I don’t know if it’s approaching 30, almost getting married or a shift due to emerging from lockdown – but probably over the last 4 months or so I feel like I’ve gradually been making lots of tiny steps, that all add up to some huge changes in me. I’m definitely taking the time for myself more, even if it’s a few extra minutes or changing my routine. And in other ways, I’m also putting Sophie first more than ever. Perhaps because a happy mum = happy child?
Keeping track – it’s too early to notice any patterns yet, but every single day I’m tracking my cycle, bloated-ness, energy levels and general mood. Partially so that I can be more informed of my hormones and how they impact my day and feelings, but also just so I can take note and keep a check of how I’m feeling. I’m finding it so empowering to tap into how I’m doing and acknowledge what’s going on rather than just accepting feeling crappy or down. Stay tuned for the longer term results on cycle tracking!
Looking ahead – we’re still in the first week of the summer holidays but I sat down and booked things in advance both for Sophie & I, but also myself when she’s at her Dad’s. I feel so much more in control when my diary is shipshape and I know what’s coming and it just eases my mind. I have a habit of catastrophising so knowing exactly what’s coming up really helps to keep me level and feeling confident about the days to come.
Flipped the switch – this might seem like the weirdest thing, but I’ve started showering at night. It started with the heatwave when I needed to wash the sunscreen (and sweat) off and cool down, but I realised that I bounced out of bed much quicker in the mornings and actually wound down better at night. I am NOT a morning person, so having one less thing to do makes rolling out of bed seem that much more manageable.
Watching what goes in – I’m talking about vitamins here. I also take a hay fever tablet every day because if I don’t then I actually find I get really headachey and flu-like. But I actually researched my vitamins and found the best ones for me, and even if it’s a placebo I feel so much better for taking them. I also don’t drink coffee so I have started taking caffeine tablets which banish my mid-afternoon slump.
Think first, reply later – I can be dreadful for saying yes to things I don’t really want to do, or saying no because it felt overwhelming and then regretting it. So whether it’s business or pleasure – if I’m unsure then I leave them on read for a few hours to unscramble my head and reply with what I really want. As a people pleaser this can be hard, but it’s made a huge impact and even when I say no I feel it strengthens my relationships because it’s a thought through no rather than a quick shut down.
One thing at a time – I cannot be the only one who is constantly doing about 4 things at once, even when they’re supposed to be doing nothing. Replying to texts during a rest at the gym, checking emails whilst watching TV, reading with Sophie whilst cooking dinner. Mainly being on my phone when I should be doing something else. It divides my attention and I don’t think it’s good for my brain. Now if I want to watch something on TV I sit and I watch it. I give Sophie 110% of me when she needs it (where possible, I am human) and if I’m at the gym then everything else can wait for that one hour.
Making the effort – this one feels a bit backwards even to me, but the difference in how I feel when I actually choose an outfit, do my hair and put on my makeup is outstanding. I’d got into a habit (hadn’t we all?) of wearing a sweatshirt, leggings and scraping my hair back with a fresh face during lockdown. And although there is joy in that, the novelty wears off if it’s every day and it was actually starting to make me feel really down about myself. So I’ve made a few little rules for myself when it comes to my outfit choices and I feel so much better for just taking a few minutes to think about what I’m going to wear, running some straighteners through my hair and slapping on some makeup. Some days I really can’t be arsed, and some days I do let myself revert back to my trusty comfy uniform but I appreciate it so much more now it’s not an everyday thing, it’s actually comforting now and I feel empowered or confident when I make an effort.
Little extras – this whole post is about pretty tiny things, nothing takes longer than 5 minutes and most are purely seconds but stupid things like having scent-boosters in my washing (my entire house smells incredible), fluffing the cushions how I like them on the sofa, taking 2 minutes to watch my bunnies, actually taking in how funny Sophie is, the overpriced tiny cakes from M&S. Some cost money I couldn’t have justified in the past, some cost me nothing but energy (that I also couldn’t have justified in the past) but now I appreciate the benefit they have to me, I live a life filled with gratitude and it genuinely does make everything seem brighter,
I’m sure I could continue this post for much longer with teeny tiny things I’ve altered or implemented but I think the gist of it is, appreciate those tiny things you’re doing, allow yourself the precious few minutes you need, take charge of your own routine and allow yourself to really enjoy the little things – then after a few weeks take a look back and see how far you’ve come!