The beauty of self-care is that it is for all of us. We all have mental and physical health, and we can all create our own unique self-care routines that keep us happy and healthy.
That’s why we’d love to introduce you to Beccy Kusu-Orkar – trainee accountant and author of the book You Matter.
We met Beccy at a mutual friend’s birthday party, and we were so excited to learn about her book and volunteer work with The Mix. Thankfully, she agreed to be interviewed for our self-care weekend – read on to hear more about her story, the inspiration behind her book, and her personal experiences with self-care.
An Interview with Beccy Kusu-Orkar
What inspired you to write your book You Matter?
“The inspiration for writing You Matter came to me during the first lockdown back in 2020.”
“I was volunteering for The Mix as a Digital Connector and saw first-hand, the effects lockdown was having on young people’s mental health and how hard it was to gain access to free therapy sessions in the UK. (The Mix is a Nationwide Charity and the UK’s leading support service for young people).”
“I did some research and ultimately came to the conclusion that there were a lot of private therapy sessions available, but limited free sessions. The Mix provides free therapy sessions, however, they rely on donations for these services, which were already stretched.”
“The beginning of You Matter had begun.”
“The aim of the self-care book, other than providing the reader with lots of science-backed information on how they can live their happiest life, is for all profits to go to The Mix, directly to fund their therapy sessions. Every 2 books sold provides 1 young person with a free therapy session which, for someone who is struggling with mental health, could be a lifeline.”
You mentioned that you worked with experts who helped to inform some of the advice in your book, what types of experts did you work with, and did you learn anything new from them?
“The experts I worked with were all amazing and I definitely learned a LOT from them!”
“We had a Cognitive Behavioural therapist, a nutritionist, a personal trainer who specializes in body confidence, a health and well-being coach and a medical practitioner. This provided You Matter with a great range of fields and ensured all techniques and advice offered were backed by science and written by an expert in each industry – which was a really important aspect of the book. Each expert wrote their own chapters, with each activity and technique referenced to an article supporting the information given as backed by research.”
We are all different, what sorts of self-care strategies work for you? What does your own self-care routine look like?
“We are all very different. We tried to make You Matter emphasise this. We need to understand that not all strategies will work, and improving our mental health is an ongoing process and that’s why we need to be patient when trying new things.”
“I find exercising frequently, even if it’s just a short walk, helps my mood massively. I try and do yoga most mornings to set me up for the day. One new strategy I have learned from You Matter was from Kelly, a Cognitive Behavioural therapist. In her chapter, she speaks about an activity called ‘Brain dump’ which has really helped me regulate my emotions. There is also a Dr. in Psychology who features in the book to remind us that anxiety is also a very normal feeling – which is a great reminder!”
On the flip side of that, what types of self-care activities don’t work for you?
“For me personally, I find it really hard to meditate and do breathing exercises. I know this can be a very beneficial process for some, but for me, I would rather listen to some soothing music or splash my face with cold water to regulate my emotions and I find these exercises a lot more beneficial.”
“Again, it is based on personal preference and what works for YOU. YOU are the most important in your mental health process. YOU matter.”
Are there any other books in your future?
“I don’t have any further books planned – but who knows! I want to try and get You Matter out there to more people and hope that it enhances even just one person’s mental health and their journey to a more fulfilled and happier life.”
About The Lily-Jo Project’s International Weekend of Self-Care
This blog article is a part of The Lily-Jo Project’s International Weekend of Self-Care campaign which takes place every year in August. To learn more about this campaign and access additional self-care resources, visit www.thelilyjoproject.com/internationalweekendofselfcare.
Further Resources on Self-Care
If you found this article helpful, check out these additional resources and support.
- The Lily-Jo Project’s article, How to Self-Care: Lily-Jo’s Story
- The Lily-Jo Project’s article, How to Self-Care When Battling Anxiety: Mari’s Story
- The Lily-Jo Project’s article, How to Self-Care When Battling Depression: Alexis’ Story
About Beccy Kusu-Orkar and Where to Purchase You Matter
Beccy Kusu-Orkar is a Manchester-based trainee accountant. In 2021 while volunteering as a digital connector with The Mix, she published her book You Matter which is a practical guide aimed to help individuals learn how to utilise nutrition, exercise, and meditation to support good mental heatlh. All proceeds from the You Matter go to The Mix, and every 2 books sold provides 1 young person with a free therapy session.
To stay in touch with Beccy, you can follow her on the following platforms:
To purchase You Matter, visit Beccy’s Etsy page here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/1084226672/you-matter-beccy-kusu-orkar-self-care