Ashlee Chapman’s Self-Care Routine: “Self-care to me means being in tune with your own needs.”

Ashlee Chapman is the Chief of Staff at Vygo, a company empowering students to support each other and universities to create impactful peer mentoring and student support programs.

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What does self-care mean to you?

Self-care to me means being in tune with your own needs and making sure you take the time to look after yourself.

How do you know when you’re feeling stressed or burnt out?

For me, stress and/or burnout manifests in my mood, my muscles and my thoughts. My mood can become more distracted, with increased irritation and a noticeable drop in excitement. I notice it in my muscles as well because when I’m stressed out my jaw is usually quite tight as I’m more prone to grinding my teeth in my sleep. It’s also very clear from my thoughts as when I’m stressed I find myself worrying more about things that I usually would not worry about.

Do you have a regular self-care routine? If so, what does it look like?

I do have a daily routine to maintain regular self-care!

I regularly meditate in the morning when I wake up (before I even get out of bed), my favourite type of meditation is a visualisation or a breathing exercise. I often do these self-guided but I love the app Headspace. 

Before I start work I always either read a chapter of a book or do some exercise, to kick-start the day positively. 

Whenever I remember (usually daily) I take a moment to practice gratefulness by thinking of one thing I am grateful for today. (Today it was the sunshine reflecting on the bay of Kotor in Montenegro -where I’m working remotely for the week). 

I also take vitamins daily and at the end or in the middle of my day, try to go for a walk to get a good dose of sunlight. 

Finally, I’m pretty strict about reducing my screen time at night so that I can fall asleep easily, so I usually read for 15-30 minutes before falling asleep.

What bumps you off your self-care routine and how do you get back on course?

I find travel can be quite disruptive to my self-care routine and also very early morning meetings (working at a global remote startup this can be quite common). On these days, I try to make up for this by rescheduling my activities to lunchtime and putting in a meeting with myself in my diary to ensure the space remains free and I hold myself accountable to ensuring my own self-care.

Where do you go for inspiration, ideas or tools for self-care?

I like to read about self-care tips in books because reading in general is a great way for me to relax. I also love the Headspace app and find that it provides really great daily structure for meditation.

Finally, I rely a lot on my colleagues to teach me and hold me accountable to my own commitments (we have a Slack channel for this and people constantly post about how they are tracking against their own self-care goals which are often incredibly inspiring).

Before you go…

Self-Care is a content series exploring the different self-care routines and habits of people from all walks of life. Get in touch with us today if you’d like to talk about your self-care routine.

About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.