What is it about holidays that seem to make you take stock? Whenever I go away, I always come home with a notebook full of new ideas and plans for making changes. Maybe it’s just having time to assess and take stock? It was weird in China (I was there on commission for Cruise International – more of this very soon!) – you can’t get on Instagram, Google (or any derivative, so Google maps, Chrome, etc), Facebook or WhatsApp. There are ways around it, as it turns out, but the first couple of days, I was completely stressing about not being able to get online. It made me think long and hard about my priorities, and also about some changes that I want to make. I started to jot down a couple of winter self care promises to myself and thought I’d share them with you as I know a lot of you often have the odd wobble too!
Having the confidence to be more me
So my most recent wobble (there’s always something) has been about whether I should write about the things I really love: whether people will find my doggy Instagram stories boring, or whether banging on about sustainability is preachy, or if I should feature that pair of shoes because they’re £99. I know I’m not cool. I talk to my houseplants, run like Phoebe from Friends in an old Spice Girls t-shirt (Edit: suddenly quite cool!!), I can’t do flicky eyeliner, definitely can’t add up in my head, live in joggers, chunky socks and wellies and love Chardonnay. But here’s the thing: it’s me. It’s the stuff I care about. I love my dawg, care about sustainability, quite enjoy my shit running and would rather save up and buy one pair of £99 shoes that will last for years than three pairs of £33 ones. It’s how I am, and honestly, I need to start having the confidence to say ‘look, this is how I do it, but if you don’t like it, that’s fine too’, rather than constantly worrying about what people will think.
I won’t feel bad about unfollowing
I got called out on Twitter recently by someone I had unfollowed, which I thought was a bit harsh. They asked me (publicly) if I felt they were boring. It actually wasn’t that at all, it was that they’re quite enthusiastic networkers in a certain field, and I felt that they took up a bit too much of my feed, with ‘follow Fridays’ and that kind of thing. But hey, I shouldn’t have to explain myself and neither should you. Unfollowing doesn’t reflect badly on you and it’s totally your choice. From now on I’ll be reminding myself that it’s not bad to unfollow.
I’ll be putting my phone away a bit more
My forced social media hiatus in China was actually quite refreshing. I knew I couldn’t get online, so my phone was in my bag most of the day, not on the table at dinner, and not in my hand unless I wanted to take photos. Every time I’ve tried to impose strict times for logging off before (say, 5pm), I’ve always failed, but I need to remember to be kinder to myself. Everyone uses the internet for different things – mine happen to be work as well as leisure (reading blogs I love, looking a houses I’d love to buy). It made me remember that it’s fine to put the phone down and not think about it for an hour or two. I’ll be trying to do it more often.
I’ll be using a blue light filter
I was recently offered Ocushield, a blue light filter that just sticks onto your phone like a screen protector. I’ve heard about blue light before, and as a habitual bedtime scroller and someone who often struggles to sleep, I was interested to give it a go. Blue light emitted by digital screens is quite stimulating to the brain and can suppress the production of melatonin, the hormone that naturally regulates our sleep cycles. So blue light can potentially disrupt our sleep and strain our eyes. So have I noticed a difference? Well, yes actually. It seems to subtly make the screen ‘softer’ somehow, but I think I’ll get more of an idea when my body clock has readjusted to UK time. I’ll report back on this one.
I’ll be stopping the morning scroll
So yeah, that scrolling thing. I’m going to try and stop. Whether it’s first thing in the morning or last thing at night, I’m a compulsive Instagram scroller. And then there’s always someone whose life is so much more interesting than mine, who gets invited to the things I’d love to go to, or works with the brands who turned me down… Oh, that little devil, comparison. We all know it’s the thief of joy, but I really need to work on remembering the piece of advice I heard recently which is that the only person you should compare yourself to is you – so have a think about six months ago you, or a year ago you. Are you happy? Have you moved on? Achieved goals? Or have you got a few changes still to make?
I need to stop feeling guilty about food
I had this chat with Mr E recently. Food is such a difficult issue for me. I love it, and I love experimenting, and I really loved having a little dabble with going low carb, but it turns out that it’s not really for me. So I need to stop beating myself up about every flipping slice of toast I eat and start concentrating on nourishing my body.
I’ll be putting some proper me-time in the diary
My to do list is always full of good intentions like ‘get haircut’ or ‘book facial’ but I never seem to actually get them done. I’m determined to start properly taking care of myself and that means buying myself some flowers or the odd scented candle (my current favourite is this deliciously scented, hand poured ginger lily and ylang-ylang candle from Thornbush Hill – it fills your whole house with the smell of a posh spa), and actually putting some beauty treats in the diary, not just scribbling them on a list and never getting round to it.
What about you? Have you made any changes recently to keep yourself happy? I’d love to hear them xx
White chunky trainers (top): Office.