A Guide To Self Care | How to Take Care of You

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 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.

Guide To Self Care grandmother advice

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.


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.  

Guide To Self Care

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.


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!

Guide To Self Care eating healthy

guide to self care eating healthy

What I Ate This Week


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.

Guide To Self Care daily workout

Similar Tank • Sports Bra • Sneakers • Shorts


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.

Guide To Self Care skincare routine

I definitely swear by the Extreme Recovery Cream to keep my skin moisturized (without breaking it out)!

Guide To Self Care skincare routine colleen rothschild

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!

Colleen Rothschild Retinol Supreme Eye Serum

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. 

You can read about my Morning Skincare Routine here and my Evening Skincare Routine here.

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!

Colleen Rothschild Clarifying Mask

Just click the item in the picture you are interested in!

If you are viewing in email or in a blog reader, you’ll need to click through to my blog.


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.


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.

Amazon clothing Haul crochet one piece swimsuit


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.

Bungalow Heights restaurant

Organized living room (9)

Ottoman • Similar Rug • Similar Pillow


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.

Master Bedroom update

Our Master Bedroom Makeover

Master Bedroom barefoot dreams blanket

Pajamas • Cozy Blanket


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. 

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Meet Megan

Hi! I’m Megan, mom to a thoughtful teenager and spunky young girl. We call Houston home and recently moved into our dream home. I traded my lawyer hat to become a full-time blogger in 2010. I love sharing my passion for affordable fashion, home decor, organization, & fitness to help inspire you to take care of you!


  1. This was a beautiful post. Everyone needs special people like Grandma Nola in their life. What I’ve tried to do lately is ask myself if I am being positive and impactful on other people’s lives- paying it forward.

  2. I love this reminder, thank you. I notice how much time you spend enjoying the pool with your family. Can you tell us how you take care of your hair during pool season? One dip in for me and I can see color changes and dryness in my longer, color-treated hair from the chlorine? Thank you!

  3. Thank you for sharing this story. Loved hearing about your life and your Grandma Nola. What great advice to have received for so long and starting so early.

  4. I really needed to read this today. Thank you for sharing! Grandma Nolas handwriting is exactly like my precious Grandma who also was not blood related but loved me with all of her heart #missher

  5. Megan, this was the sweetest post, thank you for telling us a little more about your early life. I love your “voice” regarding this subject, you’re very down to earth about it all. Have a great day!

  6. Megan, this is such a sweet post. Your grandma sounds like a very special and wise woman. I love all of your self care tips. Also, I see a lot of you in Jordan from that pic you posted. ?

  7. Thanks so much for all the encouragement from this post! It’s a gift for this day and the season ahead. I’ll be taking some time for personal reflection now! ???❤️??

  8. Loved this heartfelt post. A great mix of some important life reminders (your Grandma Nola sounds like such a special, wise woman!) and really applicable tips. I am in what feels like such a harried, busy season of life (4 year old and 2 year old, work from home with them) — but I do need to make myself a priority, too, and start implementing some of these. Thanks for sharing!

  9. What a great post. Thank you for sharing more about your life. It can be easy to think that lifestyle bloggers have it all, and we don’t always know what people have gone through in their lives. Glad to hear that you have such a wonderful friend and advocate in Grandma Nola! She sounds lovely.

  10. I love this!!! Thank you so much! Sometimes it’s so easy to forget the simple life. If we are always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one we are in?!

  11. Wow! Such a wonderful post! I love that you post about deep and meaningful topics like this and not just products and clothes (although let’s be honest I LIVE for your products and clothes posts)… but it’s so nice to have more down to earth topics too! I am also all about the simple life in summertime. Life is fast and busy enough as it is! It’s nice to sit down, relax and enjoy yourself in the moment with your family. 🙂 love your blog, Megan!

    1. It’s funny because although I enjoy fashion so much, it’s not where I feel my true gifts are. I’ve always been an encourager and I think that’s the real gift I have to give. Thanks so much for being a part of my blog and stopping by when you can!

  12. Oh Megan, I think this is my all time favorite post of yours. So much resonated with me. You are genuine, honest, sincere, and inspiring, and I just love you. I’m a counselor myself and encourage self care everyday, yet it’s so easy to let it slide when it comes to ourselves. I love that you pointed out self care isn’t just lighting a candle, its the way we live; standing up for ourselves, setting boundaries, prioritizing what we truly value. As you mentioned, it’s a constant work in progress and I find myself continually making adjustments. I also appreciate you speaking of some of the more challenging times in your life. It’s easy to look at you and think “her life has always been perfect!”. Truthfully, we know that doesn’t exist, but it’s so easy to believe when we look through the lense of social media. You are a breath of fresh air!!?

    1. Aubrey, your comment truly means so much to me. There’s so much in our day to day lives that doesn’t get shared in snippets on the internet. I’m a big work in progress. I’m so thankful for such wonderful family that really loves and supports me. I wish everyone could have a Grandma Nola in their lives!

  13. Thank you so much for this beautiful, thoughtful post. Your openness and geunineness was refreshing to read. Your post was a bright spot on a hard day.

  14. I grew up calling my dad’s mom Granny Joyce, that’s what I knew her as. I asked how her and my grandpa Donald came up with my dad’s name, Noland. She would always tell me it was a combination of her name and my grandpa’s name. For YEARS I was like Joyce and Donald do not equal Noland…until I found out not too long ago her real name is actually NOLA ? I love my grandma Nola/Joyce 🙂

  15. I’m in tears Megan! Love this post and you! You are a fighter and it’s in your core to make life happen, despite the despair we all can feel at times. You inspire us all beyond words, and I’m incredibly honored to call you family. Love you Cous! And love you GMA!! She is a rock star to say the least!! Thanks for the true school today…and every day!!

  16. I was happy to see I do most of what you were suggesting other then exercising but I’m so tired from being on my feet all day at my job all I want to do is come home and rest.The one thing I believe is woman need to stand on their own feet financially because life does happen this is one thing that I am teaching my girls. Please share your meal ideas.
    Thanks for always sharing with us.

    1. Yes, I totally agree. I was so uneasy when I first quit my job to stay home with my son- I’ve worked and had my own money since I was a teenager, so that was very uncomfortable to me to not be earning an income, even though I was ‘working’ as a stay at home mom. I have lots of meal ideas in the fitness tab!

  17. This was such a refreshing take on self-care. Thank you! I know I’ll be putting a few of these tips into practice.

  18. This was a great post Megan! I’ve been stopping by your blog for so many years now, I honestly feel it’s a part of my self care. It’s nice to take time to read about what you’re up to, and look for inspiration that resonates with my own life. So thank you for sharing with us for all these years. Sitting here in the early hours before I get ready for work, and drinking my coffee. My house is quiet and this is just my time to read and be inspired for my day upcoming. I can relate a lot to your story and how you grew up and I’m glad someone told you there was more out there and inspired you to take care of you. I think I could really work more on the core principles of self care, instead of trying to be selfless and giving everything I have to other people. So thanks again Megan!

    1. Stephanie, that is seriously one of the best compliments you could give! Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and write. It really means a lot! I need to be better at standing up for myself and asserting myself. Sometimes I’m too quick to do what everyone else wants instead of speaking my mind. It takes courage to dig deeper, but I think it’s worth it. Hope you have a great day!

  19. Strangely enough, one of my favorite posts from you over the years! Your tips were simple reminders that we all do better as women, if we take care of ourselves. Taking a hot bath or long shower, doing a face mask at home, doing tanning wipes or getting an actual spray tan, sitting and drinking a cup of coffee or reading a magazine are some of the ways I take care of myself and when I’m not doing those things I start to feel Blah and it affects my mood around my kids and my husband! Even just waking up earlier and doing a “miracle morning” is a small way to take care of ourselves that makes a big difference! Really enjoyed this, Megan! Keep ‘me coming!

    1. That Miracle Morning helped me so much when I read it! I feel like I should reread it now that you mentioned it again! I like hearing how you take care of you- my Saturday morning magazine time is sacred! 😉

  20. Well, you dropped this beautiful post in my inbox on just the right day. These are all things I practice in house (minus the skin regimen), but it is a struggle to keep all of them happening at the same time. With the school year ahead and the end of summer near, I’m especially mindful of the ‘white space’ that makes us all feel more connected as a family and keeps momma less frenetic. Everyone should have a Grandma Nola who speaks wisdom into them at a very early age and keeps the mantra alive. Parents speak plenty of beautiful wisdom into us but somehow grandmas and other significant adults seem to reach us in a special way. Thank you for sharing your story.

    1. I feel the same Amy! I often get off track and then it’s back to basics again! I’m so thankful for her. I need to call her and see what she thought of this post! I bet she has more advice she’d like to share!

  21. Love this post. Great simple reminders that we are important too. Your Grandma Nola sounds like a wonderful woman who truly has shaped you as a wonderful woman and mom. Thanks for sharing.

  22. That picture of you? I immediately thought James! You guys are twins!
    Also? This post was a beautiful reminder. I’m getting ready to have our second baby and need to keep remembering to slow down and take care of myself too.

    1. Oh my goodness, I’m so happy for you!! Your daughter will be such a good big sister! They will be great friends since they’re close in age! I hope you’re feeling good!

  23. Thank you for sharing this, inspiring and touching. Your blog is a favorite! enjoy today! Ps: also loved the amazon post and appreciated you explaining the credit, you should be compensated for your excellent work! I did buy one of the shirts you featured.

  24. Loved this post! My mom didn’t take the best care of herself and sadly passed away from tongue cancer in November. She had been a smoker for most of her life but did finally quit 7 years ago when I was pregnant because she wanted to be around for her grandkids. Sadly it was too late. She also was just starting to exercise right before she got sick. She was my inspiration to run a half marathon and to take care of myself. However I am still deep in the grieving process so some days I just don’t have the energy. I have been thinking of going to therapy to help with the healing process. I’m glad you mentioned that in your post as well.

    1. I am so so sorry Kristine. We lost my Dad too young too and it’s such a tough loss. If you can find a good counselor, it could really help with the grieving process. I’m sending you love and hugs.

  25. Thanks for this post Megan. Taking care of yourself is such an important topic, and one that bears repeating! I think what spoke to me the most what the importance of knowing yourself in order to take care of you. I too can struggle with overwhelm, and if left un-checked for me, it can take me down the road to depression and anxiety. I also have worked with a counselor, and still check in with her from time to time for a “tune-up”. The more I know myself, the better I am at making good choices for me. It’s funny that for your family saying no to summer camps is what works for you guys, where as in my house, summer camps are what save my sanity. With 3 kids who fight endlessly and bitterly, too much together time is a disaster for us! So what works best in our family is for the kids to go off and do fun and interesting things during the day, thank goodness there are so many wonderful programs out there! The kids get out for the day and do fun and interesting stuff, and I get some time alone to pursue my goals and be productive-all very important pieces of my mental well being! I guess my point is that self care looks different for everyone, and I like that you talked so much about knowing yourself and your own limits. How much sleep do YOU need, how many volunteer positions can YOU manage? So many moms I know wear exhaustion as a badge of honor, but I think it’s time we change that way of thinking and start taking care of ourselves, and it’s posts like yours that promote that important message. So thank you for your inspiring words and the important messages you share. So grateful! xo

    1. Hi friend! I so wish we lived closer! We have so many similarities. I’m so lucky to have my mom to help during the day though, or else I probably would have had to send the kids to camp this summer. My son prefers to stay home, so I’m glad we can do that now. Sending you big hugs!

  26. Hi Megan! This was an absolutely great post My childhood best friend and I always end our conversations and hand written letters to each other with “Take Care of You”. We always have ever since she moved to California at the age of 10. And we still say it to each other to this day. We got it from the movie Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts character was getting in the car with Richard Gear for the first time and her room mate told her “Take Care of You …lol But it wasn’t until I had a recent health scare that gave that term new meaning. I DO need more “self care”. I enjoy reading your post daily and I even enjoyed reading the last fitness challenge posts even though I didn’t participate. But this time I’m going to join in! You are very inspiring and I appreciate all of the work you do to provide quality content.

  27. Megan, thank you for taking the time to write this post. I have to agree with others, I think this is my all time favorite post of yours.

    It couldn’t have come at a better time for me too, life has been a little crazy and I appreciate you writing about self care, because it’s something we often forget to do.

    Take care of you!

  28. What a beautiful post and tribute to both Grandma Nola and your mother.
    They must both be beautiful and amazing women.

  29. Wow. I look forward to your posts every day and this was just so touching and moving. And motivating!! I find back to school is when I reflect on where I’ve been and where I want to be. And this post was just the motivating boost I needed. Thank you! And thank you Grandma Nola!

  30. Thank you for being open. I am a 44 year old and bloggers that are on a journey of becomeing their best self in a open and real way are far more relatable than those who tell me over and over again what they are “obsessed” with. Real, open, honest. Let the mess and the “real”shine through and more and more women will be inspired to travel their own journey of becoming their best selves and not just “keep up” with an online image.

    1. I’m really glad we can relate to each other and connect here. I’m still a big work in progress, but thankful I get to share the journey with you here.

  31. I needed this today! Why do I instinctively feel like taking care of myself is selfish?? Thank you for this great reminder of what our priorities should be. 🙂

  32. Megan, I absolutely loved this post and agree with the other comments. I love your sharing your life and ideas with us. You are authentic and I love it. It’s so refreshing to get a glimpse into other people’s lives because as a tribe we are stronger! We can learn from others! Thank you so much! This post was exactly what I needed to hear today.

  33. I always enjoy your posts..u just are so real and talk about great topics! the picture of you sitting on that couch.. can you tell me when the couch is from? and is it a deep sitting one? it looks so nice!!

  34. If you were to just buy one or two of the Colleen Rothschild products that are currently on sale what would you buy? I’m 52 years old and have never used their products. Thanks!

    1. Hi Nancy! I would definitely get the Radiant Cleansing Balm for everyday cleansing and then look on her site for what your specific skin concerns are. I think you can’t go wrong with the Retinol Supreme Night Oil and/or Retinol Supreme Eye serum for aging, fine lines and wrinkles.

  35. This is truly such an amazingly beautiful post!! Grandma Nola sounds like such a dream come true! Thank you for sharing & spreading so much of your love & wisdom. This is truly one of my favorite posts… in fact I read it twice! Your mama and grandma Nola did an incredible job raising a fine young lady… cheers my friend!

  36. Megan, thank you so much for this beautiful post honoring your incredible “Grandma” Nola and your Mom, as well as the courage of your father. I have always been the “caretaker” type of personality and have been feeling overwhelmed because I have been a caretaker for my almost 84 year old father who had surgery for bladder cancer three years ago and my sweet mother who is 81 and suffered a herniated disc in her back two years ago. I am also a mother to two sons seven years apart…one is married and I am blessed to be a grandma to three precious grandchildren who live nearby and the single son lives 500 miles away, and my sweet husband of 39 years cares for his 89 year old widowed father. I am inspired by your beautiful family and blog constantly. How did your Mom cope when your dear father had cancer? Cancer does have a impact on a entire family. I will take your guidance to “Take Care Of #1 You” as inspiration going forward…Blessings to you and your entire Family!!!! And thank you for being so honest and inspirational in this post…it is my favorite!!!!

    1. Hi Deb, your comment brings back sooo many memories of those really long days caring for my Dad when he was sick. My mom did most of it and I know she was utterly exhausted. Hospice once suggested to her that she go to a movie or a spa for a massage and she almost laughed in their face- she would Never be able to enjoy that or leave my dad alone for that long. A sickness like that really does take such a toll on everyone. But it’s a labor of love. I’m sending you so much love and I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers. They are so blessed to have you!

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