I absolutely haven’t got life sussed, but I have had some time to think and reflect this week because I am blissfully swanning around being a non-parent. You see, Dan has taken the kids to Kent for a week, the dog is in a lovely countryside kennel and it is just Gracie and I.
Forgive the pet pics, but I wanted to give you context and probably prove to myself that everyone is happy – because that is the role of a mum, right? Wanting everyone to be ok. I know that I feel much like that, these days.
So – the eight ways? All I am doing here is sharing some of the things I know help a bit with feeling brighter and living a brighter life. Like I said above, I absolutely haven’t got life sorted (far from it) but these things help me and my clients.
- Listen to music – blast out music, kitchen dance, go and dance, be the dance, diversify, book a gig, see an opera, put the radio on, listen to DJs, ask your mate for their fave album ever and play it!
- Never stop learning and growing – feed your brain, learn a skill, adapt, take on difficult things, start a course, be inspired by other humans, challenge yourself, change your mindset, learn a language, work on your confidence, start a business. You choose! My mum uses a quote from time-to-time that one of her bosses told her many years ago; Flexibility is life, Rigidity is death. I think he had a point.
- Spend time WITH your friends – WhatsApp can do one! Sure, use apps to make the plans, but go and see people in real life. Real laughs, real people, share food, talk. There’s nothing better. I have been doing it a lot lately and I know people are what lights me up in life.
- Eat bright food – colourful food is good for you. Not only does it look amazing (eat that rainbow!) it can quite literally and simply brighten up your day.
- Exercise – Walking, Jane Fonda on VHS, bouncing on the kids’ trampoline, gym, netball – it doesn’t matter what you do, but try to make sure you enjoy it. You don’t need to be good at it, you don’t need to wear the latest over-priced leggings, getting outside is a good idea and your body (and mind) will feel bright because of it.
- Cut back on (wine) booze – hear me out people! Since realising around a year ago that I was in the peri-men world, I also realised that my booze tolerance had gone right down. Apparently it is a thing! I used to be the last to leave the party and could ‘handle my booze’ (whatever that means). Not true anymore. I have cut right back because I didn’t enjoy feeling like my stomach was a knackered old washing machine the day after a wine sesh. In fact I hardly drink wine at all, I do like a bit of gin though.
- Let Loose – this may sound like the most-middle aged advice you’ve had thus far, but think about it, for a moment. Life can be very uptight at times and adulting/parenting can feel massively boring. Remind yourself that life is for living (oh hello cliché). Let your hair down, [insert your own name]! Learn to not give two f**ks what people think of you, or more to the point, stop being hard on yourself and making up what people might THINK people think of you, it is usually wrong. Dance if you want to. Wear daring clothes if that feels good. Remind yourself to explore and to go on adventures, whatever that might mean to you. There is magic out there. And, turn off the news!
- Practice gratitude – a gentle and wholesome one, but an important one. In a world where we see everything (someone on insta going to Mauritius for a relaxing family break – yehhhh riiiight!) it is easy to compare and feel deflated pretty quickly. Social media is the worst for making you feel bad and it is happening to us adults and our children. I am going through it right now with my eldest. She has fallen into the comparison trap and feels like her life isn’t as great as the people’s she admires on a tiny phone screen. My message to her, and to you, is this: Look around at what you do have. See and appreciate those people who love you. Be present in the moment as much as you can. Understand that life is different for everyone. Remember that social media can be false. Practice gratitude, and if in doubt – BANG OUT THE TUNES AND DANCE!
So there you go. Eight ways to make life a little bit, brighter. Let me know if any of them have helped in any way.
Here’s to good days,
Lucy aka Geriatric Mum