January

After making the decision to not set myself unrealistic goals and targets for 2018, I’ve been feeling like a bit of a spectator of everyone else’s goal setting!

January can be tough. Beardie and I started a tradition a few years back of having a break mid-January to celebrate the anniversary of when we met and to have a rest and something to look forward to in this long grey month. So last weekend we spent a few days in Grasmere enjoying beautiful views and lots of warm hearty food.

At the beginning of January my Instagram feed seemed to be fairly evenly split between those who were jumping head first into the new year – exercising, dieting, setting work and life goals and those who were crawling into the new year feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated and unwell.

For me the first couple of weeks were definitely a crawl. I came down with Pityriasis just before Christmas, which meant I had a few weeks of very little sleep and generally feeling a bit crappy.

Now that we’ve had a lovely relaxing break and I have (mostly) recovered from Pityriasis, I’m feeling ready for 2018!

Although I’m trying to plan less this year, I’m really missing having goals to motivate myself – so rather than goals I am working on ‘habits’. I find it difficult to get started with a habit, but once I’m in the habit of doing something and can feel the benefits than it’s much easier to keep up.

So I’ve made myself a habit tracker (it’s not pretty so I won’t show you…but eventually I’ll do something pretty like this) and I’m working on getting into a routine with things I think will make me healthier and happier.

They’re all things which I’ve been doing sporadically for a while, but I want to become part of my everyday routine – such as ten minutes of meditation, arm and wrist exercises to ease my RSI and switching on flight mode at 10pm. Hopefully when I get into the habit of doing these things everyday (or at least every week-day) then they will just become part of my normal routine and won’t feel like a chore.

I hope you’re surviving January! x

A Little Rest

20160605_151300.jpgThis time last year I wrote a blog about having a holiday from my phone. I absolutely love my job – but I still need a bit of downtime now and then!

This year more than ever I’ve been feeling the need to get away. I love working at home and I have a little office I can close the door on which helps me to keep a good work/life balance. But with Beardie also working at home a lot while he finishes his MSC, home has very much become a place of work. I’ve been escaping into the garden more and more – but a few nights in a glamping pod with our own little area of woodland was just what we needed!

I didn’t intend to take a full phone holiday this time – but Norfolk had different ideas and a lack of reception meant I was off the radar for a few days! I did however have a rest from knitting/crochet to help my achy wrists and thumbs recover a bit. I’ve been meaning to have a weekend off knitting for ages but that’s difficult because I love it so much! A mini-holiday was the perfect opportunity for a rest.

So we walked, talked, read, cycled, ate (a lot), made fire in our chiminea, pootled around walled gardens and met sheep, pheasants, deer and ducklings!

We also discovered the finest collection of beach huts I’ve ever seen at Wells-next-the-sea!

I’m feeling lovely and rested and looking forward to seeing some of you at Woolfest soon! x

Staycation

It was my boyfriend’s birthday this week, and rather than buying or making something, I decided to arrange a few days out. It was also more realistic than making something – because I still haven’t finished his Christmas present from last year!

On day one we visited the Woburn Safari Park. It was great, but the weather was absolutely miserable! It called for a woolly hat and cagoule combo. I didn’t take many pictures because it was difficult to see through the car windows in the rain, and when we did the foot safari I didn’t want my camera to get wet. The lions were all sheltering under a huge tree and the elephants had rolled in lots of mud (apparently that’s their version of putting a coat on). I’d love to go back on a sunny day!

On day two we went to Stamford and walked around Burghley House gardens. We also had a potter around town and admired all the teal doors and lovely door knockers, before retreating to a cafe when it started to rain.

We saved the most active day until last as the weather looked better for Wednesday. We hired bikes and cycled 17 miles around Rutland Water. I’ve done it before, but that was back when I used to cycle on a daily basis – so it was a bit more difficult this time! We got the hills out of the way first and were rewarded with some gorgeous sunshine, friendly sheep and nice flat paths for the final bit of the ride.

Have you had some good days out this summer?

Phone Holiday

I started June with a little holiday to Cornwall, and decided to challenge myself to a whole week without my mobile phone!

We had typical English weather, which justified my reasons for packing 5 pairs of shoes. The first few days were a bit windy and cold – but sunny! So we enjoyed some time on the beach and had a paddle. By the last day it was warmer but I was wearing my woolly hat to keep the rain off!

Part of the reason I wanted to have a holiday from my phone was because it is my work phone as well as my personal mobile. One of the lovely things about my job is that it often doesn’t feel like work and everything sort of merges together! I enjoy browsing Pinterest and Instagram for pleasure as well as work, and I often spend the day ‘work knitting’ then start ‘selfish knitting’ as soon as I clock off.

The difficulty with this is knowing when to/how to switch off from work. When work is enjoyable perhaps it’s not necessary to switch off completely? Because there is no line for me to draw between work and play – switching off my phone felt like a trigger to tell my mind it was time to switch off.

The other reason I wanted a phone holiday was because I’m a little bit addicted to it! I’m constantly checking social media and emails and I’m incapable of watching a film without looking on IMDB. whenever I have a conversation about something I’m unsure about, I feel the need to google it immediately. I’m sure I’m not alone in this, and although I think it’s fantastic to have all this information and entertainment at our fingertips, I also think it’s important to look up from the phone and just enjoy the moment.

Well – I didn’t manage a full week but I did pretty well!  My boyfriend had his phone on in case there were any cat related emergencies back home – so we weren’t isolated. After five days I switched my phone back on for a while just in case I had any urgent emails etc, and then it stayed off until we arrived home a few days later.

A week in Cornwall with lots of walking, reading and knitting is pretty calming anyway – but I think the phone holiday has left me feeling super relaxed and recharged. From now on I’m planning to have one day a week where I switch off my phone (or maybe I’ll just leave it in another room for a while!)