In the spirit of Valentine's Day, we asked a few of our members (MOBs) to share what self care means to them and what advice they would give other MOBs who are growing their businesses while raising their families.
Get Serious About Taking Care of Yourself
Sarah Nelson, LAc, co-owner of Ancient Fern Medicine
Self care is such an important topic and one that I think gets misrepresented in the name of selling expensive products and services.
Self care is ultimately about the relationship you have with yourself and how you care for your mental, physical, and emotional well being on a daily basis. It's about making choices every single day that are in line with the person you want to be and the goals you want to accomplish.
Some of the most commonly overlooked areas of self care I see in my patients are simple things like not having good structure and boundaries around things sleep, nutrition, exercise, and stress management. No amount of indulgent pampering will cancel out the damaging impact of an erratic sleep schedule, chronic sleep deprivation, or lack of proper hydration and nourishing food.
Another super important area of self care is the quality of the connection in our daily lives. Are you connecting with people who make you feel seen, valued, inspired, and ready to go out and conquer the world? If not, then your first self care assignment might be to look at your patterns in relationships and take steps to invest in connections that leave you feeling energized and great!
By all means, take the fancy bubble bath, get the pedicure and massage, but don't forget about the basics when it comes to taking care of you.
Avoid Decision Fatigue
Anna L De Salvo, Health Mentor and Time Strategist
Every day we make so many decisions that drain the energy out of us! Those little things daily add up to exhaustion at the end of the day. This exhaustion is what leads us to do things like overeat, binge watch tv, and prevent us from taking on our self-care as an intentional act. While some of these are downright fun, they usually lead to lower energy levels and lack of productivity.
How do you avoid decision fatigue? Budget your energy with routines. Set up daily routines that save your energy for the important ones in a day. A few easy routines: keep your daily wake up time consistent, set out your clothes on Sunday night to avoid riffling through the piles of laundry the morning of, and only schedule one night a week to do your laundry. Your energy is worth conserving. When you limit your daily decisions, you have more energy to make positive choices for your health.
You are worthy your own love
Julie Allen, Owner, Mary Rose NW Boutique and Founder, Mary Rose Foundation
Loving yourself means taking care of you. Carving out time every day to do something you need. As a mom and business owner, that can be more than a little challenging, but learning what you need and then allowing yourself the freedom to give it to yourself goes a long way.
Self-care starts with learning what you need. It is easy to get so caught up in mom and work life that you are no longer a priority. It can be easier to ignore what you really need than to find the time and energy to give it to yourself.
Caring for yourself, loving yourself, nurturing yourself, will benefit everyone. Believing you deserve the same time and attention you give so readily to everyone else, will greatly benefit you, your family, and your business.
It takes time to learn what you really need. It takes patience, self-compassion, and the courage to put yourself first. But caring for yourself, truly loving yourself, is something you deserve. You are worth the time. You are worth investing in. You are worth your own love.
Get Some Sleep!
Abbi Wood, Wordsmith & Communication Strategist
When you have a lot on your plate, and a lot to get done -- like, there's no end in sight -- what's the first thing to go?
Whether it's late to bed or early to rise, sleep deprivation will take a toll on your health, mentally and physically.
Set your home lights, phone, alarms (or whatever you need) to go off at a certain time and jolt you with a bedtime reminder. Aim to be in bed before you actually need to go to sleep (because those brains don't turn themselves off). Rinse and repeat until your mind and body acquiesce to the safety of this routine and habit.
Can't do it? (Me either!)
Backup self-care: Check in with yourself in the middle of the day or whenever you find yourself going off-track or spiraling, and fill your bucket -- aka invest in yourself.
Whether it's 5 minutes to yourself or 30 seconds: check in with yourself and
p-l-a-n a chunk of time that you'll take to do whatever fills your bucket: reading, goal-setting, house cleaning, Netflix, a cuppa tea... Maybe check in with a friend and have a good ole chin wag. And stick to the plan.
And get back to trying to go to bed on time. It's like they always say: try, try again. In the meantime, there's always Netflix (for me).
Find Ways to Recharge
Aloma Murray, owner, Eugene Mindworks, Coworking Space and Business Incubator
Self care can look different for everyone and even change over time. I have been pushing myself a lot this year to go beyond my comfort zone and put myself out there in a way that I have resisted previously. While it’s been really exciting, it’s also scary and can really drain my energy quickly.
Through the process I’ve learned new ways of boosting my energy and practicing self care! I realized that using my voice recorder on my phone while driving to work to just talk stuff through and record my thoughts has been really satisfying, in a similar way as journaling has been in my life. I try to pay attention when I start to feel burnt out. I know getting outside, having quiet time, reading a good book and spending quality time with my family playing games are great options for me when I need to get grounded and refresh my energy.
If you know what feels rejuvenating for you it’s a great idea to keep a list so you can refer to it when you feel stressed and overwhelmed. Sometimes we forget what to do in those difficult moments.
Self care doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Simple things like taking 5 minutes to practice breathing exercises or mindfully drink a glass of water can be really powerful and help you reset.
Kim Ludeman, Captivatingly Confident Confidence Coach
Self-care doesn’t have to require leaving your house, finding a sitter or spending money.
It can be something as simple as taking your time getting ready in the morning. It can be giving yourself a foot rub at night before bed. It can be dancing to music that puts a smile on your face. Find something that takes five minutes or less and feels indulgent or pleasurable.
Focus on Mind, Body, and Soul
Heather Payne, Rodan + Fields
Self care for us moms us beyond important. There are so many aspects that go into self care. I always try to complete my self care by focusing on mind, body, and soul.
Mind - I utilize daily affirmations and self-growth books to maintain my self care in the mind.
Body - I get up at 4am to go to Crossfit every day, eat healthy and put my juicer to work I also take care of my skin, hair and nails to feel beautiful and enjoy looking in the mirror every day.
Soul - There are so many things you can do to stay connected. I like to use my oils every day and keep myself grounded and mindful. Breathing techniques are a massive bonus in my life.
Self care isn't selfish, it is necessary!
Self care has to exist.
Sarah Akey, Owner, Sarah's Sweet Treats
I'm finding that self care, is not always pretty. As I've traveled through deep personal struggles this past year and trying to keep businesses afloat, my view on the subject has changed a little.
I had always looked at it as a bubble bath, glass of wine and a good book, even give minutes in the bathroom with no interruptions. However, I've learned that sometimes, self care is allowing a good cry right before I go to sleep. Or even the simple act of admitting that I'm not okay. Letting the flood gates open, and allowing other people to stand in the gaps for me, has been a hard transition to make.
I kind of like to have control and put up a good strong front. Yet, I've found freedom and release in the "messy" type of self care. Self care is a process. A practice. And it can look different all the time. But it has to be there. Self care has to exist.
Mandy, the owner of Tiny Times Photography in Vancouver, Washington, grew up in Southern California, then moved to Las Vegas and lived there for 11 years, before moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2016.
Her business and her first baby were both born in 2009. “Four years later we had a story of loss. I was just shy of 9 months pregnant when we lost our first baby girl, my Brie Lynn. She is always in my heart. After some healing, we knew we still wanted another baby. Our story then leads into a beautiful journey of adoption and that brought us our daughter now. She is an amazing little girl. We are lucky,” says Mandy.
She says her artistry thrives from her story, raising two kids, and growing a business. “Photographing babies when they are the tiniest they will ever be, is my favorite thing to do, besides being a mama. I just celebrated my 10th year in business and I have recently, and proudly, won the title of Best Newborn & Family photographer in my local area,” she explains.
Mandy was inspired to start her business because of the passion she has for photography and loving the level of artistry needed to take photos newborn.
She says her grandparents were her mentors. Her grandfather helped her with technical side of things and her grandmother fueled Mandy’s creative, artistic side.
Her ideal referral is a client who loves her work enough that they prioritize once-in-a-lifetime newborn photos.
Mandy says being a MOB Alliance member has opened opportunities for her. “Before the MOB, I actually would go door- to- door to connect with other businesses and meet new people. The MOB has only given me an endless chance to meet and connect with other like-minded business women who help each other grow on a daily basis. It takes a village to raise a business, the MOB is a big part of my village,” she explains.
Her favorite MOB Alliance benefit is the ability to connect, help other MOBs, and be featured locally. She is grateful for the chance the MOB gives her to be seen, heard, and supported.
She advises new business owners to not compare your beginning to someone else’s middle and would tell a younger version of herself to keep learning.
When asked what her favorite part about working for herself is Mandy says “The control of knowing that "I DID THIS.”
Mandy is offering an exclusive special to MOB Alliance members: $50 print credit when you book a session
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