WHERE TO LOOK FOR INSPIRATION WHEN YOU'RE LACKING IT
In the wake of a dizzyingly busy December backing onto two family Christmases and followed by a week on the Méribel slopes with a 25-strong group (après allows for no sleep) it’s no understatement that my body has been craving a long yearned-for switch off. So much so that this weekend we returned from skiing and I slept for close to 36 hours straight; only, as Olly put it, waking up for food. I’ve never found it easy to sleep in the day but this was a real case of time to listen to your body.
Now in our first week back in London it’s failed to get warm/light enough to not rely on cranking up the heating every other hour and switching all the lights on at midday. Once the fifth load of post-holiday washing was away and our home started to not resemble a laundrette any longer, instead of knuckling down to the emails I decided to rearrange all the furniture in my office. Needless to say I've been struggling to get into the groove of a normal pace of life in the aftermath.
It’s not lost on me that this is a familiar tale come January. Tiredness kicks in, purse-strings are tightened and subsequently inspiration and general life enthusiasm wanes.
I recently saw a brilliant cartoon of a woman made haggard by her unachievable goal list: attempting to excel at work, maintain a social life, drink enough water, exercise, text everyone back, stay sane and be happy. Instead of beating myself up about not fulfilling my full potential each day I intend to take January for what it is and reap the benefits of a cosier, quieter time: lots of reading (anything and everything), boxsetting and home-making. Of course the satisfaction of achieving something is fundamental to happiness too and so I'm also hosting the occasional low-key dinner party to try and up my non-existent cooking skills. Oh and I got a keyboard for Christmas – how lovely to receive a toy again after so many years AND it was the biggest present under the tree – and am hoping to re-teach myself something from my former piano-playing years.
When lack of inspiration strikes, it’s hard to remember the simplest of places to look for that pick-me-up. Below are a few of mine:
Sometimes a timeout and removing your mind from a situation is the perfect remedy for clearing headspace. Returning to your desk a few hours later could tell a whole new story.
Take a walk
To somewhere you don’t go everyday or you’ll quickly shift to autopilot. I find hearing and seeing different things can often be enough to unlock the mind and I end up writing endless notes in my phone as I stroll.
I’m currently loving How I Built This with Guy Raz. The Air b n b, Kate Spade, Virgin and Bumble episodes in particular had me hooked. I'm always keen to hear other recommendations too so do let me know in the comments section below.
There’s a reason I worked in mags for five years and going back to basics and leafing through the pages on the newest Vogue can be a thought provoker and a therapeutic treat.
We’re lucky to have a wealth of inspiration right at our fingertips. Both Pinterest and Instagram are brimming with ideas. A lot has been written about the negative impact social platforms can have on mental health and it’s key to remember these images are a highlights reel of real life, a split second in time. But if you put the FOMO aside and use these covetable clothes, places and events as a driver to go out and get those things yourself the story could be very different. It could be as simple as running yourself an Instagram-worthy bubble bath lined with candles and settling down with your book or iPad.
And as a side note: Be good to yourself
I've got some friends who are great at this and some who aren't so good. Instead of depriving yourself of alcohol, treats and general great stuff you enjoy over the festive season and summertime, January should be a time to treat yourself even better than usual to help keep moral in tact. I’ve smugly saved up a Cowshed voucher from my birthday in June and can’t wait to check in for some decadent no-reason-for-it pampering.
I recently read a New Year mantra of fellow blogger Monica Beatrice – she aims to follow a simple framework of Health, Home and Hustle, in that order. This really rang true with me. Laying the foundations is fundamental to giving yourself a chance of avoiding burnout. An important message to newbies looking to get a foot on the career ladder too – I’d love to rewind and tell this to my 21 year old self.
Images via Pinterest.