I know, it’s a big title. 2019 was a year of ups and downs for us as a family, we identified Cora with a dairy allergy and Be a was diagnosed with coeliac disease. Both were game changers and massive learning curves we had to navigate. We went on some epic holidays though, didn’t have much to do to the house and as a consequence we were able to slow down a bit and just enjoy being a family of four, in a way that we hadn’t really been able to since Cora came along, between the sleep deprivation and house renovation.
Anyhow, it was a year in which I finally found some time for me, and there were a few key habits that I started and kept up that had a really positive impact on my life last year, so I thought I’d document them here and maybe inspire you to take some time out for you in 2020.
I started reading again…
Actually, this isn’t strictly true, depending on your definition of reading. What I did was joined Audible. For years now I have not had time for reading, or haven’t really found a place in my life where it could fit and work for me. I don’t go to bed early to read – I like to get into bed and go to sleep. I don’t tend to read in the evening either and obviously between kids and work, I’m not going to read in the daytime or on holiday either. I’ve never been ablate listen to audiobooks before but I ended up downloading Period Power as I wanted to badly to read it and my pre-ordered copy was delayed. I combination of the friendly tones of the author and the fascinating subject matter really hooked me in and after it finished I went straight onto Becoming by Michelle Obama. I’ve long wished I had a commute I could make on public transport to make use of that dead time and finally realised I could use those 3+ hours I spend commuting a week, and get real satisfaction out of them. I’ve now listened to book club fiction and finally ticked several non-fiction titles off my list, ‘How to Talk so little Kids will Listen (game changer,) The Chimp Paradox, and I’m currently listening to ‘How not to Die’ by Michael Gregor. 6-8 months on I’ve discovered my love of reading so much so that I’m actually making time to pick up reading books at home too. It might be that some of the subject matter is positively impacting on my wellbeing, but I’m getting huge enjoyment out of it either way.
I started a beauty routine…
If you follow me on Instagram., you might have seen that I joined Beauty Pie – the members only beauty club for massively discounted beauty and make up products. I really felt like my age (and again, those sleepless nights!) were starting to creep up on my skin and it was time that I started to look after it better. The stumbling block being that I am not good at spending money on premium beauty products. I also felt like I didn’t know where to start so didn’t want to lay a lot of money out. Anyway, this isn’t about Beauty Pie – if you want to find out more about that then head over to my InstaTV and listen to my explanation and favourite skincare products. I might even do a blog post one day ;). It has become less about the product however and more about the time spent. The ritual of that mini-spa like experience every evening really helps me unwind before bed. I use a melting oil based cleanser that I massage off and swipe off with a hot wrung out flannel. The smells and the steam are so soothing it feel like a real act of self care. Following it with eye cream carefully applied, serum and massaged in moisturiser and I feel like I have cleared my mind and committed to some real self care – such a rarity as a mum!
I committed to an exercise class…
Feeling ever despondent about the changes in my body since having children I started to look for an exercise class that might help. I wasn’t looking for a fat burning or weight loss type of solution, but wanted specifically to target my core and spent some time looking for a class that would feel impactful enough. Eventually I tried a physio led pilates class (at G4 Physiotherapy if you’re local) and really felt like I had finally found something that was going to make a difference. Wanting to address my core postnatally I had an introductory session to get assessed before I started which I found really thorough and then I committed to twice weekly classes for 8weeks to get a head start, until my work pattern changed and I had to drop to once weekly. Since then, for over 6 months now I’ve booked in to the Saturday morning class, and felt all the better when I’ve left at 10.30, ready to face a busy weekend.
Reading this back, I can see it reads like a classic self care article in a magazine, and I also know that much of what I managed this year was because my youngest child is becoming more independent which means not only is she happy without me, but I crave time without the kids sometimes, something for me, in a way I didn’t consider in the throes of new motherhood – the first time at least! So if you are reading this and thinking you don’t have the time or inclination to do things like this yet, know that one day, not only will you want to but you will find opportunity and it’s ok not to just now.
So, I know I’ve totally missed the boat on analysing the last year, but well, frankly January was a wash out over here and its only now I’m really in the frame of mind to think about it. I’d love to hear what stands out to you as a success from 2019?