Self-Care is not enough to create a happy life. You cannot convince me that my life is going to be happier simply because I decided to bathe for an hour with a glass of wine. To get to the deeper issues is actually uncomfortable. I think there is a place for the self-care activities that are encouraged, such as going for a mindful walk or getting a body massage, but the missing piece is self-love. You can do a self- care activity and still face the same unresolved, untouched conflicts within yourself.
Self-love is an inward journey that we must all explore. Learning to love yourself correctly and unlearning the things that are not from a place of love. Also, there is a spiritual piece here. It is difficult to learn to love yourself without first accepting and recognizing your spiritual self.
Why are we not enjoying our lives?
We don’t love ourselves.
I believe the first step to a happier life is learning to love yourself correctly. If someone ask if you love yourself, you might say yes. But, I believe the way you treat people and how you interpret things stems from a reflection of how you feel about yourself and your life. Take a moment to reflect on this.
We have not addressed things from our past.
You have to keep asking yourself, “Why?” Question everything you do and figure out why you do it. Every belief, value, attitude, or opinion you have needs to be properly dissected and evaluated to see if it truly aligns with your core values. Many things we learned from the past we simply accept and never question it. You believe this because you were told to believe it, or you do that because somebody told you to do it. You never asked why.
We don’t have time for ourselves.
I agree that self-care is great for encouraging people to take time for themselves and restore some balance in their overwhelming lives. Many of us ever spend a second alone. Maybe you don’t like being alone? You ever asked yourself why you don’t like this? How will you get to know yourself and heal if you never spend time alone. Try to set aside 10-15 minutes a day to self-reflect.
It seems like everyone you know decided they will get pregnant around the same time, and now you have to attend lots of baby showers. Maybe you’re not sure what to gift them, but you want to buy an item that they will actually use.
Here is a list of items I actually used and loved after my baby was born.
I absolutely love this item! My baby doesn’t like to be on his back for long, and noticed when I propped him up, he really enjoys sitting up like a big boy. I use this every day while I’m doing chores around the house.
I just love the baby jumpsuits! When buying clothes for newborns: 1. Do not buy a lot of newborn sizes (babies grow super fast) sizes 0-3months or 3-6 months are a good rule of thumb, 2. Be mindful of the current and future seasons. You don’t want to buy the baby a cute winter jacket you saw now, but they won’t be able to wear until the middle of summer.
This is the safest gift you could buy. Babies will always need diapers. The baby will probably outgrow the newborn sizes really soon, so try to buy sizes 1 and up. We were gifted various sizes of diapers, and that really helped us in the long run.
Next to diapers, this is the best gift ever! I cannot tell you how often we run through baby wipes. Even if you buy somethings else, just throw baby wipes in the gift bag along with it because they will need them.
I believe it’s essential to incorporate a daily and nightly self-care routine in our lives. A morning routine is necessary to equip your mind, body, and spirit for what the day brings. Then, at night, you release all that does not serve you, and reflect, rebuild and restore yourself, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
This is how and why I chose this nightly self-care routine.
Take a hot bath.
Around 8:30PM, I take a bath. I sometimes throw in a bath bomb , or soak in lavender to soothe my body. I like to listen to music, an entertaining podcast show, or the quiet while I bathe.
Massage with lotion and oil.
My skin gets so dry (maybe from taking baths) so I like to give my body a good dose of vitamin E from lotions and seal it with Shea Moisture’s body oil products.
Clean my teeth.
Brushing and flossing your teeth is a good self-care habit to adopt. I make sure to practice this daily in my routine.
Drink hot tea.
My absolute favorite tea right now is the Celestial Seasonings Herbal Tea Country Peach Passion flavor tea! It is so delicious! I read that some benefits from drinking this tea are the antioxidant vitamin C, it helps counter the harmful affects if free radicals in the body, and it’s caffeine free to help you feel relaxed.
I try to stay off social media after 8PM because I could easily read something to disrupt the positive energy I created in the room. I try to spend the rest of the night writing in my journal to release whatever is on my mind. I make a to-do list for the next day. I also like to read a few pages from a book.
My routine takes me about an hour and a half. Since I have a baby, I go to sleep when he goes to sleep, which right now is around 10PM. Then, when he wakes up around 12AM to feed again, I wake up and go back to sleep until around 5AM.
As you can see, I may not be getting an adequate amount of sleep these days, but I don’t mind as long as I can have a moment alone for self-care.
As a new mom, it can be difficult keeping the house clean while tending to a baby. I believe it’s important to establish a cleaning routine that makes house work less overwhelming and stressful.
My routine is spread throughout the week and year because if I try to do everything at one time, or let things build up, I get overwhelmed. I’m going to talk about my routine, and hopefully, it will help you create your own.
Daily Cleaning Routine
The first thing I do after waking up is make up my bed. After I eat breakfast, I clean the kitchen by wiping down the countertops and table with Lysol Wipes, unloading and loading the dish washer, and sweeping the floor. I run the dishwasher every other day and load dishes before I go to bed.
At the end of each day, I take a small basket and pick up random clothes, towels or shoes that are out of place just to keep everything tidy.
Weekly Cleaning Routine
I have a specific chore I do for certain days of the week:
Monday’s I do laundry and fold clothes.
Tuesday’s, I clean out the refrigerator and make sure trash is gathered since my husband takes the trash out on Wednesdays.
Thursday’s, I clean the bathrooms by wiping down the countertops, shower, tubs, and toilets.
Saturday’s, I wash the comforters and sheets. Also, I like to deodorize my carpets and vacuum the floors. This is also the day I clean my wood floors.
Monthly Cleaning Routine
Once a month, I take on a tedious cleaning task like vacuuming the stairs because it takes a little longer to do that. Also, dusting the light fixtures, ceiling fans, and other areas that collect dust.
Yearly Cleaning Routine
There are some home projects I do once or twice a year. I hire a professional to clean my floors and carpet. I also wipe down the windows in my home and wash the curtains.
These are my simple cleaning routines to maintain a tidy home. Please share any tips or your favorite cleaning products!
I’ve decided to write out my morning routine for individuals or new mommies who are interested in developing or revising their own morning routines. As you are creating your own routine, make sure to list reasons why you incorporate certain activities. I’ve learned that if you don’t know your ‘why’ then it won’t stick.
I believe morning routines are an essential part of my personal growth because it is one of the only times of the day where I have a moment alone. My routine is pretty similar to the one I had before giving birth to my son, the only adjustment is that I have to be a little more flexible. For example, I used to wake up right around 5 o’clock, now I’m either up before or a little after because if the baby wakes up I have to stop and feed him. I’m breastfeeding, by the way.
For the first month or so I didn’t practice my routine because I was still adjusting to the new baby. Babies can throw everything off, but the routine is very helpful because I’m feeling like I have somewhat a sense of control over my life again.
Having a morning routine is also important because I like having structure in my life to balance not only ‘me time’, but to make sure I get everything I need to get done. So it gives me a sense of taking care of my responsibilities and my self-care needs.
I’m going to breakdown each activity I incorporated in my routine and the significance of each event.
Wake up around 5AM.
The reason I say around 5AM is because like I was saying before, the baby is unpredictable. If he wakes up before 5AM, I wake up to feed him. I have to fight the urge to go back to sleep because breastfeeding also makes you feel sleepy. Also, if he wakes up once I get started in the morning, I will stop whatever I’m doing to feed him.
Waking up at 5AM is NOT EASY! You need to have good reasons to get up that early. One reason is since my husband is still at home during that time to help me with the baby, I can have some time to myself. My mind is constantly on the baby and I’m thinking about what he needs and is he okay.
Prayer & Gratitude.
It’s something about the quiet and stillness of mornings that makes me feel more connected to God. I feel it is the perfect time for my daily devotion and inward reflection.
One of the first things I do in the mornings is say a prayer asking God to provide what I need and to help me be open to what He’s saying to me. I also take some time to reflect on what I am thankful for. (I try to write this down every morning because I hear it sticks better, but honestly, I don’t do it every morning.) I also read a daily devotional from my bible app on my phone. This allows me to reflect on his word and try to understand how it applies to my life.
I believe it’s important to start your day with some type of reflection or spiritual guidance so that sets the tone for your day. Change starts in our minds, so this is a way to train your mind to think about positive things. It’s like building a protective shield in your mind to combat the stressors and worries of the day. You cannot control everything, but you can choose how you think about it.
My goal is to drink 8 cups of water a day. I start drinking what’s equal to 2 cups of water in the morning. I set the water by my bed in the morning to make sure I get this done. I also drink another 2 cups after I workout in the mornings. So by the end afternoon, I’ve already had 4 cups of water!
Water is important to help us stay hydrated. There was a time when I used to wake up with back pains and I was always feeling fatigued. Drinking water helped stop the back pains I was feeling, which was caused by dehydration. Dehydration caused me to feel tired throughout the day. Also, drinking lots of water is important to do while you breastfeed. I have to be intentional about this because I will forget to drink it.
I used to hate working out. For the longest, I felt no desire to workout because I am naturally slim and it’s not like I’m trying to lose weight. I think most people are motivated to lose weight and I had to really think about what was going to drive me to incorporate some type of workout routine since I know, for a fact, this is important to stay healthy.
I chose to practice yoga because of it’s spiritual ties. Yoga is a form of meditation which allows me to destress and turn off my mind to just focus on the now. Be present. Also, overtime you become more flexible and toned. Even if you don’t practice yoga, any type of morning exercise helps keep you focused and productive. When I finish my routine, I feel energized and refreshed!
Right now I watch YouTube videos and practice a 30-day beginner challenges, but eventually I want to start attending regular yoga courses in the mornings.
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day! My biggest motivation for being an early riser, is being able to take my time, and enjoy a delicious meal. I just love having some combination of eggs, toast, bacon, grits, sausages, pancakes, oatmeal, yogurt, fresh fruits, or enjoying a breakfast sandwich in the mornings for breakfast. You can definitely tell when I haven’t had breakfast yet.
Tidy Up the Kitchen.
When I finish breakfast, I like to clean up the kitchen right after. I will wipe down the table and counters, unload or load the dishwasher, and sweep the floor.
Listen to Podcast or Audiobook.
While I make breakfast or clean up, I like to listen to something positive whether that be a podcast from Optimal Living Daily, Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations, Joyce Meyers, or Joel Osteen. I also like to listen to The Casey Crew with DJ Envy and his wife, Gia Casey. I sometimes listen to some type of self improvement audiobook. I enjoy listening because they’re all positive, it challenges me to reflect and reevaluation my attitudes and behaviors, and motivates me to be the best version of myself.
Shower/ Brush My Teeth.
A morning shower makes me feel clean and refreshed. I also brush my teeth and practice flossing daily. I don’t always wear make-up, but I like to think I look nice with or without it.
Depending on the day of the week, I do some type of household chore. I might spend one morning washing and folding clothes, another washing the bed sheets, vacuuming or mopping floors, or cleaning the bathrooms. I like to space out the chores so I don’t get overwhelmed or feel out of control. Also, keeping a tidy home makes me feel good about my home and allows me to be productive with other projects because I’m not worrying about what needs to get done around the house. You can read more about my simple house cleaning routine here.
Get to the Business.
When I finish all of my morning activities, I like to fix me a cup of coffee that I make in my Keurig. I create a to-do list for the day and begin working on whatever project that needs attention. My goal everyday is to focus on completing at least 3 productive tasks.
I hope this helps inspire you to create a morning routine that fits you. Remember, it will not stick unless you understand your ‘why’.