November is blurring by at a rapid rate. In the last couple of weeks Orla has mastered the art of rolling over, crawling and walking! There is no stopping her now! One of the things I have been really sticking with this month is intentionally unwinding in the evening after Orla goes to bed. The time I have to myself is really precious and I want to make sure I make the most of it, so I have made a little list of evening activities to rotate throughout the week to help me unwind from the day and get me into a sleepy frame of mind.
So, currently I am unwinding in the evening by….
Reading. I have a lovely pile of reading material to get through which I am taking at a leisurely rate. I am still on Surprised By Hope which I have been reading in small chunks for the last couple of months. I’ve almost finished it now and then I think I am going to hit the fiction and devour some easier reads.
Painting my nails. Like a lot of women I know I have a big stash of nail polish that hardly gets used. I normally paint my nails for a wedding and leave them alone until the colour chips off or even grows out! But for the last couple of months I have been painting my nails once or twice a week in the evening. It is actually quite relaxing. I don’t worry about getting them perfect or doing anything fancy, just a fresh coat of polish makes me feel a bit more put together the next day and it is another way of helping me to sit still in the evening.
Colouring in. Adult colouring books are everywhere and I was an early adopter. Right now I am using The Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford. I am no great artist and just use either felt tips or pencil crayons, but I really enjoy just working away at a picture whilst listening to an audio book. Right now I am listening to The Stand by Stephen King with Rob. I colour in whilst he plays No Man Sky and we listen to the story together. It’s a nice way of being together and doing individual things all at the same time.
Listening to music. Rob has moved his record player downstairs into the dining room so that we now get to listen to music when we eat in the evening. I have also found that playing music keeps Orla entertained, so when I cook tea I hook up my phone to the bluetooth speaker and dance around the kitchen. Orla sits in her play centre and seems to enjoy the experience. I use Amazon Music on my phone and have been downloading a new track every week for 99p. The last one I downloaded was White Flag by Joseph, which is a band of three sisters with some amazingly close vocals.
Bible Journaling Getting creative is another great way for me to unwind, and I have found Bible Journaling to be very rewarding. Rob got me a new Bible for this purpose for my Birthday and I have loved turning some of my reflective time with God into a visual piece for me to remember and keep hold of.
Reading magazines This is another treat I allow myself. One magazine a month. I have strict rules about what I read when it comes to celebrity gossip and body shaming so I tend to stick to either the craft or home magazines. But I do find Glamour magazine is a good one for having interesting articles and having a strong feminist slant.
Slaying dragons in Skyrim. I absolutely love the Elder Scroll games and I am currently re-playing Skyrim. This time I am trying to play as a mage, and doing less hacking and slashing and more conjuring and spell casting. I love this game so much, if I have had a tough day there is nothing like a couple of hours of questing to drive all worries from my mind!
These are the activities that are keeping my chilled out and making the most of my baby free time. I find that doing something a bit different each evening also gives me something to look forward to even if it is just painting my nails or sitting down with a hot chocolate (or wine!) and flicking through a magazine!