• Stephannie Bramlett

Word of the Year: Self-Care

I know, I know. Everywhere you look, you are being reminded to care for yourself. This is a trendy topic, for sure. When pushing myself to pick a word for my focus this year, it seemed to be right, though. There are many facets to self-care that I believe are overlooked. Heck, I have been guilty of thinking of self-care as selfish "me-time" with a glass of wine and a bubble bath. While time is certainly of piece of the story, self-care is SO MUCH MORE. Here is my plan for tackling these 6 pieces to my self-care plan for 2020.

1. Lifestyle:

When deciding on my 2020 Word of the Year, I thought about many different things. First, my old tried and trusty: my weight. If I am being honest, I feel like this is constantly on my plate of worries. I shared in a previous post about my journey with Weight Watchers that began in June of 2019. I am still on my journey (I'm down 35lbs: and maintained the weight loss through a crazy holiday season!), and I am hoping with the turn of the year, my word focus, and goal setting, I will accomplish my goal weight and STAY THERE (30ish more pounds to go)! I do love the flexibility of Weight Watchers and encourage anybody considering the multitude of diets out there to really consider what they are accomplishing with their diet. My lifestyle change of smaller portions and choosy-ness of how many sweets and treats I allow myself has been such a game changer. This is how I plan to continue. Diets that eliminate entire food groups may offer swift results, but I promise those results slip away as soon as the diet reverts back. If you have questions about how awesome Weight Watchers is, or which plan is right for you, feel free to shoot me a message! I definitely see so much more success when I have others around me with the same mission! This lifestyle change is ongoing and I love that Weight Watchers allows us to enjoy the journey. If you sign up with this link, you will get one month free! Let's do this thing together!

2. Physical:

Physical self-care goes along with my lifestyle puzzle-piece. I feel so much better and overall enjoy life when my body feels right! Several years ago, I injured my foot, and part of my physical journey in 2019 landed me in a orthopedic walking boot. I was in pain up to my eyeballs, and finally pushed through physical therapy and dry needling (OUCH!) to help my body heal itself without surgery. I am on the tail-end of those treatments now, and am so excited for the difference treatments have made. I am now able to incorporate exercise back into my life and this is going to be the game changer for the physical aspect of my self care. I'm so excited to have this piece back! I encourage you to find the little sliver of time to invest in your physical health: walking, yoga, marathon training, kickboxing, pilates, crossfit, weights... whatever your thing is... find the time to get physical!

3. Spiritual:

At the meeting of our last small group, I shared my intentions of really wanting to spend more time in the word of God. It is part of my self-care journey to incorporate time in His word each day. Our church offers an awesome texting service called Time With God and each week day they will text a devotion. The is a FREE service you can utilize by texting TWG to (706) 671-2171. I encourage you to utilize these types of ways to connect and allow your spiritual piece to find fulfillment in the living word of the bible. You can research the information a bit more at https://rockbridge.cc/time-with-god/ .

4. Social:

So, the social area of self-care for me is one I had to ponder. I LOVE to talk and visit. Plan a party? I am IN! Where I do find myself lacking is allowing myself the guilt-free time to be social. Between work, the kids activities, etc, our schedule can by very full. First off, Cab and I need to interact with each other on date nights, and my plan to work on this piece of social self-care is to be more thoughtful about planning date nights with friends and spending time with others in the same season of life. We always have a BLAST when we plan a date night with friends, but we are guilty of making that happen maybe once a year! My hope is to get out with a set of friends at least every other month! Second, while we host small group every other week (6 families: 12 adults & 14 kiddos), it can be tough to really connect deeply or be in-tune with all of the chaos going on. I want to plan more times where we hang-out with a family from small group in a bit smaller setting to allow for a deeper social connection! Finally, some of my most favorite days of the year are the ones I get with just my girlfriends: breakfast, some shopping, maybe a manicure mixed in: Ah, bliss! Jennifer and I had only one morning of 2019 for a few hours to squeeze in this time and, while it was so fun, I knew then and there that we had to be more diligent in scheduling that time together to socialize! My goal: 3 days this year! I believe these goals and actions will be just the changes I need in the social area of self-care! I encourage you to find the areas that will fill your social calendar and consider it joy for yourself!

5. Mental:

Well, I guess I am putting it out there in the world for accountability. I am taking the steps to further my education. I have struggled for years really trying to figure out what I want to do and the cost associated. I have found a niche in education that I absolutely love and my current plan (still researching) is to purse a Masters in Educational Learning, Leadership and Organizational Development. I'm still in the phases of figuring out the details, but this will be the year I push my mental abilities as I advance my career. I have neglected this self-care piece to advance myself scholastically and I am excited about the opportunities ahead! The mental piece of self-care will not always be more education for me, but for now, it is a step in the right direction! How will you find a way to push your mental well-being this year? Read a new self help book? Enroll in a community class? Higher education? I encourage you to engage in this area to keep your mind fresh! Even if I don't begin this program in 2020, I am attacking this piece of self-care by researching the details and making plans!

6. Emotional:

I am an emotional person. A good Folgers or Publix commercial will bring tears, and my family loves to pick on me about it! After a good emotional scene in a movie, you can find Cab and my girls looking my way and giggling at the tears or goofy grin that explodes across my face. I'm known to laugh out loud or cry large tears while curled up with a book! However, I don't look at my emotional-ness as a weakness. I believe it is a gift God has given me to connect and have empathy for those around me. So, how do I tackle self-care in this arena? I need to tend to the emotional needs that I have by taking away the noise and distractions that tend to suck the life out of me! Recently the anxiety-inducing, joy-stealing, mind-numbing thing that is causing emotional distress: DEBT! So, Cab and I are making some big plans and will reveal via the blog as we pursue some dreams to eliminate the debt!

I'm taking on 2020 in a big way...by taking care of me! From a Christian perspective, I believe by maintaining the best version of yourself via self-care, you can offer more as a disciple of Christ to the world! The way I see it, He designed us in His image and I encourage you to take care of yourself so you can be the best version of you! What resolution or word are you working toward for this year? I'd love to know and encourage you along your path!

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