The 2018 Self Care Guide
If our 2018 had a theme, it would be SELF CARE. Yes, we are a website dedicated to hair, but it is all connected isn't it? The world is increasingly fast paced and can take its toll on the mind, body, the spirit and of course THE HAIR!!!
We asked a number of amazing women to help us out on our journey and share their wise nuggets on the subject of nutrition, well being, mindfulness, art, career and of course hair. This is going to be funnn!!! Let's tuck in, shall we?
FREDDIE HARREL ON JOURNALING
I live a lot in my head, it’s often very fast and noisy up there and without enough perspective, my thoughts and judgement can easily turn on me. So journaling is a habit that helps me a lot.
I try to do it at least every other day, although I’ve had long periods over the years where I haven’t been good with it at all. Things can easily feel overwhelming when they’re just left in your head, having that chat with yourself is a way to not only check in but also analyse and plot as a team.
It helps me realise that my worries are far from what my head can tend to pretend, it helps me celebrate all the small and huge victories I don’t often pause on, it helps me express my gratitude, I love listing them.
It’s like a written prayer, I find it very soothing and a huge source of pep and happiness to start the day. Journaling to me is also like documenting the growth of the soul, since I believe it’s what we chose to come here for. I can debrief on my emotions, my actions, my chains of thoughts.
And it gives me a voice, so I can draw a sense of validity, and confidence from it. Finally, it’s a great way to spot early on the signs you are burning out, or emotionally crumbling down – which constantly awakes you to the importance of self-love :)
SANCHIA LEGISTER ON YOGA
I don’t subscribe to the whole “New Year, New Me” vibes, I’m just trying to be better, and my cup topped up with gold a-la-Jill Scott stylee and moving my body, doing yoga, looking for stillness is part of this, not separate. Self-care isn’t just for when you’re on the brink of going flip mode and losing your shizz. For me, it starts with the little everyday things that slowly blur into the bigger things and then you realise your whole life is built on those good foundations.
>>“It’s best to do yoga in the morning” The night owl me reluctantly tried this theory out for a year. Of course, it felt really good. But I still mainly do it when the mood takes me which is often late at night. As long as you’re doing it, just break the rules.
>>Less thinking more moving I still get on my mat and have days where I have no idea what I’m going to do. I beg myself to let go of the thinking and then something just happens and I move and I feel better
>> The more yoga and movement I do, the more my body aches when it’s not moving (sat at a desk, slumped on the sofa), it’s screaming at me to not set like jelly in a mould.
>> I used to get pissed and feel bad if I wasn’t doing an hour of yoga, but 10 minutes a day is by far better than 2 hour classes a week. Don’t get caught up in the hype.
>> Sometimes I meditate on the tube. I find a seat, sit tall, close my eyes and listen to my app. Yep, I use an app. It’s quite surreal when you open your eyes, and I have way more patience with commuters and the journey.
>> A little secret, stress is real. It presents itself in my scalp and makes me feel crap and unhappy. You might not be able to see your stress like I can, but it’s probably there somewhere.
For the yoga sceptics out there, what I tell people is, “Yoga just makes sh*t better.” I promise :-)
@LE'NISE BROTHERS ON STRESS & NUTRITION
Stress is a funny thing. One day, you can feel it everywhere and the next day, its gone! It is adaptive and produces hormones to keep you on an even keel, so that the same stress level that's got you all over the place one day, could feel normal the next.
When you're stressed, your body produces cortisol, a stress hormone. Bad things happen when your body produces high levels of cortisol on an ongoing basis. Your immune system doesn't work as well, you put on weight around the middle, your ability to get pregnant is reduced and your mood is affected.
So now that you know about stress and how your body can adapt to it, how can you keep it under control?
>> Change your perspective. If you can't reduce stressful events in your life, you can change how you react to these stressors. Being gentle on yourself and having perspective on what really matters can help reduce your response to stressful things like a big work project, a looming school deadline or unruly children (or parents!).
>> Take a deep breath. This is a quick thing you can do when you feel overwhelmed. Deep breathing supports your nervous system and gets your body back into parasympathetic mode.
>> Don't reach for the biscuit tin. Sugary foods will exacerbate your stress. Nourish your body and eat foods that boost the happy hormones like avocado, wild salmon and almonds.
>> Take a break. Take 5 minutes from your desk and go for a little walk (leave your mobile at your desk too). A good stretch and air can provide a little perspective on whatever's troubling you.
>> Stretch it out. A regular yoga or pilates practice will support the release of endorphins and happy hormones like serotonin and melatonin.
>> Get a good night's sleep. Fatigue can change our perspective, push us into negativity. After a good night's sleep, the things that are causing you stress may not have disappeared, however being rested will hopefully give you a better perspective on how to tackle your stressors.
>> Develop a good self-care routine. Doing small things for yourself is a fantastic way to lower your stress. Take a hot bath, light a lovely candle, have a long conversation with a good friend, go for a nature walk.
Get in touch to book a free 20 minute health and wellbeing call with me to find out more about how you can improve your health and wellbeing.
This morning, I awoke as usual when my 3 year old signalled in her singing voice ‘its morning’. Bitter sweet - I’d love a lie in, but I love to see that sweet face every morning. After breakfast, it was time to braid her hair. It was dry, but clean so I added water, some oil, and leave in conditioner before sectioning into parts and plaiting.
I was enjoying the process – it’s very soothing to use my hands in this way, but she became increasingly restless. In the end, the hair style I picked looked great and I felt proud. She held her head up proudly -the product of a brand new hair style, made with love.
Being Mum is about experiencing that balance - a mix of rewarding and exhausting. What helps me is to find those moments we can enjoy together often, get through the tougher times with grace and do something for me every single day.
I keep it simple usually - write a few words, eat ice-cream, try to squeeze in a hot shower. Things that remind me I am still very much me, as well as mum.
(Image Credit: Beyonce & Blue Ivy on Pinterest)
APRILEEN ALEXANDER ON CAREERS
Hi there! My friend and all-around wonder woman Winnie Awa asked me to write a self-care career guide for Antidote Street and I immediately said, Yes! The next morning, that Yes, turned into a Yikes as it meant that I’d actually have to give you advice. So here goes.
I could start with telling you about my annual New Year’s Day ritual of reading Paul Coelho’s, the Alchemist. Each year I read this book, I get a different message from it and it’s something I’ve treasured for the past 10 years. But my advice to you, watch The Intern, starring Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro; it’s about Ben who’s 70 and had a successful career but something is missing from his life and he goes out to find it and some other things are thrown in there for good measure.
Why this movie? Because it highlights an aspect of our careers that we don’t think about, “the career-after-the-career”. And, yes whilst the points below will give you my tips on how to navigate your career in 2018, I want you to keep in the back of your mind, “what am I doing today to prepare for the after-the-career-career?” Whatever that may look like for you.
>> 2018 Performance Review – What do you want your 2018 performance review to look like? What do you want it to say? What kind of attributes and accomplishments would you like to be noted on there? Use the 2017 feedback from your line manager, co-founder, angel investor or mentor and make a list of the things you’d like to change and then plan to backwards from November 2018 to achieve them. And when you do, be your own publicist, highlight those achievements, market yourself and most importantly, write them down.
>> Run your own career race – You are you, and your career is yours. Not the person with the Harvard MBA. And whilst I’m not naïve nor idealistic enough to tell you that you can control exactly how your careers goes, what I can say is that focusing on you and what you want out of your career, will help you reach your goals. Spending time on you, your growth and development, as opposed to focusing on Jane, is time more effectively spent.
>> Build your Tribe – we live in a time where that “once in a lifetime career opportunity” is more likely to be come through networking rather than via recruitment agents. Who is in your Tribe? Who are the Women, and Men, in your immediate circle that you call on to bounce ideas and discuss challenges? Can they make that introduction that you will need sooner or later? I’m an advocate of smart networking, smart stalking and building genuine professional relationships. There are so many avenues to do this – LinkedIn, Meet-Up.com, Professional bodies, Alumni groups – use it wisely. Make and build a connection with someone whom you can learn from and who can also learn from you.
>> Activate and Cultivate your Pot to Prosper In – Get to know your financial pot this year – Pensions, Employee Share Plans, Bitcoins – the whole shebang. We tend to wait till our late 30s or early 40s to consider these things. Your career is tied to your money and vice versa, so why not focus on both? I know someone who has a personal Balance Sheet and Income Statement of herself, as an entity, that she manages meticulously. Two years ago, the dream opportunity landed but with a steep pay cut. I weighed the pros and cons and still went for it. Had I not managed my financial pot effectively in prior jobs, taking this pay cut would’ve been an issue. You Pot to Prosper In, isn’t just for retirement, it’s for career breaks, family breaks, and the like.
>> Take time for love – Put self-love on the top of your agenda. This love of self I advocate includes love of family, friends and partners, the people in our lives that make us better individuals. Take time to do more of your hobby, to capture the moments with your kids, your partner and most importantly, moments with yourself.
One day your career will come to an end, and I hope you achieve the goals that you set for yourself. But I also hope that you would’ve cultivated “the-career-after-the-career”, whether it’s to travel with your partner or open that business. Make time to take steps towards it, this year.
Last year, I realised that I didn’t want to be my boss. I didn’t want her life, didn’t want her job, didn’t want her career and for a long time, I thought I did. It was the most freeing and scary realisation of 2017. It also made 2018 wide open and full of possibilities.
@LINE_AND_HONEY ON ART & SELF CARE
Art and self care are synonymous. To be creative is to be able to translate your thoughts, feelings and responses into something external, and to do this you have to get comfortable with yourself. I encourage the idea of putting time aside to be creative - regardless of your medium - whether it's in your way with words; your natural hair routine; or physical drawing, as an exercise in knowing yourself better.
Art is also a means of self-preservation, particularly in times of stress and overwhelmingness. A lot of us a struggle with practicing 'mindfulness' - in this fast world we live in, clearing your mind and taking a breather isn't always easy, but it's so necessary. Even as a mental health professional, I can struggle to take time out for myself, and need to consciously dedicate time for ‘being mindful’.
Choose an artistic medium (perhaps put on some soulful music), and create. As you do your hair/write/create a moodboard (or whatever you chose) be aware of how your body feels. Take note of the thoughts that float into your mind. Experience the temperature of the air around you. And finish your mindful moment with a sense of achievement for what you have created.
>> Use art as a tool to know yourself better
>> Use art as an opportunity to be mindful
>>Use art to create something to be proud of
@SAL on Hair Goals
Hair acceptance and positivity is priority for this year. With social media, it is easy to lust after your fave blogger's hair ;-) but nothing quite like learning, understanding and loving yours, whatever the texture or length. Try the tips below, stay consistent and above all enjoy the journey:-)
>> Wash your scalp at least 1 x a week. Eliminate flakes, stimulate growth and it will also add moisture to the hair
>> Deep condition or Co-wash the hair during winter at least 1 x a week as any extra moisture in these cold streets is necessary
>> Massage oil onto your scalp to encourage growth and prevent scalp dryness
>> Wrap your strands with a moisturising creme daily, just as you would with your body