I’m getting into the swing of these weekly lists! They’re something I look forward to doing and I can feel the immediate benefit as I’m writing them. Using this book, I’ve had the time and space to think deeply and positively. It’s a set amount of time in the week when I know I’m mulling over something good. I’m excited to see long-term benefits of this project!
This week I’ve been pretty reflective in general. Ste started a new job and I’m getting ready to start my own (and uni) next week. When I’ve not been running round like I’ve been shot out of a cannon, I’ve been quite meditative. I’m happy with the balance I found between being productive and being reflective. Maybe it’s the list, who knows?
42/52: ‘LIST THE THINGS THAT MAKE YOU FEEL PEACEFUL’
- Uncle Iroh’s Lofi Mix
Another recommendation from the lovely Lydia, this 1 hour long playlist has changed my life! When I’m in the bath, trying to get to sleep or just chilling out I love to have this playing in the background. Who doesn’t love a bit of life advice from Uncle Iroh?
2. The Sound of the Sea
3. Chopping Veggies
4. Cat on the Lap
6. Green Tea in the Morning
9. Morning Walks
13. Morning Pages
If you read my post, ‘Why You Need a Morning Routine Now More Than Ever’ you’ll already know how beneficial I find the Morning Pages!
14. Listening to Ste Play Guitar
Ste is a music maverick and I am constantly in awe of his talent. He can go from Hotel California to Greensleeves to Duelling Banjos to Hammer Smashed Face, like… what!?!? It’s amazing. While he shares his heavier stuff on his YouTube channel (that you should definitely listen to if you like metal!) I always find peace chilling out listening to him freestyle his way around my child-sized acoustic.
15. Turning the Phone Off
16. Studio Ghibli
18. Writing a Gratitude List
19. Slow Breakfasts
20. People Watching
21. Listening to Rain or Wind in Bed
My favourite is that fat rain, the one that would get you soaked in seconds and sounds like a stampede of mini-horses clattering up the window. There’s nothing better than waking up an hour or two before the alarm and falling back to sleep listening to fat rain.
22. Loooooong Hugs
23. Solo Drives
26. Going to a Cafe Alone
27. Running Outside
28. Watering Plants
It only takes two minutes but it instantly makes me feel relaxed. So relaxed, in fact, that I often overdo it and drown my poor, innocent plants! I’m actually aiming to grow some bits and bobs this year- having another stab at it! Please wish me luck, I guarantee you I’m going to need it!
29. Listening to ‘Word of Mouth’ Podcasts
These language-based podcasts are so interesting! I’d recommend them to anyone, but especially to people like me who like looking at how language influences the world around us and how that world, in turn, influences language.
30. Hot Baths
31. Walking Through Autumn Leaves/ Fresh Snow
32. Watching Fire
33. Going for Massages @aso_juniper
This was one of the last things I did before I left Japan and I’m so glad I did it! This is such a beautiful cabin and Sanae is a genuinely lovely and talented lady! There’s no way you can’t relax in this place, the scents of jasmine, lavender and rose oil alone get you all sleepy!
34. Painting with Water Colours
35. Sitting in a Beer Garden at Night Listening to Friends Talking
Obviously talking is great, but I find myself more content in that moment among friends when you’re just kind of watching everything happen. It’s like life slows down for a little bit and you can focus on what people are saying, how they’re saying it, what facial expressions they’re pulling and how people are reacting. It’s always in these moments I remember those tiny traits that I absolutely love about people.
My best friend, Rach, zoning out of conversations and then zoning back in, Chris’ little mid-sentence smoulders, Si’s sharp intake of breath before he absolutely roasts you alive and how Ste’s eyes light up against the outdoor heaters when he laughs. I feel completely at peace and in love with these people and, I guess, people in general in this moment of appreciative spectatorship.
37. B R E A T H I N G
It seems common, everyday and is usually taken for granted, but breathing is one of the easiest ways to feel peaceful. Breathing isn’t always peaceful. You don’t need anything other than a working pair of lungs and some awareness. Breathing isn’t always peaceful; I’m still breathing when I’m running around looking for keys, phones, pens, shoes, jackets, masks and every thing else I could ever need. What makes it peaceful is the focus.
The act of focusing on breathing, noticing how the warm breath feels against your throat, in and around your mouth and nostrils, allows a centering to happen. You can pull all of your attention to something internal, to something that is absolutely essential for your continuance of life and notice it. With that always comes a bit of gratitude, for myself and my body for just existing and keeping me going.
38. Painting Nails
39. Doing Makeup
40. Being in my Own Company
There you have it! 40 things that make me feel completely zenned out! It’s so so important to integrate these things into your life as much as possible, especially in times when you have an endless list of things to do. Moments of stillness actually improve your productivity!
Whatever you’ve got on today, make sure to scrape out some time for yourself. You 100% deserve it!