Tag Archives: ali katz

Self-Care Isn’t Selfish! 5 Easy Ways to Practice Self-Care

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There have been a few times in my life that I have had what I refer to as a “light bulb” moment. It happens when something becomes so crystal clear and illuminated in my mind, almost like a light bulb has been turned on in a dark room.

I had a light bulb moment when thinking about my self-care routines, and ultimately it helped to transform me and change extended to my entire family.

As a young mom I had an idea in my head that being a martyr meant I was “doing it right.” I thought that putting everyone else’s needs before my own meant that I was proving my love to my family. The only problem was that when I did they got the exhausted, depleted, and overwhelmed version of Mommy.

We have all heard flight attendants instruct us to put our oxygen mask on before those that we are caring for. Every single time I fly I silently thank the airline for the gentle reminder. It never gets old.

We cannot share what we don’t have. If we don’t have reserves of energy that allow us to feel balanced and centered we can’t give our best to our children and loved ones, to our jobs, or to our friends and extended family.

The more I began to prioritize my own needs and care, by practicing meditation, mindfulness and gratitude, the more patient, present and joyful I became. I was able to bring the best version of myself to everyone that I cared about.

What I learned as I transformed from a “hot mess” to a “mindful mom” is that it doesn’t take as much time as one would think to practice self-care. Small tweaks had a huge impact on my life. Things such as: Continue reading

Teach Your Children to be Grateful with a Family Gratitude Journal

gratitude journal pic monkeyBy Ali Katz

I feel lucky every day. There are the obvious reasons like my two healthy, beautiful boys, my supportive and loving husband, and my cozy, comfortable house that I adore every time I walk in the door.

Then there are the less obvious things like having exact change in my wallet at a cash register, finding boyfriend jeans that are so soft they feel like pajamas, and a great morning run.

The list goes on and on, some big items and some more insignificant: my wonderful family and friends, losing myself in a great book, and getting that perfect family picture where everyone is smiling and looking at the camera. Rich dark chocolate, dates with my husband, and a long phone call with my best friend. Seeing my kids’ faces in carpool and knowing that I will be hugging them momentarily, homemade pasta and an amazing blowout that lasts for days.

Memories are treasures, even the horribly embarrassing ones that I can’t even bring myself to write about yet. My life is comprised of the laughter and fun I have had in my first 37 years, and the hard times that have made me into the person I am today. I wouldn’t be as resilient and strong without learning how to navigate some really difficult situations and still hold my head up high.

I am constantly striving to create opportunities where my kids feel gratitude. Of course they have learned to say “thank you” when they receive a gift, but what I am going for is from the heart thanks for just the little things. I know that children are egocentric, and I don’t begrudge them those precious years where it is all about them. However, as they grow I pray that every year brings them a deeper understanding of the world around them, how they fit into it, and how they can make it a better place. As a mom I can only hope that they do become aware of all the insignificant wonders of the world that make life so sweet. You can look for problems, or find joy, and I hope with all my heart that their outlooks on life steer them in the direction of joy at every turn. And of course they will face hardships. I wish I could shield them from every heartache, but I wouldn’t be doing them any favors. My goal is for them to learn that difficult situations can teach you lessons without hardening you.

As a parent I think that we have to lead by example, take responsibility, and help our children form certain habits. Being grateful may take some practice for the little ones in our families. With this belief in mind, I started a Family Gratitude Journal. This small notebook  sits on our kitchen table with a pen. Every night at dinner we all write a quick note in it marking something we are grateful for that day. It could be a fun playdate, liking the meal, or not having any homework. It could be gratitude for a lovely family walk (that would be mine!) or scoring a goal at practice.

Getting started is super easy, and I know you will feel great about encouraging your family to notice the little pleasures of every day life. This is also something you can keep private, or do with a spouse. Keep it next to your bed if that works for you, and jot down one tidbit at the end of the day.

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Ali Katz, a native of Philadelphia, has lived in Houston for fifteen years. She enjoys reading, cooking, running and yoga, in addition to spending as much time as possible with her husband and two young sons. Ali started the website Daughter-in-Law Diaries with the intention of sharing her personal journey, and to help other daughters-in-law strengthen the bond and improve the relationship they have with their own 
mother-in-law. Please visit Ali online at www.daughterinlawdiaries.com

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