Spoiler: Sometimes Netflix binging and lying in bed 99% of the time is not actually as good as it sounds.

I know, is that really a thing? Really really? I personally find it very hard to find real happiness between a binge session of Grey's Anatomy whilst in a food coma and going off exploring in a foreign country. Between the sofa and the sun there are the dull bits, the everyday life where you spend your time daydreaming about the beach. Or, alternatively the 'too much of a good thing' dilemma when suddenly you don't want to be on the beach and just want to get back to normality. Think of it like Tequila- it always sounds like a good idea until you wake up on a strangers sofa with a pain in your ankle where you fell off the bar snogging a Robbie Coltrane lookalike. Either way, the grass is always greener.

My tequila is currently being off work. Being off work and being off life sounds like a cracking time, but rest assured, it's not. And the more I lay about doing nothing, the more I feel like I can't just switch off, I start to feel internally claustrophobic. I have nothing to concentrate on other than myself and my thoughts and sometimes distraction is exactly what makes you appreciate yourself. So I thought I'd write a list of various ways to escape. Most of you will be in the opposite scenario, wanting to escape your work, escape humans or escape the pull of Making a Murderer. But follow the advice of the list, just shut out the rest of the world and concentrate on yourself for an hour. 

1. Write lists- not the kind where you frantically write down notes, but take your time, dig out your nicest notepad and write lists for the year, what you want to do, what you want to change or how you want to keep your life in the happy place it is. 

2. Change your bed and switch off- obviously the sheets not the bed itself, that would be a bit extreme for a lil' old list. There's nothing better than getting into a freshly made bed. Climb on in, turn off your phone and laptop and get lost in a book. This is also the perfect way to send yourself to sleep as the screen from technology keeps your brain buzz buzz buzzing away.

3. Buy an adult colouring book- Mind out of the gutter please, not an adult book, we won't be colouring male bits to calm the mind, unless that's your thing- then you do you. But the ones where you colour in intricate beautiful woodland drawings or landscapes or Harry Potter scenes. 

4.Go to a market- The kind where you can barter and buy fresh flowers and fresh fruit and veg. Where there are all kinds of smells and temptations. Resist using your phone, bring your camera and snapshot the colours and the atmosphere.

5. Declutter- Not cleaning. Don't touch the hoover or the polish. But sort out your work space  or your wardrobe. Your future self will love you for it and those size 6 'motivation jeans' were not motivating you last night when you ordered pizza so throw them and buy swanky new fitting jeans. 

6. Find an exercise to lose yourself in- Admittedly, those of us who are a) broken b) allergic to exercise will probably find the former 5 choices easier, but finding an exercise you love allows you to concentrate internally. It can allow your mind wander and gives you time to shut everything out or alternatively mentally resolve things. Even going for a walk in the countryside will allow you to clear your head. 

7. Stay switched off for an hour in the morning-  For most of us, the god awful snooze button is located on our phones. Invest in a super cheap radio alarm clock and give yourself an hour in the morning free from technology. If people really need to get hold of you they will find a way, nothing which is non-urgent can reach you and you can separate yourself from your phone and laptop. Fill your time with making breakfast and having a shower, things you don't need your phone or laptop for for so you won't feel like you miss it as much! 

8. Spend time on something you love- If you want to switch off without feeling like you are switching off, invest an amount of time a day into something you love (which isn't drinking coffee or buying makeup). This is ideal if you play an instrument because it's so easy to forget about the time and day when you start playing, the amount of time I've spent at a piano is ridiculous but it never feels like any time at all.

9. Write instead of type- Write out your blog posts. This is something I'm trying to do a lot more. I'm currently sat in Cafe Nero and spent the first hour and a bit here writing out this blog post, phone face down, laptop in bag. Now I've cracked onto my laptop but I was so much more productive without the distraction of Facebook or Instagram. 

10. Go out alone. Go and explore a city or a part of the town you're not used to. Get a train somewhere random but just get out of the bubble you see everyday. Take photos but once again, leave your phone at the bottom of your bag. It's there for emergencies but doesn't need to be depended on. 

I hope some of these give you a bit of inspiration to give yourself a peaceful hour or even day. Being extremely limited in what I can do at the moment means I'm always looking for things which will break me out of my routine, which is essentially going to lectures and then sitting on the sofa for hours. Adult colouring books have given me time to switch off from everything  but as soon as I'm able, I'll be introducing all of these other methods into my life. Sometimes it's just nice to switch off.

Ciao for Now!
x