Kat Nicholls is a writer, blogger and coach who wants to help people discover their self-worth and up their self-care game. In her contribution to #thebigselfcareshare, she talks about learning to accept and love who she is and helping others to do the same.
Tell us about yourself.
In my teenage years, I struggled with an eating disorder, low self-esteem and didn’t think I was worthy of, well… anything. Over the years, with the help of therapy and a lot of self-development work, I’m happy to say this has changed.
I’ve learnt to accept and love who I am and to believe in myself. My aim is to help others do the same through writing and coaching. Monday to Thursday I work as a writer for a company that runs mental health and wellbeing websites and Happiful magazine. I fit my blogging and coaching work around this, which can be quite a lot of work! To keep my mental health in check, I have to ensure I practice what I preach and prioritise self-care.
What does self-care mean for you?
For me, self-care is all about tuning into what my body and mind need – and giving it that. Sometimes that means saying no to a social invite because I need to prioritise rest. Sometimes it means dragging myself out of the flat for a walk because I know my body needs movement.
I consider being creative an essential act of self-care.
As well as the more ‘stereotypical’ self-care practices like meditation, yoga and baths (which I love!), I consider being creative an essential act of self-care. Having the space to write and take pictures helps me express myself, something that I think can get forgotten when we talk about self-care.
I first discovered you through the Creatively Human podcast. Tell me, what inspired you to build a career as a coach?
I’ve always wanted to be able to help and support people, but I was beginning to feel a little restricted doing this solely through blog posts and articles.
Self-care and self-worth are incredibly personal things. We all have different circumstances, different histories, different experiences. This can make it difficult to create a blog post or magazine article that’s tailored – you have to keep things quite generic.
Through coaching, you have dedicated time with one person. You’re able to listen to their experiences, their obstacles and help them find a way forward. This is why it appealed to me, so I did my training, got insured and launched my services! To me, it’s felt like a natural evolution from what I was doing through the blog.
How do you make sure you’re looking after yourself each day?
I like to take time on a Sunday to plan my week ahead and always make sure I include self-care on my ‘to-do’ list. I know that if I don’t carve out space for self-care and rest, I can get overwhelmed and my anxiety can spike.
Because I know the consequences of neglecting self-care, I give it the same weight of importance as any other task on my list.
Because I know the consequences of neglecting self-care, I give it the same weight of importance as any other task on my list. As well as having this time scheduled in, I check in with myself daily through journaling. This just helps me stay aware of how I’m feeling, what I need more of and what boundaries I need to put in place.
You talk a lot about self-love. Share a tip, something that’s helped you on your path to loving yourself a little more.
A tool I used when I was recovering from my eating disorder, and one I still use today, is having an ‘evidence bank’. Back then it was a tiny notebook I filled with compliments from other people. Every time my eating disorder voice tried to make me feel worthless, I referred back to my evidence bank and argued back.
These days it’s a photo album on my phone filled with screenshots of lovely messages, emails and comments I get that remind me what I’m doing is making a difference and that I’m on the right path. Set up your own evidence bank in whatever format works for you and start to use it to argue with your inner critic.
I really enjoyed reading your contribution, Kat. And the concept of an ‘evidence bank’ is one I’ve heard of but it’s great to know how it started for you and how you continue to use it. Thank you for taking part and for giving us such an honest perspective of your self-care routine.