Sam Wilson is the founder of Sober Mates - a community and educational platform to explore your drinking habits. You don't need to be sober but if you want to cut down, learn more about your drinking habits and find information without judgement then this is the place for you. On a personal note, Sam has inspired me to try lockdown 2.0 sober, and although I do love a weekend wine I've realised I actually don't need it to relax and have already seen some huge benefits to my overall wellbeing - in particular my energy levels and sleep patterns. It has definitely made me re-think my relationship with alcohol in a really positive way. You can check out Sober Mates on Instagram or find more info on their website.
Q. What does self-care mean to you and what role does it play in your life?
Sam: Self-care. We have had a long journey together and we’ve finally worked out a routine that works for us. My mantra used to be I’ll sleep when I’m dead and I would burn out every 6 weeks like clockwork. I have totally flipped now and learnt the importance of taking care of me first. The role self-care has in my life now is to keep me in routine, sane and healthy so I can serve others. When you’re sober you don’t have alcohol as a way to numb your feelings. Being sober 24/7 means your feelings are right on the surface. It is so important for me to have those check-ins with myself and know when my self-care/mental health needs to take focus.
Q. How do you like to practice self-care? Are there certain activities/rituals that best work for you?
Sam: I am very lucky that I am able to set up my days as I would like and routine is a big part of that. I live with others and I love my alone time in the morning so that means waking up a couple of hours before everyone else. This ensures I get to enjoy the quiet, to meditate, practice yoga, move my body, and get outside either with a walk or a swim in the ocean. What works best for me is filling my own cup before serving others. My days are always better when I take the time to do something for myself in the morning.
Q. Self-care isn't always easy. What advice do you have for anyone who's struggling to prioritise themselves?
Sam: It is not. I used to be so caught up in ticking off my self-care routine that when I didn’t tick everything off it would stress me out even more! It is important to figure out what you actually need in your self-care routine and to prioritise that. I think we can get so caught up in thinking we have to do all these self-care items when on a busy day taking the time to go outside and watch the sunrise for 10 minutes can be enough for me. Find your one thing that works for you. Not every day will be perfect in your self-care routine. Also work on changing your mindset that it is selfish, it is so important to fill your own cup before serving others.
Q. Do you have a favourite quote, mantra or role model that inspires you to practice self-care?
Sam: A weird one, but ‘the past me’ inspires me to practice self-care because I know how much better my days are when I take time for myself. We all know those days where everything went right, we didn’t snooze our alarm, we watched the sunrise, we meditated, we moved our body and we practised gratitude. Knowing how much better my day is going to get when I practice self-care ensures that I keep up a consistent routine.