Jez's Notebook | January, 2021 Archive

DAY 7: 7 Days of Self Care

A window to nature’s soul

View from the new living room at 0740 this morning; my new favourite room of the house for the light and incredible window into nature’s soul.

My 7 Days of Self Care is over and I hope you were inspired to at least consider self care in a different way. It’s like oxygen for your soul. Self care is not a destination. It is an essential part of being human and a dynamic process: what you need changed as you change. For some inspiration and in an act of vulnerability to

DAY 6: 7 Days of Self Care

Enjoy the feeling of putting you first.

Can you believe I’m almost at the end of my 7 Days of Self Care? Where did the time go? And everything is so easy to do, too. I hope you’ll join in, even if you take just one thing and drop it into your daily routine every now and again when you need to.

In the mean time, here’s today’s self care rant 😇

Very often when it’s just for us we don’t make the effort. The nice plates come out for dinner parties; we cook something special for when friends are over; we put on our favourite clothes for going out; save the expensive toiletries for special occasions, and generally make do for us.

Well, you deserve to be spoilt, and you deserve to be spoilt by you. One of my treats is to brew a pot of loose leaf tea, taking my time over warming the pot; letting the leaves steep and enjoying a hot cup of tea from a cup and saucer. It takes more time than a bag and somehow feels a little more elegant than a mug. The ritual is almost hypnotic and the tea always tastes better!

Finding small things to include into moments throughout the day can be an easy way to add more moments into your self care bank: using a favourite pen; starting a new notebook; changing the bed sheets; randomly doing something you want to do but isn’t part of your schedule – get spoiling yourself and enjoy that feeling of being put first by you.

DAY 5: 7 Days of Self Care

Even simple stretches are an easy way to feel the benefits of moving more!

It’s great to see so many of you taking part in my 7 Days of Self Care challenge! Keep your examples coming and feel the benefits especially as over the next few weeks the latest lockdown brings us an opportunity to focus on us.

The thought of going to the gym or working out has never appealed to me. I did it at school only because it was an alternative to football, which I can’t stand. I’m not lazy and I’m very active generally but the idea of monotonous repetitive exercise just doesn’t interest me. I’m fortunate that I have a really high metabolism so can eat almost what I like and don’t carry much weight, but fast forward to 2020 and now my daily workout routines are sacrosanct. Every morning I’m up and into a routine that includes an increasing number of bicep curls, push ups, weighted sit ups and varying alternative depending on what I feel like.

DAY 4: 7 Days of Self Care

You’re already doing self care without you realising it

It might not be obvious on face value but I’ve got more in common with Gloria Gaynor than you might think.

There are some things we all do that help put us in the mood (whatever mood we’re seeking amplification of); to set the tone; to give us the feels. Lighting a candle; putting on a favourite album; making a favourite meal, or getting your hair cut. That action of taking charge of how we feel is self care – and it’s as normal as it is important. Making

DAY 3: 7 Days of Self Care

The benefits to our brain of being outside have been extensively documented and evidenced

Every single day I do something for me – and you should, too. You don’t have to love yourself; you can at best accept who you are, but valuing yourself for the person you are today is key to the emotional well-being and happiness that keeps us mentally well, and physically fit. You can join in on my 7 Days of Self Care by trying each of the things I do as I do them, or using them as inspiration for your own ideas of ways to do something for you – for your body – for your mind. But do them not for someone else: for you.

The garden for me is my life classroom, and also my solace. Being outdoors, in a wood or on a walk surrounded by nature is, if I’m honest, second best. It’s the collection of plants and space and design in a garden that I love. Improving. If you can’t find me, I’ll be in the greenhouse. Being outdoors, whether walking Marley, or gardening, transforms how I feel. It’s the endorphins and change in chemicals in your brain that fresh air and contact with nature brings.

DAY 2: 7 Days of Self Care

Change of any kind starts and ends with us.

It’s a new year, and while things don’t feel much different yet, we are all finding ourselves spending more time with ourselves; either alone, or simply more often without as many interactions as we once had. So, in day 2 of my 7 Days of Self Care, I’m focusing very much on the “big taboo” of self care: your body.

I think men get a rough ride when it comes to caring for their bodies. It’s better now than it was; more acceptable to moisturise, for example, but it’s still not widely embraced that caring for your body is important. I’d say that for the girls, too. While the beauty industry has been laser-focused on women for years, it’s still something that’s seen as a treat; to be done in your own time and that shouldn’t impact on anyone else.

Well, while I’m not endorsing foot spas in the boardroom, I am

Reflecting on 2020 – annus horribilis

Quite understandably, the general tone of the nation, and likely the world, is one of looking forwards, not backwards. Most couldn’t wait to see the back of 2020, which certainly towards the end has been like living in an actual apocalyptic film.

For most of 2020 I was of the same opinion; head down, get on with it and plough forwards to light at the end of the tunnel. But the tunnel kept getting longer, and the list at the end not only further away but very often, dwindled to a mere flicker of hope.

I’m sharing my very personal reflection of 2020 for only one reason. I’m normally quite a private person and throughout my life I’ve kept much to myself. I guess that’s how I was raised. It’s only in 2020 that I’ve learned, along with so many other important life lessons, that keeping things shut away is not only toxic, but destructive. When I began to share with my social media followers, with great trepidation and uncertainty that I may well be over sharing, a few insights into how difficult the past 12 months had been for me, I was overwhelmed with the responses. Message after message came through, followed by emails and even letters sent to the farm telling me how much people resonated with what I’d been through; that reading about my struggles had helped them with their own, and thanking me for being so open and honest in a world of so much falseness and filter. So, this reflection is not really for me – I certainly don’t need to go through it all again; I was there! But I hope, it helps you.

As you’ll read, I’ve been through a tsunami of pain and challenge in 2020, yet, on reflection, every single thing I’ve pushed through in the last 12 months has made me a better person in one way or another.

DAY 1: 7 Days of Self Care

Reading offers by proxy a solitary moment for you.

“Me time”; “time out”; “self care”; “a moment to yourself” – whatever you call it, over the next 7 days I’m going to share with you my 7 Days of Self Care to bust the myths around “self care” and encourage the notion to be more mainstream; an essential – critical – part of being human. And you can join me in this as part of a new project I’m launching called ‘human’.

Our physical, mental and emotional well-being depend on us, individually, to care for ourselves. And as a species we’re shockingly bad at it. Each day