Create Something (Self-care Month Day 16)

Create something

Hi there!

Day 16 of self-care month is all about making time to create something. I know a lot of people say that they aren’t creative or ‘crafty’ thats fine. What i’m asking you to do is give it a try and don’t worry about the outcome. The actual process of creating something is what is important here, because it’s meditative, its relaxing and it is so rewarding. It gives us a sense of accomplishment that is so easy to get through creating something from scratch with our own hands, that is impossible to get any other way. I always recommend having a look through Pinterest for craft ideas as there are so many and loads with step-by-step instructions of how to make something.Cont…

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

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

Fitting it all in and creating Life Balance

So i have a lot of strings on my bow. And would like even more perhaps. It’s a busy life but I have to make sure that I also fit in self care and relaxation. In the past I have been known to let things get on top of me and suffered from stress and anxiety which ideally i would like to avoid returning!

So this past week I have been attempting to establish new routines as part of my goals for 2015. This started by my prioritising The different areas of my life that i need to dedicate time to. That brainstorm looked like this

IMG_4078Not the most colourful but this quick brainstorm has led me to a much more productive week already.

Monday I shut myself away and write 1 chapter of the novel I am writing. Any ideas i have had during the week are noted down or dreamt up ready to be written on Monday. This system seems to be working well so far. I have written 3 chapters and the in-between time gives me enough space to dream up what happens next.

Tuesday painting is quite straight forward. I sit down and let whatever is inside me that day come to the surface and out onto the paper. Sometimes it is something I don’t like. Sometimes i think I have produced something amazing and sometimes its just a little bit dark. Anyway the important thing is that I put the time aside to create something which is just so important to me.

Wednesday says educate. I try to use an hour or so on a Wednesday to read up on selling art, blogging, writing, scheduling and any other subjects which i feel i need to educate myself in. Then i have the rest of the days in the week to implement what i have learnt.

Thursday selling day. I pop as much as i can on etsy and try to manage my shop the best i can on this day. Maybe in the future i will also use this day to sell or display my art locally when i pluck up the courage!

Friday is blogging day. I will sit and write about whatever it is that is on my mind or has been during the week that i might have made a note of.

Weekend is spent ferrying the kiddies from parties to classes to freezing myself in the park! And if I’m lucky some special time with Mr.H.

Rain Again...(Introducing Violet and Jonah aka. Vi & J.)

You may have noticed I am also a student. I am starting a part time degree with The Open University for English Language and Creative Writing. I don’t start for another 2 weeks today and then i guess I’m  going to have to work out how to fit it in to my routine that i have already implemented. Who knows how i will fit in that 18 hours a week but, hey, we will cross that bridge when we come to it. I believe that if I’ve already set out routines for everything else it will be easier.

As i am also mother of 2 little sprouts i have to look after them before all these things AND clean and declutter and cook and play. So you see there is still a lot more to fit in here.  I will probably pop all that down in another post but i just want to give some ideas of how you can fit in ways to create, produce and even sell even if your family or working life is full and chaotic.

Thanks for reading lovelies!!

Imogen x

Welcome..to my Life Balance blog

I’m Imogen. I am a writer, painter, student, mother and wife. I hope to use this blog to practise writing and to promote whatever it may be that i am working on. Also to create a network of support and belief around myself that i, and you, can all achieve our life’s purpose and dreams.

I write with great trepidation. The same way i, in fact, do anything as i am very self conscious, self doubting and low confidence when it comes to that which i create. But i am trying. Trying to grow, trying to learn and trying to believe in myself more.

So this will be where i will publish my personal story. Maybe 1 or 2 times a week.

Thank you for reading.

Please engage in feedback it would be extremely helpful and appreciated.

Imogen J Hope

Life Balance