If I’ve learnt anything this year so far, it’s that we could all do with giving ourselves a bloody break once in a while. It’s okay not to be “on it” every minute of the day, it’s okay not to be productive every single day of your life and it’s certainly okay to feel like crap – for a multitude of reasons or for no reason at all – every now and again. One of the main changes I’ve made to my life this year is listening to my body and mind and giving myself what I need or want at any given time rather than ignoring it and powering through when I really shouldn’t be.
We live in a world that’s increasingly stressful. Whichever side of the political divide you fall, whatever social media network you use, the web is thick with arguments and work exerts its own pressures into the bargain. Modern technology promises to lift our burdens and make work easier, but instead by making us so constantly available it’s difficult to carve out time when you’re unavailable and off duty.
A surprising new trend for women has emerged and it’s all about loving and appreciating yourself. It’s the rise of the self-love ring; a ring symbolizing a lifelong commitment to your own happiness. Some women have even taken their newfound appreciation for themselves to the next level – with a solo wedding! This practice, known as sologamy, is said by its supporters to affirm one’s own value, leading to a happier and more fulfilling life. We’ve teamed up with Angelic Diamonds, retailers of bespoke diamond rings, to take a closer look at this emerging trend and how women are celebrating themselves in the modern age.
Self care should be a part of all of our lives and daily routines but we have to remember that self care looks different for everyone. Whilst someone might consider a relaxing bubble bath with candles and a book a valid form of self care, someone else would rather go for a run or head to the gym for a banging workout. Which is also valid. And self care certainly doesn’t have to mean the big things either, the actively taking time out of your day to do some sort of “self care activity”. Basic self care is just as important and over the last few years – when I’ve learnt what self care actually is and how valuable it is – I’ve gradually started to incorporate into my day, every day, without even thinking about it anymore.
I blog about mental health a lot and I’m totally open about my anxiety and how it affects me. Which is bad. Sometimes. I think during my anxiety journey, I’ve learnt a lot about how to deal with both anxiety and stress. I’ve probably learnt more coping mechanisms with anxiety than I ever would have if I didn’t develop it in the first place. Which, thinking about it, I suppose is one benefit to come out of having my mental health disorder. Of course we all need coping strategies when we’re stressed. Because we all get stressed and we’ll all have periods of more stress than others. You know how it is, everything’s fine for months then 12 problems come along at once. I’ve recently had a bit of a episode like that, which I’m not going to go into but it’s important to reiterate the point that everyone goes through it. It can help to know we’re not alone, if nothing else.
Since starting a blog, I’ve truly learnt the value of championing yourself. Of celebrating your own achievements and not being afraid to share them with the world – however small. I think this may be through the uprising of self-care and self-love which clearly teaches you that you are worthy and we should love ourselves no matter what.
If you know me at alllllll by now, you’ll know I don’t relax. Ever. I just find it so incredibly difficult and I have this incessant need to be constantly productive, 24/7. I love how I’m able to get so much done. I love that I’m a goal orientated person. I love that I can get through my daily to-do lists and go to bed knowing I’ve physically done everything I could have possibly done that day. My organisational skills and my Type A personality is one of the only things I actually like about myself so I’m not going to go and start putting myself down for it! But…. I know that it can get unhealthy. We all need down-time. Every single one of us.