Thursday thoughts

It’s the busiest time of year for me at work, and so it is important for me to think of ways to stay calm and keep well. None of what I have to say is new, and I know I don’t always listen to my own advice but…here are my top ten tips.

1 Eat well. Eat lots of vegetables of different colours, whole grains, good, lean protein. Yes, well, we all know that, but it is even more important to maintain balance when stressed

2 Consider using a meditation app like Headspace. Or follow handy meditation tips like these from Don’t Give a Jam.

3 Go for a walk, in the park of by the ocean, whatever you like, whatever you have access to. Fresh air and exercise always help.

Calm moment by the sea

4 Do some exercise. This doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym. Walking, yoga, and my favourite, Pilates are all exercise. I honestly always feel 100 times better after my Pilates class, with a refreshed body and refreshed mind. And then sleep well (the most important thing!).

5 Get one with nature. Plant some seeds, smell some flowers, watch and listen to the birds. Cuddle a cat, play with a dog, even go to the zoo. If you are in Wellington, go to Zealandia.

Cuddle a cat….or at least say hello

6 Treat yourself. Now don’t splurge money you don’t have…buy a bunch of flowers, have a bath, have a special tea or coffee, buy some nice bread to enjoy for breakfast. Or splash out and have a massage.

7 Pick up something nice to read, an old favourite, something light and easy to read, a book about flowers or cookery or whatever you are interested in. Maybe read about a 7 day slow living challenge at Pick Up Limes, or check out favourite blog posts (Six on Saturday, Notes from the Hinterland) or listen to an audio book or podcast.

8 Dance. Put on some music, close the curtains and dance.

9 Breathe. Very important. Try ‘square breathing’. Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, exhale for four counts, hold for four counts. Repeat.

10 Plan a trip. Even just dreaming about where you might want to go. It doesn’t have to be a round the world exploring adventure, it could even be a neighbouring city you haven’t been to for ages.

Arriving home to Wellington

I am sure you have hundreds of more suggestions. What are your top de-stressing tips?

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram@thistleandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on


  1. All good tips. My favorite is reading a light but well written novel. Always feel refreshed afterward. Also watching something light but soothing (and well done) at night on television. Right now my husband and I are absorbed with “Escape to the Country.” Very stressful times right now in the United States, and we need to employ a full bag of relaxation tactics. Hope you sail serenely through your busy time.


      1. We need these respites. As you noted in your post today (October 11), this does not mean burying your head in the sand. But we do need a break from all the stupidity and maliciousness.

        Liked by 1 person

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