Monday, June 11, 2012

Wheel of Life - Self-Care Interview

I suspect that 98% of all the moms out there need to work on improving their self-care routine.  Doing for everybody else first often becomes the norm and then there isn't any time left for taking care of mom.  Am I right?

Well I brought in some help for this week's discussion about self-care.  Tina Bradley is the blog author of Tickled Pink and something of an expert in the area of self-care.  She is an author, blogger, women's issues journalist, mother & wife who loves celebrating all things Zen, elegant & feminine.  

1.  How do you define self-care?

To me, the ideal self-care routine holistically nurtures one’s body, mind and spirit.  Unfortunately, many women think that practicing self-care is costly and time consuming.  The good news is that neither of these assumptions is true!  Some of the best ways to care for oneself take minimal amounts of time to implement and cost little or nothing at all.  For example, saying affirmations while dressing each morning, doing a few minutes’ worth of yoga stretches while working at the computer or practicing mindful, positive self-talk.  The examples given are among the most powerful ways to care for ourselves.  And, the benefit from these activities becomes clearly evident when practiced over time.


2.  Why do you think it’s important for women to invest in caring for themselves?

I was raised with the understanding that taking care of my own needs should be my last priority.  Fortunately, I had an aunt who modeled a very different perspective.  She not only made self-care a top priority—she seemed much calmer and happier than those around me who didn’t. It was hard to not feel good when you were with her!  As a result, I decided (as a little girl) I wanted to be like her when I grew up.  This doesn’t mean I haven’t had periods of time when I have gotten off track.  I have.  But, thankfully, I’ve always been able to, eventually, right myself.  A few months ago, I sent out the following tweet on Twitter.  It nicely summarizes why I think women must invest in their own self-care first: “ Savvy heroines know u put your own oxygen mask on before assisting others. This a.m., affirm, mediate, enjoy quiet time b/f u don ur cape.”

3.  What are some of your favourite ways to nurture yourself?  

Affirmations, meditation, sipping tea, yoga, running, bike rides, establishing + holding boundaries, taking a walk in nature, flower gardening, eating lots of fruits and veggies, drinking plenty of water, living authentically, never hesitating to use my voice, feeding my mind with personal development books+blogs+classes, living my life as art, reading in bed, taking artist’s dates, enjoying quiet time, being creative, being mindful, giving gratitude, writing my journal, engaging in things I enjoy (art journaling, volunteering for causes near and dear, savoring family time or a lunch date with a friend).   Of course, I also love indulging myself, too (from time to time) with such luxuries as a facial, pedicure, mani or a massage.


What advice or tips can you offer other women in respect to incorporating strategies around their self-care?

My two most important tips for self-care are:

Tip #1:  Self-care starts from within:  I believe that the ideal self-care routine nurtures one’s body, mind and spirit.  However, for someone who is searching for a starting point, it’s key to begin from within and work outward.  For example, if a person were to begin a self-care practice, it’s far better to start a routine of daily affirmations, meditation, yoga or positive self-talk versus getting a massage or manicure.  My philosophy is that when we are internally in balance (mind, body and spirit); then, it’s a natural inclination to add the external aspects into our existing routines.
Tip #2:  Make your self-care routine easy to implement (making it more likely it will continue).  So many women indicate they simply cannot find time to do for themselves.  What I’ve found is that I can work a great deal of my most meaningful self-care into an activity I’m already engaged in (which means it takes no added time to nurture myself!).  A great example of this is that I’ll often build gratitude lists in my mind while I’m driving to and from work each day.  This is a practice that immediately gives me greater perspective; even during the most stressful of days.

5.  Is there anything else that you want to add that you think might be important to share? 

It’s easy to “fall off” the self-care wagon.  Everyone does.  One example might be not eating as healthily as planned.  The important thing is not to beat oneself up for doing so. Rather, vow to do differently tomorrow and take the time to note as many good things that you can about your progress to date or the great things you were able to do for yourself that day.  It’s the most self-loving approach to take!

If you want to contact Tina (and I highly recommend it - I love her message and her person), here are a few ways you can:

Her blog:  Tickled Pink
Twitter:  @FemSpeak
Facebook:  Tickled Pink Woman
Her Etsy Shop:  Eternal Presents Book
Amazon:  Eternal Presents - Accepting and Using the Precious, Intangible Gifts Others Give Us


Pam said...

There's a lot of great advice in this post, Terry!!! I've skimmed and marked it to come back and read properly later.

Danni Baird @ Silo Hill Farm said...

This was definitely and are that needed work on my wheel! I love the line about the oxygen mask...makes so much sense when you look at it that way! The daily affirmations is a very easy way to start! Thanks for sharing this and don't even think about me trying that yoga pose!!!

Tina Bradley said...

Thanks, Terry, for featuring me! Very honored to have been a part of this great series. T.

Tina Bradley said...

Thanks, Terry, for featuring me! Very honored to have been a part of this great series. T.

Kadie said...

Great post!! So many great tips, I am pinning it so hopefully I can remember to implements some of them.:)

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

I needed this post. I'm always falling off the wagon when it comes to self-care. My husband and sons aren't crazy about that. They want me around as long as possible. Great tips.

Melanie @ bear rabbit bear said...

This is a great interview, but I don't feel like I could ever get to the point to implement them. :( Maybe one day...

Kara at Petals to Picots said...

Great advice! Like most moms I definitely struggle with this.

Adrianne at Happy Hour Projects said...

Great interview! Thanks, Tina and Terry!

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