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  • Writer's pictureAntonia Higgins

The Self-Care Project by Jayne Hardy

I was excited to hear that Jayne Hardy, founder and CEO of The Blurt Foundation had written a self-help book all about self-care. I’d been engaging with the organisation online, liking and sharing their stuff and spreading the word about this amazing charity. I’d been blown away by the open, courageous way that Jayne talked about her own mental health struggles in her TEDx talk, “What you don’t see about depression”. And I hugely admire her for going from debilitating depression to being able to channel those experiences into the work she does today. So, when I heard that The Self-Care Project was going to be part of the December Buddy Box I treated myself to an early christmas present!

I saved the book for my holiday reading and I’ve read it from cover to cover. Of course it can be read that way, but it’s written in such a way that you can pick out one of the 10 chapters that is relevant to you if you just want to concentrate on a specific area. It’s easy-to-read, conversational style means that it’s enjoyable and easy to understand. The chapters are manageable lengths - between 12 and 20 pages - but if even that feels like biting off more than you can chew they are split into sub-sections too, for those who like to digest their books in bite-sized chunks.

I’d recommend The Self-Care Project to anyone who feels their life belongs to other people; who live their life by ‘the Law of Should’; who find it easy to strike their own needs off their list of priorities, especially in busy times; or whose boundaries are ‘wonky’ and in need of care. The book addresses all of these things and more in a really caring and convincing way. And to reinforce those messages and make them personal to you, each chapter ends with short exercises you can work through when you’re ready.

There’s a lot I love about this book. I love that it breaks down the barriers to self-care. That it shows how we can succeed in self-care every day of life by breaking it into ‘micro actions’ and ‘micro moments’, easily manageable by all. I love the strong message that self-care is for everyone and comes in many forms. It’s not all spa days and holidays (though these are perfectly acceptable self-care if that’s what floats your boat!). Sometimes it’s a cup of tea, a power nap, or five minutes locked in the bathroom to get away from the kids squabbling! Sometimes it’s the ‘boring but necessary’ things that just make life easier, like clearing out a wardrobe. And often, it’s that simple but difficult to say word…’no’. I love that Jayne helps us look at how to prioritise our self-care and see that it’s not selfish to take that time for ourselves. And finally, I love that this book is good, sound advice that can be trusted. I can see me referring to The Self-Care Project in the therapy room often.

Find out more about the work of The Blurt Foundation here:

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