Adèle's Self-Care Journey
Adèle was delighted to again be invited to contribute to the SA Woman Soar Magazine as their Inspiration Partner. While she was originally asked to pen an article for Issue #4 in late 2022 on self-care and all the tips she could bestow on readers, what ended up pouring out was a much more real and raw piece.
What do you do when you’re an inspiration icon and even you feel like you’re languishing? In this article, Adèle takes us into her own life, and speaks candidly about how the trifecta of menopause, recovering from burnout and Covid all caught up. Read on to discover how Adèle has revealed what path of self-care she needs to take, to bring back direction, purpose and meaning in her life.
What self-care do I really need?
If like me, self-care tools such as soothing massages, putting your feet up, and making time for yourself isn’t quite working for you, then changing your approach might expand your self-care relationship and repertoire.
While there’s plenty of scientific evidence linked to the psychological and physical benefits of self-care, getting to the heart of what it means for you, may be the difference between self-care being just another duty to add to the to-do list, instead of a daily practice you can weave easily into your life.
This invitation to talk about self-care came at just the right time.
I’d been putting off writing the article, and when I was told my deadline could be extended, I was grateful for the reprieve. As someone who likes to ‘walk her talk’, discussing wellbeing while feeling overloaded and off kilter, didn’t feel altogether authentic.
And it begged for closer inspection. Yes, there was a lot going on in my life, but I’ve been over-stretched and faced far bigger pressures in the past.
So why was I able to flourish then…and why did things feel different now?
When you’re out of balance, stopping to take stock is a good thing to do - and an act of self-care itself! So, I did what any self-respecting, personal growth advocate would do, and turned to my journal for a ‘self-care audit’.
Diving deep into my own self-care audit
Just a few simple questions invited me to go a little deeper and brought to light some key aha moments.
- How am a feeling right now?
- How do I feel when I’m at my best?
- What’s changed?
- What parts of life am I enjoying most?
- What parts of life can I focus on?
- What is causing me angst?
- What do I need right now?
- Is there something I can do right now?
Like most people, when I feel aligned and centred, purposeful and making a positive contribution I feel great. Unstoppable almost.
Actually admitting on paper how I was really feeling - foggy and unfocused, directionless and in limbo - was a sigh of relief. And I know this stuff…so why had I not done it sooner?!
Finding my way back to me
Thinking back there were also three major upheavals or changes over the past three years. Menopause, recovering from burnout and Covid.
I recalled an article I read last year by Adam Grant, where he used the term ‘languishing’. It didn’t ‘speak’ directly to me at the time because well, life seemed pretty dandy! Not perfect, but purposeful.
Border closures meant we weren’t travelling for work, and I was able to indulge in a long-held goal to learn ceramics at the Jam Factory. Thursday nights were spent sewing up a storm with my girlfriend, and weekends were spent creating magic in my garden. Along with that, my partner Jamie and I spent countless mindful hours testing our jigsaw puzzles, I was running the odd workshop and the kids were coming home for Christmas.
Fast forward to the last few months, and it seems ‘languishing’ fits the bill for how I’ve been feeling.
And it makes sense. Three years of fight or flight have finally caught up. On top of that, returning this year to a ‘new normal’ with a hybrid team means Slack, Zoom and excessive emails are vying for my constant attention, taking me away from meaningful work.
What kind of self-care do I need right now?
It’s the kind of self-care that enables me to have the mental strength to show up and be resourceful, responsive, and decisive. The emotional strength to be compassionate and to be there - truly there - for the people I love. The physical strength to sustain and find joy in the activities and projects that light me up and give joy.
According to Adam Grant, getting back into flow could be the best antidote to this languishing feeling.
Like writing this article. After so many starts and stops, finally putting on my headphones and setting Slack to ‘in flow’ to get the job done, led me down a fresh path. I started journaling, then researching, and entered the flow state. And here we are, almost seven hundred words in…and I could go on for a lot longer, but the deadline calls!
For the moment, my self-care is embracing positive, focused, and challenging activities that will stretch me. Setting boundaries and interruption-free time to do meaningful work and celebrating the small wins. Maybe then I’ll want a massage!
Now let me ask you - what will your self-care audit look like?
As always, love and light...
Adèle Basheer is Intrinsic's co-founder and inspiring wordsmith. If you'd like to get in touch, like Intrinsic on Facebook or follow @theintrinsicway on Instagram and send us a message. Or contact us and we'll be sure to pass on your note to Adèle.