Self-Care: From Cranky to Calm in Six Weeks

nurture, mother

If You’re a Woman, You Might Relate!

Women have a nurturing quality—it’s coded into our DNA and destines us to care for others ahead of ourselves. Self-care does not come easily. Instead, we steal from our own needs to care for others—our partner, kids, family, friends, and even our pets.

Do you have a tendency to do this? If so, let me share one of my favorite client stories with you.

One woman I coached rarely took time for herself. She had so much on her plate it seemed she would never have a perfect or ideal way to get started with our wellness and nutrition coaching. Despite her bursting-at-the-seams schedule, she jumped in. “Let’s do it,” she told me.

Self-care and gentle changes

She had been miserable—she felt terrible, stressed, and wasn’t sleeping well. Although her food choices were overall nutritious ones, she was not taking time to eat. We worked toward gentle changes, baby steps, over the weeks. It took time and didn’t happen overnight. She started getting up 15 minutes earlier to plan her day versus jumping out of bed rushing out the door—Keurig® coffee in hand.

Planning was a big part of her success leading to consistency in eating, better sleep habits, and reduced stressed.

She also changed her mentality and stopped feeling guilty for putting herself first, even for her own wellness. Six weeks into coaching, not only did she feel great, she was better able to care for her family and others.

On one of our calls together, she commented, “I had the best week with my daughter.” Overcome with emotion, she shared an event. On their daily ride home from school, her daughter looked at her and said, “You know mom, we haven’t had a fight all week. You’re different. I like it.”

Now a proud mom

Self-Care: From Cranky to Calm in Six WeeksMy client explained that months prior she was cranky and wasn’t a proud mom. Now she is! Things are better and different. Instead of living on the edge—rushed, stressed-out and feeling miserable, she feels great. In part, this was from changes she made including her diet.

Regular eating patterns help keep blood sugar levels optimized, which leads to keeping cortisol levels in check. The outcome is less stress and less crankiness! Not only did my client improve how she felt, she improved her relationship with her daughter.

This drives home what I see time and again as a coach. Self-care: When you put yourself first, you’re in a better position to take care of others. That’s worth making time for!

What change will you make to better care for yourself? Have you gone from cranky to calm? How did it happen? I want to know! For more on self-care check this out.


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Jennifer “Neily” Neily, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist | Wellcoach® Certified Health Coach
@JenniferNeily Twitter | @NeilyonNutrition Instagram

Photo credits:


  1. Melissa Rocha

    This totally resonates with me, I too am trying to make myself first so I am healthy mentally, emotionally and physically to be able to help my girls. But it is so hard to unlearn, I am trying the 30 day to make it a habit. Either stopping a bad habit for 30 days straight or adding a good habit. If I do it for 30 days straight, then it becomes a part of my schedule without thinking about it. Like going to bed an hour earlier, drinking more water, stop negative thoughts, and get outside more! baby steps.

    • Neily

      Yes! When I work with clients I actually give them a 66-day challenge. Research shows that is what it takes…66 days, but a 30-day challenge works as well!
      I would start with just one small thing and do that for several weeks before adding another on top. Too many changes at once inevitably means none will happen! -Neily


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