The Small Things
One of my words for this year is 'care'. I picked it out in January, resolving that in the months ahead I would make more time to take care of ME.
Our life is busy. There's always something happening - work commitments, two young children and fun filled weekends around every corner, it's all good stuff. But when I looked back on 2015, I realised I hadn't left much time, day to day, for myself.
Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed plenty of 'getaways' with friends or just Sam, giving ample space to refresh and relax. This weekend in fact, I'm away with my Mum and sister on a MAD (Mothers And Daughters) hen weekend (you can read about our last one here.)
What I'm talking about though is the general day to day stufflike, not having a proper lunch but instead making do with whatever's left on the chopping board after the kids'; not getting enough sleep because I've stayed up waaaaay too late staring at my phone (Insta-surfing) or never getting around to painting my toes and feeling sad about it everytime I look down in the shower. Small things that don't take much time or are easy to change, but that make a big difference to my everyday.
I'm so glad to see that the topic of mental health, particularly maternal mental health, is becoming more and more talked about across the media. I've become so much more aware of personal stories of this important yet often taboo subject. I know that I've struggled myself in recent months, but finally came to a place in January when I knew there were simple lifestyle changes I could make. Changes that would help me be a happier and well rested ME and, in turn, more equipped in my role as a Mum.
Obviously, I know that it's not always as easy as just making small changes, I'm most certainly not belittling the challenges and difficult journeys that many women face. However, I wanted to share just a few things that I've personally found have given me back a bit more 'me' time, and a little added joy to my day.
I'd have to say that my biggest chance for time to myself is when I'm in bed. In fact, when I'm in bed AND ASLEEP. The trouble is I'm not very good at it. I've always been a night owl, I'm more productive in the evenings and late at night. Some evenings I end up working until the small hours (making and packing orders with two small people just doesn't work) but other days, I potter and waste time on my phone, regretting it as soon as I realise how few hours it is until Wilf heads up our stairs.
So, when I recently started using this Sleep Plus Pillow Spray from This Works, bedtimes became a dream, quite literally! The smell on the linen is so relaxing and I can't help but take deep breaths to take it all in. What I loved reading was that 'natural night time movement' gently releases the amazing smells, so as I toss and turn I can rest assured that the fragrance is helping me stay sound asleep. Now I just have to work on leaving my phone somewhere that's NOT in arms reach and I might even get an early night. Anyone else with me on this?
Back in January, after a little spot of sales shopping I treated myself to some new skin care. Having heard great things about Liz Earle from friends and family I decided to go for it. And I'm so glad I did! Without sounding melodramatic about a face wash, I actually feel like I've found THE one!
I have to admit, that in previous months I'd resorted to either a quick wipe of my tired face with a flannel or, if I was lucky an ACTUAL face wipe. Liz Earle's Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser adds just one small step into that process, which is that you get to rub a delicious smelling cream in first and then, as I was doing anyway, wipe it off with a wet cloth. I've also been using her Skin Tonic and Skin Repair Moisturiser and the difference it's made to my skin has amazed me. It all smells so good that I've actually started looking forward to taking my make up off at the end of the day. Small things, small things.
Talking of fragrances I've also been LOVING this No.20 Botanical Essence perfume you can see on the shelf. As the name suggest it's a floral number but has a lovely pink pepper scent too. It's still new to me and I'm enjoying the feeling you get when you notice a new perfume on your clothes, scarf or coat. If you're looking for a Mother's Day gift for your own Mum (or perhaps fancy dropping a few hints yourself) then you can't go wrong with this pretty pink bottle.
Another lovely fragrance I'm enjoying is this Eucalyptus and Rosemary Botanical Candle. It's sat next to our bathroom sink and the fresh, natural scent wafts up when I walk past. I don't know about you but I love keeping candles for a little while before lighting them, there's something about that unspoiled wax (almost as good as freshly fallen snow!) Like I said, small things. This would also make a great Mother's day gift if you're stuck for ideas, just give her a nudge to actually use it if you find it still unlit weeks later.
The bathroom is somewhere else where I can find a bit of time to myself. Obviously not during the hectic, floor flooding chaos that occurs during the kid's bathtime, but during quiet, candlelit, peaceful baths. I'm more likely to really switch off and relax when I'm in the bath, as the high chance of dropping my phone in means I leave it well and truly behind! This Deep Sleep Bath Soak from This Works is next on my 'finding me time' hit list. It smells amazing and I know that a good soak would relax me so much I'd probably risk falling asleep before I even make it to my pillow. The trouble is, I just haven't had the time to use it. Proving my point entirely, life is busy and finding time for ourselves is much easier said than done.
I'd love to know what things you do to take a little extra care of yourself, I'm always on the look out for tips.
Whatever you have planned for the week ahead, I hope you manage to find a time for you, I promise you'll enjoy it AND it'll do you good too. Win win!
Thank you so much for stopping by.
This post is written in collaboration with Liz Earle and This Works, however all views and opinions expressed are my own.