Lately I feel like I should have a sign posted: “Work in Progress”

I’m currently enrolled in Mama Bliss Coach School and am truly using the opportunity to go deeper with my own inner growth. I’m really excited about learning how to be an awesome Mama Bliss Coach, but I also know that the true work begins within. So, before I start helping other Mamas find their bliss, I’m working on growing my own inner well to tap into when parenting/life starts to drain me.

Brilliant Ms. Kathy has a lovely little acronym to help us remember all the essential elements of self-care:

  • Sleep
  • H2O
  • Organic Living
  • Exercise
  • Stillness

Sleep

With a seven month old my sleep has been less than optimal for about that long. But somehow I manage to function well on less sleep and catch up when I really need it. As a third time Mama, I’ve come up with two strategies that work really well for me. First, I have a co-sleeper with a bed set up instead of a crib. This allows me to nurse while half asleep, and makes sure that Hubby gets his sleep. I know some like to trade off with a partner, but with breast feeding I never saw the benefit (I couldn’t sleep with my breasts full anyway). Plus, with Hubby rested, he’s available if I really need a nap during the day. Usually I try to get one nap in on the weekend, and that catches me up for the week or go to bed early one evening if I’m lagging. Yet, this time around I truly am amazed at how well I’ve felt on less than perfect sleep. My second secret is waking up with a positive attitude and taking a shower first thing. Even when I’ve only gotten a few hours of sleep, I make sure to get a shower. On some mornings when I felt really sleep deprived, I came up with a little mantra: I’m rested and ready for the day. I’m revived and ready for the day. I’m refreshed and ready for the day.  Somehow this really helps me get past any sleep deficit.

H2O

Since I worked for the Portland Water Bureau for six years, no one needs to remind about the importance of water. Plus, our water here is truly delicious and satisfying. My strategy for drinking lots of water is to have a pint glass at the bathroom and kitchen sink, and I make sure to chug a glass first thing in the morning, before I go to bed and many times in between. I also carry a water bottle with me and have another in the car for back-up in case I forget it. Drinking water is the first think I do if I start to feel fuzzy or lacking energy.

Organic Living 

There’s so much that entails “organic living,” but it’s foremost eating well and being mindful of my lifestyle choices. Yes, maybe once a month or so we get soda with pizza, but sugary empty calories is more the exception than the rule for us. As a Mama, it’s about showing my kids healthy habits by living them. Gardening and getting outside are also important to me, and even though they require an effort, they truly do replenish me.

Exercise

To me exercise is all about getting your blood flowing…no need to jump on the treadmill. I enjoy all sorts of ways to be active: yoga, dancing, bicycling, hiking… The key to find a way to be consistent and make your body/well-being a priority in your life. It’s all connected…the better I feel, the better I look, the better I feel… Lately, I’ve been turned on to a really awesome routine. It’s linked to something called Minimum Effective Dose, which basically says that you don’t have to work out for long periods of time to get great results. The 30×30 Total Transformation combines a 10 minute high intensity workout that alternates between different body goals (foundation/core/cardio/power…), and a yoga like cool-down. Plus there’s an inspirational five minute video before a 15 minute meditation session. So, you get to combine the last two elements of self-care in just 30 minutes a day. Having recently finished my first round of 30×30, I can say that I really love the workout routines. I had done an intense “bootcamp” to get myself in shape after first daughter, and the workouts involve many of those same moves without pushing yourself to the point of utter exhaustion. Plus, I know I can continue them as I get more and more in shape, and they will continue to strengthen and support me to meet the rest of my life goals.

Stillness

This one is really key, and sometimes easy to skip as a busy Mama. While I had been intrigued by the idea of meditation since college, I first started a daily practice about a year and a half ago, when I broke my ankle. I happened upon Dr. Chopra’s 21-day Meditation Challenge, and fell in love with the inner peace and knowing that it helped grow inside of me. I’ve always been pretty reflective, but actually meditating gave me the permission to really daydream about my life and follow my intuition. I highly recommend his meditation challenges, and I can hardly wait for the next challenge starting just next week: Finding Your Flow. I also really love The Envisioning Method by Mindvalley‘s Vishen Lakhiani…all the elements for personal transformation and beyond.

And yes, sometimes my family interrupts me mediating, but they know that it’s my sacred “me” time and for the most part they’ve learned to respect it.

This reflecting is really mostly for me, as part of my Mama Bliss Coaching homework, but I hope I’ve inspired you to continue your progress to true self-care.

Have a beautiful day!

Darcy