Our Mindful Mamas series spotlights other amazing mindful mamas from all over! The interviews focus on mindfulness and self-care and what it means and looks like for each mama. The goal of this series is to showcase the different ways we mamas get our self-care and mindfulness in and show how it can look/feel/be different for everyone, as well as the creative tips we mamas use to fit it in! We hope this series educates, informs and inspires you on self-care and to take some time for yourself, mama!
Meet Sydney Sherman de Arenas
Sydney is our next Bliss'd Mindful Mama! Sarah is originally from Houston, Texas and now lives between between New York City and San Pedro la Laguna, Guatemala (how cool!). She's an Entrepreneur and mama to two; a 20-month old and a 3-month old. Read on for my full interview with Sydney.
What is your definition of self-care? Has this changed since becoming a mom?
I can't say I was particularly good at the traditional idea of self-care (I always think of relaxing in a bathtub and washing my face routinely) before I became a mom but I guess self-care can look very different at different stages of our lives.
Before becoming a mom I traveled all of the time and loved going out to different events, games, new restaurants and to listen to music. I indulged in my social life and new things. I learned to play soccer and speak Spanish, went snowboarding a few times a year, and very literally traveled around the world. I had fun nearly all of the time when I wasn't working, which was a lot.
I then had two kids in under two years and it became a struggle to care for the family, my businesses, my marriage and last but not least, myself. I recently hired a coach who made me take an hour a week for pleasure in any form of the word. Yesterday I read a book in the bath for a whole hour, no other humans allowed.
I get other moments here and there like right before bed if bedtime goes well and my husband is already asleep, maybe a few minutes in the morning but nothing like an hour.
My idea of self-care has gone from doing whatever I want, whenever I want to a balancing act that has to include myself. Right now, I prioritize the hour a week for myself and asking for time as I need it throughout the week but that hour has to happen. Taking that hour, has actually increased the frequency in which I request more time during each week! Self care is doing something for you and for only you––whatever that may mean where you are in your life.
What does your self-care routine look like? Feel free to share small practices you do regularly and/or a set routine (morning, evening).
I mentioned the hour I get to myself uninterrupted for self-pleasure each week but I also journal once a week and meet with my coach for an hour each week. Eventually this time with my coach will be replaced with something else that interests me like language lessons, tennis lessons, etc. but something for me.
I read a book I would highly recommend called How To Do the Work that said that I should stick to some sort of routine if I want to make lasting changes in my life so now I stretch for a few minutes every night before bed. This has been amazing and so relaxing! I never thought a few minutes would matter this much.
I also switched to taking vitamins in the morning instead of the evening so that it actually gets done and always wash my face at night to wash off the day even if it is with a baby wipe. Oh and I try to remember to eat every time my toddler eats a full meal because skipping meals makes me tired. These are all little things but this year I am focused on managing my energy levels and I know that each and every one of these things needs to happen for me to feel energized and healthy.
Do you practice mindfulness? If so, how?
Yes! I have been working really hard to pause when I feel anything negative and fully feel the feeling in my body before reacting. This has helped with my marriage, my parenting, and my businesses.
What's a "mindful mama" tip you have?
Asking yourself "How Important Is This" (a reaction to what your toddler or teenager has done, a disappointment, doing something you should do –– it can orient you around what is important in nearly every situation!)
What is your favorite self-care activity for when you have… 5 minutes, 30 minutes, 60+ minutes?
5 minutes: Stretch
30 minutes: Hit the Peloton
60 minutes: Sit in the bath and do something fully relaxing
What are your top 3 - 5 self-care and/or wellness products?
I am not super loyal to brands so here are "things" I love: Sunscreen, always! Audiobooks. A really good journal.
Motherhood can be overwhelming! How do you center yourself when you’re feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed?
I now pause for a split second before I respond. It took me a long time to be able to do that so don't give up if you're trying it, eventually it will happen once, then sometimes, then most of the time!
What is a tip you have for a mom interested in self-care but unsure how to start, or she feels overwhelmed with the idea of fitting it in?
Routines have always been a challenge for me so a tip is to choose the timing of a habit I want to form where I am set up for success and to choose something really short that I can commit to even if I feel crunched for time! A lot of good things have been added to my life by using this technique.
When do you feel your most bliss’d out?
After doing something I love.
What's a mama mantra you live by?
Life is bigger than this moment right now.
Thank you, Sydney! I love the range of tips and inspiration offered throughout this interview - and completely agree with Sydney on journaling as a great self-care tool for moms ;) To learn more and connect further with Sydney, check out her website.