Living in the UK these days is no joke. The costs are high, especially in London where food and rent can be very expensive. The job market is highly competitive and you really have to stand out to have a better chance of finding work. Unless you are highly specialized (and there is a need for you), working and living in the UK can be tough.
But how do you survive the rat race if you’re already here? How do you make it through without losing your mind? What do you do when the weather is gray and you’re not feeling up to another day at work?
As simple as this sounds, make a list of things you want to see happen. I’m not talking about a normal check-list of daily things to do. I’m referring to your vision list.
What things do you want to see happen in your life?
It could be anything from buying a new car, going on an overseas holiday, learning a new skill, to reading a new book series. It could be something deeper, like reestablishing friendships with people you’ve had a rocky relationship with – things like that.
The bottom line is, you need to list down all the things that you believe will improve your life – and possibly touch other people’s lives too – in significant ways.
The root idea, of course, is to get in touch with your basic drives, the principles that move you. When the going gets tough in the UK, you need to draw on deep emotional reserves to get you through. When the weather is dreary, the only thing more compelling than the rain is the greater sense of purpose to your life.
If you’ve got things listed down, review the items. Weed out the stuff that doesn’t really matter. Get to the ideas that really resonate with you and discard those that are more fluff than substance.
For example, you may want a giant plasma TV and new cable subscription to go with it. There’s nothing wrong with that – it’s a good incentive to get through tiring days. But when you think about it, a desire like this could be triggered by the need to just fill the time. In other words, you THINK you want it (coz it’s entertaining and easy) but what you really need is something to do that will leave you with good memories and a positive knock on effect.
I have chosen not to have a TV in my house because I know if I have one, I can easily switch off while watching it. Instead I stock up on board games and have my friends come over every week to engage in “game” night. I find it to be a lot more fun and good for the mind.
Or maybe you enjoy reading but need something to really sink your teeth into long term, like an extended series of books. George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series is a hefty 7-book set that requires commitment to read. The good news is it’s a really great story! Once you’ve decided to get through it, you can start with the first page and block out the trying times by escaping into a fantasy world.
Perhaps you’d like to learn a musical instrument? Something like this takes a fair amount of commitment but if it’s something you’re interested in, go for it! Nothing stimulates the mind better than learning a new skill. Whether it’s playing the guitar, learning to cook like Jamie Oliver, or mastering a different language, you’re bound to have a more invigorating and interesting life as a result.
The goal of course is to be able to cope when things get too heavy in life. The demands of work can often be maddening but they can be overcome. You simply need to redefine your space and line it with activities that help refresh your lifestyle and add new dimensions of flavor to the way you live.
London may be harsh but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer. List your life goals, choose to do something new, and work your way out of your rut into something the rainy days and tyrannical boss can’t touch.