I'm back - actually I haven't been away. I did plan to take a little time off in August but I didn't plan on getting the flu. Anyway I'm back in the land of the living now and the two weeks of enforced rest has at least given me some time to reflect ( and not just on how quickly the washing basket fills up when you don't do any chores for a few days)
I do write a lot about enjoying the simple things in life and a short spell of not being able to enjoy them certainly make you appreciate them even more. Having a very minor illness made me realise just how precious good health is and reinforced the necessity of self-care routines.
The two things I missed most were dog walking and coffee. My lungs still feel like they're about to burst but it is so good to be outdoors and enjoying the fresh air again. I got soaked to the skin on my first long walk - it felt great!
I know something is wrong with me if I can't face a cup of coffee and for the best part of a week, even the thought of it made me nauseous. Thankfully that wore off and the reunion was sweet. I don't think I've ever drunk coffee so mindfully as that first cup - the feel of my favourite mug in my hands, the warmth, the smell and then the taste!
Well - I'm off to put the kettle on now! Anyone want to join me for a coffee?
If you're a coffee lover, or you know someone who is, then why not do a spot of coffee break shopping. All these coffee related treats are from independent artists and makers - and they are all under £10. Just click on the photographs to visit their shops.
I am aware of the fact that I set a thirty day challenge for a month with thirty one days. There is a good reason for that - honestly. These challenges are not just something to be done and ticked off. To fully benefit from them you need to reflect.
So - how did you get on? Did you manage to get your thirty minutes of Me Time every day? If not - why not? Did some of the exercises appeal to you more than others? Which ones will you keep and which ones will you ditch? What exercises of your own will you include?
Remember, this is not a pass or fail activity. It's an exploration. Hopefully you will have enjoyed many of the activities and come to appreciate that taking some time for yourself isn't an indulgence, it's a necessity.
If you need a reminder of the simple self-care exercises suggested in this challenge, they're all here in this handy grid.
I love lists. "I need a list" is my battle cry. Usually these lists have been practical - to do lists and shopping lists and such, but more recently I've been drawn to the idea of bucket lists.
You'll notice that I've used the plural lists - I'm not talking about a once in a life time, grand gesture kind of list with goals such as "sail around the world single handed" or "publish a best-selling novel". You are of course free to set these as future goals but for the moment I'm focusing on the smaller things - everyday bucket lists, if you like.
So grab yourself a notebook or a file and start compiling lists - lots of lists - of the things you want, can and should do in the near future. Make your lists themed and reasonably specific and leave space to add to them. Add photos, doodles, graphics and anything else that inspires you.
What you list is up to you and the possibilities are endless but here are some ideas if you need them;
Revisit your lists frequently, not only to add new ideas but to remind yourself of all you can look forward to.
A bit of pampering is on the self-care menu today. Treat yourself to a home facial or try a new hairstyle - or both. The facial is simply all about indulging and enjoying. Trying a new hairstyle is more about taking a small step out of your comfort zone. Sometimes it's good to do something a little different and taking small steps is the least scary way to do it. Small steps still take you to your destination.
You could also try new make up or going without it today. Changing your face or your hair may sound a little trivial and, on a global scale, it probably is. However, simple self-care exercises like these do serve the purpose of reminding us that we can change and that change can be good.