Christmas Blog

In the last few weeks at church I’ve been listening to stories about advent. Hearing over and over that anticipation is good. That waiting is good. That patiently finding hope in what is to come is good.

And to be honest that really resonated with me in where I’ve been at in my life lately. December hasn’t just felt like advent. This whole fall has felt like advent. And the waiting game has been hard.

You know in the movie Click, where Adam Sandler skips over parts of his life? I have had many moments where I wished I could just skip to the part where I know what I’m doing. Where I’m not in the middle part of the story full of growing pains and waiting and hoping for what is to come. Where I have a plan and the goals I’m dreaming about and hoping for right now are already accomplished.

But also, I cried like a baby when I watch Click because he skips over his whole life and misses all the important moments and gets to the end wishing he had appreciated the middle bits so much more.

Even though Click is most definitely not a Christmas movie at all, it relates to how I’ve been feeling about Christmas this year. Our lives aren’t about skipping over the anticipation to get to the future. We need to take our time to enjoy the seasons of waiting.

I realized on my way home from the mall the other night that I really was missing the point of Christmas this year. Many of us know the cheesey phrase “reason for the season” but it truly hit me as I was panicking about wether or not I had good enough gifts for my family that I was realllyyy missing the point.

This season is not actually twinkle lights and watching Home Alone and baking cookies and buying the best gifts we can for the people we love. Those things are great, but it’s not the point. We give gifts at Christmas as a symbolic reminder of the best gift we’ve ever been given and could ever give.

And when you remember that, the panic induced “I wish I could afford to spend my entire paycheque on my parent’s christmas gifts because they deserve it” fades away because newsflash *no gift you give is better than Jesus being born*.

This is a season to remember what happened, and honour that and be as generous with the people we love as we can. It is not a season that should be focused on the gifts under the tree. And it is a season to be reminded that it is good to wait.

Gift giving is also difficult for me because I suck at surprises (on the giving and receiving end). I am the type of person who would love a surprise party thrown for me, but also love planning so much that I would never not plan a party. I tend to micromanage, I like to feel in control and when the holidays come I’m the queen of planning and Christmas shopping and trying to have everything purchased and ready to wrap by the end of November.

And y’all that didn’t happen this year. I didn’t wrap my gifts until Christmas Eve and I felt like a hot mess. And it felt like a very close to home metaphor for life lately. But why is that? An easy answer, control. As humans we like to be in control. We like feeling like we have knowledge and power. We like feeling like nothing can get past us. And what happens when we crave control we can’t have? Anxiety.

But maybe that’s the lesson here, we can’t always micromanage our lives. We can’t always be fully in control. We need to find joy in the waiting for what God has waiting for us. In the trusting that good things are coming. December is the season of advent, but maybe it’s not the only season of advent me or you are experiencing this year.

You might be reading this thinking … Kaitlyn… Christmas was yesterday. Why are you posting this now. Well because maybe this is a lense we can use to look at our lives. Maybe the posture of reveling in the anticipation can be something we carry into the other times when it would be easier to fast forward in our lives.

It is normal to crave control, to stress out when you don’t have it, and get restless in the stagnant seasons of waiting. But keep waiting. Stay faithful. If you’re in the same boat as me, keep trusting that good things are coming and stay present to appreciate the moments that you’re in while you wait.

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Love Don’t Cost a Thing & Your Self-Care Shouldn’t Either

Welcome back to week two of the September Self-Care Series!

Self-care is often talked about hand-in-hand with the concept of treating yourself. This week I’m talking a little about why it’s problematic to commodify self-care the way that we do. Self-care is a practice meant to build up resilience in yourself. When it goes from being the rituals you to do practice self-love and keep yourself feeling balanced to something that costs money it means that it is no longer accessible to everyone.

Self-care isn’t a commodity that only some people should be able to access. Self-care is a mindset, it’s habits and routines and actions you can do to take care of yourself. Practical self-care, such as setting budgets for money, taking care of your physical health, or going to sleep early might not be Instagram worthy, but it’s just as important than the glamorous self-care we think of.


Last week I wrote about how the first step of self-care is listening to what you need, being willing to take breaks, and then being intentional about responding to those needs. This week lets dive a little deeper to what that can look like.

Treating yourself from time to time is great. Buying yourself something you’ve admired can be a nice way to reward yourself. However, a quiet night in with facemasks and 7 layer chocolate cake in a lavender bubble bath with a new book that you treated yo’ self to… it sounds dreamy but could run you about $50. That isn’t practical or accessible.

When I brainstorm mainstream self-care many of the things that come to mind aren’t accessible to everyone, and self-care should be because everyone deserves to have the resources to take care of themselves. In the conversation about self-care I think it’s important to think more about the little daily things rather than the big treat yo’ self moments.

Championing self-care means being mindful of inclusive practices and having an intersectional approach (Kaitlyn’s inner feminist is coming out y’all). I’m not going to sit and write about facemasks or splurging on expensive lattes and leggings. As self-care becomes a bigger topic in our culture we should be mindful of how we are really being gentle with ourselves vs. spending money on ourselves and calling it “self-care”.


A few months ago I was buying groceries and saw these pretty flowers on my way to the cashier. I thought “those are so pretty, I’m going to get those for me because I deserve it” – but as soon as I got home I felt like it was a frivolous purchase and I felt silly because I was more stressed about wasting money on the flowers than I would have been if I just left with what I had set out to buy.

We hear the message ‘treat yo’ self’ all the time, but if the message we actually need more often is ‘stick to your budget and don’t buy things you don’t need’ then this is me putting that into the world for you. If you take one thing away from my blog this week, let it be this, when self-care goes from being tangible actions we do to fill ourselves up so we can love others better, to expensive or extravagant things it is becoming exclusive and not available to everyone who needs it.

The other day my friend asked the question on instragram “what are your favourite ways to practice self-care?” and these were some of the responses she got:

  • Going to bed early
  • Working out
  • Drawing
  • Going to an unexplored coffeeshop
  • Turning off my phone
  • Writing down feelings
  • Getting off social media
  • Running
  • Cooking and eating wholesome food
  • Writing in a notebook, giving voice to feelings
  • Spin classes

Sure, they aren’t all completely free – but in terms of practical self-care these are a lot more accessible than going on a shopping spree or an expensive spa every one in a while.

I heard someone comment that how self-care is becoming another one of those thinly veiled performances of affluence – and that really stopped me in my tracks. If we are intentional about listening to our bodies and our needs, I think we should also be intentional with the way that we care for ourselves. Maybe that is setting a budget, maybe that is eating a salad instead of a burger, maybe that is choosing not to treat yourself to something you can’t afford, maybe it’s sitting with uncomfortable feelings you’d rather avoid, whatever it is be mindful of what you actually need to do for you.

I found this interactive guide to self-care online and I had to include it this week – it asks you questions to help you figure out what practical things you can do to meet your needs and it’s great: http://philome.la/jace_harr/you-feel-like-shit-an-interactive-self-care-guide/play. If you made it to the end of this post about practical & financial self care and inclusive feminism – thank you. Next week I have a special guest post for the September series I’m excited to share with y’all!

Inspired by Lori

For the month of September I’m kicking off a series of blogs on different aspects of self-care. This week’s post is dedicated to my good pal Lori.

Lori is a great friend, wise beyond her years, I often forget I’m the older of the two of us. We bonded a lot in out time living together in Florida, and maybe even more since. When we talk the topic of self-care comes up frequently. Lori is great to bounce ideas off of and we encourage one another to find ways to to pause and practice some self-care when we need it most.

This week’s post is inspired by some of those converstatins, so it only makes sense to credit half of these ideas to lil’ mama.


How are you, actually?

A key part of practicing self-care is being mindful of how you are really feeling. When we feel stressed, especially when it is frequent stress about little things that we wouldn’t usually find overwhelming, it can be a sign to slow down and be intentional about pausing to take care of ourselves.

Self-care isn’t always a big thing, I think it is most effective in our everyday lives when we are mindful of how the little things we do can add up to impact how we are feeling. Once we recognized that everyday things, like how well we are sleeping, how much coffee we are drinking, and if we’re working out and getting endorphins going are crucial aspects of wellness along with other acts of self-care we can do a better job at caring for ourselves.

The little rituals and habits in our lives add up, they can have a huge impact on our mood and when we practice living well and listening to our bodies we can take care of ourselves in a gentle and understanding way.

As the summer has simmered down to a near close I’ve been reading a book called Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life. I can’t recommend this book enough, and the author Cleo Wade starts the first chapter with a beautiful description of why self-care is important;

“Self-care is how we fuel our self-love so that we are able to share our love with everyone around us. Our hearts are warm when we are able to show up with generosity, patience, and compassion for the ones we life, but we must remember that it is impossible to truly be there for others without taking care of ourselves first. We take care of ourselves by asking what our needs are. We take care of ourselves by making healthy choices when it comes to our  physical and emotional bodies. We take care of ourselves by lightening up and not being so damn hard on ourselves…It does not benefit anyone when we live our lives running on fumes. Love is an action, a thing in motion. Therefore, it requires fuel.”

Balancing Act

Life can get busy and with all the things we have to accomplish at school, at work and in our social lives we can sometimes get frustrated that we can’t keep up with the go go go pace. The best way to stay energized and integrate self-care into a busier lifestyle is to make to-do lists that have the regular tasks you might except along with self-care stuff (such as running , having a bubble bath, painting, watching Netflix, eating cake etc) so we remember that is a priority too.

Another quote I love from Heart Talk about this idea is ;

“At times, life seems to be one never-ending to-do list, but we must learn to disrupt the flood of life’s demands in order to replenish our energy so that we can fully show up for all of our passions and responsibilities.”

Self-care is not always about treating yourself but learning to listen to what you need and allowing yourself to take breaks and take care of yourself a little bit everyday. Sometimes the most important part of self-care is learning to recognize when to give yourself a break.

I once had a professor say that self-care is building healthy coping habits for yourself when life isn’t stressful, so that when it gets to be stressful you already have those habits in place. These habits could be waking up early to drink tea before the morning rush to give yourself space to feel centred or booking off a night just to hangout and catch up on your favourite tv show. Writing “eat cake” or “take 15 minutes to draw” on your to-do list might sound silly, but from personal experience I know it can help you to feel more balanced.

Simple Self-Care & Accountability 

The less exciting side of taking care of yourself is taking steps that will help you in the future rather than in the exact present moment. Like budgeting or eating healthy or going to bed when you’d rather go out.

When you do little things you don’t want to do because it’ll help you in the future, you’re practicicing self-care. When you take a break and let yourself just sit and breathe for 5 minutes before rushing about your day, that is also self-care because your future self will have had time to be present and hopefully be feeling less stress.

In the words of my girl Lori, “it is a mix of the two” [doing the things you don’t want to because it is good for you, and giving yourself a break].

As I said above, Lori is someone who I talk about self-care with a lot and it’s not only helpful to have someone to debate it with and think about it in different ways. It is so powerful to have someone who holds you accountable to practicing self-care too. Having people in your life who also believe in self-care and hold you accountable are so great.

It’s self-care, it’s up to you to actually do it. But having friends reminding you can be important too. We picked up this phrase living in Florida where if you’re hearing someone talk about a bad day or something they are struggling with you ask “what are you going to do to take care of yourself today?”. It’s so powerful, just to even be asked and reminded that I am in control – the ball is always in your court when it comes to self-care.

If I reach out to a friend and express some hard things I’m going through, I love the empowering reminder that I can go do something to fix how I’m feeling and feel better about my day.

The other day I texted Lori , I was having a really stressful morning and was telling her all the things going on, she asked what I would do to care for myself and I just said “I am practicing self-care today by drinking a green tea latte from Starbucks instead of coffee bc it doesn’t make anxiety worse” – it’s little things y’all. It’s listening and knowing when you can’t handle coffee, it’s knowing when you need a break, it’s knowing that you cannot show up for people if you don’t show up for yourself first.

September is a month of transitions, of going back to school, of building new routines, and I wanted to talk about self-care this month because now is the time for you to build in the habits of taking care of yourself. Transitions can be exciting but also stressful, so listen to yourself, give yourself credit, and remember that to stay in motion you need fuel.

Lost & Found

Sometimes things get misplaced and lost and we have such a strong desire to find them again, it’s not even that we necessarily need the item but we had it. When I was little a family friend gave me a Gorilla beanie baby. I loved it so much. And I lost it somewhere – I’m not sure where but I remember being upset about it for a long time. It happens all the time right? You’re getting dressed and you realize you can’t find that favourite blue shirt and now, even though you didn’t want to wear it that day, you desperately want to find it and you’ll waste 15 minutes of your morning looking for it.

Sometimes people can get lost too. Have you ever felt lost? I know I have. Feeling like I don’t know what direction I’m meant to be moving in, seeing other people have their lives together while I don’t know what the next year holds. Sometimes we feel lost in relationships – if we lose someone we might feel like the world isn’t quite the same or the things we thought we understood have now changed. Sometimes we know we’re lost or that something is missing, but other times it isn’t so clear. Sometimes I feel like I’m doing pretty good, like I’m on the right track, and then it becomes obvious that I’m not- that I need something more.

When I think about my faith, I think about how each day feels like a new beginning. The line “I was once lost and now I’m found” from Amazing Grace. I think we are all lost at one time or another, and we need help to get re-centered, be the person we want to be, and know how to keep moving forward.

I spent most of Easter weekend listening to old Hillsong United albums, thinking about how precious life is, and knowing that I need to learn to lean into my faith a bit more. I was investing in what I like to think of as “spiritual self-care”. There has been a lot of conversation lately about what self-care is, and what it is not limited to. No, it is not just eating ice cream or having a bubble bath – I think it can be spiritual and reflective.

In my own life, the hardest self-care practice for me to do is alone time – because I’m so extroverted that I sometimes have a hard time scheduling time for myself. But lately I’ve been trying to give myself that time to reflect and process my feelings. This is where my spiritual self-care flourishes. I need that alone time to make time for God – and I think sometimes that makes it easier for me to be motivated to find the time.

If you need an analogy get ready: I love bacon cheese burgers. And I love soft serve ice cream. Together that sounds like a dream, right? Well if my diet was comprised of that I’d feel sick within a day or two. Have you ever found yourself just craving healthy foods when you know you haven’t been putting good food into your body? This girl can only handle so many waffle fries before I need a salad or an entire bag of baby carrots. Our spiritual health is more similar health than we think and you need to nourish your heart and spirit just like you need to nourish your body.

While in Florida I’ve been part of a bible study, a few weeks ago we talked about the idea of being “overflowing” with the spirit. If you aren’t familiar with what the fruits of the spirit are, they are  “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Gal 5:22-23). The way I interpret the idea of being overflowing with the spirit is embodying those qualities which requires giving yourself time to recharge to have energy to be the person we want to be. If you’re burnt out it’s a lot harder to be those things. And I know when I skip out on that I start to feel more lost, maybe you do too?

Last week I was watching This Is Us with my roommate and was struck by a quote from Mandy Moore’s character “Life has a middle, and middles can be hardest because that’s when you can get really lost.” Sometimes it feels like we are on the right track, sometimes it can be a little more obvious that we don’t have our bearings. And if you are already feeling lost that can be scary or confusing. In the moments I feel most overwhelmed, taking that time to re-center helps me feel a little less lost and a little more found.

Usually, we find the things we lose. Of course there are things we can’t get back – I’ll never know what happened to that stuffed animal gorilla that I loved so much. But I did find my blue shirt at the bottom of my laundry hamper. By giving yourself the time and care you need – you can find yourself a little bit more each day.

YOLO

This is the most impromptu post I’ve written yet, but my dear readers my family is visiting me in Florida this week!! And I haven’t had the time to sit down and write until now, 11:41 pm on the day I usually share a post with you. I was going to just write this week off – but I’ve had something on my mind and on my heart lately so I’m going to see what I write for you in the next 19 minutes. Fingers crossed that it is coherent.

What’s been on my mind? Well, I’m what you might call an over-thinker. I worry. I stress. I make little things much bigger than they need to. But lately I’ve been doing a good job at not doing that. Being in a new place, having totally different experiences out of my comfort-zone is the kind of position you’d think would add to the stress.

But it actually hasn’t.

Whenever I go somewhere like a new city it’s often up in the air if I’ll get to revisit it. And I don’t just mean in this trip, I mean there is no guarantee that I’ll make my way back to Tampa or Miami again. So I make the most of my experiences, and I’ve been trying not to think too hard about it. Get the burger. Get the ice cream. Say yes to trying new things. You only live once (okay I know YOLO is very 2010 but my Canadian heart loves Drake and it’s just really fitting).

I still have my moments when I second guess myself, or I feel indecisive (impulse purchasing tacky souvenirs is my biggest struggle.) But I’ve found if I don’t give myself the chance to second guess myself and go for things before I think too hard about it I’m golden. The more I just say “yes” and try things, or say “no” and give myself permission not to have to try everything (but be at peace with the choice) the less stressed I get.

I’m not trying to say you shouldn’t think at all, but I’ve loved letting myself relax a little more. Going with the flow. Embracing not making plans and learning to love spontaneous adventures. Taking advantage of the moments in front of you and appreciating that if this is your only chance to live that moment you should do your best to make the most of it. Sure, I could give you examples of impromptu trips to Miami or Orlando, but it you don’t need to be in some glamorous tropical city and to make the most of the moments you are living in.

Maybe it is just treating yourself. Maybe it is making the time to do something you love or connecting with someone you love. Maybe your YOLO moment is learning to trust yourself a little more and let go of stress; giving yourself permission to indulge or be imperfect.

Trust me, when you learn to give yourself a break and let go of the little things you over-think about you’ll give yourself so much more time and energy to make the most of your life. And you’ll breathe a little easier.

So remember, you only live once.

Moderation is Cool

So I love coffee. I love it so much I work at a coffee shop. I’m what you might call a “recreational” coffee drinker;  I drink it when I’m not tired or I don’t feel like I need it. There is something I just love about the aesthetic experience of going and hanging out in coffee shops and drinking a good latte.

However, this week I’m talking about why it’s important to be mindful of what we’re putting into our bodies and why it might be good to cut back on those lattes (or make them decaf). We sometimes think that moderation is important when we are thinking about substances that are regulated by governing bodies – and everything else is fair game right? Welll … this week I want to think about listening to and regulating our own bodies.


Coffee affects people in lots of different ways and as someone who is  very sensitive and self-aware of how things affect my body I wanted to write about this. Because your physical health and what you put in your body is so important.

I recently heard someone remark that coffee, though addictive, doesn’t change your mental state the way some things, such as alcohol, might. I know it’s not true for myself and decided to do a little research to find out if that was a common coffee myth.  I googled “does coffee make you anxious” because I’m not an expert and didn’t want to write a post that isn’t based on research (get ready for links to a whole heap of articles about coffee and stress) and what I found is, yes it sure does, it’s not just me.

Anxiety & Stress

Coffee is a stimulant which can be helpful sometimes but it can also increase anxiety and in some individuals even trigger anxiety attacks (according to this article and this blog post). It can help you be productive but if you have too much it can worsen feeling anxious or stressed. I often found during midterms I was extra, extra, extra stressed out and it is easy to attribute all of that to school assignments but being mindful of things like caffeine intake, and lessening it, helped lower my stress levels.

The description in this article about the relationship between caffeine and cortisol, often referred to as “the stress hormone”, is a helpful illustration of the dangers of too much coffee; “Because caffeine and stress can both elevate cortisol levels, high amounts of caffeine can lead to the negative health effects associated with prolonged elevated levels of cortisol. If you ingest high levels of caffeine, you may feel your mood soar and plummet, leaving you craving more caffeine to make it soar again, causing you to lose sleep, suffer health consequences and, of course, feel more stress.”

Depending on how your body processes coffee, it might not appear to have an impact on your stress levels, and it doesn’t always impact people in the same way. However, it is always important to be mindful of how much you are consuming and connecting the dots between how we are feeling and how the things we eat and drink might cause those physiological reactions.

Sleep

I’ve touched on the importance of sleep in posts before, and as someone who usually aims for 9 hours a night I’m a huuge advocate for a good night’s sleep. As much as we all know coffee gives you energy and its maybe “common sense” to say it can negatively impact your sleep I’m going to briefly mention it anyway.

This article talks about the importance of sleep, repercussions of not getting enough sleep and how coffee gets in the way of healthy sleep cycles,  “suggestions for good sleep include avoiding stimulants such as nicotine or coffee after midafternoon, especially if you have insomnia”, this sentiment of avoiding coffee in the later afternoon and evening was echoed many times in articles I read.
When we drink a lot of coffee we aren’t as well rested, and then we need to drink more coffee – which can turn into an unhealthy cycle and lead to caffeine dependence. This is yet another article I found that shared concerns about caffeine negatively impacting the quality of sleep we get Caffeine can affect your sleep by keeping you awake longer, thereby shortening the amount of sleep you get, and giving you less time in the restorative stages of sleep, which takes a toll on your level of alertness the next day and overall health.”

Know Your Limit, Stay Within It

If you’re from Ontario you’ve probably heard commercials for the OLG with the slogan “Know Your Limit, Stay Within It”. I think the moral of this week’s post is the same, because I love coffee, but it’s important to set those limits. Coffee is a great energy boost and fun to grab with friends but I know, as someone who has worked in three different coffee/ tea shops and feels the anxious effects of coffee, that it’s not always worth the boost if it leaves you feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed.

It’s easy to forget to be mindful that stress or anxiety you feel can actually be amplified by consuming too much coffee. And of course everyone has different tolerance – so you might really relate to this post or you might not. But no matter what, it’s important to be a mindful consumer. Be conscious of the way the things you eat and drink make you feel, and know your limits about what you can and can’t handle (eg. if you’re lactose intolerant like me cutting yourself off before adding whipped cream to an eggnog latte is a good step). Keep it to one cup a day, try decaf, make sure you’re not drinking coffee on an empty stomach, or just make sure you’re cutting yourself off in the afternoon so the caffeine doesn’t impact your sleep.

This post might be a bit of a buzz kill (yes, of course the pun was intended) but I hope it encourages you to be mindful of what you put in your body and inspires you to enjoy your coffee ~in moderation~.

I cry when I’m Hungry

I celebrated Canada 150 in Ottawa this summer with one of my best friends, Emilia. On Canada Day we were wandering around downtown, desperately looking for a place to eat. Eventually, after an incredibly long search, we found a cute little pizza place with a precious courtyard that didn’t charge insane Canada Day prices. It was perfection.

When we sat down, completely relived to know food would be coming to our table any minute, I turned to her and said “You know sometimes when I’m really hungry I get extra emotional”. She laughed and said “OH I know. It’s my job to keep you fed so you don’t get like that.” I genuinely did almost tear up when the pizza came because it was 2 pm and we hadn’t had lunch yet and I was just overwhelmed with being so happy to be about to eat.

Overwhelmed is a key term in that sentence that I’m going to dive into because the moral of this week’s post is that  it’s important to take care of your body and read the signals that you’re in need of a little TLC.

Connecting Emotional and Physical Health

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. I think when discussing wellness it’s important to think about how nurturing ourselves physically improves our emotional wellbeing.

We don’t always give enough credit to the fact that managing our emotions or processing stress sometimes requires lots of energy. For myself, if I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed I ask:

  • Did I get enough sleep the past few nights?
  • Have I been eating well lately?
  • Have I been drinking too much coffee? (Sometimes one cup a day is still too much for me – thank goodness for decaf)
  • What’s going on in my life to make me feel this way?

When we are feeling physically burnt out we have a harder time managing stress and other emotions. We don’t function at our highest levels or bring our best selves to our work, school, or relationships. Being in a place of exhaustion, hunger, burnout, or stress can make us more irritable and cause an increase in conflicts in our relationships – hanger is so real guys.

As much as it is funny to joke about crying when I’m hungry I think it really is important to take care of yourself and to pay attention to signs that you need to put more effort into taking care of yourself so you can function at your best.

Take Care

We should be mindful of taking care of ourselves and remember that refuelling your physical and emotional energy is super important. This article talks about the importance of sleep and what impacts it can have on you.

Sometimes it is seen as a badge of honour to be tried, to be so hard-working that you’re exhausted, chugging coffee to keep going.  Do you remember when you were a baby (of course not but just play along), and you got so over tired or hungry you would cry? And your parents we responsible for keeping you fed and well rested? Well if you’re reading this you’re probably a grown up and its your responsibility to care for yourself now.

An article from Everyday Health states that “Total health depends on a healthy mind and body. Take time to nurture both.” and encouraged readers that the best way to care for your overall emotional and physical wellbeing including :

  • “Eat right. A healthy, regular diet is good for the body and mind.
  • Go to bed on time. Losing sleep is hard on your heart, may increase weight, and definitely cranks up the crankiness meter.
  • Go out and play. Taking time out for relaxation and socializing is good for your emotional health and your physical health.
  • Exercise. Exercise is proven to improve your mood and has comprehensive benefits for your physical health.”

I could list article after article here for you to get the point across, like this one that says  “To have good emotional health, it’s important to take care of your body by having a regular routine for eating healthy meals, getting enough sleep, and exercising” or this article which states that “good physical health supports good mental health.” There are so many resources I could keep going, but I think you get it, not taking care of your physical needs has a negative impact on you including your ability to manage your emotions.

Laugh & Sleep

The Irish proverb “A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything” feels pretty spot on and it is advice I really live by. I tend to get over tired and some days I just get to a point where I need to sleep. And we all know laugher, especially shared with friends, is the best medicine. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, maybe you’re so hungry you’re in tears – focus on the things you can do to make it better.

For the sake of full disclosure, I really need to take this advice. As you may have assumed from the anecdote I opened with, I cannot claim that I have perfected the whole “always being well fed and well rested” thing. There have been multiple days already this week (and it’s only Wednesday!) that I had too much coffee, not enough sleep, or I skipped a meal because I was running late for work.

I’m the first to admit that it’s hard to keep a normal sleep schedule or resist the urge to drink coffee when you know it’ll keep you up and fuel your stress. But what I want to emphasize this week is that it’s not about achieving perfect health, it’s about practicing self-awareness and recognizing that the way you care for your body has a direct connection with how you feel and are able to function.

Life is busy, unpredictable and we will not always be well rested, but we can strive to take the best care of our selves. Making sure you’re taking care of yourself means you will be able to handle life the best you can. You’ll function at a high level, be able to manage stress, and avoid crying in pizzeria courtyards. If you want to bring your best self to work, relationships, vacations, what have you – you’ve got to take care.

 

 

P.S. Thank you Em, for being a great friend, keeping me fed, and (almost always) preventing me from getting so hungry I cry.