Thank you to Trunk Club for sponsoring today’s post! All opinions are my own.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-CARE AND HOW I’M MAKING MENTAL HEALTH A PRIORITY IN 2021
Can you believe it is almost the end of January? I can’t say I was excited for a new year this year and it’s taken me a little extra time to set my goals because of the passing of our sweet baby Liam late last Fall. I’ve been taking things more slowly, taking a step back in my professional life, and focusing a lot more on my mental health.
I’ve been working hard on myself and with the help of supportive family, encouraging friends and an insightful therapist I’ve come around to setting some intentional goals in 2020 that mainly focus around my health and healing. Let me be very clear, these are not resolutions, I never stick to “resolutions,” but I do love setting attainable goals and doing my best to achieve them.
2021 Overall Priority: Self-Care
True self-care. My goals this year all somehow connect back to this and making my mental health a priority. But I’m not just talking “take a 20 minute bath self-care.” I’m talking taking a long, deep look at myself and making a conscious effort to heal and love myself from the inside out.
Think about these questions: What truly makes you the happiest? What do you need a break from? What can you do consistently to keep your mind healthy and heart happy? And DO IT. I mean really, actually do it.
It’s no secret that moms in general need more self-care; when my son was born in 2018 my life became almost solely about him. I put my mental health, physical health and overall well-being on the back burner but it’s time to finally make ME a priority again. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
As much as I hate that it took a great loss to make me realize it, I have a completely new perspective on life and what’s important. I also realize self-care looks different for everyone so the ways I’m choosing to take care of myself might be different than what you choose, and that’s the beauty of it! You have to do what’s best for YOU. Don’t justify. You know what’s best for you and your family.
But I do hope this post inspires you in some way to take mental and physical health more seriously and truly, in every sense of the word, take care of yourself!
Exercising for Mental Health
I know what you are thinking… Exercise, so cliché. But hear me out! Throughout high school and college, I was a swimmer. I LOVED it, not only for how strong it made me feel physically, but for how it made me incredibly mentally strong as well.
I am trying to become mentally strong again and I’m doing this through practices like mediation, yoga, and running. I am trying to heal from the inside out and for me that means exercising my mind as well as my body and strengthening that mind-body connection like I did all those years ago in swimming.
To be honest I haven’t been physically active since before 2017 and the start of my TTC journey. I haven’t invested in the right workout or athletic wear in years and my closet was due for a major upgrade in that department. Plus, I don’t know about you guys but new workout gear always motivates me to *actually* get my butt moving!
I also haven’t felt up to going out and shopping in person since losing Liam so thankfully my favorite in-home styling service, Trunk Club, was there to help get me geared up!
Activewear Trunk Styling
Trunk Club has been helping me style every part of my life for almost two years now, at the moment my focus is workout clothes and casual athleisure. My stylist sent me a variety of options in my Trunk from the very best athletic brands and easy styling tips to help me transition seamlessly from my workout to the rest of my daily errands.
Truly, Trunk Club has helped make me look and feel my best during the most difficult time in my life.
You can read more on how Trunk Club works and my complete review HERE.
Zella x Trunk Club
This month I asked my stylist to send workout clothes and casual athleisure options because that is how I feel the most comfortable these days. She nailed it with the Zella Trunk!
Since I was going for double-duty functionality these Zella workout clothes fall into both categories: true athletic wear as well as casual leisure. If you are looking for activewear that falls into both categories like I was, look no further than Zella, a Nordstrom Made brand, as they have really helped bridge the gap between working out and hanging out with their newest Zella line.
I have been a fan of Zella for years now, their quality is amazing and their pieces LAST. So I was excited to get few more *real* workout pieces to add to my wardrobe! Plus Zella is a sustainable activewear brand with the performance technology that keeps you comfortable during your run or yoga class, as well as stylish and comfortable in your day to day life.
To find out more details on Zella’s sustainability initiatives you can visit their website here.
Receiving this Zella Trunk right to my doorstep was exactly what I needed so that I could try on new leggings, comfy tops, and even new sneakers in the comfort of my own home. I kept my Trunk for a few days to decide what I truly wanted and needed and then I easily sent back what I didn’t need with the prepaid shipping label and at-home UPS pick-up. Seriously, SO easy!
Eating for My Health
Again, I know I know, everyone wants to eat healthy and lose weight come January. But for me, it’s much more than that, it’s a true health concern.
I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in 2017 but never paid much attention to it because doctors put me right on medicine to get my levels under control. However, recently I’ve learned that there are root causes to the disease that may be reversed, or at least reduced, by eating a certain way and cutting out major “bad guy” foods (which for me are gluten, dairy & processed sugars). I’m working with healthcare professionals to build a Hashimoto’s-reducing diet specific to meso I can help reduce inflammation in my body and improve thyroid functionality.
Plus, when I eat right my mind and body feel noticeably better – less foggy, less sluggish, less bloated and I have MUCH more energy to keep up with my toddler and my 50million other responsibilities!
(DISCLAIMER: Always talk to your healthcare provider for medical and nutritional advice!)
Making My Marriage a Priority
Let’s be serious, newborns can throw your marriage for a loop. Or worse. It’s HARD being thrown into parenthood, figuring out how to keep a tiny human alive all while maintaining a healthy marriage. I love my husband but that first year of parenthood tested our relationship like nothing I have ever experienced. And I think that’s the reality for many couples.
I’ll be the first to admit that my marriage has absolutely not been a priority since Luca was born so one of my biggest goals this year is to get back to prioritizing my husband and strengthening our relationship. Date nights, small weekend getaways just the two of us, no screens after Luca’s bedtime, and in full transparency, couples therapy, are going to be some of the main ways Alex and I plan on reconnecting.
They say the loss of a child can make or break a marriage and my hope is for part of Liam’s legacy to be bringing Alex and I closer together. Plus dating my husband for sure is a form of self-care (for me) because I truly love spending time just the two of us. And when I’m in a sound mental state I can be present in my marriage and a better wife and mother.
Gardening and Growing More Veggies
Another goal this year is to spend more time in my gardens and dedicate more space to vegetables than we have in years past. Yes, we have the family farm down the road where we can easily get veggies from all season long, but there’s nothing like having that bounty right in your own backyard!
The other thing about gardening for me is it’s a form a self-care; sure, it’s work but I enjoy it (even weeding!) and it’s therapeutic. I can turn my mind off, get dirty and just enjoy the beauty around me, it’s like meditation to me.
One Word: SIMPLIFY
My last self-care goal in 2020 is to simplify. And I mean in every single aspect of my life. Going through a loss like I did as you can imagine puts a lot in perspective and I’ve realized there’s a lot of clutter that surrounds all of us every single day. So, I’ll be working on decluttering everything from physical possessions to who I follow on social media to unsupportive friends, there’s just no room for all of it and I can’t spend energy on things or people that don’t serve me or maintain meaningful relationships.
Less really is more and that’s a big thing I’ll be focusing on in 2020.
What are you doing to take care of YOU in 2020? I would love to hear, please share in the comments!