Rose: Why Self Care is Really About Self Love

I wrote about self care the other day in my challenge group. Few people responded. I’ve been grappling with why.

Maybe the post was too long. Or maybe it was too hippie-dippy. Maybe I’m just not that engaging.

I’m also wondering if maybe the concept of self care is difficult. Self care can really only begin with self love, and it takes some work. It requires you to be a little selfish, putting some needs above others. Generally speaking, I don’t think people like being that way.

SELFLOVEIt’s hard for me, anyway. I know there are certain things I should do just for me, but I don’t do them. Of course, they would likely make me happier. But I often get consumed by doing other things. Usually for other people.

It’s gotten easier with age, of course. But I still need reminders. And maybe you do, too, which is why I’m sharing this post from my group. Maybe it will help one of you on your journey. Maybe you’ll read it at the right time. Or maybe it won’t click now, but later, it will make more sense.

Light & Love,

Rose


Why Self Care = Self Love

When we were developing this group, self care was at the top of many of your lists. We weren’t surprised by this. In this world, it feels like there’s so little time. It’s a point of pride to have a full plate, especially if you’re a woman. This can feel overwhelming and daunting. It can feel like there’s no time for just you.

The first step in self care comes in the form of self love, however. When you truly love yourself, things fall into place. The sooner you start embracing that love and treating yourself right, the sooner your life will begin to with compassion, purpose and love.

It can be hard to unroot some of the beliefs you have about yourself. These may stem from childhood, and they may be so ingrained you don’t even realize it. But there are some simple ways to start loving yourself todays.

Here are a few ways I try to practice:

  • End criticism of self. Accept yourself as you are.
  • Forgive yourself. Whatever happened in the past, let it go.
  • Be kind to your self and your mind. Bad thoughts are just those – thoughts. If they bother you, gently change the thoughts.
  • Praise and support yourself. Give yourself a high-five. If you need outside help, find a person or group that can help to lift you up.
  • Be loving  with your own needs. You have needs, and that’s fine. Now, find ways to fill those and lovingly let go of old negative patterns.
  • Take care of your body. Treat your body as a temple. It will help the rest fall into place.
  • Look into the mirror lovingly. Instead of finding a fault, consider what you love about yourself. You might even want to say, “I love you!”

Today, try at least one of these. If you’re feeling ambitious, try several. See how it influences your mood.

Rose: On Meal Prepping

I’m often asked how I have time to cook while working the 9-5. The truth is: I don’t.

That’s why I spend so much time over the weekend meal prepping. I literally have no desire to cook on a weeknight. And with this method, I really don’t have to.

The key is simplifying the process as much as possible. I now subscribe to two online tools: Peapod and eMeals. I have 60 days of free delivery from Peapod, and I’m trying out eMeals to see if it’s a time saver. So far, it has been great. (And I’m not getting paid to write this!).

I print out the eMeals grocery list (delivered weekly based on your dietary preferences) and load the food into Peapod. I pick a delivery time that’s amenable to our schedules (i.e. a delivery right after vacation). Each week, I look at our schedules and see who can make which meal, and when.

I felt guilty about food delivery at first. It didn’t jive with the you-must-do-it-all mentality. But I’m at a point where my time is precious, valuable to me. I work more than 45+ hours a week, and I have two free days. I want to spend those relaxing and living – not buying food.

I do, however, spend time on the weekend making meal times easier throughout the week. And this is my typical plan:

I prioritize lunches. I always start here, making five lunches for myself and something for M. My lunches usually entail a green, a grain and a protein.

I boil eggs. These are our go-to snack. We boil in bulk.

I make at least one meal for the week, usually two. One meal can last a few days. Yesterday I made turkey sloppy joes with sweet potato fries. It was the perfect Saturday night dinner (and Sunday night, too!). And if I have a late night on Monday, there will be more of it in a pinch. This makes it much easier to avoid take-out!

I chop all veggies and prepare for time-consuming meals. Some meals need to be made that night. I make sure to take out all the leg work by doing it over the weekend. Fine dicing a red pepper, chopping an onion–these things all go a long way.

The only hiccup with this plan is when we travel. If we’re not home over the weekend, this doesn’t happen as smoothly. But during regular life, this plan keeps us on track. And to me, the cooking is worth the time it takes to eat better and feel good.

Rose: What I’m Embracing in July

Oh, summer. It goes by in a flash. There is always this string of weddings, parties, reunions. I’m not complaining; I enjoy these events and times to see family and friends. But it does make these summer months go by quickly.

This is all the more reason to find reasons to slow down, and that’s what I’m embracing in July. I’m trying to stay present – both at work and at home – and really focus on my goals. I don’t want to rush through projects or tasks. I want to savor them and figure out more of what I’m trying to do this in world.

371b5ce2-3835-4e9b-bf88-076c6c50bc6d

These thoughts dictate my list for the month of July. I’m embracing:

  • My love for health & well-being. Right now, I can’t get my hands on enough nutrition information. Podcasts, new websites, new challenge groups. You name it. I feel this fire again. July will be a month to make decisions and propel some things in motion. I’m excited about it.
  •  Natural home remedies. I’ve spent enough money on expensive products. I’m trying to go back to the basics. Right now I’m embarking upon a coconut oil face wash and apple cider vinegar hair rinses. I’ll be sure to post my reflections on both. So far, I already feel better, removing the chemicals from my body.
  • Reading before bed. It’s a goal I always have and never achieve. At the very least, I’m reading nutrition blogs before bed, and that’s better at calming me down than a television program.
  • Slowing down. At work, at home and on the weekends. Not everything has to be done right now. The only person rushing me is me.

What are you embracing this month?

What I’m Embracing in April

This month has been a rough one. So much so that I’ve barely touched this blog.

I hate getting in ruts like these, but it’s part of life and completely natural – especially when you’re in the midst of transition. So now, I am embracing my old routines again.

371b5ce2-3835-4e9b-bf88-076c6c50bc6d

In late March, we bought a house. Every weekend this month has been spent moving. Weekends have been filled with packing and short trips to the place, with the final push happening this past weekend.

Owning a home is surreal, overwhelming and wonderful at once. Finally, we have our own place, but, of course, it comes with responsibility and change. The responsibility part is not hard for us. We have good jobs, and we’re not over spenders. The hard part is not knowing what to do first and just creating a new life.

It seems dramatic to say that moving 10 miles away can feel this way. We still live in the same state, easily commute to work and have nice neighbors. And yet, it is a transition. It is something new. It ranges from little things like where do we put the record player to bigger things like dealing with new neighbors and how to bring a yard back to life.

This is all the more reason that I must embrace my routines again. And so, at the end of this month, I am embracing the old.

  • Exercise and healthy eating. For me, the first thing to fall to the wayside is always my health. This seems ironic for a person so engaged in a healthy lifestyle. But it’s easy to not eat right and fail to move. Right now I am looking to spark that back up. It’s simple really. Just involves a commitment.
  • Being patient. This house will not unpack itself. But we don’t need to stress about where everything should go right now. We want to take this in baby steps, do it the right way. If we do that, we’ll live in a home we love.
  • Not quitting. There are many things I’ve wanted to quit this month. I am running 10 miles in just a few days and feel totally unprepared for that. But I signed up to do it, and I’m not going to turn back now. Even if I have to walk, I am crossing that finish line.

This list is short, but it really resonates with me right now. In order to feel happy and at peace in life, I need to do these small things. May will be a new month, filled with other things I’d like to embrace. So for now, in the last remaining days of April, I plan to simply get back to basics and enjoy my life as much as I can.

Rose: What I’m Embracing in March

My word for the year is Embrace. I chose this word because I wanted to be open to adventure. I wanted to embrace what is instead of wishing for what could be. I want to be present in my every day and love the life I’ve created.

IMG_1008

Each month, I’m going to choose to EMBRACE certain activities in my life. Some will be deliberate while others will just be what feels right in the moment. Regardless, I hope to document what comes my way on this space.

This month, I’ve found myself embracing a few lovely things:

Hot yoga on Thursday nights.

IMG_0838

For me, yoga is like church. It’s a time when I set myself straight. I meditate on what is and would could be. I pray for my family and friends. I send good vibes out into the universe. I connect with myself, completely and purely. It is one hour of me vs. me physically. And through that challenge, I find a unique peace of mind only yoga can bring.

Professional development a la books.

IMG_0971

This book is incredible. I’ve only just begun but I’m learning so much about what is habitual in my life. Why do I do things in certain ways? Am I powerless to change them? No. It just takes a lot of mental work to change. But it’s possible.

Outdoor adventures with my husband.

Earlier this month, we made a Bucket List. We wrote down all of the places we wanted to go in NJ and the surrounding regions. Now, when we have a free day or weekend, we know how to spend our time. We reference the list and pick a spot. I love this method because so often we’ve regretted not making the most of our weekends. This ensures that we do.

Beer tastings.

Guilty pleasures. We love testing out new beer. In the past two weekends, we’ve visited Kane Brewing Company, Dark City Brewing Company, Little Dog Brewing Co., and, most recently, Magnify Brewing Co. Decidedly, we much prefer sampling beers AFTER a long hike. It’s perfectly refreshing after a day in the sun.

Weight lifting.

IMG_0892.JPG

I’ve already written quite a bit on this subject. Enough said. I really enjoy weight lifting, especially in the mornings. It brings me a nice sense of peace, and I feel so much stronger.

What are you embracing this month?