I think unwinding from a long day, a bad day, or even a good day is SO important. There are so many ways we can unwind and relax, but it’s not something we always take the time to do. I made a promise to myself at the start of this year that I was going to do more things for me (hence finally creating my blog) and self care has definitely become a priority for me.
To me, self care is looking after yourself and reflecting on your own wants and needs, then nurturing those to make you feel relaxed and, in turn, happier. Of course, there’s a lot more to this than whacking on a face mask and thinking your life is grand, but it’s a start, right?! We’re all so busy in the world of work, spending time with family and friends, running errands etc, I think it’s nice to just take time out for yourself. Of course this can be activities you do alone or with other people – lots of my downtime involves my boyfriend, and that makes me so happy! I’m so grateful for all the time we spend together; we love just relaxing and enjoying being together. I don’t necessarily have any advice or tips, I’d just like to share with you all the different ways I like to unwind. I do however hope this may give you some inspiration and remind you of how important taking time for yourself can be.
One of my favourite things to do in life is to take a bath. I really enjoy treating myself to a Lush bath especially – my favourite bath products are The Comforter bubble bar, Avobath bath bomb and, most recently, the Turtle jelly bomb! I think it’s also nice to take a little time during or after your bath to pamper yourself. I really love using face masks and often rope Matt into it too, I promise he enjoys it! I usually buy ones from Simple or Garnier, typically whatever is on offer in Boots. They feel so good on the skin and there’s something about using a face mask that just makes you feel like your life is together, right?! I also like to take the time to go through my skincare routine fully, and use a nice body butter – this one is my current favourite, it really smells like a spa!
I like to read in the bath on a day-to-day basis, but this is especially good for me if I’m feeling a little worn out or tired. I say this because I can really escape into a good book and even if it’s just temporarily, I can forget whatever is going on around me. It’s so nice to lose yourself in a story, and as much as I love Netflix, I really enjoy reading a book. I recently read The Note by Zoe Folbigg and really enjoyed it; it’s a cheesy love story with a few funny turns, based on a real life story. I also just finished Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton and that was such a good read! She talks through her life – all the ups and downs – and it’s a really insightful, interesting perspective on how we live our lives, and how past experiences shape you into the person you are. If you’re not into books (who isn’t?) magazines are a great alternative. I love Cosmopolitan magazine and have bought it every month since I was a teenager. I also like to catch up on blogs when I have downtime, but not in the bath! I never take my phone/laptop in bath with me as it’s the only time I’m fully disconnected from technology.
Quality Time With My Boyfriend
Being with Matt is just the best part of any day for me! If I’m having a bad day he’s the only person that can make me feel better in an instant, and I never take for granted all the time we spend together. He’s so good at making any situation positive, one of the things I admire most about him. Quality time can mean all kinds of things, but on a daily basis this is usually things like cooking and eating dinner together, snuggling up to watch a show or a movie, going to Costco (it’s literally our happy place) etc. Basically, we like to spend as much time together as we can, and we really like to make the most of it. This is definitely self care for me as nurturing our relationship is so important – spending time with my best friend is such a good feeling, and there’s nobody I’d rather be with! Cheesy but true; being curled up in his arms makes the world seem a much better place.
Make A Beauty Appointment
Similarly to having a pamper night at home, it’s so lovely to make an appointment to go into a salon and, if you can’t get an appointment quickly, you then have that to look forward to. Whether your pick-me-up pamper of choice is a new hairstyle, a manicure or LVL lashes (my next treat to myself, I think!) it’s nice to just spend some time getting pampered professionally. I had an appointment booked to get my nails done today and I felt ten times better leaving the salon. I wasn’t really in a great mood after a long day, but there’s something about having fresh gels that just makes me feel so good! I love the look of them, they last so much longer than regular nail polish; and it’s a nice little treat every 2-3 weeks that I can look forward to. I also find it very calming and relaxing, I could have probably fell asleep today.
Make Future Plans
One thing I really like to do, even more so when I’m needing a little ‘pick me up’, is look towards good things coming in the future. Whether that’s what’s for dinner tonight, plans for the upcoming weekend or planning our next trip, it’s nice to have something to look forward to. Matt and I are heading to Belfast this weekend so since we booked I’ve spent a little time researching that and finding things to do that aren’t the typical tourist stuff. Don’t get me wrong, we absolutely will be doing the typical tourist stuff, but it’s nice to see things off the beaten track too, right? Although we haven’t got anything booked yet, we’re really hoping to plan a city break to Madrid for September, any tips or recommendations would be much appreciated!
Go For A Drive
One of my favourite things to do to clear my head is to go for a drive. If I don’t have much time but still want to go for a drive I’ll go the long way home from work, or take a little detour and drive around my town instead of heading straight home. I don’t have any specific places I like to go to, I just really enjoy driving around and not really focusing on anything but the road. Ten minutes in one direction from where I live is the beach, and ten minutes in the other is the countryside; so there’s lovely views wherever I end up. Side note: I am really not the best driver but I tell everyone I drive better when I’m by myself… (anyone else?!)
I am the biggest advocate of the whole treat yo’self trend! Depending on where I am (and how far away pay-day is!) this could vary dramatically; sometimes an impulse treat might just be a treat for after dinner that night (I highly recommend M&S’ New York vanilla cheesecake – it’s Matt and I’s favourite!). If I’m waiting a little too impatiently for payday, I often browse my favourite shops online. (Topshop, Zara, & Other Stories, Brandy Melville and Feel Unique tend to be my go-to’s)! Sometimes just browsing is enough to lift my spirits and make me feel calm and relaxed. I am also a big fan of buying myself flowers, and I have no shame in saying that! I like to buy my mam and Matt’s mam flowers (it’s just so nice to receive them, isn’t it?) so why not buy them for myself? I’d personally recommend Aldi’s flowers over any other supermarket – they last so well and they always have so much choice.
Call/See My Friends/Family
As you may have seen from my Friendships post, I have been having a hard time with friendships recently. That being said, a text or a call to my closest friends can really make a world of difference to my day! Whether you discuss each others’ days’, talk nonsense or just have a good ol’ catchup, it can be a very freeing feeling to chat with your girls. I don’t know about you, but it’s not very often my friends are available at short notice – we all have such busy lives it’s more than understandable – but if you can meet face to face for a bite to eat or a quick drink, that’s even better. My mam and Matt’s mam are always my fave ladies to turn to, they’re angels and always know what to say.
Tidy The Space Around Me
One of the best things I can do to make myself feel better is to spend ‘X’ amount of time cleaning and tidying. If my room or my car is a mess, my head feels equally as messy and I can’t think straight. Sometimes even the thought of doing this seems overwhelming and I feel like I don’t have the energy, so I’ll set a timer on my phone for a specific amount of time – how long depends on how much I need to clean/tidy. I’ll then try to get everything done within that timeframe, I’m kind of competitive so see this as a challenge against myself, LOL! Whilst cleaning and tidying I tend to listen to Spotify or catch up on vlogs, so my mind is doubly occupied, and I’m also being productive. I also apply this same theory at work – if my desk is overly cluttered (it usually is) I take 5 minutes to clear away everything I don’t need, reorganise paperwork etc, then I can start again with a fresh head.
We all know an early night is one of the best little treats, as you always feel much more prepared to take on the day after a good sleep. Matt and I have early nights on an embarrasingly regular basis – but we’re often up early for work so it’s nice to get an extra hour or two of sleep when we can. We always talk about our life when we’re ‘grey and old’ but we’re pretty much there, LOL. My favourite thing is to cuddle into him and just enjoy that nonsense talk before we finally fall asleep – you know when you’re not even making much sense but you’re just aware of each other’s presence? I feel so grateful every night he cuddles in (well, let’s be real, I’m spooning him 99% of the time) and it’s seriously the best feeling in the world.
Catch Up On My Favourite TV Show
Catching up on my favourite shows is a very good way to 1: occupy my time and 2: cheer me up. My guilty pleasure TV show is 100% Coronation Street (to be fair, Matt’s dad always watches it and I got hooked… I totally blame him for this one). Shows like Friends, Gilmore Girls, KUWTK, Gossip Girl etc are my favourites to re-watch, even though I’ve seen every episode a ridiculous amount of times. I love typical British comedy sitcoms; things like The Inbetweeners, Gavin & Stacey, Friday Night Dinner and Fresh Meat are right up my street. Matt and I are watching Fresh Meat from the beginning as he’d never seen it, and I seriously forgot how funny it was – we love Jack Whitehall’s character in it especially! Once we’ve finished Fresh Meat we’ll have to start a new series – any recommendations would be appreciated!? We recently watched Peaky Blinders and Narcos and loved them both, and we’re so excited for the new series’ starting soon. We both said we wish we could watch Narcos again from the beginning not knowing the storyline. The dialogue is mostly in Spanish, so it’s heavily subtitled, but it’s SUCH a good watch – we loved every minute!
Well, that’s it! If you relate to any of the above I’d love to know! How do you spend your time unwinding and relaxing? Also, if you have any other tips or recommendations I’d love to hear them?