Self-care ideas

Ideas and inspiration about the need to care for ones self

Letting Love

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I hope you are having a good week. It seems that everything is magnified this time of year…the push and rush, the pressure to create a good Christmas for our families, the need to exercise amidst a crazy schedule, the need for rest and regular good meals, etc.

But I’d say that the thing we need more intensely right now more than anything else is to let ourselves feel the love we have. The love we have for God and the gift of His Son as we celebrate Christmas. The love we have for ourselves that moves us to care for our well being. The love we have for our spouse that makes it possible to be gracious and understanding when things are difficult. The love we have for our children that prompts us to act with their best interests in mind, which may translate into enforcing bedtime and give us the oomph to continue to make simple and nourishing meals for them, to limit the treats and continue with quiet times and naps.

It is interesting how we can get love mixed up! We love, therefore we:
encourage
forgive
try again
support
say no
show affection freely
listen with our full attention

Not,
indulge
ignore
remove boundaries
neglect (to free up OUR time)
rant, scape goat
neglect our needs so that we are irritable and possibly resentful (wish I had never done this!)

The party is only as fun as we are feeling well. Even in, no especially in times of pressure, our kids need our boundaries.

Remember, the the key words:

Kind
Gentle
Respectful

Firm

I wish you a health and happiness as you continue to hone your skills. It surely takes time and practice! I’m still practicing and I’d guess I will be for the rest of my days.

Be well my friend!

Jacque

 

 

 

The Uniform

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I was talking to a young mother the other day about a “homemaker uniform.” Or at least what worked well for me! It seems to be a source of frustration to some to be conflicted about looking nice or in other words, not feeling “grungy” and yet wearing clothes that support the shear physical work out that caring for children and maintaining a home.

Here are a few thoughts in hindsight:

It’s important to be clean. There is clarity and discernment and reverence and calm in keeping ones person clean!  It’s where self care begins and it shows self respect and puts you on the right foot for a happy day. If you have time before the household is moving and shaking to get yourself showered and groomed, it’s as if you put on a pair of glasses for the day that make the world look hospitable. (If you’ve gotten good rest before that, the world looks even brighter!)

Wear comfortable clothes. Whether that means wearing athletic shoes (a very good choice!) and a well fitting T-shirt and jeans (my particular young child phase choice), or even a nice shirt and comfortable khakis, you need to be able to move. And, you need to be able to get dirty. Babies spit up and blow out and floors need washing and gardens need weeding. It’s wonderful to be able bend and stretch and run and respond to what the day calls for.

Do you have a functional apron? I love mine. I have four or five that I rotate. Pockets are a must! You can put odds and ends in them while you’re cleaning or they can hold the eggs you gather or the herbs you cut or your small garden shovel. Mostly, an apron saves you from having to get spots out of your clothes after you stir spaghetti sauce or turn a roast or mix up a cake.

Simple jewelry, simple make-up, and you can feel nice but not worried about spoiling anything or about taking much of your time to maintain.

Mostly, consider the motherly, feminine attractiveness of a happy and pleasant countenance. Everything you do to bring a smile to your own face and to cultivate your own cheerfulness will pay dividends for the welfare of your family. If taking a walk will lighten your spirit, take it. If stopping to quiet your thoughts, to pray for strength, to visit with a friend, to be mindful of your neighbor, do it. Do all you can to help yourself and then draw your family to you with your kindness.

I hope you are breathing and present in your Christmas preparations.

Sending you my love and best wishes!

Jacque

Heartburn Remedy-Tis the Season!

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For heartburn or acid reflux: Here’s a very simple solution.

8-10 oz of water
2 Tablespoons Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

The soda and vinegar will fizz when you mix them, so just stir it or swish it in the glass to make sure the soda gets dissolved.

If I drink this 2-3 times a day when I feel symptomatic, within a few days, the symptoms are gone. Make sure you use Bragg’s. It is superior to any other brand! (I know because I tried several others and they didn’t work!)

I challenge you to research the benefits of ACV for yourself. There are many!

I wish you a healthy holiday season full of self-care; hot baths, good food and restful sleep!

Love,

Jacque

P.S. I offer this remedy with full faith that it will be helpful, but of course you are responsible for your own health choices. Be well!

 

The Burden of Babylon

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A little preaching to the choir today! I know that you know, but just for clarity-sake, let’s kick this around…

“Neurotic: to be in conflict.”  {Erica Komisar, Being There; Why Prioritizing Motherhood in the First Three Years Matters}

I would add, to be confused about what will truly give you the validation and fulfillment you hope for in life! Which is much of the inferred content of Komisar’s book, and has given me much food for thought!

Is it really going to make me happier if I can say I earn as much money as my husband, because women are supposed to prove their equality? Will it lead to better outcomes for my children’s future if I can have newer cars or a flashier wardrobe or maybe the prestige of a promotion in my career? Reading this book has led me to thinking about the “why’s” of the societal illness she describes where children are increasingly set aside and as a result, are increasingly troubled with mental illness and eating disorders. The reasons we have swung from mothers caring for their children to a society looking to government or work-sponsored daycare making a pitiful attempt to secure social, emotional and psychological (not to mention spiritual) health, in up and coming generations. I’d like to offer a few thoughts about why we are seeing, “neurotic repetition” in generations. (If this is all sounding too intense or serious, I’ll say that the statistics for children opting out of life by suicide are staggering. This alone demands our attention!)

The short answer is that as a society we aren’t looking for and thus finding win/win solutions for families. That’s our job my friends! And I believe that perspective can only be achieved if the conversation begins with the health and well-being of children being at the center, or in other words, if we create a child-centric paradigm. The discussions would begin with, what is best for the children? Is it best for them to have a primary care-giver to whom they can connect and receive neurological, emotional, physical, social and spiritual support? Is it best for children to have a mother and a father? Is it crucial for children to have a woman/mother because women and men are different? Is it best for children to have their biological parents available to them to love and be loved by? Do women have to lose so that children can win? Could it be that when children win, women win too? So why, as a society, are we not asking these crucial questions and answering them honestly with our adult decisions and behavior?

We have to get clear on what is fulfilling. Healthy. Building. Sustainable. Validating, which ultimately means, what connects us to God, to ourselves, to our family members and friends.

We’ve taken a detour, while attempting to correct the status of women in society. To correct the status did not require women behaving as men. Or women giving up womanliness (lest there be nothing of unique, feminine value to defend!) What a burden it has become for women to be torn in half seeking to prove themselves in battle and the workforce, while straining themselves to bear children with their bodies and then deny themselves the experience that giving birth offers them by nursing that child and spending years protecting, guiding, nurturing and teaching that child: creating a resilient family, which then creates a resilient society. A very validating process I must say.

So society at large is screaming that women must have “it all, and it all at once,” in order to claim their rightful place, and the women I know are simply wanting to be validated as women in society in general, and in the family specifically. We’ve literally created a neurotic society when it comes to women’s roles. What a burden to be confused and unhappy, when we could relax and enjoy our children! “A long-term longitudinal study on happiness and living a good life at Harvard University followed 724 men over seventy-seven years to understand what makes people happy. The conclusion: It wasn’t money, power, and fame that made people happy, but relationships.”¹

It seems to me that this pattern is continuing because with each successive, evermore disconnected generation, the validation we seek as human beings is one generation further from reach. If you were a young girl whose mother lacked connection with her mother (and so on) you may be searching high and low for that connection. But society says, in order to realize your potential and take your place in the world, you must get back to work, you must get back to the right size, you must make you and your goals the top priority. “The underlying work culture sends the message that if you’re really committed, you’re here all the time.” ² But alas, with that hungry, adult-centric mindset, we proliferate another disconnection. And the hunger gets bigger.

Let’s break it down. Being ‘validation starved’ isn’t pretty because it makes us ravenous and taking, self-seeking and self-centered black holes of need. Ha! And aren’t there many ways that a person can become starved? Lacking connection with those who are meant to be our caregivers? Receiving, instead of protection and care, criticism and conditional affection and support? And worse, in some cases, being victimized, when out of the care of our parents? “There has been an increase of 400 percent in mental illness in children and adolescents in the past decade.”³

Then when that child grows up, what does her hungry heart do? Whatever it takes! Our culture says you can get admiration and kudos (pseudo validation) for having a great job, car or the latest clothes? Gotta make more money! Our culture says that “stuff” is what makes you worth something, so we pile it on! And the competition and stress that comes from comparing is amplified and stratified and categorized and hyped! What a burden to place our value on things. “If a very young child’s environment–which is their mother–impacts their mental health, then it doesn’t matter whether that mother lives in a $2 million apartment on Park Avenue, in a suburban colonial outside of Chicago, in a mobile home in Alabama, or in public housing in Detroit if she is emotionally and physically present.”4

All this = Pride+Materialism+Selfishness≠Real Validation

Upcoming:
more conversations about Real Validation;
ways to make one income work if at all possible;
ways to connect with your most important people;
ways to grow yourself and your goals while you are growing children;
etc.

We get one shot at this moment, let’s understand what is at stake and let’s make it work!

I’m right behind you cheering as loudly as I can! You’re doing great things!

Love,

Jacque

¹ Erica Komisar, page 193

²Erica Komisar, page 192

³Erica Komisar, page 203

4Erica Komisar, page 167

Time for Climate Change?

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“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element.  It is my personal approach that creates the climate.  It is my daily mood that makes the weather.  I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.  In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse.  If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”

“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”

“Love does not dominate, it cultivates!”

Johann Wonlfgang von Goethe

I love these quotes! {Thank you for sharing Becky!}

What do you need to change?

Will it make the future brighter for those you love?

If you need motivation, think of them!

Love,

Jacque