Sharing stories from others who believe self-care is foundational to their best self

 

 

Karena

@ wonderwell workshops
What's your own definition of self-care?
To me, self-care means being aware of what my mind/body/spirit needs are on any given day, and honoring those needs. Sometimes I need veggies, other days it might be a burger and milkshake. It's all about being in tune and flexible with what I need.
How do you currently take care of yourself?
I am all about prevention, so I like to do things regularly to take care of myself. Lately, it's been an afternoon walk with a good podcast. I've also recently started taking vitamins, too!
How can you tell when you do need a bit more self-care in your life?
I become a teeth-grinder at night when I get too stressed or overwhelmed. I also tend to have less patience towards others.
 
When I am stressed out, my go-to self-care activity is:
Yoga/light stretching, meditation, spending a few minutes outside in sunshine, texting or talking to a friend or Steve (my boyfriend), though sometines a nap is all I'll need!
 
Most affordable and essential self-care tool that I can't live without:
My water bottle! I definitely think drinking enough water is a huge piece of taking optimal care of myself.
When I do splurge, it's on:
Facemasks, creams, lotions. I love making my AM an PM a little more indulging by using a face cream that makes my skin feel and smell good.
My top 3 apps that I use for self-care:
Insight Timer for meditation, Spotify for all the great tunes, and Play Music for podcasts!
What is one tip or piece of advice related to self-care?
Take it easy, and approach self-care with a light, joyful heart. Because in the end, it really is just all about being kind to yourself.

 

 

Ashley

@ girlbossevents
What's your own definition of self-care?
My definition of self-care means being able to take time doing things for myself that create a healthy energy, mind, and body while filling up my bucket so that I can pour better energy into all cups or areas of my life; marriage, kids, work, etc. This could mean taking time for a DIY facemask, going to bed a bit earlier, daily exercise,  taking just a bit longer getting ready in the morning, meditation, tracking what I'm eating, spending time with friends, and so many other things.
How do you currently take care of yourself?
I try to get up before my kids do to just take some time to live in the quiet, set my mind, and get ready for the day. I also try to get to bed at a decent hour. Sleep is SO important to a healthy self-care life. I also try to drink half my body weight in oz of water everyday as well as keep track of what I'm putting into my body.  I've also learned saying "no" is a GREAT way to take care of and not overextend yourself.
How can you tell when you do need a bit more self-care in your life?
I start feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and my mind feels very cloudy.
 
When I am stressed out, my go-to self-care activity is:
Hand-lettering scripture, prayer + breathing exercises, and snuggling my dog 🙂
 
Most affordable and essential self-care tool that I can't live without:
A good facemask (I use L'OREAL Pure Clay Masks) and a good meditation app!
When I do splurge, it's on:
A rare mani/pedi 
My top 3 tools that I use for self-care:
Headspace- offers soothing sounds as well as meditation exercises
 
Lose It! - helps you keep track of what you're putting in your body. You can track calories, macronutrients, as well as water intake. Whether you are trying to gain, lose, or maintain weight, its important to know what you are fueling your body with since health is WAY more than a number on a scale. 
 
Technology can be a great way to help with self-care, but other than those two, I try not to use my phone as a way to relax, I find it does the opposite, so thirdly, I would say paper and pens and bible for me to hand letter. Doing an activity with your hands that creates something is proven to relax and relieve stress. 
What is one tip or piece of advice related to self-care?
Go. To. Bed. Staying up late doesn't help anyone. And dock your phone AWAY from where you sleep. Downstairs, in the other room, wherever. No one needs to be scrolling right before they're trying to relax and rest their mind and body.

 

 

Bailey

@ goodtherapycincy
What's your own definition of self-care?
Taking time to check in with myself and then giving my body, mind, and spirit what it needs.
How do you currently take care of yourself?
Oh let me count the ways...  I prioritize sleep, exercise, and nutritious food each day because if one of those is out of whack then the whole system suffers. I am careful about how I manage my work schedule and I allot plenty of breaks. If I need to work more than usual one day I will work less the day before or after. I give myself space to be creative when I feel like being creative, space to veg out when I feel I need to veg out, and space to reflect on what I have experienced so far in this life. make time to play. I stay close to my family and friends. I travel. I laugh A LotI don't take myself or this life too seriously.  I celebrate every small, medium, and large victory. allow myself to be imperfect.
How can you tell when you do need a bit more self-care in your life?
When things that felt small and insignificant yesterday feel big and overwhelming today.
 
When I am stressed out, my go-to self-care activity is:
It depends on the kind of stress. If it is an anxious or frustrated stress then my go-to is exercise. I love to lift weights, run, do yoga, hike, anything physical. Being able to physically "conquer" a workout makes me feel more mentally and emotionally capable to handle whatever lies in front of me. If it is a sad or helpless type of stress then I turn to bubble baths with soothing fragrances and relaxing music. That helps me to practice letting go and accepting life for what it is instead of fighting against reality. 
 
Most affordable and essential self-care tool that I can't live without:
I'm big on yummy smelling scents so essential oils are my jam. I keep rollerball blends and diffusers everywhere. I even have a portable essential oil diffuser in my car.
When I do splurge, it's on:
Travel or delicious food.
My top 3 apps that I use for self-care:
Headspace to meditate, Nike Running Club for guided runs, Podcasts to learn.
What is one tip or piece of advice related to self-care?
Becoming the best possible version of yourself will not happen naturally. It is a lifestyle that requires effort and will continuously evolve if you allow it toIt is not a linear process. You will sometimes fall flat on your face. However, if you choose to face all that life brings your way, you will have thousands of opportunities to make decisions that will serve you in becoming healthier, stronger, happier, and more at peace. Take advantage of those opportunities and face life head on. Your future self will thank you for it. 

 

 

Brynne

@ bewellbalance
What's your own definition of self-care?
To me, self-care means doing the things you need to do to refuel and rejuvenate, which can take various forms for different people. When you feel at your best, you are better able to put your best self forward for others and in your work.
How do you currently take care of yourself?
I try my best to nourish my body with good food, exercise regularly, and get a solid 8 hours of sleep every night (this is a must for me!). To ease my mind, I read often, practice meditation, and engage in creative activities -- whether that's painting, writing, or cooking. Not all days are good days, and on those particularly harder days, the most important form of self-care for me is practicing self-compassion and forgiveness. Not being too harsh on myself is key to do better moving forward.
How can you tell when you do need a bit more self-care in your life?
I can always tell when I am feeling extra stressed or down by being in touch with my body and mind: when I start getting headaches, neck/back tension, increased negative self-talk, or feel like staying in more often than usual, I know I need to take a step back to reassess and make changes to my routine.
When I am stressed out, my go-to self-care activity is:
Exercise and meditation are my easy, immediate go-to stress relievers. Taking my dog for a short walk or focusing on my breathing for a few minutes always relaxes me. Deep breathing is particularly useful because you can literally do it anytime, anywhere!
 
Most affordable and essential self-care tool that I can't live without:
A hike in nature is my ultimate form of self-care. Free, beautiful views, and gets the endorphins flowing!
When I do splurge, it's on:
A weekend away with friends! Exploring new cities and spending time with friends is a favorite way for me to escape and distract my mind. Even making a simple day trip to a nearby city still offers a fun experience and can be relatively affordable.
My top 3 tools that I use for self-care:
Headspace is my number one self-care app that I use for meditation. Calm is another great one for sleep and meditation. I also like exploring different ideas and inspiration through others' Instagram accounts.
What is one tip or piece of advice related to self-care?
Really take a look at the things you do on a day-to-day or weekly basis and identify what makes you feel good and what depletes you. If you're noticing that there are way more tasks that are depleting than restoring, schedule in even just 5 minutes a day to yourself to do something that makes feel good. Start small and continue to build these "feel good" activities into your routine. It might even be worth exploring new hobbies -- I recently tried watercolor painting, and it has become a new activity that I've added to my personal self-care toolkit!

 

 

Brittney

@ brittneycottman
      photography
What's your own definition of self-care?
My definition of self-care is when you pay attention to and are aware of what your own body and mind needs in order to function at it's best, and then act upon those needs to keep energy, happiness, and stress at optimal levels.
How do you currently take care of yourself?
This I feel is always a work in progress. Some days I do a really good job of eating the right foods, drinking enough water, being active, taking time to do something non-work related, or even taking the time to sit and do nothing for a few minutes. Other days it's a struggle to remind myself that I have needs that require attention as well in order to keep all cylinders firing the way they're supposed to. I think being aware that some days will be more of a struggle is half the battle though. It's completely normal to be totally on it some days and other days not pay attention to needs at all. I've learned over time not to give myself a hard time about this. Once I recognize I may not have been totally attentive to my needs in a day, I shrug it off and decide to focus a little better the next day.
How can you tell when you do need a bit more self-care in your life?
When I feel sluggish or stressed for sure. We all give ourselves mental pep talks throughout the day. I'm aware that when my pep talks start to become not-so-peppy, I need to figure out what I need to do physically or mentally to get out of that headspace because something is missing to make me think the thoughts I'm thinking. Someone once told me that we are our own worst critics and we tend to say pretty terrible things to ourselves at times. But if you say the negative things you're thinking out loud, are they words that you would say to your best friend? to your significant other? Most of the time the answer is NO so why do we think it is ok to say these things to ourselves? We shouldn't! Most of the time, taking a moment to reflect when having negative thoughts will lead us to being aware that our bodies and/or our minds are in need of something to change our attitudes.
 
When I am stressed out, my go-to self-care activity is:
Organizing! Call me a nerd, but I feel very refreshed and accomplished when I can overhaul a closet, cabinets, or shelves and organize the inside for better use of space and improved function of the items.
 
Most affordable and essential self-care tool that I can't live without:
My UnderArmor water bottle! Getting plenty of water is so important for overall health, and I can definitely feel the toll it takes on me mentally and physically if I haven't had enough water (sluggish, slow, tired, hungry, etc.). I personally love ice water and my UnderArmor water bottle keeps ice water cold for an entire day when I'm on the go. I really don't know what I'd do without it. I take it everywhere!
When I do splurge, it's on:
Things for my home. I love decorating and organizing, so anything that can help me do either one of those in my home is a splurge. I also consider getting a manicure and/or pedicure a splurge. It's something I have to go out of my way to schedule and plan for myself.
My top 3 apps that I use for self-care:
Trello in my business keeps me on track and organized with my work; Pinterest is my go to for EVERYTHING. When I want to find a new recipe, or a way to treat a breakout, or when I just need to find some funny posts to give me a good laugh, I hit up Pinterest; MindBody is something I've just discovered in the past few months as I've gotten more into yoga. It helps me find yoga classes to sign up for and there are tons more fitness, wellness, and beauty things to sign up for on there as well!
What is one tip or piece of advice related to self-care?
Take the time to find what works for you. Not everyone will get the same benefits from the same activity. I hear people say things like "I need to do this or that because it's supposed to be good for me" or "I need to do this because I should and other people say they're doing it" and I often wonder if they are really getting any benefit from it. Running can be a great active exercise, but I personally feel better and more accomplished in exercising when I've been on the elliptical. Meditation is supposed to be very healthy for reducing stress and anxiety, but I feel the most stress relief when I'm organizing something or putting on some chill music and drawing/painting. Does this mean that I'm missing something or not doing everything I can for my own self care? Nope! It just means that I have honed in on what really works for myself. Never stop trying new things to see what activities work the best for you 🙂

 

 

Kristen

@ drkristenzumberger
What's your own definition of self-care?

Self-care to me is defined as the practice of taking an active role in protecting, improving, or preserving one’s own physical and mental well-being to promote happiness. I love this definition because it implies that self-care is PROACTIVE and that you have to take an initiative and be active in the role of your own health. I also like it because it implies that it does not necessarily have to be an act of improving but can also be an act of preserving what already exists within us. Nobody controls your own well-being, health, and happiness more than you and you should not rely on anyone else to do it.

Self-care to me means filling up your own cup before trying to help fill up anyone else’s cup. Self-care is about taking an ACTIVE role in your mental and physical health and well-being to create the best version of you. You simply cannot take care of anyone else well if you are not well yourself mentally or physically.

How do you currently take care of yourself?

Self-care for me includes things that improve my mental and physical health and wellbeing. I mainly focus on tasks that improve my body or mind in more ways than one. Tasks that for me personally truly make me feel more confident, feel good in my skin, and release those feel good hormones and endorphins. These things include:

  • Movements: workouts, yoga, walks, runs, stretches at least daily
  • Getting adjusted at least 2 times a week
  • Getting massages at least monthly
  • Self-help or motivational empowering books, podcasts, quotes at least daily
  • Candle Lit Bubble Baths at least biweekly
  • Jam Session as needed
  • Hair Done
  • Buying a new clothing item (careful on this one)
  • Meditation/Diaphragmatic Breathing
How can you tell when you do need a bit more self-care in your life?

I can tell when I need a bit more self-care in my life when I start to notice my mean girl and inner critic kicking up her volume. Negative self-talk, negative thoughts and behaviors start to show their colors in my life when I have not taken care of me. I think this is my body’s way of trying to grab my attention. I quickly turn to want to blame others or things just don’t seem to be going “right”. That’s when I know I need some self-care and self-love. It’s a sign I have neglected areas of myself and body.

When I am stressed out, my go-to self-care activity is:
My go to self-care activity is either a run/walk outside blaring my favorite jams, a candle lit bubble bath with calm relaxing music, or if I’m in a time crunch a quick 5-10 deep breaths with my eyes closed.
 
Most affordable and essential self-care tool that I can't live without:

This is tricky, I would say motivational or self-help books, podcasts, or quotes. It truly begins my day right each day with positivity and motivation and it keeps my brain and mind sharp.

A very simple essential and affordable self-care tool is Diaphragmatic breathing. You don’t need anything but a few quite minutes to yourself and your breath. It’s actually been shown that diaphragmatic breathing physically reduces your cortisol (stress) levels.

When I do splurge, it's on:
Getting my hair done, or a new outfit to make me feel good and confident.
My top 3 tools that I use for self-care:
Headspace App for quick guided mediation, Apple Podcast App, Spotify for the best playlists
What is one tip or piece of advice related to self-care?
My best piece of advice related to self-care is to keep it simple. Self-care does not have to be expensive or time consuming but is absolutely 100% necessary. Another tip is to not compare your self-care activities to anyone else’s because we all respond to happy differently and that’s OKAY, that’s what makes each of us so unique and wonderful. Find what works for you and find what sparks pure joy, excitement, and motivation in your life. Find those things and then DO MORE OF THEM. Make those tings your priority because you deserve it and you will be a better person, friend, spouse, child, parent because of them. Because when your cup is full, it overflows on others and helps fill their cup up too! Self-care is never selfish.

 

 

Samantha

@ selfcareselflove_ot
What's your own definition of self-care?
Self-care is the practice of making the conscious decision to engage in tasks/activities that improve (or sustain) your physical, mental, and emotional health and wellness.
How do you currently take care of yourself?
I am adamant about getting enough sleep. I try to drink a lot of water throughout the day. I go for walks and practice yoga. I spend time outside whenever the weather is nice. I prioritize spending time and speaking to people that lift me up. I write. I practice mindfulness (currently finishing up a mindfulness based stress reduction course) and lots of breathing exercises. I practice Reiki on myself. I actually also set weekly goals with my husband usually related to wellness and we hold each other accountable throughout the week.
How can you tell when you do need a bit more self-care in your life?
I usually start to feel more tired and down. I become more reactive and easily frustrated.
 
When I am stressed out, my go-to self-care activity is:
If I'm practicing self-care the way I want to be...going outside or a short mindfulness meditation.
 
Most affordable and essential self-care tool that I can't live without:
My breath. (it's free!)
When I do splurge, it's on:
Yoga clothes, essential oils/candles, teas.
My top 3 apps that I use for self-care:
I don't really use many self-care apps. I do have 2 different instagram accounts, one personal and one wellness. I tend to leave myself signed into the wellness one because the feed is filled with much more positive messages and perspectives...
What is one tip or piece of advice related to self-care?
Make one goal to start. If you try to tackle everything at once it won't feel (or likely be) sustainable.
Even though you only asked for one piece of advice I'm going to give a second....drop the "all or nothing" mentality. If you forget something or miss a goal for the week or get really busy, don't beat yourself up. If you wan't to do something 5 days a week, and you got to 2 or 3 of those...that's still better than the 0 days of before. Beating yourself up causes more stress and feeling defeated often leads to people just dropping their self-care practice. Be kind to yourself. It's a learning and growing process..it does not have to be perfect at first.

MADE WITH LOVE AND CARE

We are continually talking with people about self-care and what they are doing for themselves. If you would like to share your story about self-care, we'd love to chat. Please don't hesitate to contact us!