This month I was lucky to interview local mama and registered nurse, Leilani Levesque. A woman who I look up to and who always comes to mind when I am striving to find balance as a mama in my own life. I first met Leilani on a home visit when we first had our son. She left us feeling inspired and confident as we moved forward as new parents. Here are some of her ideas on finding balance, taking time for health and celebrating every win, even the small ones.
What does self-care mean to you?
Self-care means listening to my body. Trusting my thoughts and feelings as to what I need and want. Understanding what will fill my cup and allow me to do the best and feel the best that I can. It’s about being honest with myself, acknowledging both my desires and my needs. It’s accept-ing where I really am and then finding ways to take care of myself, heal parts of myself, and nurture parts of myself so that I can be happy and fulfilled. It’s taking time to centre so that I can be a good mom and person. Allowing me to enjoy my friends and family while feeling good mentally, physically and spiritually.
What kind of activities encompass your self-care?
I really enjoy dancing and listening to mu-sic. Reading or listening to what inspires me. Playing out in nature or on the water. I enjoy biking, hiking, and skiing. I love to have an adventure on the horizon. I like to plan an adventure with friends and family to have something to look forward to. Even just to see something new. I embrace prac-tices that allow me to build new memories or those which benefit my mind and body long term.
What role do the outdoors play in your self-care regime?
As big of a role as I can incorporate. When outside, I can appreciate where we live and see the good fortune in all that we do. Time in nature is integral to health. Breathing in our clean air (this is not a privilege everyone has), grounding down and finding a slower pace away from the ‘busy-ness’ of daily life. I feel my very best when I’ve challenged myself mentally and physically. My favourite is being complete-ly in the moment. So focused that thoughts and worries fall away and then I look around myself and everything is brighter, more vibrant and I’m grateful for it. Being outside doesn’t always have to be about high intensity activity, just taking nature in through all five senses is a total reset.
How do you balance between work, time for self, and motherhood?
It’s a balance that shifts and changes as my children get older. I have my key priorities and I make lots of lists! What’s most im-portant gets done and then other things fall right off the list and that’s ok. I try to fit in what I can, where I can, and remain flex-ible. I often have to remind myself of what I am doing right and what is working well and not focus on what is missing. Celebrate the wins, even the small ones.
How do you teach or implement self-care regimes with your kids?
They see what we do and our routine communicates a strong message. So if I take time for myself and for them, to eat well and rest well and spend time in nature, then I hope they will too. They obviously need our guidance but the example we set makes the biggest impact. I also try to respect their uniqueness and to discover what works best for them by asking ques-tions and letting them explore their own approaches and interests.