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Friday, July 22, 2016

8 Inspiring Women Share Their Self Care Rituals & Tips ~ International Self Care Day

Self care is much more than just having a bubble bath - though I admit that is one of my favourite ways. Self care is about taking care of you mind, body, spirit and taking action to being the person you want to be and creating the life you want to live.

Those who have been long time readers of HHL already know I'm a HUGE advocate for Self Care, imagine my excitement when I discovered since 2011 countries such as: China, Mexico, South Africa, Switzerland, the United States and Vietnam have been organizing Self Care day - UK and Canada have been organizing Self Care week. 

Why July 24th? according to the International Self Care Foundation "The International Self-Care Day, 24 July, symbolises that the benefits of self-care are experienced 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In other words, the benefits of self-care are life-long and do not just relate to a single day. ISD on 24 July simply provides a good focus and opportunity to publicise or report on self-care in action programmes"

In celebration of International Self Care Day - I asked some amazing, inspiring women to share how they practice self care on the daily and nurture mind body spirit. Whether you are an empty nester, single mom, city or country gal, corporate/entrepreneurness/CEO of your home, or a little potpourri of all the wonderful things women do, I am certain you will find a little of yourself in all these ladies.

Here is what they had to say:

Susan Liberatore

Practicing self-care isn't always easy with 3 kids; sometimes, I'm happy just to get to go to the bathroom alone! For as long as I can remember, Sunday evenings have always been my time to rejuvenate and prepare for the week ahead. It's the day I do my nails, or my toes {or both!} and skip the quick shower for a luxurious bath. Yes, sometimes, my Ava Grace may be in the bath with me but it's never rushed and always as hot as we can both stand it. We often sing in the bathtub or play games and giggle - it's a great chance to just forget about the worries of the day, the week...and just enjoy the time away from everyone and all distractions.

Lately, I've made more of an effort {mostly due to Celia's never-ending advice to take time for me!} to do at least one thing a month just for me. It might be an evening of shopping solo with a latte in hand or an indulgent facial - it takes planning but I have found that it IS doable. And, I am always a better person, and mother, because of it.

Susan Liberatore
Blog : Ava Grace's Closet www.avagracescloset.blogspot.ca

Julie Baumlisberger

"I am a farmer, have my own healing practice (Reiki and essential oils) and am a mother of two at-home children in their 20's. Trying to juggle all those things, even without any “surprises” can be challenging. When things get hectic or something unexpected happens (such as our daughter's car accident this winter), it's more important than ever that I practice self care.

I am grateful to have the tools I do. Self Reiki and a few minutes of quiet meditation happen every single day (if not in the morning, then in the evening, or when I think of it). My essential oils are also used every day to support my physical, emotional and spiritual needs. We are blessed to live in the country, where my third “must do” is appreciation for the panorama of Nature. I give thanks daily for the trees that shelter our home, the birds that lift my spirits, the Sky and Earth, above and below.

Julie Baumlisberger

Jessica Gordon Ryan

I'm not sure how luxurious my life is at the moment!

As a single mother two 3 children, 17, 15 and 10 I find that my finances and time are completely tapped!

I work from home as a freelance writer and sometimes social media strategist and so my work and my home are often inseparable which can be hard. Throw in 3 busy (and loud!) kids into the mix and life proves challenging - especially during deadline time. I'm already worried about summertime... Our house is small - it is cozy when I am here alone and cramped when we are all here, so I need to make time for myself and I do.

I wake up early, before the children, and this is my quiet time to enjoy the sunrise, the birds, the news and my morning coffee. It's important that I can ease into my day gently and I do, daily. 6:30 - 9:00 am is generally mayhem as I rush to make 3 lunches and get 3 kids up and out to 2 different schools with 2 different start times. I can breathe again at 9:00!

Every morning -  unless I have meetings or conference calls, I go to the gym as soon as the little one is off to school. I've been known to re-schedule meetings around my workout schedule because I find that it sets the tone for the day. I try to work out 4-5 times a week. This is really pretty non-negotiable.

Because I don't have a typical 9-5 workday I can take time off to tend to my kids but then my work must resume after hours. I always make downtime at the end of the day, be it a long soak in the tub or hot shower, or even "hiding" in my room with the door closed and a glass of wine. I do this daily.

When my children are with their father I either catch up with work, clean the house and take care of house-hold chores, and sometimes I even take some time off to meet with friends or take road trips. I am fortunate as many of my assignments take me to some lovely restaurants and destinations and so even though I may be working, it's always nice to be able to have these experiences. And I cherish my girlfriends and my time with them - They get me out of the house and recharge my energy!

Jessica Gordon Ryan
Blog: The Entertaining House www.jesicagordonryan.com

Carol E Wyer 
(AKA Facing 50) 

Ironically, I haven't been practising enough self care the last few months and that is why I am actually pretty ill at the moment. I have had to have a serious course of physio for the last six weeks. However, I have one weapon in my arsenal that never lets me down and that is my sense of humour. Luckily, in spite of everything that has been happening in my life, a laugh lifts spirits, produces endorphins and helps me get through it all. I hunt out jokes every day and share them with my beloved Grumpy. Mr Grumpy and I always watch a comedy DVD or show at nighttime and we listen to feel good 1980s music in the morning. We even have a little dance around the kitchen to some of the tunes.

I know I ought to take more care of myself and I am beginning to but thankfully, my daily recharge of humour has probably saved me.
Carol E Wyer
(AKA Facing 50) 
Blog: Facing 50 With Humour www.facing50withhumour.com

Nan L.

How do I maintain a balanced luxurious life:  Probably the best thing to keep the balance in my luxurious life is my husband, Leland.  He is not only very supportive, he enables me to be the best I can be.  He is my best friend and lover and THAT is how I am able to do everything else I need to do.

I recharge my personal fuel tank daily by:starting my mornings in a quiet time in “my corner” in the living room, reading my daily devotional and taking some prayer time with God, my entire day is set up to go smoothly and peacefully.  I work to surround myself with beauty – fresh cut flowers, beautiful tea cups, scent from candles or oil burners, and quiet for just listening.  I’ve learned peace in the home and inside me is vital to a luxurious life.

These practices charge and recharge me so well.  I drink warm lemon water in the mornings in a different tea cup weekly and warm water with a tsp of apple cider vinegar in the evenings – both which are excellent for my skin and body!

Non-negotiable is taking care of my skin by keeping it dehydrated and very moisturized.  I drink a minimum of 80 ounces of water right now while I’m losing weight.  The 28 ounce water bottle has a dribble of organic apple cider vinegar in it for moistness and body.  I take Astaxanthin for skin, fish oil, organic sulfur, and apple cider vinegar for skin and body.  Another self-care must is flax and chia seed for constant inner cleansing.

I’m at the age that it is very important to take care of my skin and body since I plan to live a long, long time and want to look good doing it (smile).  I’ve also learned what is and isn’t important, and keep stress out of my life.  If I begin to stress, I do the first paragraph – spend time with God just listening and reading my Bible or a faith-based good book!

Nan L.
Blog: Little Black Dress Diaries www.LittleBlackDressDiaries.com

Sandy O'Shea

As a holistic nutritionist, I am interested in the mind, body and spirit of an individual.  Food is critical of course, but even the best nutrition plan in the world won't do as much as it could if you aren't moving your body and taking care of your spirit and your mental well being and that includes self care.  That's why they call it "holistic nutrition" because it focuses on the whole of the person.

Self care for me is exercising every day, even if it's simply walking. I work out 5 or 6 days a week, first thing in the morning.  If I don't do it then, it often doesn't get done. One of my non-negotiable practices is getting out for a walk at lunch.  Sitting for long periods is not healthy so to counterbalance that I walk, regardless of the weather.

Self care is critical to a person's overall well being.  Women have a habit of putting everything else first.  The job, spouse, children, household chores.  I've been guilty of the same thing sometimes.  But we perform so much better when we take care of ourselves first.  We have more energy and joy in our lives and we can accomplish so much more than if we just grind away taking care of everything and everyone before us."

Sandy O'Shea
Blog: Stepping Stones Wellness Inc. http://www.steppingstoneswellnessinc.com/#!blog/

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder

How I maintain a balanced luxurious life… and practicing self care:

As often in life when certain things happen and we’re under a lot of stress, it is most important for remaining calm and relaxed and take VERY WELL care of our personal health. Food is the number one issue here and I’m proud for having done that extremely well the past couple of months as we got to go to Atlanta regularly, due to husband Pieter’s hearing test at Costco. Shopping at Costco and bringing home lots of fresh veggies and fruits is a blessing. Also bringing home some crab legs and serving them as a dinner for dear friends. It serves two purposes, you clean the house and put flowers in a vase and than you reap the big reward of fueling the body, mind and soul as we all NEED our friends. They are the most important ingredient for happiness. the joy of sharing a good meal with others is so rewarding. That really does recharge your personal fuel tank better than anything else. Oh, before we went to Atlanta I had given myself a good pedicure, I did write a blog post about it just recently. That makes you feel good, and nothing is more important than walking and working on happy feet! They carry us around most of the time.

For our other fuel tank both of us have been biking almost daily, not on a rainy day but other than that yes we peddle around some 9 km. Mainly in the evening due to the extreme heat we’re already facing here in Georgia. Often after having had our afternoon tea which I take with a Rice cake and even a few seaweed I have from Costco. Also mixed unsalted nuts, all from Costco. That is: whole almonds, English walnuts, organic cashew nuts. 
It is very rewarding to cook a healthy meal every day and it pays off for feeling well and knowing that you get the right nutrients.  For dessert we mainly eat fresh fruits or berries with Trader Joe’s 0% fat Greek yogurt and added Chia seeds and Lecithin granules (brain power!)…

Planning your weeks very well, keeps you busy and also makes for sleeping like a rose; feeling satisfied and happy.

That more or less makes the circle round! We all look forward to certain highlights in our life; being it a coffee/tea with a friend, a lunch or dinner shared with friends or a shopping day. Sight seeing for going to a place one always has been dreaming about… Just schedule it and live towards it

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder
Blog: Mariette's Back to Basics http://mariettesbacktobasics.blogspot.ca/

Jen Carducci

Hello, I'm Jennifer Carducci a Professional Hairstylist and Bohemian Jewelry Designer. I believe that "beauty" must come from inside and out and that it is not sufficient to simply be beautiful on the exterior, one's interior needs to be beautiful as well. For that we must work on ourselves through self care (both physical and spiritual). Meditating daily helps me to stay focused, balanced grounded, bringing clarity and insight allowing me to deal with life's challenges and daily situations. I also wear and incorporate jewelry made of different stones to encourage me to draw in positive energy as I release the negative and all else that no longer serves me. 

My Daily Mantra~
" I am fearless in the face of any and all challenges. All is well now and always." 

Jen Carducci 
Blog: Glam and Tease:  www.glamandtease.com

In celebration of International Self Care Day - why not start your own self care rituals! I know it can be overwhelming - but take one step at a time; add one new thing each week - some things you will continue with practicing weekly, or perhaps monthly, bi-monthly and some things you may choose to practice daily. I hope you found inspiration (and motivation) as you read through how these amazing gals are rocking their self care! Looking for more inspiration to get started? ... check out these posts from the archives:

On Sunday July 24th - why not inspire others: share a photo on Facebook or Instagram - showing a self care moment - use Hashtag #HighHeeledLifeSelfCareDay so we can easily find each other.

The International Self-Care Foundation (ISF) is a registered UK Charity with a global focus, you can learn more about them here and you can learn more about International Self Care Day here.

What is ONE Self Care Thing you do each day ?

You are the curator of your life so live it luxuriously ,

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  1. Dearest Celia,
    WOW, that was quite a post for reading through these 8 stories about self care!
    Frankly, I didn't even know that there is such an International Self Care Day... Thanks for educating us on that.
    Thank you also for using my humble writing in this post about self care.
    Guess what, just ate a BIG Italian Honey Fig, one for each of us. Very sweet and juicy from the heavy rains we have been getting in the evenings. They produce late but it is a joy to have some!
    It is above all the fresh fruits (Cherries please!) and veggies that have proven to work best for me.
    With my CKD stage 3, I seem to react very strongly to anything with a high Magnesium level; affecting my sleep in a negative way.
    But last night I've slept like a rose so the balance was perfect.

    Oh, the link to Jessica's blog is missing an 's' so you might want to correct that.
    I've visited all ladies, except the last one as she has no blog...
    Sending you hugs and blessings from a very hot Georgia.

    1. Dearest Mariette ... you are such an inspiration and a true testament of how taking care of one's self is important for longevity and living a happy life.

      I have adjusted Jessica's url ... not sure what happen as I copied and pasted URL - but I have tested it again and its working. Yes, Jen only has a website ... she is working a blogging - she does amazing energy bracelets.

      Wishing you Pieter and the furbabies a blessed weekend. Hugs, C.

  2. What fun, reading everyone's ways to self-care! I love the fact I learned something from each one. Thank you so much for letting me be a part of this important post; I enjoyed sitting down and thinking about what I did do to take care of myself. Sometimes we don't do things deliberately so we waste precious time zipping through things we should slow down and take time and enjoy. You did an amazing job mixing it up!

    1. Dearest Nan , your approach to life is so inspirational - and yes, we need to be mindful in our self care. Many blessings and wishing you both a fabulous weekend!! Hugs, C.

  3. Celia, this is an amazing post and such an important concept for all women to embrace. One thing I do every day that really is non-negotiable is take at least an hour to take a shower, apply my makeup, style my hair, and carefully choose my outfit for the day. I think it is as simple as caring about how I look and practicing good hygiene. Even in the depths of my depression many years ago, I always practiced this routine...even if I was going to spend the day lying in my bed, I still got up, showered, applied makeup, styled my hair, and put on clothes. And somewhere along the way, I was able to pull myself out of the darkness and now this routine has become a necessary daily ritual for my good mental health. And recently, I started a major cleansing of my home! Purging the junk and clutter...and it feels amazing! I was starting to feel overwhelmed by all the stuff and finally my friend convinced to take back my home...which I am slowly doing and it is such a fantastic feeling to unburden myself from the accumulation of unnecessary things!

    Thanks for linking up On the Edge of the Week. I do hope to see you again this week.


    1. Shelbee I am a huge fan of morning (and evening) rituals!! you have some wonderful prompts in your morning rituals to set a positive tone for your day!! hugs C.


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