Living with yourself

I wrote myself a “Welcome Home!” note in the hallway before leaving the house this morning. This is not a usual thing. But I’ve recently transitioned to living alone and it has not been easy.

Going from a busy bustling household to a more singular life didn’t happen in a day, but now that it’s the new norm, the noise level has dialed down to an almost zero. The irony? I used to long for solitary moments, in a clean zen-like house with time to take care of myself. Now that it’s here, the silence feels…lonely. 

So I am making my own noise. I find myself talking out loud rather often just to hear my voice. The radio is on all day and instead of my favourite music, I am listening to talk radio and chiming in on the conversation. And yes, I am writing myself friendly little notes to welcome me home after a busy day.  For now, it’s a simple way to make the moments alone a little merrier, and it’s easier than getting a puppy. 

Are you living alone? How do you enjoy it?  Let’s have a conversation.

Exploring Positive & Negative Self Care Behaviors









The way you live your life can have a big impact on your health, well‐being, and how well or poorly you handle stress.  Below are lifestyle behaviors that affect stress levels. Doing an honest assessment of how well or poorly you take care of yourself can help you manage your stress in the future.  Here is an observation exercise.

Consider the questions below and answer YES or NO 

PART A Negative Self Care Behaviors

When you are under stress, do you: 

-Smoke/use tobacco 

-Drink a lot of coffee or caffeinated drinks (more than 2‐3 cups per day) 

-Drink alcohol (more than recommended levels of 1‐2 per day) 

-Overuse over‐the‐counter medications 

-Overeat or undereat 

-Spend too much money (e.g., do you have a lot of credit card debt and have trouble making payments?) 

-Watch too much television (more than 3‐4 hours per day) 

-Have angry outbursts 

-Withdraw from people 

-Ignore or deny stress symptoms 

-Engage in self‐destructive relationships   

PART B Positive Self Care Behaviours

When you are under stress, do you: 

-Engage in physical activity at least three times a week for 30 minutes each day 

-Get six to eight hours of sleep every night 

-Maintain good eating habits 

-Make time to relax 

-Maintain a sense of humor 


-Maintain healthy rituals and routines 

-Be optimistic 

-Engage in positive thinking 

-Spend time with family 

-Spend time with friends 

-Make plans for the future 

-Figure out ways to manage stress 

-Reward yourself for your accomplishments

Remember, this is not a judgement exercise.  Simply observe where you are currently and ask yourself: Do I need to make some changes?   Have a great week, and take good care!                                  


Self Care as Second Nature (2 min read)

Here’s a question: Is self care second nature to you? 

For many caregivers who are focused on everyone but themselves, self care drops off the radar. For some, self care is a lofty idea that seems unattainable. For others it’s a daily dose of simple things like a brisk walk at lunch time, or mindful eating during the day.

If we do not make self care second nature, we risk burn out that becomes a sick day.


So let’s practice some prevention and make self care a simple daily recipe that can become second nature. The following is a list of action items we do everyday. Self care is really about being mindful of them. Give it a try this week. 


You will need: 

Sleep, food, water, fresh air, exercise, personal hygiene and social interaction. 


  1. Are you getting enough sleep? Many people are hitting the pillow with their cell phones or tablets. Or waking up to them. Try trading your device in for a good book before bed and you will notice the difference very quickly. Never underestimate a good night’s sleep. 
  2. When and how are you feeding yourself? Do you eat breakfast or do you intermittent fast? Do you make time for food in the day? If you are on the run between clients, be sure to pack some veggies sticks, or apple slices and other healthy snacks for your car instead of hitting the drive through. 
  3. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. All you have to do is google the benefits of drinking enough water and you’ll find a non exhaustive list of reasons to keep that refillable water bottle handy. 
  4. Take 5 mins at the very least to get outside and take in some fresh air. 
  5. Take a brisk walk at lunch, or park your car if you can a block away from visiting a client. This is an easy way to achieve some outdoor activity. Fresh air and a little cardio does the body good.  
  6. Do you have a morning and evening personal care routine? Be mindful of it. Teeth brushing & flossing, face washing, hair brushing – these are simple activities that some of your clients cannot do for themselves. Be mindful of this type of self care and don’t take it for granted. 
  7. People need people. We are social beings and even if we are introverts, we still need human connection. Outside of work, maybe take an extra minute to go through the cashier aisle instead of self check out and have a conversation. Or, join a group that is of interest to you. Focus on some human connection even if it’s via online channels. When we cultivate relationships we feel better about ourselves. 


Have a great week and take good care!