A self-care plan for my career break

As someone who has decided to take a career break for the last couple of months, self-care is something that has been on my mind. Having been in touch with different people who are also on their own breaks, I’ve realised this time can be both exhilarating, exciting, but also just plain scary. For me, it has also felt super doubtful, and very uncertain.

The truth is, adjusting to life outside the workforce can be a stressful experience. While my 9-5 has changed and I’m not filling up my days with spreadsheets, meetings, and tea breaks (ok, I still take just as many tea breaks ), I’ve really begun thinking about my self-care, and what I can do to make sure I am looking after myself while I work out where to next.

So in my own way I’ve put together a small plan for my own self-care while I go through this time, to keep me sane and get me to the other side the job search.

Put my shoes on and get outside

This one has been my saving grace, though at the moment I am healing from a broken toe and haven’t been as active as I would like. But I still put on my walking shoes and try and get outside as much as I can get some air and walk those legs. It’s been a little painful as my poor little toe gets used to pounding the pavement again, albeit slowly (no running, though I can still run for the bus!), but I’m hoping by just getting some movement will remind my body that Krav training is not so far off. I’m relishing the time I do get out in the sun everyday and head to the park; it feels like the biggest bonus to have some time to contemplate, and pet all the dogs that wander over to say Hi.

Enjoy my sleep time

Some might argue this one is self-indulgent and killing my productivity, but instead I’ve chosen to focus on getting a lot of sleep as an opportunity to reset my body clock and just rest. Self -care demands good sleep, If you sleep well, you feel well and I feel it feeds my energy during the day to have laser-focus on the things I’m working on throughout the day.

Good food is my friend

This is the super fun one that I have taken joy in so much. Now I actually have time to cook proper, nutritious lunches for myself and its made a world of difference! When else am I going to have so much time to spend in the kitchen? Reacquainting myself with all these wonderful pieces of shiny metal on my bench tops that I don’t get to use very often has been revelatory ( hello there, juicer), and have allowed me to whip up some delicious meals and juices.

Like sleep, this comes down to one of those habits my body will thank me for, especially in helping cope better with stress levels. Drink more water. Herbal tea works wonders too, including the gut-friendly chamomile and antioxdant-rich Rooibos, and wean yourself off the copious amounts of caffeine. I don’t drink caffeine but others have told me giving it up has worked wonders.

Self Care Career Break

This is an opportunity to grow

Seeing your current circumstances as an opportunity to grow can be challenging— particularly if the situation wasn’t your choice. Even the most positive people have their moments of self-doubt and frustration. This is also when the dreaded question of ‘What if I never find a job again?’ can rear it’s ugly head to the surface. When it gets difficult for me to not be over-run by doubt and self-pity, I make list of all the reasons why I’m awesome, and look at it often. It may feel a little stupid to tell myself that I’ve got great creative skills, and look amazing in baby pink; however, I figure we all have things we’re good at. Neuroscience suggests we’re a product of our own thoughts, and having negative thoughts inhibits our ability to see an opportunity to better ourselves. It’s a perfect time to reflect and think, ‘what do I really want?’.

While  little stressful, this time has been great for taking a step back and figuring out what it is that I really want to dedicate my precious time to.  To help me along, I found: Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans.

Get Readin’

I read books. A lot of books. I would walk, work, and sleep with a book in my hands if I could. Now is the perfect time to pull out those tomes ( or fire up the kindle) that you’ve been putting off forever because of lack of time, and get reading. You can read after breakfast, in between job applications, or just because you need a break curled up on the couch. The only caveat with this one is to keep your bank-balance in check and not buy so many books. Either discover the library, or if you just can’t help yourself, do like me and find yourself the best used-book stores in town instead. That way you can visit on the reg (almost!) guilt-free.

It doesn’t even matter what you read — fiction or non-fiction; just by picking something your brain will kick into gear and thank you for keeping it active

Self Care Career Break

Play tourist in town

Never had a chance to play tourist in your home town? I admit I haven’t much. Since now, I’ve realised art galleries, museums, cafes, botanic gardens, or even a simple walk around town are interesting  ( and free!) ways to keep the inspiration flowing and provide a little entertainment. Career-breaking can feel a little isolating, so what better way to surround myself with people than by doing a little touristing. I get to see different people ( not the regular weekend crowds), and enjoy quieter time (avoiding those regular weekend crowds). Taking along a camera, notebook, and my latest read, and I’ve got myself some quality ‘me time’.


Playing tourist at my local flower market

A healthy mind = a healthy me

Learning is my absolute fave thing to do. As an adult ed. student for 4 years, and having worked for an online learning company for another 4, learning something new is a no-brainer. There are lots of free resources online to help keep your mind active. I love Open Culture, and TED Talks as brilliant places to start. When I get online to these sites, it’s almost like going down a rabbit-hole; for an information hoarder like me I find myself in an Aladdin’s cave. I found this playlist recently on TED called Talks for Procrastinators. If you love procrastinating and find yourself having a sudden urge to find out where camels come from (there is a talk!), this is the playlist for you.

Ditto for podcasts on Spotify; and SkillShare; while there is a small price to pay for their  library, there are so many courses on painting, writing, social media, and tech. I’ve become a huge fan of their watercolour projects, and totally nerd out on these some nights instead of Netflix.

Part of having a healthy mind has also been learning to deal with the creeping little voices on my head that come in the middle of the night with persistent negative thoughts. It’s these thoughts that above all else I need to find a way around. Meditation helps, and is something I’ve begun to do on the reg as a way of entering and calming down. While this career break has been entirely my choice, I’m the first one to admit that the path I’ve chosen hasn’t been the easiest, but I know with super strong surety that it will be worth it.

Happy career-break!

K xxx

*I originally posted a version of this post on my LinkedIn profile.




Hello! It’s been a while…life updates and other things


Life has been a huge, beautiful, uncertain and constantly changing rainbow bubble-ball in the last 6 months, I don’t even know where to begin recanting the journey so far.

To keep it simple, here is a list of everything that’s been happening:

  • I travelled overseas to fulfil my life-long wish of visiting India and Nepal
  • I faced my fears and left my big, bright job in tech to pursue a dream job in a dream industry while feeding my creative passions;  and sharing those to hopefully leave the world a little better than I found it
  •  I am learning to fight by taking Krav Maga classes, which has been healing and cathartic and empowering, and makes me believe in myself again
  • …on the flip side, I broke my toe at Krav Maga, so no training for 6 weeks (boo!)
  • I got my adult braces off! While I loved them, it came time to say goodbye after two years of brace-y friendship. My teeth are now amazing and free. And there’s no danger of breaking them at Krav Maga.
  • I am slowly becoming vegan and have been experimenting with so many new recipes. Scrambled tofu with turmeric as a replacement to eggs is my new favourite food.
  • I am pouring my heart and soul into my Communications and Media degree by taking Content Creation and Professional Communication Practice this trimester and while it will be challenging, I relish it the intellectual stimulation.
  • On top of this, I am also taking a social media marketing certification course. My aim is to conquer Twitter like a boss.
  • I got the crazy yet sensible idea to create a new portfolio blog to show my professional skills, marketing plans, e-books, design projects, and writings. I want to beam my potential ‘out there’ and not hide it under a rock.  I am so excited by this I get funny breathing when I think about the work I’m putting into this to bring it to life.
  • Living my literary dreams by signing up for a volunteer job where I’ll get to spend one day a month at the Women’s Library in Sydney’s Newtown, shelving books, looking at books, recommending books, borrowing books, and writing book reviews. I even got to spend a fun day volunteering contributing to the social media strategy for the library which made my heart sing. Because tea and books. And telling people about them.
  • Buying more books than I thought humanly possible. I dream about them. And have 20 of them stacked up by my bedside table waiting to be read. I nerd out on Goodreads, Instagram, and plan my outings to make sure I am within radius of where all my fave book stores are, and visit them on the reg.
  • Writing, writing, writing. Most of it has been business or academic writing for school, and more than I have done in a long time. As someone who loves to connect dots, its made so much sense to keep at it and improve every single day.



It’s the middle of the day and I’m sitting cross-legged on my bed in my ultra-sunny space, drinking nettle tea and writing a job application. I look at this list, and think *holy shit* this is 6 month’s worth of transformations and transitions and investments and ‘flow’.

It hasn’t been all smooth sailing.  I have had to stare my fears full in the face this year, asking myself all kind of questions, especially about about what my next career steps will be. They rear their ugly heads in the middle of the night, whispering ‘what if my intelligent risk doesn’t work out?’ ‘What if I am chasing a pipe-dream?’ ‘What about the rent?’

Then I take a deep breath, and remember who I am. I  remind myself that my drive to make this work is stronger than my fear, and I have to push those voices back into their box in my head, and silence them. I have to hold onto who I am; I have never conformed to the status quo, or seen the world in quite the same way as the world expected me to. I love being out of my comfort zone, living my life true to my authenticity, creating connections, and spending time with people I love.

When you want something, the whole universe conspires in helping you to achieve it – Paulo Coelho 

What I know is that this year has been unlike any other year. Turning 35 may have had everything to do with it. Visiting India was the catalyst, an eye opener which cracked my soul open to many experiences and perspectives which were confronting, and joyful, and unlike anything I had seen or felt before.

What the next six months will hold I don’t yet know. I’m excited to find out. Wherever life leads I will go with an open mind and an open heart, with the willingness to soak it all up and keep it real.


K xxx