Learning To Relax

As I mentioned in my last post, I have just had a month of second year exams, which have been pretty stressful and for the time being, despite worrying about results, it’s very good to say that they are over. In the months leading up to the exams, I’ve been in the routine of revising every day, apart from the occasional morning or afternoon off, so when it came to the end, it was actually pretty strange.

Now, I am someone who does really like routine, that’s not the same for everyone I know. But I like to keep busy, and often feel quite lost when I feel as though I have nothing to do with my day. So I thought I’d share what I’ve been doing to teach myself to relax.

  • Get out and explore – although my uni house and home are very chilled places for me, getting out for a walk or a run (more on why I love couch to 5K in another post) has been really good. The beautiful weather over the last couple of weeks has definitely helped and through exploring, I’ve found a pretty good route for the time being!
  • Tick off the bucket list – no matter where you live, there has to be something that you’ve been meaning to do but never got around to doing. I had a few places that I wanted to explore in Birmingham before heading home for the summer and so to tick off the bucket list so far, I’ve had a fab Friday night at Digbeth Dining Club and a chilled Sunday afternoon in Winterbourne House and Gardens.
  • Find a new focus – with exams and deadlines, your mind is going to be focused on when your next exam/deadline is and what you have to do before then. Whereas, once that focus is taken away, it can be quite easy to slump into negative thoughts. So by channelling my focus elsewhere, whether that be into a sport, into writing, into a new TV show (Would definitely recommend giving The Split on BBC1 a watch!), can be a really relaxing focus for your mind.

So, those are three ways which I’ve found helpful to ease me into a more relaxed routine, of course after the post-exams Netflix binge!

 

My Love for Me.You.A Diary

Right, are you ready for a post that goes on and on about how in love I am with this book and the concept?

I hope so because that’s what you’re getting today!

It’s fair to say that I’ve had a challenging few months, both mentally and emotionally so I’ve been discovering newer ways to try to lead a more positive outlook on my life. This weekend was incredibly positive, it was my 20th birthday and I celebrated with family and friends and more to the point of this blog post, received this book as a gift.

IMG_0534

Dawn French has written an incredible non-fiction book which becomes personalised by you as you connect and interact with the places in the journal for you to continue Dawn’s lists, thoughts and vents. I’ve always had a love for reading and writing, one of the reasons why I started my blog, but I have never kept a journal, my writing at younger ages was more short stories with imaginative plots. This book has given me the perfect excuse to read and write at the same time.

Each month begins with a section to read through how Dawn feels towards the month but with a theme or focus running throughout and I personally find it inspiring to read. February’s focus is on her body as she goes through each part, expanding on how she feels, positively and negatively, like describing her hands as “stumpy” before taking the wider perspective and listing what she has done with her hands that matters most to her. This is one of the aspects I think are most important about this book, it shows the reality of how we can blur amazing parts of us with such negativity at times.

IMG_0548.JPG

Typically, at the end of each month section, there’s an opportunity to reflect on what you’ve read and to personalise it yourself. This may be continuing a list started by Dawn or one for you to complete yourself, but it creates an interesting journal as I think effectively Dawn is asking you to share your thoughts and feelings towards that particular topic with her and the book.

After this, there are the pages for the days in the month and as they are unmarked, you can write whenever you want. I’m going to date every day that I write to create the proper journal feel for me, but the unmarked days make it completely up to you! Again, this is your book to personalise so writing what you want and when you want is the purpose! To begin my journey with this book, I’m going to write the positive and negative aspects of the days I choose, as a good way to reflect and to create memories to look back on.

IMG_0554.JPG

I already know that the concept of this book will be very helpful for my mindset in the upcoming months, as a therapeutic half an hour writing and reflecting, a pep talk for the upcoming month and all in all my guide and self help book for focusing on becoming the best version of myself. If you’ve stuck with my ramble for the last 500 words, I’d very highly recommend it as I think you’ll love it as much as I do!