I don’t know about you guys, but I find that January is such a hard month. Everyone gets caught up in that New Year New Me mentality, myself included, and it feels like there’s suddenly all this pressure not to make any mistakes. I feel exhausted, and we’re not even a month into the New Year! I decided to take a slightly different approach lately though. I’m easing myself into the New Year, and making sure I remember not just to set goals, and be productive, but also take care of myself and my mental health. I’ve been having lots of fun with my wardrobe challenge, and it’s been nice catching up with friends, but I’m also taking time for myself. If my mental heath isn’t in a good place, then I’m not going to accomplish anything! So here are a few of the things I’ve been doing lately!
I’ve talked about self care before on the blog, but it’s something that I am adamant about. How can you do anything worthwhile, or enjoy every moment if you’re not taking care of yourself? I’ve had a few struggles with my mental health, so to me, it’s one of the most important things I can do. These may be small things I’m doing, but they’re having a big effect!
Keeping fresh flowers on my bedside table
I bought a beautiful bouquet a few days before Christmas as a nice way to add a little festive cheer in the flat. It sat on my bedside for the better part of three weeks! When I had to finally get rid of it, I was genuinely upset; my bedside table was suddenly empty and small. So I decided to treat myself to a letterbox subscription from Bloom & Wild. Once a month, a delightful selection of flowers will arrive at my door and cheer up my bedside table. The one I’ve got now is so colorful and cheerful, and even just seeing it there makes me smile! Plus, it gets me excited to speculate about what the bouquet will look like next month, and the month after!
Turning off the television and reading before bed
This is something I’ve done for a little while now, but usually it’s after a long binge of television and it’s later than it should be for me to get a good night’s sleep. In the last month, I’ve been actively making the decision not to turn on the television the second I get home. Don’t worry, I’ve still been watching plenty of Friends! Mainly, I’ve been making a conscious effort not to veg. That also means I’ve been getting in bed earlier. I make myself a cup of tea, light a candle on the bedside table and turn on my fairy lights. It gives me plenty of time to wind down, and not ruminate on things that might be stressing me out. It also means I sleep better, and actually wake up feeling rested.
Cooking more and planning meals for the week
This is something that Mr. Actually and I started doing a few weeks ago, and it was borne out of a desire to worry less about who is cooking what. I know a few people who do this kind of thing, and I wasn’t sure about it, but it’s made a really big difference! Mr. Actually and I are actually spending more quality time together as well, as each of us takes it in turns to cook a nice meal. Because we plan it out, I’ve also been much more adventurous with what I’m cooking! I do really enjoy cooking, and this way I’m being productive as well as doing something I enjoy! It’s like positive reinforcement and I’m enjoying every second!
I do think it’s so important to actively spend a little time doing something you know is going to have a positive effect on your mental health. I’ve always noticed a huge difference in my life when I’m just sort of existing on a daily basis, versus when I’m taking the time to care for myself and my mental health. The later is much happier, more fun, more social, and generally, living life to a greater degree. A little bit of downtime never did me wrong!