I’ll be honest. This time last year, I was a completely different girl. I was working with a different company, which I gave my heart and soul to. A few months into my role I was working round the clock. My work was sloppy. My mind was foggy and I’d never struggled with deadlines so much.
Looking back on it now, I can see that this was because I was overworking myself, as many of us tend to do. Just because I was working hard to complete my tasks, doesn’t mean that those tasks were being done well. But in my head, there was nothing else I could do. And I began to spiral. I wasn’t displaying the go-getter behavior I was usually praised for. Instead, stress and anxiety took residence in my chest, which turned me into someone I no longer recognized.
But it was only when I started to take some time for myself, not only on the weekends but every evening in the week that I began to see an impact. The old Libby was back. And it was a pleasure to see her again. Sometimes, when we have a goal that we want to achieve we will do anything we can to make it happen. But what we don’t realize is that we’re the magic, and we need to take care of ourselves first to make it happen. So, here’s exactly how I did it…
Make Sure You Stay Away From Your Laptop
Even if I have some small tasks to finish off when I get home, I make sure that I do not pull the laptop out as soon as I get in. I know there’s the comfort in doing something straight away so you can relax later, but for me, I would end up working hours.
And plus, after a long day in the office, the first thing I need to do when I get home is take a breath and a moment for myself. Especially if it has been a long day.
Instead, on my commute home, I make sure to do the last bits and bobs then. And if there is serious work that needs finishing then I make sure to stay in the office to complete it. I no longer take work home with me. Instead, I keep it as a safe place. A sanctuary that’s purely full of positivity and absent of all stress. I’m a firm believer of keeping spaces separate. Always have one place to work and one place to relax. Do not merge the two.
Dedicate One Hour To Socializing
Before, on my commute home, I would plan on just running back to bed with my laptop and hiding away from the world. And sometimes, this is needed. But, now I try and stay away from that behavior as much as I can. Instead, I force myself into the company of others, which always gives me the boost I need.
I really value my friends and family, without them I wouldn’t be me. No matter the issue, no matter how small, taking the time to get something off your chest to the people you love will do you wonders. There’s nothing like being surrounded with people, who just love and get you. They’ll allow you to talk and they’ll just listen. And sometimes that’s all you need – someone to offload to.
Don’t Take A Bath, Take A Luxurious One
When I say this, I don’t just mean pouring some bubbles into the bath and climbing in. It’s so much more than that. And it’s an essential part of my routine that I will never, ever miss. We all know that baths are amazing for unwinding, and plus they’re just so enjoyable.
I run the bath, making sure it’s very warm and add in essential oils like ylang-ylang, which I rely so heavily on to relieve my anxiety. I also make sure to buy shower gels that are infused with ylang-ylang because I’m addicted to it, whether it actually works or not, for me it’s mind over matter and it makes me feel so good.
Once I’m in the bath, I rest my head on my bath cushion and let the stress of the day escape my body. I always keep minimal lighting in the bathroom during this time and make sure the room is steamy. It’s the pure definition of comfort and it works every time.
After I’ve given myself nothing but pure silence and being alone with my thoughts I then will do something that means something to me. This is usually reading. It’s one of my passions and it’s really the only time in the day I get purely to myself and it’s a great way to switch off. If I’m not doing this, then I’m catching up with the news of the day, which is my huge guilty pleasure.
The best part is when I get out of the bath. I wrap myself up in my huge, hotel-like bathrobe and sit down in front of the mirror. First, I use my Toning Moisturizer from Elemis and knead it into my whole body, making sure to express gratitude as I do. After this, I apply my Elemis SuperFood Night Cream to my face, which is absolutely amazing. The smell alone puts me into a state of relaxation and I’ve never felt so refreshed – and I can honestly say that. Plus, I’ve never had better skin (just saying).
Make The Effort To Cook
If you know me, you know I hate cooking. I’m really not that good at it, and I just don’t enjoy it. So, to turn this around, I started using Gousto, which has really helped me not only learn how to cook but to enjoy it. You pick your meals for the week and it comes to your door, all you have to do it is cook it.
Now when I cook, I also find it a lot easier to stay on track with my fitness goals. Gousto gives you calories and lets you know exactly what’s in your meal, which really helps me when it comes to filling in my Fit Is The Sh*t Planner.
Don’t Rely On Social Media To Relax
I won’t lie to you when I say this, but these days I spend no more than ten minutes on social media a day. And it wasn’t an active choice to do this. It just happened. Usually, my days are full to the brim. And I have more valuable things to concentrate on than scrolling endlessly for hours on end.
I actually find that I enjoy more life has to offer this way. I connect more with real life and make real memories. And I never look back and wish that I went on Facebook that day. Because truthfully you’re not missing out on anything if you neglect it for a few hours.
Sometimes, I can be more or less, a stress head. And when I’m stressed I can’t relax. So, the one thing I make sure to do before I settle down for bed is to go over my to-do list in my Getting Things Done Planner and start planning ahead for tomorrow.
This really takes that anxiety monster off my chest and means I can sleep peacefully. It allows me to be more organized. Rather than stressing so much in the morning about something I’ve forgotten (because I tend to be a little forgetful).
If there’s one thing I’ve learned is that you should always be two steps ahead. And I go out of my way to go through the effort of doing that. It keeps me calm. Plus it means that I’m more prepared for what the next day has to throw at me. More than anything it keeps me confident and that makes all the difference.
Photos by Mango
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