Self-care ideas

Ideas and inspiration about the need to care for ones self

It’s A Big Deal!

by

I heard recently that there is a new push, to help parents, particularly mothers, to stop wondering what is wrong with them when they get burned out and can’t run as fast as they think they should, when often, they simply aren’t getting the rest they need and have expectations that would kill a seasoned athlete.

So may I kindly suggest that if you’re going to bed consistently after 10:00-10:30 you’re not getting enough sleep?

There may not be anything wrong with you, maybe you’re just not renewing at night.  Is this a revelation?  Do you go to bed late and have headaches during the day?  Or do you live on 4-5 hours of sleep and think you should be able to feel consistently energetic and run marathons and generally keep up with everyone you compare yourself to?

Friends, self-care habits are a big, big, big deal!  Unless you are an out-lying statistical phenomenon, and function beautifully on four hours of sleep, you’d better shift things up and go to bed earlier if you are struggling with ill health, mental, emotional, spiritual or physical.

Amazingly, for a young mother, sleep is the most coveted commodity, isn’t it?  Then why give it up so easily for something as un-self-care-ish as watching depressing news or scrolling through Facebook or playing a digital game or whatever other time-killing pursuits there are?

As always, if you are noticing that you aren’t functioning well in some way, go back to the basics and see if your life has gotten out of balance in some way.  Ask the difficult, but oh-so-obvious questions:

Am I getting enough sleep? (Shoot for 8 hours! Sorry you nursing moms, the day will come!)

Am I drinking enough water? (For sure when you are thirsty, but shoot for 8 glasses)

Am I eating real food at regular intervals throughout the day?

Am I getting some form of exercise on a daily basis, wether it’s mopping a floor, climbing stairs, walking the dog, pushing a stroller, etc.  (Does NOT need to be in a gym!)

Am I making time for my mind to be quiet? (Meditation and prayer)

Chances are, when these questions can be answered affirmatively, you’ll find that you are feeling pretty well.  Of course there are times when a malfunction occurs and simple re-balancing is not enough.  But in general, we are quite resilient, when our needs are being accknowledged and met.

Oh, and may I add one more suggestion? If you are not making time to be alone with your spouse to enjoy a fulfilling intimate life together, I would highly recommend that you put that on your high priority list and plan for it!  Rest during the day if needs be, don’t over schedule yourself, take time to pamper yourself and then pamper him!  Sex, in a committed long-term relationship is extremely healthy for you in every way possible.  And wow, does it help to make life sweet.

I hope you will take extremely good care of yourself today!

Love,

Jacque

P. S. Another question to ask would be if you may need to recruit some help if you are fighting with some kind of anxiety that is making everything far more difficult than it needs to be.  There are so many helping hands and listening ears out there! If you need it, don’t hesitate to find it.  I have been there and I am so grateful to the professionals who have helped me to unravel those difficult, looping feelings.  My mantra, when I would feel the anxiety starting to rise, became, “Don’t stay there!” And I hope you won’t stay there either. Be well.

 

 

 

Where Are You?

by

I was watching a documentary on owls…yeah, I was a captive audience, not generally my speed.  But I observed something that I think is worth noting as it applies to us as parents:

For some reason, (that I didn’t catch) two baby owls were being raised by two people.  Two very dedicated and capable people.  And with all of their skills and knowledge and passion, the most impressive ability they possessed, in my humble opinion, was their ability to be fully present with their fluffy little wards.

It was stunningly beautiful to watch.

Every time the birds did the tiniest thing that showed they were making some kind of progress, or that they were even just simply enjoying themselves, the two care-givers responded with great delight!  And I noticed that the only way it was possible for them to be so fully engaged and observant, was the fact that they were fully present.

It occurred to me that those little partly feathered, kind of uglyish stage birds, were receiving quite a bit MORE undivided attention than possibly the majority of children in our country are given.

And why?  If I think of myself as the parent of young children, I’d have to say that sheer busyness or even mental working (as in the time I spent trying to figure out a challenge), but you know that was a long old time ago!  What in the world would have happened if I could have had the ability to search the Internet?  Not to mention having social media at my finger tips???

Now a balancing thought: Am I suggesting that parents need to be totally present with their children every minute of every day?  No way!  That would also be a recipe for disaster.  So, please don’t let your mental pendulum swing to that extreme.  I’m simply talking about moving the pendulum closer to the middle, as I have observed, in myself and others, that has swung to an unhealthy extreme.

You lovely young mothers have a massive, literally mind blowing potential challenge to your ability to be present at home.  It is hard to even quantify it in my mind.

Hence, it seems to me that this is one of the facets of your life that is screaming for you to be fiercely decisive.  If you will be in charge of what you allow to grasp your attention, you will change generations. Generations.

If anyone can do it, you can.  I have no doubt.

I’d love to hear your plans.  Go ahead and keep being your inspiring self.

All my respect and love,

Jacque

P. S. The parting narration in the owl documentary was the guardians, smiling and saying how happy, confident and smart their owls turned out to be.

P.P.S. There’s a really big potential problem that may be shooting your deliberate attention-giving in the foot.

If so, do you know what that is for you?  May I share that if you are feeling invalidated yourself, that it’s pretty difficult to give it to others.  If you can recognize this issue in yourself, you are in a powerful place, good for you! You can now, alone or with some assistance, make a plan to shift your situation.  Yes, you can shift it.  And yes, sincere, profound prayer and general self-care is a large part of that shift, but in intense cases, please consider asking for professional help.

How do you know if yours might be an intense case? Pay attention to “where you are” during a notmal day.  Make notes.  Also makes notes about how you feel as well.

This issue does not mean that you are a bad mother.  Listen to that again; having this challenge does not mean that you are a subpar parent.  But as a Lioness, it does mean that you have some work to do.  And I’m here to say, YOU CAN.  This is your life, there is only one you and you were born to succeed.

xo

My Delight

by

I think I’ve done a lot of waiting.  Thinking that there will be some exciting “thing” coming up.  Some event.  Some opportunity.  It strikes me again today that there is no need to wait. Every day with my people is the event.  And if I’m awake and aware, I can drink in their faces and their goodness.  I can delight in the funny things they say and the ways they serve each other.

I have learned that loving what is now, makes for a happy life.  If it is a messy moment, I can love it.  If it is a garage full of a child’s belongings (while they resettle) I can love that.  If it is a half an hour to write my thoughts in my journal, or a beautiful song on the radio or the grass greening up outside, I can love this moment.

May you have many, many moments of loving your life, no matter what that means today.

God speed,

Jacque

Happy, Healthy…Dead

by

My friend Linda sent me a funny email that said, “Won’t all of those health nuts feel silly when they are lying in the hospital dying of nothing?”

What is the goal of taking care of ourselves, when in the end we will all die one way or another? (Ha ha, no this isn’t going to be permission to eat a big bowl of sugary ice cream before bed each night!)

May I suggest, without sounding too morbid, that the goal is to get to our appointed time, and just go?  Not to linger for years, suffering needlessly with some condition that could have been prevented?

Case in point: Obesity, (and all the attendant problems that come with it) is preventable. Type 2 diabetes is preventable.  Heart disease is preventable. And you know, you don’t just die of these ailments, more often it’s like going in pieces.  Ugh. Not to mention that there are certainly so many health issues we can’t control that can cause us grief, no need to go asking for more!

So why are so many in our society suffering from these things, and for many years in some cases, before it actually kills them?

That is the question of the century.  And I think the answer is complicated, but also simple in a way.

Here are a few thoughts. First, we are running too fast.  I know that seems so achingly obvious to many of us and yet we’re still running to keep up with a media-driven reality!  We have got to slow down. We have got to stop taking counsel from those who want to sell us happiness!

Seems also that as a society, that more-is-better and keep-up-with-the-Jones’s ideology acts as a drug that keeps us from thinking clearly.  It’s like stumbling around in a fog of expectations and deadlines that may or may not be leading us to the destination we want. Busyness is a modern drug of choice.  It swirls us up in chasing but never catching, in time-consuming but often not life-giving or goal-reaching.

That stupor, half awake kind of frantic living, also numbs us; keeps us from even setting deliberate goals; keeps us from deliberate change and therefore we go along, with the thought that sometime soon we’ll really get serious about what we eat and what stresses we need to tame.  Just not today, because I’m too busy!

I also believe it is because we are terribly misinformed about what constitutes a healthy diet.  And you know, that said, a healthy diet really requires a healthy lifestyle. Else, when are we going to cook?  And exercise?  And breathe? And build relationships?

Making the changes we know we need to make takes a lot of courage, and support too. But making healthy change is worth it!  And asking for support is so, so smart.

And who knows, doing what we need to do may mean that we can be going along happy and healthy, and then when it is our time, die.  Not a lingering, terrible death, little by little, but rather, just live until we die.

Oh, I wish that on us all!

Jacque

Fight Sister! Fight!

by

How goes the war?

You know, the one that is being waged for your attention, for your sanity, for your confidence, for your focus, for your life?

So who’s winning today?  Are the whisperings you’re hearing those of encouragement and strength?  Are you listening to the voice that says, guard your hope with everything you’ve got?

Or are you attending to the cutting, damaging voice that says, see they don’t like you! What’s the use?  You’ve tried this before and you might as well give up now.

Man, just writing those words brings out the mother bear in me!  How dare those evil words be spoken in the ears of the sweet and the good?

All I can say is that you and I are waging a war and we’d better be determined to win the small, minute to minute battles that happen silently, almost without our realization.  The little, almost imperceptible moments when a shadow crosses our minds and leaves us feeling unsettled and we don’t know why.

Remember, we can go backward from a bad feeling to find the thoughts that preceded it and work them forward again.  Speak the truth about yourself!  Defend yourself!  Defend your spouse and defend your children!

No!  I will not go down that negative, dead end mental road!  I love my life! I love my spouse!  He is human, and so am I.  I am a good person!  I have much to give and God will enable every good effort I make to count for something.  I claim my happiness!  I am true to myself.  I claim my blessings!

Guard your faith and guard your hope like your life depends upon it.  We were born to win!

Sending you much love today.

Jacque