This is a check in

I think when our minds are busy and our lives are busy we often forget to take care of ourselves. We forget to check in. I’ve got some exciting things happening in my life right now. Big things. But they’re taking up a lot of brain space and I’m a bit consumed by them. However, even when the situation is a positive one, it’s important to take a step back occasionally and just see how you’re doing.

So this is me checking in.

How are you? Are you hanging in there? If you think you can’t do it, whatever it is, you can. I’m telling you you can. You just have to hang in there. Are you taking care of yourself? I find when I get wrapped up in something, good or bad, I stop doing the small things that make me happy in the day to day. Doing yoga, reading all nightlong, dude, why do you think my blog posts disappear for months on end? We constantly feel ‘busy’ or we just don’t have ‘time’ or we’ll do the thing ‘tomorrow’ after we’ve just got this ‘done’. But you blink and that’s your life. Are those really the words you want to be remembered by? Busy? Tomorrow? Come on now, no you don’t. So maybe we start changing the words to ‘now’ and ‘slow down’ and ‘free’.

You may think I’m about to tell you how you can move in this direction. Unfortunately, I’m not. Because I don’t have a goddamn clue how you achieve that or even begin to. I’m deeply flawed. But I’m also aware of that fact. So my advice is linked to these two things. It’s simple and it’s all I’ve got for you today.

When you start noticing you’ve stopped taking care of yourself, that’s when you need to start taking care of yourself again.

And hey, maybe in the future we work on knowing this is happening before we completely burnout. But we’re also millennials, so that’ll probably never happen. But right now, this is enough. When you become conscious to the fact that you are neglecting yourself, don’t ignore it. Your brain is stopping you short and saying ‘hey, can you pay attention to me for a sec!’ and at that point you’ve reached your peak. Or you rock bottom. Like I say, I think this can happen when we’re filled with ecstasy as well as dread. Looking after yourself should always be your number one priority. So try not to forget that so often.

But anyway, this was my check in. This was me getting outside for a very windy and cold walk this morning during my break at work and listening to Folkore and just thinking, huh, this is the first time my mind has been somewhat silent all week and hey, I haven’t written a blog post for ages. I’ve barely read a page of my book all week. I’ve been eating mindlessly. I’ve not been present in my own existence. So then I started writing this blog post in my head. All you have to do is notice.

When are you going to notice and what are you going to do about it?

Peace x

circle the drain – Soccer Mommy

Simple Self-Care

Hey kids! After Tuesday’s accidentally insanely long post I thought I’d keep today’s nice and short. We’re back with another Self-Care Thursday and this week we’re keeping it practical and simple. If you read the self-care posts you’re probably one of these people: 1) WOO, can’t wait to try a new activity, 2) Hmm yeah interesting but I probably won’t bother, or 3) Ew, so boring and cliched. Well! Whichever you are, that’s okay, you do you. BUT. You can definitely do this week’s tasks. I’m gonna give you lots of options of very small things and you just have to choose one! So easy, right? I know you can do it, lazy person, I’m looking at you. No hard thinking involved this week, the key is complete and total relaxation. Whatever that means for you. So remember, you might read one of these and go, urgh, that’s not relaxing. But that’s okay, skip it. It’s possibly relaxing for someone else but we can’t all be the same. And we shouldn’t be. Okay, we’re not idiots, we can read a list. Here we go:

Go for a walk.

Have a cup of coffee.

Light some incense.

Journal.

Bake brownies. Or cookies.

Have the fanciest bath ever.

Listen to your favourite album.

Have a nap.

Read.

Go for a massage.

Change your bedding and put new pjs on.

Try a new lipstick.

Do some yoga.

Go to a museum.

Make a fort.

Pizza.

Go see a movie.

Meditate.

Call your sister/brother/mum/dad.

Go for a run.

Binge a Netflix show.

Cook a new recipe for tea.

Light a candle.

Go for a manicure.

Lie in the garden or a park.

Go and have a beer with a mate.

And there you have it, kids. Now if anyone can get them all done in one week you’d be my hero!

Wherever I Live – Alessia Cara

Calm

It’s self-care Thursdays, guys. We skipped last week (for my own self-care/getting bevvied with some friends) but we’re back going strong.

I think taking a moment to be mindful each day is really important. That could look like many things. Reading a book. Baking. Having a bath. Staring at a wall. Going for a walk. It could also be meditation. I find meditation takes things a step further than other activities because you are directly focusing on actually exploring what it is to be mindful. Whereas sometimes reading a book is just what you need and it relaxes you but you don’t always get to think about why you wanted to take a minute to begin with.

I mentioned I think it’s something we should strive to do each day. I’m definitely very far off that goal right now. For meditation specifically, I can do a good little four day streak and then I go the pub one day and then I do nothing for a fortnight.

But it’s just ten minutes. Ten simple little minutes is all I’m asking myself for. Which I think is very reasonable. So it’s something I’m gonna be working on for the next few months.

Something that is helping me with this goal is the app Calm. I love it. I presume a lot of you have heard of Headspace? It’s similar. I think it’s better. It’s a slightly cheaper version (£60 for an entire year, or £24 if you got it on Black Friday last year like me!) and it doesn’t have the voice of a man that unfortunately sounds like he used to narrate the bitesize revision videos on BBC. Do any of my UK millennials feel me there?

Basically the app is hundreds of hours of guided meditations, sleep stories, calming music, ASMR and more. It focuses on helping you with relaxation, happiness, anxiety, stress, confidence and sleep. To name a few.

The function I’ve been using the most is the Daily Calm. Each day the app provides a new unique ten minute meditation that has its own subject matter. Could be anything from trust to business to procrastination to monkeys (seriously, that’s today’s!) I’ve found them a great place to start if you’re new to meditation.

You can choose from many different backgrounds within the app and each comes with a sound, for example light sparkling into the blue ocean with a calm rippling of water accompanied by an almost ethereal tune. This will play alongside your videos for added relaxation and you can even close your phone and go about your day just with this calming background on.

There’s so many features I’m yet to explore! But I’d definitely recommend it for any of you looking to explore mindfulness and meditation.

When you open Calm it has a calming blue screen and simple white text that states ‘take a deep breath’. I find this very soothing and I know I’m in good hands.

Try – Soccer Mommy