A Mindful Chat with a Hardworking Mum
I was honoured to get to know Chloe through our personal self-care course not too long ago. She is an inspirational mother of three who is kind enough to share her self care journey and tell us how she manages to incorporate mindfulness into her life. Being under the pump as a working and studying mum, she has spent the last few years on a journey of self-discovery and learning the many skills of self-care.
What does a day in your life look like?
I am a mum to two and a step-mum to one (ages 12,14 and 15) so my day generally starts with getting the kids ready in the morning…the normal things…showers, brekky, lunch prep, feed the tribe of pets and school runs. I am a Service Manager for a disability organization which is where I spend 8 hours each weekday (I love my job). Afternoons are school pick up, and 3-5 days per week I will exercise depending on kids’ activities, dinner prep, homework and family time. Then most of my evenings are usually spent studying.
We would love to hear about your mindfulness/self-care journey! What helpful changes have you noticed along the way?
One of the biggest things I took away from my journey was learning to identify my values. I have always been a goal driven person, however, focusing on my values gave my goals greater meaning and also gave me a great sense of fulfilment.
Throughout Amys personal self-care course, I implemented a lot of non-negotiable self-care habits that I have continued to use. My favourite is the non-negotiable bedtime of 9:30 pm. Prior to the course, my sleep habits were very irregular, and I’d allow the pressure of Uni assignments to keep me awake long into the night. I now have a study schedule to keep me accountable and in bed by 9:30 pm every night.
How do you apply a self-care perspective to fit self-care into your life?
Over the last 3-4 years, I have been on a big journey of self-care and self-discovery, the most important lesson I have learnt is that no-one will (or can) take care of me as well as I can take care of myself. I am useless to those around me unless my own cup is full. Self-care is non-negotiable and while it is easy to lose focus on yourself, you need to be aware of this and learn how to refocus and recharge your own batteries. I’m a busy mum with a demanding career and Uni life so I understand how easy it is to say ‘oh I don’t have the time’, but you know what…you’ve got to make the time!
Do you meditate? If so, what anchor do you prefer and why?
Meditation is still something I am working on! I find it super difficult to switch my thoughts off however I do practice mindfulness constantly throughout the day. You’ll often find me ‘daydreaming’ or looking like I am lost in my own world, this is me taking in what I am feeling and why, or considering a decision/dilemma deeply prior to reacting.
There are times, however, when I just know that I need to meditate. I have a couple of good apps on my phone that will help guide me through a meditation. I find these useful as I can really focus on their voice and guidance instead of getting distracted by my own thoughts.
Which stress-busting tools have you noticed work well for you?
There are times where I prefer being alone in stressful situations. I’ll pop my earphones in and listen to a podcast that has absolutely nothing to do with anything occurring in my life at that moment (usually something strange like ‘Was Atlantis real” or breakdowns of iconic world history events). Then there are times where I just need to be with my tribe. Whether that is my family, my best friends or the crew I train with. Just being around them and not necessarily talking about what is happening will automatically have me feeling a lot more relaxed.
I also take deep comfort in using essential oils and crystals.
Who inspires your self-care and why?
Independent and honest individuals, such as Amy-Kate, who take full responsibility for their own lives, thoughts and actions. It is so easy to blame those around you for your own mistakes, decisions and thought processes but surrounding yourself with humans who hold their destiny in their own hands is very inspirational. I am a big fan of people like Louise Hay also. I love that she was able to turn her life around by simply taking responsibility and control over it, and then share that knowledge with others. She is definitely one of my biggest inspirations.
How do you stay motivated to care for yourself?
Feeling cared for feels so damn good! That is my motivation! I have occasionally dropped the ball. I’m not perfect. However, I take notice of how I feel at that moment of not being cared for. Whether it be that I didn’t get enough sleep, I ate something I knew I shouldn’t have, I have one too many drinks…I make sure I really feel that feeling and then compare it to a happy and cared for version of me. I am a big believer in consistency! Nothing in life will remain how you want it too without consistency and it only takes one little bit of complacency to lose it. The most important goal I work towards daily is to be a better version of myself than yesterday.
Have you seen a therapist? If so, what did you learn about your self-care?
It takes a tribe, right??? I am lucky enough to have many professionals around me to keep me on the right path.
As required, I have a Chiropractor, Acupuncture/Chinese Herbalist, health & fitness Coaches, ENAR therapist, Life-coach and Nutritionist available to keep me accountable. I would not be who I am today without the assistance of these individuals.
How does social media fit into your self-care perspective?
Social media is a tricky one. We often hear about all the negative effects of using social media however I believe by following influencers related to your goals and journey, it can be quite therapeutic. I tend to only follow people or pages that encourage holistic approaches to health goals. People that are non-judgemental and promote services/advice diversely are important to me as no two people are ever the same. I think when used in the right way, social media can definitely assist people on a health/self-care journey.
Share your thoughts on values-centred living.
Throughout my journey with Amy Kate’s course (“Your Personal Self-Care Course”), focusing on my values was a very positive and self-awakening experience. As previously mentioned, goals are huge for me, I cannot function on a daily basis without goals. Focusing on my values, however, really realigned my goals and reminded of what is important, and more crucially, what is achievable (self-confessed overachiever over here 😊)
For example, being grateful daily is an important value of mine, however, running on minimal sleep and caffeine due to staying up late working on a Uni assignment leaves me feeling grumpy, snappy and short-tempered throughout the day. I then also have a family to care for and a service to run. I am not displaying gratefulness at all while exhibiting these negative behaviours. To be truly grateful for what I have and those around me, I need to first be grateful to myself and my own abilities. I cannot expect my mind or body to function at an optimal level if I am not taking care of it.
Chloe, thank you so much for taking the time to share your journey with us! You’re a real life mindfulness champion! As a Psychologist, it shatters me to see how many wonderful women end up in my treatment room because they haven’t been taught how to care for themselves, nurture themselves and value themselves. Chloe is a great example of someone who works hard in her life, and is doing it amazingly! She applies some great mindfulness and self-care principles to keep herself moving in the best version of herself! We do have another “Your Personal Self-Care Course” coming up in just two weeks! So if you would like to learn some vital skills to care for yourself then head over to https://themindfulcollective.co/online-courses/