed when my baby learned to crawl

I wrote last week about how I feel a mixture of pride and sadness when Jack reaches a new milestone. The joy he feels and so vividly expresses is undeniable and contagious when he firsts discovers something new or learns he can accomplish something.
For quite a while, we thought Jack would skip over crawling and go straight to walking. He really showed no interest in crawling. When placed on his belly, he would quickly roll over, and seemed content just rolling until he got to where he wanted to be. Or he would just wait for mama to pick him up and carry him, because let’s be real, I’m always wanting to hold him when I’m with him.
Then all of a sudden (and really, it did feel like all of a sudden), little man was off. Scootching around on his belly at lightening speed. The moment he figured out how easily he could move himself around, there was no stopping him, and our lives will never be the same.
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Grow up, but not too fast

As a new mom, I feel such a sense of pride and excitement when I watch my son grow and learn something new. To see him get stronger and smarter every day is just awesome.

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First he was rolling. Then sitting up on his own. Now he’s pulling himself up on anything he can get his hands on, and he’s finally crawling! It’s still a sort of army crawl, but he’s moving faster and faster every day.

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Oreo Birthday Cake!

Since I started eating dairy free back in January, I have become obsessed with Oreos. I have always liked Oreos, but once I learned they were dairy free, that like quickly turned to love. I seriously doubt we have gone a day without Oreos in our house since then.

Someone else who loves Oreos almost as much as I do is my stepdad. So when we started planning his birthday dinner that we hosted at our house, it was a no brainer for me to make him an Oreo cake.

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You Changed Me

I wrote this about 5 months ago, way before I even thought of starting a blog. It’s lived in my Gmail draft box until now. The thoughts came to me one morning as I was nursing Jack. I was, and still am, completely overwhelmed by the emotions that come over me whenever I’m with him.

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I never used to crave physical closeness
Now I ache to hold you when you’re not in my arms. 
The feeling of skin on skin used to make me uncomfortable
Now the touch of your skin is one of the sweetest things.
I’m still tightly wound, emotional and selfish,
But now I’m patient, tough, and self-sacrificing. 
The moment you were born, you changed me, 
And being your mom has brought out the best in me. 

I knew everything would change when I became a mother. I really had no idea just how much that was true.

I love who I am as a mother. I feel like I have more purpose now than ever. I want to be better, not only for Jack, but for Ryan, and for myself. To know someone loves and needs me reminds me of the worth I have, and I deserve to be a better version of myself.

Thank you, Jack. Thank you for coming into our world over 8 months ago and changing me for the better.

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