This New Mantra Will Change Your Days

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Patience seems to be my theme of 2018. In all sorts of ways, I am learning to be more patient - with the activities of my day, with long term goals, with people.

Spending a lot of time with my baby this year, life has taken a new, slower pace.

Earlier in the year, I was feeding her at the dark and civilised hour of 4am. I found myself waiting and waiting, timing her feed.

After it was done I was watching the clock as I waited for her to burp. I felt impatient and I wanted it to be done so I could get back to bed.

After lots of time spent reading and listening to Alex Franzen, the queen of appreciating ‘life minutes’ as she calls them, I was reminded of a quote from one of her books… ‘Allow it to take as long as it takes’.

Bleary eyed, I repeated this to myself and looked at my daughter. She didn’t care how long things were taking and she had nowhere else she wanted to be. And neither did I.

Now, I use this mantra regularly.

When thinking about a goal or purchase I want to be here right here, right now, I remind myself - allow it to take as long as it takes.

When I’m cooking and find myself wanting the preparation to be done and to be sitting at the table eating the finished product already. I stop and think - allow it to take as long as it takes.

Are you rushing through your daily activities, wishing they were done already?

Are you impatiently waiting for your train to arrive at your station, anxious for your name to be called at the coffee shop, restless for the stretching track in your gym class to be finished already? 

Maybe you’re impatient for a promotion, a new car, a boyfriend, a holiday to be here already?

What if you stopped the mental struggle and allowed life to take as long as it takes?

5 Ways I Sabotage My Days

Between thought downloads, segment intending and working on sleepless nights, you can imagine I’ve got a lot of stuff rolling around in my head day to day.

I’ve been lucky enough to have a few readers contact me and tell me how wise I seem in these types of blog posts. I truly appreciate that feedback and obviously do work hard on myself and try and bring newly discovered concepts to you readers.

But the true and original purpose of this blog was to show that I am not perfect and that these are just concepts to help you feel a little better, not to live an impossibly perfect life.

So here’s a peek behind the (sometimes dusty, sometimes ripped) curtain of my life and 5 ways I sabotage my own day.

I check my phone during sleepless nights (and first thing in the morning)

Despite my wise mother and her tips, if I wake at 3am and can’t get back to sleep, instead of working on getting rid of my worries, I usually find myself scrolling through social media - not the best way to lull myself back to sleep.

Oh and despite having better habits in the past, I also start reading my phone as soon as I wake up in the morning...

I drink too much coffee

I have always prided myself on being a 'one coffee a day kinda gal' - sure, I definitely need that one coffee, but it’s manageable.

I work in a great area full of amazing cafes, but instead of buying one coffee on the way to work, I usually try and save money by making one at work. But then, by mid-morning, I fancy a break so go and buy one and then… usually after lunch I’m ready for another.

I know three coffees is not crazy but it’s triple where I used to be.

Maybe if I stop checking my phone at 3am I won’t be so tempted by the three coffees?!

I get distracted all day by email and chat

Sound familiar?

Some days are managed better than others but, in all honesty, whenever I start a task, I’m suddenly preoccupied by chats from coworkers or random emails from clients.

To state the obvious, this leads to barely focusing on a task longer than 10 minutes and then ending the day wondering what I’ve achieved.

Yes, communication is huge in a workplace but so is actually getting some work done.

Now that I’ve confessed this, I’m really going to work on it again.

I rarely stretch after exercise

My amazing trainer has always tried to instil stretching into my routine - and, although I want to be flexible, spending time stretching somewhat goes against what I think is important health and fitness wise.

He tells me that the most important thing in your regime is stretching, then what you eat, then working out.

He encourages me to stretch for at least 15-30 minutes a day (oh and lie on a foam roller 15 minutes a day too...) but, despite my best intentions, I usually pick a gym workout over stretching, promising myself I’ll do a big stretch at the end.

Instead I stretch for about 5 minutes and am out the door…

I know it’s going to help with my crunched-up office worker body and be particularly beneficial long term but I just do not prioritise it.

Any tips on how to prioritise stretching readers?

I eat when I’m not hungry

As I mentioned in this post, I have come a long way with intuitive eating and avoiding the lure of diets.

Most of the time I listen to my body, but for some reason after dinner, while doing some work or watching some TV, I’m still in the habit of looking for a snack.

I know my body doesn’t feel its best when I eat just before bed but I still find myself heading for the pantry for something to do.

My new strategy is to grab a tea, which usually helps, but heading for food is definitely a default mode for me.

What do you think of my sabotaging ways? How do you sabotage yourself day to day?

 

June Recap and July Intentions

Well June has come and gone and it felt like a swift one! We had a long weekend here in Australia which involved an annual winery jaunt, but after that I decided to hit the health and fitness trail, only to be struck down by a stomach bug in the last week of the month.

So a tumultuous month, that’s for sure! But how did I go with last month’s intentions?

June Recap

Keep the juggle calm

A stomach bug will keep you very calm. I’m not the greatest patient so relinquishing control and spending a few days in bed was tough but needed.

It’s good to remind ourselves that it’s ok to lose momentum and ditch routine, and you will often feel more grateful for your day-to-day when you return.

I have a lot of catch ups planned in the next month so although I’m trying to space them out to avoid any franticness, I’m also grateful I have lots of people to spend time with.

Do a financial review

Ok, so there was one Asos haul…Although I enjoyed my life changing magic of tidying up clean out, it has left me with only a couple of winter jacket options so I needed to top up a little. Needed being the operative word!

Other than that, I’m staying calm around money, paying down debt at a steady rate, and trying not to splurge on weekends. It’s working so far!

July intentions

Seek out winter warmers

The number of winters we get to experience won’t be endless so July will be about embracing the chill and the activities that come with that.

With our Healesville weekend coming up, there will be roast dinners, red wine and fireplaces in my future.

I’m also spending my weekday mornings enjoying coffee while looking over grey skies, and that’s helping ground me in winter too.

Put first things first

If you’ve read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, you’ll be familiar with this principle. Prioritising important things to me like study and blogging will be a focus in July.

If I don’t break things down into smaller to-do lists I can feel overwhelmed and end up doing absolutely nothing towards my goals, so I’m going back to basics and will plan out what I want to do each week in July.

How’s your June been? Any fun plans coming up for July? Let me know below!

 

3 Steps To Managing A Stressful Work Day

When was your last work meltdown? Unfortunately the occasional stressful day at work is pretty much unavoidable.

With so many modes of contact, numerous meetings, deadlines and interruptions, it’s a wonder we’re keeping it together at all in the workplace.

A few weeks back I arrived at work and within half an hour was already feeling quite stressed. Emails were pouring in, people were dropping by my desk and our internal chat tool was going into overdrive.

So what did I do?

I stepped away from my desk

When you’re drowning, it can seem counter intuitive to drop everything and walk away. But this is by far the best tactic when you're feeling overwhelmed at work.

Go to the bathroom, grab a glass of water, or walk to the cafe and pick up a coffee.

This will immediately create space in your mind (I usually remember an important forgotten task during these times) and give you perspective. On this particular day, sipping a glass of water in the kitchen reminded me to go back to my desk and then...

I made a brand new to-do list

I realised I was likely stressed as I had not quantified where I was at and had not planned my day properly.

If you do no planning, you’re easily caught up in minutiae and distracted by interruptions.

You turn back to your desk after each interruption and wonder ‘where was I?’.

Once I wrote down what needed doing, I could drop the ‘crazy busy’ act and realise that yes, I had lots to do, but it was going to be manageable.

I did however have to recognise that maybe it wasn’t all going to be managed and completed today.

This meant I needed to regroup and then...

I used the Pomodoro technique (AKA you can’t do everything today)

I’m not completely strict with the Pomodoro technique but I take on its high level ideas.

The concept is that we all have peaks and troughs during the day and we can’t expect ourselves to work at 100% capacity, 100% of the time.

The Pomodoro technique quantifies this as 25 minutes of work on one task followed by a 3-5 minute break (preferably away from your desk).

I’m also looking forward to getting a copy of Alex Ikonn, Mimi Ikonn and UJ Ramdas’ new Productivity Planner. The planner looks great and advises you to only pick 3-5 important tasks for the day and structure the work day around completing those in the short Pomodoro bursts.

The idea that you’ll only complete 3 tasks in a day may scare people at first but, in reality, your time is best spent ‘single tasking’ these important items, rather than multi tasking small, less important tasks and basically only keeping your head above water.  

What do you do when you’re overwhelmed by stress at work? Let me know in the comments below and share this post if you think it will help others.

Where I'm At: Interview Series - Kristyn from Creative with Kristyn

Welcome to the next interview in the series, 'Where I'm At'. It's a voyeuristic, yet helpful look into the lives of women who are finding where the light plays within them.

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Their daily rituals, ways of managing stress and advice to you, the readers, are captured in these interviews.

In May, we have the lovely Kristyn Fedich from Creative With Kristyn. Kristyn is a teacher, author, blogger, Tone It Up lover and yogi who lives on the east coast of America.

One of the best things about these interviews is I get to reach out to inspiring women, who I know will help you ladies with your day to day lives.

Kristyn is super positive, full of great quotes, relaxing lifestyle ideas and hilarious recommendations for yoga-related fiction books (I am very tempted to unwind with the Downward Dog Mysteries series…). Kristyn was very pregnant when I interviewed her and she gave birth to a little girl just a few days ago. Congrats Kristyn! 

What is your usual wake up time?

My usual wake up time is 5:15am. Being on spring break and maternity leave has left lots more wiggle room for me, so now I’m trying to get more sleep and usually get out of bed around 6:15/6:30am.

What is your morning ritual?

Mornings are my favourite. I love starting my mornings with hot water with lemon. I do enjoy my coffee in the morning (right now I’m doing decaf with being pregnant), but starting out with hot water with lemon really makes my insides feel good! While I am waking up, I sip my water and get some reading in.

Afterwards, I also like to check in on my Stop, Breathe, Think meditation app (Ed: I recently started using this and it's my favourite meditation app thus far!) and see what the Spirit Junkie app message is for the day. I get a morning workout in as well!

Tell us about your commute.

My commute is super short. :) It’s only 25 minutes to work on back roads. I like to listen to Spotify playlists on the way to work or call my mum on her way to work too.

Do you like to plan your day ahead or allow some spontaneity?

I do like to know what is going on that day (I’m very type A) but don’t mind spontaneity and adventure either. It’s the spice of life.

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How do you spend your ideal lunch break to recharge for the afternoon?

Being a teacher, you don’t really go out for lunch or do anything different. You usually have lunch in the teachers’ room with other staff members. It’s nice to chat with them.

Being on spring break and maternity leave now, I like to enjoy my lunch outside on the deck when the weather is nice and just eat slowly and take in life before our new arrival comes!

What kind of workout schedule do you adhere to?

I am a huge yogi. I miss my heated vinyasa practice so much and cannot wait to get back into it after my pregnancy. I follow the Tone It Up lifestyle and plan, so I do get a morning workout in to rev up my system, and also an afternoon workout. My workouts aren’t as intense as they usually are, but once I am cleared to work out after baby arrives, it will be back to the grind! I love a good sweat!

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How do you like to end your day?

I like to end the day with reading and tea. My husband and I like to relax on the couch with some TV programs we’ve recorded. I like to read in bed and that helps get me more tired if I’m not already there.

What time do you doze off?

Right now, I’m dozing off between 9/9:30pm. If I’m really wired, it may take until 10/10:30. I’m not going to sugar coat the fact that I like to get crawling into bed between 8:30 and 9 right now to read. I love sleeping and it is so important! I have to get my sleep in now while I can before our baby arrives. :)

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What do you aspire to every day but never / rarely actually do? (you can tell me, we all have them!)

Not gossip! I tell myself I won’t do it, and then inevitably it happens and I get sucked into a conversation that includes gossiping. I’m working on it. :)

Any advice for women trying to find ease in their every day?

Breathe. Just breathe. Breathe in the positive, exhale the negative. Breathe in peace and love, exhale fear and hate. Take time for yourself. It’s so important. A consistent yoga practice changed my life and view of the world. Breathe and try some yoga.

Finally, can you give my readers your quick go-to recipe after a busy day?

I love having a coffee shop treat after a busy day! It really brings a smile to my face (not as much so when I’m doing decaf, but still!).

This is my recipe for an iced mocha with almond milk…much cheaper than grabbing one at the local coffee place. Put that extra cash in a special “just for you” jar!

Thanks Kristyn, and good luck with the new baby!

You can find her at:

Website - www.creativewithkristyn.com

Pinterest - www.pinterest.com/kristynjoruns

Instagram - www.instagram.com/kristynjoruns

Twitter - www.twitter.com/kristynjoruns

Light Links: April

 
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How was your April? Mine was a great one - work has been busy but fulfilling, I've had some balanced weekends catching up with family and good friends, and life with Pickles the kitten is always sweet.

Grab a cup of your favourite coffee, tea or wine and enjoy some of my favourite links this month. And do let me know which one strikes a chord with you in the comments below.

See you in May! 

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We're starting off with something to bring ease to your weeknights: three easy, fresh and tasty pasta dishes. Sending this to the husband now. Hint hint...

Working too hard? Ok, who isn't really? I'm not guilty of all of these points, but holy moly numbers 3 and 4 stuck out to me.

I think I've always known I'm an HSP (highly sensitive person). Here's why we need rituals

You ladies know I'm now living the pared back life in my wardrobe (and yes, I promise there are more posts to come like that!). Here's some more realistic tips on building a minimalist wardrobe

Do you read Cupcakes and Cashmere? Her blog is massive, but she seems really down to earth. I'm always into behind the scenes posts - here's one on the tech and apps Emily uses day to day.

I could pretty much recommend every episode of the podcast The Lively Show, but this one stood out to me because of the bravery and honesty around, I'm sure, a fairly taboo topic. An interesting story about dealing with painful sex