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Taking My Own Advice & Practising Self-Care at Christmas

I had every intention of working throughout Christmas, going to all the social things…

I had every intention of working throughout Christmas, going to all the social things, and plunging into the New Year at the same pace. I know there are a lot of you out there trying to do the same thing – or feeling guilty that you haven’t. So here’s the deal – I’m not doing it. And you don’t have to either.

I thought I was doing just fine, until I put the wrong lights on the Christmas tree and had to take everything off to re-do them.

We almost had no Christmas tree, because my first instinct was to throw the whole damn thing away.

practising self-care at christmas, mental health

Correct. And we don’t dislike people. We just, umm, like not-people.


Which is a wee bit of an over-reaction, yes?

I probably also should have realised that not sleeping more than a few hours a night for three weeks wasn’t exactly a great sign. Or shouting at inanimate objects when no one was around to witness it. Or the rather driving urge to retreat into small corners and wrap myself in blankets and pretend the world didn’t exist.


practising self-care at christmas, mental health

And it’s surprising how little too much actually is.


But, although rather later than was sensible, I did stop. I cancelled plans. I considered the ones that I would keep carefully, and I made sure they were manageable. I looked at the blog and decided that a week off was more important than having January planned out and written up (ask me again next week if I still think that was a good idea). I looked at the big writing work – the important stuff, the stuff that matters most to me – and figured that a week of no writing followed by a week of focused writing would get me further than two weeks of checking twitter, facebook and instagram every ten minutes, followed by an evening of being furious with myself and eating too much chocolate (don’t get me wrong – there will still be chocolate eating. It’s part of my Process. It just won’t be angry chocolate eating).


practising self-care at christmas, mental health

Make a blanket fort and don’t come out until bribed with cookies.


I realise I probably shouldn’t give anyone advice about anything, because I’m clearly terrible at listening to myself (see all those blogs about self care that I re-posted but completely ignored in the run up to Christmas). But I’m going to anyway, because maybe if I tell you something enough, it’ll stick with me, too. Be gentle with yourselves this year, lovely people. Listen to yourselves.

Don’t worry about being the perfect guest or host or partner or parent or anything. Let’s face it – the only perfect things in this world are kittens, and they’re floofy little psychopaths. Oh, and probably AI, but they’re just terrifying, and will likely kill us all.

Be okay with not being okay. With not being perfect, and not achieving all the things we want to achieve, even if those things include just accepting ourselves where we are. Be okay with the fact that all of us are always works in progress, and even when we seem to be navigating life pretty smoothly on the surface, everything’s probably held together with duct tape and promises underneath. And that’s okay. Because who wants to be an AI?


practising self-care at christmas, mental health

See? Perfect floofiness.


Although, given the choice, I wouldn’t mind being a kitten. They’ve got life pretty sorted.

And if I were to make a New Year’s resolution (which is not something I do)? Be a kitten.

No, I mean stop fussing and just be not okay. Love myself for the work in progress I so evidently am.

And what do I wish for you in the New Year? That you can be okay too, however that looks, whether it’s more duct tape or more floofiness. I wish you all the complicated, messy beauty of being human, all the crazy frustrating chaos of it. I wish you dreams and thoughts and creativity, and hopes and joys and sorrows. I wish you everything, and I wish you the strength to be purely, utterly you.

And if you need any duct tape, let me know. I’m buying it wholesale.


practising self-care at christmas, mental health

Amateur. I haven’t been to a New Year’s party for at least a decade.


Oh, and did I go out for New Year’s Eve? Hahahahahaha no.

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? Or is there anything you’ve learned from this year that you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments!

2018, introverts, mental health, new year, new year's resolutions, self care

  1. Lisa Sell says:

    This spoke to my heart more than I can publicly share in the comments. I’m holding it together. It’s not easy but I’m trying my best to look after me rather than everyone else. Thank you for speaking straight to my heart. Great post.

    1. kimwatt says:

      <3 Aw, Lisa - sending you enormous hugs. I'm glad you're trying to look after yourself - know that you do deserve to give yourself that time and effort at least as much as everyone else you're trying to look after. May this year be the year you put yourself first.

      And know that it's okay to not be together all the time, too. Feegle can hold the laptop down while you retreat to a blanket fort for the afternoon. xx

  2. Annelise says:

    This motivated a change of mind – I will be making a new year’s resolution after all: getting in touch with my inner floofy little phychopath. Love your blog Kim!

    1. kimwatt says:

      Aw, thanks Annelise! And that sounds like the sort of new year’s resolution that’ll be fun to keep…!

  3. Heidi Love says:

    I love the idea, love myself as a work in progress. As a memoirist it brought me huge smile. Thanks and Happy New Year!

    1. kimwatt says:

      Happy New Year to you, too! And I’m glad it made you smile 🙂

  4. Louise says:

    I intended to work over Christmas this year too, but I gave up and took a break. It’s become somewhat extended, and I still haven’t gotten back to work!
    Lovely post: I still need to learn not to push myself too hard and accept myself the way I am.
    I do intend to make resolutions, but they’re more loosely defined goals. If I don’t meet them, I won’t beat myself up, promise! (Hold me to that one 🙂 )

    1. kimwatt says:

      I will definitely hold you to that one! And goals make much more sense to me than resolutions – something to achieve rather than something you want to ‘fix’ about yourself.

      Well done too on knowing when to take a break. You’ll know when you feel ready to go back to it – don’t feel rushed. I hope 2018 is a fantastic year for you!

  5. Lynda Dietz says:

    I took a well-earned break between Christmas and New Year’s Day, and it was wonderful. I don’t get any free time in December until Christmas Day, so when I had the week off, I decided not to worry about blog, social media, or anything I didn’t *have* to do. I got things done and spent time with my family (we were all snowed in during a few of those days, so it was extra fun to have all five of us at home), and I slept. A lot. One of my self-care things is to get more sleep.

    1. kimwatt says:

      That sounds like an absolutely lovely Christmas, and a very well-deserved break! I hope 2018 brings you a good balance of the busy and the quiet – and more sleep. Sleep is good. 😉

Comment away! (Points awarded for comments involving cats, tea, or baked goods)

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