I find this time of the year tough, even though it’s the run-up to Christmas. It’s dark, it’s cold and this year we’ve been part of another national lockdown. Thank you 2020.
At this time of year, quite a few of us will live with seasonal affective disorder and perhaps subconsciously not realise a lower mood, a lack of energy and increased feelings of despair, worthlessness and irritability. So let’s add a global pandemic and national lockdown restrictions to the mix, that’ll be fun.
Luckily, working from home in the global pandemic has made it easier to soak up some vitamin D during the day. My desk is positioned right under a window and it genuinely puts me in a better mood to see the sun streaming through the window – that’s not always the case in an office environment. I try to get myself out for a quick walk during my lunch break and it does make the difference to my mood and my productivity.
You can’t pour from an empty cup however, so this is where I’ll suggest the idea of a self-care ‘toolkit’ that you can implement for 365 days a year. The thing to go back to when the weather is depressing, it’s difficult to feel motivated and feeling in need for some time to ‘switch off’.
Here are the four items in my self-care toolkit:
CALMING EXERCISE. If you’ve read this blog before, you’ll know that I’m a fan of yoga. And I’m mentioning it as self-care because yoga is for everybody. Yoga isn’t about being perfect, it’s about practising individually and doing what works best, not being able to touch your toes is not a barrier!!
THE COMFORTING TV SHOW. This is a fundamental element of self-care. It’s the TV show which has been watched numerous times, the storyline is known inside out with episodes to quote and it’s one where the world can be tuned out. For me, this is New Girl, Gavin and Stacey, Friends or Grace and Frankie. Wrap up in a blanket, make a cup of tea and just watch for some well-needed switch off time.
CREATIVE HOBBY. Lockdown 1 turned most of us into star bakers right? I mean I wish, I’m nowhere near Great British Bake Off standard. But a creative hobby could be anything, just to give the mind something else to focus on. For me, it’s blogging, I’m not saying I’ll sit down, write a post and my mind feels magically better, but it gets better, it’s good to focus on something for me. So bake, blog, knit, paint, design, anything creative!
JOURNALLING. I’m a to-do list kind of person. Writing a to-do list makes me feel productive and ticking the tasks off? Even better. But getting thoughts on paper can be a game changer, put your mind on paper and things may seem easier. Thoughts like “I’m uninspired” or “I can’t do this” cloud our minds when a lot of the time is isn’t true. Take a glass half full approach, journal the negative thoughts and problem solve to hopefully have a most positive outlook.
In the last month, I came across Lil Something, thoughtful gift boxes focused on health, wellness and self-care and designed with the intention to empower and inspire. Right up my street and ideal for a self-care toolkit – the boxes can help incorporate some self-care habits into your lifestyle.
The founder of Lil Something, Cristina created the boxes following her own experience of ‘burn out’, with the aim to empower and inspire others to focus on wellness and self-care, whilst embarking on her own self-care journey. Her Lil Something box recommendation is the Know Yourself box, using the products of bath salt, nail polish, journal and chocolate to take time for pampering and reflection at the end of each week. Perfect for when you really just need a breather!
What would be in your self-care toolkit?