“Self-care” trended massively in 2018 and we couldn’t be happier about it. In fact, watching all these amazing women embrace putting themselves first got us so excited that we decided we needed to do the same. By now you know that for both Kim and I, this blog has been one of our greatest acts of self-care. We realised that we needed a place to flourish as women and grow our interests and our friendship beyond our status as mothers.
While we will continue to serve you with amazing fashion and lifestyle content, we wanted to find a way to encourage you to do the same. To live out loud, to claim moments for yourself, to treat yourself well… How could we do this in a way that would be fun and encouraging and go beyond the usual call to treat yo’ self? Obviously, the answer to that was we had to sweeten the deal.
The #LOLwithTwoBabes Competition
Yes, we are launching a little competition! Follow us on Instragram so you don’t miss the big prize reveal on the 2nd of March >
Here are a few of the finer competition details:
- The Live Out Loud with two Babes – or #LOLwithTwoBabes – competition will run every month for the next 6 months
- This is what you need to do in order to enter:
What will you win?
The best part about any competition is knowing what the prize is right? Well in this case, it’s really quite special because Kim and I will be shopping up a storm to put together two awesome self-care hampers to give away every month. So every month you have a chance to win one of two hampers, either curated by myself or Kim. These prizes are not sponsored so we will be going out and choosing these items every month. We will be posting a picture of the two hampers on the 2nd of March 2019 so keep a look out for that. The draw for the March winners will be on the 24th of March 2019 and will be announced on Instagram so be sure to follow us so you don’t miss that!
So now that we’ve gotten that out of the way
Kim and I wanted to share a little about what self-care is to us and how we prioritise this vital process. What follows is a little interview where we chat more about this:
Kim: Self-care means different things to different people. For me, it’s taking the time to unplug, unload and recharge to return as a more ‘whole’ person – or as close to that as possible. Parenting, working full-time, freelancing, running a business can take so much out of one that’s there’s hardly a second to take care of the ‘self’. The self can be anything – your physical appearance, your confidence, your spirituality, your creativity, your emotional- or mental well-being. It can be as simple as sitting completely still for 30 minutes, or planning a holiday – whatever it means for you, each is equally important.
Essentially, it’s focussing on the things that bring you (and only you) joy, the things you love and set your soul on fire.
Nikki: I suppose in a really simplistic way, it means putting myself first. But I am only really able to achieve that when the action of putting myself first stems from a deep understanding that if I don’t, we’re all screwed. I used to do things for myself under this banner of “self-care” and never truly feel that I deserved that care, or I would go out and feel so guilty because I left my kids or Regan. Now I embrace the time I give myself because I know that as much as I am doing it it for me, I am doing it for them too.
Right now, the greatest act of self-care or actually even self-love that I am absorbed in is working on my health. I have been overweight for 6 years now. I gained 22 kilos when I was pregnant with Sophie and then another 7 when I was pregnant with Grace. Up until about December I was 29 kilos over weight. Since starting to adapt my eating habits, going on a proper diet and introducing regular exercise I have lost almost 7 kilos. I know that there are many schools of thought around weight loss and I feel that it is truly a deeply personal thing. Some of us have had lifelong struggles with our weight and peace is found in accepting our bodies as they are and for others, like me, peace is found in accepting a change. I know this isn’t a weight-loss post, but something I have learned is that when you approach a diet from a place of radical self love and a deep desire to do the best for yourself, you are kind of unstoppable.
Kim: I truly believe it depends on your circumstances – if you work three jobs for instance it can be extremely difficult. For me, personally, it’s difficult in theory, and the reason for this begins before I even think of taking care of myself. The amount of guilt I felt, or still feel, when I make time for myself ranges from minute to astronomical. Whether I’m going for a massage or movie, the fact that I am away from my kids tends to eat away at me like rust on a beach buggy, but as that saying goes, “You can’t pour from an empty cup”. Every time I’ve taken out time for myself, I’ve returned a happier, stronger mom, colleague and wife – armed to handle every role better.
Nikki: I think it’s both. I often feel that the pressure I am under as a working mother creates an environment that makes it very difficult to care for myself. Both in practice and in theory. As a society we do not make it easy for women to put ourselves first.
Kim: I have three routines, one being a rather new one:
I shop for myself. My partner used to tell me, “You need to buy fashion for yourself for a change”. Only recently did I realise he meant, “You need to take care of yourself too, sometimes.” But I couldn’t – knowing that a R499 top meant two packs of nappies or two tins of milk. Since our budget blog, that guilt has mostly diminished. It’s just shimmying into a beautiful frock and spoiling myself a little that does wonders for my confidence.
I soak in the tub, albeit in 3cm of water, once every few months since the drought. It’s the quiet time to reflect that I love.
I ‘date’ myself. Whether I’m going for a massage or walking on the beach, or having wine by myself, it’s really a time to chat to myself and figure out if there are any loose ends that are bugging me.
Nikki: It’s alone time. I am an introvert, not shy, just introverted and time alone, time in silence is absolutely vital for my mental health. Having a half deaf husband and a 2 year old and a 5 year old means our house is not a sanctuary of peace. If the TV isn’t blaring then someone is shouting and when I feel most anxious or out of control, I find I crave silence.
A few things I do daily are:
Get up at 5.30 am so that I can have 30 minutes of silence to drink a coffee, scroll through my inbox and do a guided meditation.
Switch my phone off from 9 pm until 5.30 am. This doesn’t always work, but I try daily to stick to this.
Lunch time trips to the gym.
Kim: I set it aside as any important appointment or date, because it is. It’s doesn’t have to be every Thursday for instance; I usually know when it’s time for self-care when my world feels ‘off kilter’.
Nikki: I feel that this is often incredibly difficult. I work full time, Regan works full time and then some. When I manage to “claw back” some time for myself, it’s hard to put down the mom guilt and just enjoy the time. I don’t think there is a single tip I can offer. But you need to make the time because it’s important. We all have the same amount of hours as Beyonce and if she can do it, man, so can we.
Kim: I do love the Avon range of Perfectly Matte lipsticks – really good value for money when you consider it doesn’t transfer to coffee cups, your clothes or kids’ kissable faces, or cakes like other matte lipsticks.
Nikki: I adore make up. I wear make up on the days when I feel my worst. Looking in the mirror at a beautifully made up version of myself makes me feel like I can tackle anything. Cosmetics are absolutely central to my self-care process. A few of my favourite brands right now are: NYX, Avon’s Mark range, Stila and Physician’s Formula.
Kim: Hmmm, I would say, both. While accepting yourself comes from years of caring for, talking to, nurturing, inspiring, feeding and motivating a former version of ‘you’ who didn’t accept themselves, your work doesn’t stop there. You have to keep caring for that person. You have to keep making time for that person. You have to keep putting her first, even if just from time to time.
Nikki: I think yes. But also more. It’s self-acceptance but that is really fucking hard. I think we are often so conditioned to thinking that there’s just this switch you flip and then BAM you love yourself, and it’s not like that. So self-care is self-acceptance but it’s also being open to starting a journey towards self-acceptance if you aren’t there yet. If you look in the mirror and feel overwhelmed by negative thoughts, then self-care could be just forcing yourself to look in the mirror every day and just say “I Love You”. Just be open to getting used to thinking about yourself positively is a form of self-care. Perhaps self-acceptance is the goal actually.
Kim: Just the fact that you’re doing something; that you’re taking a minute to say, “Hey, I care about you; let’s fix what’s ailing you,” is the most important.
Nikki: Silence. When I am feeling my worst, I just need silence.
Kim: Probably the most common misconception is that self-care is… selfish. I think the word ‘self’ is misleading. But creating the best version of yourself, not just for you, but the people you care about most, is actually the most ‘selfless ‘thing you can do.
Nikki: I think that it’s self-indulgent or in some way narcissistic.
Kim: That you deserve it, without condition, without guilt, without any emotional strings attached.
Nikki: That there is no perfect time to start putting yourself first. You just have to do it.
Kim: My mom taught me to find love in the simplest things. Like cooking. Today, it remains her expression of love. I get inspired by many womxn around me – all of whom followed their dreams to do what they love – from Jenné from Sweet Potato Soul who talks about her vegan journey as a means to take care of her body and let her imagination run wild with food that makes her feel happy and nourished, to Cheryl Strayed who nurtures the creator and writer in herself first. Tanesha from Girl with Curves who shares as much about self-love as she does gorgeous fashion. And every womxn who follows her bliss.
Nikki: My family is filled with women and I have been so lucky to have spent my life surrounded by strong women and in that way they have really set a very high standard. I would so that I admire women who are sure of themselves and who are kind and who embrace life with a “why the fuck not me?” attitude.
We would love to hear from you! What are some of the ways you put yourself first?
Nikki & Kim