A few days ago, when I got home after work, it was already dark. In my not-so-well-lit road, I got off the car and happened to look up only to realise the sky full of stars – and in case you’re wondering, yes, I’m still in the UK, despite the clear sky. That, once again, reminded me that sometimes I need to take a step back!
As I mentioned last year, I might be steering away from Jewellery Making at some point, just to give you all a little something different and this is one of those times.
Another exciting collab with my good friend and fellow blogger Charlotte Vickers (proud and talented owner/blogger of House of Lotz), this time we want you to focus on… you! And don’t forget to check her blog post for her perspective on this topic.
More often than not, with the busy lifestyle that comes with, well… being a part of the Universe, comes this lack of awareness that you’ve entered auto mode… and with auto mode constantly on, it’s only natural to forget to stop, take a breath and relax.
Whether you’re a busy Mum (or a stay-at-home Dad) or someone with the busiest ever social schedule, whether you’re a student or have 2 jobs, stress will sooner or later creep up on you. Now: stress is not necessarily negative (in moderation) and there are a thousand ways to keep it under control. And trust me, if you didn’t even know how “auto” you’ve been lately, you’re not alone!
When I need to get back to my “in-control” headspace?
Why not try a few things to find out what works for you? Take a step back and force yourself to take 10. Get up and take a walk, do a bit of brain dumping, sing a song or dance like crazy… For me (Charlotte knows too well) verbal brain dumping can work wonders! 5 minutes of going “wraaaaahwaaaawaaaa” and done! Oh, and one I love: putting a nice happy empowering song on and dancing and singing as much as I can – yes, I am the crazy one in the car, singing (more like screaming) and grooving like there’s no tomorrow!
And when I can make some time for me?
When I have a bit more time I, as you all know, create. I’ve never been particularly great at Arts but Jewellery Making has become a HUGE hobby, an outlet for any stressful time. I can also see some results of my work pretty fast so it’s great to feel that little sense of achievement every time I finish a new piece.
I love my own space but time with family and friends is needed and much much appreciated. As cliche as it sounds, spending time with the hubby watching a film or out for lunch with the sister is fun and effective. Same goes for going out with friends. And those who know me also know that, for me, spending time with the niece and nephew is precious! And I gotta tell you, kids know how to have fun! (How else can you justify spending time hiding from/scaring/hiding from/scaring someone and laughing until you cry as a result)?
Exercise! Yesss, my biggest struggle for time! If I’m at work, I’m structuring my week schedule for BeeBiju (my shop). If I’m doing my pieces I’m thinking about dinner. While I’m washing the dishes, I’m planning my next blog post… It’s hard to imagine going to the gym and having no time to do or think about other things. But I have been trying very hard, after signing up again, and have been going as much as I can. I also realised I miss dancing A LOT so I signed up for some classes, which I can’t wait to start… exciting!
Now a few tips:
- If you’re used to a busy lifestyle, learning to take time for yourself will take commitment. You have to teach yourself to accept that it’s ok to take some time. If you struggle with it like I do, schedule some time for it in your calendar to start with.
- Having stated that, don’t force it by saying: “I’m going to wake up at 5.30am so I can relax until 6.15am” or “I will go to Nero but at 7pm I’m going to rush home to make dinner”. It doesn’t work if you’re walking around like a zombie or trying desperately to make up for time “wasted” relaxing 🙂 Try, instead, something like, “I will leave work today, get take-away for dinner, and worry about nothing at all this evening” or “I will go to bed right after the kids and I’ll read my book until I fall asleep”. Don’t let the respite become stressful!
- Go with what you like to do! This post contains just a few examples of what you can do to relax but it’s a “me” guide. It has some of the things I do to unwind but it doesn’t mean it will necessarily suit you. If you’re not into exercising, going to the gym will feel like an obligation; for parents of young children, perhaps an hour by yourself at the coffee shop might sound like the perfect break. Focus on you and find what feels good for yourself!