I find it so hard to unwind, with exam season fast approaching I’m finding it increasingly harder. Last weekend, I sat in the same position for around 6 hours revising, taking only a couple of minutes off to eat a yoghurt, even when I was in bed I could not stop thinking about work. Switching off is so hard, in the time I spend not doing work or revision I’m thinking about it or more commonly stressing about it. Even when I’m going asleep my mind is still going around in circles. I thought I’d share how I try and unwind as so many are in my position. I completely understand that different things work for different people but this is what works for me.
- A Hot Drink
One of the first techniques I learnt to deal with my anxiety was to boil the kettle and make a cup of tea. The process of picking a mug (my favourite bit), turning the kettle on, waiting for it to heat up then pouring it is a calming ritual and it’s a perfect way to take a couple of minutes out of life (although I am guilty of running back to do more work after I’ve turned the kettle on). My hot drink of choice is green tea, preferably non-caffeinated. If I’m going to be sat revising for a long period of time I tend to make a teapot so I’m not going back and forth.
Another calming ritual for me is running a bath. I love to sit in the bathroom as the bath fills up, it gives me the opportunity to take time out, it makes me feel so calm and prepare for my bath. I love a bath, I feel like I truly unwind when I’m lay in the bath with a good book and the smell of Snow Fairy reminding me of Christmas. I could lie in the bath for so long but sometimes I find myself itching to get out as all I can think about is how much I’ve got to do. The time I find best to have a bath is just before I go to bed, if I can clear my head in the bath I’m in a much better mindspace to go sleep, especially with a fresh pair of pyjamas and comfy bed to get into for when I’m out.
I find listening to music is one of the only things that gets me through revision. It helps me to unwind whilst revising, as I find I can get wound up and frustrated sometimes but if I put McFly on I feel like I can relax and get into the right frame of mind. Listening to McFly brings back so many memories for me, it can completely change my mood, it is the perfect music to accompany hours of revision.
Some nights when I’m going to sleep I put a podcast on, especially if I’m struggling to get to drift out. It doesn’t require me to stare at a screen like a Youtube video or movie would but I can still be entertained. There are so many inspiring podcasts such as, ‘Ctrl Alt Delete’ which usually makes me reach over for a notepad to jot ideas down . There’s simply entertaining ones which usually end up in me wanting to stay awake to listen to the end such as, ‘The True Geordie’ podcast, which obviously defies the point of listening to it to go to sleep. Either way they help me to unwind and that’s the main thing.
- Pamper- face mask, hair mask and fake tan
I love a pamper, it gives the ultimate feel good factor which I crave, especially when I’ve been revising. My three favourites are a face mask, hair mask and fake tan. I could sit for hours with a face mask on, I love looking after my skin so not only does it make my skin feel amazing it’s helping me to relax. My treat face mask is the Garnier Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask but the one I use the most is the Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2-in-1 Face Wash Mask, which is affordable and multi-purpose. I recently purchased the L’Oreal Paris Pure Clay Detox Face Mask which was on offer for £4 in ASDA, it is amazing I feel like I want to use it everyday. A hair mask isn’t always my go-to as I hate having wet hair and despise drying it but the feeling of my hair afterwards makes it worthwhile. My go to hair mask is the L’Oreal Paris Elvive Fibrology Thickening Masque, it is amazing. Lastly, fake tan, which can literally transform how you look at yourself, it makes me feel like I look healthier and I love the process. My recent fake tan experiences have been a bit streaky and resulted in having orange ankles which isn’t the look I’m going for, so I’ve been using the Dove Body Lotion Summer Glow in fair to medium skin. This is not only moisturising but has self tanning agents, giving a nice glow rather than the orange zebra look.
- Bella cuddles
My cat is the most gorgeous little cat ever. Nothing makes me as happy as cuddling that little squish, hearing her purr and look at me with love. Sometimes I’ll lie next to her when I feel completely exhausted, she’ll cuddle me as if she knows that I need it, I sometimes wonder if she does. I mean look at that face, she’s lay amongst my revision papers in the photo which to me is a sign I should stop.
- Phone call with a loved one
This is another one of my favourite things to do. I love my family a hella lot and I adore facetiming them for a chat, I usually feel so much lighter when we go off. My sisters are the best to ring as we can literally sit talking for hours, they’re my best friends and instantly pick me up no matter how I feel. At night, I tend to facetime my boyfriend to talk at him, unloading a day’s worth of stories and stress without even taking a breath. ‘A problem shared is a problem halved’ is a mantra I strongly stand by, especially when it comes to ringing up one of my faves after a stressful day. (Sorry for this photo Jacob but I needed to include it :))
- Applying and Taking off Makeup
Putting on my make up in the morning prepares me for the day I have ahead, I feel like I’m putting war paint on. The process makes me feel creative and takes my mind off the stress of the day that awaits me. But there is no better feeling then taking your makeup off at night, that for me is a sign that I am unwinding, it’s my switch that turns me from day mode to night mode, although I wish it’d turn off altogether sometimes!!
This is me in night mode, in my most comfortable and happiest state. I have no makeup on, my hair messily thrown into a comfy bobble, my contact lenses are out and my pyjamas on. I was a little apprehensive including this photo as it’s unfiltered and I’m unmade up but this is me as the most natural, happy version of myself.
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