I had the pleasure of meeting Kerry Harvey earlier this year. Our worlds collided, in a good way, through our passions – creativity, wellbeing and community.
We have been working together on The Self Care Social,
Kerry is a part of the Collective Leadership crew and one of the Feel Good Ambassadors
. Kerry and I are also planning a collaboration with Feel Good Com and Starfish Collaborative in 2019 – sign up to the newsletter to be kept in the loop… Kerry kindly offered to write a guest blog post to celebrate Self Care Week
, an annual event hosted by the self-care forum. This year’s theme is ‘self-care for life’. Self Care is vital especially for those who live life with chronic illness/disability so we fully support this week as a way to raise awareness and share what works for us.
A bit about Kerry
Kerry’s passions and lived experiences have inspired her to create ‘The Starfish Collaborative’ – a Coventry-based arts organisation promoting and facilitating social change in the city, using creativity to enhance physical and mental wellbeing. With a passion for the arts and an understanding of the impact, creativity can have on health and wellbeing, The Starfish Collaborative combine the delivery of participatory arts activities with effective approaches to positive mental and physical wellbeing. For more information please visit their website.
Kerry’s thoughts on Self Care
Self-care for me is about making sure I am connecting with myself. In the stresses of everyday life, I constantly lose sight of my own needs. I find connecting with nature always makes me feel more positive and calm and I’m always in awe at the way the natural world goes about its business quietly and without fuss. Focussing on nature rebalances me and gives me a different perspective on aspects of my life, helping me to unwind and take care of myself and the best thing is it’s free and I can get a dose of it anywhere!
At this time of year as the weather turns colder and the days are shorter it’s more important than ever for me to stay connected with myself and make sure I stay connected to the natural resources around me that provide me with inspiration and comfort.
Kerry’s 12 ways to include nature into your self-care routine
1) Embrace the elements – Wrap up, go out in the wind and rain, enjoy the sensations on your skin, the smells and the sounds and then go home get comfy with a warm drink and a duvet!
2) Treasure hunt – Collect treasures from your time outdoors and bring them home and place them somewhere to remind you of your adventures, you can keep adding to your collection.
3) Get creative with natural resources – use leaves, twigs, bark rubbings, and anything else you can find to create a collage, painting, look on https://www.pinterest.co.uk/
4) Nurture your own outdoor space – Put out some bird seeds/peanuts for birds to visit your outdoor space – wait, watch and enjoy!
5) The streets around you – Walk around the area where you live with a fresh eye, focus on where nature is thriving, even in the smallest of places, even if it’s a snail (or a slug!).
6) Find a song – In the middle of a busy day go outside, take a moment to stop and wait to hear a bird sing.
7) Capture the moment – Take photos of natural things that bring beauty, curiosity, inspiration and adventure into your life – sunrises, sunsets, shadows, trees, leaves, flowers, insects, rivers……the list is endless and you can look back at your images and remember how you felt at the time of taking the photo.
8) Geocaching – Get the Geocaching app on your phone and find new places to explore and discover nature as lots of geocaches are hidden in woods, parks and other outdoor areas. www.geocaching.com
9) Go horizontal – Lie down (indoors or outdoors) look at the sky – day or night and BREATHE.
10) Nature identification – download a phone app that you can use to identify the trees, leaves, flowers, insects and animals living around you.
11) Canine therapy! – If you like dogs, give some fuss to a dog in the park and have a chat with it’s owner if you feel like it!
12) The early bird…… – challenge yourself to an early morning walk, less traffic, fewer people, more nature for you! Alternatively, arrange with a friend to go for a walk in the dark – remember your torch or headlight and don’t forget to look up at the stars.
Over to you…
We would love to hear your feedback about what works for you, maybe you would like to write your own guest blog for the website?
How to get involved
Starfish Collaborative FaceBook page
Feel Good community’s FaceBook page
Feel Good Ambassadors – a facebook group for folks who believe in the power of positive interactions and community spirit. A place to share, motivate and connect.
Self-care Social – a community-powered movement that focuses on bringing people together to talk about, share and suggest self-care tips. We have regular monthly meetups plus other events. This is part of my work for Grapevine Coventry and Warwickshire.
Collective Leaders – At Grapevine we are always on the lookout for people who have a strong passion to make a change, especially for those with long-term health conditions, chronic illness, disabilities. We work with people, to help them develop their skills as community leaders. If you would like more info get in touch with myself or Naomi: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org