Top Ten Tips to Creating Zen in Your Life!

2012 was somewhat of a whirlwind of exciting escapades, laughter, uncertainty, plenty of afternoon tea and my first trip to Ibiza – it didn’t have a patch on the fun I had in 2011 I might add, however as with every year it came with its ups and downs. So far – without speaking too soon – 2013 has been very generous to me and I can see things much clearer than before. I’ve been inspired by various different little stars; including friends, family, blogs, quotes, travel and books and am well and truly on the way to carving a future I am excited to live in.

But for now I wanted to share a few tips that have helped me keep on more of an even keel over the last few months – and by this I don’t mean dull things down because lets face it, there’s no fun in boring, but there are always lessons to be learned in creating for ourselves a balanced, healthy & happy lifestyle among the chaos and obstacles life throws our way.

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Organisation is key

I find it the best place to start as it will help you gain control of your space, time and life. Start with the small things like clearing out your purse or wardrobe, then up it a bit with your car and home – these are the every day aspects that could potentially be causing those pesky little stress lines. Once you are feeling more zen and in control, try tackling your scheduling and time management – not only will you benefit from this but the people around you who are also affected will too. Write daily to do list’s and try to be on time for engagements – distance yourself from that extra ten minutes you always think you have, it will only betray you by making you arrive late, hot and frazzled. None of this will happen overnight so be prepared to put in a little leg work and discipline and you’ll soon start to notice a calmer more composed you!

Find time for pampering and small pleasures

By pampering I don’t mean head down to your local Champneys for a spa day – although if such luxuries are a possibility be my guest! Now I’ve been lucky enough to visit two very different, very luxury spa’s this year; one in Mallorca and the other in Switzerland (blog posts to come), and have really learned the importance of down time and looking after yourself. Even just by having a night in, hot bath, manicure & pedicure and home-made facial, accompanied by a fluffy dressing gown and a delicious glass of red, you’ll be well on the way to chilled-out! Making time for your grooming rituals, healthy eating habits, a sprinkling of retail therapy, hobbies and exercising are also imperative aspects to a stress-free aura – I have found yoga a great release and helps to calm my state of mind after a busy day, while a new set of pretty lingerie makes me feel good inside and out.

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Work hard, play hard

Don’t be one of those ‘married to their job’ types, it’s neither healthy nor fun! It’s all about balancing out the love of the job with your personal life by going to the gym, meeting girly friends for a brief chin wag and a sip of wine at the end of the day, or it’s even amazing what a good book can do. Then come the weekend you can really go all out and actively enjoy a Sunday outing, or a favourite-movie marathon curled up on the sofa. That way you will switch off at all the right times and will be even more pro-active and productive during the working week. I always try to take at least 20 minutes of ‘me time’ at lunch to gather and refresh myself – it usually comes with a little help from the Mail online gossip pages, style.com or hunting for a new afternoon tea to try out… but whatever works for you.

Embrace the positive’s and remove the negative’s

There will always be negative elements in daily life that we have to contend with and we have to do our best to keep them from bringing us down. I have that little problem of being fiercely loyal, going out of my way for friends and always try to see the good in people, even when they aren’t really that good at all – and can in fact be nasty and quite frankly very draining. Make sure you surround yourself with those who encourage and uplift you, and remove that person who secretly wants you to fail or will tell you you look ‘amazing’ when really you know you don’t, just so they can feel better about themselves – it’s ok to let them go, guilt-free!

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Don’t feel bad saying ‘no thanks’

My biggest problem in life up until now has been that I was always too scared to say no when I didn’t want to or couldn’t do something and would tire myself with worry about how to get things done or not upset someone by saying no to partaking in something I knew I wouldn’t enjoy. I have now learned not to feel guilty about putting myself first sometimes and not entering into things that don’t really interest me or add much pleasure to my life. Although don’t forget, it’s always good to step outside of your bubble and say yes every now and again – you never know, you may enjoy it!

Learn to let go

Don’t harbour grudges. They will only eat away at you over time causing you more grief than the initial problem. Forgive and quickly try to forget, while moving forward with a more positive outlook. Instead of dwelling, use your energy to nurture a positive attitude, new relationships (you never know what’s around the corner) and focus on the treasured meaningful ones that already exist.

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Set yourself a goal

Decide what it is you want to do it, and do it! It may be something as simple as going for a run every day to achieve that all important summer bod, or it could be a much bigger goal such as changing your job or moving house. No matter how big or small, once you get there you’ll feel a great sense of victory and accomplishment, giving you the confidence to keep setting yourself goals whilst providing you with something to focus your mind on and work towards.

Take yourself away

A weekend away is the perfect r&r for the soul. Grab your best girly (or man) friend, book flights to the nearest, easiest destination where you can forget about the real world for 72 hours, just let your hair down, be you and indulge! There are so many very reasonable offers available that there’s no excuse not to – and you don’t have to leave the country as there are also plenty of local weekenders, after which you will still return home feeling refreshed and revived!

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You’ll get out what you put in

No matter what it is you work hard at in your life, you will always get back what you put in. You’ll gain lifelong friendships, a great career (if like me that’s what you want), be close to your family, and will generally have a happy and healthy lifestyle  by being honest, loyal and stepping up to the mark when you’re needed. Send a little note or some flowers in the post to your best friend, cook your family a scrumptious meal, or assist a colleague if their to-do list is longer than yours. Make someone else happy and you’ll feel a deeper sense of happiness too.

…and if none of that works – just eat cake and drink bubbles! 

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Good Luck.

A x

Images courtesy of weheartit.com

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