Seven Days of Self Care

I haven't been myself recently. I don't know why I thought I would be; my ex boyfriend was finally sentenced and an eight-and-a-half year period of my life officially came to an end. I've lost my 20s to my abusive relationship so I think I might be in mourning. But he gets to pick up some crisp packets and rake leaves for nine months, so that'll teach him.

I don't care too much about my weight these days, but eating food that doesn't nourish me or is on the "bad" list for my pre diabetes is usually an indication that I'm unhappy. I was working in a very stressful office but have started a new job, which seemed the perfect time to get back into a routine. I've been taking it one day at a time, so here's how I've been looking after myself for the last week.

1. Taking my pre diabetes seriously

I was diagnosed a year ago and if I said I'd completely changed my diet, that would be a lie. I'm supposed to stay away from foods that are high on the glycemic index, which can be anything from bread to watermelon to beetroot. I did manage to cut out bread, which I never thought I'd manage, but biscuits and chips remain my kryptonite. 

I've been trying to like porridge over the last week, since the usual breakfast options like cereal and toast are no more and it's going ok! I've been taking yoghurt and fruit to work as a snack and high fibre popcorn for when my sweet tooth kicks in. I've had lots more energy already and haven't been slumping in the afternoon after a sugar overload. I've also allowed myself a day to overindulge without feeling guilty about it - I ate three kitkat chunkies yesterday and I'm not sorry.

2. Making time for reading

Instead of Instagram stalking and reading the Guardian on my breaks at work, I've gone old school and have used this time for reading instead. I'm still not flying through books but I'm getting through a few every month, which is better than the near-zero of before. If you want to write, you have to read. I can see my writing improving just from an hour a day. I'll be blogging about what I've been reading soon!

3. Spending time with animals, outside

Pets do wonders for mental health. It's another life in your hands and your responsibility to make sure they're healthy and happy before you are. The good weather meant I could loll around in the back garden with the cats today and Brodie's walks mean making sure I get out of the house to stretch my legs.

I've started using my fitbit again and listening to comedy serial killer podcast "The Last Podcast on the Left", so as well as reading more at lunch time, I'll leave the office to do a lap or two while learning about Jeffrey Dahmer and Scientology.

4. Painted my nails

I worked in a butchery in my early 20s, and so never got into the routine of painting my nails. I'm too impatient and inevitably smudge them. I dug out some old Barry M and made myself sit still for half an hour and this is the result. It's wobbly and messy but it was fun and therapeutic.

5. Started gearing up for the election

Politics and world events can be really overwhelming, but for once I'm feeling the opposite about a general election being called, partly because I expected it and partly because Mike and I are politics nerds so this means lots of long chats about Jeremy Corbyn's leadership and the Scottish vote.

I started writing about it and realised that could be a whole other blog post, so stay tuned! 

PersonalLauren Aitchison