Hello all! First proper post of the year after a refreshing break in my native France.
Last year had some really lovely and special moments
and lots of more challenging ones too…Yes, that’s me, pondering whether that glass is half full or half empty.
One thing that really spoilt the second half of my year was the negativity that surrounded me. Although I am quite a critical thinker, I pride myself in focusing on the good things as often as I can possibly do. I believe I have become a rather upbeat person. However, when people around you drag you down, it can be extremely challenging to keep a smile across your face day in and day out.
I really want to kick-start this new year by shifting all that toxic air. I also want to avoid as much as possible those people who, not only, are continuously negative but also don’t support me.
There is also a lot I can (continue to) do myself – which I will focus on – I have found a few useful tips to keep me going lately:
– 1 – Start right now being happy
Why wait to be happy? Nobody has a perfect life. My motto is to enjoy what I have got at the present time. It does not mean I would not want for us to have a bigger place to live (certainly one of our issues!), holidays to exotic destinations, a new car…Aren’t we so lucky to have a roof over our head, a good health, food on our plates every day? I recently visited the World Press photography award on the Southbank in Central London and a few photos really hit me hard, the reality of a lot of young people around the world is awfully difficult.
– 2 – Counting Your Blessings
These are the things I would like to do more:
- Say “thank you” more often
- Write letters of gratitude to the people I care about
- List my blessings mentally or in a journal on a daily or weekly basis
- Make more time for praying (or meditation. I have used the Headspace app and the Calm one too on quite a few occasions in the past. Have you tried them out too?)
As a mum of 3, I also feel it is my duty to be a role model to my kids and teach them how to better approach thing. I would particularly want the kids to learn to be more grateful for what they have and receive. L’Homme and I have recently realised that, the more generous we were with them, the more challenging and spoilt they behaved. I would quite like at some point to get my 2 older kids to see the work of charities and maybe help out somewhere.
– 3 – Get moving
Whether it’s having a run, taking a class or just strolling in some nice green open space in your local area (being in nature has got a soothing effect), GET MOVING! No need to aim too high, a brisk walk, a short cycle…will be a good starting point.
Regular exercise has been proven to:
- Reduce stress
- Ward off anxiety and feelings of depression
- Boost self-esteem
- Improve sleep
The Huffington Post listed in this article 14 Mental Health Benefits of Exercise
– 4 – Ask friends for help
Now that all my friends are either mums or have super demanding careers, we all get wrapped up in our little spheres (me included!) but reaching out should be something to consider. I know it’s rather easier said than done, who wants to admit they are not having a great time? However the few occasions I found somebody to have a good ol’ chat with, it lifted a little bit the weight off my shoulders.
– 5 – Find an activity that gives you satisfaction
It could be anything really: cooking, sewing, painting, gardening, a gym class….something you know or something totally new for a ‘fresh start’ feeling!
Personally, finding pockets of time during which I could just forget my personal issues was a big thing. Going to my photography class at College proved incredibly good. Even when I wasn’t feeling in a great state of mind, meeting my classmates (a bunch of open-minded people!), sharing a passion with them and talking about a lot of other stuff was always beneficial.
Finishing this post with this beautiful song by Rag’n’ bone man, my favourite artist of 2017. His song ‘Grace’ inspired me to write this blog post. I could never say enough how powerful can be the power of music (It’s not too late to open a streaming account on Spotify or Deezer) and surround your body and mind to some nice tunes 😉!