Heya! How’re you? I can’t believe we’re already in December! A part of me feels like the entire year just flew by, another part feels like 2021 has had 18 months and so much has happened this year I just can’t wrap my head around it all!

I’ve had incredible, mind-boggling highs, like recovering from the mess that was 2019 and part of 2021; moving into our dream home, which I first spotted back in 2018 (praise Jesus for seeing us through – it was a journey!); getting a promotion at the main job; relaunching this blog; working with some amazing brands as a content creator; building stronger friendships; and finally embracing an active lifestyle and relearning how to love my body.

Then there’s been the lows. I think one of the biggest ones was having to step away from interior styling projects because they were messing up my mental and emotional health, and recently being reminded of why I made that decision in the first place when I attempted to quietly get back into it (this one is still fresh, and I’m still low-key mad about it). Then there’s some other stuff I won’t really get into that has been weighing heavily on me the past few weeks. But I know it’ll get better.

This last bit has made me rethink wellness and what it means to me. I used to think of it as self-care that addresses the physical – you know, the 27-product skincare routines, gym, eating right, shopping (which I shared my feelings about here).

Now I’m on a journey to go deeper, seeking mental and emotional wellness that requires a level of introspection, honesty and vulnerability that I haven’t really explored before. I’m very good at blocking emotions, choosing to be cold so I don’t feel things if I think they’ll hurt me. But I’m slowly getting out of that cycle. I’m more willing to have difficult conversations with myself and the people they concern. I’ve gotten much, much better at opening up to people I trust, sharing things that the old me would never, ever have spoken about.

I’m seeking balance. Something more sustainable: a lifelong commitment that goes beyond the high of a moment to care of the self, the community and environment. I’m trying to be kinder to myself. Learning to listen to my body and my mind and doing what’s right for me in that moment (ditching people at the last minute and being unreliable is not self-care by the way – it’s selfish). I’m learning to take breaks and not feel bad about resting, teaching my mind that resting is not lazy or a waste of time that could be used to make money. I’m learning to be intentional about my consumption as well, and I’m constantly looking for ways to make little changes that are good for the planet.

Learning and sharing are a big part of this, which is why I’m answering a few questions from my last Ask Me Anything on Instagram. Here goes!

  • How do you define self-care?

Taking care of the self beyond the physical, to the mental, emotional and the environment around me. I’m looking at it holistically now.

  • Share a few best practices on digital wellness?

Spending time away from your devices; social media breaks; being intentional about what media you consume and seeking out uplifting content. I am not afraid to hit people with the unfollow or block these days, and it’s been applied to me too – and that’s cool. We don’t all have to agree on everything, and it doesn’t need to get ugly when we disagree.

  • How do you deal with mom guilt?

This has been gradual. I’ve had to learn that my whole identity doesn’t revolve around being a mom. I allow myself to do the things that I want to do for me, so that I can show up as my best, most present, most wholesome self for her. I know that if I don’t do that for myself, I’ll end up resenting my daughter, for taking certain things away from me. We don’t want that.

  • How do you deal with anxiety and tough seasons?

Still learning how to do this. But talking to people I trust, taking breaks from being online and trying to sit in silence really helps.

  • What’s taking up most of your headspace?

Being there for my family AND myself, kicking ass at work and making the money that will afford us a comfortable life for a long, long time. I think about my finances a lot.

  • How do you wind down from a long day to ensure you get adequate rest?

This is actually quite difficult for me, as I suffer from revenge bedtime procrastination. I’m often the first to wake up and last to sleep in this house and will choose to watch TV (usually trash TV or silly rom-coms) instead of going to bed. Then when I do, I struggle to switch off and get adequate sleep, which is why I’m always tired. I need to find a proper wind down routine that works for me.

  • What’s your ideal when it comes to self-care and wellness?

A hot shower, good music, candles, moisturised skin, good relationships, quiet time – simple things really.

  • Any tips on work-life balance?

I believe more in integration. So instead of seeing work being this thing that has to be completely separate from the rest of my life, it’s about seeing how work fits into my life so that I don’t feel like I have to choose one over the other. My work allows me to afford my life, and having a balanced life helps me do well at work, so they’re very interconnected.

  • Do you experience days, weeks when you’re depressed, just off?

I do have such episodes. It’s not clinical depression or anything that requires any form of medical treatment, but I have these periods where everything just feels off, I can’t figure out what exactly the issue is, and I get mad at myself for not being able to figure it out then I feel even worse – it’s a vicious cycle. I’m actually just coming out of such a period, and what seems to work for me is leaning on friends, taking breaks and spending time by myself. Even if it’s just 30 minutes a day.

  • Why doesn’t self-care seem to come naturally to many of us?

Because women have been socialised to believe that our role in this life is to be martyrs. That we should constantly be giving to everyone other than ourselves and never expecting anything back. We need to unlearn that.

  • How do you control overthinking? What relaxes your mind?

I just go with the flow these days. I let the thoughts come and run in my mind until they get tired and let me sleep. Sleep relaxes my mind. It seems to be the only thing that works right now. I need more of it.

Did this post speak to you? Then tell me: what do you struggle with when it comes to wellness, and how are you trying to find balance in your life? I’ve partnered with Balance, one of my favourite brands right now, to get more of us to think about these things, have meaningful conversations about them, and find a way to design more conscious, intentional lives for ourselves. This goes beyond just buying products; it’s about embracing a wholesome lifestyle that feels good from the inside out, which if you ask me, is the ultimate flex.

Post your answer in the comment section and Balance and I will select one winner, who will receive a hamper with carefully selected items to make you smile. Let’s go! Winner will be announced on Wednesday, 8th November at 6.30pm (EAT). The giveaway is only open to Nairobi residents.

UPDATE: Giveaway closed – congratulations Gloria Kimani!

Lastly, share and subscribe to receive updates on the latest content every (other) week! May you find balance 


Pepper Tree Hemp Collection candle, body butter, scrub and oil / Balance



The Cultured Cow


  • December 3, 2021


    This post felt like you were describing some aspects of my life. I have been working on mum guilt especially now that I’ve resumed going to the office every two weeks yet I’ve been with my baby for a whole year plus, since she was born. At times I feel like such a bad mum but I’ve learnt to value time away from her as a needed break and that I’m allowed to take care of myself so that I don’t give from an empty cup.

    That plus therapy, genuine friendships, prayer and an amazing family support system, with a generous amount of self care have helped me to cope especially in 2021.

  • December 3, 2021


    This is timely to me and I am grateful for this. Well, one, I am struggling with giving myself social media breaks, I have tried but failed many times. Two, is selfcare mentally There is progress and its beautiful but emotionally there is also struggles here and there but I hope to be intentional about it soon and make things right.

  • December 3, 2021

    Anne M

    Definitely! This post speaks to me circumspectly. This year has really pushed me to find that elusive balance. Recently I became a wife and I got more responsibilities at work, it felt like there was this new life that I had chosen for myself that just felt hard to be a part of. I was constantly feeling tired both at home and at work. All of a sudden my productivity levels were fast moving to nought. I usually have long working hours that mostly extend to the weekends. So you could say I have too much work without play. Obviously very detrimental to my wellbeing.

    I had a Zen moment recently and realized that I wouldn’t let extrinsic circumstances rob me of my wellness. So I embarked on my reading spree( I love reading books and it has been greatly affected this year)and I take some time off just to rest without feeling guilty. I also meditate and do affirmations quite a lot and I believe I’m on the right path towards wholesomeness.
    This package would be my icing on the cake to spruce up my journey towards achieving wellness.

  • December 3, 2021

    Waceke Kibe

    Hey Shiru, first I love you’re content both here and Ig. This post really spoke to me. The past few months have been rough or as they say ‘ghetto’. But reading this I have felt encouraged. I struggle with trusting or rather believing in myself. Like I know deep down I am capable of going great things but I kinda few how society will see me. But i.m learning to believe more in myself, seek help, read more about self-belief.

  • December 3, 2021


    This post made me feel seen. About two years ago I moved into a new town (where I didn’t know anyone) to be with the LOML and try and reconfigure my life. As someone who took a ridiculously long corse in campus and had only ever lived in Nairobi this has been such a big switch…did I mention this is at the start of my adulting (fresh from campus)… So that has been a lot. What I did not even account for especially was how much it would take away emotionally from me seeing that I couldn’t be able to see friends and family as regularly as I would like and being alone in an all new place needs me to have support. Making friends isn’t my strongest trait (introvert problems) and I don’t get that much adult interaction either. That has taken a toll on me emotionally, and I have been trying to travel to and fro just to try and keep that sanity. I have been exploring WhatsApp call dates to try get this balance but man! It’s quite something. Also scheduling my trips and pre planning them so it’s not so hectic and exhausting trying to see everyone in a short period and not benefitting from the visit.

  • December 3, 2021


    Hi Shiru. I loved this blog and how your content is always authentic. Personally, my struggle when it comes to wellness, is accepting help. I always want to be on top of things. I love to see those I love relax hence I take up tasks on tasks but struggle to put up my feet and allow other to help. I have been learning how to be intentional in my help. To understand why I feel the need to do everything and also, allowing myself to be taken care of. It’s a work in progress but I have faith I will eventually speak “putting up my feet and allowing others to do things ” fluently.

  • December 3, 2021


    Hey Shiro! I love the vulnerability in this post.
    I struggle with being a helicopter mum. I want to be present in every moment of my children’s lives which is impossible and I end up exhausted and feeling loads of guilt.
    I have learned to let go and take naps especially during the weekends… I definitely recommend a nice afternoon nap!:-)

  • December 4, 2021


    This post definitely speaks to. I relate a lot with the “blocking emotions kind of person” . I realized that not only am I blocking negative ones, I am also denying myself joy, happiness, love etc. All this because I do not want to be vulnerable. Its influenced the kind of relationships I have around me, most of them are shallow cause I find it very hard to trust anyone. I am at a season where I am trying to unlearn all these, trying to learn to trust again, letting go of past traumas. Also learning to do things for me and not feel guilty about it. Its hard, its a whole lot of work but I am taking it a day at a time.

  • December 5, 2021

    Irene kimemia


    This post speaks volume the last two years have been hard on me and I have been struggling with the “I am not good enough “ syndrome.
    Which can way one down.

    You have mentioned on vulnerability. Would suggest you check out Brené Brown Book
    – the gifts of imperfections ( very good read )
    – I thought it was just me but it isn’t
    You will enjoy the reads and learn more about been vulnerable and vulnerability

    This post has taught me a lot

  • December 8, 2021

    Njeri Waigi

    Emotional & Mental wellness is where the rubber meets the road when it comes to my self care; being able to master my thoughts and feelings versus acknowledging them/ allowing them to flow is a tough balance.
    I see “self care” as “self advocacy”; making moment by moment choices towards the best possible outcome in the different areas of my life.

  • December 8, 2021

    Ruth Kihugu

    I struggle greatly with selfcare as I feel guilty for spending money that could maybe go into a more “useful” spend. I dream and want luxury, massages and all that but guilt spending has me in prison! ☹️

  • December 8, 2021

    Gloria Kimani

    Have you ever read a blog and you felt like it relates to you at the moment and felt like what you needed to hear? Well that’s what I felt reading all this. I may not relate to all aspects of your life, I am not a mom neither do I have a job or a home. I am a student currently in my forth year. There is a lot of pressure to perform mostly from myself because I have always been a performer. At the same time, I am thinking about ways to try and attain financial stability at a young age. All while also trying to offset my business. It has been hard to find a balance, well to be honest at the moment I am not even close to find one. Over the years, I have viewed selfcare as a luxury but I am now seeing it as a necessity. So yes I am going to make it a priority not only this remaining month but the coming year. I hope I get to learn to go easy on myself, to take a break and that it’s okay to not have everything figured out. Thank you for your blog and your instangram posts, you always manage to be inspiring. I love that you are honest, it makes you more human and makes it easier to connect with you.

  • December 8, 2021

    Cynthia muthoni

    Hey the cultured cow, first i love your content. Your page really gives me the psych to go on with life and to embrace every life situation positively. Honestly you are such a vibe . This year has really pushed me to the edge….from family ,school, social life…mehn unabidi mtu alambe glucose. But despite all this I’ve chosen to live my life , be happy . It’s some times hard but life has to go on.

  • December 8, 2021

    Simply Rembo

    Nice post. For me 2018 to 2021 have taken a toll on me mentally and emotionally. Having to deal with a few things in regards to health and jobs. Am now at a better place. I have learnt to take a day at a time. Having 1 or 2 friends whom you can talk to since when things are not working many friends leave”. Knowing that there is always a season for something and it will come to pass (although at that point it doesnt seem so). Praying about every situation and committing it to God….It works magic. As i celebrate my birthday this December am at a better and happier place

  • December 9, 2021


    First things first, thank you Ciru for being so vulnerable ,it’s not an easy thing to do.Alot of the stuff you havw shared i am actually going through them.
    I am turning 30 next month,but this 29 th year has been the toughest year so far,i have lost myself,gone through mental breakdown a lot more than any other years back.
    I go through a vicious cycle of feeling down and exhausted mentally and being an introvert doesn’t help at all.Because i don’t have much friends and even the ones i have it’s hard to open up to them.I wish there was a platform for people like me where we can freely talk to each other as strangers and let it out without judgement.

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