It’s easy to get caught up, whether it’s with work, planning your wedding or keeping on top of day to day tasks. We forget to breathe and stop for lunch, sound familiar? Before you know it you’re stressed about everything that you need to get done, you’re unhappy and planning a wedding is too overwhelming to even think about.
The constant hustle to get ahead is tiring and your mental health suffers because of it. Being ‘busy’ all the time isn’t a sustainable way of living. I’ve been there, I know what it feels like to be completely burnt out with nothing left to give. Unfortunately, it took getting to rock bottom for me to figure out a better way to manage my time and prioritise self care.
I’ve recently opened up about my own story and struggles with anxiety. I have learnt a lot about myself over the past couple of years. I know what my triggers are and know how to listen to my body. I’ve written this blog post because I want to share some of my useful tools with you. I hope I can inspire and influence you to make self care your number one priority, no matter where you are or what stage of life you are in.
I used to think I wasn’t a morning person. The problem for me was I was actually spending too much time in bed. I used to not sleep very well but over the years I have refined my before bed time habits. I now give myself 8 hours, maybe a little more on weekends.
Lately I have started getting up with Karl at around 7am and we have been hitting the gym! My friends still can’t believe it when I tell them I’ve joined a gym… it never interested me until recently. I’m finding mornings are a better time for working out as opposed to late in the afternoon when I’m feeling tired from a days work.
Sometimes we won’t go to the gym and I’ll do something else that I enjoy like reading a book, working on a puzzle or listening to a podcast. You can mix up your morning routine. For me the most important thing is getting up and allowing enough time for a self care activity before I start work.
QUALITY TIME WITH FRIENDS & FAMILY
We like to feel connected with others. Make time to be with your family & friends. It might mean that you need to rework your schedule. Unplug from social media for an hour or two and be completely present in their company.
GET PLENTY OF SLEEP
I mentioned earlier that I have spent time improving my sleeping habits. When I don’t sleep my anxiety amplifies and I am very emotional. I struggle to make decisions and I often will boil over when something upsets me. Not getting enough sleep is a huge trigger which means I need to take it really seriously.
The first thing I did was buy a bigger and more comfortable bed. I’m all about improving comfort and buying quality. I love jumping into a bed with fresh cotton sheets. I will often light a candle an hour or two before I’m ready to sleep.
I try to limit my phone usage as much as possible before bed but I fall into the trap of checking emails right before I turn the light off. It is never helpful. A realistic goal would be to unplug 30 minutes before you go to sleep, then you can extend this to 1 hour if you feel like you need to. This is a great opportunity to read a book, hang out with your partner or meditate.
PACE YOURSELF & SET REALISTIC GOALS
I’m an over achiever. Failure doesn’t sit well with most of us, but I’m learning that failing is actually just part of being a human. The feeling of failure is very disruptive, it can put plans on hold and sabotage motivation.
Try to pace yourself. When I set goals or tasks, whether its daily or monthly, I focus on “my big 3”. This is a list of 3 achievable things that are the most important and will help you move forward. Your list doesn’t need to include everything that you can think of. Some tasks can wait, focus on your big 3 first.
USE POSITIVE LANGUAGE & SELF-TALK
Be kind to yourself. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to your friend or loved one. You would never call your best friend ‘stupid’.
STOP & RELAX
You might be doing all of the above but still feel anxious or stressed. This is your body telling you to stop and relax. Learn how to say no to plans, this has been the biggest game changer for me. I will often only have one social occasion per week because every other day I’m either working or taking care of myself. I keep my schedule as simple as I need to, I don’t over book myself. Take a day off or cut back your hours at work. Spend some time on your own (I like to watch RuPaul’s Drag Race and drink wine).
MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU
There are so many helpful resources out there. I haven’t touched on things like eating well and meditation because I feel like those are the type of things I sometimes shy away from. I do eat well but I also like to treat myself, I make it work for me.
How do you feel after reading this post? Are you ready to try some new things and make a change? These tools can translate into every day life, even better if you’re planning a wedding. Take notice of what is triggering stress for you and ask yourself if there is something you can do to combat that feeling. If you start to practice self-care regularly you will start to feel calmer and more in control of your life.
I’d love to hear how these tools have worked for you and if you have any tips for me, get in touch via my email address!