A New Year and a fresh start are the exciting parts of January for me. Time for a clean slate, resolutions and goals for the year. Of course, I count myself as one of the many who suffer from the occasional 'January Blues', the feeling post-Christmas where there isn't much to look forward to, the weather's rubbish, and I feel like the giant pile of rubbish I've consumed over the festive period.
So each January for as long as I can remember, I've set myself a few little goals for the year. That isn't to say I ever really achieve some of them - there's something about the word 'resolution' that just makes me want to do the opposite of what I've just resolved not to do - but being the tick-the-box type of person I am, I really do love the sense of achievement I get from the goals of a New Year.
This year, instead of setting goals or giving things up (depressing), I decided to dedicate the month of January to looking after myself. I've spent my time actually paying attention to my body, and focussing on the areas which need some special attention. So far, in the first few weeks of 2018, I've realised my skin, stomach and mind are being majorly neglected. Basically, I'm spotty, bloated and stressed. And 2018 is going to be different!
When it comes to my skin, I've had a 15 year battle. I've tried every cream, tablet and supplement it's possible to try without going to medical extremes that it's actually ridiculous. The thing that works best? A ton of water and regular face masks. Working in the job that I do, where I'm super busy and on my feet all day means that I more often than not forget to drink water during a full 8 hour shift. When I get home I literally look as though my face has aged aged about 10 years. So throughout January, I've made such an effort to drink more water. There's always a bottle of water in my hand. I'm so proud of myself!
Face mask wise, I'm obsessed with the Loreal Paris Pure Clay Masks. The Detox Mask is my favourite, since the charcoal really pulls out the impurities from my skin, and makes it feel smooth and clean afterwards. I then found out that I could buy the entire set in miniature, meaning I can target certain areas - for example I might love the Detox Mask for my spotty t-zone area, but the Glow Mask really helps brighten and exfoliate the areas around my cheeks which can get dry and gross - total opposite from my t-zone! I've been trying to mask once or twice a week, once a week with the Loreal masks, and once with a hydrating mask. My skin, I'm happy to say, is currently spot free and a lot brighter!
Something else I struggled with a lot in 2017 was my stomach. I suffer from IBS, and try to maintain a low FODMAP diet. It's been a hard transition, and I've had to give up so many foods and drinks which I love. I've also tried to include more of the things that are good for me. When the lovely folks at Adagio Teas offered to send me a package of their products, I was excited to try their Matcha range. I've been keen to try matcha tea for a while, as the health benefits are supposed to be amazing. Anything that detoxifies the body whilst boosting my metabolism and getting some much needed vitamins in me is always going to be a win. Getting used to the making of the tea took a few tries - there's a whisk involved - but now that I have the hang of it I'm obsessed! I'd think of it as a 'beginners matcha' since it's the flavours like blueberry that I've been loving. Coupled up with all the water I've been putting away, it's safe to say I'm very very hydrated. And very acquainted with the bathroom. I also love the 'Happy Belly' tea, which soothes and calms my stomach when I feel bloated and uncomfortable. I love liquorice which the 'Happy Belly' tea tastes like, so I've been going through that stuff like the actual liquorice I want to be eating (but I'm not).
When I say I need to work on my 'mind', I mean I need to deal with my anxiety. In 2017, thanks to my stomach, my anxiety was going crazy. For some reason whenever I travel it's so much worse. And in case no one had noticed, I'm running a travel based blog over here. On my last trip to Vienna, I had a full blown panic attack on the plane where I thought I was going to pass out. Before the plane took off. Not ideal. I started seeing a hypnotist, and learned so many methods to calm myself down. My favourite one right now is tapping. It seemed like a hippy dippy method at first, but now it feels like the one thing that works. Seriously, everyone should learn to tap. For 2018, I'm going to really work on calming my mind, tapping and meditating. I've been loving the 'Calm' app, which is helping me sleep and (hopefully) keeping my anxiety under wraps. The big test for this will be in March, when I'm off to Copenhagen - excited! So if you see a random girl sitting in the airport lounge tapping her face and arms, don't worry - it's just me!