Self-care Interview with Thalia Tourikis
"Before the pandemic hit, I don’t think self-care was really on my radar. To be completely honest, I don’t think I even used the word pre-2020."
Thalia is a blogger, content creator and soon-to-be digital nomad. Although her body is currently in the UK her heart is definitely climbing a mountain somewhere and watching epic sunsets.
Thalia's blog, notesbythalia.com, is her online notebook where she writes about productivity, wellness and balance.
She has recently launched an Etsy store, BalancedSelfCo where she is releasing a range of digital planners that aim to promote a well-balanced life.
What does self-care mean to you?
Self-care gives me the space to be me.
I’m an ambivert so even though I can be quite outgoing and social in the right situations, there’s nothing I love more than having alone time.
Self-care gives me that time. I put up my boundaries, I turn off my phone and I can just sit in peace.
Self-care also allows me to feel completely at ease. Building a business can be overwhelming, scary and draining so it’s nice knowing that I have my self-care routine to lean on when things get tough.
Has your perception of self-care changed, particularly with the events of last year?
Before the pandemic hit, I don’t think self-care was really on my radar. To be completely honest, I don’t think I even used the word pre-2020.
When I worked a 9 to 5, I always ended my day with a workout and a movie but I never considered this as an act of self-care.
It was just something that I did.
When I started working from home, around the same time as lockdown 1.0 came into place, I was working long days as well as through the weekends. I didn’t really know what I was doing.
A lot of the content I was consuming at this time was also very ‘hustle’ oriented and so I just thought it was the norm to be constantly busy!
I didn’t want to make time for myself because;
a) I didn’t realise how important it was
b) I considered meaningless activities to be quite lazy
After a few months of burnout and days where all I did was cry, my perception of self-care changed.
I did the research. I tested out a few things and changed up the content I was choosing to follow.
I soon realised how essential self-care and rest was to our own personal development and mental health and haven’t looked back since.
What are some of the misconceptions around self-care?
Just like what I experienced early on in my business journey, I think most people feel guilty about taking time for self-care.
Social media is the main form of communication we have with the outside world right now, so when you see people working endless hours, taking no breaks and working 7 days straight, it can make you feel lazy, unworthy and guilty if you’re on your second self-care day of the week or you prefer a slower pace to life.
I’m not someone who agrees with the hustle culture, mainly because it doesn’t work for me, so I’m making it my mission to promote a healthy work-life balance; one where productivity and self-care can work side by side and you don’t need to sacrifice one over the other.
What are some of your favourite self-caring activities/self-care routine or affirmations?
I’m someone who loves the simple things in life so I always favour physical self-care over emotional or spiritual self-care any day.
I love to curl up under a blanket with a glass of wine and read a fiction book with some chilled jazz playing in the background while nibbling on some chocolate (I’ve really thought about this one).
I also go on long walks, bake brownies, play chess with my partner and enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles in bed.
Jigsaws in bed?! Quite literally! I’ve perfected it now by buying the ‘World’s Smallest Puzzle’ and using a tray to do them on.
How do you make sure you’re regularly prioritizing self-care?
Self-care is now part of my daily routine. It’s a non-negotiable for me. In fact I enjoy it so much I do a bit of self-care every few hours.
I start my day off with a slow morning and I only include rituals in my routine that I enjoy and make me happy. I then head out on a long walk every day at 1.30pm and take time cooking soup for lunch.
I (usually) shut down every day at 7pm and chill out with wine & a movie or a very British crime drama - I’m currently watching Unforgotten on Netflix.
Why is it so important to keep going even when you’re feeling better in yourself?
For me, I never want to lose that momentum. Loving myself and giving myself the space to just be me, makes me a better version of myself every day.
It doesn’t matter if I’m no longer tired or burnt out, I continue to rest so I can continue to wake up feeling fresh and ready to progress towards my goals.
I’m also very prone to mood swings (I blame the weather) so I might be feeling great one day but low the next.
Because I’ve already trained myself to know that self-care is necessary, it makes it easier for me to take a step back and be like, “ok, I need to take a self-care day” rather than forcing myself to work even when I really don’t want to.