Friday, 28 November 2014

Stressed? Give thanks!

So for some reason, the vast majority of my readers are from America. It's a bit odd 'cos I'm a New Zealander by birth and living (and writing about) in England but I really appreciate you guys!

Anyway, as you probably realise, we don't have Thanksgiving here. This is just an ordinary week in late Autumn.

For me, this has been a really tough week. Lots of angst at work, lots of people getting heated, lots of difficulties to negotiate and unmanageably huge amounts of work to do. So, as well as sweating it out at the gym every day (impressive, eh?), I thought it would be a good idea to practise gratitude.

What are the benefits of gratitude?
"More than any other personality trait, gratitude is strongly linked to mental health and life satisfaction...

Not only is gratitude a warm and uplifting way to feel, it benefits the body as well. People who experience gratitude cope better with stress, recover more quickly from illness, and enjoy more robust physical health, including lower blood pressure and better immune function."

Good enough for me! So, to get on with the gratitude, I am thankful for:
The beauty of Bristol, of England, of autumn, of the wildlife. 

I still appreciate walking through the park with the streetlights shining through the mist, large plane-tree leaves on the ground, golden leaves on the branches above, quaint cobbled streets and the amazingly beautiful St Mary Redcliffe church lit up to show off its sculptures.

We have adorable blue tits in the tree outside our kitchen window. I regularly see red kites, buzzards and other raptors on my way to work.

 My lovely husband
Not to get too soppy on you, but we've been married nearly 14 years and together for over half our lives. He is (to coin a cliche) my rock, my best friend and is generally a good person to have around.

How much I have managed to learn about doing my job
I did a short project management course this week and I found it rather affirming. It was really nice to see that I did actually know how to use all the tools and also some of the traps that you can fall into.

We've also had a bunch of new people at work and again, it has shown up how much I have actually managed to learn. I've still got the rest of my career to keep learning, but it's comforting to see that after about 15 years of work, I have managed to gain some skills.

Food and drink!
As much as I'd like not to be the size of a house, I do love my food. I'm grateful for good coffee in the morning (using our aeropress - it's delicious, try it!) and nice wine at night. I'm grateful for the cafe down the road from work which makes good quality food for reasonable prices. I nipped out for a very late lunch today and got a mix of Greek salad and pasta salad and a chocolate brownie for under £5.

So, happy Thanksgiving one and all and remember to regularly practise gratitude. You can start by telling me one thing you're grateful for, if you like.


  1. IMO the gym is essential for controlling stress and good for you for maintaining your visit. (So are the brownies!) I am grateful for many of the same small joys of life, and a wonderful husband.

    1. Hmm... I've been away for work all week. I'm looking forward to a bit of exercise this weekend (even if it's just walking) as I've been doing so much sitting!


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