Serenity isn’t something I’ve had in abundance lately. If anything, my stress levels have been even higher than normal. My commute is a little longer at the moment – the holiday traffic is meaning my 45 minute journey in the car is usually more like an hour and a half each way, and work has been so busy that I find myself coming home, making dinner and flopping on the sofa or into bed (I’m sure a lot of people can relate to that scenario).
I’ve had a lot of busy weekends and evenings recently, and though I love being out and about, going to events and spending time with friends, I also need time for quiet, peace and a bit of self-care every now and then. I actually end up feeling really drained if I have a few days without any time to myself. I’ve been going through my diary and labelling one evening a week a ‘keep free’ night – this means I force myself not to make plans or to arrange anything, and I have time at home for some ‘me time’. When the lovely team at Portmeirion asked me to ‘share my serenity’ and what finding space for peace and wellbeing means to me; I instantly thought of one of my ‘keep free’ evenings. I could rename them my ‘serenity’ evenings – that’s definitely a more peace-invoking title…
When I have an evening dedicated to ‘me time’ I really do cherish it. Sad as it sounds, I have to be really careful not to end up doing chores or running around the house tidying and organising things. I am actually terrible at allowing myself to relax and I really have to force myself to sit still. Because I always seem to have so much on the to-do list, I am always tempted to multi-task – doing only one thing at a time seems like a wasted opportunity! If I’m drying my hair I’ll have my phone in my other hand sorting emails, if I’m sat in traffic I even find myself flicking through my Filofax on the passenger seat and planning my diary! If I’m watching TV I’ll have my mini-laptop on my lap writing blog posts or responding to emails, if I’m making dinner I’ll be trying to whip up tomorrow’s lunch at the same time. I just feel guilty if I’m not maximising my time in some way, but all this definitely comes at the expense of ‘being present’. I rarely live ‘in the moment’ – I’m always thinking of an email I have to write at work, a chore that needs doing at home, a meeting I’m going to that I need to prep for, a blog post that needs writing, something I need to pick up from the supermarket…
So ‘me time’, or time for serenity at home has to involve one thing at a time – and no emails, no Facebook, no eating dinner with my fork in one hand and my phone in the other. Serenity means forcing myself to completely relax and do almost nothing. Here are my favourite ways to find serenity:
001. Reading a book in bed, in cosy pajamas with a Bodhi snoozing at my side (it does not have to be bedtime to climb into bed with a book…)
002. Burning candles and incense and curling up on the sofa with some trashy TV or a Netflix marathon (the current weather means it’s totally legitimate for this to be done under a blanket…)
003. Sitting in the conservatory or in the garden with a cup of camomile tea (or a glass of wine if it’s sunny!) and just watching the world go by, or seeing the bees buzzing around. I also love getting up and sitting in the garden in the morning, before anyone else is up yet.
004. Putting on a face mask, putting coconut oil in my hair, and lying back in a bath full of Lush goodies and taking time for a pamper session.
005. Having fresh flowers by my bed and taking time to smell them every morning, and before I go to bed.
006. Going out into the forest, walking until there is no one else around, and just taking in the sights and sounds of the forest (trees make me feel very relaxed and grounded).
It makes me feel peaceful just thinking about doing all of those things! I am actually totally in love with this ‘#shareyourserenity’ campaign from Portmeirion – and if you want to share how you find peace, you could win a night’s stay at Portmeirion. We drove through Portmeirion on the way through the Lake District once and it looked beautiful – I’m itching to go back! All you have to do to enter is share a collage of your serenity moments, share it using the hashtag, and use the image below to nominate another blogger to take part.
I’m going to nominate the very lovely Katie at The White Journal to take part because I am head over heels for her blog, and I just know ideas of how to serenity would be really inspiring (not to mention her photos!)
How do you find serenity when everything gets a little too busy?