Year-of-Self-Care Mother’s Day Giveaway

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Self-care—the art of attuning and responding to your needs and desires—is a moment to moment process. It’s not about adding something to your to-do list; it’s about cultivating a new way of being. Renee Trudeau

I remember the first time I ever attended a powerful women’s retreat. I left the weekend feeling aligned, deeply renewed, reconnected and on FIRE! To say it was a life-changing experience would not be an exaggeration. This memory inspired me to reach out to the wonderful folks at Omega Institute, where I teach, and they generously agreed to provide a full registration (including lodging/meals) to my September 22-26 Putting Yourself First: The Ultimate Self-Care Retreat for Women for us to give away in honor of Mother’s Day! (I’m so excited, for the first time ever, I’ll be co-teaching this with my dear friend and women’s wellness guru Dr. Deb Kern!)

Would you like to win an entire year of nurturing nourishment and support from me? Have you dreamed of taking a retreat but it always seemed out of reach? Are you finally ready to start making your needs and desires a priority? We’re so excited to announce our Year-of-Self-Care Mother’s Day Giveaway (a $2700 value). Woohoo!

Ready to enter to win? It’s easy-peazy. Just a)join my Live Inside Out with Renee Trudeau Facebook community and b) share your response to, “What does self-care mean to me?” in the comments section (below) on this post by Sunday, May 11th at midnight CST. We’ll announce the winner on Monday, May 12th.

Here are all the details for our Year-of-Self-Care Mother’s Day Giveaway. 

This Mother’s Day, let’s focus on mothering ourselves and attuning to what we most need to feel fully alive, on-purpose and joy-full. Sending each of you full permission to make your self-care a priority this Mother’s Day and every day.

P.S. Want Mother’s Day, May 11 to mark a new way of being for you? Consider joining or becoming certified to facilitate self-care groups/retreats for moms. These powerful women’s circles are now meeting in ten countries around the globe!

Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by work-life balance speaker/author and Career Strategists president, Renée Peterson Trudeau. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping and more. Thousands of women in ten countries are becoming RTA-Certified Facilitators and leading/joining self-renewal groups based on her award-winning curriculum.  She is the author of The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal and Nurturing the Soul of Your Family: 10 Ways to Reconnect and Find Peace in Everyday Life. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 12 year-old son. More on her background here.




  1. Self-care means taking care of the one person whom I am responsible for throughout an entire lifetime.
    Self care means counting myself as a variable in every life equation.
    Self care means being true to myself every moment of every day.

  2. Susan Hardy says

    I am learning that self care gives me the space and energy to respond to others well, to be sensitive to their needs. Self care for me includes reflection, tapping, breathing deep, enjoying nature, tuning into my higher power, dancing, sleeping, enjoying my friends and making new friends. Self care is worth my investment of time because of all the benefits to myself and others.

  3. Self care means to me the ability to leave a job that no longer fulfills me to find my true calling. If I continue down the career path I am currently on, my soul will not be fulfilled.

  4. Self care for me is prevention. It’s insurance. It’s fully understandin, knowing and believing that taking care of myself is the LEAST selfish thing I can do if I profess to ove everyone else so much.

  5. Annie Harris-Kornblith says

    For me, self care is playing with my puppy, spending time with friends, running, being in nature, laughing, sharing, playing and loving.

  6. Eden Daley says

    Self care to me means saying “no”! Especially to the computer. Especially to things the people around you see as opportunities, but that little voice inside you is saying no way.

  7. Michelle Glassley says

    Self care means taking care of yourself, mind, body, spirit, so that you can take care of others better.

  8. With so many expectations I put on myself as person, wife, mom, professional, self-care means being okay with “letting go” and being okay with lowering standards for myself and others. It also means connecting with others who help remind myself of what really matters and encouraging each other to be on the journey of self-care.

  9. Presently, Self Care comes in short but sweet moments of getting on my mat for a handful of breathes in Down Dog or cooking with 100% attention on my healthy creation that will nourish my family. Or the moments in the morning when I’m up before any one else and I can soak up the time by myself in the shower. My wish is that this coming year that I’m supported in finding more time for Self Care. Happy Mothers Day.

  10. crystal fisher says

    Renee I very much appreciate your work – thank you so much for sharing your light with everyone!

    I have found, like you, that self care is the practice of life. It is understanding myself and manifesting the life I wish to live in today. For me that means, having an early morning yoga practice, taking regular breaks during my busy day to slow down and notice the beauty that surrounds me always (I spend part of my time at the State woman’s prison as a grief and loss therapist for incarcerated mothers so, finding beauty within prison walls, surrounded by razor wire, and immersed in crushing psychic pain can be tricky at times), regularly buying myself flowers, “unplugging” when I get home and consciously tuning into my family, embracing my foibles and gifts and smiling at the contradictions inherent in my human experience.

    Working with incarcerated mothers around grief and loss is incredibly challenging but, it profoundly informs my life and way of being in the world. I find my clinical practice to be both incredibly grounding and incredibly painful but, I cannot imagine spending my time doing anything else – I see my work as having the honor of sitting with another woman in her pain and creating the strong-soft place for fundamental change to take place. To do this work well, I find that I need to keep myself in check so, self care takes priority. For instance, this weekend I spent time in the garden (a very nurturing space for me), took a bike ride with my family, went to dinner with my girlfriends, and gave myself a pedicure complete with sparkly blue painted toe nails.

    Peace Rene and I hope to join you on a retreat one of these days…. 🙂

  11. Self-care means giving myself time. Time to be quiet, to be alone, to be with friends. Time to enjoy my hobbies, to exercise, to prepare healthy food. Time for contemplation and for celebration. Time to connect and re-connect with my family.

  12. Jenny Camp says

    As mothers we care for our children, our spouse, our extended family, our community, our businesses, etc. However, I have had a hard time in the past really paying attention to my own needs. Self-care for me is like the announcement on the plane to put on your oxygen mask before trying to help others. Self-care includes all the actions I take which nourish my body, my mind, my soul and my spirit. Self-care allows me to grow and thrive, increasing my productivity and my ability to care for all the people and things in my life that I value.

  13. Michelle Bloodworth says

    Self care for me means connecting again and again to compassion and kindness for myself. It means reminding myself that things don’t need to be a certain way and that I am not my To Do list. It means resting when that is what my body tells me it needs. Self care is something I continually realize is deeper and more central to this journey than I thought.

  14. Rena Pulido says

    Self-care to me means nurturing harmony and balance in and between my mind and body. The peace that flows from that allows me to offer loving kindness to myself, my family, my friends and everyone I connect with.

  15. For me, self-care means prioritizing exercise, which has been hard because it doesn’t feel “productive”. It means countering the critical self-talk in my head with encouraging messages. It means keeping my perfectionism in check. It means prioritizing sleep and my marriage. It means saying no sometimes to endless requests to volunteer my time. It means a few mindful breaths whenever I can remember, and permission not to multitask sometimes 🙂
    -thank you!

  16. Beth Bolay says

    Self-care is a very personal thing for me and it is constantly changing how it looks and feels.

    Renee, I enjoyed your retreat in Kansas City immensely! Since coming home I have created an evening routine and a morning routine and am working at consistency….being very compassionate with myself when I don’t quite get it all done. I think the biggest shift in my way of being is that I check in with myself repeatedly….constantly….during the day asking those important questions of “How am I feeling?”, “What do I need?”, “What do I want?”. Thank you so much for a wonderful life-changing experience!

    Hope to get to experience your great energy again sometime!
    Beth Bolay

  17. Self-care to me means taking the time to tune into myself every day, to appreciate the gifts in my life and to recognize where I need support. When I practice self-care I’m healthier and more fully available to help others.

  18. Terri Garrity says

    Self care has so many parts to it. I find that I often forget myself in the fray of daily life. Without a doubt, the meaning to me is to give myself a most profound and well-deserved gift: the permission to take care of me. Whatever follows this realization is pure gravy!

  19. I remind myself that I am a person too and that my needs matter.

  20. For me, self care is about taking care of myself. This includes: Noticing how I am doing throughout the day; Caring for my body, mind, and heart each day; Connecting with those who are able to really “see me” and love me; Giving myself permission to keep life simple during stressful times; Self compassion.

  21. Claudia Goedde says

    Self-care is essential to me. It starts first thing in the early morning with some positive, life-enhancing intention for myself, then I drink my water, go for a walk, meditate (even if just 5 min) and then I can so much better say Hello to my sleepyhead kids who have just woken up. It also means really really tapping into what feels joyful to me and deeply sacred. When I keep the connection to the divine, I keep the connection to myself:-)

  22. Tara Pitt says

    Self care, ironically, feels like a sacrifice at first. Oh, if I go on a bike ride by myself, I might miss out on my son’s baseball game. Oh, if I schedule a massage on Sunday evening, I may miss the loving, close family time that usually wraps up our weekends. Oh, if I focus on preparing a meal for the family without returning some phone calls simultaneously, I might FALL BEHIND on life. Then, I experience whatever it is I’ve planned for myself, and realize how truly fulfilling and invigorating time away can be! I enter back into the mix of my husband and three kids with such a fresh outlook and replenished soul.

  23. Lolly Walter says

    Self-care means being kind to myself – my emotions, my physical state, my mental well-being. It means I live in the moment and notice how life affects me and take active steps to maintain my well-being.

  24. Mary-Ann says

    Self care to me is more than just taking time out of the day for myself. It means taking care of the “whole me” – the parts that make me who I am, the parts that make me a patient and kind mother and wife, and the parts of me that wants to be enthusiastic and supportive to those around me. Self care should be as natural as breathing, smiling and giving kisses and cuddles to the loves in my life. To me, self care really means being the real “me” – the authentic me, not the “me” others expect or want me to be.

  25. Tracie Erlandson says

    I have 3 children, ages 13, 12 and 9 and a full time job as a flight attendant. I also do a lot of volunteering in their classrooms and extracurricular activities. I know intellectually that self care is a top priority but I find it hard to make the time and I can’t afford a retreat, although I have considered one of yours more than once. For me, I’m taking self-care one day at a time and it means being present in the moment, whatever I’m doing…. learning to stop the constant planning and worry. If I can do this on a daily basis,–stop, breathe and try to listen to my spirit–I think it’s a good first step! I’m hoping the rest will come in time 🙂

  26. Cinnamon says

    I do not have a Facebook account, nor plan to have one, so I can’t like you there (it’s part of my self-care NOT to have a FB account), but I would love to win this giveaway so I am going share my response to the question here anyway.

    Self care is one of the most important aspects of helping me be the best version of myself. It helps me stay in touch with, and love myself so that I can love others. Without it, it is easy to become stressed, overwhelmed, lose sight of the big picture, and live in a frantic, hectic, energy sapping way that affects my body and those around me. I believe that our actions have ripple effects, and if I am taking care of myself, I can more easily take care of others, who can then turn around and take care of their own loved ones and onwards and outwards, and to me, that is something worth striving for. I do not see self-care as a selfish act, rather a self-less act that has more benefits than can be counted.

  27. Nissa Lind says

    Self-care is not just taking time for myself away from life’s demands, but it is so much more about being gentle with myself and loving myself enough to re-parent the negative thoughts and not reacting to challenges but being able to take a pause to understand my feelings before responding with love and kindness. Taking the time to unpeel the layers to truly know myself allows me the space to really be able to have something to give and take care of my loved ones.

  28. Self care to me means being true to myself in everything I do, being aware of what my body is telling me and being willing to NOT help everyone who asks.

  29. Maura L says

    For me, self care is staying in tune with myself to recognize what I need, and making those needs a priority. This means everything from taking time to re-center, to maintaining my boundaries, to balancing work and life.

  30. To me, self-care means the time to focus my energy and attention on myself in loving and kind ways. I practice self-care when I listen to my instincts, urging me to find a quiet spot to stop and think, or when I curl up on the couch with a good book. Because I am the single mother of a 4-year-old, my self-care has really suffered in the years since his birth…somewhere between becoming a mother and actually mothering a young child, my own needs and desires have taken a backseat, my inner voice getting lost in the chaos of each day-to-day scenario. I am eager to regain some means of self-care because I realize that if I cannot take care of myself, then I am not at my best in terms of taking care of someone else, who so greatly depends on me. Thank you for this giveaway and all the good work you do!

  31. Jan deQuillfeldt says

    A deep and abiding self-care is just that – a caring love for all of yourself – the parts that are easy to love and the parts that hide in shame. From this place of true acceptance comes all that heals. You become a loving presence for others, as they truly are, not as you wish them to be. Loving oneself is so tender-hearted and yet expansive. A person who cares for herself cannot help but light up the world.

  32. SelfCare means to listen to myself while I’m quiet and in silence – those few seconds when we open our eyes every morning and celebrate being still here and that we don’t need anything else to be whole and happy. To carry that feeling throughout the day, it’s my absolute intent of self-care!.

  33. Robyn Green says

    I honestly don’t yet know what self care looks like any longer. I’ve spent the past nearly 12 years parenting two young boys and working full time at a sometimes fulfilling job. Until 20 months ago, I was also the primary cheerleader for my co-parent/ex-partner of nearly 14 years. I did a lot of cheerleading and ultimately she left me for a new cheerleader. I hope I don’t sound like too much of a victim: I’m truly not. I just don’t ever feel like I’ve got time for much in the way of sustained self-care. And I need it badly! I’m happy-ish but believe there’s more out there to attain. Or perhaps it’s all inside of me, restrained by these external forces. I am taking small steps: I let my natural hair color grow in and found out that it’s gorgeous; started wearing eye makeup on my 52nd birthday this past January; I’m knitting my first project (it may take 5 years to complete….but it feels like I’m creating something!); and I bought a sketch book and colored pencils and pastels today. The Fitbit I purchased mocks me because I can’t seem to get over 5K steps. Oh….my biggest step towards caring for myself: I quit smoking again! I’d quit for 12 years only to begin again as a way to fill the lonely space after my breakup….smoked for the past 19 months…and then abruptly stopped a bit over 2 weeks ago.

  34. Rosalea P says

    Self-care means finding the quiet moments consciously, and being intentional about balancing the crazy busyness of the day to day with reflection, reading, yoga, and walks – all of which for me, are necessary for a healthy outlook. Occasional reading binges in my favorite chair replete with candles, fresh flowers, and drinking chocolate might also be on that list

  35. Marcia Sherrod says

    Self care means meditating, dancing, and living in the moment even when there are 3 million things to do.

  36. Self-Care encompasses many things. I have learned to say “no” when I can’t take on another task. I was the person who said “Sure, I can do that” to everybody (at home and work) until I was too tired to get out of bed.
    I schedule fun things to do: walking, reading, time to smell the roses and connect with the world around me.
    I take care of my health with regular check-ups, eating better, walking and going to bed at a reasonable time. I am decluttering my room and spare room.
    I am reducing my debt.
    I schedule massages, facials, acupuncture.
    Most importantly, I stay connected to my family and friends.
    I feel that the self renewal retreat would greatly impact my life.

  37. Marlena U. says

    Deep breath…inhale…exhale…
    Self care has taken an ever so important role in my life over the past few years. To me, it means finding and making time for quiet reflection, self discovery, human love, forgiveness, renewal and change. Motherhood brings on joys and challenges like no other experience can. Finding the ability to momentarily separate yourself from being a mother in order to reconnect to yourself, your friendships and your spouse is something that defines the ultimate ability to care for oneself. I’m not there yet – it’s quite a journey.

  38. Not sure if I’m eligible to enter(?!) but self care for me has meant asking at the start of each day, “What do I need today to continue growing into who God created me to be?” And then following what my wise self/intuition/God tells me. What an awesome giveaway, by the way — love it!! 🙂

  39. Means having the awareness to know when to slow down and find my center. If I don’t get my “Me” time (quiet reflection, meditation, being outside in nature/sun) I begin to get frazzled. That’s when it’s time to take care of me so I can handle everything that life has to throw at me with grace.

  40. Bonnie Bauer says

    Self-care means being compassionate with your self and life’s imperfections. It’s leaving yourself the space to really know what nourishes your body and soul, so that you can be the best person for you, your family and friends. If you don’t do this first, you are no good to anyone!

  41. Sanghi Ehrlich says

    I once live life by should and should not of others and giving power to others only and even took doctor’s prescription drug not believing but to make everyone happy. The mega dose of prescription drug almost knock me down to ground shaking my legs and taking the very things I took granted. I walk now to heal self and it is my self-care.

  42. Live, Love Laugh! These are a must everyday of our lives!! I work out in the morning, drink plenty of water, & always remember to take deep breathes everyday! I always give to others what I would like in return. Be a good person inside & out, & you will always be happy inside and have a peaceful soul

  43. Self-care means including me on my list of priorities, making time to do the things that keep me sane…meditation, listening to relaxing or uplifting music, time outdoors, making choices that nourish body, mind and soul.

  44. Michele Hamilton says

    After playing with the concept of self care over the past few years, I really embrace the idea that self care is always about how I approach each moment in my life as an opportunity to live in alignment with my highest self. Today, self care meant resisting the urge to get really frustrated with an inconsiderate driver. It also meant noticing when I was starting to move into fear based thinking about lots of big unknown transitions that are on the horizon for me and my family and instead come up with a positive affirmation about the possibilities that lie ahead.

  45. Laura Woodin says

    Self care to me means taking the time out of each day to nurture yourself. It’s taking the time to rejuvenate, renew, and refresh your mind, body and spirit. There are so many ways to take care of ourselves, and it differs for each person. I typically enjoy activities that are quiet to nurture my soul.

    My self care regime consists of: listening to music, dancing around my house, hula hooping, yoga, walking and/or running, walks/hikes through nature, meditation, writing in a journal, sitting by the water, taking candlelit bathes, massages and taking the time to make myself pretty (brushing my hair, painting my nails, putting on pretty eyeshadow).

    I also enjoy cleaning and cooking. There is an appreciation in the art of keeping your surroundings clean and orderly, and making a wonderful meal. There is a joy in knowing I keep my house clean for my family, and keep their belly’s full. And making my family happy is part of caring for myself.

    After writing this out, I realize that maybe everything I do is an act of self care. I stay true to my spirit and what feels good and right to me. Just that act alone is what self care truly means!

  46. Self Care means adding me to the list of people I take care of each day.

  47. Michelle says

    What does self-care mean to me? Well.. I am extremely maternal so self-sacrifice comes easy to me as does wearing out quickly. At some point, this became apparent to me and I began a process of exploring and discovering what my true needs are so that I may be strong in helping others. I discovered that recharge time (ie. meditation, yoga & rest) was important as well as a physical outlet (hiking, cross training, gardening etc.) and lots of “self talk” (conversations with myself for encouragement and decision making). Lastly, feeding my spirit allows me more freedom and strength than almost any thing else!

  48. I was too ignorant too much pleasing person not knowing how to say “No”. After more than five decades hovering and circling outer orb of my life, not wantng to be a selfish person. Now I believe self-care means self love and accepting self. We can not help others when we are not health. And you can not give others what you do not have. Through self love and taking time to nurutre spirit and replenish love within, not only heal old wounds but also help to grow life enriching art… Whether it is with color or words or dances…. My life is enriched by taking time off and simply listening heart. Now I take time for self by walking and learning to express self in English, the language I once so afraid. Self love is not selfish but it is a way to nurture life loving spirit and enrich lives all around.

  49. For myself, it means that I get to put myself in the lineup of priorities. My definition of priorities is: Different aspects of life that need to be cared for in order to have a full enjoyable time here.

    *My* priorities include: Dogs, Family, Spirituality, Creativity, Fiduciary, Security (food, clothing, shelter). But Self Care allows me to add myself to that list of priorities. So, each bit of my priorities are given some amount of time and energy. Self care is my gift of my time and energy to myself.

  50. Entering on behalf of my mom whose tireless efforts to care for her family end up sacrificing her own self care! She would love this!

  51. Sherry McHale says

    What IS self care – was my first reaction to this question. Because I “care for” a set of twin boys age six, an 84 -year-old mother who relies on me, a recently divorced sister and a husband who just started work again after losing his job two years ago, I can honestly say that I have lost complete touch with “self” care. There was a time when it was a priority and I remember those days fondly and respectfully. These are the best of times and the worst of times. Really. I know that my needs go beyond getting a pedicure a couple of times a year. Right? Self Care. Self. Care. Hmmmmm. Think I’ll go take a walk…..

  52. Self-care, for me, stems in all forms from two small words (whose meaning, intent, and call to action often feel insurmountable): “Let go.”

  53. Karen Leiter-Portillo says

    I was diagnosed 20+ years ago with Narcolepsy and Cataplexy. Over the years I have tried different meds to try to deal with the constant sleepiness and attacks of lack of muscle control that got worse with each of my 5 pregnancies. This last year I started a program of Nuerofeedback. Along with the sessions I had a nutrition program of supplements and diet and I had to start to “schedule” my day. A very important part of this was, “Self Care”. A time set aside for me to focus on the “inner me” and get myself, and my emotions under control. I found out just how important that half hour to an hour was. This has helped greatly with both the emotional side of my Cataplexy and my relaxation/down time to help me wind down for the night and be able to sleep.

  54. Self-care to me means honoring myself and making time for renewal, re-energizing, re-charging, and re-grouping in a way that fulfills me. It means committing this time to myself on a regular basis and holding it as sacred.

  55. Christy Wylie says

    Self-care means listening to your inner voice, knowing when to hold-on and knowing when to let go, and forgiving and loving yourself no matter what the outcome.

  56. Courtney Spurgeon says

    Self-care is holding sacred space for myself to reconnect and quietly and patiently listen to my needs. Allowing this time for myself gives me the space to be the best version of me for me and my loved ones. XO

  57. Self-care means breathing, living in the moment, remembering what I really want, loving those closest to me, orienting myself toward God, being mindful, poring myself into my life and work and knowing that I only have today. It is a daily focus because I have only one person that I can be and become – and that is me.

  58. Self-care means breathing….deeply…all the way in and all the way out. It means finding peace in my breath and connection in my body. Self-care is about recognizing what I value and reject and then staying true to those. I practice self-care by closing my eyes in a busy space and grounding myself. Or by running and enjoying the rhythm of my footfalls. Or by keeping firm boundaries between work and life, family and others. In those ways, I feel most my Self.

  59. Leesa Wilson says

    Self Care means:

    Listening to my body.
    Honoring my cycles, moods, desires and needs.
    Taking time to pamper, nourish, nurture, support, heal and soothe myself: body – mind – soul.
    Finding my sacred center and my inner place of balance.
    Loving myself enough to make choices that are in harmony with my desired health, my most soulful dreams and my truest essence.
    Surrounding myself with people and things that enhance beauty, peace, growth and harmony.
    Allowing time and space for creativity, clarity, meditation/rest, dance, gratitude, celebration, change and passion.

  60. self-care is building of rituals and routines that feed + heal around the non-negotiables of my day.

  61. Self-care means making choices that honor who I am and where I want to go. If I am successful, I wake up feeling inspired, loved and passionate. When I am not successful I feel stuck, lost and unhappy. Self-care means creating time to re-charge, to take care of the little things, do that little extra thing for myself that makes me smile.

  62. I don’t necessarily consider self-care something as simple as a bubble bath or retail therapy. I see self-care as all the little moments that you finally forget about yourself and all your worries, anxieties, complaints, etc. and manage to appreciate life and all your blessings… when you slow down enough to notice the way grass changes color when the sun hits it, or when you really notice the way your child’s eyes glow when she laughs really loud. To me, those moments of gratefulness bring about a peacefulness in other times of my day, which helps me feel like I am truly caring for myself.

  63. Self-care is having the courage to sometimes put my needs before those of my children, to dare to ask my husband to do a chore I normally do when I need a break, and to listen to my body and rest during the day when I feel tired instead of ignoring my body and pushing through the exhaustion.

  64. Beth Anne Drago says

    I work hard to take care of all of me. I exercise at the gym five days a week to care for my body. I meditate and laugh every day to take care of my spirit. I try to learn something new whenever I can. I make healthy food choices and love myself and others to take care of my heart.

  65. Living your life as though every day could be your last….following your passions in work and play. Loving your family and being present in the moment. And taking a well deserved break when needed:)

  66. Shannon Winakur says

    Self-care means filling up my own tank, so I have the resources to live the life of my dreams.

  67. Self care to me, means living wholeheartedly, courageously and presently. It’s a practice I have only begun and look forward to diving into deeper as this year progresses.

  68. Self care is listening to my higher self – from the basic to the life changing messages – day to day, moment to moment and year to year.

  69. Self-care means paying attention- really paying attention. Being present and paying attention to the body, and breath. Listening to my body…not the inner judge or critic or what other people think I may need. Often this means rest, play, yoga, meditation, walking, healthy food, and time for my family/friends AND those things that light me up and make my heart sing. Self-care takes so many forms!

  70. Self-care means to me to listen to my intuition, know when to say no, and to take care of me, body, mind and soul.

  71. Self care means I can be my authentic self which makes everything in my life easier and more joyful. It means that I am at my best and therefore better able to be the mom I truly am, the woman I truly am, the friend I truly am – on the inside and on the outside! It means I have the extra energy I need to live my days with joy and enthusiasm. It means I am better able to love myself, knowing that I am taking care of myself, and that love will spread from me to those around me a million times over! It means peace, love, and joy in my home for everyone!

  72. Shannon Noble says

    At this point self care means not beating myself up for the state my life is in and trying to keep breathing while it falls down around me.

  73. Michele Nuttle says

    Self care tips:

    Nap often.

    Breathe deeply.

    Love fiercely.

    Pray unceasingly.

  74. Shannon says

    Self care is my action it’s in my attitude in which i contribute to the maintenance of well-being of my personal health. It promotes self care in others by showing example in any activity improving health, treating or preventing disease one day at a time!

  75. As a mother of a two year old, AND a one year old, self-care has been one of my biggest challenges! Self-care recently has involved forgiving myself for sometimes doing a “bad” job of juggling all of our needs, learning to let other people help me, letting the kitchen go messy at times, sleeping when possible, and practicing mindfulness meditation when possible.

  76. Self-Care means going with the flow and making the most of each moment. Letting go of perfection and doing the best you can at that moment. Take a breath, be authentic and do what is in alignment with you.

  77. Katie Wright says

    I’ve been focusing on “good is good enough” (from your blog!). Right now that’s what self care means to me – being OK with things not being exactly the way I want them to be.

  78. Andrea Exter says

    When I heard you speak at the WCA luncheon recently, Renee, something you said really hit home: “Take care of yourself like you would take care of your children.” I never thought of caring for myself the way I care for my family. That realization has changed the way I treat myself and little by little, I am happier and healthier and even better at caring for my little ones!

    • thanks Andrea–it was such a wonderful experience to be back there with all my WCA sisters and share this powerful message that has so supported my professional/personal life!

  79. Jessica Allen says

    Self-care is ultimately cultivating loving kindness towards myself. I care for myself by eating healthy, practicing yoga, meditating, taking bubble baths, and just breathing consciously whenever I can. The most recent discovery I have found is creating healthy thought patterns, and releasing the critic who wants to be “perfect”. I follow passions and my art and say no to opportunities if it’s not what I absolutely love.

  80. Wow, what amazing, authentic, from the heart, vulnerable shares. Keep them coming! We’re inspiring one another as we all swim in the soup pot of life together. Thank you for taking time to reflect/write and post. This is such a powerful experience for us to witness. PS Share this opportunity with your friends/family/coworkers–it’s very cathartic to contemplate “What does self-care mean to me?” and share it publicly! Happy self-mothering week to all.

  81. Self-care for me has become a never ending journey of being compassionate with myself. For as I have learned, just when you think you have mastered self -care, you find yourself in a totally new place in life where you must dig deeper and surrender even further to the tools and lessons of this wonderful lesson we call self-care. Meditation ,eating healthy, exercise, precious time with husband and/or children, deep connection and sharing with close girlfriends, volunteering for my childrens’ school and worthy causes I believe in have all become daily parts of my life. It is the constant checking in after my morning meditation to see how I feel, that has taken me to a new level of self-care as I negotiate the strong powers of peri-menopause that cause daily shifts in my energy and ability to move throughout the day. To be able to recognize that some days that my body is going through shifts and needs extra rest and cannot handle the class I had on my schedule, has been a new challenge. To love myself as I watch weight shift to my mid-section that was not there before, or as I recently told my sister, “To embrace my new girlish curves”. I truly believe that without the work of Renee’s self-renewal classes, I would be having a harder time. I catch the mean girl talk in my head before it gets to the second sentence and replace it with kind and loving words to my “little sweetie”. Thank you, Renee.

    • Jill you have been a sister on the journey and I’m so glad I have gotten to walk this path with you. Thank you for this beautiful share!


    Dear Renee,

    I am a walking ball of how not to take care of yourself!! I am great taking care of others because that is how I was raised. Now I am 51, my kids are grown, I have one beautiful granddaughter. I am just over-whelmed at how badly I take care of myself, but I am not sure how to change my unhealthy ways of taking care of myself. I am also a medical mess, which I am trying to work on. It just seems for every step forward I am kicked at least 3 steps back.

    I know this not what you expected, but it is probably the most truth I have ever said about myself. Thank you for listening to me.

  83. To me, self-care is taking the measures necessary to stay connected to and trust your Spirit, meeting the needs of your inner soul. It required letting go of your ego and worldly pressures, developing a heightened awareness of the multiplicity of auras affecting your life, navigating them with purpose.

  84. Michelle says

    Self-care means thinking about what I need and taking care of it. When I’m feeling frazzled or short-tempered I know I’ve waited too long and take some quiet space for myself to listen to my heart about what I really need in that moment. It might be sleep, quiet, exercise, water, alone time, friend time, reading, meditating, etc. The key in my self-care is paying attention to myself and loving myself.

  85. Kippi Griffith says

    Self-care for me is something I really learned just a couple of years ago thanks to some great role models like Carrie Contey, Renee Trudeau, Elizabeth Lesser, Brene Brown and others who through their own lives and heart connections have helped me find myself again in the midst of being everything to everyone. I now Know I must fill my cup first before I can truly be present for my family and anyone else. Self-care is about letting go of the things that drain me and focusing on the things that sustain me.

  86. Jacquelyn says

    Self-care means filling my cup first so I feeling good so I can best serve those around me. It’s like on an airplane when you’re supposed to put on your oxygen mask first – if you don’t tend to your own urgent needs (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) then you won’t make it to tend to the needs of others. When I put my needs first and treat myself kindly, everyone around me benefits, too.

  87. Laura Jo Acuna Zavalney says

    Just as I nurtured my three babies with food, warmth, my body’s energy and positive regard, I do the same for me. Self-care is the love and energy I give to the beauty inside and outside of me.

  88. Self_care has been the difference between BEING alive and feeling dead inside. It has been the difference between living an angry, bitter, resentful, exhausted life and living a life of peace, freedom, and happiness. Self-care has opened doors and broken down walls that have been closed and confining for decades. Self-care is allowing me to live a life that I dreamed of and wished for. By starting a journey of self-care I have been able to genuinely, compassionately, gracefully give of myself to others more than I could ever have dreamed of. The self- awareness, self-worth, self-compassion, and self love that I have come to know empowers me to BE the person I always dreamed I could be and inspires me to introduce these concepts to others with the hope that other lives can be transformed in ways that most of us can only dream of. Self-care has been the difference between surviving everyday and LIVING everyday!

  89. For a very long time and still now Self care is something I need to better! I have always put the needs of loved ones, those in need, family, work before me. I have always felt the need to “take care” of others before me. In doing that, it became very unhealthy for me and those closest to me. It has taken me many years to be able to say it is time for me to have peace of mind, feel less anxiety, stress,sadness. It is OK for me to put me First and NOT feel guilty . I have made many changes in the last 6 months to better me. I don’t have to be afraid to allow myself the time for me. I have “cleaned” house on the people who spend time gossiping, and don’t really care about ME! I have worked hard and do every day to bring peace to my family and those who really care about me……

  90. Nora Zaldivar says

    Self care is being aware when my cup is draining and taking bold purposeful action to refill it.

  91. Self care allows me to be a better person to everyone around me. When my glass is full, I have more to give my clients, my staff, my children and my husband. I am more kind, patient and loving which feeds my soul in so many positive ways. Thank you Renee for teaching us all to slow down a bit in this crazy world!

  92. Tammy Knox Sandel says

    At 3:15

    I had a vision in which I was an angel. A brown angel. An angel-bird with brown and tan and white and red feathers, my colors like those of an enormous summer hawk.

    You were standing below me on the ground, crying silent tears, and I could see that you were both a woman and also a little girl.

    I landed behind you, softly, quietly, and you were too sad or too tired to even startle.

    You didn’t look at me, didn’t even look up, but you took a deep breath and gave a small nod.

    So I moved closer and enveloped you, wrapping my strong wings around the child and the woman. And they – you – leaned backwards into the white feathers of my breast and slept.

    To me, self-care is the moment when I am the little girl, the woman, and also the angel-bird for myself.

  93. Elaine Gritti says

    Self care is both a most simple concept and a most complicated reality. Over the years, what I think I’ve learned is that protecting myself does not mean cutting myself off; that gaining strength does not mean giving up tenderness; that while bad hours will happen, good hours must be savored. I’ve spent most of my adulthood (and youth!) caring for others — and have no intention of stopping that — but I also realize that I need to place myself in that context. Not first above all others, but no longer last, either. I will continue to share other’s pain, to help them journey; but I also will share my pain as well. None of us needs to bear our battles alone. I think this is what I’ve learned!

  94. Kelly Bancroft says

    For me self-care is having my cup filled so that I can do what i need to do in my work and family life and not feel drained and empty. Filling my cup involves taking some time to myself to exercise, having creative outlets, eating good food, and and whatever else I need to do to feel good and vibrant in my body and being.

  95. Self Care is filling up your gas tank first. Whatever that means to you. For me, it is exercise first thing in the morning. I have rediscovered swimming at our local pool at 6 am. It is amazing how much further I can go and how much fuller my life is and how much calmer I am, when I do this.

  96. For me, at this stage in my life (young child!!!), I take pleasure in self care where I can find it…regular pedicures (to support my regular runs, a BIG part of self care), getting my eyebrows threaded, spending time with other mothers and friends without kids (for balance!), attending my monthly book club ALWAYS, reading in bed on the rare occasions I can. I think it’s about being mindful of what I’m doing for myself at that moment, and enjoying it without wishing there was more time, or I could do it more often, or…just being present for the things I do for myself!

  97. Denise K. says

    Self care is feeding myself the necessary physical, mental, spiritual and social ‘diet’ that I need to be centered, inspired, and motivated. And recognizing that those needs shift on a daily basis! This week that included meditation, meeting a friend for coffee, a trip to the gym, taking a small step towards a business idea, taking the time to thoughtfully choose a teacher gift (cultivating a giving spirit), and scheduling my own mother’s day massage without waiting for someone else to do it.

  98. Self-care to me is the ability to love myself and do little special things for myself as I do for others without feeling guilty. Being self-aware….

  99. To listen to your heart when your mind is talking non stop. To hear messages that your body is giving and to respond with compassion and gratitude.

  100. While I don’t have an instant answer to the question, I suspect self-care is akin to self-mothering. I am about to embark on a week long experiment to simply focus on the healthiest habits for myself and my family: including prayer and meditation, being outside, exercise, creative time and wholesome food choices. A whole year sounds luscious.

  101. Carolann says

    My definition of self care is constantly evolving and changing. I have really only embraced this concept in my 40’s and it has profoundly shifted my perspective about life. In order for me to show as the highest expression of me and live an intentional, mindful life I have a great responsibility to tend to all of myself – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Some days this feels overwhelming – some days every part of me requires a lot of “tending” and my work, family obligations and life feel like they are not supporting this venture! I am learning that this where the real treasures are – it is about choice and finding what is nourishing for me rather than meeting outer expectations or conforming to societal norms. I see lots of progress but still struggle with making my needs a priority when my kids are struggling (and with an almost 15 year old – I am witnessing lots of struggling) so each day I count my blessings (which are many), set my intention for the day and try and enjoy this journey of embracing each moment life brings me even if my inclination is to push the painful, uncertain moments away. I so appreciate your work Renee and am grateful for the opportunity to win this wonderful self-care package. As we find our unique ways of being in the world, we need all of the guidance, support and nurturing that we are capable of receiving. To embrace all of me (especially the parts I find annoying, needy and greedy) I find that liberal doses of self acceptance, self love and compassion are a vital ingredient in taking care of me so I can really be present and emotional available to my girls, my husband, my friends and every being I encounter in my day. Thanks for leading the way in self nourishment : )

  102. Nancy Edwards says

    Self-care is the purposeful and deliberate path towards self-actualization through the choices one makes. That is, moving through each day, living life fully and finding meaning in each of those days. Self-care is the journey towards realizing one’s full potential – emotionally, spiritually, intellectually and physically. Doing so means letting go of negative internal messages, facing our fears and self-doubts head on, accepting our weaknesses as part of our own uniqueness, and discovering what makes us truly happy. Self-care is relishing in freeing your inner child and letting go of internal and societal pressures to always conform. There is no pursuit for perfection but rather the acceptance of our imperfections. It’s learning what drives us. It’s about not fighting to swim against the current, but rather letting go and enjoying the ride. Self-discovery is the first step on this journey with the realization that by living life fully in the present, we are able to be a better partner, parent, friend, and employee – a better person. In caring for ourselves, we accept that “Life isn’t about waiting for the Storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain” – and finally realizing that getting wet is part of the process.

  103. heather says

    I don’t do too much to be honest I’m so busy taking care of my family I don’t have a lot of me time. I just started to walk and ride my bike every other day. I quit drinking soda, and quit smoking about 3 years ago.

  104. Cindy Jones says

    Self-care has become important to me, as I am a single Mom of a ten year old girl. If I don’t take care of myself, it has a direct impact on my daughter. I need to make sure I am happy and content with myself, before I can take care and nurture her into the best young woman possible.

    Yoga and living in the moment has helped me realize how important the present is, and has helped me to stop worrying about the future. Letting go and not trying to control everything brings you an inner peace.

  105. I have chronic pain, I have raised 7 children, his, mine, and ours. I also have OCD, and it has taken me many years to learn to take care of myself. I. have learned that my house doesn’t need to be perfect and the kids don’t always need to come first. I sleep in if I need to, and I take long hot baths. I get a massage when I need to and some days I do nothing at all but read a good book. I work and I cook when I can, but I try to put me first and my family is good with that. Life is much simpler these days.

  106. Self-care for me is about slowing down and being mindful of what I say “yes” to. Being aware that I want to fill my life with people/work/activities that are a “yes” to more energy, more love and more joy. Thanks for asking, Renee!

  107. It’s simple. Self Care is THRIVING, not surviving.

  108. To me self care is making sure I get enough sleep and I have one morning a week that is slow. That morning I drink my coffee and write in my journal on the back porch, and don’t plan anything until 12:00 noon. It’s helps me to recharge.

  109. Self care is essential for every human being, regardless of age. As a work from home Mother of 12 year old triplet boys and 11 year old daughter, I can find myself getting anxious and stressed if I don’t properly take time to nourish my body and soul. It’s like the flight attendants tell us before you take off on any flight… Put your own oxygen mask on first before placing them on the kids. Amen! I will need to figure out definite ways to find some self care methods as we embark on a 7 month road trip in a motorhome across the US! Keep up the inspiring work!!

  110. self care means to settle with-in, press pause on focusing on the outside world and ask what do I need right now, today and what is possible for me to give to myself. It can be taking a few minutes of gratitude, a bath, calling a friend, a workout or deep breathing. Self care is not selfish, it is soul reviving!

  111. To me self care means listening and responding. First I must listen to myself when I get signals to slow down or speed up or rest or play. Then I must take it a step further and respond by doing what my body, mind or soul is asking for. Really honoring my inner voice and guidance.

  112. Amy Collier says

    Self-care is taking time to breathe, to pause, to feel gratitude, to notice and appreciate myself and the positive things that Love/God is accomplishing through me. Sometimes self-care is a cleansing out or an emptying so there is room for the fresh and new. Sometimes it’s a patching/mending. Sometimes it’s a filling.
    It’s taking the balcony view for a while.

  113. Franziska says

    Self care at its most basic: breathing, and being aware of it. Deep and nurturing breaths. If I have time for more, self compassion: lovingly acknowledging that some things are difficult. Mothering myself in a tough situation. And beyond that, anything that brings spontaneous joy: playing with a dog, smelling the roses, laughing with my loved ones, taking a walk. Happy Mother’s Day to all of us out there who are nurturing and caring for others!

  114. Jennifer Begley says

    Self care is practicing gratitude and self compassion daily. Compassion fatigue creeps up on us and can be hard to bounce back if we fall too far behind. Practicing gratitude and allowing myself to feel compassion for myself first allows me to feel care for. I see it as putting the oxygen mask on first…..I need to help myself so I can be prepared to help others.

  115. Self-care is, to me, the most important aspect of being able to care for others. I care for myself by making sure I have time alone to think, to pray, and to reflect. I also treat myself once in a while to something special, even if it’s something small like a cupcake, just to ensure that my self-gifts show my inner self that it is appreciated. Self-care = Self-love.

  116. Self care involves entering this contest to learn more about self care! Thanks Renee for the opportunity.

  117. I love my family more than anything. To me, self-care means I get one more person to love in this world- and that person is Me! It also means slowing down in order to live authentically , unafraid to express myself as loving, grateful, honest, naive, imperfect and insecure,
    and in need of care too. Life is too precious to let it slip by without noticing and celebrating the miracle of being here
    right now. I think that by practicing self care I can be free to become the Mother, wife , daughter, sister, and friend that I am meant to be.

  118. What does self care mean to me? Self care is a subtle all inclusive love of self and connection with intuition for guidance. Nothing gets in the way. It is all love all the time. This translates into a better me for myself, my family and my world.
    Thank you for the opportunity of this incredible giveaway. It brings warmth to my soul to even consider the possibility of participating.

  119. Self care for me is leaving space in my life to breathe, move, listen, and be in the moment. And it’s learning to shift the tone of the conversation in my head to one that is kind and compassionate.

  120. Ana-Maria Medina says

    Self-care means yoga time and time for every aspect of who I am- a sister, a friend, a swimmer, an avid reader, someone who laughs, someone who needs down time, giving myself to find the childlike wonder in every day mysteries, loving nature, embracing life…

  121. Viki R-G says

    For me, self care is being present and listening to my intuition and taking action. It means to value the little graditude moments as well as the big ah ha’s. To remind myself that i am surrounded by love, value, an appreciation. The main lesson I’m learning and working on is setting and respecting commitments for/with myself i.e. going to the gym, taking time out for myself. Being a wife and mother it has been easy for me to take a back seat.

  122. Self care means self love and self acceptance. It means being able to make the kind of difference I desire to make in the world because I’ve learned to nurture myself so well my body, mind, and spirit can “go the distance.”

  123. Marnie DeGuire says

    Self Care to me is a journey in being mindful as much as possible and listening to my heart. Self Care is about putting my oxygen mask on first so that I can be good to all I love.. It is about what I want my obituary to say and not worrying too much about my resume.. Self Care is taking one step at a time in this wonderful journey called life!

  124. Self-care means to me…accepting my self – flaws & all. Taking time daily to breathe and slow down so that I can feel close to the real me. It means accepting what’s not in my control & letting go of being responsible for the actions of others.

  125. self care means getting enough sleep, and taking real time for myself, to decompress, when i need it and frequently. doesn’t happen enough!

  126. Jenn Wooten says

    Self-care means giving from an overflowing abundance rather than from an empty well.

  127. To me self care means finding that true person inside each one of us. As I discovered in my life that being a mother was the most blissful experience but being a mother is also not easy task. Women plays so many roles in life and doing all that her true identity is lost somewhere. For me I think everything starts when you are connect to your divine source within which can guide you to discover your own true potential by accepting every part of oneself by loving unconditionally just the way she pours unconditional love to her kids every women needs to love herself too . And by discovering that hidden love and awareness women can become the most beautiful being in the world for their family and children. As women is the thread who nurtures and keeps the whole family together in her best ability, And if she connects within to her spirit and bring out her own true identity and her true potential life get very unique and beautiful for all her family and children by just her presence.

  128. Self Care for Rebecca – Saying no, taking time in the morning to piddle and go slow when it is quiet, marking days on my calendar for nothing and let whatever happens happen, and most of all my trips alone to West Texas or Colorado. As an only child the only real time I feel complete quiet and can hear all of my thoughts is when I am really off and alone. Driving with the sunroof open and just a lot of open road. No time constraints, no talking, no work, no kids, husband or pets. Arriving and setting everything down and just breathing my own breath and my own thoughts at my own pace. Picking my hammock, reading, eating what I want and the thoughts and emotions that rise up are so rich and amazing. That is Rebecca’s self care and it is required every 3-4 months. Moi

  129. Self-care for me is being aware of my own needs: to slow down, breathe, rest, laugh, trust, and ask for help. It also means being kind and forgiving of yourself. Being grateful for the beauty of life and the journey.

  130. Julie Miggins says

    A mother’s self-care is simply a non-negotiable for a balanced, happy home!

  131. Kristi Cleveland says

    To me, self care is giving myself permission to pause and reflect upon the world around me. It’s about nurturing that inner child and quieting the inner critic while surrounding myself with positive light. Throughout the PRG process, the concept of self-care has evolved for me. It has gone from something that seemed at one time un-doable, to something I do every day to varying degrees without even thinking about it.

  132. Angela Lively says

    Self care means to me… Taking a moment to question if I’m really doing what I want to be doing in my life.

  133. Angela P. Cistone says

    To me, self care is living in the moment, feeling alive and grateful for all the beauty around us and within our families. I celebrate myself and my huge accomplishments in my little ones’ lives.

  134. Self care is taking time to rejuvenate in whatever form your soul needs, while not feeling guilty. Actually, it’s about knowing and feeling that you deserve and need those moments . Self care is also saying no to over commitments and being okay with you in the present state.

  135. Self-care to me is allowing myself to live in a space where I am nurturing me. Here I am doing the things that allow me to know and honor me on all levels–physical, emotional, spiritual and mental. This allows me to in turn show up in the world in an authentic and giving way. Self-care is the foundation of connection to others and the ability to give in a selfless way. When I know who I am and I nurture my essence, I can show up in the world in a way that allows me to know others and nurture their essence. I am putting on my oxygen mask first which in turn allows me to assist others. When I do this, I am more fully grounded and award. Self care always leads me to gratitude.

  136. Beth Castellow says

    Self-care is something I have to fight for. Against the agencies who value the bottom line over the mission, against the voice in my head that tells me I’m not doing enough, and against my family, who sees self-care as doing nothing. Over and over again I have to take a stand for self-care, and start replenishing what has been exhausted.

  137. Emily Cring says

    Self care, for me, means making sure I get to bed early enough to get up at dawn to practice yoga before the kids wake up, making it an absolute necessity that my husband share child care responsibilities, having self-compassion in all body and food related issues, giving myself permission to follow my heart rather than the money in my career path, and not feeling guilty about serving kid food like grilled cheese and soup for dinner for the whole family just because it’s quick, easy and yummy!

  138. Juliellen Simpson-Vos says

    self care means taking the time to listen to yourself and act on what your body, mind, heart ,soul and spirit are telling you. if you need to rest, rest. if you need to run, run. if you need to cry, cry. eat, eat.
    be. and lean into your fullest potential with the great hope that you can.

  139. Self-care has now become the most important thing in my life!

    Sure, it may be easy for an only child, who lives alone, works from home and is single (and also a Leo!) to say that, but I also care for my 90-year-old mom nearby, cared for both my aging parents for the past 10 years (up until my dad passed away 2 years ago also at 90) and have an active professional and creative life filled with family, friends and volunteer work and many outside interests. But if/when I meditate daily, take time to pray, journal and exercise or just plain turn-off and RELAX on a regular basis – it makes a remarkable difference in my life, my energy and my ability to make decisions that are peaceful, thoughtful , focused and enlightened.

    Everyone and everything in my life benefits from this, including me. When I am more centered, relaxed, focused, peaceful and healthy, I have more energy and am able to make healthy choices and trust my intuition and the wisdom within. I must personally thank you, Renee Trudeau, because both your retreats, books, Personal Renewal Groups and just knowing you, have helped teach me how to do this by your example! I can’t wait to grow in my practice, as well as come to more retreats, hopefully this one!

  140. For me self-care is about slowing down and stopping to breathe. I recently downloaded a meditation app so I can do a five minute breathing session in the car when I’m out and about. It really helps.

  141. For me self-care is doing my best to live in my expansive heart and support my family, and clients in doing the same. When my heart is open I am living in the best possible energy. One which supports me in listening to the guidance of my highest wisdom, one in which grace and compassion flow to me, and through me. One which celebrates life, beauty, and all things and looks for the possibility, opportunity, and good in all things.

    Self care is love itself, and to quote someone I admire, Sara Paddison, “When people fall in love with “love” itself, a new world has begun”.

    Self care allows our light to shine through. As Jesus said, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it gives light to all that are in the house.” (Matthew 5:14)

    “Only through sincere love and care from the core of being in the heart, can we enter into God’s design and co-create at the holographic level of the DNA. Sara Paddison.”

    I do my best to live this and for me, these things are self care, and so very much more.

    With caring heart,


  142. Honestly, I’m not sure what my definition of self-care is. After my mom died of cancer when I was 8, I felt the responsibility to pick up the pieces and take care of everyone else. It’s a feeling that has always stuck. Now, with 2 children of my own, I am realizing that I need to start taking better care of myself in order to be the best mother I can. Living on one income we have a budget in place and we are living simply. But, I really need to learn how to take better care of myself. I’ve started taking baby steps, simplifying our meals and switching to real food, trying to be more active everyday, and following my passion for writing. I could use any and all help! Love this giveaway!!!

  143. Self care to me means slowing down and letting go of some of my less important shoulds and listening to my own inner wisdom. I pay much more attention to the messages my body sends me instead of ignoring them. It is as much about self love and self compassion instead of driving at a speed faster than I was meant to go.

  144. @-->--Linda says

    Self-Care is being able to put yourself in Time-Out from the daily responsibilities so that you can let go, recharge, and fill up your soul with peace. It’s the ability to take the time to love yourself, because there is only one you!

  145. Self care means taking the time to do the things that nurture me — dancing, yoga, kundalini, getting out into nature, and spending time with friends — and keeping these as regular commitments on my calendar, not just activities for special occasions or crisis care.

  146. Rachel Carpenter says

    Self care is being a best friend to yourself. Self care feels like a warm hug from your mom. Self care takes effort, but is abundantly rewarding. My personal needs change daily. I may need a good sweaty work out one day, but a quiet afternoon with a book the next. An occasional massage is wonderful, but has little lasting effect. I need continual doses of care for myself over the course of the day. Eating well, breathing nice deep breaths, calling my mom or sisters, dancing with my kids, snuggling up with a heavy blanket in a calm room, praying, giving myself permission to not finish something or to finish something imperfectly. I’m an occupational therapist and work in inpatient rehabilitation. It’s crucial that patients relax and focus on their own healing. Often patients are anxious and overwhelmed with worry about family members that they need to care for or worried to be a burden on someone. I encourage them to let it all go for a little while and focus on themselves to promote healing. Self-care is essential to us all.

  147. A Perling says

    Self care means self love.

  148. self-care means slowing down and *really* taking the time to connect with self, go within, listen and love yourself enough to take the actions and make the changes necessary to bring a sense of ease and happiness into life…taking care of self ultimately means taking care of others.

    i love my work–it is heart-centered work, but i find myself feeling depleted and anxious at the end of every week and i would love the opportunity to deeply care for myself because i know that my self-care would directly serve the wonderful children and families who i serve.

  149. Self care means loving myself. It’s a practice I am still developing and learning to weave some form of self care into each day. It’s also turning my nurturing side inward to care for myself as well as I care for others. Such a magical and deep journey.

  150. Michelle says

    To me, self-care means practicing listening to one’s inner wisdom, while allowing it to evolve and fluctuate throughout different phases of life, and cultivating creative ways to meet those personal needs and longings as if they are as important as anyone else’s that you deeply love.

  151. Karen Bagdonas says

    When I first thought about this question, I thought about eating right and exercising and getting enough sleep, but then I realized that the real way I care for myself is to breathe. Just stop and breathe. Take that second to check in with where I am and connect with my body. That practice means the world to me.

  152. To me, self care means maintaining my physical, emotional, and spiritual health so that I can be at my best when serving others. It also means taking my own advice. 🙂

  153. There is much to learn from our elders — those from very long ago. They have taught me the true meaning of self-care. The importance of the care of self goes back to the Greeks (epmeleia heautou) and Romans (dura sui). Socrates told young people to “care about themselves.” He believed the care of self should be like a thorn in our sides, ever driving us to restless movement whose goal is continuous concern about our well-being. Plato’s Apology suggests that withdrawing into oneself, remaining in the company of oneself, retiring into the self, seeking one’s pleasure in oneself, being the friend of oneself and respecting oneself are the catalysts for then reaching out towards others. The philosophers of the ancients knew that self-care demands that we turn from the outside world to go inside — in towards ourselves — to attend to what takes place in our hearts and minds. We must go within through meditation, reflection and the examination of conscience; we must take responsibility for ourselves to purify , transform and transfigure our souls. It is only then that we can turn our energies to others, our passions and the world around us.

  154. Katie Hayes says

    Emotional, spiritual, and even physical self preservation. It means loving myself back to balance and sometimes back to health. At times self care means forgiving myself for not remembering how important I am especially to me. But most of all it means letting go and knowing that the world will not come to an end if I take a nap, go for a run, or read a book in the bathtub

  155. Self-care to me means to frequently stop and listen to my body, to be fully present with myself and love myself unconditionally. If it means I have to go into the bathroom for a few minutes to look in the mirror, breathe and reconnect I do it. My alignment is important, my sanity matters, I matter. And when I know this I have much more to give and share with others. 🙂

  156. It is the most difficult but important single thing i can do to be a loving parent.

    I recently became a single mom with no warning to 2 young children, no family within 1500 miles and a 3.5 day commute to work. In the weeks that I don’t participate in self care the kids suffer. In the weeks I fulfill my self care rituals, they blossom even through the difficulties of their new life.

    So hard to rise above the struggles to fulfill, but so important.

  157. Self care means taking the time to tune into what my soul is saying. Every day. It has translated into me saying no more (like many have said) so I have space to say yes to those things that really make me come alive. It means listening to my body through all the choices I make. It requires focus, patience and lots of gentleness with myself. It means acknowledging and valuing my gifts in the world. It means being persistent and keeping the flame of faith alive when I truly believe in something (even when the world around me tells me it isn’t true or important.)…There’s so much. And it’s a journey that is constantly unfolding in my life. So beautiful. Completely worthwhile. And a message that needs to be shared. Thank you for the question! xo

  158. Kristin Herard says

    When I read Renee’s book “Nuturing the Soul of your Family” she described self care in such a beautiful way. I was moved to tears when I realized that I hadn’t been doing this for a very long time. My family’s life shifted a bit after I read this book. I was so inspired to try the things she spoke about. Some of the areas were hard changes to make and some days felt like an uphill struggle.
    Then, in January, I went on my first retreat to Kripalu, where Renee truly changed my life. I remember her asking all of us, “who here understands self care?” I was about to raise my hand thinking ‘yea, I got this’ but then I realized I would have been one of of 60 women to do so and I changed my mind. I thought, ‘didn’t anyone else read her book before coming?’ Now, I see that understanding what self care is and embodying it are two very different things.
    Before leaving for retreat, I didn’t feel like I deserved self care. My three children and husband always came first. I had lost touch with many of my girlfriends because I felt like I couldn’t take time away from my family. I knew I was striving very hard to be the best mom I could be but, by the end of the day, I always felt I was falling short.
    Renee’s retreat teaches women to let go of all those “short comings”… To forgive yourself for the past, and truly love who you are “warts and all”! I did not realize how dark a place I was in until I saw the other side and learned that there’s a whole different way of being. When I returned home, although I met a lot of resistance from my husband (which I expected), my children saw a beautiful side of me they had probably never seen before.
    The next month was like magic. I naturally made better choices for myself, and for my children, because I truly felt I deserved to live that better life. All the things Renee talks about in her book (unplugging the TV, getting outside in nature more, eating well…) it wasn’t an uphill battle anymore. I was flowing with my life in a way I had never done before.
    I am extremely happy to say that I have been sober since my January visit to Kripalu. That is a feat I thought I’d NEVER accomplish. I come from a background of alcoholism and I had the mind set that ‘every mom deserves a drink after a long, hard day’ which for me was every day. The ease that came upon my returning home is not there anymore. I need constant reminders to slow down, to practice self care, to not fall back into old habits. Two quotes I find comfort in and always go back to are, “Remember how far you’ve come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be.” And, “If you set your feet in the right direction all you have to do is keep walking”.
    So, I’m not where I “want to be” but I know my feet are pointed in the right direction. It’s not always easy, but it’s definitely worth it. I urge every women to go on one of Renee’s “A New Way of Being” retreats. I was lucky enough to be gifted this from my parents but there are some things in life you can’t put a price tag on. And return to retreats as often as possible, whether it be to Kripalu, or a day hike with your wise self, because it is very easy to get caught up in old habitual ways of thinking and being.
    To me, self care means waking up early and finding the time to meditate. It means journaling when times get tough and knowing I won’t stay down forever. It means dancing for the pure joy of doing so and connecting with nature whenever I can. It means staying true to myself even when all odds are against me. Thank you so much Renee. I hope to touch others lives in the way you touched mine. I can proudly say that I am the doing the best job I can at being a mom, and I’m also a much better friend and wife. People are so comforted by a sincere, open heart, and they want to be around you more. If only my heart could always be in this space, but, if I can end with another favorite quote… “You can’t control the waves, but you CAN learn to surf”.

  159. Catherine says

    I am on a journey myself of self renewal, and it feels great! It is so Important to slow down, take deep breaths and to be present in the moment. By starting to take care of myself first I have been able to strengthen my relationships with my kids, husband, family, friends and coworkers. Pretty much implement the lessons I have learned (from Renee’s books) to strengthen all encounters! I am learning to own all feelings, whether good or bad. I am playing again and it’s fun!

  160. Self care means not giving my power away.

  161. Self care means being really gentle with myself, and offering myself at least as much compassion and care as I give others.

  162. Self-care means to me loving myself enough to check in with my needs on a regular basis and answer the call to nurture myself when and where it’s needed. When I am tuned in to my body, my emotions, my mind and my heart, I know what is off balance and how to bring my soul back into alignment. It is the slowing down enough to check in and listen and then actually do what is being called to be done, that is the greatest act of self-care.

  163. Self-care means asking the question, ‘what do I NEED right now?’

  164. Self care to me means remembering to honor my creative self. To allow myself time to be creative and get lost in the process. To me that gives me so much satisfaction. As women we were born to create – whether we’re mothers of children or not. It’s also wonderful to see my daughter completely embrace her creativity. And of course, self care means allowing rest. That’s a big one that I had to learn over the years. Thanks so much!!!

  165. Self-care to me means knowing when to stop something, knowing when to start something and recognizing when I’m just procrastinating. All together it’s part of knowing myself so I can know and help others. I wish I could say I effectively practice that!

  166. Self-Care for me means Gratitude

    Each night before slipping off to sleep I journal what I am most grateful for. Since beginning this practice, it became easy to allow myself to see nature as something to be grateful for….a beautiful sunrise, sunset, blue sky, and puffy clouds to name a few.

    It was then easy to transition into the gratitude of silence. Turning off the t.v., radio, and “listen to my soul.” As silence became part of my personal self-care, I began to hear what I needed. I was naturally gravitated to a new community of teachers and friends who continue to teach me about “Living.” I can now see that I was not living before having a gratitude practice… I just existed. I have added beautiful rituals into my life and this wonderful new community of people has been generous in sharing their wisdom on how to have a more quality life with understanding that I deserve to nourish myself with quality food and exercise. I am able to give more now that I have learned how to take care of myself first.
    Thank you for asking this important question

  167. “Self care” means giving my inner voice a megaphone so it drowns out the shouts of all the cluttered voices vying for my attention.

  168. I believe self-care is a way of life. Always incorporating meaningful self growth activities or habits that help us stay sane, refreshed and happy. It is anything we can do as a mama, as a human being that nurtures our own human development. A work out for the mind and soul. If we care for ourselves deeply and love ourselves fully it will extend and radiate to all around us.

  169. Dannielle Baker says

    To care for oneself, you need to love your self 100% inside and out. It is having a heart full of gratitude and each day taking the time to make a deposit into your personal savings account, not of money, but of love. Love ones soul, mind and body and health each day and show this love by doing something. Know oneself well enough to be able to take stock of your own cortisol levels and know what works for you to keep them low. Only by doing these things can you truly love others and love this world.

  170. Lubna S. says

    Finding spaces amongst the chaos of life. Sitting with the realities of our lives vs resisting the truths.

  171. Christine says

    Self care means pursuing my own desires without any concern whatsoever regarding the judgment of others. Self care means listening to and heeding my intuition when it tells me where to go and what to do.

  172. Janette Brown-Berkey says

    For me, self-care means being kind and gentle with myself, being compassionate and loving with myself. Self-care means to forgive myself as readily as I forgive my children, my family and my friends and to be proud of myself for each step that I take that moves me forward in my self growth. Self-care means to be the cheerleader to myself as I am to my children and friends,it means to give myself love and respect and to only accept love and respect from others. Self-care means to take time out to be quiet , to reflect and to enjoy my own company.

  173. Self care to me is finding a deep awareness within my body through stillness to find out what I’m really needing in that moment. Reminding myself that it may not manifest immediately but setting the framework for giving back to myself. It’s asking for what I need even when I feel the guilt seep in and then patting myself on the back when I move through it and ask anyways. It shows up when I’m truly enjoying my moments of solitude. Self care is doing whatever it is that inspires me and restores a state of balance in my life. It’s tuning out the voices and tapping into my core desires. I enjoy dancing with Deb, bodywork and massages, bubble baths, having the freedom to have an empty house and shout mantra from the rooftops, it’s a leisurely walk in the woods with my favorite music, it’s having time to look at beads, crystals, flowers and plants without having a little one tugging at my sleeve and working in the garden. Self care is self love.xo

  174. Michelle LeRiche says

    Self Care: When I attend or teach a yoga class, I come out feeling ten times better than when I started…it feeds my soul. Taking a three hour nap on a rainy day. Curling up in my favorite recliner with a fiction book for an hour or two is decadent. Driving in the car in absolute silence is refreshing. And stolen quiet moments when my busy kids will lay still and let me stroke their hair while we watch a movie or snuggle in bed with a book. Asking my husband to rub my back. Eating a great meal slowly with a bottle of wine and the easy conversation of family or friends. Dance party with my kids. Why don’t I do this stuff more often??

  175. I am coming to understand that self-care includes being true to you, living your truth no matter how hard it may be or you may perceive it to be on others, taking time & space to nourish your body, mind and soul while honouring who you are -so that you can serve and interact with others from a place of compassion & an inward-sourced joy.

  176. Self care is about taking time every day to check in with my core desired feelings and ask myself if my actions are in line with my desired feelings. As long as I take even one small action towards fulfilling those feelings, I know I’m honoring my true authentic self and moving forward on my spiritual journey.

  177. Patti Obrist says

    Self care for me involves allowing my self. Allowing myself to say “yes” more often. Allowing myself to say “and” not “or”. Allowing myself to expand and breathe deeply when I feel myself constricted or shrinking. By giving myself permission to just be me is the best self care package I could ask for.

  178. I’m not sure if this is how to enter the giveaway as there were a lot of redirects and it was a bit confusing , so I’m hoping this is it! Self care to me is doing thing for myself that make me feel good about who I am. Something that feeds my soul and makes the world around me a more pleasant place to be. Sometimes its simply reading a book by the lake, other times its practicing for roller derby, but as long as its something I choose for myself and enjoy doing it then it lightens my load and relieves some stress even if just for a short while.

  179. My self care includes meditation daily, I feel the best when I do it twice a day, which I am trying to get back into. But the biggest thing I do to relax is a nice hot bubble bath! I can let all the stresses just float away and since I am blind it is easy to read since I just listen to my books or beautiful music. Baths are something I try to take every Sunday night so I am relaxed and ready for Mondays, sometimes a bath is needed during the week but I find it is a great way to start any week.

  180. Danielle says

    WOW, what a generous and thoughtful gift! It would be a dream come true to win. I stumbled across your blog during some soul searching a little over a year ago. I went out and bought and read Nurturing the Soul of Your Family immediately and it has been on my nightstand ever since – dog-eared and underlined. I reach for it often and fantasize about the idea of leading self renewal groups – trusting that when the time is right I will find a way. I can’t help but wonder if now is that time?

    For me self-care is deeply tied to self-worth. Neither are were ever modeled for me. I was taught to be the kind of woman who would give everything away and then feel guilty that I didn’t have anything else to give. I dated and then married a man who would suck the life out of me and then ask for more. We had custody of his daughter and I raised her while working full time and he came and went as he pleased. We were a perfect match – me giving and him taking – until we had another child and I suffered from severe postpartum depression, found an amazing therapist and began to set some boundaries for myself. When our high needs son was fourteen months old my husband announced that he wanted a divorce, siting that he knew something was wrong with our marriage when I wanted to stay in a hotel overnight by myself. Ironically, that single overnight stay at a Holiday Inn, less than an hour away from our home (just in case my family needed me), was one of the first times I had ever done something for myself. It took so much courage to ask for that time away from my family to rest and reflect.

    My son is six and a half now and it has been long road to get to where we are today. I slowly developed healthy boundaries with my ex-husband but still struggle with setting boundaries with my son and with my job (I am the director of a small non-profit). I see much clearer now though that the quality of my health, my relationships, my parenting and my leadership are all a direct reflection of how much I value and take care of myself. I want to be part of the shift that brings us back into alignment so that we are able to live more authentically – with love, grace and intention. I hope you will consider choosing me so that I can teach what I most need to learn and help other women find their way to a healthier, happier life.

  181. Jennifer Vizina says

    What does self care mean to me? It means to lighten up and remember this is a temporary but thrilling journey and to cut myself some slack for at least making it this far.

  182. Michelle says

    Currently I am staring at a baby monitor watching my little one sleep and already feeling sad about an upcoming work trip and leaving my little guy for the first time. It makes me realize that self-care is finding a balance in my life, not losing myself but being myself in every moment. Not being sad already for a trip that is in the future but being in this moment right now and going to bed instead of staring at the monitor. So much easier said then done would love to learn from those who have done this already and hopefully one day help other women.

  183. Self Care to me means, taking steps to be kind and loving to my needs and feelings. Always listening to myself and doing the best that I can to remind myself that I am perfect just as is. Loving myself to put myself a priority, tending to my needs, and taking time out to listen to what is coming up for me that does not serve me. Self care means to be accept all of me and always put my happiness as a priority so that I can be my best self. Self care also means, eating well, sleeping well, reading well, speaking well, meditating well and taking the best steps for me. <3

  184. Congratulations to Kathy Slattengreen from Seattle, WA with for winning our Year-of-Self-Care giveaway! Want to find out about more opportunities like this, receive weekly life balance tips and hear of special offers on retreats/self-care events with Renee? Email Julie at reneetrudeau dot com and she can add you to our mailing list. Tomorrow’s blog post (which I’m crafting now) is on my 10 favorite self-care practices that help get back on track! PS Also join us every day on for a community dialogue on how to slow down and live more intentionally.


  1. […] all 8 winners at random on Friday, May 9, 2014. Those lucky 8 people  will also be entered in a grand prize drawing worth $2,700, a week-long self renewal retreat at Omega Institute, sponsored by Renee Trudeau and Associates. […]