This week, I noticed that I have been way less stressed and burnt out.
Here’s what I have been doing differently:
1. Making sure I get out ALONE and walk the dogs every day. Usually, we go out for family walks with the dogs, but it’s hard to relax when you are coaxing kids to walk up mountainous streets. I have started going by myself, something I have always enjoyed. I take all three dogs — first my two easy ones go together and then I take my strongest one by herself and pray we don’t pass any other animals that she will try to chase and pull my arm out of the socket or send me flying. When I walk alone, I can go at a brisk pace and burn off my stress from the day. I come back feeling lighter.
2. Getting outside with the kids for at least an hour after work. This week we started going to the lake in town. Being out in nature, soaking in vitamin D, and disconnecting from technology is the transition I need in-between work and mom-mode. The kids need the outside play, too. I’m pretty sure it helps them fall asleep earlier.
3. Taking mini breaks from the computer. I’m making an effort to eat lunch on my deck or walk in the yard a few minutes during the workday. Bursts of sunshine! I try to eat with my kids and enjoy this time at home together. When I do this, I get back to my desk with renewed energy.
4. Going to bed by 10 p.m. I used to force myself to stay awake and watch an hour of TV with my husband, but when I do that, I wake up groggy and cranky and drag through my day. With two kids and three dogs (one with signs of dementia), I never know how many times I will be woken up at night. It’s so important to get as much sleep as possible. It makes a significant difference in my mood and energy for the day ahead.
Bag Talk: I am wearing my @birdlingbags backpack to the lake these days. It’s lightweight and I can carry around sunblock, bug spray, and drinks for the kids in the side pockets. I also take it with me on my dog walks!
What are your self-care tips?