I’ve said it many times before, but the last 12 months have been the hardest of my life. I don’t know about you, but I can only cope with so much stress so I try to cut myself some slack when I’m going through something particularly busy. This can mean simple things like having more take aways, allowing myself to drink gallons of fizzy drinks or wine (depending on the time of day!) and eating lots of biscuits (which I don’t normally do). Or it could mean cutting things out of my diary that I don’t have time for like getting a hair cut, taking a relaxing bath with a magazine or going to bed to read a book.
This means that when I’m really busy and stressed out, I end up not taking care of myself properly so when the project comes to an end, I’m usually exhausted, I’ve put on a few more pounds and I’m in desperate need of some attention.
So, now the moving admin has more or less come to an end, my boys have started school full-time and E is starting nursery two days a week (meaning I can stop working every evening) I’ve got a bit of head space back. This is a new beginning in a new country, in a new house where new challenges and adventures lay ahead.
I need to get some energy back and to start to take better care of myself so I thought posting a regular #MeTime thread might inspire me to stick with it. I also thought it might prompt some of you to spend some time on yourself too (go on, admit it – I bet you’re as bad as I am at making time for yourself). Whether you want to take up a new hobby, make a lifestyle change, get fit or work towards something new, the best time to get started is RIGHT NOW.
For me, here’s the main things I want to focus on:
1) Spa time
I made a pact months ago that after my boys started school, I’d book into a beauty salon for a massage. I did and it was awesome. I literally felt a huge weight fall off my shoulders – after carrying knots around for months I actually felt the muscles in my back were relaxed at last. I can’t afford to go weekly or even monthly, but I will make sure I go back again when I can.
I’m switching up my calorie-free fizzy drinks and favourite soy iced lattes in favour of water. I’m going to aim to drink 2 litres a day. I’m also going to cute my wine consumption back a bit too. I know this will make a big difference to my energy levels – even two large glasses of wine gives me a fuzzy head in the morning and when I’m running so low on sleep (as E hasn’t slept well since we moved her to a bed) I need to do whatever I can to keep myself feeling fresh.
Food provides energy and when I’m eating rubbish my energy levels are rubbish too. There isn’t one thing in particular I’ve been eating that is making me feel lazy – it’s a combination of not moving enough and eating too much of things. We haven’t had batteries in our bathroom scales since our container of things arrived but I’ve just set them up and found I weigh just over half a stone more than before we emigrated in September. Lots of my clothes don’t fit so well too, so I wasn’t surprised to see the gain. I’m aiming to lose a stone, to take me back to my happy weight. I don’t want it to be a fad though – I want it to be a gentle and easy to maintain weight loss that is more about feeling good than striving to be skinny (which, let’s face it, is NEVER going to happen anyway!)
I’m going to start making healthier choices, snacking on less junk and drinking more water to fill me up.
The biggest way of getting more energy is exercise. Owning a car is the biggest culprit for my weight gain – things here are further apart and it’s not easy to walk everywhere like it was in the market town where I used to live (plus it’s usually too hot to walk anywhere). I’ve gone from walking a couple of hours a day to barely walking anywhere. As a way to get fit a few weeks ago I started doing the 30 Day Shred. I managed it for about a week before my freelance work got hectic and I didn’t have a spare minute to carry it on, but as soon as I stopped I felt sluggish again. Exercise really does make a huge difference to how you feel.
Two things are going to make exercising easier for me now – the boys have gone to school which means I can easily take E swimming on my own or take her for a run (with her in the buggy) along the seafront, and also the local leisure centre has a crèche which is really cheap to use. My leisure centre back in the UK had a crèche too but to pay for three kids plus a class was too much, so now I’d only have to pay for E it means I can go whenever I like. I can also easily put on a keep fit DVD at home while E is around as she won’t get angry about it (unlike her brothers), in fact she will probably join in with me!
Since my kids arrived, I’ve been lucky if I’ve made it to the hairdressers twice a year. My six years of self-colour attempts have left my hair with colour build up on the ends and it’s about time I went to a professional for a serious overhaul. I’ve been hunting Pinterest for great cuts and colours, so watch this space! I feel a dramatic change coming on!
I’m also now spending a little time every day actually styling my hair with a straightening brush and after a shower I even use a hair dryer (shock horror – since having kids I’ve barely had time to do anything to my hair other than run a brush through it!)
I’ve always bitten my nails. The only time in my life that I’ve had great nails has been during pregnancy when they grew and grew, and stayed strong for the entire nine months (it was the only aspect of pregnancy where I actually bloomed). My nails are brittle, weak and I get addicted to biting them to neaten up the shape. Before I know it, I’ve gnawed them so short they actually hurt. I read this fabulous post about stopping nail biting from Kat at Frau Naish before we moved abroad and I knew that when the time was right I’d give it a try myself. I didn’t want to attempt it while things were too stressful as I knew I’d fail, but now the time is right to go for it. I’m about to buy the book that Kat recommends: Stop your Nailbiting! Permanently by Gilbreth Brown right now. This is a photograph of how my nails look today on Day 1, by the way.
We’ve been financially unstable since August when hubby left his job for our move to Australia, and it’s a scary place to be. He’s been working in a casual job since November – some weeks he only gets two days of work a week. We don’t know if or when he might get taken on permanently, so I’m keen to work hard over the next few months to secure some new freelance contracts so that we don’t have to rely entirely on his income. I’m going to aim to do more blogging, ghost writing, content writing, copywriting and article writing for clients (let me know if you’re looking for a freelance writer!) I’m also going to aim to pitch more of my own ideas to publications. We want to be able to buy a house and until we can prove our incomes are stable this isn’t going to happen any time soon.
I’m going to build in time to relax in the evenings – to take a bath, watch a movie or read a magazine or book. I’m going to have to get used to leaving that pile of washing and walking away from the unstacked dishwasher because having a bit of quiet time for myself is just as important.
I’m going spend more time to do the things I enjoy. Being a mum means your needs are always put last, but now the kids are growing up it’s going to be easier for me to do things. It might be a bit of solo shopping, a paddle boarding session, laying out in the sun for half an hour or going on a date night with Husband (the local Leagues club has a crèche so the kids can go for a fun couple of hours playtime while we actually spend some time together alone!) I can barely remember what things I find fun anymore as it seems so long ago that I did something just for me. Much as I LOVE my family, I want to discover who I am again.
It’s such an exciting time. I’m LOVING living in Australia and I’m so excited about our future here. We have so much to look forward to. I know there was only so long I could go on living like I have been and it’s great to be able to stop and get started on a healthier way of life. I’ll come back with updates so you can track my progress and see whether I’m sticking to it.
Has reading this inspired you to do something for yourself? Are you planning on carving our your own #MeTime? If so, please share it with me below as I’d love to hear from you.
If you enjoyed reading this, please share it with your friends and follow me on Facebook!