Laura Packwood is the Head of People at AppLearn, a pioneering digital adoption company and creator of the Adopt digital adoption solution.
What does self-care mean to you?
Taking time away from being everything to everyone! Focussing on me, my physical and mental health and my happiness. I find myself rushing between work, being a mum, after school activities and managing family life.
Self-care for me can be anything from spending some time with friends, listening to a non-work-related podcast, exercising or just sitting and enjoying the silence!
Self-care is whatever you feel you need to improve you own feelings of health and happiness; there is definitely no one size fits all fix, for example it’s rare you would find me at a spa to relax, it would have the opposite effect on me, I really don’t know how people sit still for so long!
How do you know when you’re feeling stressed or burnt out?
When I stop giving people my full attention and half listen because I am thinking of a scenario in my head or going over something that has happened and replaying it. I am a massive over-thinker and it often leads to feelings of stress and worry, and then I can’t focus on anything else.
When one of my children asks me a question and I start to answer but have to stop halfway and ask them again what they said, which then leads to yet more over thinking that I am not present enough.
The cycle never ends (and it’s also cost me a few trips out when they have asked to go somewhere and I have agreed without knowing what I have said yes to!) This is when I know I need a break, I need to push the thoughts, worry, workload to one side and do something to clear my mind.
When I am feeling stressed about something it is usually because I pride myself on always giving 100%, so when I feel I haven’t, worry sets in. I have to remind myself that 100% isn’t always an option, and sometimes your best if more than good enough
Do you have a regular self-care routine? If so, what does it look like?
In 2022 I have set myself a goal of being kinder to myself as the previous 2 years of lockdowns, home school and pandemic life caused me a lot of stress, so letting go of that is a major milestone for me.
I also set a target to be fit in time for my 40 birthday this summer and started a new fitness regime which involves a variety of boot camps that really pushes me to the limits of my physical ability, but the feeling after is worth it!
Including more physical activity has had a positive impact on my sleep, and let’s face it, we all feel a million times better after a good night’s sleep! Having two young children means sleep has always been a luxury that never came my way, so I am absolutely relishing this newfound routine!
What bumps you off your self-care routine and how do you get back on course?
Time! It is always time. It is so easy to place your own needs at the bottom of the pile when you are a working parent, and I am guilty of this. I have started to tap into early morning workouts or listening to a podcast before my family wake up – the golden hour when everything is quiet is so refreshing, it’s become my ‘me time’ and sets me up for a good day ahead.
Because I find it so hard to switch off, I have never been good at yoga, mediation or breath work. I have started to explore these during this quiet time, and I have found myself more and more interested and keen to try more. Gradually my mind is starting to understand that it’s ok to be empty of thoughts and to just enjoy the moment. I have a long way to go through!
Before you go…
Self-Care is our new interview 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.