Tag: #wellbeing

Why a £2000 cheque doesn’t make you as happy as you think it would

Yesterday, I was running around a little frantically between meetings. I take my lunch breaks seriously, but I also try and cook a proper lunch within them when I can.
I saw an ominous letter on the table. It was from HMRC, the UK’s tax authority. It had been redirected from my old flat in London. Cue internal fear as to whether I had broken the law in some way, or owed a lot of money to someone, despite not having even seen the letter contents.
The reality was the opposite – I had overpayed tax in the UK over the last year.

What’s in a birthday anyway?

How much does a birthday really matter?
I had my birthday this week. I was visiting the UK and in the end stayed for a bunch of work meetings for the day, including for a conference on concrete – which is a slightly different thing to do, but unique nonetheless.

I actually spent the day staying at my parents house. My mother bought a giant cake, then realised it would be too much of a faff to open it when I was about to travel. So instead I packed a Sainsbury’s chocolate cake and took it to Brussels the next day. Supplemented with my annual tradition of buying a Colin the Caterpillar cake (a British institution for my international friends), I am in no lack of sickly chocolate cake for the next three weeks.

The importance of cultivating a healthy network around you

If a tree falls in a forest and nobody hears it, does it make a sound?

If a worker does an amazing piece of work, but sits in a siloed team where nobody talks to each other, did they really do an amazing piece of work?

Since the world has opened up post-pandemic, I’ve been a lot more intentional in reaching out to others. Rather than seeing friendships and connections as a by-product of the rest of my life, I’ve looked at is as something that needs love and attention to foster.

Are you awake or asleep at the wheel?

Work. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.

Are you living life or is life living you?

When I lived here, I followed the rhythm that I thought people were supposed to do – going to work and chasing more money to pay for a nicer room (due to the exorbitant rent prices), without even noticing the negative impact my obsession on my work life had on happiness or health. I’d come home shattered after spending so much time and energy on things that now I can’t even remember.

Taking in nature to restore your wellbeing and energy

I must admit that I’ve never really paid that much attention to nature previously. I’ve grown up in cities, and tended to relegate visiting ‘green spaces’ to a walk at the city park or when on holiday to see the local exotic scenery.

Perhaps it’s an added effect of the lockdown, but I found the opportunity to find silence in a forest unbelievably nourishing. Having spent most of my life in the space of a small apartment over the last six months, the freedom and release from covid-style living was extremely revitalising.

Understanding ourselves during the rollercoaster of lockdown

The lockdown has been a tough journey. For some of us, it has meant the difficulty of losing loved ones and not being able to grieve as we normally would. For others, it has meant homeschooling and juggling job responsibilities. Some of us are worried about protecting our more vulnerable friends and family, meaning we haven’t been able to visit them in quite some time.

For better or for worse, I’ve learnt a lot more about my own trigger points and warning signs internally. For me, I tend to be a lot more disorganised with my thoughts, often interrupting myself mid-speech when I am overwhelmed.

What have you learnt about yourself during the pandemic?

Your biggest productivity hack? Give yourself a break

If you’re in the UK, you’ve probably just come back into work a bit bleary-eyed after a long weekend with the bank holiday. It’s a nice novelty, considering as a country we have one of the lowest amount of public holidays in the world.

We usually appreciate the feeling of having some time off, so this is a good moment to reflect: what if we could tap into bringing ourselves out of our work routines more often?