Archive | Self Care

You Are Allowed To Have All Of It

You are allowed to like what you like, to dislike what you don’t.

You are allowed to put yourself first. You are allowed to be selfish, even if it makes others jealous because they don’t know how to be.

You are allowed to draw the line over which someone else may not cross and then draw again it as many times as you need to.

You are allowed to choose your babies over your career, or to choose to leave your baby to feed your brain and heart.

You are allowed to be specific about your needs.

You are allowed to have needs.

You are allowed to be messy and yourself. :: www.nurturedmama.net

You are allowed to live by your values, even if your values don’t quite match everyone around you.

You are allowed to feel sexy and act sexy, and tell your lover exactly what you like. Even if you don’t have a perfect body, or if you have scars (inside or out).

You are allowed to make mistakes and be messy and change your mind. You are allowed to have a mind, and opinions.

You are allowed to wear a swimsuit to matter what shape your body is. You are allowed to wear strappy tops even if you have big arms or scars.…

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5 ways to restart a healthy habit

Things that are good for you aren’t always fun. Sometimes they take a bit of effort. The goal might be worthwhile, but the path there isn’t so enticing. So even when you start with the best of intentions, you might fall off the wagon and then it is really hard to get back on. I know it, I’ve been there. But I’ve learned some ways to make it so much easier to get back on that good habit and make it stick.

Healthy habits are hard to keep, but that doesn't mean you should  quit when you fail. 5 tips for restarting a healthy habit when you've slipped up.

Last year I worked with a nutritionist while I was going through chemo to keep my body as strong and resilient as possible. Early on, she suggested I stop eating sugar, to which I said something like, “Not likely.” But I did reduce how much I was eating, and then after surgery and a couple rounds of winter viruses (thank you preschool kids), I went for a couple of weeks without it and I couldn’t believe how different I felt. I slept better. I didn’t have blood sugar highs and lows, and no energy dip in the late afternoon. My joints stopped aching. I got over the next cold amazingly fast. After the first week or so, I even stopped craving it.…

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Messy life management – 7 ways to cope

What have you done for yourself this week? Or is your messy life getting in the way?

Is it hard to even remember? Does the idea of doing something for yourself feel impossible? Laughable? Too selfish to even consider?

Is your life an overwhelming mess right now? Don't know what to do to dig out? Here are 7 things you can do - fast - to help you get back on top of that messy life. :: nurtured mama.net

 

I’ve had a week like that. Every time I turn around, it seems, I get a little more bad news. Some new complicated thing I need to manage. I can feel that I’m carrying all of my worries in the muscles of my shoulders and every time I move I hurt. And then that makes me worry about the link between stress and cancer reoccurrence. As if I need something else to worry about.

But it is weeks like this that I know how very important it is to take good care of myself. To do things that are just for me. They have to be tiny, mostly, but they have to be in there.

The week after I was diagnosed with cancer last year, I remember talking on the phone to a friend who asked, “What does your self-care look like right now?” I couldn’t think of anything, at first. And then I remembered that each morning for the last three days I had chosen to put the same tee-shirt back on.…

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How To Get Through It: A brief guide for chemo patients

A brief guide for cancer patient on how to survive and thrive during chemo treatment. :: www.nurturedmama,net

Be brave. By which I mean feel terrified and resolve to move forward anyway.

Cancel your to do list.

Call in every favor, but not all at once.

Expect that it will be worse than you think. Know you will get through it anyway.

Get used to the discomfort of other people doing things you feel like you should be able to do yourself, but actually can’t do yourself right now.

Give yourself permission to be righteously furious. And then give yourself permission to speak that fury out loud (but don’t aim it at your immediate family).

Let yourself off all the hooks.

Get acupuncture. Often.

Get used to crying.

Conserve your energy for the things that matter most. Don’t let anyone else make that list for you.

Resign yourself to the many pharmaceutical medications all lined up in their little orange bottles.

Use marijuana medically and also when you just need a break from feeling everything.

Say thank you often to your significant other, or parent, or child, or whoever is carrying the brunt of your care.

Be really specific about helps you and what doesn’t.

Remember that every cycle is going to be a little different.

Get on YouTube and learn to wear a scarf from fabulously stylish women who have not actually lost their hair but wear scarves beautifully anyway.…

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Hello From Outer Space – Keeping A Self Care Practice

How a daily self care practice might save you when big changes or grief hit in your life.

My friend Andrea shared a story on her blog last week titled, “One day you’re a dog, the next day your are in space.” It is about how sometimes your life pivots on a dime and you find yourself headed in a direction that that is unexpected and uncharted. Her story was about deciding to leave her marriage, and not being sure of that step until the second the words came out of her mouth.

My story is about a phone call I got at the end of April, when the doctor on the other end of the line said, “I’m sorry. The test results show that the biopsy is consistent with cancer.”

Boom. Outer space.

If you’ve ever been diagnosed with cancer or been close to someone who has, you’ll know that the next few weeks of my life quickly filled up with doctor’s appointments, tests, research, planning, and many many tears and bouts of anxiety. In many ways those weeks were the very hardest part of this journey so far. So much was unknown, so much was scary. I had to face my own mortality and decide how I was going to stand in that place and also move forward.…

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How to Read All The Books You Want To

If you want to have more time to read, set a goal and make a few small adjustments. Now get to reading all those great books. :: www.nurturedmama.net

This year I have a goal to read 40 books. That feels a bit audacious, even though I know people who have a reading goal much higher even than that.

I started setting reading goals for myself a couple of years ago, when I realized I was hardly reading any more and I really really missed the act of really getting lost in a good book. I missed the intellectual workout. I missed the escape from my day to day life and the peek into lives far different than my own. I missed the practice of reading good writing and studying the craft of it, to make my own writing better. I just missed being a reader and I wanted to be a reader again.

Each year since then I’ve passed my goal, so I feel confident in sharing what I’ve learned about finding more time to read, so you, too, can read all the books you want to.

Make It Easy

To make your book the first thing you turn to, you have to make it really easy. Easier than picking up your phone and opening Facebook.

I love paper books. I really, really do. But I realized that if I wanted to read more, I was going to have to embrace other formats.…

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The Most Important Love Letters You’ve Never Written

By mid-January, there are sparkling red hearts everywhere we turn, enjoining us to declare our love to our nearest and dearest. Pillows and cards, banner and cups. Love is everywhere. Doesn’t it make you want to pen love letters?

 

 

I try to say “I love you,” to my family every day. In the morning when I greet my daughter, I say, “Good morning, my love, how did you sleep?” I tell her I love her so many times each day that she just nods in response. Because yes, she knows. Likewise, I kiss my man and tell him I love him every time we part, whether we will be separated for a few minutes or several hours.

Even if you state your love generously to your family, what else are overlooking that also needs love? What could you create if you turned some loving energy on new parts of your life? What if, instead of writing a love letter to your lover, you wrote one to yourself? What would you say? What if you expressed your love for something less tangible, like money, or pain?

Here are six ideas for love letters you’ve probably never written, but definitely should.…

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Be Nice To Your Future Self

What can you do today be be nice to your future self? :: www.nuturedmama.net

I read about this idea, being nice to your future self, in a recent post by Heidi Swanton on 101 Cookbooks. She was talking about how making a big pot of soup so she’d have lunches to take with her to her studio is an act of kindness to her future self. What a brilliant way to think about taking time for self care, or organization, or preparedness, as a way to be nice to yourself in the future.

If I sit down with a cup of tea for 10 minutes before I go pick up my daughter from school, I’m being nice to my self two hours from now, when I would otherwise be grumpy with her.

If I choose to go to bed early tonight, I’m being nice to my tomorrow self.

If I sit down and make a menu plan on Sunday night, I’m being nice to my Monday morning self by having my shopping list ready before I go to the store, and my dinner hour self all week because I know what I’ll be cooking and I know I have all the ingredients.

If I plan a large meal on Monday, I’m being nice to my Tuesday and Wednesday selves when I can skip cooking and just reheat.…

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Mama Grief: Claim Your Right To Heal

So your baby is healthy, but you are still sad? Claim your right to heal, no matter what you are grieving. :: www.nurturedmama.net

I originally wrote this piece as a guest post on Modern Alternative Pregnancy in 2013. Writing it was cathartic and healing, but around Bean’s birthday, which is this week, wisps of this old sadness still rise. I hope sharing it again here will give some mama somewhere permission to voice and heal her grief, whatever that looks like for her. 

I cried when I came home from the hospital with my newborn daughter. I walked through our rooms, cleaned and prepared for us by my sister and my best friend, and sobbed. They had washed and put away the dishes. They brought a bouquet of flowers that nearly filled our dining room table. They put the red silk comforter back on our bed and deflated and put away the birthing tub that I never got to use.

Our daughter was supposed to be born there, delivered into warm water and surrounded by candles. I wanted her father to catch her body and bring her to my breast. I wanted the soothing music I had carefully selected.

So your baby is healthy, but you are still sad? Claim your right to heal, no matter what you are grieving. :: www.nurturedmama.net

 

Instead, on the morning of my third day of labor, when I was still only dilated 3 cm, exhausted and scared, we sat with our midwife and came up with a new plan.…

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Preparing to Conceive After A Miscarriage

Ways to help your body and soul heal after a miscarriage before you decide to try to conceive again. :: www.nurturedmama.netI originally wrote this post in 2013 for Modern Alternative Pregnancy, where I was a contributing writer. I wanted to share it again here, because I think these healing steps are so important (and often overlooked). 

This summer I sat on an exam table in an ER in Denver and heard a phrase I had hoped never to hear: “I’m very sorry, but we can’t find a heartbeat.”

I was in the ER after a car accident, where they confirmed that I was only bruised, not badly injured, but that the baby I was carrying had died perhaps a week earlier, at nine weeks gestation. The doctor called it a “missed miscarriage,” which is when the fetus has died but the mother’s body hasn’t yet shown any of the usual signs of miscarriage such as cramping or bleeding. My body still felt pregnant, but the baby was gone.

I declined the Misoprostol and D&C and flew home to let my body complete the process naturally. It took another couple of weeks, a round of acupuncture and Chinese herbs and a dramatic onslaught of bleeding before the fetus finally passed from my body.

Several months have now passed and I have learned a great deal about how to heal both the body and the heart after the loss of a pregnancy.…

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