Delight

I’ve started reading a book called Delight, by J. B. Priestley. And what a delight it is. Short chapters each focussing on something which brings the author delight. Fountains. Detective novels. Finishing a piece of work.

I love it because not only is it beautifully written and lovely insight into what makes another person tick, it makes me reflect on what brings me delight. And I think it’s one of the most important things we can try to do every day.

Delighting in the small things which can easily go unnoticed. The way the sunlight was reflecting off a building, giving a beautiful orangey glow. The sweet smile the street cleaner gave to me as I walked past this morning, as if we knew each other. My morning cup of tea in my favourite mug (at the moment, cream coloured with a fern leaf on it). Ever faithful, ever delicious, ever calming. The anticipation of family coming to visit me, and knowing that soon I can try to squeeze the life out of nieces with hugs.

When going through hard times, or just a particularly crappy day – trying to think of even one small good thing or delight in our lives can remind us that ‘this too shall pass’. Things won’t stay like this forever. Maybe the whole day wasn’t awful, for a brief moment there was also a spark of delight. And that counts for so much.

***

If you’d like to try a life coaching session with me,  you can contact me here for a chat.

Photo by David Monje on Unsplash

4 tips to manage your energy when working remotely

I’ve been working remotely for nearly 3 years now. Over that period of time I’ve done a mixture of working from home, setting up in a co-working space, and tapping away in cafes. Now that I’ve found a lovely new co-working space I mainly work from there.

If you are considering working remotely, or just getting started, here are 4 tips I rely on to make sure I feel at my best throughout the day.

1. Set up a routine (and get moving)

Some people are happy rolling out of bed in their pyjamas, turning on their laptop, sitting on the sofa and off they go. I am not that person. I need structure, routine, and I really need to move my body and get some fresh air before starting work.

So, I have a morning routine that includes meditation, yoga, then either a gym class or a walk in my local park. For the meditation, I use the Headspace app – I normally manage 10-15 mins. I use Youtube for the yoga – YogawithAdriene and SarahBethYoga, also 10-15 mins.

I love this routine. It allows me to wake up slowly, without rushing, and then get moving. At the gym there’s music, a few friendly faces to say hi to, the rush of endorphins. Especially when working from home, it feels good to be around other people first thing.

Then sat at my desk to start work, I feel energised and happy, ready to go. It’s the same if I walk in the park; I always listen to a podcast or music as I walk, which inspires me and puts me in a good mood.

2. Have a change of scene

I’ve also found that I’m best suited to a few different work locations in a day. Back when l started working from home all day, it got too much for me and by the afternoon I’d start to feel cut off from the world. I discovered that going to sit in a café for an hour or so was like a massive injection of energy; suddenly I was part of the world again, and I’d become super productive.

In the current coworking space, I work at a desk where I can stand or sit, and I’ll sometimes switch to a quiet meeting room, or the in-house café, depending on what I need. I really appreciate being able to change my position and my surroundings, depending on what I’m working on and my mood.

3. Take a proper lunch break

If you’re not in a traditional office set-up it can be easy to just keep on working… But it’s good to get away from your computer – ideally away from any screen, even better if you can take a walk outside… and drink lots of water!

4. Break between work and evening

I think it’s important to make a distinction between your working day and the evening.  My number one favourite thing to do after work is to go for a walk. As was the case when I worked in an office, it feels so good to get outside, move and leave work behind. Going for a walk does wonders for your energy levels and can help you to relax.

***

I hope some of these tips help or inspire you if you are new to working remotely or looking to change your routine.

If you are considering a change of direction in your career or life in general, feeling stuck, and struggling to work out what to do next, I can help you. Send me a message here and we can set up a chat about life coaching.

Photo by Emmanuel Kontokalos on Unsplash

How do you listen to your own voice, when others speak so loud?

It’s really difficult. You’re unsure what to do. You have a decision to make and you’re not clear on which direction to take. You have several options.

You want to talk to the people you are close to about this. You want to hear other people’s opinions, get their advice. Maybe they have more experience than you and therefore can offer you words of wisdom. It helps to talk things through, clarify your own thoughts by talking to others.

But, fundamentally, your own thoughts and opinion are what really matter. You know yourself best. Deep down you know what feels wrong or right, good or bad. You have a gut instinct, that perhaps you’ve been ignoring. You have intuition to guide you.

I remember reading a quote which is along the lines of “listen to the advice that helps you, ignore the advice that doesn’t.” You have to get good at not letting someone’s flippant comment niggle away at you. What do they know?

I sent a message telling some friends that I was quitting my job. One replied with a message saying “well done, if that’s what you really want.” I was mortified. Reading between the lines, she didn’t appear to agree with what I was doing. That stayed with me. Why – I don’t know. It’s not her life. It’s not what she’d choose to do. So what? It doesn’t mean it’s wrong or a bad decision.

Some time later, I sent her an interview which had been published about my career transition, and she was very supportive, saying she’d shown it to others to inspire them. Had she changed her mind? Or had I misunderstood her first message? It really doesn’t matter. What someone else thinks has no reflection on what I choose to do.

If you’ve got something on your mind, and you’ve shared your issue with those close to you, perhaps try adopting the “take only the advice that helps you” attitude. Anything that makes you feel bad, and is unfounded, let go of. However if there’s an inkling of truth in someone’s advice, and it makes you feel uncomfortable, is it something you need to address? Is there something you’re not facing up to? This can really be helpful in pushing you forwards, in making positive changes.

To book a coaching session with me, click here. We’ll talk things through, I’ll listen, together we’ll come up with a plan to get you where you want to be.

Photo by Frame Harirak on Unsplash

Things pass – a bit of perspective

Some days you just wake up feeling a bit anxious, a bit unexcited for the day. Nervous. Apprehensive. You know that chances are it’ll all be fine, it’ll be a nice day, normal. But there’s something you’ve got to do that makes you uncomfortable. That you’d rather not do. But you have to. And that paints a big cloud over your whole day. When, in actual fact, we’re probably talking about a 10 minute phone conversation. Or a 2 minute email exchange.

Then it’s dealt with – you know where you stand. And you probably feel better. Even if initially you’re disappointed or upset, before too long that emotion is in the past and you’re moving on. So to let it cloud over your whole day is a bit silly.

But, it’s not easy to see things like this. To rationalise. When we’re talking about feelings, well, an uncomfortable feeling can be hard to shift. And the thought nags at you, chipping away, ever present in your thoughts. You keep circling back to it. Going over the potential conversation or your potential response, editing it, adding to it, mulling over it. Obsessing over it.

It makes it so much bigger than it probably is. It doesn’t have to be this big of a deal. It’s a minuscule part of your life, let alone your day. It’s 10 minutes out of 24 hours. It’s 10 minutes out of 60 minutes. Before you know it, it’s done with, and you’re nearing the end of the day. Did  you waste it worrying? Or did you get on with enjoying it?

Did you seek out the good? The moments of peace, the moments of comfort, the moments of safety and security. The moments of knowing who you are and where you are in the world. The small pleasures. The sip of coffee. The first mouthful of dinner. The glimpse of sun. The freshness in the air. The smile from a stranger. The entertaining dog. The words of encouragement. Knowing someone is thinking about you.

Knowing that things pass. Problems, issues, emotions, time…it all passes. Nothing is forever. Things can change in the blink of an eye. Opportunities arise. Solutions present themselves. New ideas form. Perspectives shift. Feelings evolve. Memories form, and fade.

If you’d like to set up a coaching session with me, click here.

Photo by Nicholas Green on Unsplash

Overwhelm

I sometimes feel overwhelmed.

By the news and content I want to consume. By the news and content I don’t want to consume but somehow seem to be consuming.

By the podcasts I want to listen to.

By the books I want to read.

By the things I want to learn.

By obligations.

By the list of places in the world I want to visit.

By the desire to be a good friend. By wanting to be there for friends in need.

By feelings of tiredness.

By feelings of helplessness.

By feelings of loneliness.

By feelings of sadness.

By feelings of gratitude.

By a sense of too much to do and not enough time to do it.

By choices.

By the number of emails coming in on a daily basis.

By feeling as though I need to answer each email immediately in order to be doing a good job and ‘on top of things’.

By the amount of time I spend looking at a screen throughout a day.

By WhatsApp messages.

By the  conflict between the need to make social plans but also the desire to have time to do nothing or see how I feel on the day.

Here are some things I do when I start to feel overwhelmed:

I limit the number of times I check my WhatsApp messages (I don’t have the notifications on because it stresses me out). I put my phone in another room or in my bag so that it’s not within reaching distance. When I watch tv or a film at home – I move my phone out of reach. I limited myself to checking once an hour. Or once every half hour. Or once I’ve completed an email. Or once I’ve had breakfast and gone on a walk. Or not at all after 9pm.

I stop making  so many plans. I stop arranging things with friends or acquaintances. I start saying no thanks.

I read more. I go to bed an hour earlier than usual and just read – everything and anything I feel like reading and for as long as I like. I don’t check the time.

I take myself off for walks as much as possible. Long, short, ideally both within a day.

I resist making certain decisions – mainly when I feel a sense of obligation to see someone or reply to a message – giving myself time to process.

I write a sort of journal/diary in the evening before I sleep – everything and anything on my mind. Lists, ideas, plans, goals, feelings, stream of consciousness.

These things help – they give my mind a break. I start to feel less overwhelmed, less stressed, less pulled in various different directions.

***

I wrote this because I like reading things were the person seems to be feeling exactly the way I feel. Or where I recognise the feeling they are describing. It reminds me that we’re all the same, we’re not alone in our thoughts, we all have to find ways to accept or deal with certain feelings.

I hope reading this has helped in some way.

If you’d like to set up a coaching session with me, click here.

Photo by Justin Veenema on Unsplash