Monday, January 6, 2014

The Art of Extreme Self-care Chapter 1

Happy New Year and welcome to The Art of Extreme Self-care postpartum style. For those of you who are new to my blog, last December I announced I would be doing a read-a-long of The Art of Extreme Self-care by Cheryl Richardson and sharing with you how I applied the principles of the book in a postpartum setting.  We will focusing on one chapter a month. So let's get started!

Chapter 1

Discovering the areas in your life where you are deprived and why.

What I got out if it:
This was a pretty easy chapter and exercise for me, because hell, as a mom we know pretty well what we are deprived of and the reason why. Sleep, quiet alone time, nurturing social activities, self-care, and the list goes on. But I found the exercise at the end of the chapter helpful in identifying why I was being deprived. Please note, when I did this activity, I was battling postpartum depression, recovering from surgery, and still healing from the trauma of childbirth.

This is what my list looked like:
I feel deprived of: Sleep, alone time, physical activity, time for self-care, time to read a book, time to decompress, peace, tranquility, calmness.
I need more of right now: SLEEP, better nutrition, alone time, exercise.
I need less of: Pain, anxiety, tears, chaos, feeling down about everything, less screaming baby.
Who is causing me to feel resentful and why: My child because this isn't what I envisioned motherhood to be. Myself for not being strong enough to handle motherhood.
I'm starving for: the freedom to go for a swim or take a yoga class, the time to sit and get lost in a good book, the time to write, the brain power to sit down and finish writing my novel.

I'm sure many of you moms can relate to my list. Sleep was and continues to be a big issue for me. In the last couple months my daughter has finally been able to sleep throughout the night, but after nearly a year of being woken up repeatedly, I'm still struggling with relaxing enough to sleep through the night myself. Relaxing is the key.

Over the last year I learned a valuable lesson in terms of how exercise really effects sleep and the ability to relax. When I started going to the gym and taking my daughter to the kid's club onsite, I discovered that I had time to exercise or take a yoga class, in that hour I got a break from my needy child, and because I exercised my body felt good. When you feel good you can relax easier, which leads to better sleep and a sense of calmness. Sleep in turn allows the body to heal, the mind to sort itself out, and the end result is well-being.

So what areas in your life do you feel deprived? Feel free comment below. Thanks for stopping by and we'll continue with Chapter 2 next month.


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