How to Thrive When Self Care Isn’t an Option

Self-care: one of the most commonly used expressions and a catch-all panacea for mums in today’s online world. When we hear the words we fantasize about long baths, meditative book reading sessions, face masks and spa visits. Honestly, though, how many of us are available, capable, or financially flush enough to carry these out on the regular?

I’m guilty of it myself. I use the hashtag when posting about mental health. I love the idea of self-care, it’s just the actual doing of it that’s tricky. With three children, a job and a partner (plus a puppy on the way) my self-care-time is shrinking rather than growing. …

It is Yom Ha Shoah (Yom Hazikaron laShoah ve-laG’vurah), or the Jewish Holocaust Day of Remembrance as it is commonly known. It is distinct from the more public day of remembrance for the Holocaust (which occurs in January) in that it is intended for the Jewish people to reflect on the loss and persecution that occurred at the hands of the Nazi regime in Europe in the 1930s and 40s.

I was born into a family that experienced that period in a multitude of ways. …

Growing up, my Dad was the coolest man on earth. Bell-bottomed jeans, tight white cotton tees and a dense beard to match the decade. I didn’t see him often, nor even regularly, and in between, I pined for him. It felt like my first experience of unrequited love.

Sure, I know now that he loved me deeply but he was too scared of being a father and all the tied down, daily drudgery he believed it to entail - so starkly contrasting it was with the free love, folk music and anti-establishment fervour that was all around us. He was terrified of the weightiness of what was expected of him and thereby compelled to run from what a family represented, run from the two he loved the most — me and mum. …

How this Mum Saved Herself & Discovered the Magic of a Symphony of Breaths

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On the topic of bringing up families, I’m not an expert. I do feel like I have had a lot of experience though: from being an older sister to two much younger siblings; then being that friend in the group of teens that would always be expected to behave like ‘the mum’; right up to now as an actual mother of three.

Not that any of that means much anyway. It’s not like anyone is an expert when it comes to parenting. There is such a myriad of experience that is so personal in all the minutiae of any family’s existence, one can never be an expert in any of it. There is only now. …

Being ‘authentic’ is not just a nice idea, but something that has a massive effect on your health, mental state and even longevity.

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Photo by Markel Hall on Unsplash

As well as that, developing a strong sense of your own authentic brand unleashes you onto the world in a wonderful new way. That is, if you do it right.

It has been said that if you’re breathing you’re branding. In this time of social media platforms and virtual reality, it definitely helps to be clear on how to write your self into a sentence.

However, branding in this context is not referring to the traditional marketing definition, but rather a holistic personal one. This is the type of branding that includes your whole being, rather than pitching a product or service to a target audience. This is about authenticity, and as we now know ‘being free to be yourself’ is, in fact, an essential human need, without which we can experience trauma and ill health. …

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If you’re on social media regularly — any platform — you will be familiar with the offer of highly effective training to build followers and increase engagement. There are some amazing trainers out there who have had great success on their platform of choice and are making a lot of money showing others how to do the same.

I have watched and listened to quite a few of the training webinars out there and they certainly have given me a fantastic understanding of how the platform works and how each of those trainers has used it to create their success. …

No surprises, I was bullied at school. It wasn’t the type where the big bully boy throws your bag on the ground and punches you in the stomach like in the movies. It was more the type where the ‘strong’ (read: insecure) and ‘bossy’ (read: bullied herself at home) girl was mean and deliberately destabilising to my emotional wellbeing. I was an easy target: the child of divorced parents; smaller than the other kids; cute faced and quiet, and the teacher’s pet.

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Photo by David Clarke on Unsplash

Here’s how it would go. Edith would decide which Abba song we were going to perform as a group around the side of the school building, where the teachers couldn’t see. When I asked to do a different song she would tell me that I was wrong. We’d start practice, and it was my favourite thing to do so I’d be so happy for a second dancing and singing Abba songs imaging I was Frida. She would tell me that I was doing it wrong. I’d try harder. She’d tell me I was hopeless at it and tell me to go away. At this point I would walk quietly across the playground to the other side, sit down on a cold metal seat and cry my eyes out. …

The new age of authentic work, and how it offers you the freedom not to have to choose.

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Image by Rich Turley via Rich Turley Photography

Gone are the days when you were expected to at least appear to have a ‘nuclear family’ — one or more kids, a husband and wife, a steady job for life. In the modern age of fluidity everything is up for grabs; your gender, your occupation, your sexual orientation.

Well, thank goodness for that, right?

If you’ve watched Mad Men or spent anytime researching the culture of the great American dream, then you would know how incredibly restrictive it was for many. …


Alena Turley

Copywriter + content creator + educator. Gives good word at &

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