31 July 2013

On The Tube

I love when things like this happen:





Everywhere is a good place to party.



10 Tips For Having a Better Day

We all have crap days. Well, maybe not Sir Richard Branson. But everyone else definitely. Having a hard day doesn't mean that you have to keep having a hard day though, so I've made a list of some of my favourite ways to de-stress, perk up, and not kick anyone up their backend to do it.
Sir Richard definitely *not* having a bad day.


1. Remember that every day has an end. Whatever's eating you isn't going to gnaw on you for the next seven years, even if it feels like it might.

2. Treats. Possibly the most undervalued way to brighten up a murky day is to treat yourself to something you like. Small somethings are particularly good, like a chocolate bar or a biscuit. I love a food related treat, but if you don't, try quietly playing a song that makes you feel good, or having lunch outdoors if it's a sunny day. Giving yourself a little something special- even if it's just grabbing a nice glass of wine at home - is a good way to salvage an otherwise bad day.

3. Exercise. Feeling like you just want to scream/break things/attack the printer with a Louieville Slugger? Get up and move. Walk down the corridor, stretch your arms and roll your neck and shoulders. Skip if there's no one around to see you. Moving your body will make you feel alive again, and is a great way to get rid of some pent up energy.

4. Laugh. Take a minute and look up that silly youtube video of the cats or the talking babies. Have a giggle. Even if it's something you've seen before, find something that you always find amusing and have a bit of chuckle over it.

5. Fortress of Solitude. Go into a quiet place where there aren't many people and breathe in the silence. Put your feelings to the back of your mind and simply take in the quiet. Even if the only place you can find to be alone is a loo stall, get in there and get yourself some quiet time. Hold your nose if you have to.
I freaking WISH I worked here. Peace and quiet and books: can you say perfect?

6. Phone an ally. Call up a friend, sibling, parent or partner who makes you feel good. Find someone who will have time to listen quietly, so that you can get the rant off your chest. Don't talk too long- you don't want to work yourself up, and make sure that the other party understands that you don't want them to offer advise or argue with you, you just want them to listen.

7. Pledge. Make a big, soapbox pledge to yourself that you will NOT allow any nonsense to spoil your otherwise brilliant mood. Refuse to internalise the crapload of suckerism that is coming from whomever your glorious self is unfortunately forced to be polite to and determine that tomorrow you shall emerge renewed like the great, beautiful, sexy thing you are. Grudges are beneath you.

8. Plan your dinner. You'd be surprised at how calming it is to do something domestic and ordinary like planning your dinner. Come up with a recipe you want to have a go at, try to remember what's been squirreled away in the back of the fridge/freezer that you might fancy, and get all posh about it if you like. It's peaceful.
You know, I don't think I want anything with this.

9. Do your job. I always feel better- regardless of what's happened during the day- when I know I've been productive. When you feel like your day is going poorly, block out the distractions, get your head down, and focus on being the amazingly productive, efficient, good-at-what-you-do person that you know you are. At the end of the day, you can look back and say: "You know what,  I still got loads done today- who cares if so-and-so was a bit of a git?"

10. Be nice. Find someone- anyone- and simply be nice to them. Compliment someone on their shoes or outfit, tell a friend how amazing they are, or remind a colleague of what a good job they did on the last project. Being kind to someone else always brings a little something special to my day, no matter how much of a crappy one I've been having. You never know, it could be just the little pick-me-up both of you need.


25 July 2013

Viva Jamaica!

I'm back! At last, with an update for HM!

And boy what a good one it is: I can still feel the breeze coming off the waves after my very first trip to Jamaica.



It was amazing, beautiful, rich, lush, and glorious. I feel so very lucky. To make the best time even better, I got to wear my entire summer wardrobe - a thing I had forgotten thanks to the rather unpleasant weather we'd been having in London- up until I left of course.

Anyway, I'm a nice chocolatey toasty brown courtesy of my new tan, sporting rope twists courtesy of a little round Jamaican lady and just under five hours in her care, and feeling ready for just about anything.

Fuzzeh! But it's me anyway. 

Which is good really, because the 'anything' that I feel ready for is threefold: moving house, getting a full-time job, and figuring out what to do if the latter is not going to turn up for another four months. Being a recent graduate is tough these days, and being one fresh off the best holiday ever is even tougher. I've been lured into a false sense of security.

Still, I saw what life is like outside of the welfare state, because there's no handy benefits in Jamaica. People get by any way that they can, and the word 'struggle' just doesn't seem to do it justice. It left me feeling a complicated mixture of guilt, remorse, and determination.

If they can work hard then so can I. I've had my rest, and it was a good one, and now I'm ready to get back to work.