Thank you for joining me your host Liz Clifton and my wonderful take34u Self Care Series: Creating Calm Confidence Guest Zhanelya  Subebayeva as we share self care secrets, top tips and stories of our experiences.

It's an absolute pleasure to support you with your own self care journey as you take34u and enjoy our chat below:

Zhanelya Subebayeva & Liz Clifton Interview

Zhanelya Subebayeva
Co-founder of PHOTOPORTRAYAL. Light Painting Photography Limited edition prints: Classic still life photography with a touch of the unexpected.

Zhaneyla Subebayeva & Liz Clifton Interview Transcription:

Liz Clifton: And welcome. Welcome. Welcome. Welcome. Zhanelya from, Photo Portrayal. It's such a pleasure to have you here with us today.  

Zhanelya  Subebayeva: Hi Liz, thank you for inviting me. 

 Liz Clifton: And I have to say, I love, love, love, love the picture behind you.  

Zhanelya  Subebayeva: Oh, thank you. That's one of my husband's works.  

Liz Clifton: It's amazing. Okay. So fast question is, what does self-care mean to you?  

Zhanelya  Subebayeva: I'd say self-care, to me is having some space myself. Like have this, especially in the mornings, first time you wake up rather than reaching out for the phone or checking emails or stuff and work straight away. I love that amount of times that I have just myself to read exercise, do whatever my soul wants really.  

Liz Clifton: I love that. So how would you know what your soul wants in the morning?  

Zhanelya Subebayeva: How'd, you know, what ?  

Liz Clifton: How do you know what your soul wants at that time in the morning?  

Zhanelya  Subebayeva: I think it's a mixture. Sometimes I go with the flow and just stare at the window. If it, if it has a beautiful sunrise, most of the time it's a combination of what I figured out is helpful. So I was going to suck it up over the years and now it's almost like a real routine in the morning. I do.  

Liz Clifton: Ooh, I love that. So do you mind sharing with us what that morning routine looks like for you?  

Zhanelya  Subebayeva: Yeah. Most of the time it is another that sometimes I mix and match and flip them around if I find it. but when I wake up, I go and get a glass of water. Then I do my morning affirmations, visualisations, and stuff like that. I meditate for 20 minutes and, do a grounding exercise together with it, to connect the roots to the earth and to, to the universe and all that. After that, listened to an audio book while I'm exercising, I get my breakfast. That's where this there and the window comes. Or sometimes when I go to grab a glass of water. I just float around for a bit longer. But that is pretty much it if I don't forget anything.  

Liz Clifton: Ah it sounds amazing. And when did you begin to use a morning routine as part of your self-care?  

Zhanelya Subebayeva: I  think it's been a while. I don't remember now. How, and when it started, probably at least three or four years. But it wasn't in this shape as it currently is. I think I was doing some affirmations in the morning. And then, because of health issues, I stacked up some exercise as well. And after that read somewhere that, oh, drinking water is good for you, especially in the morning because it just cleanses, cleanses, your body and all that. So added that in, so yeah, it didn't happen in one day. I didn't just start with, two hours. of doing stuff in the morning. Otherwise I would have quit it for sure.  

Liz Clifton: So when you think back to when you very first began with your self care, how did that look like for you?  

Zhanelya  Subebayeva: Think it was very, very tiny. It was literally while I'm washing my face in the morning, look at myself and did a bit of affirmations like that. I, I love universe. I trust the universe. I love myself and things like that. And I kept changing them trying to work out which ones I wanted. They changed over time because some of them, it just stuck in my brain and I'm no longer needed them. Some of them for the new ones that, go and throw all the day, you go and realize, oh, that's somehow with me. And they try to find what the root cause was. And you stuck it to that morning list of things that you tell youurself.  

Liz Clifton: Oooh  so when you sort of notice that something triggers you, how would you describe sort of that experience for someone that perhaps has never sort of looked at their self-care in this way before?  

Zhanelya  Subebayeva: I'd say it's any time when you get upset or sad or angry, annoyed, if you fear anything I think my main drivers were upset and if I get annoyed by something. Because I didn't really like being in that state. But if, we're fearful of certain things. It is really helpful as well. Like if you've got some changes coming up and feel, generally keep going over some things that if you just add a little phrase in the morning the same, it will make it easier.  

Liz Clifton: Yeah. I love that. Yeah. I think affirmations can be so powerful. Because as you described it, something that we end up kind of taking on and it comes just part of who we are just part of our natural being. Because we've repeated it that many times.  

Zhanelya  Subebayeva: That's for sure. Because even for, for example, when we just started working on the husband on, on the business, on Photo Portrayal. I was freaking out because we never really worked together. Husband and wife, you know how to live with each other, but not really, not necessarily how to work. And I've got, I've had lots of limiting beliefs like, oh, am I really good to be as a business partner and that. So I've just added that single line to my morning routine. I am a good business partner, that's it. And it help all over time.  

Liz Clifton: Yeah. And you are, you can absolutely do anything and everything that you choose to do. Yeah. Amazing. So you speak who say about meditating and visualization as well. So what's your experience been with them over time?  

Zhanelya  Subebayeva: I think because visualisation is usually really changing all the time. It's, whatever is actual, as it currently stands, these are, we want satisfaction for that. Or I, once I just like job or I want this deal to go smoothly. And so little things like that, anything from little to big.  Or if I've have a meeting, let's say that is important during the day, I can visualize how that goes in in the morning and it kind of helps. It's almost like it has already happened when you turn up and it's not as difficult anymore. In terms of meditation, it, that was a journey on, on its own. Cause I started from just sit in the silence that didn't quite work cause he kept doing things, thinking things and yeah, he just ended up coming up with a plan for something else. I tried Headspace with the little guided meditations with music.  

Zhanelya  Subebayeva: I think they're really good as a starting point, but what I fell in love eventually with is transcendental meditation. Because you get it not, it's not necessarily, you need to go on a course and get assigned a special mantra or anything like that. You can just repeat word love for however many times you want. And yeah, that, that has been life-changing and another thing that grounding exercises. I do at the back of it, that is really helpful as well, to connect with myself. And I find it then much easier to hear my inner guidance during the day. If I do that and if I don't for a couple of days and it's almost like it gets quieter and you need to reconnect back.  

Liz Clifton: Yeah.  I love that. Just like connecting inwards. Yeah. You can call it intuition.  I think so many people call it so many different things, but it's like intuition and a voice. Your conscience, your heart even. Yes.  

Zhanelya  Subebayeva: Your heart, your gut. Anything. Yeah, your not brain.  

Liz Clifton: Yeah. The unconscious brain.  Liz Clifton: That's amazing. So thinking about sort of your life now, how do you celebrate yourself.  What do you do when you have like wins?  

Zhanelya  Subebayeva: I think it varies. Sometimes we go and celebrate the dine outs or go and travel somewhere. Well, travelling, is not a thing lately, well when we can.  Chocolate cake even though we, it even though it's not the best self-care in the world and it's kind of self-care and for one thing. But not really self caring for something else. Yeah, I think that is probably about it some, sometimes I'll buy something like a course or a book or, some material that I'd like to learn. Cause that's the kind of thing that I find enjoyable. So yeah. So anything going back to the same thing anything my soul fancies at that exact moment in time. I would take that as the celebration.  

Liz Clifton: Yeah. I love it. Just back to that, that self-connection and just filling yourself up with joy. It's beautiful. So what is your very earliest memory of self-care?  

Zhanelya  Subebayeva: I think, I think funnily enough, I've seen that question on Bridget's post recently. And I struggled then and I struggled again now, because, I keep questioning myself. Was it that late really? But I can't really remember anything before that it. Probably was too busy with other things. So the earliest thing that comes to my mind is when I moved to, United Kingdom from Kazakhstan.  Yeah, we just went out to celebrate something. I don't remember what was it, but it was just a night out and girls to some nightclub. Nothing special and I wouldn't call it care. Now they changed back then I really enjoyed that. And it, it felt, like life was full of freedom, joy. And you almost get reconnect to that flow that you can do whatever you want. You're on the top of the universe kind of feeling.  

Liz Clifton: Oooh. I love that. And I love that you've described how everything changes over time. So self-care kind of can ebb and flow and just grows with us, so like clubbing when we're a bit younger. And then actually sometimes just having that quiet time, just a moment of peace. You know, it really kind of varies, like moment to moment I think.  

Zhanelya  Subebayeva: Yeah, definitely my main lifestyle. Time-wise what else do you have at the moment who do you share your life with. So lots of different things and also you re-evaluate certain things. So for example, clubbing, yeah. It was fun and nice and full of joy back then, but it is so a bit destructive for the body. So you're going to need to recover from that self-care which probably doesn't necessarily make sense, but back then it worked.  

Liz Clifton: Yeah. Yeah. And I think sometimes it's that kind of social connection can still count as self-care. But yeah, it's that actually looking after our physical selves as well. Yeah. Oh, that's brilliant. Thank you for sharing that with us. So for now, what is your absolutely most favorite place to go?  

Zhanelya Subebayeva: As in, on a regular basis?  

Liz Clifton: Whatever, whatever comes to mind?  

Zhanelya  Subebayeva: Think I really enjoy going to the seasides. Especially when, when we going for a walk with my husband. Because it's most of the time when it's not too crowded, especially in the evening, it's very peaceful and quiet. And when you see the waves going in and, and, and backwards, it's, it's almost like that feeling that they're washing away things. So yeah, it's very nice and relaxed. I really like being in nature in general the woods, forest, rivers, lakes, but I think the sea is at the top of my list.  

Liz Clifton: Yeah.  I love that. And you know, just that renewal and like you said, just washing everything away, you just like release as the waves, you know. And also just say, she said like elsewhere in nature, just getting outside and were connected back to where we, we kind of, we began really, you know, getting outside. Huh. Wow. I greatly appreciate everything that you have been sharing with us. If somebody was to come to self care like for the very first time now, what would your first step be that you'd suggest for them?  

Zhanelya  Subebayeva: Definitely say start very small. Like don't, over burden yourself with all the gorgeous things. Like I will exercise two hours a day in the gym. I will go swimming as well after that. And I will also drink smoothies like three times a day and hand make them and I will cook my meals. And so start small, I'd say start where you have the biggest pain point. So if it is, oh, I'm not really happy with what I eat. Because I'm either hungry or over eat or draws my energy down, start there. If it's sleep then start there. And figure out your sleeping cycle and all them things. If it's, oh, I've got too much thought going on in my brain and meditation is probably where it's best to start. Or if you've got some certain thoughts that it's not necessarily too many of them, but you've got some really bothering ones I think visualisations, affirmations are probably best. But so yeah, pick whichever is causing the most grief and get rid of that I'd say.  

Liz Clifton: Yeah. That's really helpful. And I guess where people, aren't sure, you know. Perhaps just to seek out and get support to get to the bottom of the, you know, what the biggest sort of issue for them is at that moment.  

Zhanelya  Subebayeva: Yep. Get support or if it helps to start going at least to start somewhere. So pick whichever and go with it.  

Liz Clifton: Yeah. It's one step, isn't it. The first step can often be the hardest, but it can be really tiny.  

Zhanelya  Subebayeva: True.  

Liz Clifton: Yeah. Amazing and did you have anything else that you wanted to share with the audience, about self-care?  

Zhanelya  Subebayeva: Nothing I can, nothing much having personally think of. Just get started. It's definitely worth it. Invest in yourself.  Yeah.  

Liz Clifton: It's beautiful. Thank you. So, so, so much for sharing your experiences with us.  

Zhanelya  Subebayeva: Thank you for inviting me.  

Liz Clifton: Absolutely. My pleasure.