guest post | self-care reflections for 9-5ers with Ash Alves
Updated: Jun 3
Amara Amaryah | travel + books + poetry, always poetry. a platform for story-telling, visuals, positive self-talk and empowerment| self-care reflections for 9-5ers.
i hope you’re having a beautiful start to the week. if not, i hope you’re being kind to yourself anyway. what better way to restart the working week than some self-care routines? i’ve just returned from a week-long poetry retreat at Arvon and am still adjusting back to work/life routine. i’ve teamed up with my favourite brum blogger @ashalves to create this self-care workday routine for us 9-5ers.
intro to our self-care guest blogger:
Ash is a wellness and politics blogger born in the UK, from Jamaican origins. She reflects on her personal experiences in her writings and uses them to heal and connect with others. Currently working a 9 to 5, she works on creating the time to delve into her passions whilst making a living.
Ash and i both work full-time 9-5 jobs. we’re both fairly new to adulting but both adamant on staying in healthy self-care practices regardless. in this post we’ll each share our work-day self-care routines to provide tips on staying upfull during the week. head round to her blog for more wellness posts – my personal favourite is the ‘people pleaser‘ post. comment + subscribe + let her know that you love her stuff.
Quick Side note: “Show me your morning routine and I’ll show you how the rest of your day will pan out”. The way you start your day sets precedent over the rest of your day. The mornings are a perfect way to clear any lingering negative thoughts and to start your day with more clarity and peace. The mornings are an excellent way to check in with yourself. I find the mornings my absolute non-negotiable self care routine.
A typical self care morning ritual to me looks like waking up, praying or reciting affirmations then doing yoga. I use a yoga app and choose one relating to what my body needs at the time. Then I would watch a motivational video whilst I get ready for work. Once I get into work, one of the first things I do to settle into work is make myself a herbal tea/ coffee. Green tea or any other herbal tea is a must for me because of its healing & cleansing properties.
In my job position you don’t get much time for yourself. Like in many industries the focus is on productivity and getting the most out of your working hours. As a response I make an effort to find time for myself in a few ways; taking intentional breaks away from my computer, spending my breaks reading or watching something fun. I also integrate my passion for blogging into my daily routine by writing / jotting notes down in relations to a blog post when I am inspired.
My evening self-care practices differ and are relational to my needs and desires at the present moment. It usually consists of making myself a meal, putting on my fairy lights and burning candles burning. I try to make time to exercise, listening to podcasts and music. Also, I focus my energy in enjoyment so listening to stuff unrelated to blogger or work but based on my other interests like Music. Typically, I end my night by watching something on Netflix or reading a book when I can.
i like to start every morning differently. every morning starts in prayer, poetry or gratitude. i try and find fresh ways to start the day with one or two acts of self love. sometimes it is waking up to a mug of my favourite tea and a chapter of scripture. another morning it might be laying out my yoga mat for 5 minutes and mini meditation. the next morning it could be as simple as washing my dishes to have a clear sink when i come home. whatever i do, i do it for myself so i can enter the day knowing that i listened to myself first-thing this morning. as part of being intentional about the thoughts i let in first, i try and walk to work without any headphones and i don’t touch instagram until i have reached my desk.
a confession: i work in an environment where i’m constantly creating content and it makes me think about how i can create content for my own blog/instagram. sometimes lunchtimes are spent writing/planning/creating using apps on my phone. this is something i’m trying to step away from to give my mind a different thinking space for the lunch hour. i think using lunch to get away from a screen is best. leave your phone in a safe place (if you can) and take your book or just go with conversation. i try and enjoy as analogue a lunch as possible. i’m still learning though! also- i try and get outside of the building for fresh air. i rarely spend my lunch at my desk.
aside from this, i think midday affirmations are super important. reminding yourself of the scripture you read in the morning, the podcast you listened to, the text your mum sent back this morning and just speaking over your affirmations for the week is an important part of being present. *a note on if you dislike your job: i know, i’ve been there. at this point in the day it is easy to dream of going home. i recommend bringing something to your desk that motivates you. a mini vision board, a memory, a quote, anything. having something physical on your desk which reminds you why you’re in the job, what you’re saving for and the fact that it is a temporary position can help you through the day.
wind-downs are the best. in my new years blog post i wrote about stepping back from excessive selfcare to get more time to create. i think because i practice acts of selfcare during the day,i don’t always need to over-do it in the evening. my evening rituals are always small ways to ensure i can start fresh. i’ve learnt not to over-plan for the evening. your 5-9 doesn’t need to exhaust you. plan your evening and allow an hour for time wasting and doing nothing. and then begin creating/working on the blog or whatever you do.
a massive part of my self-care practices include writing. i generally set time aside for journalling and making sense of my thoughts. i don’t follow any plan yet, i usually brain dump. as a poet, i am on a journey to writing 1000 poems in a year so i try and write something every night (or if not every morning).
the final thing i do is forgive. anything negative that has happened to or because of me, i forgive. i believe that we carry our daily worries into our dreams so i try my best to erradicate the heavy thoughts and make space for good ones.
Any other self-care routines that you maintain? Comment below and share wellness tips. Subscribe and connect with Ash for more wellness motivation.
thank you for reading what i write.