The Refined Collective: Self Care

Self-care, self-love, self-discovery. These three things have been the theme of my life for the past 4 years and every single time I've learned a thing or two about each area, life seems to throw me another curve ball to teach me another lesson about what these areas mean in my life. 

When I became a mom, I did exactly what most women do when they become a new mom. They pour out all their love and energy into raising a family (as you should). But the one thing that I didn't recognize or value in the first few years, or 9 years of motherhood, was to find ways to fill my own cup so that I can continue serve others especially my family.

You cannot serve from an empty vessel.
— Eleanor Brownn

The life of a working mom began and soon enough I was hustling left and right, backwards, sideways, you name the direction I was there. I was overworked and overwhelmed with the idea of juggling motherhood, work, my passions, my relationships with girlfriends, and my relationship with my husband. I remember feeling spread thin thinking that it was a normal feeling until I started to find myself dealing with anxiety and depression. Things got rough and then I started to focus on my health and it improved. 

In my books, exercise will always be the number one form of self-care, but I also know that for some exercise might be a challenge so here are some self-care practices that I try to do at least once a week in order to refill my cup. 

  1. Journaling. This has been an instrumental piece of of maintaining and improving my mental health and the easiest form of self-care that I can practice whenever I'm feeling lost in the moment. I started to journal regularly this year as another onset of depression hit me just a few weeks ago. If you're unsure what to write about you can start with my favorite thing which is to list down 5 things you are grateful for. 
  2. 10 minutes of mindful breathing and meditation. I used to think that meditation was for yogis and just for yogis. Some days my mind feels like its a super highway, thoughts and ideas just whiz by. The perception I had about meditation was that you had to control those thoughts, until I discovered Headspace. 
  3. A bath and candles...ALONE! This one is very rare in my house to do because typically the bathroom door opens and I have someone saying "Mommy..." before I can roll my eyes to the idea that private moments is no longer a thing in my house. So when I can spend 15-20 minutes alone in a bath to simply relax from my day, unplug from my emails, phone, and studying it becomes pure bliss and the absolute best form of self-care.

A few other things I like do for self-care are: monthly massages, recovery time in the hot tub or sauna, a face mask, and even just laying in bed quietly while listening to music and diffusing essential oils in the air. A self-care practice is vital for your health. It's one that we take for granted these days especially while we're so busy juggling all of life's demands. Make sure to make time for it and remember its called a practice for a reason. You have to make time for it just like you make time for others in life. 

Just like exercise and eating healthy or living balanced, a self-care practice is just as unique as the individual practicing it. Your self-care routine will look different from your girlfriends and what you choose to practice, how you practice, and when you practice is entirely up to you. I hope I was able to provide you some inspiration to build your own. 

This article is written in Collaboration with some of my favorite women! Every 2nd Tuesday of each month we'll be sharing our thoughts on topics that tug on our heart strings, so make sure to check back in March to see what we've got lined up for you.

Check out their thoughts on Self-Care today too:

The Refined Woman // The Refined Collective Self-Care

Lauren Scruggs Kennedy // Self Care

Chelsey Korus // Self Care

Tutti del Monte Photography // Self Care Practices

Nine Retreat 2016 Recap

Nine Retreat 2016 Recap

My absolute favorite gem of all is the realization that we’ve started to dismiss one of our greatest power as women, which is our intuition and learning to listen to our own truths. Often times we’ve dismissed what we deeply know about ourselves or others because of what society is telling us to be. We’ve come to a time in our society where we’ve started to seek outside validation rather than listening to the voice within that’s already saying, “You are beautiful. You are strong. You are enough.” How many times do we sell ourselves short to live just below our potential? How many times do we dismiss our truths in order to please other people and make them happy? I mean seriously, talk about mind blown!

LIFE // We all need inspiration

When I'm feeling the itch for a little inspiration and motivation I start scouring the internet for motivational quotes, because everyone needs a little reminder that everything is awesome. 

Here are some of my favorite quotes from tonight's search:

The strength of a woman is not measured by the impact that all her hardships in life have had on her; but the strength of a woman is measured by the extent of her refusal to allow those hardships to dictate her and who she becomes.
— C. JoyBell C.
No matter where you are in life, you’ll save a lot of time by not worrying too much about what other people think about you. The earlier in your life that you can learn that, the easier the rest of it will be.
— Girlboss
I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.
— Oprah
Courage is like a muscle. We strengthen it by use.
— Ruth Gordon
Our deepest wishes are whispers of our authentic selves. We must learn to respect them. We must learn to listen.
— Sarah Ban Breathnach