Self Care – my personal journey

I have recently taken part in the SHINE BRIGHT MAMA PIC A DAY  created by beautiful mama Lisa Godlee @shinebrightmamaproject I wanted to share my story, my experiences and what i have gained from it and how it has given me a whole new appreciation for the little things and to share a bit of my own personal self care journey.

I have said many times how much motherhood has changed me or as I like to say how it has saved me and put so many things into perspective. There is no truer saying then that of ‘ You can’t pour from an empty cup’ and when I look back I can see that I have actually spent the majority of my adult life trying to do just this. Always trying to fix things around me, wearing my heart on my sleeve, worrying about what others think and really just coasting along through life in the shadows not realising that I needed to make myself my top priority and truely take care of myself.

My self care journey started about 1 1/2 years before I fell pregnant I needed to make some changes to my lifestyle, I had an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and food and lacked motivation so i became more conscious on what I was eating, I started training daily and doing my best to cut back on bad habits like drinking to much and poor food choices. Something I didn’t even realise was a problem until now. Until I could look back on my prior lifestyle and see how destructive it was and how it didn’t make me happy at all. My change in lifestyle brought a lot of positivity to my life, more energy and lot of happiness. I had a great group of friends at the gym that inspired me daily, I had a new love for food (real food, healthy food)and my mindset was a lot clearer and I was actually in the best shape of my life –  I had a healthy life balance.

I maintained these healthy lifestyle changes throughout my pregnancy and did my best to nourish myself and baby A and felt good for the majority of my pregnancy.  I actually learnt so much about the human body while i was pregnant and had a new appreciation for it and all it does.

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Fast forward and I was a new mother I was sleep deprived, stressed I was time poor and unmotivated and I quickly slipped back into a lot of bad eating habits, lacked exercise and just made zero time for myself and quickly my mindset turned. Don’t get me wrong I was madly in love with my babygirl, my heart was full of love for her but I didn’t leave any room for myself or Shaun for that matter. I have written about the lessons I’ve learned in the early days of motherhood so I want blab on again but I will say that as soon as I started to prioritise myself again I have found happiness in the little things and don’t sweat on the small stuff anymore. I soon realised that without me at my best I can’t be the best for my family.

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This is not the first challenge or should I say journey of Lisa’s (@shinebrightmamaproject ) I have taken part of it’s actually the second. The first I kinda failed as I was still completely consumed by baby brain. I briefly met Lisa at my first @babesandpicnics event here on the Gold Coast and we have connected over Instagram and maintained a friendship as we have many common interest outside our instant common ground with motherhood.

Lisa is a holistic health coach, a self care expert and an all round beautiful soul. I was instantly drawn to the SHINE BRIGHT MAMA PICADAY journey as let’s face it I love taking photos and I really wanted to be more mindful of my self care practices and share this with other mamas. Now a pic a day sounds easy right ? Well it may be for most even for me who posts daily on Instagram but I did find I slipped up a few days due to well #mumlife but this isn’t to say that it wasn’t something that I thought about daily. I actually looked forward to waking up each day and seeing what the days photo word was and taking notice of the little things in the day that I do for myself. Even if they are small they all add up and make me happy and keep your mindset in the right place.

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I got a lot out of this self care journey and loved reading Lisa’s daily messages they were always inspiring and I can honestly say I did make self care a priority again everyday. Wether if it was 10 mins in the garden while Aria slept with a cup of tea, pampering myself, enjoying nourishing food or just a morning walk. It made me appreciate all the little things I do get to do everyday instead of thinking about all the things I wish I could do or don’t get to do. I must say June has been a very happy month for me in my day to day. Looking back at my posts on  I can see a whole lot of positivity there, that’s not to say I didn’t have any tough days, I did! We all do but I chose to focus on the little positives and the little wins instead and I think that all stems from being happy within myself and taking care of me to which therefor gave my a positive mindset – winning! Thank you Lisa I am very grateful 😊 Lisa also runs women’s self care workshops and is a very inspiring mama to follow so if your not already the link is below.

http://instagram.com/shinebrightmamaproject

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I thought I would asked Lisa a few questions that might help you begin your own self care journey too .

Q1. What inspired you to start shine bright mama? 

Self-care has always been part of my life. In my 20s I didn’t realise it had the label of self-care but I had the freedom to do what I enjoyed. Then during my fertility journey and studies at IIN (Institute for Integrative Nutrition), self-care become a huge priority, both for my physical and emotional wellbeing. I always made time for it. As a new mum, things changed. Time for me was extremely limited. The first three months with a newborn were really challenging for me and I felt so tired and drained. I’m sure I’m not the only one to have ever felt that way!

I realised that I needed to change my definition of self-care for me and I needed to surrender to my new role as a mum. I made some changes to my routine and I began to look at things with a new perspective. In talking to my mummy friends, I knew I wasn’t alone in how I felt. I thought that if the mums that I knew felt that way then surely there were others. My husband was on holidays at the time and I said to him that all I wanted to do was go out for breakfast on my own and talk to no one. In those two hours on my own I had an outline for my workshop and Shine Bright Mama was born!

Q2. What are your top three self care tips for mama’s ?

Keep it simple
Self-care does not need to be expensive, take too much time or only happen when you’re alone. Discover what it is that you love, what refuels or relaxes you and do that. For some it’s drinking a hot cup of tea or coffee for others it’s talking to a friend on the phone. The main thing is that it is something you enjoy. Even taking three long luxurious breaths can be all you need to recharge you. There is no need to over-complicate self-care.

Start where you are
If you’re new to self-care, lifestyle changes can sometimes be challenging to begin and sustain. For example, if you were to buy a pass for yoga classes or the gym, it’s likely that even with the intention to go daily, this may not happen. Start small, take one step at a time. When at home, try taking three minutes for yourself, then ten minutes and so on.

Communicate
Only we can make self-care happen for ourselves. You need to communicate clearly what it is exactly that you need. Be clear about how you feel, your needs, what you plan on doing and for how long. For me, I like to communicate this in advance so it is scheduled and my husband knows that he needs to be home or available to take care of our daughter. I usually repeat it a few times too!
Q3. Why do you think it is so important for mama’s to practice self care?

There are so many reasons why it is so important. Number one is that you matter. You are worth taking care of. Constantly giving yourself and taking no time out for you is unsustainable. It’s survival. If you don’t look after yourself, how can you give to others who depend on you to truly be there? Plus our cherubs are watching our every move, they take in a lot more than we realise. I believe that practicing self-care and self-love is teaching our children one of the most important life lessons.

Putting the importance of self-care into visual terms, I like to think of us as the sun. When we are looking after ourselves and shining our brightest, those warm, energising, nurturing and nourishing rays are reaching those around us. Touching and impacting on their lives too. Shine Bright Mama.

Q4. Tell us a bit about your workshops?

I’m so excited my next workshop will be on Saturday 26 August. At my Shine Bright Mama workshop you will learn:

+ Why self-care is the best ‘health care’
+ How to make self-care a priority and part of your daily routine
+ How to get in touch with what really lights you up and refuels you
+ Ways to create time for self-care
+ How to remove the guilt from your ‘mama me time’
+ Practical tips and ideas to truly nurture you

You will leave feeling inspired and motivated with an action plan to incorporate self-care into your daily routine. I know that as a mum, time to yourself is rare so I like to keep my workshops intimate in size so that you truly feel seen and pampered. Plus there are treats!
Q5. Your favourite lifestyle activities?

I love my park yoga class on a Saturday morning, walking on the beach, cooking, reading and spending time with family and friends. I really enjoy being outdoors with my daughter Isla and watching her explore. Seeing the world through a child’s eyes is just amazing.

Q6. Can we look forward to more from shine bright mama ? 

Absolutely! There will be more workshops and I will be running the Shine Bright Mama 30 days of self-care photo a day on Instagram again in September. I’m also working on some other special offers for mamas to inspire and motivate their self-care journey. I would love to collaborate more with local mamas too. There are so many amazing talented mamas out there!

‘Thanks Jess, I really enjoyed answering these questions and I hope it inspires some mamas to begin their self-care journey today’

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Lisa at one of her workshops

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Its never to late to start your self care journey ! You matter 🙂 

with love

Jess

xx

 

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