What the *$!@ is #selfcaresunday?

Type the above hashtag into Instagram and you are bombarded with images of young wellness bloggers posting photos of them going ‘off the grid’ and ‘taking time out for themselves’. While this is completely unattainable for most of us (hello, student budget/full-time job/[insert life commitment here]), there is some benefit to the idea of ‘self care’. Sometimes our day-to-day can be so hectic, and when we actually have a half an hour to ourselves with nothing to do most of us grab our phones. Now, I’m as fond of scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest as the next person, but I regularly fall down the black hole of social media and realise that an hour has passed and, yet again, I didn’t have my relaxing bath or whatever I had wanted to do that evening.

Therefore, I have written myself a list of activities that I know I enjoy doing for those evenings when I have half an hour (I know that for some people even this seems like a luxury) or so to see if it will encourage me to give myself some lovin’ that doesn’t involve the instant gratification of social media.

This is my list below – I’d love to hear about any of your favourite self-care activities!

  • Make a cup of herbal tea (*current favourite = lemon and ginger)
  • Read some of my book in bed
  • Do an adult dot-to-dot (don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it – dot-to-dots with 1,000 dots are tricky!)
  • Challenge myself to a sudoku
  • Run a bubble bath
  • Paint your nails
  • Do some of your colouring book
  • Listen to a podcast in bed
  • Go for a short walk
  • Listen to a favourite album from start to finish (no shuffling)
  • Do a face mask
  • Catch up on some favourite blog posts
  • Take a long shower
  • Call my mum/nana/granny/neighbour
  • Watch a DVD

 

I hope you get a chance to practice some self-care this week.

X

 

Image: pexels.com

Keeping my head during revision

This one’s coming from my dining table as I look out at the beautiful weather wishing I could be outside instead of revising. In the past, I’ve tended to be a bit all or nothing with my revision – either go crazy and work myself into the ground, or do nothing at all and pretend I don’t have any to do. I’m trying to keep more of a routine with my work this time, but sometimes we need a little help to get through it!

Here is a list of my favourite things that are helping me stay on more of an even keel.

 

Breakfast

I make sure I have breakfast every morning as it fuels me up for the day. Some breakfast inspiration from an earlier blog post can be found here.

Herbal tea

I love coffee and breakfast tea but the thing I seem to drink excessively during revision and exam time is green tea and herbal teas. I have a plethora of different flavours in my cupboard – mainly to alleviate the boredom and monotony of revision, rather than anything else. I also take a few into uni with me if I’m studying in the library as hot water is free.

The Little Paris Bookshop – Nina George

Having a novel to read before bed that is completely unrelated to uni work helps me switch off in the evening. I don’t get through books very quickly, probably only reading a few pages each evening, but I find it helps. This book is such a favourite – this is the second time I’ve read it. It’s like holidaying in the south of France so provides some lovely bedtime escapism.

Running (aka jogging)

I can’t say that I’m a very fast runner or that I run very far – I think I actually go at more of a jogging pace, but it’s the getting out there and doing it that counts. Listening to music is a must for me and at the moment I love Say It Again by KINGDM. I’ve got it on repeat so I’ll probably be sick of it by the end of next week!

Snacks

Another good idea to keep you fuelled up whilst revising, another post from the archives!

Enough sleep

I now know that I function best when I have 7-8 hours’ sleep each night. How much you need will be personal to you but getting enough makes it much easier to function during exam time.

Colouring book

I guess this trend is a little bit old but I haven’t given up on my colouring book just yet!

Treating myself to flowers

My local Lidl have tulips for £1.50 a bunch at the moment so I’m treating myself. They brighten up my flat and cost less than a coffee at uni!

 

Good luck to everyone revising, taking exams and getting coursework done. It’ll be over soon!

 

A Happy New Year…

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you’ve had a wonderful Christmas season.

I love the feeling of starting a new year, even though it is just another day when you think about it. It has always given me the feeling of a new page and I get rather excited about setting myself a couple of goals or resolutions for the year ahead.

It is often joked that by next week most resolutions will be given up, and this might be the case if you set yourself to give up chocolate or stop buying coffee on the way to work indefinitely. I find it harder to give something up than to incorporate something positive into my lifestyle. Or I also think about my long-term goals for the year – one of mine will be to continue working hard at and enjoying my degree (with less than 18 months to go!).

Here are a few tips in case you decide to set yourself a couple of resolutions this year.

  1. Reflect

Take time to think about how the last year went for you – the good and the bad, but mainly the positives! Maybe you can learn from some of those experiences. But remember to focus on looking forward – I love this picture from Kindred blog.

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  1. Start gently

Most people make an exercise-related resolution which is a fantastic idea as incorporating exercise into your lifestyle provides so many health benefits. Where some people seem to fall down is by giving themselves impossibly gruelling fitness regimes after a whole Christmas season of overdoing it on food and alcohol and probably not doing much exercise at all. If this is you it might be better to start off small, for example saying you’ll run 5km twice a week to start with and gradually build it up.

Gentle exercise is also a known stress reliever and getting some fresh air after all the partying that may have taken place recently will definitely help pep you up and welcome in the New Year with a clearer head!

  1. Nourish yourself

You may feel that you have overdone it over Christmas but seriously restricting your diet and trying to compensate isn’t the way to go. Restricting foods can create fear about eating and may make you fixate on and crave these foods. Instead try to focus on incorporating healthy habits such as getting your 5-a-day, including more oily fish in your diet or trying to pack your lunches for work the night before. The theory is that if you try and include good habits, there is less space for the not-so-good ones!

  1. Be happy

Most importantly, I’m trying to learn to be content to enjoy the process and be happy where I am now instead of constantly thinking that the grass is greener somewhere else. A few months ago, I stumbled across this TED talks and have been trying to get everyone I know to listen to/watch it because it really resonated with me. It focusses on tapping into our hard-wired happiness.

 

I hope you all have a lovely New Year x

 

 

 

Remember to recharge

This week has been particularly tiring  with train strikes, a 2 hour commute most days and trying to juggle uni work with my part time job as a receptionist. I am a big advocate of looking after yourself in order to avoid burning out and, luckily, this weekend has given me the opportunity to recharge my batteries. This blog is first and foremost a nutrition blog but I think nutrition should go hand in hand with good general health and wellbeing.

When I’m feeling super tired and stressed it can sometimes feel like a huge effort to keep up my normal exercise routine and I feel as though I maybe don’t eat as well as I normally would just because I feel a bit frazzled. But sometimes all I need to do is focus on a few small things to help revive me.

So I thought I would share my own tips and what I’ve got up to this weekend to recharge;

  • Focus on eating your 5-a-day. Don’t stress out if you slip into bad habits occassionally when you’re feeling stressed and tired. Just try to eat your fruit and veggies still, and you are making a positive step each day to improving your health.
  • Step out into nature. I’m lucky enough to live near the Sussex Downs, a beautiful stretch of coastal countryside. So this weekend my boyfriend and I donned the boots and woolie jumper and went for a walk. Exercise has been proven to relieve stress and getting some fresh air does you the world of good! Maybe you have a park nearby or just a nice 30 minute walk around the block that you can do.
  • Prep your meals for the week ahead. (Or just for the next couple of days.) This will save you time later on in the week and take the pressure off worrying about creating healthy dinners from scratch each night. Maybe make up a batch of spaghetti bolognaise or a casserole and freeze or refrigerate it in portions. (I made shepherd’s pie this evening which I’ll turn into chilli tomorrow night.)
  • Light a candle. I’m a bit of a candle fiend, especially in the winter when it gets dark earlier! I love lighting a candle – the flickering light is so theraputic and I love subtle flavours like vanilla or winter spice.
  • Throw on a favourite tune. I always turn to Corinne Bailey Rae when I want a tune to completely chill out to. (This is a particular favourite of mine.) But, obviously, anything that you find relaxing will do the trick!

I hope these little tips will help you in frazzled times!

Have a great week. x

Photo credit: @lauraheck