Self-Care Interview with Charlotte Sutton
"A couple of years back I developed a chronic illness. In that process, I had to find things that help me relax and listen to my body more, which is something I wasn't doing enough of before I got ill. Self-care is now a very important aspect of my life and daily routine."
Charlotte is a lifestyle blogger who loves nothing more than curling up with a cup of tea and a good book. When she's not getting lost in a book, she loves spending quality time with her fiancé and golden retriever.
Her Instagram platform (@paisleyposies) is lifestyle focused, with aspects of eco friendly living, invisible illness awareness, and small business support. A mix of everything and anything she enjoys!
What does self-care mean to you?
Self-care can come in many shapes and forms, but to me it is anything that ensures my body, mind, and soul are nourished and rested.
Has your perception of self-care changed, particularly with the events of last year?
Not in the last year for me personally, but I could see how it might have for others.
My self care perception changed after a big event in my life.
A couple of years back I developed a chronic illness - M.E/CFS - and it turned my world upsidown. I had to learn how to exist all over again. In that process, I had to find things that help me relax and listen to my body more, which is something I wasn't doing enough of before I got ill. Self-care is now a very important aspect of my life and daily routine.
What are some of the misconceptions around self-care?
For me, the biggest misconception is that self-care is just pampering. The media acts as if a face mask and a glass of wine will fix all of your problems. And honestly, a pamper session can make you relaxed and give a mood boost. I love these things too!
But, as people are now realising, self-care is much deeper than that. It's about making sure your mind and body have time to recoup from life's stresses. Every person requires something different to achieve this goal, and what works for you, might not work for someone else. Nourishing your mind and body is so important, too important not to explore it further.
What are some of your favourite self-caring activities/self-care routine or affirmations?
As part of my daily routine, I love to:
• Move my body in the mornings (when I feel up to it) to wake myself up for the day ahead. Usually in the form of light yoga.
• Nourish my body with foods that make me feel good, and understand that some days that may be less balanced than others (which is completely okay and normal!)
• Ensure I complete a sleep routine. For me, that is no screen time for an hour before bed. Instead, I spend time reading a good book, with essential oils diffusing in the bedroom, preparing the space and my mind for rest.
• I have a bath twice a week. One for skin care e.g. face masks, hair masks, shaving. And one for complete relaxation with some bath oils and a book, which is the important one for me!
• And finally, being creative. This won't suit everyone, but I have a creative mind and love to keep my hands busy with drawing or making. I zone out and time disappears when I'm creating. Finding what you enjoy as a hobby can be really great for your wellbeing!
How do you make sure you’re regularly prioritising self-care?
I'm in a lucky position, in that I have a flexible home working job. If I'm having a bad day, I can juggle my work to allow myself an extra few hours, or even a day, to look after myself.
I understand not everyone is able to do this, however, I would recommend everyone taking some time away from your devices of an evening to give your brain a rest as a starting point.
My main trigger for developing M.E/CFS was stress and not giving myself time to shut off. I would always be thinking about work which just isn't healthy for anyone! So if that's you, definitely take a step back to breath once in a while (not saying you will become chronically ill like me, but it will help to avoid burnout!)
Why is it so important to keep going even when you’re feeling better in yourself?
If you don't keep it up, you will end up back where you were again. Everyone is different, but we all know that run down feeling of being burnt out. Boom and bust is not a fun way to live! Spread your time evenly and set routines, and you will notice a much more permanent change in your personal wellbeing.
If what worked for you last month, last week, or even yesterday, isn't working anymore, sit back and consider what might help you today. Moods change, our bodies don't feel the same everyday, and as a result, your routine may need to change with it.
It is a process and no one is perfect. It's not always easy to keep up with these things and make time, and I want you to know that you aren't a failure if things start to slip. You are doing what you can and that's important to remember!