Welcome to day 19 of this year’s A to Z Challenge! I wrote about why I chose ‘Self Care’ as my theme for the challenge and I’m really enjoying writing about it during April. Today’s letter is ‘S’ so my self care word is ‘Speaking’.

I don’t know about you, but I struggle to reach out to people if I need support. Stuff tends to bubble away under the surface until someone asks me if I’m okay, at which point there’s usually tears! This is a far more rare occurance than it used to be, although during Toby’s really awful silent reflux newborn days I tried to cover up how hard things were and on one occasion when I opened up, I was met with a chirpy “Oh just wait until the terrible twos!” kind of response. Not helpful.

My blog has given me a platform on which I feel free and comfortable to speak about the things that matter to me and through it, conversations have opened up between myself and various friends and family members which may not otherwise have done so. There have been times when I’ve really struggled with Toby’s behaviour and instead of picking up the phone I’ve written a blog post. Shortly later, a friend has then phoned me and we’ve spoken about what’s going on. I know I should do better at initiating the whole speaking thing but I just kind of suck at it!

Speaking can be face-to-face, on the phone, by text or email, by blogging… Whatever you need it to be in this modern world!

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Sometimes the shortest conversation can mean so much

If, like me, you’re not great at reaching out to people then find another way to get the conversation going or, as I’ve done many a time, write a letter. I’ve written so many letters that have been far too personal for me to blog about, but by writing them I’m half speaking to myself and half to the person or people involved. Nothing may change, but if it helps you to come to terms with a situation then just do it!

However you feel most comfortable speaking, I do think it’s really valuable to your self care because keeping things bottled up only ever results in an inevitable overflow of emotions at some point down the line.

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Speaking at an event about Toby's reflux and colic really helped me to proceed everything and others to understand how bad it can be for parents of reflux babies

Likewise, speaking to your loved ones just in general is so good for you, even if neither if you has a whole load to say! I can be quite an introvert but a good giggle over a coffee or Phil and I chatting about our days once Toby’s in bed, ensures that those vital connections and relationships are maintained.

How do you prefer speaking to people? Are you the conversation starter or do you tend to keep it all in until someone brings a subject up? Let me know in the comments below or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.