Guess Who’s Back? An Update

It’s been months since I last wrote a blog post and so much has happened in that time,  I have had a few weeks away from work with an unidentified sickness which was thought to be Coronavirus (this was pre-testing) which then developed into a 4 week, 2 lots of antibiotics, battle with a chest infection.  On top of that, I have had to take further time off from work as I had been in contact with someone who started to show Covid symptoms to shield my co-workers and make sure I was not unwell.  All of this and the uncertainty of the past few months in general have really knocked me off kilter with my routines and writing which has meant that blogging has been pretty hard to keep up with.

Though I have not been blogging I have still been writing, Iwrote an article for an on-line magazine called The Everyday that you can find here https://theeverydaymagazine.co.uk/opinion/working-from-home-before-and-after-covid?rq=suzi%20tench and I have written another article for them that should be published at some point in September.

I started the 100 Day Project(https://www.the100dayproject.org/), a free art project lasting 100 days, which started on 7th April 2020, where you aim to do something creative each day for 100 days.  I started with the good intensions of being able to complete the 100 days but gave up around 20 days because I just felt so unmotivated to do any art.  I had started with an idea to work on an 8×8 inch square each day that would link together with other squares to form a bigger picture.  In all honesty, though I really enjoyed what I was doing, I think I was overly ambitious in the sizing of my squares that took more than a day to complete.  I think I will do the project again next year with the same concept but use much smaller squares of either 4×4 inch or 2×2 inch as they will be quicker to complete.

I found a fab group on Facebook called Frock Up Friday thatwas set up by Susan Sims and Bevali Francis during lockdown and gave members an excuse to get dressed up on Fridays when much of the world was working from home in comfortable clothes.  I joined and have taken part in frocking up on several Fridays during lockdown, which has helped me with my mental health during these uncertain times and has given me something to look forward to each week.  The Frock Up Friday group are lovely and the outfit’s people post, not just on a Friday, are amazing!

The biggest thing that happened just prior and during lockdown was that I gained a new boyfriend who has moved in with me!  I say new, though we grew up together, his sister and I were best friends through secondary school and her family became like my second family when growing up.  We have been in contact much of our adult live, mostly via social media, and decided to meet for a drink one evening and didn’tstop talking all night.  It has been lovely to have someone in my life who has known me through the years and has shared memories of things we did as kids.  A few months ago, we made the decision to move in together, he gave notice on the place he had been living in and moved in with me.

Since Rob and I got together and lockdown has eased, we have been away several times for the weekend, once we went to St David’s for the weekend to visit his mum and other weekends we have stayed in Brean walking along the beach, going out for dinner, having a mosey around the market or playing games in the arcades.  We have spent nights in during the week, watching tv, cooking food, having takeaways, listening to music and enjoying the odd glass of cider or wine.  When it was really hot, back in July, we bought a large paddling pool that we put in the garden, filled with water and sat out in the evenings watching the sun go down and the stars come out.  All this stuff, things that people take for granted in relationships, I didn’t realise I missed until I had it back in my life.

Anyway, that’s enough of the soppy stuff…  What have you all been up to while I have been away?  I hope you are all well and safe!  Hopefully, this post will be the start of more regular blog posts coming from me as I have really missed my blog, blog friends ad my blogging routine!

Top 10 Habits to Make Life Easier

Top 10 Habbits To Make Life Easier

I don’t know about you, but I am always on the lookout for any tip, trick or help that can make my day to day life much easier and today, I have compiled a Top 10 list of Habits that I have learned which really do help me to have an easier life!

  • Always carry a pen and notebook.  You never know when you may have an idea or thought that could be useful.  It could be an idea for a meal to cook, a present to buy, an item to add to a shopping list, something you need to do, whenever you think of something, it is always a good idea to write it down.
  • Always go shopping with a list.  Shopping with a list is a definite for me, I can focus on what I need, only buying the essentials which in turn leads to saving money by not buying anything unnecessary and saves me time and energy!  My brain does not need to do all the thinking and remembering and decision making and my shopping experiences are a lot less stressful.
  • Always prepare your lunch the evening before, especially when you are working or have daytime commitments.  This simple act can free up some of your precious morning time and is one less thing to have to think about when getting ready.
  • Always plan your outfit the night before.  This is another simple habit to get into, you can assess your outfit and make sure it is clean and tidy, you have time to iron it if needed or make a repair.  There is nothing worse than putting on an outfit to find that the hem has come down or a button is missing and then having to rush around to fix it or find something else suitable to wear in the morning.
  • Always have a plan and know what your agenda for the day is.  This tip has probably been the most useful and life-changing for me.  Even on my days off, I like to have a plan of what I am going to do with my time and helps me to remain productive and tick things off my list.  I like to plan my day the night before so I am prepared and know what I will have to do the following day.
  • Always prioritise.  It doesn’t matter if you have few tasks or many, prioritising can help you to get the important or hardest, or most time-consuming things done and out of the way first.  Prioritising and working your way down the list can help to free up headspace that would otherwise be consumed with worry and thinking about other tasks rather than the task in front of you.  However you prioritise is up to you, there is no right or wrong way but it does help!
  • Practice Mindfulness.  I have been practising mindfulness for a few years now, and while I may not sit for an hour, clear my head and meditate, I find that smaller bursts of around 5 minutes, in a hectic day can really help to sharpen my mind and help me to concentrate.  If you have never tried mindfulness before there are lots of apps that can help you, Calm is one of my favourites!
  • Always aim to be 5 minutes early.  I received this little tip from my Careers  Advisor in school and it has really stuck with me.  I hate to be late, there is so much stress and worry created by being late, worry about letting people down, that people are waiting for you, the rushing to get there, all sorts of negative things.  Being early means that you have time to sit and breathe, practice some mindfulness and arrive in a calm manner.  It also means that if there are hold-ups along your journey then you have time to make adjustments to your plans and still be punctual.
  • Know when you are most productive and utilise it in your day to day life.  I am most productive from mid-morning to the mid-afternoon so I try to plan the bulk of my work at that time.  I prioritise the biggest chunk of my to-do list for that time, concentrating on the smaller tasks in the morning and the ones that take up the most of my time for between 11am and 2pm.  Knowing when you are most productive means you can schedule and prioritise better, you are less likely to procrastinate and knowing and utilising your productivity to its best gives you a sense of positivity.
  • Always schedule breaks.  It doesn’t matter how busy you are, breaks are essential as they can help us to decompress after one activity and clear out head before making a start on the next.  A break can be as simple as making a coffee or going for a short walk.  This break makes it easier to transition from one thing to another and is essential in my life.

What little habits do you have that make your life easier?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and tips in the comments!