Ugh. This week has been hard. On one hand Savannah has been sleeping AMAZINGLY in her own room! She’s still in her bassinet but she has gotten down to waking up just once in the night – let me repeat that. ONCE. And it’s only for a quick feeding! It so amazing. But it’s like she knew we were getting enough sleep now so she decided to turn her dramatics during the day up a notch to make up for it. Our days have been hard on all of us – like, really hard. I think she’s really starting to teethe but I haven’t been able to feel anything pushing through just yet. Regardless, our little Bee seems to have a new found fondness for screaming that feels like it can last for days, making me feel like I’m on the verge of losing my sanity some afternoons. It’s been pretty hard to find things I can do outside of the house to help me decompress with no real signs of COVID letting up. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my family and am truly blessed to have this wonderful home over our heads – but I absolutely did not expect that I would have to hibernate here for the first 8 months of her life to prove that! With all of this said, it got me thinking – What are some ways or some things I have been doing to keep myself sane these past 8 months? So, I made a list of 5 things I’ve been doing – consciously and unconsciously – that have really helped me in the smallest of ways! I hope this helps to jump start a list of your own if you feel like you’re in the same position as me! Remember, less can mean way more! You don’t have to go to a spa for the weekend or get your hair done at a saloon (although those both sound AMAZING) just find the simple pleasures in your life! I hope you enjoy!
- Take some alone time *away* from the house
Go for a drive or go for a walk, whatever you do just make sure it’s alone and outside of your home! It’s so easy to find reasons why you can’t do something simple like this, but often time the simple things truly do make a difference. You can use the walk or drive as a vent session in your mind about how hard that day was, you can use it as an excuse to plan a hang out session with one of your friends or just your significant other, or you can just not think at all and listen to your favorite podcast or album! You can literally do anything you want during this time. I like to drive to a scooters (because it’s super close to us) get whatever I’m in the mood for that day, and then listen to my favorite podcast or blast some TSwfit. It’s not revolutionary or even really impressive! But every time I come home after that little outing, I really do feel ready and excited to be around my little fam again.
2. Do some physical activity that takes your mind off of stressors
So this one is kind of tricky because of COVID but I know there are quite a few places that have reopened with some new, very strict safety guidelines they now enforce! For me, I love to cycle. Maybe it’s from my days working at a class based gym, but for 45 minutes I am forced to focus only on me and my progress – nothing else. And I love that! Especially now! I find myself constantly thinking about the well being of my family – is Trevor getting enough water throughout the day, is he eating enough, does Savannah have enough diapers, should I try that new soap instead to help her sleep better at night…the thoughts are continuous and the ideas are seemingly limitless! But I have to say, since my friend Christina asked if I would like to go to cycle with her at our local Yoga studio called House of Lotus, it’s just made such a difference for me! 3 times a week I give myself this 1.5 hours of me time! And I don’t waste any of it – not even the drives! I love it! And Trevor is just so so supportive because it’s taking care of myself. So, even though I sometimes walk through the door to a stressed Trev and crying Savy, I always feel ready to help take care of my family! You don’t have to do cycle either! I know lots of gyms are doing virtual classes! You can do yoga, barre, HIIT! If working out isn’t your thing, that’s ok! Maybe try an archery range, shooting range, or take a painting or cooking class! You can really do anything!
Also, if you don’t want to buy some membership to any of these places, go on YouTube! You can do literally ANYTHING on YouTube! Just find a quiet place, use your phone or laptop, and stream away! You can do yoga, barre, cycle, HIIT – I’m sure they even have tutorials on how to do basically anything. Just get creative is all I’m saying!
3. Stop by that fast food place and get that massively unhealthy combo you adore but feel guilty about. Don’t feel guilty.
Just do it – don’t think hard on it. Don’t think about what they used to make the food, what the ingredients are, how safe it is to eat at a fast food restaurant right now – don’t think about any of that. Just order the food and savor each.bite. Preferably alone, but that may not be able to happen! Regardless, just make sure you really really enjoy it. I’ve been doing this after I take my cycling classes and you know what? It feels damn.good. I always get McDonalds and my GAWD it always always tastes amazing! And I’m so excited to go home and see my little family after. You may have cringed when I say McDonalds but hey! No shaming! We all have that one place that is our kryptonite! Go there! Who cares if you think you need to loose 10lbs (you don’t btw, you look fantastic) and who cares if your family still needs to eat diner (I mean you should care about that but you can find them something to eat after your little meal) but just try not to think of a reason not to do it – because there will always always be one. The purpose of this exercise is to just do something for yourself that doesn’t hurt anyone else – it just makes your happy!
4. When your child is safe, either a sleep or with another guardian, lock yourself in your bathroom and watch TV or do a face mask.
Ok, I know this one sounds so weird but just hear me out! Sometimes, you just cant leave your house. Maybe it’s too late at night, or there’s a storm outside, or maybe you’re just too dang tired! In those cases, I promise you just going into your bathroom, watching that episode you’ve tried to watch for days and just doing some pampering stuff, will make you feel so.awesome! I actually got this idea from Trev! There have been so many times when I take over and he just heads straight to the bathroom and starts playing some YouTube video. He would literally just chill in there for almost an hour and I’d be like dude – are you pooping or something??? What on earth are you doing in there! And he’d come out and just be like, “no, I was just watching YouTube videos.” At first I was so weirded out – but then I realized it was GENIUS. So now at night, i’ll usually take my iPad (although sometimes I’ll just listen to a podcast) put on my favorite show, and either do a face exorcism or wash and straighten my hair! When I walk out of that bathroom, I feel like a new woman and really feel totally calm. Maybe it only lasts an hour, maybe it lasts into the next day! I just enjoy the “me time” in the bathroom and take on the whatever needs to be done after.
5. Bake some cookies or muffins (or buy them pre-made) and INDULGE.
If you haven’t noticed the trend, I like to indulge more these days. Since I do need to watch the ingredients in my food for the most part, I have been trying a lot of recipes for cookies and muffins to find some super tasty, but allergen friendly, indulgences. Well folks, I found *the* most perfect cookie recipe and I literally made it 3 days last week. And really only let Trev have 2 from each batch of 9. I indulged. And I didn’t care! Now I have realized that just because something is vegan, does not mean its healthy, but its healthier than the pillsbury prepackaged cookies – right? I mean, I don’t really care because they taste SO.DAMN.GOOD. Find that recipe you just love and make a batch for yourself! Make yourself a cake even! I plan to master the cakes in the Goldenrod Pastry cookbook but I just don’t have the time for it right now – so for me, its these cookies! But maybe its not sweets because you’re not a sweets person! Make some croissants, or biscuits, or maybe pigs in a blanket! Oh my goodness. They all sound so amazing. The ideas are limitless! Just do whatever feels good and sounds good!
Truth be told, this list isn’t something I sat down and thought about really. I mean, I did sit down and think about what to write, but all of these things I realized I started doing as little stress releasers throughout the week – not necessarily a conscious thing, you know? But they all add up to some really nice, super simple tactics that don’t take a lot of money! And if you want to do it free of charge, you can absolutely do that! Make this list your own! And share what your ideas with me! Because I am ALWAYS looking for more ways to decompress!