I cannot find the right words to describe this amazing young woman. She has a warm heart, an amazing drive to help out others and an eye that keeps you sharp. Then I haven't even mentioned her amazing voice. She chases her dream without losing her purpose to help out others. At a super young age she went to Greece to help out in the Refugee Camps, she still helps refugees through the Present Movement, the place we met. We worked together for over a year, what a party it was! Because I see her as someone taking care of others that much, I was very curious to her self-care story. I am happy to share her lovely words with you!
Roos, was there a specific moment in your life when you felt self-care is very important?
"Oh yes, more than once to be honest. I get a lot of energy out of doing as much as possible, but I'm always balancing on a very thin line. The first time I crashed due to really overworking was a few months after returning from Greece, where I spent five months working as a volunteer in refugee camps. Right after I returned to the Netherlands, without having a break and time to process what I'd done and seen, I started my graduation year at the Conservatoire of Amsterdam. Somehow I managed to keep going for three months, but then one day I couldn't get up anymore. From that moment on I've definitely been trying to invest more in self-care, but it's still work in progress."
What does taking care of yourself mean to you?
"Getting enough sleep, eating well, working out, making time for myself and giving myself some slack (I can't do everything!). But most of all: listening to my body. When I am very busy I tend to not notice any signs my body is giving me, and it always leaves me ill. I think taking care of myself is checking in with my body regularly and responding to what it tells me."
What do you do when you feel the need to take care of yourself?
"I love spending time in nature, it makes me feel very calm, alive and creative. In my hometown, The Hague, I love spending time at the beach and in Sorghvlietpark. I live in London currently and it's been a bit more difficult to find the same. I do take a walk in the park near my house every day. Furthermore I really enjoy reading and being creative: making music, writing, drawing, painting, photographing, filming..."
"When I feel that I need to take care of myself I plan in an evening for myself where I do one of those things (or all of them). Oh, and, very important: no phone allowed! That little thing has the power to stress me out very easily."
What is your TCOYS tip to other people?
"Discover what helps you to reduce stress. I really believe that everyone has their own thing. Just because everyone's doing yoga and meditation doesn't mean that you have to do that too. I've been trying to meditate for months (every morning!) and I suck at it. I really do. I get way more relaxed when walking, exercising, or when I do something that triggers my creativity. It takes some investment but once you've found your way to relax, start planning it in and see how it helps you."
"Also, I want to highlight the power of doing something for someone else. It could be visiting your grandmother who spends most time alone, volunteering for a cause that you find important, inviting a newcomer to your home for dinner... Whatever suits you. Investing in someone else gives a feeling of purpose, so in the end it's also an investment in yourself. I really feel that we need to look around more, and take care of the people who we share this earth with."