Taking Care of YOU

Lately I’ve been trying to find ways, some that are creative, some that are more “normal” to make time for myself and do things that bring me joy. I think it’s so important to love others well, and I think taking time to take care of yourself is an important aspect of that we can forget. Time for yourself can seem selfish or even unproductive, but I would argue that it is really the opposite of both those things.

When we are really filled up and feeling like a whole person, we can be more present with those around us and not feeling like we’re keeping our head above water. Those people in our lives love us for who we are, and when we are exhausted and spent, we don’t get to offer that to those who love us most. There is nobody else like you, so don’t deprive people of that.

So here are a few things to rest and rejuvenate. There are some things that always, always work. But these are some other ways that just help with health, both physically and mentally.

Face Mask

I have noticed a difference when I take the time to be regular about face masks. I have a few that I enjoy, and also mix it up. I make it a goal to do a face mask at least three times a week, and this is typically on weekdays. Not only is it good for my skin, but it is relaxing and usually accompanied by sweat pants and a cup of hot tea in the evening. I like to keep a tube or two of my tried and true products on hand. Places like Target and Ulta make it easy to get a one time use facial mask packet when you want to try something different.

Exercise your mind

It’s important to take time here and again to do something for your mind, in your own time, that isn’t scrolling through an app on a phone. For me, this usually looks like reading. But it can also be working a few sudoku’s, writing (Whether for myself or thinking of people to send notes to), or tackling a repair or organizing project at the house. Find out what works for you and your mind, and set some time aside this week to workout your brain.

Healthy intake

I can tell a big difference when I am intentional about what goes in my body and when I’m not. Meal planning and, as much as I hate it, grocery shopping help make this happen. It is so easy to get busy and to need convenience. But that doesn’t mean I have to eat fast food. Taking time to plan and prep healthy meals makes for better days and a healthier, happier me.

Unplug

Do Not Disturb, or even Off are settings that exist on our smartphones, and it’s a great idea to use those from time to time. Unplugging for a few hours is really rejuvenating. No screens, no electronics. Take it a step further and make it a no electricity time! Put out a few candles if it’s later in the day, or open those windows up on a nice morning and let the sun pour in.

Solitude

Stepping away from people is good no matter what kind of person you are. Really getting to know yourself and letting your mind think on it’s own is a healthy, self aware practice. Being intentional about scheduling meetings with yourself can help with clarity and decision making.

Morning routine

Real life is just that. It is there and it is coming for us. So rather than rumbling about it, let’s make the most of it. The biggest way I do this is with a morning routine. I know what time I need to be up in the morning to have a thought out morning that includes time to not only get ready for work, but also to enjoy my coffee, have some quiet time, and play with my pup before heading out the door. Starting my day this way helps me feel like I am in charge of my life, not just an office drone wishing for the weekend.

Spontaneity

Routine makes us appreciate spontaneity, and visa verse. So every once in a while, go without a plan. Spend the week night out, go away for the weekend, and for sure don’t let those vacation days go to waste, do something with the time that is given you. Near or far, live the life you have been given and run wild every so often!

Time with those who mean the most

Days, weeks, years, decades can slip by before you know it. Don’t miss time with the people you love! Whether it’s the people who live in the same house as you, or your favorites in other states and countries. Being intentional about just being with those people who love you is just plain good for everyone.

 

Anything to add? What do you do to unwind, and take better care of yourself? What is one thing that always helps you be a better you? 

If there is anything you want links to products I use specifically, feel free to comment on this post or message me directly. This is not a sponsored post.

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Vicksburg National Military Park

One of my very favorite stops in Mississippi. My first time through here was on a road-trip with my old roommates. It was a great way to mix up the drive with some walking, running, stair climbing, and windows-down-with-the-sun-pouring-in cruising in the middle of summer! This visit however, was totally different.


On our way back from Florida in December, just days before Christmas, we took a much needed break from driving and stopped in Vicksburg. It was less green and much, much colder than the last time I came through. But the visit was just as refreshing and welcoming as it had been before, just in a different way.


We arrived just about an hour and a half before closing time, so we knew it would just be a quicker drive through the park and we would have to be a bit more picky about which stops we would take.

What I love about this park, is that it is almost inexhaustible. There are so many plaques with dates and names and events, from both the Union and Confederate advances. You could wander the park for an entire day and still not read everything.


I also love how vast and hilly it is. Both times I’ve been I have seen multiple people out on their run. And what a fantastic place to do it! Such lovely views and a great workout for incline training.


I enjoyed coming back to a place I have visited before and bringing someone to see it for the first time. Even though, about halfway through our visit my travel companion was pretty sure he had actually been there before, long ago, with family! It was fun to remember my time there before and the people that were a part of it and the season of life that came with it. It was so beneficial to ponder just how much has changed in the past (almost) 4 years since I was last there. A great time to compare and contrast and see growth and process change in ways I had not necessarily thought about. Ways I may not have thought about had I not re-visited this place.
Do you enjoy visiting places again? Have you been to Vicksburg? What was your favorite part of your visit? 

Minimalist Challenge : Day 3

  1. Bathroom drawers and cabinets
  2. Books
  3. Decorations in my home

Today I realized that I don’t love what my home looks like anymore.I haven’t changed it in so long. All the decorations I have are no longer things I love; they are no longer things that express who I am. So… today was a bit of an overhaul.

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I recently (like, in the last 3 months) got some plain white frames and a print made by a local artist, and those are the only decorations I have purchased recently. I used to be the person who rearranged regularly and rethought my space often. Knowing that my living situation and life as a whole is changing a lot very soon has had me at a bit of a standstill in this department. So I am ready for some change!


We have been talking about the environment we want to build in our home come the Fall. Clean and bright and natural and organic. No excess and space for the necessitates. So a lot has been culled out. It’s time and it felt so, so good! New seasons, life, change… It really is a beautiful thing.

For those of you just joining me, I invite you to read more about how I feel about minimal living and also see what this the 30 Day Challenge list is all about!

Minimal Living

A while back I packed up my Honda CR-V and headed for North Carolina. And while I did leave some things behind with my parents (thanks, Mom and Dad!), I was amazed that I was able to fit everything I needed in my car (and I didn’t even use all that I brought). After coming back to Texas, I ended up throwing away virtually all of the stuff I had left in Texas and got rid of all that stuff in my car that I had not used. It went to second hand stores and (mostly) the garbage can.

It was incredibly freeing. After living for three and a half months with only what could fit in the back of my car, I didn’t want the burden and weight of possessions. It was a weird point of pride that I could fit everything I own into my car and be on my way in a day if the road called me.

Now, after living in the same place for two and a half years (too long if you ask me), things have accumulated. And I kind of hate it! SO! I am going to do something about it.I know the freedom that comes from not having so many material possessions. I have realized the weight of things and know what it feels like to be rid of them. And so to that end, I am going to challenge myself to get back there! Not only do I not like owning so much stuff, I will also be getting a jump on being ready for moving in with my forever roommate come this Fall!


The challenge:


For the month of April, I am going to minimize one aspect of my life each day. I have looked at a lot of different lists because, I know, this is no new idea. But ultimately, I am making a list that covers the areas that I want to see change as well as taking days for time to reflect, be still and process change and growth. (Also, a lot of lists I’ve found include the play room and kids toys, and you know, that’s just not a concern here.) And throughout the process, I will post here regularly about my progress.

My list is mostly done, but I am still thinking through and changing a few things while I compile 30 days worth of change/reflection/stillness/giving up/living free. So that will be coming soon! But in the meantime, I want to hear from YOU! Have you done anything similar to this before? Do you have any recommendations for things to go on the list? Want to do this minimalism challenge with me? What are things you can or want to minimize in your life?

Looking Back on 2016

Re-cap posts are my favorite! I love looking back before plunging forward. Taking it all in and savoring it in a grand fashion, sifting out the lessons the past has for us as we take our next steps forward. And while I sometimes think my re-cap looks a little sad, I remember that’s not the point. And as I take the time to re-cap, the year grows. So here we go! Continue reading “Looking Back on 2016”

A Week at a Time | 12/23/16

When life gets crazy or exciting or overwhelming or things change, I write. It’s always been this way for me. And so as an extension of this, I am going to have a weekly, “here’s a little bit of life”, post. From working in college ministry to life as a part time nanny. Date nights and soccer games on the weekends. Reading and drinking coffee and squeezing in a run. Just taking a moment to look back at what the week has brought me before plunging into that all so wonderful weekend!


Merry Christmas everyone! It’s been such a fun filled week after getting back from Florida! The wedding was beautiful and the entire weekend was a celebration. Friends and family came in from all over the country and helped to create such an amazing atmosphere for the wedding of dear friends. Continue reading “A Week at a Time | 12/23/16”

A Week at a Time |12/9/16

When life gets crazy or exciting or overwhelming or things change, I write. It’s always been this way for me. And so as an extension of this, I am going to have a weekly, “here’s a little bit of life”, post. From working in college ministry to life as a part time nanny. Date nights and soccer games on the weekends. Reading and drinking coffee and squeezing in a run. Just taking a moment to look back at what the week has brought me before plunging into that all so wonderful weekend!


This week has been all about Christmas! between work events and Christmas celebrations with friends, I am ringing in the Christmas season in full force! Also because, this time next week I will be in central Florida for the wedding of my dear friend. Continue reading “A Week at a Time |12/9/16”

A Week at a Time | 12/2/16

When life gets crazy or exciting or overwhelming or things change, I write. It’s always been this way for me. And so as an extension of this, I am going to have a weekly, “here’s a little bit of life”, post. From working in college ministry to life as a part time nanny. Date nights and soccer games on the weekends. Reading and drinking coffee and squeezing in a run. Just taking a moment to look back at what the week has brought me before plunging into that all so wonderful weekend!


Back to that college ministry work grind before the Christmas break. We have one last event where we are talking about what is happening around the world, and promoting our annual trip to Austria next summer. So it’s just a few more busy weeks before settling into the goodness of Christmas time. Continue reading “A Week at a Time | 12/2/16”