Some days, you just have to take a step back and think about the essentials. Worries and preoccupations about life and distractions such as social media or family can be so overwhelming that you end up having a worse day because you haven't looked after your own needs.
Today started as one of those days, so I had to stop, put down my phone and write myself a list of what I needed to do before I worried about anything else.
I wanted to share this list here so that I can look back on it myself on future days when I'm struggling and in the hope it might be helpful to you too.
- Don't worry about preparing something elaborate for breakfast or lunch, just make sure you get something. Simple and sensible maybe not half a giant Toblerone but a bowl of cereal or a slice of toast. Sit down to eat it with a cup of tea or coffee, whatever you prefer. Just make sure you get something down you, you'll feel all the clearer headed for it.
- Put your phone down, shut the laptop. I'm so guilty of wasting my mornings laying in bed trawling through social media feeds and looking at blogs. I waste so much time sleepily scrolling, for no purpose whatsoever, meaning I put off breakfast and feel crap about having started my day so late.
- Fill the silence [or drown out the noise of children]. The radio is my favourite tool for combating silence/chaos in the house, because it allows you to listen without consuming you like the TV does – switches on your brain and frees up your hands.
- Get outside, even if it's just for a quick breather. I've said many times that the best thing about having a dog is that it gets you walking daily. Sometimes though, when the weather is dire it can be so difficult to get out there. A cuppa enjoyed on the balcony or in the garden can sometimes suffice and help blow off the cobwebs.
Take a shower
- Even if you don't necessarily need one, you'll feel better. There's nothing like a shower to refresh and reset.
Give Yourself Time
- Give yourself a little time to ease yourself into the day as well as some flexibility to change if you need. With kiddos and other daily demands this can be easier said than done, but don't beat yourself up for popping the kids in front of the TV for half an hour while you recoup. Remember that nothing always goes to plan but you will get more done if you take a little time to prepare yourself first than if you burn out half way through the day.
Be A Friend
- Be a friend to yourself, or reach out to another friend or family member. Even if you don't want to talk about how you're feeling, take a minute to reach out to a friend, even if it's just via text about something trivial. If you really don't feel like it, imagine how you would treat yourself if you were your own friend.
Keep It Simple
- Don't over-elaborate plans or over-commit. Sometimes, the pressure can be on to be perfect and make every minute of every day count, but no one is going to report yourself to social services if you give the kids tinned soup for lunch today; no one is going to fall out with you if you say "Sorry, I can't do coffee today." and stop worrying about filling your bloody Instagram feed with perfect family days out. It's not how real life works, and you're doing a great job.
This may not be rocket science, but I often need reminding of these things. If you have anything to add to the list leave a comment below, or link up your blog posts with your top tips on self care, I need them today!
Don't forget, I am always here too and happy to hear from anyone who may feel the same way as I do sometimes. We are a community and here to support one another. You can email me at anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.