Self Care Project: Spring
Back in January I shared a bit about my own self care in the winter, I had been pretty much constantly ill all that month, so I was really in need of taking care of myself better!
Now that spring is (almost) here, I wanted to share a bit of an update on what self care looks like for me right now and what I have planned for this season. As I’m sure I’ve spoken about before, I’m really into a seasonal approach to my self care because I really notice a difference in what I need depending on the season.
I still love to use my Google Keep app to keep me focused – I like to list out the things I want to focus on in a note on the app as a reminder.
Here’s my main intentions:
To eat less empty carbs and more veg
I’ve noticed that I have a serious thing for crisps at the moment, I can easily sink a large bag of crisps without it touching the sides and all that salt isn’t making me feel great. Now while I’m all for balance and moderation, I feel like I’m at the point of needing a crisp ban so I get out of the habit of eating them so much.
Last month I also read WTF should I eat by Dr Mark Hyman and the way he suggests you eat most of the time (basically mostly whole foods) makes obvious sense but it just kind of clicked in my head reading that book. So I’m working on eating more fruit and veg and buying more organic too, as well as reducing the ‘empty’ carbs like crisps. I’m hoping the spring weather will make eating less empty carbs easier too!
As someone who had orthorexia in the past, I’m always wary of getting hyper obsessed with food again but I’m in such a different place to where I’ve been in the past with my approach I know I won’t go that way again. Plus this is much more motivated by wanting to feel better rather than losing weight.
Now the way I live my life I know I’ll never ever be able (or would want to quite frankly) eat a ‘perfect’ diet, I want to be able to eat whatever I like when I’m out with friends for example, but at the same time I do want to make more of an effort to eat well when I can because I want to feel as good as possible too.
Do more walking, yoga and strength training
At the end of last year I packed in the gym once and for all as it just wasn’t really working for me anymore and was becoming a waste of money. We have a rowing machine and spin bike at home, as well as weights so I knew I just needed to get my arse in gear more!
But what I’ve found is the easiest most enjoyable exercise for me is simply walking or yoga. It might not be the most heart pumping of movement, but I find that it has a much more positive impact on my mental wellbeing as well as physical wellbeing than dragging myself out to run or doing loads of cardio.
I do also enjoy using weights so I’m trying to include more of that in my routines as well.
At the moment my best time to do movement is in the morning after I’ve dropped Fin off at nursery before I start work. This morning I did a 30 minute brisk walk and I felt great after!
Stress less – by living more in the moment and having more fun
Yep, I know that meditation is great for stress, and I do meditate about twice a week as well as relax with ASMR, but what I’ve found looking back over the last few months is that I stress a whole lot less when I’m in the moment and having fun.
When I’m ‘ruminating’ – thinking about things over and over, usually connected to future events I don’t have full control over – I stop being present. Not just mindful presence in the moment but generally not being fully present in my life. I stop planning meals, making an effort to eat well, in fact I stop making much of an effort at all.
Recognising this recently has been so helpful – so often it’s being able to see what’s happening and snap yourself out of it that makes the difference.
So now when I start to notice that I’m ruminating on stuff I can’t do much about that’s far in the future I need to distract myself and most importantly, have fun!
Doing fun things is always something that brings me back into the now and as a result I feel less stressed and much more likely to do all the things I need to take care of myself better.
Other things I’m planning for spring which aren’t necessarily self care related but still make me feel good are things like planting up some flower or veg pots in the Easter holidays as an activity with Finley, planning in other Easter holiday activities like ‘bunny school’ (a day at the local park where you get to cuddle chicks and bunnies, I can’t wait!) and getting a new cooker and floor in our kitchen.
Overall what’s really become apparent for me personally these last few months is that I have to work really, really hard at doing these things for myself. I’ve been doing so much ‘life stuff’ (you know, mothering, working, partnering and all the rest), that once everything else is taken care of all I’m getting is the scraps of my energy that’s left over. I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels that way sometimes! I’m no longer prepared to just give myself the scraps.
I’d love to know your thoughts on this! What does taking care of yourself look like in spring for you?
I think getting some sunlight each day is really beneficial, as well as movement. Personally I think yoga is fantastic- it is important to work on strength and flexibility, and the mindfulness side to it shouldn’t be underestimated either.