Self care

This week I was lucky enough to head along to The Body Shop in Aberdeen for a special bloggers night.

It was my first bloggers event and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. However, I needn’t have worried…

We were welcomed into the store just after closing at 6pm. The lovely Body Shop ladies handed us each a little shopping basket, already loaded with a selection of product samples for us to enjoy, and offered us a wee glass of bucks fizz to accompany us during our browsing. Once the majority of attendees had arrived, we learnt about the 3 new scents which formed the 2018 Christmas range; Berry Bon Bon, Peppermint Candy Cane and Vanilla Marshmallow. All were exceptionally sweet, though I’d recommend the Berry Bon Bon if you had your heart set on choosing something from the festive range. If you’re not feeling particularly festive; my go-to product is the Instant Glow Body Butter from the British Rose range… it’s so divine. The rose scent is subtle and your skin feels silky smooth and hydrated all at the same time!

I was also pleased to learn that The Body Shop seem to be returning to their roots in terms of activism. I’d fallen out of love with The Body Shop a number of years ago (probably around the time Lush hit the high street!). I felt that The Body Shop had lost it’s way as a brand; particularly due to the fact that the original and most celebrated selling point of the company – being against animal testing and animal cruelty – had been watered down. Surely now, in this enlightened time, people care more than ever about how their products are made and developed. It seemed bizarre to me for the company not to focus on this area.

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Nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised to see evidence of both eco and social projects dotted all around the store. Included in these campaigns were the Re-Wild the World mission with the tagline “Trees are for life not just Christmas”, and a community trade partnership where handmade jute pouches from India are sold as gift bags in store. The jute pouch partnership scheme promotes the fact that every worker is paid a fair wage – something I’d hope was standard across the company. The Re-Wild the World mission, in contrast, seeks to re-wild over 10 million square meters of forest across England and Armenia (bit of an obscure choice of countries, but we’ll roll with it). I’m just pleased to see the founding principles of The Body Shop back in the spotlight.

Knowing that my products have been carefully sourced, developed and are being sold by a company that care about the world gives me that little bit of extra piece of mind when I indulge in spot of self-care; whether it’s using a fancy smelling body butter, or soaking in the bath with some bath-salts.

Self care doesn’t have to be selfish.

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Breathe

I’ve been away for a while. A lot has been going on; I’ve changed jobs, I’ve changed out my car (after 8 happy years of motoring together), I’ve been juggling a busy schedule and I’ve been working hard to maintain my commitment to volunteer each week.

What I’ve not been so good at is taking time out. Time to breathe.

I find I can’t sit still when I know there’s tasks to be done. Dishes in the sink, laundry in the basket, dog hair on the floor: these chores all weigh on my mind. I’ve realised that whilst I’ve been trying to keep the household afloat, and at the same time adapt to a new job, I’ve been letting my personal downtime slide. My “me-time” activities – reading, baking, sketching, even blogging – they’ve all fallen by the wayside. By way of example; at the end May I’d read 7 books this year. This figure, at the end of October, still stands at 7.

Mindfulness, the act of bringing your attention to the present, is exceptionally prominent in both the press and social media. Now, more than ever, we are aware of the importance of downtime and self care. It prevents burnout, allows us to appreciate the moment, and generally makes us happier people who are a joy to be around. So why do we feel guilty taking time out for ourselves? – I believe it has something to do with perception. I, like many women, feel that I am expected to portray the notion that I am on top of things at all times. After a full week of work, evening activities/commitments, cooking and housework, “down time” just keeps slipping further down the to-do list. There’s always a higher priority. I don’t want to be seen to be failing.

Today I read a BBC news article about the so-called millennial phenomenon of FOMOMG (Fear Of Missing Out on My Goals). This is the situation where the fear of missing your own personal life goals causes the goal-setter both stress and anxiety. I definitely can relate to the women in the article. I judge my “life-progress” based upon a mixture of milestones set by the generation before, the progress of my peers and the achievements of those who I follow on Instagram. Dwelling on what I have and haven’t achieved can easily spiral into blind panic. My teenage, or even early twenty-something year old self, would have anticipated that I’d be married with kids and in a senior role at work by now. Life doesn’t quite work out how you imagine it though… I’ve sometimes got to remind myself how lucky I am already.

So, in order to prevent myself from becoming a large ball of stress, I’ve decided I need to make a conscious effort to chill. I’m going to work hard at “allowing” myself free time to do all the (on the surface) frivolous tasks which I enjoy and make me chirpier in every aspect of my life. I’m not going to set any fixed targets for my downtime, for fear of adding to my already bulging to-do list. Instead, I’m just going to make time to breathe.

I’ll keep you posted with how I’m getting on.

#Easydoughsy #Aberdeenshire #Aberdeen #Breathe #Relax #Selfcare #Scotland #Scottishblogger #Aberdeenblogger #Slowdown #Blog #Challenge #Community #FOMOMG #Metime #Mindfulness #Wellness #Relaxing #Chilltime

BBC article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45894506