This year, I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to practise more self-care and look after myself. I’m so convinced of the importance of the link between the gut and the mind. For me, this awareness has been hugely beneficial in dealing with my IBS. Over the summer I was very busy but also had more freedom to try out new things and be more in control of my own time. I realised I’ve actually made a few small changes, without really putting much thought into them at the time, that have made a positive difference in my life. They’re all very small but I don’t think that matters- anything positive is still positive, right?
1. Turning Off Social Media Notifications
Social media apps are a great way to stay in touch with people and keep up to date with what’s going on. However, I probably waste far too much time on them too. I turned off notifications for Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram on my phone (I kept my BBC Breaking News updates on Twitter) in June when I went to Barcelona, just to save my phone battery during the day. I’ve never bothered to turn them back on and I much prefer being able to have a look when I want to. I’m not super up to date all the time but, honestly, I don’t mind at all.
2. Tracking My Daily Habits
I thought I’d try tracking a few daily habits in my journal to see if it made me any better at sticking to them. I used a printable from The Petite Planner as I’m just not artistic enough to draw something pretty. It’s pretty cool to see an overview of my month. I can get quite caught up in the day to day and forget that even thought I didn’t manage to do something today, it’s not bad going that I’ve managed it three times in the week. It’s also been handy for keeping track of my tummy. I’m delighted that the majority of the month it’s actually been fine and there have just been a few days where I’ve had problems.
3. Only Eating Lactose During the Day
In trying to appease my digestive system, I’ve been doing a lot of fodmap trialling. Lactose seems to be fine in small amounts but the later in the day I eat it the worse the symptoms are. I can have a wispa at lunch time and be totally fine but if I have one in the evening then my gut goes into panic mode. If anyone knows anything about why this could be, please let me know! I’ve started only eating lactose pre-dinner time and this seems to be working much better for me and I can still enjoy a wee bit of lunchtime chocolate.
4. Not Wearing Makeup Every Single Day
I don’t really wear much makeup anyway, but I feel more confident with it on. Over the summer I hardly wore makeup at all. My skin felt so much better for it and I loved that my bedtime routine was quicker. But the most surprising thing to me was that nobody ever mentioned it. At first I felt like I was so conspicuously not wearing makeup that my friends and family would surely comment, but no-one ever did. Lesson? It’s not a big deal. I am back to wearing it most days now I’m back to work and I’m enjoying having some makeup free weekends. I realise this is not a big deal to a lot of people, but I’m now more confident that I’m wearing it because I want to and not because of self-pressure. Any reduction in any type of self-pressure is great for me!
5. Writing Down My Highlight of the Day
This is very self-explanatory, but basically I’m writing a sentence at the end of every day with whatever I enjoyed the most about that day. It’s a lovely positive note to end my day on. I love being able to flick back through them, especially after a hard day. There’s something good in every day, pals.
Have you made any small changes that have helped you? I’d love to hear anything you’ve tried in the comments below.