Last week we invited our amazingly selfless volunteers to come along to a ‘looking after yourself’ brunch. Now, these are people who mostly prioritise others, including us here in the Carers Leeds office and our carers, so it was a little nerve wracking to see how the session would be received when the tables were turned. It turns out we needn’t have been so worried!

We spent some time talking about what self-care means to us and realised that we all have some things in common; firstly the fact that when you dedicate yourself to supporting others, you often forget to do the same for yourself and secondly, an appreciation of the sights, scents and sounds of the natural world around us; from freshly cut grass, to wood shavings to the scent of a luscious lemon.

Each volunteer went home with a self-care starter kit from Blurt (which is a fab website and worth checking out) and a choice of 4 varieties of lavender or a mindful colouring book. We even had time to compare the subtle difference in scents that the lavender varieties had.

The feedback that the session has received so far has been fantastic:-

‘nice to have a dedicated space to think about our own wellbeing’

‘very pleased to receive the lavender, which inspired me to go to the garden centre to buy some other herbs & plants’

‘…made you more self-aware to try and take better care of yourself…it was so nice to have something to look forward to’

You can find the self-care started kit by Blurt here.

Nikki Pattinson, Carers Befriending Co-ordinator