Happy New Year to you and your lovely families! I do hope you had a restful break and a raring to get back into routine! I had the usual over indulgent Christmas with copious amounts of sleep and films, seeing in the new year heavily dosed on home made honey and lemon. So getting back into routine super slowly, I am looking at the year ahead, what does 2019 have in store for us all?
This blog is a little different from my interior focused ramblings, mainly because I want to talk about the trends facing our lifestyle so its not just about pretty things for a change. As Christmas feels like a distant memory, media bombards you with messages of fitness, detox and meeting resolutions. For some it can only be a bit too much too soon. As I said I have consciously decided to ease into January as much as my body and mind will allow.
I am a firm believer of creating a lifestyle that works for you, this means of course that there is no “one size fits all” solution on how to live your life. Obvious I know, yet how many of us succumb to the buyasmuchasyoucan at Christmas followed by loseasmuchasyoucan in January. When you look at it as simplistically as that it seems pretty daft. So why not craft your own life in the way that works best for you and your family?
If you look at all the current trends from afar, you will realise everything is pointing towards going back to the grass roots of life. Technology has become so consuming of our time and our minds, we have become completely detached from the natural world. What this means is that we crave for nature, whether it is a walk in the woods or a stroll on the beach. Of course once we get that through the holiday you have been looking forward to all month or all year, you immediately feel relaxed and never want to come home. Sound familiar?
So how can we bring this feeling into our daily lives so that we don’t feel like we want to get away from it all every day of the year? Here are my top tips from my personal experience:
Take 10 minutes to switch off every day
This sounds easy but in reality it is pretty tough. I tried meditating and found that despite trying my hardest to switch off and focus, my mind was flicking through my endless to do list. If you can meditate brilliant, do it daily even for a short period and you will find yourself much more focused and relaxed in your daily activities. If you cant meditate don’t worry, find another way to switch off. I personally do it in different ways, sometimes with a cup of tea once the kids have gone to school, a glass of wine once the kids have gone to bed, a long hot shower or a soak in the tub with my favourite essential oils. Like I said this doesn’t need to be prescriptive, do what works for you, the only constant being, you consciously take time out every day take a few deep breaths and clear your mind completely.
Incorporate Nature in your daily life.
Walk to work, take a short cut through the park, we are really lucky that there are an abundance of parks in Ealing so one is always just a short walk away. If you cant do this, anything to get some air into your lungs will immediately give you a lift.
Add some real plants into your interiors, not only do they purify the air and help your wellbeing they look great too! If you need some ideas of what to get, you may find this blog I wrote a little while ago useful (read here).
Use natural materials in your interiors cotton, linen, hemp, jute all are beautiful tactile materials that are eco friendly and natural. They will feel luxurious while helping create a calming nuturing atmosphere.
Cut down on processed foods.
This ones a toughy and one that I am struggling the most with. I would definitely not recommend trying to go cold turkey on this, as you need to make it sustainable. To give you a couple of examples of simple swaps or “amendments”, I have cut down to one tea a day. This is because I cant drink my tea without 2 spoons of sugar, reducing my tea intake automatically cuts down the amount of sugar I consume and as long as I get my morning wake up cup, is not too difficult a change to make. When I feel the need for a hot drink, I have hot water with a slice of lemon or a herbal infusion instead. Check out these teas I came across and abolutely love! (here) If you are interested is learning more about making food from scratch and making educated swaps, I would also recommend reading Meeras blog. It really helped me think twice about what I eat! I love pasta, so another swap I have made is to make all my own sauces and pesto. The smell of homemade pest is just heavenly!
4. Go Tech Free
Impossible I hear you cry and I hear you, it is virtually impossible in our increasingly Smart homes and offices to switch off completely. The key here is again, to be conscious of the time you are spending in front of a screen. I have a 2 hour limit per day for my kids but find that I spend a lot longer in front of the screen myself. Granted this is mainly because of work, constantly replying to emails and messages and the occasional (ahem) gander on Instagram and Facebook. There are numerous apps to track your online time, you will find restricting yourself to say one hour of Instagram a day will help you become a lot more productive and reduce your screen time. Yes this is most definitely a note to myself! Hey its a work in progress!
5. Do what you love!
I am so blessed to have a job that I love, but I have decided to do more of things I have been missing out on since starting the business . Playing more board games (we played for hours every day over Christmas!) but have decided to do “board game Sundays” rather than watching hours of TV. I am also going to try and spend more time with friends that make me laugh. Those friends that give you an immediate injection of happiness does wonders for the soul. Whatever it is, even if it is spending time on our own, with your partner or with your family. Make the decision to do more of what make you happy. Life is just too short to be down!
However you spend your forthcoming year, I hope you will continue to support me and my growing business. I am so grateful for every like, comment and share you help me with. No small business is possible without the support of people like you. So thank you from the bottom of my heart!