With our oldest starting school, it feels like the perfect time to rebel against the rush and talk about the importance of slowing down and savouring life. And … to answer all of your questions about why I needed to take a break from the Gram a few weeks back.
I’d been craving this break for a while, in June I knew I had a bunch of obligations (as a blogger I sometimes do paid campaigns that require set posts) and at the beginning of the summer I didn’t have a choice … I needed to post those things so a break at the beginning of the summer just wasn’t feasible. I did know that things were starting to slow down into the summer and I could take that break at some point if I finished up all of my work. The funny thing is … the work never felt done, it just kept coming (and I’m not complaining … it’s not a bad thing to be busy) but it is a bad thing to never give yourself a chance to rest.
Then it started … a few weeks ago I started getting really bad headaches. The headaches felt like something I could control at first; maybe I just needed to not wear my contacts or maybe I needed to go to bed early. Within a few days those headaches turned into a full blow migraine; the can’t eat, can’t see, can’t lift your head off the pillow kind.
The full-blown migraine only lasted about a day and a half, but it was bad and I was scared. I’d never experienced anything like this before and was pretty concerned about how bad it was (not being able to get out of bed is a terrible feeling).
While the migraine was happening the thought of looking at my phone or any kind of light source was making me feel nauseous and I just became a little nervous about triggering it again once the symptoms went away. So… I was kind of forced to take a break.
It’s funny how life sometimes forces you to stop, slow the f**K down and take a break. We can get caught up in things; work, obligations and not know when to turn them off. For me it’s always tough to say no to things so even if I feel exhausted. I will take on just one more project, or one more load of laundry or …Well this time, there was no way for me to do anything and to be honest I’ve learned a lot from this. Maybe it’s the fear of getting another migraine, or understanding that listening to my body is important, but either way I want to keep reminding myself to slow the f**k down more often and have started to make a habit of it.
While I was taking this two-week break from Instagram I rekindled my love to reading again. As an English and Drama teacher by trade, reading has always been a huge part of my life, but for some reason when I started blogging I was making less time for reading. So I adapted a few habits that make my mornings a lot sweeter and bedtime a lot cozier.
Things I’ve Changed Since the Big Break
My morning and bedtime routines were a huge part of the changes I’ve made … honestly, it all starts with going to bed a bit earlier, so that way I can get up a bit earlier and squeeze in a bit of time for me before all the kids are awake. I know this sounds crazy and let me just say that I love sleep just as much as the next person, but I also love starting the day with a clear mind and that does not happen when you have two kids rushing into your bed and a baby crying as your wake-up call. So… coffee, a good book and fresh air has become a big part of my morning routine. I’ve also made a huge effort to be more present when I am with my kids. You really can’t focus on emails and things like that with three little kids running around so I’ve really tried to make sure that my time with them is with them and work time is work time.
So how does it work…
1.Wake up Before the Kids
I set my alarm for 6ish and that will probably vary now that our oldest has started school and things are a little more rushed. This way I can shower, have a coffee, and clear my head or read before I start all the “mom duties” (diapers, milk, brushing teeth, getting everyone dressed and breakfast).
2. Resist the Urge to Start your Day on your PHONE
Honestly, I am really bad at this still (weather network, email checking… Instagram scrolling) I am guilty of doing all of these things before showering. So I am really working on not touching my phone until after I’ve had my coffee. Why?? Because I want to start my day with my own thoughts, because taking in that much information before I’ve had a coffee is extremely overwhelming and because I kind of like looking at the trees and clouds instead lol.
3. Make Time to Read
Yes, there is time… I honestly believe this. I finished my last book almost entirely in the bathroom (don’t even think about judging me on this) I actually have a bookshelf in the bathroom and I love it! I also read while having my coffee (while it’s still hot might I add). I recently read Mom Truths by Cat and Nat almost entirely in the bathroom. Honestly, it’s such a great read and one that you can pick up at any time (like a best friend who is the exact same even though you haven’t talked in months).
4. Learning that it’s Totally OK if I’m not “Doing it all right now”
Yes, a lot of us have big goals; things we want to accomplish and take on, but I’ve learned to put one foot in front of the other and know that it’s ok to go at steady pace rather than racing. Giving myself grace and knowing that it’s ok to take breaks and not to quit is such an important lesson I’ve learned from all of this.
5. Enjoying my Days at Home with the Kids
Instead of trying to multitask like crazy, I’ve really tried to break my day up so that I am present with my kids. Trying to check emails or finish a blog post while they are awake or while I am at home can be really tough. So I am working on keeping kids time to kids time and working time as working time. Getting out with them everyday really helps me stay present as well. I know now how quickly this time with them goes and I want to enjoy it as much as I possibly can.
6. Going to Bed Earlier
Guys I love couch time and mindless TV, but I also know how much I need sleep. Exhaustion and taking care of three little kids doesn’t go well together and to be honest I am a new person when I’ve had a good sleep. So why not start the day as a new, refreshed person everyday! I’ve added some nighttime reading to my daily life as well and it makes for a much better sleep than the mindless before bed scrolling.
I am going to share more posts like this one soon and include some more of the books I’ve been reading as well. Would love to hear if you have some “slowing down routines”too ? Please share below.