5 Ways To Look After Yourself This Week

Do you have a couple of hours spare this week? Of course you do! I see you getting ready to catch up on the latest episodes of The Undoing (good choice too may I add). I am also a huge movie and TV fan (check out my list of 10 shows to binge in lockdown if you missed it) but I find that when I fall into the routine of simply, “work-eat-watch-sleep-repeat”, it can actually make me feel demotivated, rather than relaxed. So today I wanted to share with you five other easy ways that you can look after yourself this week, and get some wellness back into your life.

  1. Block Out Your Week
    If like me you are still working from home, I challenge you to spend 5 minutes this week planning your diary. Monday’s and Tuesday’s are my busiest days of the week and if I am not careful, I could easily work all day without a break. Therefore I have been making an effort to schedule time in my day specifically for a lunch break, and for a workout. This helps keep me accountable, as well as prioritize the things I need to function best and work efficiently. By scheduling this time into your diary, you will also hopefully prevent any sneaky meetings from going in! As well as this, by planning out your days with specific focus blocks for work, you will begin to distinguish between which tasks are “urgent”, and which are important. In turn, hopefully this will help you manage your time better and feel a bit more productive.

  2. Autumn Clean
    It’s not rocket science to recognize that there is a correlation between the state of your working environment and your mood. Whilst “Autumn Clean” may not have the same ring to it as “Spring Clean” does, I challenge you to find 20 minutes in your week to spruce up one area of your choice. My goal this week? My beauty products drawer – it is in dire need of some TLC since it’s last tidy back in March… eek! Whether it is your desk drawers, or the chair with the mysterious growing pile of clothes on it, choose a small area to tackle first and see how it instantly makes you feel lighter!

  3. Rise and Shine
    One thing that I have been trying to get better at prioritizing, is my morning routine. Since working from home, my snooze button has become a lot more frequent. I also find myself checking my phone first thing in the dark, then proceed to roll out of bed 3 minutes before I have to log on for work. Last week I decided to try and wake up 15 minutes earlier than I usually would. Whilst I must admit there may still have been a snooze or two, having an extra few minutes to myself in the morning before I went straight into work mode, helped me feel a bit more prepared for the day ahead. Try it and let me know if you feel the same!

  4. Go Outside
    At times, it can feel near impossible to tear yourself away from your desk. However, if you are going to do just one thing from this list, I would recommend this be it it. During the work week, try to commit yourself to at least one 20 minute walk a day. I always notice a dramatic difference in my mood after I have had some fresh air; something which has been lacking now that I don’t have a commute. If there are no furry friends or companions to keep you company, do what I do and listen to a podcast as an incentive to get you away from your desk. Remember, daylight will not hang around for you in these colder months and you can always continue to work an extra 20 minutes in the evening if you absolutely need to.

  5. Mix It Up
    This one requires a bit of thinking from you. What is one fun thing you only give time to when you go on holiday or when it’s the weekend? Is it playing your guitar? Crocheting? For me, it is reading. I am a repeat offender of starting a new book on holiday to then only forget about it as soon as I step off the plane. This week, choose one fun thing you like to do and spend an hour doing it.

I hope this list gave you some inspiration for simple but effective ways to put yourself first this week. What other things would you recommend doing? Let me know in the comments!

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One Month In Lockdown

On 23rd March 2020 I celebrated my 8 year anniversary with my boyfriend. However this day also became a monumental date, as this was the day the UK officially went into lockdown. Prior to this, I had already began to take measures and self isolate. I had been limiting my social contact for 14 days, which was eased by the option to work from home, helping to restrict “unessential” contact.

Now as we hit a month in lockdown I realise this pandemic won’t be blowing over as quickly as I hoped. So I am trying my best to remain positive and creating structure to my new daily routine. But as soon as I take a moment to pause, I feel dread and find myself desperately wondering, just how long will this last? I don’t live with my partner so I’m missing him terribly and feeling this out of control is terrifying. I try to reason with myself to keep perspective and acknowledge that this new normal, won’t be permanent. However, I still experience moments of panic, anxiety, tension headaches and at times catch myself spiraling down the “what if’s”, as I think about how nothing about this “temporary lifestyle” is all that “normal”.

I can’t help but worry about my Grandmother and her declining health and when the next time I am able to see her again will be. About my job, my career and all the plans I absently made and hoped for in 2020. Once I ride this wave of emotion, I then find comfort in sweet gestures from regular calls with my family and friends which really do help; where they too echo my thoughts and feelings, and I know that I am not alone. I try and remind myself of my Grandparents’ own unique challenges in their youth, and the strength and bravery of their generation, which instills me with new hope.

So one month in (but 7 weeks working from home), I’m looking at the little things, the things I am in control of and this is what I’ve learned so far:

  • (Pre-quarantine) I tended to not drink a lot (most of the time) and if I’m honest I probably shouldn’t drink that much at all. Alcohol doesn’t agree with me and I’m enjoying not waking up violently ill on the weekends
  • I thrive off 8 hours sleep and love waking up earlier. I do my best work in the morning
  • I’ve rediscovered my enjoyment for reading which shouldn’t be kept purely as a beach holiday luxury
  • I’m taking things more slowly; a habit that shouldn’t be a rarity. I plan to take a couple of days off work soon during lockdown. It can feel like a “waste” to do so whilst I work remotely but time off does us each the world of good (especially with this lovely weather)
  • I really enjoy being active and am finding more balance in how I use my downtime. Daily walks replace my usual time spent on an extra episode I would typically treat myself to, although I still love Netflix
  • I’m strangely enjoying not styling my hair and letting my hair dry naturally (although I wouldn’t say no to a root or colour freshening up!)
  • Physically distancing is not the same as social distancing. I am very comfortable in my own company but the extrovert in me also really values my social time… which I am also happy to do from the comfort of my own home

Although I am experiencing a lot more mood swings and I’ll be the first to admit that some of my days are better than others, I have a lot more gratitude for the life I live. I still wonder just how this pandemic will shape my future decisions, but one thing I do know is that throughout this testing time, each of us are building a lot of resilience.

Just remember, this won’t last forever. Stay at home for your loved ones, so we can get back out sooner and enjoy our precious world.

If you enjoyed reading this make sure to subscribe to keep up to date with what I’m talking about! Also feel free to check out the below:

20 Things That Made Me Smile In March

Touching the Surface of Amsterdam

Kindness Doesn’t Cost A Thing