After a year filled with change I am ready for 2017 and awaiting a much needed break from new transitions. Although 2016 was filled with many blessings for my family (a new home in the suburbs and a new family member) the presence of ongoing change stifled some of my passions and left me feeling a bit worn out. I recently gave birth to our second child, Olivia, who is now nearing two months old. My pregnancy with Olivia presented many challenges including insomnia and anxiety. Pregnancy coupled with my job as a stay-at-home mom to a toddler left me with zero energy to explore my passions, including blogging.
As I greet new energy and more stability (now that the move/pregnancy are over) I welcome a year filled with wonderful experiences as a mother of two and a reignited priority of self-care. Every mom struggles to balance the needs of her children with her own. This year I'm committing to some serious self-care and I've enlisted some tools in order to keep me feeling happy and healthy. Happiness rarely finds its roots in material items but I'm discussing some goodies that help encourage health and personal growth. Here's my list of investments for a healthier 2017.
Plantronics BackBeat Fit Wireless Headphones
If working out is a priority for you, wireless headphones are well worth the investment. The majority of my life I was a runner but in the past few years this passion has slipped through the cracks. I recently reintroduced myself to this beloved pastime and my disdain for headphones with cords remains intact. During a run my arm constantly manages to find the cord and smack it hard enough to knock an earphone out. There is nothing more painstaking than stopping mid-workout to readjust your musical set-up. I trusted my commitment to keep running and cashed in an Amazon gift card for this remarkable headphone set. I recently tried it for the first time and experienced a completly transformed running experience. The hefty price tag ($91.95) will ensure my continued investment in fitness.
Safer Beauty Products
The unregulated cosmetic industry is a terrifying place to navigate and search for healthy products. Women use a plethora of different products on a daily basis in order to feel clean and beautiful. If the products you are using are filled with harmful crap, so is your body. There is no better way to nullify a healthy organic diet than letting shady ingredients soak into your skin. Do yourself a favor and investigate what's truly in your beauty routine; it's a shocking and disheartening endeavor but lent me to discover some pretty awesome beauty lines. I filled my Christmas list this year with Beautycounter, Acure, and some Honest Company. The result is a healthy skin-care routine I'll discuss more in detail on a later blog.
An Afternoon Coffee Alternative
There's no bigger energy suck than staying home with two children under two. Morning coffee barely satiates my need for energy by lunchtime and I'm already craving my next fix. This year I decided to swap out my obligatory afternoon coffee with some green tea which has less caffeine and healthier properties. It's enough of a pick-me-up without bleeding into nighttime caffeine related insomnia.
A Solid Team of Supplements
During pregnancy I try not to ingest an excessive amount of varying supplements. Now that I'm recovering from birth I've reintroduced my supplement routine and added one or two. The supplements I rely on include: a probiotic, a protein shake with added greens, a powdered green juice, and a tasty magnesium drink. Everyone's needs are different. I've accepted my lack of enthusiasm for veggies first thing in the am, so I drink powdered greens instead. The protein shake is an absolute must for any stay-at-home mom since mealtime often turns into eating half the meal before curbing the next domestic crisis.
An Effective Water Filter
I recently tested our water, previously filtered through a GE fridge filter, and when it tested as an unsavory cocktail positive for pesticides, etc. I felt compelled to immediately find a new solution. I did a great deal of research on water filters and settled on the Berkey to meet our family's needs. We didn't want an expensive whole home filtration system, although I wouldn't reject the idea under different financial circumstances. This filter eliminates 99.9% of all the crap I want taken out. When I learned our fridge filter pretty much just filtered out Chlorine and NOTHING else, I felt cheated and deceived. My children constantly consume water so I'd prefer it sans pesticides and pharmaceuticals (yes that's in our water too). This topic can fill an entire dedicated blog entry, just remember an effective water filter is a great investment for a healthier 2017.
Organic Produce & Healthy Grains
For me pregnancy is a detriment to home-cooked meals. In 2017 I'm feeding my family meals that require more than a 20 minute stint in the oven. I hope to dust off my healthy cook books and explore fresh recipes in there near future but for now some pre-cut organic veggies with old familiar recipes is a lofty enough feat while juggling my newborn and toddler.
Relaxing Bath Products
During my second pregnancy I established a new bath time routine (minus squeaking toys or a 21-month old). I took baths to relax, reduce anxiety, and help with insomnia. I discovered Aura Cacia mineral baths for some added aromatherapy, heightening the relaxation experience considerably. A good playlist and a mineral packet during a 20 minute bath can ease a stress filled day. Aura Cacia's bath soaks were on my Christmas list this year and I look forward to trying them out in the new year. If you commit to a few baths a week and throw on a face mask before you soak it will improve your self-image and stress levels.
One of my goals for 2017 is to discover what I'm truly passionate about and ideally turn that into a career when the kids are in school full-time and my stay-at-home mom gig starts to dry up. Prior to becoming a stay-at-home mom I was a mental health counselor. In order to discover whether I want to re-enter that field or do something entirely different, I will pursue some other passions and see where they take me. I've always had an interest in children's book writing but never had the time or freedom to pursue it. I decided to start 2017 by taking a class and reading a book on writing for children to see if it's really something I'd want career-wise. As an Amazon prime member I get occasional free Kindle books so I chose How to Write a Children's Book.
I hope my list of investments for a happy and healthy 2017 sparks some ideas for you as we continue to improve ourselves year to year.
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