Bits & Pieces: Investing in yourself
I don’t know about you but a big part of my self-care is making sure I make the time and effort to invest in myself. Investing in yourself is so important and it doesn’t have to be via big, expensive or flashy means. Just little rituals or treats here and there that allow you to feel your best and reward you for doing well. Because, no matter how you’re feeling, you’re doing great.
I think it’s especially important at this time of year. With the long, dark nights drawing in and SAD rearing it’s ugly head this can be a hard time for many. Not only that but the pressure to ‘do it all’ over the holidays can cause us to neglect ourselves and our care. Below are a few suggestions of ways to invest in yourself and give yourself a little boost.
Invest in your home
You can’t beat the feeling of new, crisp bedding right? I’m convinced that one of the most comforting feelings is getting out of the shower and getting straight into fresh, clean bedding – it feels so pure and almost womblike haha! Well, as I’m nearing 30 so really should be more of an adult by now I’ve finally realised that when it comes to bedding you really do get what you pay for. With that in mind, I’ve moved away from Primark bedding (not that I have anything against it) and am trying to up my thread count. I’ve got my eye on this beauty from good old John Lewis* (every proper functional adult I know always raves about good old JL bedding!), you can’t beat white bedding for that hotel feel.
If your budget can’t stretch to John Lewis then I really love Urban Outfitters range of bedding, throws and cushions. They’re great if you want a bit more pattern and personality without breaking the bank. I have a set which I really love and it’s held up so well after countless washes.
An odd benefit I’ve found is that beautiful bedding makes me just a tad more inclined to actually make my bed every morning. For me, making my bed, and therefore, coming home to a freshly made bed is one of those little rituals that has a really positive effect on my mood.
I’m a big homebody and an interior design junkie so a big way I invest in myself is by investing in things for my home. Furnishing my little nest with things that make me smile is really important. I credit my wonderful mumma for my love of fresh flowers. As a child she often had a bouquet of fresh flowers on display, even if they were just from the garden. I remember once questioning her about this ‘aren’t flowers pointless, they just die anyway?’ coincidentally a query I’ve had to field myself from many a boyfriend wondering why I was always angling for flowers. ?She explained that, for her, fresh flowers were important even if they’re only temporary. They brightened her home which in turn brightened her, the sight and scent made her happy and as a nature lover she loved having an extension of her garden inside the house. Whilst I don’t have them too regularly, especially when I’m trying to save money, a little posey now and again is a great way to feel like my home is ‘put-together’. I also think it’s really nice to buy yourself flowers, whilst we all love to receive them, gifting them to yourself feels really special and a great treat, besides who wants to be waiting on someone else to buy them flowers all the time?
Invest in your body
If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know that skincare is pretty important to me. I find the little rituals of doing a facemask or a home facial are a great way to invest in yourself. Taking some time to pamper yourself without breaking the bank is a great form of self-care. I often research products that I want to try so I have a list of things that I can buy as and when I feel like I’ve earned a little treat. I’m also guilty of saving my ‘best’ testers and minis for a ‘special occasion’ which makes treating myself to them feel even more special.
I’ll get straight to the point on this one. I have small boobs, always have had, and as a result most bras are bloody uncomfortable for me. To be honest if it wasn’t deemed ‘inappropriate at work’ (sidenote: wtf how is that even a thing?!) I would probably never wear one. As it is I tend to wear bralettes as much as possible (I firmly believe that underwire is a tool of the devil!) and whip them off literally the minute I walk through my door. Cue running around topless in the morning trying to find where I threw the damn thing. ?
But as all women know, the right bra can change everything. I love a matching underwear set, it makes me feel sexy, feminine and powerful, even if no one’s going to see it. And if the occasion truly calls for it I will even abandon my trusty bralettes for a beautiful bra as long as I know it’s not going to torture my ribcage all day. Investing in beautiful underwear is a great way to treat yourself. True & Co are a new-to-me brand with a refreshing perspective I agree with, they believe in a simple ideal: that every woman deserves to feel comfortable in her own skin. With that ethos they make beautiful bras that celebrates ‘what makes you so wonderfully you’. From having a look at their website and social channels I love their empowering approach, they understand that we don’t always buy lingerie for the benefit of other people, and that we deserve to feel sexy, powerful and feminine but above all comfortable. They have a diverse product range, and I’m currently eyeing up this pretty bralette.
Invest in your mind
After practicing yoga on and off for the past few years I finally dedicated myself to joining regular classes and developing a steady yoga practice this year. Oh my word, it’s not an exaggeration to say that it’s transformed my life. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to adopt! Yoga is such a great form of self-care, I find it’s had such a positive effect on my mental health and general stress levels, to the extent that I really notice a change in myself when I miss a class. While classes can be expensive (although many studios offer special offers so shop around) they’re the perfect way to invest in yourself. Spending an hour or so on the matt, tuned in to your body and breath, zoning out all the stresses and distractions of the world is so refreshing. I always leave a class feeling incredibly relaxed and I sleep so well that night.
This year I decided that I would devote more time, energy and funds to taking care of my body and mind, investing in myself in meaningful ways to get through what’s been a fairly tough year. And one of the ways I did this was by starting to see an acupunturist. Initially, I went because I was having a bad bout of insomnia, but now I go every few weeks to address general stresses, sleep issues and any other issues that can crop up. I see it as an investment that is just as important as an exercise class or dinner out, as it’s become an integral way that I take care of myself.
Invest in your future
Save a little each month
Saving can be hard, it’s something I neglected to do for the first few years of full-time employment and boy do I regret that now. Just saving a little bit each month, maybe the cost of dinner or a night out, soon adds up. I use Monzo the app-based current account as my day to day spending account and I’ve found it to be a great way to budget and save. At the start of the month I put a specific amount of money on my card and that’s my budget for the month. All my bills and regular expenses come out of my main bank card so my Monzo card is just for my food and ‘fun money’. Because everything you spend is itemised it’s a great way of keeping track of your spending and knowing where your money’s actually going. You can set monthly spending limits for different things such as eating out or shopping, and the app will send you alerts when it thinks you’re nearing your limit or going to overspend that month. One of my favourite features is the Coin Jar. If you set this up then every time you make a purchase that’s over £1 they’ll round up the amount to the nearest pound and automatically add the difference to your coin jar. This little spare change pot soon starts to add up and you can then either transfer it into your Monzo account or move it to your savings. Knowing you have a buffer of savings not only gives your peace of mind, but also the freedom to make plans and treat yourself.
These are just a few of the ways I invest in myself regularly, but there are countless other forms of self-care. I’ve even got a Pinterest board dedicated to that topic. Do you have favourite ways to reward yourself? Let me know in the comments.
Love, Sarah x
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links (noted with *), this means that should you click them and make a purchase I receive a small percentage of commission. This helps with the running costs of this blog but does not affect the price you pay.