During our month of self-care reflection it would be rude not to discuss the wonder that is The Blurt Foundation’s CEO Jayne Hardy and her book The Self-Care Project. The Blurt Foundation is an organisation we often talk about (because they are awesome) and I was so excited to find their latest book was included in my monthly blurt box.
There is so much to learn from this book, but I’ve tried to narrow down a few important messages Jayne highlights in the wonderful 189 pages of openness and inspiration.
1. We can’t help others if we are not helping ourselves
“If you put anything under prolonged stress, it will break. Our minds and bodies are no exception.”
How can we possibly help someone if we are not running at 100%? We need to ensure we are looking after ourselves so we have the energy and motivation to help others, otherwise slowly but surely we will start to resent ourselves for offering to help. Sometimes we need to say no to that social event, or allow ourselves one moment a week just to look after us or we can just make sure we have our breakfast in the morning so we can start the day right. It’s the small things. The message is that it’s not selfish to put yourself first sometimes.
2. Self-care also involves internally being kind to ourselves
“Understanding why we failed and reflecting on what we might have done differently helps us to connect the dots, to form a new roadmap.”
We are often too quick to tell ourselves we are not good enough. Hardy reminds us that we need to be kind to ourselves internally as well as externally. Telling yourself that you are a strong person is just as important a part of self-care as putting on a face-mask or having your favourite snack. Our insides are just as important as our outsides. Treat yourself like you would treat a friend.
3. Incorporating Self-care isn’t something that happens straight away
“It takes mental energy to pick ourselves up time and time again, to dust off and start again”.
The book covers the important realism that adopting a new habit such as self-care does not happen overnight, it’s a process. Six months ago I didn’t eat breakfast, I would wake up 10 minutes before I due to leave, shove on some clothes, wash my face and hope no one would notice. Between my counsellor and I we slowly tried to incorporate breakfast as my first step with self-care and ensuring I have at least 3 meals a day a few times a week. Six months later I now always have breakfast, lunch and dinner and have been trying new recipes with healthier foods. One step at a time.
4. Use the technology we have to make our lives that little bit easier
“The trouble with our memories is that the days merge into one and there’s so much stored in there to be completed. It’s easy to get caught up in life and to forget the important stuff.”
The important things are often the ones we forget, but if we have the technology to help we might as well use it. Did you know there are apps that remind you to drink water? I didn’t!! I am so bad with these things, especially reminding myself to brush my teeth at night or remembering to renew insurances or contracts. Our phones can set reminders for these things so we don’t forget.
5. Finally, we always have time for self-care (we just tell ourselves we don’t)
“Why wouldn’t we have a plan that enables us to function at our best?”
When scheduling our weeks we often put ourselves last. We shouldn’t. This book highlights that we can plan ahead, so why can’t we plan in advance for a little bit of me time? Here at ECBC we like to schedule self-care time on Sunday evenings, turning a time that some would see as a negative countdown to a Monday morning, into something that helps you wind down in a positive way.
The Self-Care Project is something that I would recommend to anyone who is struggling at the moment. It’s open about mental health, has great activities you can do inside the book, gives great tips on how to try and focus your mindset on yourself in a positive light.
Have you read the book yet or has this made you think you might give it a try? Comment below with your thoughts or tweet us.
Take care of yourselves.
Throughout September, ECBC is focusing on the importance of self care. Download our free Selfcare Calendar here and keep your eyes peeled for further ideas (don’t forget to tag us in any of your #SelfcareSeptember snaps too!)