How's your day been so far? I hope it's going well.
Well, I had "Finalize blog post " on my calendar today (practically the only thing scheduled), but it didn't happen.
You may have seen that my family spent the last week in California, visiting friends and taking a trip to Disneyland and California Adventure.
It was an amazing time together, but after getting home yesterday, I just wasn't ready to jump back into the swing of things today.
In fact, I felt pretty crappy, even after my morning walk.
Instead of forcing myself to be productive (which, let's face it, rarely ends well), I laid down on the couch.
When I noticed I was going down the path of restless Instagram-scrolling, I turned on some relaxing music. I made myself turn off my phone.
Then I took a nap. A long one.
When the voice in my head whispered, "Just stay on Instagram," I told it, "No...media binging is one of my warning signs, and I'm going to feel so much better if I stop now."
When the voice in my head said, "But you were supposed to write a blog post this morning," I told it, "I know. But there's no way I can write it in this state. I need to rest first."
When the voice in my head scolded, "If you had just gone to bed earlier, you wouldn't need this," I told it, "True - but this is life right now. There's no use feeling guilty today."
I felt ten times better when I woke up.
Friend, whether you're pregnant like me, adjusting to home life after a trip, or just living life as usual - I hope you'll give yourself permission to rest when you need it.
And don't forget to tell your inner critic, "Thanks, but no thanks," when you find it telling you otherwise.
Your body, mind and spirit will thank you!
To taking naps and breaks when we need them,
LaQuantae and I first connected when I offered some free coaching sessions to the Families of Color Seattle community as part of my one-year anniversary celebration. (I heard from 20 people in 24 hours, a first!)
Right away, I could tell she was different.
She was so thoughtful and thorough with her reflection questions. She read the "What is Coaching?" handout I email every person who does a free consultation, and even revised her answers based on how her understanding of coaching changed. I'd never seen someone be so proactive at this stage of getting to know me.
I learned LaQuantae was facing some serious challenges, all while raising her three kids, five and younger. Despite significant obstacles, obstacles that would make me want to throw in the towel, she was reading books that inspired her, taking time to learn from life coach Iyanla Vanzant, and putting up quotes to motivate her around her living space.
"TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. Fill your cup with so much love and goodness that it spills over in the WORLD!"
DANG. It didn't take an expert to see this was a woman primed for growth. It took a while for the timing to work out, but I was thrilled to be able to coach LaQuantae at the start of this year.
With her permission, here are some of her reflections on her coaching experience.
"Right now my heart feels open and inspired. I can see my future and it is bright.
(I'm not crying; you're crying.)
And there's more:
"I did not realize how much I had grown in just two weeks' time until Charissa provided this time and a mirror for me to really take stock of myself.
I hope LaQuantae's story has inspired you as much as it did me.
If you're curious to...
...don't be shy; let me know!
Brave Self Care is on a limited schedule due to my pregnancy and maternity leave.
BUT - You can still contact me below to get on the waitlist. When I'm up and running, you'll be first in line to have a consultation and become a client!
Just click the button below. When you submit your info, you'll get first access to me once I'm ready to start accepting new clients again.
If you've been around the Brave Self Care community a while, you might know how integral my daily walk is to my self care routine. It's free, it energizes me, and takes barely any willpower since I've made it a habit.
HOWEVER, this happy habit is contingent on my kids being in school. I drop them off, I go for the walk. When they're on break, all bets are off.
Knowing that summer is around the corner, I've been thinking about ways to keep stewarding my physical health, especially as I enter third trimester(!). I took prenatal yoga classes in my first pregnancy and LOVED them, and was curious to try them again.
Today I'm sharing my easy, 27-step guide to getting to yoga.
1) Vision for your ideal summer exercise plan.
2) Remember how amazing it felt to go to yoga, years ago.
3) Google yoga classes near your home.
4) Because it's too hard to commit to a studio sight unseen, ask for recommendations on your neighborhood parent group on FB.
5) See several moms recommend a studio about a mile away. Nice!
6) Check out their website.
7) Let your web browser get closed by your kids, or lost among the 20 other tabs you have open.
8) Repeat steps 6-7 over the course of two and a half weeks.
9) Mull over whether to buy a five-class pass since it's such a good deal and might force you to go at least five times before your baby comes.
10) Keep thinking about it, keeping the tab to purchase said five-class pass open in your browser a few days.
11) Repeat step 7 a few times.
12) Put it in your calendar. If it's in your calendar, you'll go, right?
13) Tell your partner - you're going to go to yoga. You've made up your mind. It's gonna happen. Next Wednesday.
14) Next Wednesday, text a friend to see if she wants to join. Darn, she can't.
15) Decide you're too tired to go.
16) Decide that buying a five-class pass is too much pressure, even if it's a good deal. Commit to just trying it ONE TIME.
17) Next week, text two more friends for moral support. This time, you really are going to go. They cheer you on.
18) Remind your partner - it's yoga night. For real this time.
19) Decide right before class that it'd be a great time to cook chicken katsu for the first time. Yes, it requires 4 different prep dishes to marinate and dredge the chicken cutlets (in flour, egg, then panko), but wouldn't it be nice to have dinner ready for the family before you go?
20) Eat super fast. ALWAYS a good idea to have a really rushed meal before practicing yoga. Bonus points if you're kinda stressed, too.
21) Quickly change into a tank top and leggings, hoping you don't smell like fried chicken.
22) Leave later for class than you wanted to. This will only make the relaxation that much deeper once you're in class.
23) Miraculously find a parking spot a block and a half away.
24) You made it!
25) Pay for class, nervously unroll your mat, get the blankets/blocks/bolsters everyone else has by their mats, and wait for the instructor to arrive.
26) Have an AMAZING class. Feel like a goddess who intuitively knows just how far to stretch to the right and left. Feel complete freedom to move your upper body in circles while on all fours. Imagine the mysterious universe unfolding inside you as the instructor suggests. Cringe only slightly when she uses the phrase, "soft vaginal walls" to describe the state of being you are aiming for.
27) Class is over. Feel soooo gooood. Promise yourself you'll do it again soon.
If you think self care comes easy for me because I'm a self care coach, it doesn't! I think precisely BECAUSE this is an area that's not a natural strength, I'm able to relate to others' struggles and offer compassionate support.
Where can I support you this week?
Comment below and let me be one of the dozen steps it might take to get you moving in the right direction!