In September of 2020, after months of feeling burnt out, I wrote a post about what self care means to me. Since then, I’ve continued on that journey and enjoy prioritizing my mental health. Because so much has changed in the last year, I decided I would write about how I’m doing with my self care journey. I’m sharing some things that have helped me in case they might give you ideas too! Every journey is different and what works for me might not work for you, but I’ve found that learning about other people’s self care has inspired me to keep working on my own. This season of life we’re all in is difficult to navigate and taking care of ourselves will continue to be so important. I’d love it if you’d share what you’ve been doing to take care of yourself in the comments below! Let’s support each other!
Recognizing My Own Limitations
It has never been easy for me to accept help, but I’ve come to recognize how important it is. When I need a break, I ask for one. I let Jon take care of the dishes some nights (this is hard for me because it means I have to let go of ”my way” of doing things!). I go for walks by myself or take time on the weekends to run solo errands. Knowing my limits and working with Jon to help me make time for myself has been so helpful.
Simplifying My Life
Reading books that make me happy is super simple and has brought me so much joy. If there’s a book I’m not enjoying, no matter how far into the book I am, I stop. Nobody has time to read books they don’t love! I’ve also really leaned in to the genres I enjoy most. I joke that I don’t like reading books that make me feel things, but really I just don’t like being sad. If a book even seems like it could be a tear-jerker, I steer clear. Here’s my latest list of books I’ve read! Some I loved, some I reeeeeeeally didn’t like.
Making a list of all the meals I make to simplify meal planning is super helpful in giving me fewer things to think about every week. I create two-week meal plans using the list I have of 60+ meals I can make without much effort. A non-self-care benefit is that it reduces extra trips to the store and saves money by allowing me to be strategic about using ingredients in more than one meal. If it would be helpful to see a post on how I do this, let me know and I’d be happy to write one!
Making Time for Relationships
Making time to be present in my marriage is so important to me. Jon and I have such a solid foundation and a wonderful marriage, but I feel like there’s always room for improvement. I started following Vanessa Marin on Instagram and her content is just so fantastic. She’s a sex and relationship therapist who has such amazing ideas for connecting with your partner. So much of her content is free and the purchases we’ve made from her have been incredibly helpful. She and her husband make a taboo topic interesting and comfortable in a totally relatable way. Jon and I have talked about things we’ve never discussed before (and that’s saying something since we’ve been together almost 15 years!). I highly recommend following her.
Making time for making friends is very difficult. After all, we haven’t been able to get out and meet people for the last 2 years! It’s not easy to make friends as an adult, but it’s worth the effort. We’ve made some new friends through our church in the last 9 or so months. That has been incredibly helpful in reducing how isolated I feel. I also try to make time for texts and phone dates with friends who don’t live near us, which is essential in keeping up with those relationships.
Having Confidence in My Appearance
Donating clothes that don’t fit/I don’t wear anymore and shopping my closet is surprisingly important to my self care journey. I love getting dressed, but sometimes it’s difficult to feel motivated to look cute. Eliminating clothes I don’t wear helps me get dressed quicker, requires me to be more creative with what I do have, and makes me feel better about myself.
Following people on social media with similar body types to mine is a fun way I’ve gotten some great outfit inspiration. My absolute favorite curvy follow is KaMeesha at KaMExplainsItAll. I also love Merrick at MerricksArt. She has a very different body type from mine but she has great instructional reels with all sorts of fashion inspiration.
Getting dressed/ready every day makes a major difference in how I feel about myself. I at least put on mascara and concealer on days I’m just hanging at home. It helps me feel put together, even if I’m just wearing jeans and a tee shirt.
Curating my social media
Following people who are uplifting but also real is a big help in staying positive. Everyday Reading, Kacie Rose, and Busy Toddler are some of my favorites.
Unfollowing people who don’t make me feel good is important to me too. I don’t follow people who I don’t enjoy seeing in my feed every day. If they’re often negative for the sake of being negative/getting people to engage, I’m out. It helps me stay positive to eliminate negativity from what I’m taking in every day.
Limiting screen time is a strategy I’ve used to help my mental health as well. I use the Screen Time feature on my phone to let me know when I’ve reached my limit with certain apps that can be a time suck and try my hardest not to go past it. It has really made me be more aware of how much time I’m spending on my phone.
Overall, I feel like I’m in a much better mental place than I was two years ago. It’s still an ongoing journey, though, and I’m finding new ways all the time to help myself. This journey helps me be a better mom and wife because I’m happier when I make time to prioritize my mental health. How is your self care journey going? What are some things you’ve found that help you maintain your mental health?