When I think of Self Care, I think of cosy bubble baths, calming candle-lit surroundings and good healthy food.
Lately I have been feeling all kinds of stress from my work life and my Mama life so when I left both of those 'lives' behind for a weekend at the end of February I was in full de-stress mode. I went to Brandshatch Place in Kent, for a Spa break with my (nearly) sister in law and the rest of her hen party. It was such a lovely and relaxing weekend. We swam (I floated and chatted in the pool whilst others swam!), ate healthy sandwiches (with a naughty side of chunky chips), enjoyed a much needed back, shoulder, neck massage - I had major 'Mama knots' in my shoulders! And spent the afternoon chilling in the relaxation room catching up with Mama, sipping Chamomile tea. It was bliss.
When I got home I vowed to stay relaxed and really wanted to cleanse a little. We had enjoyed a rather delicious but extremely guilty fry up for breakfast at the hotel so I definitely felt that some healthy eating was needed.
I made myself a bowl of steaming hot soup. New Covent Garden Soup Company's chicken & root vegetable no less. This is exactly what I needed! A bowl of cosy comfort but packed full with vegetables. I'm not the type of person who LOVES vegetables so hidden amongst chunks of chicken and pearl barley is definitely my thing. Plus it's 1 & 1/2 of my 5 a day!
New Covent Garden soups are my favourite soup - especially with a warm ciabatta roll to dip in or a buttery cheese scone. The soups are chunky and filling, and full of flavour. New Covent Garden Company release a soup of the month, and for March it's 'Creamy Leek & Cheddar' and guess what, it's 1 of our 5 a day! *gasp* it's got cheese in it AND it's 1 of our 5 a day- Winner. This is a good reason to give the ol' cheese sandwiches the heave ho!
My goal for this year was to eat healthier and so far I haven't really succeeded in that all too well. I think this is a good start. We all know that good, healthy foods take care of our insides and in turn make us feel more alert and energised. Even though my brain tells me I'm happy when eating a handful of biscuits, it's not. When I eat certain foods it leaves me feeling sluggish and lethargic. I definitely think eating hearty salads and chunky soups for my lunches will improve things on so many levels. I also want to drink a lot more water and less caffeine too. My skin has become quite dehydrated lately from all the cold weather, it's way of telling me I need to drink more water daily.
^^^ could the robe be any bigger!?!
As well as eating healthier, I feel strongly about needing to spend more quality time with myself. Being a mother is never a lonely life with a pretty little shadow wanting to help with washing or wanting to sit beside me and generally follow me around all day every day. Spending the weekend away taught me that time alone is very important. It's good for my head space and good for my soul. I am trying to go to bed at reasonable times and instead of watching Netflix I snuggle up in bed with a book. I want to switch off easier and fall asleep with a clear mind. I'd also like to have more evening baths just to lay and relax in Lavender bubbles with candles. I get so knotted and tense from all the lifting and leaning etc that my body is a heap of achy mess by the evening, so a lovely relaxing soak in a hot bath is key.
I think it's important for me to spend a little money on getting my hair done every now and again. As well as paying a visit to the spa for a 35 minute shoulder/neck massage every few months. A little luxury pampering every now and again to boost your happiness/confidence and loosen the tense is very important. You should always be your best self.
My goals for the rest of the month is to put all these in motion and to reflect on how it affects my mood. Just thinking about a hot bath or a healthy chunky vegetable soup is making me feel de-stressed and happy already.
What things do you do for when it's time for a little self care? Do you schedule quality YOU time in?