it's a stressful time to be a twenty something. we have the pressure of getting a good job, trying to move out, trying to save money, trying to get a decent wage, look good, stay fit, eat clean, instagram, tweet, Facebook, snapchat, keep up with the kardashians, stay friends with people who now live 100 miles away, maintain relationships, see our family, grow our hair.... and that's just a day in the life.
no matter how 'entitled' the media make us seem, and no matter how many daily mail articles refer to us as 'millenials', i truly believe that we are living in a world of perpetual anxiety. it's a disorder that many people suffer from, young and old, but it has recently been on the rise with 18-25 year olds. in a world of constant updates and refreshing, sometimes it's hard to be 'in the moment', and take some time to just r e l a x.
the job market has become 24 hour. emails are sent all throughout the day, regardless of the time. millions of tweets are sent every second, and we often wake up only to instantly refresh our social media feeds in fear of what we've missed. this is not a life i condemn, as i live it too. but it one that needs a change. it is one that requires some downtime. otherwise we will simply lose the best years of our life to our iPhone, mourning the loss of our youth when we are 85 and all we can remember is the specific date zayn left 1D, and the hashtag that trended afterwards.
i've made a short list of ways i relax after a busy day. it's not much. it's something i'm working on. but i've found it to be very helpful for switching off our busy minds, and living in a luddite-esque world. even if it is for 30 minutes.
1 - colouring.
i know this trend has been out and about for ages now, but i really can't recommend it enough. i've purchased felt tips, gel pens, colouring pencils a plenty to keep this fab hobby going. i've got countless amounts of colouring books ranging from the mindfulness you see above, game of thrones, and just flowers. it genuinely switches your mind off, and before you know it it's 10pm and you HAVE to finish colouring this flower. your eyes will thank you for it, as it's a mighty good change of scenery. books start super cheap on amazon.
2 - writing.
this might not be for all of you, but writing has always been an outlet of mine. if i'm feeling particularly stressed before bed, or just can't switch off, i write everything down. i just make a list of everything i'm thinking about, everything i have to do tomorrow, and even lists of what i need to take in for lunch. when you put your pen down, you feel like a weight has lifted, and you can refer back in the morning if needs be. i also just purchased the '712 more things to write about book' after seeing it in urban outfitters. it offers different scenarios, some a page long, some half, some only a quarter, such as 'write a letter to your noisy housemate' or 'rant for 10 minutes starting with 'it sucks when...' it allows you to get creative without even trying, and sometimes it's fun to get back into your imagination and seeing what you can do.
3 - new pyjamas.
this is a new phenomenon that i have been annoying my colleagues with. i recently got these pyjamas from misguided and they have legit changed my life. they are the silkiest things in the world, comfy, breathable, and actually really flattering. it helps that they look like viccy s, which is my fave. they make you excited for bedtime and snuggling up with yourself in your sassy new pjs. for extra points, pop them on the radiator before you sleep. so warm.
4 - read an ACTUAL book.
i'm not sure how i feel about kindles. i have one, and it was super useful for uni as i didn't have to lug a million books around, and i could highlight etc. but for every day use i think i still prefer the real thing. there's nothing like getting stuck into a good book. for those of you who don't know that feeling, you just haven't found the right book yet. when you are FULLY engrossed in a book, you literally don't care if you have 15 whatsapps from the crew to read. you are MIA in a fantasy world. i really enjoyed lena dun ham's essays, or if you're not into feminism etc try 'room' by emma donoghue. amazing.
5 - and lastly...try to put your phone away.
this is probably the trickiest one of all. my phone is an extension of my body, it's how i talk to all my pals even if they're on the other side of the world, it's where i run my blog, and also how i run clients social media channels. it's 2016, and it would be stupid to ask people to trade in their phones for old nokias. our lives revolve around the instant, and that's just the way it is. it's BRILLIANT that we can communicate all the time...but sometimes, you need to put that little sucker away. it can give you FOMO, but it's important to sometimes be in the now. i mostly do this at the gym, well, i cheat and put it on airplane mode so i have my music... but for that hour i am completely shut off. and that's ok. i try to put my phone away 30 mins before bedtime too, ignoring the constant vibration of my whatsapps. the light is actually really bad for you before bed, as it stops you from really switching off. i would aim for a little bit everyday. it seriously helps, and you feel super popular when you return to it.
so i hope this helps if you currently feel like you need to learn to relax. let me know your top tips.
and breathe xo