Taking Time For You
It’s not breaking or headline news that January is a hard month… well, Winter is a just a hard few months in general. It’s cold and it’s dark. You arrive and leave the office in that never-ending patch of darkness and you wonder if the sun even made an appearance that day. You go outside in four layers and then feel overwhelming hot every time you enter a building. The Christmas magic has faded back into the yearly countdown and money is tight. January sure doesn’t make the 31 days within it easy to tackle. And hey, that’s ok.
2016 felt like the year we finally realised that we can self-care, self-love and acknowledge that we can take that step back and say ‘I need to rest, I need ‘me’ time‘ and be ok with that. 2017 shouldn’t be any different. And with January known to be a particular tough month to fight through, it’s time to put all the tips that those self-care articles magazines have been churning out into action.
Take a break, take five minutes away from whatever is bothering or stressing you and just breath. Re-align your focus, stop putting the insane amount of pressure on your self and know that you’re all good. Most of all, remember it’s completely ok to put yourself first sometimes, we all need it and you’ll come away feeling refreshed, energised and ready to face whatever is in front of you. You’ve got this! *strong arm emoji*
01. Pamper Time
What better time to give yourself a indulgent pamper than on a chill January evening? There’s nothing more indulging and relaxing than lighting a few of your favourite candles, rounding up your favourite body scrub and butter, face mask and running a bubble bath full of your favourite scents.
Having a pamper evening is also the perfect opportunity to read a few chapters of that book you’ve been meaning to dive into, watch a few episodes of your favourite Netflix series or even just catch up on your Youtube subscriptions that have been building up. Whatever takes your mind off of anything else, whatever makes you happy.
It’s deeply relaxing and allows you a few hours of peace whilst you pamper both your mind and body. Not forgetting to mention the results (beautifully soft skin, anyone?) are well worth the extra effort it takes as opposed to just the quick jump in the shower routine before work.
02. Beach Walks
For me personally, there is nothing better than a long, slow stroll along the beach to put a smile on my face. It may be cold, but in this instance, the sharp air is perfect for clearing out the ol’ lungs, awakening the senses and blowing away the cobwebs. Plus, the winter sun is truly stunning when it makes it’s appearance.
Wrap up warm, bring along your camera and just take the time to just stroll and let the cool air do all it needs to do. It’s good for your health, it makes a change from sitting indoors and if you ask me, there is no better sound than waves crashing against the shore. The beach is my happy place and whenever I’m stressed, sad or just need that fresh air, it’s is the first place I head to. You’re typically surrounded by people doing the same thing, families making wonderful memories, people walking their excitable puppies; it’s just a happy place to be.
And if you’re in Brighton, there’s a place on the front of the pier that does the BEST hot chocolates, perfect to accompany you on your Wintery stroll.
03. Girls Night In
Making plans over the group chat is the hardest thing. So and so isn’t free on Wednesday evenings, so and so does Yoga on Thursday and on Saturday so and so does the night shift. I get it. It’s hard. But, your best girlies are your best girlies for a reason. Whether that’s because they offer the most perfect advice, they make you laugh until your expensive mascara is sliding down your cheeks or a combination of both, when you’re felling down and out, having a girls night might just be the answer.
Organise a date you’re all free, bring in the wine (or juice… if you’re doing Dry January!), order some takeaway pizza and just laugh and chat the night away. It doesn’t need to be over the top, just you and your favourite people having a catchup, sharing the deets about the Christmas office party memories and not thinking about much else. Having good friends is so valuable and it’s amazing what just laughing and having a good time with them can do.
04. Enjoy Good Food
Sometimes the daily grind can leave us wanting to rush home, stick something in the microwave and jump in-front of the laptop ready for some Gilmore Girls binge-watching with a packet of M&M’s until it’s midnight.
Work/univeristy can make us tired and we automatically crash the second we hit home ground. But, sometimes there is nothing better than gathering all your ingredients, going home and taking the time to prepare your favourite meal, put your heart and soul into it and and really enjoy it. There is nothing better than enjoying something you’ve created, it’s fulfilling, heartwarming and more importantly… delicious!
Not a natural Jamie Oliver or reaaally don’t fancy cooking? You could always treat yourself to your favourite takeaway or head out for dinner at your favourite resturant. Drag your partner or bestie along to and have a giggle over your favourite meal (and hey, don’t feel bad about treating yourself to dessert… dessert makes people happy, it’s fact!).
05. Treat Yourself
January is typically a no-spend month. Everyone’s on a budget after Christmas and it may seem unrealistic to treat yourself but honestly? If you’ve worked hard… girl, you deserve it! Whether it’s a little black bag on ASOS, some new boots from H&M or even just a brownie from your local cafe, it’s ok to treat yourself. Give yourself a reward for your hard work and enjoy it.
By all means, don’t go overboard of course and don’t put yourself in a position where you’re only eating beans on toast and canned soap for the rest of the month, but a little treat won’t hurt and whether it’s seen as materalsitic or not, shopping and getting a tiny bit spendy can cheer us up, after all, there’s nothing like wearing a brand new shirt or shoes to work…. plus, loads of places still have their New Year sale on!
06. And… Calm
Probably my biggest inspiration to write this post is the book (and app), Calm. Both a visually stunning and beautifully written book all about the idea of calm and how to achieve it. It’s based on modern life and divided into eight sections (Nature, Work, Creativity, Children, Travel, Relationships, Food, and Sleep) that you can keep going back to time and time again. It’s simple, it doesn’t patronise and doesn’t claim to be anything other than it is, a book full of simple tips and tricks, ideas to remember and stories all about achieving calm in different aspects of your life. Honestly, I couldn’t recommend this book more to anyone who needs a little more calm in their life.
The app (free on both IOS and Android) is pretty useful to have too, especially for those ‘in the moment’ moments. Again, it’s so visually beautiful and just looking at it’s main screen offers serendipity, the calming sounds a pleasing added extra. You can ‘meditate’ via the app, but my favourite thing is the breathe section, a nifty little tool that helps you take deep breaths and of course, calm you down in a situation that requires it. Finally, there’s also a stunning collection of sleep stories, perfect if, like myself, sleep isn’t always the easiest of options for you.
What’s your best self-care tip?
Thank you for reading!