Being a work at home mama sometimes feels like you’re constantly putting a 750 piece puzzle together. It always takes longer than anticipated. The progress is slow and steady. When you take a glance over at the picture on the cover of the box, then look over at the messy pile of all the small bits, overwhelm can wash over if you trip out on it too much.
But when you find the pieces that snap together perfectly? Ahhh…
Yeah, I just plopped in the final piece of the biggest business-related puzzles I’ve yet to put together and wanted to celebrate by treating the family to a spring break getaway. A gesture of thanks to them for their patience, understanding and ongoing support as Mama has been a particularly busy bee with this project pretty much ever since the Christmas holidays.
We headed out to our usual Straycation destination, a hotspring cabin that has a private hotspring water filled hot tub on the deck, and just deeply relaxed in our pajamas for a couple of days. Eat, soak and play. Totally what the Mama Bliss Naturapathic Doctor ordered.
Especially since this Mama caught a nasty cold at the home stretch of this virtual marathon. What a treat!
But I embraced the cold not only as an early spring cleanse but as an opportunity to review my SHOES situation.
SHOES is a clever acronym I came up with to remind my clients of the five areas of self-care we need to shine our spotlight on regularly. If you’d like a handy dandy worksheet to explore the state of your SHOES check out my free three day ecourse, Money Bliss. It won’t take long to get your hands on it for it’s in the first day’s lesson. It’s that important.
But if you simply can’t wait those five minutes, here’s a review and an offering of Mama Bliss Bite-Sized Spring themed tweaks (so doable ~ even for the busiest of WAHMamas) to make your SHOES all shiney and new for the start of this celebratory season ~ the rebirth of life!
(Speaking of which, Sweet Baby Jesus, I can’t wait to get back into the garden!)
Spring ahead and lose one of hour of sleep. Awesome! In fact, this one is what did me in and made me susceptible to that last virus that rode as a stowaway in one of the kids’ nasal cavity from school. I even remember the moment. The night we were to turn the clocks forward one hour I couldn’t get to sleep because I was worried I was going to sleep in for a morning meeting and was obsessing about what time it is really.
Kept waking up, hour after hour, obsessing. Lack of blissful sleep really messes me up and I’m sure it’s not doing you any favours too. Do what you can Mama to eventually get an extra half hour even!
Mama Bliss Bite Sized Sleep Remedies:
Get just in bed just ten minutes earlier and treat yourself to ten minutes of just-before-lights-out reading.
Splurge on a brand new to you set of vintage sheets.
Start a new bedtime ritual with sleep promoting herbs or essential oils involved. Passion-fruit tincture in my tea before bed was an Oprah-send.
What’s doable for you today to get just even five more minutes sleep tonight or turn up the lusciousness of your sleep quality up a notch?
That’s water! Had to go with the periodic time table version because SWOES would have been trickier to remember and has a depressing ring to it for some reason. Drinking more water can fix can remedy most issues. That’s the visual I share my kids. By drinking a glass of water we’re filling up our body’s toilet tank to flush all the gunk out.
Still, when I get busy I forget a. forget to go to the bathroom and b. drink the delicious stuff. I’m no body fluids engineer but I wonder if there might be a correlation there. But, ironically, I always remember to treat myself to water’s dehydrating first cousin ~ latte!
Mama Bliss Bite Sized Hydrators:
Fill up two large mason jars full of the stuff, keep them on the kitchen counter and take little sips throughout the day as you pass by.
Drink a whole cup upon awakening to ‘shower’ your insides.
If you’re vain in a mid-life crisis type way like me, imagine your skin glowing with dew and plumpness as you fill up your hot Mama-tank.
What’s a Jedi mind-trick you could play on yourself in the H2O department?
Oh, no, the ‘O’ word. Buying organic’s expensive but my stance is you vote with your dollars. But beyond what I’m getting at here with ‘organic’ is not only eating but living more mindfully, simply and local as possible. Consider how to surround yourself with the least amount of toxins as possible. These days there are is no escaping chemicals and heebie jeebies out there. Trust me. I tried. There are many different directions I can take off here but at a certain point I too need to shine a light on a middle path.
But it’s been this way since way back when I was a kid. The best we can do is ease off the toxic burden on our system where we can. So for today, see how you can move away from poison and lean toward natural medicine that is life in its natural state.
Mama Bliss Bite Sized Organic Bits:
Spring’s a perfect time to start a garden ~ even if it’s just potatoes in a bag – my favourite straight from the garden treat (after kale, of course)! Put the family on a spring cleanse but eating super clean for ten days. I’m talking brown rice, lots of green veggies and nothing that has more than five ingredients on the box. Nothing that comes in a box come to think of it.
Toss out one or two cleaning and body products that have creepy ingredients and find a more natural alternative.
Make an appointment with a naturapath, herbalist or another recommended alternative healer in your area and mention you want a simple spring tune up.
What’s a slightly cleaner alternative to something your body’s communicating to you it needs a break from?
A little bit everyday Mama! I was careful to at least get a decent walk in each day during my launch. It actually helps we have a dog now to make this one a non-negotiable. But its evident that without some sort of movement everyday things back up and energy stagnates and immunity drops. Move it!
Mama Bliss Bite-Sized Moves:
Sign up for a class you loved as a kid. Last year I was all over hip hop. Today, in fact, I’m calling the number I found to sign up for horse back riding!
Just a couple of yummy stretches can stand in for a yoga class once in a while (try my bed yoga video or check out my five minute mama one).
I discovered when I was pregnant that walking’s the best movement option ever. That and yoga and you’re set up with your own personal, at home gym wherever you go. Wear comfy shoes and, if possible, pick a destination that combines a daily task with it like walking to the mailbox, feeding ducks that live ten minutes away or grabbing a morning coffee.
What can you do movement wise to celebrate this time of year for movement that was next to impossible in the season prior?
Vegetation’s not just for vegetarians! So good for you. Stillness is the non-toxic glue that binds all the other SHOE bits together. Here we can take a deeper listen to what aspect of our self-care habits might be lacking and needing some extra attention. Not only an opportunity to observe what our body and soul’s communicating to us, with continuous pockets of stillness in our busy lives we can reacquaint ourselves with the contrast between constantly doing and simply just being. And then maybe giving a soft whisper of thanks.
Mama Bliss Bite Sized Still Bits:
Love my five minute timer trick. Tell the kids Mama’s going to lie down on her bed for five minutes. Tell them when the timer goes off, you’ll get up (but really you put the timer on for ten ~ hee!).
Take five minutes to meditate upon awakening and/or before bed. Five minutes!
Hide if you have to. Bathroom’s a great place. Or a say you have to run out to the car for a second to grab something and then just sit there slack jawed for a few.
What can you let go of for just this season to create space for more stillness?
And that 750 piece Unicorn puzzle Edie and I attempted together? We completed the periphery and only one unicorn from the herd. But look at him. It’s like he’s trying to tell me something. What’s he trying to say?
I think he just said:
Be gentle with yourself, Sweet Mama. And spiff up your SHOES in one small way today.
And if you need a little extra support for your self-care plan might I suggest other posts like this written for Story of Mum’s Self-Care Carnival? It’s a celebration of a beautiful program called the Story of Mum’s Do It Yourself Retreat Kit. In Pippa’s words:
Story of Mum’s Do It Yourself Retreat Kit is a gorgeous digital pack brimming with beautiful printables and easy to follow videos. It contains everything you need to host your own 3 to 4 hour Mamas’ Retreat. Just add friends, clear a gentle yoga space in your living room, and bake something delicious…
Check it out. I did, it’s really beautiful and I think I want to organize this sort of mama-only retreat pretty quick with some of my book club ladies. SHOES shopping is always fun with a few Mama friends in the mix I’m sure!