When I read A Rosie Outlook’s recent post on sharing your serenity, it really struck a chord. As my long-standing readers will know, relaxing is not something I find easy and multitasking is something that comes all too naturally. Yesterday we decided to have a house rule to spend the evening without laptops and phones, and instead we would pay complete attention to the film we were watching. I lasted less than 10 minutes. And even when I’m not being swallowed by technology, I never just sit and relax. I find a cupboard to paint or a bathroom to clean. And when I absolutely force myself to do nothing I put the cat on my lap so I can’t get up, but even then I have a notebook to my side to make lists of everything that needs doing.
This is bad behaviour at the best of times, but as a fibromyalgia patient, this is appalling. I started my mindfulness series as a way of slowing down and, whilst it is having some impact, one day a month is not good enough. It’s not changing my lifestyle and, realistically, that’s what needs to happen.
There’s also the problem of my diary. Between now and January 2016 I have two free weekends. Two out of 20. And as much as I want to rant and rave about this, I only have myself to blame.
When I saw Rosie Outlook‘s blog post and the opportunity to win a weekend in Port Meirion at the same time time as promoting the need for serenity, I was all over it. The #ShareYourSerenity campaign from Port Meirion Village is exactly what I love about blogging and social media… a random opportunity to get involved and promote something positive. If you want to participate, just compile a photo collage of the four things that help you find serenity and share them with the hashtag.
Here are the four things that help me relax. I just need to do them more.
#1 – Painting my nails
Those who know me well know that if my nails aren’t painted, I’m stressed. I’m not a particularly girly girl but I love having brightly coloured nails and I find the whole painting process very therapeutic. There’s absolutely no way you can paint your nails at the same time as doing something else – though God knows I’ve tried. Impatience only results in smudges and the need to start again, so I’m left with no choice but to slow down and stay focused on one thing. The perfect serene activity.
#2 – Art therapy
I’m not sure how much more I can talk about art therapy. I wrote about it here and here, and continue to think of it as one of the best ways to relax your body and your mind. Colouring books for adults have become somewhat of a craze over the last year which immediately makes the cynic in me want to hate them, but it’s too late. They’re awesome. If you’re searching for serenity, bag yourself one of these books. (The Ryan Gosling one is next on my list!)
#3 – Reading
Reading is another task that can’t be done at the same time as doing something else. If you’re checking your phone at the same time as reading your book, you’re not reading your book. I recently bought Soppy by Phillippa Rice and it’s absolutely completely wonderful. I read it in 15 minutes and I’ve read it twice since it arrived on Thursday this week. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone looking to indulge in relationship soppy-ness.
#4 – Cat cuddles
You can replace “cat” with any animal that likes to get up close and personal with you and, once there, doesn’t want to be interrupted. We recently bought a grooming brush for our cats and not only is it decreasing the excessive amount of malting we were previously faced with, but they absolutely love being groomed. It means I spend a lot more time cuddling the cats whilst they purr away next to me. It’s win win.
So those are my ways to find serenity in my home. The #ShareYourSerenity campaign requires you to nominate a fellow blogger. So, Wolves in London, if you fancy getting involved then show us what you’ve got!