Taking care of You
Whilst traditionally Valentine's Day has always been a religious and cultural celebration, it also marks a very much commercial celebration of romance.
This Valentine’s day, steering away from the commercial pressures, I would encourage everyone to give a little thought to loving yourself. Taking some out just for you has never been so important, whether that’s settling down with a good book, or filling your home with scented flowers and candles. Whatever fills your heart with joy, Sunday 14th of February is the day to do it.
It’s been one hell of a 12 months and with many of us feeling stretched both mentally and emotionally it can be tough and wearing at times to keep that positive energy going.
Giving yourself time to muse upon your own thoughts, is often easy to ignore and the busier life gets the less time you have to deal with your own wellbeing. On the opposite end of the scale, some people may find they’re experiencing long periods of time to dwell on thoughts which can also have a detrimental effect. Rather than letting these pressures of the mind jump out and making you realise it is time to take stock, how about focusing on some simple tasks just for you?
Rather than focussing on lavish or exciting gifts this week, I'd like to bring to you some slow and inexpensive ideas – ones which are more likely to have a long-lasting positive effect on our mindset.
How to raise a plant and make it love you back
This is the title of one of our very popular books at Botanical Atelier, and of course it will come no surprise to you that we love plants! For me it is learning about the botany and scientific nature of plants so I can create a super informative botanical illustration. However I also love the nurturing of my plants and watching new growth spring to life, which is rather satisfying after months of tentative care. The plant trend has grown to extraordinary lengths over the past several years and there is a great movement of people enjoying the pleasures from such simple things such as planting seeds, or re-potting plants and splitting them for friends. There is something remarkably grounding from having your hands in the soil, giving life to your plants and being granted day after day of unconditional joy back from them as they grow and evolve.
Embracing the shorter days
Whilst many of us are craving more daylight at the moment, we mustn't forget that there are benefits to this season of darker days and tumultuous weather. It is the time to rest and recoup. Just as the natural world will be saving energy to bloom in the springtime, we also need this time to nourish our bodies and mind. It's easy to forget that we perform so much better when we are taking better care of our wellbeing and giving ourselves some time out.
One of the lovely things about this time of year (which I have to keep reminding myself) is that with the dark evenings there is plenty of time to sink into some cosy pj’s and relax into a good book. I have finally worked my way through the rather large pile that was gathering by my bedside and have enjoyed replenishing it with some new material. Scented candles are also a great move to changing the ambience of a room, or filling a hot bath with tub and indulging in a relaxing soak. Even if we're limited with space, these simple changes to the environment can help our minds to realise we are taking some time out to do something for ourselves with the sole purpose of relaxing. It can change the feel of a room and help our mindset to shift into something calmer.
Using scents, sounds or light to change the feel of a room can help us to relax and take some time out
Whether we feel like we've got "too much to do" or we "aren't doing enough" at the moment, use this weekend to cut yourself some slack. Listen to your cravings and set some time aside to do what you want to do. Whether that's putting your responsibilities to the side for an hour, having a lie in, heading out for a walk or simply doing nothing, you deserve to show yourself some love. It's often the case that when we do things just for ourselves there is an element of guilt attached – there's a niggle in our brains telling us we should be doing something else or that we must attend to the needs of others first. However, it's important to look after ourselves first and foremost and to do so without guilt. We are at our most content and able to dedicate our time and energy to others more efficiently when we're taking good care of ourselves. Anything that involves self care which can come in so many different forms is a pretty nice reward to give to yourself. A little guilt free pampering goes a long way.
Whatever you choose to do, whether it's a cosy inside treat or blowing the cobwebs away outside in the elements, indulge in loving yourself this weekend (and always!) Life's too short not to take a bit more care of ourselves and something most of us probably don't do enough.