Self-care when you have no money

June 14, 2020

If there’s one thing that rattles my cage (and trust me, the word most people use to describe me is ‘calm’), it’s the commodification of self-care. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good bath lotion, I adore candles and I spend money on yoga and breath work classes because they make me feel a million times better. However, what I don’t like though, is the feeling that if you can’t buy these things (and let’s face it mes amis, we’re heading into one of the biggest recessions in years), then somehow you’re not investing in your self-care and you’re not looking after yourself properly. In the same way, that exercise shouldn’t just be about the gym, self-care isn’t about consumerism either. We need to separate what are luxury products and think about what self-care is especially when you have no money.

Consumer culture and self-care

Truth time, I’m very easily influenced – no pun intended – and it’s something I really have to keep on top of. I’m really susceptible to branding, latest trends and the higher the price tag, the more I seem to place value on it… Honestly, I’m a marketer’s wet dream, to the degree, I would buy snow from eskimos if it came in good packaging. This is why I know how well self-care has been commodified and tbh, being able to treat yourself is one of the greatest pleasures in life.

However, fundamentally, good self-care should cost nothing. Buying a good candle but then not giving yourself space and time to relax and enjoy it means that investment hasn’t really been worth it. Good self-care is fundamentally about space and time and the rest is all gravy. Drops the mike.

When your love don’t cost a thing – and you’ve also worked out boundaries because self-care

Self-care when you have no money

So what do you do when you’re need for self-care is high but your cash flow is low? Because let’s be honest here, being skint is stressful and this is when you need to look after yourself more than ever. How do you make that happen when money is tight and I’m not talking just because you’re saving for a holiday…? Well, here are some simple ideas on how to still invest in your self-care when you have no money.

Switch off social media (for most of your day)

I’m not suggesting switching off social media so you don’t see lots of adverts or people doing nice things… I just think we need to be aware that social media is a noise and it can make you feel a bit shit about yourself. I allow myself 70 minutes per day to look at all my social media channels and then my phone switches them off. We’re not good at being in our own thoughts and allowing ourselves to just be. So this is why I suggest manually limiting time on these channels and giving yourself some headspace.

Be at one with nature

I can only imagine what my neighbours must think when they see me kicking off my shoes and embracing a tree in our communal garden in Peckham. However, one of the best things you can do for yourself is spend time in nature. I’m not talking about roaming the Norfolk broads or wild swimming, just spending time tending a house plant or being in your local park will do. Seeing just a bit of nature makes the biggest difference to our wellbeing and it costs nothing.

Listen to a podcast

Now, I tried to google this to prove my theory and didn’t find much scientific evidence… HOWEVER, I fully believe listening to a podcast takes a lot less out of you than watching TV and so is therefore better for your wellbeing. Fully open to being shouted down by a scientist… But the best thing is podcasts are free.

I wonder if it’s because it’s more of an intimate relationship? It’s more conversational? Or it only requires one of the senses to concentrate? Anyway, regardless, here are some of my favourite wellbeing podcasts (placed in the order that I thought of them in). Just as an FYI, I only listen to the edited highlights of Russell Brand’s Under the Skin because I don’t want to buy a monthly subscription… I know we should pay for content (she says writing a blog for nothing…), however, needs must and this is a blog about self-care when you have no money after all 🙂

  1. How to Fail with Elizabeth Day
  2. That’s so Retrograde
  3. Happy Place
  4. Under the Skin
  5. Happier with Gretchen Rubin

Practice gratitude

I’ve written a lot about practicing gratitude and the difference it makes to your mindset. However, what do you do (and I’m not correlating this to having no cash) when things are really shit? And you feel like you don’t have anything to feel grateful for? Well, in those circumstances – and we all have them – then cast your mind back to things you were grateful for in the past and think of those examples until things start to feel a bit better.

Practicing gratitude is one of the best things you can do for your outlook. Plus, all you need is paper and pen.


One of the best things all of us can do is make sure we get enough sleep. The amount you need varies from person to person, but for me, eight hours is the dream (pun intended). Get into good sleep habits and give your physical and mental body time to recuperate and replenish. Sleep is honestly one of the best things you can do for yourself and it’s free.


Self-care when dealing with uncertainty

March 26, 2020
self-care when dealing with uncertainty

The importance of self-care when dealing with uncertainty

I’ve felt like I should write a blog post acknowledging the situation with coronavirus / COVID 19 – but truthfully I haven’t felt able to. I’ve been really anxious and teary – experiencing the same emotions I know so many of us are feeling right now.

I don’t want to go into lots of details about the waves of emotions I’ve been going through because we’re all in the same boat trying to navigate what this new uncertainty is. I’m just hoping we get through this quickly.

However, I do believe it’s fundamentally important to feel your feelings. It doesn’t help to button everything up because it comes out in different ways: affecting your relationships with people; and manifesting in physical and mental health conditions. If you feel upset, then cry. If you feel angry, think about how best to channel it: journalling, exercise or evaluating where you can put some control back in your life. The best thing we can do is be aware of our emotions.

It’s also really important to look after ourselves more than ever because we’re all experiencing high levels of stress right now. So how do we do that? This is why we need self-care for dealing with uncertainty.

Self-care strategies when dealing with uncertainty

Maintain a routine

There’s been quite a lot written online about how important it is to maintain a routine. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to leap out of bed at 6am. Some people are night owls and some people aren’t. I function far better first thing in the morning and it takes me twice as long to do something after 6pm. Just try and find a time that works for you and stick to it. It’s useful to have a sense of normality in a rapidly changing world.

Obviously some of us are working throughout this period, but for others, you might be working from home for the first time or in a role that’s impossible to do during lockdown. For people who have a lot of freedom to structure the day, some advice I’ve heard is to break down your day into hourly chunks to create a routine. This also (sort of) helps when looking after kids too. 

Practice gratitude

I feel like a gratitude bore sometimes… BUT IF THERE’S ONE THING I’D LIKE YOU TO TAKE WAY FROM THIS BLOG IT’S TO THINK ABOUT HAVING A GRATITUDE PRACTICE. It’s such an easy thing to do and doesn’t cost any money.

At the moment, while things are shit in the world, then it’s more important than ever to remind ourselves of what’s good in our lives and celebrate moments of joy. Write down 10 things you’re grateful for and the reasons why, then say thank you for each one. It makes such a difference, I promise. 


Mindfulness has a number of benefits for both our physical and mental health, helping to reduce stress, overthinking and even lower blood pressure.

I used to have a regular mindfulness practice and it made such a difference in my life. However, life got in the way and it fell by the wayside. My self-care to do list ended up becoming a stick to beat myself with. So one thing I try to do instead is focus on what I’m doing in that moment. I try and eat mindfully – thinking about the food and concentrating on the enjoyment I get from food, instead of necking it in five minutes. We all have varying amounts of free time so I think it’s good to focus on what works for you.

There are a number of free mindfulness Apps available: try Calm or Headspace. Or download this 21 mindfulness practice from Deepak Chopra.

Get some fresh air

We’re allowed to go out once a day to exercise in the UK. We need to use it. Now, I’m not talking about donning your lycras and becoming the next Usain Bolt. Just go for a walk round the block, have some fresh air and a break from being indoors. Look at new leaves sprouting from the trees and flowers starting to bloom. Go outside for your mental health, as much as your physical health. Extra points though if you hug a tree.

Keep connecting

We’re social beings and even people like me who enjoy their own company need interaction. So make sure you ring people, set up zoom/skype/face time calls – anything just to make sure you’re staying connected. No man is an island and we need to talk to other people.

Get enough sleep

One of the best ways to look after yourself is to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. The amount you need varies from person to person. I’m an 8 hour girl. Try and put a good sleep routine in place: avoid too many glasses of the vino blanco and aim to go to bed at the same time each evening.

You may also notice you are feeling tireder than normal and need naps during the day. If you do, then sleep. This is your body’s response to stress so listen to it and don’t give yourself a hard time for sleeping more.

Carve out time for you

People juggling jobs, kids, homeschooling, houses and working out where you can still buy food from: I hear you. It’s really hard to cram everything into one day. Try to carve out some time for you. Read a book, take a bath, light a candle, listen to music. It doesn’t matter what it is, just put in time for you too. We’re all trying to keep ourselves going so please put in time for self-care when dealing with all this uncertainty.

Alternative self-care ideas to support yourself through uncertainty ✨

Putting a cloak of protection around you

One of the ways we can help ourselves to feel protected is to put a cloak of protection around our aura. This simple meditation helps you put an invisible cloak of protection around you to keep your energy safe.

Essential oil blends

Frankincense, black pepper, geranium, sandalwood and juniper are all essential oils which are thought to help with protection. Or try one of these essential oils to lift your mood.

There are still some places that you can buy essential oils online – Tisserand are a good brand to look out for. Just look for pure grades and nothing that’s been mixed already.

Crystals for protection

Now because I’m what could be described as a little bit ‘woo woo’, then I feel drawn to certain crystals at different times. So for anyone with a crystal collection, then try seeing which crystals are giving out the most energy (yes, I’m being serious).

As a general rule of thumb though, black stones are considered to ‘soak up’ or deflect negative energy more powerfully than other stones. Black tourmaline is a good all-round stone for protection. Or hematite stones are also known to create a protective shield around the body.

Above all be kind to yourself

If you sleep all day, drink more than necessary, or spend your days watching Netflix, then don’t give yourself a hard time. Honestly, we’re all just trying to get through this in the best way we can. Yes, I really believe in the importance of self-care when dealing with uncertainty. But if it doesn’t happen, let it go.

Be kind to yourself.


How to be kinder to yourself

February 27, 2020

Many of us (me included) are guilty of not really treating ourselves with the level of kindness that we should. So if it’s something that you’ve been neglecting; you’re certainly not the only one. But it is something that you should try to change. Being too hard on yourself doesn’t really change anything and it certainly won’t solve your problems.

So how do you become kinder to yourself?

Being kinder to yourself is about changing your habits. It’s about starting to recognise when you’re simply being too harsh on yourself. We all do it but it can really drag us down and stop us from tackling the challenges of life with a positive attitude. 

If you’re looking for ways to change things for the better, here are some ways to be kinder to yourself each day.

Find time for yourself and your hobbies

We all have our time taken up by things that are not really that important to us. That could be life admin, projects at work that spill over into our personal lives and all kinds of different things. But amidst all that, it’s important to find time for yourself and what is important to you. If you can’t find time for those things, you’ll be neglecting your own needs and happiness and that’s not ok. Being kind to yourself means understanding that it’s ok to take time out for yourself and addressing your own needs.

Recognise your achievements and successes

When something goes well, you should recognise that success and celebrate it. Now, this is something I really struggle with because it feels like I’m blowing my own trumpet. It makes me uncomfortable and I worry that people will think I’m showing off. However, this has meant people often underestimate my capabilities because I’m not telling them about it so it’s something I need to get better at. 

The reality is there’s nothing wrong with being proud of your success and achievements in life. In fact, you should absolutely feel comfortable celebrating those things. After all, most people find it easy to criticise themselves but not so easy to recognise when things are going well. It’s time to redress that balance.

Stop comparing yourself to others

It’s human nature to compare ourselves to other people. But try to limit it, as much as you can because it’s not helpful. What other people are doing doesn’t need to impact your life and what you’re trying to achieve. And it’s also true that when you compare yourself with others, you often gloss over their problems and magnify your own. We tend to see the result of someone’s success but not the challenges that have gone into it. 

Forgive your errors and mistakes

We all make mistakes and get things wrong from time to time. That’s simply a part of being a human being: life is all about growing and evolving. Beating yourself up over past mistakes gets you nowhere and achieves nothing in the long-term. So, rather than doing that, try to forgive yourself for mistakes and then simply move on.

Take care of your body and mind

One way to be kinder to yourself is to try to treat both your body and your mind better than you’ve treated them in the past. It’s easy to take the focus off your health when you get stressed with work and life more generally, however, it’s never too late to try again. You’ll start to feel so much better about yourself when you begin looking after your mind and body more. Think about how you can protect your mental health better as well. It’s something we should all try to do.

Remember to treat yourself

There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself from time to time and rewarding yourself – even if it’s just for being you. It can be as simple as investing in embroidered bathrobes or high-quality towels for your bathroom. Or it could be something else entirely; it’s up to you. 

Be as compassionate to yourself as you’d be to others

Most of us are far kinder and compassionate towards other people than they are to ourselves. If you feel that this is something that applies to you too, bear it in mind and start doing things differently. A good rule of thumb to live by is to try and treat yourself the same way. This means forgiving yourself for mistakes, understanding that you’re human and giving yourself a second chance. 

Remind yourself of your positive qualities

Everyone has positive qualities and these should be what you focus on when thinking about what’s good about yourself and your life. By focusing on the good, you’ll find it easier to be kinder to yourself as well. If you’re constantly focusing and lingering on the negative things, you’ll always have a negative mindset and you’ll treat yourself worse as a result, and that’s not what you want at all. Take the time to regularly remind yourself of your positive personal qualities.

Keep working towards your dreams

Doing what’s right for you and working towards the things you most want to achieve in life is important. That means working towards your dreams and doing everything within your power to make them happen. There’s no reason at all to give up on them when there’s still so much time and opportunity to take advantage of.

All too often people are more than capable of being kind and generous to the people around them but can’t treat themselves with the same level of kindness. That’s something that you should now look to change now that you know exactly how to start being kinder to yourself.


Create calm amongst the chaos

December 28, 2019
create calm amongst chaos

How to create calm amongst chaos

We all have to navigate through stressful situations in life. Sometimes by choice: we take on new jobs knowing it might be challenging at first but hope it’ll get easier once we learn the ropes. We move houses and cities, packing up our belongings and living with temporary uncertainty whilst searching out new adventures. We also open our hearts; knowing there’s a risk involved but willing to take it for happiness and what might be.

However, there are other times when life is chaotic and falling apart – and it’s not through choice or decisions we’ve made. We’re a victim of circumstance and what’s happening is out of our control. We can’t control life or death. We can’t always control our health, our financial circumstances or our living situations. We certainly can’t control the actions and behaviours of other people. Sometimes, we have to deal with the cards we’ve been given and it’s not always pretty. 

Stress, anxiety, fear and uncertainty become constant companions. We’re only able (at best) to get through the day and it can feel like things will never get better. It’s hard to switch off, give yourself a break or rest enough to be able to think clearly.

Whilst, sometimes those challenging situations can lead to major life changes; often we just have to try and work our way through it until chaos subsides and things start to get easier. 

So what do you do when the shit is hitting the fan? Is there a way to navigate choppy and uncertain waters whilst still maintaining an element of calm? How do we create calm amongst chaos?

You can only control what’s in your control

When life feels chaotic; it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the smallest decisions. Even simple decisions such as what to eat for lunch can feel difficult and it’s hard to focus when you can’t think clearly. Or the flip reverse happens. We try and control every decision and everyone around us subconsciously feeling it’s the only way we can create some order. 

One thing we cannot influence is other people. We can’t control their emotions, behaviours or life choices. And whilst we can point out the impact their behaviour is having on us – we’re not responsible for their actions – only they are. If your focus is trying to diffuse someone’s negativity; your energy will be depleted because you’re fighting a losing battle. Focus on you.

It’s important to recognise we’re only able to control what we’re able to control. Try not to overthink what you can’t. I appreciate that’s easier said than done… 

All we can do is try and take responsibility for what’s in our own area of influence. Take baby steps into making smaller decisions and gradually take some control back. 

Prioritise what really matters

I know prioritising what really matters sounds like I’m a zen master trying to help you understand that inner happiness is the only real way to find calm out of chaos. However, what I’m talking about is when the chips are down and all you want to do is lie on the floor and let out a guturell roar.

In those circumstances, try and prioritise basic self-care. Remember to eat, get some fresh air and try to do the minimum to keep yourself going. You need your strength.

Try to stop overthinking and over-analysing

I almost feel guilty writing about trying not to overthink or over-analyse because I’ve not yet learnt to do this really myself. Telling me not to overthink is like telling my toddler not to eat sweets put in front of him. What I do know though, overthinking is exhausting. I can spend hours thinking and analysing situations but the reality is, it doesn’t change anything. 

What I try to do is everytime one of those thoughts comes into my head is label it with ‘you’re overthinking’ and try and recognise it for what it is. Just being more aware of my thought patterns is helpful. 

We have choices in how we react

Whilst we don’t have control over the actions and behaviours of other people, we do have a choice in how we react. Now, again, I’m conscious of not trying to sound like a zen master and suggest you should deal with every situation quietly and calmly. It’s hard to not react when your emotions are triggered. 

However, I am suggesting you spend time thinking about those reactions and if you’re making the right choices for you. Can you try and deal with things differently? As much as you might be dealing with a difficult situation, remember people are trying to help you. Or conversely, if you feel you’re triggered by certain people, can you limit the amount of time you spend with them? Can you take some time out for yourself? 

Be kind to yourself

The one thing I know about life is that blaming yourself when situations are hard, gets you nowhere. Life is difficult and beautiful – generally at the same time. Beating yourself up will not make the situation any better. It will make you feel far worse.

There may be a chance for self-reflection later down the line where you can think about what you could have done differently. But wait until after the chaos has subsided so you can look at events more objectively and with compassion. Until then, give yourself a break.

Things will get better

All is flux, nothing stays still


As hard as it can be to imagine sometimes, things will get better. The one constant about life is nothing stays the same. You’ll have a good hour, then a good day, and in time you’ll realise the pain isn’t as constant and you can start to move forwards. 

Remember challenges lead to growth

The simple truth is none of us want to have to deal with challenges other than the ones of our own making. Most of the time, they’re pretty horrific and it feels like life has dealt us a shitty card. I don’t know if I believe things happen for a reason. What I do believe though is that we learn from difficult situations and they help us grow. We develop resilience. We learn how to navigate our circumstances and come out of the other side. We also know the next time something happens, we’ll be able to create some calm amongst the chaos.

I’m a different person since my Dad died. I look the same (albeit with more grey hair and wrinkles) but my sense of empathy has expanded a hundred times fold. I’m far less judgemental and I understand people better. 

So sometimes some good can come. 

Ways to create calm amongst chaos

  • Light a candle or diffuse essential oils (lavender, frankincense, cedarwood and vetiver are all good essential oils for creating a sense of calm)
  • Journal every day to try and understand your feelings
  • Take mindful distractions. Watch a good film or read a book to give your mind a break and help you rest 
  • Reduce noise. Take a break from social media.
  • Try to sleep and create good patterns around bedtime. Remember even if you’re not sleeping, at the very least, your body is resting 
  • Keep a positive mantra close
  • Breathe.


Stop someone else’s behaviour affecting you

November 10, 2019
it's not me, it's you. How to stop someone else's behaviour affecting you.

It’s not me; it’s you. How to stop someone else’s behaviour from affecting you

I’m sad to say I’ve spent far too much of my life analysing why someone spoke to me in a certain way. What was it about me that made them feel that behaviour was ok? Was it because I lacked confidence, was too young or came across as stupid? Why was I being singled out for negative attention?

I would spend hours thinking of the most withering put downs. Ones where my oppressor would crumble in front of my eyes and I would walk away victorious safe in the knowledge that this would never happen again. 

Or I’d daydream about bumping into a billionaire on the street and he’d immediately become so infatuated with me that he’d whisk me away. I would leave the situation behind, whilst putting my virtual two fingers up.

The simple truth is, there are certain characteristics that make you more vulnerable for negative attention. People speak to me FAR differently in my 40s than they did in my 20s. Being young does mean people don’t always treat you with respect. Likewise, I’m sure times when I had less confidence also meant people thought they could get away with it a bit more.

We can’t really control how someone else behaves (sadly) and there are difficult people everywhere. The only thing we really can do is stop someone else’s behaviour from affecting us.

As an aside, I find picking on people who are vulnerable such a horrible thing to do. It says so much about the person doing it and their own weaknesses. We should try and lift people up always.

Bad behaviours are about the person, not you

There are times in my life when I’ve been shorter with someone than was necessary; I’ve taken my frustrations out on someone; or I’ve been a bit of a dick for no real reason. 

I can try and justify to myself why I reacted; they were being annoying or were making me feel uncomfortable. But if I’m being really honest, it was about me and how I was feeling about myself at that moment in time. I wasn’t behaving well because I was pretty messed up and rather than dealing with it, I deflected my feelings on to someone else.

If I feel happy and good in myself, I’m kinder and more forgiving towards others. I’m less irritable and less concerned with what other people are doing. I see the best in people and want to support them.

Now, I’m not saying that every time someone behaves badly towards us, we turn the other cheek because we shouldn’t invalidate our own feelings. We matter too. I’m saying this to illustrate poor behaviour is a reflection of the person doing it, not us. Recognising this helps us stop someone else’s behaviour from affecting us.

In my opinion, part of reaching maturity as an adult, is recognising you still need to behave properly towards other people regardless of how you feel inside. There is no excuse.

Recognising toxic situations for what they are

I’m a massive people pleaser and I really want people to like me. I’m lucky in the fact that for the most part they do – which is good, given I work bloody hard to make it happen. 

The downside of being a people pleaser is that I don’t always recognise toxic situations for what they are. I’m so used to putting myself second that I forget I have needs too. I will always try to turn things around and make the situation better.

There are some situations that will never get better.

We’re conditioned into believing that if we leave a relationship of any description; romantic, friendship, familial or work, then somehow we’ve failed. We couldn’t make it work.

We haven’t failed. It’s not down to us to fix every situation. There’s more than one person in a relationship and we can’t control how another person behaves no matter how hard we try. We can talk differently, hide ourselves away, walk over eggshells, google how to deal with certain situations and shapeshift as much as we like – but we cannot change someone else’s behaviour. It’s down to them. 

Walking away from a toxic situation or one that no longer serves you is the best and most empowering thing you can ever do. Trust me.

Putting on an invisible cloak of protection

Most negative behaviours aren’t that obvious. They’re a slow, steady drip feed of negativity. I’m talking about moodiness, snappiness and generally having to deal with someone else’s BS.

Over a sustained period of time, dealing with another person’s mood swings can be draining and confidence sapping. It’s hard not to take it personally – particularly because our feelings are being completely ignored and that  it has an impact on your emotional wellbeing too. This is why it’s really important that we protect our energy field and stop someone else’s behaviour from affecting you.

At the risk of sounding like I’m channelling Harry Potter; this is when we need a cloak of invisible protection. 

A cloak of invisible protection is one you put around you to deflect negativity. Every time, someone says something or does something that upsets you, imagine the energy from their words, body language or actions bouncing off your invisible cloak and reflecting back on them.

Setting boundaries

Boundaries are the equivalent of putting a line in the sand where we say to ourselves; this behaviour has gone too far. They’re individual to all of us because we all have our own ideas of what constitutes poor behaviour. However, it’s really important to have them so we can recognise when our boundaries are being crossed.

Setting boundaries won’t stop poor behaviour or change how everyone behaves towards you. Other people’s choices are outside our sphere of influence. What they do is give you the tools to recognise poor behaviour when it happens so you can think about how or if you want to respond. They also help you stop someone else’s behaviour from affecting you because you can see it’s about their poor choices, and not to do with you.

When speaking up falls on deaf ears

In an ideal world, you would speak calmly towards anyone who’s crossed your boundaries and explain how it made you feel. They would respond maturely because we’re all adults… AMIRITE?

Well, the world isn’t ideal and people aren’t always going to take responsibility for their actions and respond in the way you want them to. However, I’m not sure that fully matters because you’ve still asserted your boundaries, told someone how they’ve made you feel, and who knows, perhaps made them think…

Ps. if the thought of going up to someone to talk about their behaviour makes you feel sick, then it does get easier the more you do it, I promise.   

Not everyone is going to like you – and that’s ok

There’s a woman at my nursery who was really friendly to me initially and now is quite rude. I’ve spent time thinking about it and wondering if I’ve talked too much to her husband or done something to offend her.

The simple truth is, it doesn’t really matter. We’re very different people with nothing in common and we never had a friendship in the first place. She doesn’t have to like me and I don’t need to try and work out why. We’re not for everyone – and not everyone is for us.

It’s not me; it’s you 

I’m not suggesting that we automatically attribute every situation where someone has behaved badly towards us as being entirely about them. A bit of self-reflection is good – and, gasp.. sometimes we may be at fault or had a part to play ourselves.

What I am suggesting though, is that we don’t automatically use someone else’s behaviour as an opportunity to put ourselves down, zap our confidence and make us feel that somehow we’re not enough.

Sometimes it isn’t about us at all.


Why you need a self-care tool belt

September 9, 2019
why you need a self-care tool belt

I’ve been pretty stressed recently. I started a new job and have been trying to absorb lots of information in a short space of time. I feel completely out of my comfort zone – and whilst I definitely wanted to shake everything up a bit – it’s been challenging too.

I’m also adjusting to a new working pattern and reinforcing how I can no longer be chief cook, grocery shopper, washer woman has meant some rather fraught conversations have taken place at home.  

[Side note… how did we get to 2019 and the domestic load is still a thing…?]

Now, none of these things are insurmountable. I’m assuming at some point I will get up to speed at work and things will become easier. Likewise, we all need to get used to the fact I’m around less at home. 

However, whilst everything’s bedding down, I need to make sure I’m looking after myself too – particularly as I can feel stress oozing out of every pore. 

I need self-care.  

What is self-care?

Self-care is the art of looking after yourself properly so you can manage everything else in life.

It’s about understanding that we need to put ourselves first sometimes in order to be able to do things for others. 

It has its detractors who mock self-care as just being about face masks, candles and bubble baths as though it’s some sort of commodified product that only idiots fall for. Personally, I think anything that brings you joy and peace is worth it; I bladdy love a good candle. 

However, I do agree self-care is about much more than ‘me time’. It’s about recognising where you need help, being able to be open and vulnerable enough to ask for support. It’s about putting boundaries in place so you reinforce your needs, as well as learning how to let go of situations and people who no longer serve you.

And that’s literally the tip of the iceberg. 

Why is self-care so hard to do?

There’s an irony in the fact we need self-care more than ever when we’re busy and stressed but we don’t have the time or energy for it. 

It falls down to the bottom of a list and in my case, another stick to beat myself with. I feel disappointed that I’m not looking after myself properly.

So how can we prioritise self-care and make sure we get what we need?

Creating a self-care tool belt

One of the best ways to ensure you can look after yourself better when life is stressful is to create a self-care tool belt. It involves planning ahead so when you’re busy and overwhelmed, you can think about what you have in your armoury without needing to expend too much brainpower.

Now in terms of self-care, all our needs are different because we all have our own challenges and priorities in life. For example, a busy stay at home mum is going to have very different needs from someone who travels a lot for work, even though both of them probably feel their time isn’t their own. This is why it’s important to reflect on what will support you.

Try to think about actions you can take to try and ease the pressure on yourself. They may be things you can do yourself – or ways you feel you can ask for help. That way you can dip into your self-care tool belt as and when you need it.

Simple self-care suggestions

  • Ask for support. It can be really hard to ask for help, particularly in a work capacity because you don’t want to look like you can’t cope. However, it’s worth raising the issue so that people are aware. I think overall employers have got better at recognising they need to at least be seen to support employees and some are absolutely brilliant at it.
  • Drop what doesn’t serve you. I remember years ago not going to a party because I wasn’t in a great headspace and I thought it’d make me feel rubbish. I’m still glad to this day I made that decision. I’m not suggesting you ditch all social occasions in favour of box sets because getting out can make us feel better. But if you really don’t want to do something, don’t do it.
  • Remember done is better than perfect. There are occasions when there’s just not the time to pour over something and analyse it. Try to be happy with the fact its done.
  • Get some fresh air. I try to make sure I go outside every lunchtime, even if it’s just a 5 minute walk around the block. It helps clear your mind and reset.
  • Take a break from social media. It’s not relaxing and most of the time, it’s not especially productive. Switch it off.
  • Think about what you’re eating. Our bodies crave sweet foods when we’re stressed because it thinks it’ll need the energy (flight or fight mode). However, don’t beat yourself up either if you’re getting a takeaway, especially if it’s going to save you time. It’s about balance and sometimes needs must.
  • Do carve out time for yourself. Run a bath, light a candle, watch Great British Bake Off. Do something just for you – you deserve it.


What is self-care and why do you need it?

June 18, 2019
What is self-care and why do you need it?

What is self-care?

Self-care is the practice of looking after yourself to protect and/or improve your physical and mental health.

It means ensuring that we’re aware of and are actively taking care of our needs.

It’s impossible to go through life without stress or issues that we need to deal with. We all have to navigate work, family and relationship challenges that are sometimes completely out of our control.

Self-care is the act of understanding that these things have an impact so we can better take care of ourselves.

Why you need to practice self-care

Self-care sounds very simple in theory, however, the reality is that it’s often something we overlook. We can be so busy doing things for other people, we forget about looking after ourselves too.

Yet, in order to be able to do our jobs properly and care for others, we need to be in a good physical and emotional state. We need energy and balanced emotions; otherwise, it’s easy to feel frazzled, snappy or simply run down.

The emergency drill on planes always tell you to put your oxygen mask on before helping someone else. I’ve never really understood this; thinking my first reaction would be to save my child (and then remove my high heeled shoes to go down the big slide – joke). But the reality is, you can’t save anyone, if you can’t breathe. You need to equip yourself to make sure you can look after everyone else.

I appreciate that’s quite a bleak example; however, hopefully the message behind it makes sense. You have to look after yourself to be the best for everyone else.

you can’t pour from an empty cup

Self-care and understanding what your mind and body needs means you can protect and preserve yourself. Fundamentally, it will give you more energy and help you feel better able to deal with challenges as they come along. Practising self-care doesn’t make us selfish; we’re just recognising we have needs too.

When we don’t take care of ourselves, we’re more likely to feel fatigued and get physical symptoms, such as headaches and stomach issues.

Self-care helps us to create that balance.

How to start a self-care routine? Carry out a self-care audit

The best way to start a self-care routine is to recognise you need to think about yourself too amongst, everything else that’s happening in your life.

We all have different issues happening at different times in our lives so it makes sense that what we need from a self-care routine will be unique to all of us.

Try to reflect on where you are currently. Ask yourself questions about how you’re feeling. Are you tired? Are your emotions hard to deal with? Do you think you’re suffering with signs of stress such as feeling teary, snappy or down?

I created this self-care audit template so you can work through it and see what areas you could focus on. All you need to do is reflect on some of the questions and see if there are some simple changes or actions you can take to look after yourself better.

Often we don’t see the toll that stress or life challenges are taking on us until it’s too late, so identifying potential triggers helps us put self-care strategies in place. As a doctor would say: prevention is better than cure.

It’s also important to remember, your self-care routine will need to adapt and change depending on what else is going on in your life so check in with yourself regularly.

20 simple self-care ideas

quick and easy self-care ideas
  1. Practice self-compassion and talk to yourself as though you’re a friend and not a critic.
  2. Run a bath. Yes, I know a hot bath with candles is a self-care cliche. However, it’s a great way to take 20 minutes out for yourself and rest your muscles.
  3. Remember done is better than perfect. Give yourself a break.
  4. Get into good sleep patterns.
  5. Create and reinforce boundaries.
  6. Take time out for yourself. Go to a yoga class, read a book – anything that’s just for you.
  7. Drink more water.
  8. Go for a walk. Fresh air and exercise are always beneficial.
  9. Practice mindfulness which has proven benefits on improving mental health. Daily meditation will help with stress relief and calming an overactive mind. Try Andrew Johnson or the Headspace App.
  10. Talk about your feelings and try not to let things build up. I appreciate this is easier said than done so think about journaling and write about your feelings instead.
  11. Are you eating properly? My diet turns to custard when I get busy. I don’t have the time to buy food, never mind cook it.. Try to plan in advance with a few frozen meals so you have something nutritious to eat when time is minimal.
  12. Choose a couple of things each day to tick off your to do list. There’s only so much you can do in a day so try to break down tasks, rather than feeling a failure for not achieving the unachievable.
  13. Have a digital detox. Ever fall down an Instagram rabbit hole and wonder what you’re doing with your life? Yes, me too. Think about switching off your phone once a week or after 8pm.
  14. Prepare in advance. There is a saying that says: ‘a Sunday well spent, brings a week of content’ and it’s true. I find if I plan for my week ahead, then life runs a lot smoother.
  15. Learn to say no. I often find myself saying yes to things out loud even though I’m saying no in my head, which is utterly ridiculous. It’s a hard habit to shake but an important one.
  16. Keep a gratitude diary. I feel I bang on about my gratitude practice a lot but it’s one of the easiest ways to change your neural pathways and help you feel more positive about life.
  17. Focus on your own personal growth. It’s hard to go through life without picking up some emotional baggage. It’s good to focus on your own self-development and become more self-aware as a result.
  18. Put yourself first. If you’re tired and you don’t want to go to something, then don’t go. You’re allowed to rest and recuperate.
  19. Celebrate your successes. I’m great at beating myself up when I feel I’ve messed up and terrible at congratulating myself when I’ve done well.
  20. And lastly, breathe. Even focusing on your breath for a minute will help calm your thinking.


Self-care practices and how to implement them

March 26, 2019
self-care practices and how to implement them

What is self-care?

Self-care is the practice of ensuring we are looking after ourselves physically and emotionally. This helps us navigate through life easier.

Whilst the self-care phrase has been mocked for just being about candles and baths (both of which I love); it is fundamentally important to make sure we are giving ourselves what we need.

Stresses about our families, finances, work all play on our minds. Eating badly, sleeping badly, becoming dehydrated and not exercising enough affect our physical health.

So how can we put self-care practices in place?

Our lives fluctuate and so it’s important to think about what we need to help with the situations we are experiencing at that moment in time. We are all individuals and our experiences are different so it’s important our self-care practices reflect what we need. In a previous post, I put together a self-care audit template so you can work through areas to focus on.

It’s important to then think about what self-care practices we can put in place to help and how we can do this realistically. What self-care isn’t, is a stick to beat ourselves up with. For that reason, I would choose only a few practices to put in place at any one time.

What are good self-care practices?

Nutrition: I find the advice about nutrition overwhelming and busy lives can make it hard to eat well. I try to start the day with a smoothie (2/3rds green veg and/or beetroot and 1/3rd fruit) so I know I’m getting some vitamins. I buy frozen fruit to save time in the morning. I also find taking my lunch to work helps. It’s very hard to eat the perfect diet and our bodies all metabolise food differently. I would choose one thing to start with such as cutting down on takeaways and then take it from there.

Dealing with stress: stress is an inevitable part of life. However, it’s important to understand the physical and mental impact it has on us. Try to rest and yes, take a bath or light a candle. Think about a mindfulness practice and download an App such as Headspace or Andrew Johnson to help. Look at ways you can minimise what is causing you stress – although admittedly, sometimes it’s out of our control and we need to just be kind to ourselves.

Good sleep hygiene: sleep is essential for our physical and mental wellbeing. Going to bed at a regular time; switching off phones at least an hour before bed; avoiding alcohol and making your bedroom a sleeping sanctuary should all help.

Give yourself permission to focus on you: there is a saying ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’ and it’s so true. Sometimes we are so busy focusing on other people, we forget to take care of ourselves but being depleted means we can’t give either. Do something for yourself even if it’s just taking a short walk or sitting down with a coffee.


10 quick and easy self-care ideas

July 31, 2018
quick easy self-care ideas

Self-care for when life gets busy

I fall into bad habits quickly. Lack of time means I reach for junk food instead of eating a more balanced diet and rushing around means I forget to think about my needs altogether. When life gets busy, self-care tends to fall to the bottom of the to-do list. The irony being that when life gets hectic, we need to look after ourselves more than ever. There are only so many hours in the day, and of course, there are times when self-care can’t be prioritised. So here are 10 quick and easy self-care ideas to consider for when time is short.

10 quick and easy self-care ideas

  1. Prioritise small life admin tasks. I’m the queen of procrastination and push any small admin tasks as far down the list as I can. It’s easy to delay something that isn’t urgent but the reality is, it still hangs over you as something to do. Give yourself sense of achievement and stop the list from building up.
  2. Declutter. There is a lot of evidence which shows a clearer space is good for the mind. It gives you room to think and breathe. Prioritise one room at a time and objectively clear things you don’t use or need anymore.
  3. Take time out from social media. Sure, social media can be fun. However, it can also be a time hoover and leave you with feelings of inadequacy. Switch your phone off for a set period of time and always unfollow or mute anyone who doesn’t make you feel good about yourself.
  4. Check in with your body. How are you really feeling? Do a full body scan and notice signs of aches and pains. Do you need to rest? How is your mood? Understand what your emotions are telling you.
  5. Breathe. There may not always be time for mindfulness practice but there is always time to breathe… Take 3 deep breaths and use the moment to pause and reflect in a busy day.
  6. Pay it forward. This may not sound like a self-care strategy, however, doing random acts of kindness helps uplift us and feel more positive. Try leaving a bottle of water for a homeless person in summer or buy a coffee for the person in front of you. Small acts can make a big difference.
  7. Gratitude. My gratitude practice often falls to the bottom of the list when I get busy. During those times, take a few minutes out of the day to notice what you feel grateful for.
  8. Walk outside. We should all try to have 15 minutes outside to make sure we’re getting enough Vitamin D. I try to take some time away from listening to music and really notice the world around me. It’s important to see the beauty in everyday life.
  9. Give yourself permission to take time off. I will sit down to read a book and within minutes get up to start putting the washing away or some equally innocuous domestic task. I struggle to make time just for me. It’s important to remember, we all need breaks and no one’s energy is limitless.
  10. Do something just for you. I know baths and candles are a bit of a joke when it comes to self-care. However, there is something in the idea of taking time out just for yourself. We all deserve a break.

The five pillars of self-care

April 17, 2018
pillars of self-care

What are the five pillars of self-care?

The five pillars of self-care (emotional, physical, social, spiritual and intellectual) make up parts of our lives we need to focus on and nourish. In an ideal world, we should try to think about them regularly to see if we’re in alignment.

However, let’s be honest, it’s easy to let things fall by the wayside when we get busy or try to bury our head in the sand about issues we don’t want to face.

It’s fundamentally important that try to we ensure our needs are being met as humans. We should be prioritising our emotional, physical health and wellbeing to help us become the best possible versions of ourselves.

So it can be very worthwhile to probe deeper to try and gain an understanding of what areas we might be neglecting. And if we are, what can we do to resolve it?

Every month or so, it might be worthwhile to take a bit of time out to explore how you’re feeling in each of these areas and if there are any that you want to focus on more?

Or use the questions below to see where you are.

Are you in alignment? Measuring yourself against the five pillars of self-care.

Emotional and mental wellbeing

How are you feeling emotionally? How is your mental health? Are you overwhelmed, stressed, lethargic, down, close to tears? Do you feel anxious, depressed or flat? How are your relationships with others? Are they positive? Are you behaving with kindness or are you quick to snap/judge? Any of these factors may suggest you need to focus on your mental and emotional wellbeing.

Physical health

How is your overall health? Do you have any existing health conditions? Are you sleeping, eating well, drinking enough water and not too much alcohol? Are you showering, brushing your teeth, washing your clothes? Are you exercising? Do you have a preferred physical activity? Do you have any injuries or ailments? Do you have a regular routine and build in rest and relaxation?


Do you have friends and/or family who support you when times get tough? Equally, do you make time for fun? Are you lonely? Is there more you could be doing to build a network? Are you also making enough time for other people (and not just focusing on yourself)?


Are you thinking about your purpose in life and the values and beliefs that drive you? Are you taking the time to reflect on what motivates you and what from your past may be stopping you from moving forward? Gaining greater understanding of your own self can help you to live a happier and more purposeful life.


Are you challenging yourself to learn and try new things? Are you thinking about your self-development and personal growth? Are you travelling and/or reading about different people and cultures? Are you expanding your horizons through film and literature. We all have to change and evolve throughout our lifetimes.

Do you need a self-care audit?

How to practice self-care

Have you thought about carrying out a self-care audit? I’ve created a template for you to work through so you can check in and understand how you’re feeling and if there are any areas you need to spend more time on.

It’s worth doing regularly because our circumstances and situations change. What matters today, may not be the same next week, month or year.

Many of us have a tendency to put ourselves last and we need to remember self-care is a way of ensuring we can look after others too.

you can’t pour from an empty cup


Get into good sleep habits

April 5, 2018

One of the most positive actions I take towards improving my wellbeing is to make sure I get enough sleep.

I wish I was one of those people who doesn’t need much sleep and can spring out of bed after a late night – but I’m not. Lack of sleep affects me greatly. It impacts my mood, energy levels, how proactive I am and even slows down my cognitive processing abilities (aka it takes me twice as long to get my brain in action…).

Basically I’m a hot mess without it.

Understanding what affects our sleep

We’re all different; and different factors affect our sleep. I’m not majorly sensitive to caffeine: although please note, I’m not necking late night espressos. However, alcohol has a massive impact on my sleep. Any more than two small glasses of wine and it’s game over; I can’t function the next day.

My sleep is impacted also depending on what else is going on in my life. I tend to reenact events of the day, thinking about what I could have said and done differently. My mind starts to race and I struggle to switch off. This is one of the reasons why podcasts are my best friend.

My sleep routine

I need a solid 8 hours sleep to function as a reasonably productive human being. I have a pretty standard sleep routine and I try to go to bed between 10.00-10.15pm every night. I listen to a podcast or a talking book before going to sleep and more often than not, I’m asleep by the end.

I try and stick to a good sleep routine. I give myself an hour to watch a TV programme or read before going to bed to put myself in the frame of mind that it’s night time. Or I take a bath with epsom salts and lavender essential oils giving myself the time to switch off.

Sleep can be affected by so many external factors that it’s not always in our gift to be able to change it; however, building in good sleep habits will help.

8 ways to get into good sleep habits

Follow these basic tips to get into good sleep habits.

  1. Have a consistent bedtime which is early enough to make sure you’re getting the right amount of sleep for you. Guidelines recommend at least seven hours of sleep a night – but personally I think it differs from person to person.
  2. Wind down an hour before bedtime by taking a bath, reading, meditating and any other relaxing activities.
  3. Turn off your phone in your bedroom. Now, this makes me sound a bit hypocritical because I use my phone to listen to podcasts and audiobooks so I turn the light right down so it doesn’t disturb me.
  4. Make your sleeping area relaxing with a comfortable bed, clean sheets and soft lighting.
  5. Avoid caffeine and excessive alcohol, as well as rich and fatty foods which can all disrupt sleep patterns.
  6. Exercise at least ten minutes a day – even just a slow walk will make a difference.
  7. Make sure you get some exposure to natural light during the day to keep your body producing melatonin, which makes you sleepy at night.
  8. Keep your bedroom dark at night so your body clock (circadian rhythm) learns to differentiate between night and day.

How to do a self-care audit

February 24, 2018
how to do a self-care audit

What is a self-care audit?

Are you really fully aware of everything that’s going on in your life? All those underlying niggling issues and areas of discomfort? Are there areas that you’re kind of aware of but they’re easy to push to the bottom of the pile? Well, this is where a self-care audit comes in; giving you the chance to really assess where you’re at in life and put together a plan to take forward.

Tackling problems head on

I don’t know about you but I’m quite good at trying to block things I don’t want to think about. I try and bury my head in the sand and hope issues won’t surface by not thinking about them too much. The problem with this approach is that issues do manifest themselves. I’ve experienced sleepless nights, moments of panic and tried to use coping mechanisms (hello drinking a skinful and crying on the night bus younger me). You have to deal with things in order to move forward and this is where self-care comes in.

The importance of self-care

Self-care is essentially looking after ourselves – with the understanding that we need to look after every area of our lives. It’s almost an anchor in a way ensuring that when things get touch (because we know life ebbs and flows), we have systems in place to look after ourselves.

Self-care audit

We all need to factor self-care into our lives but how do we determine what we actually need?

I’ve put together this template for you to use to take stock of the six pillars of self-care. (emotional, physical, social, spiritual, intellectual and financial) and reflect on where you should focus your attention.

Use this self-care audit template and work through each area. Use it to reflect on where you’re at currently and where you need to focus more.


What does self-care mean and why is it important?

February 20, 2018
what does self-care mean

What do we mean by self-care?

Nowadays, it seems there is a whole lifestyle being sold on self-care with scented candles, luxury bubble bath and turmeric based drinks all designed to improve our health and wellbeing. Posts on Instagram portray carefully curated images of must-have products all selling the self-care dream. But if we strip all of this away, what does the phrase self-care actually mean? Is it just candles and bath oils, or something much more meaningful?

Having come of age in the 90s, the term ‘self-care’ is fairly new to me and something I always thought meant simply looking after yourself. And to a degree, that’s pretty much what it is. Self-care is any activity we do in order to look after our mental, emotional and physical health. It is key to keeping ourselves well; maintaining our immune systems and mental wellbeing.

yes, it may be as simple as running a relaxing bubble bath or lighting a scented candle; for others, it may be the key to getting themselves out of bed in the morning.

Why you need to look after yourself

Physical and mental health obviously differs from person to person. It also changes throughout our lives. This is where the concept of self-care can’t really be prescriptive: for some people, yes, it may be as simple as running a relaxing bubble bath or lighting a scented candle; for others, it may be the key to getting themselves out of bed in the morning.

On this basis, I do think it’s important not to dismiss self-care as just a luxury or a lifestyle aspiration. It can be critical to someone’s recovery from illness or being able to maintain to hold down a job. It’s also not just about wellness but ensuring lots of parts of our lives are in balance including our finances. As someone who has had my fair share of debts in the past, I know the stress it causes when you’re not sure if your paycheck will last you the month.

For me, I definitely know self-care is something I need to concentrate on more. My face takes on a greyish pallor when I haven’t been eating and sleeping properly. I also start to feel exhausted and run down. I need to get better at recognising that self-care is preventative action rather than something I do after running myself into the ground.

How to put self-care in place

One of the easiest ways to look at how best to support yourself is to do a self-care audit. This helps you identify what areas of life you need to focus on and to think about the actions you’ll put in place. It’s worth doing this every six months or so because life changes and your self-care needs will change with it.


Do you need to rest?

January 10, 2018

Why rest is so important

By the end of 2017, I felt sluggish, run down and I couldn’t understand where my energy had gone.

And then I remembered: I have a child, a house to look after, oh.. and I also work full time to a job I commute to.

My life consisted of work, train, pick my son up from nursery, bath, bed, cook, tidy, clean and then sleep. Repeat. On an average day, I had 45 minutes of time to myself.

I was burning myself out.

I’ve always been the type of person who likes to make the most of any free time. Or being entirely honest, I feel guilty when I’m not doing something and that somehow I’ll be punished for lazing about. My Dad grew up in a poor background and became successful through hard work. I think that narrative seeped into my psyche and I have a fear around what might working happen if I took my foot off the pedal.

The irony is, instead of thinking about what might happen if I took a break; I should be thinking about what might happen if I don’t…

Rest is crucial.

Always ‘on’ culture

The connectivity of modern life means we’re always available and always on. Plus the heavily curated nature of Instagram and Facebook help to fuel the idea that we should be doing something at all times. We need content to be able to show how busy we are.

We’re also told that anything is possible with hard work. I do believe there’s some truth in that; as in it’s difficult to be successful without hard work. However, not at the expense of everything else.

We need to stop fuelling the idea that resting isn’t really necessary and success only happens by pushing yourself to your limits. This is why so many people feel burnt out.

Always ‘on’ culture

The connectivity of modern life means we’re always available and always on. Plus the heavily curated nature of Instagram and Facebook help to fuel the idea that we should be doing something at all times. We need content to be able to show how busy we are.

We’re also told that anything is possible with hard work. I do believe there’s some truth in that; as in it’s difficult to be successful without hard work. However, not at the expense of everything else.

We need to stop fuelling the idea that resting isn’t really necessary and success only happens by pushing yourself to your limits. This is why so many people feel burnt out.

Why do we need to rest? 

Rest is fundamentally important. As any athlete knows, our bodies need rest to repair itself and so our minds should be no different. We need to make sure we’re giving ourselves permission to switch off for a while and recuperate.

Rest gives us a break

Most people have experienced feeling frazzled by a piece of work; looking at it again the next day with fresh eyes helps provide greater clarity on what to do next. That’s exactly what rest does for us – it gives us a break. It helps us make better decisions(rather than operating in brain fog); have better relationships(rather than being snappy and over sensitive); have more energywhen spending time with our children / families; and helps us have empathy for othersbecause we have more to give.

Joshua Becker from Becoming Minamalist suggests we have one day a week dedicated to resting. For those of us with caring responsibilities and/or full-time jobs, a day of rest may not exactly be practical (although I can dream…). However, I fully agree with the principle that we don’t need to have our foot on the accelerator all the time.

We all need to be factoring in rest time.

Rest as an act of self-care

One of the greatest acts of self-care is to give ourselves permission to rest. We need to understand we’re important too. So please, go read a book, watch a TV drama, light a candle and/or run a bath.

Give yourself a break.

5 things I’m doing to make sure I rest

  1. Recognise I don’t need to do everything right away. The world won’t end if I don’t empty the dishwasher that evening. Plus I have a husband who can equally contribute to household tasks.
  2. Dedicate two evenings a week to relaxing and doing something I enjoy. Run a bath, watch TV, read a book, listen to a podcast etc.
  3. Switch off from social media. I can waste hours looking at Facebook and Instagram looking at people’s lives. It serves me no real purpose and doesn’t contribute to feelings of self-worth.
  4. Understand that saying ‘no’ isn’t being selfish. There is a saying ‘you can’t pour from an empty well’ and I need to remember it.
  5. Simply slow down.
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