Join me for some extreme self-care this January. Get the details here.
Less than two weeks ago, I gave birth to my second child. Julian Bronson Aquin-Haase (sorry kid, about that long and impossible last name) joined our family on November 14 after a few sleepless days of back and forth to the hospital.
After a long recovery for me and a big adjustment to our lives when Audrey was born two years ago, Steve and I decided "winging" our first few weeks as a four person family might not be wise.
We did a LOT around our place to make it feel more comfortable. We turned our storage room into an artroom so Audrey would have a fun spot to play in, we decluttered a full carload of stuff, we asked my mother come and stay with us for a few weeks (thanks mom, you are a true saint) and I made the decision not to teach or do much work until January.
I told myself that after months of insomnia, heartburn and general pregnancy malaise I would use these first few weeks to rest and embrace any of the physical aftermath of labour as a chance to hang out with this new little person.
In short, I was going to be the postpartum self-care queen.
The thing is, this time around was different.
I left the hospital 7 hours after giving birth. Most of the pain and discomfort I experienced after having Audrey simply didn't exist this time around.
I feel good. I can wear my old clothes -not just the prenatal yoga pants I was living in for months.
I can eat and exercise and drink caffeinated beverages again.
In other words, I feel like myself for the first time in a LONG time.
And, if I am being honest, that means having to keep an eye on my tendency to dive into the Yang activities of life full throttle (Yang energy is the warming, creative, active half of the circle while Yin is more cool, nourishing and grounding half).
And I know a lot of you probably feel the same.
- You can't just rest for the sake of resting, you have to be sick or burned out before you would ever dream of that.
- You have the best intentions to meditate or do yoga, but other priorities often take the lead or you are simply too "busy".
- Other people's needs or care always come before your own.
If you have listened to my podcast on self-care then you know that we need two forms of it in order to realize a better picture of health.
Sometimes you need more Yang types of care to get motivated and push past our self-imposed obstacles and grow as human beings.
At other times (like I don't know, say, after welcoming a new baby into your life) you may need to embrace more Yin forms, slowing down for restoration and creating comfort so you can hold this big transition in your heart and mind.
This is as much a reminder to you as it is to me, so if you feel your self-care routine could use a tune-up , here are a few points to consider:
- Understand that you probably naturally lean towards either Yin or Yang when it comes to your own self-care.
- Keep that in mind, but then assess which you actually need right now.
- Put your self-care activities in your calendar (schedule it and make it happen)
- If you find yourself canceling your self-care appointments, raise the stakes (book a private session with a coach, yoga teacher or body worker who will charge you $ if you don't show up)
For more ideas and a deeper dive on self-care. Listen to my podcast