SELF CARE

I decided to take time for myself this weekend. I’ve been on the go for several weeks now. There’s been a lot of “newness” in my life this summer too & I could feel myself reaching my limits last week. A weekend alone always recharges my mind & soul. #theintrovertlife

There’s something about moving at my own pace & the quietness of being alone that fuels me. I didn’t do anything too crazy (except get a new Jeep totally spur of the moment, but that’s a story for another day! HA!) but in all honesty, I just really like not answering to anyone or adhering to anyone’s schedule. Sometimes I just need silence. It helps me clear my mind & press the reset button.

The topic of “self care” has really blossomed over the last few years. More and more people are realizing the benefits of putting their physical, mental, spiritual, intellectual, social, sensory & emotional health needs at the top of the priority list. It can easily be overlooked in the hustle & bustle of every day life, but if you make a point to take care of yourself, you will only be better in every other area of your life.

My self care routines look different during different times in my life. Sometimes I need to physically pamper myself with manicures, pedicures, massages, or a new haircut. Other times I need to participate in some retail therapy or a long walk with Mia. Treating myself with special food is also important to me. #foodieforlife

I would like to get better at unplugging from social media & electronic devices to just be with myself in the moment. I think that would be a good detox for me, as I tend to always be plugged in to the digital world and sometimes that makes me less present in person. I am also getting better at cutting out toxicity in any and all areas of my life. If I am not happy with something, I do something about it.

There are TONS of different self care ideas you can find with a simple search online. You need to explore what brings you joy & go from there, but for now here are some of my favorite ways to love myself:

  • spend time alone
  • clear my schedule for an entire day & just do what comes up
  • say no to things that don’t bring me joy
  • read
  • avoid toxic people
  • schedule “me” time for a weekend
  • take a mental health day
  • treat myself to a massage
  • journal to release thoughts and anxiety
  • go on a long walk
  • go on a run
  • sleep in
  • foam roll to release built up tension
  • binge a favorite show
  • get special food or takeout
  • do yoga
  • get a mani & pedi
  • go shopping for whatever my heart desires
  • take a nap
  • go to bed early

What are your favorite ways to practice self-care? Are you carving out enough time every day/week/month? I encourage you to seriously prioritize yourself because no matter what anyone says, YOU ARE WORTH IT.

THERAPY

I took this picture here in Minneapolis a couple of weeks ago and it made me think really deep for some reason. If you look closely you can see a little bird on the wire in the middle of a dark cloud … and then outside of the cloud there is a bright blue sky & green trees. To me, it represented being stuck in tough times but to never forget things will always get better and there’s more out there than just where you’re stuck at.

I was always one of those people who “didn’t need” therapy and thought it was all a scam. After getting divorced and having some family drama I decided that I should try to go. I tried twice actually. But I didn’t really vibe with the therapists and I hadn’t hit rock bottom yet. I wasn’t ready. I am a huge believer that until someone is actually ready, therapy will make NO difference.

Well in November of 2015 I officially hit my rock bottom. I started seeing a therapist and my first visit was an interesting one. She straight up looked me in the eyes and told me she doesn’t work with women in abusive relationships because it’s such a vicious cycle and she never sees any of them get out and change. I sat there stunned. Typically I would have thought she was a major bitch and never have gone back there. But something deep down told me to go back the next week. I continued to see her for the next 8 months. Usually once a week, sometimes twice and eventually every few weeks near the end. Maybe her saying that gave me enough motivation to prove her wrong. I don’t know. She did apologize at my very last session about making that comment and told me she was proud of me for not being one of those women who never gets out.

You should “shop around” until you find someone who you truly vibe with and trust. Do not be afraid to speak up if it’s not working out, therapists even say this to you. You are not going to connect with every therapist and that’s perfectly okay. Once you finally connect with someone, you will know. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a couple to find the best one.

Anyway, my point in writing this is just to say that you should never be ashamed to see a therapist. No one is above asking for or receiving help. I have been doing a lot of reading lately about how my generation will be the one to break the family trauma cycles & patterns and begin healing. I am a big believer in the transgenerational trauma theory, which basically says trauma can be transferred or passed down to future generations. It’s empowering to read how the stigma of therapy is changing and how now more than ever, people are putting their mental health needs first and healing. That gives me hope. I honestly think some type of therapy and self reflection should be required for every mid to late 20 year old. You go through such a significant change during this period. You are ready to process some of the wounds you’ve endured thus far and mature enough to start thinking about the future and breaking your patterns that no longer serve you.

I started going to therapy for a specific incident and of course it opened the doors to many other issues I had never addressed. Part of the problem is that we just don’t have the tools and knowledge to know what to do to confront our past issues. Having the help of a professional to guide you through those mucky waters is extremely beneficial. They are also an unbiased third party just there to listen and offer suggestions. It did wonders for me working through some deeply rooted issues. There were childhood issues that clearly shaped how I view the world, but I never had thought about that before. My therapist helped me pinpoint my issues and then helped me work through them so that I was able to move on and heal on a deep level. She gave me tools, resources, knowledge, and strategies. I have seen that there are now a lot of online virtual therapists too, which could be a good unique option for some. I know for me, that uncomfortableness of being face to face with another human being confiding my intimate and dark secrets, was what I needed. I don’t think I would have gotten as much out of it if I wasn’t face to face.

If you’ve ever considered therapy or have been on the fence about it, I strongly encourage you to try it out. The worst that can happen is that you just don’t go back. It shows you are FULL of courage and a true warrior to confront tough shit from your past. When you WANT to heal, you will … so be patient with yourself at the same time.

CELERY JUICE

I have had so many people message me on social media about my celery juicing experience. So I figured this would make a great blog post to share what I know and how my experience has been so far.

After researching for weeks (of course) and stalking some celery juicing Instagram accounts I decided to try it out! I wanted to make sure there were actual benefits and it wasn’t just the new IG fad. One account that I follow that has TONS of information is “celery juice benefits” and I also got a lot of information from “Medical Medium”. I have read so many articles and testimonies from people claiming celery juice cured them of everything from autoimmune diseases to eczema, acid reflux and even high blood pressure. My main reasons for drinking celery juice are to: reduce inflammation, clear acne, treat perioral dermatitis on my face, keep my gut healthy, keep cancer away and treat my ongoing headaches.

Celery juice is a seriously powerful remedy and the benefits are quite amazing. Celery is full of the good salts. Don’t let anyone tell you it has too much salt because the type of salts in celery (sodium cluster salts) have extremely healing properties. In addition to the salts, there are tons of naturally occurring minerals present, including vitamin K, folate, vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C. Celery is mainly water but it is still a good source of fiber as well. There is a lot of talk about celery having anti-inflammatory properties too. It basically starves the pathogens (bacteria/virus). When disease-causing pathogens don’t have any fuel they don’t progress.

Researching juicers was sort of stressful. You get mixed reviews for each one and you have to weed out what’s important to you. I also didn’t know if I would do this long term and didn’t want to spend over $100 until I knew I was invested in this. I settled for the Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juice Extractor from Target. It was only $55 and if you use your handy dandy red card you get 5% off and free shipping. I have been very happy with it so far!

I have had pre-made celery juice before so I sort of knew what to expect taste wise. They say that you can juice the leaves too but they do have a more bitter taste and I would agree. I juice them most days but sometimes I am just not in the mood for that taste at 6 am before work so then I just cut them off.

You’re supposed to drink celery juice first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. If you drink lemon water I have read to allow 15 minutes in between. I have also read that in order to see maximum benefits you need to be drinking 16 oz per day. You will still need to eat breakfast as this juice is not a meal replacement, just wait 15 minutes after.

So on 2/15/19 I started celery juicing and was surprised that the taste wasn’t too bad. Here are some tips and discoveries I have figured out so far:

  • One bunch of celery will make about 16oz … sometimes less and sometimes more depending on the actual size, but I just do one bunch per day.
  • I have learned that I enjoy the celery cold and when I wash with warm water it’s harder for me to drink early in the morning.
  • Use organic celery if possible … washing the dirt and whatever else off the conventional before juicing is okay but it grossed me out a lot.
  • Wash/rinse your juicer immediately to avoid build up. I rinse my juicer parts each morning after I make the juice and then do a deep wash once per week. Mine came with a brush to clean the metal screen as that is usually the dirtiest part.
  • Use a plastic bag in the scraps part of the juicer … this cuts down on clean up time tremendously because all the scraps go into the bag and you just empty it out.
  • Chugging it with a straw works best for me. It’s not something that I would sip on for awhile as it gets warm quickly. Using a straw (reusable of course) helps me get it down quickly.
  • To save on dishes I have been drinking directly out of the glass measuring cup that I collect the juice in. Why be fancy at 6 am right?! I also leave a knife out so I can quickly chop off the bottom part before washing.
  • You can wash/cut your celery the night before if you know you don’t have much time in the morning. You can also buy the pre cut celery with the leaves already cut off.
  • Celery will last up to 2 weeks in the fridge. I just keep it in my veggie drawer and haven’t had any stalks spoil. That means I only have to go buy 14 bunches twice a month!

It really sounds much more time consuming than it actually is. I have been waking up at 5 am to get my workout in before work and I still have time to do this and be on time for work. Once you have your routine it is not any different than making a shake/smoothie/coffee in the morning. You could literally make it, clean and drink it all within 5 minutes.

I certainly don’t think it is a “quick fix” but rather something that you should do long term and you will reap the benefits. I am almost 2 months into my celery juicing journey and I can say confidently that I have noticed benefits. First off, I feel more alert and awake after drinking the juice in the mornings. My digestion and gut health have been on point and my weight has maintained. The biggest physical change that I can actually see because it’s not inside of my body, is my perioral dermatitis (if you don’t know what this is, google it and I will do a post on this someday too) and my acne that randomly started this fall after trying a new medication that I am no longer on. My face looks noticeably better and my skin is more clear and smooth. The photo below shows the difference in just the first two weeks. This reminds me I need to take a more updated photo now that I am further along! But I was impressed with just two weeks in the photos below.

Hopefully this review was helpful and if you have any other questions please reach out. Definitely give it a try and see if it works for you. You need to be your own researcher and advocate so make sure you do your homework too. Anytime there is a natural alternative I am down to at least try it!