Morning Monday

I've been having a bit of a tough time in Paris recently, which is difficult to admit when I'm living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. These difficult days have been a bit more regular recently - probably something to do with the shorter, darker days, the looming winter and not being in the city often enough. Travelling backwards and forwards to London and living out of a suitcase has finally taken its toll. It's made me realise that I'm not learning the language, which considering I've been here nearly a year (albeit one week a month in London or elsewhere) is disappointing. And of course friends forget I'm here, or invite me to events that I can't go to. So I'm trying to take small steps to feeling better and more balanced. Inspired by Trina at La La Lovely's heartfelt post about hard days, here are a few things that help me when I'm having a tough time: 

+ Exercise: when I don't do enough, I feel it, which usually means feeling a bit miserable and grumpy - I know I haven't done nearly enough recently, so on Saturday I dug out my old pair of pink ballet shoes and took a ballet class with a friend in Le Marais - my first in nearly five years. I plie'd, I jumped, I stretched and I sweated. I can hardly walk today, my thighs are so stiff, but it was such good exercise and a real mood booster. I'll definitely be going back next week and I'm signing up for yoga lessons too.

+ Reading: I usually try to have a book on the go, as it's a good distraction and one of the best ways to switch my mind off. I'm currently reading Dominion by C J Samson

+ Cooking/baking: I finding that cooking and baking takes my mind off what's worrying me - there's nothing more therapeutic than chopping an onion or mixing flour, eggs, milk and sugar in a bowl. 

+ Taking baths: especially when I'm feeling tired too after a long day, I pour some Neal's Yard Aromatic Foaming Bath Oil into a hot bath and soak for a good 40minutes or until my fingers start to look like prunes.

+ Cleaning, organising and sorting: Tidy room, tidy mind. On my little walk in the rain through le Marais yesterday, I chanced upon Fleux and found a nice wicker basket to store all my books and papers that have been cluttering the floor under my desk. I then purchased a couple of these boxes from Muji to keep my makeup and cosmetics in, and a small notepad to write down any new French words that I learn and this clear ring binder from Muji to tide any loose papers.  

+ Walking: I'm spoilt for choice of pretty buildings and streets to look at in Paris, and just five minutes walking up our street is an amazing view of the Sacre Coeur.

+ Taking deep breaths: as Trina says in her post, this may sound obvious, but it's one of the best ways to try and calm myself down. And even having a good cry, helps release the pressure.  

+ Drinking cups of tea: being a Brit, I like a nice cup of tea. So much so that I even bring tea bags (especially Clipper) back with me from England! I now have three jars filled with different teas, ranging from normal builders tea to ginger or raspberry and echinacea. 
Pont Neuf by Marika Jayne via La La Lovely