People have always remarked to me about how hard it must be that Aaron travels so much for work. Sure it’s easier when he’s home. We can divide and conquer bedtime, cooking and cleaning, and our children in general, but especially now that Ever is older, it’s always felt manageable. Two weeks ago, though, while he was traveling I found myself in the funkiest of funks that I couldn’t shake. It felt like a bad mood coupled with uncharacteristic anxiety and feeling overwhelmed. My usually generous supply of patience with my children had been replaced with frustration and the most frustrating thing of all was that I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was happening. It felt like someone else had taken up residence in my body. I went to sleep the first night, relieved that the day was over and confident that I would wake up the next morning feeling more like myself. As Scarlett O’Hara said, “Tomorrow is a new day”, right? Nope. The next day passed and by that afternoon I started thinking about how I could reset and get to feeling more like myself. I made notes about the things I was intentional about trying or incorporating in order to get back to some version of my best self and decided to share them below. Have you ever had similar days or weeks? What helps you get out of a rut?
1. Simplify. Perhaps the most helpful thing I did as I went to bed Wednesday night was to put an out of office response on my email for the next day. It was a relief to know that I had set an expectation that I wouldn’t be responding immediately for anyone that got in touch that next day. At the moment, I don’t have childcare for Ever on Thursdays. I work through her nap time and of course after she goes to bed, but a quick peek at my email while she’s playing during the day can definitely spike some anxiety when I see something that I can’t get to right away. As I reminded myself to slow down, I found myself finding amusement in small, simple things like watching Ever walk back and forth across the gravel in the backyard with her little push car and watching her find amusement with the walking sticks on the upstairs windows.
2. Move my body. This summer when Aaron was home, I got into such a great routine of running 3-4 times a week and going to barre once or twice. With him back to traveling, though, and our reduced childcare schedule at the moment, working out has been the first thing to go. When I woke up that next day, I made it a point to put on my running clothes and that was the first thing I did when Ever’s babysitter arrived that morning. Additionally, instead of taking the car to pick up Parker the next day, I left early with Ever in the stroller and brought her scooter. We dance partied that night before bath. I was in major need of an endorphin rush and could use every heart pumping activity I could wrangle.
3.Lower my expectations of myself. I work just about every night after the girls go to sleep. There’s a part of me that knows that this might not be the most wellness-inspired work schedule, but it also means that I get more daytime hours with Ever. Trying to multi-task and wear both my mom hat, business owner hat, and creative hat at the same time, though, is a surefire way to find myself feeling overwhelmed and anxious about falling short in one or more of those categories. I reminded myself that second day that it didn’t matter if I cooked at home that night or if the laundry didn’t get folded that day. I regularly plugged my phone up on my nightstand and walked away. When Parker got home from school on Thursday they played together and instead of sneaking out of the room to do the dishes or prep dinner I just sat and watched. It was what my soul needed in the moment.
4. Nourish my body. I made sure to load up on my multivitamin, b complex, probiotic, turmeric, fish oil, and vitamin d. Additionally, I skipped our usual lunch at home on Thursday and brought Ever with me to a favorite spot around the corner that serves up delicious soy-free, corn-free, gluten-free fare. It’s not the cheapest lunch option, but I justified it that day knowing that I could use the extra nutrients and even grabbed a bone broth to go for the afternoon.
5. Get outside. There’s some overlap here with number two but just getting outside is an instant mood booster for me, especially now that the temperatures are beginning to drop. We have put back in place our post-dinner neighborhood walks and get in some time in the backyard between breakfast and Parker going to school. I can tell it’s a mood booster for the girls, too.
Aaron came home on Friday. He had made dinner reservations at one of our favorite spots and booked our babysitter, not even having known what a week it had been. I was already back to feeling like myself by Friday morning, but it was the perfect start to a slow family-filled weekend. While challenging, this week was a good reminder to be mindful about our schedule and what I put on my plate and to slow down when necessary.
Me: Dress, 10 Crosby Street (so many years old, but similar and similar) || boots, Madewell (similar + similar) || sweater, Nordstrom || sunnies, Le Specs || Necklace, We Wore What (Similar + Similar)
Photography by Katie Jameson