Doula Mode, Lifestyle, Mamazine Moment, Self-Care, Wellness

A Mama Glow Doula’s Mental Health Journey: Why Self-Care Is Client Care

Chardonay Thomas, Doula Trainee, spiritualist, and Shadow Child healer. | October 12, 2021

You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first, and you’ll have the energy needed to serve. Even on a plane, you need to place your own oxygen mask first, then you help your child with theirs.

That’s what I always tell my friends, family, and clients. Still, today I found myself cleaning, doing laundry, studying, and more when I remembered I have to finish writing about the importance of self-care. All this without actually taking time to care for me. So I made a cup of womb-warming tea and watched an episode of my current Netflix favorite. I do this to literally and metaphorically pour into myself.

By giving to myself this way, I found I suddenly had the energy to give. Just like I knew I would. Usually, I am the biggest advocate of self-care for myself and others. But everyone has moments when they have a lapse in judgment. “These things are important, and HAVE to get done today!” I’m a doer and a giver. It’s easy for me to place my baby, family, and household needs above my own at times. In doing so I put myself at risk of burnout.

It’s most obvious that you need to give yourself extra TLC after working with a client. I have a specific and detailed after-care routine for all of my energy work sessions. I also have a care plan routine for when I start attending births. However, the need to recharge after spending all day caring for a baby is both mandatory and the easiest to ignore.

When I had my baby this past June, the first few weeks were “easy.” Rest, breastfeed, and have water and snacks close by at all times. My community made sure I had what I needed, and no one wanted to see me on my feet. By weeks 3-4, I was restless. I started doing little things here and there, usually while my baby slept. These things were always “work”. Cleaning, planning my business reopening, studying. Notice the lack of basic care being mentioned. Showers, leisure reading, and other things I do for fun or to recharge were viewed as “luxure.”

Sometimes this included not eating a full meal until my partner came home from work. During our last home visit, my midwife noticed my snack table was empty. “You can lay your baby down to get food, water, and use the bathroom. They’ll be okay if they cry for a little while.” I was shook! The thought hadn’t crossed my mind. Yet I was serving no one by allowing myself to run on empty, especially at the height of my postpartum period.

No matter what else is happening in life, take a minimum of 10-15 minutes a day to yourself. Use that time to pour into yourself. By doing so, you have an overflow to pour from. You also build your reserves so that during times when you have no time, you don’t drain yourself completely.

One simple way to give to yourself every day is to take a cup of filtered water and speak love into it before drinking it. “May this water be used to fill me with love, patience, and peace. May this water wash away my fears and doubts. This water is recharging and refilling me so that I have an abundance to give and serve.”

Simple Womb Warming Tea Recipe:

  • Raspberry leaf: Vitamins A, B, and C. potassium, and magnesium. Good for wound strengthening and stress-reducing.
  • Rose petals: Vitamins A and C. Good for reducing anxiety/stress, high in antioxidants, and soothes menstrual cramps.
  • Damiana leaf: Calms nerves, reduces headaches, and eases feelings of depression.

Chardonay Thomas (they/them) is a Doula Trainee, spiritualist, and Shadow Child healer. They are a member of the RichOak Events team putting on poetry events in the California Bay Area. Chardonay works to help others heal spiritual and emotional wounds through Shadow Child work. They are a mother. And most importantly, they are constantly healing and growing.

Connect with Chardonay at www.healingcoolwaters.com, or on Instagram and TikTok @healingcoolwaters!

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