How We: Take Care of Ourselves

It’s Valentine’s Day!!!

We have a full day today…our traditional Valentine’s breakfast followed by school parties, then the girls have dance and finally, our family Valentine’s dinner and the Olympics.  Andrew and I decided that we’re going to celebrate with dinner just us in two weeks because that’s in-between Valentine’s Day and our anniversary.  Tonight, it’s all about the Olympics…er, I mean family.

Today is also…

How We…Wednesday!  Once a month, Erika and I host a link up where we talk about how we (fill in the blank).  We’ll share and then we’re hoping you’ll link up and share too…because I LOVE learning new things from you ladies!  Last month, we discussed our New Year’s Resolutions.  You can see mine HERE.

Here are our topics for the year…

Today is about how we “take care of ourselves”.  I’m going to offer up my thoughts, but then I totally hope you throw out suggestions too.  I don’t know how it is at your house, but over here, I’m usually the last person I take care of.  I make sure to schedule everyone else’s check ups, dental appointments and so forth, but I put off and/or reschedule mine.  I make sure the kids are getting plenty of sleep, eating their veggies and drinking a lot of water, but I’m over here sleep deprived and chugging coffee.  Anyone else?

I went and looked at one of my favorite Pinterest boards for a little inspiration today.  Am I the only one who likes to pin stuff like this…

I don’t know what it is, but these pins speak to me.  I have a whole board full of motivational stuff along with health and fitness HERE.

So, I said this last week, but I’ll repeat it again, one of the ways I try to take care of myself is by…

Getting annual (or for me, bi-annual) skin checks…

…making sure I’m on top of my breast health and talking to my doctors about hormones.  Just Friday, my friend went to the doctor and made a joke about her tummy feeling bigger than normal and friends, her doctor took her joke seriously, did a sonogram right then and there AND SHE HAS A TUMOR ON HER OVARY.   We have to speak up when we’re at the doctor.  We cannot think the doctor is too busy, our concerns are too silly/weird/dumb to say out loud.  We have to say something!  Also, please be praying for my friend.  She visited with a gynecological oncologist yesterday and this is so serious.  So, pray for her (you don’t need to know her name, God knows it) and make sure you speak up about your health.

I know, I know, I know.  You were right and I was wrong.

I know.

For years, you guys have been telling me to get more sleep, but I am addicted to waking up early.  That being said, one of my resolutions this year was to sleep until 5:00 every day and oh my word, I feel like a new person.  I didn’t even realize how tired I was until I wasn’t anymore.  Sleep is our friend.  I need to repeat that to myself most days, but it’s true.  No one is their best self when they’re exhausted.

I am not the poster child for working out.  I don’t do it as often as I should, but I’m very active and I think that’s important too!  When I first got my Apple Watch, I was so surprised that I didn’t get very many steps in on Tuesdays and Saturdays.  It really shocked me!  I thought I got about the same every day, but nope.  On Tuesdays and Saturdays, I typically got half of what I did on other days.  Now, I really strive to hit 15,000 steps every day of the week.  Some days (like Mondays!) that is really easy, but other days (like Tuesdays when I sit at my desk for 7 hours), it’s harder and I have to get more creative and push myself.  You can read about other ways I stay active HERE and about my Apple Watch HERE.

January Book Review

A few years ago, I set out to read two books a month…and now, I read many more than that.  Reading more has been one of the BEST things I’ve done for myself!  For starters, I’m watching less TV (which is probably a good thing!), and it’s just really relaxing and helps me unwind.  I have always loved reading, but I wasn’t making it a priority in my daily life, and now, I am.  I carve out time to read and decline other things in favor of it (like mindlessly scrolling social media).  Reading has really been a blessing to me.  You can read my last book review HERE.

So, there are probably a plethora of other things I could name: drinking more water, eating less sugar, taking a relaxing bath, going vegetarian a little each week, etc., but these are the things that came to mind first.  What do you do to take care of yourself?!  I would love to know!!  I think we women have to stick together and encourage each other to stop and take time for ourselves.  Please comment and share!!  Plus, if you blogged this today too, please link up below.

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!  It’s the day of love and I certainly love YOU!

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  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog February 14, 2018 at 4:56 am

    I love the caring for yourselves Wednesdays! Always, always good to keep going to check ups ❤️ So important!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  • Erika Slaughter February 14, 2018 at 4:56 am

    I love how one little topic can be taken so many different ways! I’m sharing more-when you get stressed how to reign that crazy back in! Hahaha! And I’m so glad you shared those appointments. Thanks to you my teeth are so fresh and clean. 😉

  • Sarah February 14, 2018 at 5:02 am

    I love this post!!! So, my main resolution this year was to just relax more and quit being so busy. And my friend, let me tell you I have never felt happier and more at peace!! Life is so good, and I really credit it to simply slowing down and enjoying it! I think giving yourself grace in all areas of life and loving yourself is the best thing you can do as far as self- care 🙂

    I wrote a whole post on this too a few weeks ago! https://www.thefrugalmillionaireblog.com/10-frugal-self-care-tips/

    Happy VALENTINE’S Day!!!
    -Sarah

  • Rebecca L Brittain February 14, 2018 at 5:02 am

    Pinterest is the best! Regular skin checks are crucial for sure. I’m sorry yours found some issues but better to remove now.

  • Sheaffer Sims February 14, 2018 at 5:27 am

    Sitting in front of the tv (without a computer in my lap) and being a good ol’ fashioned couch potato once in awhile totally recharges me! Even just catching one old episode of Friends can chill me out and have me ready to tackle the rest of my TO DO list.

    • Francesca February 15, 2018 at 8:03 am

      I’m glad you said this because it totally chills me out too. My husband always gets on my case but it actually de-stresses me.

  • Elspeth Mizner February 14, 2018 at 5:35 am

    I always push myself to do everything. So I rarely take time for myself. This year I want to make sure I’m taking care of myself just as Micah as I’m taking care of others.

  • KimW February 14, 2018 at 5:45 am

    I love the list of 18 things to do in 2018! For me reading is huge – it feels like a treat to myself when I get to read! It is something I love and had gotten away from and I am making it a priority in 2018! I am already on my 6th book this year. One way I try to take care of myself is to get myself organized for the week on Sunday… I get all my gym outfits ready, all my work outfits ready, and do meal prep for the week — helps keep me sane and less stressed.

  • Jo Biddick February 14, 2018 at 5:45 am

    Today I looked after my best friends little girl while she went to an unexpected Dr’s appointment and we ended up at the beach. It was a beautiful sunny day and while I watched little Emmie play I took a moment and breathed in the fresh sea air and thought, this feeds my soul.
    I think every woman needs to take the time to do the things that feed her soul whatever that may be.

  • Cheryl Blevins February 14, 2018 at 5:53 am

    I exercise 5 days a week, drink mainly water but also my love, coffee. Eaten less sugar, increase veggies. I also read a devotion everyday and try to listen to my body when I need extra rest, (when possible). This year trying to read more books in a month than I normally do. These are all easier now that I am older….not as easy raising a family. Ha!

  • Narci Dreffs February 14, 2018 at 6:23 am

    These are all such great ways to take care of yourself! I love the part about reading! So true!

  • Dana February 14, 2018 at 6:23 am

    Love this! I have started listening to audiobooks as I shower and have already finished 3 books! It’s such a refreshing thing to do as I get ready for bed and unwind from the day. I read Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Refresh by Shona Murray (I kept thinking that you might enjoy this one, too!), and The Most Important Place on Earth by Robert Wolgemuth. They all helped me focus on what is important and keep me motivated to start the next day on the right foot. I just started Rachel Cruze’s Love Your Life, Not Theirs and it appears to be a good one, too!

    I also love to drink different kinds of tea and add a scoop of integral collagen each time. I just recently realized I love having 2 smaller cups of tea (in bone china from Marshall’s!) rather than one big one because I love the variety. So silly, but I look forward to my breakfast and snack time teas and get a little protein in, too! (The collagen changes the taste slightly, but you get used to it.) And a daily walk in nature is also a great way to get some exercise and breathing room.

    One last thing- one of those lists could be a source of frustration for mamas- the one where keeping a ‘tidy’ place is a goal. One of my goals this year is to actually not freak out over messes and seek out a ‘perfect’ home. If that’s my goal, I’m going to be constantly frustrated with my messy children! I’ve tried to focus more on making sure I clean or de-clutter each day, but a home full of life is not going to be immaculate. I’m still learning this after 15 years of having kiddos!

    • Sandy Manning February 14, 2018 at 10:08 am

      What is your source for audio books? Do you get them online, rent, borrow from library? I listen to a lot of things online but I also love audio books just don’t know where to access them. Thanks!

  • Laura E Fredlund February 14, 2018 at 6:29 am

    It’s so hard as a mother to put ourselves first! But you know the saying… The one where we’re supposed to out our own oxygen mask on first before helping anyone else? It’s something I need to work on! P.s. just wanted you to know that since your Jan book review I’ve read the Elizabeth Smart book, The Girl With Seven names, and Now That You Mention it… And I have loved each one. Thank you!!! Next is What She Knew 🙂

  • Lauren February 14, 2018 at 6:29 am

    In addition to sleep, healthy diet/exercise, and health appts, I take care of myself with rotating spa appts (mani/pedi, massage, facial) monthly bunco and home group; weekly date nights, moms group, and sporadic family/friend time; various ministries associated with our church/community multiple times a week; nightly soak in hot tub with a chocolate and book and most importantly, daily Bible reading and prayer. I didn’t always do most of listed, but since staying at home with my children vs working, I noticed I needed me time mixed with adult socialization! So thankful my husband is completely on board and realizes those are critical for my mental/emotional health. It sounds busy but it’s really not. I’m sure will change some once new babes are here (currently pregnant with twins) and seasons change, but for now, it works and I’m loving it.

    • Karen February 14, 2018 at 7:13 am

      This is encouraging… I “work” from home as well and sometimes feel guilty for doing fun things as you discussed. Since I left the corporate world, everyone just assumes that your day is automatically “fun”!

  • Katie Oman February 14, 2018 at 6:33 am

    Taking our health seriously is super important for our self-care! Thanks for sharing.

  • Alicia February 14, 2018 at 6:37 am

    Three years ago I stole your quiet time idea, so every morning I sit by the fire with an blanket and coffee and open my Bible. The past year, after reading all the research on mindfulness, I threw in my own twist and added one meditation after reading and it has been great! Thanks for opening this little world of quiet time for me!

  • DG February 14, 2018 at 6:44 am

    Thanks for reminding us for taking care of ourselves! I have a similar Pinterest board.
    Loved the book The Girl with Seven Names—got it at the library and was talking about it so much, my husband read it too—-great story and thanks for the recommendation!

  • Kristin February 14, 2018 at 6:59 am

    My suspected ovarian tumor turned out to be a cyst. Prayers for your friend, and I hope it’s just a cyst!!

    • Mix and Match Mama February 14, 2018 at 7:04 am

      Me too!!!

  • Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams February 14, 2018 at 6:59 am

    I always like getting ideas from others about how they take care of themselves. I’ve been enjoying those pins that list them because its easy to look at them a pick one when I have a moment. My favorite thing to do to take care of myself, besides getting regular sleep, is going to my favorite spa. My loved ones get me gift cards for my birthday and holidays because they know how much I love going. Following along to see what other’s write! Happy Valentine’s Day Shay!
    xo
    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams

  • Karen February 14, 2018 at 7:05 am

    I’ve found that sleep is one of my biggest issues. From all the info I’ve read, I’ve learned that it’s actually an optimistic quality (yay for us😂)… optimistic people tend to think they can stay up a little later (or get up earlier) to fit one more little task into the day! Sleep deprivation not only hurts our bodies in obvious ways but can affect that “tighter time”😉 with our spouse.
    Another biggie for me has been LOVING MY SKIN. I visit a dermatologist very regularly too and have some removal scars of my own that I’m working with. Five years ago I started using Rodan + Fields skincare and have never looked back. Making an investment in the products, receiving them regularly etc kept me on track with usage. I loved them so much that I sell them (because that would mean that I’d have to be even more diligent about using if I were a consultant😂). I love keeping in touch daily—sometimes I feel like I’m reading my own blog!😘

    • Karen February 14, 2018 at 7:19 am

      “Together time”!!… apparently auto correct didn’t like that word! But, you will probably end up in a “tighter” relationship too!😜

  • Erin Port February 14, 2018 at 7:14 am

    Love it :). I always schedule my dental and eye visits when I do my kids visits just because otherwise I know I won’ t do it! Working out for me is such a good release that I find on a particularly busy week when I don’ get to the gym, I miss it! xoxo ERIN

  • Liz February 14, 2018 at 7:43 am

    I have kind of let my love of reading go by the wayside with the time consuming hobby and job that I have, but I’m making a goal to read 12 new books this year! That doesn’t sound like much, but hopefully it’ll help me carve out that time in my week to pick up the Kindle and turn off the TV in those times I’m home with free time.
    I’m not a parent but I am great at burning the candle at both ends, and posts like these help me remember that it’s okay to take a step back and do something to make myself feel recharged

  • Megan February 14, 2018 at 7:46 am

    Just say no, and be okay with just saying no. I’ve learned I don’t have to donate to every bake sale, attend every church event, join every committee, go to every friend gathering, or even take treats to every class party or sporting event. It’s liberating to just say no sometimes. And it keeps me sane.

  • Amanda @ That Inspired Chick February 14, 2018 at 7:56 am

    I need to start taking better care of myself. My rewards for a hard day are my bed and my DVR. 😉 That Inspired Chick

  • mary February 14, 2018 at 8:08 am

    One of the best ways I take care of myself is by doing lots of Yoga. I always heard there were benefits to yoga, but it wasn’t until I did it consistently that I truly noticed benefits. My anxiety and stress levels have dropped dramatically.

  • Alexis deZayas February 14, 2018 at 8:08 am

    I like to use face masks, paint my nails, diffuse essential oils and journal/spend my quiet time in the morning!

  • Tracey February 14, 2018 at 8:21 am

    Thank you for the inspiring post, Shay! I just had my second baby and life is even more hectic than usual. I need to take a step back and take care of myself every once in awhile.

  • Shari February 14, 2018 at 8:46 am

    I love the image of self-care ideas!! 30 simple things to try to incorporate to focus a little more on ourselves. Thanks for sharing! I’m posting to my blog so I can use it as a reference 🙂

  • Laci February 14, 2018 at 8:52 am

    All great ideas! Happy Valentine’s Day-I LOVE your blog and you have inspired me to be a better person in general throughout the years so thank you!

  • Tish Ferry February 14, 2018 at 9:15 am

    Any tips on getting in those extra steps on days you don’t do a cardio workout? It is easy when I run, but when I lift weights that day or don’t work out on a day, I find it hard to get steps in. I work from home a lot too so wondered how you get steps in on days at your desk! Praying for your sweet friend, Shay. What a honor to lift one other up to the Lord!
    Simply Tish

    • Mix and Match Mama February 14, 2018 at 11:58 am

      Thank you, Tish!! Prayers are so appreciated right now!! As for steps, I try to stand a lot, take the stairs a lot, walk my dog, stuff like that 🙂 .

  • Kayla Bruce February 14, 2018 at 9:18 am

    Love this! This year I am working on simplifying my life one area a month. In January I unfollowed lots of accounts on Instagram that I wasn’t really into, this month I am eating less sugar and bread, and next month I plan to stop using plastic straws (for environmental reasons).

    I have a friend who is having several ovarian tumors removed next Wednesday. Prayers for her would be so appreciated! Praying for your friend as well.

  • Amy G February 14, 2018 at 9:51 am

    It seems as a Mom taking care of others just comes easier than ourselves! BUT that doesn’t mean we should forget about ourselves. I will say a special prayer for your friend. I went through a similar issue last year, I went to my doctor for the same reason, I felt as though my belly seemed bigger. Mine ended up being tumors on both ovaries and my uterus had so many fibroids in it, it had ballooned to a ridiculous size. I ended up having to go to a GYN oncologist (they thought it was cancer). She had to perform surgery (had to have a complete hysterectomy) BUT the praise was everything was benign AND I am still on this earth praising God for my blessing! Thank you for such a great reminder post.

  • Nicole D. February 14, 2018 at 10:04 am

    I’m sorry to hear about your friend. I will be praying for her!! She was in the right place at the right time. 🙂

    • Mix and Match Mama February 14, 2018 at 11:58 am

      And her doctor took her seriously! That’s such a blessing too!!

  • Beth Jensen February 14, 2018 at 10:31 am

    I love those lists too! I like to add a few new things to better myself. This year I added spiritual reflections in the morning and I am searching for a new workout routine. I love to exercise, but am so bored.

  • Lisa D February 14, 2018 at 10:57 am

    I’m trying to give myself grace…. Not comparing myself to all the “perfect” women, forgiving my aging body (going on 58 this year and man is it hard to accept the inevitable!), and just trying to be kinder. It’s a process…

  • Kimberly February 14, 2018 at 11:10 am

    My sleep is really lacking with the Olympics right now 😴 I’ll need naps with the kids for a month to “make up” for the time.
    I love the workout time I get when the kids are napping. Normally I watch and episode of something on Netflix while I’m on the treadmill but the other day I listened to you and Catherine’s chat, which was a wonderful change of pace.
    On another note I saw on 1 of your pins that it said something about using essential oils. I don’t know if you already do or if you’re planning to BUT I saw on the news the other day that a family’s dog got seriously ill when they started using oils. Turns out the oil they were using was poisoning the dog. Now I’m not a vet and I don’t even use oils but I do know how much your family LOVES your dogs so just wanted to throw that out there. I never would’ve thought on my own that something like that could happen.

    • Mix and Match Mama February 14, 2018 at 11:57 am

      That is some really good info, Kimberly!!

  • G Riley February 14, 2018 at 11:29 am

    I am a daily reader so I’m pretty well versed about your blog. This one spoke to me in that I need to do a better job of self care. Thanks for being transparent and sharing your thoughts with us! I’ve been aiming to get more sleep too so it’s nice to hear that I dont struggle alone!!!

    • Mix and Match Mama February 14, 2018 at 11:57 am

      Sending you lots of love today!!

  • Marisa February 14, 2018 at 11:40 am

    Just thinking about this today and here it is in your blog! I know I need to take care of myself but I cannot get past the feeling of being overwhelmed to move forward! I guess the trick is to start slow and tackle one thing at a time and learning to manage my time would be a step in the right direction…lol. Thanks for the reminder that we should take care of ourselves too!

  • Emma Luongo February 14, 2018 at 11:57 am

    Diffusing essential oils, working out daily, walking home from work instead of driving, and reading are all things I do to take care of myself! Great post 🙂

  • Kim Kulina February 14, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    Thanks for sharing your ways to care for ourselves as women, daughters, sisters, mothers, wives and friends. I also think we should be looking more closely at what chemicals are part of our everyday lives and work together to ban those that are known to cause many illnesses and diseases. Our country as a whole is behind in this area.

  • Vicky T February 14, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    I LOVE to sleep and I know when I don’t get enough of it, it really affects me but sometimes that’s not an option for me because of the season I am in with my kids. One of your pins said using essential oils and I started doing that about 7 months ago. It has been such a game changer for me! Chemical-free living can make such a difference in your health as well as your family and pets! There was a comment that said someone’s dog got sick because of the oils but I just have to say, you need to make sure you are getting pure essential oils. They are not all the same. The cheaper stuff often have fillers. Make sure you get the good stuff and do your research. (LOVE your blog and read it every day!!!)

  • Dana February 14, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    To answer the question of where I get audio books, I discovered last month that I can get them for free from the library!!! For the ones that aren’t available there (your library website should let you know how to access them and what app to download), I have done the free trial of audible.com and gotten a couple free. They also have special deals from time to time and you don’t have to be a member to access them. We’ve gotten lots of $1 and $2 books for kids that way! I don’t know how to track the adult deals regularly, but readaloudrevival.com is a great source for kids’ audio book deals.

  • Sarah G February 14, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    What tips can you give to get to 15,000 steps in a day?! I exercise daily (usually the beachbody workouts), chase my toddlers around, and I teach high school in a large building (so I’m up and around a LOT during the day), but it’s a challenge to get to 10,000! Would love any tips on this!

    • Mix and Match Mama February 15, 2018 at 4:54 am

      I don’t always hit it, but it’s always my goal. I just try the basic stuff like standing while I”m on the phone, walking the stairs in stores and such, parking further away. Yesterday, I hit 18,000 but I went to the gym and took a step class, ha! That helped me out yesterday 😉 .

  • April February 14, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I have been do yoga daily , going on long walks and sleeping more on the weekends. The biggest change I made in my life has been saying NO more often. I stop feeling like I have to do everything for everyone. I would like to tell you about a book … An American Marriage this is a MUST read.

  • Katie A February 14, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    I get up early (5am as well) and go to the gym. I have one hour of uninterrupted time. I’m a weirdo who enjoys working out. I LOve it. That’s my number one!

  • Corbie February 14, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    I need to start my day in quiet with my bible in order to feel ready for the day. I need to exercise every day (well most days). I never scrimp on skin care and taking care of my skin. I stay away from sugar and try to drink more water. I always focus on cooking a healthy dinner for my family. I love alone time with my husband at night. Usually outside with heaters talking about our day and catching up on life and there usually is an adult beverage involved 🙂 Life is short. We just need to wake up, be thankful and do our best. We need to have lots of grace for ourselves; life isn’t always easy 🙂

    BTW, Shay, are you enjoying your kindle? Are you finding you are reading your books that way or are you back to reading real books?? 🙂

    • Mix and Match Mama February 15, 2018 at 4:51 am

      I’m obsessed with it, Corbie!!!!

  • Kristi February 15, 2018 at 5:04 am

    You said you sometimes go for a run outside, how far do you usually run?

    • Mix and Match Mama February 15, 2018 at 5:18 am

      Typically, three miles.

  • Emily February 15, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    I had such a problem with mindlessly scrolling on my phone! So this year, I’ve designated two times where I can look at my phone – right after work as I’m winding down, and about an hour before bed. This has CHANGED me! I also made it a goal (when I’m tempted to open up a social media app), to open up my Bible app and work on scripture memorization instead. It is so much more refreshing (and obedient to the Lord) to be reading God’s word and meditating on His promises instead of scrolling through all the negativity on Facebook.

  • Erin February 15, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    When I started my business, I knew I wanted part of it to be focused on Self-care. I do a post every Wednesday with a self care tip. It helps me too! I need to practice what I preach so to say- and it’s funny how inspiration comes from the little things in daily life! Thank you for all you share with us!

  • Trinh Le February 16, 2018 at 6:27 am

    Did you get a Peloton bike? I just got one over the holidays and love it

    • Mix and Match Mama February 16, 2018 at 6:38 am

      I do have one!