As I’ve mentioned before, we live behind a school, and so although Lulu is far too young for elementary, we can’t help but feel the excitement of a fresh start. And then, of course, I have my own classes that I teach on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Classes of eager college freshmen, excited to begin their studies. There’s nothing quite as appealing as a fresh start.
The sweet folks at the Motherhood and Healthy Essentials asked me to share some of the ways I’m refreshing and re-energizing my routine this fall. I was happy to do so because it made me stop and think: what can I do to bring more peace and fulfillment into my days? It’s an important question to ask…especially when you feel too busy or overwhelmed to set aside for yourself. In fact, that’s a sign you need to answer that question even more. So here’s my list. I hope it brings you a measure of inspiration!
1. Spending time outside
The days are getting shorter but my need for sunshine isn’t diminishing. Lulu and I spend at least an hour outside each day…sometimes more. Yes, it means that we may end up with a few more scrapes or bruises, but never anything that a bandaid or a kiss from mom can’t fix. I feel like my soul breathes so much freer the rest of the day if I begin it with time outdoors.
As a new mom, sitting down to a book has become near impossible. It breaks my MFA heart to admit it…but I haven’t finished a novel this entire year. And so one of the ways I’m changing my routine this fall is to set aside time to read…even if only for 10 or 15 minutes. It does my soul good, and it allows Lulu time to interact with some of the books that she enjoys.
3. Baking something new
No surprise, I bake a lot. But I often end up baking recipes that I know like the back of my hand. Recipes that don’t require me to think…but simply to do. And while those recipes result in a meditative state of mind, I sometimes miss the challenge and excitement of trying something new. I rarely turn to shortbread when I get the itch to bake cookies. But I think about them often, especially when I’m craving something subtly sweet and buttery. I had so much fun mixing, cutting, and baking these cookies on Sunday afternoon. It changed up my routine…which did my body and my soul good!
4. Take time for me.
I’ll be honest, it’s really hard to pamper yourself when you have a toddler running around. Gone are the days of manicures and pedicures…gone are the days of long leisurely baths. Instead, I spoil myself in simple, easy ways. I buy a new face wash or a new shampoo. I wear lipstick just because I feel like it (and not because I have somewhere special to go.)
5. Cut back.
I’m learning to say no. I’m learning that it’s okay if I don’t blog three or four times a week. It’s okay if I don’t say yes to every social invite I receive. Balance as a new mom is hard…and I know I have a long way to go…but I think I’m getting closer. Day by day. Hour by hour.
Some of the great products I’m using can be found here...and there are over $40 worth of coupons to make that pampering or exploring a little more affordable! Go explore some of these Healthy Essentials when you have the chance!