Taking a bit of extra time every day for some self-care has been really key for me in these last few weeks, and my ultimate self-care guru is Amelia Freer, the inspirational woman behind today's journal. I use her recipe books a lot; the most recent, Simply Good For You, is already a well-thumbed favourite in my kitchen. I turn to her Soup for the Soul whenever I'm feeling under the weather, and her One-Tray Roasted Winter Salad got me through the dark months of January and February. But she's not just a chef: as a fully qualified nutritional expert, who advocates a holistic view of health, Amelia's words of wisdom extend beyond the kitchen and into every aspect of life, from healthy sleeping to growing veg and herbs. I love her sunny, positive outlook - and she's a fellow Wiltshire girl, too!
We were so pleased when Amelia agreed to share some tips for how to look after ourselves at the moment. I have found them really helpful, and hope you do as well.
(Image credit: Susan Bell)
I feel passionately that NOW is the time when self care matters most. Access to support systems and professional resources may be harder than it has been in the past. So instead, we may turn to ourselves and call on the reserves of strength, resilience and courage that we all have inside of us.
Having a regular and robust self-care strategy is going to be so important over the next few weeks or months. Exactly what this means will look different for each of us, but it is likely to be necessary to help us cope and contribute. While coronavirus is a big old stress that feels front-and-centre of our lives and is inevitably taking up a vast amount of bandwidth, life is still happening around it – both the ups and downs. I realise all of the information can feel overwhelming so where do we start when it all feels so big?
I have always found it helpful to divide ‘wellbeing’ into separate zones or areas. It’s too homogenous to lump it all together and ends up leaving me feeling paralysed with all the different things I feel I could be doing. So instead, I want to take it right back to basics here and focus on the things I think probably matter the most.
Sleep. Movement. Mind.
Food. Connection. Health.
It is crucial that as we think about these things, we remember that we cannot do it ‘all’ at the moment (if ever!). We cannot eat a “perfect” diet (not any time actually), not least because access to ingredients is likely to be sporadic. We cannot exercise in the way we might have been used to. We are unlikely to have long stretches of quiet time to ourselves for mindfulness practices (especially if we have little ones at home). Stress levels are high enough already. So, please, please don’t pile any extra guilt onto yourselves at the moment. We can all afford to let a few things go. Focus instead on being good enough. This is not a time for strict wellness rules (bar the obvious importance of public health advice). Flexibility is going to be key over the next few months.
To read the full article, visit www.ameliafreer.com