Simple Joys: Self Care

When you hear the term “self-care”, what’s the first thing you think of?

I’ve always thought it meant doing something grand that I don’t normally do, like go to the gym for a great work out, scheduling a spa day, taking a big vacation, or even (don’t laugh) getting my nails done. Don’t get me wrong here, I definitely think that getting your nails done and going to the gym ARE self-care, but they aren’t self-care for everyone. Not everyone has the resources or the extra time to drive to the gym or spend hours at the spa (right, parents?!) And I’m learning, that’s OK! There are so many ways to savor smaller increments of time. Besides, let’s face it, in a world full of overwhelm, sometimes we need self-care on the daily!

I’ll be honest, now that I am a stay at home mom, getting out of the house in general can feel like self-care! If you’ve followed along in my Instagram stories for any length of time, you’ll know that I love going to antique stores. Making a quick stop at a shop on the way home is self-care to me. Even if I don’t find anything, I just enjoy the thrill of a hunt and time spent appreciating history with our boys. I’ve always taken our kids so they’re used to it and are pretty good about keeping their hands away from breakables. I can’t shop every day though, so I had to find something a little more feasible…my simple joys.

I recently re-discovered my love for crossword puzzles. I used to do them a lot as a kid and would even time myself to try to beat my previous finish time (competitive, much?) It might sound really silly, but taking a few minutes to complete a couple puzzles when I feel stressed or stuck on something can really help me now as an adult. You see, I’m someone who likes to accomplish as much as I can during a day. When I’m not getting as much done as I plan, that stress starts kicking in. It helps me is to stop and do something I know I can accomplish, even if that just means a couple crossword puzzles. I know I can get that done, it clears my mind and then I can push forward with whatever needs done. It’s a similar effect as walking away from your desk at work and coming back to make progress. It’s kind of like a 10 minute reset of my mind + attitude.

Another thing I used to love to do growing up was to draw. Why do we stop doing what we love to do? Do you have something you did as child that you loved to do? I challenge you to pick it back up again and see what it feels like. (Well maybe, be careful, perhaps you used to love gymnastics. I’m pretty sure I’d hurt myself if I attempted a simple cart wheel…)

ANYWAY, my goal to tap back into drawing is to start bible journaling! Do I have any bible journal-ers here? I’ve been searching Pinterest for ideas to get started. My hope is that this will also help me stick to daily bible reading. I always feel such peace when my nose is in the Word. I need a lot more that!

I also love to run and play tennis. Like with antiquing, doing those every day just don’t work us right now. Someday, when the kids are older I can do more of that. I look forward to that day, but for now I’ll run & play when I can and fill in the gaps with other simple joys.

My modes of self-care aren’t going to be the same for you. Maybe you like to walk, meditate, run, fish, draw/paint, cook or bake….whatever it is, I hope you have found what works for you! If not, I hope this little writing encourages you to seek those simple joys. Just remember, only you can define your self-care and small (feasible) moments add up quicker than you expect!