Mental health check-in: Simoneese Williams changes lives through self-care
They say self-care should in no way be associated with self-indulgence, but instead, should align with self-preservation. Simoneese Williams learned this the hard way when exhaustion took over her life as a travelling officer. One minute, she was on call, and the next, she was in a hospital bed.
“I was travelling throughout the entire western region serving customers. On call, I was available 24/7 to my portfolio of customers. I did not miss a call, no matter how late a customer called. On July 3, 2017, I drove into the parking lot at work and didn’t make it from my car. When I woke up, I was at the Cornwall Regional Hospital,” she told The Gleaner.
After doing a CT scan and a host of other tests, it was revealed that she suffered from a case of extreme exhaustion. “This was very frightening, especially because I knew that the story could have ended differently,” she added.
It made her question and evaluate her situation even closer, and that’s when she realised that she wasn’t prioritising herself or her needs. “There was a time when I lacked boundaries and I’d be so mad when I got home, thinking about what I should have said or done. The moment I truly realised that I had all the power to change my life, I started ‘flexing’ differently,” she shared
Having learned from this traumatic experience, Williams decided to create The Self Care Bar, a unique programme designed to serve women who are struggling with prioritising their needs, while addressing self-doubts and self-limiting habits.
“Self-care is the foundation of living a healthy lifestyle. It is a commitment to prioritising your physical, mental, social, spiritual, and financial well-being, so that you can show up as your best self and serve those around you from an overflow of love, compassion and kindness,” she said, adding, “ I want to be able to do for others what I wished someone would have done for me much earlier in life – to escape the limiting habits that are sabotaging their growth and success. To accelerate their path of discovery, purpose, and self-love.”
Based on her observations, the absence of self-care is a learnt behaviour. Putting oneself first is considered selfish; and putting the needs of others is a noble act. “So you find that even when we are sick, we show up to our jobs or businesses, or take care of family. It’s almost as if there is an obligation to be caretakers for everyone except ourselves,” But this is far from healthy. In fact, it is more detrimental to the self than many realise.
This is why having a proper self-care routine is important to maintain a state of homeostasis—a stable condition necessary for survival and functionality. A good self-care routine factors in all areas of your life: the physical, social, spiritual, mental, and emotional. The physical include resting and eating well, along with frequent exercise. The social has to do with relationship interactions, spending quality time with those you hold in high value, while disconnecting from the ones that do not resonate with you. The spiritual leans more towards meditation, prayer, worshipping, and connecting with your source, while emotional self-care taps into creative outlets such as journaling, drawing, and music.
“When we truly take the time out to practise self-care on a consistent basis —by consistent, I mean every day— we are truly honouring our body, mind, and soul. At the end of the day, we want to ensure that we are producing the right amount of cortisol, which is the stress hormone, and I believe a great self-care routine helps in maintaining the right mindset and lifestyle needed for a healthy life,” the transformational coach said.
She offers coaching services to women, assisting them with the creation of personalised self-care plans, while showing them how to set boundaries for success, and strategise ways they can escape the fears, doubts, and habits that sabotage their growth, success, and peace of mind.
“Jesus did say, ‘I’ve come that they may have life, and have it abundantly.’ The Self Care Bar appreciates this, and we are also keen on spreading awareness that self-care is far more than wine, candles, flower baths, and those niceties. Although they do enhance one’s routine, it is more about working on one’s mindset, mastering your emotions, taking care of your body and what you put it in, being in tune and listening to what your body is saying, nurturing your spiritual growth and being kind and compassionate to yourself, nature, and everyone around you,” she revealed.
Outside of coaching, Williams is the author of the book Unleash Your POWER: Activate Your God-Given Power to Live a Purposeful and Prosperous Life. She also holds down a nine-to-five as an account executive at Jamaica Public Service and is the founder of VacaCierge Homes, a company that specialises in short-term rental management of vacation homes.
Her advice to women who feel like they are in over their head and don’t have any time to care for themselves, is to look at it from a practical standpoint, “Think of your body like a car. For it to function well, it must be serviced ever so often. If this is not done, you may notice your car becoming slow and sluggish. The engine efficiency will reduce, it becomes less fuel-efficient, and if this is maintained, the lifespan of your vehicle will be impacted. The same goes for your body.”
She continued by noting, “At the end of the day, what you have is you! Not your job, not your business, your spouse, or your children. Just you! So you must make time to take care of yourself. Begin with 15 minutes per day, preferably at the start of your day, and do something that you truly enjoy. Gradually increase the time until you can establish a full-fledged routine. You can also reach out to me for help.”
Find The Self Care Bar on instagram at @tsbja.