Despite everything I told myself about making more time for me this year, I haven’t been feeling so great over the past few weeks. I let my work, blogging and other deadlines build up again, to the point that my brain was beginning to clamour for a break – and then I made another attempt at cutting down my anti-depressants again. I’ve had a rough few days, although I’m determined to push through it this time (it turns out the panic attacks are pretty typical).
I’m writing this at the turn of a bank holiday weekend, kicking myself that I’ve done no work (although I made a couple of epic dinners, cleaned the bathroom and finally strung up those paper lanterns, so it wasn’t all Skyping my sister and napping on the sofa). There’s something pretty sad about feeling like a long weekend spent doing nothing is time wasted – I mean, isn’t that the point? – but if I want to make a success of my job, my freelance writing business and my blog I can’t ever properly switch off at weekends.
It all comes down to scheduling: and so, last weekend, I decided to schedule a day specifically for self-care. No work, no beating myself up – just things like:
LUSH BATH PRODUCTS!
Yeah, me and every girl with a blog – but baths, as the last sacred space into which you can’t (or, at least, really shouldn’t) take your iPhone feel like a proper indulgence and Lush’s playful, cruelty-free cosmetic products add to the fun. Given their one-and-done nature, if I’m using a Lush bath bomb it’s because I really want to treat myself – although this Intergalactic bath bomb was a gift, as part of my springtime “secret Santa” parcel from one of my fellow Crown and Glory Glitterati girls. Since I’d finally gotten around to taking back some product pots for recycling the day before I also had my favourite Catastrophe Cosmetic face mask to add to the pampering.
With the exception, perhaps, of freshly-laundered sheets, nothing makes you feel cosy and secure like new pyjamas. I’m not ashamed to admit that, on some of my worst mental health days, I’ve actually stopped by Primark on the way home to cheer myself up. That said, it does feel a little bit disrespectful to refer to my new “lounge suit” from LingaDore Lingerie* in the same sentence as an £8 Miffy shorts and vest set. LingaDore is made for a different class of lounging – for lazy days in a wicker chair on the patio, wrapped in a blanket with a really good book. You can find some of their luxurious collections at UK Lingerie.
REALLY GOOD TEA!
Nothing says “comfort” like a good cuppa, and recently I’ve been getting to know luxury tea brand JADU*, based in Knightsbridge, London. JADU’s mission is to share the “magic” of tea – the brand name comes from the Sanskrit word for magic – and to bring a little bit of affordable luxury into what many people think of as one of the most everyday things that there is. From their English Breakfast tea, which is made from a combination of Assam and Sri Lankan black teas, to their innovative blends like the caffeine-free Rooibos Creme Brulee, what stands out about JADU is the attention to detail – the gold-embossed royal suede gift box is easily the most elegant way of getting your daily brew I have ever seen, although the silky individual tea bags I’ve been making my cuppas from aren’t far off. I’m not a fan of Earl Grey teas (although if anything would change my mind, it’s JADU’s sophisticated Mademoiselle Grey), so keep an eye out for a very special giveaway coming later this month.
OFFLINE READING MATERIALS!
Although I’ll admit to spending a fair chunk of my self-care time catching up with the many wonderful articles I bookmark during the week on Instapaper, the nature of my work means I can’t properly get away from it unless I disconnect for a bit. I’m still swooning over my partner-in-Tumblr virality Sarah Maria Griffin’s engrossing and beautifully-written memoir about her move from Dublin to Los Angeles, Not Lost (she’s since moved back, but don’t let that put you off) as well as imagining myself becoming pals with just about everybody who’s written for the latest Ladyfuzz zine. Speaking of media made by women: Lyra Magazine sounds like just like the sort of publication Kaite and I used to dream up over the bar at Greyfriars, and I’m definitely getting in on the Kickstarter that will fund printing of its first issue.
How do you like to make time for yourself?
This post contains PR samples, but all opinions are my own and unbiased.