SelfCare has changed enormously over the decades
What about the generation before us? How did they do it? Did it even exist? I wanted to see if SelfCare was any different to how we do it now. Did they have more time for it? Was it essential? How did they fit it in and make time for it? What did SelfCare look like then? What can we learn?
I had a curious conversation with some remarkable Caribbean women from the Baby Boomer Generation. In this taster Podcast we chatted, laughed and reminisced about what SelfCare looked like for them. It was very much about hair, beauty and fashion - life was all about the kids and the family, there was little time for much else! Here are some of their gems from the full episode where these 5 lovely ladies shared the best ways to look after yourself as we get older.
Thelma - A semi-retired School Counsellor, born in Jamaica -
”It was all about supporting the family. Combined with some of the things you do. If I am not healthy then I can't look after anyone else. Look after yourself so that you are healthy enough to give support and help other people.”
Cila - A retired Senior nurse, born in Jamaica -
“Look after yourself, take exercise and know your body. We know about cars and other things, so we should know about our body. What works for you. Look after your skin, your whole body really. Vitamins are very important as you get older. Look at your health.”
Janet - A retired book keeper, born in Jamaica -
“Our food is too rich and too salty. One thing we need to really think about is we need to be educated about diet. “
Evie - Retired from the Barbadian High Commissioner Office, born in Barbados -
“Cut back on dairy and meat. Our parents didn't leave us anything except diabetes and that’s why we eat better now. My son gets me drinking almond milk and all sorts, they are teaching me.”
Christine - A retired Bank Clerk, born in Grenada -
“Watch what you put inside your body. What you put inside affects the outside of you. What you eat affects you. And before using medication try the natural way first. See what you can do first.”
How was SelfCare done before and is it different now?
For these women, back in the 70’s and 80's it was all about survival and ‘just getting on with it.’ Life wasn’t so much, to be lived, but more about getting through. It was family and children first. They didn’t even discuss SelfCare as a thing. Interestingly, they did take care of themselves in the form of hair, beauty and fashion. It was practical and purposeful. Nowadays SelfCare has shifted as the roles and demands of life have shifted too. For the modern women SelfCare is about the mind and body, it's practical and emotional.
They had so much more to share and this was definitely a part 1 of a soon to do, part 2. It felt like we only just got started. You can hear them talk about their memories of back home, fruit, haircare, what life was like when they came here and how English fashion at the time took them by storm - All I’m saying is Hotpants!!!! Click to subscribe Get your free ebook and to the podcast and be the first to hear the full taster episode.
There are so many ways you can look after you and so many things you can do. How we deal with our lives is changing and with everything going online, support for wellbeing is having to change too. A lot of talk-therapy including life coaching is having to adapt to new ways of working. Which sometimes means waiting lists are long and the self love to-do list never gets done. I think it's important to remind you ladies, support (ie. in the form of talk-therapy) is a way to amplify the brilliance you already have going on. It's a way to level it up and bring it to the front of the queue, loud and proud.
This should NEVER change
When you are reminded how resourceful, strong, inventive and bountiful you can be, you leave footprints in the world and in the lives of others. This is the woman we are called to be. This is when we come alive, when we are making change and laying a path for the ladies and young ladies behind us. When they see how we attack and push through (it) fills them with strength and belief that they too can make a difference in their life and the future of their super sister too. Own your superpowers, Selfcare is yours, it's your weapon against negativity. You are a Warrior of your Wellness. Amour up and step forth!!!! We got this and hlb has got you! Selfcare is your superpower…….
Level Up Your Selfcare Superpower in 10 simple steps…..
Make time to exercise. In the last few weeks ageing has been a hot topic in the wellness world. I've been hearing more and more about movement as therapy and that strength is really important as we get older. Depending on whether you are Active, Sensory or an Inner Energy SelfCarer you will interpret exercise differently. Some wanna sweat, others wanna stretch.
Alone time. It allows you space to reflect but it doesn’t have to be inactive. Alone time can be proactive. It could be organising, creative writing, magazine flicking or even noisy baths with your favourite song. I have been known to do a silent disco and jammin to the same song 5 times in my empty house alone time. We choose.
Always reward yourself. Reward yourself on the way to your goal. Do the things that you actually want, not food or drink, not consumables. (unless part of a social experience). Things more tangible work well, as they stick with us for longer.
Queen your schedule. Selfcare at the top of this list- of course! Or at least have it placed into the calendar as part of the scheduling process. It is not an afterthought but it is considered just as important as every other meeting or appointment in the calendar.
Eat well. It's the 80/20 rule. Simple as.
Understand how to use your No! Don’t be afraid of it. Don’t be shy of it. Own it. Use it. Say it and mean it!
Level Up where you can. Giving yourself little mini upgrades is a sure way to make you feel special. Loved and looked after. So where you can don’t even think twice about giving ‘you’ a little lux.
Let negativity go! It’s funny how we forget the good things so quickly and cling on to the negative things, like we keep playing that awkward convo in the lift. Move on and don’t linger in things that make you feel crap. Head up and eyes forward. Yeah I know it ain’t easy, but we are what we think.
Spend time in gratitude. Appreciate the small simple things a lot and be super duper grateful for the big things and be really thankful for everything in between. And then some for luck.
Don’t ever take things personally. Again easier said than done, however, in the book ‘The 4 Agreements,’ The second agreement is Don’t take anything personally. “Nothing other people do is because of you! Taking things personally makes you easy prey. You eat all their emotional garbage, and now it becomes your garbage.” Don Miguel Ruiz 1997
Conclusion - What I learned? GOOD HABITS
I’m not sure how many of the above the lovely Caribbean ladies would have done back then, but they are definitely embracing them now. If age has taught them one thing, it’s how important selfcare is and that anything you do could be selfcare, as long as it works for you and has a positive effect on how you feel. In simple terms, SelfCare is “Purposeful activity designed to make you feel good about yourself.” It should include a mixture of things for the inner us but equally the outer us too.
Wrapped up in our selfcare is our self worth. Self-worth is an important thing. It's what we think of ourselves, how we step out into the world and how we allow others to treat us. It's our true value. I believe that we have many superpowers and that selfcare is the most important. Without it, we cannot access our other superpowers well. One thing is for sure, to be successful overall you have to have your selfcare habits in check 24/7, 365 to rock your boss lady vibes.
Download my FIRST & FREE guide to your SelfCare - the nourish and flourish guide here.