I sometimes struggle to relax, especially when my mind is bubbling away with self-doubt, anxious thoughts and bloody to-do lists. I have to be armed with a toolkit of things that I can turn to to help me feel calm, before it all gets too overwhelming.
Take a Bath
Ok, I think I made it very clear how much I rely on a steaming-hot bubble bath to help me relax when I wrote this love letter to the tub. As soon as I sink in, it’s the ultimate moment of calm. It washes over me. Makes me let out a sigh of relief. Eases the load on my shoulders.
Buy Myself a Fresh Bunch of Blooms
I’ve turned into an old lady who loves nothing more than a potter around the fresh flower section of my local garden centre. I don’t have a favourite flower and tend to go for whatever makes me smile. Recently that included eucalyptus, as it reminds me of my grandparents, and what I think is a bunch of cabbage roses. Mainly because they look so bloody brilliant with their vegetable texture, sweet rose and chunky stems. Buying them for myself is the kind of indulgence I’m on board for.
Make a Mug of Hot Choc
And lace it with marshmallows that melt into the velvety, chocolate milk (lactose free, obvs). It makes me break away from my laptop, my thoughts and gives me 10 minutes to patiently wait for my milk to warm, make a chocolate paste (you all know it helps make it extra velvety) and breathe in that sweet, sweet smell. Delicious.
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Guys, it’s now cold enough to drink velvety hot chocolates littered with plump marshmallows DAILY! If you don’t leave the mallows to melt in the mug, we can’t be friends. Working from home really does have some fabulous perks, including glitter trackies, oversize jumpers and glitter palm tree socks. I’m currently sprucing up my CV – hate writing them – and writing a business plan, getting myself well on my way to my 2019 goal of being freelance. Any other freelancers, holler at me, would love to chat. Preferably over a hot choc or two. Right back to it, that’s enough distraction for the day. I’ve already got @lillythelopearedbun head butting my ankles under the table… . . . . . . #hotchocolate #FindingTheJoyInEveryday #happiness #happyselves #thisishowihueit #momentsofmine #howihue #alifeofintention #myeverydaymagic #documentyourdays #thegirlgang #ukblogger #livethelittlethings #chattycaptioncommunity #freelance
Listen to Led Zepp’s The Rain Song
I grew up listening to Led Zepp and fell madly in love with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page fairly early. I’ve listened to all their albums, read all the books, watched all the videos. While I have many favourites – Thank You, Fool in the Rain, When the Levee Breaks, Good Times Bad Times, Communication Breakdown, to name a few – The Rain Song is the one that gets me. It’s 7 minutes and 39 seconds of joy that I like to spend swaying around my living room, singing along to Plant’s seductive voice as it gradually builds. The lyrics are beautiful.
But I know that I love you so
Oh, but I know
That I love you so
These are the seasons of emotion
And like the wind, they rise and fall
This is the wonder of devotion.
I can’t help but smile every single time.
Paint my nails
Having my nails freshly painted makes me feel like I’ve got my shit together. I don’t know that I enjoy painting them as I’m messy but doing it means I have to concentrate on that one task for the 10 or so minutes that it takes. There’s something soothing about the monotonous task.
Take 15 Minutes for Meditation
I like to escape to my bedroom, hunker down on the bed and close my eyes, breathing deeply until my breath is the only thing I’m concentrating on. I run a body scan, checking in with how I’m feeling and allow everything to relax. We painted our bedroom a gorgeous sage green which adds to the relaxation vibes.
Morning Yoga to Set My Daily Intentions
I’ve been working from home these past two weeks and so have had the luxury of getting up later – no commute rules! – and slotting in a 30 minute Yoga with Adriene practice. I like setting my intentions for the day and stretching it all out. My recent go-tos include Yoga for the Future, Yoga for Self Doubt, Yoga for Stress Management and Sunrise Yoga – now you can tell where my head has been at.
Get Outside, Near Water
I have this pull towards water when I need to feel calm. There’s a splash at the end of the road and I head there to watch the ducks, or get swarmed by them if they think I’ve got food. Or I take the short drive to the river, where I sit and watch the swans, boats and runners pass me by. It’s where I used to spend half an hour or so after each therapy session, to process what I’d learnt about myself. If I really need a breather, I head to the sea to watch the waves.
Give Lils a Tickle Behind Her Cheeks
Is it even a blog post if I don’t mention the fluff ball that is Lilly the lop-eared bun? No, it is not. In the evening, if I sit on the sofa on my own, she’ll hop up and snuggle in to my palm. This is the international rabbit sign for “give me attention, human.” A little tickle behind her ears, her nose or her cheeks zones me out and makes her incredibly relaxed. She’ll settle down, into a fluffy cloud, right next to you. It’s rewarding.
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This is Lils. Queen of the Coates household. Ruler of my heart. Destroyer of furniture. Chief foot licker. Lover of all green veg. Most affectionate pet I know. . . . . . #lillythelopearedbun #dwarflop #cute #fluffball #rabbit #bunny #bunnylove #petstagram #bunniesofig #bunniesworldwide #petsofig
Watch the Cheesiest Film Netflix Has to Offer
Right now that means anything Christmassy that features a Prince and snow is always a winner. The cheesier the plot the better. Something light where I don’t need to concentrate for 90 minutes but that I’ll get caught up in.
Bake a Banana Loaf
And lace it with chocolate chips. Baking is my jam. I find it therapeutic. The precise science of it all. Having the method to follow. Watching something start as a few ingredients and wind up as a tasty loaf.
Pretend Money is No Object and Browse Anthropologie
My first port of call is always dinnerware. Especially sale dinnerware. I have a vision of turning my kitchen into a Moroccan number, so I want colour and patterns galore. The main issue is the price tag but pretend shopping is always fun.
Organise and Reorganise
I like a to-list but I have the tendency to get a little carried away and over-ambitious with what I can achieve. So when I need calm, I take a few things off the list, prioritise the urgent actions and work out my diary.
What helps you feel calm?