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.


Knowing Your Worth

Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing. —  Oscar Wilde

When I'm not writing my books or writing business proposals for large companies, I help an international concierge manage the playtime for people with money.  These are people who don't have budgets for holidays. They just say where they want to go, for how long and how many people are travelling.  They also have weddings at places like the Palace of Versailles and have weddings on three continents for their coterie of guests, where Krug is drunk like water and stars like Rihanna and Mariah are flown in to sing Happy Birthday.

I have sourced and booked a selection of houses for the world tour for a famous singer and her husband, booked trips to Paris for the Spring-Sumer 2018 Haute Couture Chanel show, plus planned private yacht parties for property developers and arranged bespoke scarves made for a party invitation from Hermes. 

I write books about these people. It is not a life I live but I understand it. 

Someone who is of this world once said to me, 'you understand luxury.' Indeed I do. I am a Taurus who was raised on Nancy Mitford and Tatler magazine. Now I write about lifestyle and love. Children and ambition. Secrets and keeping face.  In my first book, The Perfect Location, I wrote about characters inspired by Harvey Weinstein, Brett Ratner and others. Some reviewers said my books were implausible. Those things that I wrote about would never happen. Now my plot lines read like newspaper articles. I just knew the rumours about men like this back in 2008. 

Everything I write about comes from a source, a story, an experience, a situation. It's all fodder. 

Lately, I have been thinking about the levels of wealth I see on a weekly basis now. There are several levels of the hierarchy of wealth. They are as follows:

1) Comfortable - You can pay your bills on time and have an overseas holiday every year. You travel on points and take photos of your bircher and croissant when you manage to get into the business club lounge.  You can afford special events or a night at a hotel suite with your partner. You work really hard to maintain the fiscal momentum in your life. You consider stress part of the fuel that pushes you to get to the next level. You still have your old friends from school. 

2) Well off - You pay your bills monthly and in advance, and travel overseas twice a year for the skiing and the sun. You check into the business club lounge on Facebook. You don't take photos because that's not cool. You start a collection of something. Maybe watches, often a good entry level collector's item, or art, if you know a thing or two, or know someone who can advise. You are now asked to donate to your old school, or your children's school. You can but it's not enough to have your name on the Arts Centre. Yet. You get a lot more friend requests on Facebook from people you went to school with but can't remember them. 

3) Wealthy - Your bills are paid automatically from your household account and you don't need to check them or the statement. You travel four times a year, for the skiing, the sun, the music and the food. You also own a beach house and a farm which are visited regularly. You lift your head when you enter the First Class Lounge. You have a small theatre in the middle school named after you and a prize for the best Humanities student. Your circle of friends is smaller, and often well-heeled because they don't ask for stuff. You don't have Facebook anymore.

4) Rich - Your finance manager pays your bills. You pay-pass everything. You have a money clip with a wad of $100 and $50 notes adding up to $3200. You work three months of the year on a project, spread out over the 12 months period. You travel the rest of the year, only fly business, and have no idea about how many points you have. You give a nod of acknowledgement to the receptionist when you enter the First Class Lounge. You have shares in Facebook and a new social sharing platform which is in Beta phase but with better data protection than FB. You have a few close friends now. Maybe two. You all know where the bodies are buried. You trust very few. And either your family is everything, or you and your partner have had a shit storm of a divorce, and the kids are struggling.

5) Ultra-Rich - You haven't paid a bill in ten years. You don't pay for things, or if you do, you have no idea how much it cost. You don't work, but you work out. You own houses where you can ski, sun yourself, have large parties for New Year's Eve, and can land the helicopter. You have a pilot and a Gulfstream plane where your three-year-old has her own booster seat. You own a large tech company, you're developing your own social media platform, along with various other blockchain projects. You're remarried with a serious prenup. You are wondering what happens to the money when you die. You arrange your philanthropic causes according to your passions once you're dead. You worry about your kids and why they're assholes. You wonder when you became an asshole. You think about all the things money couldn't fix in your life. Cancer that killed your sister, the schizophrenia of your son, the drunk driver that killed your best friend. Money means nothing now but if you say that to someone who doesn't have any, then you seem disingenuous.


Money is fun but if you are chasing it to climb to the next level, think about it for a moment. What will it cost you?
That's what I write about. The cost of living well and how what we think will make us happy very rarely does. 

Self worth is everything. What are you worth? You're more than the latest car or the latest iPhone. You don't need the huge TV. You don't need the latest Givenchy bag to prove you have value, that you matter. If it's a struggle to get these things and keep them, they they're not worth it. Being a functioning member of society who matters is not reliant on your 'stuff' because it's all just stuff. And there will be more stuff you think you need and you don't need it! You don't! You can travel the world collecting stuff, but nothing, nothing is as good as someone who tells you that you are the one they want to make laugh. Or the one who is on the list for 'People to call when the shit goes down'. This is your worth. This is what matters. 

Happy days to you, my friends. xx