Recently, a lot of my friends have been showing their concern for my constant busy life and hectic work schedule. It’s really sweet and lovely to know that people care about my well-being, but the hard thing is that I actually choose this for myself in order to get closer to my working dreams. I could easily go to bed one Friday night and decide that I’m not going to touch my laptop all weekend, indulging in no freelance work or website maintenance, social media, and whatever else comes under my second job title as a freelance blogger and boutique owner. But the problem with juggling my full time job and my freelance job is that one of them never sleeps: whatemmadid.com has leaped into the fashion retailing world as well as blogging, so it would be really unprofessional of me to just ignore it for a weekend.
But with that does come tiredness, lack of sleep, a technology addiction and general fatigue (not to mention running off take-away coffee and sandwiches) so I wanted to put together some advice about how I manage to ‘sometimes’ relax, breaking away from the world and giving myself some well deserved me time…
1. Spend an hour with my favourite things…
This couldn’t be much simpler: a bath tub, a magazine, scented candles, a deep cleansing face mask, a mug of green tea, bubble bath and a chilled out play list. Online bathroom specialist company Victoria Plum inspired me to do this more often when they put together an ultimate relaxation ‘me’ time kit, which contained a lot of the items I mentioned above. They opened my eyes to the power of ‘the bath’ so to speak, and what a calming experience you can create in your own bathroom. I’ve started to save an hour aside on a Sunday evening to run a hot bath with bath bubbles (usually scented ones such as Soap and Glory, or the amazing LUSH bath bombs!), stick on my Chilled Morning Spotify playlist (even though it’s not technically morning, but it has the best mix of Jack Johnson, James Bay and various other acoustic tracks) and loose myself in an hour of thoughts.
2. Reading a ‘real’ book rather than a website
Instead of having my laptop as the last thing I see before shut eye time, I’m trying to close it a little earlier and flick through a magazine or book for 10 minutes before I turn out the lights. I have to admit that with my huge to-do list for the website and boutique, I’m finding this one a real slow process and a bit of a struggle. But I’m getting there…
3. Dedicate myself to Beauty Time
I call this ‘Beauty Time’ because the activity is exactly this: take time away from work, life stresses and any housework but simply pulling aside your favourite beauty grooming products such as false tan, body lotion, nail polish and tweezers, and show your body a little bit of TLC. It’s amazing how often I run a crazy busy week then realise after seven tired days that I haven’t plucked my eyebrows or removed my chipped nail polish! Networking within the beauty industry means I should look polished at all times, so I know I’m burning myself out when I haven’t gave myself the time to look after myself.
4. Yoga and Meditation
OK this is one I’m putting forward because I don’t do this currently but for the remainder of 2015 I am making a special effort to become involved in either of the two. My experience at a previous yoga session was laughable – I couldn’t relax as I had too much on my mind, and I was the only one in the room who kept looking around the room nosing at everyone else and twitching around. Spot the busy body hey! Today, I am actually going on a Yoga Relaxation day at Victoria Warehouse in Trafford, Manchester, which is 3 hours of intense yoga and relaxtion. If I take to this well, I’ll be taking this up as a hobby in order to help me learn to be more calm, chilled and overall relaxed. As for meditation…. I hear so many good things about this. Again, it’s another activity on my list to indulge in. I have tried to watch a few YouTube videos on this and light my favourite Yankee Candle Fluffy Towel candles to help set the mood, but I feel I need a bit of help with this. Any takers?
5. Bake or cook
To some of you, you’ll read this option and think excuse me- that’s not relaxing? Which is true to an extent, but sometimes baking can be really therapeutic. Try to set an afternoon aside from your manic life and focus on yourself, your mixing bowl and your trusty over. Rustle up something comforting (I love carbohydrates, so I’m obviously going to suggest making something from this category). Why not try and bake bread? Or banana bread for a sweeter touch – and the smell is divine! Or do a good dead and bake cupcakes for work colleagues, or a nice home-made lasagna and invite some friends or family round for the evening. It might not sound relaxing, but when it goes well it can give you a pleasing feeling, and with more practice it actually becomes an enjoyable break away from the real world.
What do you do to give yourself ‘me’ time?