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Your Self-Care Roadmap out of Lockdown

As we approach the end of the UK’s COVID-19 lockdown measures, support your wellbeing with these self care ideas.

We don’t need to be told that it has been over a year since the pandemic changed all our lives. As we approach the end of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown measures, many people are finding this final hurdle the most difficult. Have we lost our social skills? Will people ever shake hands again? Will we feel ever comfortable in a crowd again?

Are you exhausted and overwhelmed every day, struggling to be motivated or experience enthusiasm about anything? Do you find it hard to get in touch with friends and family because you feel you have nothing to say? You are not alone.

These months of anxiety, stress, and big changes to our lives and to our routines have had a big impact on our mental health. As we emerge into a new normality we need to be kind to ourselves. Here are some scientifically proven tips, that can help you navigate the gradual steps back to normality and improve your mood and wellbeing.

We need to allow moments that “spark joy” as Marie Kondo would say. This doesn’t need to be expensive or elaborate. For instance, it can just be rushing outside when the sun is shining and having a mindful cuppa without looking at your phone. Do more of what you love. If you love reading read a chapter of a book instead of just scrolling. Listen to a short podcast. Have a game of snap or scrabble with the children. Give yourself a healthy treat.

Start Some Healthy Self Care Habits

Make new routines for your wellbeing – if you think you don’t have time for it, you will soon have to make time for being ill. Little bits of time every day go a long way to make you feel a lot better.

Sleep

1. Avoid Stimulation Before Bedtime

  • Create a ritual at night to help get you into a relaxed state: what can you do to wind down for the last hour?
  • Avoid screens for at least 2 hours prior to going to bed (the blue light emitted from screens can disturb your sleep patterns)

2. Enjoy a Hot and Cold Shower or a Bath

  • A bath or shower before bed is a great way to relax your body. Try to rinse with alternating hot and cold water, which is especially beneficial.
  • This is a pump for your lymphatic system and expands and contracts your blood vessels which brings your awareness, consciousness and all your energy into your body and out of your mind.

3. Stretch Your Body

Perform a mild stretch before bed. Try getting into child’s pose: Kneel on the floor with your toes together and your knees hip-width apart. Rest your palms on top of your thighs. On an exhale, lower your torso between your knees. Extend your arms alongside your torso with your palms facing down. Relax your shoulders toward the surface you’re kneeling on. Stay in this pose for about 20 seconds to a minute and just focus on your breathing.

Your Self Care Roadmap out of Lockdown Blog. Start some health self care habits - Sleep

4. Listen to Sam’s “Help with insomnia” mp3

“Help with Insomnia” uses progressive relaxation and powerful hypnotic suggestions to focus the mind on the body instead of that spiral of thoughts.

  • A bedtime routine of listening to the MP3 can be started and our mind soon recognises and enjoys this and then falling asleep is expected.
  • The recording can also be used on waking in the middle of the night to aid the quick return to peaceful sleep.

Lie down on your bed and listen to this evening visualisation because it’s specifically designed to put you into the state of deep sleep. You don’t have to listen to what it’s saying, you can tune out and let your subconscious listen.

Do a kind thing

Doing something nice for someone else can help reduce anxiety and make you feel happier. Of course it’s also simply the right thing to do. A small compliment can make someone’s day, start a new friendship, or just make the world a better, kinder place.

It’s easy to underestimate the impact kind words or the effect kind actions can have on people and yourself. Some ideas here are random acts of kindness, volunteering (you can do this online, if you are shielding) or checking in on your neighbours.

Meditate

Find a style that suits you and do at least 10 minutes a day. You could try mindfulness as it brings you into the present without any wish to change anything (ideal at the moment). An easy way to start is to download Sam’s 3-minute breathing space.

Exercise

Find something you love doing or you won’t keep it up! You might enjoy running, dancing, walking the dog or just walking around town. Maybe yoga is your cup of tea?

Communicate

Talk to friends, colleagues, family or get help from a professional. Do NOT keep your feelings bottled up, we all need to release them, and the best way is to talk to someone you trust.

How the Live Well Practice can help

If you need any help with overcoming a particular issue such as anxiety, stress, or have any mental health concerns, please get in touch with Samantha Culshaw-Robinson. She is a clinical hypnotherapist and Reiki practitioner. She can also help to get your life back into balance through mindfulness and meditation. You can reach her via email sam@livewellpractice.co.uk or call 075 222 777 22. www.livewellpractice.co.uk

Nine Quick Declutter Tasks to Improve Your Wellbeing

Have you ever noticed how a quick declutter feels so good?

I had the pleasure of speaking with Donna Alos on BBC Radio Derby yesterday morning. I shared some ideas to help you get started with some feel-good decluttering activities. 

I was only on for a few minutes, so you may not have heard it, but I didn’t want you to miss out.

Whether you refer to it as clutter or not, most of us have a collection of things lying about in an untidy state somewhere in our home. We have an overabundance of possessions, that can create disorder and a chaotic environment.

Have you ever been bothered by clutter?

If you’ve been frustrated at not being able to find the things you need; distracted or unable to relax because the things around you; you’ll know how it can niggle and even cause you stress. It can affect your mood, and how you feel about yourself and your home.

Recent research by my follow APDO colleague, Caroline Rogers, has found that there is an association between clutter and wellbeing. Caroline says that clutter is subjective; how much we have isn’t important, it’s how we feel about it that is. Find out more 

Declutter to improve your wellbeing Cutlery Drawer example, Before and After

Taking steps to address your clutter can feel great.

You don’t have to have a huge declutter to feel the benefits. Creating order, even a little, can make you feel fantastic and like a weight has been lifted. 

Here are some examples of the small tasks to help you feel fabulous.

  1. sort out your cutlery drawer
  2. review your cook books
  3. tidy your underwear drawer
  4. sort the odd cables box
  5. review your DVD collection
  6. sort out your make-up
  7. look through the bathroom cabinet
  8. tidy up your bedside table
  9. sort through desk drawer

And if you have larger tasks to do but they feel a bit overwhelming; break them down into smaller activities; race the boiling kettle; work in 25 minute chunks; sort a drawer, box or shelf at a time; or make a list of the tasks that need to be done and complete the first one. 

Do a little each day and it will soon add up, I promise!

Give Your Decluttered Clothes New Life with reTHREAD!

Have you decluttered your wardrobe but don’t know what to do with the clothes you no longer wear? Perhaps you have quality clothes that you’d like to sell, but don’t have the time or the know-how to do it all yourself.

Wouldn’t it be great if someone could take all the hassle out of selling your clothes so that others can enjoy them and you can re-invest in your wardrobe!

In this month’s interview, I chat with the fantastic Oli Browne, founder of reTHREAD, to find out how his company does just that for his customers. 

Blog - Give your decluttered clothes new life with rethread
In this video we talk about:
  • How it all started
  • The challenges of selling things online
  • Sustainable fashion and happy garment stories
  • Unlocking the opportunities for customers
  • How the reTHREAD service works
  • Working with charities

I hope you loved this video! To join my email list where you’ll hear about future blogs, vlogs and updates click here to join for free!

If you’d like to find out more or use reTHREAD to sell your items, download the selling guide below or:

If you’d like help to declutter your wardrobe, I’m here for you. Find out more here.

For more ideas,  I’m here for you. Find out more here.

What is your surface clutter trying to tell you?

One of my virtual organising client's and I were discussing clutter on surfaces earlier this week. Don't you just love it!

You may have heard, clutter on surfaces attracts more clutter! It can be a slippery slope and before you know it, the clutter is taking over and you don't even know what you have!

Can you relate to this?

We were thinking about the hallway which is a busy location in any home. We all come and go through this (often) small space, leaving behind things as we transition to and from home and outside activities. It's also often a launchpad and storage spot for items bound to leave the house or to go upstairs when we next go!

It's super easy for clutter to build up on surfaces in this space!

So what can we do about it? Investigate ofcourse....

Why does stuff keep appearing and why does no-one put it away properly?

Are these items trying to tell you something? You could ask yourself:

  • What type of item keeps appearing?
    • are they similar items?
    • are they all items needed for a specific activity or event e.g. needed when you go out?
  • Why do they keep appearing there?
    • do they have a home?
    • does their home not work well - maybe it's in an inconvenient spot or doesn't fit the function?
  • How often are they needed?
    • daily?
    • occasionally?
    • seasonal?
Cluttered surface

What's the solution?

  1. Routine - it could be that the household needs to become a little more disciplined and get into the habit of removing things to their 'homes' on a regular basis
  2. New home - Or it may be that these items are attracted to that spot because it is the most appropriate place for them, so assign a new more convenient 'home' for each item in this room
  3. Suitable storage - hang whatever you can and use pots, drawers or appropriately sized containers for anything else
    1. You may store items together (i.e. all the things I want to take out with me regularly - ear phones, glasses, keys, lip balm, purse)
    2. or in categories (all sunglasses in one spot)
    3. you may store by family member e.g. child's shoes in one box
    4. you might store according to season if needed- e.g. store summer hats, sunglasses in one box and winter gloves and hats in another. (If there is not enough space in the location, you could assign an out of the way location and swap these out periodically)
    5. label containers if you can't see the contents

Enabling you to achieve your goals

If you'd like support with your decluttering or organising project find our more about my virtual organising sessions HERE or give me a call.

Imagine what you could achieve in your home with my guidance, encouragement and accountability!

15 Creative Ways to Declutter during Lockdown

If you're still in lockdown, now may be the perfect time for you to have a sort out at home. If you are not sure what to do with the things you declutter, don't be put off. Try these 15 creative ways to manage the things you declutter during lockdown.

As lockdown rules have changed, recycling centres across the country have recently opened to the relief of everyone, but safety restrictions and high demand are causing long queues. Some centres are encouraging people to visit only where essential.

Charity shops will also be permitted to open later this month. Whilst it will bring a much needed lifeline for those who rely on income from their shops, it will be no easy task to manage hygiene and social distancing measures. It's likely that they will need to quarantine donations before they can be processed, which will affect their ability to take donations.

But don't let this put you off. You've likely spent a lot more time at home than you usually would. I'm sure you've spotted areas that need your attention, or perhaps you've been inspired to make some home improvements. Maybe your motivation is growing or you're keen to be productive whilst in lockdown.

Whatever your reason, this is your time! There are still plenty of ways you can manage the things that are no longer useful or loved... so grab this opportunity with both hands and get started!

Pass It On

  1. It's true that 'One man's rubbish is another man's treasure'. Online groups and forums, such as community groups, Freecycle, Facebook Marketplace and other resources are a great to offer your items for collection. You can still ensure social distancing rules by leaving your items outside your property for collection
  2. If you live on a street frequented by passers-by, you could put items out with a sign, 'Free to a good home'. You'll be amazed what people can make use of and it's good entertainment as you play passer-by bingo!
  3. Sell online - sites like Facebook Marketplace, Ebay and so-on are up and running. You can either arrange collection from outside your home, arrange for couriers to collect from your property or if it's safe for you to do so, visit your local Post office when you go out for exercise

Dispose

  1. Use your household waste collections to dispose of small quantities of rubbish
  2. If you have a large quantity of waste that you want to remove quickly, a skip is a convenient solution. You could band together with neighbours to share the cost if practical
  3. Buy a waste disposal bag such as Hippo and arrange collection when it's full

Save it for when lockdown eases

If you have items that can't be managed as above, you can neatly, bag-up and label the items, and:

  1. Store them in the boot of your car ready for when your desired outlet opens again
  2. Store in a space you don't use often (garage, shed or attic) so that they are ready to go
  3. If you don't have storage ask a neighbour to help you temporarily store items and ensure that you collect them as soon as you can (you don't want to make your clutter someone else's problem!)

Don't forget to diarise a reminder so that you can review the situation and remove the items from your home as soon as practical.

Donate

Some online charities may still be taking donations of good quality clothing. Re-Fashion is a great example. Request a bag and send off your donations., it's a simple as that!

There may be local charities who are asking for particular items at this time for example to support the local community or for the homeless. British Heart Foundation are also starting to take donations by post. Find out more online. In Nottingham, for example, Sharewear are still taking certain donations to support people in clothing poverty

OrganisedWell cherry-laithang-DEAIMSWjxxI-unsplash

Cherry Laithang DEAIMSWjxxI Unsplash

Re-purpose

  1. You may find items that can be upcycled. With a bit of imagination, or a lick of the paint (perhaps found in the shed!), you can breathe new life into items to sell or re-purpose around your home. Ladders make great shelving, freshly painted, decorated or re-upholstered furniture and storage can bring a room to life
  2. Perhaps you have boxes, pots or shapes that you could re-purpose as features or planters for use in your garden
  3. You may find treasures that can be enjoyed in pieces of art, framed or made into another item you will use around the house.
  4. If you're feeling creative but don't want to keep pieces in your home, perhaps create art that you can sell to others to appreciate

What next?

If you'd like some help, whether that be to plan your project, provide tailored ideas or encouragement and support to keep you going, my Virtual Organising Partner service is just the ticket. Click here to find out more here