In my last post, I was pretty honest about how I’ve been feeling and how I’ve really struggled with not being in my home country the last couple of weeks. I received some really nice messages of support following the post and some really helpful advice from people who’ve been through the same thing. Writing it all down was actually very therapeutic and helped me to work through everything and develop a plan of action to make the coming weeks more positive. I’ve done a lot of work on my mindset this last week and making the time to do things that are important to me and that I know lift my mood. I have to say it’s really helped, I’ve felt so much better and determined to persevere.
First off I got myself out running. However much I don’t want to go sometimes I know I ALWAYS feel better for it. I’ve been mixing my runs up, some short and fast ones with others being longer and at a slightly slower pace. Running can sometimes be a little monotonous and this is a nice way to keep it interesting. I also looked back at my run history (I use to Nike Run Club app to track mine) since I came to France and I can easily run nearly twice the distance I as doing back in England just before coming here. Another positive I can take from my time here and another reason to keep to my personal commitment of three times a week. The weather is turning so I need to pick up a couple of cold/wet weather pieces…no excuses!
Next up was getting all my shit in order. Friends and family would tell you I love to be organised, I love a list and yes I’m maybe (definitely) a bit of a control freak. There were four main things that were making me anxious. The first being my finances; I knew au pairing meant I would be living off a much smaller budget than I’ve been used to so I saved in the lead up to leaving the U.K. However, I wanted to work out all the monthly expenses I’d have over the next nine months (how long I have left), including Coachella, a friends wedding and my school fees so I know exactly what I’ll have left at the end of my au pairing contract. I can’t tell you how much better I feel know I’ve done that. Anxiety levels down a notch. Next was not having a French bank account yet. It’s notoriously tricky to obtain an account here as an expat BUT it’s something I need to arrange. Living without a bank card is becoming tricky especially as it means anything I buy online has to be bought with my English card which means spending money that is supposed to be being ‘saved’. So, I’ve contacted a bank in Paris near my school to arrange an appointment to open an account. Another thing ticked off the list…let’s just hope I manage to take along all the documents they’ll require. The third was that I hadn’t started my Christmas shopping yet (because I hadn’t sorted out my finances) and I know that might seem like a slightly bizarre thing to be stressed about in November but like I said I like to be organised and I’ve normally made a pretty good dent in the list by now. I’ve got a fairly large family and as I’ll be doing almost all my Christmas shopping online this year so it can be delivered directly to my parents I wanted to get started. Now aware of my budget I could get started and that I did. One week later and I’m nearly finished, just a couple of final bits to buy either here in France or when I arrive home on the 22nd December. Another level of anxiety down, it feels gooooood.
Third up was my CV. Even though I’ve got nine months left here I haven’t touched my CV for six years (how long I was at the company I worked for) and it needed some serious work. I don’t want to leave it until the last minute and I want to make it as as good as it can be. Hence, I’ve started working on it now. It’s getting there, slowly. My plan is to hopefully stay and work in Paris post au pairing, I’d like to go back into marketing but we’ll have to see how good my French is by then and what kind of opportunities there are. Anyway, another thing ticked off and another level of stress down.
The final thing is really split into two parts. The first was to continue reading, I always find this relaxing and a good way to take a break from my phone. Since Apple introduced the screen time function I’ve been keeping an eye on how much I’m using my phone…it’s actually quite scary how long you can spend on your phone in one day sometimes! Trying to keep that in mind I’ve been picking up my book more. Currently reading: The Most Beautiful Walk in the World, A Pedestrian in Paris by John Baxter. It’s a really interesting read and I’ve learnt so much about Paris I’d probably never have known otherwise. My aunt gave it to me and I’m so glad she did, I’d recommend to anyone who has an interest in Paris or who is an expat living here. The second element is bullet journaling. I was never really sure what this was until I cam across it on Pinterest the other day, from what I understand it’s basically a way of writing notes, quotes, to do lists, goals etc. but in a really pretty way. You add little doodles or experiment with different writing styles and can add colour, whatever you like really. It looked interesting to me and I had a spare notebook to hand so gave it a try and I’ve found it VERY relaxing. It’s just nice making things look pretty isn’t it, even if it takes a little longer.
I spent an hour on FaceTime with one of my best friends last week. It was so nice to see and talk to one of my best friends for so long, a great way to start my Sunday morning! It’s important not to shut yourself off when you’re feeling down, even though that might be what you feel like doing. Friends and family are so integral to my happiness and speaking to them makes me feel closer to home. The last two weeks at school have also been really positive, it suddenly feels likes things are starting to click. That might change in the coming weeks but for now I’m going to enjoy it. Oh and I’ve also been watching a lot of films, mainly Harry Potter as it appeared on Netflix in France last week. This week I WILL finish Mad Men though, I’ve only got a couple of episodes left and to be honest I’m looking forward to it ending. So there are some of the main things I’ve been doing to help lift my mood and I’m definitely feeling so much better than I was. It’s also only just over a month until I’m home which IS SO EXCITING! One of my sisters sent me an advent calendar (Cadbury Daily Milk of course) so I can literally count down the days with chocolate. Perfect.