What does self-care mean to you?
Self-care means to me nourishing the relationship with self. I look at this from the perspective of the holistic blueprint I created, defining that we are our ‘whole, fullest self’ when we are synergistically aligned in physical, mental, emotional, energetic, spiritual and financial health.
There are many aspects to ourselves, though the holistic body thrives in homeostasis, which means ‘balance’. We need to take care of all parts of ourselves, in particular our mental and emotional health as the body responds to our mind.
It is important we make it a happy and healthy place to be. Mindfulness and Spirituality for example, are practices and tools that drastically support our mental and emotional health.
I have a holistic approach because the ‘body’ is interconnected – we are the sum of all of our parts. Self- care really comes down to – what are your needs? Being in a place to connect to truly what they are. You would be surprised how disconnected people are from themselves, and cannot truly name their needs.
The first step is to connect to yourself – body and mind. Then overtime, you engage in a conversation with yourself – an inner dialogue, to become aware of your needs. Remember the body cannot speak to you in words – it speaks to you through feelings. These may be emotional, or they may be physical. The sensation is to inform you. Our job is to listen and respond.
Self care is taking care of your needs, to fill your cup daily, so you can be your most radiant self, and be in a place of service – to your work, to your family and loved ones, and most importantly yourself.
How do you know when you’re feeling stressed or burnt out?
I have a very strong inner dialogue with myself – I have learnt to connect to my inner world, and to allow that inner dialogue to inform me.
It may come if all of a sudden I feel anxious (when ordinarily I am a very grounded person). The anxiety is to inform me something is off. I’ve possibly self-abandoned, a certain direction may not be the right path for me and my body is communicating that by a form of anxiety stress, or it may be to alert me something is not right and I need to tune in further as to what that is.
I also very much allow the state I wake in the morning to inform my needs for the day. For example, when I am well rested, I feel very flowy and happy upon waking, I have very positive thoughts, I’m not bothered by the 7am morning leaf blower that is on a daily cycle – in fact, I can have gratitude for it.
If I am stressed, over doing, on the way to burning myself out, I might wake feeling exhausted, or that I need more sleep. I may have a scratchy throat. I may have negative thoughts. I may get very irritated at the sound of the 7am morning leaf blower outside. This informs, that I need to slow down, make space for myself, ensure an early night etc.
I always listen and respond to the communication my body gives me – this is the antidote to modern busy living.
I am realising more and more it is about making space and saying yes to the ‘full body yes’ (the things we really want to do), and saying no to what is not lighting us up. I am getting better at saying no, and realising less is more.
Managing stress is about making time for ourselves, and that can be hard when we are ‘so busy’ as a society. When you evaluate where you are spending your time – what truly needs to be done?
I review with my clients ‘energy -givers’ and ‘energy-takers’ – we want more of the things that revitalise us and give us vitality, and less of what drains us. If you are in the right field of work, I truly believe it energises you, not the other way around.
Do you have a regular self-care routine? If so, what does it look like?
My self-care is tuning into my inner world, and creating space to hear my inner voice, and then creating my daily life around that.
Meditation is a must for me – this is my time to tune in with myself, to ground, to connect inward, to become a witness to my thoughts and feelings, allowing them to release instead of becoming them. To create the space to hear and be able to listen to my intuition.
Also sleep and nutrition (nourishing whole-meals) are super important to me. I need a lot of sleep, so I am consistently trying to make as much space for rest and restore, and strong sleep health because it is vital to our physical, mental, emotional and energetic health.
Also nutritional, home-cooked whole-food meals (think what is grown from mother nature). We literally are what we eat, so what we put in our bodies matters immensely. The gut is the second brain – quite literally, your microbiome which is nourished (or not) by the foods we eat, inform your mental and emotional health.
These are my daily priorities.
Then as I have time I make space for mindful movement (yoga and I love embodied dance) – it’s important when I am in my head so much for my corporate work to get out of the mind, and connect with my body.
What bumps you off your self-care routine and how do you get back on course?
When I get particularly busy with work, that is the only thing that will bump me off. Though I have the principle that I need to feel well first, and then everything else comes after that.
I am my business – so if I am off course, then so is my work. So I need to fill myself first.
Like everyone, I have my moments where things feel out of control, and they are the moments where I most need to meditate for example, which I do.
I feel sleep forgoes the most to be honest, though I am very focused this year on my sleep hygiene because it is crucial.
I think it is knowing when enough is enough. We can only do so much in a day, and I think it’s accepting our limitations, and knowing where to draw the line and set boundaries.
Self-care for me is my first priority above anything, so when I’m off course, I start cutting back on everything else, to get myself back into balance first.
When I’m in balance, everything flows. When I’m out of balance, the wheels fall off. I’m serving no one, not even myself, when I am not taking care of myself.
Where do you go for inspiration, ideas or tools for self-care?
My business Baleińe Corporate is a ‘Human Capital, Organisational Wellbeing & Business Consultancy’. A large part of my work is around what I term ‘Human Optimisation’ – being our best version of self, and I relate this to our empowerment, leadership and succession in the corporate world.
I would say firstly, my inspiration is myself – this space is innate for me. I am incredibly passionate about it, perpetually studying the human health sciences, and have this innate overflowing stream of consciousness within me that inspires me daily and encourages me to just share, share, share.
This is why I have created the business I have – I believe in this work fully.
I also love the work of Melissa Ambrosini , and her podcast – she is always interviewing holistic practitioners, thought leaders and experts in this space, offering insightful information and inspiration.
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.