This year has been another tough year for everyone. Challenging with so many travel restrictions and different rules to follow. With health worries or cutbacks at work or financial pressures. Across Europe right now most countries are in a some kind of lockdown or under restrictions. The pandemic drags on. It´s important to Be Kind to Yourself especially right now.

With Blue Monday just around the corner, its supposed to be the third Monday in January. Many people are find staying indoors and the lack of social life very challenging. I am used to travelling frequently, every 2 weeks or so. Spending lots of time away from home. Since the pandemic I spend most days at home. The switch in lifestyle has been huge. I know I´m not the only one whose life has changed since March 2020. Here are some tips I use to get back to midpoint and calm frazzled nerves. They have become very handy over the past winter months.

Alhambra Palace Granada Spain Snow

How to Be Kind to Yourself

While some people turn to meditation or yoga. I never really got on with them. Others use mobile apps for mindfulness such as Calm or Headspace. I find other activities comforting and restorative. Depending on your personality and hobbies, different things will fit in to your lifestyle. Some of them may not seem obvious ways to unwind but they work for me.

Here are my go tos when I have had a stressful day or am getting frustrated with the curfew rules.

Genil River Granada Spain Nighttime



I live in a city, although there are nature trails in and around the city, I love to walk around the city centre. Taking in the historic buildings and watching people going about their daily life. Every single day I try to walk 11,000 steps (sometimes its more). Of course I´m lucky as I live in a place where it rarely rains. If it does rain or get cold I still go on my walk (mad dogs and Englishmen).


Some days I alternate walking through the park beside the river or change the route to head to a different part of the city. I may listen to music, podcasts or just walk. It depends on my mood. I´ll easily spend 90 minutes walking each day.

Podcasts I´m listening too at the moment are: 

  • The High Performance Podcast with Jake Humphrey + Prof Damian Hughes 
  • Parenting Hell with Rob Beckett + Josh Widdicombe
  • The Sporkful with Dan Pashman 

Scone at Bettys Tea Room York England


Baking (rather than cooking) is something I love to do. Cooking seems to be a chore where baking is fun to me. Usually I choose typical British recipes like Scones or something easy like a fruit crumble. Carrot Cake or Banana Muffins are also favourites when I have a little more time. I try to have plenty of store cupboard staples so I dont need to pop out before baking something. (Flour, brown sugar, butter, milk, eggs.)

One of my favourites is Cold Tea Loaf although I use an old family recipe from my Grandma. So comforting and goes well with a good cup of Earl Grey in the afternoon. 


Music can be a great mood booster and can help reduce stress too. So it maybe a good idea to listen to music first thing to start the day upbeat.  Listening to more soothing tracks as you wind down in the evening. For something to end of the day try Canon in D by Pachelbel, its great melody to calm even the most frazzled nerves.

For daytime sounds as I work from home I choose Paolo Nutini, Amy Winehouse or Sam Smith.

You can use a streaming service such as Spotify or Amazon Music. These online platforms also have the option to create you own playlists too. There are often free three months trials or other special offers on Amazon Music subscriptions.

(Do remember to cancel before the expiry date if you don´t want to pay for the subscription.)


Sadly I had to cancel my membership at my gym. This was a tough one for me. Attending zumba classes, body balance and X Core every week is something I really enjoyed. Having the pool and spa area was a huge bonus too. So since the summer ended I have been getting in my workouts again at home.

Although its not the same as classes with other people. I quickly shifted to training online. I adjusted the furniture at home and dusted off my exercise mat. Each week I train with Joe Wicks – The Body Coach on You Tube. He puts up 3 or 4 sessions online each week.

Sometimes for a change I look up online classes that come up on Instagram Stories/live. For example my Gym has online classes and an online timetable each week. Other personal trainers and companies do the same. It´s just a question of finding ones that you enjoy doing.

When you exercise at home its easy to be distracted and sometimes harder to be motivated. So I get my gym clothes ready and have a specific routine that I plan. This way I manage to get 3 or 4 sessions per week done. I feel a lot better afterwards. Also I´m not so worried about all the extra calories from my baking either.  ;  )

Be Kind to Yourself


Since the first lockdown in March I have started to read again. A pastime that I have always loved but seem to have forgotten. In my home office I have a bookshelf full of books with the best of intentions. I intend to read them but never find (make) the time to. Recently I read One August Night by Victoria Hislop. Set on the Island of Crete in Greece, it´s a sequel of the Island which I really enjoyed. 

Another title I have on my list to read is the Wolf Den Trilogy. Hopefully I will get around to reading that this month. Here are some of my favourite Books about Spain that may inspire you to read.

Molly Piccavey Rio Verde Otivar Granada Spain

Be Kind to Yourself – At a Glance

As my daily routine was totally scuppered in March I have created a new one.

  • Get dressed in comfortable clothes but ones that make you feel good.
  • Hydrate. Drink plenty of water. In Winter I drink lots of herbal infusions and tea. In Summer I add lemon slices or a sprig of mint. 
  • Plan your Exercise time. Getting my 11,000 steps in, first thing in the day or training with Joe Wicks online for 20 minutes.
  • Go to the office. My home office is a separate room. I have created a standing up desk area and a normal desk space so I can interchange. It´s better to switch postures for my back. It also helps to focus too. I have a timetable so I close down my workstation at around 7pm latest. On weekends I try to limit my time spent ´at work´ maybe I do a few hours or so.
  • Plan your meals. I plan meals for the day so that I dont end up eating grabbing random things or junk food. Lots of fruit is visible in the kitchen so I can snack healthy. I dont have unhealthy snacks in the house so I am not tempted by them.
  • Create a weekend.  Make the weekend distinguishable from the rest of the week. I order home delivered food. I spend more time outdoors on weekends. Also I choose a movie to watch or spend time reading. I might make time to do a home pedi, mani or facial. Trying to replicate what a weekend would be before lockdown.
  • Treats. Think of small ways you can treat yourself. Get a home delivery of restaurant food. Buy flowers or a plant to brighten up your dining table or home desk. Put a little perfume on in the morning. It doesn´t have to be expensive, just something that makes you happy and enjoy the moment. Get a scented candle to light on darker rainy days.

Find more resources at MIND: Tips for Everyday Living

Be Kind to Yourself Infographic

Be Kind to Yourself – Get Back to Midpoint

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Be Kind to Yourself - Tips to get Back to Midpoint
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Be Kind to Yourself - Tips to get Back to Midpoint
How to be kind to yourself. While meditation may not work for everyone reading, listening to music or baking may help you to reset and get back to midpoint.
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