Ask yourself, how many hours a week do you put aside for YOU? No I don’t mean the new Netflix series (which by the way is awesome) I mean pure and unadulterated time spent with just yourself. Ok next question. What do you love most in the world? I bet your answer isn’t ‘myself’. I suspect it’s a pet, your other half or possibly even money (hey, no judgement here).
Well this year ‘myself’ is a word that I’m going to be using a lot more often. After a tough 2018 I’ve realised the key to getting on in life is to love and be kind to yourself. Not only for our own personal wellbeing but also for the benefit of others. If we aren’t looking after ourselves, is it right to expect others to?
I’m not talking about narcissism and it’s nothing to do with confidence. It certainly isn’t about being in love with your image on social media or an arrogant ‘me first’ sense of entitlement. Above all, self love isn’t boastful or believing you’re superior and it isn’t even about about craving admiration. Just being nice to yourself. For example, treating yourself with love, with care and respect. Think about it, do you talk to yourself the same way you’d talk to a best friend? I know I don’t. I’d be friend-less if I spoke to others the way I put myself down sometimes! Therefore, if your internal communication is often critical take a moment to stop. Because there’s no point being hard on yourself. Listen to what your mind and body is telling you.
reading for the soul.
Welcome to my new little series dedicated to self love. Essentially it’s going to be a few days of posts designed to remind us that YOU are important. For me, womanhood is much more beautiful than I previously imagined and when we take the time to actually stop and breathe, that’s when we appreciate just how amazing our minds, bodies and behaviours actually are. YOU deserve a bloody break, man.*NB seriously though, check out YOU on Netflix!
Firstly, I’m going to talk about one of my hobbies because reading is powerful. As a child I’d read as an escape, a chance to exercise my imagination. Therefore I’d burn through Enid Blyton books and my Grandad’s books on war. Then, at Uni I read business books, global theories and how to make money. Novels became my ‘thing’ when I first moved to London and now ten years later my bookshelves are full of wellbeing, cookery, Israel and technology innovations. Reading can help one’s self esteem. It tends to give people more enjoyment and a more positive attitude toward the future. It’s scientifically proven! I’ve teamed up with online book store, Wordery to talk about my favourite wellbeing books.
the unexpected joy of being sober.
I’ve had my fair share of innocuous drunken experiences but secondly I’ve also gone through some of the worst. As a result, I’ve said ‘I’m not drinking any more’ more times than I care to remember but the longest I’ve done is a 3 month stint of alcohol freeness (and that was doctor ordered after a burnout and trip to A&E). Author Catherine Gray was in a similar position but she chose to write a book on what happens after. The intoxicating life of soberness. It’s a case of a different world. An alcohol free life where there are sober weddings, parties and sex. In addition, breakups aren’t tainted by alcohol induced anxiety, dread or embarrassment too. The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober is a great balance between scientific evidence and real life thought and her style of writing is gripping.
the self care project.
why we sleep.
We all feel better after a good nights sleep and there’s a reason why all wellbeing books recommend sleeping. Most importantly, it reduces stress, anxiety, helps our body function better and gives us the rest our bodies are designed to need to recharge and stay healthy. As busy millennials we are often too busy and don’t prioritise our sleep despite if being one of the most important things that we need. Why We Sleep explores the link between diseases like Alzheimer’s, obesity, diabetes and sleep. It interprets studies from animals and humans and looks at all of the influences that can disturb our sleep. It’s a great read for anyone wanting to turn their life around starting with the free, natural basics.
the intuitive eating workbook.
Since Mia started weaning at 6 months old I’ve gotten really into cooking. For instance, cooking her nutritious meals has taught me how to respect food in it’s wholeness. The vitamins and minerals we get from fruit, the importance of iron in our veg, protein in our meats and dairy… Fuelling our bodies with nutrients is the reason we eat despite our urges to sit and chill with a nice bowl of pasta and big glass of wine. This book looks at the relationship we have with eating. In short, it’s a journal style read with pages for making notes and written exercises to take part in. In addition, The Intuitive Eating Workbook looks at ten principles of intuitive eating and gives particular attention to our hunger cues (and why we’re getting them).
When I first started getting into wellness reading, my friend Rhiannon (a busy Solicitor and a mum) recommended that I try Quiet. It talks about people as being one or the other, an introvert or extrovert. After that, the book goes on to talk about how each of these differ and how it can determine big aspects of your life. It talks about how the brain chemistry of introverts and extroverts differs, and how society misunderstands and undervalues introverts. She gives introverts the tools to better understand themselves and take full advantage of their strengths.
the examined life.
In The Examined Life, Stephen Grosz uses his twenty-five years of work and more than 50,000 hours of conversations to bring us individual stories of patients. It explores things that happen to us daily from losing a wallet and over thinking to lying and unusual behaviours. It’s a book that’s read to provoke thought in our own lives and through each story we can sometimes take things we recognise in ourselves and others. It’s a really great read for anyone interested in psychology too.
Wordery is a place where booklovers can discover new reads and chat to helpful staff with a genuine enthusiasm for all things bound. It’s like a traditional book shop but with all the convenience of an online store.
*This is a collaboration with Wordery but all opinions and reviews my own.