It got a little cranky around here this week. I had felt it building up over Thanksgiving week.  The kids were home all day all week long.  Our schedules were haphazard at best.  I kept setting my eyes toward Monday when things would go back to their normal pace.  And then bam.  The alarm goes off this morning to the tune of fussy.

At first I just thought I was just tired and needed to get up and get going.  Then the radio at work just couldn’t play the right song.  The customers were more difficult than usual.  Then I was shorter than normal with friends during a planning meeting.  At some point I realized the problem was me and wondered if I needed to just go home and get back under the covers.

Then I listened a little deeper to what my body and mood were telling me. 

The first thing I noticed was that I was starving.  Yes, hangry happens and it is not pretty.  At first this was an odd thing to notice since I had just spent the past week stuffing myself.  But what I ate last week wasn’t sustaining.  Carbs and sugar will only get you so far.  And for me the end of that short trip is usually a stop in moody town.

Then I noticed I was simultaneously exhausted and craving exertion.  I counted back through the days to remember the last time I had exercised.  Unfortunately, I almost ran out of fingers to count on.  All the travel to see family and friends had knocked my workout routines to bits.

After my little check-in with myself, I came home, put some brussel sprouts in the saute pan, and called my husband to let him know I’d be at the pool swimming laps this evening while he chauffeured the kids.

I did this not because I am a good person, enlightened, or

self-disciplined.  I did this because I HAVE to.

I swim laps, do yoga and eat brussel sprouts not because I want to be skinny or self-righteous, but because all that taking care of myself keeps me from being a cranky, irritable mess.  (Okay, I also eat the brussel sprouts because they are delicious.  Have you tried these lately?)

don't forget self care

I remembered these truths about self care the hard way this morning.

I also remembered another saying my husband passes on frequently.  You have to put the air mask on yourself before you can help anyone else.  Keeping my self-care regimen up isn’t just good for me.  It is good for my family, co-workers, friends, random strangers I meet on the street . . . .  I am a better Dena when I take time to do the things that make me healthy and happy.

So I’m already looking ahead to December and thinking about how I can keep the air mask on through all the holiday shuffle.  Heck, I’m even thinking about throwing a massage and haircut in for good measure.  For the busier it is, the more we actually need to care for ourselves.

How will you keep taking care of yourself throughout this often hectic month?

don't forget self care

Oh, and if your day was as much of a Monday as mine was, below are some brussel sprout links to make you feel better.  😉

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