I wrote this blog post as part of a movement by Weight Watchers to encourage people to remember that loving yourself starts with taking care of your health everyday. Though I was compensated for my time and commitment, all views, positive and negative, are my own.
You may have seen me announce through social media that I promised to do 1 simple thing for my health each day of February. I have absolutely loved the challenge of taking care of myself and this could not have come at a better time. As a mom, it seems as if we are always taking care of someone else first or wearing down with too much to do or think about. One of my resolutions for 2014 was to be healthier and eat healthier. The activities I have done through my first week of the challenge have totally helped achieve my goals, but it has not been easy.
My first day of the challenge was Valentine’s Day. I made heart shaped pancakes for my family with pink sprinkles and whipped cream. I went on with my day as I usually do. Except, I chose to take 15 minutes of ME time and try meditating. I also enjoyed a cup of hot green tea. Meditating is awesome but hard to do. I feel like I get my mind silent for like 1/4 of a second and then I start thinking of the million other things I need to get done. Dishes, client work, blog post, pee soaked underwear in the bathroom sink from my potty training daughter. It all starts flying through my mind as I remind myself to breathe and let it go. Once I completed my 15 minutes of solitude I felt refreshed. I felt like I could take on more. I would like to start adding meditation into my daily routine.
On day two I challenged myself with filling my plate with veggies. I made a really yummy salad with cucumber, humus, lime, peppers and pistachios. (Recipe coming soon!) I really do love fresh ingredients and eating healthy but I find it challenging to do with so many other things going on all the time. I also found that when I forget to have a snack it makes me want to eat really unhealthy and greasy food. Then I eat a lot at one time and over indulge. I learned from a friend recently of an 80/20 rule. Eat 80% fresh and healthy foods so you can then indulge in 20% of whatever foods you want. I really like this idea and I am hoping to adjust my current ratio to match that a little better.
On day three I went to yoga. Adding yoga back into my life really has taken time and dedication. It seems like it should be so simple to just say – oh hey I do yoga every Sunday at 10 am. But then I have to make sure my husband is home and able to watch our kiddo. I have to not have a cold. I have to be caught up with work. I have to not have another important thing to do at the same time. On the bright side, I have made it to almost every Sunday yoga class of 2014 aside from 2 Sundays when we were out of town. This is my favorite one. Yoga. My happy place. 90 minutes of pure ME time. Mind, Body and Soul: Rejuvenated.
Another challenge was to get active as a family. I may have stretched this one a little bit since I decided I should take my kiddo and my mom to the winery for a little outdoor activity. My mom and I sipped on champagne and watched my beautiful girl run around in the grass. Look at that face. Pure happiness. She had so much fun just running to the big tree and back to us. This felt like me time because I got to sit back and relax while watching this beautiful face. My kiddo and I have been meeting up with friends at our local parks (minus the champagne) for some added morning exercise and play time too.
My fifth challenge was to pack healthy snacks for work. Since I work from home I didn’t really need to pack anything up but I did try out a new smoothie recipe. I would share that with you but it didn’t turn out as tasty as I would have hoped. I ran out of spinach so I thought I would add a little arugula. I added too much. Blueberry, orange and almond milk with ice would have been better.
The next day I added in more healthy snacks to my day. I snacked on apples, nuts, cucumbers and humus. I even had chia pudding for breakfast. It was so yummy and really easy to make. I got the idea from Kitchen Konfidence. Chia pudding is packed with nutrients and is a really healthy way to start the day. I added shaved coconut and blueberries to the top.
The following day I gave myself a solid 8 hours of sleep. Okay maybe it was 9. I really like sleep and I function very poorly without it. I quickly learned when I first had my kiddo that I NEED 6 hours of sleep at night to be able to function the next day. I am a total crabby pants without a good nights’ sleep. Getting 8 or 9 hours feels really good! 10 is just way too much.
My reward for going a whole week with these healthy challenges was to give myself a manicure. I love having freshly painted nails. I often wear dark colors so I like to have a little bit of pop on my nails.
Taking time out of my day just for me has had its challenges but it is totally worth it. We really cannot help others unless our own personal needs and health are taken care of first. I really needed that reminder. I will continue this challenge for the remainder of the month with Weight Watchers but I also plan to continue a few of the things as long as I can.
Taking time for myself has made me more calm and able to be more patient. What will you do for yourself today?