Something I love doing when I need a pick me up is painting my nails.
I’m pretty terrible at nail art (I blame being left handed…) but there’s just something about painting on the varnish and then having my nails look really pretty which makes me happy. It’s therapeutic to sit quietly and focus on each stroke of the brush, then be still for a while so I don’t smudge them. I usually watch a film or TV series whilst I’m doing it so I’ve got something in the background whilst they dry. So yesterday after a fairly busy week I went through my nail polish collection and picked some out for a manicure.
As it’s now spring in the UK I decided to go for a nice mint colour.
Green is one of my favourite colours and this gorgeous pastel shade from Rimmel evokes thoughts of blue skies, green trees, and birds chirping. I chose the gunmetal polish, which was free when I brought some make-up from Clinique as an accent polish, and topped it all off with the Barry M confetti top-coat. I don’t know about you but colours can really change my mood, and this combination makes me feel light, warm, and happy whenever I look at it. The confetti varnish is what really brings it together, and having an extra layer to paint on forced me to spend more time on myself.
I’ll be totally honest I didn’t really get to properly ‘chill’ whilst doing this manicure.
J and his friend came home to hang out, which meant I got roped into playing a game with them so I couldn’t have the me time I’d originally intended (I did enjoy it though). Unfortunately I didn’t wait anywhere near long enough for the polish to dry properly. It was dry to the touch, but still tacky, so when I started doing things like making dinner and washing up, it quickly smudged and chipped off in places.
I was so annoyed, but then realised it meant I could have my proper pamper session later when J went to the library. In the end I didn’t get around to it as I was pretty tired, so I went to bed with my nails like that. Then this morning I woke up after a lie in planning to shower, do my hair, get dressed and then fix it. However circumstances conspired against me and I ended up having to throw on some clothes and go to the shops instead.
Tomorrow I start a two-week course in Manchester with talks, workshops, activities and networking to help me succeed in work.
I’m really excited, but also a little nervous. This is the first time this year I have to get up and head out early every day. I’ve been waking up at 7.15 all this week to prepare for the early starts, and also planning out my outfits and meals for the first week. When I got back from the shops I decided to cook up a batch of breakfast burritos which I can freeze and then take out in the morning, microwave and go. By the time I’d finished cooking and clearing up it was lunch time, so I made some food and went to talk to J. Then we headed out to do some chores that needed to be done before the shops closed. I still hadn’t showered, done my hair, or fixed my manicure.
I felt annoyed that I’d been swept up in the day and not managed to prioritise time for myself.
That’s when I realised something. The reason I was annoyed is that I’d made myself distracted. I’d gotten off track, and put other things ahead of the activity which I wanted to do. It’s up to me to set my priorities, and by letting external things (the shower mat being soaked, needing more milk, J getting up and wanting to chat etc) override my own plans for the day I had put myself last.
We make choices every day about what we’re going to focus on, and what are priorities are.
If we choose to let other people’s priorities and concerns overtake our own, our day will quickly slip through our fingers, and we’ll end up looking back in the evening feeling like we haven’t got much done. It’s really really easy to get distracted by other people and their demands on your time, believe me I know! But it’s so important to make some time for yourself, and do your best to guard it and respect it. I know it’s difficult, and it can feel like you’re being a bit selfish by putting yourself first. This is exactly the reason you need time to yourself; it’s not selfish to prioritise your own well-being and mental health. When you constantly let other things and people dictate your days you’re effectively saying that their needs and wishes are more important than your own. They can be equally as important, but they shouldn’t continually overtake yours. If you don’t put your own needs high up on your list of priorities then who will? Of course there will be times when you have to put others’ needs first. Perhaps your partner is ill and can’t do everything for themselves, or your children need you to do something for them. However if you’re always putting everyone else ahead of yourself you’re on the sure path to burnout.
It’s not selfish to put yourself first sometimes. In fact it’s necessary.
This is the whole principle of self-care; you have to spent time and effort on looking after yourself. I struggle with this, and I know many others do too. So let’s make a pact to do better together. I’ll share my self-care journey and ideas, and you can let me know about yours too! Just leave a comment below, Tweet me, or even drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great week.
Remember to take some time for yourself
P.S I sorted my nails out in the end!