Sometimes navigating the adult world is a tough and following on from my Adulting - a guide post, I know a few of you had some more questions about how to look after yourself as you progress from your early twenties into adulthood. So I spoke to Alecia, who cares a lot about self-care and development to seek out her advice about how you can practise self-care when adulting....
Alecia Stephenson is a lifestyle blogger at www.liveloveandcoffeebreaks.com. She’s a mom to 4 overly charismatic children and enjoys sipping her 3 cups of coffee slow. You could probably find her over spending in Target or trying to find a new coffee shop to explore.
How would you describe adulting and your approach to it?
I think adulting is a little bit more than just having to pay bills, wash your own clothes, and cook your own food. I believe adulting is taking care yourself, which includes your physical, mental, and social well being.
My approach to adulting I guess is to try to make a plan for each day and stick to it as best as possible. I’ve realized as I approach 30 that when I write down what I want to get accomplished, how I want to accomplish them, and any goals for the day I tend to feel more satisfied at the end of the day. Even if I didn’t get the entire list complete, I can look back and see that I accomplished something.
Why do you value self-care and mindfulness?
Self-care is so important to those three well-beings I mentioned earlier. Physical, mental, and social, which self-care typically has at least one of those aspects of not all three.
Mindfulness is actually new for me. I was listening to a podcast and listened to this woman explain mindfulness, what the practice was, and it really resonated with me because I have a hard time being able to meditate. But you can practice mindfulness with your eyes open.
Mindfulness is about being present in the moment. Clearing your mind of thoughts that have nothing to do with what’s going on at the moment and just be present. If anything, it’s at least helped me focus.
In this social media driven world what to you do to take time to switch off?
Sometimes I just go on a hiatus, especially if I can’t find anything to post about. I’ll typically just stay off. I don’t normally get hung up on comparing myself to others, but I like to be authentic and I can’t just create a post for the hell of it.
What would you say to anyone who struggles with the constant pressure that social media and society have created for this ‘picture-perfect’ lifestyle?
It’s not real! Comparing your life to someone’s curated Instagram life is dangerous. I mean we can take the recent suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. We only got a glimpse of what we thought were happy people. The hard reality is, they were having the struggles that regular people have every day. Those same influencers who look like they have it all together, probably don’t.
Taking time to do things for yourself is important, what do you do purely for yourself (i.e me time)?
My hair and makeup. The amount of care I have to have for my hair just to see me reach my hair goals, is all for me. I started wearing more makeup and figuring out a Self-care while adulting makeup routine that worked for me and my work schedule but I started doing that forme. It’s all apart of my self-care me time.
What would you say to someone who constantly compares their achievements with others?
I would go back to the question before last and give them the same answer. Matter fact. I’ve given this answer before to someone else. We can’t truly believe what seems like someone else’s success to your own. We don’t know their actual timeline, how much work they put in. Instead of comparing that gives us a sense of despair, we should be asking questions. Ask them what did they do, what’s their strategy, and see what you can learn from them to reach your own achievement.
For anyone struggling with lack of support and being impacted by judgemental comments what self-care tips would you recommend?
First find your tribe. This is huge because they tend to be your biggest supporters, and they come in all shapes and forms. It could be through social media like twitter or Facebook. If you’re a blogger, it’s your email list. The people who have signed up to be your loyal fan and read your shit. Your tribe may be a mix of old friends and complete strangers. Just stick with the people who are always positive, even when you’re not as positive as they are being.
What motivates and inspires you?
My children and Pinterest lol. My children are my motivators. I want them to look back and continue to say they want to be like me when they grow up. All of the posts I see on Pinterest give me inspiration for my blog. At least until my email lists begins respond back to me emails when I ask them questions lol.
If you could tell your 15-year-old self one thing what would it be?
Wow, that was so long ago. I actually think I did 15 well. But if I could tell my 17/18 year old self anything, it would be to experience life, take risks, and not to say no to doing something because you’re unsure of the outcome.
To find out more about Alecia and to read some more great posts from her follow her on twitter and check out her site.