Yesterday was a struggle. A busy, smoggy London struggle. And it was Monday, which never helps any situation. I left the house almost an hour before I usually do to get into work and tackle the immense to do list, but of course the tube line I use was suspended, my back up line had severe delays and I swanned into work later than normal. LOVELY. This was all accompanied by the fact I was wheezing from the high air pollution and walked into the back of a tourist photgraphing the pavement. Deep breaths everyone.
I’ve developed a survival method for working and living in London and it goes mostly like this:
-Wake up and immediately check TFL even before you check Twitter. The transport system is a beast that can’t be tamed. You need as much time as possible to plan your alternative route and swear repeatedly at your phone.
-Practice deep breathing while on your way to work. Someone’s elbow in your spine on the tube? Breathe. Several million suitcases blocking the barriers at Paddington? Breathe. Realising your High Cost living allowance doesn’t actually cover more than two months rent? Breathe. Paying around £5 for a sandwich that looks a bit like roadkill? Breathe.
-Start the day at work with something nice. Have a sit down. Have a chat. Don’t think about how much money you spent on a pizza last night. Get a nice coffee. Enjoy your cuppa pre-email checking. Anything you fancy. You need to recover from the commute after all.
-Take advantage of stuff. Look up if anything’s going on outside at lunchtime, go listen to some cool buskers, see if anyone handing out freebies. It’s London. There’s always SOMETHING you can fill a ten minute break with. It’s not good to stare at your screen all day and listen to that person in the office who talks only about themselves and their cat.
-Excercise. I could go on about how I go swanning round trendy bars after work in Oxford Circus getting merry on cocktails, which DOES happen sometimes, but it’s not the regular end to a day. After commuting home and being exhausted from work, resisting an invitiation to go out drinking or to cash in a Pizza Express deal which isn’t really good value at all, you need to burn off steam. Take your tube delay, money and over-crowding anger out on the rowing machine. THINK ABOUT YOUR THIGHS.
-Appreciate the views. There’s often entire weeks that pass in a blur of stress, deadlines, delayed transport and double G&Ts, so when you see a view like in the photo above (massive credit to my boyfriend @dannyboyjnr insane Instagram skills) you need to take a minute to appreciate it. It’s London after all.
-Reserve an evening treat. You pay over the odds for rent, you work hard, you play hard, you travel to work touching body parts of strangers you would rather not, you deserve it, yo. You SO massively deserve it.
If you happen to be in the market for a new little treat, this drink I discovered yesterday is the absolute dream. You’re welcome. Excuse the chipped nails.