As wives and mothers, we tend to care for everybody else before we care for ourselves. And finding the time to practice the necessary self care can be tricky.
In this episode, I share with you my 10 favourite self care practices that can be simple to implement if you put your head to it.
For my 4 week Hormone Healing meal plan with recipes and shopping lists, you can find my FEAST ebook here.
Welcome back to episode 30
I can’t believe I’ve been releasing a podcast episode every single week for 30 weeks in a row.
I have to admit, I’ve been contemplating a podcast since about this time last year but it was a scary thought
I didn’t know whether I’d be able to keep it up.
Will people actually wanna listen to my South African Kiwi accent and what I have to say?
And what will I be talking about all of the time?!
But I have to admit, I’ve loved every single second of it.
At the time of this recording, I’ve had 3500 downloads, with my monthly downloads steadily increasing and creeping up to 1000 downloads a month, and people from all over the world sharing their earpods with me.
I’m truly humbled.
I feel so grateful that you show up every week to hear what’s on my heart
So thank you from the bottom of my heart for being here.
And if you’ve ever shared any of my podcast episodes, thank you for sharing my dream with other women! And helping me to reach more women across the world, I’m truly grateful…
So I’ve just closed another intake of the Hormone Health Academy and I’m excited to go through yet another life changing experience with a small group of women, who will never see their bodies in the same light again!
Which made me think about how we’ve been taught by our parents, our peers, maybe the media, whoever, to perceive our bodies…
And in my experience, from observing the way women talk about their bodies, their periods, themselves, it’s hardly ever in a positive light.
You know, I believe that we have been fearfully and wonderfully created.
Not only because the Bible tells us this, but when you start to understand the intricacies of how the female body works, you can’t help but be in awe.
It is truly wonderful.
But unfortunately, most of us have not experienced this. It’s simply not been your reality.
And I believe that it’s because of various reasons, such as going through puberty unprepared and not knowing what it is that’s happening with our bodies.
It can be because of the negative talk of women and girls around you that have shaped these negative views and experiences
Maybe you’ve been battling health issues related to your female physiology for a very long time, and therefore you can’t help but feel discouraged and frustrated with your body?
But there’s one thing that I want you to know today…
And that is that you don’t have to settle for that.
It’s never too late to change that view of your body…
It’s never too late to change your health, your experience of life inside of your unique body
And I believe it all starts with a shift in our mindset, our thought patterns about ourselves.
The things that we believe to be true about ourselves, irrespective of how we feel in the moment.
And I think the biggest shift will come when we learn to understand how our bodies work and what we need to do to support it and stop working against it!
If you’ve listened to my last episode, I talked about how healthcare practices in 2022, right now, is based on research done mainly on men!
And that will change over time, as research starts to explore the differences based on our unique hormonal profile, but for now, it’s up to us to educate ourselves, so we can advocate for ourselves, but most importantly, that we can change the experiences and the future of the next generation. Our daughters….
And this gets me super excited
But in order for us to start shifting these mindsets, we need to start by implementing self-care practices.
Not only will this lead to hormonal healing, but I believe that when you start prioritising yourself and your health, it will help you to start accepting that you are worth that self care. You are worth investing time and resources in your health.
And so as a mom myself, I know the challenges that life can often throw your way and the very first thing to go out the door is prioritising ourselves.
So let’s talk about ways today that you can care for yourself, while caring for everyone else in your household. And by implementing these self care practices, I can guarantee that you will experience improved energy levels, better mood, better clarity of mind and just overall improved wellness. So here goes:
Go for a 30 minute walk several times a week by yourself to recharge - helps with metabolic health, reset circadian rhythms and a powerful habit that is totally underrated. Very helpful to regulate our stress levels, especially when these walks happen in nature. Walking is also great for helping you to regulate your blood glucose levels, which will support hormonal healing. And this, in turn will boost sustainable energy and get rid of those afternoon slumps and waking up exhausted in the mornings.
Listen to your favourite music and dance if you need to. Great for getting rid of stress and helps to lift the mood because the release of your happy hormones will increase and you’ll just feel good. So in my house, I try to turn music on when I do cooking and love singing out loud while sometimes pulling some funny dance moves. My kids often laugh at me, but what happens, is that the generally mood of the entire family lifts. Me and my kids also love listening to loud music in the car and singing along to that.
Go tech free for the first hour of your morning or the last hour of your evening. Instead of the mindless scrolling on social media, find a good book to read or series to watch. I’ve recently taken on the challenge to learn how to solve the rubix cube. So at night time, instead of scrolling through social media, I watch videos on how to solve the cube and try to actually do it. I don’t know about you, but apart from the hilarious videos that sometimes pop into my feed, social media generally does not make me feel great. So I try to avoid the mindless scrolling as much as I can! Also, avoiding blue light at least an hour before we go to bed is what we need to support those circadian rhythms, which will not only help you to sleep better, but we also know it supports better energy. So who does not want that right?
Do a 2-minute controlled breathing exercise where you just focus on taking deep breaths and exhaling deeply in order to stimulate the vagus nerve, which will activate the rest and digest nervous system. And we know this is what helps us to down-regulate the stress response, meaning that production of cortisol will go down. And with healthier levels of cortisol, you will experience more balanced hormones, better sleep and better overall health
Check in with a good friend, that is good for your spirit, every day for 2 minutes. I love sending voice notes to friends, as they don’t take too much time typing and I can check in with them without the restriction of having to type words. They can hear my emotions and tone of voice and I think it is just really important to take a few minutes out of each day to check in with the people that you don’t see often, but are valuable to you. It’s also good for just sharing things that might be upsetting to you, helps you to clear your mind by sharing with a friend. And in that way, you get rid of the negativity that might get stuck in your head and your emotions. And the best part about sending voice notes to friends, is that you are likely to receive a voice note back, which generally is uplifting and encouraging.
Take 30-60 minutes in the morning to start the day off right. For me, this involves reading systematically in my Bible, meaning I tackle entire books at a time, and I spend time praying for people around me, my own life, family, whatever is on my list and heart that day. I find that, since I’ve been doing this consistently every day, it helps me to have greater mindfulness and self-awareness, helping me to show up differently for my family and friends. It’s also helped me to be more outward focused which has lead to a major shift in me as a person. I find that I’m way more empathetic and understanding towards others and I love this.
Which goes hand in hand with number 6, is that I spend a few minutes reflecting on the things that I am grateful for during my morning routine. These are often simple things, like the ability to work from home, the ability to homeschool my boy for this season, my marriage, the freedom to go for a walk in a beautiful environment, whatever it is. I believe that it is important to be very intentional about having an attitude of gratitude, which is what I also encourage my kids to do. Often, when we are having dinner, we will all talk about the things that we are grateful for that day. This helps us to have the mindset of ‘the world is happening for me, not to me’
Listen to a book or podcast every day. I can truly say, that this has been life changing the last few months. I’ve started listening to books on Audible, I’ve got my husband hooked on it now. I used to get one credit each month, and had to move that up to 2 credits, as I stole my credits every month. I’ve listened to some books over the last few months that I probably would never have made time for to read and many of those have literally changed my life. I really enjoy self-development books, and I listen to my books in the car when driving, when I go on my walks, when I watch sport practices. Whenever I get a moment.
Enjoy a square or 2 of good quality dark chocolate every day. My favourite part of our night routine, is that Michiel and I make a cup of tea when we’ve put the kids to bed, we grab 2 squares of dark chocolate each and then snuggle up on the couch to watch the next episode of whatever series we are watching at the time. I absolutely love this routine. And if there is no dark chocolate in the house, he’ll let me know that i’ve slipped up because apparently you can’t have an evening cup of tea without a treat. And sometimes, one of us will be extra creative and make special treats, such as cutting a banana into circles, putting a dollop of peanut butter or almond butter on top and topping off with melted dark chocolate and letting it set in the fridge. This is definitely one of our favorites! Aim for 70% dark chocolate if you can, as it has also so muny health benefits
Set a time for bed and stick to it. We are aiming to in bed by 9:30 every night and we keep each other accountable. That way, I get that good sleep in before midnight and I wake up just after 5 in the mornings feeling rested and ready for the day. The benefit that I get from this is so good, that I’m not interested in going to bed late, cause it leaves me feeling so terrible.
So those are my 10 self care practices that I try to implement as often as I can, and often life gets in the way that makes it hard.
So maybe you can choose 3 of these practices today that you will commit to over the next 4-6 weeks, until they become easier and you can take on some extra self care habits.
So what are the 3 that you are committing to?
For me, over the next 4-6 weeks, I’m committing to walking at least 3 times a week. I do other exercise as well, and sometimes my walking can fall by the wayside. So as we are approaching summer real soon, I wanna get out more in nature and do more walking.
Secondly, I wanna commit to going tech free for the first hour every morning. I’m extremely curious, so first thing I do in the morning is check what messages, emails, etc I’ve received during the night. So I want to focus on going directly into my morning routine over the next few weeks
And thirdly, I want to commit to listening to my books more, because the last few weeks, things in my business have ramped up a bit and I’ve had less time to invest in my books. But the great thing is, since I’ll be committing to my walks at least 3 times a week, I’ll have at least 3 opportunities each week to have a decent chunk of time for listening.
Before I let you go, I’m wondering if you know about the e-book that I wrote about this time last year?
LIke I said, as moms we are so busy with all the stuff taking up our time, that selfcare is the first thing to go out the window.
And for me, proper meal planning and eating foods that will nourish and heal my body, si a non-negotiable.
So last year, I wrote my very first e-book, called FEAST, which is a 4-week Hormone Healing meal plan with all the recipes and shopping lists included. And I can guarantee that these are family friendly meals.
The e-book is available on my website for $27 and you can find it at www.vandghie.com/feast or find the link in the show notes.
Now, if you haven’t subscribed to my podcast yet, hit subscribe where you are right now and while you’re at it, I would be so grateful if you could leave a review.
Thanx for joining me again today friend, and make a commitment this week to start implementing 3 of these self care habits, so you can move closer to your ultimate wellness.
Bye for now