Self Care

Summer Self Care Essentials

 I didn't include an awesome sun hat on my originally list, but I am starting to regret that...

I didn't include an awesome sun hat on my originally list, but I am starting to regret that...

 

I already adore this season: my kids are home, schedules are more relaxed, days are longer, fresh fruit and veggies are everywhere... what's not to love?

Besides all of the regularly-scheduled awesomeness, I always like to set some professional and personal goals as a new season begins. (If we have been acquainted for a while, you probably already know that about me.) 

For this summer, one of my personal goals is to recommit to self care. In fact, I would say I have made a pretty serious commitment to self care this summer. 

It is safe to say that self care is an important part of my life already, but like any busy mom some things get put off, postponed, shortened, replaced, or any other 1,000's of ways we can be going along and suddenly realize, oops, something is missing. 

 

This recently happened to me in a conversation.

 

So there I was, just minding my own business moving through the day-to-day of my busy life. A mom friend of mine was discussing crazy schedules, stress, and all the fun that comes with motherhood. When we finally began discussing stress management and self care, she innocently said to me, "You dry brush everyday, right?" 

(pause)
Um....
Yes! 
Well, wait. 
I didn't this morning.
I didn't yesterday either. 
You know what?
I guess I haven't actually used my precious dry brush in a few weeks. 
Omg, a few WEEKS!?! How did THAT happen?

 

See, there was this HUGE block of my life when I did, indeed, dry brush every single day. 

 

And it was lovely.

 

Then there was those few days when one of the kids were sick, then I was sick, then our schedules changed, then they changed again, then we went away for the weekend,... 

...and now here we are. WEEKS since I last used my dry brush. 

 

I know I am not alone.

Life just runs us round and round sometimes and when we stop and check in, we realize a few things have gotten neglected. 

No big deal, it is totally normal. And the only way to deal with it is to embrace where you are, release the guilt, and start anew. 

For me it is with self care. If you are like every single other mom I know, you have got a little extra room for self care, too. 

 

What kind of things do you need to make summertime self care awesome? Let me show you a few simple things! 


DRY BRUSH

So naturally this is where we are going to start. You can join me in a serious re-commitment to dry brushing on a daily basis. You can rest assured that there are even more positive benefits to this healthy habit that go beyond what you can see and feel. 

Check out more info on dry brushing in this quick read.  

 


AFFIRMATIONS CARDS

Ready to add some self love and positivity to your life? Then you oughta grab these sassy affirmations. Starting your day with an affirmation is something that sets the tone for the rest of the day. I see the difference in my day when I make time for this each morning. These cards are so darn cute you can even incorporate this into a family activity this summer. 

 


BEACH CHAIR

Mamas, no summer would be complete without letting go of all stress and responsibilities while sitting on the beach. In the summer, this is the ultimate in self care. Grab your beach chair, fill up your water bottle, grab the sun screen and dig those toes in the sand. 

 


JOURNAL

Whether you create a summer habit of gratitude journaling or daily reflections, grab a journal like this one and head outside. Spiral bound journals are perfect if you are writing in the yard, on the front porch during the sunrise, or even at the beach. 


BATH BOMBS

Nothing oozes self care like a luxurious bath at the end of the day. I love these homemade bath bombs because they are made with some of my favorite things, like shea butter and essential oils. Believe me, if you don't make time for this it will never just happen...so go for it! 


A summer of self care can absolutely happen outside of these fun extras that you might include. Creating a morning ritual of setting intentions, quiet mediation, and a healthy breakfast is just one simple way you can make it happen. 

 

Only you know where you want to begin. 

 

After you spend some time thinking about your own personal summer of self care, be sure to share with me and other health-conscious moms in our online community, the Real Moms Collaborative. It is the perfect spot if you need any more inspiration, some motivation, or accountability! 

 

 

3 Ways To Embrace & Love Your Momma Bod

Throughout my life I have spent a lot of time creating unrealistic body goals for myself. For a long time I was focused on dieting and felt that if I could just fit into a certain size or see a particular number on the scale then most of my problems would be solved. 

It is safe to say I have done some growing since those days.

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However it would feel like an eternity until I got to the point in my life, THIS point, where I feel absolutely grateful for the body I live in. 

 

Let's face it, having a healthy body image in our younger years can be a challenge, but it doesn't necessarily get easier once we enter motherhood unless we put in the effort it takes to change it.

 

I have gone through a shift in thinking that has led to me embracing this momma bod of mine, along with all the quirks and changes that come along with it. 

 

Today I pay much more attention to myself, how I feel, and all the ways this body has blessed me. I embrace and love this body.

 

And I am much happier for it.

 

If you are on a path to strengthening your self love and embracing your amazing momma bod, consider these three ideas:

 

1. Ditch the scale. If you want to feel rebellious liberation and take a huge step toward the loving embrace of your gorgeous momma bod, ditch the scale. Your body is a miraculous thing. Your heart beats without prompting, breathe moves through you without fail, and you move through everyday thanks to that body of yours. Release yourself from the burden of being defined by what is on a scale. It isn't telling you much. You already know what you need to know: your body is a blessing, not a number.

2. Replace negative self talk with positive thoughts. When you catch yourself saying, "Man, I could lose 5 pounds," or "Ugh, not looking forward to being in a bathing suit," exchange those thoughts for, "I am so proud of myself for fitting in that 2-mile walk after work," or, "I can not wait for all the fun we are going to have at the beach today!" We deserve better than to beat ourselves up with negative self talk. It is time to cut that out of our lives. make the effort to add more loving, positive self talk to your day.

3. Make choices that feel like you are honoring your body. Forget about thinking of healthy food choices with restriction and deprivation. That whole mindset can feel torturous and doesn't do much for making us feel embraced and loved. Instead, approach food choices with an end goal of feeling nourished and fueled. Go after foods that help you feel amazing. That is a mindset that comes from a place of self love and makes healthy eating so much easier.

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This idea doesn't have to stop at food choices. Go ahead and make fitness choices, clothing choices, girls night out choices that feel like you are honoring your body when you make them. There is no limit to how you can apply this to your life. And no limit to how positive the impact can be.

 

 

Here is the point: your body is beautiful, strong, wondrous, and worth celebrating. If you were waiting for someone to come along and tell you so, consider yourself told. Now it is time for you to strengthen that belief for yourself. 

 


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Good For You, Girlfriend...But I Am Not There Yet

  Photo by RapidEye/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by RapidEye/iStock / Getty Images

 

We have all been there.

 

You know that time in our life when we find ourselves celebrating with friends, family and school yard moms over their healthy living breakthroughs and successes but we aren't celebrating any ourselves. We know that place where we feel like we are watching everyone become happier and healthier but we feel stuck. We wonder why we aren't making progress on our own health goals. We might even be following a program or be elbow-deep in a 3 -week challenge, but still we aren't seeing or, even more importantly, feeling what we were hoping to. 

Instead we are sorta looking at our friend, who we are truly happy for because, ya know, there is no "mean girling" here, and thinking, "Well, good for you, girlfriend... but, I'm not there yet." 

 

That might cause a bit of a chain reaction in us where we start feeling a little sad and beating ourselves up. We think, "Why can't I get there? What am I doing wrong?" (Now I am going to get to some action steps in a minute but before I do, if you are saying that, stop it. You are perfect. So don't forget it.) But I know feeling that way can be quite real. 

 

Then we might start getting a little mad, right? We think, "Well, shoot, all I ate was a yogurt and banana for breakfast, then avocado toast with a protein bar for lunch. I should be rocking skinny jeans by now!" I have a little battle with the need for instant gratification, so if this is a direct quote from you, I can totally relate. 

 

Maybe sometime after that, a little pessimistic cloud starts lumbering overhead and we wonder if we will ever get beyond these feelings. Perhaps those goals you can see yourself achieving in your mind are just never going to happen. Maybe you should just forget it. (Again I am gonna sidebar here and just say stop that, too. You are awesome and you will get there.) But that feeling is hard to kick.

 

Look, if you find yourself wallowing in some of these feelings when you reflect on your personal progress, start by acknowledging those feelings. They are there and they want you to notice, so notice. 

But don't stand there "noticing" for too long. They are a signal that you have to switch gears. 

 

If you find yourself feeling like everyone else is hitting those goals but you are feeling stuck, you need to start taking positive action right away. When you do, you are going to shake off the negative feelings and start replacing them with good, positive feelings, the ones that we LOVE so much.

But you have to be proactive.

So here are some positive action steps for you to consider:

 

 

Get Your Stress In Check

 

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If you are not seeing weight loss goals accomplished, or sleep goals, or mood goals, or... oh, I could go on... check your stress. Stress can seriously interfere with progress in each of those areas and more. In general, I feel like we don't give stress its due credit until it gets wildly out of control but the truth is that stress is powerful and it interferes in our lives on many levels. The sooner we decide to invest a little time, a little energy, and a little love into stress management, the better. There are many self care practices that lend themselves to reducing stress, (This one is one of my favorites and it is a regular practice for me!)  But there are many ways to reduce stress. Finding what works for you is key. So find one that works for you. Find MANY that work for you and USE THEM.

 

 

Change Things Up! 

 

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If you aren't seeing and feeling what you want, try something new. I once heard that what we are looking for is just outside our comfort zone and that has always resonated with me. We keep habits that are comfortable to us. We know them. They feel like a warm fuzzy blanket. But if those habits aren't giving us the results we want, the good moods, the high energy, the greats sleeps and the healthy weight... well, comfy or not, those habits have to get traded in for something new. 

 

Fair enough, right?

 

This is not always easy. I know.

Most of what I do as a coach is walk busy moms through the process of trading out old habits for new, healthier habits. If you add in one healthy habit at a time, before you know it, you have built healthier lifestyle that you can keep for a lifetime.  

So, if you are not where you want to be, consider a change in how you get there. What is one healthy habit you can build into your life right now?

Decide. Then do it. 

 

 

Embrace Your Wonderful Self and All You Have Already Accomplished.

 

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Oh, yes. This is where I am going to get all warm and fuzzy on you. 

 

Well, come on. Let's be honest. If we are bringing up the topic of not being where you want to be in your journey, it doesn't come along with feelings of joy and laughter. It actually gets us feeling a little down. (We covered that, right?)

 

So, I want you to think about addressing your stress, I want you to think about how you can change things up AND I want you to sprinkle some serious love over you for already having done what you have done.

You haven't accomplished anything yet?

Oh, bologna!

I am going to make some assumptions here but I am guessing you are a busy mom like me SO you run your home, raise some beautiful chillies, handle 1,000 tasks throughout the day, many at the same time! You are probably a chef, a chauffeur, a teacher, a time keeper, and a referee. Ok if you haven't hit every goal mark as of yet, Super Woman, cut yourself some slack and know that you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Your journey is YOUR journey for a reason: it is meant for nobody but you. 

 

Embrace the progress you have made. Celebrate that you done some pretty remarkable things in your life. (You know you have!) Be proud of yourself. Throw some serious love in your own direction and then decide what is next.

If you need some support with that, we can help with that in the Real Moms Collaborative, our online community for busy moms. If you want more support than that and you are so, so ready for a free Breakthrough Coaching session with me, let's do it. (Just scroll down, Momma!)  If you have totally got this solo, just know that I am sending all the love, strength and positive vibes that you need in your direction right now. When moms support moms, there is no limit to what they can achieve.

I know you can do this. 

 

Thank you for reading!

 Photo credit Getty Images

Photo credit Getty Images

 

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WiTH MICHELLE

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Hey, Momma! I am Michelle. I am a busy mom of 3, a certified holisitc health coach and owner of Real Moms, Real Health.  I studied at the Institute of Integratvie Nutrition and I am  Board Certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. In addition to giving workshops and lectures, I work with busy moms to find a healthy weight, have more energy and inspire health in their household. I have simple strategies that any mom can use to make healthy living EASY. Learn more about my programs by checking out my website.  And don't forget to follow me on FACEBOOKTWITTER OR INSTAGRAM.