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5 New Habits That Have Made My Life Less Stressful

5 New Habits That Have Made My Life Less Stressful

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Photos by Kevin

CLUSE Watch // Poco by Pippa Jeans // H&M Jumper // River Island White Shirt
iClothing Duster Coat (Similar HERE) // ASOS Boots (Similar HERE) //
Eugene Kim Hat (Similar HERE) // Vintage Sunnies (Similar HERE)

 

Happy Monday everyone, I hope you all had a great weekend! Luckily, the weather is being a little bit nicer to us here in NYC today and I definitely feel like Spring is FINALLY here. So I thought it would be nice to share this Spring-like outfit with you guys along with my newest CLUSE watch – which I love! It’s from their new limited edition ‘La Roche Dalmatian’ collection. The watch is one of two in the collection which are both super unique as they are created from real Dalmatian stone. Similar to the marble watch I already have, each dial is completely different which I really like! The print really adds something unique to the classic CLUSE style and I’m excited to have this one in my collection. I will actually be giving away one of these watches to one lucky follower this week, so be sure to keep an eye on my Instagram for that!

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Now that the season is about to change and we are nearly into April (how!?), I decided to take a look at my goals over the weekend. I made a big list at the start of the year, which you might have seen in my Dream 2017 post and every few months, I like to check in. I actually previously did a post all about how to evaluate goals, actually tackle them & get sh*t done and I went back and also looked at that over the weekend too. Sometimes, I do actually take my own advice, haha!

It’s funny, before I even went back into my Dream 2017 post, I felt guilty. For some reason, I had convinced myself that I just hadn’t done enough over the past few months. Isn’t it crazy how we can be so hard on ourselves without actually thinking things through? The start of 2017 has just flown by me and although it’s been a great year so far (absolutely no complaints), I had decided that I just wasn’t on track. I just assumed. But after looking back on the post, I realized that, actually, I have been pretty productive. I’m making progress and that’s always the main thing. So I have to admit, I surprised myself. If you haven’t made one of these lists – do it!! Honestly, it’s such a great way to keep track of progress and ensure you’re not being hard on yourself.

As I was looking back on the last few months, I actually realised that the reason I have made some progress without really noticing it is that I’ve definitely changed up my routine and habits a little this year. Some changes have worked, some haven’t – but overall, I do feel like these small changes have made a difference. So I wanted to do a quick post today to share my new habits , explain why they’re helping and hopefully you might be able to adopt some of them too. Here are 5 New Habits That Have Made My Life Less Stressful…

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1. Monday Brainstorm Sessions
Someone asked me over the weekend if I loved my job and without hesitation, I said yes. But no matter how much you love what you do, you still need plans & structure to ensure you’ll keep loving it. Since January, I’ve adopted a new method to planning my weeks and it has honestly made such a difference. Without fail each Monday morning, Kaelin & I sit at our table in the living room at 8am (we start every other day at 8:30am) to brainstorm for the week ahead. I want to do a really detailed post on this down the line as it’s made my life so much easier, but in brief, we look back on last week’s progress and then set a solid plan for the week ahead. We make a list of what needs to be done and then divide all the tasks into dedicated days. Mondays can be tough, but this helps me so much to clear my head and just really break things down. I’m the kind of person who’s always a bit overwhelmed, so this has helped me SO much. Whether you work for yourself or work for a company, set aside time on a Monday morning to prove to yourself that with a little planning, everything WILL get done. More to come on this!

2. I’m Going Out More
I won’t lie, I love going out.  Of course, if I have something big going on or need to work on a project, that always comes first – but when I have time to go out, I go. Since I got back to New York in January, I think I’ve been out for dinner/drinks more than ever and although I used to always think that this would have a negative affect on my productivity, it has actually done the opposite. It’s all about prioritizing and making time for things that allow you to switch off. I’m in my mid 20’s, I live in New York City and unless some sort of miracle happens, I won’t be at this exciting stage of life forever so it’s time to make the very most of it. Of course, career is a top priority for me right now, but the more I’ve learned to seperate it from my ‘weekend/evening life’, the more productive I’ve been when I am actually working. I’m off to a ‘Picture This’ concert here in New York tonight, for example, and I’m more motivated than ever today to get through my to-do list on time. Finding an actual balance has genuinely done wonders for my efficiency (and sanity, haha!).

3. I’m Getting Enough Sleep
Surprise surprise…this actually matters. Who would have known!? Sleep has been at the very bottom of my priority list for a long time now, but this year I just had to change it. I still don’t have the perfect sleeping pattern, but over the past few months, I’ve been going to bed earlier and waking up NOT feeling totally exhausted. If I get to bed before 12am, I’m happy. As I said, not perfect…but it’s progress. I then usually get up between 6:30-7am and this amount of sleep seems to be really working for me. Once you figure out how much your body needs, try as best as you can to stick to that routine.

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4. When I don’t feel like working, I don’t.
Now this might sound a bit weird, but the days/hours I just cannot face into a project, I don’t. I’ve learned that when I try to do something my heart isn’t fully in at that moment, it never ends well. So I take a break. I go outside for some fresh air, I move my stuff to a cafe, I read some of my favourite blogs to distract myself for 30 mins…I just take a step back. I’m a big believer in the fact that it doesn’t matter when you do the work, as long as it gets done. So don’t force it if it’s not working. Now if you don’t work for yourself and you have set hours at a company, this still applies. When you feel like you’re about to burst with frustration or are just really unmotivated to do something, STEP AWAY FROM YOUR DESK. You’re just wasting time trying to convince yourself to do it. Go grab a coffee and come back to it. I know this probably sounds like a simple thing, but a lot of us often feel too guilty to take these breaks and it’s the worst thing we can do. ALWAYS take a break when you need it and never feel one bit guilty for doing so. In the US, a lot of companies have ‘Mental Health’ days where you’re allowed to take a day off when you really feel like you need one for no other reason than you’re just not up for it that day…and I think it’s an amazing idea. You’re no good to anyone when you’re not in a good headspace, so always make sure you put yourself first and never feel guilty for doing so.

5. 10 minute Morning Walks 
Finally, if you’ve read My Morning Routine post, you’ll know that nearly every single morning before I start getting ready, I now head out for a quick 10-minute walk to get some fresh air. I had read about doing this in some article I found and figured I would give it a try for a week to see if it made a difference. And WOW, did it make a difference! If ever I wake up not feeling 100% , this fixes things straight away. I grab an iced coffee at one of my favourite cafes, wander around for about 10 minutes and then come back to my apartment feeling a million times better. It honestly is such a small thing, but probably the one that has been most effective of all.

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….and that’s it! Really small & simple habits that make a very big difference. I challenge you to introduce even one of these things I’ve mentioned into your life and let me know how you get on. You know I’m always up for a chat over on Instagram (@retroflame) and Snapchat (@retroflame1), so don’t be shy.

Have the best week everyone and don’t forget to keep an eye out for my CLUSE giveaway.
Erika x

*Huge thank you to CLUSE for partnering on this post.


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  1. Natasha

    20 March

    Hi Erika

    Loved this post. I’m definitely going to try and apply some of these things!

    Natasha x

  2. Lou M.

    20 March

    I really need to start doing some of those, specially sleeping more and going for walks, thanks for sharing!

    Technicolor ♥ Heart

  3. Wendie

    20 March

    Great post Erica! I need to structure my blogs and social media, and give into to bloggers block 👍🏻

  4. Will definitely use these tips as I’m redoing my blog and lining up some freelance work! Thanks for the inspiration :)

  5. Sam

    26 June

    The 10 minute morning walk is great i usually do quite a bit of walking early in the morning to clear my mind up and get me in a good mood.

  6. Oana

    25 September

    I will try the 10 minutes morning walks starting tomorrow :)
    I will let you know. Thank you Erika :*

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