When I hear the word wellness I immediately begin to think about the gym or the elliptical machine I sold because my kids played on it more than I used it. When you truly, though, dig down, I think wellness can mean different things depending on the events happening in your life or the phase of life you’re in.

What phase am I in? I’m pregnant and have three kids: a pre-teen girl, a three-year-old (a “threenager”), and my inconsistent one-year-old.  So, the phase I’m in is tired, but the kind of tired where I can’t stop thinking about all the things I need to do, what I need to do more of, and what I should have done.

So how do I slow down and remember that my life and the lives of those around me depend on my well-being?

I look around and appreciate the “now.” My pre-teen may be rolling her eyes, but she is developing into a person who is beginning to understand the world and who challenges even my own way of thinking. I can see her personal style changing, her interests, and even the conversations she chooses to have with her dad and me.

My three-year-old is learning how to build that train track and how fast he can wreck it with the dinosaur invasion that is coming, followed by the little brother who can’t come waddling fast enough to rip it apart. Every word out of my little boy’s mouth is why, where, what are you doing, and no.

Then there is my sweet one-year-old who we call “moose” because he’s a solid, chunky one. He takes in everything around him and learns. My husband and I learn again ourselves as we teach him how to clap, wave, smile, and show expression. It is extremely important to be in the now with him because he is like a sponge soaking up every verbal and physical expression.

SS wellness

With all that activity going on, what can I do for myself? I take “me time” to be appreciative of now. What might seem foolish to others is something I look forward to. Every three weeks I get a pedicure and manicure. This is a time where I do not think about anything. I listen to everyone around me and watch the horrible shows that play on the back screen while enjoying someone else pampering me.

Weekly, I also enjoy a spray tan. I used a tanning bed from my teens to early ’20s, before I finally had a wake-up call as to how harmful it was to me. Every Saturday becomes a date with me and my three-year-old. We go to Starbucks and then head downtown to get a spray tan. He looks forward to the “red lemonade” and “brown” cake pop from Starbucks but I think he enjoys the time we spend together.

I enjoy the small routines in life that benefit only me. Remember to do them because you cannot be the person you want to be: a friend, coworker, wife, and mother unless there is you. So, remember to take care of you!