Daily self-care with the NIPS team

September 28, 2018

Today on #thebigselfcareshare we have Lauren Burlinson and the team from NIPS. A small, grassroots organisation based in Brighton, they travel around the UK running educational events to improve knowledge on a range of subjects to support communities. Currently, they’re running a series of mental health and children seminars.

NIPS self-care

Tell us about NIPS.

I run NIPS in my spare time when the children are at nursery/school or in the evenings when I’m in my pj’s and they’re (supposedly) asleep in bed. My husband is the NIPS designer, he’s top notch, and I have a loyal team of women crusaders who work with me at each seminar; looking after the audience, compering the event, making sure our tech is working and creating playlists to ease everyone into a happy place before we start learning! We also have an awesome film crew which we use at each seminar called DVA Films.

I used to run the seminars alone, and adore being part of a group now. We all strive to make NIPS as useful as possible and support each other in the process.

What does self-care mean for you as an organisation?

The term ‘self-care’ gets a lot of stick, but if you break it down it’s such a basic thing which people rushing around trying to accomplish everything by sundown tend to ignore and forget. Other things take priority. Who you are as a person and what makes you relaxed and centred gets pushed off the to-do list.

We need to consider self-care as a preventative fixture which keeps us from delving into stress, depression and anxiety.

If we don’t look after ourselves, we can’t function properly, our mental health worsens and we definitely aren’t supportive enough of those around us. We need to consider self-care as a preventative fixture which keeps us from delving into stress, depression and anxiety.

How does each of you incorporate self-care into your daily routine?

Lucy Hetherington – I practice daily self-care by challenging the negative thoughts that can cloud my mind. I do this through meditation or being mindful. Sometimes, busy days and busy heads make it difficult to dedicate time to meditation, so I try to immerse myself in something practical whether it’s exercise, cooking, really listening to music or being in nature. Having something else to focus on gives me time away from those meddlesome anxieties.

Sophia Clifford-Sanghad – Between the hours of about 5.30-8pm I put my phone away. I try and focus on the kids and being present, which is something I actually have to concentrate on as I am all too often thinking about work; like replying to an email or what I have to do in preparation for the next day. Being present is really important to me, there are so many distractions in life that sometimes it’s easy to forget and not appreciate what you’ve got in the moment.

Maya Milani – Being outdoors, even when it’s horrible weather. Just having the incentive to use my body, whether it be skateboarding or dancing funky to my jam on Spotify. It opens up my world, because I’m in it, instead of thinking about it. Everything inspires me then and all I want to do is create and that’s what I love most.

Lauren Burlinson – Remembering how important it is to move – I feel awful if I don’t exercise, and try to do something every day even if it’s just 10 minutes of yoga, a walk or dancing in the kitchen with the kids. It clears my brain and gives me a feeling of release. Also, realising that exercise doesn’t have to be a solid hour at the gym or an intense 8 mile run is important – especially if you don’t have that time to give. Small things add up and make parenting, work and living much easier.

Being present is really important to me, there are so many distractions in life that sometimes it’s easy to forget and not appreciate what you’ve got in the moment.

James Burlinson – I guess I hadn’t considered it a form of self-care until now, but I feel my most carefree when playing sport, and it’s brilliant for stress relief and giving you that general feeling of warmth and well-being. The combination of socialising and moving your body works a treat.

Beth Dawson – If you find that you’re cursing yourself at any point of the day, stop and spend some time observing and rationalising those thoughts. Try speaking to that negative inner voice like you might a friend if they presented those feelings to you. What can you learn from the supportive words you might easily give to others but find so hard when caring for yourself.

Hannah-Jayne Smith – Practice gratitude daily. Often, we chase the big things; the promotion, the car, the house and holiday. But my belief is these are all well and good, but only bring temporary satisfaction, because the car will get old, there will always be someone more senior, and there will always be another place to visit. If we stick to the daily things, that are easily accessible, we will have a stronger sense of fulfilment and a happier life. Practising what I’m grateful for helps this, and makes me realise that life is incredibly beautiful – even in the mundane moments.

Clare Burlinson – I’ve got three things I think are important for me (I’m terrible at all of them but trying to get better!) – saying no to people without guilt (I take on too much) – talking to colleagues that I trust when I have a difficult day or upsetting case at work instead of trying to deal with it alone (problem shared is a problem halved!) – allowing myself to do ‘nothing’ on a day off without guilt (still haven’t mastered this, I’m good at the doing nothing but not the no guilt part!)

Thanks to the NIPS team for being a part of #thebigselfcareshare! It’s been great to have you all aboard and thinking about self-care as well as sharing what works for you.

You can follow NIPS on social media at:


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