Health & Wellness, New Mom

How to Have as Much Energy as a Toddler (and then some)

Want enough energy to keep up with your toddler all day and still get your grown up shit done after bedtime?

One of the biggest complaints I hear from new moms when it comes to their health is this: They. Are. Exhausted.

Yeah, we all expected to be a little sleep deprived with a newborn in the house. But as the days drag on and your baby isn’t much of a newborn anymore, that exhaustion doesn’t seem to quit.

In fact, it gets worse.

It seeps into your bones, into every fiber of your being.

You begin to dream of a week in a hotel room, where you can sleep to your heart’s content, get room service, and a nice long shower. (And then the #momguilt sets in because of course you don’t want to escape your kids!)

And your baby is getting older, sleeping better. But you still feel like there aren’t enough pots of coffee to get through the day.

Waking up in the morning feeling like you could sleep another 8 hours sucks. Going through life as a #mombie sucks. And this level of exhaustion feeds into Post Baby Burnout, which also sucks.

So let’s fix that, shall we?

There can be several surprising reasons why you’re dragging ass every day.

Here are the most common (and what you can do about them).

Stress is Wearing You Out

When we are in the thick of birthing and raising babies, it is really easy for chronic stress to kick in. I describe Post Baby Burnout in detail here and here, but you probably already know what it is. 

Once we are chronically stressed, exhaustion easily sets in. Our bodies are constantly pumping out the hormones cortisol (which is the one that wakes us up in the mornings) and adrenaline (the one that makes our heart pump fast). Raising your heart rate, increasing your breathing, and pumping extra blood into your muscles. And all this constant biological activity uses up a lot of energy. Which in turn, makes you feel tired.

Finding a way to permanently lower your stress levels is the best answer here. But we know that can take a lot of habit and lifestyle changes. So in the meantime, you can lower your stress levels by taking a 15 minute walk outside, taking 2 minutes to deep breathe like this, or spending 5 minutes meditating.

You’re Overfed and Undernourished

We live in a society where food is abounding, but the actual nutrients in most of that food are limited. This means that unless we are intentional with what we eat, we often consume too many calories but not enough nutrients.

This combo makes us tired (and messes with our waistline). We use energy to store the extra calories, while we don’t have enough nutrients to fuel our biology. Our bodies respond by trying to adapt, which can mean lowering our overall energy output to match the nutrition that is coming in. It also further increases our stress levels! 

So how do we fix this? Begin to look at food as something you need to function well throughout the day. Look for foods that pack in as many vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients per bite as you can. When we switch to measuring food by the amount of nutrition each bit contains (rather than some other calorie measurement), we begin to give ourselves the gas we need to get through our high demand days.

Don’t fill your tank with the cheap dirty gas girl. You were built for premium.

Your Sleep Quality is Crappy

There are only so many hours in a day, and with a newborn or even a toddler around, it can be hard to get a lot of sleep. But when the few hours of shut-eye that you do get are not restorative, then it’s a double whammy for exhaustion.

Yes, the quality of your sleep matters as much as the quantity. 

Most people don’t realize they are not getting good quality sleep. We assume that if we don’t wake up or have nightmares, we’re fine. But there is plenty of evidence that shows we can have poor sleep cycles even without waking up a lot. Things like the light from our phones, the temperature of the room, and how much wine we had all can cause us to sleep poorly.

So what can you do? The simplest is to avoid any screens after sunset (or at least an hour before bed). And yes, that includes not scrolling on your phone if you have to wake up to feed the baby in the middle of the night. The light emitted by screens causes our “wake up” hormones to surge and our sleep hormones to drop off, which means you won’t get the deep sleep you need to feel rested.

You’re on a Diet

We already talked about why the quality of your food matters so much, but the quantity also has an effect on your energy levels. If you’ve been on a restrictive diet for a while, this may be the cause of your exhaustion.

When we restrict calories, our bodies think we are living in a time of famine and respond in a way to keep us alive for as long as possible. Our brain and thyroid work together to lower the energy output of our biological functions.

What’s that mean in everyday speak? Our hormones make us tired, so we expend less energy.  

And if you’ve been on a low carb diet for a while, the effect can be amplified (especially if you are still breastfeeding). 

Changing to a higher nutrient and more balanced diet will do amazing things for your energy levels in this case. And there’s an added bonus: you will often begin to lose weight again once you add better calories back in!

These are the most common reasons why my clients have been feeling more tired than they should, and some of the ways we have worked together to get them their energy back. There can be other reasons behind your exhaustion, of course, so if you want additional help figuring out what steps to take to get your energy back, let me know! I’m happy to chat with you about it.

I know that exhaustion is often a new mom badge of honor. But staying tired is preventing you from functioning at your best. So let’s say screw the badges and use the list above to get ourselves out of the tiredness cycle. Deal?

Health & Wellness, New Mom, nutrition

#momlife Sucks Sometimes and I’m Not Afraid to Say It

Sometimes, #momlife sucks. I said what I said.

You get stuck in a rut. The groundhog day of never ending snack making, butt wiping, mess cleaning, tantrum bearing, fight stopping, UGH

You wake up before you feel rested. Usually by a toddler with so much energy they’re already bouncing off the walls and whining for breakfast. 

So you move like a zombie out of bed and throw on some clothes (nevermind the inner dialogue about nothing fitting your post baby bod and never looking cute). Down to the kitchen to make something for the kiddo. Hopefully you get a bite to eat too, or at least a sip or two of cold coffee?

Then it’s an attempt to wipe the kid’s faces and hands before they track jelly all over the living room. And a frantic 5 minutes of cleaning up the kitchen and putting away food before you’re called to take care of something else.

During the week, we’re packing lunches and backpacks and rushing off to daycare and work. We’ve already gone through a mental workout before we’re even in the car, making sure we didn’t forget one of the 100’s of things needed for school, daycare, or our own jobs. (Pump parts, check. Bottles, check. Bring a stuffed animal to school day, check.)

Then spend the day doing more at work in fewer hours than most. Trying to stay professional and not get mommy-tracked because we have to take pumping breaks. Missing our kids and vowing to be more patient when we get home. Wondering “what happened to the woman who was totally on top of her shit?”. Wondering if there is something really wrong with us, because we know our brain is just not firing on all cylinders like it used to.

By the time we’ve finished underperforming for the day, we rush home to cranky and overtired kids. Rush through the daycare and after school care pickups. Break the vow to be more patient by the fifth time you have to repeat yourself about doing homework or picking up toys. 

Too tired and brain dead to make a “good” dinner, so you throw things together and hope for the best. Kids complain. Great.

Then it’s the rush through the bedtime routine. Hopefully we aren’t too irritated with everyone to enjoy the 5 minutes of storytime and snuggles before the kids get in bed. Hopefully they stay in bed and it doesn’t take an hour+ to get the baby to sleep.

Maybe at this point we are so done we crash in bed ourselves. But more likely, we push through and get to cleaning up the dinner mess, pay some bills, or take care of some more work stuff.

Maybe we actually get a glass of wine and stay up too late scrolling through social media or watching a TV show.

Then we get in bed, full of regrets for how the days go, how we didn’t “enjoy” every moment with our kids, how we are not the mom we want to be and not the employee we want to be. Don’t even start on the friend and spouse we want to be…

Just to do it all over again when we’re woken up too early tomorrow. Groundhog Day, repeats.

Yeah, going through this definitely sucks. And admitting that doesn’t make you a “bad mom.” It doesn’t make you ungrateful. Wondering “is this it? Cause I don’t think I like this life” makes you human, not evil.

You know that things should be less stressful and more joyful than this. But you really can’t seem to get your head above water. You feel guilty for not being able to figure it out.

Here’s the deal. It’s always harder to find your way out when you’re in the thick of it. A mouse has a hard time finding its way out of the maze when the walls are taller than it is. 

But someone who is above the maze can clearly see the way out, and call out directions to the mouse to get it out faster.

I’m going to call out directions for you.

It starts with food.

Yup the food you’re eating. (Probably don’t like that answer, huh.) Your overall nutrition is the key to getting out of the overwhelm and getting control back in your life.

Food. Not pills or supplements.

When we’re in the rat race, stuck in the overwhelm, and always feeling a step behind, we’re in a constant state or reactionary stress. And that low grade, chronic stress does a number on our bodies. We deplete several essential nutrients faster when we are under a chronic stress load.

When you layer a less than nutritious diet on top of that, you end up with a recipe for some serious problems. Leaving your body without the nutrients it needs to function amplifies the exhaustion, the overwhelm, and the inability to think straight.

All of which feed into the overwhelm cycle, keeping you stuck.

So focusing on fruits and veggies may seem like a counterintuitive path out of the overwhelm maze. But it’s the fastest way to the finish. 

Start with food. Focus on as many whole veggies and fruits that you can. Focus on high quality protein sources and whole food carbohydrates. Cut back on the packaged, processed, and sugar foods.

You have to eat. It’s literally the one thing that you can’t not do. So why not make it work for you instead of against you? 

If the thought of changing your diet to something that is more nutrient rich is overwhelming, that’s ok! I have so many moms tell me they just have no idea where to start. 

If you want directions out of the maze, I’m here to call them out to you.

I’m here to help moms figure out how to make this a seamless and effortless part of their lives. Because it actually does take a village, and supporting other women in becoming the badass moms they know they can be is what lets us all live better lives.

I am more than willing to chat with you and get you on the right track. So feel free to contact me and I’ll give you 30 minutes to figure out the right first step for you.

We’re in this together. Let’s make things suck just a little less.

Health & Wellness, New Mom, nutrition

Burned Out as a New Mom? It’s a thing.

New Mom Burnout. 

It’s something that I went through, and it blows. But I wasn’t sure if it was just me.

So I recently asked my friends what they thought it was. 

“It’s when you’ve hit the maximum capacity as a human being caring for everyone but yourself.”

She’s lost herself in becoming a mom and she feels like she is constantly on the back burner. She feels like she doesn’t have time for herself/selfcare/hobbies, she can’t disconnect from her role as a mom or the mental load of carrying the family “admin” and all that comes with it. 

She’s also working full time on top of that. Usually a top performer at work, but has felt “off her game” since coming back from maternity leave and keeps wondering “What is wrong with me? My brain just isn’t working right anymore!!” 

She has so much mom guilt that even if she got a tiny bit of time to herself, she feels like she should be spending it with her kids because “they’re only little for so long” and “babies don’t keep” and “enjoy those times because they go so fast” or whatever other cliche she hears all the time. [It’s like paralysis to do anything she thinks would help make her feel better.]

 

And finally, she feels like a stranger in her own body. She’s exhausted, feeling flabby and bleh “like I’m not pregnant anymore, now I’m just fat.” Hormonal swings are awful and sometimes even scary (“Who WAS that person???”). She dreads having to look in the mirror, is terrified of having to spend a ton of money on a new wardrobe, and just wants a piece of pre pregnancy clothing to fit and look flattering again. 

Any of that sound familiar? I could see myself in all of it. So the good thing is that I wasn’t alone in my experience.

The sad thing is that this is the experience for so many of us. And we are all trying to claw our way out of it. We’re all being told that if we were just a little better at this self care thing, we’d be better everywhere else. 

But then comes the weird paralysis to do anything that we think would make us feel better, because of the time it takes away from everything else.

What if I told you that the ultimate form of self care actually doesn’t require an additional second spent? It doesn’t have to be something that is hard or extra.

I’ve talked about it before on many a podcast or interview: the ultimate form of self care is the food we put into our bodies.

Our biology requires a certain level of nutrition to function correctly. But we live in a society that is overfed and undernourished. So we go through life in a constant state of too many calories and too few nutrients, setting ourselves up for extra pounds, exhaustion, and overwhelm. 

When we take the care to make sure the food we are fueling our days with is packed full of nutrition, we are giving ourselves the ultimate form of self care. 

We already have to eat. Food preparation and eating is time that will always be spent. So let’s make sure we choose food that gives us more than it takes.

When we start to focus on nutritious foods, our bodies begin to replenish nutrients that were depleted in pregnancy, breastfeeding, and via the general stress of life. They begin to function better. And with the better function, we begin to be able to show up in the way we want to in life.

Bodies that are nourished can run around after crazy toddlers without feeling slow and winded. Bodies that are nourished can be infinitely more patient with our kids’ emotions, because keeping our own in check isn’t a struggle. Bodies that are nourished can begin to release extra fat stores, because the biological process to burn that off has the right elements to do so.

And none of this has to be hard. Like I said, we have to eat anyway. It’s a myth that nutritious food takes longer to make than pre-packaged crap. You can grab an apple, a cutie, or a banana in the same amount of time it takes to grab a sugary energy bar.

So if you’re there in the trenches of Post Baby Burnout, start with food. It is the fastest way out.

Want to learn exactly how to do it?

Contact me and I’ll show you.

Health & Wellness, New Mom, Uncategorized

Time for an Awkward Conversation

Well, I sort of fell off the face of the earth for the past 8 weeks or so. Not *literally* of course, but my online and blogging presence has been minimal at best. With as much passion that I have about my nutrition coaching and as much joy as I get out of creating meaningful content for you all, it seems especially weird that I just couldn’t muster the time or energy to do ANYTHING.

I feel like I owe an explanation. So its time to have that awkward conversation about… post-weaning depression. (Yes, it’s a thing.)

I’m sure that a lot of you have heard about postpartum depression. While we are learning more about that, post weaning depression is still somewhat of a mystery. There has been little to no scientific study of post-weaning depression, but it’s effects have been reported by many women. The theory is that the sudden drop in prolactin and oxytocin are what causes the depression to kick off.

My last baby self weaned around the end of May. It was such a gradual process and was totally guided by her growing less and less interested. Eventually she was only nursing sporadically a few times a week, then she could go for almost a week between nursing sessions, then only on weekends, then… it just stopped all together. I was a little sad, since this was bringing this chapter of my life to a close. For 5.5 years I had been growing or nourishing another human. I sort of had a “woah, what now?” feeling, but also, I was excited to do some things that I coudn’t do while nursing again (Hello cute sports bras, I’m lookin at you!)img_5409.jpg
And of course post weaning depression wouldn’t effect me! I had my shit together after all. My nutrition was on point, our weaning was gradual over a few months, I do all the healthy, hormone balancing things, this was going to be a non-issue. Of course. (Sarcasm font is used here, in case your device doesn’t have that installed)

It didn’t help that right at the time baby weaned, my day-job took a drastic turn towards the OMGSTRESS direction. Within a week, there were 3 major issues discovered that were my responsibility to fix and a week and a half after that, equipment broke that was also my responsibility to fix. I chalked-up my extra feelings of anxiety and stress to these issues at first. But as time went on, I realized that the way I was feeling wasn’t right. It was “off” and I coudn’t figure out why.

I was having drastic mood swings. I was incredibly irritable. I was anxious, close to tears, and apathetic all at the same time. I was finding it hard to even get out of bed in the morning or to do everyday normal tasks (like brushing my teeth took ALL THE EFFORT, for example). I was zombie-ing my way through every day, and the sheer amount of effort it took to do anything with a semblance of “normal” made it almost impossible to do things that required additional effort (like cooking, cleaning, laundry, groceries, exercising, all of my normal activities). I mentioned the weirdness to some good friends of mine and it went like this:

Me: vent about being so totally stressed at work

Friends: general empathy and also, you just weaned and your hormones are probably whack right now

Me: nah, it was gradual and ended a few weeks ago. Definitely not the hormones.

Then a couple weeks later, it went like this:

Me: VENT about this BULLSH*T at work and I am SO STRESSED I’m not being healthy

Friends: more empathy but also, you JUST weaned and your hormones are whack right now…

Me: No I’m fine, I will flip it around and be 100% better in the morning…

And finally, last week it went like this:

Me: OMG THIS JOB THIS SRESS WHY THE HELL DO I FEEL LIKE A CRAZY PERSON WTF IS WRONG WITH ME AND WHY CAN’T I STOP CRYING

Friends: All the empathy. You’re starting to scare us, are you talking with someone (counseling) about this?? Also YOU JUST WEANED.

Me: Holy shit, can this be hormone induced?

Post-weaning depression is a thing. While I thought that I was going to miss it entirely, due to being generally healthy going into weaning, I was definitely not immune. Looking back at my history with the super strong and unexpected hormonal effects that my first pregnancy had on me, as well as my mild PPD the first time and my initial struggles to breastfeed, it makes sense that I am going through this. My body in general takes a long time to adapt to drastic hormone changes.

Emotional and mental effects due to changing hormones is considered a taboo topic, and honestly there is still a small part of me that thinks “these things shouldn’t be discussed” or “these things can’t be real.” But the truth is that they are very real and there definitely isn’t enough discussion or resources for help with these topics. So here I am, writing this blog and hoping that maybe, someone in my shoes will find it. If you are going though this know that you aren’t crazy or uncontrolled, you aren’t the only one, and there are things you can do to combat post-weaning depression.

#1 Dial in on Your Nutrition

When you are feeling emotional and down, often the first thing we do is to seek out the comfort foods that aren’t the healthiest for us. Unfortunately, these foods only make the problem worse. Things like unhealthy fats, sugar, and caffeine tend to increase our mood swings and make them more severe, as well as making us feel sluggish and generally crappy. The more junky comfort food we eat, the more severe our symptoms are, and it becomes harder and harder to break out of the cycle.

Instead, remind yourself that even though that double shot frappachino is what you REALLY want right now, it will only make you feel worse in the long run. It will only extend this period or hormone rebalancing. If eating a kale salad everyday sounds like too much, focus on the following things: drinking enough water, eating healthy fats, and eating as many veggies as you can.

#2 Get Regular Exercise

In the words of Elle Woods, “Exercising gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” I’m sure you have heard about the link between exercise and improved mental health 10,000 times. As hard as it seems right now, do something to move your body. Go out for a run or go for a walk around the block. Use Amazon prime to do a free yoga session. Go to the gym and crush it with some weights. Whatever it is you can do, do it.

#3 Establish Regular Sleep and Wake Times

Getting enough sleep is absolutely critical for hormone regulation, among all of the other health benefits linked to sleep. I know that “enough”sleep never seems to happen, especially when you have such young kiddos around. So the next best thing that you can do it to make sure you go to bed and get up at the same time. Every. Day.

I actually have to get up at the same time every day (thank you early-rising 4 year old!) and that time is godawful early. So to help in the sleep regulation department, I’ve actually set an alarm on my phone for 8 hours before my wake-up time. That’s right, an alarm to go to bed. Sticking to a regular (and somewhat early) bedtime did wonders for helping to regulate my mood swings.

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#4 Control and Reduce Stress

Again, this seems like a really hard task to do when you have tiny humans to look after. It feels especially hard when you are going through post weaning depression. But controlling and reducing the stressors in your life give you a huge advantage in beating the post weaning blues.

When we are stressed, our bodies are in that notorious “fight or flight” mode, which is causing our adrenal glands to pump out adrenaline and cortisol (which are both hormones). What you may not know is that the adrenals also produce other hormones besides these two famous ones. When your body is in the fight or flight response, all of the “non essential” tasks get put on the back burner, including the production and regulation of other non-emergency hormones. Reducing your stress levels allows your body to begin to focus on other things, like regulating your post weaning hormones correctly.

#5 Ask For Help

This is the one tip that I didn’t want to follow. I didn’t want to admit that there was something off with me. I didn’t want to be a drama queen or a burden. I was afraid that people would laughter at me and say I was crazy or making things up. But overall, admitting to myself that post-weaning depression was real, and that I likely had it was the first and biggest step in moving back to normal. Letting my husband and friends know about it was the next big step (also, surprise, they had already figured it out!).

If you have a close friend you can talk to, talk to them. Reach out to your significant other and your family. You can also talk with your primary care doctor or your OB if you are worried about the reaction of your friends and family. You can reach out to a counselor. Just reach out, you’ll be so grateful you did.

Here are some additional resources on post-weaning depression:

Kelly mom

BellyBelly

The Hardest Two Months of My Life

My Experience with Post Weaning Depression

Health & Wellness, Uncategorized

Self Care and the High Maintenance Myth

It’s been a busy month since my last post! Work at the Day-Job continues to move at a crazy pace, we took a (well deserved) family vacation, and school with IIN is in full swing. July has brought me to some high highs but also a few very low lows where I began to wonder if I could handle it all. It seemed like this month was such a delicate balancing act, where the slightest upset or deviation from the plan would spiral out of control and rather than bounce back quickly, I would find that I had wallowed in the slop for hours or days.

I’m sure that so many of you new and/or soon-to-be moms out there can relate to this. In a world of busy we end up being so over scheduled that a single problem had a domino effect, which in turn makes any little thing become a huge stressor in our lives. We end up having our lives run us, rather than running our lives. We just want the power to pause time for a minute, an hour, or even a day so that we can take a second to come up for air.

I’ve come to the realization that I actually don’t want to be running my life, I want to be enjoying my life. This goes back to the vision I have for our family: to build a life that we don’t need a vacation from. I thought about this phrase a lot while we were on our much needed vacation. I was so tightly wound up before leaving that it took me over a week to finally truly relax for the first time! (A week and 12 hours to be exact.) That realization hit me like a ton of bricks. What have I been doing to myself? To my kids and husband, if I’m THAT stressed out???

On the way home, I was determined to find a solution to the stress. Not a sit-on-top-of-a-mountain-and-meditate type of solution. Not an up-your-organization-and-hustle-to-get-more-out-of-your-time solution. Something that could be implemented today. Something that would not add an additional stressful to-do item to my already overflowing list. Something that would provide immediate and tangible results.

I’ve begun to take a two pronged approach to tame the stress: self-care and cognitive remodeling/mental positivity (which I think may actually be two sides to the same coin). I’ll leave the mental positivity/cognitive remodeling to another post and focus on the self-care aspect here.

Now often when we first read the words self-care, not very positive images come to mind. You may think of some prissy, high-maintenance person who “needs” her mani-pedi and $6 latte. You may think of someone who spends 2 hours daily doing their shower, hair, and makeup. In general, media images of self-care evoke someone who lives in a bubble: either in a penthouse on 5th avenue or in a yoga monastery. It’s construed that self care is a privilege for other people, or that it is actually a way of justifying being selfish, or that it is done by someone who isn’t real and doesn’t have “real-life” to deal with. It’s even depicted as something that only someone with privilege can have (and then enter in all of the reasons why having this privilege should make you feel like a bad person). Who wants to be high-maintenance? We should all strive to be the opposite, right.

My image of self-care is changing. It is actually the opposite of high maintenance. It is an essential thing for a healthy life, especially for us new and or soon-to-be moms. Self-care is the equivalent of putting on your oxygen mask before you help others with theirs. No one demonizes the oxygen mask, or the need for one. Self care also absolutely does NOT have to be any of the images portrayed by social media (or media in general). If baths and massages are you thing and you make the time for them, then more power to you! But self-care can be anything, at anytime, that helps you to de-stress and lower your cortisol levels: 2 minutes of deep breathing, a 5 minute walk, dancing like crazy in your car to your favorite song… anything.

But the most important thing about self-care (and I’ve found this is the way it actually begins to benefit you the most) is to be consistent in implementing it. This may sound like another thing to add to your to-do list, but here is what I’ve learned: self-care actually helps you to trim down and effectively handle that to-do list. The return on investment for a few minutes of self-care is immense.

I was in such a stressed out state that the first second that I could, I was crashing in my bed and going to sleep for the night. I thought that the 5 minutes of extra sleep were needed more than anything. Things were piling on, and I began to cut out the few self-care items I had established, like taking 3 minutes to wash my face before bed, the 30 second trip to fill my water tumbler for my nightstand, and skipping my breakfast and vitamins in the morning. Fast forward two weeks when I felt like life had completely spiraled out of control and I couldn’t figure out why. I was less patient, more irritable, and definitely more stressed. This meant more battles with my family, co-workers, and life in general. This also translated into less (and poor quality) sleep! The one thing I was trying to get more of…

This week, I got back to the basics of self-care. I learned a few tricks about how to improve sleep quality and decided to implement the two easiest items, without excuse: 5 minutes of movement/exercise each morning and sunshine exposure first thing in the morning. Even though my kids wake me before the alarm goes off every day, I can get 5 minutes of exercise in (with them even! My 3 year old has the attention span to exercise with me for 5 minutes and I can do squats or lunges while holding the baby, if needed). We can all go outside for 5 minutes of sunshine together (weather permitting). I also went back to my habit of drinking a huge tumbler of water as soon as I wake up in the morning (which is something that I found to wake me up more effectively than coffee and to start my day off on the right foot).

In the evening before bed, I decided to try a new sleep routine: refill my water tumbler for the morning, wash my face (something I find to be ultra relaxing), apply some magnesium oil spray (this one to be exact) which helps your muscles to relax, and attempt 10 minutes of meditation. The entire routine takes 16 minutes (if I wash my face slowly). So far, it’s been a week since I started both of these routines. I noticed better sleep the first night and it’s still improving! I’m also much more capable of responding to stress in my life positively, which is why I say that mental positivity and self care are really two sides of the same coin. It is hard to have one of these without the other.

Establishing new habits can be difficult, but it is definitely easier when you see some immediate results. It’s time for me to see if I can make this self-care routine become a permanent part of my life. These small things are often the first things that we let go when parenting or life get too busy. But letting them go would be like taking off your oxygen mask during a plane crash. I doesn’t make you a better person or a better mom, in fact, it hurts you more than you realize.

What are your thoughts on self-care? Leave a comment below!