Self-care Interview with Sarah Bonneville
"Self-care for me means the demonstration that you are worthy of love."
Sarah is a Canadian business owner living on the west coast of Canada. She is the owner and creative behind SKE Creative Media, a multi-passionate business providing Launch Integration Services as well as, Sustainability & Wellness Coaching.
She believes it is so important to go with your gut about what works best for your business. Sarah was always told she had to pick just one thing and that idea stressed her out more than having a bunch of them. So She decided it was important to her to have both.
What does self-care mean to you?
Self-care for me means the demonstration that you are worthy of love. Whenever, I consider any form of self-care I first ask myself "does this prove to myself I am worthy of love? Does this act give me self-love?" Self-care is the greatest display of love we can give to ourselves (and ultimately others). It's a way we can ensure we don't just survive but we thrive.
Has your perception of self-care changed, particularly with the events
of last year?
Yes. In human design I am a manifesting generator. My brain is working at ultraspeed all the time. I change my mind like I change my socks. I started my business in January 2018 and social media bombarded these messages of "reach 6-figures / reach 7-figures" and I felt that was what I had to strive for. Once COVID hit my business actually saw a huge increase in sales. Between March and June I nearly doubled what I had been previously making. My manifesting generator brain worked even faster, even harder, and even longer until it simply wasn't sustainable anymore.
In July / August 2020 I burnt out for the first time since starting my business (burn out as a huge theme in the job I had had before starting my business). But I kept going and pushing until things started to crash before me. By the end of 2020 I was so far into burn out I couldn't think or form words, and when the words did come out sometimes they were slurred.
Self-care had always been important to me but what I realized was I simply wasn't doing enough to combat the way I was working.
What are some of the misconceptions around self-care?
I think some big misconceptions around self-care is that it's either baths and pedicures (which are great don't get me wrong, but one pedicure won't eliminate your stress) or that it'll take too long. "I don't have time."
But self-care doesn't have to be complicated. Just because something works for someone or someone loves what they do it doesn't mean it'll work for you or that you'll love it. So many people get it in their head that they have to "do it right." But honestly, there is no right way to do self-care. Your body will ultimately tell you if it's right.
For me I fit self-care into my day. I don't need to always have hours and hours to do self-care (although I pretty much do it every moment I can!!). You just need to be consistent.
We need to get it out of our heads that self-care has to be this big ordeal that takes a bunch of time. We just need to do it, and do it often (every day!).
What are some of your favourite self-caring activities and routines?
I practice a lot of self-care activities but some of my favourites are guided meditation. I am currently using a learn to meditate while you meditate app but I also make a point of doing other meditations as well. For me this works because it forces my mind to slow down, even if it's just for 15 minutes.
Another one I like is writing lists. In the morning I do a gratitude list, during the day I do a "what is causing me stress" list, and in the evening I write a daily judgements list (what were some judgments that I had come up today).
I also love using essential oils, crystals, and cards. I try to take time during the day to use these objects because they force me to slow down (a theme for this year). I take some deep breaths, breath in the oil, hold the crystal, and pull a card. It makes me think about inner processes instead of just work.
How do you make sure you’re regularly prioritising self-care?
I have a list of activities I like to do and I keep that list close to my office desk. I have created various routines (morning, work start up, after lunch, evening, and bedtime) and I know when to do them and what I have available to do at that moment (although I do let my intuition guide me).
I also ensure that I have the items I need for the various forms of self-care readily available in locations that I frequent the most in my house such as, my office, beside the couch, and beside my bed.
I think the key to success and being able to prioritize it is ensuring that it's accessible and easy. If it's not easy then we aren't going to do it.
Why is it so important to keep going even when you’re feeling better
Something we forget is that we can feel better but our bodies are still in the recovering from burnout stage. Burn out comes in waves. If it's not 100% eradicated (which lets be real.... is it ever?) then you're not done even if you feel good. We can trick ourselves into thinking we are all better because we forget that once we feel the burnout we've gone too far. If we want to remain good then we need to keep going.
I have a background in Applied Behaviour Analysis and a technique we used a lot when working with clients was teaching them strategies and techniques when they were in a calm and level headed state.
For instance, if I was teaching stress management or emotional coping techniques I would teach it to them when they were not feeling stressed or emotional. This reinforces desire and the like for a technique and makes them much more likely to remember to do it and want to do it when they are feeling stress.
It is the same concept for us with burn out. If we practice self-care techniques that we like when we aren't in that heavy state of burn out then if we reach that state we will know what to do and what works.