Look After Yourself

I think we all try to look after the people around us.  Whether it’s a text, a hug, a letter or a listening ear, when people are feeling down or need a hand, we all seem to know how to provide what others need.  The compulsion is clear and even if the delivery is flawed, as humans we all seem to know how to offer help, care and support.

What can be harder is looking after yourself.

Lately I’ve been feeling a little rattled & anxious, and it’s proving hard to shake.

By nature I’m a worrier, and I think this new season in my life is just manifesting stress in different ways.  I’m still very happy with the decision I made to change career path and am exceptionally lucky as ever to have the chance to do so.  I’m healthy and safe and so blessed….but I’m very good at beating myself up too.

I have a great network of friends and a very supportive husband and all should be well, but I’ve always had phases of self-doubt and stressed-out-ness, and lately I’ve been having trouble sleeping, have been falling into bad habits (comfort eating, negative self-talk) and generally not taking very good care of myself.  Even the best support system in the world has gaps, and mine seems to be at 2am in a house full of sleeping people.  I should be fast asleep, but instead my mind is racing, worrying, trying to make sense of things.  Old worries, past fears, what ifs….they all come out to play.

I don’t often write about things like this here.  I hope it’s okay today.

The lovely Elizabeth over at Rosalilium wrote a great piece on self care at the weekend and it really struck a chord with me. The focus on looking after herself to be better prepapred for life’s challenges seemed so appealing and I thought it was probably a take I could apply to my current predicament.  I’ve written about the autumn greys before on this blog and I think the current sitaution is a mixture of those, plus new beginnings, plus the fact that writing always shakes up the old memories and looses former situations like dust, some of which may be stressful, hard to recall, or worrying!  I do think that a little self-care will go a long way and help me get back on top form.  Just in time for CHRISTMAS AMAZINGNESS.

Rather than berating myself for worrying too much, I’m going to treat myself like a friend.  Instead of beating myself up for showing any sign of human frailty (a hobby I am far too advanced at!), I’m going to look at myself as I would a friend.  If one of my friends was feeling low, I wouldn’t tell them off.  I wouldn’t pile them with work.  I wouldn’t make them replay horrid memories.  I’d look after them.  So over the next few weeks I’m going to look after myself.  So, herewith the plan.

1.  Lots of cups of tea, lots of drinks of water.

2. More time reading good books & watching uplifting films.  

3. Helping others.  I always feel better when I’m helping.

4. Finding time for good conversation with close friends.  I spend an awful lot of time alone.

5. Plenty of walks (fresh air), exercise (dancing and swimming) and SAD light sessions (always a boost at this time of year).

6. Make some appointments for grooming etc – these always make me feel better.  I had a haircut yesterday and I’m already feeling chirpier.  A facial or a massage or a home pedicure or a nice bath can really boost.

7. Good, healthy food – when a friend is poorly we take chicken noodle soup or grapes!

8.  Making some time for planning and organising.  I like to make sense of the world and genuinely feel better when I’m to-do list and spreadsheeted up.

9. Balancing the diary.  When I’m really down I tend to either say yes to everything and wind up over-committed and stressed, or empty the diary to the very bare bones and kind of…..hide. 

10. Even if sleep still proves elusive, I’m going to try to get to bed at a decent hour.

I’m going to look after myself.  Thanks for indulging this ‘thinking out loud’ post.

To finish, a quick question – what are your favourite ways to look after yourself?


  1. Siobhan Mac
    10th November 2015 / 8:13 pm

    I hope looking after yourself helps. I find it really important. You can't take care of other people if you don't take care of yourself!I have found the key things for me are:- making time first thing to centre myself- socialising every day – no matter how small- taking my medication and prioritising that- making some healthier food choices- going to the gym and working out hard, that is me time and it is GOOD- pilates classes- making time to be creative, write, draw, doodle, colour in, just get messy- making time to read- getting in some hugs and some daylight every day.

    • Claire
      11th November 2015 / 6:33 pm

      Thanks, sweetie. I'm just getting my hygge on – it always helps. As do hugs and fresh air.

  2. River
    11th November 2015 / 5:58 am

    #10; if sleep proves elusive, prop up those pillows and start that book you've been wanting to read. It's what I do if I'm wide awake in the wee hours, although that doesn't happen often, I'm not a worrier. But if I got tired and had a daytime nap, then I'll sometimes find myself awake when I should be sleeping.Now and again I'll be woken by a lot of noise from other flats and I'll get a cup of coffee and a book and take them both to bed and read until I fall asleep again.Take care of you.

    • Claire
      11th November 2015 / 6:34 pm

      Thanks, River. Books are a great cure for the 'can't sleeps'.

  3. Lucy Loves To Eat
    11th November 2015 / 9:34 am

    Awww bless you hun. The great thing is, you've acknowledge that you are going through this phase which helps for starters. I think you've done really well to list the pick me ups you plan on doing, good luck!! xxLucywww.lucylovestoeat.com

    • Claire
      11th November 2015 / 6:36 pm

      Thanks, Lucy! I find writing quite therapeutic – feeling better now I've written about it.

  4. Lucy Loves To Eat
    11th November 2015 / 9:36 am

    Awww bless you hun. The great thing is, you've acknowledge that you are going through this phase which helps for starters. I think you've done really well to list the pick me ups you plan on doing, good luck!! xxLucywww.lucylovestoeat.com

  5. Milly Youngman
    13th November 2015 / 12:34 am

    This post was totally needed for me right now too – definitely think we can all be guilty of not treating ourselves very nicely at times. Planning and organising is such a good one – I often find thoughts running through my head at all kinds of inconvenient times – but if if I write them down on a to-do list it helps the noise quieten slightly. I hope you feel more like yourself soon, take care (and hopefully I shall get to see you soon for a good chat as well!!)

    • Claire
      13th November 2015 / 11:20 am

      Oh, thanks Milly! I this it's a late autumn/early winter phase for many of us. Lots of rest and selfcare required. Definitely hope to see you soon.

  6. Naomi Smith
    12th December 2015 / 8:09 am

    What movie is the gif for number 8 from?

    • Claire
      24th January 2017 / 8:51 pm

      How did I miss this? My apologies. It's from 30 Rock.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.