Self-Care Inspired by the Duchess of Cambridge

In January we were absolutely delighted to find that we are expecting our second baby (it’s a girl!) and she is due sometime in the beginning of October. However, from about Week 5 to Week 13 I had terrible morning sickness. It was all day long with sleep being the only respite I could get. It drove me crazy to not feel “normal” for so long. Adding in the winter weather in general, including a blizzard that brought two feet of snow, I was feeling unpleasant all around. It was the perfect time for a reset.

Master Pre-Schooler and I usually take a two week trip to my parents every September. This year, I decided to bump it up to end of March/beginning of April and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I had just begun to feel a bit better so it was as though my body and spirit just needed to get over a few little hurdles. This vacation afforded the opportunity to do so.

As Master Pre-Schooler and I embarked on our eight-hour car ride, I found myself thinking that this is exactly the sort of thing Duchess Kate would consider doing if every cell in her being demanded it. It’s easy to want to save as much personal time off as possible and keep going until it feels like you’re swimming upstream. For the sake of sanity, sometimes a break is just what the doctor will order. Additionally, as a parent, it is so important that I take care of myself so that I’m present. So if you’re feeling run down, here is why you might want to consider thinking like a Duchess and taking a break.

  1. Your best Self is getting lost

If day to day minutia has got you down and you find that you aren’t focusing at your highest level, it might be time for a break. For me, I just couldn’t concentrate. I was too busy playing catch-up in the midst of being sick that I couldn’t do what my body needed me to: absolutely nothing. One of the benefits of being away from home is that “things to do” wasn’t constantly hovering around me. The Duchess, aside from when she is home, must be “on” at all times so I’m quite sure she appreciates the need to recharge.

  1. It’s refreshing to be in a new place

Even when traveling within the United States, people and places behave differently throughout the country. It can be reviving to be in a new environment and see things differently. It can also help you understand the term “Home Sweet Home” even more so. I’m sure Duchess Kate has loved her vacations in the Caribbean but still appreciated being able to come back to her own bed afterwards!

  1. Disconnecting is healthy

Here’s an important Duchess Kate lesson we can all take to heart. In my previous article about what kind of apps I think the Duchess has on her phone, I mentioned that I think it’s unlikely that she has an Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn (although I’d get a kick out of listing my profession as “Duchess”!), etc. Can we all just take a moment and appreciate how much more time she has available since she isn’t mindlessly checking these accounts in the car, on the plane, or sitting at home with her family? When I was on my two-week hiatus, I found that I wasn’t checking those apps as much and the kicker is that when I did, I actually felt MORE nauseous! It was as though my brain began to buzz too heavily with all the noise, noise, noise (and negativity). Instead, I picked up a book I started at the beginning of the year and found it be much more comforting as well as much more conducive to sleep!

  1. Enjoy your hobbies again

When you’re caught up in the day to day, it’s easy to put aside activities you enjoy because other more “important” items demand your attention. However, when you take a break, take a moment to think about what truly makes you happy and what you haven’t done in a while. Those are the things you should then be doing to recharge your soul. Being an active soul, I’m sure the Duchess loves holidays where she can find new ways to challenge herself that otherwise wouldn’t present themselves such as snorkeling in the ocean, kayaking, or boating.

  1. Increase positivity

When I am burnt-out, I get increasingly negative and curt. There is no way I’d be able to hide those emotions and I’m sure my smile appears more like a grimace. Nevertheless, it is amazing how much more positive, open, and smiling I am after a well-deserved break. Naturally, so much of it lies in personality (how are some people so HAPPY all the time?!). When I look at Duchess Kate, she seems so content and radiates confidence and happiness through her smile. I think to myself, “Now there is a woman who truly takes care of herself!”. Take care of your smile, ladies: make some time for you.

 

What Would Kate Post? A Duchess-Inspired Guide to Social Media

In this age of social media, it is so easy to share every aspect of our lives. It takes such a relatively short time to post statuses that it is easy for the body to type faster than the rational brain can register. So often I see statuses, postings, etc. on various social media outlets that give me pause and I wonder what the writer’s real intention was behind them. Additionally, the audience is quite wide and it is easy to forget that. Even if your pages are private, if you’re like most, you have possibly hundreds of acquaintances that you don’t know well if at all. If Duchess Kate was a regular user of Facebook, Instagram, and the like, what would her modus operandi be when it comes to posting? I think that, if you want to post like a Duchess, the following points need to be kept in mind.

Don’t air your dirty laundry

Trouble with the spouse? Work situations have you stressed? Faceook is likely not your best outlet. It’s easy to forget all the people who can see a post and many of those people, upon reflection, should not be seeing certain information. For example, you could be bemoaning a co-worker and not realize that you are “friends” with another co-worker who then passes along your post! It’s easy to be caught up in the moment to vent but social media is a poor replacement of a journal or a good vent over the phone to a best friend.

Don’t post with the intention of making others envious

This type of post is difficult to ascertain. We are all proud of our goals and achievements and naturally want to share that with others. However, if the Duchess were posting for all to see, I can’t see her posting pictures of her brand new luxury vehicle or the diamond earrings that Prince William got her for Christmas. However, I do see her sharing 5k medals or success as a chairperson for a charity event. Perhaps it’s best to ask oneself what the purpose of a post is: is it to inspire or bring down?

Don’t be vague

We all know these posts: “I don’t know how much more I can take…”, “Ughhhhh”, “I’m so mad!”. These are all attention craving posts. The Duchess doesn’t crave attention because her very character is interesting. When she has something to say, people listen because they know that what will follow will be an educated, thoughtful response with purpose. She doesn’t need to lure them in.

Do inspire others

Be the positive presence in a negative world. Share your volunteer activities with a link others can click on to get involved as well. Share daily reflections that could help someone else. I could see the Duchess sharing information on a charity organization or local needs of her community. She would likely also be found offering encouragement when needed.

Do post with the intention to offer something positive

Whether it be to bring humor to someone’s day, share knowledge, or offer something informative, create posts that enrich your life and others. Engage others in uplifting conversation.

What’s on Kate’s iPhone?

The other day I was perusing new apps for my phone and it led me to think which apps Duchess Kate might take a fancy to. Which does she download to manage her time better? Which offer her some stress-free entertainment to disconnect for a bit?

Kate has been spotted over the years with cell phones. Whilst still Kate Middleton, we saw her with a variety of phones, and more recently if we have seen Will or Kate with any cell phone it has been an iPhone. I thought it would be fun to explore a few of the many options that are available out there that Duchess Kate might choose from that would best suit her lifestyle.

Private photo sharing

Although the Duchess could have a secret Facebook or Instagram account (like Prince Harry), I’m going to venture a guess that it’s doubtful. As a private and cautious person, I think she might avoid those types of platforms altogether. Nevertheless, she might very well use some other sort of private photo sharing app like 23Snaps or Cluster to make it easy to share a few photos with close family and friends.

Recipes

I’m willing to bet that Duchess Kate might have a couple recipe apps on her phone for when she’s feeling ambitious. Allrecipes Dinner Spinner is a fun – and free!- app that lets you choose what kind of meal you’re looking to make, and with which particular ingredients, and then presents a handful of ideas.

Audio

Whether it’s listening to an audiobook for a bit (I happen to love Audible and Librivox) or escaping with some music, I’m sure there’s no shortage of apps like these on the Duchess’ phone.

Note tracker

Apps like Evernote or Google Keep are handy to keep your thoughts in once place. I’m sure the Duchess uses something similar to keep her mind clutter free and to keep an organized To Do list as well.

Entertainment

A movie app like Netflix could be a good bet and it always serves as a handy distraction when needed. I could also see the Duchess enjoying a game like Words with Friends or something similar. Perhaps she invites Prince William to a challenge after the kiddos are in bed for the evening!

Fitness

The Duchess likely has a few apps under this category. Perhaps a fitness tracking tool like MyFitnessPal and other apps that provide quick and effective workouts.

For the kids

Speaking of entertainment, the Duchess probably has a colorful and educational app or two for Prince George and Princess Charlotte should the need arise. Perhaps the YouTube Kids app?

Here is a round-up of all of the FREE apps mentioned in this post:

Entering the New Year as Your Best Self

I’m sure many of my fellow anglophiles have joined me in watching The Crown, a TV series about the early reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Rare is the show that manages to give me goosebumps numerous times!

One such instance is in Season 1, Episode 2, when Queen Elizabeth II is preparing to depart the plane after landing in London right after the passing of her father, King George VI. She is handed a letter, addressed to her from her grandmother, Queen Mary, and the words are especially powerful:

“I have seen three great monarchies brought down from their failure to separate their personal indulgences from duty…While you mourn your father, you must also mourn someone else: Elizabeth Mountbatten, for she has now been replaced by another person, Elizabeth Regina. The two Elizabeths will frequently be in conflict with one another. The fact is, the crown must win — must always win.”

This quote resonated with me because I can translate much of this into current day life where many have sacrificed a better life due to personal indulgences (and not of the good kind!). Many times throughout your life, you are called upon to act in a different capacity; in a Self other than what you may have known for so long. When you become a parent, marry, accept a promotion, or experience or desire some other major life change (stop smoking, lose weight, become a Duchess!), there is a new gravitational pull and sometimes it can be upsetting and/or unsettling. It is uncharted territory that can often be frightening yet rewarding at the same time. Who you were and who you need to be now are often at odds but it is the “Crown”, your best Self that either you or life is requiring of you right now, which must win over temporary negative indulgences that only serve the “old” you.

As we prepare to wrap up the third week of the New Year, and our eyes are aglow with the prospect of a fresh start, I felt that reflection on the above couldn’t come at a more perfect time. I’m sure Duchess Kate is not new to the experience of the need to separate from old personal indulgences or habits that no longer serve her. We have seen her transform when she married Prince William and when she became a mother. We will continue to see her ever evolving.

Whether you are in the presence of a major life change, or are just reveling in the energy of this New Year with new found enthusiasm for resolutions to cultivate a better Self, it is reassuring to know that the Duchess is no stranger to the same struggles. I could see her keeping in mind the following as she steps into the New Year with her best foot forward.

Actualize the Goal in Your Mind

Whatever you are striving towards, what will it look like when you get there? Why do you want to get there in the first place? Why will this goal create a better you? Why will this goal make you happy? Yes, these questions are plentiful but like the Duchess, you only have so much time in a day.

It is important to expend your energy only on goals that are absolutely worth it. It is far better to have only a couple of resolutions rather than many where you are spreading yourself too thin.

Have a plan

Many credit Benjamin Franklin with saying “If you fail to plan, plan to fail” and I don’t think one of the American founding fathers could have been any more accurate. Having a plan removes guesswork and removes a large need for willpower because you’re simply following pre-described, habitual motions.

I’ve mentioned in previous articles that I see our Duchess as a planner. I imagine she has a descriptive goal for any New Year’s resolutions with a workable and attainable plan in place in order to be successful.

Remember your “Crown”

Remember that who you were and who you want to be, or who you need to be, will often be at odds. You may need to summon a sense of duty in order to resolve these struggles.

Doing so will help you realize what is important and guide you to making decisions that serve your best self. I’m sure Duchess Kate is faced with decisions every day to call for her to take a step back and evaluate. Like the Duchess, take a moment to measure up the situation so that you can truly act in the best interest of your best Self.

If you’ve not yet watched the Crown, check out the preview for the show, below.

What Would Kate Do for Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is now less than a month away (I KNOW; it was an awakening for me, too!) and I am sure it is on the forefront of many minds. Between making travel plans and preparing for the rest of the holiday season, it is certainly one of the busiest times of the year for Americans. Although Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated per se in the UK (there is a Harvest Festival which is held near the autumn equinox), we can always incorporate a bit of Duchess Kate into our lives by asking what would she do for Thanksgiving. How would she celebrate? What would she do to make this holiday special?

A very Kate Thanksgiving : Turkey, anyone?

Food brings people together so bust out your turkey carving skills and try your hand at a homemade pumpkin pie. Mix up the mundane and perhaps try something different. I have no doubt that Duchess Kate uses some of her culinary talent to cook up a tasty pumpkin pie or perhaps you need a little variety and want to lean towards trying out a mincemeat pie. In our home, I’m more inclined to cook delectables such as pies, cakes, etc. My husband perfects the cooking of a turkey. Find your niche and put a personal touch on a meal. Bring out Grandmother’s fine china (no, it’s not meant to be locked away!), shine the silver (on my To Do list), and immerse yourself in the process.

A very Kate Thanksgiving : Dress up!

Whether you’re hosting or are the guest, and even if you’re just around family, dress up for the occasion. I doubt the Duchess is found in sweatpants during a formal family dinner! Being presentable for even those you are closest with, including yourself, is a sign of respect and dressing up will always add a festive air! Life is too short so bring out the sparkles and celebrate any time you can!

A very Kate Thanksgiving : Tradition!

What kind of traditions might Duchess Kate take part in or create? Maybe her family always snaps a goofy photo after dinner. Or perhaps family members read aloud what they are grateful for at dinner. Especially as the Duchess has two little children, creating traditions for Prince George and Princess Charlotte to remember and share with their own families is incredibly important as it is for all children. Take a moment to appreciate the memories you had as a child and don’t hesitate from making new ones.

A very Kate Thanksgiving : Bring On the Red Tags!

I would be quite surprised if the Duchess didn’t take advantage of some Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales from the comfort of her own chair with a cup of mulled wine on the side. We know she has a thrifty side and is just as excited by a good sale as any of us. Which makes me think how she hides presents from Will? “Don’t open that Amazon box or you’ll regret it!”. Take some time now to think of presents that you need to buy so that you can be on the lookout for special sales on those items.

A very Kate Thanksgiving : Embrace Your Life and Have Fun

Let yourself be happy. The Duchess has worries like all of us. Nevertheless, I like to think that she loses herself in the moment when she can in order to fully enjoy the company of those around her and all that she has; that she is reflective and can pause for a moment to take it all in. Take a walk in the brisk air on Thanksgiving morning if you can. Listen to the leaves crunch under your feet. Appreciate all that you have and all that you are grateful for.

Give Back

Help the less fortunate by volunteering to prepare meals at a homeless shelter or donate canned goods if you’re short on time. Be sure to include your children, nieces, nephews, etc. This is a wonderful example for them of gratitude in action.

How will you be celebrating the holiday?