We’re all guilty of investing time and money into things that we think mean a lot to us, or make us better people. For me, this usually consists of a handful of on trend style pieces, a high end lipstick, and some form of designer dupe (so I can feel like part of the “it crowd” obviously). I don’t really think twice about it because… it makes me happy, right? Well, for that first 30 seconds of the checkout afterglow anyway.
Thing is, materialistic things only give you that mood-boost for as long as they make you feel like you have some form of worth by owning them. Eg. Having a Gucci bag makes you feel like your more relevant, more stylish, more iconic. But as soon as the craze ends, it reverts back into what it really is, just a bag. I’m not talking about your much-loved, fave item for wearing on those hair back, no makeup, sweatpants on days that probably comes under the title, women’s grey sweatshirt.
In the days of fast fashion & doin’ it for the gram, people think nothing of splashing the cash on materialistic things that seem to make us “better people” (#goals etc) in the eyes of others, or make us feel like we’re worth something without thinking twice about it.
Not only this but everyday we somewhat invest time and energy on other people without batting an eyelid. Whether that’s actually being out n’ about, meeting people,and being social, or perhaps it simply includes the energy spent creating the internet version of “you” on social media. It’s just not the norm to take a time out and actually think about it. Why am I spending so much time on creating my self expression, for other people?
It’s so much easier said than done (I know, cliche af) but it’s so true. It’s much easier to pop into Topshop and buy a new bag or into Debenham’s for that bright red lippy you’ve had your eye on. Pop on your quick fix of choice and, ta-dahhhh instant gratification. But it’s never really enough, is it? You always need that next fix, the new boots, the new jean fit, the new highlight, new, new, new.
It’s a simple and easy answer to a hectic lifestyle, especially when you’ve got a lot on your plate. When I was at university, the “treat yourself” mentality was out in full force, and I did a lot of beauty blogging in that time as I would always reach for the newest beauty trends as a “filler” – to make me feel better and worth more. Looking like you have your life together is basically the real thing right?
At the tail-end of university, I was up to my eyeballs in work whilst trying to run my blog part-time. Whilst it was probably the most rewarding two years of my life, it was so stressful. If you read my personal posts at all, you’ll know that I’ve suffered with depression and health and social anxiety which really impacted my uni experience, and my quality of life in general. Even though I needed that me time, time to relax, reflect inwards, and zen the f out, I just felt so guilty if I wasn’t working on my blog or on my uni work.
I didn’t have much time for myself at uni, and the same is true now. I weirdly assumed that when I left university and went full time self employed that I’d have bucket loads of spare time to work on myself, but that could be far from the truth. Thing is, I’m a self-confessed workaholic, and I’d much rather create more work to be completed or even redo something to a better standard” than do… nothing.
Also v. odd but as a full time content creator / blogger / influencer (whatever you wanna name it tbh) there’s always the pressure to document your personal, “me time”. I always see tweets like “had the best time chilling today”, “moment of mindfulness was lush this morning”, “today I’m having a day in doing x, y, z yay me time” and thus I always feel that underlying pressure to prove that I’ve been practising mindfulness (or that I’ve been doing anything really because pics or it’s not true mentality is still very real).
But Hol, why the hell do we need this “me time” you speak of?
Well since you asked, I’ve always been a big advocate for mindfulness since I discovered it through my counsellor at university. I was regularly seeing a uni counsellor once a week for about two years, and they’d always ask if I’d taken any time out for mindfulness somewhere in that week. Honestly, most of the time I’d be a ball of anxiety and did even entertain the question.
Thinking back on it, I definitely should have embraced the power of mindfulness much earlier on in my life, and I’m slightly kicking myself really as it’s something that is so paramount in my life now. It takes me a lot of reminding and a conscious effort, but when I add a moment of mindfulness to my everyday, I definitely feel much more “me” inside.
Mindfulness is all about taking a time-out to reflect on your life and what’s happening right in that very moment. For me, I love sitting in an empty room in silence with my eyes closed and almost practising meditation, in a sense that I’m detaching myself from any distractions and inverting all of my energy back into myself, inside.
Whilst mindfulness is a great way to relieve anxiety or depression, or simply boost your mental health, I know a lot of people look for more of a casual “me time” that helps them clear all of the shit out of their lives and that’s where investing in you, instead of investing in things, becomes paramount.
Investing in your “me time” is as much about the activity as the environment. So for me, it could be putting on my fave hoodie & lounge pants combo and painting my nails with a glossy mag or catching up on the latest chapter of my new riveting read. As little as 15-30 minutes of a time-out to concentrate on simple activity (more importantly not stressful) gives my brain the downtime I need to put things back into perspective and get back on track.
As environment goes, I feel more more relaxed and clear-minded around plants… so I filled my home with them! Not only do plants create cleaner air, but they also add moisture to the air and calm you down. Studies show that we get an instant mood boost whenever we see nature and greenery, and the whole hygge-style is centred around this idea of bringing the outside, inside, for this exact reason.
Investing in you can be anything from getting some new loungewear to feel comfortable, relaxed, and “at home” in, to lighting a candle and getting wrapped up in a blanket. It’s all about investing in yourself, your comfort, and your peace of mind.
How do you make the most out of a moment of mindfulness at home?
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*This is a collaborative post with Nicce, but my thoughts and opinions are my own*