Something I’ve been really keen to touch on this week is the process of cultivating a self-care practice at home and in work, which doesn’t always come easily to us as Yasmine Camilla explains today on #thebigselfcareshare. What I love about her valuable contribution is that it highlights what it’s like to be on the sometimes steep learning curve towards taking better care of yourself.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m a London girl in my thirties with two small children and a full-time job as a Project Manager for a major retailer. I’m also a lifestyle blogger and general Instagram rambler, a coach and mentor and someone people generally turn to for advice when they want to make things happen.
I have a broad range of experiences both from my upbringing, personal life and work that make me pretty intuitive when it comes to people, their ideas and what they can do to make them a reality.
With no formal education beyond A-levels, I started my retail career on the shop floor selling shoes, within 4 years I was managing a department in a famous London department store. I moved into lots of different roles, gaining skills all the time if I was learning something new and being promoted I thought I’d be happy.
Eventually, the long working hours, lack of sleep, partying and generally not looking after myself came crashing down on me. I was in a dark place, needed therapy and rehabilitation. I was lucky to find people to guide me through recovery as well as having my supportive boyfriend by my side.
I’m actually an introvert and need calm in my life to keep myself well. These days my priority list is long, but easily sorted.
Later, after a few years of being sober and having therapy, we decided to have a family. Being a mother brought so many new challenges to my life. I discovered that I can be rubbish at multitasking and that being emotionally there for others takes a lot out of me. I also discovered, despite being the life and soul of most parties, that I’m actually an introvert and need calm in my life to keep myself well. These days my priority list is long, but easily sorted.
What do self-compassion and kindness mean to you?
They don’t come easily to me, never have. Suffering from an extremely low self-esteem in my childhood, teens and early twenties I never had any practice in caring about any part of me. I wasn’t given the tools as I was growing up to care about myself and respect my health, body and mind.
I wasn’t given the tools as I was growing up to care about myself and respect my health, body and mind.
These days I know what I need to do, I can read the signs of what my body or mind needs a lot better than I could. However, I still struggle to put into practice for myself what I could so easily advise someone else on. I’m constantly fighting against my natural instincts when it comes to looking after me, I can find all the time in the world to do something for someone else but even lying in a bath for 20 mins relaxing feels impossible sometimes to me.
How do you incorporate self-care into life and work?
I have recently been diagnosed with dyslexia, lifelong anxiety disorder and OCD. In some ways, these diagnoses have made it easier for me to practice self-care. I’m open and honest about what I need and I am able to clearly articulate why. I find this works really well at my day job because once I’m clear with people they accept it, they appreciate knowing and are supportive. However, I shouldn’t need a diagnosis of anything to be explicit in what I need as a person. Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy in the workplace for people to be open.
I’m open and honest about what I need and I am able to clearly articulate why.
I have to balance work and life. It’s so important to me, I’ve had a very hard last 18 months where I’ve really learned just how important that balance is to both me and my family.
I now try hard to make sure there are times in the day when I am totally present in the moment, it’s really hard when I have so many plates spinning but I don’t beat myself up about anything any more as I am always trying my best.
Can you share any tips?
Think about how you can build self-care into your whole life, not just time at home, or at the weekend. Try and take small moments, whether you’re at home or in work, to unwind and get in touch with yourself and what you need. Use train journeys for mindfulness or listening to your favourite podcast. Whatever it is, get it into your routine. Be really honest about what you need and with others to ensure they can support you in achieving it.
Thank you so much for your openness and for sharing your story, Yasmine.
You can follow Yasmine on social media at:
And visit her website: www.yasminecamilla.com