5 Easy Ways to Selfcare

...and how to do it without breaking the bank!

The world is a big and scary place. When you contemplate some of the issues going on in this world, it can get rather overwhelming and terrifying. That’s why I love to escape to my blog, post pretty pictures and talk about books, films, skincare, make-up, clothes, TV programmes...essentially everything I would chit-chat about with my girlfriends. Admittedly, these are largely unimportant in the grand schemes of things but they bring pleasure to my day after spreadsheets, budgets and artwork deadlines!

'Time-Out', TLC, rest & relaxation or whatever you call it, we all need it yet we rarely carve enough time for ourselves to truly recalibrate. This isn't 'new' news but the rise in the importance of selfcare and self-awareness is almost becoming another pressure or marker by which we are falling short. How we are looking after ourselves is now a whole booming industry and the reality is that investing in your wellbeing can come with a hefty price-tag. So, here are some bank-balance friendly ways to reinstate a little balance to your life.
My impression of meditation is solely based upon Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love. A racing mind from one thought to the next, panicking about the incomplete to-do list and inevitably being annoyed by the buzzing sound from the light/coffee machine/fly in the room. Rather than sitting cross-legged in a retreat in India, try Headspace at home. You can sign up for a *free* 10-day trial to see if it’s your cup of tea. Plus, Headspace explain meditation in layman's terms so it quickly feels accessible and achievable. After I completed the ten days, I was by no means 'hooked' but I had felt the benefit of time away from multi-screening and focusing on my breath. I found it the perfect substitute for nighttime TV and sooooooooo relaxing that my sleep quality improved. FYI - Best not to try this in a public place as I couldn't help but fall asleep the first couple of times I tried it!

My most recent discovery that I LOVE is Madeleine Shaw's meditation programme - a 10-part series available on download for the very reasonable price of £9.99. My two favourite episodes, so far, are 'Sleep' and 'Anxiety' - the latter literally gave me a hug in audio form last night when I was feeling super anxious!

[Side note: I'm living my best single gal in New York life featuring just a mattress on my floor thanks to this announcement - have you seen it?]
Finding time to read is rare and I envy those who can tear through a book in a day or a weekend. My friend being one of those people and her steady stream of reading material is impossible to keep up with! My best reading time is on a holiday, pool included and a sunlounger with my name on it. Then, and only then, can I fly through 3 or 4 books in a week. My favourite way to buy books (and it helps to afford said holidays) is from charity shops; I know the money is going to a good cause and a much loved book is going to a new home. The second way - and more convenient I have to add - is via the Amazon Kindle app. Millions of books at your fingertips and so many only $0.99. It only need take a few clicks or swipes before you can escape into another world. If you like that, check out Kindle Unlimited which works in the same way as Netflix with a monthly subscription and unlimited books at the touch of button!

My top picks:
  • Giovanna Fletcher ‘Billy and Me’
  • Jojo Moyes ‘The Girl You Left Behind’
  • Clodagh Murphy ‘Some Girls Do’
Next on my list:
  • Mhairi McFarlane ‘Who’s That Girl’
  • Shari Low ‘One Day in September’
  • Katie Khan ‘Hold Back The Stars’
  • Cassie Rocca ‘A New York Love Story’

Mrs A to B: Reading List & Book Haul

I was pretty determined to find an apartment in New York with a bath. As a teenager, I got into a habit of running a bubble bath every Sunday; lighting candles and taking a magazine into the tub for a good old soak. Funnily enough, despite having a bath in our New York apartment, I haven’t got around to it, but it creates the perfect STOP moment in your day or week to breathe and let your body unwind from all the tension it’s holding onto.

Favourite bath time treats whether you want bubbles or bombs, milks or salts:
Force yourself into a new habit and reflect upon each day with the things you are grateful for, things that made you happy and things to get excited about for tomorrow. Encouraging living in the moment and to help frame a positive outlook, The Happiness Planner has all the notebooks to help you become a happier version of yourself. It might seem impossible at first - what’s there to be grateful for in a mundane day at the office? Perhaps you got a seat on your commute, or had an especially delicious coffee or got some positive feedback from a colleague? Or simply you had an evening on the sofa watching back-to-back episodes of The Crown. Once you start to realise what little things you can find happiness in, your outlook will change.

As much as I’m a sucker for stationary and love my Happiness Planner, you can do this without it costing a penny; of an evening, simply grab a pen and paper or open Notes on your iPhone and write 3 positive things about your day. Soon, you’ll be coming up with more than three every time! Today my positive thoughts are:

#1 Getting out of the office at lunchtime = sunshine + fresh air!
#2 Laughing to my parents' sledging videos
#3 A productive evening work on my blog.
How many times have you heard... Where does the time go? If only there were more hours in the day! Time doesn’t always seem on our side and we are rushing around like blue arsed flies, so carving a little time out is actually a massive luxury! I found setting my alarm clock an hour earlier meant I got to have some 'me-time' before the day runs away from me. This way I get to enjoy my morning beauty routine, make a cup of coffee that I have time to drink and actually eat some breakfast. To have such a calm in the morning is rather rewarding ahead of an 8-hour stint in the office. This way you know you’ve done something for yourself before you even get to work and that's a great start to the day.

Best morning treats:
  • Tepid tap water + a slice of lemon to kick-start the digestive system
  • Hot mug of Earl Grey tea
  • Vitamins washed down with a Berocca to keep the bugs at bay
The best thing about these five #selfcare tips? They can all be done with a face mask on so can feel doubly as efficient!

Mrs A to B: How To De-Stress From Work

What do you do to take care of yourself?


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