Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Making 2017 My Year - Prioritizing Self Care

Well, guys, it's been a while since I write a post about how I'm taking steps to make this year my year. As I write this, I'm finished college, but waiting to sit my final exam. I've got a new job. I'm making real progress in my professional life. I've booked the trip of a lifetime to visit my best friend over New Years in Japan. Things are exciting, and moving forward at a rate I nearly can't fully comprehend. And it's great, I'm thrilled. But I'm also run down.

With that in mind, I'm going to jot down a few little tips for self care, to help to boost you up when you're feeling run down and tired.


Take Care Of Your Insides

Looking after your physical self goes hand in hand with your mental health. I've started taking a multivitamin, and it's nice to know I'm making an active, albeit small, investment into my health, whether that's a placebo effect or not. I feel less sluggish. It's an easy way to keep your energy levels going and ward off any little sicknesses that are doing the rounds. A little boost can help a lot.

Go for walks, runs, to the gym, whatever you like. I like to walk when I can, and usually I will use the time to reflect and think. It's good to clear your head with a little jaunt into the world.

Show Yourself Some Self Love 

This is different for everyone, but you should always take time for yourself, at least once per week to just switch off, and do something that you feel will serve you, and only you. Pamper nights are something I try to do even if it's only just to put on a face pack after I take off my makeup. Some of my favorites are the Montage Jeunesse ones that you can get almost anywhere. Cook yourself a nice meal, put on a DVD, and relax while you paint your nails or something of that nature. It's worth investing in yourself, to remind yourself that (even if its only one evening per week) feeling relaxed and taken care of is more important than that email (which can wait, girl, trust me!), or that call.

Self care can be anything you want, by the way, from a pamper night in to a pint with a friend or whatever you like to do. If you want to do the ironing as a self care activity, that's up to you.


Make Time For Your Interests

Something I've come to learn this year is that if you have an interest that not everyone else does, that's okay. I love going to art galleries. I like the serenity, the creativity, the quiet violence of a surrealist painting from WW2. I don't share that with many of my friends, really, and that's okay. That's extra Me Time, when I go to do that. If you have a shared hobby with someone, that's awesome, do that!

It's okay to have fragmented interests within a shared hobby, though. For myself and my boyfriend, we love to read. He loves fantasy, and honestly, with the exception of LOTR, Harry Potter, and some Pratchett, I couldn't care less about fantasy. I love non-fiction, Sci-Fi rooted in reality, dystopian novels. I'll read biographies of painters and Ross O'Carroll-Kelly til the end of my days, and he wouldn't touch that with a ten foot pole. If you like to read quietly with your other half, do that. Make a pot of tea or coffee, curl up at opposite ends of the sofa and share the quiet together.

Find A Meditative State You Enjoy 

If you had told me last year I would be using guided meditation to ground myself, I'd have laughed rudely into your face. But here I am. I use the Headspace app that a friend recommended to me. That's useful during the day if I feel myself zoning out.

At night, I do something a bit weird, but it works for me, so maybe it'll help you. I go to bed around 11pm every night and I put on a Bob Ross video on YouTube. I let that play quietly in the background and I focus on my breathing, while Bob paints his happy little trees... I'll breathe in deeply but gently, and I'll breathe out quietly. I focus on my breathing for a minute or two, and then I'll try to focus on the weight of my legs, then my arms, then my torso and before I know it, I've woken up the next morning. Since I started doing this, I don't have nightmares, I sleep deeply and unbroken. It's been such a helpful tool. The only bad thing is I never see a finished painting! A small price to pay, really.

There are a million other tips I could write about here, but I'll leave it there for today. 

If you have any other tips for me, please let me know in the comments! 



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