harper: outfit + bracelets || hunter: similar top + similar jeans + shoes ||
hayden: similar top + similar jeans + similar sandals || houston: similar tee + jeans + shoes ||
me: top + jumpsuit + hat + sandals + bracelets || hudson: tee + jeans
It’s my birthday!! If you know me you know I love all things celebrating! Give me all the cake + ice cream! But one of my favorite things to do on my birthday is actually to look back on the past year. I love to take a minute and write down the things that stand out to me the most that I learned that year. It can be an actual new skill, or just as simple as things I’ve learned about myself. As I thought back for this year, there were some big ones that changed a lot for me and I thought could be helpful to some of you, so today I’m sharing a few of them!
: INVEST IN YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
In years past, mental health has always seemed like kind of a taboo subject. Especially when it comes to women’s mental health. If I think back to our parents generation, it seems like it was looked at as almost embarrassing to admit you felt unsure of yourself, lost, or struggling. But something I’ve learned this past year, is it’s ok to invest in your mental health. And not only that, but that it feels so healing when you do.
I’ve also learned it is ok to see a therapist/counselor or hire a life coach! Which is what I have recently done – is find an amazing life coach. I think I always kind of thought you have to have had some kind of life changing event in your childhood for it to be ok to see a therapist or counselor. But in reality, sometimes just having someone else to talk to and help you sort out your thoughts and emotions and where they are coming from can make a huge difference. I also learned I am not alone in feeling this mental funk and need for more help and clarity. When I shared about it recently, so many of you reached out in solidarity, love, and encouragement. Don’t be afraid to take the time to invest in you.
Another little self tip I have started doing is a nightly brain dump in a notebook. It is exactly as it sounds…I just write down every single thing in my head. Not just a to do list, but how things made me feel. Things that made by day better or worse, feelings about different relationships, anything and everything. It has given me so much clarity and almost released a burden I was carrying because it kind of keeps you from over analyzing and dwelling on the unnecessary, and helps you see the positives and the gratitude in your life too.
: YOU CAN CREATE YOUR OWN SUNSHINE
I first heard this concept or thought from my friend Merrick a few years back and it has always stuck with me. She is such a good example of doing this and I love that about her. The basic idea behind it is you create your own fun and happiness. You can’t spend your days waiting around for someone else to make you happy or make your day better. Create your own sunshine and joy in life. For me this means taking the initiative and planning a girls night when I want/need one, making date night a priority for Joe and I, or putting off work to play with my little people. You are in charge of your life and what doing what brings you joy!
Another aspect of this is don’t beat around the bush when it comes to your feelings and wants in life. Speak your mind and ask for exactly what you want, or make it happen. This year was honestly one of the first times I did this for my birthday. Instead of being vague, I told Joe exactly what I wanted/expected. I told him I wanted a night away with him, where I wanted it, and all the details. Instead of putting him in a hard place of guessing and setting myself up for possible disappointment when I knew what I wanted in my head, I made it happen. I created that happiness/sunshine. Whether it’s working on a relationship, or reaching a goal, don’t wait around for someone else to do it for you.
: IT’S OK TO GIVE YOURSELF GRACE
You can be ok with B work. That has been a “quote” I have never liked, because I am a kind of a perfectionist. I just couldn’t get on board with it. But in this past year I have really taken it to heart and learned it’s ok to give yourself grace. My kitchen doesn’t need to be mopped and have every surface sparkling every single night. I can be ok with wiping down counters and doing dishes and consider that job done so I have more time for things that bring me joy. It’s ok if the laundry waits another day. My church lesson doesn’t need to be pinterest worthy every week. The kids will still be grateful that I showed up for them. I’ve really learned that it is ok if things don’t always go 100% according to plans, and that sometimes by giving yourself grace they turn out better!
: TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY
You all know that over the past couple years I have really made a change in focusing on my health. I started eating healthier and got into a great workout routine. Both my physical + mental health were probably the best they had ever been. Since the summer started, I kind of let myself fall off the bandwagon. My workouts dwindled, I wasn’t taking the time to make the healthier eating choices, and a sleep routine was non existent. I was shocked at how big of a difference I noticed.
This year I have definitely learned how important it is to take care of your body. You only get one! I talked about the mental health version of this above, but physically is so important too. Taking the time to prep your meals, get some kind of movement in, and stick to a good sleep schedule makes such a difference. As women and parents we can work ourselves to the bone. But all that leaves us with is less than our best for those we love and care about. You have to fill your tank before you can fill everyone else. That goes for having the physical strength and energy, as well as the endorphins and clarity you get from these things too.
I hope as I look back at the year and share a few things I’ve learned, I can help a few of you feel like you’ve got someone in your corner. I have learned so much from this community through your support and advice as well!