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Stagecoach

Be kind to yourself

11 Feb 2021

It’s February – already!

The past 12 months have been like nothing any of us have ever known and if you’re anything like us, you thought that 2021 would be a chance for a do over.

Every year we say ’new year, new me’. Whether it relates to health, finances or work, we seem to think the changes we make need to be bold and a complete 180-degree turn around. Setting such high expectations and believing we can make a success of each one puts us under immense pressure from the get-go and can, in the majority of cases, only be sustained for a short period of time. Throw in the fact that we’re in the midst of a worldwide pandemic and the whole thing can seem doomed from the start.

We’re all in this together. We need to remember to look after ourselves and our loved ones. Don’t feel pressurised to be perfect. Make small changes that you can realistically stick with.

Housework

We’re all spending a huge amount of time in our homes and, in the beginning, it was our intention to keep it super neat and tidy. We started off well by tackling the whole house with enthusiasm, but our fussiness quickly fell by the wayside.

Washing floor

Not everyone is a born Mrs Hinch or Marie Kondo and after a long day of working (whether out in the real world or at home) or homeschooling kids, the last thing you want to do is break out the hoover, duster, mop and bleach and set to work. Likewise, Saturdays and Sundays are meant to be spent doing what you love, not cleaning bathrooms and scrubbing floors, so leaving all the housework until the weekend isn’t a great option either.

Making small changes to how you live in your home will become second nature and result in a much smaller chore list, leaving you more time to relax.

Our tips:

  • Make your bed as soon as you get up. This is an easy one.
  • Clean as you cook. Spills and splashes are so much easier to deal with when they’re fresh.
  • Once you’ve finished using something, put it away (a great tip to teach kids from an early age)

These all seem totally obvious but taking a few minutes to consciously tidy up as you go reduces the amount of time you need to spend doing housework.

Self Care

It’s often easy to neglect the one person in your life you should be taking care of – yourself. Over the past few years, we’ve all become more aware of the importance of looking after our own well-being and mental health, but it’s still difficult to justify taking the time to focus on you.

Woman sleeping

 

Our tips:

  • Get enough sleep. Being physically and mentally tired can really affect your mood and ability to cope with situations.
  • Be self aware. If you feel your mood dipping and anxiety levels rising, just stop. Take a moment to assess your surroundings and, if you can, remove yourself and take a few moments to get back on a level.
  • Embrace mindfulness. It may sound like an airy-fairy phrase but mindfulness classes are recommended by many health care professionals as a means of focusing your thoughts on the here and now, in order to calm anxiety.

Commitments

As we said at the start, small changes are easier to make and more sustainable than grand declarations of swearing off everything and changing your life completely. Choosing to commit to something, whether it’s once a week or once a month, gets you into a routine that you’re more likely to continue.

Our tips:

  • Meat-free Mondays. Or meat-free any day you like but we prefer the alliteration! Making the choice to remove meat from your meals for just one day a week can have a positive effect on your health and the environment.
  • Lose the plastic. We can’t change our habits in one fell-swoop but saying ‘no thanks’ when you’re offered a plastic straw in your drink, taking a reusable bag to the supermarket and even using your own cup (if allowed) at the coffee shop are all steps towards helping the environment. You’ll also be helping your bank balance, too, saving yourself 5p-20p on carrier.
  • Choose a different mode of transport. Exercise and save money by walking once a week. Or, beat the parking charges and travel by bus. Feeling super athletic? Get out the Lycra and cycle – save money, exercise and help the environment with just one change.

Diet and Exercise

This is where we regularly fall down when it comes to following through with our intentions. It’s so easy to use food as an emotional crutch.

So how can we make changes to our lifestyle so that we become healthier and fitter, without falling at the first hurdle?

Our tips:

  • Portion control. Eat your dinner on a smaller plate, as we eat with our eyes, and you’ll think you’re eating more than you actually are. Our favourite tip > buy a multi-pack of chocolate (it’s more economical and the bars are smaller so they’re less calorific...just don’t eat them all at once).
  • Get up from your desk during the day. Working from home, you’re likely to take fewer breaks but you actually need more. Not only is it good for you to take a break from the computer screen, going for a quick walk around the house will get your blood pumping and make you feel less lethargic.

Relationships

This is probably the most difficult one. We’re social animals and being locked down, away from family, friends and loved ones is causing tension and loneliness.

The changes you make here don’t need to be drastic to be effective.

 

Friends drinking coffee

Our tips:

  • Follow through. Don’t let those invitations become empty promises. Take the first step and get in touch with your old friend – by letter, on social media or by phone – and have a good old catch up. Zoom coffee dates are underrated!
  • Be honest. Tension can highlight little problems that, left unaddressed, can become big issues in a relationship. Talk honestly with your partner/family about how you’re feeling. Chances are they’re feeling the same and clearing the air is the first step to fixing things.
  • It’s okay to say ‘No’. Trying to be all things to all people is only going to make you miserable. Take control of when, where, and how often you do things. If you don’t want to do something or go somewhere, be honest and say ‘No, thank you.’ Being clear from the start let’s everyone know where they stand.

Keep it real in 2021 and let’s reconvene in 2022 to see how we did.

 

 

 




own well-being and mental health, but it’s still difficult to justify taking the time to focus on you.
own well-being and mental health, but it’s still difficult to justify taking the time to focus on you.
own well-being and mental health, but it’s still difficult to justify taking the time to focus on you.