I realise that a selection of my posts as of late have been centered more around my personal life and my “shift work” lifestyle rather than travelling in general. I suppose what started out as a specifically cabin crew/travel blog has now morphed into a lifestyle/ personal /travel enthusiast’s blog.
BUT hopefully this post will inspire you to see why being organised and particular is sometimes a massive help in sparking creativity and facilitating Outer Order for Inner Calm. This is a phrase coined by Gretchen Rubin. These tips can be applied to any person, in any role whether you work for yourself, work from home, have a roster-style job or even your regular 9-5 type. These are a few things I have been doing since high school (and others more recently) that help me to facilitate outer order, for inner calm, especially given the flexible nature of my work! (And, yes, I consider myself to be a creative- we all are in one way or another!)
I don’t know how many times I can stress that it is imperative to plan! Plan your days as best you can to allow optimum time to achieve the things that you need to, around work and other commitments. If you are a night owl, make the most of the dark hours by waking up as late as possible and powering through. If you are a morning person, rise as early as you can to allow you time to start your day with clarity, a calm mind and a fresh start. If you do shift-work (yay!) then you will understand the importance of being flexible, but also having a plan.
I pack my lunch, breakfast, dinner, snacks, exercise clothes, books, whatever I need to be able to make the most of my days. I enjoy fitting my work around my life and the challenge of getting it all done! A good way to ensure you are prepared is to do one big lump food shop when you can, rather than going every day to the shops. Which brings me to the next point:
Personally, I feel as though I can tackle just about anything after a filling, healthy breakfast and a good coffee. If we have a fridge full of healthy, wholesome foods that are already prepared/ easy to prepare, it is easy to fill my body with good things to give me energy to last the whole day/shift rather than shoving a handful of peanut M&Ms in my mouth at 4 in the morning when most people are asleep (and my body should be resting and recuperating, not digesting sugary snacks before I have properly had breakfast! I am currently obsessed with anything from Sarah Wilson’s ” I Quit Sugar” range that has healthy (pre mixed) treats that you can make/bake for Australia. (flying friends- stock up your suitcases the next time you have an Aussie flight!)
I have also taken to making zucchini lasagne and zucchini spaghetti as a healthier alternative since undertaking the 8 week challenge at my local F45. Making extra means we both have lots of leftovers for lunches, and enough to freeze for the days when you really just cannot be bothered to cook! This can be irritating if you don’t always “think ahead” naturally, but trust me, it is far better to be prepared than to eat unnecessary junk food that you didn’t really want to, and then feel gross afterwards. I like to stock up on eggs (to boil or for omelettes), small packets of roasted (unsalted) nuts and dates!
I find that reading really helps me to relax, unwind and switch off from the real world. It can also be helpful to read before bed when wanting to switch off “screen time” and still be doing something leisurely.
Reading is my preferred form of “escapism” and it helps me to stay informed, gives me ideas for my writing and also keeps my running vocabulary list a-float! My step-brother and I have a competition of who can find the most obscure word and challenge each other to use it in context or best describe their meanings. ( I know, we are nerds, but it keeps things interesting!) I also like to discuss books with our passengers when they come into the various lounges, and some even lend me their books (and vice versa).Through all of these recommendations, my book collection grows, as does the myriad of ideas, words and phrases for my own writing, too.
All it takes is some light exercise to get your blood moving around your body, and consequently, endorphins flowing! Lately I have been aiming to exercise 5-6 times a week due to the challenge, but usually I sit at around 3-4 times a week (including weights based/cardio training). This is not only good for my body, but food for my mind too! My favourite thing to do when I feel anxious/stressed/upset is to take Remy for a big walk around the park, or go to the dog beach and burn off some steam! Making the most of the sunshine is good, and important, too while it lasts! Bring on the Vitamin D!
You do’t have to be up for a Pulitzer Prize to be writing a little, every day. I like to (time and brain cells permitting) make a list of what I am grateful for to help me put everything into perspective, whether it has been an awesome day or a not-so-great-one. It helps me let go of any niggling issues and then I can go to bed feeling relieved rather than peeved. I was gifted a “Line a Day” journal and I really should use it. It encourages you to write one line to describe your day, for five years. The idea is after five years you read through all of the days and see how your “lines” i.e life- has changed. Instead I have been focusing on my Mindfulness Journal from Kikki-K. This was a take-home gift that came from the Mindfulness Workshop that my friend Katy and I did as her birthday gift to me!
It is refreshing to be told to “stop, breathe, think” and reflect on the month that has passed. It has certainly encouraged me to eat slower and more mindfully, and no not take my phone everywhere! Writing in a stream-of-consciousness form is also useful for getting the creative juices flowing, and it is an easy way to figure out what is subconsciously playing on your mind, and allows you to deal with it accordingly.
I can’t express enough how the simple idea of “self care” and saying “no” has transformed my life. I have said no to social outings, working back late, exercising, helping others and even running my own errands. Sometimes, your day is so catastrophically mundane that you are physically exhausted and could not possibly grasp the idea of going to a fitness class and have instructions barked at you for 45 minutes. In this case, I have found that “saying no” is best, and no one is upset with you for looking after yourself! Take the time to play with your pets, download some podcasts, indulge in your hobbies (or binge watch TV series), put a face mask on and just bliss out! In my case, self care is getting up earlier so I can do my exercise, and go to bed earlier, so I can be refreshed to do the same the following day!
There is a difference between archiving obsessively and chronicling mindfully. I know that I tend to take too many photos (hello, Insta stories) but I am getting into the habit of taking photos that matter, and less of them. Quality over quantity, if you will. If it has taken 3000 shots to get the right frame, I will use my new app, Flic, to get rid of the rest (it is kind of like a Tinder for your photos!). I like to go through old photos to help me remember certain events to write about, or even to inspire fantastical new ideas!
I am off to prepare for the imminent arrival of our new Dreamliner Flight (QF10)
See my post about the Dreamliner here .
Safe and self-caring travels!