On being Busy and Lost

It’s been pretty quiet on this blog of mine for the past couple months, eh? In fact, between this blog and my previous blog- four blog posts in two months may actually be my least in over six years. So I thought about all the posts I could write today; the books I read in March, or the ones I took on holiday, my recent unhaul, or a review. But instead, I wanted to write this…

I told you in my 2017 goals that I wanted to find a balance with everything in my life, and to update you more, so I can say pretty honestly that I haven’t found that balance yet. In fact, I’ve felt even more out of centre. I’ve fallen behind on university work so working on assignments is harder than it needs to be, I’m in a reading slump, I have a throat infection and I’m just generally feeling lost. I know logically that I want to do things like blog, study, write and read. It’s just hard.

So this isn’t an apology, because realistically I don’t think bloggers should apologise for taking breaks or not posting. It’s a- hey, stuff is kinda happening right now and I’m working on it. And commiserations if you’re going through the same thing.

“The Past is gone and can no longer hurt you. And though the Future is fast coming for you, it always flinches first and settles into the gentle Present.” – Welcome to Night Vale

Hello 2017!

Thank gosh that’s over, huh? Bring on the fresh diaries, the clean calendars and lets all practice writing 2017 a couple of times before we have to write it on any actual paperwork. Perhaps the less said about 2016, the better, but I quickly recap my goals every year, and embracing that I don’t always get where I wanted is healthy motivation. Then for my 2017 goals I decided to go a little more abstract, because I want to focus on how things make me feel this year. Anyway…

Things I wanted to do at the beginning of 2016:
I went to Milan and Munich so I’m calling this a win! I didn’t get to visit my ‘Murican friends but every year we get closer and make more plans. I’m sure they’ll happen eventually.
More degree work. 
I didn’t complete first year like I planned, which wasn’t possible because of how university terms work, but I’m super close and I’m getting pretty good grades.
Catch up on my 30 Before 30 List. 
Nope. Super behind. Definitely going to have a re-think of this before my re-cap on the 20th.
Reach 500 Blog followers. 
Oh beginning-of-2016-Imogen, so optimistic. 
Be happy. 
It was a year of ups and downs, wasn’t it?

Things I want to do in 2017: 
Find a balance.
I started doing new things in 2016, and it threw my physical and mental health completely off. This year, instead of hanging on by my fingertips, I’d like to set my feet on the ground and find a way of doing what I want to do without my health paying the high price. It’s definitely going to mean compromise, which isn’t going to be fun, but this is about the bigger picture.
I have a lot of things that I’ve had forever, don’t get rid of and don’t get new ones because I already have some that I’ve spent money on. Bad-fitting clothes, books I don’t have an interest in anymore, even furniture. This year I want to see out with the old, and invest in the new.
Blog less.
Yes, you read that right. I’ve been trying pretty hard to blog 2+ times a week and that worked for me for a good while but lately it just isn’t. It puts this numerical value over my head when really I just want to be writing posts I’m proud of, and sometimes they take me longer than they probably should. I also really want to write more in-the-now posts. I write a lot of wrap-ups, I write a lot of plans, I don’t really keep you updated in-between. I just need to figure out how to write that way and give myself the chance! And hopefully with a little less time on my own blog, I can spend more time supporting and loving other blogs.
Tick off the practical.
It’s time to take my driving test, answer emails, book meetings. All that grown-up stuff that I like to avoid. It might even be time… to try a bullet journal. If I can keep on top of this stuff then I won’t have to keep taking big chunks of time out to catch up.

How is your 2017 going? What are your goals?

5 Things I do for Self Care!

Today’s 5 Things are 5 things I personally do when I’m in need for a little self care. Self care is things you do to really look after yourself and your physical and mental health. It’s particularly important for people with health problems that maybe need that extra boost. I’m not an expert, these are just 5 things I do to make my days a little brighter and easier.

5 Things I do for Self Care, a picture of flowers, fruit and a book
1. Retreat.
When I start to feel really overwhelmed I tend to take a step back and look at what is making me feel this way. Degree work, blog stuff, clutter, feeling poorly, lots of things can contribute to me feeling stressed and retreating just helps me see it in a neutral way, take a deep breath and break it down into little manageable pieces in my mind or on my to-do list before I jump back in.  
2. Reading.
Despite being basically a book blog at this point, reading is actually kind of difficult for me. Concentrating on one thing is something I have to really work on but I find reading so relaxing once I hit my groove. Reading can take me away from how I’m feeling and put me in another world for a few minutes/hours. It helps me sleep better and can be super refreshing and comforting depending on your book of choice.
3. Laundry.
Hear me out on this one. I loathe laundry and it piles up to the point where I’m wearing teeshirts I declaring ‘My party was a Blast at Laser Quest’ because I have nothing else. But if I do my laundry, it’s not piling up anymore and I can wear my favourite and comfiest clothes. Sometimes self care needs to be things that aren’t necessarily the funnest while you’re doing them, but have benefits in the long run. Leading on to…
4. Therapy.
Personally I find my CBT therapy really difficult whenever I go but the pay-off is huge and I always leave feeling lighter. Obviously this is depending on if you have good health insurance or a national health service but there are also lots of free resources online. The Samaritans are always available and Lauren has a great post about her experience. 
5. Eat Well.
I don’t pretend to know much about nutrition. I think a lot of it is common sense and treating yourself once in a while, but when I feel rubbish- that second bar of chocolate seems a heck of a lot more tempting than cooking. Eating good things and treating your body to the right stuff can make a world of difference though, even if it’s just making small switches like fruit instead of chocolate or kale chips instead of crisps.

What do you do for Self Care?