30 Ways To Self-Care When Life Has Kicked You In The Proverbial Nuts

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Self- care is about self-worth. I want you to remind yourself that you are the one who held yourself through that time your heart was broken into 1000 pieces, and yet you still turned up for work. You were the one who stood up and faced the music when others could not. You are the one who dragged yourself to the shower of the morning of the funeral, the wedding, the day they died and then got other people cups of tea. You, who went to work, who fed others, who got into bed to lie sleepless in the dark. You who fed the cat and wondered if you might kill yourself today or tomorrow. You who turned up for others over and over again. Today is the day you turn up for yourself. If you can do all of that, you can do some of these to recharge your soul.

  1. Ask for help. Mental health, cleaning, shopping, physical health. There is someone to help.

  2. Clean your space. Maybe it is just the coffee table but that is better than nothing. Start there.

  3. Eat for nutrition today. Not calories. Ask your body what it is craving. Whatever it needs is what your body is lacking.

  4. Have a shower or a bath.

  5. Schedule in tasks for the week ahead. Put them on your phone as reminders also.

  6. Play with an animal. If you don’t have one, go to the dog park and one will come up and say Hi to you.

  7. Read a poem. This one works.

  8. Make a playlist of upbeat tunes that make you sing and even better, dance.

  9. Burn a candle. Scented or not. Either way, it’s the lighting of intention of your new self-care.

  10. Get a massage if you can. Even a back and neck from the mall shop helps. Sometimes loneliness gnaws at our soul, and we are skin hungry for touch.

  11. Potter with plants. Potted or in the ground. Either works. Prune, feed, water, tidy.

  12. Go somewhere busy and sit with a coffee and watch life around you. Witness the Sonder. *“Sonder” is the profound, individual realisation that each person you meet is living their own life, that each person has their own world fitted with their own personal worries, pains, pleasures, ambitions, routines. It is not an official word but it is a lovely descriptor and can remind you that everyone is doing going through ‘stuff.’

  13. Drink calming tea. I like black tea but some people recommend chamomile and peppermint tea.

  14. Go to the water. Watch the waves, watch the boats, watch the sun glinting on the water, swim, drift, float. There are two types of mental attention in life. One is “directed", which is when we are focussed on a task such as driving a car, or walking on a busy footpath. They other type is “involuntary” which is when we we are in an environment outside our ordinary habitat, with enough familiarity that it poses no threat but enough interest to keep the brain engaged". It is this state of "drift" that water encourages. We've all felt it. Staring at the sea, like one of Melville's hypnotised "water gazers", everything seems static, yet gently changing. Instead of the stress of addressing electronic data or dealing with the millions of different images we see every day, we're presented with a view where change is subtle and slow – a sailboat, a seagull, the incoming tide. "Drifting takes us into the default-mode network: the network that's active unless we are paying attention to something. In other words, it's basically 'online' until we call on other areas of attention. And the default-mode network devours huge amounts of glucose and a disproportionate amount of oxygen." 

  15. Buy an indoor plant or two. They create wellbeing and they improve air quality.

  16. Reread your favourite childhood book.

  17. Cook something that takes time. Each step is a meditation. Each step is more flavour and wellness.

  18. Make a meal plan for the week so you know you will be nourished.

  19. Clean out your workbag or handbag.

  20. Plan your day for tomorrow.

  21. Tell someone how much you appreciate them and love them.

  22. Write your priorities for the week and schedule them.

  23. Reframe your mistakes and see what you learned from them.

  24. Turn off your phone for the day and unplug from the network for as long as you need.

  25. Put away those things that annoy you every time you walk past them. They are eye irritants.

  26. Make a list of things you would like to do one day - travel to Iceland, learn French, see the Kremlin

  27. Make a list of things to do now - put away washing, sweep the floor, open the mail.

  28. Write a letter to yourself with everything you have learned so far in life, and what you would tell your younger self.

  29. Clean up your inbox and run a computer clean on your machine.

  30. Ask someone who makes you feel energised and inspired to lunch or dinner.

Be kind to yourself, use inner dialogue like you would talk to a cherished friend, and above all, laugh, often and always. Because the one thing I can tell you about life is, it goes on.


How to not be a f*ckwit partner

I have been married a while, which doesn’t mean I have been happy the whole relationship. I know my husband has had times where he’s questioned that whole decision to wear a suit and wait in a musty church for me to turn up in a big white dress and an even bigger picture hat (I was really into Grace Kelly’s whole High Society aesthetic at the time).

Once I annoyed my husband by asking him to move a wardrobe at 1.00 am, because I was nesting with our first child (I gave birth two days later). I refused to let him do it in the morning, it had to be right then! As he moved it, I heard him mutter, “Sometimes you shit me so much, you make me wanna poo my pants.” So funny. Honestly, he was a toddler, while I was about to birth a baby. We still say it to each other when we are annoying.

I don’t really have all the answers or probably any real solutions tell the truth but here are a few things I have seen in others, learned and experienced so far in this close to 30 year relationship.

  1. Make an effort in the relationship. Do kind things for each other. I don’t mean roses and chocolates. I mean, picking up the package from the post office, or getting the script filled from the chemist. Do it and be a good egg about it all. Don’t ask for praise but remember to say thank you when it’s done for you.

  2. Don’t ask them to be a mind reader to meet your needs and expectations. If you want to go away for the weekend, tell them. If you want to do more things together on the weekend, tell them. They don’t have a bloody crystal ball, and it shouldn’t be a test.

  3. Find something to do together. A TV show you both love and can talk about. A hobby. Get fit together (I am still waiting to do this one). Explore new ideas and concepts together. Don’t dismiss it out of hand. Even if you’re not into it, maybe ask them about it so you show you care.

  4. Learn the names of the people they work with. Hearing stories about other people’s work is really boring, but people’s behaviours are not. Find out who the key people in their daily work life and when they tell you how their day was, ask questions that include the others. It makes it more interesting for you and makes them feel they aren’t so boring.

  5. Let them tell you when they’re worried or paranoid or stressed like you would a let a friend confide in you. Sometimes when we the person we rely on is fragile, it can feel destabilising to have them so uncertain about life and your relationship. By allowing them to admit their vulnerabilities, we are helping them process and work through the whole mental mess and take the load for a while.

  6. If an argument comes up and they respond with old issues from their previous relationship or childhood, call it out. I hate my husband drinking because I had an alcoholic parent, so I have to remind myself that just because he’s had a few drinks with his mates once in a blue moon does not mean he is an alcoholic.

  7. Learn how to do things so you don’t rely on your partner all the time. Cooking, cleaning, ironing, sewing on a button. Small things but it’s great when you are both a team and can take care of BAU in the home.

  8. Don’t fight over crap like doing the dishes and whose turn it is. Do it together if you have reached an impasse. It’s you and them against the dishes, not you two against each other.

  9. Don’t disrespect what is important to them. If something really matters to them but not to you, then just go with it. If they are all about Christmas decorations or having a beautiful garden, or a wonderful indoor plant collection, or looking fly, don’t shit on it because you don’t care. They care, so respect it.

  10. Talk about when you got together. It’s a nice reminder that this was what you wanted then and how bloody amazing your love story is.

  11. Don’t expect your partner to be the sole provider of your happiness. They aren’t. You are. Okay? Good.

  12. Make an effort in your shared space. Clean up after yourself. Don’t be a complete piglet. Respect the other person might have issue with it. You are living together. If you want to be a slob, live alone.

  13. It’s okay to forget a wedding anniversary. It’s not okay to forget their birthday. Make an effort. Buy a present. Be present. Celebrate them being in the world.

  14. Don’t hold grudges over petty shit. Let it go, learn to laugh at it and yourself.

  15. Don’t compete with them over bullshit like how much money you earn or looks or vapid crap. Let them have the spotlight when they deserve it and vice versa. Share the moments and don’t always be an attention whore. Take it in turns to the racehorse and the donkey.

  16. Don’t be disloyal. I used to be friends with a group of women who only ever bitched about their partners. I felt bad about for their partners and because I didn’t want to bitch about mine I felt like I didn’t belong. If I had something to say I would talk to him about it, not them. They’re all divorced now, so…yeah, you work it out.

  17. Don’t have a shit-fit when they call you on your bullshit, and you know it’s bullshit. Level up and own that shit and then retire it. You don’t need to threaten to leave because you’re embarrassed. Just own it, move on, and grow-up.

  18. Learn to apologise and work out why you’re apologising, and then tell them why you are wrong. Saying sorry is easy, meaning it is some next level emotional Yoda stuff and makes all the difference in moving forward in your relationship.

  19. Be happy when they have a success even if your plans are going to the dogs. A rising tide lifts all boats. If they win, you win by osmosis. Let them have their moment and don’t drag them down because you’re unhappy with your current situation. It’s very selfish to do that and frankly, a shitty thing to do.

  20. Work out your communication styles. Being all ‘yelly’ might not get the point across to someone who prefers a more quiet approach. Also, being good at arguing doesn’t mean you’re always right. I need to think about things before I discuss big things so I need to formulate the argument and present it, as I’m not good on the spot, as I am too emotional. Be prepared to walk away from the situation to get your head straight and allow the other person to do that.

And that’s all I can think of now. I hope it resonates with you and we can always be better partners. I am going to try to not make my husband want to poo his pants, and that’s a win for everyone!

The Hors D’Oeuvres Of Life Theory

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As I get older, I have found that life simultaneously delivers the good times and the shit times.

Perhaps there is less sand in the hourglass so all the events are lined up to happen all at once. You can win an important award followed closely by the death of the loved one. Get a work promotion then find out a child is struggling with their mental health. Plan a trip of a lifetime to find out you have a life threatening lump.

Life is heightened when you get older. You see the unfairness of life and the randomness of luck. There are no reasons things happen the way they do, but you know they will happen. Everyone gets a turn with the shit stick.

From The Tools by Barry Michaels and Phil Stutz.

From The Tools by Barry Michaels and Phil Stutz.

Not that the dualistic nature of luck followed closely by loss always happens when you’re older.

I was so young, newly married and filled with dreams of a baby girl when she and I nearly died during her birth. With a significant and devastating birth injury that she will have for the rest of her life, I struggled with knowing if I should celebrate the dark hair babe with one blue eye and one green eye, when we were facing so many obstacles and worries.

In the end, I just loved her because I didn’t know how to do anything else. The doctors could help her and I could love her, plain and simple. And I did. Everything I have worked for has been for her and her brother. The education. The physiotherapy. The medical specialists. The therapists. The operations. The opportunities. It was all for them.

This weekend I helped her get settled into her final year of university and settling into her new home. I took my husband as last time I did this trip interstate, I had to put flat pack furniture together and it lasted about 25 minutes after leaving her apartment, before it fell apart.

I cried when I left this time, because I was so tired and because this will be the last time I do this for her and because I was so bloody proud of her. Finishing with a double degree and with a fabulous bar cart in her apartment for cocktails (Dirty Martini’s are her specialty), as she lives her life like Mrs. Flax from Mermaids, who only serves hors d’oeuvres for meals. She is pure glam from top to toe.

Mrs Flax and her fruit and marshmallow kebab sticks.

Mrs Flax and her fruit and marshmallow kebab sticks.

We all think we deserve a long purple patch of success but sometimes it is split into small bite sized serves. A success here, a win there, a moment of respite in between. If we counted up all the good things versus the bad things, I reckon we would be close to even.

So take the joy when it comes and do what you can when the shit storm arrives. Know the sun will shine on your side of the street again and pour yourself a drink and toast to this thing called life.

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My 6th Letter To You

Hello again,

How was the weekend? Are you okay? You know I’m here if you need someone to listen. I might not have the right words but my ears are very able and clear, so anytime you want to unload, I can carry it for a while for you.

I have been doing a lot of introspective work with varying results. The challenge, as you know, is to know ourselves but also allow ourselves to change and grow. The goal for me is to become more responsive and less reactive.

I was thinking that when we aren’t present in our own lives we tend to rely on the mask of personality we have created and rely on it to see us through the moment or the situation. But what if we were present at these times and we paused, (sometimes I am not good at this but I am trying to be better) and responded without ego and instead responded with curiosity and openness?

I know sometimes I never really feel like I’m really grown up. That I’m pretending to go through the day with responsibilities, it’s actually pretty funny when you think about it. Like you’re ten years old and driving the car, and having parent/teacher interviews, and choosing what to have for dinner. Imagine yourself at ten doing those things. It’s difficult to try and let go of the childlike qualities but also be responsible, most of all for yourself and your actions.

But I know you are doing so well and remember that these odd and unwanted feelings don’t have to stay and if you can let them float past like clouds then that’s all they ever were.

Do me a favour today? Please? Stick around. Be present. Don’t go backwards and don’t go forwards. Be here, now.

You matter.


Kate xx


P.S. My rose are in bloom. They are 22 years old. The yellow one from one of my dearest friend. The pink one I bought when my daughter was born. Aren’t they lovely?

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The Sisters

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My new book is out!

This was written after reading about a group of heiress sisters to a skin care fortune.

I imagined their lives and the pressure from family and the invested public for them to be perfect, which is impossible!

I often wonder about the lack of empathy for people who are in the public eye to make mistakes, and learn from them. Imagine being 25 again and having every single mistake reported with imagery in the Daily Mail or the gossip columns?

You couldn’t pay me to do it, honestly. I got up to mischief in my 20’s and into my 30’s for that matter, hell, I am still doing it into my 40’s after recently coming home at 3.30am after a night out with friends. Thankfully no one was there with a camera to record the evidence of my tragic walk to the Uber with a kebab in hand.

The sisters in my book are all so different but connected which those who have sisters will understand. No one can hurt you or comfort you like a sister. You know where their bodies are buried and where their best parts are in their heart.

I am thrilled this is out in the world now and I hope you enjoy it!

Kate

xx

Early reviews are in now:

“I really loved this one. It had everything. Fashion, Art, Horses and women who take their destiny into their own hands, sleazy businessmen and cheating husbands as well as a man claiming to be their brother.”

Pirate Patty Book Review Blog

You can buy here:

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2NZurmU 
iBooks: https://apple.co/2EDsFIT

Amazon: mybook.to/SistersForster
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2JbOZrI