In 2016, I experienced a particularly challenging period that caused me to experience heightened Anxiety. It was during this time that I noticed one of my coping strategies was to grab some A3 paper and coloured pens and list things I could do to help me when I was struggling to recall what previously worked for me because I felt so overwhelmed by the enormity of the situation and impact. The A3 paper Blu-tacked to my bedroom wall gave me focus and a quick reference when needed.
From that point forward, an idea formed to create a card set to help others who were going through periods of stress and crisis, who may be feeling overwhelmed, confused, or experiencing memory issues, e.g. difficulty remembering what previous self-care strategies they liked and worked for them.
Thus, my thought process was that by creating the Self-Care Cards, I would be creating a meaningful, tactile and visual focus point that individuals like me could use and Blu Tack to their wall as a reminder of what worked for them rather than relying on loved ones or professionals telling them what to do thus nurturing independence, empowerment, positive self-efficacy and resilience.
Fast forward a few years of mulling the idea over in my mind, wrestling with my confidence to put my ideas and concepts out into the world and, the potential negative feedback and how this could potentially impact me, a few more significant challenges along the way and then in October 2021 I decided I was going to take a leap of faith and put myself out there in a public way that I never had before – I was going to write my card set and accompanying book.
It was late October 2021 when I put pen to paper, as they say; unbeknown to me at the time, I had started writing and typing my manuscript two weeks before my father passed. Shortly after that, my mother passed.
As anyone who has had a parent(s) or loved one pass would know, this is a particularly challenging time, and if relationships are fractured or toxic within the family unit at the time of the loved one’s passing, the grief and loss process can become exponentially difficult and stressful.
Shortly after, in early 2023, I was told that I would need major life-changing surgery. Although truth be told, I just wanted to get over it and get on with my life. After all, I had things to accomplish, including getting the book and card set to my publisher (Intertype Printing and Publishing) and out into the world.
It was through the above period of time (2021-2023) that I not only got to create and write the Self-Care Workbook and Self-Care Card Set, but I also got to see it grow and evolve over time, and capture the unique opportunity to use and test the strategies in the workbook; to look at each section objectively from the view of an individual experiencing stress, crises and Anxiety as well as from the position of a Counsellor.
The above unique opportunity is the distinctive component of the Self-Care Workbook and Self-Care Card Set. The ability to fundamentally understand and empathise from a lived-with-experience perspective whilst putting assessment measures in place to help individuals determine if the strategies are effective for them.
The second distinguishing characteristic of the Self-Care Workbook and Self-Care Card Deck is the ability of the reader to create a customised Self-Care Toolkit and Self-Care Plan based on their preferences and outcomes rather than someone telling them what to do.
The Third compelling component is the Australian and Global Resource section at the back of the book, which provides links to support and resource services for those moments in the wee hours of the morning when everyone is asleep but you are wide awake and need to talk to someone; or for individuals at home experiencing challenging home life’s, or when you are travelling for business or pleasure and do not know who to contact or even where to start; the book provides a starting point to help you find the support you need.
As the Author of the beautiful and insightful Self-Care Workbook – Awareness, Action and Planning and Self-Care Card Deck – Awareness, Action and Planning, it is my genuine hope that these captivating, and engaging self-care products will help you develop Self-Care Awareness, Action and Planning skills and provide you with a sense of comfort, strength and courage during life’s challenges, and the motivation to keep going one step at a time.
I wish you every success and happiness on your journey and welcome the opportunity for you to connect and engage with me via my social media sites.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Katherine is a Published Author and the Founder of Blu Ripples, a specialist Career Counselling and Consulting practice located in Port Stephens, NSW.
A nationally registered Career Development Specialist and Counsellor; she is a Professional Member of the Career Development Association of Australia and, Member of the Australian Counselling Association. Former CDAA NSW Committee Member; Graduate of RMIT and AIPC.
Katherine has worked in private practice since 2003 and, prior to that, worked in the corporate sector for 12 years, predominantly in Human Resources and Administration.