Guest post by Eric Brassard

It will come as no surprise to the readers of this blog to learn that my sister and I got away with very little when we were growing up. Mom (Sarah), with her razor sharp intuition and zero tolerance for (pardon the language) bullsh*t, and Dad with his relentless work ethic and attention to detail.

I was warned by many of my friends that when I turned 30 many things would change, both physically (yikes) and emotionally. The biggest shift that I’ve recognized is that I’m becoming my parents. I’ve got superheroes for parents, so this is (mostly) great news!

My fiancé, Scott, has been met with a new scrutiny lately: why don’t you put the toothpaste back in the medicine cabinet, the dirty dishes into the dishwasher, and the dining room table is not where your work clothes go when you take them off… I spent the last few months not saying those things to him out loud, but instead closing the medicine cabinet door a little louder than necessary, or knocking the dishes around a bit to make sure he hears me putting his dirty dishes away.

The Sarah Brassard I grew up with is rolling her eyes as she reads this. Communicate! Be impeccable with your word!
So I do, and I ask Scott why he’s being so blatantly lazy and inconsiderate. What a monster, right? Wrong. He leaves the toothpaste out because he gets up for work before I do and knows I’ll use it, I always reorganize the dishwasher before I run it (a classic Dad and Nana Brassard move), so he thought he was saving me a step. No reason—or excuse—for the clothes on the dining room table. But at least we talked about it, right, Mom?

The frustration I could have saved if I’d been thinking more clearly if I’d given myself the opportunity to communicate instead of finding a dark corner to stash away my frustrations. So I call on some of the life lessons that my parents taught me during the flurry of hormones and emotions that were my teenage years.

3 of my Favorite Inherited Self-Care Secret Weapons:

  1. When you’re lying in bed (before you fall asleep and right after you wake up), put both hands on your chest and take 10 deep breaths, in and out—completely fill and empty your belly. These 10 breaths will allow you the opportunity to start your day your way. (Side note: don’t open your phone for the day until after you’re out of bed.)
  2. While you’re waiting for your coffee or tea in the morning, pull out your phone and write (in your notepad or in an e-mail to yourself) three things that you’re grateful for. Anything from Hint of Lime Tostitos to the love of your family. No rules here, just be grateful—and go into your day with that.
  3. This one takes some effort but is truly my most valuable daily ritual: Make. Your. Bed. And make it beautifully.

I’ve got a new challenge, readers. List the three things you’re grateful for in the comment section (either below or on Facebook). Or for bonus points, take a picture of your beautifully made bed and post it in the comment section. Tag it #selfcare