Thursday 20th January 2022

Self-Care Stories #2 14/51 #LifeThisWeek. 28/2020.

Self-Care Stories #2 14/51 #LifeThisWeek. 28/2020.

What a time! It’s been not “that long” since the first post of Self-Care stories yet, the world as we (I) knew it has changed irrevocably. Thanks to a C-word that can be said and written about but I prefer to leave that to the media. Corona virus. COVID-19.

Self-Care Stories #2 is likely to be the first of more in #covid time and I know for me, whilst it bring changes to what I thought was helpful in my self-care emotionally and physically I have to counter that with:

  • am I able to do this now i.e. go out for a stroll at the shops….NO
  • can I go out where I please…NO
  • can I see my family and friends in person….NO
  • do I need to change how I think about what I need to do with my self-care…YES
  •  is this becoming easier over time…YES(ish)

In words and pictures here’s how I am self-caring…in the way I know how. This suits me. It may not for you. I know I am feeling better for a plan.

My plan, so far,

  • is experiencing slower days
  • not ‘having’ to be anywhere
  • taking the chance to explore some art/craft I haven’t for a while
  • actually reading a magazine- I have bought the Women’s Weekly twice!
  • limiting news items on social media to reputable sources
  • contributing to some groups I belong to on Facebook but not staying on “scrolling and scrolling”
  • making sure I have my instagram feed ready as it is from the Ipad now
  • having not only enough food in the house  but more so we can eat from a variety of sources
  • taking time outside, even if it is the backyard, and looking up, and down
  • limiting car trips to every second day and minimising these just to local supermarket
  • ensuring that I do get some steps up each day but no longer being self-critical if I don’t. In fact, I adjusted the goal to allow for it.
  • installing Netflix and Stan on my bedroom TV and actually watching an episode of something from the past. Currently Pride and Prejudice
  • swapping my daily coffee from a shop to one at home, and even having a cup of tea these days as well
  • taking a drive, while it is still OK, to a local beach or waterway and walking beside the water
  • recognising when my fear becomes heightened. It has and I know what it means and can deal with it better these days
  • adding a Daily Calm to my meditation practice before I get out of bed, and finishing my day with another practice session from Calm.

Now, this is just what I, as a retiree, who has recovered well from cancer can do and be…and I am fully aware there is a whole lot of deprivation and job losses, threatened security of home and more, along with worries and fears if you and/or loved ones work in essential services and maybe you are unwell or you cannot be the carer you might want to be….so I say…

I hope, that with support of words here, those from friends and family you may find some peace right now. Yes, it is a very strange place we are all finding ourselves. Author and all-round good egg, Pip Lincolne for example is one. She has  released her new book “When Life Is Not Peachy” ..see the photo above, and just into the excitement of this, she (and her family) all lost their jobs. Gob-smacked, like so many. Queueing on-line or in real life at Centrelink. Not fun. But, as she has reached out to others to help, she has been supported too. That is the best part.

Help others if  you can..but put on your own lifejacket first!

I am listening to a brand-new podcast from Brene Brown: and here is the info. The fact we are all, world-wide, “in this together” seems to help me.

Three learnings that have been life-shifting for me:

1. Anxiety is one of the most contagious emotions – that’s why it always takes down groups of people, not just individuals.

2. Calm is also contagious, but it’s a daily intention and practice.

3. We all have patterned ways of dealing with anxiety that are often set up in our first families. Understanding how and why can set us free.

Listen to the entire episode on Unlocking Us at

And if you miss contact with friends and family and can get into face time and zoom (and all the others) do so. We have had chats with our daughter and grandkids this way and I had my first zoom with 2 friendly and lovely bloggers. Yay for technology for friendships..not just for work

Share o self-care tip that works best for you right now in the comments.
Take care everyone.


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  1. I’m glad you are feeling in control of your calm. I’m not sure I get the bit about the photo of the brother and the bootcamps? Is there a picture missing? Brene Brown podcast on Grief has also been recommended to me. Will give it a listen (tho while I like all her quotes floating around, I didn’t really like her Into the Wilderness book – or whatever it was called). YOu take care and enjoy this sunshine we’re having.

    • Thank you Lydia. I am enjoying the sunshine..even in our small backyard, it’s a treat!

      Brene Brown’s work and her own vulnerabilities is one reason I am drawn to her. I get a bit over the full-on part some people go on with …and she is like that however, her deep down messages have been helpful. Yes there was a photo which did not appear in the link. Now deleted the line!

      The podcast is what I am listening to and I just finished the one on grief with David Kessler as her guest. Quite good in his explanations of stages outlined by ElizabethKubler Ross as he also worked with her.

      Unsure of how your weeks ahead will be as I know just how much you like to be “out and about”.

      Take care,

  2. Hi Denyse, Your self-care plan sounds very good during this challenging time. I find keeping a daily routine close to what I did before the pandemic and thinking about what I’m grateful for help. Stay sfae and healthy! #lifethisweek

    • Thanks Natalie, yes some small changes to the day are workable and I am now in a better state to deal with the changes. However, I am also self-compassionate enough to realise we are in very different times and self-kindness along with gratitude help.

      Take care,


  3. Never has been self care been so important and you know what they say about putting on your own oxygen mask first! I’m trying to stay away from the news, enjoy some fresh air with Teddy Roosevelt and am making the most of the extra time in the kitchen. I miss the face to face contact with friends but with zoom and face time, I’ve never seen so much of them as I have online plus we can have catch ups in our pyjamas! Winning! We should try and have a Zoom morning tea, wouldn’t that be fun?!

    • Thanks Sammie, yes the kitchen and cooking has appealed more and to so many. Instagram feeds are literally that! Big hunks of food and yummm to entice us. Up here so many home delivery options.

      However, we don’t need to have these as we are pretty simple and small sized eaters these days. I was just so glad to get to batch cook all I did so they help spread my week of meals out.

      I am not sure (yet) about on-line get togethers. I have given one Zoom a go but with recent concerns about privacy I am still on the conservative side. We have face timed twice with grandkids and am pretty sure that will occur again.

      I am glad you have the perfect excuse to leave the house for exercise. Well-done. Loved the frock I saw you in today too.

      Take care,


  4. Hi Denyse, I feel that this moment is the perfect time to reflect on the changes we want to make in our lives going forward. It is difficult for some to be isolated but technology is a wonderful tool that is a positive connection with others. Zoom has been embraced by many and we wonder why we haven’t connected like this before. It is a good time for self-care, reflection and planning. Take care and thanks for #lifethisweek

    • Thanks so much Sue. I do like that we can change and grow through this.

      Today I had to go out for 2 essentials and then to Officeworks to pick up a click and collect. Instead of detouring to another shopping centre on the way home, I came straight home understanding that the less physical contact we have outside our homes the better.

      I have ordered some more disposable gloved for us both and facemasks as I believe, as we enter winter this may become more widely suggested.

      I do understand the appeal of Zoom and more, but even though I have tried it once, I remain wary of privacy so am not embracing it (yet). Facetime in short bursts has helped us see what the grandkids have been up to.

      Take care,


  5. It’s like a line from a Ben Lee song “we’re all in this together”… I’m having my moments, we’re having our moments, but walking, sunrises, fresh air, enough food, it’s all helping. We’re finding new ways to connect & in some cases I’m making more of an effort to do that now than I ever have. The only fly in my ointment at the moment is I can’t bake as often as I’d like to because there’s nowhere to send the food to (I usually send it into work with Sarah).

    • Ah you bake to share too. I do as well. I like to keep some for us and give some away. Tried to recently to the Eye surgeon’s office and it was a no thank you because of …you know what.

      I admit the instagram feeds are becoming literal aren’t they! So much comfort food cooking and eating. I know I am eating more but as my mouth can’t handle too much it become!

      I remain a reluctant starter for the on-line meetings. I guess it’s me, not having experienced them much at all and the fact that Zoom has potential privacy issues. I also find on-line that it is harder to have more impromptu chats. Or is that just me?

      Take care

  6. Hi Denyse Good to heat you’re feeling control and calm. I’m sure that this is what we need to cope with changes to our lifestyle and habits that have been forced on us recently. Take care and stay safe Shared

    • It turned out to be a timely prompt and I was able to consider just how much I have had to change to manage as well as I am….so far.

      I admit I have found the OVER 70 thing hard and so far am still doing what has to be done in terms of essentials for us. I am trying to take all the recommendations on board. Less time in a shop and out of there too.

      Take care,


  7. Hi Denyse, your plan sounds very achievable to me and I must admit I have a similar one. I’m surprised by how busy so days can be with zoom meetings, facetime, messaging with family and talking to friends on the phone! I am missing face to face physical contact with others but our Saturday morning coffee group had a zoom meeting on Saturday morning instead and we’ve scheduled to do it again this week.

    I like Sammie’s idea of a zoom morning tea for us bloggers, wouldn’t that be fun indeed!

    My sister and I are exercising and chatting daily to mum who lives on her own, she enjoys the company and important it is to keep moving. Now that we have our rail trail open the pressure of daily calls, emails, planning and worry is over and we can get out for some exercise, keeping our distance of course. I’m also loving feel good shows and books, as they bring me comfort.

    Thanks for your wise words and sharing your self care with us, we can all learn a lot from each other. I’m sharing a post about my daughter as a new mother and some of her thoughts at this time.

    • Thank you Deb, you seem to be right onto this social media and social distancing thing.

      Congratulations on all you do for your community. Having the rail trail open is a great achievement.

      We are not chatting on-line much at all. I am still a reluctant participant due to the tech part of it (and security as I saw on weekend re Zoom) although I can face time when the grandkids call. Talking to my dad when he wants a chat. But I like the connections via my social media too in writing and sharing the pics.

      Things are Ok here. Lots to be grateful for and we are both taking life a lot slower…knowing we have “time” on our hands so to speak.

      I am so glad I got my eyes done when I did but it could be a long wait for the new glasses. In the meantime I am muddling through with old script ones.

      Take care,

  8. I never feel like I’m that great at self care because I get bored easily. I guess when my Rosehaven DVDs arrive that’s a kind of self care!

  9. I have to say I am quite enjoying this period of rest and relaxation. I have wished ‘the world to stop’ for years – and here it is. Sadly I never pictured a pandemic.
    We are keeping busy with games, Netflix and junk food movie times.
    Jigsaws are coming in the mail too.
    Stay well!

    VANESSA – my comment has gone to your spam folder! Can somebody please let her know on my behalf?!

    • I too am glad meetings and appointments and more are cancelled or on hold.

      Mind you, I sure am glad that I am not in treatment as trying to get my head around that in CV19 times would be hard.

      My husband is a huge jigsaw fan and he does the WASGIJs (backwards Jigsaws) and needed to refresh his stash…all gone. Everyone is turning to jigsaws. Not me (yet) but I did buy a simple 500 piece from Kmart before the panic buy and will try that one day.

      Take care,

  10. Denyse, thank you for your calm, reasoned and reassuring voice. It is especially needed now.

    SSG xxx

    • Oh thank you.

      I did find as I wrote this it was both confirming I was going OK and also giving me some idea I was on the right track.

      I am glad not to be having to come to Sydney for anything…and feel for patients who are in current treatment.

      Thank you and your colleagues for all you do too.

      Take care,


  11. Hi Denyse, I’m so glad you’re adjusting your routines and expectations so that the anxiety is manageable and your quality of life is still good.

    I feel like my life is pretty great despite CV-19 – almost like retirement has prepared me for being at home and being able to occupy myself. I love not having outside commitments, I’m happy that the shops are open and I can get 99% of what I need (the empty sections still bug me a bit!) I’m SO grateful for the internet, for our blogging community, for the ability to send and receive photos and videos with my grandgirls and calls from my daughter.

    Despite all the sucky stuff, life is pretty darn good and I have no complaints (other than not seeing my family for Easter – but that will pass eventually). Stay well and stay happy xxx

    • Yes we feel similarly, as we have both been home together since retirement.

      I did however, always go out somewhere which broke my day up and gave me a sense of being social. This was missed and still is but I can deal with it better now. I am very sad, seeing almost all of the places I used to go being closed up and feel for the employees and owners. Bills keep coming and they cannot pay.

      It really is a huge shift in our day to day thinking about life and how we go on.

      Our daughter is a teacher and her life has been made twice as busy with having to prepare for students and teach hers at home. Our son’s business in on-line with individuals and families and he tells us not much has changed. However, so much HAS changed for people’s daily lives.

      Retirement has prepared us more to live simpler and in closer quarters but for many there must be some awful tensions at time.

      It is sad that Easter and its celebrations have been halted or changed. The Royal Easter Show in Sydney was a BIG event for folks from the city and the country.

      We will change and grow through this I am sure.

      Take care

  12. I’m finding these current circumstances quite stressful and they have totally altered my family’s life. I really need to start planning more self care activities for myself and my whole family and focusing on what I can do rather than what I can’t do.

    • It is a tough one Ingrid. I know so many are finding it so. When the whole family is involved I understand it would be hard. My daughter has adult kids at home and her school-aged daughter AND she is still ‘teaching’ as they say because schools are open till Thursday in NSW.

      Self-care is tough when we are used to having more space and time around us. The Easter weekend will be hard for many I think.

      Wishing you well. Hard days at times for sure.


  13. I love your saying: “Help others if you can..but put on your own lifejacket first!” Such good advice! I think I could use some Brene Brown right about now too. She is so inspiring and I need something uplifting. Thank you for hosting, Denyse. There are a lot of good, encouraging writers who visit you here. We all could use a shot of positivity during this crisis.

    • I hope you can find that podcast too Laurie as it is set for now…the times of COVID.

      . I know Brene is not to everyone’s taste but I find her admission of all the human vulnerabilities make her a ‘human’ like the rest of us.

      Take care, this coming Easter is NOT one where we ever envisioned being isolated.


  14. Such awesome advice in these trying times! I agree that taking time in nature ( you and I are lucky to live so close to beaches etc) is so helpful… oh and thanks for the reminder on “Pride and Prejudice” one of my favs that I will be watching again soon now!

    • Thanks so much Kerrie, you and yours will be missing trips away at Easter I imagine.

      I would like to get to the beach to walk more but given the talk of driving for a purpose I am going to find more local places. I am, however, finding it hard to motivate myself right now. I hope it returns.

      Some comfort viewing..and some comfort eating are ok right now!


  15. That podcast sounds really helpful. I’ll give it a listen!

  16. Good for you on having a self-care plan and thank you for sharing it, Denyse! One big thing for my self-care right now is to get outside, even if it’s just in my yard or a walk around the block. Spring is just starting here, and I need to see the sky, hear the birds, smell the flowers. This is a crazy time, but Mother Nature is still there. The sun still rises and sets each day. That is comforting to me. Take care and be safe!

    • Yes, outside. It IS the best. I have just driven to a local lakeside area and even though it was windy it was good to get out and walk about, listening to the wind in the trees and watching the waves on the water.

      Take care, we ARE all in this together.