I mentioned on my Instagram Stories last that I find this time of year, the tail end of Winter, to be a bit blah. January is such a busy month for our family, that along with the new start and plans for the year it feels like we hit the ground running and just don’t stop until the end of the month. I always joke that I’ll need to nap through February to compensate so I guess that’s all part and parcel of that really. Pondering over the ‘blahness’ of February in particular and chatting with some of you on Instagram has got me thinking about prioritising self care with a few quick pick me ups when we feel a bit down. Feeling this way isn’t exclusive to this time of year after all! I wish the answer could be a free holiday to some beautiful destination, I should be so lucky! Instead I wanted to share some little tips that don’t cost the earth. These ideas are very much biased towards the introvert, which I am, so if you’re an extrovert your ideas may look very different to this.
A good book and an early night
I’m someone that needs sleep, I wish I could say that I can survive on a few hours but everyone around me would fall about laughing. I am my worst self when I am tired (or hungry, or both!!). I have no tolerance or patience and turn into a right Negative Nelly. I now know that to give myself the best chance at being the best version of me I need to get an early night and not stay up scrolling Instagram Stories or watching just one more episode of whatever series I’m currently obsessed with. Reading a book rather than reaching for my phone is an ongoing battle. I think I need to plug my phone in somewhere else to take away any temptation to reach for it when I climb into bed or when I can’t sleep.
Now this may seem a little frivolous, but plants and flowers really brighten my mood. I honestly don’t know why but grabbing a £1 bunch of daffodils at the checkout to pop in a vase at home makes me smile. This time of year as we are teetering at the start of Spring is just my favourite for flowers. Like I said, you don’t have to go crazy and get a huge bouquet delivered – though if you want to and can afford it then by all means go for it!
A little treat
Whether it’s a new nail polish, a candle, a face mask or just a quiet coffee these are all little pick me ups that give me a sense of pampering without breaking the bank. A new book often does the trick for me, especially if it involves wandering around a book shop! You might stretch to getting your nails done, a new haircut or whatever, just check your budget and go from there.
Before you roll your eyes and keep scrolling, and I’m talking to myself here more than anything! Regular exercise really does help lift your mood. In whatever way that looks for you, a run, walking the dog, a yoga class or a workout dvd in your living room. There’s definitely something you can do that fits your ability and lifestyle. When I’m feeling down often the last thing I want to do is exercise. I’d much rather wallow and eat my feelings, I’ve learnt that this habit just doesn’t help me – funny that eh? And by learning to make healthier choices I’m improving my mood and my health. While I’ll never run a marathon, going out for a job a few times a week while listening to a podcast is enough for me.
Sometimes we have to learn to say no. I’ve found that this is especially hard for me at this stage of my life. I no longer have endless energy and free time, I have to be so aware of my time management skills. Like so many, my life is often dictated by my family commitments, as well as work. Doing too much and over committing can lead me to feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and irritable. I’ve worked on this area of my life so much that I’m conscious now of what I take on and what I say yes to. I cannot give my best self when I’m stretched thin. When I start to feel that foreboding sense of overwhelm set in I have to take a step back and review what I’m doing. What can be dropped for a while, can I do something in a more efficient way – or even am I being a martyr and not asking for help?! Talking this through with someone and making a list will usually give me perspective enough to reset my boundaries.
These are just a few of my ideas, and some my resonate with you while others won’t and that’s ok. My main aim when writing this was to encourage thought and discussion around the topic. Most importantly I think is to reflect on what healthier choices you can make for you when it comes to self care. It might be something like learning how to say ‘no’ to things and respecting your boundaries or maybe you first need to set yourself boundaries! Take a few minutes now to reflect on what you can do be better at self care.
When you’re going through a bit of a blah time, or feeling a bit down what are your quick pick me up tips?
If you enjoyed this post you might like this one – 5 Things I Do When I Feel Emotionally Drained
Morgana is a social media coach for small businesses and entrepreneurs, specialising in Instagram and Pinterest. Based in the North West of the UK, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She particularly enjoys a Netflix binge watch and cannot function without black coffee and dark chocolate digestives.