Don’t sweat the small stuff, but don’t miss out on it either

AnxietyIt is all too easy find yourself caught up in a whole host of trivial worries and irritations, or preoccupied with concerns that are outside of your control. Whether it’s feeling rubbish on a run, grumpy having been caught in an over-full train carriage on your commute, stressed or overwhelmed by a hectic work schedule, rotten after a bad night’s sleep, or worried about a hospital appointment, we’ve all found ourselves, at one point or another lost in negative thoughts. And sometimes, when you’re stuck in a cycle of stress, negativity and anxiety, it’s really easy to lose perspective and to miss all of the amazing small things that counteract the bad.

So this post is a celebration of some of my favourite little things; those things that have really struck a chord over the past couple of weeks and that make up for even the most miserable of days.

1. Bank Holidays

I tend not to lie-in on weekends as I’m reluctant to lose the limited free time I have. Bank Holiday weekends, however, offer the luxury of an extra day off, meaning that a little lie in on a Sunday can be counteracted by an active Monday. May has been replete with long weekends, great for catching up on those zzzz!

2. Exercise before work

Whether it’s half an hour of yoga on the living room floor, a quick run before work, or a swim with colleagues en route to the office, getting in some exercise before breakfast sets me up for the day and I find that I am healthier and more mindful for the rest of the day as a result.

3. Brunch after a run

Post-run brunch of spelt crackers with avo and tomato
Post-run brunch of spelt crackers with avo and tomato

I love to break from the weekday protein shake and indulge in my weekend breakfasts, all the more well-deserved and enjoyed after a long Sunday run! Whether it’s a bowl of muesli with nuts, seeds and blueberries topped with soya yogurt, a cinnamon and raisin bagel with oodles of peanut butter, or rye bread toast with crushed avocado, chilli salt and tomatoes, brunch with R, while reading the paper and drinking lots of tea, is my absolute favourite thing.

This weekend we had two lovely long brunches, bliss!

4. Weekday lunches with my pal Katie

Sneaky Itsu lunch date with Katie
Sneaky Itsu lunch date with Katie

No matter how busy I am at work, how grumpy, over-tired or stressed I am, meeting my pal Katie for a tea and Itsu sorts me right out!

No one makes me laugh like Katie and no one knows me as well. We talk at a million miles an hour, smile until our cheeks hurt and I always go back to the office better for a lunch break with her.

5. PBs

Since I gave up competitive swimming I’ve not thought an awful lot about PBs. I’m not the fastest runner so I’ve not tended to obsess about times so much, that is, until now.

Doing Park Run is proving a good way of working on running shorter distances and seeing tangible progress in my times. Over four park runs I’ve knocked about a minute and a half off my time and I’m pushing now to go faster. It’s an interesting learning curve discovering how to pace myself and I’m still learning how fast I can go.

6. Evenings with friends

Lou's birthday picnic
Lou’s birthday picnic

Nothing beats a night of good company, interesting conversation, delicious food and plenty of wine. I love hearing all of the exciting things my friends have been up to, and now with R’s friends to spend time with too, I’m surrounded by a wealth of fascinating and fun people. While nights out dancing are fun, I’d much rather spend time chatting with our pals over a glass of wine.

This last couple of weeks has been filled with lovely dinner parties and long lunches with friends and colleagues and I’m so grateful for all of the amazing people I’m lucky enough to have in my life.

7. Warm, light evenings

Walled Garden, Hampstead Heath
Walled Garden, Hampstead Heath

There is nothing nicer than finishing work in the light and then being able to go for a run, sit in the park, or go on a stroll in a light jacket and not feel cold.

This week we had our first picnic in the park of the season to celebrate my fellow runner, Louise’s birthday, which was heaven!

On Tuesday my run with the Mornington Chasers over Hampstead Heath and through the Hill Garden, only open in the summer months, was total bliss!

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