Are you practising self-care, or self-sabotage?

Self-care has become trendy; there are 4.6 million #treatyoself posts on Instagram alone.

Are you practicing self-care or self-sabotage?

As you scroll through the posts, you see a lot of food; pastries, desserts, pizza. Good food can definitely be considered self care. Especially as a mother, it can be difficult to fit in a satisfying meal amongst the chaos. But when does this cross the line into self-sabotage?

I use food as a comfort, like a lot of people. Whenever I am worried, anxious or stressed, I’ll reach for something sweet. In the moment, I feel so much better. Until the sugar crash hits me and I feel more drained than I did before. Or all the greasy deliciousness of a pizza makes me bloated and uncomfortable 30 minutes later.

It’s a dangerous game to start classing unhealthy binge eating as self care. Sometimes self-care absolutely calls for a homemade batch of cookies, a steaming hot pizza delivered to your door and eaten in bed, but it’s also important to notice when these acts are detrimental. When it’s your new norm to eat takeaway, grab a few cookies whenever you pass the pantry, or turn to food when you’re upset, you are forming unhealthy habits.

I’ve fallen into this trap recently. With never ending winter colds and stomach bugs sweeping through our household, I’ve been extremely complacent with what I’m putting into my body. I’ve also skipped my planned workouts because I wanted to nap, have a lazy day or felt too tired. Taking a break is important, treating yourself with yummy foods is important; but everyday isn’t a treat, and if you’re left feeling worse than before, have you really cared for yourself?

Self-care should make you feel good. Caring for yourself can be a sacred soothing act, if you let it.
Meditation is an amazing tool to instantly destress and combat anxiety

If you find yourself turning to food when a stressful situation hits, ask yourself what you’re feeling. Similarly to alcohol, or drugs, food can be used to block out something unpleasant and serve as an enjoyable distraction. Instead of continuing to bury yourself in food, take a look at what triggered you to eat, and see if you can work through it without the crutch of food. Perhaps you meditate for 5 minutes, or put on your favourite song and dance your worries away.

Self-care should make you feel good. Caring for yourself can be a sacred soothing act, if you let it. My favourite acts of self-care are taking a hot bath once my daughter is asleep, reading a good book in bed, writing in my journal, or having a long yoga practice.

My favourite acts of self-care are taking a hot bath once my daughter is asleep, reading a good book in bed, writing in my journal, or having a long yoga practice.
A few of my favourite books which help me relax

I’ve realised my ‘self-care’ habits lately have been making me feel worse, not better. I’m making a real effort to focus on eating healthy foods that make me feel energised, and moving my body often instead of being inactive and suffering with the resulting stiffness.

Take a look at how you treat yourself, are you truly caring for yourself? Have you protected some bad habits under the guise of self-care? Focus on feeling good, physically and mentally, and you’ll start craving different things; a fruit smoothie and yoga becomes more appealing than pizza and Netflix. As you adopt healthier habits, and start genuinely caring for yourself, the ripple effects of a healthier you will spread through every area of your life.

Roseanneis the blogger behind the honest and inspirational personal blog Roseanne Writes. Native to Scotland, now calling Canada home, Rosanne helps mothers navigate motherhood while remaining true to themselves. You can read Roseanne’s full bio, and follower her personal blog here.


Self care after Christmas, think of it as your New Years preview

mother and four kids on beach

Today is December 26th. Every December 26th I feel excited. I know a lot of people who feel low after Christmas, but although I love Christmas, there is something, a feeling like relief that I feel the day after Christmas.

December 26th is like my preview of New Years day, my fresh beginning. My family and I are currently in Florida, enjoying a much-needed family vacation, but we haven’t escaped the hosting, the visiting or the busyness of the holiday season.

My family is here too. Everyone. So instead of spending time with Mike’s family, we have been spending time with mine. We hosted Christmas eve and Christmas brunch and then went to my parents place for Christmas dinner. It was all wonderful and long overdue… 8 years to be exact.

But by the time we finished dinner last night, I hit a wall. The exhaustion took over. Our twins were unravelling too. Although we hadn’t played games yet, I know the three of us were done. So, I thanked my parents for dinner and told Mike to stay with the big kids as long as they would like, and then snuck out the door for the short walk back to our place.

Self care for the remainder of my trip means reading my book when I get a minute (loving A Stranger Next Door right now) and writing. I am also picking up my exercise starting today. I went for a run/walk this morning, and we are renting bikes for our family tomorrow.

What are you doing for yourself during the holidays? How do you feel after Christmas?

In today’s video I am sharing some practical tips that anyone can do.

Look at your body after babies as a fresh beginning

post baby body

After having my twins, (my third and fourth kids), although I felt a deep sadness for the mushy, stretched, bruised and swollen condition my body was in, a part of me felt excitement and renewed.

I was so thankful that my body had done the job it needed to do: carry my babies to full term. I looked at it differently than I ever had before.

Although sad, for the first time since I became self-conscious as a child, I didn’t feel anger, frustration or betrayal towards my body. I was filled with gratitude.

Now was the time to bring my body back to life, to strengthen and love whatever new shape it was going to take. It was like someone dropped a pile of clay in front of me and said, “this is yours to mould and nurture. A fresh beginning.”

before and after

The sadness is gone and my body is mine again. But I will never forget the journey it has been on and I will constantly keep gratitude at the centre of my relationship with my body.

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Sick kids, self care and why I refuse to let myself fall apart

sick twins

There’s nothing like looking after your kids when they’re feeling sick. As much as it pains me to see my kids suffer from an awful stomach flu, being needed for lots of cuddle time and one-on-one comforting has to be the most rewarding things any parent could feel.

It comes with the territory, while some days your kids will want nothing to do with you as they attempt to establish some sort of autonomy from mom, dad or both (sad, I know). Other days, they’ll find themselves needing no one else in the world besides their parent, and as parents, you’ll want nothing more than the safety, health and happiness of your child to be at 100 percent.

Almost immediately my focus shifts and before I know it I’ve forgotten to shower, eat a decent meal at a reasonable hour and somehow my baggy clothes have managed to take over my wardrobe. With all four kids being sick from the flu, my priorities meant doing whatever needed to be done to get them back to a healthy state. This meant regular check-ups with the doctor, resting periods together and getting the kids’ appetites going.

You may also like, “When the stomach flu hits and 7 tips on how to survive”

Survival mode means doing whatever it takes to get things back into our normal groove. Without intentionally putting things on the back burner, I have a tendency to neglect everything else, (especially myself) the moment I try to gain control of a situation involving our kids.

It was only until I had time to decompress, between waves of kids being sick, did I realize how stressed I really was. Mike had taken over looking after the kids while I set out for a long-awaited manicure appointment. Although I wasn’t aware of it at the time, as I began to relax, my body recognized the huge contrast in experiencing overexertion and feeling a lot less tense.

As the waves of stomach flu continued through all four kids, (man, we have a lot of children), I felt myself becoming drained again and again. Over and over I pressed the reset button, either by sneaking in a quick workout really early in the morning, or nearing the end of the illness, getting a much-needed massage.

I had to make a conscious effort to do both simultaneously, take care of our our kids and take care of myself. Getting things done one after the other just isn’t an option. 

Watch as our weeks of illness unfolded in our home.

 

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A Day In The Life 6 (Video) – How I Learned The Hard Way That Self Care Is So Important

four kids

On this particular day I am shocked when I not only write a to-do list, but the day goes as planned and I am actually able to tackle everything on my list.

The three girls play so well, but I notice Holden is feeling a little left out, so I brainstorm ways I can include Holden.

While taking care of myself, (which was on my to-do list), I talk about how I learned the hard way that self care is so important, especially after I became a mother.

Welcome to our day…

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