self-care Feed

Minnesota Parent - November

MNP 1119_RBGThe November issue of Minnesota Parent Magazine is available throughout Minnesota and online now.

Minnesota Parent - November - Megan Devine

My ramblings in my School Days Column this month's Toys Issue focus on strategies to stay healthy this holiday season.

Pick up a print copy, or read the full issue by clicking -->HERE.

Find the online link to my column---> HERE.

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If you like what you see, social media 'shares' are appreciated!

As, always - thanks for reading!


Back in the Swing of Things....

First week - 1 (1)Well, we survived the first week of school!

We hit the ground running with a 9th grader, 6th grader, 4th grader and 2nd grader.   This mama started her 19th year of teaching.    

It is always a big transition, for me especially, as my responsibilities and care of children increases exponentially with the onset of the school year, but we are all getting back into the swing of things.

This year I am continuing to work on self-care and stress management strategies and I also have a goal of "working smarter, not harder."

Here are three things I am focusing on to start the school year:

Drinking More Water.    On our summer vacation to the Pacific Northwest I got a new Hydroflask Water Bottle as a souvenir.  I am trying to drink two full 32 ounce bottles during the day.   I have been adding Nuun Immunity Tablets to give me a little boost as well.

Yoga.  I am continuing to incorporate yoga into my life.   I am aiming for one session a day.  My go-to home practice is a video from Yoga with Adrienne.  This week I have done her Sunrise Yoga, Stress Melt, and Yoga for Neck, Shoulders and Upper Back.   These free, quick videos have really helped me feel better.

Getting Help with Meal Planning.    Meal planning is a huge chore in my life.  Last school year I had a whole series of meal planning posts. where I created a collection of posts with weekly family meal plans.   This school year I am trying out a recipe meal planning service called emeals.   I subscribed to the "Kid Friendly" plan and every Wednesday I get an email with dinner recipe ideas and grocery lists for a whole week of meals.  I have been trying this out for a couple of weeks and I like it so far.  It is making this big responsibility in my life a little bit easier.  

There are several different meal planning menu theme options (ex. Quick and Healthy, Vegetarian, Budget Friendly and Clean Eating to name a few).   If you are interested in trying checking it out, try it free for two weeks using my referral link:   http://emeals.com/invite/megan-devine.    

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I hope your school year/September is off to a good start.   If you have some strategies that you are using that are working for you to get back into the swing of things I'd love to hear about them!  

 


Mama Recharge

Can you guess where I might be this weekend??

Enjoy this re-post of my 2018 December column in Minnesota Parent Magazine.  

Take it as inspiration to schedule a weekend away of your own!!!

Northwoods girls weekend

It’s booked — three nights at a vacation rental on the North Shore of Lake Superior for me and three of my great friends. Whoo-hoo!!!!

This will be our third-annual Northwoods “girls weekend” getaway. 

Why is this such a big deal?

Well, as a mother of four, I spent a long time in the thick of the baby years.

During that incredible but long chapter of my life, I felt defined by my role as a mother of a baby. I didn’t stray too far from the house. I spent a lot of time caring for the children, but not a lot of time caring for myself. I don’t have to tell you: It wasn’t easy. Sometimes I felt bogged down with the responsibility of it all.

Now ages 13, 11, 9 and 7, my children are becoming more independent. They have their groups of friends and are involved in all sorts of activities. We’re in a fun new stage of our life as a family. And I feel I have a little more time and freedom to nurture myself as an individual. 

I’m able to focus a bit more on my own physical, spiritual and mental well-being, which, in turn, helps me to project myself as the person — and the mother — I want to be.

Several years ago, I reached out to three of my friends to see if they would want to attend the popular YMCA Camp du Nord Women’s Ski and Snowshoe Retreat on the North Arm of Burntside Lake near Ely. 

They responded with a resounding, “Yes!” “Yes!” and “Yes!” 

We all registered and were soon together — all in one place at the same time, without husbands or kids, for the first time in years!

Although the camp where the retreat was held wasn’t far from my home, I felt a world away. Distancing myself from my day-to-day responsibilities — and distractions of work and home — gave me an opportunity to relax and reconnect with my dear friends.

At the retreat, we were catered to with great food, wine and full days of unstructured time. We had opportunities to participate in yoga classes, get massages, go for hikes, talk, laugh, read and sauna. It was an amazing experience!

We had so much fun that we decided to make our girls weekend an annual tradition.

The following year, we had intentions to do women’s winter retreat again, but it filled up before we were able to make our reservations. 

So we decided to try a ski weekend on the North Shore. We booked a vacation rental and planned on a day of downhill skiing at Lutsen Mountains and a day of cross-country skiing on the Sugarbush ski trails for our second-annual girls weekend. 

We lucked out with mild temperatures and a dumping of 10 inches of snow that made our ski day at Lutsen feel like we were in the mountains! Meanwhile, our cross-country ski trails were perfectly groomed, which made for an outstanding experience.

Although we might not be so lucky to get perfect conditions again, we all agreed we’d have fun together, no matter what we were doing!

I’ve come home from these weekends with my friends refreshed and recharged. 

If you’re in the thick of the baby years — or don’t have the finances or support to get away for a night or more — I encourage you to be creative and find ways to take a break closer to home. Maybe it’s dinner with friends or an afternoon or day trip. 

I think it’s important for our kids to see us having fun and doing something for ourselves.

Remember, if you’re a healthy and well-balanced individual, it can help you to be a better mother!