Our mornings set the tone for the day. Who hasn’t heard the adage from Benjamin Franklin, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise”? The common trend is to do as much as you can in the morning. We’re told to get up at 5:00am, have a smoothie, workout, and fit in hours worth of stuff before our “real” work begins. Instead of a simple, slow morning routine, we’ve been told to squeeze productivity into every second.
Luckily, many people are moving beyond this concept and embracing the beauty of a calm, slow morning routine. It is not a lazy one, it’s a gentle one. A slow, simple routine allows you time to gradually get up, and move at your own pace. It simplifies your routine to just the few most important habits you have.
How do you know it’s time for a slow morning routine? Here are some signs to look out for:
You Always Wake Up Anxious or Stressed
This is probably the biggest and most common sign that you are in need of slowing down in the morning. Waking up already stressed or anxious is a sign of having a lot of stress in your life. But it can also be because your mornings are always so hectic and rushed and stressful, then you are anticipating it from the moment you open your eyes.
There is no better reason than to start slowing down and simplifying your morning routine, to see if it helps with your stress and anxiety. You may notice this is exactly what you needed.
You Dread Getting Out of Bed
Another big sign of needing to adjust or reset your morning routine is when you dread getting out of bed altogether. This might not be just because of the rest of your day, like not wanting to go to work or having responsibilities you aren’t excited about. But really just having an overly chaotic morning. When you notice you just want to stay in bed and keep putting off starting your morning, it is a good sign that you and to make some changes.
Your Mornings Are Always Chaotic
Naturally, if you have chaotic mornings, you should change that. The challenge is that people think this is normal. We all make jokes about how nothing is ready, the kids never want to get dressed, and how we are always hustling. This isn’t a good thing, however, and it doesn’t always have to be the case.
You can have a calmer morning by just adjusting your routine and schedule a little bit. No matter what your lifestyle is like, there are almost always changes to make to have a calmer, slow morning routine.
You Have No Consistent Morning Routine
Some people claim they don’t have a morning routine. What they really mean is that they don’t have a consistent morning routine. Their mornings are so varied and sporadic, they tend to run around like a chicken with its head cut off, not really having a plan or any intentions in place.
If this sounds like you, what you need is consistency. That is exactly what a slow morning routine gives you. It tends to be much calmer and more relaxed, with far fewer habits to go through. Even if your routine just consists of drinking coffee on the porch before getting ready for work, that one little habit is something you can do every single morning. It creates the habit of consistency that you need.
For me, even though I love everyone being home for the summer, it throws my morning routine off. This, in turn, throws my days off. I don’t have a huge morning routine during the school year, but the consistency makes all the difference. With no schedule commitments, I should have more time to get things done. Instead, the lack of consistency makes me less productive overall.
You Feel Like You Have No Time to Yourself
Lastly, if you feel like you have no time for yourself, you definitely need a slow morning routine. This creates the intention that you are doing something just for you, with no distractions and no responsibilities. It includes absolutely anything you want it to include. Maybe that’s something as simple as reading in bed for a few minutes before getting up, having your favorite tea or coffee with no distractions, or meditating. Anything that gives you a bit of peace in your morning.
If this is something you need in your life, keep following for ways to revamp your morning routine and how it will benefit you.
Between work, home, and family responsibilities, do you often feel that all your time is spent taking care of others? Neglecting self care is easy, especially for moms, but the consequences can be serious. Adding self-care practices to your daily routine can greatly strengthen your health and well-being. It’s like they tell you when flying. You need to secure your own oxygen mask before helping others. Otherwise, you won’t be able to help anyone else.
Here are 6 basic self care practices to get started:
Block out time for self-care in your schedule. It’s not enough to occasionally stop your busy lifestyle and take a walk or indulge in a hot bath. Self-care is an ongoing process. Just as you reserve time in your schedule for other appointments, set aside time to take care of yourself, too. It’s important to adopt self-care habits that you can enjoy on a regular basis. They’ll help you avoid burnout, increase your productivity, and allow you to enjoy life.
Enjoy your favorite hobby. Whether you love to experiment with new recipes in the kitchen sew, or paint pictures of sunsets, your favorite hobbies can be part of self-care. Hobbies and activities that you already enjoy are easy to select and put into practice. You just have to find room in your schedule to do them. This is an important step and shows your commitment to self-care.
Make note of the compliments you receive. You can enjoy this self-care practice even as you work or run errands! Start taking notes of the compliments you receive. You can keep them in a journal, diary, or online folder. Your compliment folder can also include emails, notes, thank you cards, and other things that make you smile. This self-care practice can help you fight negative thoughts. Compliments can serve as reminders that you matter, your existence is important, and someone appreciates you. On that same note, find reasons to give genuine compliments to others. It just might make their day, too!
Remove clutter. Whether you decide to declutter your closet or clean out the fridge, removing clutter will uplift you. Clutter can drain you physically and mentally. It can also make you unhappy as you try to move through your day. Eliminate the things that no longer serve you. For example, if you’re keeping clothes in your closet that you hate each time you open the door, replace them with clothes that you love. Since you’re here, you probably sew. 🙂 Old, ill-fitting or clothing that just isn’t your style can be altered or used for the fabric and notions. That way you can eliminate clutter frugally and engage in your hobby.
Do one selfish act. Living selfishly all day isn’t recommended, but doing one thing just for yourself that makes you happy can do wonders. You can enjoy just that one thing without feeling guilty about it! If you struggle with self-care, it’s often because you spend all of your energy and time taking care of others. There’s nothing left in your well for yourself. By taking the time to do one selfish act, such as reading your favorite book or ignoring a boring phone call, you’ll be restoring your own importance.
Check off important health related self-care tasks. This is the most important one of all. Self care on social media is all about the relaxing baths, the books, hobbies, etc. Those things are an important element, but far more important is taking time to have that checkup, go to the dentist, or find a therapist. Take a moment to schedule that appointment that you’ve been putting off. I’m in the US, so I know that access to healthcare isn’t always easy, but there are some resources and low-cost options to explore.
Self-care often takes a backseat to work, family, and other obligations.However, without stopping to take care of your mind and body, you’re at risk of burning out and suffering from serious health issues. Start making time for your self-care practices today!
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I originally published this last year. As we’re coming up on the weekend, I felt like this was the perfect time to revisit creating a self-care Sunday. Have a great weekend!
Self-care has transformed a lot over the last few years. It began as a way to encourage people to do more for themselves, which is amazing. But somewhere along the way, it became something people felt like they were forced to do.
If you are feeling a little overwhelmed with this idea of the perfect self-care routine, it’s time to take a step back. Instead of focusing on having to fit it into your daily life, why not just start one day a week?
Why do Self-Care on Sunday?
Sunday is actually the perfect day to dedicate to yourself, since it is often already a day of rest for many people. You are winding down after a fun weekend, and likely getting ready for a new week to begin. For me, Saturdays are usually the day that I take care of leftover chores from the week and grocery shopping, so Sunday is freed from those tasks as well. Take advantage of the downtime by adding some self-care activities to your routine.
1. Setting Up Your Weekly Self-Care Routine
First thing’s first – figure out what your routine is going to be before Sunday. Taking a few minutes to plan ahead of time makes it more likely to happen! Don’t forget that self-care doesn’t have to be done alone, so if you have a busy house on Sundays, you can still do this!
What you want to do is focus on your self-care on Sundays, whether that means an hour during the day, or changing the entire routine for the day.
Think of Sundays like a reset day. When you not only get your planning done for the week, but you give yourself some time to relax and unwind, reset your body and your mind for another busy week.
How is it Different from Daily Self-Care?
To put it simply, it’s not. You still want to choose activities that help you to relax, are good for your body and mind, and overall wellness. But you might have a little more free time on Sundays, so you won’t feel as pressured to fit it all in before or after work, or during your bedtime routine.
Sundays opens new possibilities for self-care, whether you do it alone or with family.
Think About Your Current Sunday Routine
In order to turn Sunday into your weekly self-care day, you need to consider what you tend to do on Sundays. This self-reflection helps you determine if these are things that can only be done on Sundays or can be moved to another day to give you more time for yourself.
Make a list of things you do every Sunday first. Then look at your list, and cross off anything that isn’t necessary or might no longer be serving you. With what is left, determine if any of those activities can be moved to Saturday.
For example, if you do a lot of cleaning and chores on Sundays, could they be moved to other days during the week, freeing up a bit more self-care time for you?
2. Ideas for Sunday Self-Care Activities
The good news is that self-care on Sunday is pretty much the same as what you would do any other day of the week. It is more about dedicating a day to yourself each week, especially if you don’t have much time during the week to really focus on you.
Here are some activities that can be great to do on Sundays:
Let yourself sleep in – If you don’t get to sleep in during the rest of the week, at the very least give yourself this time on Sundays! Your body (and mind) needs the rest.
Go to brunch with friends – Self-care can also mean doing something you enjoy with other people. Grab a group of friends on Sunday to go to brunch.
Head to a park or the beach with your kids – You can also enjoy more time with your kids without cell phones and TV. Go outside to enjoy the fresh air and exercise. Ride bicycles around your neighborhood, have a beach day, or do a picnic at the park.
Have an hour of pampering – You might not be able to dedicate the entire day just to self-care, but at least fit in some pampering time. Spending quiet time soaking in the bath or giving yourself a facial are a couple ideas.
Catch up on your reading or creative projects – This is the perfect time to pick activities you enjoy, but rarely have time for. Maybe there is a book you have been wanting to finish or a creative project you would love to do.
Get ready for the week – Self-care can also mean just giving yourself time to really reset and prepare for the week ahead.
3. Self-Care for Introverts and Extroverts
Something to keep in mind is that what you consider self-care might change depending on if you are more of an introverted or extroverted person.
Self-Care for Introverts
If you are an introvert, you probably find that you are the most relaxed when you are alone. This doesn’t mean you want to be or should be alone all the time, but that you often need a little bit of time to yourself each day to recharge and gain your composure.
Have Quiet Solitude on Sunday – Self-care for an introvert can be as simple as just making sure you have some alone, quiet time on Sundays. You need this time to yourself to regroup and relax. It can be hard when you go all day around other people and never give yourself this time.
Find Nature-Inspired Activities – If you’re an introvert that enjoys time outdoors, try to find some solo outdoor activities to encourage you to spend more time outside. Hiking, gardening, visiting a quiet park or creating a niche in your own yard to sit and read or meditate are all peaceful ways to get outside.
Embrace Your Creative Side – An amazing way to practice self-care as an introvert is to do something creative. Learn how to sew, crochet, write a poem or short story, color in an adult coloring book, or start painting.
Self-Care for Extroverts
Extroverts are more social creatures, getting their energy from being around other people. If you consider yourself an extrovert, you probably enjoy time with others more than time alone. But what does that mean for your self-care routine? Here are some tips for practicing self-care when you are an extrovert.
Enjoy Social Time with Friends – What might be a little more up your alley is scheduling in time with friends. What better way to practice self-care than spend time with those you love the most?
Volunteer Your Time – Looking for something more meaningful and fulfilling? You might like to volunteer somewhere as your self-care. Look into local community centers or animal shelters that are open on Sunday and see if they need any help.
Join a Local Club – Another social activity that helps with your self-care is joining a local club, like a book club. Not only will you be encouraged to read more, but you can get together once a week with your book club to chat and talk about the book.
4. Tips for Your Sunday Self-Care Routine
Here are a few more tips for making sure you have a good Sunday self-care routine, and really understand what self-care means and how to avoid the common mistakes.
It Encompasses Emotional, Mental, and Physical Health
Self-care does not fulfill just one need in your life. Different activities provoke different benefits in your life, including helping with your emotional, mental, and physical health.
What works best for you is going to be something that helps you feel relaxed, de-stressed, improves your mood, and is something you absolutely love to do.
Your Self-Care Needs Can Change Regularly
Just because you have committed to writing in your journal and meditating every morning for an hour as your self-care routine, doesn’t mean you have to do this forever. Sometimes, what you choose as your self-care activity changes, or you need to adjust based on your schedule.
Revisit what you are doing for self-care often. As your life and the seasons change, so will your self-care and what is going to benefit you the most.
A Common Mistake is Forcing Your Self-Care
This can’t be said enough – your self-care routine should not make you more stressed! This is a sign that you are forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do and that is doing nothing for you.
It might be because your friend is participating in this form of self-care, or you read that it is a good idea. But remember everyone is different and everyone is going to benefit from different things.
Likewise, everyone’s schedule is different, and Sunday might not be the day that works best for you. Figure out what works with your schedule and apply these tips to your best day for self-care.
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Good morning! I hope everyone who celebrates had a happy holiday weekend, and to everyone else, I hope your weekend was also awesome.
Between children, cancer treatment and just life in general, things have been pretty hectic. I’ve often complained that I feel like I took better care of myself before I was diagnosed. My diet has definitely suffered, and too much of my spare time lately is spent “doom scrolling”.
There’s nothing wrong with comfort food and relaxing with whatever form of entertainment for a while, but I feel like it’s time to start focusing on getting myself healthy beyond fighting breast cancer. I have two Kadcyla treatments remaining (yay!). That will conclude my “active” cancer treatment. I still have years of estrogen-blocking medicine, but a pill a day is very different that multiple doctors appointments in a month, or week, and chemo fatigue. I am totally looking forward to it, but also worry that, without the constant business of treatment, I will be left feeling a little, “what now?”
To help me focus on my health, and give me some direction to all my new free time, I want to focus not just on diet, but things like aromatherapy, herbalism, yoga, meditation and journaling. These are all things I’ve thoroughly enjoyed in the past but have gotten put aside in all the chaos.
To keep me focused, I will be sharing some of that information here, both as informative articles and candid posts about my personal experiences. There will still be plenty of crafty tips and tutorials, because creating is something that I have to do. (Remembering to photograph the process and actually post about it is something I need to work on, lol.)
If you subscribe and would rather not get the new content, let me know and I will figure out how to organize my mailing list so that everyone gets the content they want. 🙂
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The title says it all, so if you want to skip the breast cancer talk and get back to the fun stuff, now’s your chance.
On November 1 of last year I had my first ever mammogram at age 41. The next day I found out I needed further testing and two weeks later I had a follow-up ultrasound and biopsy of two of three tumors and one of a few suspicious lymph nodes. From the appearance on the ultrasound, I was told they were about 95% likely to be cancer. On Monday of the following week (aka Thanksgiving week) it was official.
Type of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is classified both on location and whether it has receptors for estrogen(ER+ or -), progesterone (PR+ or -), and/or HER2 growth hormone (HER2+ or -). If it’s negative for all three hormone receptors, it’s called triple negative breast cancer. I have two types: invasive ductal carcinoma that is ER+ and HER2+ and invasive lobular carcinoma that is ER+ and HER2-. All are PR-. It is also stage 2, and grade 2. Stage describes the extent and is what most people are familiar hearing. Grade is how slow or fast it’s likely to spread. Grade 2 is not as slow as 1 but slower than 3.
Because I have a family history of breast cancer, I had genetic testing. I do not have any known genes for breast cancer, such as BRCA1 or BRCA2. It did show I have two variants. That just means that those genes are still being looked at for contributing to breast cancer. Most of the time variants get moved to the harmless category, so for now having them makes no impact on treatment or advice for other family members.
Because I’m complicated (ha!), it took some time and more test results for my oncologist to determine the best course of treatment. It also uncovered some weird activity in my left femur on a PET scan. Thankfully a bone biopsy came back negative for cancer, although we will still need to keep an eye on it. I also get to say I had someone drill into my bone while I was awake, which my weird self thinks is kind of cool. Not that I want to ever have to do it again, but since it happened I’m embracing the cool but slightly gross factor.
We knew that the best course was chemo followed by surgery, probably radiation and definitely a year of a targeted HER2 therapy called Herceptin. Which type of chemo was the question. Eventually, she decided on six rounds of TCHP for the chemotherapy, which is two chemotherapy drugs, Taxotere and Carboplatin, and two HER2 targeted therapies, the Herceptin I will continue and Perjeta.
For the chemo and Herceptin infusions, I have a port. That link gives more details on what that is. When I first heard that I would need one I was definitely grossed out by the thought of it, but now that I’ve seen how much easier it makes the infusions, I’m very glad to have it. I just can’t think about it too hard because it still makes me a little squeamish.
How I’m Feeling
I receive chemo once every three weeks. So far I’ve had four rounds, so I’m over halfway done. Yes, I’m bald now, but it is about to be summer in Texas, so the timing isn’t too bad. As far as other symptoms, I mostly feel tired achy, like I have the flu for the first week, more easily tired the second week and almost normal the third week before it starts all over again.
I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised at how much easier it’s been than I was expecting. Part of that is probably the almost half a dozen anti-nausea meds they’ve given me. Between the two or three preemptive meds chemo week and the two as needed at home, my nausea is so well controlled I think I’ve managed to put on a few pounds.
Annoying Side Effects
I do have a few other side effects that are more a nuisance than anything. Heartburn is way worse than usual, and I occasionally get hot flashes. The most annoying thing is chemo mouth. Basically everything tastes weird at best, like I drank nail polish remover at worst. It does make it a little hard to drink water or find things to eat when it’s bad and so far I haven’t found one thing that consistently helps. It also seems like the things that taste the best then are some of the least healthy. Like Sonic Cheddar Peppers, for example. Probably explains the few extra pounds, tbh. I also can’t stomach coffee for about a week and a half after a treatment. I should probably cut it out the whole time, but no. Just no. (Currently sipping my second cup.)
I have another round coming up next week, my last one the first week of May and then surgery the second week of June. I’ll share more on the other parts of my treatment as they happen.
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