Three easy ways to practise self care and an easy recipe for after-school soup

Well-being has become a regular topic of conversation among friends, family and co-workers. I’m so thankful that we realized the importance of taking care of ourselves. Additionally, raising our hands and saying, “I need help” or “I can’t do this on my own” is no longer seen as weakness or shame.

This week, psychotherapist Bethan O’Riordan has some great advice on how to put your well-being first. I have a delicious recipe that’s perfect for those fall evenings and guaranteed to fill those hungry bellies coming home from school.

All parents know that it’s “right” to be quiet with children, but it can be so hard! We know that when a parent is calm, the children are calmer, the home is more peaceful, things just flow a little better, and this happens as parents continue to hone their well-being and self-care skills.

Self-care is all that nourishes you, so let’s focus on your emotional self-care, which can easily fall down the ladder in terms of priority.

Emotional self-care happens when we create an inner voice that is on your side, like an inner ally that always has your best interests at heart. This compassionate part of us understands why we find things hard, but most importantly, it commits to helping us with what we find hard through kindness. We oppose it as our brains are programmed to think about the worst-case scenario and are easily prone to stress, anxiety and guilt, but there is hope.

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Creating your compassionate voice starts with understanding what you are struggling with and then taking practical steps to support yourself. Let’s walk through three simple steps to help you create your inner ally to help guide your inner parenting compass so you can be the parent and person you wish to be.

    Bethan O'Riordan
Bethan O’Riordan

1. Work out your triggers

We all have people or times of the day that drive us crazy and often exhaust us. Sometimes in parenthood, our unmet childhood needs surface and other times we get triggered because we’re tired and overwhelmed. Be curious about what parts of the day you find the hardest, and be realistic about what you can do to make things easier. A good place to start is to ask yourself what advice you would give a friend in the same situation. It’s a lot easier to offer kindness to others than it is to receive it, so putting others in your shoes is a great way to give yourself solid advice without the guilt or criticism that comes with it.

2. Know when to walk away and learn not to punish yourself

Leaving is probably the most profound and simplest skill parents have. That gives you time to collect yourself and not go down that rabbit hole of beating yourself up for becoming the parent you didn’t mean to be. Every parent I’ve met (myself included) said or did things that they later regret. I know it might sound easier said than done, but learning to be kind to yourself is critical to your well-being. We don’t want kids to hit themselves when they make mistakes, and they learn that when their parents can fool them.

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3. Realistic self-care

We all have an internal reservoir that empties throughout the day and you need to keep refilling it lest you run out. Emotional self-care means taking regular moments throughout the day to slow your mind and body. I know time is of the essence in parenting, and an effective way to give your body and mind a chance to slow down is to incorporate regular breaks to keep going throughout the day. It may seem difficult to do this, but it is possible to make time in your day, and even if these moments are tiny, they will help you nourish yourself so you are at your best for yourself and those around you.

Wellness tip: Take some time for yourself this week. Even if it’s ten minutes in the car between dropping off one of the kids for practice and before dinner. Take ten minutes and just be. No scrolling on the phone, making lists, callbacks; Just quiet your mind and the only thing I want you to focus on is your breathing. Every time your mind wanders, count your breaths instead.

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Exercise tip: Squats – With the weather changing, we need indoor opportunities! Feet shoulder width apart, back straight, begin to squat as if you are about to sit down. Pause for a second and slowly pull back. Do this 10 times for three reps. Remember your breathing!

Lumpy Chicken Soup

Recipe from:Derval O’Rourke

This delicious recipe is perfect for those fall evenings and guaranteed to fill those hungry bellies coming home from school

Lumpy Chicken Soup

preparation time

5 minutes


  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 4 stalks of celery, cut into small pieces

  • 2 carrots cut into small pieces

  • 1 onion, finely diced

  • 3 free range chicken fillets, diced

  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced

  • Half a butternut squash, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 1 quart chicken broth, good quality broth

  • salt and pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

  2. Add celery, carrots, herbs and onion. Cook for 8-10 minutes.

  3. Season with a little salt and pepper while cooking. Add the chicken, potatoes, butternut squash, and broth.

  4. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

  5. Remove from heat and ladle the soup into warm serving bowls.

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