Happy New Year, Brave Self Care community! As we turn the page on a new year, I took a look at the most popular blog posts from 2017. These are the posts that got read, shared, and 'liked' - THANK YOU for your support! Here they are in case you missed them.
How to Avoid Your Monster Self (part 1 // part 2 // part 3)
For those of you having more bad days than you'd like, learning how to pay attention to yourself and make adjustments will help keep your Monster Self at bay.
Preschool Drop-Off in 17 Easy Steps
You want to drop my son off at preschool? It's easy! Just follow these 17 simple steps. (With pictures!)
9 Things I've Said 'No' to This Christmas
From the comments section: "I've been kicking myself for not doing Advent readings/devotionals regularly so I was pleasantly shocked that they were on your list. Thanks for reminding me that NO is an OK response sometimes."
Celebrating One Year
How making my first best friend in kindergarten led me to where I am today.
6 Ways to Figure Out What You Want
"We are experts at knowing what our kids want and amateurs at knowing what we want." Learn six strategies that I use with my clients to help figure out what YOU want.
What's the Difference Between Coaching and Counseling? - Charissa's Pick
This post answers one of the most commonly asked questions I get asked - what's the difference between working with a coach and getting counseling? Read on to find out which is a better fit for you.
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A very happy New Year to you. Thanks so much for being here!
Let's think about this time of year.
Kid gifts. Teacher gifts. Gifts for your spouse. Gifts for your family. Gifts for your in-laws. Christmas cards. Christmas tree. Christmas decorations. Family traditions. Snacks for the class party. Cookies for the neighbors. Potluck dish for Christmas dinner. Family photos. Visiting Santa. Elf on the Shelf. Stocking stuffers. Wreaths. Holiday travel. Amazon deals. USPS mailing times.
Feeling overwhelmed yet?
The options for what we could do, see, eat, and buy this season are endless. And yet, we are finite beings. One of my top goals for the Advent season is to stay peaceful amidst the potential to get overwhelmed.
And to do that, I've said no to a lot of things - a lot of good and sometimes very meaningful things! - to be able to say a wholehearted YES to a few.
Here's what I've said 'no' to...
Does this mean I will NEVER sing in the church choir? Have I decided to NEVER make my own gift wrap or attend a neighborhood party, because they're categorically a waste of energy? Nope. It just means that, this year, these were some things I chose not to do in order to more joyfully do the things I said YES to.
What I said YES to...
Honestly, it's a pretty short list.
What have you said 'no' to this season?
How has it helped you say an enthusiastic "YES!" to more important things?
Finally, I know my readers are coming from different spiritual backgrounds. I want you to know that, while my faith is an integral part of my life, I totally get that it may look different for you. The good news is that saying 'no' to be able to say an enthusiastic 'YES!' can apply to all kinds of things in life. I'd love to know what you are learning, whether in the context of Christmas or not.
Let's say 'no' so that our 'yeses' are wholehearted and joyful this season. Leave a comment with your own 'nos' and 'yeses' - I read each and every one!
I see you. You're working hard at becoming the kind of person you want to be. You're Googling, reading articles, and putting in the work. You want to be the best mom you can.
You know that version of yourself that you swore you'd never become? Yelling, irritated, resentful and mindlessly distracted on your phone? That's your Monster Self. She's the worst version of you.
(And if you've become that monster in the last week or even today, you're in good company. I'm writing this from experience, so no judgement here!)
If you can catch your Monster Self before she truly hulks out, you'll still have bad days. But you'll be able to respond when hard things happen. That monster will be the exception, not the rule.
You can avoid your Monster Self with 3 things.
Gently course correct
This week is Step 3: gently course correct.
(If you haven't already, hop on over to Step 1 - Notice your warning signs, or Step 2 - Learn your triggers.)
You can gently course correct by making small adjustments depending on how close your Monster Self is to taking over. Let's break it down!
Your 1-Step Action Plan
Your assignment today is to choose the ONE thing that you MUST do to avoid your Monster Self.
Pick just the ONE thing that needs to change most.
Not sure what step to take?
See which group below you fall into, and take that ONE step to avoid the worst version of yourself.
If your warning signs are popping up left and right:
Put the ice cream back in the freezer, and make a choice you won't feel bad about later. Consider ONE of the following:
If your Monster Self is getting triggered by life circumstances:
Make a plan to actively avoid your triggers, those stressful circumstances that put you over the edge. Choose ONE of the following, or one of your own.
If your She-Monster has already been unleashed:
Please don't worry. It happens to the best of us. There's still hope for you!
What you're saying...
You've had a lot to say about avoiding your Monster Self!
On warning signs...
"[My warning sign is ] skipping my own self care! I'm not talking about massages and pedicures here, I'm talking super basic stuff, like washing my face, brushing my teeth, eating, drinking water, taking my meds. This is a sure sign I'm headed for a meltdown/blowup. When I'm too tired, busy and overwhelmed to take care of myself, even though I know neglecting my basic needs is going to make me feel even worse, I'm circling the drain." - Kaila Rose
On being excited to catch your Monster Self before she blows...
"I stumbled across your blog just as I felt my Monster Self lurking over my shoulder with a blow horn and list of all the ways she was going to shut fun down forever if my children didn't stop doing all the things that I keep telling them not to do. I am actually excited to take note of the ways in which I notice my She-monster is about to tear some shit up BEFORE she actually tears some shit up :). Thank you for being courageous enough to share your story with us all and giving me more tools to be courageous too :). " - L.D.