Work, friends, family - we spend a lot of our lives in the company of other people. While socialising and having a healthy work/life balance is important, sometimes it can feel like you're constantly giving your time away and not getting enough of it back.
If you find yourself stressed or run down by the end of the week, taking a breather and spending some time focusing on yourself can help you feel more recharged.
Forget waiting for the weekend, here are 6 small steps to happier days – every day of the week.
1. Light your favourite
candle, put on your favourite tunes and slip into a bath. Close your eyes and focus on the way the water is lapping against your skin. Take in one deep breath, feeling it fill up the corners of your ribs, hold it and release. Repeat until the water becomes lukewarm, until the thoughts and worries you had fade into the background.
If you don’t have a bathtub, take a luxurious shower. Buy a nice scented body scrub (or make your own) and spend some time scrubbing all the corners of your body: the base of your neck, the backs of your knees, the crevices in your toes, the bottom of your heels. Wash your hair and soak the ends in conditioner. Lather yourself with moisturiser afterwards.
2. Go for a walk when the world is quiet, when the skies are cotton candy pink or when the clouds are twilight blue. Go around the neighbourhood, to the park, or if you’re lucky – to the ocean. Turn your phone to silent and take time picking out the little details around you.
3. Buy a beautiful diary planner. Write down your to-dos, your lunch dates, your appointments, your shopping lists. Schedule in time every day for ‘you’ – whether it’s thirty minutes or an hour, take some time to just sit with a cup of tea, a good book or your favourite show, in your own company.
4. Read a book, go to the cinemas, attend a gallery or visit a museum. Spending time soaking up culture will do to your mind what moisturiser does to your skin: hydrate and refreshen
5. On a sunny afternoon, strip your bed sheets and linen, bring your pillows outside to air dry in the sun, and empty your socks and underwear drawer into the washing machine. Be generous with the laundry powder. Hang everything outside until they’re crispy from the sun and smell like your childhood summer. Bring everything in and make your bed, feeling the residual warmth and softness of the sheets under your fingertips.
6. Take photos with a disposable camera. Take photos of your friends laughing over dinner, your loved ones moving about the house. Take photos of the sea and of the sky before a storm. Print them out, write the dates on the back, and slip them into your diary so they can fall out on an unexpected day.