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Stomach Virus. Bronchitis. Cold and Allergies. 😷 Yep, I’ve experienced all of these in the past month and a half. This month has been incredibly difficult for me as it relates to my health. It seemed as if each week I was getting hit with one sickness after another.
I went to see the doctor twice for bronchitis. The second time they ran test as the doctor told me that I was developing pneumonia. It was a very difficult time for me as I still had responsibilities at work. I just couldn’t hit the stop button to end the madness so I could get better.
Then a co-worker came to me and she said, “What can I do to help you? I have never seen anyone as tired as you!” Whoa! That hit home. I am a very self-reflective person. If someone sees something, I am very quick to evaluate me first. I knew she was right. I heard the same thing from my family but sometimes you need someone on the outside to tell you. I had to find a way to practice better self care for myself so I could be a better wife, mom, friend and employee.
Self care is vitally important not just for stress relief but also for overall mental health. It can do everything from help after a bad day to improve your self confidence. It also doesn’t take a lot to take proper care of yourself. Here are some different ways to practice self care every day.
1. Read Something Inspirational
I have a 50 minute ride to work so I take this time to listen to podcast and my Bible App. During this time when I’ve felt under the weather, listening to the Bible has really pull me through. I don’t know what you believe, but I believe God’s Word brings life. Even though I wasn’t feeling well, listening to the Bible gave me the strength I needed to continue doing what I needed to do.
2. Keep a Journal
A really excellent way to start practicing self care every day is to keep a journal. This is something you can easily keep with you no matter where you are. I have a digital journal that I can access by computer, phone or iPad. This works for me as I don’t want to carry around a notebook. It is still good to have something to write in so I keep a small notebook that fits in the palm of my hand. It allows me to make certain notes that I can add to my digital journal later. With journaling, you are able to write in it whenever you feel stressed or just to talk about your day. Journaling is very therapeutic.
3. Have Alone Time Every Day
This can be very difficult for a working mom but it’s not impossible. Make sure you have at least a few minutes each day all to yourself. This can be a 30-minute walk that you go on after dinner, a fun 15-minute dance party all alone in your room before bed, or just a 5 minutes in the morning before everyone else gets up while you enjoy your cup of coffee. Proverbs 31 Ministries has an amazing app called First 5. The goal of this app is to encourage women to dedicate the first five minutes of their day to God. It helps you transform your time with God and therefore transform your life. It can seem so simple and minimal, but these little stretches of time where you are alone and just doing something for yourself can make all the difference.
4. Get More Exercise
You physical health is also important, so don’t forget about exercise. This will make you feel better about yourself and raise your self confidence, which also helps your mental state. Plus, exercise is really good for helping to relieve your stress and the endorphins you get from it can be tremendous for improving your mood. You don’t need to go to the gym for an hour every day either. Something as simple as an afternoon walk or doing weight lifting in the morning before your shower is perfect. I did not get any of this done since I’ve been sick. At my job, we have a walking program that gives us health incentives for walking a certain amount of steps each month. I haven’t been able to do anything in December and January but I’m definitely getting back on track in February.
5. Spend Time with Friends
I have had no girl time lately. This weekend, I was supposed to hang out with some ladies and I had to cancel because I am just getting over being sick. I want to make sure I stay healthy and I don’t make anyone else sick. However, I value my girl time. It’s an opportunity to relax and enjoy great conversation with friends. Every woman needs this especially moms who dedicate their lives to their families. You need to have time for you and the girls.
In addition to exercise, you should also be focusing on proper diet by drinking more water and eating healthier. Women, we must start taking better care of ourselves. We are the most important person to our families. 😉
So who’s also struggled this winter with your health? The flu has really taken a toll on the health of many. How are you practicing self care for yourself?