Change Talks Vol 3 Physiological Change: Self Care

"Caring for yourself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation” – Audre Lorde

Starting February of 2017 we launched a series of Change Talks that happen the first Wednesday of each month. This month our topic was Physiological Change: Self Care

Our panelists were: Chris Richards (UP Fitness), Paulina Salmenhaara (R.A.W. Inside Out), Dr. Martha Tara Lee (Sexologist, Author, Speaker Eros Coaching) and Cheryl Lin (Eat Train Love).
What we discussed:
Daily Life/Work can be stressful. From the never-ending stream of work deadlines, social obligations, instant communications and life admin, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the chaos and the physiological impact of trying to keep up.
Too often we feel drained and depleted because we are too willing to please others, putting their needs ahead of our own. Most of us have heard about the importance of self-care, but we don't do it enough because we don't know how. Self-care is about nurturing our body, mind and spirit - taking care of our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing - for our own sanity and sustainability.
The time and effort we invest in self-care practices will determine the positivity, confidence and resilience we bring to our daily Life/Work.
Each of our talks are followed by reflective circles facilitated by The Change School Facilitators.
These are some of the questions we revolved the conversation around:
  • How do you create the space for self-care?
  • What habits can you create for yourself for a saner, more - sustainable life?
  • How do you stay motivated and disciplined to sustain a healthy and balanced lifestyle?
  • How do you create boundaries to avoid burnout and bring our very best selves to our daily Life/Work?


Here's a recap of the event featuring our panelists.

*not direct quotes but key points taken by our facilitator


1. What does Self Care mean/look like to you or in your line of work?


Cheryl (C): Being kind to yourself, connecting with your body, it doesn’t mean just one thing and is constantly changing. For me, it helps me to do my job well.


Chris (Ch): More than just a visible change, it is also all aspects of quality of life - eating, sleeping, mindfulness, energy - and refining over time.


Pauliina (P): Agrees with Cheryl, for her she takes care of herself and listens to her body. Getting shocking news can throw you which is when it can be even more important to keep your routine, helps fine tune you.


Martha (M): Self care is about self-esteem, confidence and self love. It is physical but it is also about emotions, illnesses, stress/anxiety, mental health, attitude and spirituality.


2. How important is Self-Care for life/work performance and physiological wellbeing?


C: I had suffered adrenal fatigue as a result of prolonged stress. As a biz owner you have to do everything - every email has to be answered, every client call, etc - so I over compensated by not sleeping enough.  Remembering it is okay not to be okay and that off days are allowed, accept that you will find your path and accept health/support


P: I had to decide that I am the priority importance - I am #1 unless there is a crisis (eg at home / my kids). This is not selfish, but it is necessary in order to have the energy to do things and to give back.  Follow own mantra “Whole over Perfect”, taking a continual journey of discovery


Chris (Ch): People are always chasing career improvement / advancement and forgetting about self-care. But most successful people / performers are also usually in fairly good shape, keep themselves quite fit and active.  Making sure goals are set and also thinking about the WHY behind doing what you do - giving you something to relate to when times get tough


M: I suffered depression after my second divorce which led to stress > hives > medication > depression. Exercise (initially only 10mins / day) started to make me feel better and over time I increased to 30mins a day.  Physical self-care contributes to mental discipline. Give yourself permission to be you.


3. What trends do you see in the health/wellness industry?


P: Happy to see that plant-based food is trending right now. Farm-to-table, Edible home gardens, Consciousness about where our food comes from. The availability of information means that people are thinking more about What am I putting into my body and… how? We are at a cusp right now and I am excited to see how it grows and evolves from here!


4. How do you create the space for self-care? What is one habit/ritual you practice regularly?


P: Waking up and putting feet on floor, going to bathroom...with feet firmly on the floor, coconut oil pulling (20 minutes) to clear toxins followed by tongue scraping and either a lemon water/green juice or ginger.  For me it is also about an evening routine, saying thank you to myself and thinking about/saying what I am grateful for


C: Follow my Eat, Train, Love mantra - eating well, exercising and loving self. Listening to body - some days it is okay not to do anything


Ch: Water, making sure I have breakfast, training and listening to body


M: Creating space by making it non-negotiable. Rising early to exercise and meditate, masturbate, and starting with most important task and trying to avoid emails being the first thing I do.


5. How do you stay motivated and disciplined to sustain habits and a health lifestyle?


Ch: I’ve transitioned from becoming a physical trainer to now more of a desk job and now I have to walk the talk. I feel better when I eat well, meditate, believe in it, and see the positive impact it has. Therefore, it is not a massive challenge for me to keep at it.


6. There are different ways to practice self-care. How do you know where to focus/start?


C: You have to know what works for you. Routine works for some, not all. Self-reflect what inspires you. Don’t go it alone; get support - a coach, a trainer, or even a friend.


7. One Tip for anyone looking to create their own self-care plan?


C: It is OK to not be OK. Stay positive; get support.


P: Whole is better than Perfect. Do what makes you feel whole, don’t wait for it to be perfect.


Ch: Set goals. Know your why.

M: More than just what you do, routine is about having an anchor. That is self-care.