So I took quite the break from blogging and sharing content on my website. To be honest, there were a mirage of things that were going on in my life that took most of my attention. I simply didn’t have as much time as I hoped to have to pour into my website.
Beyond this, however, I was also in a space where I needed to get back to being the best version of myself – which meant pausing on social media to pour back into my overall wellbeing. It isn’t an easy decision, to put writing on hold because this is a genuine passion of mine. But when the lights are dim and the passion just doesn’t create an inner spark, I needed to work on myself a little.
I’m sure we can all agree that this past year has been such an abnormal one in so many ways, and naturally, conversations around mental health and wellness took centre stage because, well, pandemic! There are different ways of resting, and I’m sure we all found the ones that worked for us. But I thought I’d share what helped me manage my mental wellness, stress and overall health during this last month that I was away from my beloved website.
It was a rather difficult realisation to come to, but my partner recently shared with me something that I never knew was something that I struggled with.
I don’t really know how to relax…
I mean, spa days and solo dates are great examples of relaxing myself. But during a work week, once I’m done with my 8-5, I give myself about a few human hours to eat and slip into something comfortable before I start working on my personal and side work from 6-3. This isn’t the most ideal scenario because I’m not getting the most sleep.
Relax the mind
- Remember to breathe. I mean it! I don’t know how many times I’ve had to pay attention to my breathing during my meditations but it’s something that has become more conscious to me, and I use simple breathe work to help me relax and slow my mind down whenever it races.
- Listen to relaxing music. Because this really will help with relaxing your mind.
- Meditate. And do this mindfully. Mindful meditation, from my experience, is about focusing your attention to the here and now. From your breathing to the sounds you hear, observing your thoughts is what mindful meditation has taught me, and something I would encourage you to try.
Relax the body
- Try yoga. It doesn’t need to be the complicated bendy poses you may see but give yoga a try to help relax your body and muscles.
- Take frequent walks. Or at least, get active and keep your body moving. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a HIIT cardio workout routine. Do something that you enjoy but will help you relax through movement (long walks to the fridge don’t count!)
- Treat yourself to a massage. Whether it’s a Back, Neck and Shoulders or a Swedish Full Body, sometimes you need to make the time to relax your body and a massage can be just the answer.
Relax the soul
- Journal your thoughts and emotions. This is about letting go of the thoughts and emotions you may be holding onto, causing your mind to feel cluttered and your soul uneasy. Journaling can be such a great way to release negative emotions and work through the clutter.
- Create boundaries. And try your best to stick to them. I sometimes have a tough time with saying no because of my ‘team player’ nature, which has brought me some stress that I could have avoided. It’s okay to say no; don’t do things that will cost you your peace.
- Do more of what makes you happy. I am in the process of doing this, and I am moving into a space where I enjoy life so much more because I’m doing what makes me happy. Whether it’s reading a book, listening to music, or creating something, do more of what makes you happy, okay?
Our current internet age has this phrase “Get it together!” There once was a time where I would say this and didn’t really care for ‘getting my life together’ but so many of my experiences in adulthood have called me to take ‘getting my life together’ more seriously. What, though, does that even look like?
An Attitude of Gratitude
Well, for one, I consider Gratitude to be part of my routine for a daily reset. Every day, I tweet “Dear God, Thank you for another day.” I don’t do this for the casual sake of it; it forms part of the morning and daily reset ritual I’ve created for myself, where I begin the day on a new blank page but that God for giving me the opportunity to experience the day ahead.
Practicing gratitude has also proven to be healthy for me beyond just resetting my mindset. You’ll find yourself attracting so much more joy and peace, and engaging less with negative emotions. You might find yourself sleeping better and actually feeling well rested. Gratitude, in all of its simplicity, has the ability to help you realise just how wonderful life is and how much good you have in your life.
Try and take this approach when you reset; think about the abundance that is all around you and how each day, you have access to all of it if you allow yourself to be open to it. All it takes is less than 10 minutes to simply write down all that you are grateful for, and affirmation each day that you are worthy and deserving of the abundance that life has to offer you.
Set Social Media Boundaries
This is something new to be but it’s what I want to continue implementing for the rest of my life.
As much as a large part of my work involves being on social media, I’ve had to do some resetting in terms of creating boundaries for myself where I can use social media without it running my whole life. Social media is great for connecting with others, marketing yourself and your skills, and being some kind of distraction during my lunch breaks.
But I’ve also realised that Twitter has become my morning newspaper right after I wake up, that I’m scrolling through different online platforms for a little too long, and I’m thinking about what’s the next thing that I need to post. So, I’ve had to reset my life a bit by creating some boundaries so that I can still be productive without needing to see who or what is trending online.
I love that my smartphone has included a “digital wellness” aspect to them, where I can set the amount of time I am on my phone. It takes some getting used to but it’s well worth taking the time to create these boundaries for myself so that I can live offline and have a more healthy relationship with social media.
There’s nothing quite like that fresh feeling what washes over you after a hot bath or shower. Or perhaps, that’s just me but that sense of feeling refreshed goes hand-in-hand with resetting my life.
I no longer wait for Sundays to practice self care; if I need that face mask and glass of red wine with jazz music playing in the background on a Wednesday night, best believe that’s what I’ll do on Wednesday night. Learning to refresh my life has made me realise that I don’t need to wait for a designated day to do this – I can refresh myself by doing self care at any point of the week.
The important thing to remember about self care, no matter how you practice it, is to think about what makes you feel taken care of for YOU! At one point, I thought I had to do a whole 10-Step Skincare Routine on a Sunday in order to participate in “Self care Sunday”. That’s not the case though; my routine is only about 5 steps and, more than anything, it works right for me in making me feel more relaxed and refreshed. This is my encouragement to you. It’s great to have sources of inspiration and advice in terms of what you can do for self care, but make sure that you do what makes you feel comfortable and refreshed for yourself.
P.S. Read this blog post on self care if you need some ideas 🙂
Create your sanctuary
Throughout my journey of decorating the apartment I moved into this year, I have realised the importance of creating a safe space for myself – not just to call home but to feel like I can relax, reset and refresh myself as many times as I can with no restraint.
I’ll be honest with you, I am not the most tidy person on the planet. When my mind is a mess, it can easily be reflected in my living space, and it’s something I’m working on. Unfortunately, life keeps me so busy and with all the work and home and social things I do, it can get difficult to upkeep my space in order to maintain the sanctuary I am trying to create for myself.
With that said though, here are a few things that I have found helpful in creating that sanctuary that is a safe space:
- Incorporating scents. Because I’ve come to realise just how much this matters to me, and the calming effects it has on my mind. I’ve become a fan of vanilla lately as well as room sprays for those quick bursts of making any space smell like heaven.
- Have a different set of bed linen. I’ve always stuck to white throughout my adult life, and that still remains true now that I am living on my own. However, I’ve added other colours to change the look of my bedroom, and stimulate the feeling of ‘peace’ and ‘tranquil’ that I like to create in this space specifically.
- Clean regularly. From vacuuming to doing dishes and laundry, it really makes such a difference when you take the time to clean up on a regular basis.
I hope that helped…
This may not be the world’s most certified method of successfully relaxing, resetting and refreshing, but I do hope that there was something in this post that you can take away and implement if you aren’t already.
More than anything, I hope that if you do choose to incorporate some of the things I have been doing in your own life, you’ll start to feel a little more… you, in the sense that you’ll feel more at ease with life, that you’ll let go of negative emotions and that you’ll understand the importance of hitting that refresh button whenever you need to.
Let me know if you do try something from this post; I’d love to hear your experience of it and how you found it beneficial for you.