Self care is a big buzz word now in the media. Mommy blogs, Instagram, even some evangelical authors have been writing a lot on self care. When I hear the word self care it reminds me of spa days, splurging on overpriced coffee and going out with friends at trendy restaurants. And for a while that is exactly what I did. I spent money on things to make me feel better. My journey through motherhood has been an ebb and flow of finding what works for taking care of myself and I found out it can be done without spending a dime. I realized I don't have to buy stuff to feel better and it is still called self care. Don't get me wrong every now and then I splurge on an overpriced coffee or trendy restaurant, but only on special occasions. When I practice taking care of myself it helps my mental health in many areas: it refreshes me, gives me energy and a reignites my passions.
Self care is hard as a mom with three kids and a husband that works over 70 hours a week. It is a hard balance to find when to put my needs above my families and not be selfish. I have to make a promise to myself to stay true to my commitments. I have to balance kids needs with my needs. I have to ensure I don't misalign my values and priorities with gaining some sense of self. I have to take time to communicate with my husband. Self care is hard, but so worth it.
Today, I am sharing my top two self care tools....and they are free!
The number one self care tool I have implemented is being in the Word. Spending time reading the bible helps start my day with the right perspective. I have used devotionals, the Bible App and even other books to enrich my experience. Whichever works for you be sure the supplemental material you are using prompts you to read the actual bible yourself. It is important to read the original words so that it can speak to you. All you need is five minutes before the kids wake up or while the kids are brushing teeth and getting dressed to allow the Word to speak to your heart and set your day off on the right journey. At the bottom of the post, I will list resources I have used to help me in various seasons of life to get in the Word.
The second most valuable tool for me to feel refreshed and energized is to get a good sweat on. Before my two year old was born, we belonged to a gym. It was nice to drop my boys off and get an uninterrupted workout done. Then, after my third boy was born and my son moved up a grade it become very difficult to fit in going to the gym. Loading up the kids, ensuring they had all their stuff, I had my stuff, it was the time for childcare to be open, it wasn't during naps, etc. It just was too much for my season of life. I also couldn't workout in the morning when the gym was open for child care because it was taking up our homeschool time.
Working out for me isn't about fitting in a certain size jeans. Working out helps me to be in tune with my body and be active with my boys. Sometimes I have athletic goals of running a 5K , half marathon or even wanting to lift a certain weight. My motivation may change depending on the season, but working out 4-5 days a week helps me feel centered, less stressed and in tune with my body.
When the gym option wasn't working I began exploring at home workout programs. We purchased a used treadmill from a Facebook mom group for $50. Then, I looked into some weight training classes via online. I found a site that was FREE! And it wasn't hokey, weird or awkward. It didn't have workouts with half clothed women and techno music playing. It was just a down to earth husband and wife wanting to provide quality and affordable fitness for people at home.
Fitnessblender.com provides over hundreds of free online workouts for various levels and class types. They have HIIT, weights, yoga, low impact, hour long, 15 minute...the list goes on. Now, two years into my Fitness Blender adventure I can say I am still not bored. In order to make working out as simple and easy as possible I have purchased a few of their online programs. These programs have all cost $10 or less. When you purchase a program they take their videos and make a calendar based on your goals. Purchasing a program allowed me to make working out at home easier because I didn't have to think about it. I just choose my program, it loads it into a calendar and helps to track my progress. Workout complete!
Everyone has a different needs. Everyone feels refreshed in different ways. If you haven't found your top two self care tools that are non negotiable, must do or you literally start feeling off or different, do that this week.
Thanks for reading,
Mindful Miss Mason
Resources for quiet time:
The Bible App
My Utmost for His Highest
The Cloud of Witness
Scale How Meditations
Recommended by CMTreasures: New Morning Mercies