In this interview, Vicki Engsall, Co-Founder of The Jojoba Company, shares the importance of self-care in her life, the signs that signal her to slow down, and her personal routine for maintaining well-being amidst a busy lifestyle.
What does self-care mean to you?
Self-care, to me, means making a conscious effort to prioritise my physical, emotional, and mental well-being. It’s about taking time to nurture and rejuvenate myself so that I can better handle life’s challenges and be at my best.
How do you know when you’re feeling stressed or burnt out?
Some of the signs which tell me that I am feeling stressed or burnt out and it is a clear indicator that I need to address my well being are things like when:
- I feel a sense of overwhelming exhaustion, it is hard to get up in the morning and I’m just tired all the time.
- I feel reduced enthusiasm for my work and sometimes even my personal life where even something as simple as cooking dinner for my family seems like I am trying to climb a mountain!
- My Emotions are heightened and I am over reacting to what would normally be small things that wouldn’t bother me.
- Physical symptoms like headaches or sleep disturbances. Waking at 3am and not being able to get back to sleep and drinking way too much coffee to get me through the day.
Do you have a regular self-care routine? If so, what does it look like?
Yes, I do. I make sure to set aside time each day for self-care activities, even if it’s just 15 minutes. I take my little 13 year old Cavoodle, Ellie, for a walk every day either with my husband, a friend or by myself.
I love being out in the fresh air enjoying the outdoors, getting my heart pumping, talking or debriefing my day. When I am by myself, I listen to a great podcast while walking or just enjoy the serenity! I also do yoga and pilates each week which I find very therapeutic and grounding and also great to keep my body moving.
Catch ups with friends are an important part of my self-care as it is an opportunity to talk, debrief and listen to my like minded soul sisters. There’s nothing quite like a catch up with the girls! Also, each fortnight I do acupuncture.
This is the ultimate self care in my opinion as it is one hour of relaxation and recharging and it helps to relieve aches and pains and helps me to sleep so well. To recharge periodically, I organise holidays and weekends away with both my family and friends.
What bumps you off your self-care routine and how do you get back on course?
A busy work schedule,travel with work, family commitments, or unexpected life events can sometimes disrupt my self-care routine. I skip acupuncture appointments and pilates and yoga sessions and even miss days of walking my little Ellie.
When that happens, I remind myself that self-care is essential, and I try to adjust my schedule to make time for it. It is not always easy to adjust the schedule as everything always seems to be urgent and can’t be put off.
Quite often I will blank out my diary for a weekend even if it is in a few weeks time to just have time to catch up on sleep and other things that have slipped by to help myself get back on track. It is something to aim for as well and often keeps me going when I know there is a break in sight. It’s about being flexible and recognising that self-care is not selfish but necessary for my overall well-being.
Where do you go for inspiration, ideas or tools for self-care?
I find inspiration from various sources. My naturopath and my acupuncturist both give me amazing inspiration and ideas for self care. I also listen to a variety of podcasts which often provide inspiration for self care. Engaging in conversations with friends and colleagues who share their self-care practices is another great source of inspiration for me. It’s amazing how much you can learn from others.
What do you think you need to improve in terms of your self-care practice?
One area I’d like to improve is setting better boundaries. Juggling work and home can sometimes be challenging. They say when you are working, you need to act like you don’t have a family and when you are at home, you need to act like you don’t have a job.
This is impossible to do and I need to be more kind to myself and know that I am doing my best and not try to do it all at the expense of my own self care. Learning to establish clear boundaries and prioritise my self-care without feeling guilty is something I’m continually working on.