I love nothing more than treating a friend or family member to a gift or making sure those I care about are provided for on some level, from buying a bunch of flowers randomly for them or by taking them out to some place nice. I’m not talking about things which cost a fortune. But before you can be capable of all of that, guess who has to be secure and happy first?
You deserve lots of self care!
With some of my tips below, we are going to gather some new tips in our empowerment boxes and get on our way to self fulfilment.
Because in case no one reminded you today, you are important!
As I’ve alluded to before in previous posts, Heath Ledger (very appropriate figure to a few themes which feature in the blog) once said:
“Everyone you meet always asks you if you have a career, are married or own a house like it’s some kind of grocery list. but no one ever asks you if you are happy”.
These words really resonated with me and I realised no one DOES really ask if you’re happy.
If those material, tangible things and fairy tale endings everyone aspires to don’t necessarily equal happiness, let’s look at 10 things you can actively start doing today for yourself which will get you on your individual path to growth, mindfulness and happiness but from the inside so that when someone does ask, “Are you happy?”, you can confidently answer “yes”, however the picture of happiness looks to other people.
We are going to start filling up our box of empowerment!
It’s an invisible box but it’s our little box of growth and we are going to carry it around with us and start filling it with good things that arise throughout the project. Maybe that’s a quote which is relevant to us, a habit we want to form etc…
The Empowered Woman Project has been collecting a few tips and tricks herself to help herself and you.
Start your day differently.
There’s a lot in this one.
The first thing I’d like to touch on is habit.
Habit, is, by definition, a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.
TO DO: What I’m going to ask you to put in your box, is a new deliberate habit that you will see out for 2 weeks (or if you’re feeling super empowered, pop in two new habits! Read on below for some inspo)..
Get out of bed an hour earlier than usual!
Most people will sigh… For me, I started getting up at 5am.
Getting up at that time of day when it’s still pitch black outside and you are cosy in bed and that piercing alarm fills the space around you certainly isn’t easy but I found after forcing myself to see through my deliberate habit of getting out of bed at 5am, for just the two weeks we discussed, the forced habit suddenly wasn’t so forced, it was easier and I actually enjoyed the challenge of keeping it going, a bit like a snapstreak with your pal on snapchat!
The 5am wake added so much to my day in terms of productivity. If I got up at 5am, it meant I had an extra half hour to gather my thoughts and relax a coffee before I went to the gym and catch some of the news as I got ready and could fit all of that in before 7am.
Being alert and awake among the birds and planning my day whilst everyone else slept made the rest of my daily tasks seem more achievable based on the sheer energy and discipline I’d shown from the very moment my alarm went off.
Whether we realise it or not, we all already have a morning routine. It just may not be serving us well. The 5am start guarantees plenty of time to get alert, prepared and ready for a busy day ahead. You may spend the extra time working out, listening to a podcast, meditating or just chilling before the day picks up!
Another habit which you could deliberately create for a few days and pop into the empowerment box until it sticks is to eat a wholesome breakfast.
Oats and a coffee are how I ALWAYS start my day.
It doesn’t need to be oats or coffee for you but the slow release of energy from the carbs in the oats and the energy boots from the caffeine in the coffee are just the right combination to set me up for my day and stop me from feeling lethargic before lunch.
The Telegraph reported a few years ago that 64% of British people are skipping breakfast! That stat shocked me and it was all in honour of slightly longer in bed or more time for their commute. We all know this is laziness and that all this requires is a slightly later alarm, preparation the night before or even to arrange to eat while on the commute!
The final habit I’m going to suggest you could pop in your wee Empowered Woman Project box is to practice gratitude.
You may think this is something you do often or something you don’t even need to give energy to because you just ‘do it anyway’ however I find that forcing myself to sit down and write at least 5 things I’m grateful for really opens myself up to having a productive and fulfilled day.
You don’t need pen and a piece of paper for this either although sometimes that is useful for reflection on the down days! You could set an alarm on your phone 10 minutes after the one which wakes you up which reminds you to practice gratitude and in this moment, you could just tell yourself 5 things you are grateful for before proceeding with your day.
Mines, for inspiration would be:
- I’m grateful I live in a warm and safe home
- I’m grateful and blessed to have a family who care about me
- I am grateful for my friends
- I am grateful for my health
- I am grateful I have food to eat today
They are small but powerful sentences and all of us can be grateful for these simple things which help us to lead a positive life. I guarantee you they will help you start your day slightly better than usual.
Splurge a little on yourself. Even just a little.
Your little splurge not necessarily a daily thing we are going to add to the empowerment box but I would suggest that this is a weekly thing you begin to do for yourself.
TO DO: Go on your own splurge mission with £2-5.
Splurge, by definition, is to do something to an extreme – but that’s all relative. This could be to randomly buy yourself a dress which costs £500 and have no occasion coming up or to randomly eat 12 Krispy Kreme’s in a row! (dare me!!)… But yes, what I’d like to limit “the empowered splurge” to in this case is between £2 and £5.
Once a week, if you can afford it, I would like you to put aside £2-£5 to just have a little splurge. It’s not much, I know. But it’s a little something, during your week, just for you which will boost your mood in that moment and ultimately show you that you don’t need to spend a fortune to treat yourself and lift your mood.
Here are some suggestions (all under £5) for your mini weekly feel good splurge:
- Starbucks flat white to go with oat or coconut milk
- MUA pro eyeshadow palette in Fire Vixen from Superdrug
- Radox bath therapy muscle soak herbal bath salts
- Batiste dry shampoo in tropical
- Vaseline lip balm in cocoa
- Closer magazine
- Any facemask
Take yourself out on a date.
This is another task I’d like to set all the ladies en route to empowerment with the project is that once a week, take yourself on a date. It’s something I do regularly which provides me with great pleasure.
TO DO: Romance yourself, relish in a bit of self love, date yourself how you’ve been waiting to be dated…
There are no rules here!
When you have no one else to think about, you don’t have to be flexible on where you go, how you dress or where you end up! And you never know who you will meet along the way which provides a great story in the future (see my previous entry!) or just new connections in different cities for some good times.
I actually flew over the Atlantic to New York City for my extended date but unless you’re ready for that, I don’t suggest you do anything that extreme for now!
I’d like you to set yourself the challenge to make a plan and do this once a week (that’s the bit we will put in our imaginary boxes).
Here are some ideas for what your date with yourself for some self appreciation could be:
Find a nice park you’ve heard about and take yourself there for a wander. Take a full morning or afternoon, grab a free leaflet, put your phone away and take in some of the surroundings and fresh air. Most places of this nature have a coffee and gift shop at the end so you can relax and unwind here afterwards.
Some favourites of mine for this are:
Kailzie Gardens – https://www.kailziegardens.com/
Kailzie may be a bit of a road trip for some of you (closer if you are located near Edinburgh) but well worth it for a lovely day out. Kailzie is a beautiful garden located near the Borders town of Peebles and they are a major partner in the Tweed Valley Osprey Project, alongside the Forestry Commission Scotland. There are plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with the birds too with an educational centre and cameras which are located specifically for the best views of the natural wildlife around.
There are romantic woodland walks to be had all around the gardens and a beautiful coffee shop to have a wee soup and relax with a book afterwards.
Kailzie Gardens are open 10am-5pm between the months of March and October and entry is not more than £1.50 per adult.
Rejuvination guaranteed! Share your pictures with the project if you go! I love that place.
Glasgow Botanic Gardens – http://www.glasgowbotanicgardens.com/
Glasgow Botanic Gardens which is located in the heart of Glasgow’s artsy west end must be one of my all time favourite solo hangouts. If you’re not driving there, it’s very easy to get the subway from the city centre (either Buchanan St or St Enoch stations) out to Hillhead station and this shouldn’t cost more than £5 return and only takes about 10 minutes each way. When you step off at Hillhead, you will be on the lovely Byers Road which leads you along to the Garden via a few lovely independent record stores and coffee haunts.
The botanic garden has strong links with Glasgow University so you will often find students in the impressively restores Kibble Palace researching an interesting plant or art students relaxing and doodling something in the corner. There are plants to be seen from all over the world and it provides a very relaxed environment for a wander.
There is also a tea room (I wouldn’t give you an option without one, would I?!) which serves up lovely scones and tea after you’ve experienced the garden.
The gardens are open 7am to dusk year round and there is an option to leave a contribution to the garden’s upkeep but no distinct entry fee.
North Berwick – https://north-berwick.co.uk/
This is my last wee suggestion for a solo date for now. I think I’ll do a full post on it at some stage but these are just to give you some inspiration for the one date / trip you will take yourself on this week or next!
North Berwick Harbour is one of my favourite little pockets in Scotland.
The harbour was build way back in 1150 so if catching a true bit of history is your thing, you will love the history this harbour holds.
My suggestion for North Berwick is to take a short train ride (if you’re like me and don’t drive!) from Edinburgh Waverley to North Berwick. Once you arrive in North Berwick, you can take a short wander down to the harbour where there are plenty of little seating areas where you could eat your picnic or if lobster is your thing, there are plenty of places to grab some fresh seafood and crack open a bottle of wine with your book.
It really is the ideal solo romantic location, especially as the weather gets a wee bit better.
So those are just some tips of mine to start looking after yourself a wee bit better on your journey with the project to empowerment.
To summarize, what I’d like you to pop in your empowerment box and try out for at least a couple of weeks are:
- A different habit at the beginning of your day (wake an hour earlier, eat a wholesome breakfast, practice the gratitude task or try all three!)
- The weekly splurge (£2-5 budget for the week, let me know if you find anything outside my own suggestions!)
- Your own wee date (Either one of the gardens or the coastline at North Berwick, OR just a wee oat milk flat white at Starbucks with a book)..
Whatever you get up to, with or without my empowered suggestions, do let me know. I love hearing how you all spend your time, what inspires you, moves you or gets you out of bed in the morning.
Love as always,
You know where I am.