In my mid to late teens I used to dedicate a few hours every Sunday to “me time”. I’d have a complete pamper evening, organise my thoughts and set some goals for the week ahead. I would even keep a password protected word file on my computer which sort of served as a diary for me to write down everything on my mind. When I started university, “me time” turned into “sleep time” and generally I’d spend my time sleeping, studying, or partying, there wasn’t much of an inbetween… Then I started working in 2016 and “me time” became “what time?!” Spending most of my time sat at a desk and trying to balance that with a social life and a blog/social media, I started to feel like I really had no time for myself. Fast forward to 2017, I decided I wanted to start taking care of myself, and I kicked that off with a dive into my health & fitness journey – along the way, I’ve picked up a couple of other habits that make me feel pretty fab.
Here are five things I do to feel my best…
I Pamper Myself
Although it’s sometimes hard to find the time to do this – I like to find the time occasionally to pamper myself. For me, this can be as simple as retail therapy. Contrary to what you may believe (given that I’m a fashion blogger and all), I actually don’t shop that much. Every now and again I’ll get a thought in my head that I need item X and I’ll browse this item every day until I buy it (recently it was that I “needed” a statement belt), occasionally I’ll pop into the Zara near my work if I’m not too busy or leave the office early, I seem to have an addiction to buying workout clothes (look good, feel good, train better… right?), and then once in a while I’ll hit up a super trendy website such as Missguided and overload my basket with well priced, stylish pieces. And then there’s the whole “beauty side” of things, which if I’m being honest I’m fairly useless at. I like to get my eyebrows threaded once a month and my nails done once in a blue moon (I recently tried gel nails with NINC London and I loved it! (You can get 20% off a NINC London treatment using my code SKYLISH20 – nails pictured above. Ps… they’re mobile!)). On the flip side, I get my hair done more regularly (I’m quite military when it comes to my hair). I have also recently fallen in love with bath and body products – I used to not spend much when it came to these sorts of items, but I’ve realised how much better I feel when I’ve pampered myself just a tad and I smell good (a Clive Christian set is next on my list – guys, if you’re looking for a “perfume set for her”, it’s a go to).
I Eat (Quite) Right
Since uni, I’d been of the idea that carbs were terrible. It was so ingrained in me and when I decided to step away from a life of eating chicken katsu curry for breakfast, pork belly for dinner and snacking of slices of chocolate cake – I thought all I had to remove from my diet was carbs and all would be well. So I’d eat eggs for dinner (no toast), salads for lunch and for dinner I’d max out on a rack of BBQ spare ribs – which I thought was totally fine because, well – no carbs… right? In late 2017 I had a full health test where I found out my body fat percentage and the results were shocking to say the least; soon after that someone suggested I tried out My Fitness Pal, not quite for the strict calorie counting, but just to get a sense of the nutrients and macros of the different foods I’d put into my belly. Very quickly I learned that eating carbs was not so terrible, and maybe eating spare ribs for dinner 3x a week and wondering where my six pack was wasn’t quite the best idea. I learned that balance was better. Now I’m not the most strict eater, but I do generally eat clean, and when I eat good and clean, I feel pretty fab too. I have a lot more energy and don’t feel as sluggish as I used to. Eating well doesn’t mean you have to not eat – I don’t quite eat as many burgers and sausages as I used to back in the day, but I do eat lots of fish, veggies, chicken and rice and I’m always full. I see people confusing healthy eating with not eating all the time and I’m the first to tell them it totally doesn’t have to be that way.
I Spend Time Alone
One thing I’ve traditionally been very good at is spending time alone. Honestly – give me some wifi, a computer and some food and I can entertain myself all day long without getting bored. That said, once I got into a serious relationship for the first time in 2014, I totally forgot how to spend time alone without it meaning that I felt lonely; so when my boyfriend went away for two weeks, I didn’t know what to do with my time other than sleep and miss him. I remembered what I’d been like back in my single days, and I made it a point to get back to that place. Spending time with other people is great and all, it really is, but sometimes there’s nothing quite a good as just keeping yourself company. I’ve lived out since late 2013 (damn, that went fast), and I’ve lived with people that don’t want to spend time alone until it’s time for bed, and people who I don’t even need to say “hi” to when I get home if it’s clear that we both just want to do our own thing that evening. It’s safe to say, I prefer to the latter. Sometimes, me time is all the time you need. There’s no better time to reflect, chill, and do whatever the hell you want than when you’re all by yourself and lost in your own thoughts.
I Train Hard
Someone asked me recently – “so, this gym thing, is that like… going to last?” I told her that yeah, the plan is to keep it going, and I’m not sure what other sort of answer she was expecting (“I’m going to stop next week – it’s all for the lols!” ?) I’ve also had people ask me at times if I’m still doing the whole “gym thing”. The things is, in the past, working out for me really was just a “gym thing”, it was very much a “oh, snap, I have a holiday in 3 weeks, I need to get on the treadmill!” sort of thing, rather than a “hmm, I think I want a lifestyle change…” sort of thing. I had a short term view which means it was only ever a short term endeavor. Now, I can honestly say I enjoy working out and prioritizing my fitness. When people ask me why I honestly attribute it all to the endorphines, I feel so great after a good workout, I feel even better seeing how I’ve improved in the gym over time and I feel the best knowing that I’ve hit my goals. I still have to drag myself out sometimes, of course, but – I don’t think anything teaches self discipline as perfectly as working out does. For stress relief, health purposes and honestly, just to feel good, I would recommend adding a good number of workouts to your weekly routine.
I Keep Up With My Loved Ones
Life gets in the way – one second you’re meeting your friend for brunch and talking about “let’s see eachother again very soon – and not leave it so long next time!”, then you skip a few months down the line and well, you’ve left it so long next time. Life gets busy and the weekends zoom past in a flash, and sometimes coordinating some time to catch up with friends can prove very difficult to figure out with clashing schedules. The good ol’ thing about friendships is that even if it has been 4 months since you saw each other last, it never feels that way. The same goes for family, although probably without the 4 month gap (I like to go back home for the weekend every 4 weeks or so for alla those good home comforts, and alla that good pounded yam, oh yeah). Perosonally, I’d say it’s so important to prioritise your friendships and your family and to never isolate yourself. It’s so tempting every weekend to spend it in bed sleeping (especially if it’s been a long week), but it’s a lot more satisfying to use that time more productively which includes catching up with the ones you love the most.
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