Wednesday, August 14, 2013

10 Easy Steps to Regain Your Sparkle

I'm taking a brief break from the Women to Admire series, to bring you the following Public Sparkle Annoucement:

Several posts ago, I wrote about how the demands of motherhood dulled my sparkle as I put my self-care on the back seat. Since then, I've tackled the mama guilt head-on and I've been taking better care of myself. Operation Reclaim sPaRkLe is in full swing! And these suggestions can help you even if you don't have little energy suckers darling little children. So read on, my Sparkle Sisters, read on.

Here are ten quick and easy steps you can take to aid in your very own Operation Reclaim sPaRkLe.

1. Record the Happiest Moment of Your Day.
Keep a journal on your bedside table. Before turning out the lights, take 1-2 minutes to jot down your happiest moment of the day. You will end your day on a positive note and will soon have an incredible written record of what actually makes you happy. This can be an invaluable tool for future life planning!

2. Take a Bath.
It's good for the spirit and for an aching mama's body. Epsom salts, dead sea salts, and a few drops of essential oils can work magic.

3. Meditate While You Wait.
The next time you are waiting (in line, in traffic, or for someone) turn your attention to your breath. On your inhale say to yourself: receive. On your exhale, say: relaxation. Even a few breaths can make you feel more centered and relaxed.

4. Go For a Walk.
Take a walk outside. Exercise and nature are both powerful rejuvenators and sparkle generators.

5. Clear Clutter.
Clean out one drawer a day (or a week.) Too many things can be a drain on your energy. Let go of some clutter and clear up some space inside your home (and your head.) Sparkle space.

6. Send Some Love.
Write a postcard or a letter to someone you love, a "just because note." The sparkle you send out will come back to you. I promise.

7. Catch more ZZZ's.
Forget the laundry and the dishes and take a nap when your child naps. When my daughter refuses to nap, I have been known to lie on the floor and play "night night mama" while she puts a blanket on me over and over. If a nap isn't possible, go to bed earlier than usual. Sufficient sleep is critical for emotional and physical health.

8. Start with Intention.
Consider starting your day by setting an intention. (For example: Today I am going to focus my attention on how I spend my time. Throughout the day I will ask myself, is this activity adding to my sparkle or taking away from it?) A pack of affirmation cards or an inspirational quote book can be helpful starting points.

9. Add color.
Go buy yourself an adult coloring book and some new colored pencils. Yes, I'm serious. Creating is therapeutic and coloring is an act of meditation. I know I've said it before, but it's worth repeating.

10. Paint on Your Sparkle.
If all else fails, paint your toenails in pink sparkle polish. See if that doesn't make you smile. (I even painted my toddler's toes. Now she keeps asking for more "fockle polish." Hey, you have to teach them early about the importance of sparkling.) Everytime you see your fun toes, you will be reminded of the above nine steps and your own Operation Reclaim sPaRkLe goals.


Dear Readers, Please Take Note:
The above post was originally posted here on the Voices from the Ville blog. I wrote it in response to my previous post there- Commit to Sparkle this Month- Saying No to Self-Neglect. I'm super honored to be writing on this national parenting blog. Several of you have asked me for mommy blog recommendations. Well, I highly recomend this one. After all, they had the good judgement to include me on their list of esteemed writers. (Smile, I'm joking. Sorta.)

PS: I know sorta isn't a "real" word.