I don't have a lot of free time. That's not a moan - I love to be busy and productive. However, over the last year, I have been trying give more to my health and well being. Whether that's been losing weight, investing more time into my skincare or taking better care of my teeth, I've been on a journey. Yet, I never addressed my mental well being along-the-way.
Going from work to gym to home to blogging, I didn't switch off at any point during the week and that was exhausting. At the weekends, while I was a lot more relaxed and chilled out, I was still permanently glued to my phone/iPad/laptop/camera so, my mind was never truly at ease. So, I've been focusing on getting in some downtime; just me, in my room, doing something enjoyable with no pressure attached to it and I wanted to share what little things have been making a huge difference in my day-to-day life.
Ever since I was a kid, I've loved curling up with a book. After trading in paper and binding for e-reading, I found that I didn't really read at home anymore. So, I placed an Amazon order for some real life books and have been taking the time to put on my most comfy PJs, my favourite slippers (The UGG Ansley ones are life-changing!), light a candle (currently burning Yankee Fireside Treats - perfect sweet/warm mix) and just read for 10-15 minutes at night. I'm currently enjoying Lena Dunham's Not That Kind of Girl and it's such a nice, generally light hearted read to switch off with at the end of the day.
Podcasts are a new thing for me but, I've been basically worming my way through Soundcloud since I started Operation Downtime. If you are interested in internet culture and web celebs, I highly recommend Rhett and Link's Ear Biscuits where they chat with a different YouTuber every week about everything from childhood right up to current day. It really gives you an idea of the people behind the camera. However, the podcast I am going to demand you all go and listen to is Serial. Serial is a weekly show where a journalist in the US is trying to get to the bottom of whether an incarcerated man actually committed the murder he was convicted of as a teen. She shares the investigative process, has interviews with everyone involved and it's just so slick and makes such compelling listening. Highly, highly recommend.
So, comfy PJs, new books, candles and some easy listening have been what's helping me decompress and, honestly, I feel so much better for taking that time, however long it is, for myself. I would love to hear how you switch off because, well, I'm running out of episodes of Serial to listen to!