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Self-care is not selfish

This week we are sharing one of the highlights of our January 2020 Mindful Drinking Festival in London: a talk from television and radio presenter Janey Lee Grace about self-care when changing your drinking.

Wherever you are in your journey, lockdown is a great time to review what you do to care for yourself. And don’t ever feel that it’s selfish to take care of yourself. In fact your mental health demands it!

“The early weeks of ditching the booze are really really tough, not just emotionally but physically so I think self-care – basically being kind to yourself – is really really important.”

“One thing I found after I stayed stopped, after a few weeks and a few months in, was that the whole world started to open up and other layers started to be uncovered…things do shift and shape… you become much more resilient and much more open to change.”

Filling your self-care toolkit

“A few things that are great for self-care are walking in nature, listening to podcasts, listening to music, watching a film and drinking your favourite tea or any of your favourite alcohol-free drinks, cooking, doing something different – stepping out of your comfort zone, having a lie-down, yoga, decluttering, creating a vision board, scrapbooking, knitting, gardening, making a healthy juice or smoothie, ice skating, dancing, booking yourself onto a retreat, singing, playing board games, saying no – that’s a really big act of self-care.”

“Your sober tool-kit needs to include something physical: complete your gratitude list (at least three things everyday), alcohol-free drinks, carrying snacks that you like, good nutrition, you may want physical representation of the money you’ve saved. Something inspirational – find your way with quit lit and podcastsmeditation. Something social – when you connect and share with other people it makes so much difference.”

Self-care: not selfish but self-esteem

“We all have that inner critic.. and we can’t really get rid of that critic.. which is why we have to teach our inner critic new tricks and bright spots and new experiences so that when there’s only booze available, you have that amazing memory that says actually no, you’re taking care of yourself.”

“I’m often asked if this self-care I talk about is just ‘selfish’. No it isn’t ‘selfish’, it’s showing up, it’s self-esteem, it’s taking care of yourself.”

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