So I’m doing the only thing I know how to do in situations like this – looking after myself. I didn’t write a blog earlier this week, cancelled plans with friends, did some yoga, had some baths, cried, ate Quavers and slept a lot.
It made me think of the small things I do regularly that seem so small and insignificant but actually bring me complete joy, even if only for a moment.
I’m a creature of habit and find such comfort in these rituals, so I thought I would share these with you and maybe inspire you to think about your own habits that make you smile.
Having a 10AM coffee, with snack
Every day I’m in the office, at around 10 O’clock, myself or one of my colleagues (almost always one of my colleagues) will get up and offer a round of drinks. Mine is always coffee and I always pair it with a snack. Most days that’s some sort of flapjack, if there’s a birthday in the office, it’s cake.
Having that hot drink, washing down something sweet is the respite I need to get through until lunch. And sure, you can come at me with your recommendations of herbal teas and less-sugary snacks, but I will ignore you. This one coffee, and this one snack, at this one time in the day makes me smile every time – and I don’t plan on giving that up.
Reading and meditating at lunch
Ever since I swapped my lunchtime social media scrolling frenzy for reading and meditating I’ve a) gotten through a lot more books and b) felt a lot calmer in general. Feeling the heat of the sun (remember that?) was also a highlight of my day.
Now the sun has disappeared, I’m still reading and doing my best to take mindful walking breaks when things feel too much. Breaks are king.
Having a self-care evening
Wednesday evenings are my self-care evenings. Every other evening in the week I’m either writing a blog, scheduling social media, or doing something else Blue Jay of Happiness related. Wednesday evenings are for me to do yoga, have a bath and sink in the sofa in front of Netflix.
If you don’t already have a dedicated time slot in the week for self-care, I highly recommend you do. It’s something to look forward to and should be as sacred as any other appointment in your diary.
Breakfast in bed at the weekend
Slow mornings at the weekend just make my heart sing. Dan and I will laze in bed, talking, before one of us gets up to make peanut butter on toast and coffee. We’ll watch TV in bed and eventually peel ourselves away to get showered and start our day.
Breakfast in bed has always felt like a little luxury to me, and every weekend I look forward to it. When was the last time you had breakfast in bed?
Listening to a podcast while washing up
This might sound a little strange… but I kinda like washing up. I’ll take washing up over cooking any day. There’s just something quite meditative and satisfying about it. If there’s a lot to do, I’ll stick a podcast on and spend some time soaking in other people’s knowledge.
Reading magazines while listening to music
This is the ultimate. I genuinely don’t think I’m ever as at ease or relaxed as I am when I’ve got some beautiful music playing and a fresh magazine (Oh Comely and of course, Happiful are my faves). Now I’ve moved in with Dan, it’s often me on the sofa reading, while he’s at his desk drawing. It’s exactly what I pictured when I thought about us moving in together.
When life gets too much and we just want to hide under the covers forever, these small moments of joy are life savers. They remind us that not everything sucks. They bring a little light, a little relief. They give us that drop of hope we need to keep going.
So what I would love for you to do, is to spend some time thinking about what little rituals you have that bring you joy and write them down. If you don’t have many, think about what you would like to do, and write those down to.
Try to incorporate at least one a day and really relish it. Take it slow. Breathe it in.
It doesn’t have to be revolutionary, just something that makes your soul smile and your mind relax. Yes, life does suck sometimes. It’s OK for it to all feel a bit much. It’s also OK to comfort yourself. You will feel strong again soon, find those moments of joy and keep going.
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