Sunday, 18 October 2015

Making The Effort: Promises to Myself

This week has been a tough one. Usually making the effort to maintain relationships with family and friends is something I am quite good at. Making the effort to do things that will enhance my wellbeing is an area of weakness. The impact of this has been very clear this week. I have felt tired and run down and have had  sore throat and head cold that has not only made me feel pretty rubbish and sorry for myself it has also had an impact on my enthusiasm and communication with my friends. I have sometimes left messages unanswered for days and have retreated into myself. I feel that I have allowed myself to slip into a viscous cycle of being unhealthy, feeling lethargic and needing to rest. I then don't feel as though I have the energy to do the healthy things that will help me to feel better.

Image from Pinterest
Lets start small. I do not think that I can change how much time I spend at work, as things need to get done. I did make myself a promise when I started that if I needed to work late, it would only be on a certain day so that it was contained. This has not happened, often I find I am still at my desk at 6pm, sometimes I will get home and think 'oh I'll just write and send that email', or 'I'll just write up that visit'.

Promise 1: to leave work on time at 5.30 between 3-4 times a week

Sometimes I get home and feel the need to reflect on the day or a visit. I often use my reflective log as a therapeutic tool, to write down and sort through my worries. It can also aid my development by thinking about how I could do differently in the future and how I could move forward with an issue. This I feel is a positive use of my time, although preferably there would be enough time to do this at the end of my work day before arriving home.

Sometimes my reflective log helps but I still can't completely switch off from work, thinking about things I haven't managed to complete that day and my ever expanding to do list for the next day.

Promise 2: to listen to a short mindfulness meditation video as soon as possible after arriving home or after some reflection and be grateful (write a gratitude list)

Healthy eating and nutrition is another area where I lack considerably. Again, I started to do a regular weekly food shop and planned my meals for the week, meat, veg and pasta. This was not only for my evening meals but my packed lunches as well. The main reason why I slip up with my food shopping and meal preparation is due to leaving work late and wanting time to relax instead of doing chores.

Promise 3: take daily multi-vitamins, do a weekly meal plan and food shop

Using my time effectively is important when there isn't much of it spare. During the 30 minutes or so that my dinner is cooking I can study; read articles or books that relating to my job or listen to inspiring and informative podcasts or TED talks. I could also use this time to exercise, I have a cross trainer residing in my spare bedroom, a dusty workout dvd or a wide range of videos I can access through YouTube. I have no good excuses not to do something.

Promise 4: to use my time wisely; read, listen, exercise

Promise 5: do something fun once in a while

One a day to day basis I enjoy some time to slob on the sofa and watch crime dramas having cuddles with my two cats and reading before bed. In recent weeks a friend and I have also been trying our very best to get to a local Zumba class on a Tuesday evening (if work permits). Sometimes I actually enjoy the class more if we have missed a week because I generally forget how much fun a class can be. The music is often upbeat and energetic and going with a friend allows me to feel comfortable to let go and have some fun.

While browsing Pinterest for some images to accompany this post I came across a self care 30 day challenge. I love this idea and am going to incorporate some of the ideas suggested alongside my own promises for 30 days and see how I feel at the end of it. The hashtag associated with the challenge is #loveyourself

How do you practice self care and self love?
If you want to join me or have taken part in the 30 day challenge before I would really like to know how you found it

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