London is one of the best cities in the world to live in and I’m reminded on a daily basis how lucky I am to have so much on my doorstep. But in exchange for the culture, the beauty and ALL the food, you have to cope with a bit more pressure (or the have the skill to be completely oblivious to it!). Pressure to be doing all the fun stuff, pressure to be eating all the good stuff, pressure to be seeing the best culture and pressure to be doing better at work to pay for it all.
Last Friday I had a mini meltdown. I left the office feeling deflated and I just let all of the things bothering me for the last few weeks wash over me like a tidal wave. I had pretty much lost perspective of what was really important. I woke up on Saturday feeling grumpy and it took me until the afternoon, sitting in a coffee shop on my own to figure out how I’d got myself into such a terrible mood and frame of mind.
It was simple. I’d started the year feeling motivated and upbeat, gradually over a few weeks I began feeling frustrated that I still hadn’t properly got started on things, I was fretting over a year’s worth of plans that felt like they’d landed in my bank balance at once, work was chaotic and it all felt a bit overwhelming. A serious bout of the January blues perhaps?
Well, just in case, I decided that the best way to make sure I don’t get into quite the same state later in the year was to write down a few thoughts about how I might keep things in perspective, here’s what I came up with.
K E E P I N G T H I N G S I N P E R S P E C T I V E
Remember that you don’t have to go far or spend money to enjoy yourself or have blog-able content. Few people spend all weekend, every weekend out and about doing things in the city and life admin happens to us all. You can make brunch at home, bake a cake, learn how to use your camera, read a book, pick up a colouring book or go for a walk. Blog readers might even like something more relaxed too.
Escape the city. Not necessarily for the weekend or to somewhere you’ve not been to before, but to spend a day at your friend’s house or an afternoon with someone in your family. Just take the day out of London. (I’ve done this twice so far and spending a day with your best friends is THE best.)
Focus on doing the things that will add value well instead of doing lots of things at once that in the long run don’t. You don’t need to be a master of all things to be happy or successful.
Deal with one thing at a time. You don’t need to frantically google everything, book planes, trains and hotels for a year’s worth of plans. Deal with the things that need your attention now first. One. Thing. At. A. Time.
Remind yourself that things take time. You can’t always solve a problem overnight, achieve a dream in a day, reach a goal within a month. You don’t have to be the top of your career game in your early 30s.
Focus on what you’re doing and not what everyone else is doing. We’re all on our own journey. (I feel like I’ve stolen that one from someone recently, hmmm, or maybe it was inspired by this post by Emma Gannon?!)
Life is one long lesson. Sometimes you might get things a bit wrong but that’s OK, learn the lesson and try to move on.
Let. It. Out. Don’t worry about venting things and don’t be sorry for sharing a problem. It’s better for it to be out than bottled up within.
Switch off. Put the phone away for an evening. Zip it in a pocket for the day. Focus on being happy.
Make time for yourself. Have a bath. Light the expensive scented candle you might not be able to replace. Listen to music (after losing my headphones a few months ago, I totally forgot how upbeat music improves my mood). Don’t feel guilty about 9pm weeknight treats.
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This might be terribly obvious but sometimes you just need a reminder of what you know is already true, right?
How do you try to keeping things in perspective?