February 24, 2015

Self Care and Keeping Organized: Part III of the Work/Life/Self Series Guest Post

In a three part interview I'm answering questions from Sarah at Next Page, New Chapter on topics ranging from career to homeschool and self care. 

Sarah and I worked for the same company in my pre-baby DC days and I'm so happy we've stayed connected over the years through our writing. She's a mama to one fiery red-head and balances a full-time job (and insane commute) with all her other pursuits. Like the rest of us she's curious how other mothers navigate work and motherhood.

Today in Part III of the Work/Life/Self series guest post I'm talking about self care and home organization. 

You can jump to the full interview HERE. Just Joining Us? Catch up on Part I and Part II
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S: How do you manage to keep yourself mentally, emotionally and physically healthy? Do you have any daily or weekly rituals?

J: I thought for a long time that self care meant going to the dentist, getting my haircut—stuff I needed to do to take care of myself, right? I have since reframed self care as an opportunity to refuel, it's the stuff in life that brings joy and pleasure: time spent in nature, time alone to read and write and dream and plan and pursue my projects, quality time spent in deep conversations with my husband and girlfriends, good food, comfortable underwear and cozy pajamas!

I have time built into every week that I know is mine to use for these activities. Andy works late on Mondays so those evenings are always very quiet and relaxing after the kids are in bed. I also have six hours on Sundays that I usually devote to an outdoor hike and time spent writing. I workout in the early mornings or late evenings 5 days a week. This all sounds like a lot but I feel calmer and more energized to be the mom that my kids deserve when I prioritize taking care of myself.

As an aside, adequate sleep cannot be underestimated! I know it’s hard to find when the kids are young, and choosing sleep over getting things done can be tough at the end of the day when it seems there aren’t enough hours to attend to all the things that pull our attention but, if there is one simple place to start this is it! The days are exponentially more difficult when I’m tired.

It’s been an iterative process for me to identify what I need, communicate those desires to my husband, and grow increasingly willing to let go when it comes to the kids while I’m away. Self care was not part of my vocabulary for the first three years of motherhood, at least.

As for rituals, we have this little stovetop pressure steamer that froths up a dreamy foam and every morning I make a latte for myself with vanilla extract and a dash of ground cloves. I also really love my makeup brand right now and it has re-inspired my morning routine. Writing on Sundays at different coffee shops that I enjoy starts my week off right and grounds my energy.

Do you have special rituals that keep you sane? Any tips to share for keeping yourself and your home organized?

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