Self-care: yes, you can.

There’s plenty of information out there right now on the web about self-care. Tons of books and podcasts and lists. But sometimes it stands to reason that we know all this information is out there, but we forget about it or forget to use it.

Here’s your reminder: you cannot pour from an empty cup.

☹️

In all honesty, you can, but it’s much more difficult. But with enough self-care, things go more smoothly, tempers are more calm, and things can flourish.

I know this will be lengthy, but recent events in my life and my friend’s lives made me realize we really do need to put on our own oxygen mask before we can help others.

This is a very unusual time in our country that we haven’t seen since 100 years ago. But our social structure has changed, the family has changed, technology has certainly changed. Thank God, medicine and medical facilities have changed.

However, we now live in a society that makes it very difficult for single parents, those in low-income markets, and others to thrive, but merely survive. We live in households that merely survive. We eat foods that don’t sustain our health. We don’t always have access to fresh air and sunshine. We don’t exercise in some form or fashion. We have low self-esteem thanks in part to social media and all the false narratives put forth.

It’s time to break away from the daily and hourly brain drain of life. Trust me. Even if it’s only for a little while.

A beautiful flower at a friend’s house was in full bloom.

The other day, I realized I was being so snappy about every little thing. I was unhappy about it, but what was wrong? As I took a couple of minutes for my numb mind to kick into gear, I did the math and realized I’d only had about 4 hours of sleep, I had skipped my morning routine, I had drank absolutely no water, I hadn’t taken my vitamins… the list goes on.

I realized I was pouring from an empty cup. Yes, sometimes we can’t go get a nap or start the day over, but if we try to implement things into our daily routine, we can take care of ourselves a little better. The key here is to not make it such a critical part of your life that it stresses you out of you miss it or need to skip it (except coffee. You ALWAYS need good coffee). This routine should be flexible, not be too costly, not take up too much time, and not throw a wrench in the works if it’s missed.

For example, I like to start every day with my favorite brand of coffee: Black Rifle. If you haven’t checked them out, please do. They are veteran owned and operated and go above and beyond to roast the best coffee ever.

There are many great blends from low-caf to extreme-caf.

I make 4-6 cups in the coffee pot, but on the weekends I like to take the extra time for a slow pour over coffee. I try to drink out of one of my mugs that inspires me or makes me laugh.

I have a couple of apps that produce daily puzzles that take all of 10-15 minutes to do. I love Word Scapes and Free Flow. I check my notifications on social media. I read my daily devotional that comes to my inbox. I make sure the bed is made. I sit on my porch, water plants, feed the birds… it’s a very relaxing routine, but oversleeping tends to cut it short. I will move my app time to the evening, because let’s face it, coffee is life.

I’m not a high maintenance type of person, by any stretch. If I can wear boots and jeans and a t-shirt/flannel shirt (this can be swapped out with shorts, flip flops, and a t-shirt for spring-summer days), throw my hair in a braid, put on some eyeliner, mascara, and chapstick every single day, I’d be fine. There are times I go full makeup, but not often. The simple act of taking a few minutes to throw on some eyeliner makes a huge difference in the morning. It helps set the tone for the day.

During my day, I like to have done something productive (outside of work) or learned something new. I may brush up on a foreign language I know, look for new recipes, watch a quick video about mushrooms, squids, seeds, planets and comets… I also like a good lunch and another good coffee to get me fueled for the rest of the day.

One thing I’ve noticed lately is that my plants get more water than I do. We are supposed to drink half our body weight in ounces of water, plus extra for any soda, tea, or (ahem) coffee we drink during the day. So, if you weigh 150, you need to drink 75 ounces of water.

I have no idea who the credit goes to on this one, but I will agree with this 100%.

I also wasn’t getting enough sunlight. Vitamin D is known as “the flu vitamin”. It helps to boost your immune system. I try to take a good multivitamin every day, but 90% of the time I forget, due to… well, forgetting. But I do recommend buying a good one. One good way to get some sunlight, especially if you work in a stale office, is to bring a good healthy quick lunch with you and go outside during your break. Where I live, it’s a little more difficult during the summer because it is sweltering. Don’t get a heat stroke over this, but try to make some time to get a little sunshine in your life. Since we’ve been working from home, this has opened up lunchtime bike rides! The weather is perfect here and we’ve had many sunny days lately.

I love getting out on my bike mid-day or right after work for an easy, relaxing ride.

My night routine isn’t a routine at all. It’s more of a get-done-what-you-can-because-lists-don’t-matter type of deal. There may be extra homework, dinner may take longer to prepare, there’s a matter that needs attending to. That is why I have to be flexible.

One thing I do like at night (due to arthritis) is a good hot cup of Tulsi’s turmeric and ginger tea. It’s a great pain killer and makes me more flexible in the morning so that I can function. Some days, it’s a real struggle. Those of you who know, you know.

For a weekly routine, I put things in my calendar or I will never remember them. Every Saturday night I do my baking soda and charcoal facial. I scrub with baking soda and water (go easy on this) and I follow up with a charcoal mask. I will also do a good shampooing with some tea tree shampoo and baking soda to really cleanse the scalp. I will do a mini-mani/pedi to keep my nails nice. As I said, I’m pretty low-maintenance. I’d rather have dirt under my nails from gardening for an hour then spending an hour in the salon getting my nails done.

Cosmos sprouts.

During this coronavirus mess, it’s become quite obvious to even introverts like me that being around people is a good thing. I had a friend over for lunch recently. I did my hair, put on my basic makeup, and made an amazing lunch. It was good food, good company, and a great time. Connection is oh, so important.

One other thing I like to do is get away. I love camping. I love nature. I love getting out of town. If you can find the time to get back into nature for a bit (I realize this isn’t everyone’s cup of coffee) you can reset and recharge and get your rhythm back. They say sleeping out in nature resets your circadian rhythm, which leads to better sleep.

Bear Lake State Park, Milton, Florida.

Whatever your hobbies are, find time to do them. Take a little time to put two thoughts together, get bills paid, take your vitamins, drink some H2O, and replenish yourself daily.

Have a great weekend. Peace and love, everyone.

Now we’re cooking with peanut oil.

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