Quarantine Journal Prompts

If you are struggling to make sense of quarantine, why not work through those tough emotions in a journal. Here are twenty-five quarantine journal prompts for deep reflection.

Quarantine Journal Prompts

Are you as baffled as me about what has happened this year? This time last year we were facing job loss and doing through those struggles. By September our lives had quieted down. I can’t even imagine explaining this to my past self from a year ago. It is surreal to think about where we are right now. Like most people, I have some pretty strong, complex emotions about all kinds of topics surrounding quarantine. So that got me thinking that it might be beneficial to work through some of the emotions and even logical reactions I’ve had to some of this quarantine business. I felt better after having journaled about these things. Maybe you will as well.

For me, the hardest thing about quarantine was not seeing my parents and my family. It was very hard to be away from them particularly when it came time to celebrate birthdays. But it also made me appreciate how important it is to have meaningful relationships. For example, although I am very grateful that we had Zoom and social media platforms to use as a lifeline for social interaction, it also made me realize just how valuable the human social experience really is. I promised myself that when this started to settle down, I would stop relying on social media to make me feel connected to others. The truth is, it doesn’t. In fact, it provides only the illusion of connection. Seeing what someone had for lunch or where they went on vacation does nothing to bond with another person. In fact, some research suggests that this actually creates the fear of missing out and even emotions of jealousy. Today, I decided to take a break from Facebook in lieu of more personal connections. I plan on taking about a month-long break and see where it leads me. If you’d like to take a break from social media, be sure to read my other posts Living Without Likes and Social Media Detox.

Has Social Media Become the New Journaling?

I also needed a break from opinions. I am as opinionated as the next person, but scrolling through my Facebook feed was beginning to feel like a constant heated debate or like watching a 24-hr news cycle. It was just exhausting me mentally and emotionally. One thing I have noticed is just how polarizing opinions are when it comes to quarantine. I have seen blatant disrespect and sanctimony on both sides of the argument.

Some citizens are concerned that basic rights are being stripped away under the guise of “protecting us.” Others are concerned that the virus is deadlier than the government officials report. There is evidence that suggests news outlets are being less than honest about a wide range of information. There are real, intense emotions that come with isolation, job loss, and death. Regardless, of how you feel about these things, I want to challenge you to perhaps try reflecting and processing some of these thoughts in a journal and not on a social media platform.

Trying Taking Opinions Offline

I’m not saying you shouldn’t express your opinion publicly. But I do think that it is healthier and less damaging to relationships to first work through (and perhaps release) your emotion to a journal which is benign instead of your friend’s newsfeed. Honestly, that is probably one of my biggest pet peeves about Facebook. Many people use it to express every thought they have almost like a journal and it is very hard to take words back once they are published publicly.

I think as we work through emotions our views may even evolve. I know I felt one way in March and differently in May. However, this process is interrupted when we do this online. People challenge us, criticize us, and condemn us, for our viewpoints which then causes us to defend our position. This defensiveness then stops us from challenging our own perceptions and arguments because we go into defense mode.

Either way, I think that the events around COVID-19 and quarantine have been unlike other events. Take some time and express how you feel and what you think without the consequences of personal attacks.

Quarantine Journal Prompts

  1. How has quarantine changed your world view?
  2. What can you learn from this experience?
  3. Describe three quarantine memories.
  4. How do you feel about things reopening?
  5. What was the hardest thing about quarantine?
  6. How am I connecting with friends and family right now?
  7. How has quarantine made you more grateful?
  8. What are you afraid of right now?
  9. Will you continue to practice social distancing? Why or why not?
  10. Where have you seen the good in people during this?
  11. Looking back, do you feel like quarantine was necessary?
  12. What did an average day in quarantine look like?
  13. What is one thing you wish the world would learn from this?
  14. How has social media affected your attitude during quarantine?
  15. How will you describe this event to future generations?
  16. Describe what you will do when this is over?
  17. What gives you hope about this situation?
  18. Write down some positive plans or goals for the future.
  19. How do you feel about the political landscape right now?
  20. Did anyone you know become sick with coronavirus? What was that experience like?
  21. If you had been President of the United States, how would you have handled the situation?
  22. What were your initial feelings about Coronavirus during January and February? How have your feelings evolved?
  23. How do you feel about China’s handling of the virus?
  24. Describe any self-discovery you experienced.
  25. How have you been financially affected by the pandemic?

Other Journaling Prompts

Before you leave, be sure to take a look at some of my other journaling prompts.

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100 Things To Keep Yourself Busy at Home

The COVID-19 quarantine has forced us all into our homes. It’s not uncommon to feel a little bored at home. Here are 100 things to keep yourself busy at home during the Coronavirus shutdown.

Coronavirus has turned all of our lives upside-down. We are spending lots of time at home right now and if you are like me you may be wondering how to stay busy at home. During the first couple of weeks of quarantine, it was actually a little nice. My husband was working from home. We were all together as a family and spending lots of quality time together watching movies and relaxing at home. But after the initial honeymoon, I began to feel really bored. I’m kind of a homebody, but I never realized how often I get out during the week with the kids.

There are lots of reasons why we feel bored. It could be that we may not feel intellectual stimulated or challenged. Sometimes boredom comes from not socializing enough or simply not doing things that bring enjoyment. If you are feeling bored, stop and evaluate exactly what is driving it. For me, it is all three.

Finding Focus and Projects

This is a perfect time to focus on projects. Maybe you’ve been wanting to landscape your backyard. Many nurseries are doing curbside shopping. Now is the perfect time to design your dream yardscape and work outdoors. Perhaps you’ve been wishing to learn a new hobby like knitting, drawing, hand lettering or woodworking. Now is a great time to learn how to do those things. Maybe you are like me. Over the six months, I have totally let the house get out of control. It’s time to do some serious reorganization and some deep cleaning. Since there are fewer distractions right now, it’s the perfect time to dig in and create organization projects.

If it is socialization that you miss, there are ways you can do it virtually. If you haven’t checked out the Zoom app, you don’t know what you are missing. The Zoom app was created for businesses for video conferencing. Zoom has a free package that allows you 40 minutes of conference time. Personally, I think it is better and more stable than FaceTime. They also have paid packages which allow for more time. Lots of people are utilizing the app to do group events virtually. I have some friends who have used it for a virtual girl’s night. One of my friends is hosting a virtual book club while another friend is meeting with other mamas in the mornings for coffee and chit chat. A dear friend of mine is utilizing it for group bible study. I used it to celebrate my son’s second birthday so he could see all of our family while we sang “Happy Birthday.” If it is socialization you are missing, consider harnessing the technology we have available to fill the void.

100 Things to Keep Yourself Busy At Home

  1. Play / learn an instrument
  2. Make a streaming binge watch list
  3. Clean out your junk drawer
  4. Try out a new recipe
  5. Write a short story.
  6. Write a haiku or poem
  7. Watch some funny fail videos on youtube
  8. Clean out your email inbox and unsubscribe to emails you don’t read
  9. Read some classic literature. Many are free to download.
  10. Window shop online
  11. Learn how to do hand-lettering or calligraphy
  12. Watch a Stand-up comedy show
  13. Start a blog
  14. Write product reviews
  15. Give yourself a manicure or pedicure
  16. Doodle or draw.
  17. Watch Ted Talks
  18. Skype or Facetime someone
  19. Start a virtual book club
  20. Create a budget
  21. Clean out old contacts on your phone
  22. Listen to a new Podcast
  23. Mix up some cocktails
  24. Rearrange your furniture
  25. Run diagnostic, clean up or maintenance tasks on your computer
  26. Knit, sew or crochet
  27. Organize paperwork and bills
  28. Clean out your medicine cabinet
  29. Take an online course
  30. Play some board games
  31. Fix things around the house
  32. Catalog all your movies or books
  33. Update your resume
  34. Create a weekly meal plan
  35. Do a jigsaw puzzle (you can even download jigsaw puzzle apps for your mobile device)
  36. Clean out your fridge or pantry
  37. Exercise. You can stream lots of fitness videos on YouTube. Consider taking your workout outside.
  38. Write in a journal
  39. Make some music playlists
  40. Make a bucket list
  41. Back up your computer or files
  42. Sell things you don’t need on Ebay or other online consignment outlets
  43. Plant an herb garden
  44. Browse PINTEREST for ideas
  45. Clean up old photos on your phone
  46. Bake cookies
  47. Bible study
  48. Wash your windows (you’ll be shocked how much more natural light you get)
  49. Clean your house
  50. Decorate your porch
  51. Write a goals list
  52. Read inspiring quotes
  53. Photograph nature in your own back yard
  54. Create a vision board
  55. Picnic in your backyard
  56. Grill out and dine al fresco
  57. Start a bullet journal
  58. Study a new language
  59. Toss out expired products
  60. Write a letter to someone (you can order stamps at USPS online) or fill a care package up to send to someone (you can print shipping labels at USPS online and schedule a porch pickup).
  61. Take a nice long bath
  62. Give yourself a facial
  63. Take a walk
  64. Scrapbook photos / create a photo book online
  65. Start a YouTube channel
  66. Do a crossword puzzle
  67. Play online or mobile games with friends
  68. Listen to music and if you’re feeling it, dance!
  69. Clean out your car
  70. Wash your car
  71. Learn how to bake bread
  72. Clean out your fireplace
  73. Paint a picture
  74. Make your own “Starbucks” coffee with flavors in your pantry
  75. Learn how to solve a Rubix cube
  76. Enjoy some hot tea
  77. Play with your pet
  78. Pray / meditate
  79. Find some fun accounts on Instagram to follow
  80. Take an online cooking class
  81. Write an ebook
  82. Get outside and do yardwork
  83. Plan a future trip
  84. Learn origami
  85. Learn Magic tricks
  86. Explore apps on the App store
  87. Binge read the other posts on this blog (wink, wink)
  88. Take a virtual tour of museums, zoos or theme parks (See also this list of 300 museums with online tours.)
  89. Write your memoir.
  90. Plan a ZOOM party with friends ( Get creative: host a dinner party, girl’s night, coffee and brunch or game night)
  91. Create a time capsule
  92. Research a new subject you’ve always wanted to learn about (like an event in history or how something works)
  93. Learn an old-world skill (like candle making, bookbinding, canning, hide tanning, blacksmithing, breadmaking, soap making, etc.)
  94. Watch Best Picture Oscar-Winning movies
  95. Research your Ancestry
  96. Have a karaoke night with the family
  97. Create fun Tik Tok videos
  98. Have an Opera Night. (The Met Opera is streaming free ones)
  99. Do a Spring Cleaning Challenge
  100. Volunteer virtually

What Are You Doing

In the comments below, I would love to hear what you are doing to stay busy and productive at home. How are using your time during the COVID-19 quarantine? What have been the silver linings in your life during this downtime?

How to Find Joy During Social Distancing

Are you struggling to stay happy during the COVID-19 outbreak? You can still find peace and contentment even during these tough times. Here is how to find joy during social distancing.

How to find joy during social distancing

Fear Is the Real Infection

I don’t fear the virus so much. I have a father who has major heart disease and complications from that. I have a son who has severe reactive asthma. I certainly fear it for them. I will be secluding myself in my home for likely the next twelve weeks. But that isn’t what really scares me. The truth is, many will get it and the great majority of us will be just fine.

To be honest, I fear people. I fear their hysteria and panic. Already videos are starting to emerge of people fighting in stores over toilet paper. Toilet paper! The world is not ending. At least not by a virus. People need to calm down. The biggest threat to society is not the virus, it’s panic.

Like all pestilence, Coronavirus will run its course around the globe. In fact, most of the world is already fully involved. Let the bug do its thing. Social distancing will flatten the curve so as not to overwhelm our healthcare system all at once. This bug will never go away. It will make its rounds every year now, much like the flu. Get used to that idea.

Don’t forget that out of all the countries in the world, we in the U.S. have a great advantage. We have a robust health system, some of the top minds, ingenuity, and some of the greatest resources. In twelve to eighteen months, we can even expect to have a vaccine. Already some medications like those used to treat HIV and Malaria look promising in treating Coronavirus. We will be just fine. This will pass. It will not last forever. Stay calm.

Focus On What Really Matters

That said, I want to share how to find joy during social distancing. You know, in some ways, there are silver linings in all of this. I’ve lived in other countries before. Americans are very busy! At the very least, this is causing our busy lives to slow down. Over the next few weeks, we will all be forced to take note of the things that really matter in life.

When this is all over, we will appreciate a lot more. We will appreciate being able to go straight into a store and being able to pick up a pack of toilet paper. Every restaurant will be packed with people. Pews in churches will be full. Things like this show us what we take for granted.

How to Find Joy During Social Distancing

Turn Off the News

Seriously, turn it off. I found myself doing that this week. This will only bring on feelings of doom, panic, and fear. You already know what you need to know about the virus. You really don’t need to know much more than that. If you want to start feeling “normal” again, turn off the news. The media has already poured gasoline all over this and lit this thing on fire. They’re responsible for inciting the panic we are seeing. Reject it. Choose calm.

Don’t Panic Buy

Like I said, I don’t fear the virus, I fear the hysteria. Most people don’t think of themselves as being hysterical. Hysteria is really just acting out of extreme emotion. Its letting emotion determine your actions instead of common sense, logic, and reason.

You see things disappearing from the shelves and you think, “I better buy some now or there won’t be any left when I need it.” So you grab one. Then you think, ” I better grab two or three. There won’t be any for me.” This fear of missing out is a self-fulfilling prophecy. People overbuy because they fear there will be a shortage. Shelves are empty. So they attempt to buy more fearing there is nothing more coming. Now a shortage grows and it drains supply chains. And the cycle continues. Stop the madness. Decide that from now on, you will only buy what you would normally buy. The only way this cycle stops is when people decide to return to normal.

Don’t just do your part to flatten the curve. Do your part to end the insanity. Choose which emotion you will feed – peace or fear.

Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

Connect With Someone Everyday

Text your friends. Reach out to relatives. Take advantage of FaceTime and other video chats. Connect through Facebook or IG Live. Utilize the tools we have to stay in touch virtually. I even took some time this week to write some letters to family. I challenge you to reach out to at least one person every day. Check up on people. It’s very important to maintain socialization even though we are physically distant. Its the heart of what it means to be human. Now is a great time to focus on maintaining and investing in relationships.

Photo by Alexa Suter on Unsplash

Get Outside

Did you know your body’s brain chemistry responds to sunlight? When your body detects sunlight through the optic nerve, your melatonin levels decrease (the neurochemical that makes you feel sluggish and sleepy) and your serotonin increases (the neurochemical that elevates mood). If you have a backyard, spend as much time as you can in it. Go for a walk around your neighborhood. If you are in an apartment, take your laptop on the balcony and work outside. We aren’t stuck indoors. We are just trying to stay physically distant from others. Take a hike in nearby hills. Grill out and eat dinner outside. Have your kids ride their bikes. Garden. Spend some time outdoors and you won’t feel so cooped up. Remember we aren’t avoiding the outdoors, we are avoiding crowds.

Move Your Body

Staying active can do wonders for your mood. Try to stay active even while we are at home these next few weeks. Take a walk. Exercise. Just move your body. It increases serotonin levels, makes you feel refreshed and gives you more energy. These days, there are lots of home workouts you can stream. You can even find free ones on YouTube.

Stay Grateful

Part of the panic buying is because we are afraid we “do not have.” One way to stay grounded during a time when others are fretting and worrying is to remember all that we already have. We have already been given much. I challenge you to take five minutes out of every day and write down five things for which you are grateful. Alternatively, you can do my Gratitude Journal Prompts and answer one question a day. Staying grateful helps you stay positive. Focus on the positive!

Encourage Others

Over the last couple of days, I’ve seen people on Facebook asking for posts that aren’t virus-related. The constant bombardment of the panic, hysteria, and fear-mongering posts is stressful. I admit I was sharing a lot of that stuff. But as I scrolled through my newsfeed and saw people begging for something else – anything else – I decided that I will start turning the tide. I’m going to start posting normal, everyday things. Happy things. Encouraging things. I’m going to be a light in the darkness. I will remind people that it’s going to be okay. People need to hear that.

I challenge you, go out and be a light. Be encouraging. Be uplifting. Spread peace. Invite calm. Don’t engage the fear, the hysteria, and the madness.

Take Breaks From Social Media

That said, take a break from social media. I know it can feel like a lifeline right now, but its also flooded with virus-related negativity, debates, and fear-mongering news. I’m not purposing that we stick our head in the sand when I suggest avoiding this. I’m suggesting balance. Take breaks and get your mind off coronavirus for a little while. The truth is, social media hasn’t connected us the way we’d hoped. If anything it made relationships more hollow. If you really want to know what is going on in someone’s life right now, pick up the phone and call them, FaceTime, or text them. Today I avoided social media and it felt amazing! I had no idea how much anxiety was being driven by Facebook.

Pray

I once read something that described anxiety as a fear-centric TV show that we produce and direct ourselves. We take snippets of images and themes in our head and turn it into a fear-centric show with ourselves as the star. We imagine and play out our worst fears over and over again as if it is really happening. Prayer is effective because it makes God the star and not us. God becomes the hero. Exactly one year ago, I created a 30-day scripture reading for anxiety and fear. You can follow along by doing one verse per day.

I highly encourage you to pray when you start feeling overwhelmed by feelings of anxiety, worry or fear. God promises never to leave us in times like these. More than any other phrase in the bible, the “do not fear” mantra appears more than 300 times in scripture. God knew how scared we would be about the unknown, but he tells us over and over again that we are not to fear, not to panic and he is always with us. Scared? Pray. Worried? Pray. Anxious? Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit for his peace.

February Scripture Reading

Create & Stay Busy

Most people don’t idle well. When our brain isn’t engaged, sadness and boredom can set in. Stay busy. The biggest silver lining in all of this is that we are being forced to slow down. We are normally so busy and this is forcing us to cut out obligations and events. Take a week or two just to rest. Then get back to keeping active. Treat it like a staycation. Attitude is everything!

  • Find a way to volunteer virtually.
  • Try new recipes in your cookbook.
  • Bring out your craft supplies and create something.
  • Play virtual games with friends.
  • Declutter / reorganize your home
  • Mix cocktails at home.
  • Play games as a family.
  • Read or Host a Virtual Book Club
  • Write short stories
  • Stream exercise videos (there are lots on youtube)
  • Take some online courses.
  • Learn a new language
  • Garden
  • Binge watch some movies
  • Keep a journal
  • Wash your cars
  • Learn a new skill
  • Do a crossword puzzle
  • Do woodworking
  • Get some DIY projects done. Fix things you’ve been meaning to fix.
  • Take virtual tours of museums, national parks, etc
  • Put your Christmas lights back up to add some cheer.

I’ll write a separate post on all the things you can do at home, but here are some ideas to start with.

Help Others

Helping others has a dual effect. Obviously, it helps someone in need, but it also makes us feel all warm and fuzzy. It feels good to help other people. The panic buying? That”s selfishness. Reach out to those around you and see how you can help each other. Barter supplies. Do small acts of kindness for people you know. Check in with elderly neighbors. See if they need anything. In moments like these, the world needs our humanity, kindness, and mercy. If you are looking for a more corporate way of giving back, there are websites online that allow you to volunteer virtually.

Treat Yourself

I didn’t really get to celebrate my birthday because of all of this. Normally I’m not a big birthday person, but it was a milestone this year. I turned 40. So this week, I decided to treat myself to some art supplies that I wanted. A couple of nights ago, for example, I made a few dozen chocolate chip cookies for absolutely no reason. These days, you may feel very worried. Make sure to take opportunities to be kind to yourself. Treat yourself here and there to small, simple pleasures.

If you are feeling stressed over this, remember to take this one day at a time and reject worrying about the weeks ahead. Keep busy with your family and remember that this will all end soon. We will survive this.

If you are looking for things to do with your kids at home take a look at my post, Boredom Busters for Kids.

Lenten Journal Prompts

Spend time before Easter Sunday reflecting on your relationship with Christ with these 40 Lenten Journal Prompts.

Lenten journal prompts
Photo by Mary Lentz

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Welcome friend. Today, I’m sharing 40 Lenten prompts. Lent is typically acknowledged by Catholics as the 40 days before Easter in the church’s liturgical calendar. For example, in the Catholic church, this is a time to give alms and we fast on Fridays (abstain from meat) to align ourself with sacrifice. This small sacrifice serves as a reminder of what Christ did for us.

I think this goes beyond doctrinal differences of Christians. The forty days before Easter is also a good time to reflect on the health of your relationship with God.

Journaling

I love journaling. I’ve been doing it for years and really feel like it’s a beneficial tool of introspection. First, journalling helps document where you are emotionally and spiritually at a given time. Next, it serves as a timeline, gracefully depicting an arc of your emotional growth. Once you become accustomed to journaling, I know it will become a great tool for self-therapy.

Additionally, if you’d like more ideas for journaling, please read my other posts:

All you need to get started is a notebook and pen. If you hate writing, don’t worry. There are plenty of digital options these days. Day One, for example, is a great digital diary that even allows you to post photos with your writing and is available in the cloud for all your devices.

Lenten Journal Prompts

  1. How can you help your spouse become closer to God?
  2. What do you feel God wants you to change?
  3. How can you help your children become closer to God.
  4. Describe a recent situation where God was clearly present.
  5. What verse gives you comfort in hard times and why?
  6. How can you better serve God?
  7. What do you need to leave at the cross?
  8. Who or what needs forgiving?
  9. For what are you asking God?
  10. With what do you need patience?
  11. Name three things you are grateful for this week.
  12. About what are you most fearful?
  13. What does the cross mean to you?
  14. What mysteries do you wish you knew?
  15. Delight in the Lord and give praise.
  16. How can you better serve others?
  17. Which bible character inspires you most and why?
  18. How can you be a better steward with money?
  19. Describe a prayer God has answered recently.
  20. Which deceased friend or family member are you still grieving? Which bible verse give you the most comfort?
  21. Who do you find hard to love and how can you pray for them?
  22. How can you become more humble?
  23. Have you ever evangelized? How did you feel doing it?
  24. What is your favorite verse in scripture and why?
  25. How can you make time for more prayer?
  26. Of the gifts of the spirit, which do you most like to possess and why?
  27. Describe a time God answered your prayer in a better way.
  28. In what situation do you need to praise God instead of complain? Why do you find it so hard?
  29. We all have a role to play in God’s world. What do you think your purpose is?
  30. The enemy loves to attack our joy and hope. Where do you feel like you’re being attacked and how will you fight back?
  31. Give thanksgiving.
  32. What does “following Christ” mean to you?
  33. When you reflect on your life, what hard time are you most grateful for?
  34. When do you feel God most distant?
  35. Why do you love God?
  36. From what do you need healing?
  37. Write a prayer for your enemy (I know this is a hard one).
  38. Confess something to God.
  39. For what God-given gifts are you most grateful?
  40. How do you think God sees you?

Before You Leave

I hope these forty lenten journal prompts help you understand your relationship with Christ better. Lastly, don’t forget to pin this post, so you can use this year after year.

At least once a month, I post a Christian themed post, usually rooted in Bible study. Finally, I invite you to join me by subscribing to my blog so you never miss a post. Thanks for reading.

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Discovering Your Self-Care Love Language

Stuck on what kind of self-care routine fulfills your emotional needs? Today we’re talking about discovering your self-care love language.

discovering your self care love language

Self-care is not about being selfish. It’s about being kind and gentle with yourself. It’s about recharging your soul, mind, and physical health so you can be there for others and keep up with responsibilities. Self-care refills your well! So today we’re going to talk about discovering your self-care love language.

What Is a Love Language

Dr. Gary Chapman wrote the book, “The Five Love Languages.” In this Christian-themed book, Chapman explains that people have five ways that they give and receive love. These are ways that we feel loved and appreciated. All people experience all five. However, there is normally one or two that really resonate with you. More specifically, you may feel unloved or that your emotional needs are not being met if you don’t receive love in your primary love language. When people have different love languages, there is often a disconnect. Knowing the love languages of your spouse, children and other close people help to make them feel loved and encouraged.

Chapman also suggests that we tend to give love in the way we want to receive it. For example, one of my primary love languages is words of affirmation. I want my husband to tell me he loves me, tell me I’m pretty and verbally thank me when I do something. Receiving this makes me feel secure, respected and cared for. My husband needs no such praise. He is unmoved when I tell him how handsome he is. His value and love are not wrapped up in words they way mine are.

Let’s take a moment and learn about the five love languages.

The Five Love Languages Explained

  • TOUCH – Touch is the sensory experience of love. Hugging, kissing handholding, massage, and otherwise being physically affectionate
  • QUALITY TIME – Spending uninterrupted, undistracted quality time together, having fun / creating memories
  • ACTS OF SERVICE – (e.g. showing love rather than telling) Serving and otherwise showing practical physical gestures of service. For example, doing the dishes after dinner, gassing up your spouse’s car for them, preparing their morning coffee, or taking care of responsibilities)
  • WORDS OF AFFIRMATION – Verbal affirmation, praise, and verbal appreciation, compliments, encouragement.
  • GIFTS – this is not always about being spoiled or even materialism, but rather the gift tells them they were thought of and the more personal the gift, the more meaningful to the recipient. Additionally, the gift should not be an attempt to cover up past failures.

In all languages, the recipient also doesn’t want to have to ask for what they need, otherwise, it proves less meaningful. Ask yourself, what makes you feel loved and special? What do you need most out of relationships?

discovering your self care love language

Discovering Your Self Care Love Language

So today, we’re going to talk about applying these principles to yourself. This is how you can meet some of your emotional needs on your own and treat yourself the way you want to be treated. Here is what self-care might look like in your love language.

Touch (Sensory / Physical)

  • Get a massage
  • Create a skincare routine
  • Take a long hot bath
  • PJs all day!
  • Cuddle with a pet
  • Exercise
  • Stretch
  • Cut out sugar and junk food
  • Enjoy candles or aromatherapy
  • Take a walk outside in the sun
  • Listen to Music
  • Play an instrument
  • Dance
  • Sunbathe

Quality Time (Present / Mindful)

  • Take a nap (with or without an alarm clock)
  • Schedule a lunch date with a friend
  • Mediate
  • Pray
  • Detox from social media
  • Do an act of kindness for someone
  • Sleep in
  • Journal
  • Do something crafty
  • Go to bed early
  • Setting boundaries
  • Spend time learning something new
  • Wake early

Service (Do)

  • Make a budget to give yourself more financial freedom
  • Declutter
  • Delegate errands
  • Book a therapy appointment
  • Garden
  • Change your scenery and redecorate / rearrange furniture
  • Create a routine for things you find stressful

Words of Affirmation (Mental)

  • Write a love letter to yourself
  • List out your positive qualities
  • List your favorite physical qualities (challenge yourself)
  • Write a gratitude list
  • Read
  • Listen to a positive podcast
  • Avoid toxic people and people who make you feel bad about yourself
  • Write a goal list
  • Keep a compliment list, refer to it when you’re blue
  • Read some inspirational quotes
  • Forgive someone

Gifts (Immerse)

  • Invest in your dreams
  • Treat yourself to something special
  • Dine al fresco
  • Give yourself a facial
  • Take a vacation
  • Get a mani/pedi
  • Treat yourself to dinner out
  • Take a staycation
  • Enjoy a spa day (Pamper yourself)
  • Buy some fresh flowers
  • Buy a new outfit
  • Go wine tasting
  • Enjoy a cocktail at a swanky bar
  • Treat yourself to dessert
  • Hire someone to clean your house

If you want to be loved, it starts with you. Others notice how we treat ourselves. Self-respect, giving ourselves permission to rest, and developing a positive image of ourselves are all forms of self-care. Make yourself a priority so you can be there for others.

What If You Devoted This Year To Loving Yourself More?

What if you put aside excuses and self-loathing? What if you stopped giving yourself leftovers? What if you devoted this year to loving yourself more?

what if you devoted this year to loving yourself more
Photos courtesy of Unsplash

The Big Question

I have a question for you. As we depart from 2019 and make our way into the new year that lies ahead, I want to ask you something.

What if you devoted this year to loving yourself more?

Mary Lentz

Now let me be clear. I don’t mean that in a self-centered way. I’m not suggesting that we inflate our ego or shirk our responsibilities. I’m talking about our attitude. How we treat ourselves. How we talk to ourselves. Whether or not we accept who we are, flaws and all.

I’m going to be completely vulnerable with you. I am mean to myself. It’s true. I say things to myself, I’d never say to anyone else. Here are just some of the ways I’m unkind to myself.

  • I used to never leave the house without makeup. I have barely worn it in the last three years because I’m fat and don’t think I’m worthy of wearing makeup.
  • I feel unattractive and therefore don’t groom or dress myself the way I once did
  • I feel old and tired
  • I make excuses about losing weight
  • I tell myself I’m failing as a mother
  • I base my self-worth on accomplishments and what others think of me
  • I tell myself no one wants to be my friend and seclude myself at home so I can’t be rejected.
  • I can’t receive a compliment without putting myself down in some way
  • I can’t forgive myself for a mistake I made last year
  • I tell myself that my dreams surrounding this blog are a silly fantasy
  • I hold myself to rigorous, impossible standards (perfectionism)
  • I tell myself I’m not enough (e.g. good enough, talented enough, pretty enough, young enough, etc.)
  • I tell myself the house needs to look perfect so I feel valuable as a stay-at-home mom

Does any of this sound familiar? Maybe you don’t say these exact things, but something tells me you can be harsh with yourself. What unkind things do you say and do to yourself? Take a piece of paper and write them down. I’ll wait.

Now, ask yourself – “What if you devoted this year to loving yourself more?” What might that look like? Let’s talk about it.

Be Compassionate With Yourself

Has a friend ever come to you looking for reassurance after they’ve completely failed? Of course! At some point, a friend of ours said, “I need to talk,” then sobbed to us about how they totally blew it. He or she needed a pep talk and a helping hand to get their butt out of the trenches. I don’t know about you, but I’m all about supporting my friends when they are down and out. And yet, I struggle to do that with myself. Something tells me you can be that way too. We all can! But what if, over this next year, you made a commitment to yourself to be your own best friend? That is, to treat yourself as lovingly as you would your most loved companion.

Negative Self Talk

Let’s start talking to ourselves the way we would a good friend. Encourage yourself, but most of all we need to make a habit of comforting ourselves.

For example, when it comes to body image, accepting your flaws isn’t giving up on improving yourself. Instead, it’s being approving of yourself even if you aren’t exactly where you want to be. You aren’t denying your body has flaws. This isn’t about denial or even justification. It’s about learning to love the journey your on, with all its ups and downs. Big picture. It’s about learning that our body changes, ages, gets sick and goes through trauma. No matter how good you think someone else looks, they too have insecurities and flaws. It’s about remembering that no body is perfect, no matter what the fashion magazines say. Friends, love yourself. Embrace the curves, the mom pouch, the less than toned arms. Love yourself, no matter what shape you are. And if you are choosing to eat right and exercise, do it because you love your body, not because you hate it.

Let me ask you, and think about this deeply. “What would happen if you made changes because you love yourself, not because you hate that about yourself? What would happen if you become your own personal cheerleader?

Quit Perfectionism

Quitting perfectionism isn’t about giving up. Nor is it about not trying to be better. Rather, it’s about realizing you are on an ever-changing journey. One that never really ends until we leave this earth. It’s about knowing we will always be flawed to some degree and that we are still worthy of love even while we are imperfect.

You may not think of yourself as a perfectionist. But I’m willing to bet that in some area of your life, you impose rigorous, nearly impossible standards for yourself. Maybe it’s around your body image, at your job, or surrounding a relationship, but we all have some area in our life where we can’t stand to fail.

What if you readjusted your standards? What gave yourself more time and space to grow? How much happier would you be if you learned not to be so harsh with yourself? What would that look like?

what if you devoted this year to loving yourself more

Failure is the Best Teacher

I’m a failure. I failed at my first marriage. I failed as an actress. I failed at publishing my first magazine. Last year, I failed as a friend. I have failed at a lot of things in my life. Failure hurts. Falling on your face in front of everyone – hurts! But rising up afterward is one of the best feelings in the world. If you fall down, don’t stay down. Failure helps shape us and mold us. It helps to teach us. It forges us and makes us stronger.

Embrace your failure. It has made you who you are today. You are stronger, wiser, more competent because of your failures. Failure isn’t final, but then neither is success. Fear of failure makes dreams impossible. It snuffs hope out. Push past that fear. Learn from mistakes and move on.

Thomas Edison

Don’t Be a Fascimile

You know, when I first started this blog, I had lots of seasoned bloggers tell me that what I was doing was wrong. They told me that as a mom blog, I shouldn’t have Happy Planner posts and a mod podge of recipes, crafts, and homeschooling. They told me to pick one of those topics and stick to it. They also told me I was too serious. I needed to be funnier, sillier, more entertaining. But you know what? My blog is about finding my own voice. Would I make more money if I narrowed my niche and made people laugh more? Probably. But I don’t want to be a facsimile of what everyone else is doing. I love Rachel Hollis, but I don’t want to copy her as tempting as that may be at times. When I started this blog, I vowed to be authentic and genuine. I promise to always be myself. I promise to filter my photos, but never my words.

Friend, if you are trying to be like someone else, stop! Seriously. The world needs who you were made to be. Not a copy of someone else and especially not a substitute for someone else. No, it needs you. Whether you believe you are special or not doesn’t matter. I’m telling you, you are! You have something no one else has and you don’t need the world’s validation to approve of yourself. You are enough. You are qualified. You are made different on purpose, for a purpose. Now go out there and be you!

You Aren’t Too Old or Too Young

We’ve all heard that age is just a number, but is it? Is your age stopping you from enjoying life to the fullest and seeking out your dreams? In case you are unfamiliar there is a famous vlogger named Ryan who is only eight years old. The little tyke now has his own line of toys and novelty items. He (and his parents) have made more than twenty million dollars in the last few years doing nothing more than filming toy reviews on YouTube. Now you and I may wonder if his parents are exploiting him, but my point is that no one cared that the reviews were coming from an eight-year-old. Quite the opposite. People wanted reviews from an actual child that used them – not adults! You may think you are too young or old for something, but I promise you there is a niche for your knowledge, wisdom, or talents. Somewhere, someone needs what only you have!

Maybe you think you are too old or it’s too late to start something. Wrong! There are so many people who succeeded after 40. Samuel L. Jackson didn’t become famous until he was 46 in the movie Pulp Fiction. Henry Ford was an engineer under Thomas Edison, but he didn’t start his Ford Motor Company until his 40s. Ronald Reagan had a career in Hollywood, but he only entered the political arena in 1964 when he was 53. Even the queen of crafts and domestic living, Martha Stewart didn’t become successful until her 40s.

What would happen if you chose not to limit yourself because of your age? What if, you stopped waiting for tomorrow, for more money, for more time, for more experience and instead just started where you are right now? If you start towards your goals right now, will your dreams come true? I don’t know. But if you don’t start, they never will! That is a guarantee.

Make Time for “Me Time”

I remember when I was a teenager and I wanted a summer job at my dad’s laboratory. He said no because “once you start working, you’ll never stop.” To some degree he was right. Once you step up and take some responsibility, it never lets go of you. There are bills to be paid, chores to be done, obligations to meet and all are never-ending. There will never be a time when your job is done. Work will always be calling you. That’s why you need to set boundaries. Believe me, I learned that the hard way. You can only burn the candle at both ends for so long.

If you search this blog, you’ll notice I’m enthusiastic about self-care. That’s because I have learned through my mistakes that recharging mentally, physically, and spiritually is immensely important. Seriously, take time for yourself. Before you become too burnt out to function. There lots of ways to do that. In the past, I created a 30-day digital detox challenge and a 30-day Self-Care / Wellness Challenge.

You’ll need to make it a priority like anything else that is important to you. Just like work, church or a doctor’s appointment. Make an appointment with yourself and keep it. Vow not to give yourself crumbs anymore.

How Will Loving Yourself Change You

I’d love you to join me in devoting the next year to loving yourself more in the ways I’ve described. I’ll be documenting this journey on my Instagram account and I’d love for you to join me and share your journey too.

flowers

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25 Christmas Journal Prompts

Christmas evokes a a wealth of emotions. Today, I’m sharing 25 Christmas Journal Prompts to discover how you feel about the holiday season

25 Christmas journal prompts

Christmas is a special time of year. But for many people, it brings a myriad of emotions – some happy and some not so happy. The holiday blues is a real thing and they can leave us pining for those we’ve lost in death. We may mourn old traditions that are no longer continued. Or we may have a renewed love for the season as we watch Christmas magic overtake our children’s hearts. Sometimes you may feel all the above. Today, I encourage you to go through the list of 25 Christmas journal prompts and discover how you feel about the holiday season.

25 Christmas Journal Prompts

  1. What is your favorite childhood memory about Christmas?
  2. Did you believe in Santa? Was that a good or bad experience?
  3. What does Christmas mean to you?
  4. What does your ideal/perfect Christmas look like?
  5. If money were no object, what would you want for Christmas?
  6. What is the most special Christmas gift someone has given you?
  7. Who do you miss most around Christmas?
  8. Do you make goals for the New Year? What are some of the goals you have right now?
  9. Describe how your family celebrates Christmas.
  10. What Christmas traditions in your family do you love most? How will you ensure those traditions continue?
  11. What things make you feel most connected to others at Christmas?
  12. How will you spread Christmas cheer this year?
  13. What is your favorite holiday movie and why do you love it?
  14. Is there anything that makes you sad around Christmas? Why?
  15. Some people feel blue around the holidays. What can you do to combat those feelings?
  16. What is your favorite memory of your childhood home at Christmas?
  17. Describe something you love to do on cold winter nights?
  18. How do you feel about the commercialism around Christmas?
  19. Write a Christmas story.
  20. For what are you most grateful at Christmastime?
  21. What is most stressful at Christmas? What can you do to make it better?
  22. Describe what you love most about Winter.
  23. How can you be a more giving person during the holidays?
  24. What has changed since the beginning of this year?
  25. How was God faithful to me this year?

Be sure to visit my other posts for more journaling ideas:

The Reconnect Challenge

Holiday blues got you down? You aren’t the only one. I’m launching the reconnect challenge, a 30-day commitment that will not only help others but fill your heart as well.

the reconnect challenge

No matter what your religion, the holidays seem to inspire love, warmth, and gratitude to people everywhere. But for some people, the holidays are also combined with feelings of loneliness, isolation and even stress. The holiday blues are real and more than ever in this commercialized, digital world, we need the human connection. (Cue Charlie Brown Christmas special)

Feelings of loneliness can creep in during the holidays and there are a lot of reasons for it. Many people live far away from family. For others, the holidays call to mind all the people who have passed away. The holidays can become quite sad when you’ve lost a loved one. Holidays are forever changed without them.

Loneliness sets in when we feel disconnected from people. This is why you hear people say they can feel lonely in a crowd. It’s not always about being around people, it’s that there is little or no intimacy. People can feel lonely because they may feel no one truly cares about them or listens to them.

For some people, it isn’t so much sadness as stress. There are lots of pressures around the holidays. Seeing difficult or toxic family members, gift-giving, lack of money and lack of time are always stressors. For some, it is work bogging them down. Long hours and increased workloads can zap the joy right out of the season.

The Reconnect Challenge

That’s why I’m starting the reconnect challenge and I’d love for you to join me. I’m going to commit to reach out to one person for the next thirty days. I’m excited to see what it does for others as well as for me. What people need most is love, compassion, and kindness and I want to spread buckets of that over the holidays. It’s going to be hard with the hectic schedules of the holidays, but that’s precisely why I think people get disconnected. We get so busy, we lose touch of what really matters – relationships.

the reconnect challenge
Courtesy of Pexels

The Rules

  1. Create a list of thirty people (friends, acquaintances, co-workers, fellow churchgoers, neighbors, or relatives)
  2. You can arrange a physical meetup, write a letter, Facetime, or make a phone call. Refrain from texting, which doesn’t lend itself well to intimacy.
  3. You may reach them via direct message on social media if you have no other way of contacting them. But commit to asking for a phone number to stay in touch in the future.

Other Tips

Your list can include people you’ve lost touch with or perhaps people that you’ve seen several times, but never really taken the opportunity to know. Maybe there is an old co-worker on

I included letter writing as a way to connect because I think it bears special weight today. People don’t write letters anymore. Because instant messaging, texting and social media is so easily and readily available there is something special about knowing that someone took the time to write you, buy a postage stamp and walk it to the mailbox. Plus it is so nice to receive something thoughtful in the mail instead of just a stack of bills.

You can even get creative with your letter. If you can keep your letter short and instead tuck some treats in your letter like a tea bag, a bible verse, seeds, poems, crossword puzzle, stickers or even a self-addressed stamped envelope so they can write you back. Even a simple postcard to let someone know you are thinking of them is a great way to reach out.

friends
Courtesy of Pexels

How to Instantly Connect With Someone

  • Show genuine interest
  • Ask questions
  • Remember names
  • Make them feel important (valued)
  • Listen (and don’t interrupt)
  • Learn from them
  • Show compassion and empathy
  • Refrain from judgement

My advice is to be intentional about this commitment. In other words, make a list of the names of people. Write their phone numbers beside them and mark them off as you go through the month. Make it a priority.

A Ripple Effect

I’m so excited you’ve decided to join me on this journey. I would love to hear how this 30-day reconnect challenge has affected you! Please share this post with others and let’s get a movement started!

10 Healthy Ways to Cope With Stress

Are you struggling to manage your stress levels? There are ways to help you manage it properly. Here are 10 Healthy Ways to Cope With Stress.

10 healthy ways to cope with stress

Pressure has a way of finding us. It doesn’t matter if you are working or not – in fact, being out of work can actually be quite stressful. Throughout life, we will be forced to endure stressful times and situations. But there is a way to way to manage it on your own. Here are 10 healthy ways to help cope with stress.

Set Boundaries

In my twenties, I was working 60-hour work weeks at an already stressful job. It really began to take a toll on me. I ended up having a nervous breakdown and when I discussed it with my therapist he asked me who was to blame. “Well, my company of course. They force me to work all these hours.” But as he pointed out the fault was mine for not having set boundaries. In a sense, I never said “no.” I just kept taking whatever crap they threw at me. We decide when enough is enough.

Boundaries clearly set how much of something (or someone) you will tolerate. Boundaries are essential to staying healthy. They keep you honest about your limits and they stop toxic people from having intimate access to your life and your emotions.

It’s a shame, but sometimes you need to set boundaries on people too. I don’t think people always mean to be toxic, but there are people out there who are overly critical, jealous, and petty. People who are constantly overstepping their welcome in your life. For these bullies, you need to set some serious concrete boundaries. You’re in control of who you let in your life. It may mean cutting someone out of your life or at least an area of your life. You don’t need to apologize for it. Choose peace. Learn to say “no.”

Arts & Crafts

Arts and crafts is probably my way of relieving stress but it is for many others as well. Art can be used as a form of free expression where emotions might be displayed. But it is also simply a way to relax. Art often has repetitiveness like brush strokes (painting), scribbling, making loops (crocheting/knitting). Repetitiveness can be relaxing.

Don’t worry. I hear some of you. Some of you might not think you’re creative and that doing art actually causes stress when it doesn’t look the way you want. Even if you aren’t artistic, something soothing like adult color books may be helpful.

Exercise

In my youth, I loved using exercise as an outlet for stress. I know lots of people who prefer running for getting out stress or anxiety. For me, I loved kickboxing style aerobics. There was nothing more therapeutic to me that pretend to beat the crap out of something! Yoga was always a great way to feel centered and balanced again. I found it particularly relaxing to hear my own breath.

I remember there were times that doing it by myself was very relaxing, but I also recall that sometimes, doing it with a group was also a stress-buster. We sit afterwards and talk and that was always a nice way to finish that time. When you’re stressed go beat up a punching bag or pound some pavement. That can sometimes help.

Go Outside

As I write this, it is Texas summertime with temperatures reaching over 100 degrees. And while I think braving the excessive heat can be depressing, I still think that being outside can reduce stress. I love to wake up before my kids and sit on my porch with a cup of coffee. I sit there and watch the sun come up and pray over my family. It’s refreshing to be outdoors.

There is something therapeutic about being outdoors. It doesn’t have to be long. Just a few minutes can be refreshing. You may not realize it, but being cooped up indoors can add to stress. Enjoy some tea on a porch, take a walk, go to a beach, take a camping trip, but spend sometime getting reacquainted with the sunlight and air. The change of scenery will do you some good.

Journal

I think journaling will always be one of my main ways of coping with stress. We are emotional creatures. Part of growing up is learning self-control over emotions, but as adults we either have adult sized tantrums or we pendulum swing over to bottling them up entirely. Really we need to process those emotions and get them out, just in a healthy way.

That’s why I recommend journaling. It’s non-destructive and yet it still allows you to say what you’re really feeling. More often than not, journaling has also helped me explore and figure out what I’m feeling. I’m always a little surprised when unknown feelings, fears, and thoughts begin to surface. I’ve learned a lot about myself!

I know there are a lot of people out there who hate to write. I understand, but I still encourage you to give it a try. Although, keeping a paper journal is custom, these days, there are so many electronic alternatives. I personally love the Day One app. It’s available on the App Store for both devices and computers.

If you need some inspiration to get started, take a look at some of my journaling prompts.

Letter Write

This might be a new concept, especially if you aren’t a journal junkie, like me, but I chose to include it separately from journaling because I think it holds a lot of merit. Something that has always helped me, is letter writing. This is similar to journaling in that you will be writing out your thoughts – just in a different way,

Instead of writing to yourself, write to whatever or whomever is upsetting you. Haven’t you ever wanted to tell someone off? There’s always the same problem with doing that – consequences. You always risk permanently severing the relationship or situation if you do. So in this instance you’ll be writing it for your own benefit. Sometimes what causes stress is simply the bottling up of emotions.

Use paper or type it out. Tell off whatever or whomever is upsetting you. Don’t hold back. Tell them how you really feel. Rip them a new one! Get it all out. Then you can do one of two things: destroy the letter or mail it to “God” via the post office.

Talk to Someone

Talking something out can be incredibly helpful and therapeutic. It can give us an opportunity to hear some of our thoughts out loud. I’m an avid advocate for professional therapy (duh, my degree is in Psychology), but it’s because I think it is incredibly helpful to talk things out. You hear yourself express feelings you might not have realized were there and you get constructive feedback.

I would caution you. Confidants should be chosen wisely. Some close people in your life, may not be the best ones from which to seek advice. I have two criteria for choosing a listening friend: they have to be able to listen to me (hearing me out and constructive feedback) and they have to have their own shit together. Yes, I cursed. I did that on purpose. That’s because everybody has shit in their life – the muddy, icky crap that is hard to clean up and deal with. But some people are doing a great job at handling it. Don’t go to someone whose own life is a screw up. You don’t want their advice.

Good places to start? A trusted elder, a pastor, a professional counselor, a parent, a sibling, a close friend. Nobody has it all together, but go to someone who has some semblance of it, someone who will impart wisdom.

Hug It Out

As human beings we were designed to be loved through touch. When moms and babies hold one another, pheromones are actually released. The same is true for adults. Ocytocin is released thereby reducing blood pressure.

Sometimes, when I am an stressed I have to recalibrate my human touch experience. Stop and ask yourself. “How long has it been since I cuddled with someone?” Or maybe even more specifically, “how long has it been since someone cuddled with me.?” That may sound sappy and saccharine, but what you’re looking for is meaningful touch.

The human touch can be powerful. If you don’t have someone to hug it out with, I strongly recommend getting a massage. Massage isn’t just about applying pressure, it’s about receiving human touch which in turn, relieves tension in muscles.

Positive Self Talk

Can we be honest for a second? We stress ourselves out a lot of the time. Meaning we have a habit of predicting catastrophe in our lives even though it may be without any merit.

We may find ourselves fantasizing and worrying over things which may never happen. We might be overly critical with our performance or hold ourselves to overly rigorous standards or ideals. Perhaps, we may be pursing perfectionism and give ourselves little grace. In short, we may be adding to our own stress. This is where we need to recalibrate our own actions.

Here is what I mean when I say positive self-talk

  • Imagining / role playing the positive outcome
  • Telling yourself to remain calm
  • Telling yourself things will work out
  • Focusing on gratitude
  • Nix harsh self-criticism and self-doubt
  • Spend time in prayer or calming meditation

Pray or Meditate

Prayer or meditation can be a great way of relieving stress. Prayer can be a way of practicing both meditation and talking it out. I recommend also spending some moments in silence and breathing in and out deeply. Give yourself permission to set your troubles aside for a moment and relax.

I know some people are weary of meditation because of racing thoughts. When I first started to practice meditation, I found myself struggling to focus. My mind would get distracted and go off on mental tangents. That is where guided meditation can help. These days there are apps and websites that can help you focus by listening to someone else’s voice instead of your own.

Storms Don’t Last

I think it’s very important to remember that storms don’t last. Stressful times don’t last either. Eventually something will change the status quo and ease the tension. If you find you’re struggling to manage it on your own, there is no shame in seeking out professional help.

Thanks for reading, 10 Healthy Ways to Cope With Stress. Before you go, share or pin this post and please subscribe to my blog.

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8 Signs You Have Mom Burnout

Momming is hard! You may be wondering if you’re just tired or it’s something more serious. Here are 8 signs you have mom burnout.

If you read this blog often, you’ll know I write often about how hard motherhood is and dedicate a lot of my posts to motherhood support. I think it’s really important to understand what moms go through, but most of all to know there is help. Mom burnout is a real thing and you may not even realize that it’s happening. Today, I’m sharing 8 signs that you have mom burnout.

8 Signs You Have Mom Burnout

You’re Exhausted All the Time

You’re exhausted as soon as your feet hit the floor and you drag all throughout the day. Girl, I’ve been there. All-day tiredness is a big sign that you are running on fumes. If even a good night sleep can’t quench your exhaustion, there is a bigger problem afoot. Even a deep sleep can’t solve the mental and emotional exhaustion you might be feeling. Or perhaps you aren’t sleeping at all despite being totally exhausted! I’ve found there are two things to help with that. Relaxation (decompressing) and joyful activities.

Relaxation requires you to be awake. It can sometimes mean stillness, quietness, or engaging in an activities that makes you feel relaxed, centered, and calm. For some ideas, look at my post 30 Day Wellness Challenge.

When it comes to joyful activities, this means doing things that bring you joy. Maybe it’s playing sports or doing crafts. Exhaustion can happen when the rigors of life are out of balance with the joy in our lives. Don’t forget that having fun is a great way to replenish yourself.

You Can’t Focus

A lack of focus can show up in all kinds of ways. You may notice you are struggling to remember things. You may notice it’s more than just fogginess. Perhaps, you’re making serious mistakes and oversights – things that are completely out of character for you to overlook. I have a great attention to detail, so when I start making sloppy mistakes I know it’s time to slow down and regroup. When you’re exhausted and burnt out, you’ll struggle to keep it all together.

Everything Sets You Off

For me, the main sign I am burnt out is very obvious. I get irritable! I’m being generous here. I become nothing short of a fire-breathing, snarling, little she-demon when I’ve hit my limit. Everything upsets me. Patience is short. Mercy is little. I hate admitting that, but chances are if you’re around me for any length of time, I can’t keep that a secret. Maybe other people aren’t as extreme as I am, but I bet most people are fairly irritable when they are burnt out. I’ve seen it before in co-workers and family. When we’ve had enough, we get pretty fed up with everything. If you find yourself irritable and frustrated all the time or over small matters, you may need to ask yourself if it’s time for a break.

You Become Negative

Okay y’all. I’m no Tony Robbins or Rachel Hollis. I’m not naturally happy-go-lucky or super positive. I try to be, but it certainly does not come naturally. Becoming negative though is actually one of the first signs I have mom burnout. Being negative doesn’t just mean being a “Debby Downer.” It also means you start feeling jaded, maybe even a little cynical about your life, people and circumstances.

The problem is that when we feed a negative attitude, we being to feel even worse. This is why we are instructed by the Bible, motivational speakers, and life coaches to remain purposely positive during hard times. Actions follow our thoughts. Negative thoughts snowball and we can start lashing out in all kinds of destructive ways. A consistent pattern of negativity might reveal you are burnt out.

Health Problems

When you’re burnt out, your body is physically depleted. Stress can leave you more susceptible to illnesses. Anxiety can create tightness in your chest and even arrhythmia. Depression can actually make your body ache. Mental health affects physical health.

In 2009, I had a nervous breakdown from being overloaded at work. That year, I used six months of sick time! I had precancerous cells, a tumor, a sinus infection that would never heal. Honestly, I felt like my body was breaking down (at the age of 29). I just couldn’t get well until I finally took a few months off work to rebound.

I’m not suggesting that being perpetually sick is solely due to stress. There can be lots of underlying health problems that can cause that. But if you find you are systematically unwell while also experiencing burn out, you may need to take a serious look at what stress is doing to your body. Remember, take care of yourself, friend.

8 signs you have mom burnout
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You’re Not Motivated

You know this one well. Demotivation. When we are burnt out, the last thing we want to do…is…well…anything! We are tired of giving. Tired of sacrificing. You’re so done with picking up toys and wiping up crumbs! I know I’m burnt out when I let the house go, live in sweat pants, and have the TV babysit my kids. I know you’ve been there, mama. We all have! We all have days where we don’t feel like adulting, but if you have a long stretch of feeling like this it may be more than just feeling a little lazy. It may be the sign that it’s time for a change. Try switching up your routine or get outdoors. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, I’ve also found that inviting a friend over for the day can help battle the monotony and loneliness.

You Feel Overwhelmed

After I had my second son, I knew I was burnt out because I felt overwhelmed. For example, before my second son, I was a lively mom who loved hosting playdates and going to toddler “mommy and me” activities. But with my new addition, the thought of straying even down the street from my house overwhelmed me. I suddenly became a homebody because even a trip to the grocery store gave me anxiety. A big sign you are burnt out is the inability to handle small tasks without feeling overwhelmed. It’s a big cue you may have too much on your plate.

In moments like this, you need to ask for help. A neighbor, a spouse, parent, friend – someone you trust. Swallow some pride and ask someone to lend a hand or give you a break. Maybe you need to shirk some unnecessary things in your life to lighten your load. You may even need to get professional help, like a therapist to help process feelings of anxiety.

You Cry

I’m being candid here. I cry when I’m burnt out. Whether it is out of frustration or being completely overwhelmed, I find I fight back tears. First, there is no shame in crying. In fact, I recommend it. Crying is an emotional release. It is a biological mechanism designed to help us release pent up feelings that might otherwise burden us. Sometimes, having a good, hard, ugly cry is therapeutic. It is cleansing. Do yourself a favor. If you feel your eyes welling up, go to a private place. Scream into a pillow. Sob into your hands. Go ahead and open up to the heavens and have that deep, wailing, body-shuddering cry until you can’t cry anymore. Then get up and wash your face.

Hang In There, Mama

Listen, friend. Things might be rough right now, but they get better. We all get into slumps and have to struggle to find our way out. Get support. That includes seeking out professional help like a therapist if you need to. They can add tremendous value.

Thank you for reading, 8 Signs You Have Mom Burnout. Before you go, PIN this post for later and share it with a friend who needs it. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for future posts, FREEBIES and giveaways.

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