The Self-Care Project – Jayne Hardy

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The Self-Care Project

The Self-Care Project

I got my copy of The Self-Care Project – Jayne Hardy back as part of a “Buddy Box” – an idea of the Blurt Foundation which was founded by Jayne Hardy herself, to promote a more positive conversation and support for mental health issues.  I set up a subscription to get a delivery each month, my daughter and I then shared the contents of as a wee treat.  This was my first month’s treat.

What I really liked straight away was the refreshing way Jayne tackled the “trend” towards self-care which was popping up everywhere.  What really got my attention with this book was the relaxed style in which it was written, and it’s basically a workbook.

When you’re finding your way back onto your feet after a physical burnout, and in the midst of massive personal change, this book seemed a perfect starting point.  As with some other books I’ve recommended here, I will highlight that I’d already been doing a great deal of work using the Pavelka Way which includes a focus on connecting to yourself and really noticing what’s going on.

Even though I had been paying attention to what was going on with me there were definitely some alarm bells I had ignored – I mean you don’t get to the burnout stage unless you’re ignoring something!  What the book did really well for me was breaking down energy into pecking orders, which was a very different way of looking it.

Before I read this book I thought I had a strategy for self-care.  By chapter two, it was pretty clear that a once a year trip to a spa was not going to cut it.  Rather than try to recover from exhaustion, being overwhelmed and generally feeling sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, the focus is on prevention.

When you start looking at your barriers through the “homework” sections at the end of each chapter, you’ll almost certainly find some root cause answers for yourself.  For me, it was about overcommitting myself to too much – especially when many of those commitments were things I didn’t actually want to do!  Most importantly, I never asked for help.  That sounds so simple doesn’t it – but I think I had been waiting for people to notice I needed help and step in.  Unlikely that’s ever going to happen – and I certainly did not happen for me.

Through a wee bit of reflection and some elementary exercises, some answers did start to emerge and what I really love is the focus on micro-actions.  This book is not about redesigning your whole life and approach in a week.  With one small action at a time, you can start to build up a self-care approach which will make a huge difference.

A lovely way to take care of yourself and avoid the bigger challenge I had of dealing with burnout.  Enjoy.

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