This post has been inspired by a video Alli posted a few weeks ago about how she makes herself feel better when she’s feeling a little bit low.
Given my particularly stressful situation, attempting to balance University seminars, assignments, a dissertation and my blog, I thought it might be a good idea to share how I keep myself motivated, especially for those of you reading this that are in a similar position!
This isn’t a strict guide by the way, it’s just something to read, empathise and maybe take some inspiration from. Everyone has different ways of cheering themselves up, and this is my list…
1 – Make yourself a good breakfast
Whatever your favourite breakfast may be, treat yourself to it. At the moment I’m addicted to poached eggs and sausages on white toast. My housemates will tell you, I make it almost every morning, providing I have the time; it sets me up properly for the rest of the day and always makes me happy.
2 – Face Mask!
Possibly my favourite part of the ‘feel good’ list, cleansing my face (at the moment I’m using Simple Cleansing Lotion, it seems to work well) and applying the MOST AMAZING face mask I think I’ve ever smelt. I use the fresh ‘Cupcake’ mask from Lush; it smells like chocolate and does wonders for my skin.
I have quite oily skin, so be sure to talk to the assistants at Lush in order to get a face mask that best suits your skin-type. Though it might smell amazing, they have lots of others that are just as good!
3 – YouTube/Book (Your choice!)
While I’m waiting for my mask to harden (I usually give it 20/30mins), I like to either watch some of my favourite YouTubers, or read a book.
Right at this moment, I’m reading ‘The Left Hand of Darkness’ by Ursula Le Guin for my Science Fiction module at Uni. The novel is a bit of a mind-bender (imagine a society without gender), especially with the vast number of neologisms, but otherwise, I’m really enjoying it. Just as well really…
I’m also chipping away at Stephen Fry’s new autobiography, having read the other two and thoroughly enjoyed them; it’s a nice break from university texts.
It’s not very often I get chance to read something of my own choosing, but just before I started back in 3rd year, I was really enjoying reading about Russian History, before that I was re-reading Ian McEwan; my interests vary!
4 – Shower Time & Moisturise
Goes without saying really!
It’s always good to have a nice hot shower, to wash off the face mask and get yourself ready for the day ahead. Be sure to use a nice smelling shampoo/body wash too!
My housemates and I all use Soap and Glory, body wash, scrub, face wash… You name it, we’ve got it! I love the Brown Sugar and Lime wash the best, just because I think citrus smells really yummy and clean (is that just me?), then I moisturise with the Soap and Glory Body Butter.
5 – Nails
Just recently my lovely housemate painted me a set of false nails; purple and black ombre with a silver glittery topcoat. I wore them for well over a week until they started to fall off, after I decided to go and buy some of my own. I bought a set of 200 from Boots for £8.50, which I think is quite reasonable in the long run; certainly better than £30 each time!
So after moisturising I begin the process of painting a new set of false nails. Right now I’m wearing a set of red nails, just because I always tend to wear purple nail polish and change is sometimes a good thing. Obviously you don’t have to do as I do, but there’s something so satisfying about hearing the click of your nails against a keyboard or having complete strangers admire your handiwork.
6 – The Importance of Clean Pyjama’s
The final step; I like to get into some clean pj’s because it’s never nice to get back into dirty nightwear, especially when you’ve gone to all that effort of cleaning and moisturising!
If I have to go out to Uni or into town that day then obviously, at this point I’d get dressed. But if I don’t then normally it turns into a pyjama day (a bra is optional).
Following that, I usually settle down and start to do my work. Normally I try to get my seminar work done first, and then I move on to some dissertation reading and note taking. More recently however (maybe it’s down to my desire to procrastinate) I’ve tended to write more blog posts than anything else, which isn’t a bad thing; it’s something I’d love to make a career out of (fingers crossed), but really I should be focusing on my Psychoanalysis of Charlotte and Emily Bronte’s novels…
So we’ve reached the end of my list; at this point I’d usually be busy feeling happy and productive slowly getting stuff done. I think it’s important to take time out to look after yourself, and avoid working yourself into the ground; if you’re anything like me you’ll probably feel guilty about ‘wasting time’ pampering yourself, but don’t. If you’re feeling good then you’ll get good work done, if you feel a bit crappy then chances are you won’t get a great deal done!
My most important tip, above everything, would be to write a list of what needs doing, and work through it that way. It helps me organise my mind and allows me to focus on one thing at a time.
Now go out and be productive!