What Self Care Means To Me - Katie Matthews - Mums NI - A Hub For Parents in Northern Ireland

What Self Care Means To Me - Katie Matthews

What Self Care Means To Me - Katie Matthews

What Self Care Means To Me - Katie Matthews
Katie Matthews
Written by Katie Matthews on Wednesday, 29 May 2019 Posted in: What Self Care Means To Me

“Self-Care” seems to be the new buzz word or fashionable phrase at the moment- we all keep hearing how we should be looking after ourselves and prioritising our well-being. However, sometimes I think it’s a bit tricky to ACTUALLY give ourselves the self-care we need, without feeling some sort of guilt or even to find the time amongst the never-ending to-do lists and tasks can seem impossible!

What Self Care Means To Me - Katie Matthews

As someone who has battled with Depression for the last ten years and Anxiety for the last five years, self-care is now a completely essential part of my life. There was a time when I did not effectively manage my own health and well-being and admittedly there are still days when I struggle to look after myself “properly”. Having recently been diagnosed with a long-term, degenerative physical health condition and being on the road to 30 (in a few years time!) I can feel there is a shift in my body, my mind and my overall health. I am understanding more now what people mean when they say “your health is your wealth” and that it is not just simply a thing that people say!

There are some days when self-care means I make myself a cup of tea and sit and watch something on television. Some days self-care means a full body shaving session, moisturising, bath scrub & plucking my eyebrows! Other times it simply means having five minutes by myself in silence to breath and gather my thoughts. Self-Care literally means what it says- caring for yourself. We spend so much of our lives caring for other people whether this is family, friends, children, parents, partners, colleagues or in our work, that sometimes we neglect ourselves and forget to make ourselves a priority. If you don’t prioritise yourself, then who else is going to?

Sometimes, I think people confuse self-care with self-indulgence. Care is something that is necessary- if we don’t care for ourselves and ensure that we are affording ourselves the time and space to re-charge without guilt or feelings of self-reproach, then we will very quickly burn out! Speaking from personal experience, I got to the point of burn out and had to strip everything back to the basics. Meeting my basic needs, removing guilt and shame for looking after myself and prioritising myself again. This was one of the hardest lessons to learn, along with learning how to say no! Admittedly, this is something I still struggle with and I have to remind myself every day to do something that is just for me. I might sound a bit nuts but I have it on my daily to-do list, so I don’t forget! The saying goes “You can’t pour from an empty cup”. If we don’t fill our own cups first, then how can we top-up other people’s? Take 5 minutes today and do something that is just for you- because you WANT to do it but also because you NEED to do it!

I am delighted to say that I am launching Peer-Led Mental Health Support groups starting Sunday 2nd June at Danann Crafts in Lurgan. There are three different meet-up groups, and everyone is welcome to come along to connect with others in a similar position, explore positive thinking and mindfulness exercises, chat, get tea and treats, self-care activities and signposting to mental health support services.

The Mind Tribe Meet-Up Groups:

1-2pm: The Community Mind Tribe: Meet-Up for adults suffering from Anxiety and/or Depression

2-3pm: The Female Mind Tribe: Meet-Up for anyone who identifies as female aged 18+

3-4pm: The Mummy Mind Tribe: Meet-Up for Mummies of all ages

If you would like to book a space for the meet-up, please visit:

The Community Mind Tribe Tickets
The Female Mind Tribe Tickets
The Mummy Mind Tribe Tickets

Your £7.50 ticket includes Tea, Coffee & Biscuits and all materials.

Extra Information for The Mind Tribes:

  • The groups are a safe space where all are welcome - share as little or as much as you wish to. There is no requirement to share anything if you prefer to come and listen and join in with activities. Judgement free zone. 
  • All information shared is completely at your discretion and is shared confidentially with the group.
  • All attendees will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement at the start of each group, to ensure peace of mind for all participants. 
  • Additionally, this is not a medical group so we are not here to diagnose, treat or recommend medical intervention, treatments or to give diagnoses as this is a peer-led support group. 
  • Katie, the meet-up co-ordinator has 10 years lived experience with Anxiety & Depression and is a trained mindfulness instructor, Growth Mindset coach and educator and as such will share from her own experiences. 
  • There is no expectation from anyone to stay for the full session if it becomes too overwhelming or you don't feel yourself and no questions will be asked if you wish to leave. 
  • There is no pressure and all participants will be made to feel welcome and safe. 
  • You can even bring your own bottle if you wish to practice some wine-fulness!
  • You are welcome to attend any/all that are applicable to you. Please note non-mobile babies and breast-feeding are welcome at all groups.
  • Come, join us & find your mind tribe! Dates for your diary:(Meet-ups from June-Dec 2019) Meet-up dates: 02/06/19, 07/07/19, 04/08/19, 01/09/19, 06/10/19, 03/11/19, 01/12/19

I look forward to welcoming you! In the mean time, connect with us on social media and check out some self-care ideas below (P.S. they’re super simple & cheap!):

Make your favourite drink and make it a mindful experience- how does it look? Smell? Taste? 
Cook your favourite dinner
Have a bath or shower
Watch a programme of your choice
Go for a short walk
Do some breathing exercises
Listen to the radio
Sit in silence
Colour or doodle
Switch all devices onto silent or switch them off for an hour at least
Positive affirmations
Phone a friend
Meet someone for a coffee
Invite someone round for a catch-up
Draw/Paint/Make something
Bake something
Give yourself a hand massage
Get someone else to give you a massage!
Watch a film
Go for a sensory woodland walk
Eat in silence- appreciate each mouthful
Meditate
Do yoga or stretch
Have a nap
Read a book
Fill in a diary or journal
Read/Write a poem
Play a board game
Do nothing! (and don’t feel guilty!)
Play with your pet
Put on clean pyjamas
Change your bedsheets
Light a scented candle
Spray lavender essence on your pillow
Write a list of all the things you are grateful for
Listen to the sounds of nature

… The list goes on! Whatever you need to do to rest, re-charge, re-energise and re-invigorate yourself – DO IT! And do not let anyone make you feel guilty for doing it (including yourself!).

Katie xx

Tagged with: mental health, mind tribe, mindfulness, mums mental health, Parental mindfulness, positive mental health, self care, well being, what does self care mean, what self care means to me

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