wellness

Bedtime Hygiene

There’s a thing called sleep hygiene, and I’ve never been great at it.

What is sleep hygiene? It’s your bedtime rituals and nightly habits, and if you have good sleep hygiene, it can help you have better sleep and improved overall wellness.

Now, my sleep hygiene? It is sometimes good but often awful. I fall asleep on the couch listening to Netflix after eating a bedtime candy snack. NOT GREAT.

These are the sleep hygiene habits I’d like to form:

  1. Go to sleep IN YOUR BED.
  2. Wear pajamas. STOP FALLING ASLEEP IN YOUR CLOTHES.
  3. Stop using your phone at bedtime. Plug it in to charge across the room, out of your reach, to keep from impulse scrolling.
  4. No more bedtime candy. No eating at all after 7:30 p.m. Give your gut a chance to rest from a long day of digesting!
  5. Read before bed.
  6. Make sure you’re tucked in by 9 p.m.
  7. Eliminate sleep aids. (Sometimes I use Tylenol PM when I can’t sleep and I’d love to stop that habit.)
  8. Do your daily inventory and a little evening check-in with yourself as soon as you get in bed and before you dock your phone.

I feel peaceful and well-rested just looking at this list. My plan is to get going with this routine TONIGHT! Let’s do this.

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blogging

Coming Soon To Playful + Peaceful

After two weeks away from the blog, I returned yesterday and, unsurprisingly, I felt completely overwhelmed.

This post is my way of organizing my thoughts AND a sort of “Coming Soon On Playful + Peaceful” for followers. It’s almost September – the other New Year’s! – so get ready for lots of writing on routines, habits, resolutions, and goals.

And so – here are the blog posts I am preparing for the near future, in no particular order:

  • My Audiobook Project.
  • Mid-Year Check-In.
  • What. A. Bonkers. Year.
  • Recovery 101.
  • Monthly Goals (September 2019).
  • 5 Things I’m Grateful For (August 2019).
  • How To Slow Down & Be Intentional When Life Is Crazy Times Five.
  • The Evening Adulting Hour.
  • Bedtime Hygiene.
  • Habits For The New (School) Year. (UGH HOUSEKEEPING 101.)
  • Everyday Self-Care.
  • Streamlining My Endless TTD List.
  • End Of Summer Update.
  • How To Make The Most Of Weekday Evenings.
  • How To Maximize The Weekend.
  • How To Be Yourself All Day Every Day.
  • Your Own Personal Questions.
  • Life Alignment, Continued.
  • What’s Your Oxygen?
  • Seasonal Bucket List (Fall).

Well, I’m exhausted just looking at this list! But I’m also pumped. I write on the blog because it helps me to process things and to sort through my thoughts and feelings about life and the world. This time of year is a lovely time to sort, to consider, and to resolve. Onward!

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thought of the day

Dammit!

My last blog post was on August 6. According to my regular blogging schedule, my next posts should have been on August 10 and 13.

DAMMIT.

We left for the beach on August 3, and I sacrificed a lot of writing time the week prior to packing. Then, during our beach week, I went into “keep my kids from drowning” mode and my blogging schedule was abandoned.

It’s August 15 as I write this, and it feels good to be back on my couch, with my computer on my lap, typing away. It’s my first day without the boys in almost two weeks, and while I always miss them, it does feel good to be writing once again.

So, apologies to followers for my absences and errors these past two weeks! Get ready for lots of posts about schedules, routines, and the (ugh) return to the school year. There’s a lot on my mind, and this blog is where I sort it all out.

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books + reading · mindfulness

Everyday Mindfulness

I’ve been reading this wonderful book, The Mindful Kind, for the last few months. It is delightful, and it really has me thinking about how to incorporate mindfulness into my life on a daily basis, as well as how to cultivate a regular mindfulness practice.

It’s always been a challenge for me to maintain a regular mindfulness practice. (For me, this would be 5 to 15 minutes of mindful breathing or mindfulness meditation when I wake up in the morning.) In fact, figuring out a way to get back into a regular meditation/mindfulness practice is one of the things on my to-do list for after Jonas starts sleeping through the night!

The author of The Mindful Kind is an Australian writer named Rachael Kable and she is just delightful. I’ve been listening to her podcast (which goes by the same name as the book) on and off for years, and she likes to explore how to utilize mindfulness in lots of different circumstances. For example, she writes about using mindfulness for commuting, for dealing with stress, and for effective communication with friends and family. I’ve spent time over the past few months perusing her website as well, which has lots of tips and tricks for incorporating mindfulness into your life. (You can learn all about Rachael Kable and her work here!)

My biggest takeaways from The Mindful Kind were things I already knew – I want to be mindful and intentional about my parenting, my social media use, pretty much about everything I do! For that reason, I wasn’t sure if I’d be that into this book; I thought it might be more of the same old stuff I’ve read in other mindfulness books. But I love Kable’s writing and her way of thinking about the challenges of everyday life and ways mindfulness can help us to thrive. 

goals

August 2019: Monthly Goals

My main goal for August will be to fight off the anxiety and stress I may experience as we creep closer to the end of my blissful summer vacay. Ugh. I feel an increase in my pulse every time I even think about it!

I do think that one way to enter the school year with a positive attitude is by being proactive, and so my goals for this month are largely related to that.

  1. KEEP ON WRITING! Try to revisit the novel every single day and keep utilizing Story Genius to take steps forward.
  2. Create a routine that you can follow during the school year related to meetings, writing, meditation, and exercise.
  3. Make a plan for Everyday Self-Care for the school year.
  4. Draft a schedule for rhythm, routine, and rituals for the school year – including everything from day care drop-off and pick-up to cleaning up the kitchen after dinnertime.
  5. SLOW DOWN and BE INTENTIONAL. I can feel the pace of my life starting to pick up – or, maybe that’s just the aforementioned anxiety about returning to working mom life. I am making an effort to slow down so that I can take action mindfully and intentionally rather than doing what is easy and automatic.

This summer has really been just beautiful so far. Here’s to four more weeks (ish) of cuddling my boys and writing like a fool!

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gratitude

5 Things I’m Grateful For (July 2019)

I got so excited when I thought of the idea for this post.

I’ve been sort of sick of my All The Things posts at the end of each month. I love having a rhythm to my blogging; I like having a few posts that I write every month, and I like setting monthly goals and then checking on my progress.

But the actual All The Things posts have been getting kind of boring to write, which probably means that they’re boring to read, too. Those posts often include a summary of what I’ve read, watched, and listened to each month as well, and I’ve had a lot less to say about those things recently. So I wasn’t quite sure what to do.

Then I got a lovely idea.  

I’ve been writing a daily gratitude list and texting it to one of my friends every day. This has been a really helpful and powerful habit for me. It’s helped me to adjust my perspective about life and take notice of the things that I am grateful for, many of which I take for granted.

I decided it might be just as powerful to make a monthly list of things I’m grateful for. It also will be a little memory keeper for me, allowing me to preserve some of the sweetest moments of this crazy time of my life.

So, starting with July 2019, I’m going to create a list of 5 things I’m grateful for every month instead of writing my All The Things post on the last day of the month. I’m going to do my best to include info about what I’ve been reading/watching/listening to when applicable. (I am quite often grateful for the book I am currently reading, as I’ve learned from my daily gratitude lists.)

Without further adieu, here are 5 things I’m grateful for as I reflect on July 2019:

  1. Just an absolutely amazing start to my summer. Lots of fun with the boys and lots of exercise and time to be creative and productive for me.
  2. Nonfiction books that are helping me to be a more peaceful and well-rested parent.  I’ve been reading The Sleep Easy Solution and Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids, to help me with my sleep-challenged baby and my wild and crazy three-year-old. I am not usually good at reading nonfiction, but I am EXTREMELY motivated to read these two books!
  3. A fantastic novel! I finished reading Fleishman Is In Trouble midway through July and it was wonderful – a fast read with a powerful message. Loved, loved, loved it.
  4. A wonderful podcast – The Mom Hour. I am sure that I have written about it before, but I’ve rediscovered it recently and have been busily listening to the archives. It is a podcast with two moms talking about parenting and life, and it has an extremely supportive and non-judgmental tone. It really helps me to think about different aspects of Mom Life – birthday parties, family traditions, Halloween costumes – in new and different ways. 
  5. A fantastic birthday for my incredible son Edgar; he turned three years old this month. The best thing in my life has been being his mommy. (And I say that in the middle of the tantrumming toddler years, and I mean it one hundred percent.)

Today I am just chock full of gratitude. Cheers to a wonderful July and an amazing August to come!

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parenting

Summer Bucket List Update

Today I am checking in on my Summer Bucket List.

This summer has been absolutely fabulous so far.

I also have REALLY not been checking things off on my bucket list. Like, I really haven’t. There are only a handful of items checked off, and they are mostly things that are simple and close to home, like hiking and playing at the creek on our property.

And that is 100% okay! I love having a list of activities to look into when I’m feeling like we need an adventure or an activity. But when it comes down to it, I’m not really a bucket list kind of person. I like to take each day as it comes, and I like to have as much spontaneity as possible. I have been enjoying quality time with friends. I’ve been coming up with creative crafty things to do with Edgar. I’ve introduced Special Time with Edgar, which is the hour or two when Jonas naps in the morning, when we can do things that are challenging to do while Jonas is awake, like painting, yoga, or making rainbow rice. Edgar loves it; I’ve been noticing lately how much he benefits from having one-on-one time with a parent, without that parent having to make sure Jonas isn’t crawling upstairs or trying to eat crayons.

I’m still going to try to check off a few items, and I’m still going to make a bucket list for fall if I can get around to it. I’ll check in on my progress again at the end of the summer.

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