Self-Care Series pt. 1: The Importance Of Rest

Rest is important.

Boom, bang, done. If there’s anything I want you to glean from this post, it is the importance of rest and taking the time you need to re-energize and re-fuel yourself.

For someone who is a rest advocate, I will confess I am not great at prioritizing time to rest myself. It is easy for my calendar to fill up quickly, to find myself running from here to there, and to realize I’m drained after it’s too late.

Take it from me — don’t be like me! Carve out time to rest. Whether it’s physically sleeping, or just sitting in silence, your body needs to rest.

Some ways I rest include:

  • Power naps (20 minutes or less, or else I feel groggy)
  • Putting away social media for a dedicated period of time
  • Cuddling with my pup Jack on the couch while listening to music

Maybe some of these resonate with you, maybe some of them don’t. I would encourage you to find what works best for you, find what makes you feel rested and what helps you reset mentally, physically, and emotionally.

It is easy for us to get caught up in the whirlwind of life — to get sucked into obligations and commitments and occasions. But let’s remember that in order to help and serve others, we also have to help and serve ourselves. And part of helping and serving ourselves includes giving our bodies the time they need and crave.

Let’s do it! Let’s do nothing. Let’s rest.

The Monthly Update: April

Well friends, another month has come and gone.

It is hard to believe May is upon us! Quarantine days seem to blend together, making the weeks feel slow and foggy. The entire month of social distancing was long and hard, but also good for me–or at least I’d like to think so.

Let’s hop into this month’s recap!

April highlights:

  • I started fostering a dog, Jack, and he is the cutest little thing. Being a dog mama has brought me so much joy. And the daily snuggles and walks are giving me life!
  • As of just a few days ago, I have officially heard back from all of the law schools I applied to. Now it’s time to make some decisions!

April lowlights:

  • Unfortunately I didn’t get answers that I’d like from all of the schools I applied to, but I am just trying to be thankful for what I have and the yeses I did receive.

This month, I was filled by:

  • Video calling my friends and family has kept me sane and filled my heart. Even though I can’t see them in person, it is nice to connect with them virtually.
  • Similarly, I was able to have a video call with my therapist, Chelsey. The conversation was helpful as we tried to process law school and future decisions.

This month, I was emptied by:

  • Living in quarantine has been hard for me, as I am sure it has been for all of us. Even though I’d like to think my mental and physical health is going well, this experience has still been heavy on my heart.

In May, I am looking forward to:

  • Life going back to some sense of normalcy. I feel encouraged as businesses and restaurants start to open up again, although a bit anxious as well. I am hoping the gym will open up soon, as I miss climbing and my workout buddies!

8 Steps For A Well 2018

Wellness is important to me.

Heck, it’s important in general, it’s important for everyone.

Wellness is important simply because it boils down to how we function: are we well or not? Are we thriving or surviving? Are we living or barely making it?

This new year gives us a new opportunity to focus on wellness, to take our mental, physical and emotional health seriously.

Here are 8 steps to take toward wellness today:

  1. Rest. It seems so elementary, but rest is important — physical and spiritual. Take a nap. Sleep in. Pray. Meditate. Be still.
  2. Pray. I pray to Jesus Man but you may pray to another god. You may pray to your inner being. This is a subset of spiritual rest, but I think important enough to stand alone.
  3. Exercise often.If you cannot afford a gym membership, consider buying a few weights or a yoga mat to use at home. I always recommend workout videos, they can be highly effective!
  4. Find a therapist. This can be hard for some to admit they need, but therapy has given me peace and validated a lot of brokenness I’ve drowned through for years.
  5. Build healthy relationships. With those around you: ones that build you up, not tear you down, ones that make you better, not worse. Identify your A-team and stick with them!
  6. Create space. Between yourself and your to-do list, yourself and your harmful relationships. Give yourself time to breathe and grieve and rest and be if you need it.
  7. Eat healthy. I had some health issues this fall because of my diet, dairy simply hates me and I simply love it. Cutting it out has made all of the difference.
  8. Live in the present. As cheesy as it sounds, present-minded living rids you of dwelling in past failures or mistakes, and becoming anxious of future milestones. It liberates you to savor each moment: the good, the bad, the in-between.

I still work on these daily.

Many of them aren’t natural and do take effort and care and deliberation. Yet each and every one has changed my life radically to create a happier, healthier, better me.

What are your steps to wellness? Share them in the comments below!

You Are What You Eat: On Eating Well

I am a taco and coffee addict.

Sure, these things aren’t innately terrible…but when I consume an average of four tacos a week and 2 to 3 cups of coffee a day, it certainly isn’t the best for me.

When I started the Daniel Fast about a month ago, I cut out a lot of food I love: cheese, chicken, Ramen. No more caffeine including my beloved morning coffee. No more Talenti gelato.

It was truly a challenge. Before, I thought I ate healthy — and I did for the most part — but once fasting I realized cutting out refined sugars and fatty foods and even animal products can be a life changing experience.

I felt more energetic, more full of life.

Since I was mostly eating fruit and veggies and whole wheat grains, I was full of energy I simply didn’t have before. I was more alert and wired. I worked harder, climbed better and slept deeper.

I have ended the Daniel Fast and discovered I likely have a form of gluten intolerance — blood work pending. A life without gluten may be a challenge, but I am what I eat and if gluten messes me up, then I get messed up.

Less sugar, less slow down. More protein, stronger muscles. More veggies, more cleanliness. Less cheese, less lethargy.

You are what you eat. What are you eating? How do you feel? How can you change your diet? What do you think the effects will be?*

I aim to be healthy, happy and holy. Mostly the last. But when I’m healthy, I am more likely to be happy and holy.

I hope you can be too.

*Tell me your favorite healthy foods and meals, and how you prepare them. Do you have a favorite healthy, local hot spot? Please share! I would love to learn more about eating well and living fully.