Reading (Self-care Month Day 29)

Self-care month Day 29 - Reading. Imogenjhope.com

Morning loves,

I hope Monday morning is being kind to you?

Today I wanted to talk about reading. Whenever I have asked people what self-care they would do more of if they had chance, reading is always top 3. I personally read a lot, usually 2 books at a time. One for when I can concentrate in the day that might be challenging or non-fiction or need more concentration and one for just before I go to bed, something fictional and easy. I also read a lot of blogs. I find the odd moments during the day to snatch a quick chapter if I can and I need to sit and relax. Cont…

For more click here for the full free download of ‘self-care month’ now all as one handy ebook ‘The Self-care Manual’

10 things to look forward to (self-care month day 13)

self-care month day 13

Morning! Happy Saturday to all.

Today’s self-care task involves a journal entry again (aren’t you glad you treated yourself to that new one?).
If you have read some of the past entries on my blog, you may have seen that sometimes, I like to just make a list of things that I am looking forward to. It gives me momentum and makes me feel positive and excited about things to come.

They can be small things or big things, it really doesn’t matter. But this simple list will make you feel excited and happy for the rest of the day. Cont…

For more click here for the full free download of ‘self-care month’ now all as one handy ebook ‘The Self-care Manual’

Most Important Tasks

In my Leonie Dawson workbook that I filled out at the beginning of this year there was a page called

12 Zen Habits (From Leo Babuta at Zen habits.net)

They are all pretty useful and zen and go as follows

  1. Set your 3 MIT’s (most important tasks) each morning
  2. Single task (focus your attention)
  3. Zero inbox
  4. Process emails once a day
  5. Exercise 5-10 mins a day
  6. Work while disconnected
  7. Keep your desk decluttered
  8. Clear & declutter home for 15 mins a day
  9. Stick to a 5 sentence limit on emails (make your words powerful)
  10. Say no to commitments & requests not on your important short list
  11. Eat fresh fruit & veg everyday
  12. Follow a morning routine

I think we can all pretty much agree that these ‘Zen Habits’ are worth thinking about as we go through our days. In fact I have them stuck on the wall in front of me right this very second look

zenhabits

My favourite one is number 1. I actually do use this one every day now. Having 3 MIT’s is great because it isn’t overwhelming. It its an endless to do list. It is just what actually matters to you the most on that day. Sometimes there is time for more. Some days I have achieved my MIT’s by 11am and I have the rest of the day to frolic..or whatever. I take 5 minutes every morning to figure out what the 3 tasks are for that day that i definitely need to do. If i think of 4 i have to choose which ones are the most necessary to my day.

Todays MIT’s for example are

  • Write blog post
  • Go to appointment
  • Start assignment

Today is pretty standard actually. Often my 3 MIT’s have something to do with self-care (appointment-actually for hypnotherapy) something for my business (today-write blog post) and often something to do with studying because there is basically always something I really need to do for that.

Other days, I know immediately that My number 1 priority is self care. Sometimes my MIT is actually to find time for a quick nap, or a bath, or just to read alone for a while. On days when I’m not feeling that great I know that that needs to be taken care of first.

Some days it is to do something fun with my family, to visit my grandma, to clean something, to business plan, to organise something for charity, to find time for yoga or a walk or to write in my journal if I haven’t done that for a while, to create something if i haven’t done that for a while.

You get the picture. I need to sit down each morning and actually give myself a few minutes to think about what the day holds in store for me and how I can work out when to do my MIT’s.

Why don’t you try it? Could you list 3 MIT’s today?

Peace out,

Imogen x

P.S.

Have you signed up for self-care month? Free daily emails throughout June with self care tasks in for every day! Sign up here

http://eepurl.com/bl49EP

Self-Care Month…Coming Soon….

Well I’m here at playgroup with this little sprout


Making the most of a little bit of time while I start this post.

Today is just becoming one of those days where everything is out of focus and it all seems to go wrong. Yeah, we all have them, on the outside it seems that everything about the day is as usual but then everything seems to go wrong!

Sometimes it feels impossible to balance all areas of our lives. It is possible but it requires us being totally conscious all the time of which areas need more attention and which areas need us to let go a little bit.

So the one thing that suffers first for myself and most people is self-care. Which is, I guess, because we have so many other demands on us with other responsibilities. So in honour of this I am declaring June 2015 ‘Self Care Month’ there will be a 30 day self care challenge. What this involves is a free daily email from myself containing one self-care task per day to be completed throughout June for FREE! This is a free subscription all you need to do to get involved is sign up to the emails via this link;

http://eepurl.com/bl49EP

Simple as that! So I hope you’re really looking forward to Self-Care month I know I am, I’ll be joining in with all the tasks too and it is going to be seriously amazing!

Peace,

Imogen x

P.S. If you haven’t already have a look at my Ebook, Balance Your Life Today, which is actually free on Kindle unlimited or available to buy for £1.99 or the equivalent wherever you may be x

Evening routine

Following on from my post yesterday about creating a weekly routine I want to talk about creating an evening routine. If you work in the day or look after your family then evenings are sacred time. They are your important time for relaxing and regenerating. If you’re tired (I certainly am) then it’s easy to want to spend your evening in front of the TV. I understand that and I do that sometimes too. That’s fine now and then but what I want to suggest is that you also use this time for personal growth, hobbies, socialising, exercise, creating and self care.

What I do first is make a list of 5 or more tasks that I feel I don’t have enough time for, or areas of my life that are getting neglected. My list looks like this

  • Crafting/painting
  • Self care
  • Socialising
  • Quality time for my relationship with my husband
  • Exercise
  • Time spent in nature
  • Reading

Now I work out how to fit this things into my evenings. I choose one per day, it doesn’t have to be rigid, for example if the weather is good I will go for a walk and tick off some time spent in nature. Sometimes I can’t get out for a walk on my own if I am on my own with the kids and I’ll have to work that time into another part of my week. Here’s how a normal week night could work:

At 7:40pm both children are in bed and I have cleared up all the pots and toys from the day. If i can go out I would go straight out for swimming, or to a friends for a cup of tea, out for a meal with friends, or for a short walk down to the river. If I am at home I could get the paints out or make something from my Crafts To Do board on Pinterest. On a Thursday, as I have said before I like to make time to pamper myself a bit (see Pamper evening post). On Wednesdays I make time to watch a film. If Mr.H is around it gives us quality time together which is something we can top up at the weekend. Generally, any one of these activities normally lasts from half an hour to 2 hours, which then gives me time watch something on TV then to read a bit before I go to bed. I very rarely go to bed later than 10:30pm. I would stay up longer and do more if I could but I know that if I do stay up longer I will pay for it in tiredness the next day.

I think everyone knows how much sleep they need and how much they can fit in to an evening. You have to use your intuition to figure out whether you are trying to fit in too much or if you are too tired to do much one evening. My belief is that this time is precious and often overlooked as a time to be productive in your hobbies or socialising. Why not try it for a while and see if you can pull another few hours of activity out of your day? For any more help or advice on creating routines and fitting more into your life then email me at imogenjhope@gmail.com

Much love,

Imogen x

Daily routine



Well I am back online finally. Now I intend to do more with this blog and make it into the network of helpful tips, ideas, and advice on how to balance your life and make space for all the wonderful things you dream of doing but feel like you never have time for. Like, for example, myself-working on this blog, running my house, looking after 2 children, doing a degree, creating and looking after myself. All very important aspects of my life!

I’ve said it before but I don’t think I can ever say it enough. Routines are there as guidelines. Do not allow it to control you. Let it be flexible. If something comes up that you hadn’t planned DO NOT WORRY, just get on with it and come back to your routines when you can. When you keep on top of things that you need or want to do the odd day where you don’t follow it won’t make as much impact on how much you can get done.

I reworked my daily routines last week as it is something that needs doing often when my life changes regularly. I have vague distinctions between days because of different commitments etc. And my version has a lot more specific detail but i’m sure you don’t actually need to know what days I wash my hair or paint my toenails etc! (Yes, I am that organised! If i don’t plan toe-nail-painting I will never do it!) But, anyway, here is a basic version of my weekdays.

7am-8:20-Getting ready for school/put a load of washing on/school run

8:45-10am-Wash up breakfast pots/cleaning tasks for the day (will include how i separate cleaning tasks through the week on another post)/Tuesdays I nip to the shops or market for any bits I have run out of

10am-11:30-Usually go out with baby to My grandmas/playgroup/park/swimming/the library

11:30-Lunch

12pm-1pm-Blog/craft while baby naps

2pm-Exercise, usually hula hoop, yoga, Pilates just at home

3pm- 3:30-School run/homework

3:30pm-5pm-Play games/play in the garden/read together

5pm-7pm-Eat tea/clean up/watch TV

7pm-7:40-Getting kids ready for bed and getting them to sleep.

I will post specifics about evening routines on another post. This is a really important time (especially for parents of young children) to look after themselves, to relax and to create things for themselves. Sometimes studying or work runs over into these times but thats ok. As long as we get some time to really do what it is that makes us who we are or who we want to be.

If you need any help creating your own routines then please contact me via the contact page or email imogenjhope@gmail.com, I would love to help you.

Have a gorgeous day,

Imogen

Things that I am looking forward to…

Moving house. Having a garden. Warmer weather. Whole days and nights spent outside this summer. Walks by the river. Getting a puppy. The spring. Planting flowers. A trip with Mr.H. Publishing my book. A fresh start. Reaching my goal of blog views so I can set another! Cooking & eating the halloumi and sweet chilli recipe from my pinterest Food Inspiration board. Finishing packing and then finishing unpacking. Going on holiday with my family, including my mum and sister. Doing some yoga during baby nap time today for the first time since half-term began. The new episode of House of Fools tonight. Getting my first assignment done and sent for my Open University degree. My first ever solo retreat (post to follow). Celebrating my little fairy girl’s 2nd birthday with a farmyard themed cake.

IMG_4203

My first ever crystal therapy session. Being my sister’s matron of honour. Planning her hen party. Buying a tent so we can slip away whenever we need to. A new tattoo. My order of Nakd bars arriving as I accidentally ran out. Plans to travel next year. Brightly painting some second hand furniture for the new house. Making a birthday present for my Grandma. Some quality time planned for me and my boy after we move house.

And, well, lots more besides. It does do us good to remind ourselves of all that we have to look forward to.

Try it my lovelies.

Imogen x