It’s taken me nearly 50 years on the planet to learn how to care for myself. I mean to truly care for myself – not just make sure I’ve got food to eat and a roof over my head.
I’m talking about self-nurturing, pampering, honoring who and where I am at any given moment.
I know I’m not that unusual. Many, many women find themselves giving, giving, giving – to everyone by themselves. We almost take pride in it. Who’s the busiest? Who can’t even take time out to eat?
Who can juggle full time work, volunteer in the kid’s classroom, work out daily, all while getting a nutritious meal on the table every night for her family?
If you can pull it off you get the prize – lots of admiration from a society obsessed with work and productivity.
But, see, I was supposed to know better.
After all, I’m an herbalist and I ran a shop that specialized in resources for healing body, mind and spirit.
I spent my days counseling others on how to nurture themselves. I sold them everything from herbal potions, to meditation cushions, to natural bath salts, tarot cards, to yoga accessories, to books by all the personal growth gurus of the era.
I extolled the virtues of essential oils for de-stressing and relieving anxiety. I pressed books into waiting palms – with advice on making your own medicines or how to find inner peace through deep breathing.
But here’s the truth:
I rarely could find a few hours, or even a few moments to practice any of this in my own life.
I raced through my days, drinking double cappuccinos, ordering products, tending teenagers, supervising employees, attending school conferences, and worrying about how all the bills would get paid.
There I was, surrounded by everything I needed to slow down and take care of myself – but I couldn’t find the time to use any of it.
That’s what I told myself.
But really what it was is that I didn’t make the time.
It’s a big turnaround, but slowly, slowly I’m learning to make that time for self-care.
Tomorrow I’ll tell you more about how I do it.
See, now I get it. It’s not selfish to take care of myself. The truth is – if we don’t make time to nurture our own selves there’s not that much left over to give to others.
So…if you’re giving, giving, giving – and failing to replenish – it’s time to change that!
This site is all about you feeling awesome – about your health, your looks your life. It’s about having fun.
And it all starts with some self-love.
You can start right now – with 13 more ideas for exquisite self care routines – brought to Holistic Hot Sauce by some of the most rockin’ authors, coaches , writers and teachers I know.
And don’t miss yesterday’s 13 offerings.
This is self-care week honey!
I challenge you to choose one self care idea from these 13 – or one from yesterday – and treat yourself this week!
Then use the comments to tell us all about it. It’s just fine to comment twice! Tell us what you chose – and then come back and tell us how it went.
Let’s share our own self-care sauce!
Before you jump ahead to meet these 13 women and their secrets to self love – I promised you a party prize today.
One of my favorite coaches, Cigdem (C.A.) Kobu, has donated a free spot in her amazing year-long course, A Year With Myself.
Believe me – you want to win this! A year’s worth of inspiration and self care, plus membership in the private AYWM online Facebook group. More than just a course, this is a comprehensive life transformation program for women. Normally this would cost you $197, but you can win the entire Full Adventure Kit in today’s contest!
Learn more about A Year With Myself here.
Cigdem shares her own self care wisdom today, keep reading to find full details on how to win!
Chris Zydel, Teacher, Creativity Junkie
I have a ton of self care routines that I incorporate throughout my day. And the list just seems to get longer the older I get!
Many of them, like taking various supplements, eating organic foods and making and drinking my green smoothies are related to keeping my hormonal and anatomical systems happy and my physical energy running smoothly. And that attention to the needs my body is foundational for everything else that I do.
But the one self care practice that brings me the most joy is regularly getting out in the natural world. I am incredibly blessed to be living in the San Francisco Bay area and so I am surrounded with many, many opportunities for nature bliss. I’m 45 minutes away from mama ocean and I can reach any number of incredible hiking trails in the redwood forests in half an hour or less.
I’m a tree hugger and a rock sitter and I love walking on the beach barefoot with the sand squishing between my toes. When things are difficult or painful or confusing I try and find a grassy spot where I can lie down and let my troubles be absorbed by the sweet love the earth has for me.
When I am engaging in this deeper way with the natural elements of sun and stone and water I am reminded that the world is available to support me and that I am not alone. That experience of reliable sustenance from these larger energies feeds me and keeps me feeling juicy and alive so that I can continue to do the work I am meant to do from a sense of joyous power and loving ease.
Chris Zydel is the founder of Creative Juices Arts, and knows deep in her bones that everyone is creative. She is on a mission to prove that to the world which she does by providing nurturing, joy-filled and growth enhancing sanctuaries of encouragement, permission and trust in the sacred energy of play and creativity that lives inside of us all.
Lisa Wilder, Business Development & Marketing Consultant and Coach, The Wilder Zone
My favorite (and most crucial) self-care routine is my morning routine of quiet time, prayer and spiritual/inspirational reading.
Keeping my faith front and center keeps me from ever forgetting that the purpose of the work I’m so passionate about is to be of service, to effect positive change in the lives of others. Prayer keeps me humble, and reminds me always of how profoundly grateful I am to be living a life I love and doing work that holds deep meaning for me.
Quite time to reflect and to tune in to what I know to be true on a soul level, keeps me aligned (or helps me to identify how to get back in alignment when I’ve gotten off-course) with my passion and dreams. It’s as crucial to my spiritual well-being as quality sleep and good food are to my physical well-being.
Bobbi Emel, Therapist, Blogger at The Bounce Blog
If I start to feel misaligned with my passion, I get together with a core group of women friends and ask them for feedback about the gifts that I bring to the world. Inevitably, I end up feeling inspired, renewed, and full of purpose to get back out there and live my dream!
Tess Marshall, Life Coach and Author, Blogger at The Bold Life
When I was 27 I had four daughters ages nine, seven, and twins that were five. I was a closet smoker because I didn’t want my girls to know. As my addiction grew it became more difficult to hide. Therefore, I decided to quit smoking and replace it with running. It was a healthy stress reliever!
That was 31 years ago! My favorite form of self-care continues to be running. It’s like breathing to me.
I simply was born to run!
Tara Sophia Mohr, Writer and Coach at Wise Living
Dance! This is a newly reclaimed form of self-care for me. Dance helps me process emotions, let go of stress, and connect with the deeper part of myself – the part beyond worry, planning, and language. It reconnects me to the passion and joy deep in my belly – a vitality I can feel or be entirely cut off from, depending on how much movement, nature, and community I allow into my life. Life was meant to be bright and juicy and dance allows it to be.”
Loran Hills, Author and Coach, Loran’s Heart
My favorite self-care activity is journaling. It’s a challenge for me to stay aligned in our fast-paced, high-energy world, especially because I have a “turtle nature.”
Activities like writing, drawing or making collages in my journal help me get centered. I can work out challenges and dilemmas and then move on. My journal is also a place to record successes too. My early journals were filled with angst but now that I am more mature I can use my journal as a tool for my business and my personal life. Journaling helps me gain the clarity I need to focus on manifesting my dreams.
Courtney Carver, Minimalist, Blogger At Be More With Less
Yoga is the place I go to heal, pray, create and be. As soon as I step onto a yoga mat, I feel lighter. Even before I start to move, I’m joyful because I know that I am setting aside time to take care of myself. From restorative practices to vigorous exercise, yoga invites me to leave it all on the mat and sends me back into the world with an open heart, more flexible body and creative mind.
Lori Smith – The Passion Diva, Coach, Sacred Earth Partners
Awesome Question! My favourite ritual is my “Nourishing Morning Ritual”. It starts with setting aside 30 minutes each morning, for quiet time, time to listen to my inner voice. This time allows me time to write in my journal, set my intention for the day. I can think about all the things and people that I am grateful for in my life.
I use visioning, where I sit and think about what my life is going to be like when all my goals have been reached, you know when I am a 101 sitting in my rocking chair. It can be as easy as creating a quiet environment, find a comfy chair and then take a few minutes to breath.
For me the practice of a Nourishing Morning Ritual has been a GREAT enhancement to my personal life. Each day I set the intention so each day goes exactly as I intent it to. You can take 15 minutess to do this Morning Ritual or you can take an hour, whatever fits into your lifestyle.
Tea Silvestre, Word Chef
There’s physical self-care (like massages, pedicures and bubble baths) and then there’s mental self-care. And for me, staying connected to my passions requires more of the latter. In my case, that means playing — doing things I love to do, with no regard for “wasting” time or being productive.
Like, reading all day in bed (and not something I need to read for business reasons, but something more frivolous like a supernatural romance); writing a fun essay for my personal blog (wholehogmarvels.com) or spending an afternoon trashing the kitchen in my attempts to bake a scrumptious dessert. These kinds of activities feed my creativity in ways that a bubble bath can’t.
Nona Jordan, The Business Yogini
I nourish myself on most days through meditation. Some days I use visualization, others I just sit and breathe. I find that meditation is like filling up the pitcher of my being with cool, fresh inspiration for my vision. It keeps me connected to my soul, present for my work, and clear headed for my clients.
I consider meditation to be one of the best business strategies I employ, and I trust what comes to me in meditation implicitly. I’ve had countless program ideas, blog posts, and client solutions arrive in meditation.
Amy Kessel, Transformative Life Coach
I have one morning practice that is vital to my self-care; it keeps me centered and aligned with my purpose. It’s a simple question I use to start my day : I ask, What is calling me most strongly right now? Then I wait for an answer. I don’t get out of bed until I’m clear about what wants my attention. When I turn towards it, I find ways to honor what’s calling me. Those go on my “to-do” list for the day. Sometimes the list becomes a “to-be” list instead.
Tanya Geisler, Co-Active Coach
For the most part, I exist in a ridiculously sublime feedback loop of positivity (working with my clients supercharges me to do my best work, bringing out their glorious selves, which brings out the best in me…rinse and repeat with relish).
So, not surprisingly, staying connected with my passion isn’t a challenge. Holding focus for my dreams, however, can be a little trickier: they are big and beautiful and sometimes feel hard to manage. So I surround myself with like-minded lovelies who I can share wins, fears and challenges with.
I HIGHLY recommend finding the support structure that works best for you: co-work with someone, find an accountability partner, join/start a mastermind group, even assemble an advisory board. Your people are powerful…and they want you to succeed.
Cigdem Kobu, Business Growth Coach to Gutsy Enterprising Women
I don’t have fixed daily self-care rituals or routines. I used to have them, but I no longer believe in imposing upon myself “must do” kind of routines — even if for self-care. My mind and my body tell me what I need and when I need it, and I try my best to fulfill that need as soon as I can.
What I mostly do for myself is make sure that I spend some quality time on my own every single day. That usually means I either sit down to enjoy a book that excites me or I open the window, take a seat in front of it and inhale the rhythm of the wild life going on in our backyard. Enjoying the smell of the earth and the freshly cut grass on my own and in soothing silence never fails to re-energize me.
I also meditate a few times a week early in the morning before I begin to work. When I spend enough “me time,” I feel more motivated to do the work that matters to me. And meditation nurtures my inner calm and wise self that gives me the power and joy to carry on.
Cigdem Kobu is the curator of A Year With Myself, the most comprehensive life transformation program for women, and the founder of Wicked Awesome Life where gutsy women get clear, create and thrive through guides and classes on mindful living and sustainable business. Follow Cigdem on Twitter @CigdemKobu and on Facebook to keep in touch.
This is a good day to comment twice – because today is Give Away Day!
Each comment, and each tweet (that mentions @saraholeary) will get thrown into the pot. On Friday, I’ll pick a lucky winner who will join our circle at A Year With Myself!! (Thank you Cigdem)
Share in the comments below – which self-care idea will YOU practice this week. Or, maybe you have a different self-care routine to share with all of us? Don’t hold back!
And remember, more self care wisdom tomorrow – and more fun giveaways. So stop back in tomorrow – or sign up over on the right for Saucy email reminders!
This is the second in a 4-part self care roundup series – here’s where to find the rest: