Even though I spend a lot of my week in and around our home I find it incredibly hard to switch off and relax there. I find the simple task of ‘doing nothing’ pretty difficult. My current form of relaxation has been to sit down, pick up my phone and browse on social media, which is fine, on the most part, but when you’re a blogger and freelance social media manager there can be a tendency to slip into ‘working mode’. As a blogger the lines of work and play are incredibly blurred, therefore I find this type of relaxing isn’t really always the best.
I do watch TV at night, which does help me to relax, but if Dave’s away I’ll work until really late on my laptop with the TV on in the background. Again, not exactly a relaxing evening! Plus there’s always little jobs in the evening to do like tidy up and get things ready for the next morning.
Weekends are my worst time though. Because the twins have been at school all week and Dave has been at work (or away) they all mostly want to hang out and chill out more at home. But if I’m at home I’ll just start doing housework or chores…and ‘relaxing’ never seems to happen. If I do sit down at the weekend I only end up feeling guilty because there are usually a-million-and-one jobs that I need to do. This is crazy behaviour though because I just end up getting grouchy when the tiredness catches up with me.
So I have been working hard at trying to relax more. I have been really aware that I need to apply self-care and force myself to switch off and relax more. To really wonder whether I need to go at life at this crazy rate – and to know that slowing down sometimes is indeed better for me.
I know it’s still technically ‘doing something’ but reading is FAR more relaxing than browsing on my social media channels on my phone, trust me. It seems to calm me more. So I’ve been picking up some easy-to-read books to start with (I swear that social media and blogging has made my concentration much worse than it was as I quickly get very bored of what I am looking at). I’m training my brain to properly read again and to sit down and enjoy the material.
I’ve starting with buying some blogging & freelance related titles. Anna from The Anna Edit has been raving about ‘The Working Woman’s Handbook’ by Phoebe Lovatt and it is very good, especially if you’re a freelancer. It is quite practical and I have picked up some superb tips already. I haven’t started ‘How To Be An Overnight Success’ by Maria Hatzistefanis yet, but I’m excited to read it as I’ve heard good things. I’m so intrigued as to why some women are successful entrepreneurs and what makes them tick. I’ll keep you posted.
Like I say, for me, being at home isn’t always the most relaxing place for me to be, as I am always thinking of the washing, ironing, washing up, mopping the floor etc etc. I therefore try to go into town once or twice a week and just sit in a cafe, or at the gym after a workout and have a coffee. I can feel quite anxious doing it – like there’s a billion things at home I could be doing – but it has made me slow down a lot more. It does work and I’ll therefore be aiming to do this more into my week.
Since the twins started school I have been spending very little time outdoors..as you can probably tell from my Instagram feed! I don’t mean going from shop to shop but outside, in the countryside. I miss long walks with the twins just collecting sticks and pottering about. I miss the fresh air. It’s SO good for the soul. I am trying to walk to school every day, plus Dave and I agreed that we all need to get out together at weekends to make the most of our village and the beautiful walks we have. I do think being outdoors makes you feel better and helps you to appreciate life a little more.
I messaged a friend the other day asking if she recommended any good spa places nearby as I need to get into a routine of taking time out to unwind. I am keen to go and get regular facials, as well as massages. It sounds a bit indulgent but I honestly need it. I am excited to book some lovely things in soon!
This time of year can be really tough on us all (with the cold, dark weather and the prep to do before Christmas) and it’s thus very easy to slip into bad habits and feeling stressed. I am therefore really going to work hard at applying these bits above and making time for some nice things for me again!
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Love, Jess x