Self-care – just another part of the mental load or necessary in everyday life?

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Self-care – just another part of the mental load or necessary in everyday life?

Two new books delve in to the mindfulness and manifestations of looking after yourself

Lauren Mishcon and Nicole Goodman
Lauren Mishcon and Nicole Goodman

We’re constantly told to make space in our schedules for ourselves, but in reality it’s not that easy. Lack of time, money and interest hold us back from self-care and from introducing new practises into our lives.

Contrary to this mindset are Nicole Goodman and Lauren Mishcon, authors of a shiny new book called Have You Tried This?, who very much believe in making positive changes. Lauren worked as a doula for 16 years until 2023 and in 2019 had started an internet radio show about women’s wellness. At the same time Nicole had shifted away from a long career in hairdressing and had begun podcasting, alongside her life coach journey. A mutual friend suggested they guest on each other’s show.

Lauren, 46, recalls: “We met and just clicked, bemoaning how self-care became yet another part of the ‘mental load’ and we set up the Self Care Club podcast. The show format was based on a 60-minute radio show where we would try out a practice such as yoga, then talk about the benefits and the scientific research, and have an expert on. We knew the idea had legs.”

When lockdown hit, everything shifted to Zoom and it was “the best thing that ever happened to us. We gained listeners who never left. People were very much in need of self-care. It’s quite something that we are now approaching 500 episodes,” says Nicole, 47.

The book was a clear vision, both wanting to personally write one. Lauren says: “We’d done pretty much everything there was out there and a book was the perfect vehicle to ‘have everything in one place’ as a self-care reference guide complementing our podcast.”

When it comes to many self-care pursuits, such as goat yoga and cryotherapy, she notes: “Wellness is elitist and expensive. It often exploits people who are desperately looking for something to look after themselves, so with our book, the focus is on free practices.”

Nicole and Lauren, both from north London, have their favourite practises which they are both still building on. Nicole says: “Learning to say ‘no’ and asking for help is a work in progress for everyone. We both admit we’re bad at it. But in having difficult conversations, maybe with friends or at work, you can only get better at having that conversation.” Lauren says, “My favourite chapter in the book is Micro Connections and I’m following my own advice having just signed up to be an Age UK telephone talker. It costs half an hour of my time but it’s so rewarding to create connections.”

Nicole highlights her own personal chapter on body neutrality, saying, “It’s about asking for what you want, because we are all taught to not ask for what we want, which stops us stepping into what we truly want. I had to learn a lot of these things in my 40s – kids of today will be getting hold of these skills now, which is fantastic.”

Their new podcast 40-ish launches later this year and focuses on midlife.

Also filling the bookshelves with positivity is Nicci Roscoe, 63, from Hertfordshire, who has over 40 years’ experience in helping people through life coaching, crystal healing and Reiki. Nicci’s third book is called Manifest Your Everything, and she says: “Every page features something valuable from my own experiences to help people to make positive changes in their lives.”

Manifest boards might be all the rage for Gen Z but Nicci says: “I’ve been manifesting forever! As a teen I wanted to work in tv and magazines and really focussed on it, or ’manifested’ – the idea being it will come to you ‘if it’s meant to be and if it’s right for you’. I looked at my board of pictures and cut-outs on my wall every single day and it happened for me.”

Practices such as Reiki and crystal healing are readily embraced by many open-minded females, but what about the men? “Men often come to me with a ‘my wife made me’ attitude. We start with some gentle talking therapy and then some cognitive exercises and I casually ask ‘would you like a little treatment?’ Then they’re ready to lie down! Every person I’ve done this with has commented positively afterwards with, ‘What did you do to me?’”

Nicci Roscoe

Nicci channels her practices into the younger generation too. “For Mental Health Week I visited a girls primary school, focussing on meditation and mindfulness. They all loved it and I gave each one a rose quartz crystal to hold.”

Everything seems so positive in Nicci’s life but it’s worth remembering that she had to learn to love herself again after her brain tumour operation in 2002, the reason for her path to wellbeing. “I did every practice to help my pain and healing process. I meditated a lot – my background in the fitness industry really helped, as I knew how to relax and cool myself down. I became as a life coach, did a masters in NLP (neuro linguistic programming) and trained in Reiki. I’m now a Reiki master teacher. It’s all about self-healing.”

What would you say to non-believers in this sort of self-care? “Go outside and explore nature – find that peace, even for a split second. My go-to crystal for 2024 is green calcite for calm. Great for in the car if you suffer from road rage.”

Nicci’s favourite chapter is Loving Yourself, which says: “Give yourself what you need so you can feel that peace from within and manifest the person you are meant to be.”

I’m off to have (yet another) difficult conversation with my daughters about their messy bedrooms, but this time I’ll be clutching my green calcite.

Have You Tried This? and Manifest Your Everything are both available to buy from Amazon





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