January has always been one of those months. You're thrown right back into the deep end after the Christmas holidays, and all of a sudden you have a tonne of responsibilities again. It can be really difficult not to get overwhelmed with all of it, as I'm sure plenty of you will know from experience. Then comes along February, the 'Tuesday' month. For me, Tuesday is my busiest day of the week, and the same can be said for February. From Valentines day, to concert capital (Honestly, how many concerts can you fit into one month?!), to studying like heck for exams, and getting swamped by work, February never fails in surprising me with a heap of wonderful yet exhausting things to do.
However, even though it can be a stressful and overwhelming time for me, I've been trying to remind myself that it's okay to take some time out. Here are some of the things that I've been doing recently to help wind down...
Play an instrument
One of my favourite things to do when I'm angry or frustrated is playing my guitar. I love how when I put all my attention to the chords and strumming pattern, the world seems to slip out of focus. When I'm playing guitar, my problems don't seem smaller; they simply don't exist. According to one of my favourite books Calm by Michael Acton Smith, playing an instrument is a form of meditation, so it's no surprise that I feel so much calmer after half an hour of strumming away.
Go on a walk
When it's bleak and rainy, the last thing that's on your mind will be to go on a walk, but hear me out, it's actually wonderful how good a walk can be for you. I'm pretty lucky in that I've got the choice between a canal and a golf course/river to walk along, but I'm sure you'll have something nature-y near you- and if not, you'll just have to make do.
Burn a candle
You probably guessed it from the picture, and this one isn't exactly surprising. But there's something so therapeutic about sitting down, and striking a match to light up the candle. Breathing in the warm, luscious scent that fills your room, as you watch the tiny little flame as it flickers around. Personally, I would recommend Primark's Sea Salt and Lavender scented candle, which I bought to treat myself during my prelim exams. It's got such a subtle yet really lovely scent that honestly just warms me up and it's so relaxing- although it is a bit of a distraction!
Get into a chill TV series
Scrap all that drama, and treat yourself to 30-60 minutes a day of chill time. I've really liked watching backdated episodes of gogglebox which you can get all for free on the All 4 app. It's so nice to just switch off and forget about everything that's going on, and quite frankly with life being so busy and stressful, it's more important than ever that we take time to switch off.
What do you like to do to switch off?