Taking Care of Me

Countryside views
Deep, meaningful and wonky image of a road, some grey clouds and a beautiful lamppost. Okay, I lied, it’s not deep and meaningful. It’s just very wonky.

In the past 18 months I’ve rarely had an evening where I’ve just let myself relax. I’ve always had a to-do list ten miles long, and I’ve always felt like I needed to be doing something. I’ve always tried to cram so much into every evening, and I’ve always felt too guilty to stray from the plan. I’ve always been trying to do something or learn something or achieve something, and I’ve always put my goals first. But it’s coming at a cost. I’m putting so much pressure on myself to do something useful that I’m forgetting to take care of me.

Which is why I’ve made this list of changes that I will be making to make me a calmer, happier and more fantabulously amazing person. Because being fantabulously amazing is super important.

Have at least one evening a week “off”

I’d love to have one evening “off”, where I don’t work on the blog, or my novel, or coding, or housework. One night where I can just lounge about and read and watch the Inbetweeners without feeling guilty for neglecting my to-do list. One night where I can snuggle under blankets and play Pokemon for hours on end…

This is sounding great already!

Turn the laptop off at half past ten on work nights

Because I’m always trying to use every minute of the day to catch-up on things, I’ve gotten into the really bad habit of trying to finish things off in bed and it’s not a great way to wind down. Some nights I find myself staying up way later than I should to finish a blog post or fill in forms, and it just leaves me feeling tired, drained and very stressed out. So, from now on, I’m aiming to switch my laptop off at half past ten every night and have a relaxing night’s sleep!

Have an “easy meal” night

A lot of the meals I make involve a lot of prep, so it’d be so lovely to have a quick meal one night a week. Coming home from work and spending half an hour chopping vegetables is so tiring and I love to have one night where I can just fling myself on the sofa (in a non-sofa-breaking way) and chill. Hopefully I can find an easy meal that’s reasonably healthy. And one that can be eaten straight out of the box. No washing-up for me!

Organise my time better

I want to start dedicating specific times to specific things, rather than writing two lines of a blog post an hour while procrastinating on the Internet. Although I do really love procrastinating, doing things this way just results in me getting more stressed and having less “free” time to read, game or watch TV. It’d be nice to have a set stopping time for tasks, so I can waste less evenings unsuccessfully trying to do something. No procrastination! More relaxation!

Do less

I’ve always been an overly ambitious person, which means that I sometimes (always) set myself ridiculously difficult goals. The to-do lists I make myself are usually way too excessive, and often leave me feeling stressed to the point where I feel guilty for relaxing, which is ridiculous. I need to stop putting so much pressure on myself to do everything. I don’t NEED to write four blog posts a week, or 10,000 words of a novel, or clean every single area of the house. It’s just not realistic. Plus, it’s way more fun to take your time doing something. Rushing to meet a deadline is never fun.

So that’s my plan. Hopefully this will make my evenings a lot more enjoyable and reduce my stress levels. And hopefully it’ll give me more time to binge-watch Game of Thrones and yell at Littlefinger for being the single most annoying character in any TV programme ever. Because that sort of stuff is important.

Do you think it’s important to relax? How do you make things easier for yourself?

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14 Comments

  1. Ugh, I feel the same. I’m the worst person for procrastinating then saying I’m too busy to look after myself. I just need to learn how to use my time more wisely.

    I try to turn my laptop off by 9pm, and Tyrone does the same so we can have the evening together. But my problem is my phone. I can’t seem to put it down!

    Every night is “easy meal” night for us, haha! We always buy frozen, pre-chopped vegetables to save time. I tend to save meals that take longer to cook for the weekends.

    Good luck with your plan!

    1. I think I need to start buying frozen veg! It’d be so much quicker.

      And I know what you mean about your phone. I’m always checking mine!

  2. Have you considered batch cooking? We usually prepare our meals for the week and cook more than we need for leftovers or to take to work for lunch. Generally we have a chicken dish, a lean mince dish and a fish dish, we mix it up with whole wheat rice, pasta, wraps, cassoulets etc. We love spicy food.

    I always try to find time to relax and will often wind down with a long bath on a Sunday evening. It’s so important to take care of you.

  3. It’s good that you’re taking some different approaches to take a better care of yourself. You’re already grinding at work, gotta have some down time at home! It’s good to have nights where you unplug. I wish I can do the same as you with turning off my computer past 10 XD. I’m at the 11 PM point right now. There’s nothing wrong with being overly ambitious. The only thing is that if you don’t meet your goals, don’t be too hard on yourself!

    Hope this new plan will do you lots of good! I like to turn off my notifications to social media whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed.

    1. I’m hoping I can stick to it. And 11 isn’t so bad. There’s been times when I’ve stayed online until the early hours of the morning. Oops!

  4. I think that’s a great point you make – that you should be taking care of yourself instead of focusing only on achieving what’s ahead of you. I’m sure it also helps you achieve your goals too because your mental and physical self are happy.

    I like all your de-stressing tips/ideas. I also try to turn off my laptop after a certain time. I heard somewhere that if you’re on your phone or laptop or on a bright screen before you go to bed, it’s harder going to bed because your brain is so active.

    Yay for relaxation!

    1. I find it so hard to sleep after being only laptop, so that’s probably why. Hopefully switching off will help!

  5. You totally shouldn’t feel guilty for having a day to just relax and laze around! I think it’s important to have time to de-stress 🙂 That’s a good idea to turn off the laptop at a certain time. I tried that a while ago and was successful for like… a week, before I went back to old habits. I should really try again.

    My husband and I do take-out at least once a week. It’s nice to stay in but not worry about cooking or doing the dishes. I am also guilty of procrastinating and overly ambitious to-do lists! I always have to remind myself to set more realistic goals, so that I can feel productive but not stressed out.

    I hope these changes work out for you!

    1. I’d love to do takeout once a week! We used to do it when we first moved in together, but we’ve stopped since we started dieting. I’m sure one night off a week won’t hurt though!

  6. Really awesome that you are taking the initiative to look after yourself. It can be so important, because you want to make sure that you are in the healthiest state you can be, both physically and mentally! 😀

    Having a night off is a brilliant idea. Maybe even two wouldn’t hurt either? You need that time to just do whatever it is you want. You shouldn’t feel guilty about it at all!

    Great idea to turn the laptop off. Not having it in bed should also be a great way for your mind to wind down. I have a desktop/Mac so I can’t take it to bed. But have been in the bad habbit of using a phone/tablet instead.

    Easy meal sounds like a really great idea. Hopefully, you can find something that isn’t going to be really unhealthy.

    I really hope you are able to do less and not feel so much pressure. I know what you mean though. If I have a long list of things I want to do, I will feel guilty about even the slightest thing and it makes it hard to regain focus and motivation. I am sure that through doing all of the things you mentioned it should make a really big difference. 🙂

    1. I’m always checking my phone too. It’s so hard to switch off when we have so much technology. Hopefully it’ll make my nights more relaxing though!

  7. This is why I give myself a bum day once a week. I need that day to do unwind and relax. If I don’t, then I know I’ll be cranky the rest of the week XD I love it when I just be lazy and not feel obligated to do anything. We need these days! Otherwise, we’d burn ourselves up!

  8. I relate to the opening paragraph on such a deep level. This past week, I have had literally no energy. I’ve been working on a project that I had to ask for an extension on because it got to a point where I thought I was going to break. Even though in mind I knew what I was doing was the best and furthering my prospects, my body was just like, “Nope, nope, Chynna. Stop. Slow down.”

    “Turn the laptop off at half past ten on work nights” – I should really do this as well. I spend all day at work staring at a computer screen and then I come home and stare all night at my laptop screen, and it can’t be healthy.

    I want to try the time blocking thing. I mean it works at work – I spend x amount of time at work, break, etc. etc. So maybe I can apply this at home as well. Procrastination is the devil, haha.

    AGREED ABOUT LITTLEFINGER, BTW. LITTLE SHIT.

    I definitely think it’s important to relax. Self-care is so important, and if we don’t look after ourselves our bodies will be like, “Yo, yo, dude, come on now”.

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