Week 1: Take Care of Self
If you missed the first post in this series, catch up here.
Taking care of self. That is the starting point in this journey to a happier home. It is often said in jest, ‘if momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.’ The truth of the matter is, it’s true. Your happiness matters within the home. In fact, it’s the cornerstone of it. If you’re home is a might boat, with the people in it the sails, YOU are the wind determining which way that boat sails. Remember that.
So how do you take care of yourself when you’ve got a list of 1,394 other things to ‘take care’ of? Step 1 is realizing that you don’t actually have 1,394 things to take care of. It might feel that way, and you might have convinced yourself that ALL of them are incredibly important. They aren’t.
Sorry to be blunt, but really most of them are not that important, so stop telling yourself that they are. Instead, slow down, take care of yourself first and then let the other things fall into place.
As you work through these new approaches this week know that it might feel uncomfortable at first. Most changes do. Some of these things might be nearly impossible for you to do -- I get it, I just had a baby and I've had to let some of these things slide as we adjusted. These 28 days is me, trying to get MYSELF back into the habits that produce a happier home. If you need to adjust the days around for whatever reason, do that. The goal of this isn't to have your approach be exactly the same as mine...it is to find what works for YOU. If you do one thing & it works really well, try to carry it over into the next day as well, as you do you'll begin to feel some momentum build.
As you do these, please share your thoughts, successes and set-backs -- comment here or DM on the good ol' IG -- I want to know how it goes for you.
So, let's get on with it! 28 Days to a Happier Home...week 1, you got this!
Sunday: Go to bed by 10pm. I know there are people that say they can function on 4 hours of sleep, don’t assume you’re one of them. For the most part, those people are lying anyway and they’re really tired while they’re doing it. When you stop to think about it, do you even WANT to be someone bragging about only needing 4 hours of sleep? Who actually wants a life that is so busy and jam packed that they don’t have time to sleep? Not me.
Don’t wear your lack of sleep as a badge of honor. Instead, allow yourself a full night’s rest, even if it means a few things stay on your ‘to-do’ list for tomorrow.
Monday: Wake up 30 minutes early. Since you went to bed by 10pm last night, take the opportunity to wake up 30 minutes earlier than you normally would. This is a major bonus if you can arrange this so that you are the only one awake. Before you commit to wake up 30 minutes early, decide what you will use that time for. Take a shower, go for a walk, eat your breakfast, meditate -- just take 30 minutes & use them for yourself. I don't recommend using these 30 minutes to mindlessly scroll through social media.
Tuesday: Take a 20 minute walk. Whether it's first thing in the morning, middle of the day or the last thing you do before bed, squeeze in a 20 minute walk. If you have a problem to solve, go in silence. As you physically move, you'll be surprised what your mind can solve. If you don't have anything pressing on your mind, listen to a podcast you love or that inspires you. Some of my favorites are: Oprah's Super Soul Sunday and How I Built This. Allow this to be a time where you let yourself reset.
Wednesday: Grab lunch with a friend or invite one over for lunch. Lunch can be simple fare -- an easy salad or sandwiches. It's not about what you are eating. I repeat, it's not about what you're eating! When I was a young mom, I used to have people over for lunch once a week. Going out was expensive & with a bunch of little kids, it wasn't all that fun either. So I'd make up a fun salad and invite over a few friends -- our kids played and we caught up with each other. In fact, one of my most treasured friendships grew out of this habit and we used to each lunch together several times a week. Your friendships matter and these lunch sessions will become a bit of a therapy session. A time to laugh and cry together as you march through life together, loving and supporting each other.
Thursday: 10 minute meditation. I've written about meditating before, in my mind, it's a moment of prayer, but it looks and feels a lot like meditating. Meditating will strengthen your mind. So like going to the gym will make your muscles stronger, meditating will make your mind stronger. I've found if I am consistent in this practice few things can shake me, when I'm not, just about anything can shake me. I've read about all sorts of people's meditation practices and I loved Tony Robbins version the best. His is a 10 minute practice and goes like this:
1 minute: deep breathing
3 minutes: think of 3 experiences you're grateful for -- think of them in detail and re-feel the moment
3 minutes: think of 3 people you're grateful for -- think of them in detail and wish them happiness
3 minutes: think of 3 things you'll be grateful for -- looking forward, identify 3 things that you'll be grateful for once they come to pass
I've modified his version to fit my own beliefs and goals, but like his as a starting off point if you've never done it before.
Friday: Gratitude List. Over the years, I've practiced a couple different approaches to this not-new idea of listing what you're grateful for. I initially did a list at night before bed and that was fine, but recently I adjusted my approach and have found it so much better. Instead of ending the day with it, I want you to start your day with it. Furthermore, instead of listing out a long list of things you're grateful for, which will probably look similar to the day before's, I want you to choose 1 thing. Choose just one thing you are grateful for, then write down 5 sentences about why you're grateful for it. Then the next day, choose 1 more thing and add 5 more sentences. You'll find that you appreciation deepens as you really dig into why you are grateful for just that 1 thing.
Saturday: Take a day off Social Media. If you have to delete the apps to avoid them today, do it. I promise you won't miss a thing, in fact, you'll see SO MUCH MORE. Enjoy your family today uninterrupted or distracted. You'll notice the nuances in your family's relationships with each other and have more time to engage with them. Embrace it and enjoy it.
Next week? We'll be focusing on your SPACE. If you want to receive the emails, sign up here:
Hi, I'm Amy. When I'm not scouring the valley for the perfect new house, you can usually find me in the kitchen with a gaggle of kids. Chips, salsa and a Diet Coke are usually in hand.