5 simple tips on making life easier #5TTT

Hi all,

Some days are just tough, right? Some days we just feel like the rest of the world owns us and there is nothing we can do about it. Some days we just want things to be a little easier, whether we be tired, stressed, emotional, overwhelmed or even just bored.

Making life easier on yourself isn’t up to the Gods, it really is in your control.

I’m not talking about big massive changes (they do have a time and place). Today, I am talking about small, daily, even hourly changes you can make to how you are approaching your present life. Living in a moment that’s easy and fun!

Let’s make life easy and we can do it, together, right now, simply and without planning. 5 top tips on making life easier – let’s get to it!easier - chase the red grape

Prioritise

Look at the day ahead of you. Write down 5 things you MUST do. Put them in order of priority and get to it. If you finish the list then ask yourself the same thing again. If new tasks come up at work reassess your priority list but in order to make room for this, something else has to go. Remember also to add other important factors to your list like taking time out for lunch and leaving the office on time – they are always some of my priorities.

Knowing you are focussing on what needs to be done rather than a whole spiral of tasks allows you to accept your priorities. It may be hard to decipher at first but once you get into a routine it becomes easier.

Social media/ app purge

I’m not telling you to get off Facebook or Instagram, instead I am telling you to use some of that time to do a group/ friend/ like purge. Check out everyone and every business you follow. Do you really want to see all that information still? Delete those who you no longer wish to see stories/ updates from. Do the same with your apps. Do you actually use all those apps you have downloaded? Are they a bad distraction? You know what to do.

Get into nature/ move

Taking time out in nature, or simply moving may sound like another stress to add on to your day, especially if you are time poor. But just going out for a lunchtime walk or even moving about the office allows your body to relax, your brain to switch off, even if it is for 5 minutes. It allows you to come back and focus, to be clear in your mind. Chances are when you feel like a break is out of the question that is when you need it the most.

Focus on what you want

This is very similar to prioritising but this is the section where we take out the NEED and the MUST (words we often associate with work) and replace it with want. What do I want to get out of my day? Knowing you are hitting some of your wants allows you to feel more in control, more optimistic. It doesn’t have to be big, simply knowing you are coming home to a dinner that you want to eat or making time because you want to go to drawing class can make the whole day feel a little easier.

Sleep is your main goal today

You heard me. Sleep is your main goal today. Decide now when your bedtime will be and stick to it. Put an alarm on your phone 15 mins prior so you can get yourself ready for sleep. Sleep allows your body to fully rest and restore. Your body cannot thrive without it. The day you make sleep a priority in your life is the day you will instantly start to feel better and more energised. A good nights sleep really can make the rest of your day so much easier.

What do you do that helps make life easier?

Do you prioritise your day?

How often do you do a social media purge?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

5 Top Tips For ME! #5TTT

Hi all,

‘What would you say Jen if this was someone else you were watching?’

David asked me that exact question this morning. I couldn’t brush it off or make a joke. I knew exactly what he meant and where he was coming from.

I am a Health Coach and Writer. I love to encourage you to ask yourself questions to reflect on your life and your position in it. My aim is to get you to acknowledge what is in your gut. I want you to do the best for you.

So why oh why is it so difficult to follow my own advice? Why is it so tricky to focus on what I need to ask myself? How can I see the warning signs easy in others but not myself?

I always want to be 100% honest with you all on here. I believe in everything I write. I believe that I write for you and me both. But I also believe that we are all individuals with different needs at any given time.

That is why for this weeks ‘5 Top Tips on a Tuesday’ I am writing for me. The 5 tips I need to listen to right now and questions I need to ask myself. I’m sure some of these points will also apply to you too, but more so than that, I hope it reflects that we all have our own niggles we need to work on!5-top-tips-for-me - chase the red grape

Listen to your body

This is the biggest one for me. This past week some of my muscles have been really sore… yet I push through. Your body gives you warning signals to stop and rest. We all know what they are and what it feels like. Listen to them. In order to stay healthy and do the things we want to do we have to listen when it says stop. I was miserable today at training but I still persevered .. time to say STOP.

Realise you don’t have to do it all

I want to do so much in a day. In fact I feel guilty if I haven’t achieved what I thought I SHOULD have achieved in a day. It’s the tough part about writing and working from home… I am left to be my own boss and to set my own targets. Sometimes it’s too much, I don’t complete them and I am left feeling annoyed with myself or guilty.

Then I turn it on it’s head. I am my own boss, I make the rules, I can say no. Sometimes life happens, sometimes I need to have a nap, sometimes making dinner so I can sit and relax with David in the evening is more of a priority. I am lucky. I don’t have to do it all. Pick a priority for the day and make sure that one task is complete. The rest is simply a bonus.

Done is better than perfect

I read this sentence in a book I just finished and it sums up exactly what I need to hear right now. Often I don’t start writing a piece because I worry it won’t be perfect or exactly what I wanted to come across. But done is always better than perfect. Done means you can edit. Done means you can change the title if you went down a different route. Done means you can rest or focus on other tasks. Done means it’s done.

Break the routine

I told myself early in the new year that I would change up my routine a bit. Spend some more of my day at the library and bring my lunch along so I could spend more time there and not feel rushed. Well it’s the last day in January and I haven’t done it… why?

Holding on to the comfort of an old routine means I am not experiencing anything new. New experiences lead to new challenges and new opportunities. I want both… so I need to go grab them! You are in charge of you. If you want to do it, go do it!

Listen but also engage!

Since I trained as a Health Coach I have been much more of a listener. I don’t like to speak when others are talking and my brain goes into ‘assess the situation’ mode. For certain situations this is great but it has started to creep into my every day conversations…. and as a result I can stand in a group, listen to a conversation and never engage or give my opinion. So I know a lot about various people… but they must know next to nothing about me!

Talking and communicating is your gift. More often than not I am telling folks to ‘use it, don’t abuse it’ but in my case I don’t use it at all which is just as sad. If you want the world to engage with you, you must engage with the world!

Hopefully this has given you all some food for thought, as I like to do every Tuesday! But even just writing these down and sharing them with you all, for me, has made things a lot more clear and I feel inspired! Try it!

What top tips would you give yourself right now?

Do you find it hard to listen to your body?

Are you a routine keeper or breaker?

How to be inspired when you mind is blank #5TTT

Hi all,

Last night I realised that I didn’t have a clue what my 5 top tips were going to be today. I turned to David and told him of my dilemma.

“Maybe I should go for something different” I stated, looking around the room for ideas. I spotted our beautiful ceramic pineapple on the table. “Ah ha!, I have it! 5 top tips on how to become a pineapple!”.

“Tip number one, buy a pineapple. Tip number two, eat said pineapple. Tip number three, buy another pineapple. Tip number four, eat that too. And tip number 5, repeat tips one through four until you have in fact turned into a pineapple”…

David just looked at me laughing…

I then thought about what I actually do when my mind is blank. I simply don’t stress about it – instead making jokes like the above.

In doing that, I actually was pretty quickly inspired by my dilemma – I decided to make this weeks 5 top tips on a Tuesday post all above ‘how to be inspired when your mind is blank’. This applies to writing/ blogging yes, but also work, home life, date plans, goals… the list can go on and on!inspired - chase the red grape

What do you know?

What should you write about? Write about what you know, first and foremost. This could be your hobby, sport, passion but could also be your achievements, day to day, hopes, wishes etc. Not a writer but unsure on what to do in life? Passion. This one word covers everything. What fires you? What sparks you up from inside and gives you that excited feeling. That there is your answer.

Go for a walk

The world around you can bring so much calm into your life, especially on foot. In order to relax and clear your mind for inspiration, take a walk and look at the world around you. It doesn’t have to be in a park or quiet area, in fact I love walking in the hustle and bustle of the city centre and doing a spot of people watching! Take your mind off finding an answer and the answer/ solution will often come to you when you least expect it.

Read/ listen/ learn

Let others inspire you. Read a book or magazine. Listen to a podcast, watch the news or your favourite current affairs programme. Allow your mind to grow. Many a podcast has inspired me and often a topic on the news has kicked off a train of thought in my head. Let all manner of information inspire you.

Revisit old ideas

We all have that list right? The one that we add ideas to, only to discount them days or weeks later. But have you ever gone back to that list? What once sparked off an idea could soon spark again now you are older and wiser. Maybe you look at the topic differently, maybe you take the opposite view now or maybe reading that list might trigger something else in your mind. Don’t throw those discounted ideas away – keep them for a rainy day.

Take a break

My biggest tip when looking for inspiration is to simply take a break. Have a puzzle at work that needs solving? Go for a coffee or come back the next day after having slept on it. Really struggling with the motivation to write? Maybe it’s just not the right time. Step away from the computer and go do one of the above. Sometimes our minds are too full and we don’t know which direction to take. This is when we stop and take a much needed break. Continuing only leads to stress = not good!5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

How do you find inspiration?

Do you prefer reading or listening in order to learn?

Have you ever gone back to old ideas only to be inspired by them?

How to maintain strong and healthy relationships #5TTT

Hi all,

Relationships, where would we be without them in our life? Our day to day, week to week interaction with the people around us help us to become who we are and how we act – they are one of the key pillars of a healthy life.

But do we nourish relationships the way we do other matters regarding our health such as diet and exercise? Do you give your partner, boss, colleagues, friends and family the same attention to detail?

This week on ‘5 top tips on a Tuesday’ I am bringing you some key points and questions to ask yourself regarding the relationships you have in your life. And how, with some small tweaks, you can make them strong and healthy for years to come.relationships - chase the red grape

Listen

The ability to listen and simply hear what is being said is one of life’s true gifts. Listening means being invested in what others are saying and keeping quiet, not giving advice or opinions unless asked for. We all can listen but are we really focusing on the words and their meaning?

It takes time to be a good listener and the first step is simply taking into account what you do in a conversation. Do you let others talk or are you always trying to be the one that speaks? Do you allow for silences to let others speak when they may feel hesitant? (For example in a business meeting).

Being a listener allows you to fully commit to understanding other people better.

Talk

Communication – it truly is a buzz word right now and for good reason! Has your boss ever told you that your team needs to communicate more or have you been frustrated by being put in a awkward situation as your partner never revealed their true feelings to you?

Your feelings and opinions matter. Let them count. How can others support you if they do not understand how you feel? Sometimes we need to be reminded to be the listener, and sometimes we need to do the talking in a relationship.

Be flexible

Relationships in life work when you apply a bit of give and take. Be prepared to be open. If you are listening and you don’t like what you are hearing, ask yourself ‘how will this affect me?’ ‘does it even relate to me?’ and ‘is this even worth a debate?’.

I, for example, know how much of a game changer it can be in a relationship when you put yourself in another’s shoes – ‘how do you think it would feel?’.

Tell the truth

Relationships are built on the truth and this solid foundation can steer them through even the toughest times. Telling the truth can hurt, hearing the truth can hurt but hiding it hurts even more. Keeping something inside can lead to so much stress – affecting the relationship in question but also other relationships around you. Whether big or small, honesty really is the best policy.

Realise the importance of the relationship

Is this relationship important to me? What is it’s role in my life? And does it nourish my own?

Those 3 questions are very important. It allows you to focus on how much time and effort should be given. Your partner – are they your main priority? Do you treat them as such? Your boss – do you need to communicate more? Do you understand one and other? Friendships – what do you gain from having these people in your life? Do you need to see each other more often?

Question your relationships – I have spent far too long trying to focus on friendships that I felt I ‘should’ maintain rather than ‘want’ to maintain. Life is too short for toxic friends. In doing this though I have also realised which ones nourish my world and I always make time for them.

5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

I really hope that this post just pops those few questions into your head whilst reviewing the relationships in your life. They, after all, what make life worth living 🙂

Who is the biggest relationship in your life?

Is ‘communication’ a buzzword in your line of work?

Have you ever had to let go of a ‘toxic’ friendship?

5 ways in which social media can enrich your life #5TTT

Hi all,

Social media. It’s a hot topic right now and not always for the better. More and more, I feel I am being bombarded with opinions that ‘social media is bad for you’, ‘people spend too much time on social media’, ‘we need to switch off’.

Of course, it is certainly a factor that people are spending more and more time on electronic devices instead of ‘looking up’ but is social media really the problem that many are making it out to be?

What if I said social media can be fantastic, to the point where I believe it can enrich the lives of all of us?

For today’s 5 top tips on a Tuesday, I will reveal to you 5 ways in which social media can enrich your life. It can certainly be a healthy, positive part of your everyday routine and something to feel happy to have in our current world.social media - chase the red grape

Relationships

I begin with the biggest reason as to why social media enriches our lives – the development, strengthening and maintenance of relationships. Social media enables me to, on the other side of the world to my family and friends, be a part of their everyday lives – keeps me laughing, smiling and crying with the big and the small. It means we can keep in contact with those we went to school or university with, even though we have different lives in different places. There is simply no reason anymore not to keep in contact.

Social media has also enabled me to develop upon friendships made through blogging. So many people I have gotten to know, and who have gotten to know me through social media posts and comments. Friendships I know would not have existed without SM.

Inspiration

Social media can inspire us – everything from motivational quotes on Instagram, arts and crafts projects on Pinterest to cooking videos on Periscope… it helps us to believe that we can, because others did. Use the hints and tips, step by step guides, videos and pictures to expand your desire and know how. Know that you are never alone anymore because someone else is going through the same thing.

See the world

Through social media, we can see the world. The difference is that SM allows us to see the world through the eyes of the people. We like, share, regram all kinds of wonderful pictures and information from all over the world. I love snap chatting the beaches and hidden gems of Australia and adore watching others post from their home town. When we post, it’s every day life. But to the watcher or reader, it’s exciting and adventurous!

Knowledge

Do you watch the news every day or read a newspaper? If something big happened how would you find out? I’m certain that for most, it may be Facebook or Twitter. Stories can be shared quickly and fast via social media, keeping us all informed and updated. Social media also enables us to read the smaller stories that spread through likes and shares, meaning we are not dependant on big media and their overall choice of story.

I also have learned a great deal through the likes and shares of articles, videos etc on topics of various interest. I read 2 today – one on Disney films and the other on nutrition!

Keep up to date with technology

And last but not least, social media keeps us up to date with technology and how to use it. Remember back to when you first logged on to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? It was tricky to understand, right? But now you could navigate it with your eyes closed! Social media means that we keep developing our technology skills –  learning new skills in life is such a bonus and a key to long term mental health! Age is no longer an excuse – social media is not just for the ‘young ones’! My Mum is a proficient Facebook user and has even met an online community for ex female RAF nurses! They support each other through everything and I know my Mum feels lucky to have those additional cheerleaders in her life!5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

So next time you hear a grumble about social media and it’s ‘negative’ effects on society, have a few of these up your sleeve!

Do you enjoy social media?

Do you feel it has a positive effect within the relationships in your life?

What is your favourite form of social media?

5 Top Tips on a Tuesday – How to drink more water!

Hi all,

Wow it really is starting to get hot here in Australia. After a few weeks of it feeling a lot cooler than I had expected, we are now being faced with really hot (well to me!) temperatures… and we have only just entered spring! Goodness knows what December, January and the hottest month of February will be like!

5 TOP TIPS ON A TUESDAY

The one thing I have found that I really need to focus on is drinking more water. My body is not used to these temperatures, bar a couple of weeks of holidays now and then, so I need to make sure I keep hydrated to help my body with this transition.

But I also remember what its like on the other side of the world too – it’s getting cooler and you don’t crave as much water or liquids as you did before, in fact it’s so easy to just forget to drink, excluding coffee breaks!

So to help those coming into summer, but also those heading into autumn/ fall I have some tips for this weeks ‘5 Top Tips on a Tuesday’ to help you drink more water!

water

1. Buy a funky new water bottle

  • there are loads of awesome water bottles out there – different colours, mouth pieces, sizes etc. Find one that makes you smile and view it as your ‘revitalisation!’. Ever bought new workout gear and all you want to do is get to the gym? Same principal except easier and cheaper!

2. Place that bottle beside you at your workplace or carry it with you if not at home

  • if you can view it and have it to hand at all times then you are more likely to use it.

3. Only drink water with meals

  • ditch the soda, alcohol and juice with meals and focus on just drinking a glass of water. Not only upping your water intake for the day but also helping you digest your meals better!

4. Start your day with a hot water and lemon

  • when you first get up, head to the kitchen and pour some boiling hot water over a slice of lemon – then carry it around with you as you get ready. I guarantee that by the time you get out of the shower it will be cool enough to drink and that your body will thank you for it – preparing your stomach for the day ahead.

5. When you crave caffeine…

  • drink a glass of water first. If still craving then go ahead and have the coffee. But chances are you are just thirsty.

Do you feel like you get enough water to drink in a day?

Any tips you use for drinking enough?

Do you find it harder to drink water when it gets colder?