London (noun): A place that can make you fall in love and go absolutely crazy in equal measures; a collection of people from all over the world living under one very polluted roof; a bustling city of very important business things; the second most visited city in the world (I didn’t even make that one up); a social whirlwind of dinner parties and spontaneous nights out; a place that mostly never sleeps but also kind of sleeps a lot at the same time; a city of contradictions, exceptions, majorities, minorities, hard work, orderly queues and a united belief that life here is worth all the challenges.
Simply put, London is exhausting. (and has also potentially sent me a little mad).
This weekend I got a slither of ‘me time’ to just stop, relax and reflect. I made absolutely zero plans and it was bloody brilliant. Feet wrapped up in cosy socks, heater up, a cup of hot tea, candles burning (my life is currently inspired by my new favourite book on Hygge), sufficiently tired and just the right amount of emotional from one glass of red wine too many the night before, all cultivated into this perfect, beautiful afternoon to just be alone and in the moment. ‘Mindfulness’ is my least favourite word of all time (honestly) but I guess if I had to find a way to describe it, it’d be something like ‘quality me-time emotionally charged by a slight hangover and a lot of hygge‘. Catchy name.
I came to the conclusion that London has been amazing to me and, for better or worse, I absolutely love the way my life has turned out here. I’ve had one hell of a ride and it’s definitely been the biggest personal challenge I’ve ever set myself, but while I’ve always been London’s number one advocate (well, pre-Brexit Kamila was anyway), I’m also the first to admit when sometimes it just becomes too much.
Feeling a little overwhelmed in London is something that happens fairly regularly for me. More often than not it’s just the sheer mass of people that get to me. Other times it’s general life admin like finding a job or a house, or having to pay my pretty harrowing electricity bill each quarter. Sometimes (read: all the time) getting ill can be really stressful in a foreign environment (read: any place other than where mum’s at). Most times though, it’s simply trying to juggle life with everything else…
- my career;
- new and old friends;
- some sort of fitness routine;
- saving money;
- eating as much indulgent food as possible without going a size up in jeans;
- keeping my flat at at least a 7/10 on the cleanliness scale; and
- making the most of London rather than just hanging out in Hackney every weekend.
Given my sometimes warped sense of life priorities and despite being fairly certain that I’m at least 60% introvert (despite Buzzfeed saying only 4%), making some me time to destress from London often falls to the bottom of the ‘Very Important Things To Get Done’ list. Finding time to just sit by myself, curled up with a good book or a favourite blog is hard without worrying about all the things I should be doing, so having a day to do just that was total bliss. I could feel myself relaxing physically and mentally, in a way that no amount of exercise, cleaning or brunching with friends could ever achieve.
So, I’m starting a movement. Yep. Something I’m going to do each month and I think you should join me! Let’s set aside a couple of days a month of ‘me time’ where we have absolutely no obligations. No guilt if we don’t Skype friends or family. Not feeling bad for staying in on a Saturday night with a film or a book. No shame for not going on a date with someone we’re pretty confident we have absolutely no interest in but swiped right by accident. Let’s just take a day for us, no strings attached. In the same way Stylist inspired me to take back my lunch hour, 2017 is all about taking back my ‘me time’ if for nothing else than to become a slightly less grumpy person on Sunday nights.