Originally appeared on E! Online
On or off the runway, Gisele Bündchen takes things one step at a time.
In fact, the supermodel believes that you've "got to rise" to life's challenges—like she did when she was dealing with ailing parents at the same time of her relocation to Florida with kids Benjamin, 13, and Vivian, 10, for then-husband Tom Brady's three-season stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before their divorce last year.
"It's been very tough on my family," she told People in an interview published Sept. 18. "It's been a lot—in every area of my life. I feel like whenever it rains, it pours."
The 43-year-old continued, "With all the different twists and turns that life takes, all we can do is the best we can given what happens in our surroundings."
However, as Gisele noted, focusing her attention inward was what helped her stay centered during difficult times. From meditation to daily exercise, she said self-care is just as important as having a strong support system since the "only person that's going to make those choices is you."
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"Because ultimately, you're the first person who's going to be impacted by it. But then, it's your children, it's your husband, it's your family," she explained. "You got to put the oxygen mask on you first."
"No one is going to do it for you. The only person that's going to make those choices is you. Because ultimately, you're the first person who's going to be impacted by it. But then, it's your children, it's your husband, it's your family," she says. "You got to put the oxygen mask on you first."
Gisele added that self-care is "not a selfish thing."
"When you feel good, you're a better mom, you're a better friend, you're calmer, you're more patient, you're more loving, you're more grounded," she shared. "So you can't feel guilty about prioritizing yourself. Because that's loving you and loving the people you love the most, which are going to be impacted by how well you are. Because if you're sick, everyone's hurts."
These days, Gisele is coparenting her kids with Tom—who she divorced in October following 13 years of marriage—after settling down in Miami.
Her brood has embraced the Sunshine State. "They're getting to know friends in school," Gisele said, sharing that Benjamin plays football and Vivian is on the swim team. "They like it. It's just all new. But they're really liking it and they're getting into their things."
And as mom to a son who "loves music" and a daughter who's "obsessed" with horse jumping, Gisele is delighted to "have raised children who have right values."
"Because then, whenever I'm ready to leave, I know I have left something behind that is beautiful and that is an asset versus something different," she said. "It makes me proud to see how they're all becoming their own little individual selves, but how their principles and their values are so strong. It makes me so happy to see that, they're flourishing into their own beings."
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