self-care practice for a lousy day.

I’m thinking, as usual, about health. And my seeming lack of healthy habits recently. I’m thinking about where I want to go with my diet, with taking care of myself, with great first steps I want to accomplish in the new year.

I’m thinking about self-care. And my lack of any impressive habits in that category. That’s definitely on my list of first steps, too.

But on days like today, when I ended up feeling mopey or hormonal, a little out of sorts or a little down on myself, I realized there are some things I do that make me feel a little better or a little calmer or a little more like myself. There are things that remind me that bad days are just bad days, nothing worse, and I’m fine. That it’s cool to focus on getting back to enjoying myself.

So, falling under the category of no way at all new on the internet, here are some of the things I found myself doing tonight to take care.

1. Red wine. That’s right, it’s first on my list (in chronological order). If you don’t have a problem with alcohol, there’s definitely a place for it on a self care list. Red wine tastes delicious, and it has a tendency to help me remember that things aren’t always as intense as I think they are.

december-17-002

2. Clean up. I’ve let my dishes accumulate over the last few days. I was actually choosing the most important self care task for myself: sleep. Sleep always seems to take a back seat to everything else, and over the last few days, I was trying to crawl into bed earlier. I even took a book and turned off the TV for a few minutes. That was an awesome one that I’ll try to keep on the list tonight.

But because of those extra minutes of sleep every night, I called it quits on cleaning up. So I took ten minutes to collect, clean, and load the dishwasher. I even wiped down the countertops before I left with my glass of wine. I’ve heard this idea of accomplishing the easiest thing on your to-do list first, so it gives you some encouragement and a quick feeling of accomplishment. Totally worked.

3. Smell something good. This probably applies all over the place. Bake something awesome: that smells good. “Stop and smell the roses.” Light a great candle. Tonight, I went with essential oil. I love lavender for bedtime, a relaxation blend for when I take a bath, and tonight, I went with my favorite blend, called harmony. I don’t know many details about essential oil, but if I love a smell, and it makes me feel better, I think that’s benefit enough.

december-17-001

4. Plan for something. Right now, I’m looking forward to Christmas. (Eight days!) I am not wishing away the time. It’s the whole Christmas season that I love, anyway, not just the anticipation of the one day.

december-17-004

Also, I’m crazy excited for 2015. I know nothing really changes at midnight at the end of December 31. But I love the fresh start. I adore it. I make plans for it, I think big, I make resolutions that are all about giving myself a break but doing the things I think I will love.

Along with that, I’m prepping some new calendars. I made a planner that I hope to share here soon, and I bought a massive wall calendar that I can’t wait to fill up with Post-It notes.

december-17-003

5. Write. When I came home totally wiped, but not wanting to have a lousy night, I decided that I would journal for a few minutes. Journaling was for sure the best self-care practice I had when I was younger. It helps me clear things up and get to whatever is really going on. Sometimes it feels weird that I have all of these notebooks full of drama and events that I never read, but it’s the act of simply sitting down and writing it out. No one will ever see my words, so it’s all about whining and venting — and showing myself some compassion.

But tonight, after I poured myself that glass of wine, I ended up sitting down at my computer to write this blog post instead. Blog writing is absolutely different from journal writing. But it can still be calming for me, because I love to write.

6. Snuggle up. Getting a hug is pretty great, but just sprawling out on the couch under my best blanket with some goofy shows is probably the best thing to do after a big cry.

7. Excerpted from #2. Get some sleep. So many things can keep me awake. Either I’m thinking about too many things, or I want a few extra minutes after a stressful day, or I’m sucked into a show or a movie or a blog. But waking up feeling rested vs. how I have been waking up (like a sleepy zombie) probably makes all the difference in my morning.

Christmas Wish List

I’ve been browsing through some gift guides on blogs I read. I really like the peek inside other people’s lists. I thought I’d share what’s on my own wish list this year, instead of sticking to a theme. Just in case other people like that kind of thing, too.

christmas-2014

1. Russell+Hazel Mini Binder, Gold

2. KitchenAid 5-Qt. Artisan Series

3. Canon EF-S 10-18mm Lens

4. OXO Good Grips Cookie Scoop

5. Minnetonka Moccasins

6. Scharffen Berger Baking Chunks, Semisweet Chocolate

7. Dinner: A Love Story

10 days ’til Christmas!

I’m walking a mile a day for the holidays.

Hey guys. Happy Thanksgiving for those of you in the US.

The holidays are hands down my favorite time of year… even though I still pine for summer & the beach & awesome warm temps.

And this year, while making merry and getting in the spirit and trying to slow down and enjoy the moment, I’m also going to try something new.

I got inspired to do a little something for the next few weeks. And I mean a little something.

One mile a day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. (Thanks, Elise, for the idea. And the hashtag.)

week-in-the-life-tuesday-008

Walking one mile is not going to win me any awards. But that’s not the point.

The point is that the starting is always the hardest part. It’s not the middle five minutes of exercising, or even the last five minutes. It’s that standing up and getting myself to say yes.

That’s the point of this challenge.

Also, the every day part. That’s tough for me. I usually set a “few times a week” goal for whatever project is involved. But, for me, that makes it way to easy to say tomorrow. Every day is hard. But maybe it will take away that option to always say some other time. I’m interested to see if I can actually set the intention and get it done.

What doesn’t count: The day’s general Fitbit steps. My regular to-and-from does not count.

What does count: Everything else. Heading outside. Crossing the street and walking on the treadmill. Putting in one of my hilarious fitness DVDs. Pacing during a television show. Marching in place.

Anything that feels intentional and that I stand up to do for this challenge.

I like the idea of posting about it each day as an added bonus. I’m not sure if I’ll see it through for the whole month, but I love the idea for now. I plan to use the #mileaday hashtag on Instagram.

I created a minimalist check-off calendar to keep me inspired.

If you’d like to download the 8.5 x 11 PDF to print off, you can do so here:

#mileaday 2014 printable calendar

Who’s with me?

holiday minibook

Coming off the high of documenting Week in the Life, I decided to keep the extra documentation going.

I’m going to document the holiday season with a minibook. It will definitely be less intense than Week in the Life. And I’ll be doing it in addition to Project Life.

Ali Edwards has exploded this year with her album and kit for December Daily. I obviously love the idea of documenting December. And her kit is gorgeous, but again, I just want to keep it simple. Especially since I don’t think I’ll quit Project Life anytime soon.

I loved working on the summer minibook, and I want to tackle this like that minibook. Except, you know, I want to finish it.

holiday-2014-minibook

It fits in with my Christmas plan perfectly. So far on that list, I could check off watching Christmas movies and listening to Christmas music on the radio. I could also mini-check slowing down to savor it. But I’ll save that for the real holiday season.

My plan so far is to incorporate any festive photos or ephemera from the season, and to give myself time to reflect and get the thankfulness & gratitude documented in some way.

I want to keep it simple. I feel like I’m constantly saying that, but it’s only because of how quickly I tend to complicate things.

And since I had all the materials, I made up a few more, and they’re available in my…

brand new Etsy shop!

You can find them here while they last.

Just like the summer book, they are 4 x 6″ little books, assembled with book rings, so it’s the easiest to keep things simple adding pages or moving them around. I went for a mix of red, green, black, and white. With a lot of red, because it’s the best.

comp1

comp2

comp3

And that’s the plan!

So far, I have my first (and probably only) red Starbucks cup. But I’m still five days early.