I’m not going to lie, I’ve put myself under a lot of pressure to get about 19637388594934 things done this week (half term sure causes things to pile up, hey?). Anyway, Poppy is now back in school, and Tallulah is mid-sleep training (but consistently giving us the first half of the night back) so, theoretically, I ought to have more free hours at my disposal, right? Somehow it doesn’t quite feel that way. I’ve gotten next to nothing “important” done, but I have done lots of faffing around. Let’s see, I’ve cleaned out my closet and organized summer clothes, gone thrifting as a result of deciding that I needed more/better summer clothes, continued playing around with natural fabric dying, taken a million photos (and taken mini adventures for said photos), given myself a pedicure, and rediscovered Friends on Netflix. Some may call this procrastinating (and you may not be entirely incorrect, I’ll get to that bookkeeping soon-ish) but this week’s activities were completely necessary to “fill my vault”. There’s huge value in understanding what it is that you need in order to feel your best, and I’m entirely comfortable in admitting that when I feel good about myself (physically and superficially) my entire outlook is brighter. Self-awareness plays a big role in self-care!
Next up in this self-care mini series is Suzy Reading (@suzyreading). Suzy is a qualified psychologist, yoga teacher, and health & fitness coach – and she’s also just written a brilliant book! She is such a powerhouse that it was really difficult to pin down the four questions that I wanted to ask her for this series. Here goes:
1.What’s your philosophy regarding self-care?
After motherhood collided with the terminal illness of my father, I learnt first hand what happens when self-care gets dropped from the agenda. My personal experience of energetic bankruptcy and my qualifications in psychology, yoga and fitness training formed my philosophy on self-care. I define self-care as health care. It is nourishment for the head, the heart and the body and we need to engage in it daily to help us cope and heal from stress, loss and change, to provide a protective buffer from future stress and to give us access to our best self. We also need to role model self-care so we can raise resilient and compassionate kids. It’s not a luxury or an indulgence. It’s more than just pampering. Self-care is healthcare and it’s essential.
- What is your reality, how do you practice self-care?
I seek out micro-moments of nourishment and do them through my day. Self-care is also engaging in key skills like compassion, mindfulness, gratitude, savouring and kindness. These are all potent mood boosters and take no time or energy. When I’m feeling overwhelmed I turn to my Vitality Wheel for inspiration and take action.
You can see Suzy’s Vitality Wheel here.
- As a yoga teacher, could you share a few poses that can re-shift our mood or energy?
Yes! If you want to change your mind then move your body. There are so many yoga poses that are a great tonic! Each has a different energetic effect and there is definitely some kind of yoga pose to create the shift you’re looking for.
Child’s pose to calm and soothe:
Mountain pose to energise:
Breathe in, reach your arms out and overhead looking up. Breathe out, lower your arms down by your sides, lengthen your spine and look forwards.
Prayer salute to alleviate anxiety:
Tree pose to focus:
Warrior pose to uplift:
Also, the following are some yoga sequences and guided meditations from Suzy’s Youtube channel:
Suzy Reading’s Self-Care Secrets: Yoga to calm and soothe. (yoga sequence)
Suzy Reading’s Self-Care Secrets: Your future best self. (guided mediation)
- If you had to suggest a habit what would it be?
Learn to savour. We’ve all heard of gratitude and mindfulness, savouring is closely linked with both. Once you get skilled in the art of savouring you’ll have self-care at fingertips reach whenever and wherever you are. Savouring is the ability to suck the life out of a pleasurable experience. We can savour the past by reminiscing, the present by being absorbed in the joy of the moment and the future by anticipating. I love collective savouring too – great for family bonding and memory making.
Thank you so much for sharing, Suzy! X
If you’d like some further reading you can find Suzy’s book The Self-Care Revolution here. I can personally attest to how relatable and packed full of information it is!
Now, tell me, what do you do to practice self-care?