Self-Care – Do We Do Enough of it?

Self care.

We hear lots about it these days. I know my social media feeds have self-care related posts sprinkled throughout my feeds almost daily. It comes up in groups I’m in, pages I follow, magazines I read and even in discussions at work.

Self Love is asking yourself what you needย  – every day – and then making sure you receive it. – Christine Arylo

But do I do enough of it? Do we all do enough of it?

Probably not. Well, at least I know I don’t. I’ve had to take a bit of a break from my blog over the last few weeks, and things have been pretty stressful for me. It has made me think more and more about how much I take care of myself, and what I do to recharge. Where do I see my own emotional well-being in the grand scheme of things? Too low down most of the time.

Of course, this has come naturally. Being a wife, a mum, a friend, working , volunteering, managing the house and life in general has meant that thinking about me generally doesn’t happen as often as it should do. It’s the same for most of us I imagine. Life has this thing of getting in the way alot of the time!

In amongst lots of stress at work, finding a new job, preparing little G for school, and dealing with some home issues, I realised that I wasn’t being the best mum/wife/friend I could be. And that was partly because I was forgetting about looking after me. It’s true that you can’t pour from an empty cup. So I took a step back, and thought a bit about the things I would like to do that were for me. That would help fill that cup back up.

Here are some of those things:

Journalling and Planning

Earlier this year, I started bullet journalling. I had high hopes of being able to plan my life, and use my bullet journal as a bit of a creative outlet. I loved doing it, setting it up, making it look pretty. But by February I had stopped. Recently, I’ve started it again – but this time, it is alot more “functional” and I don’t beat myself up if my spread isn’t as pretty as my earlier ones, or if I miss a week because, well…life! During the few months where I didn’t journal, I missed it. I wanted to do it. But I realised I was putting too much pressure on myself to make it look perfect, rather than using it as it was intended – to help me plan.

I’d love to have the time to be able to make it instagram-perfect, but right now I know that it won’t be, and that’s OK. It’s helping with the stresses of work, and I’m sure it will also get a whole new makeover when I start my new job next month. But first and foremost, the journal is for me, and whatever I need it to be.

Crafting

This is definitely the one thing that I know will top up my self-care cup! Crafting is my absolute passion (well, besides my family of course!!) and it 100% takes my mind of any worries. Over the last few weeks, I have neglected my crafts and I know my emotional well-being has suffered because of it. This week, I’ve picked my crochet back up again, and made progress on a blanket I started back in May. It’s a simple granny square blanket, so I don’t have to focus too much on it, as the pattern is repetitive. I also love the colours, it reminds me of neapolitan ice cream and childhood fun.

Granny Blanket

I recommend crafting to anyone that wants to do something to escape from the world for a little bit. I learned to crochet about a year ago, following Youtube, and I love it! It’s cheap and easy to start up (although be prepared to become obsessed with yarns and patterns!). There is nothing more relaxing than sitting in the garden crocheting on a Summer day.

Reading

As a child, my parents always called me a bookworm. I loved to read and usually could be found “with my head in a book” as my Dad would say. As an adult, I read less that I would like, although I have started to make a point of picking up books more. I’ve signed up at my local library, and try to visit often. In the last few weeks alone, I have read two books and starting on my third.

I’ve joined social media groups to help find books I might enjoy, and I am making use of GoodReads – this is a fab site for checking out books in different genres, and keeping a list of books you want to read, have read etc. I started a challenge to read 10 books in 2018. I’ve now ticked off 2 of those ๐Ÿ™‚ I try to read a bit each night before bed. Which makes me feel better straight away as I’m not spending that time aimlessly scrolling through social media!

I also plan on posting some book reviews on my blog soon – so keep an eye out for those!

Positive Thinking and Affirmations

I spend my working days with counsellors and therapists, and this comes up a lot. When preparing their training materials, I’ve noticed they place a lot of emphasis on how we think about ourselves. Sometimes just reading a quote or a meme that you can relate to at that moment, or something that can help you think a bit differently, can really help. I love quotes. I’ve started keeping a note of quotes in my journal, and also made a positive thinking Pinterest board with quotes, memes and ideas to help me think positively, or to think about me and make some time for my self-care.

I’m planning to also try and use them in a crafty way and make some home-decor with some of these quotes on. Perhaps some cross- stitch, or a print for my desk.

 

These are just some of the ways that I am trying to practice more self care. There are plenty of other, really straightforward ideas and I am going to plan to do a blog post of some of my favourite, simple, 5 minute self-care ideas very soon. What I need to do first, is do them myself. To take care of me, and take some time for me.

Because, do I do enough self-care? Absolutely not! And it is something I want to get better at.

 

Love,

Sarah x

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A Week of Sunshine

Well, it has been a pretty busy week of sunshine for me! Lots going on, and a few changes in store. It has also been a beautiful sunny week – the perfect example of a Great British summer. I have had a chance to enjoy that in the garden with my favourite people!

Enjoying the Summer

 

Pink Sweet Williams

I’ve been waiting for these flowers to bloom in the garden for a while now; the gorgeous sunshine has finally encouraged them to blossom and I love the vibrant pink colours. They make the mornings look brighter and the evenings prettier.

I’ve made a real effort over the last week to keep my “proper” camera within easy reach. As I’m using a really old phone at the moment (due to a washing machine disaster at Christmas with my main phone) I know that my little old iPhone 4 isn’t really up to taking the best photos. I’ve got some super photos of my girl enjoying time in the garden in her paddling pool, as well as some garden photos, and even a blue sky photo, complete with aeroplanes… So in the midst of Winter, I can look back and remember the glorious weather we’ve had recently.

Blue Skies and Aeroplane

 

Crafts and Hobbies

I’ve also been able to do a little bit on my cross stitch project. The awesome Woodland Sampler from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery has been sat on my stitching frame for far too long. On Monday, after an important appointment (more on that in a later post), I decided to sit in the garden and do a bit more on the sampler. I love TFPS projects; they are cute, colourful and really easy to follow. Mr and Little DottyCraft bought this pattern for my birthday. Once it is finished, I plan to have it framed for Georgie’s bedroom.

Garden Stitching

The fabric I’m using is from Chromatic Alchemy, and the colour is called Nimbus. I adore using hand dyed fabrics for my cross stitch projects. There are so many fantastic artisans creating the most amazing colours – it is a bit of an addiction in itself just collecting the pretty fabrics! Chromatic Alchemy is one of my favourites, and I highly recommend checking out the website if you want to ogle some beautiful fabrics.

Reading

You might also have noticed the book in the photograph too. I’m really trying to make an effort to read more, especially because our new shiny library opened last Summer and it is within easy walking distance, so I really have no excuse! I do find it hard to choose and stick with a book sometimes though… Am I hooked in the first chapter? I am not a huge fan of chick-lit books either, and the plot has to keep me really focused.

At the moment, I’m really enjoying historical fiction, and my current book is The Italian Wife by Kate Furnivall. I’m about a third through and I’m enjoying it a lot. I try to make sure to have it in my backpack for trips on the bus to and from work, as for me, that is the best time for me to fit reading a chapter or two in.

 

How I’ve Been Getting Organised

One of the reasons I decided to start a blog was because I needed to “switch off” from work and from the office. But in attempting to do that, I knew I would need to do something to really organise and focus my working days. This is so that I don’t feel guilty about not checking in with work related stuff on my days off.

I’ve been a fan of bullet journaling for a while, and made a start on my very first bullet journal earlier this year. Of course, with work, life, and my need to try and make it all pretty and perfect, I lost my way with it for a bit. But after seeing a post on a Facebook Group recently about how someone used their bullet journal for work, I decided it would be a great chance to get back into it, and use the bullet journal system for a very specific purpose.

I used it last week and am going to set up this week later on, and I plan to put a separate blog post up about how I’m using my bullet journal for work. So keep an eye out for that very soon ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve also taken the plunge with my blog this weekend, and gone self-hosted. It’s still very new as I only went “live” this morning. I really want to share with you my experience and what I have done and learned in my self-hosting journey so far. Once I am a bit more familiar with things, and can put it into something meaningful, I will do a separate post.

Phew, I think that’s about it for now! Thanks for reading.

Sarah x

 

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