3 Ways I’ve Committed to Self-Care
This right here sums up my boys in a single photo:
They’re energetic, loud, rambunctious, curios (and of course, loving) little monkeys. They spend their days wrestling and climbing and jumping and swinging and building. They keep me on my toes. And at the end of most every day, the second they fall asleep, I melt into a puddle on the couch with Ben. Then I sneakily put my feet on Ben’s lap and give him a smile he’s learned to translate as a request for a foot massage. It would be easy to allow this evening foot massage to be the only “me time” I give myself in a day. Because moms are busy. Moms are pulled in a million different directions. Moms are tired! And so often the first sacrifice we make while trying to juggle our responsibilities is self-care. Trust me, I know. Small example: amidst the back to school chaos and a to-do list a mile long, I decided it would be a good idea to clean out the garage. Needless to say, self-care has taken a back seat this week! Not sure I thought this one through…
But if there’s anything I’ve learned in motherhood, it’s that taking time to ensure my own well-being is essential for the well-being of my family. It is so important to set aside time to take care of myself. To make sure I’m physically and mentally renewed each day. It’s interesting, because for me, the things I must force myself to do each and every day to take care of myself seem to come naturally to so many other people–tasks they do daily without second thought. There are three things I have learned GREATLY influence my attitude on a daily basis–three things that serve to physically and mentally renew me each day.
- Read: Pre-motherhood I was an avid reader. Dozens and dozens of books each year. But reading for pleasure was the first thing to go when I welcomed our boys into the world. At the beginning of this year I made a conscious effort to start reading on a daily basis again. It has changed my life! It has allowed me to escape into another world without the guilt I feel after a Netflix binge. So now, I carry my e-reader with me everywhere, and rather than scroll through social media while waiting for my kids in the pick-up line at school, I pull out my book and squeeze in a chapter. Rather than getting lost in Pinterest at bedtime, I read a few chapters each night and sleep easier. Scriptures and suspense novels are my go-to’s right now. Also, read anything by Liane Moriarty. Try it! I think you’ll love it too!
- Exercise: I know, I know. This one is so obvious. But just because it’s a no-brainer doesn’t mean it has been easy for me to commit to setting aside time to exercise daily. After many failed attempts to develop a routine, I’ve learned that my best chances for ensuring a work out each day is if I make it a first part of my morning–before the laundry and the cleaning and the errands. If I wait until the end of the day, then I’ve given myself enough time to find an excuse to not do it all together. And without a doubt, each day I begin with a work out is a day I feel a million percent better about myself and am more available and present for my family.
- Skincare: I have bad skin. Bottom line. I was unkind to my skin as a teenager and I’m paying for it now. Sun spots, acne scarring, pregnancy mask that never went away. It has been easy to get discouraged and self-conscious over the years. I’ve jumped back and forth between soaps and creams and makeups that have left me mostly disappointed. However, the past few months I have adopted a routine that has finally started to show me results: fewer breakouts, lightening of dark spot, a more even skin tone, and decreased oiliness. So here it is, my skin care regiment:
- Wash morning AND night! Duh! So obvious I know, but again, I used to make every excuse and put off washing my face before bed time. This is breaking the #1 cardinal rule of skincare! I now use a gentle make up remover wipe followed by a gentle cleanser. Prior, I would buy strong products for acne prone skin but I realized they were causing more harm than good to my face–leaving me with either overly dry or overly oily skin resulting in frequent breakouts.
- Make-Up free days! This can be hard for those of us who are self-conscious about our skin. But when looking at the big picture, I know a few makeup free days each week works wonders for my skin. Also, whenever possible, I wash off my make up when I know I’m in for the night (rather than right before bed time). The sooner the makeup comes off the less clogged my pores and fewer breakouts I’m experiencing.
- Face Masks! This is my special treat to myself and my absolute favorite part of my skincare regiment. One to two times each week I wash all my makeup off and indulge in a face mask. My kids always laugh when I walk out of the room with “goop” all over my face. “Why do you do that Mommy”–they always ask, lol. I’m currently obsessing over nügg Beauty products–especially the exfoliating face mask. It has given my skin the boost it needs–particularly with my trouble spots. It gently exfoliates (which I need to help with my dark spots and dead skin) without irritating my skin. And afterwards my skin feels smooth, firm and moisturized without any oiliness. I mean, how good is this stuff:
- Gentle formula & refreshing gel texture
- Natural L-Lactic Acid and Jojoba Beads effectively exfoliate to smooth out the skin and remove dead skin cells
- Contains Cranberry Seed Oil & Aloe Juice to hydrate & replenish skin
- Single-serve face mask pods protect the formula from oxidation and are perfect for on the go
- Made with 93% natural or naturally-derived ingredients
- No micro-beads, chemical emulsifiers, synthetic fragrances or colors, mineral oil or parabens
- Use this exfoliating mask once a week or more as desired. Not recommended for use on irritated skin.
- Mfg. in USA – Not tested on animals.
I especially love to use this face mask in the morning of a make-up free day–that way I can feel it’s benefits all day long.
Check out this consistency–it’s incredible! So smooth and cooling! The masks come in individual single-serve capsules to keep the product fresh until use and to minimize oxidation. This is important because oxygen that gets in touch with the products can work to reduce the effectiveness of the oils which can happen when the product is filled into multi-use jars.
Here it is, my damaged skin in all its glory. The mask goes on in a thick layer. And then I waited about 10 minutes before washing it off. My skin feels SO clean and smooth afterwards. Just one easy way to show myself some self-love.
You can try out nügg Beauty products too by clicking the link. Check out all the different masks they offer depending on your skin care concerns. And for a limited time get 10% OFF with the coupon code: MOMMA10. And you can follow the latest with nügg Beauty online: facebook, instagram, twitter, website.
Reading is one of my acts of self-care too! I try to read at least 1 book a month. Which doesn’t seem like a lot, but as moms we have a lot going on in our lives and I think finding time for 1 book a month is a total win 🙂
First of all, I think you are beautiful inside and out!!! I have been following you since I started staying home with my two kiddos in 2008 and I love reading your blog.
Second, I would love to send you some Rodan+Feilds products for you to try. I have been using for over a year and I’m obsessed. After using for two weeks I decided to share the products and it’s been nice making a little extra money as a SAHM.
If you are interested, please email [email protected]. Or send me a FB message!!
Thank you for being so real and letting us all be apart of your wonderful life 🙂
Hi Misti! I have to say that my skin is very much like Ashley’s and I have tried a lot of products also, until I realized that most of my problems (sun spots and pregnancy mask too) will resurface with discontinued use of the product. I’m big on ingredients, especially ones that I apply directly to my skin, as the skin is our biggest organ, and I am always looking for products that are safe for my family and I. I have heard great things about Rodan+Fields, but my rep has told that the same will happen with this product- discontinued use and the discoloration will return. I also believe the ingredients in Rodan+Fields are questionable and can be harmful with prolonged use. What is your expreience with this?
Hi Jacquelyn – As when any other product, when you stop using it will stop working. Same if you stop working out, your body will lose what you worked so hard gain. My brown spots have not returned and I’m not currently using REVERSE – but, if I didn’t use a good sunscreen and went out in the sun, they would reappear.
Rodan+Fields products are created by two well known dermatologist and I truly believe in their products! I think best thing is to find something that works best for you. I have not experienced anything negative with Rodan+Fields products and I’ve been using since 2016. I truly love and believe in these products and that is why I continue to share with people.
Thank you for your comment and I hope you find something that works for you and if you ever want to try RF, I would love to send you a mini facial.
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