New Year, New You: Self Care

Self Care

The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.

Taken from Oxford Languages

In a general sense, self-care refers to activities undertaken with the intention of enhancing energy, restoring health and reducing stress. There are many ways to do this and self-care is something that can be personalised for every individual.

Taken from Everymind.org.au

2020 was a difficult year across the globe. On top of your usual every day stresses, the year threw sickness, natural disasters, and the stress of constant change. If you are anything like me, 2020 was exhausting not just physically but emotionally and mentally.

In environments that are out of your control and ones that you must return to each day, it is important to look after yourself. During these times, self care is so important. Looking after yourself, and taking the time to put your needs first is important.

As we head into a new year, one hopefully less stressful and taxing, the below information is designed to quickly inform you about what self care is, self care activities, further reading, and some of my own old self care posts.

Self Care Activities

  • Have a bath – A favourite of mine is the relaxing bath. Often I will use a bath bomb, bubble bath, bath salts, or a bubble bar. Just taking a moment to relax in warm water often gives myself a chance to catch my breath and unwind.
  • Leave your place of work for lunch – Gran your lunch and head outside. In warm weather there is nothing better than sitting on a bench and just getting away from work. I know not everyone can leave during their lunch break so any moment that can get you to refocus from the workplace and truly separate yourself is ideal.
  • Reconnect with or learn a hobby – Do you no longer spend time doing things that make you happy? Not enough hours in the day to draw or play an instrument like you used to? Make the time to reconnect or learn something that makes you happy.
  • Have a cuppa – Another favourite of mine is to take the time to make a nice cup of tea. Steeping the tea, using a nice tea pot, and doing nothing but focus on the treat is a nice way to make time for and spoil myself.
  • Technology Detox – If you work a lot on a screen or if you are constantly glued to your phone, why not take a moment to put the tech down. Take an hour where you read a book, go for a walk, or cook yourself a nice meal. Sometimes getting away from the constant presence of a work inbox or the non stop alerts from social media can help you take a breath and refocus.
  • At the end of the day self care can be anything that you value or makes you feel better about yourself or your situation.

Want to know more? Self care book recs

The Complete Guide to Self Care: Best Practices for a Healthier and Happier You by Kiki Ely

The Complete Guide to Self Care features 100 accessible activities that help you reconnect with your body, mind, spirit, and surroundings, and leave you feeling refreshed and ready to face the world again.

Taken from book blurb

Make Yourself Cozy: A Guide for Practicing Self-Care by Katie Vaz

Embrace the cozy pleasures of life with Katie Vaz’s interactive guide to self-care.

Freshly baked bread. Cloud-like pillows. Lavender tea. Katie Vaz’s book on self-care shows readers how slow, cozy warmth can help them deal with the anxieties and challenges of everyday life. Filled with tips for creating the perfect atmosphere of coziness (super soft blankets, fluffy robes, and something binge-worthy on TV) as well as sweet, gentle prompts that inspire readers to fill in their own content (“Fill these clouds with words that make you feel light and free”), this book encourages all of us to slow down and find joy in the little things.

Taken from book blurb

The Art of Wellbeing by Meredith Gaston

The new illustrated collection of inspirational meditations, inspiring words and plant-based recipes from bestselling author Meredith Gaston.

Building on her uplifting philosophy of thankfulness and gratitude for what we have and enjoy, Meredith shows us how to live well and enjoy a healthy life in her highly anticipated new book, The Art of Wellbeing.

Taken from book blurb


Hyped Up? Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given

Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given

WOMEN DON’T OWE YOU PRETTY will tell you to…
love sex, hate sexism,
protect your goddamn energy,
life is short, dump them,
And that you owe men nothing, least of all pretty.

Florence’s debut book will explore all progressive corners of the feminist conversation; from insecurity projection and refusing to find comfort in other women’s flaws, to deciding whether to date or dump them, all the way through to unpacking the male gaze and how it shapes our identity.

WOMEN DON’T OWE YOU PRETTY is an accessible leap into feminism, for people at all stages of their journey who are seeking to reshape and transform the way they view themselves. In a world that tells women we’re either not enough or too much, it’s time we stop directing our anger and insecurities onto ourselves, and start fighting back to re-shape the toxic structures of our patriarchal society.

Florence’s book will help you to tackle and challenge the limiting narrative you have been bombarded with your whole life, and determine feminism on your own terms. After all, you are the love of your own life

Taken from book blurb

The Hype

Currently Women Don’t Owe You Pretty has a long reservation list at my library. After processing the book and checking out the blurb, not only was I intrigued but I began to see it pop up all over the place.

I am seeing a lot of hype about Given’s book on the internet and have had a few conversations with people who has read the book who rave about it. After having researched the book, I figured that it would be perfect to use my not often used, Hyped Up feature!


“Up until now we have been bombarded with the same stories that either make us subconsciously hate ourselves or hate others. It’s time to change the narrative, and the power lies in your hands. Consume diverse content. Reinvigorate those tired taste buds.”

Florence Given, Women Don’t Owe You Pretty.

The Verdict

Women Don’t Owe You Pretty is so incredibly worth reading!

From front to back the book was so engaging and relevant! A number of issues are covered over the course of the book and are broken up into very easy to read chapters. You can devour this book in one sitting or you can return to it chapter by chapter and ruminate on the issues raised, how they affect you, and what you can do with your new knowledge.

While the content is by no means new or revolutionary, the accessible way in which Given communicates these issues really speaks to a wide audience. Seasoned feminist pros, people who need a refresher, people new to the idea of feminism, people who don’t want to feel so alone with modern issues, or people who want to better themselves by reading about privilege and how to view the world outside of the toxicity that clouds certain topics. As the blurb says, Women Don’t Owe You Pretty is for people at all stages of their journey.

Towards the end of the book, I found out how old the author is and it pulled me up. I did think, how could someone that age have valid insight into these issues BUT THEN I realised that no, this is exactly what the book is talking about – I need to stop and push through my ageist prejudice and view these from an objective viewpoint. Given’s age doesn’t detract from the validity of her book and comments.

Do yourself a favour, pick up Women Don’t Owe You Pretty and discover for yourself how the book deserves the hype. You’ll thank yourself ❤


Have you read Women Don’t Owe You Pretty? What do you think – do you agree with me or do you think the book is over hyped?