Fitness, health, Health & Wellness, Life Goals, Motivation

Shut Out The Noise

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Calder Abbey, Cumbria

Always find time to explore. Fresh air and greenery work wonders for the soul. When you look at this picture what do you see, how does it make you feel?

There are so many benefits of being surrounded by nature, it’s essential your psychological health and wellbeing.

If you’re ever near a forest go for a walk or a run. It’s amazing how being surrounded by trees affects your mood. When I visit the Lake District I love running in the forest near my brothers. Not only do I love the exercise, I love the smell of the trees, the beauty surrounding me and not to mention the views when I reach the top, something we’re too busy to notice sometimes! In fact, add to your to-do list “go and find a forest”. (But do try and avoid the rain – it’s tricky in Cumbria)! If you don’t fancy running just walk, it’s just as good. Walking helps you live a healthier life and helps keep off those extra few pounds, particularly if you like Cartmel’s Sticky Toffee pudding like me.

A dog is the perfect outdoor buddy, you get to explore and make the most of the silence. My dog, a crazy cocker spaniel called Pika (short for Pikachu named by my nephew Joe) drags me outside come rain, wind or snow. I don’t have a choice, and at times, as much as I’m not feeling it, I’m always glad she did, there’s a method in her madness! I feel great and so energised afterwards. Not to mention how I feel when I see those huge brown eyes smiling at me with gratitude when we arrive home. She darts through the door and slumps in her bed until she’s ready to go again (standard 15 minutes for a spaniel)! If you don’t have a dog but like the idea of one, check out “Borrow my Doggy”. You get the best of everything without the day to day responsibilities. You know, like try before you buy or the niece and nephew scenario (you can hand them back).

If you’re struggling to think of the last time you stopped, cleared your mind and surrounded yourself in nature, maybe it’s about time you did. It’s so calming and peaceful and most importantly, it’s a great way to escape the everyday hustle and bustle. It’s a moment to STOP, BREATHE & THINK. Most of my biggest life decisions have been made outdoors surrounded by nature, it helps me find clarity. It’s basically a time away from everything to think and reflect and a time we’re at our most creative, so expect those light bulb moments.

If you can, try and picture yourself in a forest, the sun is beaming through the trees and the only noise breaking the silence is the birds. How does that make you feel? MAGIC!

Dating, Relationships

Do You Think It’s Too Late To Find Love?

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Since Valentine’s Day is lurking and in true form, the shops are filling up with hearts and flowers, I thought I’d write a blog to all the lovely single folk that may not yet have found that special person.

In a world that’s seems like everything is a hundred miles an hour, finding love isn’t easy. Believe me, I’ve tried and I’m still trying!

Do we think it’s important anymore, particularly when it’s so easy for a short-term fix with dating apps like Tinder and Bumble? I mean what happened to old-fashioned dating! I’m not saying anything bad about dating apps. I’ve tried them, the good the bad and the ugly. I’ve also seen some very good endings including marriage, kids, the works, and some weird endings which are too weird to mention!

It makes me laugh when the older generation, that being aunts, uncles, parents, siblings think it’s appropriate to tell you that it’s about time you started thinking about settling down. This generally tends to fall out of their unfiltered mouths at weddings or any other event where you’re surrounded by couples. Yes, it’s annoying! I’m sure you think we’re all running wild with no clothes on and the only reason we’re single is because we’re not trying to find someone.

That’s the point, we are trying to find someone, just not anyone! Then there’s the well-intentioned advice from our friends “You have to put yourself out there”. For the record, we are looking and we do put ourselves out there!

So, I thought I’d write this blog to say that we put ourselves out there more than you know, we go on dating sites even though we hate them, we go to the gym, we go to bars, we go out in the evenings even though sometimes we’d rather be sat at home relaxing. We do all these things because somewhere in this crazy world we live in, we still believe in love and hope like magic that one day it will appear and we’ll have the fairy-tale ending, whatever that may be.

So, as you can see, talking about this topic “LOVE” is so bloody hard, it’s the one thing in our lives we can’t control.  It’s a feeling between two people that’s either there or not. It’s that simple and so bloody difficult. The connection, the spark, you know what I’m talking about. If that’s not there, nothing is. So, what’s the point!

One thing I will say is this. For those of you who are in a happy loving relationship, don’t forget about your single friends. You may well know someone who’s a perfect match so keep your eyes and ears peeled. I can honestly say I’ve set up numerous friends who are happily married now, even if it was by my typical forward approach of pushing them into the guy they fancied at the bar. Love you, Shelley and Shaun!

And to all the single people out there that are looking for a genuine connection, keep looking and don’t settle. Life is a blessing whether you’re single or not. You have to embrace it, every minute, every second and every day. And remember, when you do finally meet that special person, they are an extension of you and your life. They’re not there to change it, I’m not sure I fully believe in Pretty Woman or Cinderella, but they are there to enhance it just like you are there to enhance theirs.

So, here’s an early “Happy Valentine’s Day” to all the single people out there. Go and treat yourself to a gorgeous bunch of flowers or a massage and keep the faith :).