This past year has been a crazy one for us all.
As we are slowly phasing back into a sense of normality, it makes me think about the life lessons we have all probably gone through. It makes me question whether these realisations are going to change the way that we live our lives moving forward, or whether we will just go back to how life once was.
Sometimes just saying them out loud can make us realise how important the change really needs to be. Was that desire for change there all along, hiding underneath the surface, underneath the monotony and routine we create for ourselves?
I would love to hear about some of the things you have changed or learn over this time. Let me know in the comments below a lesson you have taken from this period of our lives.
Making time for me
For me personally, one huge change has been creating time for self-love. Time for ME. Showing up for myself.
Throughout the past year, I realized that if you don’t fill YOURSELF up, how are you going to be able to show up for anyone else, in the best way? Your partner, children and family. We all want to be our best selves for those we love.
And yet, we are all so busy making other people happy, that the one person we forget about is ourselves.
Now, just to clarify, I am not talking about going out and going wild on a night out – even though I can’t wait for that too! I am talking about slowing down, connecting in with yourself and actually listening to your needs and wants. Continuing what has felt good in the past year. It is impossible to do this if you are relying on external things to make you happy or shift your mood.
Making the move back into normality
As we move back into a life of increased social events, external pressure and constant connection with others, it’ can be far too easy to fall back into a mindset of pleasing others. This is exactly what we need to avoid.
"We are so busy trying to be someone or do something we stop loving ourselves and lose sight of what truly makes us happy."
But making time for yourself is easier said than done. You try to find 5 peaceful minutes and your mind wanders, you get a call/text, your babies need you or your boss won’t leave you alone. There is always something. The key is scheduling the time into your day, prioritizing it and choosing different ways to unwind.
Where to start?
Here are some of my favourite ways to ensure you keep showing up for yourself. Start slowly by choosing one of the below and working it into your week – just once. Over time, you could even start turning it into a new habit in creating a little time, just for you!
Take 10-20 minutes to sit and breathe. Listen to some peaceful music and turn your awareness to your breath. Notice how it makes you feel – both the good and bad.
Journal. Brain dumping is a beautiful thing. Even if it’s a loud of nonsense, who cares! It’s good to write about feelings, ideas, fantasies, or gratitude.
Go for a walk, run or bike ride. Get outside on your own. Notice how beautiful nature actually is. Connect with it and take in your surroundings.
Run a bubble bath, apply a face mask or paint your nails. Treat yourself to a pamper session. I have attached a link with some of my favourite products that I use each Sunday. Feeling good on the outside can help you feel good on the inside! You can buy the products I use here.
30 minutes of yoga or dancing around to your favourite music – MOVE and have fun! It is so important to connect in with your body. Do whatever feels comfortable and right. Check out my 7 Days of Connecting Inwards course if you need a little guidance!
Take a social media detox! Delete the apps, remove it from your headspace. Social media can be wonderful but it also can be a time-sucker and cause a lot of self-sabotage. Give yourself a holiday from it – and pay attention to the impact on your mental space.
If there is one thing I would suggest you do over the next few weeks – remember to focus on what has put a smile on your face during the difficult times this year. Sometimes it’s the big stuff, but more often it’s the smaller things that have kept us going. The endless walks, whilst it was the only thing we could do. The new baking hobby. The at-home workouts and yoga sessions. This enforced ‘me time’ is what brightened our days.
Try not to feel guilt for taking that time for yourself. It’ll benefit your mind, your body and those around you, if you can prioritize your needs as well as others.
Nicola is a private yoga instructor, dance instructor and wellness enthusiast based in central London. Find out more about Nic's services >