Hi everyone, wow it’s been a while hasn’t it? It’s been pretty hectic in my corner of the world recently so unfortunately a lot of my digital life, including this here blog, has to take a backseat for a while. In fact the last couple of months have been pretty turbulent in terms of my emotional health so I thought it was the perfect time to come back with a post about self-care.
If, like me, you aren’t able to have a proper getaway or break this year (#firstworldproblems) then here are just a few ways you can rest and recharge without the luxury of taking time off or lying on a beach for a few days. Heck even if you do have an exciting adventure to look forward to these tips are helpful just to get you through the inevitable mid-week slump. 🙂
1 – Unplug and step back
This is something I’ve been doing recently hence the radio silence here on YF. With impeccably curated Instagrams, hilariously witty and erudite tweets and Facebook posts full of political rants it can be hard to remember why social networks exist in the first place, oh yeah they’re supposed to be social. That’s right, those websites you used to surf to catch up with friends aren’t actually supposed to make you feel like you aren’t meeting some imaginary expectations or that your life isn’t #goals, so take a brief digital detox.
I have been posting to my Instagram but I haven’t really been checking it, not in the religious way I used to anyway, and I’ve found that really helpful. I still adore Instagram as I love nothing more than beautiful visuals but I have to admit taking a break from seeing impossibly beautiful people in exotic destinations with designer wardrobes and stunning homes has been refreshing. It’s so easy to compare yourself to what you see online and feel you come up short, but remember -what you see on social media is rarely the whole truth!
Also, and I think a lot of people will understand this, with the current state of politics in the Western World I’ve found just scrolling my Twitter feed can bring about anxiety. Whilst I’m not advocating shutting yourself off completely there is something to be said for taking a step back and not clicking every depressing news article you find.
2 – Sleeeeeep
Sleep really is so important and skimping on the right amount of quality sleep will ultimately catch up with you. Not only does being well rested make you more productive, it also improves your mood and sets you up for a day of making better choices. Ever noticed how when you’re tired you just want to eat bad food and then end up feeling even worse?
Set a bed time and work backwards from there, establish a nighttime routine to get you chilled out ready for bed. For me that involves doing my skincare routine, putting my laptop away (ideally phone too but that’s hard man!) and listening to chilled music.
Also have you seen that quote floating around the interweb that going to bed is the human version of turning something electrical off and on again to fix it? So true!
3 – Bath, tea, book, bed
Ah the holy trinity! 🙌 I truly believe that there aren’t many moods that can’t be improved by a long, hot soak. Light some candles, put some chilled tunes on, chuck in a bath bomb and you’re good to go. Baths are the perfect time to zone out, process your thoughts or escape into your imagination. Then put on your coziest clean PJs, snuggle into freshly washed sheets (surely one of the best feelings in the world?!) and get down to business with a good book. This is the perfect way to totally escape, forget whatever’s bothering you and close the chapter on your day. Bonus points if you combine your bath with an epic skincare routine so you wake up feeling refreshed and virtuous.
4 -Spend time with your favourites (even if it’s virtual)
Sometimes when you’re tired and in need of a break it can be tempting to retreat and block out the world, however, it can also be recharging to spend time with some of your favourite people. I’m not saying go out partying all the time but make some time to do some fun things with the people you are closest to. The people who you don’t have to get dressed up for, whether that’s friends or family. The feeling of being overwhelmed or anxious can be massively relieved by talking about whats bothering you or just hanging out and gossiping with friends, plus their energy and good mood will rub off on you.
My bestie doesn’t live in Bristol and she’s recently been having a hard time too so we’ve made a ritual of having Facetime dates. We’ll both be sat in our PJs with wine in hand and just spend the time chatting about what’s going on in our lives. It’s amazing how quickly the talks go from whatever’s bothering us at that moment to fun future plans. It’s the perfect mood boost and there’s no one who can make me laugh harder.
5 – Make playlists
This is one of my fave ways to unwind, and an ideal way to zone out and de stress after a hard day. I tend to use Spotify’s related artist and suggested songs features and just skip through finding new to me songs and creating various themed playlists. Before I know it I’ve lost hours and saved hundreds of songs.
It’s great to make playlists for particular moods too, so I have a chilled acoustic one that I play before bed to get me in a sleepy zone but that I also put on at work sometimes when I need to focus. Likewise I have a motivational, energising playlist that I used first thing or after lunch when I need an energy boost to get me through the day. It’s amazing how music and emotions connect, a certain song can trigger a completely different mood.
6 – Nourish yourself inside and out
When you’re feeling run down or overwhelmed it can be easy to let your health slip. I certainly notice that when I’m having a stressful weeks you can see it in my skin. So take the time to treat yourself. Stock up on beauty treats, give yourself a facial and just make sure you make time to treat your skin everyday and you’ll be back to your glowy self in no time. 🙂
Another great way to recharge is filling your tummy with all the good stuff. Notice how when you’re tired and fed up you eat badly and then you feel crap? That’s all linked. Plan some delicious, nutritious and healthy meals in advance then do the shopping for all the ingredients in one go so you don’t have to remember to go shopping every day. I love the Hemsley & Hemsley and Fearne Cotton cookbooks which are full of easy, healthy recipes.
If you have the time prepare your meals in advance too, that way when you get home in the evening exhausted you have something ready and won’t just order a Deliveroo when you can’t face cooking.
Focusing on what your putting into and onto your body will not only boost your health and mood but make you feel like a virtuous goddess. 😉
7 – Stop feeling guilty
This is something I definitely struggle with, I feel so guilty for not being able to handle everything all the time or for admitting that things aren’t 100% that I try to just carry on like nothing’s wrong. This inevitably causes more stress and anxiety and leads to me becoming even more overwhelmed. It’s so important to remember that you are allowed to say no and ask for help. It isn’t selfish to want to take a step back to work on yourself for a while or to say no to plans because you really don’t have the energy.
I think in our society it’s very common for women to think they have to be constantly excelling in their career, having a wonderful social life, a fulfilling and romantic relationship as well as maintain a killer figure, on trend wardrobe and beautiful home. Social media and blogs make us feel like everyone except us has their shit together, but this totally isn’t the case. Be honest with yourself and those around you and you’ll be amazed to hear how many other people are in the same boat. Everyone needs a break once in a while so don’t feel guilty for taking one.
Those are just 7 of the ways to recharge that I use on the regular. It’s so important to recognise when you are feeling overwhelmed, run down and low and try to bring more balance back into your life. I truly believe that there are few things more important than self care and you’ll soon find that once you properly look after yourself, everything else sort of falls into place.
What are your go to ways to recharge or get over a low patch?
Love, Sarah x