The last few weeks have been very busy and at the same time very inspiring. I’d been searching for what I really wanted to do with my life right now and all of a sudden it came to me and things started falling into place. The blog started growing, my freelance work is going well and I am now also writing weekly articles for a tech website.
It’s great and doing all these different things make me happier than I’ve been in months, but I’m still doing all of this while having a full-time office job. Those of you who know the drill will understand, it’s hectic and busy and some days you feel like giving up on the dream work because the full-time job can just become completely overwhelming. Now, throw in some swimming training three times a week and you have a recipe for burnout.
Last week I felt the burnout coming on. I was overwhelmed by all the things happening and everything I needed to get done. Because I’m such an overachiever stretching myself in this way fuelled me to take on even more.
BUT, that was until last week Thursday, when I woke up feeling jittery, shaky and completely overwhelmed. I was so stuck inside my head and focussed on everything I had to do I couldn’t even finish my 12 minute meditation session that morning. When I get like this I get this intense pain in my chest. I’ve done some research on it and apparently, it’s the muscle that stretches over your chest bone that gets inflames when you stress. It’s very painful and can hamper your ability to function 100%.
I’ve had to learn to deal with my anxiety, but it’s a daily learning curve. After last week I decided to actively invest in some selfcare routines/activities that I can practice when I feel overwhelmed.
Here are my 6 selfcare tips for when I feel overwhelmed:
1. Read a Book Before you go to Bed
After a long day all you want to do is get in bed and sleep, but most likely than not you’ll probably check your phone first and only then go to bed. I do this as well and no amount of telling me how bad it is is going to stop me doing it (we’re human remember), but I’ve found if I read even just one page after checking my phone and before turning out the light, I always sleep better. Reading stimulates the brain in a calming and creative way. Reading a book before bed can help you dream happier dreams and even help your subconscious solve problems in a more creative and imaginative way. Also in a year’s time, you might have finished a whole book!
2. Find your Favourite Hand Cream
This one sounds strange, but taking care of your hands can be one of the best investments you can make in yourself. We use our hands all day long and sometimes we can be quite brutal to them. I am prone to sore wrists from typing and if you gym, or have been picking up heavy things all day you know the pain your hands sometimes feel. Finding a hand cream that makes your hands feel soft and cared for will make your whole body feel more loved. Personally, I have hand cream in every one of my handbags, in my car, in my work desk drawer and next to my bed. They say you can tell a woman’s age by her hands, so why not fool them a bit by taking good care of your hands.
3. Go for a Manicure and Pedicure
I used to think manicures and pedicures were such a waste of time (and money because they can be a bit pricey sometimes), but I definitely know the benefits of them now. I don’t go every month because I know my nails also need a bit of rest, but once every three months or so and when I have a big event coming up spending a Friday afternoon with someone treating your hands and feet is the biggest treat to myself. I’ve never been able to grow my nails very long as they break off very quickly, so going for a gelish mani makes my nails strong and beautiful and you will always look put together. You don’t have to go for the most expensive srcub and mani combination, but spoiling yourself like that from time to time is something you do deserve!
4. Meditation and Yoga
I put these in one section because I know that both can be quite challenging to beginners and I personally wasn’t able to really excel in my yoga practice without working on my mediation and breathing practice as well. Meditation is one of the best ways to start your day. By clearing your head and finding gratitude your mind becomes more flexible in its problem solving abilities as it has already acknowledged the good in your life. You start the day off happy and slowly it becomes a lifestyle. Yoga does the same in a sense, but for me it’s great to do in the afternoon after work. We sit all day at desks and if like me you’re slightly prone to back pain, yoga is the best way to strengthen your muscles and get rid of those kinks in the back. It’s also very rewarding to see yourself being able to touch your toes after a year of practice when you’ve never been able to touch them in your life!
I’m subscribed to a really great YouTube channel called Boho Beautiful where they have amazing yoga, pilates and meditation videos. Give it a try!
5. Plant Flowers (or any other plants)
I’m saying specifically plant something and not buy flowers because I really believe actually getting your hands dirty and working with a plant’s roots in the soil is one of the most relaxing and mindful activities you can practice. By taking a plant out of it’s black plastic pot, being careful with the roots and re-planting it into its new home, you are creating a new story. Feeling the soil between your fingers is beautiful. By planting flowers, or any other plants, you are also creating a constant selfcare activity for yourself and creating an opportunity for yourself to care for something else besides just your problems. Plants, I believe can have the same healing properties as a pet. If you give them love and water and attention, they will give you blooms and colour and happiness.
6. Write Something (or paint or do something creative)
I’m specifically not saying journaling or keep a diary because I know how difficult it can be. I used to keep books and books of diaries when I was younger but I’ve since become less keen on it. Firstly, I have terrible handwriting and spelling so you end up not being able to read what I wrote and secondly, I forget and then feel guilty for not writing every day. It’s kind of counterproductive in the end. I have found writing in any form has become a means of therapy for me. Having to concentrate on finding the right words stimulates my brain in a way that allows me to once again solve problems more creatively. For you this stimulation might come from painting, or doing a craft. It doesn’t matter what it is, but you need to find the one activity that stimulates your brain creatively and actively pursue it.
I hope these tips will help you to practice selfcare when you feel like life is becoming a bit out of control. We all deserve to have happiness in our lives and if we can actively make it happen for ourselves all the better.