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You’re Choosing to Neglect your Self-Care

I’m going to guarantee that you’re putting other people’s needs first before your own.  I’m going to guarantee that you haven’t taken responsibility for your own self-care and that you’re choosing to neglect it.  In this blog post not only am I going to get real with you and tell you how it is, I am going to give you free list of 20 feel good, no cost self-care ideas that will get you started.

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<< If you’re ready to take charge of your own self-care before I have even told you why, you can download your list of 20 ideas here! >>

Before I explain why, here is some back story!

During my time as a worker at Child Protection Services, a work colleague approached me for help.  Looking back on that interaction it was clear that she was doing her best considering the circumstances and doing her absolute best to hold everything together.  Throughout the conversation things were beginning to move on quickly.  The list of things that she had to do was becoming bigger, more decisions were needing to be thought through and made and I could see that things were quickly spiraling out of control for her.  She burst into tears, which is unlike her, and told me that she was feeling very overwhelmed and everything was becoming too much.

Not too long ago I was in the same position as my work colleague.  Being in tears was a daily occurrence.  I wasn’t sleeping at night and I was thinking non-stop about the next strategic move I needed to make in order to get the best outcome for the client that I was working with at the time.  I knew things were not okay.  I knew that I was beginning to become unwell.  Yet I forced myself to keep going.  Little did I know that at the time I was well and truly down the path of sickness, both physically and mentally.

When I reflect on what was happening at the time, I remember my choices were based on unhealthy values.  I didn’t want to inconvenience anybody or put anybody out and I thought that the clients and the team needed me to be there to function.  I didn’t want to let the clients that I was working with down and I didn’t want to let the team down by causing additional pressure to what they were already experiencing.  I see now that these were unhealthy values.  Whether I like it or not the world still moves on whether I’m working in it or not.  There were other people to make sure that the kids I was working with were safe.  I wasn’t any good for anybody and I was a burden on my colleagues who spent a lot of time literally picking me up off the floor (in tears).

It was time to make a realistic choice.  I could choose to try and keep going and survive by emotionally disconnecting from my feelings and my body or I could choose to put my needs first, take care of myself the way that I needed to be taken care of and make some changes that were in my control.  Realistically, I didn’t have to continue putting up with living like that and I chose not too.

If you’re ready to make a realistic choice I have a list of 20 feel good, no cost self-care ideas to get you started.  They’re simple ideas but have maximum impact.

<< Grab your list of 20 feel good, no cost self-care ideas
that you can start doing right now >>

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Whether you like it or not, you are responsible for everything that happens in your life.  What I mean by this is that you’re not responsible for the choices that other people make, their behaviour or the things that they do to you, but you are responsible for how you interpret everything that happens to you and how you respond to it.  You always get to choose how you see things, how you react to things, how you place value on things and what those values are.

We are always making choices, consciously and subconsciously.  We’re always making meaning of everything that happens in our lives.  We’re always interpreting every moment and every occurrence of every day and our interpretations are based on what we value and our personal beliefs.

<< You’re choosing to download this list of 20 self-care ideas
that make you feel good and you don’t need to spend a thing! >>

You are choosing to read this blog post (thank you!).  You are choosing to hit close when you’ve had enough.  You’re choosing to keep the same old destructive habits in your life.  You’re choosing to care too much about what other people think.  You’re choosing to continue feeling stuck.  You’re choosing to listen to that negative self-talk.  You’re choosing to not give yourself the care that you need.

When you begin to take responsibility and accept responsibility for things that happen in your life, the more power you have over your life and the more empowered you will feel.  Its when you begin to do this you begin to fully grow and be the best woman that you can be.

So, what does all of this mean for self-care.  Well, nobody else is going to give you the care that you need.  You are ultimately responsible for that.  You need to make the choice as to whether you’re going give your mind and body everything that it needs.

This means that when you are feeling tired, you’re feeling suffocated, your feeling overwhelmed,  you’re crying more and when your body is trying to tell you that things are not okay and that we’re not keeping our needs, you need to make the choice as to whether you’re going to take responsibility and make a change.  It’s not enough to simply recognise and acknowledge that things aren’t okay.  You have to choose whether you’re going to do something about it.

You’re living in a society where the expectation is that you need to be on the go 24/7.  Society thinks that you need to fill every waking moment of your life with busy-ness and its almost socially unacceptable to take time out.  It’s not that you don’t have time.  You’re choosing to tell yourself that you don’t have the time or you’re choosing to not make the time.

So the next time you notice that you’re feeling tired, you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, that you’re crying or yelling more take some responsibility and make a choice.

Here’s to finding your best you.

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Self-Care: It’s More than just a Wanky, New-Age Thing on Instagram

I’ve been talking a lot about the topic of self-care on the blog lately.  For one, Finding Your Best You is a blog about self-care for women, supporting positive mental health and encouraging women to be the best that they can be and secondly, self-care is one of those things that is often overlooked and not considered as important as what I think it should be.  In this blog post, I explain what self-care is and why self-care is important.  You’re welcome to read more articles about self-care here.

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Self-Care:  It’s more than just a wanky, new-age thing

I think self-care has been getting a bit of a bad rap lately, especially with the evolution of the health and wellness era with diets filled with super foods and organic materials and social media influences flaunting their extravagant self-care rituals on Instagram.  I can understand how self-care can be off putting and make you sound extremely self-indulgent and full of yourself.

The theory behind the practice of self-care is more than just a fluffy, wanky, new-age thing, full of rituals involving face masks, massages and expensive holidays that people post on Instagram.  The theory of self-care is about nourishing our mental, emotional and physical health so that we can recharge, refuel and regenerate.  Consider the practice of self-care to be as basic of a necessity as showering regularly and brushing your teeth and is full of psychological and physiological benefits.

If you want to see what real women are doing for their self-care, join the Finding Your Best You Facebook group, and share your self-care selfies every Sunday!

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So, what is self-care anyway?

As I mentioned previously, self-care is an act that you do deliberately to take care of your mental, emotional and physical health.  It means different things for different people, but at the bottom line, it shouldn’t be something that isn’t done by force or takes anything away from you.  It should be something that you enjoy, that makes you feel good and that nourishes your mind and your body.

What self-care is not

Not everything that we enjoy and makes us feel good is self-care though.  Sometimes the things that we enjoy and makes us feel good can be destructive to our bodies and our minds.  I’m talking about those unhealthy coping strategies that people do when they’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, worried or anxious.  The coping strategies such as using alcohol, drug, over-eating, eating non-nutritious foods like take away or chocolate and taking unhealthy risks.  These things are not self-care.  These things are destructive towards our bodies and can change the chemical balances in our brains that make us more unhealthy and unwell.

What are the benefits of self-care?

There are so many benefits to self-care if it’s done correctly (don’t worry, I can help you learn how to take care of yourself correctly).  You’re more motivated and productive. You’re resistance to illness and disease is improved and you’re not getting sick all of the time.  You feel good about yourself, you have enhanced self-esteem and you know that you’re a worthwhile person who is valuable, competent and deserving.  You become more aware of yourself, what your needs are and how to meet those needs in a positive way.  You also have more empathy and compassion towards other people.

What are the risks if we’re not taking care of ourselves?

When we don’t take care of ourselves and practice regular self-care, we run the risk of feeling unhappy, having low self-esteem, feel resentment towards others, our mental health diminishes and we become anxious and experience depression and we can also experience burn out.  If we’re at that stage that we’re experiencing burn out and its hard to get out of bed, it can be more challenging to heal and come back feeling refreshed and physically and mentally well.

Why self-care gets neglected and is the first thing to go?

Sometimes when you’re a naturally caring person or are a parent, you spend more time caring and nurturing others than caring and nurturing ourselves.  Whether it be caring for your children, your partner, your friends, your parents, your work colleagues or if you’re in the helping industry like I am, you spent a lot of the time caring for clients and the people that you work with.  A lot of the time attending to our own needs gets overlooked and when things become busy, taking care of ourselves is often the first thing to go.  When we consider and attend to our own needs we can not only take better care of ourselves in the future, but we can take better care of those around us.

More often than not, people don’t practice self-care or it becomes neglected because they feel guilty, that they think its selfish, that their schedules are ‘too busy’ to include self-care activities, they think that self-care is another expense that they cannot afford or believe that self-care is a reward or a ‘treat’ that you do on a rare occasion.  If you’re feeling this way, you might like to work with me where we work together to discover what your needs are, how to look out for the signs that you’re not meeting your needs, challenging your beliefs about self-care and putting a self-care plan in place with strategies that work for you (program coming soon).

Who should be practicing self-care

Practicing self-care is something that everybody should be doing but especially if you’re experiencing grief, if you’re caring for others, if you live with depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions, if you’re a carer of a child with special needs, a foster carer or you’re a woman running her own business.  Whether we like it or not, if we’re not taking care of ourselves, we’re not caring for those around us and we can become a burden.

In summary, self-care is a practice about treating yourself with respect, meeting your own needs in a way that is beneficial to your body and your mental health and is a big component to living a balanced lifestyle.  It requires having an awareness of what your own needs are and how to meet them.  It involves having the ability to step back and take the time to replenish what is missing rather than letting it diminish completely.

Here’s to finding your best you

self-help-finding-your-best-you

LETS WORK TOGETHER!

Are you ready to start working together?  That’s great! You can:

Facebook Group

Join me and other fabulous women like yourself in the ‘Finding Your Best You Posse’ Facebook Group.  It’s a safe space to connect with other women and celebrate your best you.  We have a theme for each day of the week.

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Let’s Touch Base 

Leave your email and I will share with you resources, tasks and prompts that will help you to explore what it is that makes you the person you are.  I’ll touch base with you every week with short exercises and tasks.  You can share these in the Facebook Group on #promptdaytuesday.

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5 Blog Posts about Self-Care and Positive Mental Health you Won’t Want to Miss

I am incredibly passionate about the concept of self-care and how it sets a solid foundation for having positive mental health and a positive mindset.  I had never understood how important it is to take care of yourself until I experienced what it was to feel tired, burnt out and ready to give up on everything that I had valued and believed in.  I’m not only passionate about these few things.  I am passionate about working with women, hearing their stories of growth and empowerment and sharing their stories about what self-care and positive mental health mean to them.

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In this blog post I share with you five blog posts about self-care for women and positive mental health written by four amazing and talented women.   In this post I share blog posts written by Alexis, Haley, Heather, Ari and Ann-Marie.  I share with you self-care ideas that you can easily include in your day to day life and a personal journey healing from Anorexia.  I share a post about how regularly saying positive affirmations is not only beneficial for ourselves but those around us and lessons learned from journaling for 100 days straight.  Finally, I share a post that encourages us to give ourselves permission to be that person who we want and are destined to be.

 

1. Self-Care Ideas to Include in your Day to Day Life 

Alexis from Simply Nichole shares six ways that you can include self-care into your day to day life that are easy and do not take a lot of time nor effort.   She talks about including activities such as reading a book, regular meditation and binge watching your favourite television show on Netflix.  You can read the full post here.

Share your photos of you practicing self-care using the hashtag #selfcaresunday on our Facebook Group.  Haven’t join yet?  Click here!

 

2. A Personal Story about Healing from Anorexia 

Haley, from Adventures of Southern Motherhood, shares her personal story about living with Anorexia and her journey to recovery.  In her post, Haley shares the importance of recognising that Anorexia is a mental illness based on unhelpful and unrealistic beliefs about ourselves and that recovery is possible.

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3. How Positive Affirmations are Beneficial to those Around Us

Heather from Blissed Out Mums, shares the importance of practicing what we preach, especially for those round us, including our children.  Heather talks about encouraging children to recite positive affirmations in order to influence and grow motivation.  However, for this to work for our children, we must practice and recite positive affirmations ourselves.  Remember when I talked about self-doubt in this blog post and I explained how our beliefs about ourselves and the world around us largely come from our care givers?  This is exactly what Heather is getting at.  Our children need to see us believe and feel positive about ourselves in order for them to believe and feel positive about themselves.

 

4. Lessons Learned from 100 Days of Journaling 

Ari, from Polish Your Sparkle shares us her lessons that she had learned from journaling for 100 days straight.  You hear a lot about journaling and how it is good for mental health, mindfulness, personal reflection and growth and reading the lessons that Ari learned illustrates exactly why.  Click here to read the full blog post!

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5. Give Yourself Permission to Be Who you Want to Be

Finally, in this blog post, Ann-Marie shares some wise words with us and tells us that we need to give ourselves permission to be the person that we want to be.  Once we give ourselves permission we can then use every opportunity that we can to change our thinking, make it automatic and become who we want to be.

Here’s to finding your best you.

self-help-finding-your-best-you

LETS WORK TOGETHER!

Are you ready to start working together?  That’s great! You can:

Facebook Group

Join me and other fabulous women like yourself in the ‘Finding Your Best You Posse’ Facebook Group.  It’s a safe space to connect with other women and celebrate your best you.  We have a theme for each day of the week.

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Let’s Touch Base 

Leave your email and I will share with you resources, tasks and prompts that will help you to explore what it is that makes you the person you are.  I’ll touch base with you every week with short exercises and tasks.  You can share these in the Facebook Group on #promptdaytuesday.

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Free Planning Workbook and Guide 

Grab your free copy of ‘Start Here’  a free workbook and guide, where I teach you how to create your plan, take back control and live the life you deserve.

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Negative Self-Talk and 2 Other Habits That Suck

Have you ever wanted to do something so bad, but it feels like you physically cannot go any further because something is in your way?  How often have you ever tried to make a change or do something big, but that little voice inside your head starts with its negative self-talk telling you that you shouldn’t do what you were going to do because you might do something really embarrassing or people might reject you?  I’m going to bet that this happens to you quite a lot.  I’m talking about those self-limiting beliefs that we have that lead to those self-destructive behaviours that we know are not good for us.

negative self talk and 2 other habits that suck

It’s normal to have self-limiting beliefs and habits that stop us from being the best that we can be.  Most people have them.  We have had these self-limiting beliefs for a long time and as a result have developed some pretty bad habits.  These beliefs that we have given power to for a long time are distorted and often tell us that bad things will happen, but it’s highly unlikely that they will.

For example, these beliefs make up the negative thoughts and negative self-talk that we do on a daily basis.  The negative self-talk that tells us that when that person looks at us as they’re walking past are actually thinking of how fat and ugly we look (completely distorted and irrational right?).  There could be a million and one reasons why that person is looking at us but our brain will automatically think the worst.

These self-limiting beliefs and habits that we have are powerful.  They are so frickin’ powerful that they influence the way that we think, what we are feeling and the way that we behave.  Once you begin to pay attention to these self-limiting beliefs and destructive behaviours we begin to realise how ingrained and automatic they are.

It is when we have an awareness that this is happening and understand why these thoughts are happening, we can begin to adapt and change our thinking, feel better about whom we are as a person and begin to find our best selves.

Part of my role is helping women find their best selves, is to provide self-limiting belief coaching.  I asked the women that I work with what beliefs and habits they have that stop them from being the best person that they can be and finally achieving the breakthrough and success that they have always wanted.  In this blog post I share three of self-limiting beliefs and habits they told me they do which get in the way of achieving what it is that they want.

  • Caring Too Much About What Other People Think 
  • Having a Negative Mindset 
  • Having Too Much Self Doubt and Not Enough Confidence 

Which one of these habits stops you from being your best you?

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Caring Too Much About What Other People Think 

One self-limiting belief and habit that many of the women tell me that stops them from being their best self, is their habit of caring too much about what other people think.  They tell me that they care too much about what other people think about the way that they look, the decisions that they make and their ability to be able to do what it is that they set out to do.  These thoughts can be extremely self-limiting, especially when there is no evidence to suggest that our choices and decisions are unreasonable and that we know that we are capable of achieving what it is that we set our mind to.

We tend to overestimate how badly and how much people think about us.  Chances are that other people don’t care about what we are doing because they are too caught up in their own self-limiting beliefs and habits for us to even matter!  And, should we really give a f**k about what other people think?  Not really!

Is it about time that you let go of caring too much about what other people think?  If so, you’re welcome to join a wonderful group of women in ‘The Finding Your Best You Posse’ Facebook group.  Use the hashtag #letgoanyday and let us know that you’re ready to let go.

Having a Negative Mindset

Another habit that many women tell me about that limits them from being their best self is the habit of having a negative mindset and engaging in toxic negative self-talk.  What I mean by this is having ideas, attitudes and believes about how we see ourselves and the world around us that are on the negative side.  As I mentioned earlier, our thoughts and our mindset are powerful.  They influence the way we think, feel and behave.  So it makes sense that if we have a negative outlook on ourselves and on life, we’re going to do things that aren’t so great and limit how good we can be.

Here is some psychology trivia for you!  There is a reason why we do things like this though and it’s called survival (that sounds cliche I know, but hear me out).  Our negative thinking is a survival strategy that our brain uses to protect us from danger and helps to keep us safe.  Here’s the thing, our brains are wired for survival.  It’s amazing to think how far we have come as a species, with our smartphones and cars that drive themselves, but we’re still packing the hardware in our brains that would have protected us from being hunted and staying alive in the caveman days.  It’s that part of our brain that is responsible for making us freeze like a statue or fight the shit out of that threat.

Those of us who live in a city setting and not in the jungle don’t tend to experience these types of threats anymore, so over time, our brain has adapted to protect us from psychological threats.  That’s where our negative thoughts and self-talk come in.  Our brains are hardwired to constantly look for the worst in everything and think about the worst possible scenario in order to protect us and keep us safe from psychological threats.  This negative self-talk can be a complete bitch sometimes but remember, the next time she’s telling you that you’re not good enough, she’s just trying to keep you safe.

Having Too Much Self Doubt and Not Enough Confidence

A lot of the women that I work with tell me that they have too much self-doubt when it comes to trying something new or making a change and not having enough confidence in their ability to do so.  This self-limiting habit relates to the above points of having a negative mindset and also caring too much about what other people think.

Where does this self-doubt come from anyway?  Well, our brains are made up of millions and millions of connections.  These connections are made up through our relationships with others, the world around us and our experiences throughout our lives, in particular, in our first five years of life.  Early on in our lives, before we can articulate what is going on in the world around us, the relationships that we have that have formed those millions of connections in our brain are making up a template about how we see ourselves, our beliefs and what we think about the world around us.  Sometimes when we’re growing up we receive messages that we’re not capable of achieving what we’re setting out to do.  These messages can be direct or subtle and they make us feel like shit (those psychological threats I was telling you about earlier).  These messages become our inner voice and live in the subconscious of our brain.  Every now and again it pops up to the surface, but most of the time it lives in the depths of our subconscious brain.

Like the role of our negative thoughts, our inner voice is trying to protect us from psychological threats and things that make us feel like shit.  You know those feelings of being rejected, embarrassed, and even failing at something.  For me, I would really like to connect with you via video, but right now, my inner voice tells me that I shouldn’t do a live video because if I say something silly or have a blank I’m going to feel really embarrassed, that people will laugh and not take me seriously.

Have you pushed through your self-doubt and ended up doing something fabulous?  Tell us all about it in the ‘Finding Your Best You Posse’ Facebook group, using the hashtag #celebrateanyday

Here’s to finding your best you!

self-help-finding-your-best-you

 

LETS WORK TOGETHER!

Are you ready to start working together?  That’s great! You can:

Facebook Group

Join me and other fabulous women like yourself in the ‘Finding Your Best You Posse’ Facebook Group.  It’s a safe space to connect with other women and celebrate your best you.  We have a theme for each day of the week.

Finding Your Best You Facebook Group

Let’s Touch Base 

Leave your email and I will share with you resources, tasks and prompts that will help you to explore what it is that makes you the person you are.  I’ll touch base with you every week with short exercises and tasks.  You can share these in the Facebook Group on #promptdaytuesday.

Touch base weekly - work with me

Free Planning Workbook and Guide 

Grab your free copy of ‘Start Here’  a free workbook and guide, where I teach you how to create your plan, take back control and live the life you deserve.

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How My Personal Values Influence the Way I Work with Clients

I have been reading and learning a lot about personal values lately.  I have been learning about my own personal values as part of my own journey of self awareness and learning about what makes me the way that I am.  In this post I share with you a story that happened to me while I worked with children in foster care.  It encouraged me to explore my personal values and how these shape the way that I work with you.

NOTE:  This post mentions Child Protection Services and may contain triggering information.

how personal values influence the way i work with clients

What are Personal Values

You can read the entire blog post I wrote about what personal values are here, but in short, personal values are the things that matter most to us and what make us unique and individual people.  They highlight what we stand for and what we are willing to fight for.  Our personal values guide us in how we react, respond and behave in situations.

My Discovery of What I Am Willing to Fight For

I would like to tell you a bit about the discovery of  some of my own personal values,  my discovery about what I am willing to fight for and how my personal values  influence the way that I work with you.  This story is from when I worked in Child Protection Services and I found myself challenging the system.

When I worked as a Child Safety officer, I had been working with a young girl, aged 11 years.  I’ll name her Sarah and keep this pretty general so I can maintain her confidentiality.  Sarah had a challenging beginning to her life.  She, along with her step brother and sister were removed from her step-father’s care and lived in foster care.  Her mother had been out of the picture for some time, in and out of prison and often failing to turn up to access visits with Sarah.

So far in Sarah’s life, she has had nine primary care givers.  You can’t even imagine how much damage this does to anybody, let alone this little girl.  Sarah had a pattern of behaviours.  When she started to become close to her care givers, she would do what she could to sabotage and destroy the relationship (‘getting in first’ as I would often try to explain it).  Her care givers did not have the skills to be able to work though this with her and often I would be left with finding another place for her to live.

Sarah’s step-dad worked hard and his biological children were eventually returned to his care.  Sarah didn’t (for what reason, I still have no idea) but I knew Sarah longed to be with her step-family, or at least have some form of contact with them.  I contacted her step-dad and he was angry.  I had never heard a person so angry in my entire life.  I couldn’t comprehend how he was feeling but I understood how it got that way.  The system had failed Sarah and her family and I was determined to do what I could so Sarah could be with her family.  This was Sarah’s last option with her family and ‘it had to work’.

The system wanted to return Sarah to her step-dad’s care immediately.  I’m not sure whether it was considered a ‘quick fix’ or what it was, but I knew that wouldn’t work.  Given Sarah’s trauma, her pattern for breaking down her foster care placements and her step-dad’s attitude regarding Sarah’s behaviour (‘It wont happen when she returns home’) I knew that this was not going to end well.  My management wouldn’t listen, so I knew I had to be planned and strategic with how I was going to go about this.  I was determined to not cause any further harm to Sarah.

I became mentally unwell working with this family and challenging a system that was against everything that I valued and believed in.  I have taken time out and I started doing things for me.  I am also used this as an opportunity to learn about what this says about me, my values and how they impact with the people that I work with.

What I Have Learned about my Values So Far

  • Do no further harm:  I have learned that I am willing to fight to prevent further harm on others.
  • Family and connection:  That family is important, both to me and to others, particularly for children in foster care.
  • Morals and ethics: I have learned that I am willing to fight for what I think is morally right and ethical.

I’m not sure what happened to Sarah, but I know that she is reconnected with her family.  I wouldn’t change thing that I did.  This is something that I am proud of and I will always hold it close.

SO, WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU AND WHAT DO YOU VALUE?

I’m curious to know what is important to you and what do you value.  Comment below and tell me about one thing that is important to you and that you value.

Here’s to finding your best you.

self-help-finding-your-best-you

LETS WORK TOGETHER!

Are you ready to start working together?  Join me and I will share with you resources, tasks and prompts that will help you to explore what it is that makes you the person you are.

Grab your free copy of ‘Start Here’  a free workbook and guide, teaching you how to create your plan, take back control and live the life you deserve.

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