Reflections on self care, letting go and making time for daily dry brushing...
I recently spent a weekend away with some of my best girlfriends for our biannual wellness weekend.
Collectively, we balance kids, jobs, homes, husbands, transitions, meals, doctors appointments, pets, school pickups and the list goes on! One day last summer, while sharing in our struggle to wear every hat and maintain our sense of self, we came up with the idea to create a wellness retreat in order to recharge our minds and bodies. We’d spend a weekend away together eating food someone else prepared, sleeping in (at least ‘till 8), drinking our coffee hot (how novel!), learning new life hacks, talking ‘till 2 a.m., sharing skincare secrets, encouraging each other, crying and laughing hysterically (sometimes both at the same time). Our goal was to come back completely refreshed and I’m happy to report that our first retreat was that and more!
I’ll be completely honest though, making the commitment to attend this month’s retreat and actually following through was hard! Our boys are young, so imagining how the weekend would flow without me felt near impossible. Routines, meals, bedtimes, laundry, meltdowns….before I knew it the reasons not to go had piled up. But deep inside I had a sneaking suspicion my “reasons” were actually excuses, and that my excuses were really big clues that I needed the break! Brett agreed and so he and the kids happily sent me on my way (which may have been another clue), but not without me leaving a breadcrumb trail of instructions behind me as they nudged me out the door…
“Have fun! I prepared six meals. They’re in the fridge, but eat whatever you want...their toothbrushes are on the counter with toothpaste, but if you don’t brush teeth, that’s ok too...Just have fun. Also, I’ve laid out PJs and you might want to wash their faces...or don’t take bath...it will be so fun. Are you sure I should leave?”
The funny thing is, I knew Brett could manage the weekend on his own—he’s an incredible partner. I was the one struggling to let go (can anyone relate??)! But when I finally did and took the time to care for myself in the company of my best girlfriends, I learned some really great lessons.
Here’re some thoughts I’ve been pondering on the topic of self-care, if you’d like to read...
1. Self care is daily
While going away with my girlfriends was amazing, self care doesn’t have to involve a weekend retreat. In fact, one of the main things we all came away with were loads of ideas for how to practice self care daily. Here are some practices we’re incorporating into our lives and loving…
- Reading a book (Brene Brown - yes!)
- Epsom salt baths (Dr Teal's)
- Cup of coffee before the kids wake (Big investment, but the freshness is so good!)
- Morning devotional/prayer time (obsessed with this)
- Dry brushing
- Listening to a podcast in the car (a current favorite)
- 10 mins of alone time
- Getting fresh air
- Hot tea
- Going to Target alone
2. Find a tribe
A group of friends that will celebrate you, challenge you, make you laugh, extend you grace, share your tears and make you step away from the hustle when it’s time for a break from everything. We are meant for connection and belonging. Making space for this in our life, outside of our households, is one of the most important things we can do for our wellbeing. I’ve been so blessed to share life with and grow alongside other women in a similar life stage (who will also partake in a silly yoga group pose).
3. Let go
Brett and I have named this year “The Year of the Couple.” Part of raising the ante on our commitment to invest in our marriage was realizing that to be strong as a couple we have to be whole individuals first. The wellness retreat taught me to let go and loosen the reins of my daily schedule to make space for other things to flourish. It showed me that I need to speak up when I need a moment alone and to listen when there’s another way.