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Self-care is not what you think it is! It’s not a spa day, a retreat, or yoga. True self-care is recognizing your emotional needs and implementing universally available strategies to meet your needs for yourself, not so that you can do more for others.


About Sara Palmer

Sara Palmer is affectionately known as the “Permission to Choose” Speaker, Trainer, and Self-care Coach. She is hired by companies, organizations, and event planners, to train and teach their High-Achieving employees and attendees, especially Moms, aged 30-50 who have checked all the boxes, climbed every mountain, and met every goal they set.

And now, especially in the time of COVID and social unrest, they’re overwhelmed, burned out, and exhausted. I show them another way that balances the life they have with the life they want (but are afraid to try for or without running off into the woods to start over.)

Sara is a recovering addict/scrappy survivor who triumphed over abuse, assault, and addiction. As a veteran public school teacher, professional consultant, and lay minister. She’s helped over 20,000 children and adults gain success and serenity by tapping into their innate strengths and rising above limited expectations.

Her experience in the trenches of mental illnesses, addiction, and recovery makes her a vital resource to others who struggle. In her talks and training, she uses science, stories, and humor to show high-achieving (but overwhelmed) audiences exactly how to both identify and solve problem areas in their lives.

Robyn Graham interviewed Sara Palmer on The Second Phase Podcast. Sara debunked the misconceptions of selfcare and gave examples of selfcare that are universally available. On the podcast graphic is a photo of Sara wearing a light blue oxford shirt, smiling and looking at the camera. She has curly dark hair with pink and blue streaks through it.

Holding Ourselves Back

When we as humans hide things or hold things in, we suppress ourselves and can’t truly identify with ourselves because so much is weighing us down and causing shame to build up. Therefore, one has to focus on themselves in order to be able to navigate situations, build a foundation of self-discovery, and ask for help.

Are Your Self-care Needs Being Meant

High achieving means you get things done! You had a list of things you wanted to check off and you did it. But you ended up realizing you aren’t fulfilled you are overwhelmed and under-resourced.

Likewise, as high achievers, we don’t always stop and look at our day to determine if we had enough, if we need help, or if there are things we can change to make life better.

What is Self-care and How Do You Recognize the Need for More Self-care?

It’s terrifying that you have a space in your life that can never be filled, and that the things you are trying to fill it with are making it worse. Similar to an addict and a person who wants more followers on social media and so posts more and more or a person who wants to be healthier, they limit their diet to only certain food choices.  More and harder are usually not better, but that is what we’ve been taught. For some people, that might work, but for most high-achieving women it doesn’t.

Self-care is not something you do so that you can do something else, be a better mother, volunteer more, or work more, it is about caring for yourself.

When a person’s cup is filled, they will be able to be a better mother, volunteer more, or work more. Self-care has to be for us. We are people who deserve to be cared for first.

In America, self-care has been sold as $150 yoga pants, retreats, and smoothie cleanses. These actions are called geographical solutions. The problem, you are still there, so you have to change, or the problem won’t change.

What is HALT?

HALT is an acronym for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. When we meet these needs on a daily basis, we start to see change.

In addition, Sara added a “tm” to HALT. So now we have HALTtm. The t is for thirst, and the m is for mindset. Mindset includes meditation, medication, and mental health.

Self-care is not a white woman yoga solution. There are millions of women who are moms but don’t work with the same set of solutions. Some women can’t afford yoga, yoga pants, manicures, pedicures, or retreats or don’t have childcare to go and do these things. In addition, these things make us feel better if we have access to them, but they don’t meet the HALTtm needs.

What are True Self-care Solutions?

The solutions Sara offers for self-care are broadly accessible and applicable. Likewise, they are universally available. An example is for the H in HALTtm is to always have protein on hand. Protein will keep your body energy-filled. Set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself to eat.

Similarly, for A, anger, recognize that you are allowed to be angry. It is okay for you to be really upset about something. When you recognize that you are really upset or mad or angry, you can say that is how you are feeling. Set time aside to deal with it. You can decide not to yell, but it is best to deal with the emotions and not push them away or ignore them.

It’s best to say I feel angry right now, but don’t say “you make me angry”.

Self-care is really owning our emotional estate and allowing ourselves to be in the moment and experience the emotions coming our way. If we could have found ways to fix our hunger, anger, and emotions, we would have fixed them already. This isn’t because of something you lack. It isn’t a failing on your part. If you could have solid self-care in your life, you would have implemented it.

Sometimes we need someone else to help us identify what’s lacking and find the solutions that already exist.

We are meant to do this alone. Listen to episode 123 for more on finding people to help you in your high-achieving journey.

The One Thing You Can Do Today to Make a Shift to A Journey of Self-care

Recognize what you are already doing that makes you a badass. Pause and instead of saying this isn’t enough, discover what you are really good at. What are you already doing real? Not everyone can do what is super easy for you. When you recognize what you are already doing well, you will be able to tackle the harder things.

What is the thing that you do effortlessly in the HALTtm model? Recognize your worth and what you are already doing.

Download Sara’s Slay or Sabotage Quiz. The direct link to the six-day slaycation program is and the coupon code for 10% off is secondphase.

Personal Branding Q and A

How do I market to both moms and companies on social media without having two separate profiles?

You are the brand. Your goal is to control what everyone thinks, says, and feels about you. To do this, create content buckets. If you post three times a week, create one bucket for moms, one bucket for companies, and one bucket for quotes or inspiration, or teaching.

Because the people in companies who will hire you are also moms, the content will cross over. Companies will identify with the content directed toward moms because they have moms employed within their companies and moms will resonate with the posts for companies because they may be working in corporate or know someone who does or resonate with them even as an entrepreneur.

To learn More About Your Host, Robyn Graham, Click HERE.
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