Karen shared another quiz, this time a wee quick one about self-care. It was actually quite interesting to think about so maybe give it a go yourself.
Do you practice self-care? Is it a term you use or is it a foreign concept?
I don’t think I’ve ever used the term specifically, I usually call it introvert time, but the idea is very important to me. I can get easily overwhelmed by too much ‘input’ or spending too long around people, so my main self care is staying aware of my energy/overwhelm levels, getting out of situations when they become too much, and having non-negotiable alone time throughout the week to recharge.
At the moment I’m working on the more difficult self-care of doing hard things to make life better, i.e. sorting and decluttering my entire flat. It’s hard work (and a bit stressful), but I know when it’s done my mind will be clearer and it will lift some weight off my shoulders.
How do you practice self-care in a physical way? Do you put make up on or get your hair done? Maybe get a massage? Go for a run?
Mainly powerlifting at the gym (although that’s been a bit overwhelming itself recently, what with being chock full of newbies), and running is also good when I need to get out of my own head.
They help me stay as healthy as I can, with the added bonus that everything feels and tastes AMAZING afterwards. Having a shower and putting on my big, cosy jumper straight after the gym feels like being hugged by my 10 favourite people all at once.
How do you practice self-care in a mental way? Do you meditate? Do you pray? Do you sit quietly and empty your mind?
Running kind of covers this as well – if I get stuck in an over-thinking loop I go out for a run and focus on timing my breath with my footsteps, and everything else goes quiet.
Journalling can also help, as I deal better with written words than the noise in my mind, and everyone knows how good crochet and knitting are for your health.
Do you consider time alone to be self-care? Or time with family? Or time with friends?
All of the above, in some ways. I miss my friends and family when I don’t see them, and visiting them makes me happy so that’s a kind of care. But alone time is definitely the number one priority for me.
I work in an open-plan office for 40 hours a week, and I have a lot of hobbies that involve other people; I NEED my alone time to recharge so I can be a decent human being. I can get really snappy when I’m burnt out.
It may look like things are getting out of hand with my ever-growing WIP list, but I know what I’m doing. Honest.
One of the new makes is a bracelet, so that won’t take me long at all.
The cupcake hat just needs a pompom and that’ll be off the list.
I’m about 3/4 done with the first sleeve of baby Flax Light.
Yes, the top section is thinner than the rest because 1. I’m a dingbat and used the smaller needles I had lying out ready for ribbing, and 2. I was NOT tinking back 4 inches to fix it. I’m just going to block the hell out of that top part and tell myself babies don’t get to wear clothes for long before outgrowing them anyway, so it doesn’t have to be perfect.
The blue hat is chugging along. I’m using the Hubby Hat pattern, but decided that was just the wrong side of boring for me, so I’ve added in a wee garter stripe.
This is my easy peasy mindless knit that I’ve been working on before bed to help me switch off. It’s great!
There’s also been a tiny bit of action on my running hat, because I just needed some crochet in my life. When did I become a knitter?
The big day is coming up fast; how is everyone doing?
I met my goal for November! I have done something creative for the last 30 days straight, which I’m pretty proud of.
There were a few marathon knitting sessions, plus my usual crafting while singing at various choirs, but it’s mainly been 10 minutes here and there when I could fit it in. That didn’t sound like much at the beginning of the month, but I’ve made some real progress.
Baby Flax Light just needs some sleeves:
My cupcake hat is nearly finished (it’s one of those where you knit a tube and then cinch the top row of stitches together):
And I’ve made a solid start on my running hat:
Plus, as you might have noticed from the Flax photo, I learned a new-to-me technique this month after Ava suggested using magic loop for the tiny little sleeves. Turns out it’s not scary at all, although it is quite fiddly and I’m not entirely convinced yet. Maybe I just need practice and it will grow on me.
So yay, that’s a win for me goals-wise! But I’m still not going to set any for December. There’s too much Christmas going on to be thinking about goals, so I’m just going to buy presents for most people and work on the few planned handmade gifts whenever I get chance.
I’m currently dealing with a mild case of start-itis. As well as the cupcake hat I cast on last week:
There’s also a crochet hat in the making, using some new Starlight yarn with reflective thread. I ‘need’ it for going running in the dark, you see, so I had to start it.
With flash so you can see the shiny bits
If I’m honest, these are both procraftination because I’m reluctant to start the sleeves on the baby Flax Light. So tiny. So fiddly. So…possibly needing a brand new-to-me technique that scares me a little bit.
I really should just jump in and get on with it. But at least I’ve done some sort of crafting every day of November so far – I’m pretty proud of that! With only 2 more days to go I’m confident that I’ll meet this month’s goal no problem.
I’ve tried not to be too quiet over the last couple of weeks, but I was rather busy being on my travels! This is going to be a loooong post with very little crafting involved, so feel free to skim read/just look at the pictures/come back tomorrow when I get back to crochet.
Here we go!
Before I even got to New Zealand, I had a 10-hour stopover in Sydney. Luckily, you need a visa to be in the country more than 8 hours so I was allowed to leave the airport and got to spend a lot of that time outside.
Having come from snow and single digit temperatures in Scotland, I actually enjoyed the feeling of heat hitting me like a toasty wall. My plan had been to find a café not far from the airport and go there for some coffee and food, but it was just too gorgeous to be inside so I found a pretty bench by the river, slapped on some sun cream and sat in the sun.
Then it was off to Christchurch. I landed just before a tropical storm, and kiwis don’t seem to have the Scottish attitude to rain (if you only go out when the rain stops, you’ll never go out) so my first couple of days were spent getting over the travel, catching up with my Aunty, and getting to know the fiancé and his children.
When the skies cleared I went out for a run
We went for a drive to Akaroa, a harbour town across the mountains. I took over 100 photos of the scenery along the way.
Akaroa is gorgeous, as well as boasting not one, but two fudge shops, and a yarn shop!
On the way home we called at Birdling’s Flat, where a shelf at the end of the beach makes the sea boom like thunder as it throws up enormous waves. It’s amazing, but it does remind me why I’m terrified of the sea.
Next day we had lunch at the Botanic Gardens
and I went for a wander around the city centre. There is art everywhere in the centre, from graffiti-style paintings
To serious monuments
To funny little pieces of indeterminate use
I saw the Cardboard Cathedral, the ‘spire’, and New Regent Street, before making my way home for a girls night in.
Saturday was the big day, the whole reason I was in New Zealand; my Aunty’s wedding. It was a lovely sunny day with a breeze so it never got too hot, everyone looked beautiful, and it was just the most lovely, relaxed, enjoyable wedding I’ve ever been to.
Of course I cried all the way through the ceremony, I am so like my mother. But I learned the trick long ago of not putting any make up under my eyes so I managed to avoid the panda look.
The next day a few people came over for a barbecue and we sat in the sunshine chatting for hours and hours.
Then late afternoon we went for a wee trip to New Brighton.
It was a bit windy.
Then we had a quieter day at home to recover, which Whisky the dog enjoyed very much. Fun story – I went to visit my Aunty 4 years ago and Whisky decided I belonged to him; he followed me everywhere I went, and jumped up and barked at anyone who tried to touch me (a bit of an issue when you like hugs as much as I do). I thought 4 years was a long time for a dog and he would probably have forgotten me, but I was so wrong! I had two shadows the whole time I was there.
That’s the best picture I could get, because he was never far away enough to photograph him properly!
The next day was a bit of an experience. I never do very well on buses, and at 30 years old I really should know better by now, but in a moment of madness I tried to get a bus to the art gallery. It didn’t take the route I was expecting at all, but instead of getting off when it turned into an area I didn’t recognise, I sat there hoping it would turn back and start heading where I wanted to go. You can guess how that turned out. When I finally gave up and got off, it took me around 45 minutes to walk to the gallery.
It was worth the walk though, I do love me some art and I even got to join in with a piece!
Plus they had an excellent café.
Then (deep breath) I had to get the bus home again. Long story short; I took a wrong turning, ended up walking for over an hour through streets I’d never seen before, and I actually cried when I finally saw the bus stop I needed.
When I finally made it home and collapsed into a chair, Fitbit told me I’d walked 7.3 miles and taken over 17,000 steps. I slept well that night.
My last day in Christchurch came around far too fast. For my last trip, my Aunty took me to Halswell Quarry Park for a last bit of Hobbiton lookalike scenery and sunshine. We did the gentle walk so my poor knackered legs didn’t fall off.
And finished it all off with an amazing iced coffee and a slice of cake.
Now I’m back and I have to say it’s surprising how quickly you can get used to the heat. We’re dealing with the tail end of the Beast from the East in Scotland and I just cannot get warm, despite being pretty hardy before I left! It is good to be home though. Much as I love NZ, this is where I belong. Three feet of snow and all.