Hiya lovelies 👋
Can you believe we’re only four weeks away from Christmas?! This final quarter of the year has flown by so quickly; Xmas 2016 still only feels like a couple of months ago!
The weather has become (a lot) chillier, so I’ve been transitioning from denim skirts and Bardot tops to layers (and layers, and layers…) of jumpers and long-sleeved tees and thick socks. The gloves and scarves have come out of hiding, and now it’s out of the question to leave the house without the thickest coat I can find! 🙅
The past few weeks have been a bit busier and more tiring than usual, so I was looking forward to spending some time with the doggo, catching up on lost sleep (daytime naps FTW) and doing some blogging.
Now that weekdays are taken up by that employment jazz and week-evenings are spent eating / netflix-bingeing / sleeping, my dedicated pamper time has had to be confined to a couple of hours on Sunday afternoons.
As a natural introvert I love spending time alone each day to reconnect and rebalance. Today’s post is going to be about the routines and habits I’m trying to practice every week with the aim of boosting those happy vibes and reducing any anxieties or stresses that have followed me into the weekend.
1. Set the mood
Candles and fairy lights ain’t just for romantic evenings with your boyf/girlf, and treating yourself well is just as important as treating others well. Don’t save candle-lit rooms and boxes of chocolates just for loved ones – you deserve a night of pampering too.
If my stress levels are particularly haywire, I’ll add a couple of drops of essential oils to the bath water, play soft acoustic tunes and just float for half an hour or so. During my work experience at a mental health clinic I learnt about the power of grounding and how effective scents are at rebalancing emotions. Lavender can be particularly good – hopefully a blog post will be up about this soon! ☺️
2. Tidy up your space
I used to be a terrible hoarder – I’d keep every magazine, every pair of ripped tights, every broken picture frame and crinkled photo. My room usually looked like the aftermath of a hurricane.
I’ve worked hard to break that crappy habit and nowadays prefer a much more minimalist lifestyle (oh, how vogue). Clean surfaces, colour-coordinated bookcases, walls reserved for pop-art canvases rather than ripped-out zine pages… *drool*
A tidy space = a tidy mind
There’s something so satisfying about a clean, ordered bedroom, made even more special with a bunch of fresh flowers and burning incense.
3. Write, write, write
Whether it be creating blog content for work or scribbling in a journal, I looove writing and have done for as long as I can remember. I’ve kept diaries since I was about 10 years old – the early books are hilarious(ly embarassing) – and I’ve always used journalling as a form of ‘soft therapy’ when life gets stressful.
If my brain can’t switch off and I feel a little wired, getting all the thoughts jotted down on pages of a notebook can feel like a relief.
It’s fun to read back on times that made you happy, or when things were tough and you came out at the other end having learnt how to deal with a new type of situation.
Writing gratitude lists are also great for times when you feel a little lost or empty. Reminding yourself of all the lovely things around you, which you might not always see or take much notice of, can give you a new perspective and lease on life.
4. Walk it off
While I might be a lazy gal at heart and have zero desire to ever join a gym or dedicate time to strenuous exercise nowadays, I’m learning to love a good walk.
As well as long dog walks across the countryside every weekend, I’m starting to enjoy the short journeys to and from the tube station each morning and evening, and trying to make the most of my lunch breaks by taking mini tours of the area.
The music I listen to as I ramble around can really influence the mood I will be in afterwards. Sometimes there are days when you just need to wallow in your bad mood with those sloooowww saaaadddd songs. Other days, a couple of fast-beat motivational tunes are all I need to get me going for a workday or a night out. Choose the right playlist and you can feel like you’re in a movie – I looove that weird feeling of detachment from reality.
5. Get trigger-happy
Just like sounds / smells / images / etc. can trigger crummy thoughts or memories, they can trigger happy ones too! Dedicating time to figuring out what those things are is important – the things to perhaps avoid, and the things to have around you in your space to keep you feeling sweeeet.
Simply seeing a candle flickering on my desk when I’m working on something a bit tedious at home makes me feel more at ease. The sound of crunching leaves under my feet when I’m walking the pup. The smell of a perfume that reminds me of someone I love. Putting on a warm sweater that’s fresh off the radiator.
Holding onto the little things that trigger those lovely feelings of warmth and/or nostalgia helps bad moods and stress pass quicker.
So, when you’re next feeling rough or run-down, try running the bath, surrounding yourself with things that make you smile, taking a walk and jotting down any funny or annoying thoughts that are whirring around in your head. Establish a pampering routine to engage in at least once a week that helps lift you out of negative moods and return you to your ✨happy place✨.