070: Fall Self Care Habits

This is episode 70, and today Sandra is sharing five fall self care habits! Something about the transition from summer to fall makes her feel all cozy and relaxed, so it’s the perfect time to focus on some self care habits that will carry you through fall and into winter. She’ll start with one of the simplest habits she started over the summer that makes a huge difference and even share some skin care recommendations.

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September 16th – Fall Self Care Habits

Hi friends, this is Self Care and Soul Care for the Caregiver, and I’m one of your hosts, Sandra Peoples! If you listened to last week’s episode, you met my new cohost, Lauren Crow! Our plan going forward is to do two episodes a month together and I’ll do one by myself and she’ll do one by herself. This is episode 70, and today I’m sharing five fall self care habits! Something about the transition from summer to fall makes me feel all cozy and relaxed, so it’s the perfect time to focus on some self care habits that will carry you through fall and into winter. I’ll start with one of the simplest habits I started over the summer that makes a huge difference and even share some skin care recommendations.

But first, I want to make sure you know that our podcast has a new online home! For all the shownotes, links, and announcements, you can go to abidingcaregiver.com We’re going to keep adding resources to the site that we hope will be an encouragement and a help to you, so check it out today for links from this episode!

Ok, let’s get back to our topic for today! Over the summer I started some new habits that helped bring a little calm to the chaos. Unpredictable routines always make my family feel a little off, so I focused on rhythms that worked at night no matter what was happening during the day. And this was especially true for myself. So let me start with three self care habits specifically for the evening and then two more that are part of my Saturday routine.

The first habit is super simple but makes a huge difference for me. Are you ready? When I’m getting James ready for bed, I go in my room and turn on the bedside lamp. That’s it! That way, when I go in my room a little later and it’s dark outside, I’m not blinded by turning on the overhead light, but the room is welcoming me for my own bedtime routine. I know not everyone is ok with leaving a light on in a room no one is in, even for a little while. In fact, I’m not sure my husband knows I do this since he doesn’t usually go down that hall between James’s bedtime and when I go to bed, but it sure is worth the extra nickel or two of electricity! 

The Second self care habit I’ve added to my night routine is Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol Anti-Wrinkle Night Moisturizer Cream. I am not great at taking care of my skin. I don’t wear make up (other than lipstick), so I don’t have to wash my face at night. My skin care routine for as long as I can remember is just putting on Cinque’s moisturizing lotions after my shower because that’s what my mom and my grandma did. But 40+ is a good time to take the skin care up a notch. So I use Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol Anti-Wrinkle Night Moisturizer Cream on my face, neck, and the back of my hands. If you start using it, you might want to do every other night as the retinol works. What has surprised me about using it every night is that it’s also working as kind of an aromatherapy sign to my brain that it’s time to sleep. It’s like “oh, we know that smell. time to sleep.” It works great! 

Third, we’ve talked about this concept in our Abiding Caregivers Facebook group. If you aren’t in the group yet, you can find the link in the shownotes at abidingcaregiver.com. It’s comfort entertainment that is especially helpful for people with anxiety or stress. Essentially, it’s reading books you’ve read before or watching shows/movies you’ve seen before. There’s no anxiety or stress because you know how it ends. It’s also a super helpful part of my night routine right now because if I’m reading a new book, I want to stay up late to finish it. If it’s a book I’ve read before, I can stop anytime. I tell my sleepy self, Peeta is going to be ok. Katniss will pick him. or stop now because Jacob is about to imprint on the baby. My older son David falls asleep to the same audio book series most nights, and my husband Lee has favorite shows he often rewatches. There are certainly seasons when your routine feels boring and you want to change things up with new books or shows, but when life feels hard, entertainment doesn’t have to. Open up one of those kindle books you’ve read before or cue up your favorite episode of The Office. Your tired brain will be thankful. 

Ok, now let’s switch from night routines to two Saturday routines. When I started thinking about it, Saturdays at our house, at least when we’re all home, are pretty routine. James wakes up early because it’s his favorite day of the week—grocery store day! We eat the same thing for lunch and dinner every Saturday. And in the fall, the TV is on football from when I wake up until when I go to bed. I can watch anybody play anybody. In fact, the less I care about the teams, the more relaxing it is to watch a game! So I decided to decrease decision fatigue even more on Saturdays and start wearing a Saturday uniform. Inspired by Anne Bogel years ago who wrote about Mark Zuckerburg and Steve Jobs wearing the same clothes each day, I have a consistent Monday uniform. It sure makes getting dressed on Mondays easy. And since I’m mostly sitting around watching football and cleaning on Saturdays, I decided to wear an OK State t-shirt. They are my favorite college team. I have a super pair of comfortable shorts that I wear with it (at least until it’s cool enough for joggers). That’s one less decision to make on a Saturday.

My last self care routine happens to fall on Saturday nights because I want to do it before church the next day. I have started painting my nails each week! For Mother’s Day or maybe my birthday I got an Olive & June pedicure set. With the set you can get six different polish colors. So each Saturday after dinner but before it’s time to get James ready for bed, I pick out a color and get them painted. It sometimes even helps me make a decision about what I’m going to wear to church if I want to match or at least not clash the next day. I mentioned my skin care routine is like my mom’s mom’s skin care routine, but this nail care makes me think of my dad’s mom each week. She was a beautician, and she kept her nails care stuff on the coffee table so she could file or paint her nails while watching TV. My little basket of nail stuff on the side table next to our couch makes me think of her every time I see it. It’s a good headspace for me to start getting into on Saturday nights as I tell myself, “You’ve only seen like 3 people in person all week. The rest have been on screens. But tomorrow you’ll be around real people again! Let’s be ready!”

Those are the 5 self care habits I’m sticking to this fall:

1.     turning on bedside lamp

2.     face serum

3.     comfort reads

4.     Saturday uniform

5.     painting my nails

Funny how such simple things can feel like they make a big difference! I’m so thankful for routines and rhythms that can help us relax and feel calm so we’re able to give more energy to what really matters in all the roles we juggle! Let me end our time together with a prayer as we transition into a new season: 

God, Psalm 74:17 says, “You set all the boundaries of the earth; you made summer and winter.” We thank You for the seasons You created and the boundaries that are there for our good. We can’t do it all all the time. We weren’t created for it. You created us with a need for rest, and You give good gifts to help us feel restored and relaxed. Thank you for the good gifts I talked about today—little things bring me joy and decrease decision fatigue. Help my friends find their own routines and rhythms that will carry them into the new season with comfort and care. We praise You for all the gifts the fall season brings. In Jesus’s name, amen. 

Thanks for spending time with me today, friends! I hope you’re adjusting ok to the new Thursday release schedule! I am really enjoying it. Remember to check out abidingcaregiver.com for the shownotes and links! We’ll meet you back here next week for an episode with me and Lauren!