With October already upon us, what a better time to recap the September that has passed. I can’t believe it’s nearing toward the end of the year!…
Sometimes you need to get away — from the traffic, skyscrapers and busy city life — and surround yourself with nature and stillness. And our trip to Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat was the perfect place for this….
In our busy lives, rest and sleep are two things we often neglect, so here are my tips on how to make sure you’re getting both of these essentials….
It’s already a week into August, but I thought it would be a good time to squeeze in my July Look Back….
I think as we grow older, we become more and more aware of the kind of people we should surround ourselves with. …
No one wants to feel alone — I think this is a fact, and a fear, shared by every single person on this planet….
Do The Things That Make You Happy.
It’s a simple statement, but it can be one of the hardest things to do in our chaotic, money-centric lives.
We often look back on our teenage years and think, how carefree those days were, how much free time we had to enjoy life, how filled with freedom and joy those day were. Our rose-coloured glasses hide the fact that this joviality was helped enormously by the fact that we lived at home, had no bills to pay, ate for free, had no commitments apart from school and occasional household chores, and we weren’t yet assailed with the expectations and pressures of adult life.
This is not to say adult life is not a happy life. But often our happiness is superseded by stress and strain that our work, family, friends and sometimes love demands. We all get caught up in being busy all the time and then wonder why we’re not enjoying ourselves like we used to. Sundays off remind us briefly of how easy and carefree life can be, but then Monday arrives and we roll out of bed with an ache to return to yesteryear.
I came across a great quote on Pinterest a few weeks ago that made an impression on me which lasted long after I closed my laptop. It was simply: ‘Stop the glorification of busy’. It struck such a cord with me, as I’m guilty of constantly feeling as though I have to be busy in order to be a normal, deserving person. But it’s bullshit and I realised this. I realised I don’t have to feel guilty for sleeping in on a Tuesday, or lying about a commitment I didn’t have so I could just be at home and rest. We deserve time out and we deserve to do the things that make us happy.
So I promised myself to start doing just this: do the things that make me happy. I wrote a list of all the little things that give me joy and peace and gratitude, and I promised myself to do one of these things at least once a day.
Some things on my list include: go to the markets and buy fresh flowers, go for a picnic in the park and stare at the clouds, paint my nails, do a face mask, write in my journal, embrace my boyfriend and tell him how much I love him.
The things that make us happy don’t have to be big, and oftentimes they aren’t. Something as small as taking the time out to sit in your favourite spot in the house and drink a cup of tea, or looking in the mirror and telling yourself that you are beautiful, can make a huge difference in our otherwise stressful and doubt-filled day.
So I really advise you to write your own list of things that make you happy and to make sure you put aside time in each day purely for you. Let’s all stop the glorification of busy, and let’s stop feeling guilty for taking time out to treat ourselves.
I’ve never been one for making devoted resolutions as each year comes to a close. To me, many of the resolutions we make are admissions of self-disparagement – that we’re not yet a good enough person the way we are now. We are all way, way too hard on ourselves every day of the year already, so why do we feel the need to assess our self-worth and prove our selves to others at the end of every year? We promise that next year we will get thinner, happier, read a book per week. But these wishes are often a result of over-comparing to others and leads to thinking we are inadequate, that we need to be improved.
You are a perfectly perfect version of yourself. If you – and I mean you, not the version of yourself when you compare yourself to your best friend – are not as happy as you feel you could be, or if your body or mind is telling you that it might be time to make some positive, healthy changes, then this is where positive change will come from.
This is not to say New Year’s Resolutions are bad or should be avoided. Some resolutions I understand and even silently make myself; “Do more things you love”, “Explore”, “Listen and be more open”, “Don’t be so hard on yourself, you don’t have to do it all”. But these are the things I try to remind myself on any day of the year – the desire to make positive changes doesn’t need to occur on one day in all of the 365 days of the year.
Most important of all, know that you are great humans. Be good and kind to yourself. If you make resolutions, be sure they come from a place of self-love, not hate.
All seriousness aside, I wish you all a Happy New Year and that the year to come brings you joy and laughter.
Much love, Juliette x
swim in the sea
get sand in your hair and in your ears
float in the water, feel your hair sway in the current
let the sun kiss your skin
open your book, let it get sandy, let salt water drop from your hair onto the words as you read
eat watermelon, let the juice run down your hands
sink your fingers and toes into the sand
feel the salt drying on your skin
share grateful words with the sea, your beloved, your friend
watch the sky grow into a blaze of fire, tangerine and lilac
drive home with the windows down
We felt the need to explore. To watch the city disappear from the rear-view mirror and to reconnect with our coastal roots. To immerse ourselves in pure nature. We weren’t escaping anything, nor were we looking for something. We just wanted to find and feel a sense of adventure. So we packed up the car with the bare necessities: a tent, warm clothes, food, bedding, books and cameras. We drove up north, with no plans on where we would stay. We stopped at National Parks in places which felt right. At first the spontaneity was unnerving, but it soon became comfortable. We still had our routine but it was stripped of its usual pressure and strain. After a few days of being right by the beach and subsequently right in the bush, I began to feel grounded and my mind wasn’t racing anymore. My mind felt clear, calm. I hadn’t realised how stressed and anxious I was until I gave my mind and body a break, gave myself the rest I needed. My boyfriend and I relished the time we spent together and we added more precious memories to our bank.
Coming back home was bittersweet. I loved how everything was the same. (And I can’t say that it wasn’t amazing to have a hot shower and to make a tea in under two minutes.) But everything was loud. Too loud. The sound of cars driving past, which I before never noticed, was now blaring to my ears. I missed the sound of the ebb and flow of waves, the glow of the fire embers, the sweet, salty smell of the sea, and the feeling of absolute stillness laced with the soft whoosh of wind through the trees. But I’m thankful to be home because that’s exactly what it is — my, our home. Road tripping and adventuring made me appreciate a lot of things. My life, my partner, my family, my friends, my health. I feel refreshed.
My point of sharing my adventure and my thoughts is to soothe anyone’s thoughts of ‘my life is boring’ or ‘I wish I wasn’t so ___ / I wish I were more ___’. These thoughts pervaded my mind before our trip, but by taking a week out and just getting away from everything and exploring, I realised the untruth of my negative thoughts.
I don’t exactly know what I’m trying to say. Maybe what I’m trying to say is that sometimes you should get away and immerse yourself in nature and adventure, that it will do you wonders. Or maybe the point of this is to tell you that the negative thoughts you might experience about your everyday life and your self is betraying how beautiful your life is, how lucky you are, and how good a person you are. What ever your interpretation, remember to not be too hard on yourself and take everything so seriously. Have yourself an adventure.
PS. All film photos were taken with a Zenit E.