Tiny Tips Tuesday: 19 Tips for Taking Care of Yourself While Also Taking Care of Your Loved Ones

Dear Friend,

I am not going to lie. This past week was HARD. Quite possibly one of the hardest of my life. Something about parenting a small child while being far away from my own ailing mama plus the reality of our situation settling in and really making itself known. And let’s not forget the seemingly never ending cold virus.

Today I offer you some tips on taking care of yourself while in the middle of taking care of the people you love.

[DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional and if you are in crisis please seek immediate medical attention from a medical professional.]

A vast majority of these helpful ideas were crowd-sourced from my Facebook friends, many of whom have experienced parenting while caring for their own parents through long-term illness and transitioning into end of life.

I offer these tips to you because they’ve already begun to help me. If you have a secret self-care tip to share, please message me. I am all ears.

Wishing you a week filled with love and self-kindness.
PS – If you know someone who is in need of some self-care or wants to help someone out, please forward this on to them.
taking care

And you don’t even have to do all of them to feel better.

1. Reach out. Friends, family, loved ones, your primary care doctor, a therapist, a support group. Any and all of these can be helpful. A text, a phone call, a Facebook message. Isolating yourself is not the answer. No one can go through crisis alone, so please ask for help or at least let people know you need help.

We are programmed as humans to need connection and one of our basic human needs is to tend and befriend not just fight and flight. So reach out.

The number one thing take away from friends is we can’t do it alone. Ignoring our own needs and those of our immediate family does not help anyone – not you and not your ailing loved one.

2. Accept help when it is offered.  I struggle with this, but I am trying to change that because I am finally understanding you can’t do it alone. If people offer you dinner, take it. If someone you trust offers childcare, take it.

3. Slow down. Take it one day at a time. Or one hour. Or one minute.4. Clear your schedule as much as possible.

5. Meditate.

6. Let people physically comfort you. Embracing long hugs and hand holding and letting yourself cry in front of others.

7. Recharge your batteries. Go on a walk, hit the gym, take a yoga class

8. Nap. Rest until you are better.

9. Sleep. We’re all just giant two year olds without it.

10. Laugh. Some people watch funny movies. I like to exchange ridiculous comments on friends’ Facebook statuses – usually on Friday nights. Because we old, but we are still funny as hell.

11. Stay away from negative media/the “news”.

12. Cry. Watch a sad movie and cry it out. Ugly cry on purpose.

13. Let your kid watch TV sometimes. And don’t feel guilty about it. (We’ve been loving Sid the Science Kid, Elmo’s Potty Time and Little Einsteins. Someone else recommended Kipper for its mellow vibe).

14. Keep a gratitude journal to keep perspective that not every single thing in your life sucks. Take time to add five small things that delighted you each day. I’ve been doing this on and off for years and it has made a huge impact on my happiness.

15. Silly play with your kid. We’ve been puddle splashing and mud stomping lately and while dirty (and gross) little girl has been lit up like a Christmas tree. And in turn, I’ve laughed and played and felt good about connecting with my kid.

16. Solo movie watching during the day. With popcorn. At home or the theater.

17. Eat soup.

18. Eat chocolate – if that’s your thing. Apparently it’s my peeps’ thing. Lots of chocolate on my list.

19. Read a lot.


6 Ways To Reach Out To People Who Are Hurting:

1. Offer to Skype with a friend if you are out of town or scheduling makes it impossible to get together face to face. While it doesn’t allow for hugging, talking to another human’s face is remarkably comforting.

2. Offer to babysit their kids. Nothing is more helpful than someone else taking your kid for an hour or two for fun. Especially if the parents are struggling with depression and fun isn’t on the forefront of their minds (but they still manage to feel terrible about it).

3. Offer to cook them a meal or pick their kids up from school or get them coffee. Families struggling with the basics of life need help with the basics. So if you’ve got an extra batch of veggie soup in your freezer, offer it up. When we first returned from picking up our kiddo, the last thing on our minds was food. And then like magic it appeared on our front porch and I never felt more loved or cared for.

4. Offer to take them to the gym or on a walk or run or yoga class. People need physical activity and to get the ickies out and yet they might be stuck in the caring for others instead of themselves loop.

5. Stop by to give your person a hug. Maybe bring a treat (or not), but hugging them longer than they want to be hugged.

6. Listen and allow people to just be sad without having an solution at the ready. Just being a shoulder to cry on.

Please leave any tips you have used in the comments below.

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In Case You Missed It Edition! Volume 38

{photo credit: Etsy – click image for source – PS I would not be sad to have this in my house}

I’ve found some links to posts that made me laugh, cry, think or at least raise an eyebrow. Please click the links and check out the posts. You may find something that rocks your world too.

Leave me some feedback in the form of comments below on what you liked, what you hated and what you’d like to see more of. I’m here to help you find the best of what is online.


My Best Of…

From Frugal Mama – 5 Cheap Ways to Make This Summer Really Fun. Food? Check. Friends? Check. What more do you need? Tips for coordinating your people to actually make it happen.


Things I Think At the Gym from Already Pretty. I wish I were this dedicated and evolved in my thinking…

My favorite part:

Well, I still loathe the gym. I vastly prefer to be walking or biking or doing virtually anything exercise-y besides holing up in a moist, crowded building with a hundred of my neighbors. (And I swap in those activities as often as I can.) But MAN have my gym-based thought processes changed. I’ll admit to the occasional huff when I catch myself in the mirror, but everyone else? I literally look at them and think, “Yep, you’re awesome. You too. And you.”

Click through to find out why everyone is so awesome.


Remember when the newness of summer break wore off and you started telling your mom how bored you were or your kids are now telling you how bored they are? Jennifer at Classic Play has some ideas to keep your little people busy this summer.

Welcome to Camp Classic Play! – Featuring bubbles | outdoor games | fortune tellers | pen pal letters | photography | tin can telephones | marble games | walkie talkies


Brene Brown has done it again with The Toughest Thing I’ve Learned About Parenting.


Have you met Holly from Holly Would If She Could yet? My god, what a breath of fresh air! I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with her a couple of times and I find her to be delightful.

I loved her post about The 5 Best Decisions I’ve Made In My Adult Life.

What are yours?


That is the In Case You Missed It Edition, folks.

Remember to click the links and leave some comments. This is a conversation, you know.

In Case You Missed Edition Archives -click it to see them all.

Finding My Voice As A Parent: Also See STFU

Alternate post title: Quit effing telling me what I should and shouldn’t be doing with my kid.

Three months in and I’m already over people’s “helpful advice”.

Some advice for advice givers, just don’t.

Commiserating about being tired is welcome, but telling me things that start with “you should” or “you shouldn’t” or “don’t ever” isn’t welcome or helpful. What works for you and your family works for you. All kids, parents and families are different.

Including mine.

Recently someone asked me how I was and when I replied that I was exhausted because Ruby had been kicking me, hitting me and or bumping into me all night {while she was sound asleep}, the woman replied, “You shouldn’t be sleeping with your baby!”

My eyes stung with tears (from exhaustion and let’s be honest, being admonished). I said through clenched teeth – “Well, we are. It is our decision to continue bonding with our newly adopted baby throughout the night. We have made our decision about what works for our family right now and when you are parenting an adopted kid please let me know.”

In case you are wondering, I’m still pissed.

This comment implies I haven’t thought carefully about this (and every other) decision we’ve been making in regard to parenting Ruby. I have been weighing my loss of sleep and the rage that accompanies it (which is a whole other issue unrelated to Ruby) and wanting to make up for those nine and a half months she wasn’t with us {also see: the dark ages}.

I’ve agonized over the “cry it out” people telling me I could train her to self-soothe by letting her sob alone in her crib. Dude, I’m not going to do it.  So stop telling me how well it worked for your kid.

Friends, I’m new at this parenting thing and Ruby is a special girl with lots of people interested in her well-being. In other words, we’re doing this thing kind of more publicly than I’m comfortable with. Usually I like having at least a basic handle on things before I share them with the world. That doesn’t work in parenting. It changes by the moment and so does what works for your family.

It’s a lot like yoga in that way. What works for your body in this moment is what is right for you. Who am I to tell you are wrong because it looks different than what I would do?

I’m working on finding my own voice as a parent. As a natural worrier and as someone prone to deep feelings of shame over being “wrong”, please be kind and thoughtful in your comments about what I “should” and “shouldn’t” be doing.

Nobody likes when you do that.


So tell me, how do you handle unsolicited advice?

What Scares Me Most…

Before I got my teaching credential, at my husband’s insistence, I spent some time working as a substitute teacher. One day, while working in a kindergarten classroom I heard a voice outside my head say what, up until that point, had only said inside my head.


I paused, looked up from the group of adorable kindergarteners sitting at my knees and made eye contact with the speaker.



Huh, that’s what I thought she said.

She made some hand motions and gave directions on how I could correct what I was doing.

I turned the book upside down from where it was and like magic, right.


The important part of this story is the absolute absurdity of that sentence being said to me out loud by another adult.


And yet, in the moments right before I fall asleep these days, this exact thought is whispered in my own head.



Apparently, I’m afraid I’m going to do it wrong with Ruby.

In my rational brain, I can clearly see this isn’t true. I know there isn’t a wrong way or a right way. There are just ways that work today and those that don’t. Things that work better for some kids and things that totally don’t work for that kid (and so you stop).

But it’s not my rational brain telling me YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG. 

I’m pretty sure this is my inside voice, the one I’m not even clear who it belongs to.


The other night in yoga class, Michelle, talked about the concept of satya or truth. What is true for your body today? What stories does your inner voice tell you? In other words, what kind of shit talking goes on about your limits or fears?

She said something about how the ego/bully voices are loud, aggressive and mean. The voice of truth is soft and kind, like a friend’s voice.

If you would like to listen (or play with idea for yourself, you can listen here).


So here’s the deal on the comments today. I’m going to ask for what I need and what I don’t.

What I need: Please share how you talked yourself off this particular ledge – the abject fear of DOING IT WRONG. If you haven’t gotten off there, share that too. Knowing other people are afraid of the same things makes me less afraid.

Or you can simply tell me what scares you most.

What I don’t need: Reassurances that I’ll be a good mama, that’s not the issue, it’s the FEAR I’d like to address.

In Case You Missed It Edition! Volume 14


Each week I’ll give you links to posts that made me laugh, cry, think or at least raise an eyebrow. Please click the links and check out the posts. You may find something that rocks your world too.

Leave me some feedback in the form of comments below on what you liked, what you hated and what you’d like to see more of. I’m here to help you find the best of what is online.


My Best Of…

Have you read the WSJ article (via The New Perfect) on Amy Chua’s new parenting memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother? It has clearly touched a nerve, more than 6,000 comments so far and has started a firestorm of articles and blog posts.

I found the article shocking, yet intriguing. I don’t agree with a lot of what she says and does (quite frankly I’m a little afraid of her), however I do agree kids could benefit from more practice and focus on learning. There has to be a middle place.

What do you think?

Do you think she goes too far or is she just helping her kids succeed?


Mrs. Mimi writes one of my favorite blogs – It’s Not All Flowers and Sausages (there’s a book too!). In this post she takes on class size.

Perhaps We’ve Confused “Innovation” With “Insanity”

I couldn’t agree more.


Frugal Babe pretty much sums it up with Why I Don’t Make New Years Resolutions.


I don’t know about you, but there was a time in my life when I believed that if something didn’t fit there was something wrong with my body. I was too fat and completely misshapen. I would feel horrible about myself and quite honestly ususally console myself with food.

Somehow I finally got over that (I think it’s a combination of getting older and all the yoga). When I saw this post from The Connection Revolution, I wanted to cheer.


Cleanse update: It’s been a quite a week of learning. Boy, there are a lot of opportunities to eat not-so-good-for-you foods. I was able to resist most and have found support within the bigger group.

Some things I noticed: I don’t miss sweets as much as I thought I would, I am fantasizing about eating yogurt (pretty sure this means I still love dairy), I am feeling remarkably more alert and have lost an inch from my waist – that wheat allergy is the real deal.

Someone asked me why I am doing this cleanse and the best answer I could come up with is I’m tired of being sick so much. Between the 4-5 colds a year and the horrible hay fever I feel like crap most of the year.

If I can feed myself differently and feel better, I am in.

Check out this post from Gluten Free Girl – it’s long, so if you want the part I really like go down to the “Food Lovers’ Cleanse” section.


BONUS! This Swear Word Canister from Bows and Sparrows just made me laugh. I could make some seriously big money from my sailor mouth.


That is the In Case You Missed It Edition for this week, folks.

Remember to click the links and leave some comments. This is a conversation, you know.

In Case You Missed Edition Archives: Volume 13Volume 12Volume 11,  Volume 10,  Volume 9, Volume 8, Volume 7,  Volume 6,  Volume 5,  Volume 4,  Volume 3,  Volume 2,  Volume 1

The In Case You Missed It Edition! Volume 3

I’ve recently discovered the wonderful world of blogs, Twitter and the idea of creating community online. I am aware I am late to the party, however it’s better to be late than never arrive.

Who knew the Internet was full of such wonderful, caring, compassionate people?

Occasionally, I’ll post my favorite posts from other people here.

The In Case You Missed It Edition!

The Book of You – on The Fluent Self. I think everyone should start writing theirs.

Jennifer Louden, author of  The Women’s Comfort Book and others, also writes a blog. Here’s a can’t miss post – Choose Your Life Mondays – the It Isn’t A Big Ding Dang Do Edition where she talks about minimum requirements for self-care (MRSC).

“MRSC’s are the basic things you need to stay in touch with yourself, to have a strong foundation to meet the rather constant challenges of life, and to ease the noise in your head.”

Michelle asks, “What One Thing?” – as in what is YOUR special talent?

Homemaking – Amanda explores what it means to be a SAHM. Really hit a chord with me.

If you have a favorite blog that you’d want everyone to read if you were in charge of the universe, please let me know about it here. Leave me a comment about your favorites and maybe I’ll start reading them too.


Yoga+Music(notquite)365 (day104)

Today’s yoga brought to you by the kitchen home practice.

Today’s music is Elephant by The White Stripes.


Yoga Teaching Update:

Free class for School Teachers in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week – May 1st. Yoga Nap+Milk and Cookies.

FREE Fridays at 4:30 with the new It’s All Yoga teachers (21st and X in Sacramento) – you’ve got to sign up online www.itsallyoga.com

I’m teaching with Donna – May 14th!