40+ Useful Ideas for Self Care

Useful ideas for practicing self care

Things have been a little on the stressful side recently, and those who follow the blog regularly may notice that I haven’t posted much of my own content. With wedding planning, a biopsy followed by stitches (everything is fine and all-clear thank goodness, but it was a little worrying at the time), a truly horrific day of supply teaching (without being melodramatic, I think it was the worst day in over eleven years of working in schools that I’ve ever had) and the general daily tasks that needed completing there has been more than a few occasions where I have found myself a little overwhelmed.

In an attempt to try and overcome the anxiety and general cloudiness that fills me whenever I reach certain panic levels, I have actively indulged in self care – any voluntary activity that helps to maintain my mental, physical and emotional health. This isn’t just ‘hygge’ – they have involved numerous things that I enjoy simply because they make me feel better and I have taken the time to be mindful of them as I am doing it. Continue reading

On Becoming a Hermit…

Yesterday was International Happiness Day, and the blogging world was flooded with articles, images and quotes of achieving happiness.

Even without a specifically dedicated day, it’s a prominent topic. There seems to be have been a conscious movement over the last few years that focus on the ideas on mindfulness, self-care, motivation and happiness, which may be partially reactionary to the turbulent times within society, or the fact that many are beginning to realise that there is more to life than a soul-destroying 9-5. Continue reading

Blog of the Day: Unfold and Begin

Unfold and BeginMeet Jenny!

Jenny is the creator of Unfold and Begin, a lifestyle blog. Her About page is one of the funniest I have read…

My name is Jennifer Koshak.  I’m a post 50 baby boomer, willing to enjoy chocolate, practice some yoga, have some fun and explore new places and new things in my next 50 years.

Some random things about me:

  • I met my husband on eHarmony.  Yes, it really works.
  • I started my first blog 4 years ago, wrote a couple of posts and then freaked that people might actually read it. So I deleted the whole thing.  (I’m trying to move past that fear of sharing myself!)
  • My favorite color is yellow, but it looks awful on me, so I painted my living room a sunset yellow instead.
  • I’m allergic to cats, which means I only have two.
  • My husband is a chef and a chocolatier.  This can be dangerous, but so, so delicious!
  • I’m a Yoga Teacher who feels that laughter is a necessity of life. I’ve been known to quote Mel Brooks movies in class—-the concept of Be Here Now can totally be found in Spaceballs!

Continue reading

Blog of the Day: Motivate Me!

shelley

Meet Shelley!

The opening statement almost seems a little silly to me, as so many within my blogging community already know and love Shelley, but it isn’t as widely known that Shelley has a second blog – Motivate Me!

Motivate Me began as a set of resolutions, as Shelley explains in her extremely eloquent ‘About Page.’

It all started with a New Year Resolution…

One New Year’s Eve I set herself a challenge; sick of setting resolutions and breaking them before the mince pies ran out, I decided to set my children and myself a better example and so I wrote a list of twelve resolutions (one for each month of the year). Continue reading

How to Stop Sabotaging Yourself

imageSelf-sabotage happens for a number of reasons: a lack of self belief and/or self worth, a fear of failure, feeling like the outsider, a consistent focus on perceived negative aspects of yourself. It usually appears in the form of what I refer to as ‘my demons’ – those pesky internal thoughts that creep in whenever a challenge, a plan or a deadline is presented:

You’re not good enough.

They don’t like you.

They’re not going to take you seriously.

That’s too difficult.

I’ll do it tomorrow – I’ll feel better about it then.

I’ve lost count of the amount of times I left something to the last minute, or avoided putting myself forward because of a constant fear of rejection or failure. My daily routine involved berating myself for not getting something done the day before, or wasting my money on something that I didn’t actually want or need, only to struggle to pay for something important later on. I hated the fact that I had put on a large amount of weight, and yet consistently gorged on junk food every night until I felt sick. Continue reading

It Smells Like Summer

SummerIt smells like summer this morning.

Despite having a bad night’s sleep, I woke up in a disgustingly good mood. The current heatwave we are experiencing means that it’s already beautifully warm, even at 8.00am, and when I stood outside the scent in the air somehow reminded me of foreign holidays I have been on. My Facebook feed is littered with complaints from hot and uncomfortable friends, and The Bloke, who can’t handle any sort of weather except temperate, clear and dry is struggling, but I love it – after what has seemed like an age of living in the cold and dark, it’s nice to feel some real sun on my face.

I did my last bit of freelance work yesterday for the summer, which means I now have two months off. Two months. I can’t believe how quickly this academic year has gone, and the fact that I have remained reasonably financially stable throughout. There were so many worries and anxieties that accompanied last summer, but I’ve been able to prepare for this one over the last year, and I know that as long as I don’t go out and blow all my money on cocktails (which is always a temptation), I should be fine until Christmas at least. I’ve been enjoying the last few weeks and for the first time ever I haven’t felt like I have counted down the days or desperately wished my life away just to have a break. How lucky I am. Continue reading

Nine Motivational Quotes to Get You Through Monday

It’s been a tough few days, so I thought I would share some of my favourite quotes to help get me through a dark, cold and dreary Monday… Simply click on the images to see them in full size.

 

image

I particularly like the Karen Lamb quote – this is something I often turn to when I am feeling low…

What about you guys? What is your favourite motivational quote that helps to get you through the day?

 

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks.

Runspiration Update

imageIn a moment of what I’m now considering to be temporary insanity in April, I signed myself up for the Birmingham Half Marathon, taking place in October. As a smoker with a penchant for cheese and about 60lbs of excess weight on my ass, the idea seemed utterly ridiculous – at the time I found it difficult to climb a flight of stairs without feeling out of breath. There were a number of people around me who must have been thinking the same thing, responding with ‘really?!’ and wry smiles when I told them what I intended to do.

I must admit, I procrastinated for a while after that, using excuses of a busy workload and being tired to avoid getting into any form of training routine. I did a single run in May (and when I say run, I mean I walked for half of it while I coughed my lungs up), managing 1.36 miles (2.2km), and that was it. Continue reading

Back to The Old Routine…

image

Aside from a reblog earlier in the week, this is the first time that I have had the motivation to sit down and write something that wasn’t based around lesson plans, NQT action plans, seating plans, curriculum plans and timetables. I’ve been back at work for a week and even though it was technically seven weeks ago that the academic year ended it feels like I have never left, or indeed, slept.

Despite the initial dread that I think most people feel when going back to work, I’ve actually had a nice few days. I work with lovely people, so it was a great atmosphere when I walked into the faculty office on Monday, my students have been in quite a good mood, and other than a minor confrontation that I had with a deluded parent, I have enjoyed getting back into the proverbial swing of things.

Unfortunately, this has meant that the blog, which I visited and contributed to every day during the last few months, has suffered a little, and I have really missed the daily interaction. I have thought of lots of ideas, but when it got to the point of writing them down all my motivation immediately left and I found that I was staring at a blank screen. I have lots of posts that have been sitting, unfinished, in my draft folder, but for some reason it didn’t seem the right time to edit and post them. Surprisingly, however,(being the stat obsessive that I am) I have been pleased that my number of views hasn’t been affected that much, which is brilliant, and I have even managed to gain some new followers…

My plan for today is to attempt to catch up with everything that I have missed, particularly the posts and comments I have received.

What about you guys? What have you been up to?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog

How To Get Motivated: Things To Do Today

Motivation, motivated, list

As the self-proclaimed ‘Queen of Procrastination,’ I have found myself in quite a slump as of late. The smallest tasks, however menial, seemed daunting and impossible to achieve and I fell behind in all areas of my life.

It’s been extremely difficult to get back on track, but over time I have been able to very slowly pull myself out of the rut and change the way that I was living on a daily basis. Here are some of the hints and tips I have learned that have helped me along the way.

1. Get up at a reasonable time. Have a shower. Get dressed. Eat breakfast. (Thanks to Ray for this – it’s possibly the most important, the most obvious and the least overlooked).

2. Get some sleep. Where possible (and this is easier said than done for people who are parents and those who work long hours), try and get as much sleep as possible. The more tired you are, the less likely you are to remain motivated.

4. Break things down into small steps. Instead of looking at the big picture, work out the small things that you need to do now, today.

5. Tackle just one task at a time. Trying to juggle too many tasks in one go will become overwhelming. Start a task, finish the task, then move onto something else.

6. Do things when they need to be done. Don’t allow yourself to sit down with the idea of ‘doing it later.’ The quicker you start, the quicker you’ll finish. If you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to truly relax until it’s finished anyway!

7. Ask for help. If someone joins you in a task, whether it is cleaning, working out or organising something, it is more likely to be done in a shorter amount of time and you’ll almost certainly have more fun doing it!

8. Create the ultimate playlist. Music is an integral part of my daily life, and I have a playlist of songs that genuinely pump me up and make me happy.

9. Get excited about it! Try and gain inspiration from other people – talk to them and ask for advice. Try and see the benefits that are to be gained from completing something rather than focusing on the negative.

10. Read about it. If I’m not sure how to begin something, I’ll search for articles about the same subject. I’m always left feeling inspired afterwards.

11. Find places and activities that inspire you. This could be a building, a park, a museum or your local coffee shop. It could be a dance class, a book reading or a film. Whatever it is, visit and/or participate.

12. Reward yourself! If you know there is a positive reward at the end of it, you’re more likely to push yourself.

13. Remember that it is ok to fail. Fear of failure is often reason for not doing something at all. If you fail – stop and start again.

14. Don’t initially set the bar too high. If fear of failure is a barrier to achieving your goal, lower your sights and build it up.

What about you guys? Have you got any useful hints and tips for motivating yourself when you are in a slump?

You can also find me on Twitter and tumblr @suzie81blog and don’t forget to check out my Pinterest page http://www.Pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks