I’m well into my thirty fifth year of life. And with the whole maturing and growing that happens in your thirties I thought it would be a good idea to share what I’ve felt I’ve learned and applied during this stage of my life. From little habit changes to learning to taking it easier on myself. I feel it’s empowering to recognize your growth and realize the positive changes that you’ve made. With my children in a much more independent stages of life, I’ve had the chance to make some serious self growth and self care this year. Let’s dive in.
Sleep. Ah, glorious sleep. I am obsessed with sleep, always have been. The specific change I’ve made this year is to be in bed no later than 10:00PM. Of course there are random nights that does not happen (ahem) but the majority of the time that is what is going down. It can be a struggle because Mike is a complete night owl. When I’m my sleepiest he is his most awake, so many times he will try and convince me to stay up for one more show or to hang but it’s very rare I give in. I’m sleeping consistently from 10:00PM until between 6:00 and 7:00AM (whenever my body naturally wakes up). I’m sure eight to nine hours of sleep per night sounds crazy to some, but, it is what we are supposed to be getting. Sure there are many things I want or have to do but I’m choosing to give my body the rest it needs, and let’s be honest, deserves.
Drinking less. This is going to sound sort of crazy, but, I had a serious reality check with my drinking habits this year. I suffered a concussion in March and if you’ve ever experienced one you know that your head just does not feel right for awhile. During this time I was terrified to drink a sip, solely because I was so focused on making sure my brain healed. I then began to realize how good I felt during the day. I woke up not needing to guzzle water. I was more alert. Way less sleepy in the afternoons. Basically, a ton more energy in general. Now, we aren’t talking about any drastic drinking issues here before. I wasn’t chugging bottles of wine and vodka every night. Yet I was in a consistent habit of drinking while I cooked and with dinner and that would amount to a solid 1-2ish glasses a night. Nothing scary by any means, but I’m starting to realize that maybe it was too much for me. I have a pretty small frame and am on medication for my thyroid which already is pretty dehydrating. And let’s face it, to quote Wedding Crashers, ‘I’m not that young.’ So since March I’ve been taking three nights off per week and the other nights it’s been pretty minimal, maybe one glass of wine. Of course there are and will be the fun nights with friends in the wine room and margaritas on the deck and vacation but all of that is much more in balance now with what my body needs by giving it nights off. And a major bonus with all that? One glass of wine feels like fuuuuuuun.
Hair. I’m just going to throw this out there. I have the absolute worst and the absolute best hair in the entire world. Let me explain. I’m one of those girls who can wash her hair once a week and it just looks better and better. Annoying right? Stay with me. I’m also one of those girls who has hair who looks like an utter disaster if air dried and/or she attempts to dry it herself. My hair is weird. It’s crazy thick and crazy wild. This amounts to actually showering and washing it as a process and up until 35 I really didn’t know how to manage it. A good friend with similar hair walked me through her routine and, I’m happy to report, it’s stuck with me and there is very little heat involved (always a good things). She air dries her hair with this bumble+bumble product. It does not look good at this point, but, it’s dry. Then she smooths it out with a one inch curling iron. (I section off my hair and do this in chunks). It sort of smoothes everything out but still keeps some natural wave and is way less harsh than a straightener. I’m happy to report my hair seems much healthier, and, manageable! (Thanks Jenny)
Balanced exercise. This is one I’ve struggled with for quite some time. I’ve gone through some serious stages of having to run 3-5 miles daily to literally doing no exercise. I’m happy to report that I’ve landed somewhere in between. In a world where everyone is all yoga pilates marathon ballet tennis strength conditioning it can be easy to believe that is what you need to be doing. Yet what I’ve found is that I’m happiest outside. On a walk. Generally alone. Space to think, breathe, and move. That’s really the key word for me at least. Move. As long as I move I’m good. And since I spend the majority of my time mothering and taking care of the home it’s pretty rare I’m sitting down. I’ve never actually tracked my steps or what I do during a day but I do know the scale stays pretty consistent as long as I’m keeping up with the home, the boys, and getting in the occasional long walk or jog. It may not be the ‘hippest’ way to get fit, or even the most age appropriate (I realize 70 year olds walk to exercise) but for my body it works. So I’m going with it for as long as it does.
Skin. I posted a few months back on my solid skin care routine I started up this year and I’m happy to report I’m still completely dedicated. My biggest tip and change this year has been this: washing my face when I get the boys washed up and in bed. If I wait and sit down on the couch at the end of the day post boy’s bedtime with Netflix it will 100% not happen. I’m so done at that point. Bonus that this gives my moisturizer some time to do what it needs to do before I slather this on right before bedtime. So luxurious! I’ve seen some serious improvements with my skin this year. Overall much brighter and healthier.
You don’t have to get everything done perfectly every single day. This is a sentence I have taught myself to say anytime I’m feeling overwhelmed. I take great pride in the fact that my home is clean and organized and my family well run. Dinner is always going to be on the table, laundry is done, beds are made, bills are paid, boys are where they need to be on time with the appropriate items. This is how I function, I’m literally incapable of doing it any other way. And yet there are days when life may get in the way and my routine can get interrupted and I do panic that my daily tasks have not been accomplished. I’ve taught myself to take a moment, put things in perspective, and realize that the world will not end if the bed is not made or we have to (GASP!) pick up dinner. It’s ok. It is not a reflection of me. Learning to remind myself of this and that daily perfection is not the end all be all has been huge for me.
Standing firm on schedule decisions for our family (and not feeling guilty about it!). I’ve always been pretty balanced about protecting our family calendar. And yes, I use the word ‘protect’ because I am a firm believer it can get out of control very very quickly. I’ve seen it many times and it’s just not for us. That being said, I used to feel guilty about saying no to an event, a dinner, or even to my kids at times but now it’s second nature and I don’t even blink an eye. No Logan, you can not have a sleepover the night of a tournament weekend. No C, you can’t go out with girls three times in a week even if you love all of them. No family, we will not do six things in one Saturday. I realize I and the kids do miss out on things from time to time that we would completely enjoy but I would hope people that know me well know I am doing the absolute best I can. Our family and friends rock our world, but only after the four of us are taken care of. No guilt felt.
Pajamas. Last but not least, seems so silly, but for years I was wearing practically rags to bed. Why do we do this as women? Sleep is a big deal. Pajamas are a big deal. And they don’t have to be pricey. Just clean and cute and preferably no holes. I recently stocked up on these pajamas pants from Old Navy and these tank tops to go with. I’m talking like ten pajama pants and ten tank tops. I’m happy to report it’s nice to feel more ‘put together’ at bedtime and running around in the morning. Look who is growing up.
Well, that is a wrap. With a few months left at thirty five I can’t wait to see what the second half of this decade brings. Now, if only I can learn to stop shopping. 😉