Hello everyone, just one question, have you stopped taking care of yourself? Isn’t it about time you changed that? Don’t worry I’m not accusing or judging because this is exactly the situation I have found myself in recently and I have absolutely no excuse as I’m in the beauty business with my own skincare range. It’s just so easy to let life get in the way, to make everything and everyone else a priority and forget about yourself and before you know if you are on the road to a forgotten and dishevelled you that’s unfit, flabby and tired looking. The list of causes is endless and I’m sure one if not a few will ring bells with you. The pressures of exams, your first job, climbing the career ladder, new relationships, failing relationships, pregnancy, motherhood, being a stay at home mum, fertility issues, starting a business, financial worries, abuse, ageing, family dramas, illness, loss….. the list is endless. And while we as caring, nurturing women strive to support all these dramas and those around us often our own self can take a hit. Well, here’s an idea, when you are at your lowest, why don’t you make sure to make time for yourself. Simple idea I know but don’t underestimate the boost to your self esteem of investing just a little time on yourself. As I mentioned earlier, I am definitely guilty of all the above. Having started a business at the same time as my sister developed bowel cancer, the last three years have been not been the most stellar. Sadly, she passed last year and after a few months I looked in the mirror and saw someone looking back that I didn’t recognize. I realised that I had totally forgotten to take care of myself and was looking older than my years (50 last January – yay!). I hate to admit it but I wasn’t even taking care of my skin and my skincare routine was patchy to say the least. At first I just thought that this was what I was meant to look like getting older and just to get on with it. I thought I just needed to accept the puffy eyes, fine lines, extra kilos and wobbly bits. Wrong!!! And I’ll tell you what started me on the road to investing in myself and that was re-instating my skincare routine. I made the monumental effort (as in none) to move some products from my workshop downstairs to my bathroom upstairs. I know, pathetic but it took some real effort! I started with making sure I really cleansed my face before bedtime with my Makeup Remover, then double cleansed with my co-Q10 Cleanser, following up with my Caffeine Night Cream and then a dab of Eye Cream. What I noticed was my eye bags started to lessen, my pores tightened up, and my skin glowed. I started to wear makeup up, even if only the smallest amount every day which really gave me a boost but when I used my foundation and concealer I noticed uneven coverage and dry flaky skin. So, I started using my daily Co-Q10 Cleansing polish every morning and that got rid of all that build up of dead skin cells, dirt, sebum and sweat. Now when I put my makeup on it really looks smooth. Lastly, with all these lovely results encouraging me, I started to use my Green Tea Face Mask once a week and that’s when I notice a reduction in my fine lines and wrinkles. I can’t tell you what a boost it is to see small improvements. I don’t expect to suddenly look 21 again but what does make you feel great about yourself is looking as good as you can. I am definitely trying to channel my inner Helen Mirren! This all kick started eating better and drinking less and visits to the gym where I discovered I really love weight training. Move over Jody! I feel that I’m now in a better place where as well as caring about those around me I also care for myself and I think that makes me better and braver in everything I do. So, I ask you again. Are you taking enough care of yourself? Are you thanking your body and your brain and your soul for carrying you through whatever trials you are experiencing? Are you being kind enough to yourself or at least as kind as you are to those you love? If your answer is No then my challenge is for you to take a small step today to turn that around. Anything will do but just start the process whether it is taking care of your skin, eating healthier, drinking slightly less, exercising, meditating, walking in the sun, socialising more, re-organising your wardrobe, making more effort with your makeup, attending a class just for you, starting a hobby….. anything. I know we all face huge challenges, many that I have no way of understanding but every great journey begins with one step. Good luck!