Making a Fresh Start

Making a Fresh Start

Can you even believe it’s already April, school holidays next week and we are into the 2nd quarter of 2019! I have had the strangest of starts to 2019; from getting that nasty flu virus twice this year then viral meningitis , 3 weeks ago my son and I were in a car accident ( and still in recovery). I came out with a broken bone in my hand; not great as I am a photographer, bruised sternum and chest ligaments, and my son has concussion and whiplash. Pretty frightening experience for us both as my son watched me being taken by stretcher to the ambulance in a lot of chest pain. We are both extremely thankful to the amazing NHS emergency services and the wonderful people that stayed to look after us both.

Boy has that all messed up with my 2019 plans. Although I don’t make New Year Resolutions ( see my post here), I still have plans, aspirations and dreams for the upcoming year that I like to reflect on every quarter. This year it feels like every time I try and get that mojo flowing and put myself out there, I have had a knock back. It makes me question everything about myself, my business, am I good enough, it really has messed with my brain.

For someone who has clinical depression this has been a really trying time for me and my family. I am very fortunate to have good friends around me, one a life coach and one a wellbeing coach amongst them. Both have spoken to me and told me I have to slow down, listen to my body and take time out for myself, less time on social media. In fact both Gina and Natasha have said to delete the apps from my phone ! Pretty scary if I am to be honest lol , but nothing is going to happen if I step away for a week is there. I may loose a few followers, nothing major in the grand scheme of things.

The other advise they gave me is to take baby, mindful steps at a time. This advise is the greatest gift they both gave me, one I need to work on, not to pressure myself and not to make such big goals that the end seems nigh impossible. One of those baby steps is to get some fresh air everyday , no pressure to count steps, just fresh air that will clear my mind, be beneficial to my mental health, good for my heart, and Buddy benefits too!

So here goes my fresh start and hopefully a healthy one at least!

 

 

Why I don’t make New Year Resolutions

Why I don’t make New Year Resolutions

It’s that time of year again, Big Ben has chimed in a New Year 2019 and gym memberships are being signed up, cookbooks for healthy eating are flying of the shelves, and I’ve already broken every NY resolution I have made and its only January 3rd !

So I’m not making any. And what a burden has been lifted of my shoulders already by just writing it down ! Oh the pressure to lose 4 stone by the end of the year, exercise every day for an hour, get up an hour early, write a journal, the list is endless. I’ve made resolutions like this for years and fail at the first hurdle. This year I have thought long and hard and I am NOT making a single resolution. Even the word “resolution” sends shivers up my spine! Instead looking at setting small achievable goals like, set my alarm clock 10 minutes earlier and building up time over a longer period. Loose 1lb a week, thats 52 lbs in a year! 4 stone is a terrifying amount of weight when you look at it like that. Write a journal once a week and build from there. This all becomes so much more achievable straight away. And who says you have to start them on January 1st anyways ??

Instead I am going to make small goals that when I look back in 12 months a larger goal will have been achieved. This starts with my word for 2019. This year I choose BRAVE. It just popped into my head and I kept coming back to this word BRAVE. I looked it up in the dictionary to understand fully what BRAVE would mean for me.

n : braveCourageous, dauntless, perhaps a little bit daring, a person who is brave faces dangerous or difficult situations with courage. … Both adjective and verb forms of the word share a common meaning — the sense of having courage or acting fearlessly.

It does not mean “being afraid and doing it anyway.” Nope. Brave means listening to the still small voice inside and DOING AS IT SAYS. Regardless of what the rest of the world is saying. Brave implies WISDOM.

I love everything BRAVE stands for, I am going to step out of my comfort zone. I am going to not let my fears hold me back. I am going to be a little bit daring!

Being brave will mean:

  • Taking my business to the next level and not holding back because of my age.
  • Taking control of my eating habits
  • Meeting new people and not worrying what they may think of me
  • Embracing turning 50 this year and not hold back because of a number
  • Contacting businesses/individuals I want to collaborate with, they can only say no in the end!
  • Stop comparing myself to others on social media and accept who I am and like me ( this is one of the toughest for me to be honest)
  • Stop listening to the voices in my head telling me I can’t, be brave and try it. Better to have tried than not tried at all

I cannot wait to see where my word takes me in 2019.

Do you make resolutions or do you choose a word for the year? Would love to hear your thoughts…

PS : Highly recommend listening to Christina Greve’s podcast on goal setting for some great tips

Comparison is the Thief of Joy

Comparison is the Thief of Joy

Comparison Is the Thief of Joy” Theodore Roosevelt, argues that comparing your work, your life, or whatever else will only serve to make you unhappy.

 

Powerful quote don’t you think? And from my post on Instagram it seems most of us deal with comparing ourselves to others as some point in our life’s, others more often. Unfortunately I am one of those that spends a lot of time browsing the internet and social media feeds , comparing myself, my work , my lifestyle with others. What good does this do for me? None whats so ever!

Since childhood I have been told that I am not good enough, my grades could be better, not pretty enough, not slim enough , the list goes on , by family members and boyfriends since I can remember. It’s led me to never take compliments well, and on the flip side too seek recognition for anything I do, from cooking, to wearing a new top, to business ventures. I need to be told I am doing OK.

Motherhood comes around and we spend the next 5 years comparing our children to other children by how fast our baby walks and talks, reads on their own, does up their shoelaces. Deep down we know our children develop at different rates and they will get to their own milestones when they are good and ready. In a world of social media where every like counts its a pretty damaging place we can get ourselves into. Comparison is generally the fast track to unhappiness. It’s a recipe for misery. All it does is keeping you focused on what you don’t like about yourself and your life.

So how can we change this shift in our heads and remind ourselves we are all unique individuals with our own stories to tell, our own lives to live in our very own and special way.

Here are my 5 top tips to stop comparing yourself to others 

 

  • Do a social media detox. This sounds scary I know, but social media is the biggest problem in todays world when it comes to comparing ourselves with the unreal “instagram” world. We all do it, we all wish we were that person , living that life in those tiny squares. There are lost of apps out here that can help minimise your time spent on social media ; Freedom and In Moment are two worth having a look at.

 

  • Turn comparison into inspiration. Those images we see on social media, there is a back story to them and probably not so glamorous as the final image. We tend to focus on their success and not on the thousand of hours spent getting there. Be inspired by their hard work and let this motivate you to try harder at reaching your goal. My plan is to move to the South of France , part of achieving that goal is I must be able to speak French. I have weekly French lessons, taking me one step closer to achieving my goal. Looking at someone sitting in France living my life is not going to happen if I don’t do anything about it !

 

  • Look at your past . I bet you have achieved so much already. Be proud, write down a list of achievements you are proud of, big and small. You will most likely surprise yourself with your list. Pin it up somewhere prominent to remind you.

 

  • Meditation and exercise. Such a great way to spend quiet time with yourself , away from the everyday hustle and bustle of life. Empty your mind of all that negativity. Headspace is a great app that I highly recommend. My son uses it as well and has found meditation helps with his anxiety. Taking yourself outside for a walk in the fresh air, helps boost those endorphins and will, I assure you make you feel so much better.

 

  • Be grateful for what you have. Oprah said, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” Never a truer quote. Stop wasting valuable time putting yourself down and start improving your life and well being with positive people around you and positive thoughts.

 

I need this reminder as well and will definitely be listening to the headspace app again, and doing a social detox . The weather is perfect for a walk outside, wrap up warm and breathe in some fresh air and enjoy nature.

Would love to hear how you deal with negative comparison in the comments.

Anna x

 

Hello

Hello

It’s been a long time in the making but here it is!

New look, new feel to Anna Bowkis Photography. A place to come and sit down with a cuppa and read about my travels, share recipes and talk about our favourite places to grab a coffee and cake. Sharing real life struggles and successes in this world of social media and running a business, interviews from small business owners and top tips to help you navigate this digital world we live in.

For those looking for my photography, wether you are looking for my brand photography or my family sessions , easy to navigate galleries for you to scroll through are here.

The struggle has been real as I have put off launching for a long time, and realise there really is never going to be a right time, so today I decided to push the live button!

I am looking forward to building my home on the web and hope you will share this journey with me. 

Conversation is key, and I love a good natter so do get in touch !

Anna xx