An update on my own mindfulness journey – where I’ve been – and what to do when you’re not feeling so mindful.
It’s been a while…for Mindful Mondays at least.
I could sit here and fabricate the truth and say that it’s because I was on the road every week last month and because I’ve had more client recipes and projects to work on (all of which is true) but the fact of the matter is I haven’t been writing Mindful Monday posts because I haven’t been feeling very mindful.
Here’s why. I have a hate/love relationship with travel. Travel is amazing because it brings new experiences and perspectives but it’s not so amazing when it completely derails your wellness routine. That was my October. Nashville –> Buffalo –> Vermont –> Richmond –> Denver. And with each trip came indulging in food and drink, not exercising, not meditating and not taking care of me. And about half way through the month I came down with a cold (no surprise there). Without my regular yoga practice, without my meditation, without my routine, I had no mindfulness inspiration to share with you all. Because frankly I had to get myself mindful first and take care of me before I could extend myself outward again.
And don’t get me wrong, I really wanted to be with you guys on Mondays. I missed the insightful dialogue, the real conversations, the inspiration. But the important piece for me was that I didn’t beat myself up about not coming to the blog on Mondays. I came to terms with the fact that I needed to take a step back from my work to take care of me and in turn those around me.
Because when you’re not feeling mindful (and we’ve all been there – no one can be 100% enlightened 24-7 unless you be buddha), you need to be “selfish” and carve out time for self-care. I put selfish in quotations because it has such a negative stigma attached but I think being selfish is a GOOD thing. I think we need to take care of ourselves – more than we normally do. So what have I been doing to be selfish lately?
- Waking up earlier. I now set my alarm for 6am every morning and either go to a yoga class or I’ll create a slow, juicy morning for myself where I stretch, meditate and journal before I start my day and check my emails. I’ve noticed I’m entering my day (and inbox) feeling much more grounded and relaxed than before.
- Investing in essential oils. After coming down with a cold in October, I thought to myself I REFUSE to be sick all fall and winter and looked into alternative preventative measures. Enter, essential oils. Not only am I using them to prevent colds but I’ve used them to help me sleep at night, to relieve tension, to help with allergies and congestion, digestion, and even muscle soreness after a challenging yoga class! And I LOVE them.
- Practicing yoga more. I’ve started to pencil in yoga classes on my daily to-do lists so that it’s as important as my work and something I too can check off the list (there’s something about checking things off a list that makes me smile lol). I’ve also been going to more yoga workshops to get a deeper exploration and education on my practice.
- No more working on the weekends. This was a big one for me since working weekends became a normal part of my weekly routine. And yes I cranked out five blog posts a week when I did it and that was awesome but at what expense? Seeing my friends. Carving out me time. Spending quality time with Steve. Stay tuned for a more detailed blog post on this one.
- Going to therapy. I debated whether or not I should share this one on the blog because therapy has such a negative stigma attached but I’m a big believer that EVERYONE can benefit from therapy and that people shouldn’t feel shame for going, so whatevs, putting it out there. It’s funny that the more I share this with friends, the more I learn that my friends see therapists too. Life is hard, peeps, and sometimes we need to talk it out. Ain’t no shame in that.
I share these experiences and examples not to make this blog post the kara-lydon-mindful-monday-show but in the hope that maybe you could benefit by including one, some or all of these into your life. That maybe, just maybe, you’re finding yourself in a funk as well. That maybe you’ve overexerted yourself lately. Or maybe you just need to take better care of Y-O-U.
It’s not easy. But it’s so necessary. Let’s make this world a better place by starting with us. The more love we give to ourselves, the more love we can put out in the world. And I think some band once said “all you need is love”. 🙂
Ps. In an effort to take better care of myself and to work on some new projects for YOU that I’m super excited about, I’m going to take a tiny step back from the blog. Teeny tiny. Long gone are the days of five posts per week. But what I am striving for is to bring Mindful Monday back and post on Monday and then a new recipe post on Thursday. The goal here being quality > quantity.
Tell me, what do you do when you’re not feeling mindful? How can you carve out more space for Y-O-U?
I love this Kara! I think we can all relate sometimes. In college I had the worst sleep schedule, and since starting my dietetic internship I’ve focused more on sleeping enough and getting up an hour earlier than I should in the morning to stretch, enjoy my breakfast, read, etc. I’ve found I’m more focused and productive, and less stressed out about the “little things”. There’s no shame in sharing this – that’s what I learned from the Brene Brown books you recommended 🙂
Thanks, Cynthia!! Glad to hear you’ve carved out some space for yourself in the mornings. Haha yes, Brene Brown is awesome on the subject of “shame”.
I would like to hear which oils you have chosen and why. Also how you use them.
Awesome, Rita. I’ll share a post in the coming weeks on this!
I’m so with you on this post. As much fun as travel is, all the extra work leading up to and catching up after has got me worn down. Hoping after this next trip for Scott’s sister’s wedding I can join you on the no work on the weekends front!
Thanks for sharing, Rachael. Yes, join the #noweekendwork party!!
I love this post! The fall has been crazy for us as well and with the holidays right around the corner, your tips come at a perfect time. I would love to hear more about essential oils…I’m late to the game but would be interested in what ones are helping you sleep and relax. Thanks!
Will definitely share more on the oils later but lavender is amazing for sleep! Frankincense, too!
I can completely relate to you in terms of losing sight of the importance of self-care. I started grad school this semester and it’s been a whirlwind. Between adjusting to a new schedule and new challenges, I feel a lot of my healthy habits slipped away. I’m really trying to refocus and fit in more time to take care of myself and my health. I love these suggestions!
I think we all go through these phases, Dana. Especially when we go through changes in routine, like grad school for you. You’re not alone! xo
You are reading my mind. It sounds like we had similar fall schedules and challenges- and with kids, my “me” time is pretty nonexistent. Thanks for the reminder that taking a step back is a good thing sometimes 🙂
Yes, I can’t even imagine what my self-care would look like if I threw kids of my own into the mix right now. But with anything, I suppose I would just adjust :). You’re very welcome for the reminder. xo
That picture is beautiful Kara. Glad you are being selfish and taking more time for yourself! Not really selfish in my book. Also, it’s so true, everyone feels uncomfortable talking about therapy, but the best thing to do is talk about it so there is less stigma around it. Thanks for sharing!
I wish I could say I took the picture, lol it’s Canva. Agreed! Self-care is not selfish. And I couldn’t agree more about therapy. My friend and I have this idea to start a blog to talk about the stuff no one talks about haha and therapy is on that list!
I really needed to read this today, thanks for sharing Kara!
Aw, so glad to hear it was helpful, Cheryl!
I SO need to implement the no working on weekends rule – it always seems like there is so much to get done, but those weekends where I do end up not working I find I’m much more productive come Monday.
Totally agree. For me it was realizing that there will always be more work to be done so if I don’t set boundaries I will never.stop.working. Boundaries are so important for self-care.
Love this post! It’s so important to remember that we’re all human and we require self-care. I’d love to hear more about your experience with essential oils– they’re popping up all over the place lately. And I’m super excited to read your upcoming “no working on the weekends” post. It’s something I definitely struggle with as well!
Thanks, Lauren! I’ll definitely share my experience with the oils soon. I use them daily now and am that awkward girl walking down the street sniffing her hands like Mary Katherine Gallager on SNL 🙂
I can completely relate to this post….but for completely different reasons! My routine is getting turned upside down while I’m in my dietetic internship and after having the worst cold last week I realize I MUST make time for me…even in this hectic time in my life! I completely applaud you taking a step back and focusing on you! And there’s NO shame in therapy…it’s a weekly reset button for me!
Thanks for sharing, Chelsey! Glad you came to a similar realization that it’s important to make time for YOU. And agreed, #aintnoshame 🙂
I totally understand and relate what you are saying about traveling- its refreshing to get away but can lead to more stress on the body overall. I would love to hear more about your essential oil use- I’ve been looking into it for muscle soreness but my yoga teacher uses lavender every class and it is sooo calming. Hope you get more relaxing and calmness before the madness of the holiday season!
Thanks for sharing, lady. Yes, I’ll definitely share more on essential oils soon since it seems like people are interested to learn more. xo