I'm back, baby!
Did everyone have a great Christmas!? I trust you are all full up of food and drink and are hopefully enjoying the downtime this time of year offers.
I had a fabulous Christmas to which point I have been loving spending most days in bed, watching Christmas movies and Netflix series and chilling out before going back to work next week.
But I tell you what... Christmas has been the perfect time to sit down, relax and not think about anything.
I can’t remember the last time I actually had some time to myself to relax.
The last few weeks leading up to the end of 2018 has been manic. Like, to the point I have come home completely shattered and even once, came home crying due to exhaustion.
But my problem is: I find it very difficult to switch off.
And I’m starting to feel anxious that everyone around me is starting to gear up for 2019 and I’m not ready at all.
I have very much enjoyed this period of not knowing what day it is, eating cheese, drinking at 10am and being able to lounge in pyjamas - why can't every day be like this with the addition of being paid for it? (obviously, I'm kidding and I'm not suggesting we all become slobs!)
I’ve hardly touched my laptop until now and it’s nice to have a week where I don’t think about work or deadlines for blog posts.
But I know once 2019 gets started, it’ll be straight back to work, back to focusing on my blog and pantomime rehearsals will be gearing up as we are only 6 weeks away from the performances.
As much as I am excited to get planning blog content for the year, to get back into work to plan some cool marketing campaigns and get back into pantomime - I am also very anxious and afraid.
I don’t want to end up running before I walk and I don’t want to end up running out of steam and getting myself exhausted again.
Plus, I found my blog really took a step up with all the blog collaborations I received at the end of the year, which was great and I was so happy that my blog was finally getting the recognition I’ve worked hard for - which I am stupidly grateful for considering I have only been blogging for 3 years (4 years in August 2019).
But life isn’t always surrounded by sitting behind a computer desk and typing away.
That’s why my main resolution (oh here we go, talking about resolutions already!) is going to be focused on self-care and will be focused on spending less time on my laptop, working smarter, not harder, but ensuring my main priority is looking after myself during busy periods.
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I was getting into a bad cycle at the end of 2018 where some nights, I was getting back from work, going to pantomime rehearsals or an event, then I’d be doing something on my laptop until late - then repeating the cycle again and getting more and more tired for work.
And it wouldn’t stop, as I find it very difficult to just sit down and relax - I fidget a lot and I always want to be doing something, hence my weekends would also be taken up.
My other problem is; I want to please everyone, visit everywhere, attend every event or food review and I’ve come to realise I can’t be in two places at once!
So basically, I need to chill the f*** down and have some time for myself.
So here’s how I’m going to *try* and improve on giving myself some self-care and how I’m going to attempt to give myself a break in 2019:
Confession: I am a rubbish book reader.
I have so many books on my shelf that have been unread or flicked through a few times, but I haven't had the dedication to focus on one and finish one.
I also fool myself by saying to people that I have books on my 'reading list' when I am fully aware that they won't get read all the way through.
So instead of saying "I'm going to read 20 books in 2019", I'm just going to focus on one good book that's been sitting on my shelf for a while, focus on reading that in the evenings and weekends and try and finish it.
Then I can start to think about reading others.
I actually love reading, I'm just not dedicated enough!
No laptop or phone after 10pm
My biggest downfall is being on my phone or laptop after 10pm until 12am-1am.
It's not good for my eyes and it means I am constantly wired and not relaxed. Don't get me wrong, I understand I am part of the age where everything is digital and we all live on our phones.
But we've got to try and separate ourselves from our gadgets!
By logging off my laptop and phone by 10pm, I can finish any text conversations, finish any blog posts and scheduled posts before then.
I hope by doing this, it will improve my sleep.
Work smarter, not harder
Do you remember when I mentioned this term earlier on? Well, it's a valid one...
There is this assumption that in order to be a successful blogger or business person of any kind, you have to put all the hours in, you need to be constantly working and you have to have your shit together.
I don't think so...
In order to work hard, you need to make sure you sleep well, eat your greens and take care of yourself too.
But how do you make up for lost time without feeling too guilty of taking a break?
My solution which I started introducing before the Christmas break was using my lunch hours to do some blog admin.
I usually get bored having a lunch hour, so I find my lunch hours to be a really productive time for me to quickly type up some notes for a blog post, or schedule some blog posts on social media.
Yes, it's using my lunch break which is supposed to be a break, but I find that if I do it then, I have more time to relax after work.
I used to pamper myself at least once a week and somehow along the way, I've lost this - to the point I looked in the mirror one day and saw my eyebrows needed plucking, my skin looked dry and my bags were as big as a racoon!
Not a nice look.
So I am going to dedicate having one night in the week to pamper myself. Girls, we all know what this includes:
A bubble bath with a lush bath bomb, a face mask, a glass of your favourite tipple or a cup of tea and yes... plucking your eyebrows if you're like me!
I'm going to aim to do this on Wednesdays, so mid-week to refresh myself for the rest of the week.
Gym routine for physical and mental health
In October, I joined a gym once again and it was convenient that my gym was literally a 1-minute drive away from my work.
But I find that the gym is more than a physical activity; it's a mental one too.
Going to the gym for me is a place where I can put my headphones on, completely shut myself away from the world and focus on a target. Whether it's running on the treadmill or doing some weights, I feel the tensions of the day slipping away and I come out feeling super refreshed but also I feel tired, meaning I usually get a better nights sleep.
Without overdoing it, I am aiming to go to the gym at least 3 times a week.
I used to be really into New Years Resolutions, but I've found over the years I find it much harder to keep to them.
Especially if I give myself a big list like I have done in previous years.
But for 2019, I have no resolutions other than this one; focusing on #1 and focusing on looking after myself.
Life can get mad busy sometimes, but I've learnt that if you don't give yourself a break, whether it's over the weekend, after work in the evenings, or even over a Christmas break - you won't be able to perform at your best ability and you won't be able to kick butt.
2019 is going to be a BIG year for me in terms of my personal life, my work life and I sense my blogging life is going to get busy too - so in order for me to achieve big things, I need to accomplish the smallest thing; self-care.