'The day you sit down and think about your goals is the first day of the rest of your life' - Denise Kenny

Wellness advocate Denise Kenny kicked off our Self-care Sundays, in partnership with Yoplait, in a virtual conversation with Melanie Morris. Here are three things we learned about self-care.

Denise Kenny had her dream job and had recently married her dream man in 2018.

Following a dream honeymoon to South Africa and the Maldives, everything was coming up Milhouse for the global travel PR manager.


But then things took an unprecedented turn in January 2019, when her husband Ciaran was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.

Register for Week 2 Self-care Sundays: Health with Dr Doireann O'Leary and Dr Sayyada Mawji here

"Self-care is not something I used to do every day, it's something I became mindful of in the lead up to the wedding and landing the dream job, because I started to feel the stress that I had experienced before creep in," Denise tells Melanie Morris. "I knew then that I needed to practice self-care every day and definitely since Ciaran got sick, it's something I practice every day. I can't go a day without practicing some form of self-care."

Denise, who is now planning a trip to Santorini with Ciaran, who has undergone treatment and is doing well health wise, has three steps to self-care that she practices daily.

1. Meditate

"I meditate every single morning, which is hugely important to me. Meditation is something that's been in my life a long time. My mum is a holistic therapist, now retired, she introduced us to meditation very early at around the age of 12.

"I remember feeling very self-aware and very present in the moment and it really does all go back to the breath. I had such a positive experience as a child that I dipped in and out of it when I was experiencing stress in my life, such as during the Leaving Cert, college exams or break-ups. But I didn't do it every day and that's something that I really regret.


"Now I meditate every morning for 10 minutes minimum and if I feel that the day is really busy and my mind needs clarity, I meditate in the evening as well before I go to bed."

2. Journalling

Journalling is a huge part of me. I journal every evening and review every morning.

Denise has founded The Head Plan, a guided wellness journal that aims to help you keep track of your daily goals. Broken into sections, including long-term goals, career and finance, self-care and wellness, family and friends, Denise uses this journal daily as a way to ensure she doesn't burnout.

"Following meditation I always review my journal - that's really important. The night before I set my goals - one goal a day -- that I want to achieve the following day. It's important to pull it back and give yourself one main goal that you want to achieve that day.

For the full Self-care Sundays schedule, see here

3. Reward


"I always take time out for myself throughout the day. I set myself clear tasks every day that I have to achieve and reward myself. I don't think we reward ourselves enough or shout about our accomplishments or what we're proud of.

"It's probably the most important thing that myself and Ciaran do which has been transformative for us both. We practice gratitude every single day. The smallest things are actually the big things now."

Week 2 Self-care Sundays: Health with Dr Sayyada Mawji and Dr Doireann O'Leary takes place Sunday, June 28 from 12pm. Register for free here. 

IMAGE Self-care Sundays is an eight-week wellness series, in partnership with Yoplait. Melanie Morris will host eight virtual events - all free to the IMAGE reader - so you can access them from the comfort of your own home. Get inspired to start your own self-care journey and spread Yoplait's 'You Time' message that putting yourself first is a key component in life's happiness and success.

Register for Self-care Sundays: Health with Dr Doireann O'Leary and Dr Sayyada Mawji here.


For the full Self-care Sundays schedule, see here. Follow #IMAGESelfcareSundays on social.

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