Here’s Your Winter Pep Talk in 9 Quick Bursts

I’m writing this post just before I watch the latest release of Blue Planet II. I just can’t get enough of nature..

A quick back-story: Last weekend, we headed off for a quick two-day break in Highclere. Truth be told, I didn’t know what to expect but a short half-hour drive later, we were surrounded by greenery tinged with the kiss of autumn. Our place for the weekend overlooked a lovely stretch of field, complete with chickens (cute!), and the area itself surrounds you with beautiful scenery and churches. Every so often, you find yourself driving under a beautiful arrangement of trees either side of you drawing in together, almost forming a roof of green, red and brown. It’s scenic, it’s the only way I will ever accept winter and I’d go back again just for that.

So now for that pep talk..

  1. For you, not for the ‘gram | For a lot of us, it’s become second nature to grab our phones when we want to share an experience. But not everything beautiful needs to be hurriedly uploaded to Snapchat or Instagram. We’ve almost forgotten how not to! Here’s to being present in the moment, keeping it for ourselves and keeping it sacred.
  2. Stillness ≠ stagnant | Take a moment to be still. Stillness does not equate to stagnancy, and it’s often actually crucial for personal and professional growth. A break can give you much-needed clarity, renewed perspective and rejuvenated resolve.
  3. Roll with the seasons | Perhaps you’re a summer soul like me, but take a minute; I promise you’ll find some element of beauty in every season. This too applies to the highs and lows we face as individuals. There is beauty in this moment – if it’s struggle, the beauty is in the contrast because tomorrow you’ll feel elated when you overcome it. And you will overcome it.
  4. Dive into the unknown | Take opportunities. Take calculated risks. Sometimes we must face things head-on with no idea of what to expect, and the outcome? Whatever it is, it’s always invaluable experience. And nothing can replace good ol’ experience. (N.B. I had to refrain from using the term ‘character building’ – it’s stuck in my head because it’s something Mr ZSDQ’s boss says all the time, and I truly despise it. Character building. Shudder.)
  5. Break away | Nothing extravagant needed, but do something to break off from the noise of everyday life at least once a month. We can easily become stuck in routine, accustomed to stress and bustle, and it happens too fast for us to realise. Life is for living, so book a weekend off and breathe the free air.
  6. Mental health is wealth | Mental wellbeing is central to a happy fulfilled lifestyle, and thankfully it’s becoming more understood that self-care plays a vital role in this. Make time for things which make you feel whole, and you’ll find peace and productivity in other aspects of life.
  7. Good company, good times | Surround yourself with good people. The fact is undeniable; genuine and uplifting company naturally impacts you as a person and influences your day-to-day choices. Plus, no adventure is complete without companionship. I wouldn’t have dared venture into The Chase on my own, we went in pretty deep at one point..
  8. Embrace the unexpected | We live in an age where it’s easy to Google anything on-the-go. It’s almost like a security measure we take to prevent being thrown into something we’re unsure of (or to suss out how long the film is that my siblings insist we watch). But sometimes it’s okay to try things out without the safety net. Try a new skill, explore a new space, be spontaneous. You may just discover something.
  9. Simplicity deserves your focus | Improving our states and lifestyles takes a succession of simple steps, which contribute to the bigger picture. I think we often forget this. Changing your diet? Try a new recipe. Feeling low? Take a walk. Stressed at work? Use a journal to manage the madness. Walking through woodlands in Highclere, the complex ‘simplicity’ of nature made me realise how much we overwhelm ourselves, and how little we trust the process. This year I’ve really learned to scale back and take things step by simple step – and my stress levels are thanking me for it.

That’s enough from me for now. Anyone reading this will think I actually have my life together.. Off I go to watch Blue Planet II!

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