Why I’m All About Self Care Right Now

I’m not sure if it’s an age thing, but it is true that the older I have got, the more I have realised what’s important in my life and what I’ve no longer got the time or the patience for.


It’s only natural that as you grow, your outlook on everything changes, some relationships and friendships thrive whilst others diminish, this might hurt like hell at the time but you begin to learn that this is actually OK.





Your priorities can change dependent upon who you meet, who enters your world and what life throws at you. Life is unpredictable and whilst it can be amazing, it can be bloody hard too.


Like a lot of people, I can suffer quite badly from anxiety. I have done for as long as I can remember and it is only now that I can look back on myself growing up and understand why I felt or acted a certain way.


I panic when I’m out of my comfort zone, when I don’t understand something, when I don't know where I need to be or what I should be doing. Also, when I feel left out or ignored, which it turns out is usually just down to good ol’ paranoia.


I have learnt to manage it in my own way, avoiding the things that I know are causing unnecessary worry or stress, or if something can’t be avoided, I will use different coping tactics if I know deep down it is for the best.


I used to think self care involved a good pamper sesh, getting my hair or nails done or spending time with my friends and whilst I still believe that it does incorporate all of these things, cause let’s face it, these things help to keep us grounded and sane, I now realise more than ever that self care is so so much more than that.


The F Word (no not that one)


Do you ever realise that all of a sudden, your patience for suffering fools has reduced? I used to think I was quite a tolerant person, but now I feel like I can see people a lot more clearly and have a better sense for who is genuine and who is worthy of my time.


Growing up, I’ve had the toxic friendships, the people that left you feeling worse about yourself, the ones that let you down or those that were just plain flaky time and time again.


In my mind I made up excuses as to why they acted the way that they did, it may not have been malicious or intentional but over time the realisation set in.


Just like those words of wisdom that Miranda imparted in Sex and the City, ‘he’s just not that into you’, I believe this can apply to friendships also because at the end of the day, if they want to be there for you or to spend their time with you, they would.





I believe that you know yourself deep down who is worth holding on to and who isn’t. Some friends can have genuine reasons for cancelling plans and may be the sort of friend who you don’t see all the time, but when you do it’s like you’ve never been apart. My point is that if it doesn’t feel right and it’s making you unhappy, you need to trust your instincts and make a change.


I’m certainly not perfect but I would never intentionally hurt anyone’s feelings. My friends are extremely important to me and I would do anything for them but again, if I ever made them doubt this or if I contributed to them feeling lousy in any way, I would hope that they could be honest with me.


The Social 'F' Word


I decided that I no longer have time for those people on social media who will happily hide away in your friends list but will walk past you and not even acknowledge you in real life, such as in your place of work or in passing on the street.


We share a lot on social media, personal moments and life events, posts about our loved ones, our family and our life and I only want to be sharing these moments with the people who matter.


I decided to review who I am friends with on social media for this very reason and feel happier knowing that I’ve narrowed this down to those that I actually do care about and that care about me in return.


JOMO


I’ve spent most of my life to date with a FOMO (fear of missing out) on most things, but now I find more and more that I have a JOMO (joy of missing out). This is the feeling of contentment that you get from staying in and giving those extra curricular activities a miss once in a while.


For me staying in is the new going out, especially when it’s cold outside. So right now, I’m loving the nights in with the husband and the kids or the nights where the girls come around for gin and nibbles.





Don't get me wrong, I do love getting glammed up and heading out with friends but more than ever right now, I love throwing my hair up in a top knot, taking my make-up off, putting on my PJ’s and sitting on the sofa, under a blanket, watching a movie.


Throw in a takeaway, some scented candles and a Hendrick’s with lemonade and it’s the perfect night :)


Living My Best Life


I know this phrase has been overused for the last year or so, but I kind of like the sentiment behind it. What’s wrong with consciously doing the things that make you happy and recognising those moments that stand out the most? Why shouldn’t each and every one of us be living our best possible life and appreciating the moments which make us smile?


If you’re anything like me, you’ll find this phrase also fits in with those instances where only sarcasm is appropriate, to help you appreciate that those not so perfect moments can also contribute to making your day that little bit more interesting.


For example: Your child has had a full on tantrum in the middle of the supermarket or you sneeze as soon as you’ve finished applying your mascara! Of course, at that moment you’re absolutely living your best life!


Appreciating The Little Things


Do you ever take a moment and just look at your husband, at your kids, at your family or friends and just appreciate what’s right in front of you?


I’m consciously trying to take more time to be thankful for the people in my life and for the fun and laughter that comes with it.


I love that an hour or two with my friends can be better than therapy and that I can laugh about the silliest things, whilst just being me, not a wife, not a mother, just me.





Simply knowing that I have this unofficial support group there with me through every twist and turn and knowing likewise that I am there for them in the same way means everything.


Regularly in a group message, my friends and I will randomly tell each other how much we mean to one another and I love that, especially when one of us is going through a tough time.


On top of this, I am also trying to appreciate being in the moment more and experiencing different things. My friends and I decided to write a bucket list of things we want to do and places we want to go. Our aim is to help each other tick off as much as possible and it’s a fab excuse to get together more often and to create memories.


I feel so lucky knowing that I have the same support at home from my husband, who will also laugh with me about the most ridiculous things, understand the reason behind every eye roll and every deep sigh. Someone who is there to share every step of this crazy parenting journey with me.




I also feel so very blessed to have two amazing kids, both so full of character and with an amazing sense of humour. I can’t imagine life without them, they’re my everything and whilst they keep me on my toes and I’m sure they’re the reason behind my grey hairs and worry lines, I wouldn’t change a thing.


They're both growing up so quickly and I'm trying to appreciate every moment while it lasts.


Ideal Me Versus The Real Me


So whilst I would love to have more time for yoga and exercise, more time for family outings, be more healthy, confident and settled, the real me struggles to fit everything in, procrastinates a lot and loves chocolate a bit too much. (Fun fact: I once ate 6 Cadburys Creme Eggs for breakfast!)


But maybe rather than aim for the ideal and for everything to be so black and white, maybe somewhere in the middle is more balanced and realistic, somewhere a bit more, well, grey.


Sometimes the stresses of living up to your own perfect version of yourself, can be a bit too much. I do think it’s good to have self awareness, to want to improve and better yourself but it’s also worthwhile accepting your flaws and realising that sometimes the person that you are is enough.


Mental Health


I’m so glad that there is a lot more emphasis on mental health and that people are talking openly about such an important subject.


I have a theory, in that I believe that absolutely everybody suffers with their mental health at some point in their life, more than likely multiple times.


If you think about it, only we can hear the thoughts in our own heads, we are each captive in our own minds with constant questions, ideas, emotions and rationalisations racing around.


Every day, different things get thrown at us, we’re all so unique and we will all cope in different ways but certain events, experiences and feelings can significantly alter our state of mind.


A lot of people will hide their thoughts and emotions well and find a coping mechanism that works best for them, but with others, this can prove to be a lot more difficult.





I do believe that when it comes to mental health, assistance should be readily available and accessible for those that need it. Whether this involves speaking with a loved one, a friend or family member, a GP, a counsellor or another trained specialist. Sometimes the hardest part is admitting to yourself that you need help.


Your mental health is by far the most important part of invoking self care, as this can affect everything in your day to day life. It is extremely important to understand that you are never alone and there is always support available when needed. You’ve got this.


The Basics


So a lot of what I have written about focuses on self care for your state of mind and emotional wellbeing. On top of this, there are some basic essentials which I feel are worthwhile focussing on which includes, but is not limited to….


Sleep:

I will be aiming to get to bed at a reasonable time each night and getting 7-8 hours of solid sleep wherever possible.


I’m most definitely a night owl and find I am most productive and imaginative later in the evening, so I have been known to sit up into the early hours writing or working on a particular project.


My aim this year is to stick to a sensible bed time, well, maybe no later than 11pm which is a significant improvement for me.





Reading:

I love reading, it relaxes me and gives me that much needed distraction. I’m going to find more time to read, especially before bed to help me wind down.


I will never tire of buying books, I love holding them, I love the feel and the smell, but I have purchased a few ebooks to read on my Kindle app and also a few audio books to listen to on Audible, which offers me a few different ways to relax into literary escapism.


Mobile phone:

I am going to limit my time spent on my mobile phone, social media etc, especially before bed. I find it is easy to get sidetracked and to sit scrolling through Instagram and Facebook. Plus I switched on the alert on my iPhone which tells you your average daily screen time for the week and I’m sorry, but how scary are the results sometimes?! 3 or 4 hours a day?!





I know I use my phone quite a bit, I watch my favourite vloggers on YouTube whilst getting ready on a morning, I shop online (a little too much), I do like checking my personal social media and managing my business social pages and posts but to see the average sum per day can be a bit of a shock. Especially when factoring in time spent asleep and at work! I just keep thinking of all the other things I could be doing with this time!


Exercise:

I am going to try to incorporate more exercise into my life, I love Yoga and find home workouts easier to fit into my schedule.


I have a couple of exercise DVD’s and with Youtube, there’s a lot of choice out there. I particularly love the Fitness Blender channel on Youtube and their HIIT like a girl workouts.


Exercise always makes me feel better, it must be those endorphins. Once I’m into a routine, I feel so much happier in many ways, so maybe it’s silly of me not to take the time each day to do this?





Diet:

It is true, you are what you eat and at the moment I am very much the epitomy of an unsupervised child at a kids party. I have never been very good at planning ahead or sticking to a healthy balanced diet, but this is something I am going to have to start doing.


I get bored of food quite easily and can lack imagination when it comes to mealtimes. So I’ve decided that I’m going to refer to my vast collection of Jamie Oliver and Joe Wick’s recipe and cookbooks for inspiration. I’m going to try my best to plan ahead for the week and to prepare in bulk. Hopefully this will mean that I will not only save money, but I’ll also be more mindful about what I am putting into my body.





Relaxation:

My day usually consists of rushing everywhere at 100mph, so whilst I shower every day, I never consider taking the time to just sit and relax in a bath, especially on an evening when the kids have gone to bed.


Yoga also helps me to relax and so does listening to music (loudly) with my headphones on.


I really need to take more time out to just stop for a moment sometimes. I may even read up on some meditation and mindfulness techniques which should help. I mean, I already own a few books on this subject but have never got round to reading them! So I suppose now is the time.





Pampering:

I seriously can’t remember the last time I wore a face mask and sometimes there is no better feeling than getting in from a hard day in the office, tying your hair up and washing all of your makeup off.


I think I might get myself a few clay masks to use for times like this which could also help with my skin and complexion. Two birds, one stone!


Like most girls, I love taking time for myself to get my nails done and to visit the hairdressers, but checking out some new treatments could be a good way to unwind.


A pedicure, a massage, a facial, things that I wouldn’t ordinarily book in for, but could be just what I need.





In Summary...


I know this list is not exhaustive and that there are many other ways in which you can promote self care, so if you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them. Feel free to comment on this post or on my social media pages with your favourite ways to look after YOU!


I hope that this post has maybe helped you to consider taking more time out for yourself and to be selfish for a change, in the right ways of course.


I know I touched briefly on mental health and if this resonated with any of you, or if you need any advice or support, here are a couple of websites you can head on over to:


The Samaritans

Mind


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