Time to make some changes.
But let me backtrack first.
A couple of weeks ago I had an epically bad day. The kind where I encountered triggers that, on any other day, I’d be able to handle no problems. But on this particular day? I was feeling sensitive and vulnerable, and the triggers triggered an emotional breakdown. I was in floods of tears and it was in that moment I said to myself, “things have to change.”
The following week I made several small changes that really turned things around.
I felt happier, less stressed and like I was taking better care of myself.
And it inspired me to declare April to be the month all about me.
I’m hoping that by doing nice things for myself for an entire month, it will spark changes that will last a lifetime and result in a healthier, happier me.
Now? I’m hoping you might join me.
If you’ve been feeling stressed out, burnt out and like you just haven’t been taking very good care of yourself (or putting yourself anywhere near the top of your priority list) then let’s do this together…
All About Me April.
Let’s do things that make us happy and healthy.
It could be regular yoga classes, scheduling in coffee catch-ups with friends, booking in a massage, going for a walk each day or eating more fresh fruit and veggies.
So how will I be spending All About Me April? Here’s what I did during that good week and what I’ll be doing for the month ahead…
Making good food choices
One of the things that I let slide when I’m busy or stressed out is my diet. I make lazy choices that aren’t very good for me.
During the week that I took care of myself, I ordered a healthy 5-day meal plan from Sukha Life which took care of my breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was a brilliant option for that week because it meant that I didn’t have to think about food or prepare any meals for myself. It also inspired some new healthy meal ideas for me to make for myself going forward.
You might have a similar meal service in your area or you might like to carve out some time for meal planning.
A couple of my favourite books to find simple, healthy and delicious meals are by Jessica Sepel. Whole foods, lots of herbs and spices, and easy to make. I really like her philosophy on not labelling foods as “good” or “bad” and advocates ditching the guilt. Amen to that!
One drink wonder
I make no secret of the fact I enjoy wine. For me, it’s one of life’s great pleasures and a lovely way thing to enjoy with friends or wind down at the end of a busy week.
However, when I’m stressed, one glass is not where I stop. And that’s not a good thing.
So rather than declaring “no drinking for the month of April!” – because as soon as I tell myself I can’t have something, that always backfires – I’m going to say “just one drink, when I feel like it”. It’s easier to say “no more” after one. It’s harder to say “no more” after two.
If I allow myself one glass (when I feel like it) then I’ll sip and savour it and not feel like I’m missing out.
“No” is a complete sentence… yet how many of us struggle to say it? Yep, me too!
I’m a total people pleaser and will always say “yes” before I’ve even considered my own capacity or energy levels – or whether I actually want to do it.
Before I rush into answering, I’m going to take a moment to look at my calendar, think about how I feel about it and whether I say yes or no to it.
I’m also not going to feel guilty or apologise for saying no, because that’s my choice and that’s OK.
Moving every day
Another thing I let slide when I’m stressed or busy? Exercise.
I performed a little experiment on myself a few weeks ago. I told myself that all I had to do was go to the gym each day (Monday to Friday) and just walk on the treadmill and listen to a podcast. And you know what? I did it! I made it to the gym 5 times that week.
Taking the pressure off myself and just doing a simple workout meant that I actually did it.
For April, I want to take the pressure off myself again, but this time I want to mix things up a bit. Walking our dog Amalfi, riding my trike, doing yoga videos at home and also going to the gym.
And the main reason I want to move my body each day? For my mental health. It makes a huge difference to how I feel about myself.
Little daily rituals
Taking time out for yourself doesn’t have to mean escaping to Bali for a 2-week health retreat.
It can mean taking a few minutes each day to reset and recalibrate.
For me, a 5-10 minute meditation in the morning starts my day on a positive note. I then write in my gratitude journal – jotting down 3 things I’m grateful for, before getting on with my day.
At the end of my workday, I write in my journal. I record how the day went, how I felt and any other thoughts that popped into my mind. It helps me transition from work mode to wife mode.
All up, these things only take 15-20 minutes but they make a big (happy) difference to my day and to me as a person.