When you think “selfcare,” you think about eating right, getting regular exercise, and making sleep a priority. But our podcast guests have also offered lesser known tips and techniques. From them, we’ve learned that selfcare can mean...
Just breathing (right). Amy Eller explained how “combat breath”—breathing in through your nose for a count of four, holding it for four, releasing it on four, and remaining empty for four—battles shallow breathing and eases anxiety. The beauty of it is, she says, that you can do it anywhere. Another tip from Amy: practice gratitude.
Getting in touch with your creative side. Women excel at thinking of others first. But, as Kate Bolt realized when she started her Living Lark blog, “It’s okay for us to do fun things! And it’s helpful to everyone else when we’re happy.” Remembering what brings you joy and then finding a way to do it—even a small way—will remind you that you are more than a partner or a parent. As I said in that conversation, it’s okay to be happy!
Advocating for yourself when it comes to your healthcare. No one can do it as well as you can. Marta Gray Hill says, “Make a list and be your own champion when you go see your doctor. Ask questions. And it’s okay to fire your doctor. . .I think people see the white jackets and think: well, they know everything, and they’re all powerful. But they’re not. And if you don’t believe them or you don’t like them, if they don’t make you feel comfortable in that environment talking about your personal health issues, find someone else.” I agree!
Discarding the idea that there are “rules.” Wear whatever hairstyle you want, whatever clothes you want. “Forget what people are saying about your age, it’s your vibrancy, not your number,” says Charla Miller. And, she adds, if there’s something you’ve been wanting to do, do it. She did, once riding a mechanical bull. She called the joy that experience brought her “the best skin care I could have done.”
Giving yourself some grace—which is easier to do once you understand yourself. For that, our friend Valerie Atkin suggested learning about the Enneagram, which she says is “a system that engenders compassion for ourselves and for others. Once we are able to identify what our core type or style is, we can begin to amplify the positive aspects of that style and also begin to address some of the limitations of that style.” The Enneagram can also help you understand and extend grace to your partner.
Reinventing yourself. “Even if you’ve been at your job for 25 years, and you love it and they love you, you need a reinvention idea in your back pocket,” says Lesley Jane Seymour. “Because reinvention may be forced upon you. When that company is absorbed, or goes out of business. . . [When something like that happens] You can either decide you’re going to run away and you’re not going to deal with where we are today, or you’re going to face it head-on and tackle it; and you need to look at other people who are doing that.” (She knows from experience.)
Do you have any selfcare tips? Please share them!
Dr. Barb DePree, M.D., has been a gynecologist and women’s health provider for almost 30 years and a menopause care specialist for the past ten.