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Self-Care is Like Clothing: It's Not One Size Fits All

The body can endure practically anything--pain, fatigue, you name it-- but its the mind that matters. ― Dave Pelzer

Self-Care. A buzzword we've heard over the past few years. It's become synonymous with a variety of different things yet no one seems to be asking the deeper question of what true self-care looks and feels like. Not to mention, what are people actually doing for self-care? I'm talking about the deep self work required to navigate the ever changing landscapes of our lives. And how are being mindful of our mental health (no pun intended) to ensure we're able to show up in the world how we want to?

I sat down with a few members of Rhone's Leadership Team to learn more about how they define self care, practices they implement and their tips on someone looking to implement a better self care strategy.

Ben Checketts, Creative Director and Co-Founder

What does self-care mean to you?

Stop me if you have heard this before, but when you board an airline, they put on the safety demonstration video. This video has played millions of times, and at this point, it’s mostly white noise to many passengers but there is one nugget in there worth discussing. During the safety briefing they warn “​​Should the cabin lose pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead area.” Like it’s completely normal and that you shouldn’t panic at all, BUT they give you one more piece of important advice should such a traumatizing event take place, “Please place the mask over your own mouth and nose before assisting others.” Why? Because prioritizing your well being over others isn’t selfish, it allows you to better care for the people around you, it enables you to look up and lift, serve and save those who need help. I will caution you, as with anything, there is a balance here and many use self-care as a way to neglect the people around them. That is a long winded answer but here’s my short answer: Prioritizing your own mental, physical and emotional health so that you may help others do the same.

What does mental health mean to you?

I define mental wellness as possessing the internal capacities and being aware of external resources that allow you to think clearly, feel deeply and connect with others. The sum total of these parts allows us to function day in and day out as we care for ourselves and others. It’s routine maintenance and healthy mental self-awareness.

What types of self care practices do you implement that have the biggest impact on your life?

  • Playing sports with friends - I love the camaraderie of playing on a team, pursuing a common goal and working together, I am fortunate to have a close group that plays soccer a couple of times per week.

  • Strength training - To me is hard, but so enjoyable, I find it very meditative, I mix in traditional powerlifting, olympic lifting and kettlebell moves.

  • Outdoor Walks, Hikes or Bike Rides - Getting outside has so many great benefits for your mental health, but it also sets your circadian rhythym if done in the morning and can generally just make you feel great!

  • Contrast Therapy - This is the simple practice of going from a Sauna or Hot Tub to an ice bath. It’s an incredible practice that I am trying to do more consistently but it’s so enjoyable

  • Non Sleep Deep Rest - This has been an absolute game changer for me, because my overactive mind has a lot of trouble meditating. I sincerely wish i was better at it, but it’s like golf to me - it should be fun and low key but it just ends up frustrating me. I particularly love the NuCalm platform, it’s an unbelievable science that has transformed the way I approach downtime.

How do you recognize when you might be pushing too hard (in relation to your mental health)?

For me this is an easy one, I notice the obvious physical effects - poor sleep, decreased HRV, interesting gut effects, etc. But I also notice the mental and emotional effects as well, I am quick to anger, defensive and impulsive.

What's your biggest obstacle when it comes to sustaining a self care practice?

Time and or planning is my greatest enemy and my greatest ally, when I use it well it unlocks a new level of patience for others and internal peace, and yet when I use my time poorly, as I often do, it adds quite a bit of stress to everything else. I like being early, having a second to breathe and focus and I do not respond well to being rushed. So I need to gain some better planning skills.

What's one tip or piece of advice you might give to someone who is looking to create a better self-care strategy or "tool kit?"

Start small or focus on getting 1% better every day. Set small goals for yourself, make small plans and do your best to not push the gas unless you need to. Momentum is a funny thing, it adds confidence and inspires greater action, bigger feats and incredible results. What we don’t realize is that it all starts with a single step in the right direction and it is almost never perfectly linear. SO, be patient with yourself and stay with it!

Kelly Cooper, Chief Product Officer

What does self-care mean to you?

Taking care of my mind, spirit & body= taking the time to listening to what they are telling me and incorporating movement for reflection, joy and health into my every day. My favorite mantra “the bliss comes from within”.

What does mental health mean to you?

There is a French saying “bien dans sa peau”, which perfectly describes when I feel in balance. The literal translation is being comfortable in my own skin and implies, for me, being “at peace” with who I am. When this is true, all is well.

What types of self care practices do you implement that have the biggest impact on your life?

I recently swore off all “medications”- one leads to the need for another. Being in tune with me, allows me to be clear on what I need. I am revamping my daily routine to allow for meditation, lots of laughter and some sweat.

How do you recognize when you might be pushing too hard (in relation to your mental health)?

Taking on too many tasks, feeling unfocused, too busy, and out of sync. That’s why I love lists come in and circling back to my priorities and giving accomplishments a realistic timeline.

What's your biggest obstacle when it comes to sustaining a self care practice?

Taking on too many tasks! Since I have been transitioning to Rhone and moving, I have been off a good routine and wanting to do it all right away. Reestablishing a realistic cadence is truly the secret.

What's one tip or piece of advice you might give to someone who is looking to create a better self-care strategy or "tool kit?"

For me, it’s all about the options- which can revolve around the week (or just your life) vs just the day since there are so many curve balls in a day. Maybe I don’t have time for the gym so I take a walk- which makes the dog really happy too. Just walking gives me time to meditate, experience the joy of the beauty in nature, and sweat. AND touch my dog which is honestly the best medication!

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