Leaving the house some winter mornings is challenging, it is already autumn and the mornings are getting darker and the weather less forgiving. As I step out into the drizzle with only the street lamp for light I ponder the ‘why’ behind what others consider to be my morning madness. It is cold, the wind is whistling around my bike and the air is damp and lifeless. Last night and after a long day at work I tended to my son, an independent teenager, but still at times he needs the nurturing attention of his Mum. Stepping out into the cold I realised the method in my madness. This early morning swimming time is not just for me, the stillness, the quiet, the joy - it benefits my day but it also greatly supports my family. When we feel stressed, overwhelmed and pressured for time we have little energy left for the ones that we love. Self-care not only supports our own ability to feel calm, in control and capable when it comes to our own lives, it also helps us to be able to build those skills and emotions in the ones that we are closest to. To be able to take the time to really listen, to embrace our loved ones and to be fully present is a result of taking regular self-care. Venturing out into the wintery morning air is necessary, not only to  protect myself from potential stress, strain and daily chaos but to ensure that the ones that I love, who are still sleeping soundly indoors, are protected from it too.