Wednesday, August 15, 2018

How I Unwind in the Evenings

This post is a paid for collaboration with Panasonic

Thanks for your encouraging comments on my previous post on taking a break when you need it, and it's so nice to see so many people already doing it... Of course, another merci beaucoup for your congratulatory messages on a new and fresh start, it's something I'm excited and nervous about – but before that, I'm on a (self-acknowledged) well-deserve three weeks off right now! I've already started on a high by watching A LOT of TV last Friday and running errands, keeping busy milling about the house and packing for a two week trip back home next week. It's not unlike a working week, just more slow-paced and even-measured I suppose...


Ultimately, my favourite time of day is to sit down in the evenings and take a breather after a full day of running around. As it's not scorching hot anymore, I start off lighting a candle to soften the air in the room and find that it helps distracts some worries of the day away. Lately, I like putting on Happy Together 3 (the karaoke segment is gold) - something easy to watch but also hilarious, and is there anything better than being comfortable on the sofa watching TV? Recently Matt and I have thought about upgrading ours and browsing through the HDR TV Panasonic page to see if anything caught our eye, so I'm looking forward to an upgraded viewing experience soon.


I know it's a bit drastic but I try and do a face mask everyday, at first it was to destash my collection I've built out over the last few years but now it's something I look forward to every evening. My skin gets red and sensitive easily, so I like keeping chilled sheet masks in the fridge which is easily the laziest way to relax in the evenings while doing chores, and wrapping up after dinner...  I also love using my face roller, which helps my skincare absorb better and is good for lymphatic draining, depuffing your face... 

Recently I've realised how my nose is incredibly sensitive to smells and it can drastically affect my mood depending on how a space is fragranced. I picked up this beautiful Places Des Vosges room spray as a keepsake of our Paris trip last summer, and after some spritzes it reminds me of the daytime dreaming while strolling through the quieter paths of the city, in an effortless slumber. 


I've been on a reading spree, and while I was disappointed when I read Caraval (I am a perfectionist when it comes to plots and character development lol sorry /booksnob much?) but have now added to my list books to kick-start my new job!

I try not to use my phone too much in the evenings, and reading a book is perfect for keeping busy  without getting too caught up in the wilds of the internet.

The evenings are also a great time to reflect over the contents of the day, and look at what you've achieved and want to get more from tomorrow. It's easy to get tunnel vision at work, surrounded by such a specific niche of people or issues that frustration builds up easily. Leaving that environment behind and looking at it objectively while I'm relaxed at home is a way I mentally coach myself for new challenges and deal with tricky situations, and evaluate my emotions.

How do you spend your evenings? I'm trying to get back into being more crafty but have been busy tying up loose ends after my final work week I haven't been able to!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

I Took A Day Off From Work Just Because

Everyone's jetting off somewhere sunny this summer, having the best 2018 summer or summin'... And I'm thumbing through my feed, sweating like no one's business on public transport on my way into work. 

Well guess what? I went ahead and took a day off from work just because. Is there anything more liberating than using up precious annual leave because you can?! While I'm nowhere near going to a fancy Moroccan riad (although I want to) or chilling by the beach, I'd decided I needed some time and space to do things I enjoy because it's not always necessary to travel exotic all the time...


Okay, so this is a bit sneaky but basically I went shopping... oops. Alone. And it was so fun, walking around the shops when Regent Street isn't rammed with people trying to rob you, and making the rounds through Anthropologie and And Other Stories using hand wash because it felt fun! 

Sometimes photos on your feed can be disillusioning, as I grow envious of everyone's constantly jetsetting life while trying to not overheat on my sofa, despite having the fan blowing straight into my face. Distancing myself from work, and spending time with myself was something I really enjoyed - I even went to charity shops and picked up some vinyl gems! 

I was definitely feeling a societal-fuelled pressure to travel somewhere just because it's summer, and begun to find my daily routine a mindless and numbing experience. Not exactly 100%, that's for sure. A day off gave me some buffer time to do things that aren't housework or life admin, and let me tell you that the magic of everyday life truly helps. 


I had some busy weeks of work and it was starting to get overwhelming (but I am actually leaving for a new job soon, but that will be for another time) and even when I was home, I found it hard to disengage and settle into a good, healthy social routine. 

Earlier this year, I briefly mentioned my health taking a dip and I'm so glad I've been able to re-center and create a space and time where I am able to concentrate on things I enjoy doing, even if this means sitting still and doing nothing. But on my day off, post-shopping, I came home - ran the bath, put on a hair and face mask, poured in my now favourite bath salts (they're the Bloomtown Lavender and Rose Geranium bath salts - vegan, and yes they do smell as good as it sounds) and watched TV.

Now in what I would otherwise call a total cliché, but I felt so lifted and happy because I was able to do that. We spend so much time fussing over tidying the house, making sure our lives are in order, we sometimes forget that we're part of the living too. 

Quieting my inner mind noise was something that helped me immensely the past six months, and has given me a better perspective of what I want in life. It also allowed me to meet new people, get inspiration and go after what I thought was something I couldn't change... 


It was frustrating to see all my friends living their best lives driving through quaint Italian towns and eating their way through South of France, so something I want to remind myself is to not get carried away by the necessity of a holiday. 

After our wedding, I had to work on switching my visa which literally cost an arm and leg (insurers will tell you that, ha) and I needed to budget accordingly - aka no holidays immediately after this. This made me a bit sad but I'm trying to look at this favourably, and while I won't be able to wear a Realisation Par dress anytime soon, I no longer have to live in fear of getting kicked out, or getting stuck in a job if I do want to pursue new opportunities. Hurrah! 

What I wanted to remember, however, was that it was still important to make sure I was keeping myself active: going out, eating healthily and enjoying life as best as can be given the circumstances (no thanks to extortionate Home Office fees). We sometimes allow ourselves to indulge for the sake of consumerism, chasing trends and validation through pixels on our screen, which makes it so easy to lose sight of simple things that could very easily be achieved. 

Not documenting our lives doesn't also mean our lives are less worthy, something I try to remember as we easily get carried away under a microcosm of daily social media monitoring. 

Hoping you are finding things are keeping you going - large or small...!

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