I Forgot About Me
I’ve realized something about myself: I do not take care of my well-being. My entire life is about being a mom and a wife and a daycare provider. I have a million things to do all the time, and then when I finally get a moment of calm, I want nothing more than to sit on my ass and just do something mindless because my brain is on fire from working so hard. Moms will understand when I say that sometimes it comes down to a choice between working on something for pleasure, sleep or a shower. Many times it’s the former. I have quick 5 minute showers to clean because I would rather spend my precious, short private time doing something that I’m excited about.
I’ve gotten into a rut with no focus on self care. I used to wear makeup every day; now I wear none. I used to style my hair every day; now it’s in a ponytail constantly. I used to take pride in the way I look, and now it’s like I feel I don’t need to try because I’m just with kids all day and they don’t notice a difference. The problem is that now I’m left wearing the same clothes that I’ve had since 2006, they’re old and have lost their shape, colours are fading, and overall I just feel like a slob in them, never feeling like I’m pulled together.
I’m tired of feeling like a slob. I’m tired of feeling unhealthy. I’m tired of stress. Overall, I’m just tired. Something has to give. I decided to start looking into changes that I can make to improve my life and start taking care of myself too. I knew what I wanted to do but needed inspiration. I headed over to Instagram (of course) and lo and behold, the clouds parted, and I found my rainbow.
Upon browsing the depths of Instagram, I found Bullet Journal and Tiny Ray of Sunshine releasing Self Care #BulletJournalChallenge. The challenge runs for two months with a new prompt released every week. Such perfect timing!
While I will be drawing the framework from this challenge, I am making it my own and calling it My Self Care Master Plan. Initially, I planned on saving this in one of the inserts in my Dreamdori but instead chose to put it right in my 2018 bullet journal. I want not only to be able to refer to it throughout the year, but I want it to be a souvenir from 2018, something to look back on and be proud.
Week 1: Personal Care
Bullet journaling is my most significant form of self care. For the first time in years, I finally feel like my shit is coming together. I have improvements to make yet, but I’m a long, long way from where I started. I’m finally organized, it has gotten my creative juices flowing, and I’m even more inspired and motivated than I was when I started a year ago.
I’m the kind of person who gets a mad rush of ideas then goes into a mad rush to start a million projects, just to have them fall by the wayside shortly after. I wanted to learn to knit, so I went out and got needles and yarn. I learned a standard stitch, got confused reading a pattern for a different stitch and set those needles down never to be picked up again. The same thing happened with crochet. The same thing happened with painting. Bullet journaling is the first hobby I’ve taken up that not only has stuck around but continues to inspire me every single day.
As you can see in this spread, I’ve outlined six items that bring me joy in me-time and six keys to overcome barriers that prevent me from doing said hobbies. The most important thing on that list refocusing on my goals. This pertains to the previous paragraph because I regularly get distracted with new ideas before finishing what I started. I need to start reminding myself to take a step back, add my plan to an “on the horizon” type section in my bullet journal, and continue along with the task at hand. It’s so easy to get derailed, and I just need to focus.
Tiny Ray of Sunshine’s description on this prompt suggests listing a few ways to help you get through a bad day. I’ve called this section “Ready, set, reset” and I’m going to look back on this page anytime I’m struggling. The post also suggests listing triggers, but I want to remain positive throughout this challenge. It’s not that the negative things don’t exist, but I worry that if I lay out a problem, I may start feeling it when I’m not (psychological warfare?)
Week 2: Physical Care
This prompt seemed easy to start but became more difficult than I thought. I am creating a goal to begin these items on March 1 so that I can incorporate it into a habit tracker in my monthly spread.
The Feel Good Stuff
As stated above, I haven’t been spending the time to make myself feel good. With that note, my goal is to start doing my hair and make up every single day. I would like to get a haircut before I start tracking this goal but it’s no excuse if I haven’t. I would like to focus on spending a minimum of 10 minutes in the shower and having one every single day. When I’m busy with the kids, daycare and everything else in life, I keep thinking I don’t have the time. I rush through a 5-minute shower every second day, and I’d like to start slowing down and enjoying them. Maybe then I can also improve with hair removal (ladies, I’m sure you understand not wanting to shave your legs every day!) which I’m sure will also help with my confidence!
I’m awful for sleep. I’m sitting here at 11:55 pm when I need to be up at 6:00 am to get ready for daycare. I do this too often to count. I wake up and not want to get out of bed, I’m groggy for the first few hours of the day, grumpy because I haven’t had my coffee… the list goes on. I need to make sure I start going to bed by 11:00 pm and read my body’s cues when I’m tired and go to sleep earlier than that. By the time the kids get to sleep, I cram all my side hustle work in between 8:00 pm and whatever time I go to sleep, and the bottom line is that it’s not working. I need to get better at spreading small tasks throughout the day and just work on a significant project in the evenings so that I can stop, take a breath, and get my ass in bed.
I am somewhat limited in this area due to my lupus. My primary symptom is vasculitis, which is an inflammation of my blood vessels. My legs start to swell, they feel like they’re on fire and oh boy is it ever painful and I find anything with impact brings this on instantly. When I first got my Samsung Gear Fit2, I discovered that I was averaging 2,000 to 3,000 steps a day. It sounds pathetic, but apparently, that’s the national average. Six months later, I was averaging 7,000 steps, and now I’m anywhere between 10,000-15,000 steps every single day. It has significantly helped ease my vasculitis symptoms. My goal is to keep up with this average count, increase it if I can and reintroduce yoga into my life. I used to love yoga, and I still do, but again, I’m full of excuses for not doing it!
Overall, I maintain a balanced diet. We make our meals from scratch where we can, I eat plenty of fruits and veggies, protein, fibre and we keep our fast food consumption to a minimum. What I need to work on is snacking. I’m terrible. I’m addicted to regular chips, pop and chocolate and seem to be eating them every single day. I’m making the goal to only have pop on weekends and reduce the chips and chocolate consumption as much as I can. I don’t want to cut it out entirely because I do believe in having anything you want but it has to be in moderation. I spent my entire life watching what I eat, and I’m finally in a place that I’ve been able to let loose a little. I’m taking it too far though, and I want to get it in check. It’s not because of my weight, but because I don’t wish to an adverse effect on my health.
I’m so incredibly excited that I found this #bulletjournalchallenge. I would like to continue to share my progress with you. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to see more photos and check back on the blog for an update later in the challenge!
Head over to Bullet Journal or Tiny Ray of Sunshine and get going on this challenge too! The beauty of this challenge is that you can do it whenever you want, you don’t need to follow their timeline. If you’re not quite ready, wait until you are, then rock it out!
Are you participating in this challenge? Comment below and tell me how it’s going for you!