10 easy ways to grant yourself the gift of self-care.

10 easy ways to grant yourself the gift of self-care | Maggie Whitley Designs

Something I’ve come to realize is that we as women need to be better at taking care of our selves. We have perfected the art of doing “just one more thing”, but that’s not the best action plan. Instead, the real solution is two-fold: saying “no” to things that aren’t a good use of our time (remember, “no” doesn’t mean never, it simply means “not right now”), and we need to know what fill us up. Once we recognize what inspires us, what exhausts us, what rejuvenates us — life feels great! Right?

It’s time to take action. It’s time to pay better attention to our selves and grant our selves the gift of self-care. Because when you really think about it, it doesn’t quite matter how you spend your day: whether it be with children or co-workers or working alone on a solo project, we are living out our purpose when we work on tasks that align with our callings.

In an effort to better care for ourselves — something I’m trying to be more mindful of personally, here is a list of 10 easy ways to grant yourself the gift of self-care:

1. Make a pitcher of iced-tea and serve yourself a tall glass (complete with a yellow chevron paper straw)

2. Grab your favorite bottle of polish and add a little color to your nails

3. Create a detailed meal plan for the entire week so you can spend less time frustrated in the kitchen and more time relaxing, reflecting, and rejoicing! Use your crock-pot, make double-batches (so left overs are available), and include lots of fresh fruits & vegetables so your senses are satisfied

4. Bake a batch of cookies (here’s my favorite chocolate chip recipe), and while they are baking write a gratitude list

5. Meet your girlfriends for coffee or an early dinner together

6. Preserve 30 minutes of time every day for an entire week and read a book (here is a list of books I’ve recently read)

7. Invite your family to take their adventure outside of the house so you can take a nap ;)

8. Dissect your dresser/closet, and get rid of any piece of clothing that doesn’t make you feel AMAZINGLY HAPPY :)

9. Spend an hour pursuing your hobby. Then, find some time within the next two weeks to pursue it again. Repeat every two weeks. (This is a fantastic book on the subject.)

10. Grab your journal and write until you have all of your thoughts on paper. Don’t stop to edit or pause to correct your spelling or worry if you sound selfish or immature or insecure, write until you have nothing more to share with your journal. Once you’re done, take a few minutes and review what you’ve written. What can you learn from yourself? What needs to be left alone, what deserves a little extra attention, and what changes can you make so you don’t feel so [x] quite so soon?

* * *

Sometimes in the evenings I’ll find myself nitpicking a particular issue when Zack gently reminds me I’m exhausted, and if I just sent to bed I’d feel so much better (and the issue would most-likely disappear). And, he’s usually totally right! When I don’t take care of myself, most often through lack of sleep, I can draw an immediate parallel to how I’m feeling.

These 10 things have often been a saving grace to me, especially this year as I walk through my purpose.

PS. Number ten is my favorite, number two is something I frequent, and number nine has changed the way I feel about getting dressed in the morning.

What do you think about this list, and what would you add to it?

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How to stay successful as a runner.

joanna maggie whitley

I’m noticing a trend as to why I’ve been so successful with running. You may remember I was not a runner prior to February this year. I was friends with walking, but running? I hardly spoke the word. So as the months pass and my success continues on, there is a very specific re-occurring trend which has encouraged me to keep at it:

Never stop trying new things.

In February, March & April I worked on my pace and pushed myself to run longer durations. Not at a faster speed, but simply run for 10, 20, 30 additional seconds. I also had to push through the pains of becoming a runner, which took time. This was a huge accomplishment and helped me to make it to May.

In May & June I wanted to run more miles during each workout, pushing myself to an average of five miles per run. This usually took me an hour, which was exactly the duration of time I was hoping for.

In July I aimed to run more often each week. The longer I ran in distance and duration the more tired my body felt. I paired running 4 days/week with walking 2-3 days/week. Even if my muscles felt sore, I ran. Even when I felt like we had other things we should or could be doing, I made time to run. The mornings give me my best workouts, so I kept that a priority and saved the afternoons for errands or taking the kids to the park.

los angeles beach maggie whitley

That brings me to August. So far this month I’ve been running in the early morning (think 7am), and the kids have been staying at home — which really is a gift for all of us :) During the week I normally take Bauer, but on the weekends I run by myself.

This past Saturday I did something totally different once again as I wanted to find a new location. I set my alarm, picked up my friend Joanna, and together we ran alongside the Pacific for an hour. Normally I run through a business district or neighborhood, so the beach was a real treat.

We walked for a few minutes and prepared our muscles to be bossed around. Our pace increased and soon we were running alongside other runners and cyclists. That’s probably the best part of running for me, joining my community in a workout that’s truly unique to each of us.

No doubt, when you have a running buddy it’s easier to push each other to keep going.

How long do you want to run?

We’re at 2.12 miles right now, maybe a little over 4 total? Let’s run down to that rest stop and then turn around.

Sounds good.

flowers maggie whitley

So that was my Saturday, and it was great. Trying new things is definitely working well for me.

PS. Many have asked what I listen to while I run. I keep one earbud in and switch between listening to music (Pandora: various stations depending on my mood), audio books (OverDrive is an iPhone app that links to your library account so you can listen with your phone), and podcasts.

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New in the shop: The Hip Pouch No. 102!

hip pouch caroline-made maggie whitley

Well hey Monday, so good to see you! :) It’s been six months now since I started running (here’s a detailed FAQ post), which is exactly what inspired me to create a hip pouch. I needed something that would making running easier, because for me, convenience = success.

The first hip pouch I designed sold out in a matter of days (awesome!), so with this second design I made it a little larger so it could hold a few more things — including a larger phone.

The Hip Pouch No. 102 includes a mix of polka dots, orange & golden yellow, and can be tied around your waist in a pretty bow or a double knot.

hip pouch caroline-made maggie whitley

Click here to buy The Hip Pouch No. 102, handmade in Los Angeles in small batches.

PS. So you’re not a runner? Not a problem! Wear it at the mall, your end-of-summer vacation, the park, the library, a concert, the coffee shop, the grocery store, or the library. Do you have another place you’d wear our Hip Pouch? Leave a comment below and enter to win one. I’ll pick a winner in a few days, good luck and thanks for entering :)

This giveaway is now closed! Congratulations to our winner: Heather L.

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Because, sometimes…

running shadow maggie whitley

– you remember to set out the butter at lunch so it can soften in time for post-nap cookie baking. Instant supermama status!

– your daughter burrows into your neck and lets out a long, squeaky laugh, and you can’t help but join her.

– you wake up early a few days each week so you can hit your August running goals. HOORAY!

– your son leaves the room only to bring you a chair so you can reach something up high. Oh my word, it’s starting already ;)

– your husband encourages you to make a hair appointment and yes, add a little ombré color! And then he reminds you it’s important to take care of oneself. (Note: the at-home haircut and at-home highlight thing wasn’t working out long-term, but it was fun while it lasted.)

PS. now through tomorrow at 11:59pm PST, all Gussy Sews items ship for free. Simply enter code FREESHIP at checkout, we’ll do the rest!

Have an amazingly relaxing weekend!

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