After nearly three years away from my desk I can’t tell you how ace it’s been to be back. My whole being has been charged with inspiration, excitement, challenge and purpose - the exact feelings that a good job on a good day should bring (if yours never does please change, life is far too short to hate your job.)
My love for London deepens every day despite its crowds, grime and inflation I adore this city, it has a way of sucking you in and making you fit into one of its many multicultural and cosmopolitan cogs. I´ve worked with a great group of girls @redmagazine, worked-out with the ELLE team and enjoyed the benefits of a personal trainer, reviewed a 5 star hotel in Soho, tried lots of new yoga and meditation classes, partied in Peckham, juiced for England and bagged lots of free beauty products to boot.
However, my blog is not here just to tell you how wonderful and easy my life is because that would be the absolute lie of the century. Stepping back in the office, taking time away from my daughter, making hundreds of mistakes, forgetting how to use photoshop (hmmm, actually forgetting how to do everything,) being shouted at constantly on the commute and having a mini heart attack every time I realise how expensive everything is in the city has resulted in panic attacks, anxiety, insomnia, insecurities, self doubt and absolute exhaustion - and that is simply part of life.
When we face our fears, move forward, take on new challenges and push ourselves the path to success and fulfilment can be full of emotional and physical barriers and as my favourite monk, Ajahn Brahm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajahn_Brahm says “If you´re not making mistakes and suffering a little you're not learning” and it´s how we deal with it that counts.
So I thought I´d make a list of my top five ways to deal with stress, anxiety, insomnia etc - they are all free and they are all easy to fit in to your day because frankly with city prices and not enough hours in the working week we need simple solutions to help us live with a little more with ease.
And in the wise words of my favourite bear Winnie the Pooh “You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”
1. Good friends. The majority of people living in London are living away from their families and make their own urban family so finding true, open friends who support you, surrounded you with positivity, share with you, cook with you, laugh and cry with you are key to your happiness.
2. Eye contact. Chances are in the city you will probably spend the majority of your day not connecting with a single soul. You rush to get your morning coffee, there is no time to chat with your colleagues and your head is in the metro or on your phone on the tube. Try and actually connect with people, talk to the man in Pret, look in his eyes and actually connect with people, see what a difference it can make.
3. Kindness. In the rat race there seems to be no time for simple acts of kindness as people rush to their next destination. Give up your seat for pregnant/elderly people, help people with pushchairs down the escalators, buy your boss a coffee - anything, just be a little kind.
4. Parks. London has the best selections of parks in the world full of beautiful flowers, trees and lakes. Take advantage of such beauty by eating your lunch there, walking, running, reading there and see how being surrounded by nature can nurture your soul.
5. Laugh. When you feel your self getting stressed or angry about something, does it actually really matter, really? Do you really want to argue with yourself or somebody else? No, that´s totally rubbish and just creates more negativity. Laugh, let it go and just enjoy life.
And now all that is left to do is put my little sausage to bed with goodnight kisses.