Happy New Year my little monkeys!!!!
Let this year be the best year for you in your work, relationships and living life to the fullest.
Last year was in interesting one for me, it was a year of changes and reassessing what was going on in life. Feeling a little lost and not really knowing what I wanted to do in life. I'm sure everyone has experienced this or is experiencing it. Well just so you know, you're definitely not alone! Everyone I seem to speak to doesn't have a clue what they're doing, especially in the creative industry, especially living in London. Seems that this generation has been dealt a bit of a rough hand...
But I just wanted to give out some suggestions of the things that got me through the year and at a point where I'm actually really happy! Not to rub it in peoples faces... it just seems like things have come together right now and I have a positive outlook on life. Let these be some ideas that could spark some interest or reignite some fun in your life!
When reading you are swept away to this other world where you don't have to think about anything but the characters in the book. You have to actually use your imagination and things come alive. You can find books anywhere, charity shops, swapping with friends, libraries, and in a lot of train stations they have community libraries so you can grab a book on your commute. It's an important part of my night routine and I find it hard to sleep if I haven't been reading.
These were some of my favourite books last year. They interested me in different ways and affected me for a good while after I'd read them.
2. Exhibitions and Museums
So I'm lucky enough to work in a museum, which means my pass gets me into loads of exhibitions for free. It's one of the best things I own and it's meant that the world has been opened up. Sooo many inspiring things to see out there. Just going out and seeing something provides a experiences that add to your life. It makes you realise the things you like and dislike and even if it's crap, you will still take something away from it! Walking around and absorbing all the creativity and colours always sparks some new ideas for me. Places like the Tate Modern, the V&A, Natural History Museum, Wellcome Collection are all amazing places and always have free things to visit. So don't think you can't see the good stuff cus it's too expensive, cus there's always something to see! Download the app Art Rabbit and it will show you loads of exhibitions near you. Things you wouldn't have known about otherwise. Go out there, see the world!
3. Kew Gardens
This place is AMAZING. Nuff said.
4. Live Music
There's soooo much to see and hear out there and sooooo much talent!! If like me, you are a jazz lover then the jazz scene is thriving right now. Places like the Jazz Cafe, Jazz Refreshed, Jazz in the Round, Ronnie Scotts, Kings Place are killing it with young talent. And if you hate jazz, then there's loads of other stuff out there. Places like the Royal Festival Hall and Kings Place always have free stuff going on during the weekend. Get out there, listen for yourselves because nothing is as incredible as seeing people play in front of you and feeling alive! It's so different to listening to music on your phone or on a CD. You have to be there to really feel it.
So this one brings me a lot a lot of joy. I dance everywhere. Work, home, in da clubs, in the toilet, cooking. Hip hop is my new dance that I'm learning and every Monday it feels like the best start to the week. You get there, bust some moves, have a laugh, learn to look ridiculous while dancing but owning it, make some new friends, sweat a bucket load, and feel like the week is gunna be siiiiick! Screw the gym, that is boring and soo unmotivational (is that a word?) it's the only exercise I look forward to because it doesn't feel like exercising. I urge anyone who's wanted to try it, to just give it a go. Try any kind of dance, just take that step and the rewards will be massive. Your confidence will grow and that new hobby one day a week will be the best thing!
6. CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)
Now this one is a little personal, but I think it's important to share this kind of stuff, I didn't know whether to add this in, but F*@£ it!! It could help someone out there. I was going through a bit of a rough patch, broken my foot, didn't know what to do with my life, feeling a bit trapped in London. So I found that Camden Council had a free CBT service. It was 6 weeks of group sessions on ways to deal with feeling low and building confidence in yourself through training your brain to think differently. Different ways to approach difficult situations and how to make them a part of your life. It was actually a really great course, because it made me see that this is an issue that needs to be talked about, mental health, and it seems that everybody goes through it at some stage. So being in this group of people was an experience that made me see things clearly. I met a whole amazing group of people and it made problems seem that much easier to deal with. If you're struggling with stuff then I would recommend something like this. Meet nice people and they give you biscuits and juice! Now if that's not selling it to you then I don't know what will!?
7. Getting out into nature
If you grew up in the city like me, then being outdoors is kinda weird, but also feels great! One of my favourite places is my aunty and uncles farm in Scotland because I get to run around with sheep, sit on hay bales, feed pigs and ask my uncle 'farm questions' like don't sheep get cold? How do they make those big hay bales? What is grass made of? Isn't it gross mucking out horses? What do sheep eat? Should we be vegetarian? Don't you get cold outside? When do I get to squidge the sheep? Will you let me sit inside the pen surrounded by lambs that jump around me?
But aside from all the questions, being outdoors feels soo good! Being at one with nature, away from annoying people on Oxford Street, and smelly people on the tube. It's just you and the grass and trees! Gives you some space to breathe! Get on that train to the countryside and have a wander, who knows what you might find.....
8. Drawing, painting, making
Now you're obviously thinking "that's what she does for a living so it's easy for her" but honestly anyone can do it. Take a class, go life drawing, watch Art Ninja on bbc iPlayer. This book is a really great book and even though it says it's for kids, it has some super simple and effective ways of loosening up your drawing and gets the creativity going. I would highly recommend it.
This is also a brilliant book and makes drawing animals so easy. We like to use it and draw animals at work when it's quiet.
So I think I've said enough, but I hope it inspires you to do something new this year and have some fun. Enjoy! And let me know if you end up doing any of these things and if it works out for you.
Have a good'n!!