We recently partnered with Easy Spirit (who has some wicked cute and comfy shoes that were made to move in — have you seen the site lately?!) for its #MoveFor campaign. Not only are we loving the shoes (see below), but we’re also loving how they’re helping us better align with the reasons why we move — and how we make both self-care a top priority (even though we have totally different reasons and ways of going about it!).
Jenn’s #MoveFor Self-Care Tips
To put it simply, I #MoveFor self-care to feel good and to have a healthy pregnancy. Because when I feel good and am active and getting enough rest, I’m a better everything — parent, business partner, body positive advocate, wife, daughter, and community member. Plus, feeling good? It feels, well, GOOD! And I enjoy feeling good. This has always been important to me, but now that I’m expecting twins this summer, it’s extra important.
Because of this goal, my #MoveFor self-care tips center around two things: first, including more of what gives me energy and second, trying to eliminate what drains it … before it drains me. Figuring that out allows me to focus on the stuff that makes me feel GREAT, so that I can do the things that I really want to do everyday. Not only are these tips helping me to maintain my energy so I can experience a healthy and active pregnancy, but they’re also helping me to set the habit of self-care now, so that when the new little ones are here and change is happening like whoa, I’ve got a self-care foundation set.
I find that a lot of moms (and, let’s be real, non-moms too) feel like they have a million things to do each day (myself included) and not enough time and energy. So, whether you’re pregnant or not, or a mama or not, I hope these tips help you. After all, sharing is caring!
1. Set boundaries. There is power in saying no to the things you don’t want to do — and in saying a big ol’ excited YES to the things you do want to do. Also, it’s so much easier to set boundaries and expectations with others (and, even yourself — like, lowering expectations or being happy with non-perfection) from the get-go, rather then do a bunch of stuff you don’t want to, get drained, and then need to work on your self-care like a mo-fo.
2. Take naps and rest as you need to, guilt-free. The first trimester taught me this, but it’s a lesson I’m keeping with me. I am not and do not need to be super mom, super wife, super business woman, and super everything else. This means that I listen to my body. When I need to go to bed early, take a nap, or simply kick my super cute Easy Spirit Garabi Walking Shoes in Rose Knit up and rest, I do.
3. Ask for — and accept — help. This is one I continue to work on because asking for help is so hard for me, BUT, I know that it’s truly essential for me (and will only get more necessary once the twins are here). So, I’ve been figuring out exactly what support means to be, and then I’ve been asking for it — and accepting it with a totally open and grateful heart. Also, when people offer to do things for me, I don’t shy away from it. If it would be helpful, I take them up on it — even when that means it might not be done exactly the way I would’ve done it.
4. Redefine fitness for how it can best support you and your energy. My workouts before I was pregnant were pretty hardcore and intense, and I loved them. But now that I’m working out for three, I take a gentler approach. That means more walks, more yoga, more modifications, and lighter strength training. Basically, I try to move daily in a way that feels good.
5. Eat a lot of green.One thing I’ve been really focused on is getting in either a big ol’ salad or a big ol’ green smoothie each and every day. Bonus if I can get both! I really like salads and smoothies, and all those veggies help to give me energy, provide vital nutrients to myself and the babies, and help to keep, er, other things moving (you mamas know what I’m talking about).
Kristen’s #MoveFor Self-Care Tips
For obvious reasons, my self-care routine is a little different than Jenn’s — I have no buns in the oven, no toddlers running around, no big life changes taking place right now. But every year, I feel like I tune in a little more to what really brings me joy — and every year, I tweak my routine to incorporate just a little bit more of that.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that I feel my happiest and healthiest when I incorporate a wide variety of types of movement. Sure, running makes my heart sing, but so does a walk around the block with my dogs. Pushing past my perceived physical limits in a group cycling class leaves me feeling elated — as does a focused meditation that helps me see my world in a new way. So, when it comes to determining why I #MoveFor self-care, the answer really comes down to happiness. I know that, ultimately, I’m the one who gets to choose whether or not I’m happy — but when I incorporate movement (and a few of my other self-care tips, which you’ll find below), deciding to be happy is a no-brainer. (As is wearing an adorable pair of kicks, like these Easy Spirit Garabi Walking Shoes.)
1. Create a morning routine. Adding another to-do in the morning used to stress me out, but now, I’ve got a nice little list of things I knock out before I even think about starting my work day — and boy, it feels good. I’ve become truly consistent with taking vitamins for the first time since I was a kid (my recent bloodwork showed that it’s worth it), and I spend a few minutes on a Spanish lesson to wake up my brain (and, you know, para mejorar mi español). I also have some specific, low-key exercises that I’ve learned while in physical therapy for various injuries, and knocking a few of those out each day has been a great way to keep my body feeling its best. It’s nothing ground-breaking — some neck stretches, a few basic back strengtheners — but it’s effective. And now that it’s become a habit, it’s easy to do!
2. Make walking places a priority. Part of the reason I love where I live is that a whole slew of restaurants, shops, and even the grocery store are located within a mile of my home. So, not only have I made a commitment to walk more when I’m going to one of those places, but I’m also actively choosing those spots over other options farther away, simply to give myself more of an incentive to walk rather than drive. (Obviously, that’s much easier to do when I’ve got shoes, like the Easy Spirit Garabi Walking Shoe in metallic silver, that are great for walking and look super cute, right?)
3. Scheduling my rest. I have no problems scheduling meetings or booking workouts, then figuring out the rest of my day around them. And recently, it hit me — why not schedule the things that I love to do but don’t always find a way to fit into my day, like walking my dogs? That’s an activity that supports my physical and mental well-being, plus it’s great for my pups, so it makes sense that I’d make it one of those prioritized activities around which I schedule my day. Sometimes I block off an hour, some days it’s just 15 minutes, but I’m really making a point to set time aside for activities that don’t fall into the “Important Work” or “Key Workout” buckets, but are vital to my self-care. And it’s been awesome.
4. Applying the deep work mentality to other aspects of my life. As it turns out, I’m a terrible multi-tasker — and according to an article a friend shared with me a few weeks ago, that’s true for most of us. Upon reading that, I immediately took to keeping my email, social media, and phone closed and/or out of sight while I worked on one thing at a time, and what do you know? Crazy effective. So, I began to use that philosophy in the rest of my life. When I’m doing one thing, that’s what I’m doing. If I’m walking my dogs, I’m not also checking email — email will wait. If I’m doing dishes, I’m not also taking breaks to see how people are responding to my latest Instagram post. When I go to the gym, that’s all I’m there for. I’m not checking my texts, I’m not thinking about what’s for dinner (well, unless I’m hungry, but my main focus remains on what it is I’m doing). And truly, it makes everything I do better — and, in the case of difficult tasks, a heck of a lot easier.
5. Cooking larger meals at home. I am always striving to cook more at home, for a few reasons. It saves money, it gives my husband and me more control over what it is we’re eating, and, honestly, I enjoy it — but sometimes, I struggle with finding the time, and because it’s just the two of us, I’ve often shied away from recipes that make a large amount. I now realize … that was unwise, because we love (most) leftovers. So now, not only do I make it a point to cook at home several nights a week, but I’ve also started adding more recipes that make enough for several meals into my arsenal. (Like this recipe. Have you tried it? It is SO GOOD — and it only gets better a day or so later! I’ll share some adaptations I’ve come up with soon, so stay tuned.)
Now we gotta know: what do YOU #MoveFor? And what’s your best #MoveFor self-care tip?