Self Care

Self care is a must for women but often so hard to accomplish. Here are great reads on why it matters & how to actually make it happen. #gritandgracelife

enjoying your life even when its overwhelming

This Is How I Enjoy My Life Even When I’m Feeling Overwhelmed

Are you in one of those seasons of life where it seems like any second your world is going to go spinning off its axis? Please, tell me I’m not alone in this! Are you feeling overwhelmed with all of the demands of this world? Do you feel like your tank is on empty and you’re running on fumes? If so, I’m right there with you, sister! You see, I’m one of those people that takes life head-on and plows through the problems that come my way. Usually. However, recent illness in my family—myself included—has made it significantly more difficult for me to navigate the stresses and pressures of life with my usual tenacity. I’m exhausted mentally and physically and several times […]

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Is There Anything More Important Than Self-Love?

Have you ever been told, “You just need to learn to love yourself,” after pouring your heart out to a friend about how discontent you are with yourself? I was recently talking with a couple girlfriends about real life aches and pains that left us feeling inadequate and empty, when one friend offered up the self-love philosophy as sincere, heart-felt advice to the other. She had personally experienced the crippling impact of self-hatred, and she was determined to make her outlook more optimistic and uplifting by exchanging her self-hatred for self-love. Since intentionally changing her thoughts to be more loving and accepting toward herself, rather than harsh and disapproving, she began to improve her own mental state, and she believed this could

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10 Truths I Found to Lose 75 Pounds

10 Truths I Found to Lose 75 Pounds

I’ve discovered a pandemic phenomenon: The Covid-19 10 is a 10-pound weight gain that creeps on in quarantine. In my defense, let me say that the fear of not being able to get my beloved treats at some point during quarantine had me pack-ratting Dove Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Promises and Moose Munch as if they might become as scarce as toilet paper. The question then became, what do I do with the stockpile? Just eat it? These extra pounds prompted me to consider how I lost 75 pounds 20 years ago without dieting and kept them off since then. I want to remember the steps. It’s what we do when we try to lose weight. On paper, it makes sense. Eating

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Why Journaling Is the Best Tool for Self-Discovery

Why Journaling Is the Best Tool for Self-Discovery

What are some things that come to mind when you think of the word journaling? Do you think of your teenage self, lying on your bed scribbling the names of your BFFs or current crush in your diary that has a little lock on it? Maybe you think of sitting down every evening writing out the events of the day in chronological order. Perhaps it’s a list of your hopes and dreams. Journaling is something I have done for many years. In high school it was a tool I used to sort through all of the chaos happening in my family, school, and social life. Journaling helped me process the reality of my unhealthy environment and gave me a sense of control

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How to Create More Balance in Your Life

How to Create More Balance in Your Life

“Finding more balance” didn’t make it on my list of goals last year, but it’s near the top of my list this year. “Balance” is the oft-touted buzzword that can appear like an idealistic antidote to an overextended life. To create more balance in your life is the sought-after state of being that lies buried somewhere beneath our packed calendars, productive natures, and overstimulated selves. It’s the common prescription for what ails us, the ideal overall condition: “Stressed? Re-evaluate your work and life balance”…”High cholesterol? Try to maintain a balanced diet”…“Women should balance it all.” You can create more balance in your life! Though we may yearn for schedules and lifestyles that foster equal measures of work, play, and rest, the question

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Need More Rest Try These Tips for Better Work Life Balance

Need More Rest? Try These Tips for Better Work-Life Balance

Every weekday around 11 a.m., I take my class out for a few minutes of recess. Most days, as a class, they play tag. The other day I watched as a girl (let’s call her Sally) chased a boy (let’s call him Johnny) to “tag” him. While she was closing the gap between them, Johnny called out, “timeout!” and Sally backed off. He needed a break. She respected the rules of timeout enough to let him have it. It got me thinking about times in my life when I wish I could just call, “timeout!” and watch as everything that is pursuing me backs off… gives me a break… and lets me catch my breath. In Johnny’s case, all he needed was

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This Grit and Grace Life Podcast

It’s Time to Stop Saying These 7 Things! – 106

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Android | Email | TuneIn | RSS | MoreIsn’t it true that there are some phrases we find ourselves repeating? We do it without realizing we say them over and over again. Whether we have spoken to ourselves or even to others, there are certain things we say that may do way more harm than good! There may be more than seven, but on this episode, co-hosts Darlene Brock and Julie Graham admit these particular ones they say far too often. Since they want to change this unhealthy pattern in their own lives, they’re sharing why and how to do just that. If you’re “sorry for,” “worried about,” or wish you “should have”

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20 Things Moms Can Do (With a Little Extra Time)

20 Things Moms Can Do (With a Little Extra Time)

Oh, the things you moms can do… When the kids go back to school! I know there are some of you mamas who absolutely love summer. You relish having your kids with you every minute of every day and doing all the fun things you don’t have time to do with them during the school year. Others of you are pulling your hair out from trying to keep the littles so busy that they don’t end up beating on each other or crying “I’m bored” every 20 minutes. Working women, you’re just ready for a break from the endless parade of summer camps… And the hefty bills for those, right? Whatever your feelings about the kids going back to school, one thing

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Ask Dr. Zoe – Help! I Can’t Do It All!

‘Exhausted Juggler’ Asked: I have frequent days that I feel as if I’m center stage juggling family, work, home life, the needs of every human in my life all dependent upon my next move with the entire audience waiting for me to drop the ball. I want to prove them wrong, that I can handle every demand placed upon me with a smile on my face never breaking a sweat. But I’m tired. Of the demands, expectations, and fear that I may not be able to do everything everyone expects. I need time for me. But am I being selfish? Is it wrong to think of myself, what’s stopping me? Will everyone survive if I step off the stage even for just

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3 Simple Secrets to a Great Night’s Sleep

I’m a teacher, which means my mind is on my students, the problems they share with me, the grading I need to do, and the next day’s lesson more than I would like to admit (but if you’re a teacher too, you get it). That being said, I have a lot of trouble falling asleep at night because my mind is always racing. Over the last few months, I’ve come across some things that have really helped me fall asleep quickly when I lay down at the end of the day… Scent There are a couple of different things I use to make my room smell like I’m ready to go to sleep, but the shared factor is always lavender. Diffuse Essential

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This Is Why You Need a Self-Care Day (And What to Do)

My husband, Gary, woke me up one pre-sunrise morning. “Feels like the flu,” he said. We’d been here before. I threw on my clothes and hurried to the emergency entrance of the hospital. Because when you add flu-like symptoms to chemotherapy, it adds up to serious infections. After five hours of infused antibiotics, I brought Gary home, prepared something for him to eat, ran out to pick up his prescription…(wait for it)…and then reported to work. Exhausted in every imaginable way. Because if I didn’t do my job, it would land on someone else’s desk. In Gary’s declining months I didn’t listen to my body. I didn’t care for my soul and spirit. Because self-care sounded so self-centered. But it’s not. Self-care

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To the Mom Who Feels Guilty for Sitting on the Job

To the Mom Who Feels Guilty for Sitting on the Job

Last week I found myself in a unique predicament. It was a typical weekday afternoon. Nothing special or noteworthy, and if I’m completely honest I’ll admit that I don’t even remember what day it actually was—could have been Tuesday or Thursday. I have no idea. Regardless, on this afternoon the kids were all home, homework and chores were done, and the messy after-school routine (and the whining that goes along with it) was long over. My daughter was happily jumping away on the trampoline, my son was playing basketball outside, and my oldest had gone to a friend’s house. They didn’t need me. My house was quiet. My pressing daily chores finished long before, and there was still an hour or so before dinner

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Ask Dr. Zoe – In Love with a Narcissist

‘In Love With a Narcissist’ Asked: How long do I stay in a marriage with a narcissist who continually emotionally and verbally abuses me? Can he be treated/healed through counseling? I love this man with all my heart and have since middle school. (I’m in my mid-forties.) I left and divorced him once and then after 18 months apart, we reconnected and went to counseling weekly for 8 months. We remarried and it hasn’t even been a year since our wedding and I’ve moved out again. I do not want another divorce but can he be healed from narcissistic traits? I cannot stay in an abusive marriage, no matter how much I love him. In Love With a Narcissist Dr. Zoe Answered:

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When I’m Worn Out, I Think About Who Planted Me

When I’m Worn Out, I Think About Who Planted Me

His name was James. He planted the blueberry bushes in our yard years ago, when our yard was his yard. I only spoke with him twice. During our first conversation, he introduced me to this yard I love, the yard he loved. He struggled through the effects of Parkinson’s as we walked the property on a cold January day. His plants were his heart, his love, and he wanted me to know where they slept under the snow. I followed his labored steps, listened, and took note of his descriptions and instructions. It was our changing of the guard, James and me. We sat around a table filled with contracts the second and last time I spoke with James. As we closed

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2 Ways to Break Free From Self Sabotage

2 Ways to Break Free From Self-Sabotage

In a podcast episode of This Grit and Grace Life, Julie and Darlene talk about ruts that women fall into. (You can listen to that episode here.) You know, those tricky little potholes we run over from time to time… Unfortunately, they often take us much longer to get out of than we’d care to admit. If you can relate and are currently stuck, I’d like you to know one thing: You’re not alone. Just because you’ve got company, though, doesn’t mean you should settle in. So, as our dear co-founder would say, “What’s a girl to do?” Let’s start by looking at two trenches women fall into… 1. The all-or-nothing mindset. It sounds good and noble to say, “I’m just an

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Self-Care: What to Do When It Feels Like Another Commitment

A few different approaches can be taken when it comes to self-care. I’ve probably read two dozen articles titled something along the lines of “10 Tips to Prioritize Self-Care,” and while they’re always super helpful, I actually find myself becoming more stressed by reading them! The irony is that the number one item on the list is usually “Don’t stress,” but that’s so much easier said than done! Here are the top suggestions on how to implement self-care: Keep a daily gratitude journal Take time daily to go without your phone/social media Spend a few minutes outside relaxing Prioritize your sleep Eat healthy meals Create a cozy space for yourself Exercise a few times a week Create a nighttime routine for relaxation

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You Need to Care for Your Heart with Grace

You Need to Care for Your Heart With Grace

A friend of mine gifted me a coveted Fiddleleaf Fig tree before moving across the country. You know what they are—just open any interior design magazine or look up pretty home pictures on Pinterest and you’ll see one happily living in an adorable basket in a sunny corner by a perfect chair. Despite my lifelong brown thumb, I have actually managed to not only keep my own two-year-old Fiddleleaf alive, but also watch it grow to more than seven feet tall. They’re super cool looking, but kind of pricey and usually only sold at specialty nurseries, so when she offered me hers for free I was happy to cart it home. Except…in preparation for a massive moving sale, she had placed it

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