I am a huge advocate of self care and taking care YOU and your health. The following is my top 25 self care activities that I highly recommend trying this summer.
This past week, I was able to enjoy a vacation/staycation that allowed me to rest and refresh, get some home/miscellaneous tasks done as well as focus on my writing. Here is a little update of all my writing projects:
Memoir – I am in process of preparing my book to be sent to editors, and excited to read through and focus on the third and final draft.
Self Care Book for Teachers – I have put this book on hold for the moment as I want to focus on other projects that are almost completed. But I will be starting to work on it again very soon.
My 2nd Children’s Book – I started the illustrations and work on the plot this past week and I am getting very excited about how it is coming together! Above is a sneak peek! I can’t wait to reveal my newest project very soon!
Monday through Friday, work 8 – 5pm. On Saturdays catch up on house work and errands, maybe take a nap if there’s time. Sunday do absolutely nothing if you can besides watch a virtual church service and catch up on your latest drama on Netflix. If you’re like me, this too is what your life looks like in a nutshell, week to week. For me, I am usually feeling the stress and slight dread of Monday by 4pm. I start to think about if my uniform is clean, if I have anything to pack for lunch the next day, if my lesson plans are all set and ready for the week, and if there is anything else I am forgetting. I also consider if there is anything that I can do to wind down and relax so I am ready for Monday. I will be honest with you though… I sometimes push off my selfcare in order to be productive, which I sometimes end up regretting. Regardless, I am here to assist you in how to wind down and rest on a Sunday night, as well as take my own advice; in order to be ready and refreshed for the week ahead.
I know it may sound tedious, but in order to help me wind down on Sunday and actually set aside time for self care, I create a schedule. I get it, I do… it may sound like more work and stress to create a schedule, but it will honestly help in the long run. Orginally, I used to rely on sticking notes that I would use to jot down my to do lists on Saturday evening. But now, I have created a very neat and organized schedule I use for Sundays.
Here is an example of the organized schedule I use. In this schedule I created an area for my to do lists, and I have divided it into morning, afternoon and evening tasks. I also have a section for various self care areas I hope to focus on throughout my Sunday. Sometimes, life is crazy and I’m not always able to devote each area of self care, but I try to focus on at least 3. Lastly, there is an area for a deadline in which I hope to get things done for the day, as well as reflection questions.
I will say that planning and scheduling out each part of the day isn’t for everyone. Some people find it more stressful, while others find it very helpful. Either way, I hope this tool helps in some way. For me personally, I absolutely love seeing everything I need to get done in black and white. As I am able to get them done, I also find it so satisfying to be able to cross things off my check list and keep going throughout my day. Sometimes life gets repetitive and hard. We all need a little reminder now and then that it is okay to stop and take care of you. So please do whatever helps make you feel good, rested and refreshed for the week ahead.
If you are interested in using the My Sunday Schedule template, Click below to Download the PDF. ⬇️⬇️⬇️
Mackenzie Goes to Heaven is a children’s book, created for families who have gone through a pregnancy loss. It is designed to teach siblings and other children about the concept of miscarriage and how it affects a family, in a child friendly way.
Now, I have also created a coloring book to accompany this gentle children’s book.
Mackenzie Goes to Heaven Children’s Book is available for $7.70 + Shipping and Mackenzie Goes to Heaven Coloring Book is $5.00 + Shipping! Digital and Paperback copies are available.
Mackenzie Goes to Heaven is a children’s book, created for families who have gone through a pregnancy loss. It is designed to teach siblings and other children about the concept of miscarriage and how it affects a family, in a child friendly way.
Not only is this story about a mother who suffers a pregnancy loss, but the characters in the book are also named after my angel babies Mackenzie and Chase, as well as my brother Matthew who passed away as an infant.
Mackenzie Goes to Heaven is available for $7.70 + Shipping HERE. Digital and Paperback copies are available.
Quite a few months ago, my friend Andrea tagged me in a post on Facebook about a book/devotional that was geared towards helping women grieve and reflect after a pregnancy loss. I immediately preordered this book on Amazon, and impatiently anticipated reading it.
I recently finished this gentle devotional, and I have to say I am impressed. This book is something I wish I had when I lost my first baby. This book not only has 31 biblical reflections that you are encouraged to read each day, but it also has real life stories from women and couples who have endured the hardship of pregnancy loss.
This book offers such a refreshing Godly perspective, that I didn’t realize I needed. It is uplifting, gentle, detailed, sensitive and the real deal. I highly recommend this resource for any woman or couple who has or is going through a pregnancy loss.
Recently, I asked my followers on Instagram and Facebook to send me their questions about my new children’s book, Mackenzie Goes to Heaven. I have taken the time to write and answer each one of your questions. Check it out. ⬇️⬇️⬇️
Mackenzie Goes to Heaven: Question and Answer with the Author Kaylee Rhames
“Great Illistrations! Did you do them?”
I did all of the illistrations for the book. It took quite a bit of practice to have the illistratrations turn out the way I wanted them to. In fact the illistrations were the first part of the book that was completed before anything else. When creating the artwork for the book, I wanted to create something very child friendly, and appropriate that could be shared within the family.
“Advice for TTC (trying to concieve) after pregnancy loss?
Hmm… this question is something I have had to ponder for awhile. I guess the best advice I could give is know that many things are out of your control and try to make the best out of every situation. It’s nearly impossible to not have stress or anxiety when trying to concieve after loss. But at the same time, since much of what the future holds is out of our control, it’s best to give your self grace, stay positive and trust that some good will come out of the storm that you’ve gone through.
“For what ages is the book appropriate?”
So, I tried to design this book to be appropriate for all ages because so many families suffer from pregnancy loss. I think children who would benefit most from this story would be ages 2 – 6 years old. But again, the story can be beneficial for everyone.
“How long did it take you to get your blog going?”
I had my first miscarriage in February of 2019. After a few months of grieving and living in a fog, I wanted to do something with my strong emotions and energy. I decided to start a blog to not only find a healthy outlet for my grief but also to share my story in order to help others. I started my blog in April of 2019. It wasn’t until June of 2019 that I realized my blog was something I wanted to continue as a hobby and eventually a career.
“What inspired you to share your story in a children’s book?”
I have always wanted to write a book, and have always loved children’s books. I remember in February of 2020, I was suffering from the flu and bored out of my mind. But while being down and out at home, I came up with the idea to create a children’s book about miscarriage. At first I thought it was a dumb idea, and possibly too large of a concept for children to grasp. Then I realized that miscarriages are so common among families, and if it is confusing for adults to understand, then I can imagine it is beyond confusing for children to understand. So that’s when I thought i need to make this resource.
Thanks for joining me on my Question and Answer of my children’s book Mackenzie Goes to Heaven! You can purchase a copy of the book at the link below! ⬇️⬇️⬇️
Mackenzie Goes to Heaven Children’s Book: Order Now!
Book: There Was Supposed to Be a Baby: A Guide to Healing After Pregnancy Loss
Author: Catherine Noblitt Keating
Publisher: Hummingbird Press; Seattle, Washington
This wonderful book There Was So Supposed to Be a Baby, is an amazing resource full of stories, affirmations, advice, and even yoga techniques designed to help any grieving mother. This book is small and a perfect companion for the beginning of your grieving journey.
The author is very inclusive when discussing beliefs and faith. She states up front that if there is anything in this book that does not line up with your beliefs or values, feel free to skip it.
I loved this book as it allowed me to assess my mental health, give myself permission to grief, and put self care as a priority in my life. I highly recommended this book for any woman suffering a miscarriage and pregnancy loss.
This book is available on Amazon.
A few months ago I wrote a blog post titled The Hurtful Things People Say and What not to Say After a Woman Has Had a Miscarriage. I had quite a response to this post, as not only did people find it helpful, but also encouraged me to write a follow up post about Things to Say and Do After a Woman Has Had a Miscarriage. So… here we go.
1. The Best Things You Can Say is “I Love You, I’m Here for You, and I’m Sorry for Your Loss”
Wouldn’t you agree that after someone dies, there’s not really much of anything that people can say to take the pain away. Even though people don’t like to see you hurt, they also don’t know what to say. And when it comes to experiencing a miscarriage, people really don’t know what to say. They can see your grieving, but they don’t feel the loss nearly as deeply because they didn’t meet or have a bond with the life that was once inside you. Unfortunately, our society does not know how to treat miscarriage as a loss or death.
When I was grieving and at my worst, people didn’t know what to say to me either. There were people who said a lot of the wrong things, and there were a lot of people who just left me alone. But the best things people said to me that were not hurtful, did not offer unsolicited advice, and were sensitive were: “I love you, I’m here for you, I’m sorry for your loss, if you ever want to talk let me know, I’m thinking about you and I’m praying for you.”
2. Offering to Clean, Cook and Run Errands.
You know how when someone dies, people make you food? Well, I really appreciated this. I don’t know why food is such a comfort, but it is. It seems that when people don’t know what to say they make food. I had a neighbor make dinner for my husband and I, a yummy dish from the Dominican… it was amazing. Our associate pastor and his wife made us chicken, green beans and potatoes…. so good. My sister in law, who worked all day invited us over and made us a feast! Bless her heart. And my Momma provided me with lots of comfort food when I was recovering from surgery. Food doesn’t make everything better, but in that moment of grief when you need something to numb it for awhile, food helps.
3. Pampering the Angel Mommy
Being pampered by friends and family helped me in many ways. My momma bought me a massage right before Mother’s Day. I had no idea how badly I needed it, until my tears and emotions came out all over the table. My husband went out and bought me chicken wings at midnight when I was having a really emotional night and couldn’t sleep. My bestie Alli came over in the middle of the night and we drove all over town eating Oreos. So many people did kind things for me, when I needed it most, I highly recommend this. Of course I also would recommend proceeding with caution and sensitivity.
4. Providing Space to the Grieving Couple
I feel this is super important. The Momma is not the only one that experiences a pregnancy loss. Sure, she is the only one that experiences the physical pain of loss, but it’s also important to remember that father’s grieve too. I know of many men, my husband included who not only struggle to help their wives grieve, but also felt somewhat disregarded when it came to their grief and emotions. So, it is super important to allow the grieving couple time and space. Even recommending a getaway could be beneficial… but again proceed with caution.
5. Check In
Hearing the worst news, that your baby is gone is heartbreaking. It honestly numbs you. Looking back now, I barely remember the time in between my ultrasound and my surgery, and the whole month of March is a blur. I do remember laying in bed a lot, eating occasionally, crying until my head hurt and listening to sad music. I also remember having people check in. It’s something I would have never asked for, but truly appreciated. I had friends and family call and text me daily just to check in and make sure I was alive. So many of them opened the doors for communication and gave encouraging words to my tender broken heart. I highly recommend checking in on a friend or loved one if they have suffered a loss. It’s not much, but also not to pushy. Even if they don’t respond it is still nice that people care for you when you are feeling so alone, Sure, there were many times I didn’t want to talk, but I still loved that so many people cared. ❤️
6. Be Sensitive with Your Words
This is a big one… and I can’t stress this enough. Please be very careful with your words. After suffering a loss your mind and your heart are in a truly fragile state. It is likely that the grieving mother is heart broken, constantly blaming herself and hating life. So, it is truly important not to contribute to these emotions of anger and sorrow by saying things like “You’re young you’ll have more, or You shouldn’t have stressed yourself out so much, or at least you already have a baby.” For my advice on what not to say after having a miscarriage, check out my additional post at the bottom of this page.
7. Honoring Their Loss
Above anything else I’ve said, I think this is actually the most important. One of the biggest fears that I and so many moms have, is that the child they have lost will be forgotten, as if that little life that lived in them had never existed. It means the world to me when friends and family talk about my baby. It may make me sad and weepy, but also makes me feel loved and my baby never forgotten. I really appreciate it when’s friends and family are sensitive and saying they are thinking of me on holidays and anniversaries, because they know it’s not going to be an easy day for me. Showing love and honoring the baby’s memory is literally the best thing you can do to help a woman after a miscarriage.
I am not an expert or doctor in anyway, just a woman, a writer and a woman who has lost a baby. I hope these little pieces of advice help in some way. If you are reading this and you have suffered an unimaginable lost, I just want to say I’m so sorry for your loss, reach out to me anytime and this was not your fault,
If you are interested in reading about what not to do after a woman has had a miscarriage, check out my post:
Book: Loved Baby, 31 Devotions Helping You Grieve and Cherish Your Child After Pregnancy Loss
Author: Sarah Philpott, PhD
This 31 Day devotional was sent to me from a friend who too recently suffered a miscarriage. I found this book so incredibly helpful in my healing process. This book is full of real life stories, bible verses, and moments of faith that many women have experienced. I love how the author wrote this book as she was not only real with her emotions, but also sensitive with her words and advice to other Angel Mommies. This devotional is separated into various sections, and provides many topics including searching for reasons why and how to honor your due date. I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it!
This book is available at Barnes Noble and Amazon.
After my miscarriage, I was very angry with God. I appreciated people who prayed for me, but I did not want to hear of God’s promises or biblical scripture. I was having a crisis of faith. Eventually, I was able to find joy and forgiveness in God and what He has planned for me. The following is a list biblical scriptures that I found helpful after my miscarriage. My hope is that if you are reading this… you can also find joy and comfort in these scriptures.
“Yet those who wait for the Lord, will gain new strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weary.” – Isaiah 40:31
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” – Psalms 56:3
“God is within her, she will not fall. God will help her at break of day.” – Psalm 46:5
“Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.” – Matthew 5:4
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6 – 7
“Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7
“Be still, and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10
As an aspiring Family Life Educator, I have been educated on and practically had the importance of self care drilled into my head. Self care is basically what an individual chooses to do in order to take care of themselves. Self care is extremely important for your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health as well as every aspect of our lives. It is also very important and highly encouraged in order to avoid burn out and compassion fatigue.
Below is my own personal self care plan.
My Self Care Plan
– Drinking plenty of water, 4 – 8 glasses a day.
– Eating Healthy, incorporating fruits and veggies into my diet.
– Exercise, Walking, Yoga, and Stretching
– Writing in my journal or blog.
– Spending time with friends and family
– Listening to music
– Binge watching Netflix
– Organizing my planner
– Going to Counseling
– Enjoying quiet moments
– Knitting and Crocheting
– Enjoying a Fresh cup of coffee
– Attending Hockey Games
– Going on Dates with my husband
– Meeting up with old friends
– Reading my bible
– Going to church
– Enjoying fellowship with other believers.
Now it’s your turn! What’s your self care plan? What are some activities you do in order to relax and recharge? Whether you are a new mom, an author, retired, a work-a-holic or anything in between, I can guarantee we all can benefit from self care. With that being said…..
What kind of activities do you do in order to help your physical health?
What kind of activities do you do in order to help your emotional health?
What kind of activities do you do in order to help your mental health?
What kind of activities do you do in order to help your social life?
What kind of activities do you do in order to help your spiritual life?
I challenge YOU to write out your own self care plan. Once it is complete put it in a place where you see it and can be reminded daily to take care of YOU. If you need ideas of various self care activities, feel free to check out my previous post on 25 Self Care Ideas to Try This Summer.
I would love to hear from YOU! Feel free to comment or message me your self care ideas and activities you do in order to take care of YOU!
With all the talk of abortion lately… I decided to write this post. I was quite hesitant in that this topic is so controversial. Now my intention is not to turn this post into a debate or to push my views on to other people. My goal for this post is to simply offer a new perspective to many who may not have considered it. I’m also not going to clearly state whether or not I am pro life or pro choice. I am simply offering a perspective that I believe others have experienced too.
After having my miscarriage, the topic of abortion became very triggering to me. This was mostly because I was a different person and I looked at things differently. I watched many people have debates over social and news media. I saw graphic pictures throughout my campus. All of these things were very upsetting, but the one thing that set me off the most was my medical bills. When I received my medical bills I was not only trigged by the reminder of my miscarriage, but I was also triggered by the medical lingo that was used. Spontaneous Abortion. I looked at those two words and felt sick to my stomach. Home alone, I screamed at the top of my lungs “I did not have an abortion!” I was heated.
After doing some research it seems this is the proper terminology that is used when it is recorded that a woman has a D & C after a miscarriage. Despite that I still had uneasy feelings about it. Did I really have an abortion? I didn’t have a choice if my baby would live or die. Did I do something wrong? Should I have opted to have my miscarriage naturally? It took me weeks before I found the answers to these questions, and strangely enough I stumbled upon them in a devotional I received from a friend. In the devotional it states that yes, according to medical terminology I did have a spontaneous abortion. I could choose to look at it from that perspective, or I could choose to look at it another way. My baby physically left my body like any other women who has a natural vaginal delivery. There were tools used to help remove my baby yes, but my cervix still dilated. So, instead of looking at it like an abortion, I choose to look at it like labor. I labored my baby who sadly was born sleeping.
If you are reading this and you haven’t had a miscarriage, first thank you for reading, and secondly keep in mind there is likely a woman in your life that has had a miscarriage. I would also like us all to keep that in mind the next time we discuss or debate the topic of abortion. Always consider your audience and who might be listening. Abortion is a very touchy topic and just because I find it triggering doesn’t mean other women will. However I will leave it at this. I did everything right, and my baby died. I didn’t have a choice… and it hurts.
When Charles and I shared the news with people that we had lost our baby, we had a variety of many different reactions. A majority of people meant well, however that didn’t make their words hurt any less. Miscarriage is a trauma, and unfortunately our society doesn’t fully understand how to help people who have endured trauma. Now, I’m no expert…. but I would like to share with you my experience of things people said to me and what not to say to a woman or couple who have experienced a miscarriage.
1. Trying to Make Them Feel Better…”It will be okay.” “It happen for a reason.”
Many, many, many people told me this. I wouldn’t necessarily consider this phrase bad as much as unhelpful. Yes, it is true that after a traumatic event happens, with time and healing, life goes on and things are somewhat “okay”, However, if someone is in shock, crisis, depressed or unstable…. saying this phrase can make them feel that their situation doesn’t matter, isn’t a big deal or they are overreacting. I never found this phrase helpful, and it only made me angry instead of making me feel better.
2. You’re Not Too Old to Try Again… “You’re young… you’ll have more.”
A cashier at a store said this to me when my husband was buying me a gift in remembrance of our baby. For the record… being young doesn’t not necessarily mean you’ll be able to have more kids, and secondly being young does not make it hurt any less.
3. Asking Too Many Questions and Over Analyzing… “Were you trying?” “Was it a planned pregnancy?” “How did you get pregnant?”
It’s okay to want to help a friend and know information, however take your cues from the other person. More often than not if someone is disclosing that they’ve had a miscarriage they are looking for comfort and support, not for you to analyze them and find a reason why. When it comes to miscarriage, we often never find a reason why. It takes a lot of trust for people to open up and share something very personal with another person.
4. Trying to be Positive… “Stop wallowing.” “It could be worse.” “Cheer up” “Don’t be sad.” “Just be happy already.” “It’s not that bad.”
When someone is in the stages of grief, especially in shock, anger, and depression it’s extremely difficult to be happy. So many women who have suffered a miscarriage feel like their world just came crashing down. Not only did their baby die, but so did all the dreams they had for that baby. So, it’s okay for them to be sad. It’s okay for them to not be okay for awhile. I understand it’s hard to see someone so incredibly heartbroken, but by telling someone not to be sad, is not helpful and may also hinder their healing process.
5. “I understand, my Grandma died.”
I know we may mean well by saying we understand because we’ve lost someone too. However, unless you’ve actually experienced pregnancy loss, or the death of a child, we won’t truly understand. When a woman has a miscarriage, she is not only grieving over the baby she lost, but she is also often blaming herself and her body for failing her. It’s a very complex type of grief. It’s also important to keep in mind that every individual’s situation is different. Even if you and someone else you know has had a miscarriage… it is their own individual loss and individual story.
6. Rushing Them to Get Over the Loss… “When can you start trying again?” “When are you going to have more kids?”
It’s not your place to ask these questions, especially if a miscarriage recently happen. In my personal experience, this is one of the last questions I wanted to be asked. I was grieving for my baby. Allow others to do the same.
7. At least…. “You had a miscarriage… at least you know you can get pregnant.” “At least you only had one miscarriage.” “At least the baby died early so you didn’t have time to bond with them that long.” “At least you weren’t that far along.” “At least it wasn’t a planned pregnancy.” “At least you already have a baby.” “At least it happen quick.”
This is my personal favorite!… that was sarcasm if you couldn’t tell. After having a miscarriage I could not believe how many people use this phrase to try and cheer people up, and not just with miscarriage but pretty much with any bad and uncomfortable situation. I talked about this phrase with my counselor. She explained to me that even though people have good intentions, they don’t realize how hurtful a phrase starting with the words at least really is. The reason people use it is 1) because it’s commonly used, and 2) because when an individual hears of a sad, terrible, uncomfortable event or situation they too feel uncomfortable. As humans we don’t like feeling uncomfortable, and will often try and not stay in that situation. We often do this by looking at silver-linings and the bright side of things. This seems like a good idea to us, because we are turning a sad conversation into something pleasant and taking the uncomfortableness off of us. Good idea right?… Wrong! By doing this, we are ultimately disregarding someone’s feelings and what they have gone through, and that’s not fair. If they are trusting us to hear something very personal about themselves, then instead of feeling uncomfortable and avoiding it, we should just listen.
8. Reactions and Being Over Emotional
It’s understandable that when hearing of something sad and heartbreaking such as a miscarriage, we might be sad for that person. However, we shouldn’t be overly sad, and dramatic for that person and their situation. What I mean is, if someone tells you they have had a miscarriage, don’t be hysterical and more upset than they are. They are the ones that lost the baby, not you. Don’t make it about you.
Again, I’m not a professional but I am 1 in 4 women who have experienced a miscarriage. I am a woman and angel mommy who was hurt by many of these phrases. This is just my personal advice I’d like to offer to others.
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