An Introverted Actress

5 Changes I've Made To Regain Structure + Control

Some people work to live but I think I very much fall in the category of people who live to work. I hold a lot of pride in my work ethic but I'm also aware that I bring far too much unnecessary stress upon myself due to my love of being busy and I definitely don't want to glorify the idea of working yourself into the ground. It's not clever or healthy and over the last couple of years I've been taking steps to slow myself down. That being said, I still have to be honest and say that schedules and routines make me happy. I don't like waking up and not knowing what the day will entail. Planning out my life and having a structure gives me great joy. Don't get me wrong, I love a bit of spontaneity from time to time but on the daily, I like knowing exactly where I have to be and when I have to be there. 
     Recently, my work life has been messy. Opportunities have sprung up that have been far too good to say no to and I've been thrust across London and across the world, even, at the drop of a hat. I've loved every second of it but it's been a lot all at once and as a result of this whirlwind few months, I've started to feel a little less...me. My grip on what's important to me and the purpose behind my work and even my personal life has loosened slightly. I'm doing all I can to implement daily habits that, not only remind me of what really matters but also help me to feel at my best when life comes at me with all it's got. So here's what I've been doing to inject a little more structure into my life. 

1. Drink more water
      I bought myself a fancy new 600ml water bottle (that doesn't leak in my bag like my old one) and I've started to really make an effort to drink four of these a day. Obviously hydration is hugely important but even just making a point of filling up the bottle as soon as it's empty has somehow managed to help me regain a little bit of control and focus.


2. Weekly Planning
            Something I tend to do is think way too far into the future and I begin to worry about things that won't be happening for a very long time. I still have a diary for the whole year as there are some dates that I have to fix in for the long term but planning my life week by week really helps me to focus on the short term. This also means I can get more detailed and start to break down my days into work life and personal life. I've colour coded everything which gives me so. much. joy. but it also gives my brain a rest when I'm trying to sleep. All those nights I would spend lying awake going through my schedule a million times in my head, I can now sleep soundly knowing it's all written down in my pretty Paperchase planner. 


3. Nightime Skincare Routine
      I never used to moisturise. At all. Ever. Not in the morning, not in the afternoon, not at night. It was only until the layers upon layers of heavy stage make-up I had to apply for pale-as-the-moon Wednesday Addams that forced me into looking after my skin a little more. Since then, my obsession has grown and grown and grown and has passed the point of no return. I spend at least half an hour on my skincare routine every evening and it's time I sacrifice for nothing and no one. It is ultimate "me-time" and I put my make-up on each morning excited at the prospect of taking it off that night. Not only is it good for my skin but also my mind. It is time during which my phone goes untouched and my laptop stays in my room. Sometimes I watch something on netflix but more often than not I bask in the silence of my bathroom. I just listen to whatever is going on in my own head but whilst I focus on my face and what's being slathered upon it, I don't ever remember of thinking of very much at all and that, my friends, is blissful. 




4. The Five Minute Journal 
    My friend, Michelle Elman, introduced me to the Five Minute Journal app after she was introduced by my other friend, Celinde Schoenmaker. When I saw it cost £4.99, I hesitated. I don't often spend money on apps and I wondered how often I was going to realistically use it to justify the cost. Then I thought, I'm in the very lucky position to be able to buy myself a cup of coffee almost every day...and I never even bat an eyelid at that cost which is undeniably a luxury. So the one off cost of an app that could potentially help my mental health shouldn't have even be questioned. Since buying it, I've used it every day (which has been over two weeks now!) and I'm starting to see a real difference. At the beginning of each day you list 3 things that you're grateful for, 3 things you're going to do to make the day great and then you give yourself an affirmation. When the day is coming to a close you write down 3 amazing things that happened and 1 thing you could have done to make the day even more amazing. The thing I love about it is it's all about positivity. It never lets you dwell on what went wrong but only what you could have done to make things better. I feel like my 3 picks for gratitude are getting more and more specific as the days go on. It's really helping to set me up each day and then also gives me a moment to reflect once the day is over. For anyone interested, the paid for app is great but there is a free version, too! 



5. Guided Sleep
      Without sounding too soppy, I've become very accustomed to sleeping in the same room as my boyfriend, Oliver which means when he's not in the bed, I don't sleep nearly as well anymore. I discovered this when I was on tour with The War of the Worlds last December and he was in Panto in Wolverhampton. It was the longest we'd spend apart since we started seeing each other so I turned to trusty YouTube in my time of need, found a guided sleep meditation and gave it a go. It has actually changed my life. I've never fallen asleep quicker or slept as deeply as when I listen to these mediations. I put my laptop on charge, find a safe place to open it next to my bed, press play on the video, turn the screen brightness down all the way and then get comfy. If you're going to give it a go my only tip would be to make sure autoplay is turned off because there's nothing more terrifying than being jolted awake by whatever the next video is that's lined up to play! I made that mistake a couple of times and it's really not fun! 😅

             

     These changes may seem trivial and didn't seem to make a huge lot of difference at first but I'm so pleased I persevered long enough to begin to see a shift. Now if only I could force myself to stick with morning pages for longer than a couple of days...!























4 comments

  1. I use the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings audiobooks to help me fall asleep. I set the sleep timer on the Audible app to 30 or 45 minutes depending on how sleepy I feel to begin with (but I usually fall asleep in less than 30 minutes anyway). I know the stories well enough that I'm not bothered about missing parts, and the familiarity of the words is actually part of what helps me sleep. I love it!

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  2. @Martha, I love your idea about using Audible to fall asleep. I suppose it would have to be a story you're super familiar with otherwise I'd be too intrigued by what happens next!! I'll have to try it sometime. :) Carrie, I also recommend creating a nightime playlist on Spotify. My top track is "Deep in an ancient Hawaiian forest" by Makana. It never fails to relax me and help me rest. xx

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  3. This Addams family dress of a brazilian brand is SOOO you! http://www.androllstore.com.br/home/131-vestido-alca-addams.html
    Every time I see it, it reminds me of you!

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  4. When my father passed away two years ago I struggled with sleep and couldn't get my mind to shut down. I starting using audiobooks to focus on which helped me sleep now I use meditation app as I felt like I was always missing half a book by falling asleep. Love these little rituals.

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