This Freelancer’s Summer of Self-Love

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I love this time of year as I have both boys boys at home (when they haven’t abandoned me in favour of the local holiday playscheme and all that they offer!). We have breakfasts in bed (mine usually), run down hills screaming, walk, paint, play and simply enjoy quality time together.

The flipside of this glorious coin is the fact that I am a full-time freelance copywriter with a number of regular clients as well as ad-hoc projects ongoing and needing my attention. With only twenty-four hours in a day shoe-horning everything in (otherwise known as the school holiday juggle) may be tough however I’ve always relished the challenge and haven’t dropped a child, a client or anything else yet.

This post isn’t so much about the juggle though, it’s about adding something else to my already busy week and making sure it gets done. This is my self-love time. Working for myself I don’t have sick days, don’t have properly defined (and never company paid) holidays and have a tendancy during the busiest periods to go a bit mad and over-work myself. As I refuse to give any less that 100% all aross the board real burn-out is a real thing and I’ve got very close to the flame a few times.

My self-love focus works two ways, firstly I make sure that there is time in the week just for me, to read, to take an extra long shower, to blast music for ten minutes and dance, to go for a walk (on my own); whatever I want or need to do which enables me to kick back and enjoy myself. The second part of my self-love summer pledge is to take better care of myself. I’m organising my time better and taking proper breaks.

I’m taking half an hour to eat lunch in the garden or at the dining table rather than throwing something down my neck at the desk, I’m getting up at 4am to take advantage of the quiet work time but I’m making sure I have a decent bedtime with fresh bedding and comfy pjs. I’ve made a hydration pledge (this makes me feel better and is important for my health) and overall I’m simply ensuring that I take more care of myself.

I’m important, I matter and I can’t afford to get lost underneath paperwork, deadlines and the sometime downright nuts schedules that parents try to squeeze themselves into.

And you know what? I’m feeling fantastic. I’m much more relaxed, more productive, unrushed and am thoroughly enjoying my summer. Self love summer looks set to become less seasonal and more of a conscious and ongoing intention to ensure that I look after myself.

What’s even better is that me taking more me time is something that my family completely support and have been pushing for (for some time!).

Do you make sure you take time out to look after you? You should!

My Hydration Pledge

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I need to drink more. No, I’m not talking about sneaking the odd gin and tonic in here and there, I’m talking about that free running stuff that comes out of the tap. We are very lucky that here in the UK we have access to fresh water wherever we go and it is free (ok, we pay water rates but that incorporates everything from the washing machine to the shower as well as drinking water).

Why Now?

Why am I making a pledge to increase my water intake now? Now is as good a time as any and to be honest I’m well aware of how lax I’ve been in the self-care stakes when it comes to drinking enough! I have definite health, weight and activity goals, I wear a fitness monitor bracelet thingy, I go to Weight Watchers and track my food and yet up until now I’ve made little real effort to boost my hydration. A lack of motivation and a smidge of laziness on my part if I’m being honest.

I’m choosing now because there is no good reason to wait.

Why is Hydration Important to Me?

Hydration should be important to all of us. Our bodies are made up primarily of water, our cells need water, our joints require it for lubrication, it helps regulate our temperature, delivers the nutrients we need to where we need them, helps to flush out the toxins and other rubbish our bodies build up and more.

Not meeting hydration targets and becoming dehydrated may cause headaches, dizziness, fatigue, you wee less (and urine may be darker) and these are the least harmful side effects with severe hydration being incredibly serious. This guidance from the NHS shows that hydration really isn’t a joking matter.

I always make sure that the boys are properly hydrated because it is important and I figure that it’s time to apply the same standards to myself and my own health and well-being. If you’re looking for more reasons to hydrate and how to achieve it have a look at the Hydr8More website which has a fabulously informative blog as well as being home to a funky water bottle I’ve had my eye on for a while (two types, one for plain tap water which uses a special natural filter to soften water or a newer fruity version that you can use to infuse your water with fresh fruit flavour).

The Pledge 

I hereby pledge to increase my tap water intake (I’m not a fan of wasteful throwaway bottled water). I will track my progress and I will report back. Today (at the time of writing) is the first Monday of August 2015 and there’s no better time to start now.

Wish me luck.

Top Tips and Tricks

Do you have any top tips or clever ways to boost hydration when like me you tend to forget? I’m determined to make this change for the good of my health but any advice or clever motivation tips would be much appreciated!

Stay hydrated!

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