Struggling with self-care? Start here

“Self-care—the art of attuning and responding to your needs and desires, moment to moment—is not about adding something to your to-do list, it’s about cultivating a new way of being with yourself.” – Renee Trudeau


Having a laugh with my good friends/teaching assistants and avid self-care devotees Valerie and Nicole while leading a retreat at 1440 Multiversity in CA. They help me remember to care for myself while also supporting others. Join us back here Oct. 4-6!

Last week I spoke at a women’s life balance event and afterwards I visited with an attendee who asked, “I know self-care is important, but I have no idea what I need and I’m not even sure where to start!” Can you relate?

I loved this question and I offered my new friend the following three “baby steps” to help her cultivate the ability to check-in on what she needs in the moment:

  1. Morning body scan. When you first wake up in the morning, pause before you jump out of bed. Close your eyes, take some deep breaths and slowly scan your body from the crown of your head down to your shoulders, your torso, your hips, knees, feet and reflect on What do I most need today? It could be in the physical, emotional or spiritual realm. Sometimes my body says, “Kale!” and often it’s, “You need to cancel that meeting, you’re over-scheduled.”
  2. Tune-in. Research in the area of self-compassion tells us that nurturing self-touch has a significant impact on our ability to feel kinder towards ourselves. Throughout your day, pause, put a hand on the center of your chest and ask, “What do I need?”  The more you do this, the more natural it starts to feel.  You can even do this in a work meeting or in the midst of an argument; no one will even know that you’re practicing self-nurturing.
  3. Quickie” journaling. My favorite “quickie” journaling exercise to do whenever I feel out of alignment, overwhelmed or sad is simply pausing to check-in on these three questions (I keep a little journal and pen in my car and in my purse at all times): How do I feel? What do I need? What do I want? Women around the world who participate in our monthly Personal Renewal Groups have been asking these three simple questions for 17 years – it’s amazing how effective they are for helping you quickly reconnect to your needs and desires.


If you’re just starting a self-care practice and this is new to you, remember: baby steps, be curious and invite in self-compassion. Believing you are worthy of self-care and that it’s your birthright is a radical stance and takes courage. Ask for help –I’d love to support you–and surround yourself with people who are self-care advocates like my friends Valerie and Nicole in the photo above. This makes all the difference in how you experience the journey (read more about the value of support)!


women's retreat

Cathedral Park at the Bishop Jones Center where our May 10th 9-4 New Way of Being Mother’s Day weekend retreat will be held. Register now!

  • Hire me to plan/facilitate a custom workshop or retreat for your company, team or organization on life balance, resiliency or self-renewal in 2019-2020. I’ve been speaking professionally for 25+ years on work-life balance and managing your energy.  My clients include Fortune 500 companies, national conferences, nonprofits and organizations. Learn more and email me at workshops at reneetrudeau dot com with questions.
  • Craving authentic community and want to find (or create) your tribe? Learn more about our global sisterhood of RTA-Certified Facilitators  and empower/support women in your community! More here on how to become a RTA-Certified Facilitator and join our inner circle ($100 off through 2/28 for training; learn more + includes private coaching with me).
  • Just announced! Join me May 1oth from 9-4 in San Antonio, TX at the stunning, peaceful, 19-acre Cathedral Park at the Bishop Jones Center for our New Way of Being: Women’s Self-Renewal Retreat (Mother’s Day Weekend); check out the bring-a-friend specials. Learn more.

Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by life balance coach/author/speaker and self-care evangelist Renée Peterson Trudeau. Passionate about helping men and women experience balance through the art/science of self-care, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, US News & World Report, Spirituality & Health and more. Thousands of women in ten countries are becoming RTA-Certified Facilitators and leading/joining self-renewal groups based on her award-winning self-care curriculum.  She is the author of three books on life balance and mindfulness including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 16-year-old son. More on her background here.

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