How was your first week of the New Year?
Mine was a bit of a mixed bag. Mostly good but with a couple of low points throughout the week. It may in part be a little bit of post holiday blues but luckily I didn’t have to rush back to work, as both the husband and I are not back until Monday 8th January. This is longest break from work I have had since I started my job as a School Business Manager in September 2016. It felt a little strange not going into school or working at home. I was very tempted at times to get the laptop out and get some work done but I had promised myself that I would take a proper break for once and try to relax. Something I am notoriously bad at.
It is something I really need to learn to do this year. I always keep myself busy. Too busy really. I rarely stop and just enjoy being at home or being with my husband. My health and fitness has taken a back seat this last year and I am suffering from small recurrent illnesses, particularly sinus and ear infections. Which I think is my body’s way of telling me I need to slow down and switch off. I am fully aware that I cannot keep living life at the pace I do.
So whilst I don’t set New Year Resolutions this year I am setting Intentions for 2018. The main one being to take better care of myself. Both physically and mentally. This week I have tried hard to start the year on the right track.
I am using social media to motivate myself to do something to promote my own wellbeing each day and I am using The Happy Journal by Fearne Cotton to record my year and hopefully encourage me to stay on track. Which you can purchase at Amazon for £14.99
Last year I felt I failed at being a good wife to my amazing husband. I have to admit I took him for granted. He has never said anything and has actually been really supportive of me chasing my new career. He looks after the home and me without any complaint. But because I am always busy being busy I have not given him the time he deserves. Actually if I am honest I really have only given him my full attention once a week when we disappear to the pub, which is a bad habit I have developed as a way to relax. I have found it hard to do this at home because I end up working or busying myself around the house. The result of this bad habit is one too many drinks, an unhealthy takeaway and a late night which results in a wasted Saturday morning and abandoning trips to the gym. This is one thing I really want to stop. I have found I am not even enjoying it anymore. It has just become a weekly habit that we do without any thought. This was highlighted this week when after being at home all week and feeling a little bored, we went to the pub Thursday night. I felt awful Friday morning and can’t say I even enjoyed it. So I think that has reinforced the need to stop and find another way relax and switch off from work at home.
One idea we have come up with is doing something we enjoy together every weekend. We have written 52 things to do on slips of paper and popped them in a jar. We will pick one out every Monday and then plan to do whatever it says at some point over the weekend. This is such a simple and inexpensive thing to do and would work well for families too. We have nothing extravagant in our jar. We have selected two different coloured pieces of paper, one for Autumn/Winter and the other for Spring/Summer as the activities can then be tailored to the weather. We have included things like going for a walks in the countryside, visiting the beach, bike rides, pub lunch, movie night and the one we picked out for this weekend…. Box Set Sunday. Which will consist of an afternoon & evening of cosying up on the sofa, with sweet treats and hot chocolate, to binge watch a TV series together.
I have also been taking steps to kick start my healthy lifestyle. I have been meal planning with some great new books. I am a big fan of eating for health. It is something I have researched and done in the past when I had some health issues due to a reduced immune system. I am so glad that there are Medical Doctors now releasing healthy lifestyle and recipe books. So much better to eat this way rather than following fad diets aimed at weight loss rather than health. Check out these books and Instagram accounts.
I also made a couple of purchases this week to help me
Savisto Fruit Infuser Water Bottle. Amazon £5.99
I always start the day with hot water and lemon and try to drink at least 2.5 litres of water a day. I use an app on my phone to remind me but quite often fall short, especially when I am at home. This is a much more versatile way to drink more water. I love flavoured water and there are so many options using this and you can use different fruits and herbs depending on wha you feel your body needs. I’m using cucumber at the moment. It’s refreshing and aids your body’s ability to detox.
Ultrasonic Night Lighting Aromatherapy Diffuser. Amazon £12.88
I have bought this for two reasons. One to help me learn to relax/mediated and also to help with my sinus problems. I have tested it this week using Eucalyptus Oil when my sinus infection was particularly bad and it really helped. It also has an automatic shit off so you can use at bedtime and not worry about having to switch it off before falling asleep. I also bought a starter pack of aromatherapy oils.
This pack contains five oils: (I am not an expert myself and the information below has been gained through research from qualified aromatherapists. Always check with your doctor before you use aromatherapy and follow the instructions for use).
Eucalyptus – Great for respiratory health and can help alleviate coughs and congestion
Geranium – Helps balance hormones, promotes emotional wellness, alleviates anxiety.
Lavender – Helps improve sleep quality and promotes better concentration
Cypress French – A very powerful Oil and care needs to be taken when using this. In a Diffuser it is good for stress relief and alleviating coughs and congestion but combin d with a carrier Oil it can be used on the body to aid muscle and joint pain and it also as an antiseptic.
Ylang Ylang – A natural antidepressant. It has a positive affect on emotional wellbeing, blood flow and immune health.
So that is the round up of my first week of self-care. Why not try and set aside a little time each Sunday to do something for yourself that makes you happy or enhances your well-being. Sundays are perfect for this as it is a nice way to end a busy week and it also sets you up for the week ahead. Post your self care pictures on Instagram using the hashtag #selfcaresunday and tag me (@wigglewhenyouwalk) in your posts.
Have a great week and thank you for reading.