Self-care is the act of caring for oneself and doing things that make you feel more like YOU. Self-care is more than pampering. It is a daily act of kindness and compassion that allow us to live well and care for others.
As mothers, we continually give. We give time, energy, love, encouragement, and even give physically through birth and breastfeeding. Eventually, we will burn out. We will become worn out, fatigued, and mentally unavailable. Self-care is extremely important because it is the only way we can continue our roles as mothers and continue to give to others, by taking care of ourselves first and foremost. As the saying goes, you cannot pour from an empty cup.
I believe that self-care is an integral part of your wellbeing.
Simply put; whatever works for YOU. There is no “one size fits all” for self-care, regardless of what society or social media has led us to believe. Simplicity is key for self-care in motherhood. Tiny moments of self-care can make all of the difference!
Here are some examples of small, simple acts of self-care that can be integrated into your daily routine:
The bottom line: self-care is an individual and unique practice. Explore what makes YOU feel good, and once you identify it, make sure it is something you prioritize daily.
Reading has been a favorite past time of mine since I was a little girl.
I discovered and began immersing myself in self-development books when I found myself burnt-out, extremely anxious, and at the peak of my eating disorder.
Here are four of my favorites:
I have read them all multiple times and would highly recommend these books for anyone struggling with perfectionism and their relationship with food and their body.
I’d love to hear some of your favorite books!
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
By now you’ve probably heard that a morning routine has lots of benefits. A morning routine sets the tone for the whole day. When I transitioned into my job as a school nurse with a regular Monday through Friday schedule, I began exploring and creating a morning routine. Personally, I thrive off of routines and am a big advocate for them.
Here are a few benefits that I have personally experienced since creating and implementing my morning routine:
These are the exact steps I took to create a morning routine that works for me:
Whip out your journal and start brainstorming! You can even close your eyes and visualize the future you. What would you love to do most in the morning?
Questions to ask yourself:
Once you have your brainstorm list of ideas, write a list (in order!) of what your morning routine will be like and pick a day you’d like to start.
As soon as I decided to try a regular morning routine, I shared it with my husband. Not only did this keep me accountable, but it set some expectations and understanding. I like to make my bed in the morning. I wanted my husband to know that making my bed was important to me and why. Not only did this help me feel supported in my morning routine, but kept me accountable. If you don’t have a partner to share it with, try connecting on social media! Post about your morning routine on Instagram stories, or check in on my facebook page!
Baby steps are still steps! Change takes time. Be gentle with yourself and give yourself grace as you try to make changes to your everyday activities. If something isn’t working, ditch it! Just because you see other people drinking lemon water in the AM, doesn’t mean you have to too.
Your morning routine doesn’t have to be fancy or take a lot of time! In fact, my morning routine is about 20 minutes long. When I started, it was 10 minutes long. Work with what time you have. A morning routine should ADD to your life and self-care, not subtract from it.
Use an alarm sound that is energetic, happy and brings you joy. For example, my brother’s alarm is the Lion King theme song. How can you go wrong there?! If you are excited for your morning routine and a little alone time, it won’t be difficult to wake up for it.
Before I go to bed each night, I try to choose my outfit for the following day. This leaves me with one less decision in the morning and helps my morning flow easier. Another thing that I do to prepare for a great start to the day is keep my journal, planner and mug all in one spot. These items are easily accessible and I never have to search for them.
Finding your groove involves trial and error, so don’t be afraid to change things up until it feels like you!
That being said, morning routines aren’t for everyone and that is okay too. It’s all about exploring things to create the best version of yourself.
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
It’s the back-to-school season! I’m not sure if it’s nostalgia, or because I now work in a middle school – but I really do love this season. Give me all the new notebooks, pens and planners!
But seriously, today I am sharing my top five most used resources that help to keep my schedule on track and helps me cross things off of my to-do list. I mean, who doesn’t want to be more productive?!
I have tried NUMEROUS planners over the years. I have finally found one that meets all my requirements: ample space to write out my lists, a pocket in the back, goal setting each month, blank pages in the back for my random ideas and for every planner purchased, one is given to a someone in need. The Passion Planner is hands-down the best overall EVER.
This is a free app that is easy to use across all platforms – laptop, phone and online. Before I was bouncing between other note-taking apps and none quite worked well for me. Notion
Another free resource that can be a game-changer if you use it the right way! I create different calendars for work, personal, and fitness. Each is a different color. The key to Google Calendar is to SHARE with the most important people in your life. Think partner, parents, and close friends. They will be able to see when you’re busy and not have to always ask you! It’s a win-win for everyone.
I know that you have a timer on your cell phone, so no need to purchase one. Setting a timer for tasks on my to-do lists helps me to be much more productive and focused. I typically set a timer on my phone and then leave my phone in another room while I complete the task to limit distractions. I’d also recommend turning your notifications off if you really want to get down to business! This is how I plan out my barre classes, create playlists, clean the bathrooms, etc. When the timer goes off, give yourself a little break. Taking breaks has been shown to increase productivity immensely!
This might be a bit surprising to include on the list, but I truly feel that since I have started meditating on a daily basis (I’m talking 5-10 minutes people! Not hours!) I have been more productive and clear with my goals. The Headspace App has been an amazing addition to my morning routine. You can try it for free for 14 days using HERE!
A friend of mine recently asked me; “If you could only choose three things to use on your skin, what would they be?!”
Last summer, I started taking my skincare routine much more seriously in preparation for my wedding. I am so glad that I did.
Not only did I see noticeable changes (such as clearer skin), but I just felt better.
This was a game-changer for me. I had tried other natural deodorants countless times and was never happy with the results. However, Primally Pure blew the others out of the water. You can read more about the intentional, safe ingredient choices and why it’s important here.
If you’d like to try it for yourself, click here!
(P.S. Use code “Danielle10” for 10% off your first purchase)
Ah-maz-ing. I love this charcoal masks so, so much. I use it about twice a week and also as a spot treatment for any pimples. It leaves your skin smooth, refreshed and happy.
The cleansing balm not only smells delicious but has a variety of uses. It melts away make-up, cleanses, can be used for eczema, burns, as an overnight mask, and for sunburns or stretch mark prevention. A little goes a long way.
A great moisturizer I use on the daily!
A local Vermont company, this lip oil is awesome to keep lips hydrated all year round. (Use code “DanielleLovesOgee” for 15% off!)
Over the past year, I’ve read a bunch of amazing books. I would like to share some of my current favorite motivational and inspirational books with you! With summer right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to curl up to read in the evenings or to bring a book to the beach.
I hope you love these books as much as I do! Please share all of your recommendations with me too in the comments below, I’m always on the hunt for my next read.
I wanted to highlight EVERY line. I felt like Gabby was speaking directly to ME. The Universe Has Your Back is a fantastic book and changed my perspective on things such as trusting myself, reading signs from the universe and my relationships with family & friends.
Rachel Hollis’s book is written in a way that allows you to connect and relate to her. She shares meaningful, heartfelt stories that translate into invaluable life lessons. A must-read on everyone’s summer list!
One of my all-time favorite books! I have gifted this book to many of my friends. You Are A Badass is no-nonsense, straightforward and applicable to everyday life. Jen Sincero is a hero in my world. I freakin’ love this book and have read it at least three times.
This book helped me see money in a completely different way. There are many helpful examples and writing prompts throughout the book that I enjoyed completing.
I have this book twice now, and I highly recommend it! In Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love) discusses things like fear, failure and giving yourself permission.
What are some of your favorite inspirational books?
// Love Your Skin
As I learned in nursing school, the skin is the largest organ in your body. It provides so many vital functions – and deserves to be taken care of! As I prepared for our wedding day this past year, having healthy skin became a high priority for me. I’ve enjoyed learning about this aspect of health and self care.
// Beautycounter Philosophy
I discovered the company Beautycounter this past summer. You may have heard of it, as it is gaining popularity and as more people become educated about the importance of safe skin products. I used some of their products prior to our wedding, and I’ve never felt more radiant than that day. My skin was so happy!
Beautycounter is a leader in clean beauty. And for me, the products I’ve used have exceeded my expectations.
As explained on Beautycounter’s website, I learned that the US hasn’t passed a major federal law regulating the cosmetics industry since 1938. Every day American families are exposed to harmful ingredients commonly found in the products they use on their skin and Beautycounter is working to change that. They are on a mission to get safer products into the hands of everyone Currently, the US has banned 30 ingredients in the cosmetic industry. In Europe, the European Union has banned more than 1400 ingredients! But not to worry – Beautycounter has created it’s own “Never List” of 1500 harmful or questionable ingredients prohibited from their products. A few other facts about the company:
As a nurse, who focuses on educating people about the importance of a healthy lifestyle, I find it incredibly important to share my knowledge with friends and family on the impact harmful toxins found in many products have, what exposure to theses toxins can lead to, and to encourage everyone to switch to safer ones.
// Other Resources & Tips
Another great resource I’ve used often is EWG’s Skin Deep Database. This site is an online guide with safety ratings that allows you to search the products you are using to give you a more detailed look at the potential toxins you’re exposed to.
// One Step At A Time
Switching to clean products can be daunting. I started by adding one product at a time. As soon as I ran out of something – say facial cleanser – I replaced it with a new product that I knew only had safe ingredients.
// My Favorite Beautycounter Products
I hope you are able to begin your own transition to safer skin products and can start by adding just one product into your daily routine!
I wanted to share a few things that I am thoroughly enjoying this time of year!
Sight // “The Universe Has Your Back” – By Gabrielle Bernstein
Such a wonderful book with messages that are applicable to many aspects of life. It’s a great book to keep on your coffee table or nightstand to pick up at any time for inspiration. There is also a set of cards that you can buy separately by Gabrielle Bernstein containing artwork and quotes.
Smell // Essential Oil Diffuser
I purchased an essential oil diffuser from Amazon and keep it in my living room. This one in particular connects to our Amazon Echo – so I can turn it on before coming home from work. I’ve been diffusing Lavender recently, it is very calming to the nervous system.
Sound // Peaceful Piano – Spotify
My husband found this playlist for me. I find it to be great background music. My favorite song on this playlist is “Where is My Love – Piano Solo” by SYML.
Taste // Evolution Ginger Green Kombucha
I’m not a huge fan of bubbly drinks. I’ve tried many different kinds and brands of Kombucha and was convinced it just wasn’t for me. Evolution Kombucha was introduced to me by a friend, and I instantly loved it! I think it has the perfect combination of flavors – not overly sweet or bubbly and the ginger add just the right balance. I love drinking my this out of a wine glass in the evenings. You can find this at Healthy Living.
Touch // Dry Brush
Again – Amazon for the win! I ordered a dry brush and have been using it before showering in the mornings. It feels wonderful on your skin, especially now as we are heading into winter months. Dry brushing has a number of health benefits. It supports the lymphatic system, exfoliates your skin, and cleanses pores. I always try to follow with a moisturizing body lotion.
I was feeling a bit … “blah” about the whole cleaning thing. It felt like no matter how much I scrubbed our home was still missing some sparkle and freshness. I didn’t enjoy the products I was using, they gave me headaches and smelled awful. So – I decided I needed to make a change!
I stumbled across a site – The Grove Collaborative – that I’ve fallen in love with! After reading their mission statement – I knew I was in EXACTLY the right place!
I love that the company was started by three friends who wanted to sustain healthy and beautiful homes. That’s just what I am hoping to do! I love that each product has many reviews, a full ingredient list, and suggestions on how to use the products. And lastly, I love the fact that all of the products are safe for both our physical health and the health of the environment.
I placed an order and eagerly awaited my package. I joked with my husband and told him that my “Christmas box” was coming. I was referring to it as the Christmas box because the excitement I felt was similar to that of Christmas morning when I was little. I feel a little silly admitting that about cleaning products – but what can I say I am passionate about creating a cozy home!
Below are some of the products I ordered. And yes, I tried ALL of the products this weekend. My house has never been cleaner! I feel that the sparkle I was missing is back – and it smells delicious.
The Walnut & Cellulose Scrubber Sponge
This worked wonderfully in the kitchen. You can also easily sanitize the sponge by tossing it in the dishwasher. Super convenient – no more stinky sponges.
Method AntiBac Bathroom Cleaner
My bathrooms smell fresh of spearmint! The microfiber cleaning cloth was another great find – not leaving any residue.
Grove’s All-Purpose Castile Soap
100% organic and extremely versatile. I used it on my kitchen floor and counters but you can also use it as a face wash, body wash, or to make your own cleaning spray.
Mrs. Myers All-Purpose Spray.
My very favorite product, hands down. You can use in so many ways, it smells yummy – and really does get surfaces clean.
Click HERE if you’re as excited about cleaning as I am – you’ll also get a Mrs. Myers gift set. Happy Cleaning!!