For the majority of us women, particularly South Asian women and mums, selfcare is not the 5am club.
Waking at sunrise, meditating, yoga and journaling isn't happening for m at 5am.
Accepting that truth, what am I capable and uncapable of doing - that is true self love.
Chasing the ideal routine and creating picture perfect rainbow buddha bowls is not.
Am I criticising those who have nailed this?
Am I give you my version, Yes.
The action you decide to take…read this before you throw yourself into the deep end.
In 2019 and even until parts of 2021... I'd have said self-love was bottomless brunches...late nights laughing with my friends, ordering domino pizza & chocolate cookies followed by drowsy mornings and day naps…
2023 Ravneet knows that those activities were avoidant behaviours. I was using food and substances to numb my low self esteem and limited self worth...
These self love moments weren't even for social media...there were offline activities that became coping strategies for loss and grief. Strategies that were silencing my inner child that was calling out for help my entire existence.
It was through a death that I learnt to live.
When my husbands brother died, a week after his 39th birthday only 6 months older than me, my journey to understand selfcare began.
I grew up suffering from depression. It only became apparent in adulthood and on reflection...I could see how throughout my childhood and into adolescence, I was in and out of depressive episodes.
Prior to social media, mobile phones and Netflix we were more connected.
Connection to ourselves and our activities. That's the key!
Do you know who you are?
In this day and age do we even know?
Is there even a moment to genuinely consider this without being pulled into a tik tok trend?
Growing up I never felt enough. The 3rd child, a 2nd daughter…I'm already unwanted from a South Asian perspective. Having had 3 C-sections I was the last child my mum was 'advised' she could have.
Nobody needs to tell you you're unwanted…society is structured to make women feels this way. Something I love to teach as a Health coach is the history behind body image issues…and how prevalent 'you are not enough' messaging is today, more than ever.
Growing up in the 80s and 90s, this super emotional, super spiritual South Asian daughter of immigrant parents who wore her heart on her sleeve - she was confused as f*ck.
I was compared as the 'pretty' one and I learnt quickly that smiling and acting compliant was the best course of action. My mother suffered severe depression for most of my childhood, my siblings and I like most children of hardworking immigrant parents didn’t know how to check in with ourselves.
We wore our labels, heads down just trying to this thing called life.
My 'pretty' label did not serve me. It was a noose. How many of us tried to be perfect. Look the part. Act the part. Inside I was hollow. Incomplete. Emotionally turbulent. Angry and confused. I suffered with depression and anxiety, self-harmed, tried alcohol too young. It was dark. But I ain't a victim. Oh noooooo.
My awakening "Kensho" moment of breaking down that led to my breakthrough was post-natal depression.
After my first pregnancy the harsh reality of our ostracizing and judgmental community shone brightest. More concerned about people’s physical size than mental health - it was time I took my wellbeing into my hands.
Me and my mum speak about our depression on this podcast recording for Sikh Forgiveness: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/ravneet-kaur-and-paramjit-kaur-intergenerational/id1487966343?i=1000521044720
Welcome to my version of true self care and self love.
You'll be liberated!
Genuine self-care is making a 1% shift toward who you want to be.
It's cancelling boozy brunches to attend healing circles.
It's looking in the mirror and taking radical responsibility for YOUR life.
It's stopping the blame game and playing victim.
It's sounds harsh because the pathway to self-acceptance isn't flowers and roses. It's making difficult choices and making decisions in the now, to create your future self.
In 2021 I took a step back from my business, the business that birthed the new me. After Cognitive Behavioural Therapy I started Neet Nutrition in 2019 to support women so they never had to go through what I did, alone. I wanted to scream it from the rooftops that we can heal and grow together.
My business gave me purpose, drive, though serving I felt fulfilled until I hit burnout. You can love what you do but if you neglect 'topping up you', you'll be unable to sustain the goodness.
These last 2 years, I have been learning to let the tears flow. That it's a gift not a curse to be 'sensitive' and that I can hold my heart and speak to my inner child whenever I am feeling triggered.
I believe that yoga at any point in the day is better than no yoga. That you might do 'all' the things 1 day and only 1 the next. The key isn't the 5am club, the key is to keep doing, trying and being consistent not perfect. That’s true self love.
When you stop trying to shape the outcome, which running a business can tip you toward, you can 'surrender'. I did that last year and it led me to my NHS Health and Wellbeing Coaching work which I am LOVING.
I no longer perceive myself as a wounded, insecure daughter if immigrant parents, why and how?
I not only had CBT therapy, I've invested thousands in coaches, therapists and I DO THE WORK. I take the action.
Healing is self-care and deep healing is self-love.
You peel back a layer only to find another and that's ok…it's a journey not a destination.
Follow the inner voice when it whispers, 'I think we should do this' and give equal love to the healing as you give to bottomless brunches - there's no judgement here :)
And to balance it all, I'm a total dork who loves a good laugh and if you see me and my Kulj live...or on my Tik Tok, you'll get it.
"Death is certain. Life is not" so ask yourself what matters to you?
Alongside the things I post online these are things that also matter to me and help me feel aligned.
• I give blood and I am registered as an organ donor
• I donate 5% of my business profits to charities (on the ground)
• My passion is to support Punjab
• I'm a trained pre and post natal Peer Support Worker
• I'm a Future Fit Ambassador (https://www.futurefit.co.uk/ambassador/ravneet-panesar/)
• I go LIVE on TV, radio and have been published to ensure I spread my message
• I'm a She Award winner
• I'm a healer and free women from diets
• I've survived childhood trauma
This unfolded over time. It starts with 1 action.
For obvious reasons I would start your journey by adopting a healthy attitude to eating: nourishing your body with a variety of food especially our traditional desi foods!
My life and routines have changed year on year and I don’t do all the things all the time, but I consistently practice the following:
• Cacao healing circles
• Cold Showers
• Crystal healing
• Barefoot walking
• Essential Oils
Whilst it is a solo journey it's best taken with the love and support of professionals. This is not a linear path or overnight success. To start now, take RADICAL ACCEPTANCE for your life, choices and be open. The activities are all about connecting back to yourself. Slowing down. Hearing your inner guidance.
If I can, I know you can. Better days are coming. Who knows, perhaps I will join the 5am club? Will I see you there? Let me know or learn more about me, https://neetnutrition.co.uk/about-me
A gift from Ravneet:
5 Strategies for mindful eating
Download PDF • 6.58MB