This Valentine, love Yourself!

Photo: Element 5 digital / Unsplash

Valentine’s Day puts the emphasis on love for someone special in your life. We all know it is a day to celebrate someone we love, a partner. But have you ever considered that you could celebrate yourself a little too?

In-between juggling careers, home, family and friends, it’s easy to forget oneself.

When the day starts with the infernal chiming sound of the alarm clock, after a night, of barely any sleep, it is difficult to feel like a morning bird but rather more like some form of a permanently exhausted pigeon. Then the chaos kicks off: waking the family, getting everyone washed, dressed and fed before leaving the house.

“Why did you not tell me you needed the PE kit cleaned yesterday?

You have just enough time for a couple of sips of your morning coffee before everyone rushes off, with school and work the next stops. At work, whenever you complete one task, two new are added. No time for lunch, but let’s see what the vending machine has to offer. Before you know it the school’s pick up time is fast approaching and by the time you realise, you should have left 5 minutes ago. But you make it, after running as fast as you can, realising you should really start going to the gym. The kids are all fine, but starving. They are always starving at pick up, especially on days with cake sale. But today there’s no cake sale and some snacks needs to magically appear sooner rather than later. In the supermarket with ravenous children in tow, your brain goes blank and you really have no idea of what to make for dinner. You should really make something home cooked but with no recipes at hand, another bag of readymade ravioli, pesto, salad and some parmesan cheese ends up in the basket. Once again. Finally home you get going with the PE kit that had escaped the laundry basket. Apparently laundry magically gets up from the floor, wherever it was tossed, and flies through the house before landing in the laundry basket. But somehow, there seem to be an error, as surprisingly, the PE kit was not in the basket last night… The pasta is quick to make and ever quicker to eat. You avoid having that large glass of red, although desperately longing for one. And only then do you realise that this is actually the first meal of the day.

If any of the above sounds familiar, read on. Me time is not something I do very often, or at all. If anything it gives me a feeling of guilt and also, I do get bored. So to make some space for me during the day, I need some advice. I thought I’d share it here with you, in case it can inspire you to take some more much needed (and well deserved, I am sure!) me-time.

A little warmth goes a long way – teatime.

The easiest way to for me to destress is to have a cup of tea. There is something therapeutic about the tea making ritual, from boiling the water, to preparing the cup and utensils, before pouring the hot water slowly over the loose leaf tea and allowing it to brew, whilst the scent embraces the room. As an avid coffee drinker I am trying to cut back on caffeine, so as an alternative to black tea I have found a lovely green tea. I have a Pao Infuser Mug from Whittard, with a nifty little lid that doubles as a tray for the infuser once ready. I feel very grown up with this in my kitchen. The Mango & Bergamot Green Tea also from Whittard is just sweet enough so sugar is not needed. And it tastes lovely. Apparently this tea is recommended for sophisticated afternoon teas. But I am very grateful to just have 10 minutes, slowly sipping my hot drink whilst the steam warms up my tired face.

Let your mind to wander!

The Mindfulness Colouring Book and healthy snack to keep you going.

If you are like me, even without thinking you have grabbed your phone (again!), and like a zombie you are browsing through endless social media and news sites, into eternity. This distraction which is probably more like an addiction, just adds to my tiredness and stress. Instead, as an option I have a pocket size destress colouring book at hand. It comes with me in the bag or is kept anywhere near to my phone… Unlike the phone, colouring in and doodling has a calming effect on me as I don’t have to concentrate on what I am doing and my mind is free to wander.

Sometimes, you need to shut the door to the world.

Take a time out and treat yourself to a home spa. Fill the tub, light a candle, close the door to the outside world and allow yourself to sink into the steaming hot water. Nothing beats a hot bath in relieving stress and reenergising. When it comes to spa products organic is kind to both to the environment and skin. Soap Folk soap bars are lovingly handcrafted and produced in their workshop in the beautiful Stroud Valleys in Gloucestershire. I use the Lemon & Bergamot Soap which is said to have skin balancing qualities. I am picturing rolling green hills and open spaces whilst treating my dry and dull skin to some deep conditioning and gentle soap, made from sustainable and certified organic oils and butters.

And when it goes for forgetting and not having time to eat. It is best to have something that you can eat on the go. I now bring nuts and raisins with me. Recently I’ve been enjoying the shot size packs of protein pick me up from Whitworths, especially the bag cashews and almonds with a slightly smoked flavour. Perfect towards the end off the day, when dinner is still a few hours away. On that note, I think the kids will be cooking the dinner tonight. x

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