Spirit & Grace is a huge advocate of self-care and like so many women, I personally find it hard to switch off. For this reason, in celebration of International Self-Care Day on the 24th July, I have spoken to 7 inspirational women to find out their own personal interpretations on what self-care means to them.
To me, self-care is the foundation of a healthy mind and outlook on life, so I wanted to use this annual celebration to remind us all that it's vital to pause and treat yourself to the kindness that we give to others.
The first woman I have spoken to is Rachel Story, the Fashion Editor of Hello! magazine and Hello! Fashion Monthly. Not only is she a ridiculously talented editor but one of the kindest people I have worked with in the fashion industry. Hence, I wanted to know how she balances her fast-paced, high-pressure job with managing her own self-care.
What does self-care mean to you?
As well as the obvious - looking after our bodies and taking the time out for some pampering - for me it's very much about my mental health too. I think it's so important to take the time to digitally switch off and make sure that you're properly connected and taking the time to have real conversations with loved ones.
Why do you think prioritising our wellbeing is important?
If we don't it's so easy to burn the candle at both ends and end up feeling frazzled and anxious. I've found, especially in lockdown, that taking the time to exercise has hugely helped with work and my general mental health too. Getting out in the fresh air or just doing a 15 minute online workout is so good when my brain is feeling a bit foggy. Taking breaks for yourself is probably the most productive thing you can do, especially when you're spending so much time inside the same four walls.
How do you make time for self-care in your around busy schedules, work, and general life admin?
I'd love to say I wake up early and set myself up for the day, but in reality I'm really good at sleeping and love the snooze button! I wish I could be a morning person, but that's never been the case. So I end up slotting in work-outs at lunch, which I do think helps to give you a midday boost. Then anything else from skincare to having a bath I'd much rather do in the evening to relax.
What do you do to relax and rebalance?
Travel. That is my one true passion and something that gives me such joy; both in the ritual of planning a trip and of course the pleasure of experiencing it. For me, there's nothing as relaxing as being by the sea. There's something about seeing that big expanse of blue that immediately makes me feel calm and rebalanced. I'm actually going away next week and I can't wait - I've been craving the seaside!
How do you know when you need to take time out to focus on your wellbeing?
I think it's a combination of things. I get run down quite easily if I've not been eating particularly well or if I've had a few big nights where I've consumed a little too much alcohol. Swollen glands or ulcers in the mouth are my telltale sign that it's time to up the ante with fruit and veg and forgo that glass of rose. I also find that when I'm particularly stressed that I have panic attacks/anxiety in the night. I wake up in a panic that I've left the door open, or that I've left my bag somewhere, or lost my engagement ring - I know I haven't but it's how my anxiety tends to manifest itself. All of those are my very telling signs that I need to focus on me for a bit.