"Stay true to yourself and do everything out of love"

Bijgewerkt: 24 dec 2019

A few months ago I asked through Insta stories if someone wanted to swap houses, I thought that could be fun! A friend of mine replied: “Anouk, you need to call Michelle!” So I did. We met over the phone and decided to go for it. When we met in person we immediately hit it off, we even forgot to exchange keys. I believe she is an inspiration by just being who she is, the reason I asked her for this interview.

Foto: Stefan van Ruijen

Was there a specific moment in your life when you felt self-care is very important?

"Yes, when I had to stay in bed with a high fever and a kidney infection. I was sweating and shivering back and fort. That was the moment when I took self-care more serious. This was about two years ago. I wasn't used to take time for myself and I was always very busy. My body literally told me to slow down by putting me into bed. Afterwards I started to be more mindful about my planning and I take steps back when I feel I need to."

I am taking steps back more and more but I still see myself getting ahead of myself every now and then. I notice this when I am on my yoga mat when I remind myself about what life is about: Enjoying every single moment! Even when that moment isn't that pleasant there is always a way to be grateful and take it as a lesson. Self-care is the only way to stay close to myself and the only way to connect with other people. Because if you're not connected with yourself, how can you connect with others?"

What does taking care of yourself mean to you?

"Taking care of myself means being kind to my mind and body. Take enough rest, eat well, stretch, move, dance, listen to good music and do things that I love. It also means being mindful about things that make me feel bad like negative thoughts, toxic people, bad food and being lazy."

What do you do when you feel the need to take care of yourself?

"Well, my body always gives me signs like a headache or an inflamed skin. When I am suffering from that, I cancel appointments and take an evening or even a full day doing nothing. I try to just be in that moment by listening to music or wandering around. When my skin gets inflamed I make sure I eat no high sugar foods and I take more rest whenever I can."

"Also, I love to surf or just be close to the sea. So whenever I feel bad I make sure I take a walk to the beach or I put on my wet-suit. I have to say I do this less often lately! So this question reminds me to take care of my body and mind more. I also love yoga. Being on my mat reminds me that 'just being' is good enough. Breathing consciously and exercise is a good way to connect with myself."

What is your TCOYS tip to other people?

Take the time to tune in with yourself every single day. You can do this through meditation, breathing consciously, wandering around or sitting still for a while. Feel where you are at and notice what you need. Stay true to yourself and do everything out of love.

Michelle is a dietitian at Appèl and the founder of Seasandstories. October 13th she organizes an event in Amsterdam: ‘De wereld om je heen, die maak je zelf (You are the one who creates the world around you). Get your ticket before it is sold out!

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