Wednesday Randomness |The Balancing Act

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Have you ever been in a stage where you felt like you had to “do it all?”.  I have definitely been there, and although there certainly are life stages where this has been more challenging, I have found more recently that sometimes, less really is more.

One of the biggest things that has helped change this for me is being okay with “good enough”. And to do this, for some things, I have just lowered my standards. This may sound simplistic but it really has helped so much. In order to give 100 percent to the things that really matter to me and our family, other things are sometimes dropped.

There was a time when I tried to juggle too many things, and what happened is nothing really got done well at all. A few months ago I read Stretched Too Thin by Jessica Turner. While not all of the chapters were totally applicable to our situation, I found some of it to be so helpful and affirming to this idea.

“The best advice I was ever given was to imagine that my life was a juggling act. Only some of my balls are glass and some rubber. I can drop the rubber balls and pick them up later and they aren’t any different. However, if I drop a glass ball, they are broken forever—no matter how hard you try to fix it. The key then is to determine which balls are your glass balls.” -Jessica Turner 

Prioritizing the things that really matter to me and our family and not worrying so much about the other things has helped so much. And what is important to me, might not be something that is important to someone else, and that’s the great thing about it. This has been a game changer for me, and also something that has helped clear my mind of clutter which often resulted in extra worries and pressures that I was really just putting on myself.

Determining what my glass balls were was the first step. Like many people, the physical and mental health of myself and our family is a top priority, although how we get there might be different. This past year was my first time being back to work “full time” and I had a lot of apprehension about how I would manage those demands while also meeting the needs of our family and my own self. I could look at it like I had “less time” or I could see it as just needing to “manage my time” differently. I chose the latter and it made all the difference.

I am an early riser so during the seasons where my work is full time I would work for a couple of hours in the early morning so I could still prioritize taking a break during the work/school day to exercise or go to a therapy appointment. These things are important to me, so I made them a priority in my schedule. I also do a lot of my editing on the weekends so I am able to work around the kid’s schedules. I combined seeing a friend while also completing an errand so it was getting two important things “done” at the same time.  Have you ever gone grocery shopping with a friend?! It’s really an amazingly fun thing to do and you will feel like the best multi-tasker ever.

Things like laundry took more of a back-burner. We wash a load of clothes every night and that is a priority, but actually putting it away isn’t. We each have a basket that we separate the clean and folded clothes into and there are certain times of the year that we mostly just live out of these baskets. It works for us. During the busier times of the year, we have a pretty small rotation of things we have for dinner and it simplifies not only the planning and shopping but also our evening routine. Our kids have school lunch, every day. Not only does it make our lives so much easier but they are exposed to lots of new things that they might not be as eager to try at home.

I certainly don’t have all the answers but seeing how much control I really did have was such a freeing thing for me. It has also helped me when I see someone doing something and I start to go down the path of “how do they do everything they do and THAT?!” Everyone has priorities and everyone’s priorities are different. This not only makes me feel better about what I do but it also just helps me be happier for what my friends are doing and not having it just highlight my own insecurities. <3

Wednesday Randomness | Skincare

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1. Mychelle Gentle Cleansing Wash. 2. Cocokind Rosewater and Toner 3. Beautycounter Countermatch Lotion 4. Beautycounter Rejuvenating Eye Cream 5. Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask 6. Mychelle Fruit Enzyme Scrub 7. Skinmedica Retinol Complex .25 (FYI I hope I don’t need to say this but just in case…I am not affiliated with any of these products, I just have used them and they have been very effective for me!)

I love hearing about the daily routines of other people and just find it so fascinating. I especially love to hear about skincare. I am a huge fan of the Forever 35 Podcast and I have learned so much from it. I am in my mid-thirties and my routine is different than it was 5 years ago and I imagine it will change in the future.

This post is going to be speak to what I do now. This routine been a work in progress and is relatively gentle. I have sensitive skin that became very acne prone after the birth of my children. The hormonal roller coaster ride wrecked havoc on my skin, especially after I stopped nursing our second child. It was painful and it also made me quite self-conscious.

I don’t like to put myself in a box about anything.  I use some more “natural” products and some that aren’t. Our family eats some organic things and sometimes we eat Cheezits. I like to find a good balance in life, and I am super happy with where I have landed with my skincare routine.

The biggest change in the last couple of years has been adding semi-regular facials.  I had very acne prone skin a couple of years ago that I couldn’t get under control.  I had dipped my toes into the world of prescription acne lotions after meeting with a dermatologist and didn’t find them to be help enough without causing many other side effects.

I wanted to fix things but didn’t know where to start. Facials helped me realize that a lot of what you do can be more irritating than helpful and that often change happens slowly and over time. I also think I was over drying my skin and was “afraid” of adding too much moisture when really it is what my skin needed. Facials are an additional expense for sure and I definitely prioritize them over coloring my hair or getting my nails done for example. They also make great gifts and I often will ask for a gift certificate for holidays or for my birthday.

I also started having a real routine that I did morning and night. If I am going to barre first thing, I will wash my face and then use my toner following by my daily lotion. After I workout I do the same routine and follow it up with sunscreen and then my makeup routine (which I will save for another post).

At night I use the same routine of face wash and toner, then face lotion and eye cream and overnight lip mask. 3x a week I will apply my retinol cream and follow that with my face lotion. I also exfoliate 2-3 times a week. Using the retinol more than 3x a week causes my skin to get very flaky.  I use retinol for anti-aging purposes and also to help keep my acne under control and this has been a huge help…it just took a while to figure out the right balance. I also uses the lowest “dose” and still find that it is very beneficial.

Exfoliating has also been very effective at decreasing breakouts but I also find it is very irritating to my skin if I use it more than 3x a week. I have tried using more products including serums and heavier night creams and I wasn’t as happy as I was with just using these products.

When writing this all out it sounds more complex than it really is but I have found great success with these products and have definitely found that “less is more” in the skincare department. I am sure as I age I will incorporate more things but right now I am trying to be as preventative as I can but also not go completely overboard. Drinking lots of water, moisturizing with a lightweight but effective lotion and staying out of the sun(while also using a daily sunscreen) is my main advice for right now. I would love to know what your skincare routine looks like and I am happy to answer any questions you might have in the comments section. <3