I grew up with parents that had me as teenagers. I’m 43 now and my beautiful Mom is 59. She had to leave high school for a while after she had me, but went back later to get her diploma. While she was working and going to school, I stayed home with my Grandma Nola. What’s funny is that Grandma Nola isn’t my blood relative, but she’s one of the people I’m closest to in my life and one of the most influential. I love her so very much.
Grandma Nola is one heck of a lady, and at 91, is still going strong. She can do everything from cook up a fabulous meal from scratch, sew a full outfit, diagnose and treat any illness, and take care of a village of people in the island of Tonga from her home in California. She’s traveled the world and has the stories to tell! She has several college degrees as well as street smarts. She’s fiercely independent and a thoughtful giver and caretaker.
GRANDMA NOLA’S ADVICE: TAKE CARE OF YOU
Grandma Nola collects owls because she loves that they symbolize wisdom. Even as a young girl, the one piece of advice Grandma Nola always gave me was, “take care of you.” I think she was concerned that because my parents were so young and struggling, I would need to watch out for myself.
We moved away from California when I was nine and the handwritten letters I received from her were always signed, “take care of you.” To this day, she still signs them that way.
Throughout the years, Grandma Nola often reminded me that I am the only one in control of my life. I couldn’t leave my destiny to my parents, friends, boyfriends or teachers. It was up to me to create the kind of life I wanted to live.
It was partly due to her emphasis on being able to take care of myself and wanting to be a financially independent adult that made me become a lawyer. Although I no longer practice law, I’m glad I have the experience and knowledge. It still comes in handy today when negotiating contracts for my blog.
WE ALL HAVE OUR DAYS
Now that I’m a grown woman, I think I take pretty good care of myself, but I know there are ways I could be doing better. Some days I’m on it and other days life kicks the crap out of me. I’ve gone to a counselor in the past to help work out difficult issues and I found a real value in that. Some things take time and a lot of therapy to work through.
Our journey to real self care (self love and respect) is deeper than lighting a candle and calling it good. It’s standing up for ourselves, being kind to ourselves, loving ourselves just for who we are.
There are some small steps we can start implementing right now at home to help us take better care of physical selves. It’s not noble to put everyone and everything above your own well being in the name of selflessness. Sure, we have lots of responsibilities pulling at us, but to be the best women we can be, we must take care of ourselves first. Otherwise, we have nothing left to give.
A GUIDE TO SELF CARE
All of these basic little things add up to a big impact, but they take discipline to implement on a daily basis. If you make self care a regular routine, they just become part of who you are and how you live your life. This is my simple guide to self care that I wanted to share with you all so you can make a part of your daily routine.
Every morning I fill up two 32 ounce Yeti cups with water and a few ice cubes. I keep one upstairs and one downstairs so that a drink of water is never far from me and I can easily stay hydrated.
Making a meal plan every weekend and grocery shopping once a week helps me keep healthy options on hand. I often eat the same things on repeat, but it’s always things I enjoy. When we fuel our bodies with real food, lots of fresh fruits and veggies, it’s so good for us and we feel better!
At a minimum, I take a multivitamin everyday. If I’m really on my game, I also take probiotics and biotin for healthy nails and hair.
I’m over excuses with this one. Doing the HWH Fitness Challenge with you made me realize how everyone can fit 20 minutes of exercise into their day. Exercise is therapy for our mind and bodies. It reduces anxiety and lifts depression. I can tell such a big difference in my mood and my day when I get a good workout in in the morning!
I’m super excited to announce our next HWH Fitness Challenge next week, so stay tuned. In the meantime, sign up for my Weekend Newsletter because the first meal plan will be sent out September 1.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR SKIN
I’m relatively new to this, but in the last couple years I’ve become obsessed with taking good care of my skin. I had kind of an “oh sh*t” moment when I realized I’m in my 40s and haven’t been doing what I could to reduce the signs of aging through quality skin care products.
I swear by Colleen Rothschild products. I started small, but in the last couple months have been religious about using the Vitamin C Treatment Complex to help reduce hyper-pigmentation and promote collagen production. I also always use the Complete Eye Cream because I realized I was neglecting that delicate area.
I definitely swear by the Extreme Recovery Cream to keep my skin moisturized (without breaking it out)!
The Face Oil No. 9 – I swear I could drink this stuff. I use it almost everyday (switching it up with the Retinol Supreme Night Oil). I use it all over my face, neck, hands and even rub in on my body!
I could go on and on about how “when you know better you do better” regarding skincare, but if you’ve been waiting to try this skincare line or need a refill, all Colleen Rothschild Colleen Rothschild Best Sellers are 25% off now with code BESTIE25.
I’ve given the best sellers set to Ali-Shaun, my Mom and other special people in my life because I swear by it. It makes a great gift for Christmas too!
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FLOSS YOUR TEETH
We all know to brush our teeth twice a day for 2 minutes, but how many of us actually floss?? I worked in a dental office in high school and learned the importance of flossing. I’ve been working since I was 15! Now that I have my own kids, I want to be a good example for them to make sure they floss as well.
GET REGULAR CHECKUPS
Have you had a mammogram lately? A dental cleaning? A physical? That nagging chest pain needs to be looked at by a professional. Do you get moles checked? You don’t have to feel bad on a daily basis. If something is “off”, make an appointment to get it checked out. Here’s how I plan my calendar a year in advance so I can try to fit all.the.things in- checkups included!
One of the reasons we’re running on fumes is because we’re overcommitted. If we can prioritize the important things and say the difficult ‘no’ to others, I think we’d free up a lot more space in our lives. That’s why our summer was so ‘boring’. No camps and running around from here to there. Just lots of home and pool time which felt like the right speed for us.
During the school year, we do have sports and extra curricular activities and life feels like it goes so fast. I have to be careful not to add anything else in that will be the breaking point. I’ve learned that I need a lot of ‘white space’ around me to have a life I enjoy. I guess I get overwhelmed easily, but I know this about myself so I plan accordingly.
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
No one has enough hours in the day, but we all get the same 24 each day. You probably know how much sleep you need to feel good and function at your best. Aim for that.
I’ve created a nighttime routine that includes turning off electronics, getting into comfy pajamas, making a hot cup of peppermint tea, putting on my lavender diffuser and getting in bed to read with the lights dimmed. That helps set the tone for sleep as opposed to mindlessly flipping through the channels downstairs on the couch.
Grandma Nola gets a lot of credit for my “take care of you” attitude, but it’s my Mom who has lived by example the practice of gratitude. Even those years where we had nothing and struggled so much financially, my mom was always just thankful we were together with a roof over our head.
When we moved from California to Ohio, all of our belongings were ruined in the move. But she didn’t freak out because she’s never been one to put any value on material things. Having witnessed my Dad’s health decline before my eyes to the point of being wheelchair bound leaves me forever thankful that I can walk and that I have the choice to run and exercise and move my body.
I’m thankful everyday for all the little things that are actually the big things like my kids, family, friends, my healthy, my clear mind. I’m thankful I get to blog for a living and be home with my kids while they are little. And I love that I get to connect with you all here. ♥
I hope this post prompts us all to be better at taking care of ourselves. What are your self-care basics? Was this guide to self care helpful?
Thank you to Colleen Rothschild for collaborating on this post.