Especially in the last 14 months, I’ve been more proactive in making sure I prioritise time for myself. If I don’t have some ‘me’ time to recharge I won’t be any good to anyone, least of all myself.
I try to have some time for myself every day, usually in the evenings when I’m generally zoning out or trawling the blogosphere. As you know, I’m a lover of ASMR and erotic audios, not just for my own enjoyment and a bit of exploration, but it also helps me to relax and wind down for the night.
If I’m having an ‘off’ day when anxiety is really playing up, it can help calm me down. As well, it can help relax me enough to drift off to sleep. But this is just one of the many ways I make time for myself.
Also, I love anything lavender related. There’s nothing that says relaxation to me than a nice shower/bath with lavender soap and/or body lotion. Aaaaahhhhhh…
I love reading when I can. I’ve recently bought another book from an independent Sci-Fi and Steampunk author that I’ve started to read. As well as loving reading the books on the MA reading list to unpack in class, it’s nice to read something just because.
That being said, I’m looking forward to reading said books again just for my own enjoyment, as I thoroughly loved majority of the pieces we studied. Cormac McCarthy? *bows down* We are not worthy!
I used to feel incredibly guilty for having a day off or taking some time just for me, because it felt like I wasn’t ‘working hard enough’ to reach what I was aiming for. Anxiety can be a real bitch sometimes. All too often, we’re made to feel that taking the time to take care of our own needs is a selfish thing, and that was exactly how I felt. Selfish.
I came to quickly realise with burnout and a whole load of stress that I was just being my worst enemy. I still do get those feelings at times, but not as much as I used to. I suppose having a mental breakdown really makes you sort out your priorities in life, because you have no other choice but to.
So since then, self-care is top priority. Good function for me starts from the inside out. If I don’t look after myself, I won’t be able to look after anyone/anything else. Doing the little things I love, be settling under the covers with a cup of tea and Netflix, reading, yoga/pilates etc. not only helps clear my head, but it just feels nice to do those little things without feeling shitty for it. I appreciate it a lot more now.
Keeping balance between working and me time like most, can be difficult. Especially with studies and freelancing, it can be easy to get caught up feeling like you have to be working all hours of the day in order to be making some progress. It can be difficult to balance work and family/social life.
Planning more has become a really important tool to use, courtesy of a brilliant talk by Kayla Lords at Eroticon this year, which has been an absolute Godsend for me! Putting a pen to paper on what I need to do that day, and spacing out my work over the time I have to do it, has soothed so much stress I was feeling before. So my yearly organiser/diary has become my new best friend!
In keeping with trying to maintain a balance, I keep as regular contact as possible with family and friends. As well as just loving talking to and seeing my nearest and dearest, knowing I have that support network really helps if I’m having an off day.
Self-care is important. Make sure you take a moment for yourselves, folks ❤
All my love,