Self-care means giving yourself permission to pause.
- Cecilia Tran
There are many things that we do during the day that take up our time and our energy. We give and give and often forget to "refill our tanks." But guess what ...
You can't pour from an empty cup.
Self-care activities look different for everyone. But no one can force self-care onto someone else. It's up to that person to choose and make time for daily activities that make them feel happy and healthy.
Self-care isn't selfish, it's showing your body respect.
Since I've already shared my acts of self-care or self-love (read about my acts here) I thought it might me enlightening to share my partner's thoughts on this subject. This topic is very dear to my heart because mental health is equally important as physical health, and self-care relates to both of those categories.
My husband was kind enough to share and write what activities he makes time to include consistently in his life. The 8 activities he has listed directly relate to self-care because these are habits that help him stay healthy, manage stress, and feel connected with others. I am so grateful to have a very open and honest relationship with my husband. We communicate to each other when we need time for ourselves (self-care) because it makes us both a happier and healthier individual so we can be a happier and healthier couple. If we don't carve out time in our days to take care of ourselves, then we can never be our best self to serve and help others.
MY HUSBAND'S TOP 8 SELF-CARE ACTIVITIES
by: Nick Koscielniak
Coffee is a must have in the Koscielniak household. We drink it for obvious reason - to jump start our day, or when we are feeling a little tired and need a pick me up, or just because.
When we are together at home, we sit and drink a cup of coffee before we do anything (although that has changed slightly since Lucille was born). We drink our coffee and talk about what’s on our minds or the day ahead. It’s very relaxing.
Over the years we have become quite the coffee snobs (using the word snob for lack of a better term). We’ve gone from buying Folgers grounds to buying organic coffee beans and grinding them right before we make the pot of coffee to optimize the flavor (yes, coffee should have flavor).
Our family takes great joy in coffee and we will continue in our quest to make sure we are enjoying the freshest cup(s).
2. HOMEMADE COCKTAILS
There's nothing like a great cocktail to wind down the day. My go-to lately has been the Manhattan (rye, sweet vermouth, bitters, maraschino cherries) - so delicious and easy to make. I also really enjoy making cocktails for my wife, sister-in-law and our guests. Besides the Manhattan, I also make a pretty good mule and the Bees Knees (Jill’s favorite).
Homemade cocktails are a much cheaper alternative to going to the bar--although we do love our date nights and those usually include a cocktail or two. We drink occasionally (once or twice a week) and find great joy in this treat. Which leads me to my next self care activity--date night.
3. DATE NIGHTS
I love date nights. Period. Jill and I have thoroughly enjoyed our date nights ever since our first date (we went to Otani for sushi on my birthday/Valentines Day and it was amazing). Our tastes have changed over time (more so the type of beverages we prefer...see section on cocktails), but good food and great conversation have been consistent.
Not only do I get to eat great food and drink amazing cocktails, I get to spend some quality time with my favorite person in the world (not trying to score brownie points here, but I’ll take them). We get some quality time to discuss what’s going on in our lives, how work is going, planning trips and vacations, projects to complete around the house, sports, you name it. See previous post 3 Reasons for Weekly Date Nights.
All I know is that I look forward to date nights. We may not go on them as much now with Lucille just being born and all, but she’s pretty great to hang out with too on a Friday night :).
4. PLAYING SPORTS
I don’t go to the gym or workout much (we do go on walks when the weather is nice), but I play softball doubleheaders on Sunday nights. I’ve been playing with the same core group of guys for about 8 or 9 years.
We are like brothers--let’s just say you have to wear some pretty thick skin to play for our team. We give each other so much crap, but that’s what makes it so fun. We are a competitive team that doesn’t take ourselves too seriously.
The three plus hours that I am at the field goes by quickly, but it’s just enough time with the fellas before I start missing the family.
5. WATCHING SPORTS/A GOOD TV SERIES
We have been trying more and more to watch less TV. But, let’s face it--sometimes you just need your sports fix or a good series to watch. I used to watch the Orioles (baseball) games almost every night. Now that we have YouTube TV, I have not been able to watch them at all this year because MASN has not signed on (not really missing much this year).
Besides the Orioles, I love watching the Capitals (I can finally say that now that they have won the Stanley Cup this year!), college basketball and every now and then the NBA. Of course there’s those major sporting events that only happen every four years: the Olympics and the World Cup.
There’s also nothing like a good TV series to get absolutely lost in. We’ve watched some great ones over the years: The Americans, The Wire, Dexter, Breaking Bad, and The Office just to name a few. There are also documentaries like Chef's Table that Jill and I love. That one tends to make me very hungry.
TV time gives our family some time to relax together and not have to think much about our responsibilities or work.
6. YARD WORK/ HOME IMPROVEMENTS
Believe it or not, I find mowing the lawn to be very therapeutic. We have a decent size yard, so it takes me about an hour and a half to mow, trim and clean up. Last year I bought a riding lawn mower from a neighbor that was moving out of the neighborhood, yet I find myself using the push mower more often. Mowing the lawn is my "workout."
When I mow the lawn, I usually listen to music (often times something upbeat). This also helps me get in the zone to get my lawn lines perfect (I am very OCD-haha).
Home improvements, although sometimes stressful, are very gratifying when the project is complete. I try not to do large projects (i.e. bathroom remodel), but I like doing smaller things like updating the hardware throughout the house. Recently, I replaced the smoke detector, thermostat and door lock with Nest products--we are going fully automated!!
I have a confession to make...I love getting my haircut. It’s not so much the feeling of a fresh cut, but the experience at The Quintessential Gentleman (The QG) in Baltimore. This place is absolutely amazing!
When I go to The QG, I pull my car into their valet so I don’t have to worry about parking. Also, traffic can sometimes be unpredictable in Baltimore, so it’s nice to just pull up if I end up running behind.
Checking into The QG is very easy. At check in, I am offered a complimentary beverage (water, coffee or beer--yes, you read that right, BEER!). In the waiting area they have a pool table, lounge chairs and a TV that is always playing ESPN.
I’ve been getting my hair cut by the same person (Sam) for about three years now, so I never have to explain how I want it cut or worry about him messing up. He is one of their best!
The QG is more than grooming, they also have a spa, department store, cigar lounge and a restaurant/bar. You can literally spend an entire day there. I definitely recommend guys (who like to take a little extra special care of themselves) to find a place similar to this that gives you that relaxing experience we all need in our lives.
I have a long commute to work--at least 1 hr 5 min each way. I used to listen to local sports radio, but I got tired of listening to uneducated fans calling in and making ridiculous “takes” on the Orioles, Ravens and other sports issues. So I turned to podcasts. You can listen to them anytime you want and pick up where you left off--can’t do that with radio.
My go-to podcasts right now are Pardon My Take, The Tom Woods Show, Dave Smith Part of the Problem, Your Welcome with Michael Malice (yes, he spells it “Your”), The Joe Rogan Experience (I cherry pick his podcast), and The Scott Horton Show. If you look them up, you’ll probably see a recurring theme with the types of podcasts I listen to.
I love that podcasts are giving many people alternate media consumption options. These provide me educational entertainment and fill up my drives very easily. Every now and then I’ll listen to music, but I am all about podcast at this point in my life.
If you take away anything from this blog post I hope it's that self-care is vital to our mind, body and soul. Self-care activities are not a one-size-fits-all and depend on your interests. But in addition, taking care of yourself should always include eating good, real food, movement, and plenty of rest.
How you are treating yourself, is how you are inviting others to treat you.
Always craving health and happiness,
Jillian & Nick