Good evening, how was your weekend? We are back from Paris and I’ve lots of interior inspiration to share in upcoming posts.
In the meantime, I’ve been wanting to post something on the ‘self care Sunday’ theme that I read about on the Rosalilium blog for a while now and am finally getting round to it now. In case you don’t already know, Elizabeth has a self-care Sunday series on her blog where she dedicates some space to exploring ways in which you can build in some much needed rest and relaxation into your week.
Inspired by her series, I thought I would share some of the ways in which I carve out time to relax each week in order to join in with the conversation. I feel I should start by saying that I haven’t always been very good at this. I’ve certainly pushed myself too hard over the years and suffered from my fair share of burnout. If I’m honest, this has happened as a result of genuinely wanting to be there for people and help them, along with a side dose of being a people pleaser and wanting to achieve as much as I can in my own strength – a consequence of my pride. It sounds harsh to admit it but I think that pride can mask itself in subtle ways and is something I take care to try and keep in check in my life now. In the past, I’ve been motivated to take on more than I can handle due to thoughts such as ‘if I don’t do it, no one else will’ and ‘they won’t be able to do x as well/as fast/as efficiently as me and so I may as well get on with it myself’. Eeek.
After living this way for several years in my early to mid twenties, I started to see that it was not sustainable. However, I had one practice in place in my life which was a good one and enabled me to slow down each day. Reading my Bible and taking time to pray. It was through this, and some books I had read on setting right priorities in your life, that I was able to hear some truth on the importance of a. recognising that I am a finite being who literally can’t do everything all the time and b. there is no shame in needing to rest! In fact setting time aside to rest is a wise pursuit to employ in your life. So here are 3 ways I seek to do that now.
- Be mindful about social media consumption.
At the moment, the term ‘mindful’ is everywhere it seems. For me personally, this means being careful to think through my actions and question whether everything I’m engaging with (in this case social media), is beneficial. Let me give you an example. I’m very good at giving myself jobs to do. So, if I’m on Instagram and someone I follow and admire has a weekly hash tag, I often think ‘great, I’ll get involved with that’. Before you know it, you can be spending half your time taking photos in order to engage with a dozen weekly hash tags. What should be a visually inspiring form of social media suddenly becomes something else on your to do list! So I take care to look at and enjoy Instagram whenever I like, but I don’t feel pressure to engage with each and every weekly challenge or hash tag I see.
Same with Facebook. Ah Facebook. How I love and both simultaneously loathe thee. Another confession here, I don’t look at FB when I have PMT! There’s a wonderful talk I watched on Vimeo once called ‘The snare of compare’ and for me, that just about sums up Facebook when I’m not feeling at my best. I am very mindful that at a certain time of the month I may feel more susceptible to comparing myself to others, and always coming up short, and so I avoid the site. Pure and simple. I don’t have the app on my phone as this makes it that little bit more of an effort to get onto the site and that seems to work for me. As someone who would dearly love children but doesn’t have them yet, FB is not great for that either. You may not have the same struggles with it that I do but this is one of the main ways I practice self care.
2. Plan in some time of solitude everyday.
Now the extroverts out there may hate this but stay with me on this one. I firmly believe that in an age where we are bombarded with adverts, reading material, instant information and lots of noise, that 5 minutes or so every day sitting in complete silence is not only good for the soul but also for your mental health. If you don’t already do this try it. Let me know how you get on.
3. Plan in some form of a treat every day.
The idea with this one is to practice little actions of self care often. I first learnt to do this about two years ago when I had to embark on some pretty gruelling medical treatment. I’m ok, don’t panic, but it was tough going for a while. Every day after I had visited the hospital, I made sure that I did something nice. Often that involved buying my favourite coffee and a croissant for breakfast if my appointment was an early one. (This quickly became a tradition and has now morphed into a weekly event that I fondly refer to as ‘Friday breakfast’ in my house. Can’t eat croissants every day for breakfast sadly as I don’t go to the gym enough. So it’s just on a Friday that I do this one now).
The actions don’t need to be expensive. Coffee or a new nail polish works well. Sometimes I’ll get my nails painted, other times I’ll sit and read a magazine in silence, sit outside and eat my lunch, buy a new book. Or, because I’m a geek, go and get some new books out of the library. I love going to the library. Maybe it’s the whole silence thing again…
So there are just three actions I have to share with you this evening. I have lots more that I could put into some other posts so if you’d like to hear more, please do let me know in the comments. Or if you have any questions do feel free to ask!