Life has been very busy. And continues to be so. I have four exams coming up and one essay to write and started a new job… and I feel the stress! In the meantime my husband marked over 300 GCSE papers, is doing a PhD and works three jobs (or was it four? I keep losing track). Oh, and we are also part of a church plant, trying to maintain our house in relatively acceptable state and to cook dinner every night. Don’t get me wrong – this state of business is a blessing in many ways because it means financial stability and a lot of it is things that we want to do – but oh boy, it has been a bit much lately.
That is why things have been fairly quiet around here and they probably will stay quiet until the fall when I am done with all my exams.
More rest, less overwhelm
This quite stressful season has made me think a lot about rest. I am currently reading the gospel of Luke and it struck me how often Jesus withdraws to be alone to pray. There were massive crowds who all wanted a piece of him and there was a great urgency to his mission but still he prioritised time seeking the presence of God his father.
I think sometimes I take myself to seriously and get so wrapped up in whatever I am doing that I forget the bigger picture and that ultimately, God is in control. So, these past few days I have been really conscious about taking time to rest, to get my head out of my books to take a breath and then return with more energy and motivation. I thought it might be inspiring or helpful to you, to learn what the things are that help me recharge and stay sane.
Here it goes:
Edd and I bought our very first car last week (exciting!!) and I have loved to be able to do big shops (rather than going all the time always just buying as much as I can carry). The car has a CD player and one of the 5 CDs I still own is “Dead & Born & Grown ” by The Staves. Their music just has this peaceful but also fierce vibe. It is hard to describe. But somehow it makes me feel calm but also energised. It is difficult to pick a favourite as the whole album is amazing but I really like ‘Mexico’:
As mentioned above I am currently reading through Luke. I would be lying if I said that I manage to open my Bible every single day, but most days I read a small passage and it makes such a difference. I have started using this book, called ‘Search the Scriptures’ by Alan Stibbs and it gives 2 to 3 questions for reflection about the passage and they are really good impulses to think deeper and apply the text to my own life.
Starting the day with exercise makes me feel a lot more level headed. I found this lady on youtube, her channel name is “Fightmaster Yoga” (apparently Fightmaster is her real last name – how cool is that?!) and she does these really great yoga practices that are just the right balance between challenging and relaxing. I never was motivated to exercise as soon as I woke up, but a lot of her videos are just 15 – 20 minutes long and I really enjoy doing them.
As you might know, I sometimes struggle to calm down in the evenings and fall asleep. I have discovered that it is not great for me to go straight from my desk to bed. Kind of randomly I came across this macramé tutorial to make your own planthanger and I gave it a go and it was so quick and easy and so I just made some knots for 10 minutes each evening before heading to bed and now I have this beautiful plant hanger. I feel like there will be many more to come…
Lunch breaks + reading.
It is tempting to just take my lunch to my desk and continue with my work but I found it so valuable to just sit in silence whilst eating or to read a blog post or article. My dear friend Eleanor has just started a blog and I have loved reading it. You should check it out here.
Looking at our garden. My husband has become obsessed with gardening and I LOVE it. Look at this picture of our front garden. We get so many butterflies as well and just standing there for five minutes makes me very happy.
I always try to cut back on caffeine (most times not very successfully). I now still have coffee in the mornings but tend to make myself a big pot of herbal tea in the afternoon instead of drinking more americanos. Definitely helps with my nerves!
What do you do to de-stress when life gets super busy?
Two more things:
- my friend Helene is running a course called “Instagram for success”. She is a very successful blogger and instagrammer and she runs an amazing course where she shares a lot of tips, resources and insights how to grow your Instagram organically (in a fun and relaxed way) and how to even earn money from it. I have taken her course and it has taught me so much. There are tutorials on taking and editing pictures with all kinds of different software, how to use hashtags, how to connect with brands, how to find your unique style, etc. You can sign up for the course until the 26th of July. I would highly recommend it for all those of you who are seeking to expand your influence on social media or who are looking for an extra source of income. Click here to find out more!
- I just did a one week plastic tally challenge, where I kept track of all the single-use plastic I used over the course of one week. You might have seen my posts about it on Instagram. I intend to write a full blog post about it once I have a bit more time, so stay tuned for that. I am still posting on Instagram almost everyday so you should follow me over there to stay in touch. Also, you can sign up to my email newsletter to get notified about when I am back for good and back to a more regular posting schedule.