Deepening my Self-Care

I’ve been struggling a bit the last couple of weeks. The start of July is always a little tricky as it marks the anniversaries of too much loss for our little family. We lost M’s awesome mum on the 2nd, my dad on the 3rd and then today marks the anniversary of when we lost my mum. 

This year was a weird one as it marks 19 years since I lost my dad.  Soon I will have not had him in my life for longer than I did have. That feels strange. It’s feels so painful that they never saw me as an adult, they never met my children, Dad never got to vet Michael (I am pretty sure he would have approved!!), they never got to be the ones that we took on holiday, I never got to thank them (because as a mum, holy h*ll, I now see how much they went through as parents!!! And I’m just getting started!)


The thing with grief is that it doesn’t matter how long it has been, it can still jump up and knock you right off your feet. And you need to let it. Because if you refuse to turn towards it it will come back - and this time it will be stronger, uglier and it will keep you on the floor. 

I have done a lot of work to get to where I am today and I am proud of all that I have created, with my family, and with my wellness business. But it takes daily work for me to be well. I can’t become complacent about my wellbeing because for me it is my mental health that is the first to be impacted when I am tired, depleted and run down. For some folks it’s a sore throat, catching a cold, perhaps aches and pains. For me it is a low feeling, a heavy mood I can’t shake, and it keeps me pinned down if I am not careful. 

That’s why I named my business ‘Essential Self-Care’ - because looking after myself self is not a nice added extra, a luxury or a frivolity. It’s completely essential. 

Here’s what I do when I need to up my self-care (which I pay extra special attention to at this time of year):

Sleep: For me, when I am feeling the pressures of grief or busy life, I need more sleep. This can sometimes mean napping during the day but it definitely means getting to bed early. Naps can make people feel so guilty - but if you need to nap allow yourself this little pleasure and give yourself the rest you need.

Nature: When I feel low it can feel like I never want to walk out of my front door. But getting out for walks amongst the trees, down by the river is healing in a way that I find it hard to explain. IT feels like the most primal part of me being connected to a source of power that is far greater than me, than any of what has happened, and it restores me at a soul level. 

Yoga: My hips don’t lie (thanks Shakira… if only I had your dance moves…) - my emotions sit in my hip joints and the pain I feel is always a telltale sign that I am holding onto something emotionally. I find yoga to be the perfect antidote for this as it gently enables me to release whatever it is and be more in the flow. 

Oils: Balance, Balance, Balance. doTERRA’s grounding blend has held my hand so beautifully over these last few years. It brings me back to earth, it helps me see a way through and it holds me in its forest-like embrace. Others I love when I am deepening my self-care practices are Geranium, Rose Touch (all over my heart chakra), and any of the citruses (to pull me out of the funk). 

Meditation: Stillness is what I crave at these times and my meditation practice offers me this. I get frankincense in the diffuser and some beautiful music on and sit for a while, however long it takes. 

My own company: Often I see posts about surrounding yourself with people at these times, as you need to be wary of becoming disconnected. I agree with this on a level - we are social animals and we nourish ourselves by being with the right kind of people that lift us up. However for me when I am in need of deep self-care this often looks like me, on my own, taking care of my own needs and putting myself first. I have finally reached a place in my life where I feel unapologetic about that. Thank God.


I would love to hear from you what you do when you need to deepen your self-care, to see you through - please comment below. 

Sending love (and permission to nap),

Laura xxx

Photo by Carolyn V via Unsplash

Photo by Carolyn V via Unsplash

Why I turned my life upside down (and right around)...

Why I turned my life upside down (and right around)...

... I often get asked about the differences in oils that you can buy 'cheaper' or that have massive marketing campaigns behind them and why dōTERRA is different to these. And in all honesty I had all of these questions before I used dōTERRA oils (and I continue to question, all the time, because that is important to me). And, of course, I get asked (a lot) by my old colleagues, friends and family why I decided to move away from my career in International Development to start a wellness business and align with dōTERRA as a distributor.

So here are just some of my reasons - from my heart to yours.


 

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Oily Summer Hols

Summer holiday time!!!

How the hell did it get to be July already?? I am currently packing for our holiday to Ibiza and cannot bloody wait!! It has been a year full of ups and downs already and I cannot wait for some serious #famtime. I have never been to Ibiza but in the last few years I have been reading more and more about it and seeing pictures of those luscious turquoise seas. It has totally captivated me – I even put it on my Vision Board for this year so I am over-the-moon excited to be making this happen!! M and I are highly unlikely to be ripping it up at Pacha - I’m thinking more sangria, paella and sunsets and soaking up the infamous Hippy Market. Oh yeah, and the kids will be there too. So it’s possibly going to look more like ice-creams, waterpark and TOO MUCH NOISE.

It does however seem like the packing run-up is actually taking more time than the holiday itself might. As I used to travel loads with work I was great at the art of packing light. However, since having kids I feel something completely takes me over and suddenly I envisage every kind of scenario that we may need to pack for (and also, it would seem, forget that we are actually going to a developed area where there are, in fact, shops, other human beings and food.). A good friend has just offered to come round to “give me a stern talking to” about the amount I am packing. Traveller fail. What happened to that independent woman who could fly to warzones with a backpack? Oh yeah, two small and quite high-maintenance boys.

So I am remembering that pretty much all we need is swimwear, and very little else (hello 30 degrees). And then I am mainly packing my oils.

Here are a few that I will taking with me:

Balance – doTERRA’s amazing grounding blend. I would literally not function without this amazing blend of oils. And I certainly cannot parent without it. Whilst I do feel that the sangria and sunshine will help, I’ll be keeping up my daily love affair with Balance and applying it to the bottoms of my feet morning and night (and any times in between when the kids are fighting over the inflatables). At the slightest sign of anxiety creeping in, Balance is my friend. I also love mixing it with Bergamot (another beautiful anxiety-buster) and the bonus about bergamot is that although it is a citrus oil it isn’t photosensitive so won’t react with the sunshine!! Place a drop in your hand and take a deep inhale, then rub onto your shoulders and back of neck, or on bottoms of feet.

Lavender – this little beauty is the main reason that I switched to doTERRA essential oils in the first place. It is MIND BLOWING. If you ever wondered, or needed convinced, about the purity of doTERRA and the claims that these are the highest quality oils on the planet then get your hands on Lavender. It will dispel any doubts you may have (and will do a lovely job of calming any anxiety, or increasing focus along the way). I’ll be using this to lull my little ones to sleep in a strange hotel room. I’ll also be combining it with peppermint and melaleuca to soothe sun-parched skin (see here for the recipe).

On Guard – how do I love thee? Let me count the ways… Holidays are a time when you re exposed to loads of new, exciting things… and some not so welcome things like germs and bugs. I will be applying on guard liberally to all of us to boost our immune system and kill off any nasties that might be lingering. The awesome On Guard touch roller ball will be our saviour as you can roll onto hands and go. I’ll be using it as a hand sanitiser, but unlike those horrible antibacterial gels that strip my skin of any good stuff and make my eczema flare up the coconut oil that it is mixed with will nourish and soften our hands too. Love, love, love.

Digestzen/ZenGest – another gorgeous proprietary blend of oils which support the tummy. If any of us do get a tummy bug then we will be applying this onto tummies and bottoms of feet to soothe and settle. It’s also great for bloating so I will be applying it regularly over my tummy when flying – for some reason plane journeys always give me a dreadful bloat (anyone know why that is? Need to look into that!). It’s also good for a dry, sore throat and sinus issues - seeing as everyone seems to have picked up a summer cold at the moment I think this one is going to feature quite heavily!!

Peace – one of the Emotional Aromatherapy blends, this baby is one that never leaves my side. It is such a reassuring blend of oils that nurtures, comforts and basically gives you a big massive hug. It contains floral and mint oils that are known to help alleviate a number of negative emotions. I use this one a lot particularly over my heart chakra to bring a bit of, well, peace (it does what it says on the bottle…) and I will also be applying it diluted (again, thank god for the pre-diluted Touch range – I could dilute it myself but, come on, I have some serious packing to do) to the boys to bring a sense of calm and contentment. It’s especially useful for my eldest who can really work himself up into some states. Everybody needs a little peace (especially on holiday, and especially this burnt-out mama!).

There a few more that will be accompanying me but these I think will be the main ones that keep our time away safe, sane and fun.

Now all I need is to check our passports for the fifteenth time (Yes, they are there. No, they haven’t expired).

And remember the kids.

Love, light + oils,

Laura xxx

 

PS If you want to know more about how I am upping my self-care game come on over and join me on facebook or instagram.

PPS. I'd love to get to know you better. Pop on over and say hi here in my private Facebook group the MAMATRIBE

Wake up call

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You know that nagging feeling that the universe is trying to tell you something? You can’t find your keys anywhere. You keep bumping into things. You get niggly pains in your body. You feel scattered. You can’t get clarity on what the next steps are. You can’t figure out what to have for dinner. You stub your toe… and break it.

Yep, one of the most stupid self-injuries known to (wo)man. The stubbed toe. Except this weekend I managed to give mine such a wallop that I broke my pinkie toe and am now forced to take it easy. Forced. After being gently invited on so many occasions to slow down.

The run up to this has been an interesting one – full of little bumps and bruises. I slept funny and have been dealing with a sore neck ever since. I whacked my elbow and can’t lean on it. The universe has literally been giving me little wake up calls left, right and centre – but have I been listening? Nope. I just kept on keeping on.

And here I find myself laid up, not able to sleep at 3am with the most pitiful of broken bones – the toe.

So, universe – I am now listening. You have my attention. I am consciously slowing down. I am taking time with my precious babies. I am going to be present with friends and family this week during our town celebrations. I am booking that family holiday that M and I have been talking about for months and never quite committed to. I am making time for me, just to be.

Sometimes, we need a wake-up call. This one has thankfully been pretty minor. But it’s been enough to shake me up and remind me that I need to put into practice my own teachings. Self-care, self-love, being present, seeing what is around me (like the wall…ouch).

If the universe is giving you any signs, wise up to them. Reflect on what may need to change. Maybe it is just a minor adjustment that is needed to make sure you get back on the right path. Little, gentle shifts back to you.

For now, I am going to embrace the fact that I can’t rush anywhere (this is really pretty hard for me!!). I am going to up my self-care, take my supplements and fill my body with goodness so that I can heal. And it’s not just about my toe. It’s the whole picture.

Time to get back to me.

Time to up the love.

Time to mother myself.

Love, light + oils,

Laura xxx

 

PS If you want to know more about how I am upping my self-care game come on over and join me on facebook or instagram.

 

PPS. I'd love to get to know you better. Pop on over and say hi here in my private Facebook group the MAMATRIBE