How I Self Care

HalfwayHomeSunset

Over the last year I’ve really struggled with anxiety. Not the ‘I’m a bit worried that I might miss the bus,’ type but the ‘What if I miss the bus, then I’m late for work, my boss will realise I’m not good enough to do my job, and oh my god, now there’s a crushing pain in my chest and I can’t breathe,’ type of anxiety.

NOT a fun rollercoaster to ride.

As a result I’ve been taking baby steps to find the little things that make my head a bit of a more bearable space to inhabit. Here are my favourite 9, so far:

1: Pinterest admin

I have a secret board on Pinterest called ‘Misc.’ On it I pin everything I want to read/look back on at  a later date. Five minutes mindless pinning here and there adds up and before you know it I have 100 random pins ranging from Chard recipes (I’m growing it and didn’t know how to cook it!) to how to clean a sewing machine. I know Pinterest admin sounds ridiculous but I honestly find that whiling away an afternoon working through posts, reading websites and deciding what to keep generally helps distract my mind from whatever other rubbish it’s trying to make me think about.

2: Gardening

Mainly the quick/easy tasks with instant results like deadheading flowers and impatiently inspecting the veg. growing wishing it would ripen faster! Added bonus being that the deadheading means our flowers are looking amazing for even longer. Who knew.

3: Blogging

Weirdly, given how little I’ve been keeping this spot up to date, the planning and writing of a blog post is something I really enjoy. My anxious brain pipes up constantly with the “What if no-one’s listening? What if nobody cares?” rubbish, but I know that deep down that doesn’t really matter. If it’s helping me then I should just crack on and do it!

4: Sewing

There’s something seriously cathartic about a morning spent cutting out new pattern pieces ready to be sewn into a new garment. I love the slow living element of sewing as you gradually get to see a new project come to life.

5: Small life admin

You know, those niggly little tasks that you know you need to do but keep putting off. This week’s example being called the dentist to check my upcoming appointment times after I’d helpfully lost the card they were written on. I find it really satisfying to complete little things like this, once I finally force myself to.

6. A cup of coffee

A cup of coffee and a quiet half hour works wonders to refocus my head. Bonus points if it happens outside or with an open window so I can hear the birds singing.

7: A good book in the bath

This one’s fairly self-explanatory. Yes, I enjoy a Lush bath bomb but, for me, more important is a good book. I’m a fairly clumsy person so I have a designated ‘bath book’ to avoid any potential heartbreak caused by dropping-in-the-water related accidents. At the moment I’m currently working my way through Pride & Prejudice for the umpteenth time. I prefer a book I know really well then I can properly zone out in the bath.

8. Reading

What sort of librarian would I be if this didn’t make the list?  Books, magazines, blogs, any reading I can get my hands on. Note to self – must get better at commenting on all the lovely blogs I read!

9: Taking photos

Taking photos is something I enjoy as it forces me to focus on something more productive than what’s going on inside my head. I enjoy it a lot and want to improve the quality of what I’m creating when I’m playing with my camera.

My definition of what I class as self care might differ from yours, but it’s what works for me. What do you do to help find a positive head space? I’m always willing to embrace new ideas on the continual quest for a calmer self.

It’s baby steps, but I’m definitely getting there.

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32 Facts About Me

32 Facts About Me

Having read Victoria’s lovely post about her upcoming birthday I thought I’d create my own.

So on the day I turn 32, here are 32 facts about me.

1. I love blog posts like this because I’m inherently a nosy person (I’ve been like this since I was little; always loving to listen in to neighbours’ conversations when sitting in the garden in summer!)

2. My middle name is Louise. As, it seems, is almost every other 30-something year old’s too.

3. I changed my surname when I got married in 2016. I don’t regret it but I do really miss my maiden name.

4. My blog name ‘Halfway Home’ comes from a Jason Mraz song and was suggested by Jonny when I didn’t know what to call this little spot of the internet.

5. My all time favourite song, however, is Mr Brightside by The Killers.

6. Our wedding first dance song was You’re My Best Friend by Queen. We’re not a cool couple.

7. I’m an Aquarius (which apparently means I’m creative, stubborn and have a weird sense of humour!)

8. I have 4 piercings and one tattoo. (I used to have 9 piercings.)

9. I’m scared of spiders, cows and wasps. I’m an actual wimp.

10. My parents’ springer spaniel, Purdey is my favourite animal in the whole world. She always makes me smile with her constant need for attention.

11. My little brother lives in Sydney, Australia and I miss him a ridiculous amount.

12. When Jonny proposed to me I thought he was actually about to give me a puppy. He still maintains I’d have preferred the puppy.

13. I taught myself to knit to stave off the boredom of unemployment in 2009. Now I’m unemployed again it’s a hobby I’m getting back into.

14. I quit teaching after 8 years to pursue a completely different career. I’m not sure what that is yet.

15. When I was 20 I had appendicitis. The hospital almost wouldn’t let me sign the operation consent form because they thought I was under 16 and my mum thought I was being melodramatic about a hangover when I called her to let her know what was going on.

16. 10 Things I Hate About You is my favourite film. I can pretty much quote along to it word-for-word. If you haven’t watched it you really should, if only for the dreamboat that was late 90s Heath Ledger.

17. The thing that annoys me most is bad manners. Saying please, thank you, excuse me and sorry costs nothing!

18. I get annoyed fairly easily. I have a short temper. It’s improving with age but it’s definitely still a thing. I blame my Irish father.

19. Winter is my favourite season. I love wrapping up in lots of cosy layers, I love Christmas, I love snow and my birthday falls in winter; win win.

20. Getting my BA (Hons) in History in 2007 still remains one of the achievements I’m most proud of.

21. My favourite childhood book was Can’t You Sleep Little Bear, closely followed by anything by Beatrix Potter. Now I’m an adult I can’t choose a favourite.

22. I grew up in West Yorkshire although now I live on the other side of the Pennines in Lancashire. Our little village is beautiful but the weather is 100% better in Yorkshire.

23. I love daffodils. Like, really love daffodils. So much so that we had a spring wedding so that they could be incorporated into the flowers.

24. There’s a field at the bottom of our street with 2 ponies in it. I don’t know their names so I’ve christened them Peter the Pony and Henry the Horse. You’ve got to love alliteration.

25. I’m on the eternal quest to have a more minimalist house but I love tack and woodland creature themed decorations too much for this to ever be the case.

26. We’re big David Attenborough fans in our house. I can’t get through an episode without crying. Happy crying. Sad crying. Crying because the bobbit is creepy af.

27. I have one nephew, one goddaughter and one godson. They’re all ridiculously cute.

28. I would love children one day. I would also love people to stop asking when that’s going to happen. Once you’re married it seems to be a favourite question to ask.

29. For my 30th birthday I went to a champagne reception at Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey) I spent the entire evening pretending I was Lady Mary and to be a LOT posher than I actually am.

30. Despite having lived in the north of England all my life I don’t have a particularly strong northern accent. I don’t really have any accent and can’t do any impressions of any either.

31. I secretly really enjoy cleaning. Having a clean home really pleases me. Simple things.

32. My balance and coordination are awful. I regularly fall up the stairs and often bump into inanimate objects. At any given time there’s at least one bruise on each of my legs/arms.

 

How Much Is Too Much?

CoffeeAndBookHalfwayHome

More specifically, how much technology is too much?

Answer: the amount I use.

I am completely guilty of having been that person that has their phone out on the table at dinner time. I’ve definitely scrolled through Instagram and Twitter whilst watching a film on the sofa. Whilst watching a film! Writing that makes me feel like a bit of an idiot. However it’s something we’re all increasingly guilty of.

Now I didn’t set resolutions as such for this year but one thing I did do (in my beloved bullet journal) was to make a list of things I want to do less and more of in 2018.

Almost at the very top of the ‘less’ list was screen time. Whether that be on my phone or iPad I need to seriously rein myself in. I downloaded an app at the start of the year to see how much time a day I was spending on my phone and, honestly, I was disgusted. I was clocking up almost 4 hours a day dicking around on social media, scrolling Pinterest or reading utter rubbish on Buzzfeed.

4 hours is definitely too much.

I’m now planning on leaving my phone downstairs at night, then I can’t reach for a lazy scroll through my various feeds before I drag myself out of bed in the morning. I want to start my day in a way that is more beneficial to my mental health; practising yoga or meditation, or reading a chapter of my current book. Wasting the first 40 minutes of my day staring at a phone screen is not the way forward.

Now I’m not saying I’m going to stop using social media completely or that I’m going to sacrifice my iPhone in favour of one that can’t do anything more than text or call (remember those good old days?) I am, instead, going to be more mindful of how much I use it.

No more mindless scrolling mid film or book.

No more reaching for my phone as soon as I’ve woken up.

I’m hoping it’ll bring me a bit more focus and that I’ll have more time to do the hobbies that I love, and really get back into knitting and sewing (yay for all the Nana hobbies!)

Now I just need an alarm clock to replace my phone in our bedroom. Ideally one that doesn’t tick as Jonny cannot bear ticking clocks. Any ideas where to start looking for one that isn’t hideous? Or any tips on how to regulate my screen time better?

2018

RebeccaTBR

I’m a little late to the 2018 blog post party but better late than never, right?

The first week of 2018 was spent with a delightful stomach bug whilst my, very lucky, husband got to travel to Uganda with work. He then had to travel to India during the second week so I’ve been left to entertain myself/having the mothership round to entertain me.

2017 ended in a bit of a whirlwind. I handed my notice in at work and, as of 31st December, I’m no longer a primary school teacher. The ins and outs of that are possibly for another post, but let’s just say that being diagnosed with anxiety and depression by the doctor at the end of October probably covers most of those bases.

So, here we are in 2018. For me that means starting to look after myself better whilst also trying to find the illustrious dream job!

Things I’ve been doing to up my ‘self-care’ (is it just me that feels a bit wanky saying that?) are:

  • starting to learn yoga.
  • attempting to get fitter – Jonny took me running on Sunday morning – I am seriously unfit.
  • reading more. My tbr pile is getting a bit out of control and I really enjoy the escapism of reading so the next challenge is to plough through that!
  • cracking back on with the mindfulness; I’ve tried this before and found it helped but have fallen off the wagon so I’ve been enjoying creating a slightly calmer head space recently.
  • stopping feeling guilty when I say no to something.

Happy, belated, new year everyone. I hope it’s a good one.