Stress less

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We all lead busy lives. I often feel like the sector I work in makes me feel like I’m running on a tread mill and can’t stop or get off. It’s partly why I love my job, I feel like you have to constantly learn, work and strive to improve your knowledge and skill-set. I aim to work smart, I gym, I socialise, try to blog, read, etc…. but often feel frazzled. A brunch date with a dear friend sided with me on society’s need for everyone to promote just how busy they are 24/7. I can’t be alone in thinking that if you have a day to spare, a lazy day with few plans, it’s seen as odd. Society looks down on you.

It’s as if we pride ourselves on being constantly busy, constantly on the move and constantly switched on. It’s almost a luxury these days to turn your phone off and just relax, be in the moment and take time out to re-charge our batteries.

So, for every Career Girl chasing her dream of getting ahead and becoming successful, there is a thin line between pushing yourself and burning out. It’s not good to overwork yourself to exhaustion. It’s not good for your health, mental or physical, or your soul, especially considering stress can exacerbate just about any illness and yet there are a few simple inexpensive things you can easily fit into your life to stress less, be more healthy and happy in your daily life!

Switch off

I am the worst at this. The first thing I check once I have turned my alarm off is Twitter. On my bus to work I catch up on the latest blogs, news and PR & marketing happenings. I scroll through every social media app I have, again and again. I stare at a screen all day. Come home and am glued to Netflix. Which is why I like to have ‘down days’ or even weekends where I like to not look at a screen and I turn off all devices. Initially, it’s hard to get used to as we are all so accustomed to checking our phones, it’s like we can’t survive without them, right? Trust me, this is great for calming the mind without notifications distracting you. One of the best decisions I made was deleting Facebook – much to the horror of friends!

Exercise

As Elle Woods would say, endorphin’s make you happy. Scientifically proven, exercise has always helped me improve my concentration, memory and has significantly improved my stress levels. It’s important to find a workout or activity you love, and many places offer free Yoga to try if you don’t want to commit. I despise running and working out at the gym, so opt for Yoga, Hiit, circuits, Spin and boxing classes.

Mediate

There is no need to chant, unless you want to. I was sceptical at first but found Yoga, vinyasa flow, to work wonders on my aches and pains and mental well-being. It teaches you to breath deeply, inhale and exhale through the nose and to be in the moment. It really helps me clear my mind whilst maintaining my flexibility. Even just sitting peacefully and taking a few breaths is sufficient – there are many apps available to help focus the mind and relax.

Work smarter

I find it funny when people boast about how many extra hours they put in at work. In reality, I feel this is more a reflection of how poorly one manages their workload. If you work efficiently, manage your workload, organise and work smarter, not harder, you achieve so much more, and no need to clock extra hours! Prepare the day before, with to do lists, prioritising tasks and thinking how best to use your time can benefit you on the day. I learnt whilst reading Robert Caldini’s book ‘Persuasion techniques’, that writing your goals on paper ensure you are much more likely to stick to it and fulfil it, than just verbally stating you’ll complete a task.

Challenge yourself & treat yourself!

We all work hard, but when was the last time you selfishly treated yourself? Don’t be afraid to spend your hard earned money on yourself. Treat yourself to a spa day, that nice top, a bath bomb, a holiday or take yourself out to dinner. It’s important to take time out to congratulate yourself, your body and mind because our bodies are often put to extremes, we are all works of extraordinary machinery. We need to worship ourselves as it’s so easy to take life and our bodies for granted! It’s important to find those moments, whether it’s 24 minutes or 24 hours to relax and de-stress fully and unapologetically.

Go stress less,

Love Career Girl xoxo

My Gym Gear Feat. Daisy&Co

 

Now that I drive, you can find me hitting the gym 4 times a week, whether it be a relaxing yoga and tai chi session or a high intensity boxing class! And now, more than ever, I seem to live in gym attire, so it’s massively important I have clothes which fit, are functional for sweaty sessions, and, of course, make me look and feel great!

Following on from my ‘dress to impress & dress for success’ post with work-wear, I strongly feel it is paramount to wear whatever makes you feel not only comfortable, but good about yourself too. How can you push yourself and achieve your personal best, if you’re wearing ill-fitting see through leggings and a sports bra that offers no support?!

If you can afford it, I highly recommend getting the best that’s out there, but if not, I highly recommend H&M gym wear. Considering the price, they are surprisingly good, offering sweat-wicking running tops for approx. £14!

I’m always keen to try new gym gear and, recently, was given the opportunity to test out Daisy & Co London‘s latest range. Their new active brand was launched earlier this year I believe. New to the game, they have black sportswear with their logo, and outrageously bright purple options too. They are incredibly high quality and are lovely and soft against the skin.

They arrived in the post and honestly, first impressions were that both items would be too big for me. I’m normally a size xs and these looked huge! However, I was wrong. After trying both on, I realised that the fabric was super soft and high stretch, perfect for sweaty hot yoga or even HIIT classes. The gorgeous detailing on the back of the black sports bra allows for extra movement, which isn’t always apparent in other brands. Often, most sports bras are rigid and thus, limits your movements. I tested these out last week and was really impressed by them!

The purple top isn’t something I would normally opt for, as I tend to go for blacks and greys at the gym, but they go really well with an all black outfit. They would be perfect for summer days, especially as I often do yoga outside when it’s warmer & sunnier!

What I’m wearing: 

Top: Daisy Pansy Print Keyhole Vest

Sports bra: Black Cross back

Leggings: Lululemon Athletic 

Trainers: Asics from Sweaty Betty

 

What brands do you wear to the gym? I hope you enjoyed this post & let me know what you think in the comments!

Love Career Girl

 

xo

 

PS items marked with * were gifted for promotional purposes yet opinions are definitely mine! 

 

 

Best Workout Classes You Need To Try!

aral-tasher-132714.jpgGym bunny? High five! With a background in dance and a self-confessed, amateur Yogi and Pilates lover, there is nothing I love more than kicking stress in the butt with killer workouts and seriously getting my sweat on!

The classes mentioned below are some of the best workout experiences, with some being completely free and others nearly breaking the bank, but, are guaranteed to make you work hard. I can’t recommend them enough! Whether you are a newbie to fitness or an avid gym-goer, these classes are fun and pretty intense too! This post is long overdue. I attended all these classes over the course of 2016, so let’s get started!

Breathe Studios – Farnham & Lululemon

There was a massive amount of buzz around the opening of this gym earlier this year and I was super eager to find out why. It’s considered a boutique gym based in the heart of Farnham. It doesn’t feel like a Gym in the sense it’s very open plan and cool. It’s hard to explain unless you see it! There’s also a super tasty onsite eatery ‘Nourish’ and snazzy showers, plus changing rooms. The classes are centred on essentially these 3 concepts, Move, Sculpt & Ride – the latter I am SO keen to try out!

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A while back I was lucky to attend the free Glowga event with the lovely ladies from Lululemon, held at Breathe Studios. Lululemon is a Canadian fitness brand which, in addition to making the best workout gear, also offer and organise free events for and within the community. Glowga (A glow in the dark yoga rave – pretty rad, right?!) was a blast! Lululemon organised shuttle buses to and from the event. As we arrived we were greeted by the instructors and Claire from Good Vibrations Yoga led the class – it was so much fun, a complete sell out! Afterwards, we were given free cocktails from The Botanist and dinner supplied by Nourish. If you want to start yoga or even running, in a relaxed fun environment, Lululemon offer free classes, which is a great way to try something new without a huge expense if you don’t enjoy it!

Red Hot Yoga

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Red Hot Yoga – (taken from website)

My co-worker, an avid red hot yoga goer, raved about these classes and how beneficial they were, especially if you want to improve your flexibility. *ping*On my birthday I receive an email from Red Hot Yoga, to try a FREE class of my choice. Normally prices are approx. £13/15 so I jumped at the opportunity. All I knew was that yoga would be held in a very hot room.

I took a small towel with me (idiot, the receptionist took pity on me and brought me a huge towel… FWI bring a full size towel!). Held in a room at approx. 38 – 42C it was seriously hot, in fact, as soon as you walk into the room you practically sweat! I found this class a very intense, hard class, but felt the benefits almost instantly. It was like having a mini detox, my skin felt better and my body was able to stretch more, yet definitely not for the fainthearted!

Barrecore – High St. Kensington

I had vaguely heard of Barrecore but wrongly presumed it would be just like ballet, (in ballet there’s elements of Barre work) but in actual fact, it’s a dance based workout using your body as resistance. The boutique Gym is beautiful! Complete with soft carpet (you wear socks to class) free use of lovely showers and air conditioning. Thankfully, because ten minutes in I was close to quitting!

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Barrecore – Kensington (photo taken from website)

This was by far THE MOST INTENSE class ever! Honestly. The instructors are great, friendly and really work you hard! You will be glad of the 5 minutes relaxation at the end. This class will guarantee every inch of your body aches the next day. Thighs especially will be on FIRE – you will seriously feel the burn! I highly recommend trying but classes are expensive, the first introductory class is £25!

 

Equinox ‘Bootcamp’ at The Mondrian

I booked myself in for this one off Equinox bootcamp class held at the stunning 5 star hotel’s Rumpus Room complete with insane views of London, overlooking the river Thames. The Equinox summer residency included, Boxing, Barre Burn & Bootcamp, the latter which I attended. The £35 ticket for the Bootcamp included a buffet style breakfast which was divine! The workout itself was great, a mix of mat workouts and crawling! The best thing though was doing the plank and squats with the most glorious, early morning view of London!

Next on my hit list is to try Frame studios and my goal is to get invited to the Skinny Bitch Collective classes. I’ll keep dreaming….

Let me know if you have tried any of these classes and if you have any insane fitness classes in London please let me know!

Love Career Girl,

xo