Planning 2021: a year of self-care

A brown tabby cat with his head upside-down

Usually Pippin's the one who poses like this, but Ziggy's got in on the act. His paw appears to be healing well – no bad smells, and it's dry – and he's taken to sleeping on the bed, which is usually Pippin's kingdom. 

I'm going to take a leaf out of Ziggy's book and take better care of myself in 2021, because I was in a bit of a state by the festive break. I started doing a bit of the small, physical care in 2020, like remembering to exfoliate every few days, and using body lotion (admittedly, that was more driven by being on lockdown and deciding to use up several years' worth of gift sets), but in 2021 I'm going to do it properly. That means not the fun things, but stuff that takes time and a little more effort. There's no point slapping on lotion if you're not getting enough sleep, right?

I'm going to try to do some form of exercise every day, even if it's just ten minutes of yoga. I hate exercise! Keeping things varied – a walk here, a bit of go-go dancing there, perhaps even a session of Evil Gillian's 30 Day Shred (I can't remember her real name, but it's on YouTube under 30 Day Shred) – should mean it doesn't get boring. I damaged my shoulders badly a few years back and it's amazing how much a single-go-go session can help when they're twinging. In 2021 maybe I'll be active enough that they won't start twinging, let alone need stopping. I'm still a member of the gym, but with the new variant of covid rampaging up and down Plaguey Island I'm in no hurry to rush back to it.

I'm also going to eat more healthily, so things like salad and home-made vegetable soup, not instant ramen for lunch. The occasional bit of comfort eating is fine – some days you've just got to have cheese on toast – but the healthy stuff should be the habit. I genuinely feel better when I eat better, but sometimes I just lack the mental bandwidth to do the sensible thing when there's bread and mayo to hand. 

Which is the other part of the year of self care: taking better care of my mental health. 2020 hasn't been great for it. I'm going to track both my mood and the hours I'm working. I'm going to take my anxiety meds when I need them, but I'm also going to take days off if/when the hours mount up. At least half the reason I make bad food choices and don't exercise is because I'm too tired, so getting enough sleep, not overworking, and keeping my anxiety under control so I don't wake up and go straight into HIGH ALERT!!! really is a fundamental part of the whole plan.

Errrr, so I suppose I ought to apologise for the lack of vintage in this post. There will definitely be some in the next post. In the mean time, Claret Duck has all the vintage I can offer.

A decanter shaped like a duck, plus a glass of red wine.


  1. I can't believe you hate exercise as much as I do ;-) My parents were both quite sporty, and they insisted I joined a sport club too. I absolutely hated everything I tried! But I do love walking, so I try to stick to that.
    Being at home so much in 2020 certainly improved my eating habits, although in these dark Winter days I tend to snack a bit more. Bring on Spring and Summer.
    I applaud your decision to look after your mental health in 2021. Getting enough sleep and regularly taking days off are fundamental for your mental well-being and to keep your stress and anxiety levels under control.
    Here's to a better 2021 in every single way! xxx

    1. I've found the stuff I like - swimming, dancing - is all the stuff I didn't get forced to do as a child. One of my friends has taken up running during lockdown, and I admire her for it but am in no way tempted to emulate her. I have signed up for the next batch of go-go lessons though.

  2. Good for you taking time for yourself. It can be hard to prioritise when there's other people that need your attention. Saying "no" is sometimes harder than just doing the damn thing, for me anyway.
    I just ordered "skincare" for the first time in my life. I guess after more than five decades, I was due to try something other than Ponds Cold Cream and Pears Soap. It all has multi-syllable names and will make me look like a better moisturised old lady ;)
    2020 was such a shit year, almost anything will have to be better (touch wood) and I'm sure you'll find some motivation to take good care of yourself. Have a happy New Year!

    1. It was genuinely unnerving how not-right I was by the time I finished work - physically as well as mentally. It's scared me into taking steps to sort things out.

      I have an awful lot of skincare stuff, cos mine's horribly dry. But most of it boils down to moisturiser of some sort, plus sunblock.

  3. I love that duck decanter!
    Those all sound like very sensible changes. I'm not at all sporty so and my daily thirty minute Wii Fit suits me just fine, I see it as a bit of "me" time rather than exercise and it comes as naturally as brushing my teeth.
    I've always been very slapdash with self-care but developing a beauty routine this year has given my life some much needed structure.
    Here's to a healthier and happier 2021! xxx

  4. mwhaha, it's amazing that you and Ann hate exercise too!.
    I dislike all the sweat and discomfort and ugly clothes. So I just walk. Even if not as much as I have to, but I'm improving my routines.
    At least, I'm eating healthy, as we cook our meals from scratch everyday. It took us some time to create a routine of shopping and cooking, but it works nicely. It's good to have a planning, but it's particularly hard for me, as I'm quite spontaneous (anarchistic actually).
    These go-go sessions look interesting!

  5. It's like reading my own mind - I am so much like that. I also neglect my mental health, don't get enough sleep (I only have about 4-5 hours a night, usually). I need to have them formalized, so I have ended up with Mental Health Walk (every Thurs) and Body Maintenance Day (Wed). I loathe body lotion.

  6. I'm so pleased to read your post, I was worried about you pre-Christmas. Some times we do have to get that bad to be able to step back and see you deserve better. Here's to 2021 being the year of self care xx


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