The Transformative Power of Self Care: Part 1
So much of the heart and soul of Wake Foot Sanctuary lies in how we feel about practicing self care regularly and making it a priority in our lives. It is so important to listen to all aspects of your being–body, mind, and soul. Being of service to others can be a very rewarding and fulfilling path. But, what about being in service to yourself? We know from experience that if you are putting yourself last and giving to others from an empty cup, you cannot fully show up. We have all been on journeys where lack of self care has made whatever we are going through worse. Sometimes it takes a major life upset to force us into taking time to nourish ourselves and breathe through life’s curveballs. It is not selfish to do so! It’s the ultimate act of service to be of service to yourself. Having such a practice creates a ripple effect because if you are showing up as the best version of yourself, you are giving permission for others in your path to do the same.
This month we highlight 3 powerhouse women who understand the importance of self care and who are truly models that we can all learn from because they definitely walk their talk. They share with us how their lives drastically changed after they started to show themselves the care and attention that they show others through their work. Each of these women chose career paths that serve others through body care products.
This week we feature Devan from Leaf + Root. Devan recognizes the importance of self care and believes it’s more about bringing an awareness to what you may need in any given moment and then taking the time out to provide it to yourself.
What type of work do you do?
I am the owner/maker at Leaf + Root, a wellness apothecary company on a mission to provide goods that ease your path to everyday wellness. The work that I do with Leaf + Root involves growing and harvesting herbs, steeping herbs; oils for salve making, formulating and filling our aromatherapy roll-on’s and sewing mounds of Eye and Comfort Pillows. Our goods are available online and through fine retailers across the US.
What does self-care mean to you?
Self care for me is a lifestyle, a mindset, and perspective. This care must be made a daily focus or it will be overlooked. When I contemplate self care the mind, body and spirit are all considered. Self care can be something as simple as a cup of coffee or tea that prompts me to take a few deep breaths, rest for a bit, and offer gratitude for the day. It can also be the process of making choices that keep my life free of stress and negativity.
I make an effort to have my home organized and minimal, this helps my mind to feel clear. My home offers a lovely place to fall when things feel tough and a serene place to rest and reboot.
The most important care that I offer myself is being intentional with my thoughts and actions. This keeps me grounded and in the moment. (This means that I sometimes miss phone calls, delay email responses and other things that present themselves as important during the day). I have a few tools for relaxation that I reach for on a daily basis. My Leaf + Root Eye Pillow is a sleep saver and reminds me to let go of daily stresses as I settle into bed, you can find a Leaf + Root Calm Aromatherapy Roll-On in every room of my house, in my purse and several in my car (not exaggerating!!). My oversized tub and Epsom salt by the pound are a nightly ritual for me. To be completely honest, I bathe in the dark – it is the ultimate sensory calming zone.
Describe how life was for you before you started a regular self-care routine.
There was a time that I did not give enough attention to having a successful self-care routine. I was left feeling stressed, merely responding to the events that were happening to me rather than guiding and enjoying my days. This left me completely exhausted, unsatisfied and desperate for a change.
How has your life changed after self-care became a habitual part of your daily routine? What area has changed the most?
After making a few changes to my daily routine,I feel ease and accomplishment in my days. With little effort I manage to carve out moments for myself and though they are often short periods of time, when well utilized, I feel the positive effects. I, of course experience what I refer to as my ebb and flow — such as the kids bickering, babies up all night, dog running off, etc., but with focus my response positive and we quickly settle. The area that has changed the most — Being intentional with my thoughts and actions, this intense focus allows me to accomplish necessary tasks leaving time for the meaningful moments.
What advice would you give someone who is struggling with creating a self-care practice for themselves?
As a homeschooling mother of 4 kiddos, my life juggle is real and I don’t pretend to have it all figured out. What I do know is that I can’t give to the world what I don’t have for myself. I choose to care for myself even if it’s in the smallest of ways, like a whisper to myself that I am important and that I matter. Self care can be a bit misunderstood, as if it’s only available at spas and through expensive service providers. Time nor money should be a factor in caring for ourselves, as it is necessary for all aspects of our health and well-being. For those of us who are struggling to create and commit to a self care practice I say this, “Start today — chat with yourself about your intentions and make it happen. No excuses.” Take a timeout for coffee or tea, have a moment with a book or a chat with a friend, walk through a local park, listen to an inspiring podcast or an audio book. Reality is that your self care moment might be a 10 minute soak at the end of a crazy day or a quick meditation via iPhone while in carpool line, but it’s your moment to claim. Claim it, savor it and deep breathe your way through it.