Stop Apologizing: How Relaxing Self-Care Boosts Productivity

Self-care is something moms think about often but rarely do properly. If you need an extra reason to treat yourself, check out what Cratejoy has to offer. 

Cratejoy is my new self-care secret weapon (plus my Bullet Journal).

Cratejoy is my new self-care secret weapon (plus my Bullet Journal).

|Stop Apologizing: How Relaxing Self-Care Boosts Productivity|

Although this post was sponsored by Cratejoy, all opinions are my own. The boxes were gifted to me independently by TheraBox,  RevivalKit, and V. Paperie, and I was compensated for my time, but I am under no obligation to give a favorable review. I take my readers’ trust seriously and only accept sponsored campaigns from brands I respect.

Today’s post is all about self-care! It’s a topic that’s been on my mind a lot lately, probably because I’ve been working some long hours and juggling extra family obligations.

So when the folks at Cratejoy asked if I would be interested in doing a review, the self-care boxes were a no-brainer for me. If you  follow my blog, you probably know I’m pretty picky about who I accept sponsored posts from. I was already a fan, so I had no reservations about diving right in.

What is Cratejoy, exactly? In short, it’s the Etsy of subscription boxes. You can search boxes from hundreds of different merchants, and manage your subscriptions all in one place. I like this shopping format because I can check the reviews beforehand. Then you know they aren’t advertising their best box, and shipping out the skimpy ones.

I first discovered Cratejoy through some of my friends who raved about the planning and stationery boxes. I fell in love with V. Paperie, a stationery and paper products subscription box (Seriously, go check it out. I can’t wait for my May box to get here!). Then I made the mistake of exploring the hundreds of other boxes Cratejoy has to offer, and let’s just say there’s no end to that rabbit hole. I love me some sub boxes!

Self-Care is the New Black

Anyhow, in light of my ultra-packed schedule,  I’ve been pondering how motherhood has affected my productivity and stress levels.

As you can probably tell from my page below, when I got home from Snap! Conference earlier this week, I had to unload everything from my brain (and there’s still more in there I need to knock loose). I was exhausted from traveling, but also filled with a sense of urgency to get things moving on the blog. Add a healthy dose of mom guilt ( i.e. “What kind of mother am I that I could leave my babies for 5 whole days?!”), and you have a recipe for burnout.

Cratejoy is my new self-care secret weapon (plus my Bullet Journal).

Part of me wanted to curl into a ball and do nothing when I got home. Speak to no one. Ever. Again. I couldn’t even bring myself to put anything on my personal to-do list. My fellow introverts out there will understand.  Sometimes you need a day of social detox.

That’s when you know it’s time to do less, so you can do more. 

Cratejoy is my new self-care secret weapon (plus my Bullet Journal).

Less is More: Real-Life Productivity

Self-care isn’t a new concept. We know people are more effective when they slow down to process what’s happening to them in life. Study after study shows a link between performance and rest time. What is often seen as self-indulgence is actually a physiological requirement of our species.

That’s the trouble, isn’t it? We’re driven to our goals, but we’re short on time. So, we push ourselves too hard. If you’re reading my blog, you’re probably a journal-keeper, planner, writer, or goal-chaser (or a combination of these things). It’s our greatest strength and our fatal flaw: We tend to get stuck in the ON position.

Before long, that Do Everything mentality catches up with us, and we become forgetful, unfocused, and exhausted. A better approach is to schedule time to turn off your phone and immerse yourself in your favorite relaxation ritual. You’ll be more productive for it.

On a personal note: After I take a relaxing soak, I emerge from my bathroom like a phoenix from the flames. My husband must wonder what kind of witchcraft goes on in there!

You Need to Stop Apologizing

Remember when I said down time is a physiological requirement for people? We thrive on work/rest cycles. Yet, people are always saying how sorry they are when it’s break time.

  • To other parents: “I’m sorry, I won’t be able to run the PTA next year. I work full time, my husband travels a lot, and I have no family in the area who can support me. I’m so sorry.”
  • To friends: “I can’t make the party. I’m sorry, but I just got back from Australia and I’m dealing with about 30 hours of jet lag. I’m a terrible friend for being unable to survive on zero sleep.”
  • To the kids: “I’m sorry I took a nap after building a fort, doing your laundry, telecommuting for work, and making homemade organic snacks. What a failure I must be as a mother.”

What exactly are we apologizing for here? Um, sorry for being human? I’m so guilty of this, as is every woman I know. We blame ourselves when we put our needs first. Mother’s are the worst offenders of all. The underlying message is that we don’t deserve the rest our bodies demand.

We need to take back our self-care time, without the guilt, and without apologizing for it.

Cratejoy is my new self-care secret weapon (plus my Bullet Journal).

With Mother’s Day right around the corner…**Hey, Mom, stop reading now, please.**

Is she gone? Ok. So, my sister and I ordered a subscription box for our mom this year. She loves to read, so we got her a book subscription. Cratejoy had so many to choose from we were able to find the perfect fit for her. I didn’t want to send her flowers, yet again.

Everyone should gift themselves a timeout, but mothers, especially, find it difficult to make time for rest. I didn’t fully appreciate this until I had my own kids. Those two boys keep me running even in my sleep! It’s one thing to talk about relaxation on Mother’s Day, but we need breaks throughout the year. The whole raising people thing is a relentless undertaking.

Get Serious About Self-Care

Having a monthly self-care reminder is a huge help. I already try to schedule self-care time in my journal, but I’d be lying if I said I was always successful. I need a physical reminder I can’t ignore. Adding a subscription box to the mix makes it feel more like a gift than a task. Instead of getting one Mother’s Day, you get a gift each month to help you reenergize.

When the box shows up, you can’t help diving into the relaxing goodies. Even if you forget about your Me Day completely (and you will), Cratejoy will remind you. Since you’ve invested in your self-care, you’re more likely to make time for it.

Caution: If you hop up and down by the mailbox waiting for your subscription box, your postman will start to think you’re into him. Trust me, things get awkward.

Ok, enough talk. Let’s see the boxes! Keep in mind, the actual goodies change each month, so your box will differ slightly from mine. That’s half the fun.

TheraBox For Mindful Living

I like an inside-out approach to my self-care.  TheraBox works within that philosophy because it’s curated for mindfulness and happiness. Each box has a theme; this month was Gratitude. Hey, we know a thing or two about gratitude in the Bullet Journal community!

My favorite thing about TheraBox is how the items can become part of a ritual. They’re not just stuff to take up space in your home. You can incorporate them into meaningful routines with purpose.

Cratejoy is my new self-care secret weapon (plus my Bullet Journal).

Practicing gratitude is shown to have a substantial effect on happiness. It’s a great place to start when you feel stressed and overwhelmed. You can light a candle, brew some tea, and take some time to note what you’re thankful for.

Rose-scented soap, rose candle, rose tea…The writer in me appreciates the literal reminders to stop and smell the roses.

Cratejoy is my new self-care secret weapon (plus my Bullet Journal).

How sweet is this little tea steeper? I’m partial to loose tea, and this little guy was so darn cute I could hardly wait to take the photos before using it.

Cratejoy is my new self-care secret weapon (plus my Bullet Journal).

The gratitude jar was the cherry on top of this subscription box. I’ve been making gratitude lists for over a year now, and I’ve experienced enormous personal benefit from the practice. I’m grateful for everyday things like coffee, and family, but also for failures that taught me something.

While I’m usually happy to keep these lists in my journal, I love the idea of a physical representation of a full life. Gratitude is something I try to teach my children, too, and I find they are more able to connect with an external object that gives form to their thoughts. Ok, I won’t lie to you… I threw a few Skittles in the bottom to get them interested. But it really does work to get the gratitude ball rolling!

If mindfulness, gratitude, and self-care are things you want more of this year, TheraBox is a great tool to add a little fun to the journey.

RevivalKit for Relaxation

RevivalKit has some things in common with TheraBox, but it has a more spa-like feel. This box is perfect for those times you want to disconnect from the world and truly indulge your senses. I wish there was a way for me to share how incredible this box smells when you open it: Grapefruit, chamomile, lavender, orange, eucalyptus, green tea…Pretty much the best combinations possible.

Cratejoy is my new self-care secret weapon (plus my Bullet Journal).

RevivalKit fits in with the “Rest and Relaxation” part of my quick self-care habits. You can see my journal page in the photo above. If you want a closer look at that journal spread, check out my post called Self-Care Activities You Actually Have Time For.

What I like about this type of self-care is you don’t have to make a full day of it. The aromatherapy “Relax” putty (yellow in the photo above) is something you can keep on your desk to release stress throughout the work day.

Cratejoy is my new self-care secret weapon (plus my Bullet Journal).

I appreciated how items in this particular box could add a little self-care without a huge time commitment. The purple steamer bar adds aromatherapy to the shower, and the DIY face mask is a 10 minute indulgence. Hey, your morning shower might be the only chance you get for Me Time. Gotta squeeze it in where you can! You can order your own RevivalKit here.

How to Get Your New Favorite Box

I’d love to know which of their boxes you would choose, so leave me a comment below (*hint*–When you guys tell me what you like, I use the info to set up future giveaways). Don’t be shy!

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Megan Rutell
Megan Rutell
Writer & Creative Blogger
Megan Rutell is the blogger behind Page Flutter. She's also a writer, stationery lover, Air Force veteran, and homesick Colorado girl.

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