Most of my December and January were spent in the wonderful land of Australia and I can honestly say, I have never felt happier. If you haven’t been to Australia, it’s hard to appreciate just how relaxed and care free the vibe is, and that’s not just at Byron Bay. Everyone wakes up early, goes and swims down at the beach, most people go out running in the mornings and cafes open at 6am. I hate waking up early, but when it’s so beautiful outside, I have no problem naturally waking up at 5 or 6 am.
Of course, when you are on holiday, you are naturally happier, as you’re away from the stresses of working life and the grotty English weather. However, I was there for a month and for me this was not a holiday as such, but it became more of a ‘mini lifestyle change’- I know that sounds cliché but both Vicky (my travel buddy) and I felt this way.
After I returned from Australia, I was desperate to change some of my habits to try to and be Aussie Amy. This was always going to be hard, as in Australia it was 30 degrees, I lived by the beach and our flat was above the most amazing yoga studio. In addition, I wasn’t working or studying.
So what did I do?
- I have kept up yoga between 1-2 times a week. I’ve been doing an Ashtanga Yoga Course at Yogamoo in Reigate every Monday evening. I am learning so much and although it’s one of the faster, tougher yoga practices, I come out feeling revitalised. No, Reigate Priory Park is not the beautiful Byron Bay, but you have to make do with what you have!
- In Australia, I would run in the mornings, but quite frankly I cannot motivate myself to get up at 6am and run in this country. It’s cold, dark and I usually feel very stiff in the mornings. So I don’t and I’m not going to beat myself up about it either. I run at lunch or after work and don’t feel guilty about it. This is my new care-free Aussie vibe!
- Drinking more water. The heat in Australia meant that I was guzzling down water in record quantities, and although this is not necessary in England, I realised how much more energy I had because of it. So, three times a day I now have a pint of hot water with lemon- it’s refreshing and warming! I make sure to have this before any caffeine too and I have noticed my skin is a lot more ‘radiant’ since doing this.
- Being a better vegetarian. I was a veggie for ten years when I was younger, but I was so fussy that I barely ate anything. As a result, I was unhealthy, chubby and undernourished. In October, I decided to go back to my veggie roots, but the issue with this is that I am also a very lazy cook. I could eat beans on toast for every meal and feel happy but that’s not good enough for a person who runs 40 miles a week. In Australia, there are so many healthy vegan and vegetarian places, but in Surrey there just isn’t. I have been cooking a lot more, but I’m still working on this challenge. I have recently ordered from HelloFresh, and although I’ve only made 2 weeks worth of meals, I think this will have a positive impact on my wellbeing.
- Having more ‘me time’, just like you do on holiday. I’m working part-time at the moment and studying full time, so I can be a lot more flexible with my time than someone who works full time. My version of me-time consists of having more indulgent baths followed my pampering, reading for pleasure and exercising. I’m sure that’s not what everyone would find relaxing, but it is me!
I honestly can’t count the number of people who have said how happy I have been this year and I’ve been living in a bubble being a part-timer, but I’ve realised that life is for living. You do have to make the best of what you have though, as until Australia isn’t on the other side of the world from my friends and family, I can’t see myself moving out there.
Next week, I return to teaching and being a teacher, and like many other stressful jobs, it can have a very negative impact on your wellbeing. So I am going to make a real conscious effort to look after myself and promote this to all my new colleagues and students too. Work to live, don’t live to work!
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed the non-running post!