Pockets of Mindfulness | CharlotteBehappy

Although many of us are on holiday, the end of exams doesn't mean everything becomes fine and dandy. I find myself even now getting overwhelmed and stressed for many reasons (moving to university isn't particularly easy). I thought I'd compile a little list of some self care and mindful things you can do. For me, they're important and despite how simple they are, I have to make a conscious effort to do these things. Let me know what you think, and comment if you have any of your own ideas.

1. Shopping Alone
I'm not someone who particularly enjoys shopping. It can be very stressful and busy and an all round unpleasant experience. One thing I've found is that shopping alone cuts down a lot of time and can prevent you from being exhausted. You can browse at your own pace or just go in and out to get the things you need. Okay, you may want the opinion of your friends for certain things but mostly I find my own thoughts is enough. You can just go in and take as long as you want to try things on and leave as soon as you get fed up.

2. Baths
This may be obvious to some people but I would never underestimate the power of running a warm bath when it's raining outside and watching an episode of house of cards whilst a lush bath bomb fizzes away (new review and demo post pending). I find it's best to put your phone on do not disturb and to just relax, or maybe shave.

3. Entertainment Without Screens
I love watching TV and youtube videos like most people, but sometimes it's important to consume media without screens. For example, listening to a podcast (although I usually play games at the same time because I'm a chronic multitasker). One podcast I love is the John and Elis show on Radio X (you can find this on iTunes). Alternatively, you can read a book. I'm currently really enjoying Jon Ronson's stuff. Doing this is great before you sleep, or if your eyes start to hurt from staring at your screen playing sims.

4. Outdoor Places
Even if they're local to you, going to parks and forests for walks can help to clear your mind. When I go into town I much prefer places like Primrose Hill because they're free but also let you get away from the hustle and bustle of thousands of people, whilst still being in central. Plus the views are great - see my top 10 fave places in London here.

5. Keeping Organised
This one may just seem like a pre-exam tip rather than post, however it's always possible for things to get on top of you. Using calendars in your phone can help you to organise you plans and appointments to maximise your time. As well as this, coming home to a tidy room after a long day is one of the greatest feelings (just to know you don't have to worry about it). Tidying and cleaning is without a doubt one of the most therapeutic things and after exams I decluttered and rearranged everything because I love a bit of change.

6. Minimal Makeup
This one won't apply to everyone but, especially when it was hot, I favoured just slapping on a little bit of makeup. Enough that I feel put together and as though I look decent, but not enough that I'm worrying about looking shiny or if my mascara's running. So little that I can touch my face and I don't just sweat it off. It took me a while to find this balance (before it was foundation or nothing) but I've found concealer under my eyes and on redness below my cheeks, highlight, eyebrows and mascara is enough for those days where I want something but I can't be bothered for anything more. The reason this is important is because I'm really trying to care less about things in life which are not that important (i.e. my appearance).

7. Sleep Apps
During exams I struggled to sleep and when I did sleep, I'd wake up at 2AM and my mind would be racing. For this issue (which I still have now) I use two apps. The first is Calm which has meditation exercises but also 'sleep stories' which you can fall asleep whilst listening to. They do change these from time to time but only a limited number are free. Mostly I use an app called Beditations where you are talked through meditation exercises with the accompaniment of white noise such as rain or waves which carries on through the night. These, along with early night and a sleep routine, have helped ensure I'm getting as much sleep as I can most nights.