Self Care Sunday 4th February

Procrastination is one of my worst faults. Which surprises many people. Particularly those I work with. I spend a huge chunk of my day at work and I am very proactive . I am always busy, I plan for future events but also have to be very reactive. I am good at thinking on my feet and solving a problem. I am classed as one of those people who get things done.

But when it comes to things that I have to do…. I procrastinate. Which means I am always sailing a little close to the wind when it comes to deadlines (I also do this at work but not intentionally, it is usually because a million and one things have cropped up that are more urgent). This week I have had to work flat out on my studies. I am basically playing catch up and trying to fit several weeks work into 8 or 9 days. Even now I am delaying getting up and starting my next assignment in favour of writing this blog post.

Fortunately, once I do get my head in the zone I have a natural gift of being able to speed read and process information quickly. It used to drive my poor friend at school mad when she spent weeks revising for a test and I scanned over the text the night before and ended up with a higher test score. Anyway I digress.

So because I now have to spend every non-working hour on my studies I haven’t really left myself much time for self care. Although I did manage to sneak out twice this week to the pub.

My procrastination skills are also worse this time of year than any other. The first two months of the year are historically the worst for my Seasonal Affective symptoms. It is during this time I usually hide away from the world and don’t want to do anything or go out anywhere. I turn into a bit of a hermit. This year, so far, has not been as bad as last year. Probably because of my little jaunt to Portugal for Christmas. Long walks in the sunshine will have topped up my Vitamin D levels and every time we have been away to sunnier climes in the Winter my SAD has not been as severe.

However, I don’t take any risks at home and still religiously take my Vitamin D and B12 supplements, I also use a SAD lamp from October right the way through to March. It sits on my dressing table which is where I spend about 45 mins every morning eating breakfast and getting ready for work. I have been using my lamp for about seven years now. I don’t know if it does work, but I am sure as hell not going to risk not using it. The years when my symptoms have been particularly bad are not ones I wish to repeat. So I prefer to err on the side of caution. This lamp was purchased from Argos and it is still available now on Amazon but twice the price I paid. You should expect to pay a minimum of around £30 – £40 for a lamp. I did a lot of research when I bought mine and I would question the effectiveness of one that is too cheap.

This model is no longer available at Argos and the price of SAD lamps seems to have increased dramatically. However you can purchase one from Amazon for around £40.00 here.

An alternative to an expensive lamp is to buy light bulbs.

Amazon sell them for around £5.00 each. I have used these in the past in my bedroom and lounge. I think they are great if you are in the house a lot and you can be exposed to the light for a prolonged period of time. If like me you are at work all day the. The intensity from a desk lamp would be more effective. Another item I have also purchased to help me I. My fight against Wjnter is a luminair wake-up alarm clock. I bought this last year to try and help me get up on the dark cold the mornings. Because, lets face it it, none of us really want to get up in during the Winter months. The alarm clock can be set to gradually wake you up by replicating the sun rising. It is meant to help stimulate the natural chemicals in your body and wake you up more naturally. It does seem to help but it’s a shame it doesn’t warm the bed as to be honest it is generally the cold that delays my movement in the morning.

Amazon £39.99

I only use this in the Winter months and if like me, you have have to get upin the dark in the mornings then this helps that process of getting out of bed by waking the brain up gradulally before the sun comes up. I have a love hate relationship with this alarm clock. Not because it isnt any good. In fact quite the opposite. I hate the fact that it wakes me up when in all honestly I really dont want to get up. It’s just doing its job 🙄

Tuesday was a busy day for me. I was up bright and early and in work by half past seven to set up an event. I have taken the big step to set up a forum for School Business Manager’s in my area of Kent. At present we don’t have anything that enables us to network, share ideas and gain CPD together. It was inspired by events I had attended in London and my background in Course and Conference Organising with King’s University in London. I was very nervous and really needed it to be successful. My professional reputation was on the line. I did find time for a quick HIIT workout first thing in the morning. I think it helped calm me down a little and even though I did not feel like eating I knew that skipping breakfast would be a big mistake so I opted for a healthy protein smoothie.

I combined 100ml or skimmed milk, 100ml water, 75g of 0% Fat Free Greek Yoghurt, a handful of strawberries, one apple and half a 30g scoop of Latte flavoured Protein Powder from MyProteinUK and gave it a good blitz with my blender. We have had the Breville Blend Active for a couple of years now and really can’t fault it. We only really use it for making smoothies but it is a great budget alternative to the NutriBullet.

My event was a great success and the feedback was amazing. Lots of lovely comments thanking me for coming up with the idea and confirmation that people want more. So I am now already planning the next one at the end of April. Running and hosting these events will also enable me to maintain my membership of the Institute of School Business Management which is the new professional organisation for School Business Managers which now and recognises us as a profession on par with lawyers, solicitors, accountants, etc.

The other aspect I am currently working on to qualify me as a member is completion of the Level 5 Diploma of School Business Management. I am halfway through the course and it have found it a struggle to commit the time, thanks to my procrastination issues and long working hours. I took another study day Wednesday and sat at my laptop for 10 hours with only short comfort breaks. I had originally planned on working all evening too until a friend messaged me to ask if I fancied going to a Spiratulist night at our local pub. To be fair I saw the word pub and I was in. Anything to give me a break from studying. It was an interesting night. I did have a reading but to be honest it didn’t really highlight anything I didn’t know. But that doesn’t matter. It was a night out of the house with a group of girls and a couple of drinks. Just what I needed to clear my head.

Thursday I was back down the pub in the evening, I wouldn’t usually go two days in a row but one of the barmaids, who is more mature in years, was leaving. Her and her husband have become good friends of ours since moving to the village so we popped along to support her on her last night, not to say goodbye because we are seeing them on Sunday, when they countersign our applications to join the Village Institute (CUI) club.

This week has not been the healthiest of weeks. I have drunk a little more than usual and we have had three takeaways this week, due to fact that I have been exhausted from work and spending as much spare time as possible studying.

My skin is looking pretty tired and I am still battling a cold, my cold sore from last weekend has finally cleared up but lack of sleep (my mind has not been switching off) and a poor diet have caught up with me. It doesn’t take much neglect to have an impact on the way I look and the way I feel about myself.

My assignment has to be submitted by midnight on Wednesday this week, so I have a few more days of hard graft. Once that is done I am going to make sure I put aside some time to give myself a little bit of self care and beauty treats before I tackle the final unit of my course. You never know I might be more organised this time and start my course work earlier. Who am I kidding, pigs might fly before that happens.

Anyway thank you for reading my rambling post and I hope you have a great week. Normal self care posts will be resumed next Sunday.

Love

Melanie xxxx

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