January is a time where we are supposed to feel a sudden burst of motivation and determination for the year ahead. It seems to be a recurring event to focus on changing every tiny little thing about yourself and setting 101 resolutions before sacking them off a week later because they are completely unrealistic or you simply cannot fix everything at once – no matter how determined you are. For 2018 I set myself some goals with this in mind so I chose a handful of things that are important to me that I want to work on and improve. Now that we are ending January, I realise I have already actioned 4 of them so I don’t think I’m doing too badly. One thing that I missed from this list was really taking the time to focus on my self care to maintain my wellbeing and mental health.
I think the only way I’ve managed to achieve them so quickly is because this month I’ve really listened to my mind and body and I’ve focused on giving myself time to recuperate. The last 6 months of 2017 were hell and I didn’t stop for 5 minutes to digest everything and process what had happened. The time off over Christmas really gave me the breathing space I needed to put everything into perspective and to focus on what I wanted to achieve in the coming year. I didn’t want to be too unrealistic and I wanted to include things I enjoyed and that were achievable. Alongside the new year I seemed to have this new sense of determination that I could take on the world and achieve anything but this was very short lived and within a week of being back at work I found myself struggling mentally.
After hours of sitting in front of my laptop with a blank page, I decided to take a step back from social media and my blog and instead focus on getting the layout exactly how I had wanted it. It took a lot of messing around with plugins I had no idea how to use but I’m finally happy with the finished product and there’s only a few tiny formatting bits I need to change. Now that my blog looks and feels how I want it to I have a new sense of what I want to write. Ideas for posts that I am slowly starting to realise now that my body and mind feel well rested.
Today’s post I had a million different ideas on what I wanted to write about but I thought why not kick off with something so important to every single one of us – self care. So I am sharing with you my self care routine, what I do to make myself feel more at peace, and how I combat the dark, grey cloud from swallowing me up.
Put your phone down and read a book
We are all guilty of spending a little too much time on our phones and 8/10 this is just aimlessly scrolling through instagram and twitter without much of a purpose or aim. Throughout the day I have a lot of spare time where I use to find myself scrolling through twitter and instagram just for something to do. I rely on public transport to get to and from work so I usually have about 20-30 minutes to kill, plus an hours lunch break. I’ve tried taking a book but I struggle to really get into the story when there is so much hustle and bustle going on around me and my office is like a bloody zoo on the best of days. So although I spend my lunch and commute glued to my phone, I’ve started interacting with people I enjoy seeing even more and I try and comment on every single blogpost that I read. Then once I get home I restrict the time on my phone in the evenings and especially before bed. We have no phones after 11pm so I will usually ready for half an hour or so until I am tired enough to fall asleep. This tiny change helps me fall asleep a lot faster and I don’t spend hours awake being over anxious about everything because I’ve given my brain plenty of time to unwind and switch off. Sleep is the most important factor, without it we simply cannot function and so we need to do everything we can to ensure we get a good nights sleep as much as possible.
Have a pamper
Whether its a 3 hour extended bubble bath with a full body exfoliation, or an extra 5 minutes on your morning skincare routine to perk you up in the morning – you’d be amazed at how much better you feel. I’m sure you all agree that it gets to Winter and our razor’s head off into hibernation until Spring. I hate shaving my legs, its such a chore, and it seems like such a waste when the only person who is going to see them is Gavin (sorry dude). But saying that when I actually do get around to doing it, I feel like a new woman afterwards! Whenever I have had a shit day the first thing I do is run home and jump in the bath. Sometimes for half an hour or so before settling down with the evening chores, but sometimes I’ll happily prune myself up for hours on end without a care in the world. I’ll try out a new face mask, hair mask – whatever I can get my hands on really. I crack out the fancy shower gels and exfoliates and apply my most indulgent moisturiser afterwards before snuggling up ready for an evening of netflix. If you`re short on time then try getting up 5 minutes earlier to complete a whole skincare routine. You’d be amazed how incredible you feel all day when you know your skin is glowing.
Take a break
In today’s society we are conditioned into thinking that we need to be busy all the time. Most normal people don’t just work a single 9-5 job and head home anymore, most people are working 2 jobs or studying in their own time or maintaining a blog which takes a lot more than meets the eye. Do you ever have those days when you wake up and everything is a chore and you’ve almost forgotten how to function? I had one of those days the Tuesday of the second week back after Christmas. I lasted a pitiful 5 days before I started struggling and even simple tasks which I do everyday at work I struggled with. It got to lunchtime and I knew I couldn’t hack another 4 hours so I booked a half day and headed home. Now initially I planned to clean the whole house and getting ahead with blog work etc but in reality I knew I needed to take a night off. So instead I took a 2 hour nap, a long hot bubble bath and settled down with my favourite book for the evening. In normal circumstances I would’ve beaten myself up about wasting half a days holiday and then going home and achieving absolutely nothing. But in real terms, it was just what I needed and since then my motivation and achievements have been monumental. Its funny how much 4 hours can really change your mood and mindset. Learn to enjoy your own company because it opens up a world of thoughts and ideas that you may not have had normally.
Spending time with those who matter
It’s Thursday night and you’ve got plans to catch up with a friend who you haven’t seen in months but you get home and before you know it the bedcovers have accepted you as one of their own. The prospect of heading back into the world slowly starts slipping away. You feign some sorry excuse before jumping into bed and settling down for a night of Netflix drowning in guilt of your own making. Of course nine times out of ten we may just have an actual excuse as to why we cannot make it but usually its just dow to pure laziness. In reality what we should do is chuck on your big girl outfit, grab your bag and head out the door without a second thought. It may seem daunting and the last thing you wanna do (especially when its pouring down buckets and your umbrella has seen better days) but I guarantee you once you get there you will have a whale of time and will feel a thousands time better. Spending time with my loved ones makes me feel centred and reminds me of whats important and what really matters. In the last month I’ve managed to catch up with everyone of importance and I feel a thousand times better because of it.
What do you do when your in need of some self care?