Are YOU on your ‘To-Do’ List?

23
Mar
2015

Self-care-mom

I have been reminded lately of how much my self-care is needed – I must make time for me so I can be the best for others.

Seems that I was doing well on making decisions after going through The Best Yes study we did several months ago, but I truly lack self-care for myself.

I mean, I get up early to have quiet time, which is a BONUS and I just need that – so at leastI get that in.  But I had fallen off caring for myself physically with moving my body.  Exercise was placed on the back burner because there were seemingly other more important things.  In addition, gathering with friends and enjoying my family has fallen off.  I feel the need of completing my to-do list and checking on everyone else more and it is not a good road to be on.

Women are often so busy caring for everyone else’s needs; they don’t have time to care for themselves. They’re drained, sucked dry of emotional, physical and spiritual energy.” –   Kathy Peel

For years women have been fed a bunch of lies making us feel like we need to be sacrificing ourselves for the sake of our families. In fact, if we are not sacrificing ourselves, then we are selfish! I can tell you – if you are sacrificing yourself for your family, both you and your family will end up losing.  I have discovered that, my sense of peace has dwindled and I needed to refocus.

I know if I am struggling – there are others that are as well.  I think a misconception we have with the term self-care is that it needs to be a big grandiose, time consuming venture.

But I think we have it all wrong.

In order to be taking care of yourself in a way that is manageable, we moms need to find things that refresh us in small amounts of time too. It is not all about spending a day at the spa, (although very nice on occasion) the practicality of that is pretty slim that it can happen as often as we would like.

I would like you to take a look at ‘self-care’ from different perspective. Try figuring out what refreshes and refuels you in small time frames. Identify what re-energizes you and carve out time to make it happen, however that looks for you and your day.

Several years ago I started lists on note cards that I kept handy so that I wouldn’t have to think so hard on how to fit this into my day. I broke them down into 5, 15, 30 and even 60 minute time frames. This made it much easier to schedule these “breathers” throughout my day or if I had a spare 5 minutes that I could easily take advantage of that time for myself, rather than letting it slip by.

I encourage you to try it out. You may be surprised at how easy it can be to fit in things that lift you up and help you be better for yourself AND your family.

To get you started creating self-care habits, I have offered up some of my favorite ideas.

5 minutes

Make a cup tea
Light a candle in the area you are working
Sit quietly with your eyes closed
Lay down on the sofa and start the diffuser with some Peace and Calming
Play a favorite song on your IPOD
Read an encouraging verse

15 minutes

Walk around the block
Call a friend
Savor a nice long shower
Journal
Take a book break

30 minutes

Do an exercise DVD
Cut some fresh flowers and arrange them
Take an Epsom Salt Detox bath
Sit and read a book with your child
Do some stretching and deep breathing
Get out and walk the dog

If you need to schedule time in your day to make sure you fit some of these in, then do it.  I just began a hot yoga class and I have to put it on my calendar in order for it to get done the following day.  It is the best thing I have done for myself and my family!

Self-care will not happen by chance, you will need to be intentional and proactive to carve out the time needed to take a little time for you. I know if I put something on my ‘to-do’ list I have a much better chance of it happening. So, starting today…..put “YOU” on your ‘to-do’ list and make it happen. Your family will thank you for it!

My Word for 2015

5
Jan
2015

Marin-2015-word

I began focusing on having a word of the year in 2013, in the blogging community it became the popular thing to do.  I chose Perseverance.   Then in 2014 I quietly chose Grace.  So, as I read through The Best Yes and shared with you all through our study,  I realized many of my decisions and issues revolved around time management and being involved in too many things, I have chosen the word Margin for 2015.

I am overworked, overcommitted, overextended and tired of being a victim instead of in victory over my time.

I need margin.

What is margin you may ask?

In his book, Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives, Richard Swenson, M.D. describes margin like this:

Margin is the space between our load and our limits. It is the amount allowed beyond that which is needed. It is something held in reserve for contingencies or unanticipated situations. Margin is the gap between rest and exhaustion, the space between breathing freely and suffocating.

Margin is the opposite of overload. If we are overloaded we have no margin. Most people are not quite sure when they pass from margin to overload. Threshold points are not easily measurable and are also different for different people in different circumstances. We don’t want to be under-achievers (heaven forbid!), so we fill our schedules uncritically. Options are as attractive as they are numerous, and we overbook. 

I am overloaded and often can feel like I am suffocating.  That truly resonated with me.  I am not exactly sure when I transitioned to that space where margin was gone…. but I do not like the life I have been living.

Reading The Best Yes gave me some tools to help me navigate learning how to say no and know what were the activities, commitments and relationships I was to give my time to…. now I just need to follow through intentionally.

So for 2015 I will:

1.  Set boundaries around my time spent on social media

This is a hard one, as I really do love sharing online, I am a blogger for goodness sake.  But what often happens is I tend to get stuck on there and then my family receives my left overs as I have placed too much value on the other relationships.  This is wrong and I am trying to find a balance where I can enjoy that, but also set away and not feel guilty.

2.   Setting realistic goals with my writing for the blog

I can often feel that I have to write 3-4 times a week and if I don’t I am letting my audience down.  After some reflection I do know that you all do not have hours upon hours to read blogs!  If I can post two times a week some encouragement and something valuable then we are all better off.  As I look into 2015 I will have to balance that with my desire to run the online book studies as well.  I truly feel called to create community in this manner, but it takes time and help.  I was so thankful for the moms who volunteered and helped me facilitate that last study.  It was fuller and had a larger impact due to many being involved – I loved it!

3.  Putting myself first

This may come out wrong but if you are a mom who is overextended, I think you can identify with what I am saying.  I will put all other tasks above my own needs and it only negatively effects everyone.   I need to prioritize my need for physical exercise, time with God, time to read, meet a friend for coffee and just be.  There is rarely a time that I am not doing something and I think that needs to stop.

4.  Being intentional with my family

I have been guilty of this more than I care to admit – putting everything else above my family.  I have felt incredibly anxious and guilty about my to-do list – whether it is in regards to my home or my two businesses I run – I have done a poor job of being engaged.  I know this has to change.  I have gotten myself into this rut of feeling like I don’t deserve to have fun because my work is not done.  Is that not silly?  But it is amazing what your mind can begin to tell you.

I want to have that “extra” time that having margin will bring.  This will not just happen and I am not kidding around here by saying this will be easy, but I do know that something needs to change now.   My health is important and I am the one who can take control and be intentional.  Otherwise I can just end up blaming others, which is truly a sin.

I am excited to move ahead and find new ways to do things that I felt overwhelmed with and honestly, hopeless.  I can feel empowered and transformed.  His grace is sufficient and I know that He desires me to change.

Thank you for joining me in this journey and allowing me to be vulnerable and honest with my faults.  We are all in the together!

Do you have a word for 2015?  I would love to hear it!

Top 10 Posts of 2014

31
Dec
2014

top 10 posts 2014

I am back!!  Just for a quick post that will wrap up the year.  It is so fun to see what you loved to see and what rated as the top for posts for the year.  

An update on my son, he is doing just as expected and we are so happy.  His recovery will take awhile but each day gets better.  He has loved using oils to help his recovery….. who would have thought he would be begging for some Copaiba and Deep Relief, yep – it is a fact, my entire family has jumped on the oily train!  🙂

Here are the most popular posts f0r 2014 – perhaps you missed a few and it’s the perfect time to catch up!

Devotionals-busy-moms

6 Simple Devotions for Busy Moms

blog-2015-planner-household

Keep An Organized Home in 2015 – Yes, Really!

winter-wellness-cabinet

Stocking a Natural Winter Wellness Cabinet

healthy-habit-changes-busy-moms

7 Healthy Habit Changes for Busy Moms

DIY-Morning-Citrus-Blast-Body-Wash

DIY Morning Citrus Blast Body Wash

compassion-blog

Making a Difference with Compassion

15-Ways-Connect-Your-Child

15 Ways to Connect with Your Child

Free-sinuses

Free Your Sinuses in Two Days

More manageable mornings

9 Musts For Manageable Mornings

TIme-Management-Hacks-Intentional-Day

5 Time Management Hacks

9 Musts for Marvelous Mornings

25
Sep
2014

More manageable mornings

I was running frazzled, raising my voice and my four year old because we were going to be late to preschool AGAIN this week.  WHY?

Then it occurred to me, I had chosen to bypass my routine for the morning and everything was tubing down.

Sound familiar?

There are certain aspects of our lives that need to be in check – and for me and I feel for most moms – we need routine for ourselves and for our family.  Managing our homes does not come by chance and we need to be intentional to make things run smoothly.

I want a great morning and thought these tips might help you have a Marvelous Morning too!

Regular Wake Up Times

This is for everyone – you and your kids.  The particular morning I shared about earlier was one where I got up a few minutes later than my normal time and then I let my four year old sleep in a bit later because I wasn’t finished with my regular morning routine.  Big mistake.

Why I do this I will never know – but it has now been proven to me multiple times – I cannot expect everything to go smoothly when I change the routine.

Wake Up Oily Routine

I have a routine…..oh yes I do!!  It gets me off to a great start – so thankful for my Young Living essential oils instead of popping pills.  I love my Progessence Plus, Harmony over my heart, EndoFlex and some En-R-Gee – it’s what I do first thing in the morning.  Oh, and then I also love some Citrus Fresh in the diffuser!   {You can check this post out for more of my routines using oils during the day too!}

Your Favorite Beverage

For me, it’s coffee – yep – COFFEE!!  I especially love that I switched about two years ago to brewing only one cup at a time with a Keurig and it is fabulous. Fresh, hot, rich….. perfect to snuggle down with to spend some quiet time in the morning.  {This is my favorite coffee to brew in the morning!}  If you are not a coffee drinker – no worries – grab a beverage that you enjoy!

bible

Me Time

In order for me to be the best I can be, I have to get some quiet time to myself when I first wake up.  I have a spot on my sofa, I curl up with my iPad (which holds my kindle and also YouVersion Bible APP) a journal and headphones so I can listen to some praise music to start my day.  There is nothing better to fill my tank – nothing!

Check the Schedule

If I haven’t looked at our day the night before (which I often have) I will quickly check the calendar and outline my list of errands, to-do items and what is for dinner.  This gets my mind focused on the day ahead.

Shower

We all know this one and I even resist and tell myself, “Oh, I will do that later.”  Well, guess what – it doesn’t end up happening.  If I end up taking two showers a day because I work out later in the day, so be it.  I know that I can focus better and am in a better state of mind when my body is fresh and clean.

Simple Breakfast

Scrambled eggs, cereal, toast with apple butter – simple choices.  Do not have too many choices either or you will be battling little ones who can make decisions!  I love that I can add on a breakfast menu option to my eMeals plan – making simple and easy breakfasts even easier!   You can save 20% with code SCHOOL on any eMeals Meal Plan until September 30th.

Have Buffer Time

It seems like the mornings can tend to be scheduled to the second.  Instead of rushing from one thing to the next, fix some buffer time in your morning so you don’t have to beginning raising your voice to get everyone out the door.  If I do my part and keep things moving in the morning and do not let people sleep late, including me – tasks get done easier and with less fuss.

GO TO BED

This is almost the most important part of any morning routine – you need to get to bed at a time that allows your body to get enough sleep.  Your body needs sleep to re-set and restore itself, and if you are compromising your time in bed, your body will fight back.  Make sure you are getting to bed at a descent hour to get the sleep you need.

What is your favorite tip?

5 Time Management Hacks

14
Aug
2014

TIme-Management-Hacks-Intentional-Day

It is time to stop all the fun and games of summer and begin getting back to organized days and routine.  If you are anything like me, summer means you lose a bit of routine and feel a bit less productive – which can be good, but there is a time for everything as they say – and now we must think ahead and move forward.

As the school year begins, it is the perfect time to take a look at organizing our day with intention and purpose. The real key isn’t to hope to pull extra time out of nowhere, but to learn to use the time you do have more effectively. Being intentional with your time management can be the key to success and a life with less stress and anxiety

Here are my tips to jumpstart you back into an organized day!

An Effective To-Do List

This is one of the most essential tools in time management.  Find a system that works for you.  I know many have so appreciated combining their to-do list in the Weekly Household Planner – especially the version that is all ready to use, with all the household tasks listed out.  I love using my planner and adding other tasks that I need to accomplish in the line available for each day or in the notes section.  I also at times up a sticky note attached to my planner for tasks that need to be completed.  Adding tasks to the list the night before helps me organize my day and realize what needs to get done and what I might be able to put on another day.  Some moms have printed the blank version and used that exclusively for “other tasks” – making it easy to write on and organize.

Prioritizing what you need to accomplish will help you to understand what is truly important to get done and what may be able to wait.

 Next is to prioritize them. Be honest when you do this. Figure out what you need to get done and put those higher on the list than what you want to get done.

Use a Calendar

Keep track of important dates, birthdays, appointments and upcoming events. Our family uses the Apple iCal system to keep things in order and all 6 of our calendars easily synced.   I love it!  From myself to my husband who travels 3-4 days a week and a college age daughter – we all need to know what is going on.  This has been the easiest system for us to use.  Find a system that works for you and use it!  I have also used Cozi previous to our Apple conversion, or you can grab a paper calendar as well. This Amy Knapp 2015 version is great because it is big and easy for little ones to see what is coming up and is 17 months, so starts with August 2014!

Keeping a visual calender at arm’s reach does wonders for making sure you are on track and is a central place for everyone to see what is going on as well.

Command Center

Take some time to find an area in your home where you can keep your calendar and tasks items located. When things are in their place you won’t lose time looking for them. This also makes it easier to concentrate.  Having a central location for spare paper, pens, envelopes, sticky notes and your task lists will help you be intentional with staying organized.  Put stuff away when you are done it and file paperwork as soon as it is ready to be filed.

Schedule Breaks

This may make you laugh, but you are working too – so just like you would have scheduled breaks at an “office” job, plan time in your day to have a couple 10-15 minute breaks. They are important for staying refreshed so scheduling them will make sure you take breaks as well as helping some other little ones in your home expect them each day – routine makes everything  bit easier!  Use a timer to remind yourself if you need to, but take some breaks throughout the day. 

Be flexible, yet firm

It is great to have a plan and a routine that works for your family, but remember that each day brings it’s own set of issues and it’s not always possible to stick to a set routine.  I admit, adjusting to curve balls in my day can be a bit overwhelming to me, and is something I have to work on.  When something comes up that needs to get done or you need to give attention to, stop and determine if there is something that will need to be deleted from your day or rescheduled.  

Time management can save you a lot of trouble and stress. Through planning and organization you can save time and get more done. It may have a small time investment to get started, but the benefits can be amazing, plus you will open time up for things that are FUN things to fit into your day!

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