Just over a year ago my life was very different. I was living in Tampa, studying Spanish which I loved, I’d just returned from an amazing study abroad trip in Spain, was planning my wedding, and had over 100 sorority sisters who I really loved being around. I also worked at a job where I learned something new everyday, with people I enjoyed being around. Between being in the hospital for work and being at school I was constantly learning and being challenged. I felt like I was truly myself and my identity was defined by all of these wonderful components of my life. As of late, most days 90% of my interaction is with Odin. The other 10% is with Carlos. Once a week or so I see my family. While Carlos and Odin are my 2 very favorite humans, its really hard having so few people around me and I find myself missing being constantly busy. I feel so far from who I used to be before I graduated, moved back to Jacksonville, and became a mama and I’ve been struggling with redefining myself without school and work.
A few weeks ago I had to decide if I wanted to find a job, start school again to prepare for my masters, or make peace with being a stay at home mom.
I decided on the last option.
I’m not particularly peaceful so making peace with this has been a huge struggle. A few weeks later, I now truly feel like I’m truly happy and becoming comfortable with this idea. I had to talk to my resident therapist (AKA Carlos) and also did a lot of research, which I have a tendency to do when I get my mind set on a topic, but I finally reached a good point. I feel sort of at the midpoint of this journey- trying to find what works and acknowledging things that have worked so I can continue to use them in my life. So here are some of the things I’ve decided to do for my happiness:
- Use The Five Minute Journal every morning when I wake up and every night before bed. I have the app because I’m cheap but I will eventually get the notebook. The journal helps me focus on being grateful for the wonderful things in my life and remind that I’m in control of my happiness.
- After the journal, I meditate. Meditation is so good for the soul. I used to take medication for anxiety but had to stop it as soon as I had a positive pregnancy test, and haven’t been able to take it while I breastfeed. Besides, if I can avoid meds I’d prefer to. Meditation has helped me with anxiety and I really recommend it to everyone, anxious or not 🙂 If you’re just starting I recommend Headspace. They have a free trial to start which is what I use even though I’ve finished the first 10 days.
- When I finish meditating, I do the 7 minute workout (I sound like I’m selling things but I promise I’m not! I found these things on my own and use them everyday.) I like it because its quick and gets my body moving first thing in the morning. Which brings me to my next thing:
- Prioritize exercise. As a new mom, my body is not quite the same as it was before as one could imagine. Exercise not only makes me feel good, but is making me look good as well. I walk about an hour a day and it makes me feel like myself. I get to think while Odin naps in his Tula (#TulaNation) and the endorphins boost my happiness and my confidence!
- Eat nutritious foods that actually make me feel good. I’ve always loved junk food and have had a pretty unhealthy relationship with food. I’m trying to live by “Eat to live, don’t live to eat” so I can focus on nourishing my body and making it as healthy as it can be. Most importantly, I want Odin to grow up knowing and loving healthy foods instead of processed crap.
- Putting myself “out there.” This one is particularly hard for me. Like I said, I’m used to being around people, but they were at work, in class, etc. I’m typically pretty introverted so seeking out new friendships is very much outside my comfort zone. I’m forever thankful that I joined a sorority in college because it helped me learn how to talk to new people (I’m still pretty awkward though TBH). Some things I’ve done are met up with other navy wives, gone to Le Leche League meetings (only one so far, but I’m working on it), started a book club (yet to meet), and looked into MOMS club. If you’re a new mom struggling with being lonely- don’t be lonely! Put yourself out there and find a community. This is a work in progress for me so I can’t really say much more but I just want to be encouraging 🙂 If you need a mom friend in the Jacksonville area, reach out to a sista.
- Focus on minimalism. Its such a scary word for me because I like to hoard (lol) but I really want to focus less on material things and more about the relationships in my life and my own experiences. I’m just starting with this one too so I can’t say too much on it, but we’ll see how it goes.
- Start consistently posting on this blog and sharing it! I got such wonderful reviews on my birth story and new followers because of it that I have decided to write regularly. I really enjoy writing and while I’m trying to figure out my path, I think this will be a great outlet for me.
Well this was longer than it was supposed to be, but I truly hope someone on a similar journey can benefit from this post or relate to it! The main thing is to find what works for you.
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