Thursday 20th January 2022

Self-Care Stories #7 48/51 #LifeThisWeek.117/2019.

Self-Care Stories #7 48/51 #LifeThisWeek.117/2019.

Dear Readers,

We have finished the series for 2019 for Self-Care. However, “I” know how much it means to me to continue the practice of caring for the self…and so it will return as a regular prompt in 2020.


My approach for self-care in recent weeks.

Daily. Every Day.

I’ve long been the fan of my morning ritual of:

  • dress with purpose
  • go out to a coffee shop, shopping centre, cafe….
  • order my small, latte, double shot in a glass…..
  • open my current art journal and see where I am at..or what I want to share today
  • and often have two of these little biscuits

IF I do not get to do this because of being unwell or in Sydney for an appointment I really, really miss it so as best as I can, it’s the next day for me.

About the journal.

  • all pages are art-paper – heavy-ish quality
  • all are blank
  • sometimes I prep a page layout with paint at home
  • I write a bit
  • I might add a list- for example, what went well
  • I write to get stuff out…usually helpful and always something I need to do and work on
  •  I add in little patterns and designs
  • I make one if these little babies last me about 2-3 months if I can because they are expensive
  • I used a changing range of unipin black pen (0.5 or 0.8) for writing, outlining and some mixed media for colour

Something to read.

Only recently, when I found this little book, have I read something in this special self care time. This book has given me so many insights and I find myself nodding in agreement. It has confirmed lots of what I have been learning in these recent years and it’s done in such a great, easy-to-follow way.

Author: Ashley Davis Bush

This excerpt is from: Enjoy Your Non-Toothache.

The wise Vietnamese spiritual leader Thich Nhat Hanh talks about gaining inner peace via the path of noticing what you don’t have. His classic is to enjoy your “non-toothache”. If you’ve ever had toothache you will know (as I do well!) it causes a bit of pain..ok, a lot of pain. All you do when you have it is notice it, thinking about it…’d give anything not to have a toothache.

However when the toothache is gone, you quickly forget about the pain and immediately begin to focus on other issues or concerns.

For this equanimity practice write a list of ten things that, for today, you are currently NOT experiencing, but would definitely be unpleasant if you were. In other words, write a list of “it could be worse” items.

The author’s list:

  1. I enjoy not being homeless
  2. I enjoy not being in hospital
  3. I enjoy not vomiting
  4. I enjoy not have a migraine
  5. I enjoy not declaring bankruptcy
  6. I enjoy not going blind
  7. I enjoy not being caught outside in a blizzard
  8. I enjoy not losing my electricity
  9. I enjoy my car not having a flat tyre
  10. I enjoy not having a serious illness.

Here’s my list as of time of writing

  1. I enjoy not being in pain
  2. I enjoy not being employed as a principal
  3. I enjoy not being worried about my job
  4. I enjoy not have issues with IBS today
  5. I enjoy not having a deadline for anything
  6. I enjoy not needing to do Christmas shopping
  7. I am really enjoying not having to prepare family meals each night
  8. I am enjoying not feeling pressured for any reason to be anywhere
  9. I am enjoying not being in treatment for head and neck cancer
  10. I am enjoying not being in debt

How is your self-care?

Meeting up with friends is a really important part of my self-care and I am so glad to have people I know to do so!

On  a recent Monday Kirsty  and I met for coffee and a good old catch up. Kirsty is one busy lady and I am glad to see her role helping educators and parents better understand kids with special needs is taking off. Kirsty can be found here.


Sanch and I caught up recently when we met for coffee! Wishing my blogging friend all the best in her new job AND new place of living.  Her blog is here. I shall miss her presence in my life on the Central Coast! I am sure we will catch up again though!!

Excellent Self-Care on 18 November with Sanch!

Self-caring and sharing with my blogging & social media friends recently for my 70th Birthday! 

L-R. Me, Sam, Veronica, Grace & Kimba


I hope your self-care is going well!

Tell me more in the comments.


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Next Week’s optional prompt is: 49/51 Taking Stock #5 9/12/19

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  1. What a lovely week you’ve had celebrating. Spending time with friends, old and new, can be a lovely de-stress.

  2. It was so lovely catching up with you for the big birthday and seeing some blogging buddies. I think that’s a great list and have to agree, that time spent with people who make you feel good is a great tonic. As for Sanch, your loss is my gain, we are nearly neighbours now!

    • So good when bloggers finally meet because ‘no small talk’ necessary, we “know” each other well already!!

      Although as a certain attendee at my b’day gathering remarked, “you don’t sound like I thought” to me!!

      Thanks so much for coming too!

      Denyse x

  3. Your self-care routine is wonderful, Denyse. I’m glad you decide to continue the Self-Care series in 2020. I also like the advice to enjoy our “non-toothache”. I do set time aside for my self-care routine (e.g. meditation, exercise, yoga, meeting friends, etc.). As they say, we need to replenish ourselves as we can’t pour from an empty cup.

    • It is good to consider ‘what we don’t notice’ isn’t it? Quite a twist on the usual.

      Yes, glad to be continuing this prompt into 2020 as a regular reminder for us all.

      Thank you for your support.

      Denyse x

  4. Lucky you getting to catch up with Sammie on your big birthday! Love your list and yes, catching up with people – even when it feels as though you’re too busy to do so, is sometimes the best tonic.

    • Yes it was. I know you have met up with Sammie too.

      I feel much better after a catch up with a friend and now I am more able to do this, even driving to Hornsby, I am not stopping now. Love it and I am energised by it.

      Thanks Jo,

      Denyse x

  5. I was envious of the catch-up though it’s about a year since I caught up with a group of bloggers from Brissy and that was lovely.

    I’m thinking more about self-care as I head into the new year. I seem to hover between self-flagellation and complete irresponsibility so need to find some middle ground.

    • Ah yes, I think i remember seeing photos of that one too.

      I would love to come to Qld and catch up…where and when..but maybe one day!

      As for the self-care. Oh yes, I understand. None of it is ideal- those extremes I mean.

      I know that one thing is that it is all something I decided on, for me and as that helped then I tried more. It’s that first dip in the water. I can now see much better the difference between self-indulgence and self-compassion as it was so well described by Dr Kristen Neff – self-compassion guru. Have you done her quiz? I found it interesting how over time (years) I showed improvement.

      Take care and you have been taking care of Mum well, now back to you!

      Denyse x

  6. I like your self-care plan. Nice pics!

  7. Hi Denyse – I loved the non-toothache idea because I think we take our easy lives for granted far too often. I could tick a lot of the boxes for your most recent list of non-awful things and the joy that comes from not being tied to a job that stresses you out and being debt free (such a good place to be in!)

  8. I love your self-care routines and I think rituals are so important! As you said, you miss it when it doesn’t happen for whatever reason. I want to start journalling properly – I had started a few months ago but then got sidetracked with all the busyness. I am hoping to get back to it and more importantly, stick with it! I agree catching up with friends is an important part of self-care – it is part of mine too! I really enjoyed catching up with you regularly and suffice to say, it will continue to happen even if not as spontaneously/regularly!

    • Thanks so much Sanch. I love how blogging gives us all new and refreshed ideas to help us along this self-care path.

      Thinking of you today as I was in Sydney and I know the smoke got worse on the drive home. Hope Katoomba is OK.

      Denyse x

  9. Loving that “Today I’m not experiencing” list idea. I’d not seen that before. I also love how you nurture your self care rituals and your meaningful connections. So inspiring to me. My self care at the moment involves taking things day by day and not taking on anything extra that may contribute to the overwhelm monster. Much love and thanks for reminding me to link up.

    • Clever quote isn’t it? I have found a few of these little but really helpful books recently and I find quote and read and re-read them to sink in. This quote turns our thinking on its head.

      Glad to read about your self-care. Will be back to read the blog post tomorrow.

      Sending love…and relief from any overwhelm.

      Denyse x

  10. When I travelled I loved sitting in a coffee shop and writing in my journal. I hardly do it these days but I should get back into it. I love that you have a self-care routine, it is just fabulous.

    • Thanks Anne. It is something I ‘must’ do..even if it’s just about where I had coffee. I love looking back too.

      I hope you do try for some time out like it again.

      Denyse x