[Wish you could slow down and find more ease? Did you know that slow living can help you to stress less and enjoy mom life more? Here’s why you should be practicing a slow living lifestyle as a mom.]
Do you feel rushed by life and just generally overwhelmed, Mama?
If you are ready to slow down and create more space for you in your day, you are not going to want to miss this episode of The Soul Care Mom Podcast where I chat with Tiffany Williams, the owner of Aud and El Apothecary.
She shares how we can practice slow living and create more space for self care through a slow living lifestyle. I love the simple tips she shares. You are going to love this episode.
Hi there, Soulful Mama.
Welcome The Soul Care Mom Podcast.
I’m Catherine Wilde of soulcaremom.com. I’m a mom of three amazing kids. A Soul Care Mom Coach and a yoga and meditation teacher.
I’ve helped hundreds of women and I’m here to help you feel calm and find your unshakable confidence as a mom. If you’re ready to stop living the survival mode and you’re ready to drop the mom guilt and overwhelm, this podcast is for you.
Think of this as a lunch date with a girlfriend, grab a cup of tea and get cozy. It’s time to get honest and vulnerable and shift the traditional mindset around motherhood.
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[Disclaimer: we are not health professionals. This chat is solely based on research and personal experience. If you have any concerns please seek out the help of your trusted health professionals.]
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Hi Tiffany. Thank you so much for joining me today.
Hi. Thank you for having me. I’m so excited.
So I am so excited to talk with you because I feel like we’re on the same page when it comes to self care and I’m really excited to dive into the idea of slow living with you. But first, can we start by just sharing what self are and soul care mean to you and a bit about your journey with self care as a mom?
Sure. Yeah. I think I came to self care, mindfulness, and slow living kind of the way a lot of people come to it. Which is through just hardship and difficult times and not really knowing where to turn when things are not going well. So in particular, when my youngest was born, she’s nine now. But when she was born, her birth was a challenge for both of us. Physically, it was just pushed us both to the limit.
And when we were about to get discharged, we thought, everything is good, we’re ready to go home. We’re both healthy. She actually had a seizure the day we were checking out. And so we went from ready to go home to a tornado. Our lives were, like, thrown upside down. And she was swept away to the NICU.
And my husband and I were just standing there kind of just not even knowing what to do. And he has a deep history in mindfulness and meditation. And so he just took a hold of me and said, “we’re going to slow this way down. We’re just going to do the next thing. Right now. The only thing we’re loving the do is walk to the elevator. That’s our only job.”
And so we just basically lived that way for the next ten days. Just super slow. Hyper focused on the exact present moment, because as soon as we got too fast or too far ahead of ourselves, when your mind gets that much chatter, it can’t function. It really needs to scale way back to basics.
And so we just did the next thing. The whole ten days. We just walked to the bathroom. That’s all we were doing. We’re just going to change the baby’s diaper. We’re just going to do the very next thing. And it really opened my eyes after that.
Once we got home, she’s nine and healthy and wild and free now. It’s totally fine. But really, those ten days showed me how powerful our mind is and how powerful it is to really quiet the noise around us. So that’s really how we live our lives now.
And even in times of joy, like, really, really high, exciting times, practicing mindfulness are slowing down and being present. We’re so good about turning inward when things are difficult, but when things are joyful, we often just skip over it or we’re quickly like, “oh, I don’t want this to end.”
And we kind of put that cloud over it, but really slowing down and appreciating the sun on your skin and just the small moments, living small and slow is the way to go.
Yes, absolutely. I love that you said that. And I think that’s part of why we practiced mindfulness and meditation and those sorts of things, because doing it in those calm moments helps us to practice it in all the moments, especially the challenging ones, where things are already crazy.
Right? Exactly. It’s easy to call on when you’re in desperation but really need to practice it in all time so that it’s like second nature. And we’re really not kind of getting out of that zone at all.
Right. Yeah, it’s so powerful. Like you said, there’s always chatter going on, and that’s what our minds are meant to do. They’re meant to think, but we have the power to focus or drop into our hearts. So I love that.
And I love that we’re talking about living this way. So daily self care. And the idea of something that you talked with me about or mentioned to me was simple, like keeping things simple because mom life is already really complicated. We already have a lot to do and decisions to make and so simplifying things that we can is wonderful.
And I loved your idea about the tip you shared where standing in the grocery store line and just giving yourself a hand massage. Can you talk to us a little bit more about small ways that we can bring self care into our days?
Sure. Yeah. I think self care small moments are so overlooked and so crucial. Like every day, all day, checking in with your emotional, spiritual, and physical self regularly.
So that one in particular I love to share. It’s like you’re just standing in the grocery store. You can give yourself a neck massage. You don’t even have to shut your eyes. You can do a body scan. Just feel every part of your body going down.
You can take five deep breaths, lots of little check ins like that. One thing I love to share is Thich Nhat Hanh always talks about “mindfulness bells.” So pick something out in the world, like a traffic light, for example. And every time you see a traffic light throughout your day, you do five long, deep breaths. The deepest breaths you’ve taken all day. And you see traffic lights all day. So it’s a constant way to kind of check in every time you see that one thing.
But other thing is focusing on doing your daily habits mindfully, so you can brush your teeth, mindfully. When you get up in the morning, Moms, I know for me for sure, I feel like the second my eyes open, it’s go time.
Everybody’s busy, everybody’s needing something. But I always brush my teeth. I always go to the bathroom. Think about ways to turn those activities into a mindful moment for you.
So one thing I like to do is as soon as I get up, I put calm music on my phone right away. I keep it on airplane mode so nothing can get in because you don’t want to start the day in the frenzy of your phone, like who needs what? So keep it on airplane mode, but put on just calm, no words music.
And then when you’re in the bathroom, close the door, brush your teeth, mindfully. Feel how the toothpaste feels. Brush every tooth. look at yourself in the mirror and say something loving. You’re going to be standing there brushing your teeth anyways. So you might as well make a moment out of it. You might as well take the opportunity to give yourself some extra nurturing that requires zero time.
Those kinds of things when you’re washing the dishes, quiet your mind and just wash the dishes. Feel the soap on your hands, feel the water and try not to wish to be done getting to the next thing, try to just be where you are, because wishing to be somewhere else isn’t changing, that you’re still standing there washing the dishes.
So use it as an opportunity to practice mindfulness and work those mindfulness muscles.
Yes. So I teach the same thing. So tapping into those senses and using cues throughout your day to help you because you’re already doing all these things. And so why not incorporate them and create these beautiful habits? I love that.
And then I love that you brought up not wishing to be done. I know I used to live that way a lot. When this is over or when I get this, then I’ll be happy. And we do it in the really small moments, too. And so noticing that can help us to practice presence because our life is happening right now. Right? Thank you for sharing those.
Yeah. It’s only happening now.
It’s only happening now. It’s not happening tomorrow. My kids always say, it’s a funny little thing that they came up with. They always say, “when will it be tomorrow?”
And if you think about it, it will never be tomorrow because tomorrow is always in the future. It’s always the next day. So just all we have is right here. Right here what we’re doing.
What Does Slow Living Mean?
Yes. Oh, I love that so much. Okay, so let’s talk about slow living some more. I think this past year or so has asked us all to slow down a bit. Okay. So can we talk about what is slow living? What does it mean? And how can having a slow living lifestyle be part of our self care?
So slow living for moms in particular is so important because we over commit ourselves. It’s just what we do. And I know for me personally, I say yes to all the things. I was the PTO President. I was also running my small business. And it’s just too much. It got for me to be too much. And if we’re giving to all the things, then we’re not fully giving to anything.
And so we have to start first by working on just the thought process of I would rather do a few things with my full intention and my full energy, rather than give a lot of things, just a fraction of my attention and energy. Because your kids can feel when you’re not there 100%.
They know when you’re on your phone because work is calling. Or you’re just exhausted, which we all are. So I really start with suggesting that we cut out whatever we can cut out.
I think the pandemic has really taught us a lot that we don’t need all the activities. We don’t need to sign up for every class. And our kids don’t need to be busy every day after school.
And if we can try to hold on to that as we come back out eventually of this pandemic, what everybody needs at the end of the day is to just sit on the floor and talk. That’s all we need. That’s all our kids need.
So slowing down our commitments, slowing down what we agree to do. Because when you start agreeing to do things and you get that feeling inside that’s like, “how am I going to manage this?” That’s a sign. That’s a sign that you shouldn’t be doing it.
And when you put out into the world that you’re a “yes” person, well, then the world is going to keep asking. It’s going to keep trying to get more. And that’s just the way life works.
Benefits Of A Slow Living Lifestyle
So slowing down our commitments and really kind of trying to be more present at home. And slowing down our actual activities. Slowing down and just doing the things that we’re doing. As I said, with the dishes.
If you’re doing the dishes, just be doing the dishes. That’s all you have to do. Try to enjoy it.
And one other thing I like to kind of say, which is fun, is when you’re in a mundane task, visualizing is kind of a form of meditation that’s fun.
It’s intentional visualizing. So it’s kind of like affirmations when you tell yourself something over and over again. We’re always just telling ourselves a story. And a lot of times it’s not a great story. We’re really good at reliving those negative moments.
But instead, if you’re having a hard time really being present with the dishes, use it as an opportunity to visualize an intensely positive experience you’ve had in your life. And you will physically feel those feelings of joy.
So kind of just slowing down, focusing on what we’re doing. Fewer commitments. And doing the things that we’re choosing to do with intention. Really intention and purpose and giving it all of our energy.
Slow Living Movement & Boundaries
Yeah, I love that so much. I love that you said that with creating boundaries, like being able to say “no,”. Because any time you say “yes,” you say “no” to yourself. Right? You’re cutting out that time for yourself.
And it’s so beautiful to have that space for yourself. And then I love that you took it a step further and that we slow down and the things that we’re doing, because I do feel like I find myself rushing through things when I don’t necessarily need to be.
Yeah, we don’t even intend to be rushing. And we just naturally are. It’s the same way our jaw just naturally clenches. Like it’s just what our human body has evolved into. So it is work to kind of undo those things.
But one thing I want to mention about the boundaries is. Have a good friend, and this is her quote. So she always says, it’s not an electric shock that has to shock people. It’s not a fence that has to shock people. It’s a warm light that’s wrapped around you. So it doesn’t have to be this harsh thing. I think when people hear boundaries, they think, oh, that person did something wrong to me. I need to set boundaries. And it kind of has a negative connotation. But really, it’s just a protection around you. It’s just choosing yourself first before you choose everything else.
Yeah, absolutely. And I think an aha moment for me was that boundaries, they’re respectful to you, but they’re also respecting the other person. They’re creating a deeper relationship because you can’t approach and actually hold space for anybody else until you have done that for yourself.
And it’s a gift to them to show it’s a gift to other women in your life and other mothers to show them how it’s done. Because none of us know how to do this. So if you can get the courage to live this way and make these choices, you are going to impact other women who are watching you.
And they’re going to say next time they’re in a PTO meeting and they don’t want to sign up for something. You know what? Maybe I’m not going to do this. I hope it would have a ripple effect and kind of lift everybody up.
We put so much pressure on ourselves. Yeah. And I think to be able to set that example would help so many people. And our kids are watching, too, right?
And think about them. Of course, we want our kids to put themselves first, but they’re going to do what we’re doing. They’re going to follow in our footsteps. That’s what happens when you’re a kid. You’re always observing.
And so we know that kids don’t learn with the philosophy of “do as I say, not as I do.” They learn from watching you. And so really, if there’s any incentive, if you’re having trouble, you know, finding the courage to just do it for yourself and you’re a mom, which I know all your listeners are. Do it for them. Do it for them. We can do a lot more for our kids than we can for ourselves. And eventually you’ll benefit and it’s for you, too.
Yeah. I think that’s such a great point. If you’re not at that point of like that self love yet, you can start with the motivation of your kids, and then it will evolve into that.
Creating A Slow Living Lifestyle
That’s so beautiful. Thank you. Okay, so if there is a mom right now that is feeling really burned out and it’s like this all sounds really great. I love this slow living lifestyle idea, but I have no time for myself. Everything feels hectic. Where can she start? What’s a good starting point for her.
Yeah, that’s a really good question, because I think a lot of people think of self are as, “well I don’t have time for that. I am working full time.” And even I along before I got started. I felt like that, too. I felt like “that’s something I don’t have time for. I don’t have time to go to the spa. I don’t have money to go spa.”
But that is not what this is about. The self care I’m talking about is really the inner work. It’s working on your mental health and yourself from the inside out. And you can do that anywhere, anytime. It’s free.
It doesn’t require you sitting in a meditation space for 30 minutes. It doesn’t. So my suggestions would be get kind of a groundwork of mindfulness. The basic concept is just training your mind to focus on one thing. And if that is all you can do to begin, then that is huge. That is a huge step in the right direction.
So when you’re trying to get ready in the morning and it’s chaos and your kids are running around, that’s a perfect time to practice mindfulness. It’s about your thoughts. Just think to yourself.
I say, “just,” it’s not easy. It’s not “just do this.” It’s actually it takes a lot of work. But that’s an opportunity. So say to yourself, “I’m going to take some deep breaths. We’re going to get to work. No matter what, it is going to happen. And me getting upset right now, it’s not going to change what time we get to work.”
So really try to be present with your own emotions and keep them grounded so that’s something you can do in every interaction is an opportunity to practice mindfulness.
A few little things that I think most of us can make time for is a gratitude journal. That’s a really powerful tool because I think when we’re getting lost in the chaos of our lives, especially someone who’s thinking, I don’t have time for this. My life is so busy. This is a great place to start. Think of your thoughts and your energy kind of rolling in one direction. And once it’s going in that direction, it’s hard to kind of yank it back to go into the other direction.
But a gratitude journal, if you write five to ten things every night that you’re grateful for, that you’re purely and truly grateful for, it will shift your life. It’s 100% guaranteed. It will shift your life. And it takes 1 minute. So we can definitely add that in.
And just the things I was saying earlier about mindfully doing the chores that you already have to do is really great. And I always encourage people when they’re just starting to listen. Be an information seeker. So you have a commute to work. Use the opportunity to listen to a podcast that’s uplifting and mindful and encouraging and unlock something in you. But that’s kind of almost mindless way to soak in some value when you otherwise don’t have a lot of time.
Yeah, that’s a beautiful idea. The more messages that we take in about our worthiness and how to practice self care and all of that, it sinks in.
The messages we tell ourselves affirmations is just like a gratitude journal. It’s so powerful. Our thoughts are just a story we tell ourselves all day. So we might as well make them good.
And we can pick affirmations something that you’re working on, something you don’t necessarily feel great about yourself. I just did a workshop this past weekend on Mindfulness, and it as my first one. And I was so nervous because I’m not a good public speaker.
And the whole way there, I practiced my affirmations. I was breathing deeply and I said, “you’ve got this. You can do this. You know, this information. And it makes you feel better.”
Telling yourself that story, even if at first you don’t believe it, it makes you feel better. It triggers a chemical reaction in your brain, and it’s science, it works. So affirmations are also a really good place to start. If you’re feeling like you don’t have a lot to give, a lot of time, a lot of energy. Affirmations, you can kind of do them anytime, anywhere. And they do make a big impact.
Yeah. Oh, I love that story. And I think you’re so right there’s that nervousness. You can shift it to be an excited energy because it is right. Yeah.
And even if you’re still nervous, that’s okay. All feelings are okay. But it just helps us to process them. It helps us to move through them to a place where we’re feeling better. And it does lift us up.
If we’re telling ourselves, “I look great!”Look in the mirror and tell yourself, “you look great.” You probably won’t believe it at first, but eventually you will. And we all need to tell ourselves those things.
We’re bombarded with messages as soon as we leave our houses that are telling us the opposite of that. And it’s important, especially when we have young kids, to really try to tell ourselves a different story.
Take the pictures, go out, do the things don’t worry about that’s a whole other tangent, but don’t worry about what you look like. That’s so important for mothers.
Yeah. No, I think you’re so right. There are so many messages coming at us and all the things that we’ve grown up hearing, too, that’s all in there. And so taking being intentional with the affirmations and shifting the thoughts that we’re repeating in our heads without really realizing it. So shifting them to more positive, empowering thoughts is a beautiful practice.
Yeah. It really is.
You’ve shared so many great tips for how to bring self care into our days without much time at all. And so what are some of your bigger self care practices? What do you like to do when you do have the time?
If I have 2 hours to myself, I’m going to close my bedroom door, I’m going to put on my music and meditate. Which is something I also feel everybody should be doing. I think it should be taught in schools. I think it should just be a part of everybody’s life.
But I’ll meditate and I’m not a bath person, even though I desperately wish I were. But I’ll take are long hot shower. And mindfully do everything. I’ll mindfully shampoo my hair, massaging my head while I’m in there. I’ll massage my neck, and then mindfully do my lotion. Write in my journal. Really just dive into myself. And every finger that I’m putting lotion on gets some love. Every joint gets some love. And when you do something so mindfully like that, it fills you up.
And we’re so used to quickly just getting ourselves ready. If we can really slow down and stretch it out as long as possible. Even in the morning, when I make my coffee, that’s one of my favorite parts of the day. I don’t like getting up in the morning, but as soon as I think to myself, “oh, I get to have coffee.” It gets me up, and I go downstairs. It’s like a whole ritual boiling the water. So I love to do that.
I love to be outside as often as I can. That’s my happy place, for sure. And we kayak a lot. So being on the water is good. Those are kind of, like the bigger things. If I have a lot of time to devote to myself.
I love getting my hair done, getting a facial, if I possibly can. Getting my eyebrows done is such a treat. And the woman who does my eyebrows is, like, so wonderful. So it’s like, also a therapy session.
It can trickle into every part of your day. And I talk all the time about putting lemon and ice in your water, because if you sip regular water, sure, it’s hydrating. It’s going to make you not thirsty anymore.
But if you take the time and energy and intention to slice lemon and make it ice cold. Oh, it’s just so satisfying. It’s so nourishing. So I do those things all day, every day.
I love those. Yeah, those are beautiful. Okay. You’ve been on this beautiful journey, and if you could go back in time to when you first became a mom. What would you tell her? What advice would you give her?
I would say do the inner work now. I would say, start with yourself, because when my first baby was born, I threw myself into her. And every breath I took was only for her. And it wore me down. And it wasn’t healthy.
It really got to a place where I needed to be like, “Whoa, I’m completely not taking care of myself.” And if I could go back to before I even had her and develop some sort of, like, have a plan in place already have these rituals in place where I’m nurturing myself, and I’m taking care of myself.
And I’m really understanding what that means on a deeper level so that when I bring a child into the world, I can welcome her into that space. Not this space of self deprivation.
I wish every mother could get to that place before she brings children into the world. Because I think it’s so instinctual for us to throw ourselves in the background as soon as we have kids and it’s just we can do both. You can do both. It doesn’t have to be all my child or myself. There is a healthy middle.
Yes. And I think you touched on this. You can do both, and it’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to get the support that you need. You don’t have to do all of it all alone.
Even when my first baby was born, I had a hard time even asking my husband for help. And it’s just a woman cannot do everything on her own. We’re not meant to we’re meant to have a village.
We’re meant to call on our sisters and our friends and our family. And I think that needs to be talked about more. I think when a woman is expecting a baby, a great gift for her is somebody to pay and get her somebody to cook for them. Not necessarily more outfits, but support and start a meal train and those kinds of things where we all need a village for sure.
Oh, I love that idea. Yeah. And I do remember appreciating the meals because that was such a great way to help out. That was beautiful gift.
This was so lovely, and I absolutely love this conversation. Can you let us know where we can find you online?
So I spend most of my time on Instagram, so it’s @audandel or audandel.com
Be sure to check out the beautiful self care boxes that Tiffany creates at audandel.com and use the code SOULCAREMOM to receive a special discount!
Benefits Of Slow Living & Mindfulness
And are there any last pieces of wisdom you’d like to leave us with?
Just start taking the steps in this direction. Start walking the path and seeking out information and you will get there. And once you get there, once you’re feeling the benefits of mindfulness, share it and spread it to all the people that you know and love.
Oh, I love that. Thank you so much for sharing everything, your tips, your wisdom, your story with us today.
Think you! This was so beautiful. Thank you so much for having me.
Thanks for joining me, Mama. I’m over here smiling from ear to ear and giving you a big virtual hug. I love spending this time with you. You are amazing for showing up and carving out this space to nourish your soul.
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Sending you so much love, Mama.
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