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Sunday 23rd June

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Monday-Thursday 10am-8pm

Friday 10am-4pm

This morning, I attended a regular work meeting, which ended with a question for everyone in the group to answer, the question today:

What do you do for selfcare?


As we sat around  the table, the usual activities came up – journaling, going to the gym, going for walks in nature, having massages, yoga.  When it came to me, I was in a quandary – do I actually list all the things I do (because this group were going to wonder how on earth I have time to work), or do I refine it.  Classically, I rattled off as many as I could think of, and still didn’t manage to say them all.  Mine include all of those they had said, but I added more hobbies that are not thought of as selfcare, such as my weekly art class.

It sparked a really good, in-depth conversation and we all learnt a lot about each other and our challenges. People shared why they think they don’t look after themselves as much as they ‘should’.  The reasons ranged from not enough time, family commitments, money, not thinking about it, putting others before themselves (this was a big one).

Then this evening, whilst practicing yoga, we reached the point of real relaxation – Shavasana – most people’s favourite part of yoga where you lay down in stillness at the end of a session.  I find when I relax my mind can do into overdrive, before I completely switch off I have to unjumble my thoughts.  And I had a bit of a realisation.  Selfcare isn’t one thing.  It isn’t a tick list of activities.  Having a list of activities won’t give you the selfcare you are looking for.   We (me included) had got it all wrong today.  We spoke about things, not feelings. Selfcare is all about feelings.  How we feel about ourselves, how we feel about others, our approach to work, what we feel about exercise, food. Its all about feelings.

Selfcare is internal.  It is about your approach to life. It is about your personal respect for your body, you mind and your inner soul.

  • You can be the strongest person in a gym – you could say you are practicing great selfcare keeping your body strong and fit – but you could be deeply unhappy, pushing yourself too far, compromising relationships because you spend so much of your time there.
  • You could be writing the most insightful thoughts journaling but if you never learn from your observations and make improvements to your daily life, all you are doing is writing ‘stuff’ down.
  • You could be the best writer, but its not working for your selfcare.
  • You could be buying your partner gifts, treating them to days out, spending money on them, but if you have resentment while you do it, or expect the same in return, or even use these things to offset the cruel words and actions you have exposed them to – that’s definitely not honouring your selfcare or caring for another person.



It doesn’t surprise me that we tend to see selfcare as a tick box exercise.  It is a way of compartmentalising our lives; go to work, have a family, exercise, go on a diet and so on.  However, when we look at our lives, and selfcare in this way we are doing ourselves a disservice. We are not making our wellbeing and satisfaction of life a priority; we are seeing it as a chore.  With so many people working from home, or working in a hybrid way, the boundaries are merging. We need to find ways to honour ourselves as a fundamental part of life rather than splitting ourselves and feeling overwhelmed by the every growing to-do-list.

Working from home can be great as it can lend itself to greater flexibility – at very least you have ‘commuting time’ back.  What do you do with this ‘extra time’?  Are you juggling childcare, are you working extra hours, are you staying in bed?  What if this extra time could be used to prepare yourself better for the day, a time to make meditation happen, journaling, exercise as part of your every day (are thinking ‘but how do I do this and look after small children?’ Could you walk them to school with this extra time? Better for everyone than jumping in the car).  It doesn’t take long before making little tweaks become part of your life and not seen as a tick box or another thing on your to do list.

Next time someone asks me what I do for selfcare, I won’t be saying as I did today:

  • ‘I journal,
  • I go to the gym,
  • swim,
  • do yoga,
  • go to art classes, attend events and concerts,
  • travel,
  • go on retreats …’ (I did mention I do a lot!).


Next time I will be saying:

  • I am aware when I feel tired I rest,
  • I am aware when I have energy I use this to exercise or be more productive,
  • I enjoy spending time with friends and likeminded people building connections,
  • I am mindful about what I eat and ensure on the whole I eat nutritious food and hydrate properly.
  • I’ll also say I have open communication in relationships with people I value.

Selfcare is not a list of achievements or targets that once reached can be forgotten about. It is not that once you have done them you can stop, because life is ongoing.  Selfcare is a way of life, you could say your lifestyle.  Is your lifestyle one that nurtures you, allows your knowledge and experiences to grow and flourish, promotes good health or is it one that causes you dis-stress, ill health, stifles you?


If you would like to learn more about this, how to introduce little tricks to your day to help with your life longevity, help you reenergise and feel able to life well join my next Wellbeing Workshop on Sunday 23rd June at the Soul Barns, Mortimer.