Jasmine Rice, certified life coach, talks to T.H. and Jessica about her seven self-care tips. They’re definitely things you should be doing for yourself, but might not even realize all of them should be considered self-care tips. T.H. and Jessica did fairly well passing the self-care tips test. Now, see you you do!
- Never underestimate the power of breathing.
- Don’t neglect your sleep, fitness, nutrition, or hydration!
- Like the ExExperts always say… your girl gang is key.
OUR GUEST – Jasmine Rice,
Welcome to another episode of the exEXPERTS DIVORCE etc… Podcast where we give you all kinds of information and tips on everything divorce. Why? We’ve lived it, so we get it! We’re Jessica and T.H.
T.H.: Welcome to today’s podcast. We have Jasmine Rice here with us. She is a certified life coach, author, and NLP expert, which is a Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner. We have done other podcasts with her and she is awesome, so we’re thrilled to have her here today. She’s going to talk about her seven self-care tips of what you should be doing, but you’re probably not doing. We’re going to see if Jessica and I actually do any of them.
Jessica: Thanks for coming back, Jasmine.
Jasmine: Thank you so much for having me today.
T.H.: Okay, so you have this free ebook on your website, which is an awesome resource. Take us through what are these seven self-care tips? How did they even come to be? Are they things that you do? I assume yes. Let’s see if Jessica and I actually do any of them.
Jessica: I hope we do!
Jasmine: Well, first of all, I wrote this book because it’s something I wish I would have had when I was going through my divorce because every book that I picked up, just the expectations were overwhelming, what I should be doing. I think when people think about self-care, a lot of the time they say I just don’t have time for it. They’re thinking of this elaborate going and getting a massage or a mani-pedi, which are great, that definitely can be self-care, but I think people can get overwhelmed with it. This book is one I wish I would have had because there’s a different perspective in each of the chapters. Number one is breathing, and number two is exercise.
T.H.: Well, let’s start with number one.
Jessica: What kind of breathing?
T.H.: I’m thinking when? How long?
Jessica: Mindfulness breathing.
Jasmine: Yes. Yes, and it is definitely mindfulness breathing. Obviously, we all know that we need to breathe to stay alive. But when you start to feel anxious and all those things that happen when you go through a divorce, or really challenging things in your life, you can tend to tense up. Deep breathing doesn’t have to be meditation, which I still struggle with meditation. I’m working on it. But this can be something you can do in the car. You can do it in the shower, and just when you’re starting to get really overwhelmed. What I talk about in the book is how deep breathing stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system, which helps you stay calm. And so when you do these deep breaths, I talk about breathing in through your nose, counting in your brain as you’re breathing in, you hold it for two to four seconds, and then you let it out through your mouth. You can do it just one time, if you’re starting to feel again, anxious, overwhelmed. Or you can designate 10 minutes to do that if you have the time to do that. But again, this can be done anywhere. It’s just when you start to feel that tension and frustration and everything’s happening, just take a minute and breathe. I do this all the time.
T.H.: Breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth?
Jessica: But hold in between.
Jasmine: Yes, and hold in between. You breathe in and count at least a minimum of four. When you’re breathing in through your nose, count 1-2-3-4, hold it a minimum of two seconds, and then let it out through your mouth again, 1-2-3-4.
T.H.: Okay, I can do that.
Jessica: I do that. I would not say that I am committed to doing it X amount of times per day, but I have done that, and I occasionally will do that.
T.H.: Okay, so one point for Jessica.
Jessica: Okay, so after breathing?
Jasmine: The next one is exercise. I think when I talk to my clients it’s something that they get overwhelmed with. They don’t have the time. They’re tired because they’re not getting enough sleep. I’m not talking about you need to get your butt to a gym and work out every single day. It’s moving your body. And so that can be, yes, going to the gym. I love working out. It’s self-care for me, and it’s something that helped me quite a bit going through my divorce. It releases endorphins in your body, and so again, it makes you feel good. So, great if you can go on a run, or do spin class, or whatever that is, wonderful. But if you can’t, that’s okay too. I talk in my book about just moving your body some way. It might even just be stretching. So you don’t have the energy to get up and work out today? That’s okay. Maybe go on a walk around the block, walk your dog, or just stretch. Somehow move your body that day, just moving it. Eventually, it’s going to increase to maybe taking that walk around the block, to a run, or going to a spin class with a friend, or whatever that might be. But just move your body some way, even if it’s dancing around the kitchen when you’re putting the dishes away – something.
Jessica: We both get a point for that. We’re both avid exercisers and huge fans of moving our bodies. And so it’s definitely something that both of us use for self-care for sure.
T.H.: Yeah. Tell us quickly Jasmine about what you have, that you have done four times now, and how that started?
Jasmine: I’m going to be running the New York City Marathon in November.
Jasmine: This will be my fifth marathon, the fourth actually in New York. I love it. It’s the best marathon I’ve ever run. Running, I have a love-hate relationship with running, but I’m really excited to be doing that. That’s my self-care. I run. I do weight training and yoga and a lot of other things, but running is just when I can really clear my mind and focus. And so I’m training for that right now, and I’ll be doing that in November.
T.H.: I feel like, and I could be completely wrong so you’ll correct me, but I feel like the people who are most calm, I don’t know if that’s English, and very in tune with their thoughts and able to relax in that way are the runners. I can’t run because after–I can sprint. I can sprint and then do what I was doing. I can’t do it for a long period of time. I can’t get my mind to go to a place where I’m going to run 13 plus miles.
Jessica: That’s a half marathon by the way.
T.H.: No, I know. [Inaudible] –run the full thing until only a few weeks before. The fact that you can be so in tune with your mind and your thoughts and at ease and accepting, I don’t want to know what’s coming after two miles. Walking is great, but just to get to that place…kudos to you really for that. The marathon’s amazing, but the fact that you can chill your brain out all that time, that’s really remarkable.
Jasmine: It’s definitely a physical challenge, but it’s also a mental challenge. Every marathon I run, I get to about mile 23, and I’m wondering if my legs are even still attached to my body. It’s my mind. It’s my mind that gets me to the finish.
Jessica: That’s what everybody says.
T.H.: That’s probably the lesson learned here, right? It’s your mind that gets you to the finish. I’m going to quote you on that.
Jessica: It’s everything in life.
T.H.: Right, on anything in life.
Jessica: Okay, so what’s your self-care tip number three?
Jasmine: The next one is eating a healthy diet. And again, because I have a different perspective on when you’re going through challenging times, you want comfort food. I think that’s the majority of us. We want something that’s going to make us feel good and comfort food. I love pizza. It’s my favorite thing in the whole world. But we also do feel better when we’re eating healthy. And so in my book, I’m not saying that you need to start having a salad every day and cut out all of the junk food, but it’s having a balance of that. So if you have been eating two donuts today for breakfast, maybe just have one donut and a piece of fruit. And so it’s baby steps. It’s again, just adding a few healthy things into your diet because again, it does make you feel better when you’re eating well. But I don’t say that you just have to stop eating the pizza or those comfort foods. When you have a day and you need to eat the pizza, eat the pizza. That’s okay too. But try to just incorporate some of those healthy things, including water, because we cry a lot going through a divorce. Making sure that you keep yourself hydrated is really important.
Jessica: I think we both get a point for eating healthy-ish. I mean, I think we both have our moments. I might have more moments than T.H. But–
T.H.: Well, you have different moments. Your favorite “food” is…you tell everybody.
T.H.: Not just candy. It’s Sour Patch–
Jessica: It’s candy! It’s like legit candy, but I do try to balance it out. I eat a lot of salads. I eat a lot of vegetables, things like that, but T.H. is a very healthy eater. So I feel like we both get points for that. So, right now, we’re racking it up with self-care.
Jasmine: You’re doing great.
Jessica: Okay, what comes next?
Jasmine: Well, I know you both are going to get a point for this next one because you guys have had that support going through your divorces. It’s having a support network. And in this, I know for myself anyway, I was pushing people away. I didn’t have a huge support network. I was pushing a lot of people away that were trying to reach out to me. That was not really healthy for me to do. However, you also need to make sure that people who are part of your support network are not toxic. I think that if you notice that some of the people are not making you feel better and they’re making you feel worse about your situation, it’s okay to let those people go. Having a support network is important, but balancing that with time alone, because we all do need that too when we’re going through challenging times. But you guys, I know you had each other going through that, which is amazing.
T.H.: We had each other. Also, I feel like for me, in addition to Jessica, different friends serve different purposes for me in my life. There were definitely the toxic ones. Honestly, those were the ones who were not moving forward while I was trying to move forward. They may not be toxic to somebody else, but for me, they were and I just cut them out. It wasn’t nice, and they needed me, but I needed to go on my journey. There are different people for different purposes in my life. I think that really figuring that out, along with what you need, helps you build a really healthy support group.
Jessica: I would give T.H. an extra bonus point above me for that. We definitely had each other and I’m really lucky. I have very supportive parents, but I feel T.H. has a network of people around her that really, I’m constantly in awe of the girl gang that she has assembled for herself. It’s this very tight-knit group that would help each other out for a million different things. I don’t know if part of it is living in the suburbs versus living in the city, because I’m in the city, but I really don’t have the same kind of support network that T.H. does. If I need to get my kids to certain places at certain times, I don’t just have people that I can call to make sure that those things are going to happen. That may be like a small trite example, but I feel T.H. gets major brownie points, major bonus points, for the support that she has around her because it’s amazing to watch and it’s something to aspire to for sure.
T.H.: And you’re one of those in the girl gang, by the way. I mean, the girl gang is you.
Jessica: No, I know. I know. But it’s everybody else that I’m envious of what you guys all have out there. It’s amazing. Okay, number five.
Jasmine: One is getting enough sleep. I think that this one is really, really hard when you’re going through–well, it can be hard anytime in life, but definitely when you’re going through a divorce. But again, everything in this book is about looking at it from a different perspective. And yes, seven hours of sleep a night, I mean, that’s amazing if you can. But rest, that’s really what I’m talking about here. Even if you can’t go to sleep, try to rest your brain. So when you get to bed and you’re tossing and turning, I talk about just trying to sing a song or actually count sheep, which I’ve done before too, something to just distract your mind while your body’s in bed, while you’re not moving your body. You’re not–
Jessica: Okay, so tell us what is number five?
Jasmine: Number five is getting enough sleep. I think that’s really challenging when you’re going through a divorce or really anything in your life where your mind is constantly wandering. When we lay down, we start to think of all those things. It’s really important to at least rest your body. If you’re able to get six, seven hours of sleep, preparing your body after you’ve been crying all day, it’s wonderful, but rest is what I’m talking about here. So, try to distract your mind from all those thoughts lying down in your bed, counting sheep, or just singing a song. Think of something that’s not all of those other negative thoughts you’ve been having, really trying to rest your body. Eventually, you’re going to fall asleep. You might only get a couple of hours, but try to take that time to at least rest your body rather than getting up and checking your phone or doing the dishes when you’re not able to sleep.
Jessica: Maybe I can give myself a half of a point. But I will say I’m a huge advocate, even though I don’t do any kind of spinning, I’m a huge advocate of the Peloton app because they have amazing meditations and they’re in all different kinds of categories. One of the categories is specifically calming and sleeping. I will say that a lot of the time, I will listen to one of the Peloton meditations before going to sleep for that exact purpose, just to turn my mind off. I have a lot of thoughts going on in my head, and I have a lot of things happening. I will put on the meditation because I know it’s just going to take me away and distract me from everything that I’m thinking. I always will fall asleep and then the hope is that I’ll sleep enough hours that I won’t wake up at four in the morning or five in the morning and then start getting distracted again. T.H., do you feel like you get enough sleep?
T.H.: Well, first of all, Jessica can nap by the way, just so you all know. She’s been known to be at many of my parties passed out in a lounge chair, not waking up. We’ve been on trips to Europe, we’re waiting in the lobby two minutes, I turn around and she’s like this, asleep. She does nap. She may not sleep, but she’s definitely a pro at napping so I will give you more than one point. I’ve never really had a problem sleeping. I think we talked before about being soft and strong. When I am only strong, I cannot sleep because I cannot escape everything that comes into my head at night when everything else is quiet. I have taken an Ambien only once right after I separated. My kids were all living with me, and they came in and they could not wake me up. They thought I was dead. They called my parents, and it was awful. So needless to say, I’ve never taken an Ambien again. Jessica also gets points because she has a whole nighttime routine to wind down. I do not. I get in the bed, I’ve got every electronic on. I’ve got the TV, I’ve got my laptop, I got my phone, I’m playing a game, watching the show. I mean, everybody’s working in my head. But as I’ve gotten soft and less strong only, balancing it out, I have slept better. When my life is in unrest, I really have a hard time. But when I have support from friends and a therapist, I can generally sleep. I will say even just this last weekend, I was shocked. I went out with two other couples and they’re all taking serious medication to go to sleep, not over-the-counter stuff. Then one of them is concerned she’s going to be like a drug addict and trying to go off it. But now she’s not slept in a month. I do remember not that long ago because I just recently moved and sold everything from 13 years of life, I just could not sleep. I just could not sleep. I could not get away from it. I was going to try one of those things, and I just–I can’t. I’m too afraid to lose it. Jasmine, really when life is so big, like going through a divorce, I did the Calm app, I did the Headspace app, I’ve done the meditations, I’ve counted sheep, I’ve counted backward, forwards, do you recommend people take over the counter stuff? I mean, I just feel everybody’s taking something now, and now that’s a whole other problem. But if you don’t sleep–
Jessica: I don’t think a self-help tip is going to be to start taking medicine to go to bed and it’s not even just over-the-counter stuff. I agree with you.
T.H.: No, I think it is serious stuff.
Jessica: That’s the thing. I don’t know if it’s the age that we’re at, but I would say more than probably 75% of the people I know are taking prescription stuff to sleep at night. It scares me because of the addictive qualities. I think that that’s a whole other conversation in and of itself. I think let’s just rest on getting enough sleep.
T.H.: But I’m just saying, in reality, at the age that we are at right now–
Jessica: Yeah, I’m a big believer in finding alternative remedies and natural ways to be able to go to sleep without prescription meds because that’s just going down a totally different path.
Jasmine: There are many studies out there that suggest even just resting your body is a benefit. So as I mentioned, you might not be able to fall asleep, but don’t just stay busy doing all of these things to keep your mind busy. Take that time to at least lie down in bed and just rest your body. Close your eyes and just rest your body. You will eventually fall asleep, but at least that rest is still repairing your body in certain ways.
T.H.: That’s a good idea.
Jessica: Yeah, okay.
Jasmine: The next step is journaling. And so when you Google self-help tips, you see this often – journaling. I’ve tried to journal since I was 13. I got my first journal, I would do it for maybe a month and talk about boys, and then it stopped. Then when I got divorced, a friend gave me a journal that was a daily journal, just write something positive in it each day. Again, I did it for about 30 days. It was really hard for me. But getting your thoughts out there can work well. The way that works for me was not on paper. It was audio. I used my phone and I would hit record and I would just talk to myself. That can be very awkward for people who don’t like hearing their voices, but for me, it was easier. It was more accessible for me. I didn’t want to have to schedule a time to get my computer out or get my journal out and write into it, which I still think that’s great. If you love journaling that way, I think that’s great. But for people who struggle with it, I would try doing an audio journal. Just try it for a week and see how you feel. Hit record for anywhere from a couple of minutes to maybe 10 minutes, just getting your thoughts out there. I love that I can now go back and listen to some of those and see how far I’ve come.
T.H.: I was going to ask you. If you go back and listen, I would be a little bit scared. But I do journal. That was my goal at the beginning of COVID that I was going to start journaling. One book is worth six months, so I had finished one and then I started another. Honestly, I have trouble journaling when everything is crazy because then it is another thing I have to do. It’s next to my bed. But whatever, you can look past the laundry on the floor too. It’s just there. But I did actually make a point of writing in it once I got settled because I wanted to remember that I’m in a really good place right now. I really love the journal that I’ve been using; it’s the Five Minute Journal. It coaches you, they tell you what to say, you’re not sitting there with a blank page like whatever. You need a little bit of a push. I think journaling really is great to help you take responsibility for your actions, acknowledge your successes and your failures, and just validate yourself.
Jessica: I have not been journaling recently. During my second marriage, at a certain point when I was feeling really down, I started journaling because I felt every night I was going to bed, not on a positive note. I’m an inherently happy person and so I was starting to feel I was losing the happiness in myself. I started keeping a joy journal where all I was doing every night before I would go to bed I was listing three things that I was joyful about from that day. No matter what I was thinking about that was negative before I go to bed, there were always three things throughout the day that I could say brought me joy. It could be something like my kids are healthy today. But the idea, obviously, is to stretch and have other things. And so at least that way, I was going to sleep on a more positive happy note. But now my life’s been in transition for the last almost year, and I admit I have not been journaling, and so I’ll have to give myself zero points.
T.H.: But that audio journal might be a good thing for you to do.
Jessica: The memory on my phone will be gone in like one night. [Laughs]
T.H.: Or just call me.
Jessica: I audio journal with T.H. every day.
T.H.: Honestly, if you don’t want to do those things, Jessica and I unload on each other. That’s another place to put it as long as it’s in a place that’s private. It’s not going to be broadcast anywhere.
Jasmine: That goes back to having a good network.
Jessica: Okay, now our last self-care tip?
Jasmine: Okay, the last one is probably not one that you’re going to find when you’re Googling these, but it’s laughing. I really, really believe in this because when I started laughing again, I started feeling again. Babies laugh like 400 times a day, and as adults, we usually laugh between 10 to 20 times a day. Laughter also releases endorphins like exercise. So, try to find ways to make yourself laugh, and be around people who make yourself laugh in your network, or watch silly videos on YouTube that make you laugh. There’s also forced laughter if you don’t want to laugh. Laughter yoga or forced laughter, you’re actually forcing yourself to laugh. It’s a fake laugh, and it is actually still stimulating your brain in a way. It can get you laughing at yourself because you’re making yourself laugh. I think laughter is so, so important in our everyday lives.
Jessica: I couldn’t agree more. I think laughter is everything. In fact, also in terms of what I’m looking for in a partner, if I’m not laughing out loud several times on one of the first dates, forget it. You have to laugh all the time. Life is too damn short.
T.H.: There aren’t many times I’ve had a full-on belly, almost peeing in my pants laugh, but I do remember those times. I don’t even remember what I was laughing about, but I know where I was. I know that I almost peed in my pants and I couldn’t stop laughing. It’s the best feeling even just to smile. My boyfriend now, we just have the stupidest jokes. Everybody looks at us like, you think that’s funny? And the two of us think it’s kind of funny. That kind of exchange is just really healthy, whether it’s a boyfriend or your girlfriend or anybody you’re with. It makes your time together so much more enjoyable, so I understand it.
Jessica: I think we will both take a point for laughter because that’s important to both of us.
Jasmine: You guys scored very well.
Jessica: We did! We did! We did pretty well. I just didn’t get the journaling one, but there was one that you didn’t get earlier.
T.H.: I haven’t journaled in, I don’t know, three months. I’ll be journaling again soon in September when I’m home more, but it is okay. I feel like I didn’t need it. I definitely needed it, and then I really did slow down because I was repeating myself so I was giving the same answers. And I was like, ah! I’ve got to shut it down for a little while. It’s not serving its purpose.
Jasmine: If it feels more of a burden for you, then it’s not actually self-care.
T.H.: Yeah, I was feeling guilty if I didn’t fill it out. Now I can look past it and I’m okay.
Jessica: I will say when it comes to journaling too though, part of the reason why I was doing it in terms of a joy journal was that I think, now it’s coming back to me, when I first started journaling, it was to get my thoughts and my feelings out. I actually felt it was contributing to the negativity inside me. For anybody listening, if you feel when you are journaling it’s not a positive thing for you, then that’s totally fine because you can turn it into something different. That was what I did with it. Instead of making it into a negative experience, I tried to flip it around and make it into a more positive experience, and that was helpful for me.
Jasmine: I was going to say journaling doesn’t necessarily just have to be about your situation or the experience. It could be that you’re writing about something positive. I do have a blog specifically about that. I talked about that where I mentioned if it is causing you to get anxious and more sad or angry or frustrated, then that’s not something that you should be doing, because that’s not self-care at all.
T.H.: With your seven self-care tips, I mean, we were talking about not being overwhelmed and putting too much on your plate. How many do you pick if you’re just starting out? You’re like, okay, here are seven self-care tips. Do I start with just one? Do I start with two? Because you can’t start with all seven, you’re not going to be successful. How do you approach this?
Jasmine: So, breathing, the first chapter, I think is the first thing. It’s the easiest thing to do because you can do it wherever, whenever, in the morning when you wake up first thing, in the car, in the shower. It’s very simple and it doesn’t take a lot of thought to do that. The other thing to remember is self-care is different for everybody. When you’re going through a divorce, self-care might mean that you got up and brushed your teeth, and showered that day. And that’s self-care. And that’s okay too. But from my book, I would say the number one is chapter one and it’s just remembering to breathe because it’s amazing what that deep breath can do for you.
T.H.: This is really awesome.
Jessica: So good. So good. So many helpful tips for everybody out there. It’s not like rocket science and brain surgery, but it’s so helpful. Thank you so much Jasmine for sharing all of your wisdom with us. We really appreciate it.
T.H.: Thank you.
Jessica: Jasmine, thank you so much for being here today and sharing all of those great self-tips with us. It’s going to be really helpful for everybody listening. And all the information about Jasmine is going to be on our website. You can find all her links to her website and all her social channels and how to reach out to her with all the amazing services she offers right on www.exexperts.com. See you next time.