Happy New Year! We returned from our annual trip to South Carolina last Friday, recaps of previous years here and here if you’d like to walk down memory lane with me. I’ll post more photos from this year soon!
In the meantime, let’s jump back to my previous post on self care and consistency. The first thing I noticed when we touched down in NYC last week was how quickly all my anxiety returned. A wave that hit me so hard I haven’t been able to shake it for a few days now. Instead of letting the worry marinate and ruin the first few days of 2019 and the last of my Winter Break, I’m tackling it head on. Not making a ton of resolutions because I break those. What I am doing is putting my foot down and not letting the bad habits, the reflex to feel anxious and flood myself with activity and no recharge time take over.
Being a full time working mother has been a huge adjustment. Massive. It’s time to adapt my self-care to reflect that change.
New Year Goals for the New Mama
Spend one hour a day alone. Alone time is as important as family time. Whether it’s going for a walk or sitting down for coffee, I am committing one hour out of every day for me to spend with me. Not alone but sorting laundry and not alone but making dinner. Even on days when it seems unreasonable, one hour isn’t that hard to cobble together. Getting off the subway a bit earlier and walking to work, even that counts as alone time.
Exercise. This is a longer, much more sore subject but, going forward this is a non-negotiable. Just like brushing teeth or showering. More to come, when I’m feeling a bit more brave to share.
Stop running on sugar + coffee. For all my cooking, I tend to fall into a pattern of snacking and drinking coffee throughout the day to keep myself going. Instead of starting my days with a cup of coffee I’ve been opting for some hot water with lemon. Packing my water bottle into my work bag daily is also a new must.
Read. I used to be a voracious reader. Like, the kind of obnoxious person who actually gets through an entire issue of The New Yorker in one weekend. Of course with baby and work I don’t have that kind of time anymore. But before bed, when I usually have an hour or so and scroll through social media, I’m going to start choosing books again.
Work my way through a cookbook. My hobbies have taken a backseat to a million other things. In order to get back into them I need to recommit to making time for interests, old and new. I know there are things I enjoy beyond making bottles and pureeing baby food. Recently, I made meatballs from a cookbook and followed the directions word for word. The entire time I felt relaxed and motivated. Picking a few cookbooks in 2019 and working my way through them. I have some ideas but also open to suggestions! Comment below.
Keep a written planner. I referenced this in the last post, but I’ve fallen into the bad habit of making lists in my head and not writing things down. Instead of having a tangible way of looking at my week, I am a whirlwind of mental notes to not forget. Reminding myself not to forget is a sure fire way to forget. To stop this mess, I bought an old fashioned planner. No Google calendar, no Outlook, just pen to paper. My goal is to start writing things down. Not just “to-do” things but also ideas, notes to myself. One day at a time feels much more manageable than the entire week in my head all at once.
Clean out my purse weekly. I don’t know how else to describe the contents of my purse the last few months other than as a cacophony of crap. Everything is in there. Bibs, bottles, 3 lip gloss/moisturizer situations, two lip stains, receipts, pens, a picture frame, balls, puffs, you could probably find apartment keys to someone else’s home if you looked long enough. I get so much anxiety just trying to find something I’ve started carrying a separate tote for my wallet. No more. I’m reclaiming my space and committing to cleaning it out at the end of the work week. Organized purse, organized life - something like that.
There you have it. Or more like, there I have it. A few steps to put me on the right path in 2019. If any of you have experienced a similar tug of war between self care and all the rest, let’s talk. I would love to know how you approach taking time out to make yourself a priority.