American self-care advocate sets eyes on Zimbabwe women Leslie Gaudet

Mbulelo Mpofu, [email protected]

AMERICAN self-care expert, Leslie Gaudet is on a mission to preach the need for self-care, especially among women in Zimbabwe.

This has led to her partnering with local communication expert, Elizabeth “Liz” Dziva on three virtual workshops which are set for July and August.

In an exclusive interview with Saturday Leisure, Gaudet laid bare how her life’s journey led her down a path of resilience and determination.

Leslie Gaudet

“I was born in the 1960s during the civil rights movement to a Canadian white mother and an American black father in New Jersey. My early life was marked by significant challenges and changes, starting with my mother taking me back to Canada when I was just three months old.

“Growing up in social housing with my two younger brothers and an older brother from my mother’s first marriage, I often felt less fortunate compared to my friends who lived in more stable environments. This sense of inadequacy followed me through my formative years, especially after my sister passed away when I was just a year old.

“Despite these early hardships, I pursued a career in law, beginning at the young age of 19. Over the decades, I faced numerous personal and professional challenges, including feeling the intense pressures of a demanding career.

Elizabeth Dziva

“These experiences ultimately led me to realise the importance of self-care. My journey through stress, burnout, and eventual healing inspired me to help other women avoid similar struggles. This mission has driven me to expand my reach globally, empowering women to embrace self-care for a more fulfilling life,” she shared.

Last year, she met Lizzy and thus made it a point to work with her to help fellow women in Zimbabwe.

“Working with Elizabeth Dziva has been a rewarding experience that reinforced my vision for global self-care. Liz, a dedicated client, sought to rediscover joy and overcome exhaustion and guilt. Through our coaching journey, she learned the importance of prioritising self-care, realising it’s not selfish but essential to showing up as the best version of herself for others. Liz’s transformative shift reaffirmed my belief in self-care as a non-negotiable for a quality life. Her progress inspires me to empower more women globally, fostering a culture of self-care that benefits individuals and those around them,” she said.

Inspired by her own journey with the wellness coach, Liz is dedicated to helping others achieve balance and well-being.

She collaborates with schools, businesses and individuals to facilitate engaging wellness workshops that promote mental, physical and emotional resilience.

Gaudet, who is ready to help women from diverse backgrounds said she’ll adapt self-care strategies for diverse cultural contexts by being sensitive and open.

“I’ll learn about cultural backgrounds, listen to clients’ needs and collaborate on tailored plans that respect their values. My approach will be flexible, inclusive and informed by continuous learning on global self-care trends and cultural nuances. This will enable me to empower women from various backgrounds to prioritise their well-being in a way that feels authentic and supportive to their unique needs,” she said.

Gaudet conceded that her focal point being women was a deliberate move since women worldwide face challenges like stress, exhaustion, poor time management and balancing multiple roles.

To address these, she said she’ll offer tailored self-care approaches, including stress-reducing techniques, boundary-setting, time management tools and prioritisation strategies.

She said she’ll also emphasise self-care as essential for overall well-being, not a selfish act. Recognising cultural differences, she’ll co-create self-care plans that respect and incorporate women’s unique cultural values and practices.

By addressing these challenges, she aims to empower women to lead healthier, more balanced lives and enhance their overall well-being.

According to Gaudet, self-care is a powerful tool for fostering global understanding, empathy and unity.

“By prioritising self-care, individuals cultivate emotional intelligence, self-respect and compassion, leading to a more inclusive and understanding attitude towards others. As people from diverse backgrounds share self-care practices, they create a rich tapestry of knowledge and support, promoting respect and appreciation for different cultural traditions.

“By emphasising self-care, societies can build stronger, more compassionate bonds, fostering global unity and co-operation to address shared challenges and create a more harmonious world,” she said.

Gaudet surmised that self-care has the potential to transform individuals, communities and societies worldwide.

Elizabeth Dziva

“By prioritising personal well-being, individuals become more resilient and emotionally healthy, leading to improved relationships and communication. This ripple effect can create a culture of mutual care and understanding, leading to healthier, more vibrant communities”.

“By promoting self-care globally, we can build stronger, more connected communities that thrive together, laying the foundation for a better quality of life and sustainable development,” said the well-travelled Gaudet. — Follow on X @MbuleloMpofu


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