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The best British holiday spots for foodies

What does your ideal holiday look like? For some it’s lounging by the pool and reading a book, for others it’s extreme sports and daring feats. However, there’s a whole other motivation for going on holiday that is often forgotten about – food!

For many people the highlight of their holiday is going out for a nice meal and from wholesome roasts and trimmings to the freshest of sea food, there are plenty of delicious delicacies to be found across the UK. Here are some of our favourite destinations to visit when it comes to finding eating out.

London
Although the English capital get’s plenty of attention already, it would be hard to ignore the vast wealth of internationally recognised dining establishments, cutting-edge food start-ups and unique trends on offer. Here are a few that you should consider checking out next time you visit.  

On a budget
There are a several popular food markets in London where you can enjoy all kinds of different cuisines from Chinese and Indian to Mexican and Italian. The Southbank Centre, Borough Market, Camden Market and Shoreditch’s Boxpark are just a few where you can get a taste of the capital on a budget and typically under £5-6 a dish.

High-end dining
London is one of the top-ranked cities in the world for dining and is home to over 70 Michelin star restaurants so finding a high-end restaurant to spoil a loved one is never an issue. The Ritz London offers up traditional English dishes and décor, Helene Darroze at the Connaught prides itself on exquisite champagnes and caviars, while famous TV chefs Gordon Ramsay and Heston Blumenthal also call the capital home.

Alternative bites
If you’re looking for something a bit different then you could sample pan-fried chermoula-spiced crickets or even chocolate-covered scorpions at Archipelago or eat your favourite childhood breakfast cereal at the Cereal Killer Café on Brick Lane.

Edinburgh

The Scottish capital is a stunning mix of castles, historical buildings, atmospheric scenery and modern living – precisely why it attracts 4.39 million visitors every year.  All those stomachs need feeding, and this is why Edinburgh has almost 2,000 different restaurants and cafes to choose from.

On a budget
We could use this section to tell you all about the different food trucks and vans dotted around Edinburgh – instead we’ll direct you to the Pitt Market (open every Saturday) where you can find all the best one’s in one place. Here you’ll find everything from noodles dishes and pizzas to deserts and gourmet coffees.

High-end dining
Fine diners can find plenty of opportunity for opulence in the city of Edinburgh. Take The Dome for instance on George Street. Traditional Scottish delights such as haggis, neeps and tatties can all be enjoyed in a most grandiose atmosphere.

Alternative bites
Despite its historic surroundings, Edinburgh is very forward thinking and the dishes on offer are among some of the most current and trendy in the UK. Try vegetarian haggis at the Whiski Rooms or pick up some unusual bar food like miniature pies and nachos at Treacle.

Birmingham

The UK’s second city has a proudly diverse range of food including Michelin starred restaurants, street dining, farmers markets and the world-famous Balti Triangle (home to an impressive 43 curry houses).

On a budget
If you’re looking for cut-price cuisine, then there are plenty of options out there. Grand Central Kitchen’s menu comes in incredibly high at #3 on TripAdvisor for all the restaurants for Birmingham, and while the menu might seem simple with staples like panini, wraps, and jacket potatoes – the reviews speak for themselves. Birmingham has also seen an increase in street food vendors and markets such as Digbeth Dining Club where you can pick up quick, cost-friendly bites.

High-end dining
If fine dining is more your thing then restaurants like The Wilderness, Purnells, and Marco Pierre White’s all offer fresh and sublime tasting food in ambient settings, albeit for a slightly increased price-tag.

Alternative bites
Although Birmingham is famed for its Indian dishes and balti’s, the city is also home to some seriously good Thai food. Consistently voted one of Birmingham’s best Thai restaurants, Sabai Sabi on Waterloo Street offers a range of Tom Yam’s, Red and Green curries and Massaman flavours as well as some of the best spring rolls you are likely to get your hands on.

Brighton

Fancy a trip to the seaside? Brighton is a city like no other and boasts an incredible array of things to do. There are regular live music nights, fashionable shops, vintage markets and a pub to be found on almost every corner. However, unlike some coastal resorts there’s more to Brighton than just fish and chips if you’re looking to fill your stomach.

On a budget
There’s nothing quite like a full English breakfast to see you through until dinner time and being a seaside town, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to fry ups. There are a great many hotels and hostels across the seafront where you can pick up a cheap breakfast but going slightly off the beaten track, you’ll find some excellent options at places like The New Club & Seven Bees and Bill’s. If you’ve skipped breakfast and you’re craving a tasty burger then be sure to visit one of the two Grubb’s fast food restaurants which are something of an institution for Brighton locals.

High-end dining
Brighton has a very creative dining scene and some of the most exciting restaurants the country has to offer. One example of how Brighton is leading the way is the fabulous 64 Degrees restaurant. Chef Michael Bremner develops an ever-changing menu daily with such delights as brown butter foam, mushroom ketchup, jerk salmon and smoked chestnut mayo. However, it only holds 20 diners at a time, so you need to book well in advance Alternatively, you could sample some world cuisine at Bincho Yakitori where Chef David Miney offers up a Japanese inspired spin on the typical gastro pub menu. Be sure to toast your meal off with a high-quality sake.

Alternative bites
Spend some time in Brighton and you’ll notice that their residents have a strong commitment to all things eco-friendly. Living by the sea means that the residents of Brighton & Hove are very aware of the impact of waste on the planet. With this in mind the locally owned and independent Moshimo restaurant is leading the way in plastic-free dining. Their menu of traditional sushi and sashimi is served on bamboo platters and includes everything from fresh raw tuna steaks to entirely plant-based vegan and vegetarian options.

Which cities have you enjoyed visiting for dining out? Let us know by connecting on social media at @TimeForYouGroup.

7 unusual museums in the UK you need to visit

While the Natural History Museum, the National Gallery and Railway Museum might top the lists on TripAdvisor and rake in the most visitors year on year – there are a great many other lesser-known museums across the UK that are well worth a visit. Here are seven of our favourites.

Cuckooland, Cheshire
Previously known as the Cuckoo Clock Museum, Cuckooland in Tabley, Cheshire is home to a magnificent collection of clocks. Curated by horologist experts and master clock restorer brothers Roman and Maz Piekarski it includes models going back as far as 300 years. The collection also boasts a Cuckoo & Echo clock which uses bellows and whistles to make fascinating and realistic sounds. Visitors can call 01565 633039 for information on admission which is by appointment only.

British Lawnmower Museum, Merseyside
The British Lawnmower Museum can be found in the grounds of Trerice House, a National Trust property in Southport, Merseyside.  The museum was made famous in the BBC One comedy show Would I Lie To You? after comedian Lee Mack explained he had donated hand tools to the attraction – and fellow panelists had to guess whether this was true or not. The Museum also contains items purportedly owned by the likes of Prince Charles, Princess Diana, Eric Morecambe, Queen’s Brian May and of course famous TV gardener Alan Titchmarsh.  Admission is £3.00 a ticket and includes an audio tour.

Derwent Pencil Museum, Cumbria
The home of the first ever pencil factory in the UK using graphite mined nearby in Borrowdale, the Southey Works pencil museum is a fun day out for all the family. Visitors enter the museum through a replica graphite mine and can take part in fun and interactive exhibits along the way. Highlights include WW2 pencils with hidden maps, the Queen’s diamond Jubilee pencil and one of the largest pencils in the world.  The museum costs £4.95 for adults and £3.95 for children, with some concessions available.

Bubblecar Museum, Lincolnshire
For motor enthusiasts the Bubble Car Museum is a must-visit. It is dedicated to micro-cars, tiny and often uncomfortable cars built in the 1950’s which had engine capacities of less than 700cc and look rather peculiar. There are over 50 cars on display at the Boston museum, along with memorabilia, a gift shop and a café for tea and cake. Admission is £4 for adults and £1 for children.

Museum of Witchcraft, Cornwall
Founded in 1951, the Museum of Witchcraft in the picturesque coastal village of Boscastle claims to house the world’s largest witchcraft-focused collection with over 3,000 items on display. The items include sections on Paganism, charms, curses, Cornish mythical creatures and much more. The museum is open daily from April 1st until November 3rd and entry costs £5 adults and £4 for children (6-15) with family tickets and concessions available.

The Locksmith’s House, West Midlands
The Locksmith’s House in Willenhall is the former home of a small family of lock makers whose home-business flourished over a century ago. Visitors can view belongings and furniture owned by the Hodson family, tour their workshop building with its forge and machinery and take a look at some of the intricate and impressive locks crafted through the ages. Costumed guides escort visitors around the property and offer rag rug and toasting activities. The house is only viewable on special open days and pre-booked trips. You can email [email protected] to find out more.

Which museums have you enjoyed visiting? Let us know by connecting on social media at @TimeForYouGroup.

9 must-visit attractions for history buffs in the UK

The grass is always greener as they say and many people who travel far and wide to enjoy historical sites in other lands neglect to appreciate the marvels in their own backyard. From historic towns and castles to intriguing remains and woodlands, there is lots to be appreciated here in the UK. Here are 9 of our favourites for anyone with an interest in the history of Britain.

Whitby Abbey
One of the oldest Benedict abbeys’ in England (almost 1,400 years old) Whitby Abbey is an atmospheric delight. Sitting atop a cliff’s edge above the harbor town in the Yorkshire Coast, the site gave inspiration to the Irish author Bram Stoker for his gothic novel Dracula.

Tower of London
The Tower of London has had some notable guests throughout history. Over its 900-year existence prisoners have included Anne Boleyn, Sir Walter Raleigh, the Princes in the Tower (Prince Edward V and Prince Richard of Shrewsbury), Guy Fawkes and high-profile Nazi’s Rudolf Hess and Josef Jakobs – Jakobs being the last person to be put to death at the Tower of London by firing squad in August 1941. More than 2 million people visit the Tower every year and learn it’s intriguing history.

Giant’s Causeway
A marvelous UNESCO World Heritage Site, the world-famous basalt columns of Giant’s Causeway have long been an in-demand tourist attraction in Northern Ireland. The legend of the causeway says that the unique rock formations were created in a fight between two giants, Finn McCool and Benandonner. However, its legacy is more likely the result of volcanic eruptions over 60-million years ago. Either way, it’s one of the most unique sights on the planet.

Warwick Castle
Consistently voted one of the best castles in Britain, Warwick Castle is one of the most popular castles in the UK. Once the home to William the Conqueror the castle hosts events throughout the year including falconry displays, talks, exhibitions and battle re-enactments. It even houses a working trebuchet!

Stonehenge
You couldn’t have a list like this without mentioning Stonehenge. Found in Avebury, Stonehenge holds a pivotal place in British culture. Many theories have been debated regarding the origins of the circular stone structure from pagan rituals and celestial observatories to involvement from aliens, but no one is sure. What we do know is that it was built in the late Neolithic period (around 2500 BC) and is now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site – the first in the UK to be awarded such status.

Sherwood Forest
Popularized as the supposed home of Robin Hood, Sherwood Forest is an area of natural beauty and a fantastic place to visit all year long. Its woodlands, which were used as a royal hunting area as far back as the Norman invasion of 1066, are steeped in legend. In the heart of Sherwood Forest lies the Major Oak – an 800-year-old tree which was allegedly used as a hideout by Robin Hood’s Merry Men, and Robin Hood is thought to have fired his last arrow into the forest as he lay dying – an arrow which is yet to be found among its 100,000 acres but supposedly marks his gravesite. The officially marked grave of Robin Hood lies around 650 meters from the site of Kirklees Priory, but there is debate as to whether this is the true resting place of the fabled hero.  

St Fagans National History Museum
Want to get double your money? St Fagans Museum is one of Europe’s leading open-air museums and is Wales most-visited heritage attraction, but it also stands in the grounds of the amazing St Fagans Castle. In the last fifty years, 40 buildings from different historical periods have been built in the 100-acre parkland including schools, chapels, farms, houses and more which offer an insight into life in Wales of the generations. Special exhibitions are held regularly and there are various workshops with craftspeople displaying their traditional skills.

Stratford-Upon-Avon
Situated in the county of Warwickshire, the sleepy riverside town of Stratford-Upon-Avon attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Home to cozy pubs, restaurants and gardens, the village is most famous for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Tourists can visit his childhood home where it all began, the farm of his mother Mary Arden, the home of his wife Anne Hathaway, their shared family home and take in a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

Hadrian’s Wall
Another attraction that would leave our list incomplete is that of Hadrians Wall. One of the most iconic sights in the UK, the wall was built by the Roman’s to ward off enemy invasions and was recently the inspiration behind George RR Martin’s best-selling books and TV-series Game of Thrones. Visitors can browse the wall’s remains, learn about life in the Roman military and visit the Sycamore Gap which featured in an important scene of the 90’s Hollywood blockbuster Robin Hood featuring Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman.

Historical sites are perfect for days out with the family, or solo-adventures. Did any of your favourites not make it into our list? Let us know by connecting on social media at @TimeForYouGroup.

How to enjoy winter in the UK

While the cold weather might make some of us jump for joy and begin our next Netflix binge, there are plenty of reasons to get out the house. Staying active and healthy in winter can not only help you fight off colds and flu but can also benefit your mental health too. Here are just a handful of activities to enjoy in the winter-time.

Winter walks
There’s no such thing as bad weather – just bad clothing. If you wrap up warm enough then you can enjoy a day out trekking and hiking no matter what the weather’s like. Not only will you get to enjoy crisp and fresh air, but you’ll likely get to enjoy the countryside with smaller crowds.


 
Ski trips
The UK has a great selection of ski and snowboarding resorts without the added costs that come with flying abroad.  Places like Glenshee offer 25 miles of downhill runs over four impressive mountain tops. Lecht, Aberdeenshire offers smaller beginner-friendly routes and the Nevis Range at Fort William boasts remarkable scenery for both skiers and snowboarders. These are just a few of course and there are many more resorts dotted around the UK.


 
Christmas Markets
Inspired by traditional German Christmas markets, many cities in the UK including Bath, Lincoln, Birmingham, Leeds, London and Manchester now host their own festive stalls throughout their streets. Visitors can enjoy seasonal music, hot food and drinks, entertainment and stalls selling a wide variety of Christmas gifts and other curiosities.


 
Museums and galleries
Trips to the seaside and country parks might be less fun in the winter but that doesn’t mean you have to stay inside. There are literally hundreds of galleries, museums and theatres around the country for you to visit and many of which are free. Check sites like Trip Advisor for some of the best in your local area and soak up some culture for the day.


 
Cosy pubs
British pubs are something to enjoy all year long, but they particularly come into their own in the winter months, offering respite from the cold and rain. Hunker down in a nice country pub with a roaring fire, sample some local ales and tuck into some classic pub food and you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about.


 
What activities do you take part in to warn off the winter blues? Let us know by connecting on social media at @TimeForYouGroup.

The 10,000-hour rule – fact or fiction?

The 10,000-hour rule promises to help you become an expert at just about anything, but is there any truth in the theory?

In his best-selling book ‘Outliers’, author Malcolm Gladwell shares his theory that the key to mastering any kind of skill is sheer practice. Rather than being born with some inherited talent or ability in our DNA he says it is actually hours and hours of dedicated training over many years that sets elite performers apart from everyone else. Famous examples of ‘practice makes perfect’ he cites include Bill Gates, Tiger Woods and the Beatles.

The Fab Four
In 1960, early on in their career the Beatles began a residency of shows in clubs around Hamburg, Germany. The band were employed as background entertainment and as such were required to play for 8 hours a-day, seven days a week. This is unheard of in the music industry where live artists will typically play sets anywhere from 45 mins and will only rarely play for longer than 4 hours let alone 8. This meant that by the time the band had their first major successes in 1964, they had already played over 1200 shows which put them on course for unprecedented success in the future.  

Hard Drive
In 1968 a young Bill Gates was studying at Lakeside School in Seattle. Encouraged by his and other students’ interest in computers the school raised funds through jumble sales to invest in the school’s first computer. The old style of computer used worked through an expensive card-based system allowing time on the mainframe. However, instead of limiting the students access to the computers they managed to strike a deal with a parent of a student who allowed the school free mainframe time in exchange for software testing. This allowed Bill Gates to build up years of programming experience ahead of peers and ultimately set Gates up to spearhead a revolution in IT that would result in Microsoft PC’s in homes and offices around the world in years to come.  

Training a Tiger
Pro-golfer Tiger Woods is arguably the greatest golfer of all time. The winner of 14 major championships, 79 PGA Tour wins and 18 World Golf Championship victories, Tiger Woods has shown an obsessive devotion to golf since childhood. Tiger’s father Earl Woods learned to play golf aged 42 and was captivated by the sport competing himself at amateur level in the 1970’s. By the time his son Tiger was just two years old he was already a golfing prodigy and noticeably gifted. His father went on to bring in superstar coaches such as Butch Harmon to develop his son’s game and eventually management who would secure Tiger’s pro status and earn him multi-million deals with the likes of Nike and Titleist breaking all previous financial records in the sport.

Fact or Fiction
Fellow writers such as Seth Godin have lightly criticized the 10,000 hours theory. Godin uses examples of The Doors, Devo and the Bee Gees to counter Gladwell’s claims. None of these hugely successful musicians spent the same amount of time developing their music but were still very successful. Florida State University psychologist Anders Ericsson echoes his thoughts saying that “You don’t get benefits from mechanical repetition, but by adjusting your execution over and over to get closer to your goal”.

Whilst critics seem to argue that Gladwell’s theory is perhaps too simplistic, there are still plenty of valid takeaways to be had. It seems clear that improving in your chosen field means putting in a level of practice, dedication and incremental improvement that many others will simply never push themselves to achieve.

What do you think of the 10,000 hour rule? Let us know by connecting on social media at @TimeForYouGroup.

Understanding the power of a positive attitude

Do you know someone who is always moaning? No matter what happens in their life they always seem to be able to turn it into something negative? Are you one of those people? If so then it’s time for you to harness the immense power of a positive, can-do mindset!

What does the science say?
Human beings seem to be hardwired to be negative. It’s a fact that we gravitate towards darker emotions like anger, disappointment, frustration and sadness, and we shy away from positive ones. Just look at the TV news and notice how much airtime is given to negative things that are happening in the world, and how much is given to the positive actions being made.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way and we don’t have to embrace negative emotions. The science of Neuroplasticity explains how our brains morph and our neural pathways can actually be changed through positive thinking.

“Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to form new connections and pathways and change how its circuits are wired; neurogenesis is the even more amazing ability of the brain to grow new neurons” (Bergland, 2017).

The idea of Neuroplasticity was first introduced by William James in 1890. While it was rejected at the time, today it is widely accepted as being true and is used as the basis for life changing science including restorative treatment for sufferers of mental illnesses, brain injuries, cerebral palsy and strokes. However, as we learn more about the brain and its relationship to neuroplasticity, the potential for growth and change in all of us is becoming ever clearer.  

When treating serious health problems doctors use repetitive mental and physical strategies and activities to literally reset pathways in the brain and overtime strengthen them, like any exercise strengthens muscles. So, how can this be applied to positive thinking? Well, like any muscle the brain can be trained. It has the capacity to rewire itself and become stronger given the right kinds of practice and training.

Neuroplasticity is much more pronounced in children than it is in adults, however there is still a great potential for change. It can help us restore old functions and connections, enhance memory, improve cognition, learning and more.

Practices such as memory tasks and games, juggling, learning to play a musical instrument, learning a new language, yoga, light exercise and brain games like sudoku and crosswords are all proven to helpful in treating the effects of depression and anxiety through the science of neuroplasticity.

Applying this to our mindset
Now while the occasional sudoku puzzle might help you get started, you also need to learn how to be more positive in your reactions to certain situations and your overall mindset. This is where positive thinking exercises can come in.

Start with positive affirmations. These are daily statements or mantras that you repeat to yourself and over time are soaked up by your sub conscious. For example, if you struggle with a short temper then you can say “I am a calm and considered person”. Over time you can start to believe that these things are true and watch as they affect your day to day life.

Another approach to fostering a positive mindset is to try and frame difficult events during your day in a positive way. Here’s an example. Let’s say that your first call of the day goes badly. You speak to a customer, who’s very irritated and decides to take out their frustrations on you. A negative reaction would be to think “Wow, it’s not even 9AM. Today is going to suck”. A positive reaction on the other hand would be to think “Every call is different”.

Finally, you should think about how you speak. Your vocabulary reflects what’s going on in your brain and the more you use negative language the stronger you are making the negative pathways. Instead, you should adjust your chosen words to be constantly positive.  Avoid statements like “I Can’t” and try and reframe them in a more positive way.

How do you maintain a positive mindset? Let us know by connecting on social media at @TimeForYouGroup.

7 ways to overcome burnout in your daily life

Life can be overwhelming. Balancing business, family life and general daily chores can leave even the hardiest of us feeling stressed, fatigued and sorely lacking in motivation.

How does burnout happen?
Burnout happens when our ability to cope with high pressure and stress overcomes our ability to relax and recover. When you’re in the onset of a burnout you might feel lethargic, have trouble relaxing or sleeping and may find it difficult to do even the simplest of tasks. Burnout at work can cause physical problems like digestive problems, exhaustion and stress induced headaches.

While burnout at work has been a problem for a long time, it’s only exasperated by today’s working climate. Many of us not only work high pressure jobs but are also contactable through various mediums (calls, emails and social media) which make it difficult to switch off and create a definitive line between work life and home life. So, how do we stop burnout in its tracks and create a more manageable way of working?

How to stop occupational burnout
One of the best ways to defeat burnout and bring your A-game to the office every single day is to set yourself clear, immovable boundaries.

•    Start by setting defined limits to when you work. From now on your office desk is your only workspace and no work will be done when you step away from it
•    Have lunch every day and take it away from your desk. If you’re not hungry then read a book or a newspaper
•    Start or finish your working day with some light exercise to allow you time to process your thoughts
•    Go to bed at a reasonable hour
•    Delete your email app from your phone and place it on silent mode when the clock hits 5PM
•    Negotiate working hours that work for you and your family with your employer
•    If you’re a freelancer, then decide what hours work for you and stick to them. Make it clear to clients that you are only contactable during office hours except in the case of an emergency.

While this may all sound drastic, it isn’t. It doesn’t mean that you’re being selfish, or that you don’t care about your job – in fact it shows the opposite. By doing this you can relax when you get home and give your body and mind the time it needs to feel fresh and rejuvenated the following day, thereby boosting the quality of your work.

If your workplace culture is too demanding, then you should speak to your employer about finding a more manageable and healthy way of working. If not, then you should start looking for an employer who allies beside you and who values your health as a priority.

Have you ever suffered from burnout at work? What techniques work for you to maintain a work/life balance? Let us know by connecting on social media at @TimeForYouGroup.

Simple ways to stick to your goals

Are you having trouble committing to a goal? Avoiding the gym or skipping on your diet plan? Why is that even with the best of intentions it’s so easy to fall off the wagon? Here we’ll share some small changes that you can make that will help you clarify your goals, focus your efforts and increase your chances of achieving your goals.

1 – Be accountable
The number one way to achieve your targets is to make yourself accountable. Let’s say your goal is to read more books? You can do that by joining or starting a book club with your friends. If you want to cook healthy food, then plan out your meals for the week and buy the ingredients – that way you’ve committed with your wallet. If you’re committed to creating a new physique then start a WhatsApp group with your friends, share workout videos and compare your progress photos – a little peer encouragement can go a long way.

2 – Know what you’re working towards
If a goal is too big then it can feel overwhelming. Be specific with your goals. Why do you want it? What will it look like? Who will be involved? Where will it take you? Asking these types of goals can help you to nail down exactly what it is you want. Now visualize this everyday and embrace the law of attraction.

3 – SMART goals
SMART is a method of goal setting created by John Nocross, a psychology professor at Scranton University. It is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-specific. Learn about how it can add structure to your goal setting here.

4 – The Law of Averages
The Law of Averages says that “the result of any situation will be the average of all outcomes”. How does this apply to goal setting? Well one observation regarding the Law of Averages is that if the theory is true then the people we surround ourselves with on a day-to-day basis could have a big impact on our personalities. Are the people you surround yourself with dedicated? Ambitious? Or are they negative and lazy? Click here for further reading.

5 – Review your progress
One of the biggest problems people have with their progress is that they never stop to take stock of how far they’ve come. If you’re constantly focused on the things you don’t have and the mountains you haven’t yet scaled then it can be easy to become deflated. Try keeping a journal, taking photographs or making notes on your computer of important dates so that you can look back and observe the success you’ve quietly had along the way.

Have any of these approaches worked for you? Let us know by connecting on social media at @TimeForYouGroup.

Secrets for handling life’s frustrations

Life is full of frustrations and irritations. From small annoyances like losing your keys to fully blown life crisis’s that knock your life out of balance. However, when we boil it down the truth to being happy and navigating your way through life’s choppy seas often depends on how well you can stay positive when your anger and frustrations boils up.

What are life’s biggest frustrations?
According to research from Nurofen Express, people in the UK expressed the following day-to-day problems as their biggest irritants:  

1. Your laptop/computer freezing
2. PPI calls
3. Slow Wi-Fi
4. Being stuck in traffic
5. People who take up two parking spaces
6. Public transport delays
7. Junk mail
8. Waiting on the phone for the doctors
9. When people chuck their rubbish out of the car window
10. People who don't use their indicators
11. Pot holes
12. Stepping in dog muck
13. When you hold the door open for someone and they don't say thank you
14. The rising cost of living
15. When people let their children misbehave in restaurants
16. Rude sales assistants
17. Screaming kids
18. Buying property
19. When people hold a conversation in a door way
20. People cancelling on you
21. Noisy neighbours
22. Reality TV shows
23. Road works
24. Middle lane hoggers
25. Your delivery gets lost in the post
26. Computer jargon
27. Forgetting your password
28. Council tax
29. People talking overly loud on public transport
30. People who cycle on pavements
31. Finding the start of the sellotape
32. When people start boarding the train before everyone has gotten off
33. Slow walkers
34. People talking in the cinema
35. Train fares
36. Ordering something online and it is damaged
37. Queuing for the self-service checkout
38. People chewing gum with their mouth open
39. Being charged for extra luggage at the airport
40. Mums on Facebook who constantly upload pictures of their kid
41. Getting stuck behind a tractor
42. Cyclists on the road
43. Paying your bills
44. Speed cameras
45. Motorcyclists weaving in and out of the traffic
46. Not having enough change for the car park
47. Twitter trolls
48. A partner snoring
49. Loud music
50. People asking questions when your programme is on

Of the 2,000 people that Nurofen researched there were a range of different topics and issues that left people stressed – everything from financial pressures, to commuter behaviour and dirty habits. However, the problem often runs deeper than simply putting us in a bad mood and physical annoyances can quite easily spill over and affect both our physical and mental health.

Production vs Reduction
There are many easy and practical steps that we can take to handle stress in our day to day lives and manage it effectively. Equally, however there are reactions that will compound and increase it.

Let’s take a traffic jam for example. When you’re running late for work and you end up stuck in traffic, your reaction might be to get angry – “why is this happening?”, “This is never ending!”. However, by reacting this way you are simply magnifying the problem and making it worse. You are making the problem seem larger than it is. There is no benefit to getting angry about things that you can’t control.

Another reaction to life’s annoyances can be to look for someone to blame. However, even if someone did make a mistake, their fault and their blame does not fix the issue. Instead, find out how it happened, what lessons can be learned and how it can be prevented from happening again.

Maintaining a positive mental attitude prevents you from becoming consumed by your anger and will help you stay calm. It takes time and practice but by focusing on the things you ‘can’ control and refusing to be harmed by the things you cannot, you will find that over time you become a much happier and more resilient person.

How do you maintain a positive approach to life? Let us know by connecting on social media at @TimeForYouGroup.

How to live a life of purpose

How do you define your success? Is it the wealth you’ve accumulated, your career status or something different like the happiness of your relationships? Whatever the answer, many people can find themselves ticking off the boxes on their to-do-list and still feeling empty. So, what’s the secret to filling that void and feeling more content? We offer some suggestions here for you today.

Find a job that aligns with your values
Most people reading this will agree that they would like to have a job that is filled with purpose and meaning. However, for many of us the opposite is true. Quite often the career path that we are on is very different to how we envisioned. Sometimes it’s for financial reasons, but not always. For a lot of people their job isn’t what they expected, or no longer resembles what it used to be. If this resonates with you then you might want to consider taking steps today to alter your course.

Engage in your passions
One of the easiest ways to improve your overall happiness and satisfaction with life is to follow your passions. This doesn’t mean you have to quit your job and take your biggest hobby full time, but it does mean that you should give yourself time to have fun. Whether it’s reclaiming your evenings from overtime to spend time cooking your favourite food, going to watch live music or playing golf, engaging in the things you are passionate about can be rejuvenating.

Be true to yourself
If you’re catering to someone else’s standards and expectations, then you’re not living your best life. You should never live your life to cater solely to someone else. What does this mean in practice? Well, if you want to move to the countryside – do it, if you want to grow your hair long – why not? Of course, you should think carefully about the path you take in life but if you want to feel fulfilled then you need to follow your heart.

Pay it forward
While you should address your own needs and make time for yourself in your day-to-day, you should also consider what you might gain from service. People who make a meaningful difference through charity work, volunteering and mentorship often report a greater sense of satisfaction with life.

What makes you feel fulfilled in life? Let us know by connecting on social media at @TimeForYouGroup