Hello and Happy 2021 to you all. Congratulation, you made it (and so did I, by the skin of my teeth!).
It’s the 16th, we are well and truly in the thick of the new year: the parties are over, the paunch is paunchy and the thought of venturing out, even for that holy grail 30 minutes of lockdown exercise sounds and looks, grim.
But what can ya do? Well, I’ll tell you what I‘m doing; it may be helpful, you may think it’s a pile of shite, either way, dinnit knock it ‘til you’ve tried it.
Last January I had the luxury (and foresight) to jet away to Bali. Seems like a dream. This year, I’m locked away, in my little flat on Lark Lane in Liverpool musing over whether:
a) I’ll ever meet the love of my life
b) when did I get so chubby
and c) how we gonna fix this?
My action plan? Firstly, start blogging again, creating again and crack on throwing my two pence bit out there. Why not, I mean, I adore the sound of my own voice - if you’re on my Instagram I’m sure you’ve noticed (note to self, find online voiceover work) - and, even more so? I’ve rekindled my love of writing again. NB I promise I will proof read, however, don’t judge my spelling or grammatical errors. My long term quote is:
I don’t get paid to proof my own work
Lockdown 1.0, my head fell off. They say breakdowns lead to breakthroughs. I’m slowly but surely discovering the breakthrough, that story is for another post though. You’re here to get the tea on what I’m doing locked away, on the daily, on furlough / self employment as a single, childless, petless woman in her 30s without losing her mind - here’s the gist.
START A MORNING ROUTINE
I’ve been offered over the years so many different variations on the perfect morning routine and I used to half arse the majority of them, get little to no change, feel frustrated and shove it to the bottom of the pile of useless crap I could do without and just crack on being a bit mediocre in the morning.
Realising it‘s 11.45am.
I’ve done sweet FA - apart from scroll Debbie from school’s latest craft pictures on Facey
- and drank 3 cups of coffee whilst wasting away in loungewear.
Not cool guys, not cool!
Something had to give, as the days merged into one big solid napping hour and feeding time at the zoo, keeping oneself alive on the daily is hardly a feat, well some days it can be a miracle - small steps lead to big changes! Heck, I even reward myself for brushing ma hair some days. It is what it is. But, the point is, creating routine creates a sense of normality and steadiness to the day. With a sense of normality, even in an alien situation which we all find ourselves in in different capacities, my saving grace was to create a loose structure to my day in order to feel motivated and secure. And like I was achieving something.
Here is that said list. I’d recommend using it for Inspo. Follow it to a tee if you like. Take what works, leave the rest behind. If anything, as long as you are doing something with you, your well-being and self care at the core then that’s what matters.
A simple life - who am I kidding *insert Leo mocking meme here* - this is my totally loose framework of my actual daily routine. Focusing on some core values in my life that I want to make sure everyday I commit to, because when I do those tasks daily: write, read, create, relax etc I achieve a sense of well-being and achievement. And achievement leads to motivation. Even if the only thing I write is a text, the only thing I read is an article, the only time I relax is with my eyes closed in the shower for a moment. It’s finding the pockets of time amidst chaos and gifting them to yourself for, well, a simple life.
The core structure of my rigid routine looks like this though.
6am - Get up (never happens. Working on it) Brush teeth straight away
6.30am - Coffee, emails, scroll on the phone
7am - Journal, write a letter to myself (I’ll tell you about that another day) 15 min meditation or watch a motivational video on YouTube
8am - Brekkie (take the time to eat)
9am - 1 hour walk or 30 min run (I’m doing couch to 5k, I think I’m gonna do a post at the end of each week to document the journey)
10am - Emails, Client Work, Social Media posts
1pm - Make lunch, sit down, enjoy it
2pm - Finish up any work
5pm - Have Tea / food prep
6pm - Set up tomorrow (so do tomorrow’s list and plan, food you need, tasks that need completing, plan your outfit)
7pm - Down time. Whatever I fancy. A bath, a film, create some pics, learn something new. Just sit in silence
9pm - Read
10pm - Lights off
If you want to be more fluid, just give yourself 5 tasks a day to complete; that‘s where I would personally start, otherwise you’ll do what I do at least once a week
and that's not what we are trying to do here. Let me be your mistake; don’t give yourself 528494 tasks: you’re setting yourself up for failure. Honest. It’s a shitter!
The timings on my daily routine are fluid. There are days when I wake up and I’m like “sod it” and my body wants another hour of sleep, so I give myself the luxury. There are days I want to just create, so I’ll get that out of my system first thing, then I can complete my tasks at hand. It’s honestly not the 10 commandments, nothing terrible will happen if the routine is not followed to a tee, however, it’s the magic that does happen when you do.
I really wanna get into the thick of this, so if you’ve read this far, and you want a more in-depth post on morning routines, send me a message and I’ll knock one up! Totally forgot the title of my post ... let’s get back to ways to beat the Jan blues.
MAKE AN EFFORT
It’s not my best make an effort photo, that’s for sure but I did make the effort today to:
Put Make Up On
Dress in something that wasn’t Beige loungewear from BooHoo.com
I profoundly believe that if you look your best you feel your best. I mean, how many times have you nipped out looking a show and bumped into everyone you know? My apologies to everyone I‘ve ever blanked during these moments, but, I was never ready to acknowledge how utterly minging I was in the moment, and you definitely didn’t need to see it: trust me, I saved you.
Today I had a reason to show up, I booked on the lovely ShardeneBlake.com Vision Board Pre-Party online, and I knew there’d be a ‘gram moment. So I dragged myself up early and put the war paint on. There is something so satisfying about applying make up when you haven’t worn it for days. Doesn’t it just go on a dream? Anyway, I felt lush. So lush I ended up creating a few cute pics for my feed to practice my editing skills - one great turn leads to another! By making a concerted effort to make an effort, when I’d usually go “oh be arsed taking any shots for Instagram, it means I have to get ready” I was already ready! As part of my daily routine, when I know I’m planning to do a creative shoot, I will slot in the time to make sure I look my best. So I feel my best. It also then spurs me to FaceTime my entire contact list “look guys! I’m not a show!”
My point is, making an effort leads to effort. By feeling good about yourself, you act your best self. If you’ve spent the last week in your joggers with greasy hair, vow to this week:
Do your hair
Put your make up on
Dress to impress yourself
And I in return am going to use this to fuel my New Years resolution to finally start a YouTube online diary, starting with a ’get ready with me’ vid so my friends in the beauty biz can all recoil in horror at me putting foundation on with a dry beauty blender. Hashtag not a make up artist.
Look, lockdown has affected everyone in a multitude of ways, and I’m sure financially it’s hit quite a number of us. Ain‘t it the truth. Don’t get me wrong, I’m being particularly savage with my spending at the moment, mainly because I want to buy property at some point in the next 2 years, but also because, having a rainy day fund is essential when it come to keeping money anxiety at bay as a mid 30s single, renting, self employed woman.
That does not mean I am going without. I think it’s so important to treat yourself to a little gift occasionally, especially when you are the Princess Charming in your life. “Yes princess, what do you want? I got ya girl!”
Even though I’ve knocked the Boohoos, takeaways and wine on the head for a multitude of reasons, every week I do one little thing that brightens up everyday: I buy myself flowers.
I mean, how cute am I, to me! I have a little bunch on the table where I work and I have some roses in the bathroom for when I have a boujee bath. The first place I go in the morning is the bathroom and as soon as a I see my flowers, it proper brightens my day immediately. And I’m talking £3 roses from Tesco here. It’s literally a meal deal.
Flowers might not be your thing, but I do like to be surrounded by foliage. It’s why I live near the park. Other little gifts I bestow upon myself are candles, face masks, a biscuit and a cup of tea. It’s really just taking something that makes you smile and making sure you’re the provider of it. Because the only person who is responsible for your happiness is you.
How profound. It’s true though. Trust me.
Well there you have it, 3 ways to brighten up the January days, advice not just for 30+ single, childless, petless women, that’s just me being dramatic and putting myself in a niche! Just call me Bridget Bradshaw, a mixture of the most fallible characteristics of my two favourite heroines.
And I’m back, blogging. I owe you all a YouTube video now and I’m going to start planning it. Because I had a 5pm nap and now I’m wide away at 1am. A mark of a true writer if you ask me.
Stay fabulous, Laura x