Today I’m linking up with my friends at The Blended Blog to talk self-care. It’s nearing the end of January and by now hopefully we’ll see less and less diet and exercise commercials – they get annoying after awhile!
Wellness means different things to different people. For me it means not only my physical health but my mental health as well. In fact the two are intertwined at least in my opinion. For 18 years I have regularly exercised at a gym. For the most part 5 times a week. I have found it is essential to help me maintain my sanity as well as my physical health. Sure I have aches and pains but they’re from lifting weights or running not from being overweight or just getting out of bed in the morning. I’ll say this as well – a good workout should be about sweating and working hard, not looking cute. The gym is no place for a full face of make up!
I know, I know I make miracles happen with make up! The thumb’s up picture was just after our first run of 2018. At not even 6am I am sweating like a beast! #floridawinter
It’s no secret I meet my bestie Lorie at the gym each morning before 5 so we can get started. There’s a nice community of us there each day and I can tell you not a one of us is concerned with our appearance. The point here is if you can’t find time to work out try going early in the morning. It’s less crowded and you start the day off right.
Here’s what my morning looks like: 4:10ish wake up (I set my alarm for 4:30 but I rarely stay in bed that long). Head to the bathroom to wash my face and change into my gym clothes that I’ve laid out the night before. I head to the kitchen to grab my morning “cocktail” and settle into my chair in the living room to read my daily devotional and have a few minutes of prayer. Then I scroll through Bloglovin before heading out the door at 4:45. The gym is roughly 10 minutes away and they usually open the door before 5am for us early birds. Lorie and I alternate days with leg and arm workouts that always include weights and cardio. On Fridays we run outside weather permitting. Then I head home by 6 to get on with the rest of the day!
I mentioned my morning “cocktail” – well here it is:
8 oz. water
juice of 1 lemon
Himalayan Pink Sea Salt (approx. 1/2 tsp)
It is supposed to help with digestion and metabolism. I usually make 4 or 5 of these at a time and store them in the fridge so they’re ready to go in the morning. I am not gonna lie, the drink takes some getting used to! There are a lot of recipes out there that include cayenne pepper and ginger too – that was a little too much for me but I could handle this.
When I return from the gym I have black coffee blended with coconut oil. I got this tip from another blogger and I really like it! The coconut oil keeps me feeling full until I eat and generally I don’t eat until lunch time, around 11:30ish (me and the ish!). The reason is that I try to practice Intermittent Fasting.If you read the article that’s linked it will help you understand the process and why drinking the coffee with the coconut oil blended in is ok.
For lunch I usually make something with lots of veggies and protein. I love this Low Carb Chicken Thai Salad Chicken Salad. I haven’t tired of it yet and it is delicious! Sometimes I make eggs with spinach and onion topped off with avocado and greek yogurt.
In the afternoon I snack on almonds and then for dinner if I’m not eating what I made my family I’ll have salad with some kind of protein on top.
That my friends is what a good weekday looks like!
Now here’s the real life side: I love a glass of wine, I LOVE to go to happy hour, we eat out on the weekends, and I LOVE to cook and bake. So I’m not disciplined 100% of the time but I sure try and I know what to do I just don’t always do it. You know what? I’m okay with that. This year over the Christmas break I didn’t step foot in the gym. I walked a few times but I didn’t work out. That was a huge accomplishment for me – letting go and just relaxing. I enjoyed myself immensely and it felt good. A few short years ago I would have been at the gym everyday or else I’d be a nervous wreck about not going; seems I’ve learned to relax a little and be okay with it.
So sometimes wellness means stepping back and cutting yourself some slack. Did my break from exercise and all the holiday food come with a price tag? Yes it did. I gained some weight. Big. Deal. I’m getting back into my routine and trust that things will level out.
The other side of the wellness coin has to do with mental health. The very best thing that could have happened to me was changing jobs. About a year ago I read a blog post about living your best life. The blogger is younger than me and as I read what she wrote about being your best self and not settling into an unhappy job I felt desperate. I thought I was stuck in my position. If you’re in education you understand that unless you leave the field completely there aren’t too many changes you can really make. The realization hit me hard when I thought about how I’d answer if anyone asked me to describe my life – my thoughts swirled around words like “not realized yet and stuck” I also felt incredibly unhappy at work. I used to feel like the luckiest girl in the world going to work each day but that had ended. So this change has been incredible and I once again feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
Here I am in my new job! I talk all day long and I’m never lonely. I work with the sweetest counselor and It’s nice working with another counselor as opposed to being the only one. You know what else is nice? Feeling VALUED.
The bottom line is that I needed to get away from negativity and the toxic relationships that surrounded me. Even though it’s only been two weeks I have more energy and I am sleeping so much better. The point here is don’t settle – do everything you can to change your situation for the better.
So, how do you practice self care? Any tips to share for wellness? It’s such a hot topic and so important. I’d love to hear from you! Wishing you a fabulous Monday my friends!