Setting up a support network (Self-care month Day 24)

Morning everyone! I hope all is well so far today for you,

I have had a little something on my mind just this morning so I have to make it clear here. I want you to know that I am by no means a finished product. Nobody is. I am on this journey, learning how to take better care of myself just the same as you. I want to say this so that you know that I am not better, I don’t have everything sussed. Sometimes, in fact, I struggle to take my own advice. For example, putting too much pressure on myself, not taking care of myself as I should, not making self-care my number one priority. But I learn from it and I move forward and it becomes less and less often that I completely overwhelm myself and it is very rare that I don’t see the warning signs for stress and anxiety coming.

Today, the self-care message that I want to get across is about creating a network of support around yourself so that you can you are at your best to look after yourself and your health. Cont…

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It works!

I had a wonderful message the other day from one of my readers, she had a bad day with a lot of stress from outside influences beyond her control and decided to delve into the ‘bag of tricks’ to feel more balanced and calm heres what she said;

‘I had the most horrendous migraine yesterday with it all and I realised my neck and shoulders were tense. This made me think about the things you have said so I put everything on hold and jumped into a nice hot bubble bath and came up with an action plan. It worked!!!! Thank you! You should be so proud of everything you are doing for yourself and other people.’

I’ll be honest now it brought a tear to my eye. I love to know, on a personal level that the tricks and tips I write are being used and are working. I mean, I know they work because I do it myself but it’s so good to hear this.

And very importantly-Dear Lady, you should be soo proud of yourself too for noticing the signs and for looking after yourself. I am so proud of you and happy for you!

Remembering to take care of yourself when it feels like the world is falling apart is hard to do. But it works, it puts things into perspective and it makes you stronger for when these things do arise.

Have you been delving in to my bag of tricks? What do you feel is working for you?

Don’t forget to sign up for self-care month emails. A self-care task to your inbox everyday throughout June for FREEEEE!!

And the Ebook Balance Your Life Today is available worldwide on Amazon for £1.99 or free on kindle unlimited. It is a practical guide to creating balance in your life and is choca-blok with tips and hints.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend,

Love & joy,

Imogen x

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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.

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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