FINALLY September is here, August was great but beyond exhausting and, as much as I love the freedom of the school holidays, the structure and routine of the last 4 months of the year are needed.
Oh so bloody needed.
In the spirit of new months (September has always felt more of a fresh start to me than January ever does) and new beginnings, I’ve figured out 20 ways to fall right back into love with your life. Just in case you need them.
1: Pay attention. Our lives are made of patterns, routines and expectations. When you’re noticing that you’re unhappy with the way things are going in certain areas of your life, your relationship, your job, your diet, have a look at what you’re doing to cause that, and change it. Someone famous (I think) once said, you’re not a tree, if you don’t like where you are, move.
2: Ask for help. I am beyond useless at this, and almost always end up at the end of my tether ready to cry, shout, rampage or, worse, all three. People like to be relied on, they like to help. Ask them, you’ll be surprised at who will be willing to support you.
3: Embrace changes. 2017 – the year of hell for me, but it bought about so many changes that I will always be grateful for. Always. If things hadn’t changed, things wouldn’t have changed. Pretty damn simple huh.
4: Put your phone down. Yup. I am sick of looking at everyone in my house and seeing the tops of their heads. I’m sure they all feel the same as me. It’s Scroll Free September – where you put your phone away for a varying amount of time. I was going to go cold turkey, delete all the time consuming, mind numbing, inferiority causing apps, but I was too chicken. Instead I’m not allowing myself to check them during the hours of 8am and 8pm. Let’s see how I get on with that. Thinking about all the things I miss in the real world because I’m looking at someone else’s pimped up reality is a real kick in the teeth.
5: Listen more than you speak. Too many of us (me included) listen to answer rather than listen to hear. How often have you started to form your response in your mind before the other person has even stopped speaking? I mean, we’re talented, but we can’t listen completely and think of an answer at the same time, one of those things will get less attention, and, being the self centred lot that us humans are, I can pretty much guarantee it’ll be the thing that requires your ears that gets ignored.
6: Don’t believe the hype. Gah, this one is still my Achilles heel. No matter how much I *know* (and I do, I really, really do) that no one’s life is perfect, that social media only shows the side that has been curated, approved and checked more times than people care to mention, it’s so easy to believe that everyone (but you) has it all. Fancy holidays, money coming out of their ears despite no apparent job – it’s not real. It’s time to ditch the jealousy and realise that you can’t compare your real life to someone else’s best bits.
7: Get outside. Those days when you feel like laying in front of the TV eating crap and feeling sorry for yourself, those are the days you need to get outside more than ever. It doesn’t need to be heart racing, calorie burning exercise. It needs to be fresh air, a change of scenery, getting out of your own head. Move.
8: Be proud. It’s so easy to get caught up in the whole “What if….” game but that changes absolutely nothing, it will make your mood worse though! Don’t let past mistakes or cock ups drag you down, be proud of what you’ve been through or achieved and how it’s shaped who you are today.
9: Don’t overthink it. The biggest problem we all have is over thinking everything. We can’t change the past, we can’t control the future. I read somewhere that all we have is right now. Do you, in this very second have a problem? If the answer is no, then don’t worry. I’m not sure how easy that is to do, but it’s definitely worth a shot, because I’m the kind of woman who will worry about what’s going to happen next Thursday if I don’t do what I should do on Friday…… See where that’s got me? Nowhere. With a headache.
10: Gratitude. I’ve been writing a daily gratitude list for most of this year. More often than not, the things I’m grateful for aren’t big, massive things. They’re things like holding hands, T reversing the car onto the drive for me, falling asleep cuddling, unexpected text messages, just small things that make the whole day feel better. If you’re not grateful for the small things you have, how will you ever be grateful for the bigger ones?
11: Walk. Wherever you can. Whenever you can.
12: Visit the beach. Scientifically, the beach is full of negative ions which enhance the immune system, purify the blood and balance the nervous system which means you’ll sleep better and feel better. I prefer the beach when it’s windy and grey, it feels magical, powerful and bloody refreshing, like it’s sweeping all the stress away and starting you new again.
13: Help people. Ya know, the feel good factor. Doing something for someone else for no reason other than to make THEM feel good. Not because it gives you a big tick on your imaginary behaviour chart.
14: Compliment a stranger. Try and do 1 a day for a whole week. Bet you’ll feel good after. How fancy do you feel when someone you’ve never met before says they love your dress, your hair or your shoes? Or that you have really well behaved kids (on a day where they’ve driven you insane and you’re wondering what you’ve done wrong in the parenting world) yup. Works for other people too.
15: Don’t worry what people think about you. It’s none of your business. If you like yourself, then who cares what someone else thinks? Their opinion doesn’t make a fact.
16: Stick to the facts. When I get stressed about one thing, I will go off on a complete tangent about something else. If my journey home was an hour longer than it should have been, and then I realise we’ve run out of milk when I get home – it’s all downhill from there. “No one does anything around here but me, it’s not just me who drinks the bloody milk, you didn’t make the bed this morning, why can none of you hoover…..” and so on. Actually, the traffic thing pissed me off. The rest of it is just added drama due to my unstable mood swings. Joke.
17: Drink the water.
18: Make time to be alone. The world is a noisy place, there is always something that needs doing, someone that needs something. But none of it needs to be done all of the time. I haven’t had more than 5 hours to myself since the middle of July, and those pissy 5 hours include my travel time to work and back. I love my little family with every single ounce of my body and soul, but if I don’t get some time to myself soon, I will turn inside out and eat their brains for breakfast.
19: Love. Love is just, without sounding cheesy, magical. Whether you love another human, several humans, animals (pets, I’m talking about pets) plants, your friends, peace and quiet, constant noise, days out, days at home, summer, winter, whatever it is, love it like you’re going to lose it. And for god sake, appreciate how lucky you really are.
20: Whatever you’re doing, just do that. Multi tasking might have it’s place in the office or while you’re trying to parent more than one child, but if you can, just do one thing at a time and do it well.