Sweat the small stuff: the little things can count

Today was the first day since starting the 100 Day Project that I’ve a) felt a bit un-inspired about what to write and b) like perhaps skipping a night of writing.

However the latest issue of Women’s Health landed this eve with a section dedicated to self-care. It reminded me of the blog I wanted to, well, blog yesterday about connections, so never one to skip a sign, here goes.

Self-care is everywhere. It’s something I have always believed I was very good at practicing. I cook for myself, I ‘treat’ myself, I occasionally – well more than occasionally – splurge.

Recently though I’ve begun to redefine my definition of self-care in two, for me, really important ways.

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I’m so good at sleeping I can do it with my eyes closed… Five Tried and Tested Tips

There was a blog about connecting with others that I really wanted to write today but in all honesty, I’m just too damn tired!

So I’ll save it for another day and instead, inspired by yesterday’s post on Matthew Walker’s brilliant book ‘Why We Sleep’, I thought I’d share my finely tuned pre-sleep schedule that sets me up for a divinely serene slumber. (Remember, World’s Best Sleeper….I am really good at this!)

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In defence of Night Owls

Sleep has been on my mind recently for a variety of reasons, but my spontaneous reference to being a night owl in Thursday’s blog reminded me of something in Matthew Walker’s brilliant book ‘Why We Sleep’ which I dug it out today for a quick re-read.

If anything throughout my life I’ve veered towards excessive sleep. In fact I am the proud owner of a ‘World’s Best Sleeper’ trophy, gifted to me by an ex and dear friend.

But with a love for sleeping for me comes a frequent struggle to get out of bed in the morning. I adore and enjoy fresh coffee but I’m also absolutely one of those people who needs a hit in the morning to face the day. I get the mid afternoon / end of day slump but come 8 or 9 I’m wide awake again.

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Morning Ritual #1

A collection of my daily gratitudes from recent weeks:

  • Serenity, new sobriety, serendipity and signs
  • Fresh coffee and my cats
  • The courage to choose, choosing to stand in the sun
  • My spirit and my soul
  • Re-discovery of the healing power of sleep, another great night’s sleep
  • Being unconditionally loved and being lucky enough to have and be making such wonderful friends and family that I can connect with and completely love
  • My dear friend’s toddler Leo for showing Auntie Alex the best time!
  • Being brave
  • Feeling, connecting and my heart’s healing
  • Vulnerability
  • Waking up excited for work – the people, the challenge, the pace, the creativity, the ability to change and to solve
  • Learning to reach out, speak up, ask for help
  • Finding my real life human butterfly (this story will come at some stage!)
  • Discovering new writers and writings – especially my newly found favourite poet Nikita Gill, two of her’s for today:

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Work for the soul

Like many on the Internet I fell in love with last year’s story of a CEO thanking one of his team for openly saying she was taking a mental health day, lauding her for helping to cut through the stigma that still surrounds, and being brave enough to be open and direct with her colleagues about her struggles, when it would be easier just to say you weren’t feeling well.

Mental health and the workplace came up in a recent discussion I took part in in my workplace. I like to think I am lucky enough to work in a very accepting and open culture. I often laugh with my colleagues that I embody our value of ‘We can be ourselves here’. It’s fair to say I bring the – and I quote a former DR, colleague and greatest friend here – “brilliantly batshit on-it bitch” each day. But in that group we all agreed that apart from a handful of brave examples, mental health is still very much in the unspoken shadows, be it for the individual or for a loved one.

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