How’s your week going so far? Mine’s going well, although I have a to do list as long as my arm and not enough hours in the day to get everything done! Which leads me today’s post, the importance of self care. One of my main goals for 2018 is look after myself more. When we have lots to do, we often end up putting our own needs last. Almost seeing self care as a bit of a luxury when in actual fact it really is a necessity. After all how can we be at our best when we don’t feel our best? We need to love and look after ourselves and here’s how I intend to give myself more self care this year…
I love going swimming not only as it is good exercise (obliviously) but also because it really helps me to clear my mind and process my thoughts more logically. Trust me this is key to someone who struggles with logical thinking, is it a creative thing? I always find on the days I go swimming I have a more productive day and focus a lot more easily. So swimming is now a non-negotiable part of my weekly routine, I go three times a week (minimum) no matter how busy I am. Ideally I like to go first thing in the morning but if on the odd occasion I have to go at a different time of day due to work commitments it’s not the end of the world as long as I still go. I guess that’s one of the benefits of being self employed, if needed I can re-jig my schedule.
I realised just the other day when I was flicking through my journal to some of my early entries that I have been journaling for nearly a year!! A previous work colleague and now wonderful friend kept badgering me for ages that I needed to journal. Saying how therapeutic it was to get your thoughts down onto paper. For a while I resisted, I didn’t feel quite ready to jump on the journal train. One for the usual reason of ‘not enough time’ but lets face it if you really want to do something you make time don’t you? The second reason, I was a little dubious. I couldn’t quite understand how journaling could help with stress and anxiety which in turn all leads back to that same thread of self care. Eventually I succumbed and thought, what have I got to loose? Now its part of my weekly routine! In fact my favourite time of the day is first thing in the morning, when I have just made my breakfast and sit down to write in my journal. It is brilliant for processing my thoughts especially if I am going through challenging times it often helps me to make decisions. Which can often be tricky when you work alone and don’t have anyone that you can bounce ideas off. The other amazing thing about journaling is the more you do it, the deeper connection you begin to create with yourself. When I first started writing I didn’t really know what to write but then you start to get into a groove with it and realise that there is actually a real art to it. Author, photographer & teacher Susannah Conway runs an online course called Journal Your Life if you wanted to find out more and get started with journaling. Also I urge you to sign up to Susannah’s newsletters too, her writing is so beautifully honest. I love receiving her newsletters, they always put a smile on my face. Journaling is also a brilliant way for expressing gratitude, I tend to always include three things I am grateful for each day.
Now this sometimes can be tricky to stick too but I am determined to do it on a regular basis as its an important part of self care! So what does my pamper evening consist of? A lovely hot relaxing bubble bath. Followed by a face mask, watching my favourite you tube channel and finishing with reading in bed. Most importantly, no time spent on social media! When our lives are so busy we often don’t get much down time so I think it’s important to schedule this in for once a week to just take time out and relax.
Sleeping and Eating
I am guilty of being a bit of a night owl which means I often struggle to get up! So this year I’m trying my hardest to be in bed at a reasonable time and to make a point of getting into bed earlier and reading rather then watching TV or spending time on Instagram! So that I am unwinding and ready to sleep rather then over stimulating my brain! I like to have a solid 8 hours sleep as much as possible (although the days when I have to get up early to go the the flower market this doesn’t usually happen!) So the plan is to get to bed earlier to then wake up earlier in the mornings and have a more productive day. I adore my food, who doesn’t? Food is definitely one of my biggest indulgences in life so in no way will I be dieting (my ethos is life is short eat the cake!) That being said, I do also believe that you are what you eat and the key is you can have everything but in moderation. Instead of dieting I am eating healthy, nourishing foods that leave me feeling satisfied. I now look forward to eating my porridge in the mornings, and that’s something I never thought I would say as I never use to be a big fan! Avocados are also amazing, I love having my avocado and poached eggs on toast too.
As someone who suffers from anxiety, meditation is an amazing tool to help combat this. I’m no expert, I still struggle to fully switch off but I’m learning as I go and practice makes perfect as they say. Last Friday I attended a hot yoga for beginners class with meditation for the first time and it was incredible! For a long time I had been resisting trying yoga as I’m not the most supple person. I thought I would really struggle to do it but I absolutely loved it! Now it was a beginners class so rather gentle and a good one to ease me in but I felt brilliant when I woke up on Saturday morning! I’m convinced the class was the reason for this and I intend to go to more classes that’s for sure and will continue to meditate at home.
Work Life Balance
Having a healthy work life balance is so key when it comes to self care. Owning Joanne Truby Floral Design as I have mentioned before entails wearing many hats and having lots of different roles which means it can be difficult to switch off. Although it is important to remember that ‘Rome wasn’t built in day’ and that we need to be able to switch off in order to be at our best during work times and more productive. Creating time to spend with family and friends and taking time off to go on holiday or days off to do something we enjoy is not a luxury. When we are doing things we enjoy it makes us happy which in turn means we are less likely to get stressed and burn ourselves out. So when I don’t have a wedding or event to do at the weekend I now take it off, Steve (my hubby) works Monday to Friday so it means we can spend some quality time together. When I do have work at the weekends I now make sure I take a day off in the week. Sometimes it can be tempting to check my emails or ‘just do that one task quickly…’ but no! Be strict with yourself as your self care is important as part of your happiness and well being, remember that.
What are your thoughts on self care? Is it something you have decided to prioritise this year? What do you do as part of your self care routine?
Image Credit: Amy O’Boyle