Natasha McCrea is the founder of Love CEO Institute and creator of the Love Intelligence Method . She is a multi-passionate coach, speaker, actress and author.
What does self-care mean to you?
Self-care is the outward expression of self-love. For me it’s having space in my calendar to breathe. This includes infusing celebration and self-compassion into my goal setting. It’s filling up my cup so full that I only give from the overflow so I am never giving from an empty cup or from the resources I need. Self-care is putting on my oxygen mask first. This way I show up in the world as my full self and I am able to give my best.
How do you know when you’re feeling stressed or burnt out?
Burnout can show up in so many different ways for so many different reasons. A few signs of burnout are getting sick more often, isolation, procrastination, negative outlook on life and feeling like a failureI. I have felt them all at some point in my life. Now, when I am burned out. I tend to want to “check-out” and I start to procrastinate.
Over the years of cultivating my self-care lifestyle I have learned how to listen to my body. So I know when I need to take an extra nap, shut off my phone or reschedule a meeting.
In most instances I can fend off stress and burnout by utilising my self-care blueprint as well taking a moment to pause/breathe before a conversation, phone call or meeting.
Do you have a regular self-care routine? If so, what does it look like?
Yes, I have made self-care a lifestyle for myself. I must have a routine to maintain the level of life satisfaction that I want. Years ago I created a self-care blueprint for myself. It’s now evolved into me being an advocate for self-love and teaching what I have learned from others. I revisit and change my blueprint often. I use my calendar to stay on top of my self-care.
Currently my self-care blueprint is meditating for 20 mins at the beginning and end of each day, drinking a lot of water, limiting meetings to 2 days a week, all phone notifications turned off, in bed by 10pm, 45 minutes of walking/movement everyday, fruit for breakfast and a lot of living foods throughout the day, alcohol 1-2 times a week, holding mantras and affirmations in my mind to help with my response to things throughout the day, asking “is this important” before making a statement or response to something I don’t like, only doing things I really want to do, following the Love CEO Institute self-care calendar. This doesn’t mean I am exempt from the challenges and disappointments of life. It just means now I have a way of managing those challenges and disappointments.
What bumps you off your self-care routine and how do you get back on course?
General life changes can bump me off my self-care routine. I am an empath. So that means I have a tendency to feel a lot and I must manage that. When I am feeling “off” or out of harmony I consider this to be a sign that it is time to redesign my self-care blueprint.
Understanding that we are all “fluid” and always changing and growing is key when developing a self-care blueprint. Since I coach and teach self-care I have built a very consistent self-care plan. However I am not exempt from the challenges that come along with caring for myself.
My main challenge is simply being aware of the emotions, acknowledging and flowing with it. When I resist it and don’t redesign the blueprint it takes me much longer to get back into harmony with myself and other areas of my life begin to suffer.
Where do you go for inspiration, ideas or tools for self-care?
I have to admit the accountability of teaching self-care has been life changing for me. I am constantly learning and practising so I can stay on the cutting edge of loving myself through self-care and teaching others about what I discover and learn. I am a nerd so I love reading psychological research on the subject. Also, I surround myself with others who are on their own self-care journey.
What do you think you need to improve in terms of your self-care practice?
I can improve my self-care practice by not judging myself and embracing the journey of adapting more quickly to growth and change.
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.