After obtaining her Masters in Social Work from IUPUI in 2019, Kamri Williams began her full-time career as a licensed social worker, working at a local school to support the social and emotional needs of students and families. Less than a year later, the pandemic had major effects on both her job and mental health (ummm … relatable!)
Williams decided to take charge of her own life, practicing consistent self-care to improve her overall well-being instead of allowing her circumstances to dictate her outlook. This personal shift led to the creation and November 2020 launch of Creating Space for You, a program where Williams helps ambitious and hardworking women learn to put themselves first.
We were so excited when she agreed to speak at Indy Maven’s first Monthly Member Meetup, and we sat down with her to learn a little bit more before the event on January 25.
What does Creating Space for You encompass and who do you serve?
Through Creating Space for You, I look to assist ambitious and hardworking women of all ages, helping them put themselves first to avoid burnout through one-on-one coaching, workshops and training, and self-care products. I also have a self-care Facebook group to build community and provide tips and information.
I say “hardworking” and “ambitious” specifically because they are two adjectives I use to identify myself as a woman. I’m always on to the next, trying to be bigger and better, and checking off boxes toward success. I realized I need to enjoy what I already accomplished and pour into myself as much as I pour into everyone else.
Apart from Creating Space for You, you have a full-time career. What made you decide to take on the endeavor of starting your own business on top of your busy schedule?
My own personal self-care journey throughout the pandemic is what motivated me. I really had to buckle down to continually show up successfully in my full-time job. Last year was crazy, and a lot was thrown at everyone. [Self-care] was really the only thing that allowed me to continue to show up, so I had to take it really seriously and not just do something every now and then. I needed to develop a consistent practice.
You recently had an event surrounding the idea that “just taking a bubble bath is not self-care.” What did you mean by that and how do you define self-care?
Self-care is not just something that you do every now and then. It is a consistent practice. It is meant to be proactive instead of reactive. It’s consistently being in tune with and monitoring physical, social, emotional, mental, spiritual, and financial needs and responding to them. Self-care to me is a daily practice.
As the first Monthly Maven Member Meetup speaker, we are SO excited for you to join us on January 25. What will you be talking to our members about?
I’ll be talking about six areas of self-care I live by—physical, social, emotional, mental, spiritual, and financial—and what practices can look like for those six areas. I’ll also debunk some common self-care myths.
Can you share some of those common myths about self-care?
The main things I hear are that self-care requires a lot of time, it requires you to spend money, that you only need self-care when you are stressed, that self-care is only for women or only for adults, or that self-care is selfish.
What is your go-to self-care practice when the world around you is complete chaos?
I love aromatherapy, so I’m really big on essential oils and candles. I’ll apply essential oils on my wrists when I’m feeling stressed, which allows me to [put my wrists up to my nose] and inhale [destressing scents]. I love to burn candles throughout the day. I’ll also add essential oils into my bath because they have different benefits and help remove toxins from your body.
Do you have any essential oils that you recommend?
Some of my favorites are lemon, eucalyptus, and lavender. Lavender is said to be really good for stress relief and to provide a sense of calm. I’ve been told eucalyptus helps with sinuses, so I try to use that one as well. I also love the smell of lemon because it makes me think “clean.” So when I smell it, I think, “Mmm … a clean environment, a clean house.”
If you could say one thing to tell all women who want to engage in self-care, what would it be?
Take baby steps. Small practices can lead up to big results. If you try to just throw yourself into it, you may get overwhelmed, end up not being successful, and completely abort the mission. Take baby steps and incorporate small activities throughout the day.
Also, if anyone in the Indy Maven community is looking to take a slow step into revamping their self-care routine, I recently launched 31 digital self-care challenge cards available on your phone that reveal a new challenge each day. That’s a good way to get started because it will reveal an activity to do each day.
With the beginning of 2021, we are all a little wary of the “this is my year” and “new year, new me” mantras. What advice do you have for women who want to set obtainable goals—and actually reach them—this year?
Utilize the SMART [goal-setting] method. Be very specific, try to make them as measurable as possible so you know when you get there, make sure they’re attainable, be realistic, and put a timeframe on it. Also, keep in mind these goals may have to change and adjust depending on the different factors we may encounter this year because we aren’t sure where things are going to go. Be flexible.
To learn more about Creating Space for You, visit https://www.creatingspace4u.com.
The Maven Member Meetup series gives Indy Maven members the opportunity to connect, laugh, learn, and vent virtually (for now) on the last Monday evening of every month. Members: Check your email the week leading up to each event for information and a Zoom link! Not yet a member? Become one so you can attend the monthly member meetups AND receive all the other awesome Indy Maven member perks!