Category Archives: Self Care

My Night Time Self-Care Routine

Do you have a night time self-care routine in place? I bet for a lot of you the answer is NO. For some people, winding down each night can be a challenge.

I think it’s safe to say that at the end of the day, we typically crawl into bed exhausted and then wake up the next morning with brain fog to start our daily routines all over again. That was the case for me anyway. After suffering many restless nights, I knew that some things in my life had to change.

What I realized was that I was trying to tackle too many things in the evenings and often well into the late-night hours. I would then fall into bed at night exhausted, but unable to get a full night’s rest.

I decided to take a good hard look at my schedule and afterward, realized I needed to rearrange my priorities, and also make sure that I penciled in some time for me.

Adding self-care habits to our nightly routine is one way to improve our health, both mentally and physically. When we take care of ourselves, we have more to give to those we love.

I have discovered that by consistently following a nightly routine, my evenings, flow so much smoother. Not only do my evenings flow smoothly, but I fall asleep faster and I am able to rest peacefully.

When incorporating a self-care routine you need to decide what type of activities will benefit YOU the most (such as reading, journaling, doing a brain dump, or spending some quiet time with your spouse or significant other).

Self Care Reminder

Here is an example of my typical nighttime routine:

 

Play Some Relaxing Tunes

I LOVE music. As I prepare to wind down each evening, I always start off by playing some type of relaxing music. I like listening to instrumental jazz or nature sounds – particularly the sound of rain.

 

 

Enjoy A Soothing Shower Or Bath

 
I love a hot, steamy shower. I light up some scented candles to add a little bit of aromatherapy.  When time permits, I like to enjoy a long soak in the tub.
 

Pamper My Skin

 
After showering, I pamper my skin from head to toe. I’m a huge fan of body butters. I typically use either cocoa butter or shea butter. 

I really love the scent of cocoa butter and it does an excellent job of hydrating my skin. Of course you can use the moisturizer of your choice.

Next, I take care of my face. I apply toner to my face and afterward, I apply my favorite moisturizer or facial oil (I fully cleanse my face prior to getting into the shower).

I also apply an under-eye cream as needed to help with the dark circles I sometimes get under my eyes. I discuss the basics of skincare in-depth in this post.
 

Stretch

 
I like to do a few stretching exercises at night to help me sleep better. I have found that stretching helps to loosen me up, and makes me feel more relaxed.

According to Inspyiyr.com, nighttime stretching improves your quality of sleep and helps to lower stress levels.
 

Shut Off The Electronics

 
This one has always been a struggle for me. I tend to want to catch up on social media in the evenings, but I have found that by putting my phone (and computer) away an hour or two before bedtime helps my brain to shut off so that I can prepare for a good night’s rest.
 

Plan My Day

I like to go over my planner in the evenings so that I have an idea of what all I need to get done the next day.  I also take this time to write down anything that’s floating through my head so that I’m not up all night thinking about my to-do list.
 

Read A Book 

 Reading is one of my favorite past times. Most nights I sip on a cup of tea and read a few chapters of a good book before I go to sleep.  

Because I enjoy reading so much, I can read for hours on end.  I now set the timer on my phone so that I am not up reading until the wee hours of the morning. 

Cup Of Tea And Book On Bed

Create Your Own Self-Care Routine

A nighttime routine sends a signal to your brain that it is time to wind down for the day. Of course your ideal night routine will be uniquely tailored to you, but here are a few ideas that you can incorporate into your evening:

Write in your journal
Enjoy the relaxing scent of essential oils
Drink a cup of your favorite herbal tea
Take a warm bath or shower
Spend a few minutes stretching
Read a good book
Listen to relaxing music
Cool down your bedroom
Do a brain dump
Cleanse your skin
Unplug your devices
Make an evening gratitude list

 

Final Thoughts

As a wife and mom, I know that there can be days when a self-care routine is not feasible.I mean life happens to all of us. Just know that taking care of YOU is an important part of your well-being and enables you to properly care for your family.

A nightly routine can help you relax, de-stress and prepare for a good night’s sleep. It has made a world of difference in my life, and I am pretty sure a little nightly self-care will make a world of difference for you as well.
 

How do you wind down each night? I’d love to hear about your nighttime routine in the comments.

Self Care Routine Pinterest Pin

 

Skin Care Basics: Building A Healthy Skin Care Routine

Following a daily skin care regimen is something we should all practice. By properly caring for your skin, you can help reduce harmful effects from environmental elements, which will in turn help your skin age gracefully.

One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to a skin care regimen is that you need the most expensive cleansers, moisturizers, and latest tools in order to properly achieve healthy skin. That, my friend, is not true.

Your daily regimen does not have to include a ten or twelve-step process. A good skin care regimen requires proper cleansing, exfoliation, toning, and moisturizing. And all of the items you need can be purchased at your local discount store.

Here are the basic steps you should follow in order to achieve healthy skin and maintain a “youthful” glow.


CLEANSE

Cleansing is essential to remove oil, dirt and dead skin cells. Cleanse your face twice a day to remove dirt, makeup, and excess oil.

When cleansing, be very gentle with your skin. Also, pat your face when drying, as opposed to rubbing.

There are many different types of cleansers on the market. Here’s a simple breakdown of a few of the different types of cleansers that are available:

Bar soaps can be a bit more drying than other facial cleansers. They can strip your skin of natural oils, therefore they tend to be more suitable for those with oily skin.

Lotion/Gel cleansers are mild cleansers that are best suited for those with dry or sensitive skin.

Foaming cleansers can also be a bit drying. Therefore, those with oily skin tend to do better with a foaming cleanser.

Medicated cleansers contain acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Salicylic acid helps to clear blocked pores while reducing swelling and redness. Benzoyl peroxide exfoliates the skin and kills bacteria.

Be sure to choose a cleanser that is best suited for your particular skin type. You may have to actually experiment to see which one is best suited for you. You always want to choose the cleanser that is most gentle on your skin.

EXFOLIATE

No matter your skin type, you can benefit from exfoliating. Exfoliating removes dead skin cells from your pores while revealing new skin cells.

Choose a gentle exfoliant or facial scrub. Pay attention to your skin as well. Some people can get away with exfoliating on a daily basis, while others may only be able to do it once a week.

I typically exfoliate twice a week, but you should follow a schedule that is best for you and your skin.

TONE

A toner can help to remove any leftover traces of dirt and makeup. People with oily skin or those prone to acne can especially benefit from using a toner.

Our skin is naturally acidic, and during the cleansing process that balance is thrown off. Applying a toner after cleansing helps to restore the pH balance of your skin.

MOISTURIZE

Lastly, you want to make sure that you properly moisturize. You should incorporate a moisturizer into your skincare routine as early as your twenties.

Make sure that you use light-handed, upward strokes to apply moisturizer to your neck and face. Be extra careful with the sensitive skin around your eyes. Remember that less is more. If you apply a thick layer of moisturizer, it can lead to breakouts, because your skin cannot absorb it properly.

Aim to moisturize your skin twice a day. Your daytime moisturizer should include an SPF to help protect against the sun’s rays. Most nighttime formulas do not contain an SPF but instead contain anti-aging ingredients.

Be sure to choose a formula that is compatible with your skin type to avoid breakouts.

One of the most important and often overlooked aspects of healthy skin is simply H2O. Drink plenty of water on a daily basis. According to the Mayo Clinic, women should drink 2.7 liters per day and men should drink 3.7 liters per day.

By incorporating these best practices into my daily routine, I have been able to achieve, and maintain healthier looking skin.

What are your healthy skin essentials?

PIN It!

 

Thirty Ways To Improve Your Mood When You Are Having A Bad Day

Everyone is entitled to a bad day. I mean, life happens to the best of us, right?

Even the happiest of people have bad days here and there, and that’s OK. But sometimes we have a tendency to want to wallow in self-pity when negative situations arise.

Often, one of our first instincts is to over-indulge in ALL of the comfort foods and shut ourselves up from the rest of the world (speaking from experience here).

I think it’s important that we give ourselves permission to not always be happy, while also realizing that there are several things that we can do that will help to improve our mood when we’re feeling down.

Instead of letting those negative feelings fester, or overdosing on chocolate, here are 30 simple things that you can do when you’re having a bad day.

 

Pinterest Pin

 

 

How To Improve Your Mood


Spend some time outdoors.  Breathing in the fresh air, and letting the sun shine on your face will do wonders for your mood.


Pray.
Spend some time in prayer talking to God about your problems. You’ll feel better instantly!


Enjoy some aromatherapy. Light up your favorite scented candle, or throw some essential oils into the diffuser. Certain scents like jasmine, sandalwood, and bergamot are known to boost your mood.


Unplug from technology for the day. Sometimes we can become overloaded with technology. Whether it’s sitting in front of a computer at work all day, or the endless scrolling we do on social media. Take a much needed break from your devices.


Enjoy some time with your kids. Children know how to have fun. Spend the day playing games and eating junk with the kids.


Take a long, hot bath. Turn your bathroom into a spa. Gather your favorite bath products and beverage of choice and enjoy a nice, long soak.

Listen to a comedy podcast. Laughter is the best medicine, so listen to a comedy podcast and get your laugh on!


Go for a walk with your dog. Grab your furry friend and enjoy the outdoors together.


Read a book. Grab one of your favorite books off of the shelf, or if you prefer an audiobook, you can listen on Audible.


Cry. Sometimes you just need a good cry. Tears can be healing. So, let your emotions flow. And if necessary, you can even yell while you’re crying.


Call up a loved one and vent. Whether it’s your mom, sister or best friend, call them up and vent your feelings. Sometimes you just need a listening ear, and for someone to let you know that your feelings are validated.


Write in your journal. If you don’t have a person that you can really talk to, write your feelings down on paper. Journaling is great for your mental health. Instead of keeping things pinned up inside, letting your emotions flow out onto the paper. You’ll feel so much better afterwards.


Buy yourself some flowers. Flowers can be an instant mood booster. They’re just so pretty to look at that you can’t help but feel better.


Enjoy a bowl of ice cream. Fix yourself the biggest bowl of ice cream with all of your favorite toppings, and dive in. It feels so good to indulge every now and then.


Listen to music. Even if you don’t consider yourself a good dancer, crank up your favorite music and dance.


Try retail therapy. Who doesn’t love shopping? Hey, I’m just saying. Head out to your favorite retailer and buy yourself something nice. Or you could do a little online shopping – just don’t overspend.

Exercise. Exercise is good for the body and mind.


Bake your favorite sweet treat. Head to the kitchen, and whip up a batch of your favorite cookies. Or break out grandma’s recipe for a delicious cake.


Netflix anyone? Watch a few sitcoms and have yourself a good laugh.


Color in an adult coloring book. Grab some coloring pencils or markers and relive one of your favorite childhood pastimes.


Recite a few motivational quotes to help lift your spirits.


Do something nice for someone else. Shift your focus to a person in need and see how you can help them. By doing something nice for someone else, it will in turn help you to feel better.


Take some deep breaths. Deep breathing is naturally therapeutic, and can ground you and help you reconnect.


Take a much-needed nap. Sometimes you just need to re-set. Getting a couple of hours of shut-eye can do wonders for your mood.


Rearrange the furniture. This may sound strange, but rearranging the furniture can not only give the room a fresh look, but can give you a fresh perspective, and help to bring you out of a funk.


Spend time with your bestie. Spend the day hanging out with your best friend.


Go for a leisurely drive. Ease your pensive mood by going for a drive. Take the scenic route!


Visit a nice restaurant and enjoy your favorite comfort meal.


Start a gratitude list. Instead of focusing on the negatives, write down a list of things that you are grateful for.


Have some chocolate. Eating chocolate actually releases dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter, into particular regions of the brain. So, go ahead and enjoy a few pieces.

The good news my friend is those bad days won’t last forever. Give yourself a little time and you are sure to feel better.

What are some of the things that you do to help improve your mood?

Six Ways To Carve Out Me Time When Life Gets Busy

As a busy mom, the thought of enjoying “me time” seems not only self-centered, but often downright impossible. Most of us can barely get five minutes a day to ourselves, let alone squeezing in an hour or two of me-time.

It’s important for your sanity that you spend some time doing things that you enjoy. It can be something as simple as enjoying a few moments of silence while sipping on a cup of tea.

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes… including you.”

Anne Lamott

My secret to carving out me-time, is by scheduling it. When I plan out my  week, I make sure that I pencil in some time for ME.

I know that it may be impossible to schedule uninterrupted time each day, so instead try setting aside an entire day once a month to spend doing whatever you like.  And it’s quite alright if you spend that day doing absolutely nothing!

Be sure to make arrangements with your spouse or significant other beforehand so that they are available to have the kids while you take some much needed time to for YOU.

Below are six ways that you can enjoy a few moments of  “me-time.”


 

Exercise

We know that health is important – both physical and mental. Go outside and take a brisk walk or if you’re in the mood, go for a run. If your schedule allows, take a group class weekly, or hit up the gym a few times throughout the week.

Find a physical activity that you love, and then the “me time” becomes a bonus.

Treat Yourself To Lunch

Treat yourself to a leisurely meal alone at a nice sit-down restaurant or your favorite eatery. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, this would be a perfect time to try out a new dish or even a different type of restaurant than the ones you normally frequent.

Journal

Let your feelings out on paper. Write down your emotions, stresses, ideas, dreams, worries, fears – whatever you choose. This is something that can be done one time or on a daily basis.

I personally like to journal either first thing in the morning or before I go to bed. Keep a small notebook or journal with you, and reach for it whenever the mood strikes.

Six Ways to Carve Out Me Time When Life Gets Busy

 

Go Shopping

This is one of my favorites! Every now and then my husband and son spend the day doing “guy” stuff so that I can spend the day shopping.

Sometimes I splurge on a few outfits, at other times I simply window shop for a few hours. Often times I will make a day of it and have lunch and even squeeze in a mani/pedi.

Use this time to hit up several of your favorite stores. Even if you don’t buy anything, go ahead and try on two or three different outfits.

If you’re not really into clothes, go to your favorite furniture or home decor store and browse. Or buy yourself a plant or two, or three.  I personally love plants, and sis, you can never have too many.

Catch A Movie

Let hubby tend to the kids, or drop them off with a sitter for a few hours and head to the movie theater. Grab you some popcorn (extra butter of course) and a drink and enjoy the show.

Spend Some Time Outdoors

When the weather permits, I like to spend daily quiet time outside on my patio. Steal away for a few hours and just enjoy some time with nature.

Breathe in the fresh air, listen to the birds sing, lie in the grass and watch the clouds or grab a glass of lemonade and enjoy a book underneath a tree.

Taking time each day to relax and unwind can help boost your immunity, make you more productive and even help stimulate creativity.

I know that it can be difficult at first, but learn to make yourself a priority. You will be better equipped to care for those that you love when you do.

 

How do you enjoy your me-time?

25 Self Care Ideas To Incorporate Into Your Life

Self-care is oftentimes associated with selfish behavior. This type of mentality usually makes us feel guilty for even thinking about taking a break from our everyday lives to do something that, simply put, makes us feel better and improves our mental health.

We’re all familiar with the saying “You can’t pour from an empty cup”, but how often do we actually take heed to those words? I, myself have been guilty of this. But I had to learn to make myself a priority.  No matter how fancy the term “self-care” may sound, it is extremely crucial to our mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

When it comes to carving out the time to practice self-care, consider this: You probably don’t engage in it often enough, which in turn means that you are left feeling tired, run-down, and overwhelmed. Therefore, honey, it’s time to treat yo self!

spa-candles

 

“I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.”

Audre Lorde

 

25 Self Care Ideas

1. Turn off your phone for a few hours, and totally unplug.
2. Have a mini pamper session.
3. Go for a long walk, or run.
4. Start a gratitude journal. Write down 3 things you’re grateful for each day.
5. Indulge in some retail therapy.
6. Treat yourself to your favorite dessert.
7. Buy yourself some flowers.
8. Close your eyes and listen to some relaxing music.
9. Create a vision board for yourself.
10. Call someone you love and have a meaningful conversation.
11. Curl up on the couch or bed and read a good book.
12. Take a much-needed nap.
13. Plan a fun weekend for yourself and your partner.
14. Do something you love.
15. Sleep in on the weekend.
16. Spend some time in the sun.
17. Have a girls’ night in, and pop a few bottles.
18. Cuddle with your favorite person (or pet).
19. Engage in some aromatherapy. Burn your favorite candle or diffuse some essential oils.
20. Watch a stand-up comedy show, and laugh out loud.
21. Enjoy the outdoors. Sit on your porch or patio and just soak it all in.
22. Take a day off of work if needed.
23. Take several deep breaths. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly.
24. Journal. Get it all out on paper.
25. Lie in the grass and watch the clouds.
Lastly, don’t wait until you can “fit it into your schedule” to take some time for yourself. Start immediately, and make it a part of your regular routine. Trust me, my friend, you won’t regret it!

How do you practice self-care?

25 Self Care Ideas To Incorporate Into Your Life