It’s January the 728th. It’s cold. We haven’t been paid in what feels like forever. And I’m running low on positive vibes for the new year. No wait I’m not running that low on positive vibes but I’m definitely in need of some inspiration. The new year goals are going well though, I still haven’t had a drop of alcohol and still fully vegan. So I guess there’s a positive. As soon as Christmas is over I feel this overwhelming craving for sunshine, to feel the warmth, to feel the sun on my skin, to not have to wrap in one hundred million layers.
So with all the negatives of January I’m using it as an opportunity to rejuvenate. To have some much needed me time. To turn the negatives into positives. And if I’m honest one thing I really have been better at this year is making sure I take the time for my own self care. After all self care isn’t selfish, it’s a necessity. Yes a bubble bath and a face mask are both great self care routines and usually that is 100% what my Sunday evening routine consists of, but what about other forms of self care? The ones that may seem simple but on the bad mental health days are actually massive achievements. I’m talking about putting you first. Washing your hair, feeding yourself, doing something you love.
One of my goals for this year was definitely to take myself on more dates, with myself! Of course more date nights with Paul are on my to do list this year but having me time is also massively important. I’ve had a couple of coffee dates just me this year so far and I feel it’s been amazing for my mental health. I’m even having one now whilst writing this! Just having the time to sit and think over a good brew. To write down my plans, to take some time to blog, and even to read some of my favourite bloggers new posts. I also love to people watch, not in a stalker way like Joe/ Will off ‘You’ ( if you haven’t seen season two yet you’re missing out! ) But in a way that I like to see what everyone else does over a brew. A catch up with friends, a date, just a cuppa and a read of the morning paper. It’s quite lovely really how much a warm beverage can mean so much and so many different things to so many people.
And if like me you’re feeling the pinch of January on the bank and a coffee shop may not be the first go to for some time out, something I’ve also really enjoyed doing is going for a walk. Simple right? But so effective. Coat on, boots on. Just walking. Walking where? Having a mooch around town, having a walk past the canal, a trip to the park, out to the woodlands, just walking. It’s so funny how just getting some fresh air can be so wonderful for the mind and soul. We have a much loved spot up the Quantocks in Somerset. There’s something about the woods and the fields that is so relaxing! Being at one with nature with no distractions is actually really refreshing, no telly, no phones, no daily life reminders. Just me, my wellies and my loved ones, talking about nature, thinking about how wonderful where we live is.
Another self care routine that won’t hurt the bank is having a sort out, a switch up. We’ve had a good post Christmas clear out and taken so much to our local charity shops and recycling centre. All items we don’t use or wear or just have never used. It’s felt so good giving it all to charity and honestly if I had more time, volunteering at a charity shop is definitely something I’d love to do. Just having the sense of community and knowing you’re helping. But right now I know I can’t give up anymore time, so I’ll help by donating. I’ve been listening a lot to ‘Heart’ breakfast in the mornings on the school runs and something Jamie and Amanda are talking about in January are their feel good deeds. How helping other can actually make you feel really good about yourself. Putting a really positive spin in January and I’ve loved it! Hearing what everyone’s up to and how they’re helping someone else. So I packed up all the gifted clothes and clothes that just don’t fit or that I just don’t wear anymore and I donated them to charity. Some well loved, others hardly worn but all in great condition so hopefully someone in the Taunton area will get a real bargain! And the charity shop a few pounds!
For me January really is about taking the time and the space you need. I actually feel really rejuiuvinated at the coming end to this month. I feel like I’ve not set unrealistic goals and I feel a sense of achievement for focusing on me. It’s definitely something I want to do more of. I’ve also made sure I don’t push myself. Learning today no for me is one of the biggest forms of self care. Saying no to go out when you just feel exhausted. Saying no to cleaning up when you could just do with a relax. But also saying yes. Saying yes to every opportunity that could add some happiness. Saying yes to having a friend over for a cuppa and saying yes to putting myself first sometimes. As I write this blog I’m sat in one of my favourite coffee shops in town. On my own. No distractions. No to do lists. Just me and my thoughts and my phone, writing down all of my thoughts and feelings.
If I’m honest I never knew just how much blogging could also be such a massive self care help for me and how it’s affected my mental health and my overall well being. My own little journal, my happy place in these words. For me my blog is my online diary, of what I love, of how I’m feeling and most importantly my own reminder. On the days I feel like I’m failing, or that I’m not good enough. It’s a reminder that I’ve got this, and that if my words only inspire me on the bad days then that’s honestly good enough for me.
January may be very nearly over and after reflecting on this month through these words it really hasn’t been as negative as I thought. Maybe 2020 will be the year of self care. Self motivation. Self love. So try to put yourself sometimes. Take that break, take that walk.How do you practice self care? What’s your favourite self care thing to do? Let me know in the comments. And if all I’ve learnt from 2020 is that self care really isn’t selfish. It’s a necessity, then that’s a pretty good start of the year for me.