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How are you?

Hi everyone.

Well. I'm sure you'll all agree we're certainly living through strange times right now.

How are you doing?

I think I'd be safe in saying that most of us will have experienced a whole range of emotions since everything started to change because of COVID-19. I've had moments where I've felt sad, anxious, confused, angry, fearful. I've worried about my elderly parents and parents-in-law in Australia. I've worried about my other family members and close friends living far away, in different corners of the globe. I've worried about my friends here in my little part of the world, whose lives have changed without warning, who have had to shut their businesses yet still feed themselves and their families. I've worried about being self-employed. Whether my Pilates business will survive. Of course, I've worried about getting sick, my husband getting sick, both of us getting sick.

But I've also had moments where I've felt calm, content, at ease, even confident and optimistic for the future. Happy to be here in my home, with my little family. If you read my blog you might remember a post I did just over a year ago, on 3rd February 2019. The title was "Let's keep it simple". I talked about my intention to simplify as many areas of my life as possible. How I had already started back in 2018 but felt that there was so much more work to do and I wanted to keep going, keep de-cluttering, physically and mentally, slow down, live with more purpose and more meaning.

And here we are, in 2020, the world is in lockdown and we are experiencing life like we never have before. We are being forced to slow down. We suddenly have a lot more time. I feel so grateful that I started to become more conscious of living slowly back in 2018. I almost feel as though the choice that I made back then was a way of preparing myself for the situation we find ourselves in now. Of course I didn't know what was going to happen, none of us did. But I think that by starting to make small changes to the way I was living my life has meant that I am now able to see some light in what seems like a pretty dark time.

I think a lot of us are starting to find new routines. We've been given a bit of a shake-up. This is no bad thing! Here are some of the things I've been doing to try to keep my physical and mental health on track:-

  • Meditating for 20 minutes every morning WITHOUT FAIL.

  • Allowing myself time to have a cup of tea in bed, but then getting straight into the shower, getting dressed and ready for the day.

  • Calling/messaging my parents and my sister regularly to check in with them.

  • Going for a walk outside EVERY DAY WITHOUT FAIL. Having a dog gives me no excuse!

  • Avoiding too much time looking at social media and news. I don't have a TV which helps, but sometimes I have to switch the radio off if the news becomes too much.

  • Reading. For the past few years I've had a goal to read at least 12 books per year. I think I will be smashing that goal this year!

  • Cooking with lots of fresh vegetables from our allotment. Baking. Finding and trying new recipes. This has been a passion of mine for a long time and just makes me so happy.

  • Moving on my mat EVERY DAY WITHOUT FAIL. This might be Pilates, yoga, stretching, a mini-workout. Whatever my body needs that day.

Most of these things are not new. But having more time to work these things into my regular daily routine has made me feel so much better. It has reminded me how much happier I feel living a slower, simpler life.

So, how are you? I am acutely aware that for many of us, life right now is extremely hard. People are losing their lives, their loved ones, their jobs, their homes. If any of you are struggling at the moment and want to chat, I'm here for you.

Here are some of my favourite, happy moments from 2020 so far. Enjoy lovely people, stay safe, keep smiling.

Marina x


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