Building a Self-Care Structure: Step 1

Written by: Jorinde Berben
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Tomorrow is my 36th birthday, and I still don’t have my life organised to a degree that I find satisfying. I think I’ve finally come to grips with the fact that I can’t force this to happen either. I can’t force my circumstances into a shape or form that doesn’t reflect my inside life. As long as I struggle with stress, undealt emotions, confusion… my outward world is bound to mirror this back to me.

But, as the bricks that make up my life are slowly being put into place (yay for therapy!), I do find that I manage to maintain some habits more easily. I find it easier to exercise regularly (though running has mostly been replaced by a daily yoga routine until my partner finds more time to join me again), stay better on top of my work load and see my household exploding only when my work load does the same. This all follows me being able to set stronger boundaries, ask for help more often and from just loving myself more than I ever have before.

Unfortunately, discipline is still something you need to train (especially if you’re naturally sporting less organisational talent, like me). So what do you do to get into the nitty-gritty? You talk to your coach.
In my last practice session with my friend and coach Olga, from, we talked about what kind of habits I’d like to install in my life that I feel would have the biggest impact. I talked about maybe getting more sleep in (8 hours, ideally), meal planning or getting my household chores in a routine. When she asked me what all of these had in common, I answered ‘Well, they are all ways to take care of myself.’ So, I decided that I’d work on all of them together and build a ‘self-care structure‘, a word that, somehow, brought me instant happiness.

My self-care structure is pretty much in the foundation phase. I’m working on planning my dinners for the week ahead, and doing a 10-minute cleaning time in my kitchen every evening (where I’m heading right after I post this). For now, I’ll settle for 7 – 7.5 hours of sleep, and slowly I’ll build this structure that will help support me, my life and the people in it, so that I’m able to stand taller and be present more with every day, not because I ‘should’, but because I just really, really want to.

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