….but we are all fabulous.
Apart from not managing to find time to blog recently, another thing that sets me apart from many in the blogging community is that I have not yet explored many other blogs. I have of course got some that I follow, but I would like to explore the community more. I stumbled across one lifestyle blog in particular that inspired me recently by an English woman who lives and blogs in Paris: http://lou-in-paris.com/.
Lou’s blog is so cheery and warm and really gave me a lift when I found it. She includes some lovely pictures of Paris, reminding me how much I love it and promotes the benefit of tea and cake – balanced of course by healthy living. It made me realise that although I love writing the longer quite serious pieces in my blog, I need to supplement them with some shorter and lighter pieces too. The sorts of articles that you read and they put a spring in your step – energising you to try something new or just to power on with your day.
Picture of Notre Dame (by me!)
So as well as a shout out to Lou’s blog, I thought I’d mention a few other things I’ve found enjoyed recently:
When I need a quick escapist boost – a mental sorbet if you will between the courses of marking essays or other attention heavy activities, I sometimes take a quick peek at Apartment Therapy: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/. Seeing some wonderful loft apartment or clever small space ideas always perks me up.
Getting fit again
Runner’s World do one-off magazine books and I recently picked up their “Run Your Belly Off” book when I was in WH Smiths. It’s terrific – stories and pictures of real life people interspersed with a 12 week programme which you can tailor to your needs. I’m not a beginner but I have got seriously out of the habit so that the occasional run I do manage feels exhausting. I’ve decided to start with the basics again – building my stamina up and this book which has a chapter to read each week on nutrition etc. is just what I need.
I’m enjoying the free guided meditations on the UCLA website: http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22. You can download them via iTunes or listen to them on your computer. They last from 3 minutes if you’re very pressed for time to 19 minutes and the body scan for falling asleep is terrific. I have been recommending them to my students to promote wellbeing and I’m now trying to take my own medicine and remember to do them myself! As well as these, there are more substantial meditations on their weekly podcast page.
Other routes to mindfulness
Being mindful can be achieved through other activities than meditation – having abandoned piano lessons after a couple of years because practising became another ‘should’ in my life, my MIL-to-be has recently given me a book of easy to play waltzes. This is the music I enjoy playing the most and I have enough basic skills to be able to master these simple versions myself. Sitting down to teach yourself a new tune at your own pace is utterly absorbing and promotes being in the moment, as does learning to crochet! During a lovely visit to my Mum’s last weekend, she showed me some basics to get me going – it was amazing how the time passed and how I was so absorbed, I even delayed my evening glass of wine to carry on. Just as well it’s absorbing as I may need a little more practice (pics below of day 1 flower and day 2 flower).
Lastly, I am enjoying listening to Summertime Boy by Seasick Steve: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gq0PmDhkb4c and the video to Down on the Farm always brings a smile to my face: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPzlYsaJyKI