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Self Care At A Conference … notes to my sometimes introverted, usually anxiety ridden self.

I have been reflecting on my trip to 
Blogher 2014
asking myself what of value 
can I add to the conversation.

For me
it's on the subject of 
Self Care at a Conference.

I know conferences can sound fun from the outside
but inside
I think they are a lot of hard work
especially for any one with a tendency towards being introverted
or anxiety ridden.
I happen to be both
so I know by now
Self Care is a necessity 
that can pay off in spades!

I wrote about my
at the conference here
 rereading the post afterwards
I have to say 
having an intentional plan
really worked.
I had so many of the sacred connecting moments I was hoping for.

So today I wanted to write down the 
Self Care ideas that worked for me
what I will do the next time 
I venture to a conference.

Arrive a day early.

I didn't this time … but I will from now on.  There is so much new to get used to … and if the schedule is jammed packed … there is little time to get your bearings … and overwhelm is almost certain … for people like me.

I actually ended up calling my husband the first night at the conference
 really just wanting to come home.
I was overwhelmed and disappointed at the same time.
because I thought it was going to just be all fun
I forgot what it felt like to be out of my comfort zone
way out.

My expectations were out of proportion
 I had forgotten 
conferences are work.
Hard work if you really want 
to have meaningful takeaways from your stay.

I knew I couldn't live with the personal failure of just quitting and going home.

So in the morning I regrouped.

Instead of doing the whole conference
I decided 
To do the conference in a way that worked
for me.

That meant first off
going for a walk and clearing my head.
I walked for a couple of hours
investigating the city
 getting my bearings
both locally
I realized for me to do a conference
my first priority had to be 
self care.

I went back the the hotel
 ordered a healthy breakfast
 redid my entire itinerary.

I picked the two sessions I really wanted to see.
Finding Your Visual Voice.

I went to the first one early
to get a seat up front
notepad in hand.
Because I had taken care of myself
I was able to be totally engaged.

I chose not to go to the lunch speakers
instead I went to
the museum
to recharge my soul
with some great art and alone time
before another session.

Learning I had to do a conference
my own way
was worth the trip.

I realized
I have to respect my own soul
how I need to do
not only a conference
but life as well.

I am no good to anyone on overwhelm.
To  bring my beat self forward  it takes
investing in self care.

Leave your critical voice at home.

Pack grace for yourself and others instead.
A conference isn't the time to let the crazy mean judgmental voice
rule your days.
It will sap energy that could be used for doing good.

Because I had left with intentions for the conference
I did leave this voice at home
 instead brought a voice
that was gentle and nurturing.
A voice that reminded me
I was brave for even showing up.
That life is hard for us all at times
we are all doing the very best we can
with what we know now.
The voice that calmly reminds me that perfection is not required
but rather
for true connections.

I made a conscious choice after the first day
to only focus on what was good
and to look for magic moments
and by doing so
 I found them.
So many magic moments.

Pack Wisely

I did
I was ever so grateful for it.
I had outfits pre styled for each event.

This quote by Bill Cunningham
is one of my all time favorites.

I never think clothes are frivolous
quite the contrary.

For me a great outfit
perfect for the occasion
lets me bring my best self forward.
The self that is all about engaging with others
to reflect their own greatness back to them.

The self that knows the bigger picture
is always about connections
spreading love.
Savoring the simple moments in life
because those are the great ones.

I have to nurture myself
so I can tap into this self
that I have begun to love
for I know her heart is pure.
This self can find the magic in life.

I can't always bring this self out
but I have learned
the more
I self care
the more often she returns.

As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life


  1. What a lovely thoughtful post.

    I never think of you as an introvert! I am not an introvert but I hate walking inot new situations by myself where I don't know anyone and I love my comfort zone. I agree that arriving a day early is such a good idea. I did a garden tour in England last year and I arrived a week early to get my bearings and it was the best thing I could have done.

    Have you read the Thoughtful Dresser by Linda Grant? It is fantastic and she goes into a lot of discussion about how clothes can be our armour and other interesting things. It is a seriously fabulous book. You can get it from amazon. x

  2. Thank you my dear for your kind and thoughtful comment! I will definitely be ordering the Thoughtful Dresser … sounds like Linda Grant is really speaking my language! Thank you ever so much for the suggestion my dear!

    I was thinking of you this weekend … as here in SoCal … we have finally got the Housewives of Australia playing!

    So glad to hear your early arrival in England payed off … is that when you got to meet up with Tabitha? There is so much to be said for getting one's bearings, isn't there!

    I have fingers crossed that you will someday make it out my way! t


  3. Tamera - I so understand the need for a thoughtful approach to multi-day conferences and similar gatherings. I have always gone with high excitement and expectations and then found myself overwhelmed and paralyzed by my insecurity. And somehow being alone at these gatherings can be unusually lonely and depressing. Your determination to attend the conference on your own healthy terms is helpful and inspiring. Thank you. As always, I wonder why I had to get to "a certain age" before I could appreciate this approach. Jeanne of

    1. Jeanne, thank you so much for your very thoughtful comment. For me it has taken … getting to "a certain age" … to learn to respect myself … and that I have to make allowances … for my own emotional nature … realizing I am who I am … and not likely to change my emotional makeup. There is such a relief in coming to terms with self acceptance … and learning to work with it … for the best outcome.

      I certainly agree with you … that being alone at these gatherings … can be very depleting … so happy to hear I am not alone in that realization! The mere realizations … are true steps to doing these gatherings better!

      Again my dear, thank you for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful and reflective comment.


  4. Lovely lovely and heartfelt post, my dear friend. I'm so glad to hear your words of wisdom in not only saying but DOING what was best for You. Sounds like this approach needs to be taken by many many others. Since you somewhat know me by now, it may come as no surprise to you but I've always had that kind of stubborn "I can do it by myself" and "I will do it how I want to" kind of attitude. I thoroughly enjoy joining the 'group' per say but I also find great pleasure with doing things on my own time frame and schedule. I absolutely enjoyed every word you wrote today, now I know I could enjoy a conference. With the pictures of pure laughter and happiness radiating from your smile (on instagram) it was a joy to see that you found success and enjoyment from this conference.
    By the way, that second photo . . . WOW!
    But I am taking notes and lessons on your packing technique. You would be horrified at how I pack (yep in about 30 minutes).

    1. My dearest Trina … I am not surprised by your … "doing it how you want to" … and that you can "do it by yourself". My impression of you my friend … is that you have found a way to do life … "filled up with love" … how else would you always be brimming over with so much love to give to others. Your loving, generous spirit is always an inspiration … whether it be here in the blog sphere … or in person!

      I am impressed you can pack in 30 minutes my dear … but that is only a testament to your lithe healthy body … and that you look great in everything!

      Hugs to you, your gorgeous daughter … and of course the amazing Molly doll!


  5. Lovely heartfelt post Tamera and beautiful photos. I need this kind of private time as well to get in touch with my true soul, and I take it without apology, and am protective of my time for myself, but that m.o. happened gradually as a wisdom learning process. And I had to learn to ignore the extroverts who didn't understand. Love your hats post too; kudos to you for being unabashedly YOURSELF.

    1. Kathryn my dear … thank you for your kind, understanding words. There are so many great things … in this 'wisdom learning process that is life … i couldn't agree more about being protective of time for one's self. I am realizing by having more respect for my own needs … and taking self care … I have so much more to give to others.

      Thank you again, for taking the time to leave such a heartfelt and touching comment.


  6. Tamera, so glad for you on approaching the conference in your own way, I am sure because of taking care of your self you took so much more from it than otherwise may have been so.Amazing the things we learn if we listen to the voice inside.
    Love the quote is so true.Dressing our own way and making an effort to do so is so important for our well being.

    1. Yes dear Jill, you are so right … on all of it! Glad to read your winter in Tazmania has been better this week!


  7. Since you mentioned last week that you were going to post about self care at a conference, I have been eagerly awaiting to see what you would write. I have a trip coming up that is not a conference, but will still require some adjustment of expectations and focused intentions. I purposely am arriving two days early for all the reasons you mentioned. I know this will benefit me for the latter part of the trip when my time won't be as much my own and I will be more at the will of others. Reading this helped me so much to understand why I need to build self care into my travel (and life) and it is affirming to know that I am not alone in feeling this way. Now I am off to re-read your packing tips. Thank you.

    1. Dearest Miss Dishywoo … so very happy to read that my post on self care was helpful to you! You are very wise to travel early to your destination … to get acclimated! I am sure you will find your added investment in self care to be very wise indeed!

      Wishing you a most memorable trip my dear!


  8. Thank you for sharing how you made a potentially stressful situation work for you. As a card carrying introvert myself, I found a few nuggets of wisdom to use myself. And yes, walking! Next to swimming there is nothing better to clear my mind. Glad you managed to enjoy the conference your way.

    1. Cornelia my dear, so happy for your visit! I have been thinking of you and wondering how life is progressing with you!

      So happy you found a few nuggets of wisdom! I am honored!


  9. Tamera, I wouldn't attempt to do what you did.
    My anxiety is getting worse, I've always been an introvert but never this angst ridden, this post makes me feel less alone.

    1. Tabitha my dear, so happy for your visit! So sorry to hear, you too have been visited by angst … You are definitely not alone my friend! Sending you all the best!


  10. Have lurked and admired your strong posts,this made me tearful,I was always the fearful introverted gel that ran off halfway through through conferences with strangers.......

    1. Judith, thank you so much for your touching comment my dear … I have also found conferences overwhelming … but learning to do them on my terms has been very freeing!

      Wishing you all the best,

  11. What an amazingly strong woman you are Tamera! my sincerest admiration!

    1. Thank you so very much … your kind words are very much appreciated!

  12. You are my hero!! Thanks for showing up! Kathryn

    1. Kathryn, thank you so very much for your sweet words my dear!

    2. I have followed you a very long time quietly-I need you to know that YOU R AMAZING!!! I have drawn such strength and peace from your weekly posts!! Thank you does not seem adequate! Keep up your amazing work-The Jewelry is just the TOP LAYER dear lady! KK

    3. Kathryn, thank you ever so much for your thoughtful and loving comment. Sometimes, when I post such personal thoughts … I wonder why. but it is always because of responses like yours, that I still do. To offer strength and peace to anyone … is always an aim of the highest part. Life is hard on us all … and connections that we are not alone … make such a difference.

      Thank you for taking the leap … and leaving such meaningful words my dear!


  13. Tamera, it is so true when we take care of ourselves, and know ourselves better, it is good for all those around us! You are a great example and inspiration!

  14. Thank you very much dear Karena! It is amazing … the power of self care!

    Hope you8 are enjoying your summer!


  15. I would never have thought you an introvert Tamera (I am too) and I admire your strength, inner reflections and how you are brave and share your truth. I feel inspired by you, thank you.

    1. Valerie shared more eloquently than I could and captured everything I wanted to say. Thank you Valerie!
      Seriously...just wanted to say Tamera - you are an inspiration to many - and although I have never met you. I love you to pieces! - Pam Atk

  16. Valerie, thank you so much for kind, thoughtful words. To inspire others … is always not only my aspiration … but the greatest of compliments to receive. Thank You!


  17. I went to one blogging conference, which I found fun, but totally overwhelming, and also made me question why I thought I should even be blogging at all. I am done with that scene! I would skip them in the future if I were you, they are odd events. I'm all for going outside the comfort zone but I know if I attended another blogging conference I would just feel vulnerable, exposed, and would not be able to stop that voice in my head that wants to compare my blog to the blogs of others, which is always a rotten thing to do to one's self, it's so bad for morale! Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for joining Adrienne and me for "How I Wear My: White." Your outfit was as glamorous as I have come to expect from you and I am going to try to take a page from your book and wear more white all year round. XO, Jill

    1. Jill sorry to hear of your conference experience. The first conference I attended … was pretty much the same for me. That's why this time i armed myself with a list of intent … which was really helpful to a point! I realized this second conference, I needed to do it my way … and when I did just that … the experience was really remarkable. I left the conference not only respecting my own voice … but wanting to add it to the voices out working there working for the greater good!

      I completely agree with you, blogging conferences can definitely be odd events … but for me … if properly planned for … including arming with particular intent … they can be a real step in my personal development.

      Thank you again for hosting How I Wear My White and you sweet comments about my entry! These roundups you and Adrienne are gracious enough to do … are always an inspiration!


  18. Tamera the movers are here, the computer is about to be disconnected but I had to tell you how much I loved this post before I leave blogland....How could I resist reading a post title like this one?! When I saw " notes to my sometimes introverted usually anxiety riddled self" I was flooded with warm, smiley feelings....hey, I thought, a new BFF! :) I'm serious, when you described your first reaction--and call to your husband--you could have been writing about my own feelings in similar situations. I am so proud of you, how you stepped back and regained your inner balance by leaving. Exploring your environment and getting acclimated which I think is a literal way of getting grounded again. And I'm so glad to hear that you were able to experience the positive benefits of the conference--connecting with others---after your initial reaction. I wish I had been there, we could have stole away and had a few glasses of wine somewhere.
    I still plan on doing that someday when my life finally gets settled. :)

    1. Awww Leslie … thank you so much my dear!! Coming from you … your words are ever so appreciated! Especially to take the time to leave such a loving message … in literally the throes of a move! All the more touching!

      I would never have thought these were feelings you could relate to! Thank you for realizing the growth for me in stepping back and regaining my inner balance. For you to say you are proud of me … means the world to me! the conference by the end … did end up to be such a remarkable experience for me!

      I look forward to the day when your life is able to settle … and we are able to steal away for wine!

      Thank you again, ever so much for your loving comment!


  19. Tamera, thanks for sharing these thoughts. Although I knew you were a deep thinker, a contemplative soul, I didn't know that you were an introvert. I am an introvert as well... usually not shy in any given situation, but definitely a bona fide introvert. I've been to many a retreat/conference, not giving myself alone time or time afterwards to decompress or process through the plethora of information. I've ended up completely overwhelmed by both people and ideas in just about every situation. If I ever venture into another situation like that, I need to take some advice from your experience. I need time to think and process, as well as time to pray and ask God where He wants me to be and what He wants me to hear at any given moment. I need to take some time to be alone with Him, in addition to the time I devote to fellowship and fun with others. Thank you for the insights. :)

    1. Linda, thank you for your most meaningful comment! It is always so lovely to realize I am not the only one who has to process life differently! I now know when I respect my uniqueness/differentness … and do things in a way that is in harmony with my own emotional makeup … the experience of events always resonates on such a different level. Instead of just trying to survive the situation … I am able to connect and grow on such a deeper level.

      Thank you my dear … for the taking the time to share … it is always a gift to know we are not alone … in being different!