The Transformative Power of Self Care: Part 2
Our before and after self care series continues this week with Charlene from CeeCee & Bee. Charlene lives and breathes self care. She describes how ramping up her self care practice helped her cope and get through some serious life events. We love her devotion to the practice and how she makes it a priority despite her busy schedule as a business owner. Read on to find out more about what makes Charlene a true model when it comes to practicing self care.
What type of work do you do?
I started CeeCee & Bee where we created a line of natural bath & body products that gives back. For each purchase, we donate a product to a domestic violence survivor.
What does self care mean to you?
To me, self-care means that I intentionally try to meet my own needs. Both proactively and in the moment. Proactively, I have created routines and habits that I follow in the morning and throughout the day. I started using natural personal care products 20 years ago when my skin was constantly irritated. I found the natural products soothing and brought just a bit more peace into my life. I believe that by removing mainstream products with chemicals and replacing it with natural products, I allowed my body to start healing. Slowly I kept adding more ways I practice self-care, like daily devotions, journaling, meditation.
In the moment, I notice how my body feels in response to my surroundings and interactions with others. When I start to tense up, have a negative thought loop or try to control the situation, I hit the pause button. I know that’s a moment when I need to step away and practice kind actions towards myself. In these moments, I might journal, draw, inhale aromatherapy or treat myself with something special. Small acts of kindness have a way of neutralizing the pain and bring me back to reality where I can enjoy my present reality.
Describe how life was for you before you started a regular self care routine.
I think I have tried to practice self-care in one form or another most of my life. Recently, I had a trifecta of trauma explode in my personal life. When that happened, I realized the self-care I had been practicing, although it had been good, would not be enough to see me through this devastating chain of events. I was a wreck. I didn’t know how to deal with my emotions. Little things would send me over the edge. And the tools I had been using, were not enough for what I was going through.
How has your life changed after self care became a habitual part of your daily routine? What area has changed the most?
I am healthier overall. I am hardly ever sick. I have had severe allergies most of my life and they are almost non-existent now. I am more resilient and bounce back from difficult situations faster. The biggest impact has probably been in my personal relationships. It’s funny to think something that started with irritated skin could end up helping me feel more connected and loved, but it really has made a difference! I don’t have it all figured out. As I keep trying to pay attention to my body and notice I’m irritated, I try to voice my pain for what it is and not make things worse. After acknowledging my feelings and thoughts, I might take some time alone, go for a walk or take a bath. The something shifts inside me and I am able to re-approach the relationship with resilience and strength. It’s not a perfect science… but I’m finding more connection and peace. It’s been amazing!
What advice would you give someone who is struggling with creating a self care practice for themselves?
Take it slow. Start with one small thing and test it out. It may not seem like it’s a life changing practice, but in time you will add more. Self-care practices build on each other. One day you will look back and see just how much your life has changed!