Tuesday, March 21, 2017

8 Self-Care Things That Are Keeping Me Sane.

I'm not in the photo much -- but here I am!
I'm going a little stir-crazy not having a record to tour and promote -- it's still one bass part away from finished, but time is conspiring against me. In the mean time, I've been doing ALL I can to promote my own self-care. Life is tough now, and there are a few things that have kept me sane:

1. Yoga. I'm not sure if it's the endorphins of exercise, the mindfulness of breathing, or the simple fact that with yoga I get an hour without anyone grabbing my nipples, but I leave feeling better. When I find I've gone a few days without going to the studio (simply doing a podcast at home does not have the same effect, as you might conclude from watching the time-lapse video of my toddler grabbing me while I'm bending), I am irritable and not a great parent -- not a great person, honestly. I'm moody, negative, and can throw a tantrum over a crushed Cheerio on the floor or a 4-year-old who decides it's Naked Time. 

2. The Fresh 20. I've been using this meal planning site for going on two years now. Whenever I stray from planning, the family suffers. We spend more than we should at the grocery, or we order takeout because there's nothing to eat. We also eat less nutritious meals, or we end up just grazing all week. Or it's breakfast for every meal. I tried out multiple meal planning websites, and TheFresh20.com is the only one I remotely enjoyed. It's probably an 80-90% success rate on the "Would I order this at a restaurant?" scale by which we judge recipes. I've only had one meal the whole time that I straight up did not like. We subscribe to the Vegetarian annual plan. I don't put ANY thought into dinner now, and I know that I have the ingredients on hand to cook a well-balanced meal every night. It helps that my kids are not picky eaters. The shopping list also means I can send someone else to the store for me. I haven't used Kroger ClickList yet, but I've got a good friend who combines TheFresh20 with the Kroger ClickList and declared it a life-changer. 

Yummy quinoa vegetable bowl.
3. Journaling. Writing has always been the single-most important thing to my sanity. Since having a baby, I simply have not had a good routine and haven't been able to journal. I like doing morning pages -- something I got from The Artist's Way many years ago -- but my kids get up too early for me to do anything in the morning. I've taken to arriving at yoga 15 minutes early and bringing my journal. I sit there, ignore everyone, and just write -- mostly nonsense, occasionally lyrics. I am sure that I look like a jerk with my pen and my notebook in my corner, but it helps immensely. I am actually able to empty my mind a little during the poses because I got a lot of the To Do list out in my morning pages. Also, if I don't go to yoga, I don't write. Then I really am a jerk.

4. Antidepressants. I should have led with this because if we are being completely honest, it's the Prozac that got me enough willpower to sign up for yoga and then leave the house in the first place. I've never had a problem being honest, so I probably should have made this my #1. But I just thought about it, and I don't feel like re-ordering my list. Because it's a blog, and I'm not going to edit if I'm not getting paid.

Me, playing a German polka gig.
5. Work. I'm gigging a lot. Not as much as I would like. But my work is my passion, and I am renewed when I do it. Music is probably the only thing that allows me to zone out and be in the moment.

6. Pinterest. I can check all the other social media apps on my phone, but when I open Pinterest, I actually feel my heart rate slowing and myself relaxing. I think it's like opening a trashy magazine on an airplane. I just look at things -- pretty things, good ideas, lists made by other people. I have no false dreams of crafting tiny hats that look like vegetables, but it makes me happy to see photos of other people's good ideas. Talk about distraction.

7. Novels. Whether it's an audiobook or a late-night Kindle purchase, I am a novel fiend. When I'm not doing great mentally, I like to read really easy books. Now that I'm a mom, I somehow like mysteries -- total #mombooks. I also really enjoy British chick-lit, though I wish there was a better name for it. What else ... Maisie Dobbs and Agatha Raisin books have been perfect distractions over the past 4.5 years since the first wee boy was born. 

8. A cuppa. Tea. Oh, how I love tea. 

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