How is it December already?! Anyone else feel like this year has flown by in the blink of an eye? December is a great month for reflection, which I’ll pick up on with you before the year is out. This week though, I’m focusing on self-care. Yep, the thing that definitely gets neglected in the craziness of December as you attend your sixth Christmas shindig in two weeks, rush around the shops in a panic and wear anything with sequins, just because you can.
Do you find it hard to do just nothing?
Recently I had a week off between finishing my old job and starting a new contract role. Instead of planning at least some time to relax and enjoy the free time, like most sane people would, I planned my days down to a fine art. My actions list for my coaching business, Kirsty Thinks, home admin, life admin and wedding planning was going on four pages. The latter being the one taking the majority of my time. I didn’t want to waste any precious time I had to get shit done. I still got up at 5:30am to go to my gym class, got showered and was at my desk at home for 8am. Albeit, devouring some avo and eggs in-between.
So, on the Friday I thought GIRL STOP. I switched off my laptop, left my unfinished to-do list (as if I was ever going to get through it all!) and went and got my nails done. Time for me, myself and I to look and feel fabulous!
I do find it reeeeallly hard to do nothing with my time. I like to be constantly busy as I feel then that I am achieving something, even if it’s just firing off an email or putting the washing on. It’s something I touched on in therapy. Why do I feel that filling my time and being productive is important? For me it’s been because I feel that it means I’m using my time wisely, but I’ve had to take a step back and ask – “Am I using the time wisely that’s good for me?”
the joy of Switching off
I’m currently being coached (yes coaches get coached too!) and one area I’ve focused on is switching off in the evening and actually being in the moment. I set myself an action to put my phone down and do nothing productive after 8:30pm (unless I’m out and about of course). It was hard to do at first, but I found it so helpful and it made me sleep better. Using the time to properly engage with Jack or just lose myself in some true crime on Netflix (love a bit of true crime!) stopped my mind going at a million miles an hour. I’ve gone from eating dinner, sending an email, replying on whats app and half-talking to Jack, to focusing on just one thing that gets my full attention and isn’t work/life/wedding admin related. Dreamy.
This in itself is self-care. Preserving your mind and body and allowing yourself to really switch off. When was the last time you actually stopped and gave yourself some love? When did you last feel you were really in the moment? Feeling and appreciating everything just as it is, not thinking about what you’re having for dinner later or that task you haven’t ticked off the list.
Show yourself some love
What does showing yourself some love mean to you? Nope, not that kind of love you dirty minded ones…(ahahaha!). I was having a really busy time at work a few months ago and I was going about my usual gym, rush to get ready to get into work early, run for the train kind of daily routine when I stopped myself one morning… Instead of running across the zebra crossing to the train station, I turned and walked into my local coffee shop. I ordered a big slice of banana loaf and a tea. I wanted to stop and treat myself. The usual feeling of adrenaline-fuelled stress I got in the morning slowed down and I had the biggest smile as I walked out of the coffee shop. It was the simplest of things to do, but it started my day off on such a high note. It really is that easy to just stop, take some time for you and practise self-care.
December will no doubt be a crazy busy time for you. This week alone I have plans every night, bar one, which is intense and can be quite draining. Obviously exciting and festive though! During the mulled wine, pigs in blankets and sequins, make some time for you. Really be in the moment.
Self-care is all about what’s right for you. This article from Stylist delves in to what self-care means for different women. What makes you feel good about yourself. What makes you smile. What calms you. For some it’s running a hot bath and just sinking right in to it, no book, no magazine, just them and the bubbles (shocking statement: I don’t enjoy a bath!). For others it’s going on a big walk, or painting their nails and putting a face mask on.
Weekly task – show yourself some love
Take some time out for just you this week. Show yourself some love and self-care. Make a real concentrated effort this month, especially as the festivities take over. I’d love to hear about what self-care means to you and what you do to show yourself some love.
Next week I’ll be going off-piste with some Christmas gift recommendations you can pop on your list, or get for a friend. With a focus on building a happier, more confident and fabulous you in 2019.
Until next time.