Finding Focus in 2020: Mind, Body & Soul
In 2020, (and the lead up to the new year) I truly want to focus on my health and wellbeing – in a really kind and dedicated way. Self care isn’t just a hashtag. It’s a necessary part of modern life and I need to find consistency with it that I haven’t had before. I’m getting married next year and I know that can be a stressful time. And I really don’t want to be a stressed-out, run down bride. So that is also a huge motivator for me to make some conscious changes in my life.
I am realising more and more that want to still live an online life with a large amount of time spent offline & I want to inspire others to do the same.
I recently wrote the following for my blog business plan (yass, your girl is taking this v seriously):
Through StefanieGrace.com, I want to show female millennials, like myself, that we can find focus and create the life that we want. In spite of the technological distractions in our current burnout culture by leading by example and creating inspirational, informative content that explores the world and connects people, whilst reminding ourselves to take a deep breath and pause when needed.
In order to put this into context, let’s get real for a second. After a couple of months of thinking, reflecting and reconnecting with myself through reading, writing and spending a little less time online, I’ve realised that my need to get off the train was really a sign of online burnout with a sprinkle of anxiety and a huge side order of imposter syndrome as a solopreneur. I’m still navigating my way when it comes to working out how to use my 10+ years of social media, digital marketing, copywriting and blogging experience for good whilst still spending a significant amount of time offline.
If I’m honest, I am not entirely sure of what I am going to do with my business in 2020 at this moment in time. I have a lot of ideas. In fact, I’m filled with creativity and enthusiasm once again, which is great. I know I want to do something new with it. Something innovative and something that will fit my new online/offline lifestyle and persona. All I can really say is stay tuned. I’m not making any rushed decisions this time around.
However, I have made a few ‘resolutions’ so to speak. I use the term “resolutions” lightly as really I mean ‘life decisions’ because I’m pretty sure that resolutions are made to be broken, right?
Write, Write, Write
One thing that I definitely do want to do is to write more. Writing feeds my soul more than anything else. So I have decided to dedicate more time throughout the week to writing. And creating content in general. I’m really enjoying writing these blog posts at the moment. I made myself a few mini blogging rules which I am generally following. I haven’t been making a huge song and dance about promoting the posts on social media during this time where I’ve been taking a step back. BUT I am really encouraged by your wonderful reactions to my longer and more heartfelt posts, as well as my travel inspo. The writing is here to stay.
(if you are currently as obsessed with I’m a Celeb as I am, I hope you heard “Ian Wright, Wright, Wright” when you read my sub-heading there 😆)
Making Reading a Priority
I have spoken recently about my love of books and if you follow me on Twitter or goodreads, you will know that i am making my way through books rather rapidly AND loving it. I’ve heard it said many times that you have to read a lot in order to write. And I really feel like this is true. I’m finding that my natural vocabulary (as in the words that come out of me on the first draft, not when I go back and edit later) is improving. And the more that I read, the more I am feeling inspired to create.
I am also reading many different things which is just generally expanding my experience of the world. And I have started to feel more educated and read more news articles. And listen to more topical podcasts as a result. I feel informed and more capable since I stepped away from the Instagram Stories. And spent more time with my head in a book or in current affairs.
Working on more mindful movement
I love working out. Anyone that knows me knows that. I am very capable of pushing myself to my limits in a workout. Many people shy away from Crossfit, but I’m pretty proud to be a part of the Crossfit community here in Guernsey. However, I do have a tendency to push myself a little too much and not give myself ample recovery time. When you combine that with an already tired and stressed body and mind, you are on track to burnout. So I have found a little more balance in my workout routine recently.
I have been adding in some steady cardio, with peaceful runs along the coast here on the island and using my at-home Peloton bike, I love my Peloton and will share more about it in due course but the freedom of just blasting music and cycling at home alone to sweat out the day is amazing. I have also found a home for my yoga practice. As much as I love my girl, Adriene, for a quick Youtube yoga hit on the go, I have found that attending classes with a live teacher for feedback and guidance and other people for a social aspect has been amazing for me.
I recently joined Rise Yoga and I have loved attending class a few times a week to move in a different way, to connect with my mind and to stretch out whatever other workouts I have done that week. It’s been great for me.
Attending events that indulge my passions
Along with upping my reading and writing time, I have found that I have been getting a lot more into events and the arts. A couple of weeks ago, my mum took me to a Les Miserables in Concert for the 20th anniversary with Alfie Boe and Michael Ball back in their leading roles and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I actually throughly enjoy every single time I go to the theatre. And I wish I had gone a little more often when I lived in London. (What a missed opportunity!) Then a couple of days later, I was back with my Guernsey Lit Fest team hosting Benjamin Zephaniah for a fringe event to the main festival which we host in May.
Two live shows focusing on arts and culture in a week made me realize that I am truly enjoying opening my eyes more to events. I am so looking forward to the Festival next year already. I am always so busy around the Guernsey Literary Festival that I don’t spend much time actually telling anyone about it on my own channels. But I will try to do that more this year. Because I always LOVE spending more time with authors and talking books. It is so inspirational and makes me feel extremely creative by the end of it.
Combining my work & passions
Speaking on festivals, I am SO excited to be attending the Life Lessons festival at the Barbican Centre in London in February*, as the concept is just so in line with my current thinking and focus. Allow me to explain: The Sunday Times have launched a one of kind ‘big thinking’ weekend combining two of my great loves: literature and wellbeing.
Life Lessons is what they are calling “a weekend of big talks from big thinkers.”
So far lined up to speak are Ruby Wax, Bill Bryson, Lily Cole, Derren Brown, Marie Forleo, Dr Michael Moseley, Melissa Hemsley and Lorraine Candy. As well as a host of my favourite previous guests from GLF including Dr Rangan Chatterjee and Adam Kay, alongside a host of many more big names. There will be a variety of stages, events and workshops alongside spa treatments and workout classes with triyoga. I’m particularly looking forward to the pop up podcast chats and the ‘Living Library’ where people are invited to break down barriers in 20min conversations with someone who has had different life experiences – what a fantastic idea!
I think in a world where we are constantly bombarded with the latest wellness trends and the whole ’self-care movement’, we are actually not connecting with ourselves in the way that we need to. Which is essentially in offline events and conversations with other human beings. As well as in the quiet times with ourselves. This festival feels like it will be an amazing opportunity to gain some knowledge and some inspiration. As well as some well-needed down time in the heart of the city on Valentine’s Day weekend. It’s the perfect time to show your self and your soul a little love. With such an array of activities and speakers, I’ll basically be able to create the ideal bespoke festival for my own needs – which for me is very much a way to balance my online and my offline life.
As the Life Lessons festival website states:
“Wellbeing is a way of life. It’s smart-thinking, sustainable living, community-building and frank-speaking. When well-informed, with an open-mind and with life lessons at our finger-tips, we can all live a happy, healthy and more inspired life.”
I couldn’t agree more. Priority tickets go on sale TODAY (29th Nov). So be sure to head on over to the website to make sure you don’t miss out. I’ll see you there!
*Disclaimer: I am not being paid to promote or attend the Life Lessons festival. However, I have been invited to attend in return for some light promotion in the lead up. So will make my content when there as GIFTED. I chose to work with them because the mission of the festival aligns SO MUCH with the way that I am thinking and feeling at the moment. So I absolutely jumped at the opportunity when the invite landed in my inbox a few weeks ago.
Where is your focus for 2020? Is it also on wellbeing and finding balance between the online and the offline world? Let me know below!