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Self-care conversations: Maree O'Dwyer

Maree O'Dwyer is a qualified nutritionist with a passion for healthy eating that focuses on balance. Inspired by watching her Gran cook when she was young, Maree has a love of food, cooking and eating with enjoyment, while nourishing our body at the same time. After struggling with how her body reacted to various foods, it was Maree's own health journey that led her down the path of nutrition. You can find loads of wholesome, delicious recipes as well as meal planning and consultation services on Maree's website.

Q. What does self-care mean to you and what role does it play in your life?

Maree: In my life I have so many roles, mum, wife, sister, daughter, friend and nutritionist. I’ve got people that rely

on me to show up for them every day no matter what. When I’m not taking care of myself, I can’t be the person they need me to be. So it plays a huge role in my life. I realised when my eldest was born how important taking time for myself was. It doesn’t matter how big or small that gesture is either, it’s just allowing yourself to take a moment to breathe or have a cup of tea uninterrupted. It’s one of the most valuable things I could do for myself and those who surround me.

Q. How do you like to practice self-care? Are there certain activities/rituals that best work for you?

Maree: My health is the most important thing to me. There are three non-negotiables that I make sure I do every day in some form or another. To me this is eating well and listening to my body so that I can fuel it accordingly – this is a skill that has taken many years to master. Making time to move for at least 30 minutes each day whether is a strong HIIT session or some gentle yoga. It’s all important to me. But my top priority is sleep. If I don’t have that under wraps, then everything else ends up out of balance. If I don’t sleep well, eating well and getting myself moving can be really difficult.

Q. Self-care isn't always easy. What advice do you have for anyone who's struggling to prioritise themselves?

Maree: I think self-care is so much more than just doing an activity or buying something for yourself. It’s much deeper and it is also a mindset. It’s the ability to forgive yourself and not take yourself to seriously all the time. To be able to stand up for yourself when you need to and taking ownership of your responsibilities – one of these is to take care of yourself just as well as those that are around you depending on you.

Q. Do you have a favourite quote, mantra or role model that inspires you to practice self-care?

Maree: I think most parents will relate to this one – ‘put your oxygen mask on first before helping others’ speaks volumes. The root of self-care to me is that you are nourished in both body and mind and therefore able to be the best version of yourself. The days I struggle the most are the days when I’ve put everyone’s interests ahead of my own. So it comes back to taking even the smallest moment to pause and regroup, sometime even just to make a plan for a little self-care when time permits!

You can follow Maree on Instagram at @nourishinglife_nutrition


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