My Self-Care List + 10 year challenge

>> Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Back when Eden was clusterfeeding almost always, I felt like I had absolutely zero time to myself. My patience was wearing thin. I was starting to feel absolutely crazy. The advantage I have had this time around was that I truly know the tiny baby stage doesn't last forever. I had a lot of trouble with Ada because she was my first . . . and then with Eloise because I had forgotten so much.

Regardless, I whined a lot on Instagram to pass the time. And some of you guys sent me the sweetest and most helpful messages. One person, in particular, gave me an idea that I have been using ever since. She told me that I needed to make a list of self-care things to do so that when I DID get a spare moment -- I wouldn't use up precious time figuring out what to do with myself (or -- worse -- just mess around on my iPhone).

Her approach is genius. Make a list of things you can do that take, say, an hour. And another list of things that take just 10 or 15 minutes. (Because we know that free time comes at a premium -- and it often is given out in short bursts.) Now that Eden is a bit older and taking bottles, I've also included a few things I do if I get several hours to myself on a weekend.

I thought I'd share my list with you today. To keep it brief, I chose my four favorite things for each category. But before I get to the list, I thought I'd share my 10-year challenge with you. My first photo from Facebook is actually from 13 years ago (!!!) and then 5 minutes ago.


  • Long walk -- I consider running (30 minutes or so 5 days a week) just part of life, so it's not self-care.  A long walk can be really restorative. I'll often stop and get a warm drink along the way and listen to an audiobook.
  • Long shower (I don't do baths) + play with my stash of bath + beauty products.
  • Baking -- Solo time in the kitchen to go at a bread or brownie recipe I've been eyeing.
  • Journal -- I have a Breathe planner I bought this year that's more than just simple to-do lists. I like to spend time thinking/writing in there. And -- yes -- it is something I can spend an entire hour doing.


  • Shorter shower -- better than no shower...
  • Quickie YouTube yoga or barre session
  • Quickie YouTube guided meditation (with ear plugs in, if necessary!)
  • Light a candle and just sit quietly in a dark room (I'm big on silence -- I crave it)


  • Bookstore outing to browse with a warm drink for a couple hours
  • Studio yoga class (I've worked this in once a week now) 
  • Drink with a few friends after bedtime (I stay local -- 5 minutes away -- in case of random wakeups from any of the kids)
  • Longer afternoon out -- either going to lunch and a movie OR recently Stephen encouraged me to take a day trip to visit one of my best friends in Ithaca. (Remember how I love quiet? My favorite part of that trip was the hour drive to/from where I didn't listen to anything but silence!)
I feel fortunate that my husband is so willing to care for all three kids so I can get out. That sounds weird to say because he's just as much a parent as I am. But I think you know what I mean. We trade off so that we each get time on our own (and it isn't always easy with three different sets of needs to care for), but he's been prioritizing my time in these early months. It doesn't go unnoticed. 

It's also been very helpful that we started bottles just before six weeks. I waited longer with the other two and they never really took to them. If I could go back and do one thing differently from the start of becoming a mom, it would be to do bottles sooner.

Anyway, I'd love to hear what your favorite self-care activities are. 

Share them in the comments!

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