For my family ‘How to be Organised’ posts, I can’t help but add in a few celebrations, as I have mentioned before I love a theme and a celebration! It’s the ex-childminder in me. It also makes for a more fun outlook on life and takes away from some of the mundane Winter months.
Chinese New Year- The year of the Pig – Good chance to have some yummy Chinese noodles, rice and spice in your Meal planner. We have recently purchased some bamboo chopsticks for a bit of fun and we will hopefully remember some prawn crackers and fortune cookies to add to the meal.
Self Care – Now firmly in the depths of Winter it’s easy to get a bit blue from the lack of light and seasonal coughs and colds. Take a moment to focus on yourself as it’s easy to feel run down and tired. Make time for something you’ve been wanting to do, whether it’s a bath, reading a book, listening to a podcast or audio book or simply watching something you want to watch on tv on your own, in peace, with a cuppa and a yummy snack. Make that time for yourself in your busy schedule now! I have just started to listen to ‘Happy’ by Fearne Cotton, having 10 minutes at bedtime to read and even indulging in the odd bath instead of being on my laptop at night is making a difference. We have been remembering to get out for a walk or quick play outside after school most days. And a good walk at the weekend. This makes such a difference to the whole families mental well being. I also find taking vitamins helpful at this time of year, just to take care of any deficiencies I may have such as dry brittle hair and nails etc. I also give the kids a multivitamin with their breakfast. Vitamin D top-ups can also be helpful with the lack of sunshine these grey days can bring.
Valentine’s Day- If you mark this occasion, then don’t forget to organise ahead at the start of the month and either buy or create a card or gift for that special someone in your life. I have a few ideas for how we will be celebrating Valentine’s Day. If you don’t mark Valentine’s Day then the above self care is even more important, in treating yourself instead.
Minimalism- Make the most of it being a month where you’re not outdoors as much and get de-cluttering. I find the process of becoming more minimalistic helpful to declutter not only my home but my brain, making me more productive. I personally like to follow Marie Kondo’s method of tidying, so I take a category to tidy and have a clear out of anything that doesn’t spark joy. On my list at the moment is our master bedroom wardrobes and the pantry. I will just make these two my goals for now as I don’t want to expect too much from myself especially as part of February the kids are off school. Be mindful not to set the decluttering goal too high, as it can be quite addictive and then you realise you have neglected yourself and other areas of your life.
Half Term – With a week off school in February it’s a good idea to plan what you would like to do, if you haven’t already. I find February half term a holiday where we’re all a bit tired and so find a few easy slow days essential to recuperate from the Winter term. That said it’s all about balance and a few days planned helps balance with needing to rest and getting cabin fever. With budgeting still in mind it’s good to find some thrifty days out. I usually plan to visit a free museum, free events with National Trust, the kids cinema screenings at a discounted rate and check out any attractions or farms that offer a winter visitors discount. Then we have a few days planned and a few days in between to do some indoor activities or even a pj day.
Savings – If you read my January post, then you will remember that I suggested to start a savings plan up in February. For us January is a month to recover from spending and make savings in the sales. So we will be starting this month a standing order in savings for Christmas 2019. We will also be looking at where we feel necessary to make savings or budget more in other areas for our family requirements. Don’t put it off, just a few extra pounds put away every month now will make a difference if you start now. It’s a good time to also check any of those direct debits / subscriptions you don’t need and utilise that money into savings instead. We found a few things just by going through our Amazon and tv subscriptions.
If you’re planning on getting away somewhere this year, then start to book or plan your trip. It’s always lovely to daydream and plan for warmer days. It gives you something to aim/ look forward too. If you’re not planning on a holiday then you can still get excited by making a wish list of days out you want to do.
This may be a bit of a functional list, but February is a bit of a functional month and the whole reason I have come up with the series is to share my pointers for each month and just help keep myself focused. I hope in turn by sharing it helps you find your monthly focus too.