So happy to bring back my #SelfCareDiaries blog series. It was so popular last year, that I’ve lined up some awesome new interviews with some amazing ladies from different walks of life to share their wisdom and insights on self care.
I’ve decided to make this a monthly, instead of weekly series for 2019 and first up is Georgina Howard, a life and bridal coach. I first met Georgina on my wellbeing retreat that I hosted last year and she’s just as lovely in person as she is on her Instagram feed where she shares lots of self development tools and insight into her personal life too.
What does self care mean to you?
For me, self-care is all about taking a 360 approach to nurturing myself. Looking after my physical self helps my mental health which in turn helps me show up in the world in such a way that not only enhances how I experience life but also allows me to give my all to my work and relationships.
Do you have any self care rituals/practices that really anchor your day?
Most definitely! My morning routine is probably my biggest anchor (more on that next) butsomething else which may sound somewhat dull is organising myself. A sure-fire way to make myself feel stressed, overwhelmed and out of control is when I’m spinning too many plates and I don’t know if I’m coming or going. As we all know, life is hectic and sometimes there’s no getting away from that fact so it’s important I give myself just five minutes a day to see where I’m at with my to-do list. That way I can prioritise and most importantly, know where I am with things and this makes me feel much calmer and less like I’m sinking into a pit of quick sand!
What does your morning routine look like?
My husband leaves for work between 6.00 and 6.30 so I get up with him. I am one of those annoying morning people. I just love them! Each morning I give myself 10 minutes for meditation. Occasionally I’ll use an app like Insight Timer but more often than not I do this in silence or to some calming music. At the start of my meditation I often notice myself feeling a little tense which I think is down to the fact that once I’m awake I’m instantly in ‘doing’ mode. I’m itching to get on with stuff. However, by the time I’m finished with my meditation I’ve achieved an amazing stillness. There really is nothing like it and having a regular meditation practise has had a massive impact on my life and wellbeing. As soon as that timer goes off though, I’m straight into the kitchen to make my coffee. The temptation is to start scrolling my phone at this point but a relatively new practise of mine includes not looking at messages and social media until my entire routine is complete. So, I’ve started stretching whilst I wait for the kettle to boil and then some days, instead of going on Instagram whilst I have my coffee I’ll read a book for a few minutes. I do let myself have some Instagram time sometimes though as I get a lot of inspiration and happiness from the accounts I follow. I then listen to health focused or inspirational podcasts whilst I get ready for the day ahead.
How do you make time for self care?
Like anything, it’s about prioritising. I’m currently working full-time, working on a ‘side-hustle’ and going through fertility challenges so there’s a lot I’m juggling both in the practical and emotional sense. A few months ago I had a wake-up call. I had a lot on with my day job and my side-hustle and everything came at once. I’d also just recuperated from an operation.
I was constantly feeling like there simply weren’t enough hours in the day and I felt something had to give and so ended up cutting down on my self-care time and meditation got cut short and thrown out the window. I had just had two weeks off work resting after my operation so I guess I was telling myself that I’d had my fill of self-care for a while. How wrong was I! I came out the other side of this busy spell feeling really delicate and not myself at all.
I was getting really tearful a lot of the time and waking up feeling anxious. I knew I needed to put myself first. I needed to re-assess and get back to my self-care basics and I’ve even weaved in some extra self-care practices such as swimming and giving myself permission to sit under a blanket reading for two hours on a Sunday. I feel like my resilience and my ability to cope with the stresses of life were pretty low during this period but I’m grateful for the experience as now I truly understand that self-care is absolutely something I must make time for.
During a challenging point in your life what key things got you through?
My husband and I are in our third year of trying to conceive and at times this has taken its toll but on the whole, I’d say I’ve coped fairly well and there are some key things that have been a huge help. First and foremost, family and close friends. Having a close and supportive network has been essential. Being surrounded by people who love us and want the best for us means everything.
I’ve had to do a lot of ‘work’ on my own too though. I regularly write in my journal which helps me make sense of my emotions and feelings. Also practising mindfulness, both through my meditation practise and by being consciously more present in the world, and with my emotions, has made a huge impact. This then ties into gratitude as well. Rather than constantly living in my own head, thinking day after day about the one thing I desperately want but don’t have, I try really hard to take time to focus on that long list of things I do have. Most nights I will spend a few moments really allowing myself to feel those feelings of gratitude. I truly believe that by giving focus to the good things in your life, it invites more of that in.
What’s in your self care toolkit? Which items bring you most comfort?
At the risk of sounding a little materialistic some items that I really do feel bring me quite a lot of comfort are my beauty products! I have always been a bit of a beauty junkie and I find the act of putting on my make-up every day really therapeutic. Almost like another little mindfulness practise! Aside from my extensive beauty product collection I’d say that books, essential oils, a cosy blanket and candles bring me bucket loads of joy and comfort.
What quote really resonates with you and why?
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford.
From a young age I’ve had an unshakeable faith in the power of the mind. What we tell ourselves has a profound impact on how we experience the world and then, in turn, how we show up in our relationships, our work and our life in general. Mindset is everything.
What are you currently working on? Anything that you would like to share?
I’m a trained life coach and a few years ago, whilst planning my wedding, I had the lightbulb moment – brides could really do with a Bridal Coach, so this is my side-hustle. Right now, I’m focusing on growing a tribe of brides-to-be inside my Mindful Bride Tribe Facebook group. Inside the group there is a big focus on wedding wellbeing, ditching expectations and comparison and developing practises that help the brides to have a wedding experience that is calm, happy and drama free. I offer one-to-one bridal coaching, group workshops and am planning to launch some digital products later this year.
You can find out more about Georgina or get in touch with her via her website georginalucy.com or head over to her main Instagram account @georginalucycoach where she shares insights from her life as well as nuggets of self-development inspiration. You can find out more about the Mindful Bride Tribe on Instagram @the_mindful_bride_tribe.
Thanks so much, Georgina I hope you loved this weeks #SelfCareDiaries instalment, you can check out the last edition with Karen Cannon here.