Thursday, December 7

Putting ourselves first when we need it most

     Hey there fam. Before I get into it I just want to clarify that these photos were taken by my dear friend Xan way before I started showing, but in thinking about what I wanted to touch on tonight they seemed appropriate to use anyways:)

     I wrote a post on instagram about how whenever I feel extra stressed or anxious or overwhelmed how I go into 'hermit mode' and just hide out until it passes, and of course (as with most things I mention struggling with) there were tons of you that said you do the same thing when those feelings hit you. Not a big surprise there:) This last week was one of those times. Everything I'm behind on and dealing with started to pile up in my brain and started a spiral of my not being able to keep up, not being equipt to handle the house and the kids and work and laundry and bills etc while making a baby and working carefully with all the emotions of the holidays. Now that I'm on my way back out a bit I just wanted to talk about how I try to handle those tough days a bit better. :)

     Self-care and self-love are things that I've only really discovered existed this last year, let alone started to try to learn or practice, and the couple of times I've talked about them here there are always so many of you that express similar feelings of having never really thought about those as important things. It's been hard to write posts on this topic though, because I feel like I have SO much to say and so many ideas to share that I get overwhelmed with it all and just decide not to write anything if I can't make it perfect. You guys do that too right? haha

     Anyways, here are a few simple ways to practice self-care on those days when you need it most:

This is the time to do something for yourself that helps you put yourself first. The default is to always put our needs and desires last, but not when we're struggling. Whatever it might be, pick something that you've been putting off that is just for your benefit. Personally I really love a quiet errand run (yes I'm a mom.haha) or the classic bath in a dim bathroom can really do the trick. Just something that reminds you to take a few deep breaths and relax.

It might sound crazy cliche, but really sitting back and going over all the ways that your life really is beautiful will do wonders for your attitude. Think about all the ways your life could be so much worse, and reminding yourself of the positive things. Having a long-term perspective helps you focus on what really matters in the grand scheme of things instead of everything that feels so wrong or messed up or overwhelming right at this moment.

Oftentimes we take on many issues and problems that aren't responsibility, and it becomes way too much. So many of us are 'fixers' and we want to help others or solve issues that aren't really ours to solve, and the added stress and pressure we put on ourselves is just not necessary. It's important to look at what really is weighing us down and decide to put ourselves first. We need to be better at saying no, and we need to be better at setting boundaries and sticking to them.

Oftentimes when we feel stressed out the first instinct is to feel guilty for not being grateful for what we do have, and yes while it's a good mindset focus on the good and to stay out of those pits of overwhelm, those feelings are perfectly natural and normal. Don't let yourself feel worse about everything by telling yourself that you shouldn't feel that way, just tell yourself that you're in a tunnel not a hole, and that if you take it one step at a time that you'll see the opening at the other end soon.

     Well like I said I have tons more that I want to keep going on about, but I really need to work harder at just sharing some thoughts and wrapping it up before I write a whole novel.haha In closing though I'd really love for you to share if you've been working on self-care or self-love more lately, and if you've found any specific things that really help you take a step back and breath:)



  1. Such a lovely and positive post! I definitely think it's important to count your blessings, helps to put things into perspective too!

    Anika |

  2. Taking a step back. That hit home for me. It had never been a big issue for me until after my mom passed. It has been a very slow process for me to be emotionally okay and positive in general, so I've learned to put myself and my health first. Sometimes that means I can't be a confidant or a problem-solver for someone else. It's hard, but it's necessary.

    Just what I needed today :) Thank you!

  3. I love that phrase—it’s a tunnel, not a hole. Even tunnels look dark before you travel long enough!

  4. I tend to do the same thing as well! But then that just adds to the stress because I fall even more behind on what I need to be doing. These are great things to keep in mind when those stressful times hit :)

  5. Wow, today and the last two were overwhelming as work piled up and nothing was in line. It had to be chased. A long walk with my whole family to look at Christmas lights really helped. Huge thanks to my husband for humoring me when he was tired after a long day!

  6. I'm guilty of feeling guilty... Lol. Thanks for this post. You are beautiful!

  7. Self-love is the most important love. I read a quote that resonated with me: "A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms." One of my favorites! Thanks for this post <3

  8. Wow, Emily.
    I have been on a path of self care this past year.... January until now.
    After losing my mom to lymphoma March 2016, working full time, and dealing with the mental health of my husband and teen son (struggling with depression,anxiety, alcoholism, I felt myself becoming more and more "lost" as I tried to keep it all together.
    I'm so proud to say that I took action to find myself by doing the following....contacted a physchologist who met with whole family a few times, took an 8 week course called "Mental Health Education for Families"(course offered to those who are supporting family members that are struggling), and finally decided to work 4 days a week instead of 5. That extra day a week (started in September) has been a miraculous gift to myself as I am slowly checking things off of my ever increasing "todo" list. I started exercising daily over the past 5 weeks (haven't done that in 10 years) and I can honestly say that as I started taking care of myself, the joy and love of life has returned. I have a long way to go, but deciding to take my life back this year was the greatest 40th birthday gift I could have given myself.

    Thanks for being such an inspiration to me ever since I discovered your blog in November 2015 (middle of my mom's sickness) and I have hung on your every post since then...allowing your wisdom (beyond your years, I may add) to penetrate my heart....thank you, Emily.

  9. Hi everyone, I agree very much that not trying to solve problems that aren't yours is a very important one. I myself can feel resposible for the WORLD and it doesn't make anything better really. So I focus on my responsabilities and the things I have (to have) influence on. It gives better results also ;)

    And also: this year I have been trying not to rush that much. I try to leave earlier for appointments, so that I have more time and can actually go somewhere without stressing. And if I am late, I accept that I am late and I realize that most of the time it's not a big deal if you're five minutes late. Running/biking/ (not driving) like a crazy person will save you one minute tops, and it just doesn't matter that much. Better feel well. :)
    Good luck!

    PS. Also I wonder if feeling guilt is a negative 'side-effect' of religious and mainly protestant life... Maybe then it's something you could talk about with someone spiritual (what is the word? I'm not an english-speaker). If not, you only have to think about what your standards are of being a good person. As long as you do not harm others... Don't be too hard on yourself!

  10. Taking a step back is such a key and I am so excited you have another little one on the way!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  11. I saved this to read later and finally got to it. It's perfect! So true and so very needed for me right now.