I try to be honest on social media but I’m not one for deeply personal posts. I nearly made it a whole a month of posting every day on Instagram but fell at almost the last hurdle. I just ran out of inspiration. And I think that sums up life lately.
This isn’t a pity party, I know I’m hugely fortunate to have a loving family, a roof over my head and we (finally) aren’t having to count to the last penny every pay day. But I’ll be honest I’m having some dark days. Lack of sleep and not looking after myself physically or emotionally have led to feelings of loneliness, anxiety and up and down emotions where one day I’m killing it, the next I feel like the worst mother in the world. Career-wise, I sometimes wonder why I’m bothering because often I feel like I can’t string a sentence together, I’m not visually inspired by anything and my brain can’t compute a schedule beyond the next 10 minutes let alone a fortnight.
One of the most poignant things I’ve heard recently was watching a workshop on the Selfish Mother Facebook about branding – Cat from Hustle and Fox said something along the lines of… there are a million bloggers writing about the same things but none of them are you. You are your unique selling point. You are your brand. And that really stuck in my head. Because in the dark times when I wonder what the hell I’m doing and why anyone would want to read anything I’ve got to say, I remember – just be me. If I can just keep sharing the reality of my life not a fake happy, glossy chirade then at the very least I’ve got authenticity.
I’m doing all the “self care” at the moment but as much as a soak in the bath and a nice cosy atmosphere does help, it’s superficial. I buy all the “right food” but I admit to being an emotional snacker; the results of which don’t help with confidence and self image. In the last fortnight I’ve had a week of solo parenting followed by the first of this season’s colds and that combo (combined with a touch of SAD, probably) was a bit of a wake up call with regards to letting myself get in quite such a bad way.
I know what I need (exercise, fresh air, R&R, headspace to plan my time) but when times are tough it’s all too easy to retreat into a bubble and promise yourself that you’ll do better tomorrow; which of course never comes.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. Here’s some of what I have been enjoying lately:
- Oatly Barista. In coffee, in tea in tumeric lattes. It’s really delicious.
- Twinings Ginger and Lime tea. Not a posh artisanal brand just a bog standard tea from the supermarket but this is my go to in the late afternoon and evenings. It’s really got a gingery punch which I love.
- Fenty Foundation. I’ve got terrible skin at the moment but this really helps me feel a little less gross.
- Wildsource Apothecary Pink Clay Radiance Mask. See above with regards to my skin. This works miracles. A lovely, scrubby, natural exfoliator combined with a deep cleanse from the pink kaolin clay drawing out all the gunk and leaving baby soft skin with just that bit more glow.
- Glossier Generation G in Jam – I bought Crush and thought the colour was a bit meh, so decided to have another punt on Jam and… it’s a total winner.
- My Olympus Pen ELP8. I’m not the greatest photographer in the world but with this camera I’m really enjoying learning.
- A weekly bunch of flowers for my desk – my local Co-op do very affordable (£5-£8) bunches of mainly seasonal flowers that easily last a week. Nothing too fancy but they inject little bit of life into my workspace.
- An Epsom salts bath.
- Jessie Ware’s new album Glasshouse.
- Mustard in my avo-toast.
- My baby blue Fila hoodie. I can’t find a link or a picture but it’s made of towelling so is just one step away from wearing a dressing gown.
- Having a few Halloween decorations up at home. I’ve always loathed Halloween but now the children are old enough to get caught up in the excitement of it, it’s like a little festive pre-cursor and I’m really enjoying the ghost bunting, pumpkin fairy lights and skull candles.