Bath Time

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Yesterday I kicked off this kindness series and wanted to start off with a small act of self-love. Self-care and attention seem to be the last thing that many of us focus on when it should really be the first. When we so ourselves a little kindness and compassion it opens us up to giving that to others too.

One little thing I’ve been doing for myself lately is a nightly ritual of taking a bath and doing a little restorative yoga before bed. I spend less than thirty minutes on this little act but it winds down my day and quiets my hyperactive mind so I can sleep better. This little act feels luxurious because I use bath salts with different fragrances. Epson and mineral salts are great for soothing the body. Here are a few of my favorites depending on my mood.

Balancing Soak by Soothing Touch: This blend of oils is great for clarity and mental focus. I like using this the night before a big meeting. It’s probably just a placebo effect, but it makes me feel good so who cares.

Eucalyptus by Aura Cacia Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus is refreshing and soothing. It’s a great oil to use for hand and foot massages too.

Namaste by Botania: This blend is spicy and citrusy. I discovered this company on a trip to the farmers market in Montreal. Their website is opening an online store in the near future so hopefully, I’ll be able to stock up before my next trip to Canada.

Nighty Night by EO: Nothing gets you ready for bed like chamomile and lavender. This is perfect after a particularly stressful day. If bathing salts aren’t your thing they also have the same fragrance in bubble bath form.

Sweet Honey Almond Froth Bomb by Pacha Soap Company: This is pure lux and my skin feels so silky smooth after a bath. I don’t get this often because it’s a little pricey, but when I feel like treating myself it’s a great reward.

Do you have a self-care ritual you love?

Mindful Monday: Kindness

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Kindness is such a simple concept yet when you read the news or tune into what is happening in politics it feels absent. I think kindness is something everyone could use a little more of and it doesn’t have to be in the form of grand or mass gestures. Think about it if we just spent a little more time on being kinder to ourselves, others, and this planet those little acts of individual love could snowball into something a lot bigger and more impactful.

You can accuse me of being a Pollyanna, but be honest when you see a friend or stranger in an act of pure kindness doesn’t fill your heart and inspire you to do the same? For the next couple of weeks, I have a number of posts coming up centered around kindness because I think we’re all wanting a lot more of it at this particular time.

Three Little Things: Part 3

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I’ve talked about getting out of a rut or a funk or whatever you want to call it over the past couple of months. For me, it was three small steps that made a huge difference. The first was to embrace and express gratitude.  The second was to get out of town. This last thing that I’ve done which was by far the most challenging was to show myself a little self-love.  I don’t like to make generalizations, but I do think that women in particular

I don’t like to make generalizations, but I do think that women, in particular, tend to rationalize that self-love is selfish. I know I often make excuses not to do something nice for myself. These range from I don’t have enough time, that costs too much, and when I’m at my lowest I tell myself I don’t deserve something.

Over the past few months, I’ve been experiencing some health issues. I’ve been open about my struggles with weight and my decision to get a lap band six years ago. I’ve been experiencing acid reflux over the past year or so which has progressively got worse. My surgeon did some tests and realized that my band slipped. This can happen and can be repaired through surgery. This would be fine except my insurance company is very restrictive of what hospitals they’ll approve for bariatric surgery. Even though I have a top surgeon from one of the best hospitals in the country, I can’t have him perform this repair.

I’ve been going through the process of appointments and tests threw a surgeon and hospital that are approved. It’s a long and tedious process and my symptoms have gotten worse as a result of having to put this off. Most people associate acid reflux with simply being heartburn and it can be that in it’s mildest form. My symptoms are a bit different and include chronic nausea and a sour taste in my mouth and stomach. I have night cough which is an unpleasant condition where lying down causes the acid in your stomach to bubble up and…well to avoid being overly graphic let’s just say I spend a lot of time with my head over the toilet. My symptoms even produce other symptoms. As a result of regurgitating I’m often dehydrated, have insomnia, and in the mornings I frequently have migraines. You don’t need to throw me a pity party, I’m very good at doing that myself. I’m sharing this because this lack of control of my body makes me feel helpless at times and adds to this fear of not deserving good things.

The hardest part is food affects me. Foods that are typically thought of as being good for you can make my symptoms worse and some days overly processed and sugar laced products are my staples because they are they only things I can tolerate. This has resulted in some weight gain, not crazy weight gain but I’m about 10 pounds more than I’m comfortable with. That might night seem like a lot, but as someone who struggles with body image issues, I sometimes look in the mirror and think I weigh 1000 pounds or something.

This experience has been a reminder to love myself no matter what the scale says. I won’t ever be 1000 pounds and hopefully, this surgery gets approved and results in my feeling better and being able to maintain a weight that I feel comfortable with, but I can’t forget me from seven years ago. That morbidly obese girl should have given herself more love and accepted her beauty because while the exterior may be different I’m still her.

I’ve been trying to give myself a bit more TLC. I carve out time to write, I let myself say no way more than I ever have in the past if I truly can’t take something on, and I put don’t let myself leave the house till I feel good about how I look. That varies every day sometimes it’s as simple as throwing on some lip gloss and other days I might need to change my outfit four times, but the point is I always eventually feel like that person in the mirror is lovely and worth being loved by me and others.

How do you so yourself a little extra love when you need it?