Veronica Mason is the founder and head coach at VRM Futures Co, where she offers services to people in the startup ecosystem, as well as corporate professionals.
What does self-care mean to you?
Self-care means self-nurturing to me.
Often people think of self-care as getting a massage, or watching TV – but at its core, it’s doing things to nurture ourselves.
For me, that’s doing the inner work: meditating, saying affirmations and choosing better feeling thoughts.
I make sure I find time for mindful swimming and walking regularly.
Self-care is making loving yourself your number one priority and constantly affirming you are worthy of the very best in life. For when we’re at our best we can let all our gifts shine through and be of service to others.
How do you know when you’re feeling stressed or burnt out?
When I feel disconnected, feeling anxious, stuck in analysis of paralysis and am finding it difficult to still my mind and just know, be and feel. I feel like I’m on a hamster wheel and my mind is going at 100 miles an hour! I feel overwhelmed, there’s a lot of tension in my body or my mindset is impacted.
Do you have a regular self-care routine? If so, what does it look like?
My inner work is key to my self-care routine.
In the mornings I’ll do specific meditations that plug me into the energy I need to experience for the day, do some kundalini yoga (it’s a practice of both movement and breathwork to raise energy), and swim.
I’ll make sure I’m giving myself nourishing foods – I pretty much follow the Mediterranean/paleo diets. I use my pressure cooker daily to make nutrient dense meals like a nice curry. I have bone broth and have recently been getting into bone marrow for breakfast which sustains me until lunch (it’s delicious, trust me).
Weekly I’ll do acupuncture, which helps me trigger the relaxation response.
I am very conscious of my thoughts. I’m quick to catch myself saying or thinking something negative. Mind training is like training a horse – your brain and attention just need to be gently led back to the present moment.
I try to pace myself energetically throughout the day so that I’m not overwhelmed/exhausted by the end of the day.
In the evening, I journal, do relaxation or forgiveness meditations and might do some yin yoga or speak to loved ones. I turn off my phone and computer an hour before bed so that I can optimise sleep too. Sleep is very important to my self-care! Without a good night’s sleep, everything is just that bit more difficult the next day!
What bumps you off your self-care routine and how do you get back on course?
When I’m not practising my routine, or haven’t made time for it. Or if something stressful comes up and I trigger the fight or flight response.
I try to get back into homeostasis as quickly as possible by doing different meditations like a full body relaxation meditation, or another meditation to access my right brain (which contains 95% of your brain’s capacity) so that I am balanced.
I will prioritise changing my physiology and mental state by doing things like going for a swim.
I also do things that bring me joy like being with family or being creative like when I’m cooking!
Being in nature is also another great way for me to calm down, so I will go for a walk/swim or sit on the grass.
I regularly speak with my coach as well.
Where do you go for inspiration, ideas or tools for self-care?
My coach is my go to. She knows me really well, guides me and will suggest a tool I need to practice or incorporate if I’m off course.
What do you think you need to improve in terms of your self-care practice?
Constantly watching myself talk throughout the day! Jim Rohn said ‘stand guard at the door of your mind’, and that means all the time! Not just in meditation or for 5 minutes a day!
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.