I’m attempting to make steps to calm my life down, and stop long enough to enjoy what I have.
So far this year I’ve been to 14 countries, which has been incredible and brilliant and I’m in no way complaining. I’m just saying, it’s been exhausting. With every super fun trip I’ve been on, there’s all the planning and plotting, and then work in writing, photographing and making videos during and afterwards.
Last year I bought this lovely little house in Southsea – the best place in England. Feels like I’ve barely been there this year.
I miss it.
So far in 2018
Boracay, Bohol and Siargao, Philippines
Edinburgh & Dumfries, Scotland
Yllas & Levi, Finland
Hamburg, St Petersburg, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, on the cruise
8 nights camping, Western Canada
I’ve also been living on a perpetual promise to myself that I’ll get healthy and get to the gym, yet, I give it a half hearted effort here and there, and don’t really get anywhere. Thanks to absolute pure indulgence in all 14 countries, + England, I’m almost a stone heavier than I was this time last year. Not feeling my best… it was fun though, and surely at least a pound or two is muscle from all that walking?
My brother’s wedding is in 10 weeks. There’s definitely enough time to make a difference before then.
Setting your daily intention
And so, now the summer is here and my schedule has calmed down a bitI literally have no excuses not to take some time to reset and design my days, and weeks how I want them to look.
Do you ever do that? Take time to think about what you’re doing, the bigger picture, even just for a few minutes?
I’ve often read that meditation and taking time to set your mind for the day after sleep, is the key to success but I’m not sure how much I believe in that. Or maybe I don’t want to believe because I’d rather stay in bed…
It’s a key idea in yoga though – setting your intention for the practice, and then for the day, so I’m trying to do it for the summer. I want to press the reset button on a few habits, and replace them with some better ones.
Pin me for later
My next trip, on Sunday, is to Antigua for a week. I’m joining the Fat Buddha Retreat at the Galley Bay Resort & Spa – a great start to my new life strategy. Very excited.
I’ve dabbled in yoga for years. I love the rejuvenation, the stretch, the Shavasana (where you just lie down while they encourage you to relax), and I love finding new ways in which my body can bend, and seeing how much more flexible I get after just a few classes.
Sometimes I do find yoga classes a bit slow though. I’ve paid £10 for classes before where you just sit and breathe, I wanna work and streeeetttttch.
– Backbends on Southsea Beach
The best yoga I’ve done was after SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas. I was feeling well chubs and unhealthy from all the eating and drinking, and again, needed to reset. I booked a week’s intro at a nearby yoga studio. Their yoga was intense, everyone came out sweating and they’d worked hard, to higher intensity music than the usual spa soundtrack yoga teachers seem to play.
In Chicago I joined a Beyonce yoga class where we did our moves to the sounds of her then, new album. Worked hard, loved it.
So, these Fat Buddha classes really appeal to me. Jessica Skye (@iamjessicaskyeon Instagram) set Fat Buddha up as a cool and vibrant alternative to the usual serene yoga we’re so used to seeing.
“Founded in 2013, we roam the globe with an ethos to provide a fun and accessible approach to yoga and wellness with no BS.
FBY has residencies around London at venues ranging from sunny rooftops, iconic nightclubs to luxury hotels. We host events, offer wellness in the workplace, we do retreats, surf trips, run clubs and also sell some dope tees and yoga mats.” – Jessica Skye
Jessica creates bespoke playlists for each practice, you can listen to her beats on SoundCloud here. This sounds exactly like the kind of yoga I’d like to practice.
I’m in for a week of sunrise and sunset yoga, massage, watersports and catamarans. It’s going to be LUSH.
I know, obviously, not everyone can take a week out to Antigua for a yoga retreat when they’re in need of a reset. Which is exactly why I need to make the most of this opportunity and use it as an incredible stepping stone to my health and fitness goals.
5 ways to reset
(without going to Antigua!)
1. Take some time for you
– I was comfy, ok… and then the cameras came
Give yourself some time by yourself. This can easily be included in your day – go for a walk at lunch time, enjoy the silence in the car, just lie on the floor with some calming music (great Spotify playlist for that here). Or give yourself some serious time and go on an adventure for the day / week / month.
Just be by yourself with your thoughts away from any tech, and people.
2. Find an activity to clear your mind
I find yoga so restorative. Once I’ve got up off my ass to do it, I love the buzz it gives you after the lesson. I’ve done YouTube videos for yoga for a long time. They’re free, you don’t have to pay to get anywhere and you can do them when you like.
My favourite yogi is Sadie Nardini – start with a video like this one.
Or try the videos by Jessica Skye, who I’m sure will soon be my favourite yogi.
3. Recall an activity you love
What were you like when you were a kid? Love to sing? Dance? Play sports?
Time to bring it all back. I loved to sing and dance, although I was far too self concious to do either. Now though, put those tunes on and you won’t shut me up. Get the subtitles up on the TV on the music vids, and go crazy. Dance around the house. Oh, let me Google that annoying phrase…
Sing like no one is listening.
Love like you’ve never been hurt.
Dance like nobody’s watching,
and live like it’s heaven on earth.
Yeah, do that.
Have fun doing what you love and take the time to enjoy it without worrying about opinions, responsibilities or what you look like. Do it for you.
4. Practice positive affirmations
– attempting a Dandasana in Costa Rica
I see and hear of way too many people who literally have everything they need, focusing on the things they want, but don’t have.
SPOILER: You can’t have it all.
And why would you want to? Always nice to aspire to something, and you’d only be bored if everything was perfect.
During your reset time, think about everything you do have, and how lucky you are.
There must be something.
5. Narrow down your focus
After Antigua I have 7 weeks in England – busy weekends, but no planes until August 31st. We will have lived half of 2018, with just under half to go. It’s time to think about what you and I want to focus on to get the most out of the year.
I know: health and work (and seeing friends and family more, but we’ll leave that for now).
I think it helps to narrow down either what really needs attention from you now, and what you want to improve on.
When I get back from Antigua I’m going to try out a new yoga studio in Southsea, one of those that offers an introductory month for cheap. I’m either going to sign up to some PT sessions – so I get better at using the gym equipment – or use the Kayla Itsines app which comes highly recommended from friends, and from reviewers. I want to feel fitter, and have the confidence to exercise outside in sunny Southsea.
With work, I’ve done so many sponsored trips abroad lately, but I want to start being creative with my locale, and practice my video and writing skills to share my love for my now hometown, and the rest of the coast. Also, there’s a lot to do in the back end of this blog, and I have so many ideas, I need to stop travelling so I can sit down and actually do them.
They’re my goals for the rest of the year, and I have steps and spreadsheets to help me achieve them. Seriously.
Pressing that reset button
I know I’m super lucky to have a week in Antigua as my time for a reset, but I think even an hour or so out, to think about where you want the second half of the year / your life, to go, can help in all areas of your life. I know what my priorities for the rest of the year are, and I now have the time to think about them and focus.
I hope I’ve given you a few ideas on how to step back and chill!
And if you want a headstart on the reset, I’ve got an exciting competition coming soon to win tickets to a yoga festival in sunny Hampshire. Stay tuned for updates!