Preparing yourself for the week ahead is never a bad idea. Whether you’re a busy mum, rushing around after the little one(s) or working a stressful 9 to 5 in the city, taking a few moments on a Sunday evening to mentally prep yourself for the busy week ahead can do wonders for your overall mental health. Meditation and mindfulness not your thing? Don’t worry, we’ve got something for everyone.
SET THE MOOD
Before we get started on the activity itself, take a moment to create yourself a calming environment. Maybe you want to run a nice hot bubbly bath or perhaps you have a favourite chair in your living room. Light some aromatherapy candles or add a few drops of essential oils to your diffuser (find out how to create your own oils here), dim the lights a little and prewarn your partner the next 10/30/60 minutes are for you and you’d prefer not to be disturbed.
If wine’s your thing, pour yourself a generous glass - hey, you’re supposed to be treating yourself!- or if you prefer a juice, have a juice. Prepare a snack if that’s what you feel like. This time is all about you and doing something just for yourself.
So now you’ve set the mood, you’re ready to choose your activity:
Read your favourite glossy magazine.
Maybe it’s the glossy front cover or the luxurious feel of it in your hands or the gorgeous images that greet you as you turn the first page. Whatever it is, there’s just something so appealing about settling down with the latest Marie Claire/House Beautiful/Vogue/insert-your-favourite-here. Often, we don’t even have time to read the articles inside and instead just flick through during the spare 5 minutes we can grab on our lunch break or whilst the kids are taking a nap. But now, you’ve set aside this time and we challenge you to read it from cover to cover. Put your feet up in your favourite chair, cosy up with our HANSA throw and sip your chilled chardonnay as you disappear into the pages.
Create yourself a relaxation soundtrack
Music has the ability to fill us with motivation, to make us weep when we’re down and to lift us up when we need it most. Create yourself a 15 minute playlist filled with your favourite songs and then just spend time listening to it from start to finish. Switch off your brain - headphones can help - and focus on the music, sing or even dance along to the songs. You’ll feel relaxed and uplifted and maybe even want to start the playlist from the beginning!
Follow a guided meditation
Meditation and mindfulness has fast become one of the biggest trends in 2017. And for good reason. If you’re new to meditation, you can find playlists online or various apps to help guide you along the process. It’s normal to feel a bit silly at the start but we guarantee you’ll want to incorporate it into your everyday life. Try downloading Headspace from your app store or listen to Chel Hamilton’s podcast on Spotify/Itunes.
Practice yoga from the comfort of your own home
With free lessons available from YouTube, you can search online for a 15-20 minute yoga session and just follow along. Try finding a Hatha yoga class. Hatha tends to be much slower and as you hold the poses for longer, it’s a much more relaxing form of yoga. Pinterest is also a great place to find mini workouts. There are multiple pins around talking you through each pose. Try it and let us know how you get on!
Start a new book
Leading such busy lives, we can often find ourselves not having time to read. Turn Sunday evenings into your reading night. Start a new book and challenge yourself to read one new chapter per week. If you can read a chapter every night before bed - excellent! We guarantee you’ll have a much better night sleep.
Become part of the planner crew
Planning is another huge craze sweeping the world at the moment. With companies such as The Happiness Planner, Kikki K and the original go to Filofax, creating such beautiful planners, organizing your life is now fun! Take time on a Sunday to organize your week ahead, decorating your planner as you go so when you open it up, you feel excited about the tasks you need to check off. Not sure where to begin? Again, head over to YouTube for endless tutorials.
Take time to write about your week
How often do you take time to write down how you feel? Well maybe it’s time you started. As well as reducing stress, journaling can help you solve problems and much more (read here). Treat yourself to a nice new notebook, it doesn’t have to be expensive, and begin spending 10 minutes a week (everyday is even better!) to write down your thoughts and feelings. If you notice a pattern of feeling down or something’s just not right, you can choose to take action to improve things.
So there you have it, 7 ways to take time out for you before you head into another busy week. We’d love to know how many of these things you already do or if you’re just getting started with self care, we’d love to know which way was your favourite. Tweet us or head over to our Facebook page to tell us.