Monday, 4 February 2019

Forget what everyone else is doing: Focus on you!

Too often in life, we can find ourselves observing other people and conclude that what they are doing is in some way better than what we are doing.

This is something that can occur anywhere and at any time. Perhaps you find yourself comparing your grades to your peers, or comparing a sporting achievement with someone else. Maybe you look at what your friend is wearing and feel green with envy or wish you could earn as much money as your co-worker. This type of comparison can leave us feeling negative and deflated and may even lead us to question our own lives.

A good place of example which can leave us feeling inferior, is social media. People often paint an image of a perfect life, sharing beautiful pictures of themselves, their friends and amazing places they’ve visited (me included).  But this isn’t their whole reality! The truth is, sometimes we have moments and indeed whole days where nothing seems to go right and we’re left feeling miserable. These are the things that we aren’t so quick to share online.

Ultimately, It is irrelevant what anyone else is doing in life. It’s up to you to create your own narrative and not waste time comparing.

So remember, the only person you can compare yourself to in life is you!

Friday, 21 December 2018

Create a Calm Space

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been over a year since my last blog post! And a lot has happened in this time. I am now a mum to a beautiful little boy and my life has become somewhat preoccupied with this wonderful little being. I’m over joyed yet exhausted but ready to start sharing some positive thoughts and suggestions with you all again.

I want to share a very simple idea today and that is to try and create a calm space at home. This could be your desk (if you work from home like me) or a corner of a room where you enjoy a leisure activity such as reading or sewing. Ultimately somewhere you can go to and feel relaxed. For me personally, I love a tidy, de-cluttered space, it gives me peace of mind and genuinely helps me work better. And when you simply want to relax, you are able to do this more easily in a place which feels calming.

So why not look around your home and create somewhere that’s calming for you.

Friday, 8 September 2017

How To Create a Positive Morning

Mornings! That part of the day many of us dread; the realisation that we have to get up even if we don’t want to and get ready to go to work. But it doesn’t have to be this way! In fact, with a few simple steps you can free yourself of any negative thoughts that present themselves in the morning, here’s how:

1-Prepare the night before!

Choose your outfit, pack your bag and make your lunch the night before, this will save time and effort and keep you calm as well.

2-Tidy up the night before!

I really dislike walking in to a kitchen where the previous day’s washing up is still sitting there on the side. It makes me feel irritable, so I always try to ensure that the washing up is done the night before so that when I walk in to the kitchen, I am greeted with a clean and welcoming space. I know it’s not always possible, but it’s a ten-minute task that can really help the morning routine.

3-Read a positive affirmation or quote

You can find positive quotes everywhere; in books, magazines, online or even better, make one up. It doesn’t have to be long, here are some of my own examples:

‘smile often’
‘Keep believing’
‘PMA (positive mental attitude, although you all knew that one didn’t you!).

4-Don’t check in with the world first thing

Do you really need to check social media or work emails as soon as you wake up?.....really? If you honestly feel this will be too difficult, see if you can wait at least 15-20 minutes before you start checking in.

5-Don’t immerse yourself with too much news

I know we all love to know what’s going on (myself included), but when we listen to the news, watch it on TV or read about it, it won’t be too long before we’re absorbing something very negative. I’m not suggesting you turn your back on the news, just reconsider how quickly you connect with it during your day.

6-Try silence at breakfast

No conversation, no radio, just enjoy the peace and quiet before a day full of moments to chat and listen to the world around you.

7-Have a mindful shower

You most probably won’t have time to have a long shower, but try and be mindful as you shower, focus on how the water feels when it touches your body, what’s the temperature like, what’s the water pressure like? Nothing complex here, just a simple opportunity to observe.

8-Don’t fear the day ahead

Even if your day looks daunting (maybe you have a meeting with your boss, maybe you have a presentation or a deadline to meet), try and not look forward to the day ending because you would have just wished a whole day of your life by! We’ll all experience days that won’t be so good, but there are always good moments within every day, you just have to find them.

9-Smile at someone

Go on, I dare you! As you walk down the street, make eye contact with someone and smile, most the time you’ll get a smile back and if you get anything else back, laugh about it!

10-If something goes wrong it’s not the end of the world

Okay, your train is delayed or even worse cancelled, you’ve laddered your tights or got caught in the rain-as much as these situations suck, you have a choice to how you’re going to react to it. Transport is completely out of our control so if you’re going to be late, don’t panic, it happens. If you get caught in the rain, well at least we get rain and it’s better than being sunburnt! And if you ladder your tights or lose a button, well you can replace these items so it’s really not the end of the world.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my blog post and even if you just manage to implement one of my points, I hope you feel the benefits! Enjoy your morning, remember you only have seven each week!

Friday, 21 July 2017

Don't Try To Change People

Have you ever spent time with someone and thought; ‘you could be so much better if you just……’ let me help you fill in the dots: Shave more, straighten your hair, get up earlier, eat healthier, work out more, not wear odd socks etc etc. I bet at some point in your life you have thought this or even verbalised it to someone. Are you doing it now? Well I have to hold my hands up and admit I’m guilty of this! I tell my husband at least once a week to moisturise his face. His response every time is ‘leave me alone babe’. As he rightly points out, humans have survived perfectly well for 100s of years without any of the skin products we have today.  Suggesting that he should moisturise his face results in annoying him (because I’m telling him what to do) and in turn annoying me (because he won’t do it)!

I’ve noticed that when you spend less time observing and analysing other people and just letting them be (i.e. loving them just the way they are), you feel happier! Now I can’t promise that at some point in the future I won’t suggest that my husband should do something this way or that, but I am making more of an effort to hold back. Imagine if the roles were reversed and someone kept telling you what to do, I bet it would become annoying and could also make you feel rather sad.

Next time you’re tempted to try and change someone, think twice! Does it really need to be said? Does it really matter? Will it make that big a difference to your life? Instead, try saying thank you to that person and focus on all the wonderful things they do in their life and in yours.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Charlie's Tips for Increased Productivity

It is very easy to get distracted in today’s fast moving world. Many of us find it hard to be separated from our electronic friends (me included) and with what seems like an infinite amount of external stimuli all around us it can be very challenging to stay focused.

So today I would like to share with you some of my top tips for increasing your productivity levels:

1-Start the morning with a ‘thank you’. Most of us will wake up each morning in a comfy bed and this in itself is a privilege. Think of all the things you do in the morning which make for an easy start to the day-hot water for a shower, food to eat, electricity…these are obvious things we take for granted, imagine a morning without them.

2-Get your emails and social media fix out the way! After ‘connecting’ with the cyber world and responding to the ‘urgent’ messages in your inbox, try turning your wifi off and limit yourself to specific times during the day when you turn it back on. How important is it to be online all the time? Not to mention distracting!

3-‘Quality not Quantity’. Remember it’s not how long you work for, it is what you achieve within that time. Avoid working hours on end, you often lose your productivity and energy levels working this way, choose instead to work in short bursts making sure you take regular breaks. I like to stretch my legs and swing my arms around but if you fancy something a little more discreet just turn away from your computer screen or find a quiet place to gather your thoughts for a few moments.

4-Recharge your ‘mental’ batteries. By simply taking a few deep breaths and observing the physical process involved, we bring our awareness inwards and learn to reconnect with ourselves. There’s a reason why people tell you to ‘take a deep breath’ perhaps when you’re anxious, or angry because it really does calm you down.

5-Make time for some physical activity. Take a walk, go for a run, have sex! Release your happy hormones and reap the benefits.

6-Drink plenty of water. This is perhaps the thing that keeps me most productive during the day. Staying hydrated is an essential part of living so don’t forget to do it! I always make sure I have a glass of water by my desk when I’m working or if I’m on the go I will always carry a water flask with me. Next time you feel that headache kicking in around 3pm, it could simply be that you’ve forgotten to have a drink of water in the last couple of hours.

I hope you’ve found my blog post useful, do feel free to leave a comment or subscribe!

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Do You Make Time For You?

I’ve heard many people use the phrase ‘I don’t have time to do this’, or ‘I don’t have time to do that’. In the busy world we live in today, I can understand why people might think they don’t have time, but ultimately time can be made. Like anything in our lives, having time for something or someone is a decision that we can choose to make.

When was the last time you declared you didn’t have time? How did it make you feel? Perhaps you felt you were too busy at work to have dinner with your friends, or you were too busy with family matters to attend your social hobby.

Deciding to make time for yourself is just as important as investing time in others. Maybe you are one of these people who feel guilty for taking a bit of time out….well don’t! See it as a necessary part of your life to feeling happier. You don’t need to fly to the Caribbean for a two-week holiday! Perhaps a massage or drinks with a friend is all you need.

Invest more time in you and enjoy the ‘feel good factor’ you receive from doing this.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Tune In To Your Strengths

Happy New Year everyone! It’s not too late to wish you a HNY is it? I mean there are 11 months left afterall!

At this time of year many of us spend a lot of time looking at the year ahead. We focus on our goals and our aims, what we want to accomplish and achieve and what areas we want to improve on. We often feel very excited at our list of goals but the excitement can dissipate as the year moves on and we realise that some of these goals are not being realised. I think we spend too much time focusing on what we want to improve on and not enough time acknowledging what we’re already good at. If we spent more time looking inwards and observing our strengths, we would feel better and could end up achieving more. 

Imagine yourself as a radio- you have a choice to tune in to whatever station takes your fancy. Next time you find yourself listening to 'how you can improve', retune the station and listen to 'all the things you’re already good at.'

Enjoy your day, enjoy your week but most of all enjoy who you are and all the wonderful strengths within you that make you so unique and awesome!