• Whitney

#Selfcare

Updated: Jul 30, 2019

"Self-care" Illustrations by Paul Ramesh

You guys! I just presented at my first retreat this weekend, and what an experience. It's such an amazing feeling to inspire people to be the best version of themselves, but to also give yourself grace when you're not. The day was perfect, I was nervous but confident in what I was speaking about because, well, I help people with self-care everyday. I've got this! A few minutes into the presentation my voice was shaky because I was so nervous, but as I continued on, it seemed to ease and came much more naturally. A success in my book!

The women who came all have a story, much like everyone we're surrounded by on a daily basis. We all have success and failures and hard times. Sometimes completely unbearable pain, but through whatever avenue we decide to take, we make it through. Then those hardship become lessons that make us wiser, and help to correct ourselves so we don't fall back into old patterns. These women's stories and things they have accomplished are nothing short of amazing. There was a woman who was a hot air balloon pilot, a professional sky diver, business owners, & moms. So much talent in one room. The more you dig deeper into someones story the more beautiful the human race becomes. With that said, the more you work on yourself and figure out who you truly are, the more you fall in love with yourself and learn to accept your failures and flaws. So here's a peek into what my portion of the retreat was about.

What is Self-Care?

My real passion and life’s purpose is self-care. Yes, I love to be able to say to my clients, you need a hot bath and a good book. But self-care goes deeper than that. I see everyday the worth in each person I encounter. The struggling college student, the tired mom, the insanely busy entrepreneur, the night shifter, the laborer. All of you are important and make this crazy universe go round. One thing we all have in common is we sometimes get overwhelmed and burnt out. It’s in those times when we need to take a step back and regroup.

Deep Breathing Technique~Step 1

This simple technique will help you recognize just what you need to move forward with your day. It can be done anytime, anywhere.

Take some deep breaths and settle into your body. Are you hurting? either mentally or physically? Are you tired? Overwhelmed? What does your soul want and need? Listen to it. It’s sending you a message for a reason.

How do you feel after this technique?

What are you going to do to help correct what your body & soul is trying to tell you?

I also want to point out sometimes we receive nothing, keep practicing!

Self- Care Suggestions~Step 2

A cup of tea

A good book

An intense workout

A light workout

Taking a bath

Cooking a healthy meal

Taking a drive

Meditation

Journaling

Playing fetch with your dog

Holding your kids

Massage

Hike

Gardening

Finding a new hobby like, pottery, dancing, painting EVEN IF YOU AREN’T GOOD!

Learning to say NO!

There is no one clear self-care routine or one size fits all. It’s about you recognizing what you need to make you happy and so you don’t get burnt out.

Setting Intention~Step 3

You can easily schedule a massage, go for a hike, or do any self-care suggestion but if you don’t have intention behind it you will get nothing from it!! For example, before you head to your massage, have the intention of silencing your phone and start slowing your breathing for deeper relaxation. You will get so much more out of your self-care by setting intentions to do so.

Establishing a Routine~Step 4

The importance of a routine is epic! Especially your morning ritual. It preps your day for success and positivity. Here is a sample of my routine. It doesn't go like this everyday, mostly due to children and sometimes they wake up with me. That's obviously okay! Include them too!

~Coffee

~Open my blinds/ greet the day

~Sit in silence and recite what i’m grateful for~ giving gratitude changes the whole mood for your day

~Pour my coffee and hit the showers

~When it comes to work, I ALWAYS make time for lunch!! it gives you a break in the day. My husband is night shift so this gives us time to catch up and be a family

~Back to work, followed by afternoon coffee or tea ~usually around 3:00 pm

~Home to kids, dinner, bath, bed

~TV & tea or

mushroom coffee.

Almost everyone will tell you no tv before bed as it stimulates you, I need this time to unplug from reality for a bit. I've expended most of my energy on clients and kids during the day.

~Sleep (sometimes sleep meditation app) there are a ton of free ones to choose from

Sometimes I take a hot bath in the morning and soak for 10 minutes. Some of you might be thinking "I have kids or no time for this." I get up early on purpose so I have time for myself, I need this time, it makes me a better wife and mom and gets me prepared for a hectic day.

Meditation At Work

Let’s say you are at work and you need to step away because you’ve lost drive or have a mental block. If you are able to go for a walk around the building, do it! Listen to the birds, how does the air feel on your skin? How does it smell outside?

If this is out of reach for you, sit at your place of work, take some deep breaths, focus on what makes you happy. Go for that walk in your mind. Imagine how the grass feels beneath your feet, whats smells make you happy, what are you wearing? Do you feel the breeze on your skin? This is such a great way to refocus during the day. It will also be a clear reminder how powerful our minds are and why making them stronger through positive thought is a must.

Something else to keep in mind, do not feel guilty for taking time for you. Your work, your kids, your husband will all be okay for you to take time out for yourself. It will make you a better mom, wife, employee...A better human in general.

One of the coolest things I've witnessed, for you moms, aunts, mentors, babysitters, teachers etc… our youth is observing us do these self-care techniques. When we explain why we're doing them, and showing them how, they begin understanding when to start implementing them throughout their lives. What a beautiful thing that is!! So I want to end with this, "Taking care of myself doesn't mean me first, it means me too"L.R. Knost

Peace, love, and self-care,

Whitney Belford

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