Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Art of Extreme Self-care Chapter 4

Hello 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. Last chapter was about being comfortable disappointing others. Let's dive into chapter 4.

Rhythm and Routine

What I got out of the chapter:
This chapter is what changed my postpartum experience from one of perpetual chaos to something more manageable. Before I read chapter four I was constantly going with the flow on my baby's schedule. Many times I would stay up late after I put her down for the night because that was the only way I could get "me" time. After I read this chapter I decided to limit my me-time to only an hour. So if baby was in bed by seven, I needed to be in bed by eight. My daughter was a terrible sleeper for the first year, but usually slept for four or five hours the first part of the night. If I wanted the most amount of uninterrupted sleep, I needed to be in bed early too. Those precious sleep hours before midnight helped me get better control of the postpartum depression.

Cheryl also talks scheduling your tasks at work. One of the biggest issues I had returning to work, was focus. My day job is so demanding and requires alot of mental output. When I needed to focus on abstracting a case, I would turn off my email for the hour needed so I wouldn't see the notifications popping up in the right corner of my screen. I would respond to any emails after I completed the case and before I moved on to the next. This one simple change helped me be more productive at my job.

I also turned off the notifications on my smart phone. The first three months postpartum were so hard for me and just seeing all the email, Facebook, Twitter, and other notifications constantly bombarding my phone added to the stress and anxiety. I set an hour a day for responding to emails and social media, and unless there is something urgent I'm awaiting, I stayed off.

These changes have really improved my life for the better. I'm not 100% rigid about keeping the routine, except bedtime. That is one area I do not compromise unless it's a special event like a concert.

What areas in your life can you improve by establishing a routine?

No comments:

Post a Comment