I have not been on social media for the last 2 days. I was beginning to feel a bit stressed and close to burnout. I had been working from 7am to 7pm 5 days a week, with a few short breaks in between to eat. I was also doing a few hours most Saturdays and Sundays too.
And I was neglecting my daily walk too which is never a good idea. And I had a particularly stressful day on Friday.
I love what I do. I love making a difference and helping people to reduce stress in their lives. But last Friday I realised it was time to take some of my own advice on self-care.
The first thing I did was to delete Facebook and Instagram from the home screen on my iPhone. I had made the decision to stay off social media all day Saturday and Sunday. I certainly didn’t need the temptation of seeing any notifications. I believe in making it as easy as possible for myself.
Next I played some upbeat music while I got dressed – ABBA of course. I was a teenager when they won the Eurovision and I fell in love with them right away. My cousin and I danced for hours in my bedroom listening to Dancing Queen on my old cassette recorder. Listening to the soundtrack from Mama Mia brings me right back to those carefree days and always lifts my mood.
Then I went for a walk. I brought my phone for safety reasons. I am being especially careful after recent attacks around the country. But I purposely did NOT listen to any music or podcast. I wanted a mindful walk.
I listened instead to the sounds of nature, the chirping of hundreds of birds and new-born lambs bleating in a shed opposite our house. Yes, I’m blessed to live in Lovely Leitrim in the heart of rural Ireland. It was a beautiful bright, sunny, spring morning, cold and crisp, and it felt so good to be outside in nature, listening to the sounds all around me and seeing the new growth all around me on every hedgerow.
I spent the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon in my greenhouse, a birthday present last year from my family. I wonder if they fully understand the value of that precious gift. I grabbed a bucket of warm soapy water and a brush and scrubbed down the walls, inside and out.
I was fully focused on what I was doing the whole time. It was absolutely amazing. If you’re a gardener you’ll understand. As it was my first full day in the garden since last autumn, I had forgotten how truly mindful gardening is. I always get completely absorbed in what I’m doing and forget about everything, including time.
Thankfully, a necessary call of nature (a trip to the loo) reminded me of the time and that I needed to go to the shop right away if I wanted to get some compost for Sunday. I had planned to re-pot the strawberries and herbs I had over-wintered in the greenhouse.
When I got back from the hardware I cooked dinner and baked an apple crumble. Being creative, whether it’s cooking, baking or gardening can be very relaxing when you choose to do it. My husband does most of the cooking, so I’m blessed that I can choose to enjoy cooking. .
I spent most of Sunday in the greenhouse too, repotting.
When my neck and shoulders had had enough, I decided to find a good book and relax for the evening. It was one of the most relaxing weekends I have every enjoyed. This morning I feel so much more relaxed and refreshed, ready to get back into the swing of my business that I love.
If you’ve been feeling stressed lately, and things are getting on top of you, why not take time for a little self-care and do something you love.
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