Self-care Interview with Nicola Rowe
"I absolutely love mindful mornings. The first window from when you wake up I just find the most beautiful time to journal, to flow, to read and meditate."
Nicola is the founder of @activelyaliveuk and is currently sharing her yoga offerings online through classes, workshops and events. Her aim is to help her clients feel more inner clarity and take ownership of their individual vibe through the art of movement and taking care of their energy.
You can find her class schedule here: www.activelyalive.co.uk/
What does self-care mean to you?
Self-care to me literally means caring for myself, bare with me here. Sounds like the word backwards hey, but I feel sometimes we get lost in the meaning and can be something that just gets thrown around. So, caring for myself would look different everyday because no day is the same. Some days caring for myself would be journalling, reading and all the rest in the world, some days caring for myself is being on form with my personal visions, a little work out, and an earlier sleep time.
It's about asking myself, what does my mind and body require from me today to feel most supported.
Some days we have interviews and big deadlines to meet, some days we're going through a lot, and some days we're really happy and doing whatever we feel. Self care on all of those days may require something different from us.
So coming back to the root of the word... CARING FOR MYSELF.
Has your perception of self-care changed, particularly with the events of last year?
Personally, not drastically. I would say prioritising my mental + physical self before the past year was a definite must. When we don't pay attention to just ourselves and check in, it's really hard to show up for anything. What I have noticed in the past year is that I've found more time to do MORE of it which has been amazing and a pocket of peace amongst the year we've had.
What are some of the misconceptions around self-care?
That it looks the same for everyone. I personally feel if self-care was meant to look the same for everyone it would be called 'everyone's care'. Ultimately we have no idea what somebody else experiences in their body around their lifestyle.
No one person has exactly the same job, emotional needs, hobbies, family, friends, thoughts etc... Which when you think about it, it makes sense that we call it 'self' care, it's a personal process. Sure, taking inspiration and giving something a try to see if it works for us is FANTASTIC, but notice if it feels caring for you, or if it actually doesn't do much for you at all.
If somebody is working out for self-care, that may be everything they need and more, but that could be the total opposite for somebody else. Perhaps when you ask yourself the question, what does my mind + body need today to feel most cared for, your personal realisation could be to go on a walk, followed by cooking to some slow jams! Not a full blown workout.
What are some of your favourite self-caring activities/self-care routine or affirmations?
As mentioned my self-care really varies, but I absolutely love mindful mornings. The first window from when you wake up I just find the most beautiful time to journal, to flow, to read, to meditate whatever I want to do with that time to ultimately check in on a brand new day. It's really a priority to check in with myself and have that hour for me. Some of my other favourites are:
•Dancing around and allowing my body to move how it feels to
•I really love a natural skin care regime, it's a time to take care of my skin
•Attending soulful workshops, this I love. I find I'm always the space holder for others in my job role, it's so nice to attend and absorb from somebody else honouring you their time and expertise for you to unwind!
How do you make sure you’re regularly prioritising self-care?
It's literally a non-negotiable every single day. I live inside my body, I have to ensure I'm caring it for it. It's just making sure I have that pocket of time dedicated to me, some days it's more than others, some days it's less!
Why is it so important to keep going even when you’re feeling better in yourself?
Life is like the ocean, we never know when the waves will be high or low. A surfer will practice techniques and movements on a great day in the ocean that will help them to ride no matter what the waves roll at them. Imagine if they never practiced at all and only went out when the sea was really rough, they'd have a much harder time finding the techniques to cope with the unexpected waves.
I am a massive believer in being consistent on the days you feel 'your best', ultimately the more we practice something the easier it is to tap into. When you find yourself on a day you may not feel so great, your self care 'tool box' is strengthened by your practice and will feel much more natural to use.