Article: Katy Dawson
Who is Katy?
I’m a mother of three incredible little humans, a wife to my best friend and husband who has been by my side for over 20 years, a daughter, a sister/sister in law, an Aunty, a friend, a colleague and a teammate to my awesome netball team amongst other things!
I’m originally from the UK, but came to Australia with a backpack with my then boyfriend (now husband) over 16 years ago. Our original plan was to come for a year, maybe two, and now we have three Australian children and a lot more baggage than a backpack!! We lived on the beautiful northern beaches of Sydney for 10 years, but moved to Melbourne with a work opportunity over 6 years ago and haven’t looked back. We loved our Sydney life, but feel incredibly grateful for the community we are now a part of and all the amazing friends and connections that we’ve made along the way. Being on the other side of the world from family means that your friends become your family / support network, and we are very lucky to be surrounded by so many awesome people to help us navigate this thing called life.
I’ve worked in Sports Marketing & Communications since I left university and absolutely love all sports from the grassroots/community level all the way through to the elite game. But I have a special love for netball and soccer (or football as I call it in my native tongue!). All three of my kids have also inherited my love of sports so every weekday and weekend is filled with soccer, netball, swimming etc! I love it even though the logistics are exhausting!! I think you can learn a huge amount from playing team sports so it’s worth the effort. The passion, drive, learning how to win, learning how to lose, learning how you can motivate your team and be a leader etc are all such important life skills. But I have been known to be a little too vocal on the sidelines with my kids giving me dagger looks to tell me to be quiet as I’m embarrassing them!
What are your passions in life?
My family, my friends, sports, health and wellbeing (both mental and physical), gut health, good food / wine, travelling and my beautiful black Labrador, Kylo. I also love the water and feel pulled to the beach whenever I need to clear my head. One of the reasons we live in Australia is due to our love of the water. All three of my babies were born into water and also love swimming / the surf. My husband surfs whenever he gets the opportunity and I feel a strong connection to the beach and being in and around water.
What is the lesson in life you live by?
I don’t think I can pick just one! Now I’m in my early 40’s I feel like I’m constantly absorbing bits of wisdom to help shape my life and help teach my children. One that resonates with me strongly is that thoughts aren’t facts. It’s a very simple but powerful reminder that when thoughts pass through our minds, we often take them at face value, believing them to be true. When in reality, they are just stories we’re telling ourselves due to fear or a lack of confidence, but really we always have the ability to change that narrative.
Never worry alone is another one that I remind myself, my kids and my friends constantly. Humans need real, authentic, genuine connection to thrive and talking to someone (anyone sometimes!) is all that we need to start unpacking an issue, a trouble or a worry. I studied Psychology at university and strongly believe that every single person on this planet would benefit from therapy. Whether it be talking to a professional, a stranger, a friend or a family member, talking and connecting people has the power to change the mental health of everyone. Our family has experienced significant trauma from the loss of a loved one recently, and I know that love and connection is the only thing that can get you through the highs and sad lows of life. This past 18 months has taught me that you never know what’s around the corner, and you also never really know what someone may be going through, so kindness and compassion, always.
I also have a very strong moral compass. If something is wrong, I feel compelled to take action (which has sometimes got me in trouble!). My husband can tell many stories of where I would try to break up a fight in a bar at university! It used to drive him mad! But if something is wrong, I have no qualms in saying so or taking action to address a situation, regardless of the repercussions.
How do you practice self-care / self-love?
Exercise is really important to my physical and mental wellbeing. When I don’t get the opportunity to run, or go boxing / swimming / play netball, I can find myself going downhill fast. Eating well has a big impact too. I love eating healthy, nutritious food, but also love pizza night on a Friday (a weekly tradition in our house). As much as I love a wine or two (or margarita, or mojito!) I can’t seem to handle alcohol like I used to and I’m awful with hangovers these days!! My Grandma always used to say everything in moderation, and I think she’s absolutely right. Then again she actually drank like a fish so I take what she said with a pinch of salt!!
Why do you think self-care is so important?
Generationally, we’re living in a time where the mental load for women is at an all time high. We are trying to be all things to all people and our lives could not be more full or demanding - be a present and dedicated mother, a loving wife, a good friend, maintain a successful career, raise a family, run a household, stay fit, cook nutritious food etc. The balance has definitely tipped and although I’m grateful for all the opportunities I have, I sometimes feel that it’s coming at a cost. But saying that, I truly believe that women supporting women and building your tribe / community of like minded souls is what will not only get us through, but thrive!
How do you ensure you prioritise the time to focus on your wellness journey?
My husband and I are a team and always have been. We both need to exercise to maintain our wellbeing so we make sure this is a priority in and around our other commitments with the kids. It isn’t always pretty and we don’t always get it right as we both have busy jobs and we are so busy with the kids, but if the balance tips too much one way then we acknowledge it and make sure we do something to address it. I also love holidays and have a long list of places that I want to go to, or go back to! Sometimes just a weekend away is what you need to re-set, re-frame and re-energise.
What is your favourite FRII[S]MITH product and why?
I am the biggest FRII[S]MITH fan and continually recommend the products to friends and family because they are just so good! My Mum even uses these products back in England! I have quite sensitive skin but I’ve never had any issues at all with using FRII[S]MITH products, in fact my skin has never felt better. I adore both serums but my skin literally drinks in the i am [vitality] day serum, and if money wasn’t an option I would literally cover myself head to toe in the i am [active] moisturiser!! I don’t wear a huge amount of makeup, but the i am [protected] tinted spf is a staple.
What does radiance mean to you?
So many of my friends inspire me with their positivity, inner strength and natural beauty. To me, they exude radiance because they aren’t trying to be something they’re not. They are authentic, real, honest and confident in who they are and I learn so much from how they go about their lives and how they react and respond to personal challenges. They know their value and they embrace connection and community.