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Three Self-Care Things To Do This Week

This week is self-care week - which is just as well because not enough of us are taking care of ourselves. And why not? Haven't got time. Or we haven't got the money. Maybe we don't want to appear selfish. Or we want to keep giving to others. We have a million and one other things we should / would / could be doing. But what happens when you burn yourself out? Or you make yourself ill? Maybe you have finally just had enough?

Mental health professionals recommend we spend at LEAST 20 minutes at day doing something that is just for us. Something we enjoy. When was the last time you took 20 minutes to do something that was just for you? I spent a lot of time not having the time. Not wanting to appear selfish. I ran myself into the ground. Burned myself out. I was regularly ill. My anxiety was at its worst. And my depression was crushing me.

I began to scratch the surface with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and some changes to my lifestyle. After a while, I started to climb back into who I am. I was able to realise that even if I was worried about what other people would think of these changes I was making, and even if I was worried that I was being selfish it was ME I was stuck with for the rest of this life and I better take care of myself. I heard that phrase "thriving not surviving" and it really rang true. This was a big turning point for me. I went from not seeing the point to wanting to be the best for myself I could be.

As this week is #SelfCareWeek I’m going to kick things off by sharing

  1. Give in to sleep. I spent years struggling with awful insomnia. I'd spend hours and hours awake. As I got older, this got a little bit better, but my sleep wasn't what I wanted it to be. When I would finally get to sleep I would toss and turn. My mind was always racing and I couldn't shut it up. I would use sleep aids and wake up feeling groggy, like my head was in a thick fog. I'd stay up working until 3am some nights. I'd regularly be out late during the week and struggling to stay focused the next day because I hadn't had enough sleep.When I decided to start taking care of myself I chose to start enforcing a bed time. Making a promise to bring myself away from any screens (laptop and phone) about 2 hours before I wanted to sleep, I wasn't going to lay in bed scrolling aimlessly through social media. That also meant I wasn't going to stay up late binge watching whatever programme I was watching at the time. I was going to kick my night time screen habit, and get a book. An hour before I want to sleep I get in to bed. I spend some time filling in my gratitude journal with 3 good things from that day and I grab a book. This set routine means my body knows the signals. It starts relaxing, I can feel the stress of the day clearing out and making time for some good time snoozing.Although I am an early riser now, because of the early bed time, I find sometimes my body tells me to sleep. I felt really guilty about this for a really long time, and I've decided that every now and then I just need to listen to my body and give in to sleep. I need to let myself have a lie in on the weekend. Because you know what? The washing will still be there when I get up. I need to let myself have an extra early night sometimes. Because you know what? Anything that I need to do with those last hours will still be there in the morning.Just give in. If you're feeling a bit deflated and exhausted, there is no better cure than rest. Prioritise time to rest and relax.


  1. Discover one of your 100 languages. Before I went full time as an illustrator and designer I was an artist in residence at Reflections Nursery in Worthing. I worked creatively with the children helping them to learn how to use their 100 languages. It was pretty incredible. The educational approach they use there is based on a poem by an inspirational man called Loris Malaguzzi:No way. The hundred is there.The child
    is made of one hundred.
    The child has
    a hundred languages
    a hundred hands
    a hundred thoughts
    a hundred ways of thinking
    of playing, of speaking.A hundred always a hundred
    ways of listening
    of marveling, of loving
    a hundred joys
    for singing and understanding
    a hundred worlds
    to discover
    a hundred worlds
    to invent
    a hundred worlds
    to dream.

    The child has
    a hundred languages
    (and a hundred hundred hundred more)
    but they steal ninety-nine.
    The school and the culture
    separate the head from the body.
    They tell the child:
    to think without hands
    to do without head
    to listen and not to speak
    to understand without joy
    to love and to marvel
    only at Easter and at Christmas.

    They tell the child:
    to discover the world already there
    and of the hundred
    they steal ninety-nine.

    They tell the child:
    that work and play
    reality and fantasy
    science and imagination
    sky and earth
    reason and dream
    are things
    that do not belong together.

    And thus they tell the child
    that the hundred is not there.
    The child says:
    No way. The hundred is there.

    My idea for self-care here is that you get back to learning those 100 languages. As children we were all a bit more free to experiment with different creative expression and this is something that we lose as we get older. We are led to believe that we "aren't creative" or haven't got an "artistic side". I don't believe that. I believe that there is something out there that works for everyone. Whether it is the language of clay, the language of painting or dance, whatever it is. Find your language, spend some time learning it and the pay off will be brilliant. While you're at it, don't forget to love and marvel as and when you please.


  1. Make a date with yourself. Oh this is one of my favourites! I've been single for a long time and I'm not into the idea of dating so this was something I started doing to get used to my own company. You don't have to be single to do it, in fact, if you aren't single this is maybe even more important to make sure that you get that "you time". Get out your diary, or your phone, your planner, whatever it is that you use. Find a day that is free and mark it out. Take yourself out for the day, or stay in with yourself. Go see a film, take yourself out to lunch, go for a long walk, or have a bath and get your favourite takeaway.Once you've put it in your diary you can't cancel. You can't move it around. You need to treat it as importantly as you would any other engagement or appointment. The problem with thinking you can move it around is that you'll never really make time for it after all.When I first started this I felt really uncomfortable. I was wondering if people would laugh at me when they saw me out eating alone. Was it sad that I was taking myself out? Nah. It was great. And I began to see the importance in being comfortable with myself. I learned to really enjoy my own company.

Did you know you can nail down a new habit in as little as 21 days?

How brilliant. Just get in the habit of adding these things in to your diary (make sure to make time) and in three weeks you could have some lovely new habits that will make you feel great.

What are three things you do to take care of yourself?


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