One thing I want to focus on this year is mindfulness. It is one of my new year goals for 2017, I haven't had the smoothest start of the year but it's not stopping me. I have been thinking a lot about my life and what I'm working towards. Making small steps to get to that place but also making sure I enjoy the journey. The beginning of the new year is often a time of reflection and it's a good time to re-arrange the mind.
January has turned into a month of self care for me. At the start I was focusing on health and fitness and getting back into work again. Until I had a horrible cold for the first time in over 2 years. It took a lot out of me, I got some rest, had a lot of soup and I'm now back to feeling like myself again. It reminded me the importance of self care.
Self care and mindfulness go hand in hand. Now that I have recharged, I want to focus on both by doing little things so that it will slowly be a part of my every day life. I think we could all benefit from a little extra care and I thought I would share a few ways I've started to be more mindful and look after myself.
A few ways to practise self care and mindfulness
It's a favourite amongst those that practise mindfulness. I've dipped by toes into meditation. After I've finished a yoga practice I use that time when laying in savasana to meditate for a few moments. I open my eyes and can sometimes feel like a new person. I've also used the Calm app, I'm awful at giving myself time to use it but there is always room for improvement.
Getting fresh air and being outside can make you feel so much better. Walking around in the daylight can be difficult at this time of year but on the days when I've stepped out of the office and when it's sunny at the weekends I feel so much better and happier. I'm now really looking forward to the spring sun and longer days.
Gently move your body
Everyone has different fitness abilities and no matter what yours is, you can always do something to get the blood in your body flowing. Go for a leisurely walk down the road or a slow bike ride. My favourite way to look after my body is yoga. I can stretch out any aches I feel, create fire inside and clear my mind. At the weekend I followed Yoga with Adriene's I am Present video, it was exactly what I needed.
I try my best to eat wholesome and nourishing food. After an indulgent christmas I found myself craving good food. I love eating vegetables and I love eating pasta. So I have both, I find a balance that works for me and makes me feel good inside. Adding veggies to your favourite dish or snacking on some fruit are small and simple things you can do to look after your body. Remember, never feel bad for treating yourself every now and then!
There is nothing I love more in winter than getting cosy in my comfiest and warmest clothes. I have a soft blanket that I like to wrap around myself in the evenings and I instantly feel comforted and I can begin to unwind from a day at work.
The last few weeks I have found myself needing to rest alone in the evenings. I lock my bedroom door and just have time to myself laying on my bed, reading something or watching Gilmore Girls. I'm an introvert at heart. I like to be alone to recharge. As much as I love being with people it can sometimes be a little tiring. A few moments of solitude can do so much good.
Make, bake, create
I love doing things with my hands. I have a creative mind but I don't use it as much as I would like. I do little things like bake, it fun and you get something delicious out of it. I take photos and make a scrapbook. I've started practising modern calligraphy and I'm creating my own style. Making something that wasn't once there feels like a real accomplishment and it can also be a great hobby.
Write it down
Sometimes our heads get overcrowded with thoughts. It may be a mental list of things you need to do, worries that cloud your mind or a million random thoughts and ideas. Writing it down can do wonders. You can refer back to the notes you scribble, let out everything that's inside and develop those thoughts. I have a little journal I like to write in from time to time. Sometimes I use it like a diary and talk about what I've been doing or when I need to clear my mind.
Plan something for the future
I love it when I have something to look forward to. It could be a trip away, coffee with friends or something bigger. It gives you something to focus on and a little direction.
Clean and tidy your space
Tidy life, tidy mind. I don't like mess, I'm not perfect (nobody is) but I do what I can to keep my surroundings clean and tidy. It feels good to spend a bit of time cleaning, it's therapeutic and you feel good about it afterwards. It's also one less thing to think about and creates space in your head for the more important things.
Wherever you are in your self care or mindfulness journey, keep doing what is best for you. You've got this.