A Trip To The Country

Day 20 – get in to nature.

We are lucky to have amazing nature here in Scotland, breath taking scenery, rolling green hills, beautiful coastlines.

Get away from the city, for the day or if you can overnight and take some of it in. The natural energy levels in the country are so much calmer than in the city which are good for your natural energy balance levels.

You can get some really good deals on Groupon and Living Social for overnight stays up north or down near the borders.

Within an hour of Glasgow we can get to the beach or to the hills.

The day after the Moonwalk I went to visit my friend Ros down in East Ayrshire, it’s beautiful down there, we ended up taking the dog out a walk, we went down to Lock Doon and then to the Gallaway Forest, being in the country and around nature has a natural calming effect.

Any time I go down south to work, it reminds me of how small Glasgow is and how close everything is. I appreciate that more and more.

Even in the city and close surrounding areas we have loads of parks, some of them very under used.

If you work Monday to Friday and are inside all week, make a plan to get out this weekend. If you work near a park, take the time at lunchtime to get out and go for a walk – if it’s raining make sure you have a brolly and waterproof jacket in preparation for tomorrow.

Even a 10 minute walk in the fresh air does you the world of good.

Getting in to the country is something that has been prescribed to me to help me reduce the stress in my life and help with my digestive system.

It’s something to try.

Jen x

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Have A Pamper Day

Day 16 Pamper yourself

This is one I know EVERYONE will get behind.

Get booked in for a massage (I can recommend a very good masseuse if anyone is looking for one)

Get booked in for a beauty treatment (again I can recommend good therapists).

Go for afternoon tea with the girls (5pm, Living Social and Groupon are usually good for these deals)

Go to the spa (I can highly recommend the Blythswood Spa experience – check 5pm for deals)

Schedule time EVERY week just for you.

Even if it’s you applying your own face mask and soaking in the bath listening to your favourite music, reading a book, or chilling on the couch watching a TV series or movie.

It is all about taking time out to focus on yourself and what you want and being able to switch off.

Self-care month is exactly that, learning to put yourself first and that it is OK to be selfish (which you know because I am always banging on about it).

Once you understand that putting yourself first means that everything you do can be more efficient and makes you happier which helps make everyone else happier…

Find the balance, learn to respect you and love you.

Once you get it, you will love it and appreciate your pamper time.

Enjoy

Jen x

 

Gaze at the stars

Day 11 Gaze at the stars, we have not been having much in the way of clear skies recently and with us still getting long days we don’t get to see much in the way of stars at the moment BUT when we do have a clear sky and it’s dark, the stars, moon and planets are amazing to look at.

The sky amazes me. I have been getting in to the whole star gazing, astronomy stuff recently. The Astronomical Society of Glasgow do loads of free events throughout the year, from lectures at Strathclyde Uni, to star and sun gazing at the Botanic Gardens (check out their Facebok page for events that might interest you).

I remember the first time I remember really noticing the sky at night, I was in Malaysia at the islands off the east coast, there is no electricity on the islands, when we went to the beach for dinner at night I remember looking up and seeing the sky covered in tiny white dots (obviously stars).

I had never seen anything like it. It really puts in to perspective how small we as humans are in the whole universe. The more I learn about stuff the more fascinating and mind blowing it all is to me.

Living in or near the city even on clear nights you don’t see the sky the way you do if you get away from civilisation and pollution.

I was talking about the moon on Thursday night when I went to my Pilates class and one of the guys there said that there are good clear look out points out round Loch Lomond area.

There is also the Dark Sky zone down in East Ayrshire where the observatory is (there has been a deal on 5pm to go there).

Take the time on a clear night to get out the city, out to the countryside and have a look.  Even without a telescope just looking out there is unbelievably calming.

It can be pretty cold on clear nights so wrap up warm, take a flask of tea (or soup), if you are not driving, wine or beer if you fancy.

Stop, take some time to just look and admire what is out there.

Our beautiful universe.

Jen x

 

 

 

Put it in your diary

Day 10 Schedule you time, I am one of those people who has to have everything in my calendar or I will forget where and when I am supposed to be places… One of the challenges of being freelance self-employed, you are rarely in the same place for a whole day.
How many times have you got to the end of the day, looked at your to do list and thought ‘crap it just seems to get longer instead of shorter’?
Do you start to feel stressed and anxious just thinking about your workload to the point that you hide from everyone and everything and get sweet F.A done?
Overwhelmed to the point that breathing doesn’t happen naturally?
Yip been there, and found myself internally freaking out about it and procrastinating big time…
Take a BIG deep breath, stop and step back.
Look at your week ahead and plan out the work you have, where you need to be, and also if you have any social events coming up. Include travel time, meal times including cooking time, gym sessions and any other classes or hobbies that you like to do.
Once you know what the goal or outcome of each time slot is, it makes it easier to set a plan so you can achieve that specific goal.
We all have the same 24hours in the day, 7 days in the week.
How you use your time reflects on how much you achieve through the week.
My tips:
Take away distractions – remove social media apps from your phone or keep your phone in a different room while you are working. Only have the tools you need to do the task.
Listen to music that calms you, I have been listening to classical music a lot recently and found it calms me down and helps me focus (I know that is not the same for everyone, one of my friends gets really agitated with classical music). Find what works best for you.
Know what your goal for the allocated time slot is and work towards that specifically.
Work on one task at a time and know when you need it completed by and work to that schedule.
Remember day 8 – delegate, use the people around you to help you out if the load is too much.
Get some day 2 meditation in there. Taking mini meditation breaks throughout the day helps clear your head and makes you more productive.
Use day 3 creating a ritual to be scheduling your week to help take some of the stress off, then created more rituals within that schedule to: meditate, eat mindfully, get food prepared, get work done.
See how we are using the previous days here to help build something useful and productive. By adding each day and not forgetting yesterday’s task we are creating a streamlined lifestyle that you will be grateful for.
There will times when shit happens and you have to reschedule things, but when you can see clearly where there are gaps  it is less daunting and you can still be very productive. I used to get really shitty when people messed with my week, but putting this all in to practice has made it so much easier.
Laid back, chilled and getting a lot done…
Jen x

 

Take the plunge

Day 4, Take a bath. I would like to think that you all wash on a regular basis and don’t think that is what I am trying to suggest here…

Take time to have a relaxing bath. After the moonwalk I sat in the bath for nearly an hour… It was lush and I think part of the reason I wasn’t sore the next day.

Add some Epsom salts to cleanse and detox the system while allowing some amazing nutrients to be absorbed through your skin. I use TDT Recovery Salts that have a blend of stuff in them to help recover after exercise.

Make it special, light some candles, play music that chills you out, use a nice body scrub, read a book, just lie there and float, have your towels, bath robe and slippers ready for getting out.

Having a bath is something that I rarely do, but always make sure I do when I stay at hotels for work. I only have an electric hot water shower and the hassle of running a bath involves heating water in pots on the cooker and boiling kettles. Sometimes it is worth the effort though.

So, take a plunge in to the water.

Jen x

 

I finally got this meditation thing

Day 2 we are going to meditate, if you already regularly do, fantastic. If you do it sporadically or not at all, it’s time to get it in to our routine every day.

This took me a bit of practice to get used to doing but once you get it, it starts to get easier, but like exercise when you stop it gets hard to get back in to. Think about your brain as a muscle that needs exercised.

There are loads of great apps, free downloads, youtube video’s to take you through guided meditation. There are also loads of groups on meetup that you can go along to group meditation.

The benefits of meditation are even been taken on by the NHS who have it in their mental health programmes. There are some schools that are introducing it too. You might sometimes see it as Mindfulness, this is a form of meditation.

It is amazing how taking the time to focus on your breathing, getting oxygen in to the body, in to the muscles and organs helps them work efficiently and it lets you clear your head.

I am not going to lie, it took ages for me to be able to sit and stop thinking, but it does happen. I have one of the busiest and noisiest heads (which we probably all think ours is worse than anyone else’s) and like with everything practice does make it easier.

Every time I closed my eyes a thought would jump in to my head of something I needed to do. I had to get a notepad handy so that I could write the stuff down just to calm my brain.

Give it a go, find an app or programme that works for you and take some time out. It can be anything from just a couple of minutes to 60 minute classes. The more you practice it the quicker you will relax and the shorter the time you will need to do it.

I know people that take regular 30 second meditations that just let them reset their brain and get their breathing back under control (when you are stressed you will take really shallow breaths)

Did you do your letter yesterday?

Let me know how you get on with your meditation

Jen x

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We All Need A Holiday

You NEED your holidays and time off…

It doesn’t matter how much you love your job, you need time out to refresh the batteries and come back with new ideas, a new lease of life and focus.

I am really guilty of this, it’s now nearly the end of June and this is me taking my first proper time off since the start of the year!

I can feel it and my body is showing signs of stress too… My eczema has flared up, dark circles under my eyes and I am more forgetful than usual.

I also had some tests recently because my skin flare ups are inconsistent and the results of them coming back, my stomach acid is low which is making me nutrient deficient and more sensitive to foods that I have a low tolerance for…

The most likely cause? Stress!

Perfect timing for me that I am heading off on holiday today.

Bit of sightseeing, bit of lying on the beach doing nothing but listening to good music and reading… Of course there is a music festival or 2 happening that I am going to but the day times will be all about doing not much.

I have been recommended to add in walks in the country, yoga and meditation to my weekly routine which will be added in when I get back to my schedule and it will be in my diary to remind me so it becomes part of the routine.

How are you feeling generally? Are you getting any skin break outs? It could be spots, eczema, psoriasis etc. Are you bloated after eating?

These are all symptoms that could be a sign you need some time out…

If you don’t have anything booked to go away, schedule in some time off, take yourself away for the day, get along to a low intensity, low impact class, download some guided meditation and go exploring the countryside, breathing in the fresh air…

Have a happy stress free day

Jen x