This is the Life We Live

A thought to contemplate today, and perhaps tomorrow as well. We live our lives everyday, either happy or mad, at ease or stressed, hoping and dreaming. We admire others lives, and have hopes for change in our own.

Whatever it may be, we have the life we live. But how we view it is up to us.

We could be frustrated with how things have been going lately. And truthfully I would be a hypocrite if I told you that was wrong. Frustration is part of life. It’s part of living in the uncomfortable that comes with change and growth. But too much frustration, and living in the negativity that it can create, is unhealthy.

We need to find a way to turn those frowns of ours upside down. We need to get back to the power of positivity. We need to start saying “this is the life we live” with an uplifting tone in our voices.

We need to learn to appreciate the things life has given us no matter how unexpected or challenging they may be.

Yes, giving ourselves a lot of grace comes along with this. Allowing moments of sadness and tears is absolutely okay. Accepting the need for help is normal. Turning down invitations and reevaluating commitments may be essential.

But recognizing what good things come from the moments we weren’t expecting is necessary. So today, as I try to look at my computer to work, and have an 18 month old climbing onto the couch next to me and slapping my keyboard, I pause. I think, this life I live is full of opportunity and blessings. Yes, it is stressful, out of my control, and has me crying multiple times a day. But, it is amazing, and I am glad to be here, overwhelmed with all the blessings and challenges life is giving me.

And parents who are reading this today, how can you do the same? How can you re-frame your situation to look at the positive? Even if it is only for a moment…

I encourage you, love the life you live, and love yourself for doing the best you can.

P.S. – If you need extra reminders, I encourage you to check out my products page where you can find parenting affirmation cards. These are great reminders, opportunities, to choose positivity.

Self-Care Thursday: Try not to panic

I am struggling with self-care this Thursday. I typically try to incorporate some sort of self-care into my Thursday routine so I am more successful at writing my blog posts.

Today I started the day off strong! I actually printed blank calendar pages so I could work on finally creating our Fall schedules for childcare and school. Since I teach, now primarily from home, and J will be in first grade, now at home, there’s more to add to our Fall schedule.

Like many other parents, I am sure, I have been avoiding creating the plan. I have been dreading the end of summer because going back to work and school feels much more overwhelming than a traditional year. But, I knew having a plan would bring me peace, which is truly what I needed for my self-care today.

I was quickly proven wrong. There are so many moving parts to creating our schedule, and I realized half of them are still missing. No school notifications with schedules. Half of the pieces I need from the college I teach for are not available. And developing even a skeleton schedule for our nanny soon became impossible.

Alas, this was not a very caring day for myself. It is only the evening, yet I am exhausted, defeated, head pounding, and anxious. At one point today I was reciting over and over, in my head, “Don’t panic. Don’t panic. Don’t panic!” Then a friend and neighbor reminded me I am not alone. So many of us are in the same boat. This isn’t easy, not for anyone.

So, my call to action for you all, and for myself, is to plan, not panic. Maybe we can’t plan everything right now. Maybe we don’t have schedules yet. Absolutely this will be different. Absolutely it will be challenging. But, we also absolutely can handle this! I challenge you to put a focus on planning our self-care first. What self-care will you do each day or each week? How will you plan to take care of yourself? We are going to need it to get through this next season. Are you with me? Let’s plan!

Self-Care Thursday: Give the kids self-care

Today our two older kiddos were picked up by their Papa (grandpa) and headed off for a couple days of fun.

This is exactly what they had been begging for, for many days now. They wanted to get out of the house and see new faces. The faces of the people that spoil and love on them.

And, truthfully, this is what I needed too. After they left, and the youngest was down for a nap, I took some time to myself. Yes, I should have been writing. But instead I worked out, my last workout in an eight week program. Then I watched a TV show that only I watch. You know, a sitcom that has a chick flick theme written all over it? Yup! I’ve had this season of my girly show waiting for me for quite some time. And today I watched two episodes! I haven’t sat and watched my own show in about six months. So long!

So, this Self-Care Thursday, I encourage you to think of the self care your child or children might need. If you bless them with this self care, they will come out of it feeling happier and more willing to follow directions. And, this might just give you the self care you need (in one way or another). Remember the saying, “do unto others as you want done unto you”? This definitely fits here!

Happy Thursday!

Self-Care Thursday: Rest a litte

How are you taking care of yourself and listening to your body today?

Today I am resting. A dreaded summer cold has gotten ahold of me, and I feel miserable, as all colds make me feel.

Sometimes colds, feeling under the weather, and fatigue are good reminders to take a little break. To rest a little. And today I’m listening to that reminder.

My kiddos didn’t want to get out of their pajamas this morning, so I let them stay cozy, and we had a day of watching movies and playing inside. It was raining, so it worked out perfectly in my favor.

I even sat there and watched a movie with my kids. Normally I find myself doing other things, being productive. After all, do adults really need to watch kid movies? Turns out occasionally we do!

Self care can be so many things, and today for me it meant hanging out with my kids, relaxing and listening to my body. I didn’t even try to muster through a workout this morning.

Take care of yourself. You got this!

Self-Care Thursday: Oil it up – a review of Young Living items

A self-care activity that is quick and easy, and something I do almost daily, is to use products that help me relax and relieve stress. I am talking about using essential oils.

Essential oils are an integral part of my routine because I live with chronic pain, including pain in my muscles and chronic headaches and migraines. I found years ago that the best way to manage these conditions is through natural products and practices rather than taking medications.

I typically buy my essential oils from a local company, as well as through epsom salt bath products from the grocery store. But recently a friend and I connected and talked about Young Living essential oils.

Anh (pronounced “On”) also believes in the use of essential oils and is a Mama kicking butt to grow her own business and take care of her family. Her belief in the products and the company convinced me to try them out, with a bonus of supporting a friend in her business venture. So I signed up as a rewards member, which essentially gets me discounts and would allow me to build a business as well if I wanted (though the discount is what I’m here for).

Honestly, my Basic Starter Kit arrived a few weeks ago, not long after I placed the order. It sat there in the box, because I was saving it for a special day (a self-care Thursday). But today I chose to finally open it, and now I’m not sure why I waited.

The essential oil mix in this pack is exactly what I needed today, Stress Away. What a great way to embrace Self-Care Thursday! The smell is fabulous. Aromatic without being overpowering, and continually calming me with the scent lifting me up during each breath I take. There are other products included too! There are essential oil infused mints, energy boosters, and a hand sanitizer. This pack is awesome!

If you don’t currently use essential oils, I highly recommend you do! And if you don’t have an oil lady, I recommend you reach out to my friend Anh. You can find her information in the comments of my post for today on my Facebook business page: The Parenting Roller Coaster.

Go get your oil on and start relaxing!

Note: I was not given product, nor was I paid to review these items.

Self-Care Thursday: Sing out loud

I don’t care who you are, this simple action brings joy and satisfaction to everyone. It is only a matter of allowing yourself to let loose.

Singing out loud, whether in a car by yourself, or in a room surrounded by children, can allow you to express yourself and your emotions in a safe and effective way. This little self-care action can improve mood, lower blood pressure, and recenter your mind. It even taps into the creative side of your brain that can have health benefits and stress relief.

The best part is, singing out loud doesn’t take time away from your day. You can even have a karaoke and dance party with your kiddos, which could benefit them as well, and also help you all to create lasting memories.

What a wonderful way to insert a little self-care into every day. Go ahead, sing out loud!

Self-Care Thursday: Get some sun

Now that I’m almost back to my normal, healthy self, I was able to do this today. To rejuvenate myself and get a different type of self-care in that didn’t entail staying in bed all day, or staring out the window longingly.

Today I got outside and soaked up some of that beautiful summer sun! What an amazing thing.

I am happy to get some time this summer to spend with the kids and not work so much. Today, without a care in the world, we sat outside. The kids ran through the sprinkler and road their bicycles.

Of course, with how easily I burn, I quickly moved under a sun umbrella. But feeling the sun, and embracing the summer, felt amazing! A much needed slow-down, self-care moment.

I do hope you all can take even a little time to enjoy the summer. To let it live up to all we expect it to be. Barbecues, sprinklers, pools, long evenings outdoors. I wish that all for you. But most of all, I wish for you to have a beautiful self-care moment or two while enjoying your beautiful families!

Self-care Thursday: Get your hair done

This is my self-care tip today because I was lucky enough to do this today. What am I talking about? Getting your hair done!

This seems so trivial to us, but hair stylists put a lot into making us feel comfortable and pampered when we come to their chairs. This is the same for barbers who cut mens hair as well.

Today I was feeling guilty because I felt like I shouldn’t take time away from work for myself. As I’ve said before, while I completely believe in self-care I am not great at it myself, especially when I am under the wire. And since it is the end of the quarter, I have been working around the clock trying to get grading done for the students. But, a few weeks ago, in anticipation of restrictions lifting, I desperately made this appointment. And my hair did not want me to miss it!

I was so anxious to step away and go to my appointment. But once I got there I was so relieved. It was so nice to take an hour to just relax and only worry about myself.

As parents, getting your hair done can be a forced break. A much needed forced break. And, aside from the break, you get pampered and walk away looking great! What an excellent way to take care of yourself!

Parents, go get your hair done! It has been a long time with COVID restrictions, so your appointment is long over due. Go and enjoy yourself!

Self-Care Thursday: Mani-pedi time

All parents, hear me out on this one. Not just mamas. This is for all!

If you have never had a manicure or pedicure, you are missing out. Just taking a little time to get pampered, or to pamper yourself, is time well spent. You do not have to paint your nails. And you do not need to spend a ton of money.

There are many available scrubs that you can purchase to scrub and smooth your skin. You can even find ways to make your own sugar scrubs at home, if you are a crafty person looking for a good project. And a soothing lotion to follow is an excellent option.

You can clip and file your own nails, and push back your cuticles. And if you like, decorate your nails! You can paint them with nail polish or use another application such as ColorStreet. And if you have a child interested, you can do their nails too.

Every time I give myself a manicure or pedicure it is through the prompting of my daughter wanting her nails done. She pushes me to take the time with her and to take the time on myself. She is only three, so she doesn’t know she’s promoting her mom’s self-care, but I am thankful she does.

Taking a little time to pamper yourself and promote foot or hand skin health will make you feel so much better! Take a little time to take care of yourself today.

Self-Care Thursday: Get your workout in

Yes, part of self-care is treating your body well. It is a holistic venture we all must consider. One way to give yourself the care you deserve is to exercise.

A sedentary lifestyle is not a healthy choice. Our bodies age faster and become more susceptible to injury if we don’t take the time to use them. This is where regular exercise comes in. And unfortunately, this isn’t just picking up after your kids or walking in and out of the kitchen a hundred times a day to feed the insatiable appetites your children have.

Plan activities that promote your body’s health. You can do this by designating workout time, or by scheduling daily walks or bike rides with your family. It is important though to take the time to just be in a state of activity.

Personally, the last six months for me have included daily random activity that included squat lifts using our youngest child as a weight, and jumping jacks scattered throughout the day. And occasionally I was able to get a walk or run in. But until recently I haven’t intentionally scheduled my personal exercise time, and my body could feel it. So I started scheduling, joined a group for accountability, and let my children either participate or work on school activities while I follow along with a workout video.

When you take the time to care for your health you give yourself a piece of you back. You strengthen your body and give your mind more clarity. Today I encourage you to find some time to be active. You will appreciate it.