I’m so happy to be writing this blog post, because it means that I might have my shit slightly together at this point.
I am not the master of mindfulness, I am also not a doctor, therapist, councilor, psychologist or anything with a degree in taking care of yourself. I don’t have experience in self-care, the health care industry or even writing books on the stuff.
But I am currently practicing mindfulness, especially in taking care of yourself during stressful, anxious, and low times – all of which I’ve succumbed to for a good few months. I wanted to share the things that I’ve been doing to make myself feel happier, safer, and good – sometimes, even just ‘good’ is enough.
These are in no particular order, nor do I follow a schedule, a regimen, or other synonyms.
I feel like this one is a no-brainer. I’m a writer and I run a book blog, but that doesn’t actually mean I read a lot. However, now that I have more spare time, I’ve found it easier to just get comfy and read a big chunk of a good book. I often put reading on the back burner of things to do because I consider it so leisurely to the point of never getting around to it, so I’m happy that I can finally make time for it, usually just before I’m about to go to bed.
Going to bed early
Ah, the perfect segway. For a very long time, I have been a night owl. I would work and write and read until the early hours of the morning, almost seeing the sunrise before I decided to call it a ‘night’. But with getting up early, going to bed late is a big no no. And even if I had nowhere to go the next morning, sleeping in until 11/12 was making me lethargic and down. I want to be able to appreciate my whole day, and the only way to do that was to go to bed early. At the moment, 10:30pm is becoming my latest switch off time, but even an hour before that, I switch off my laptop, turn the WIFI off my phone, and wind down. I can already see that dark circles under my eyes disappearing!
I only got into candles recently, and I don’t know why I took so damn long. Yankee Candle is my new best friend, with autumn and wintery fragrances coming out that just make me feel so warm and cosy. My mum has been obsessed with candles for a really long time, but I just didn’t see the joy in them. They’re so calming, they smell great, and the ones I like only cost no more that £1.30.
Now, I eventually want to get back into making it a routine to go to the gym in the mornings, but at the moment it’s just not possible. What is possible, however, is walking my dog, which I often do with other people as my dog is often the cause of my stress. They’re usually flat, country walks where I can take beautiful photos too (and have done), but sometimes we just go to a field and throw the ball with him for an hour or two. I don’t take my phone, and so I’m cut off until I come home, which is really nice.
I don’t necessarily mean a deep, spring clean, but sometimes getting your shit together means decluttering and tidying the crap out of your house/room. At the moment, I am in the process of tidying my bedroom, doing one thing at a time to ensure it’s not so stressful, but at the same time seeing a gradual improvement. Even just little things like polishing and chucking away tat that you don’t need or use anymore can really help.
Leaving My Room
Let me explain. A lot of what I do (blogging, writing, reading) means that I often stay in one place for a large period of time. I don’t own a desk in my room, and so often find myself doing all these things on my bed. What I’ve started to realise is that it means that I don’t necessarily get up and start my day. I have my breakfast in bed, put my laptop on my lap and stay there until dinner. So now, as a means to combat this, I’ve moved my laptop into my dad’s study (with a desk!) and force myself to leave it there. If I wanna work, I have to get up, get dressed, and leave the room. And if I want to wind down and get ready for bed, I can’t take my laptop with me.
What are the things you do to de – stress? Let me know in the comments and I might try them out too!