+ Self love

Why You Should Have A Date Night…With Yourself!

Friday evening. Ahhhh I made it. The weekend has officially begun!

It’s been one hell of a week. A lot is happening and my mind is bursting at the seams with thoughts and worries but also…excitement! I’m proud I’ve made it through to Friday. My arms have been reached out since Monday, desperate for my finger tips to touch Friday 6pm!

On a Friday my mindset changes. I start daydreaming about my long lie-ins (hopefully without massive thunderstorms at 5am sounding like 20 shot guns going off beside my head, all at once!). This week car alarms have been screeching, dogs barking and babies crying thanks to the thunder! I am embarrassed to admit that I also contributed to the additional noise as I was jolted out of my deep sleep! If I didn’t suffer with cardiac issues before, I probably do now!

I’ve also been working from a different location, I have palpitations if I am far away from Marina Bay Sands, I was scowling about it and still am :). But I couldn’t help it, the curious, adventurous side of me wanted to know what was surrounding the new area. I enjoy experiencing new things, discovering new places to eat and drink.  I normally eat salad or soup at lunch time and today I decided to treat myself. I found an awesome local stall boasting a small, select menu and the best of it is… it cost $3.50 for dumpling soup, noodles, vegetables and wantons! I can’t even get a coffee for that price!

Tanglin Halt Food Centre


I felt content, full up and wanted more. Treating yourself on a Friday is the way forward.

When life gets busy or gets tough, it’s important to give yourself some love, be kind to yourself. One of my close friends this week highlighted this to me and she listed five reasons why I should be proud of who I am. The one which stood out to me the most was ‘You want to be happy and take opportunities. You are not a miserable person that celebrates others misfortune and you embrace life.’

I still get glassy-eyed when I read that but it made me feel fantastic. It reminded me that even though much happens in life, it is still full of opportunities. That includes, opportunities to be gentle towards ourselves in our thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

So I decided that tonight was Date Night, with myself! How gorgeous!


It began with a 90 minute massage, finished with a hot, sweet ginger tea. I feel amazing now. Following a car accident when I was a teenager, I suffer with painful shoulders and can yell at the slightest touch. It’s a relief that the pain has subsided for a while and I generally feel light, relaxed, happy and a little sleepy.

The next treat…a takeaway! Deliveroo to the rescue. Candles, palak paneer and chicken tikka. Perfect. And you know the best bit…no washing up!

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The evening has been just what I needed. Self reassurance and kindness packaged up in a few hours. There are some people who feel uncomfortable having Date Night alone, it should be embraced, it doesn’t mean you are lonely or sad. It is a small celebration of being content in your own company and if the husband, children or friends are busy, it gives you a chance to watch that favourite TV show or have that takeaway without having to clear up afterwards or feel guilty!

For me, it was being still and allowing myself to think clearly, having the ability to understand and make sense of things whilst lounging on the sofa, enjoying one of my favourite meals.

What a swell Date Night!

N x

 

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+ relaxation

How having a ME-Day is awesome

What a beautiful morning.

I opened my eyes to a blazing sunlit room, I couldn’t wait to get out of bed. The decision was made. After a heavy week, I was cancelling all plans for today and taking time out. Just for me.

I am sad to admit that even my three things to be grateful for has suffered of late, but they have made a reappearance today. I am happy to share them with you:

  1. I am safe and secure. I am free from any danger.
  2. I have had amazing support this week and spent time with two incredible positive influencers in my life.
  3. Chai is happy and is as usual, begging for food.

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Chai: my pal (albeit looking a tad grumpy)

I just can’t believe how gorgeous it is outside. Of course, the weather is pretty much like this most days in Singapore but somehow today I am appreciating it more than ever. I think it’s because I am now coming out of the mini funk I have been in this week and all is right in the world again.

My day began with a Yorkshire tea and a catch up of Masterchef Australia. This is TV addiction at its best. I am not sure if it’s because I adore George Calombaris and Marco Pierre White or if it’s because I am a foodie. I am only on episode eight but I already have a few favourites to win!

My tummy has been graciously satisfied after taking a trip to my local eatery, Oh Deli. It is run by four sisters who pride themselves on sourcing and importing fresh produce from Australia. It is extremely popular and I see many repeat customers as I devour my Captains Breakfast washed down with a cinnamon latte.

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Oh Deli: 421 East Coast Road, Singapore 429008

The rest of the day was spent lying by the pool and reading a book (no phone or iPad allowed), exercising (one hour run and a two hour walk, no phone allowed) and trying to Skype my nanna..again! She is never at home, I think she has a better social life than the Queen! She is a classy diva and I love her (my nanna that is!).

I am now getting ready for an evening of free flow bubbles with friends…ahh bliss. What a great end to a lovely day.

Taking a me-day has allowed me to completely switch off, not worry and not over-think. I feel refreshed, calm and quite simply, I have enjoyed the entire day with absolute gratitude. I decided that today was just one day where everything could wait (the worries, the thoughts, the to-do list, the laundry, wow the the list is endless!) all of it could wait, just until tomorrow. This helped me relax and relinquish, I kinda felt free and serene. How lovely.

Of course other benefits of taking this time for yourself include the ability to sleep better and reduce both depression and anxiety.

How often do you have a me-day? I recommend it. I feel awesome.

Photo Cred: Jessica Polar

N x

 

 

+

How To Cope In Interviews

After 18 years I shall be saying goodbye to my current company. It’s time.

I have mixed feelings about it to be honest. A few weeks ago I was devastated. I under estimated the impact of friends and colleagues leaving both the office and the country. I also under estimated how time flies! My apartment lease is up in six weeks time so that also requires a move in some way shape or form. The realization that things were changing in a big way and that I was being released into the wild after 18 years from the only company I had worked for since university, made me wide eyed. Rabbit in headlights time!

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Photo Cred: Benjamin Child

Now I have, in corporate speak, gone through the change curve and have moved from devastation to nervousness to ok I got this!

It has taken time, I won’t lie. If I don’t have stability in my life somehow, it really doesn’t sit well with me and I struggle. I retreat and shut down. Usually I chat through things with friends but when I am in this space, I find it difficult. I get annoyed with myself for not being Miss Positivity. But that’s ok. My positive pants are back on! I am aware that I give myself a hard time, a lot of the time. I shouldn’t and I am working on that. I think it’s good to know yourself, acknowledge when you feel this way and how you act so you can go a bit easy on yourself and think on how to pick yourself up.

Change brings about decision-making. Questions need to be answered, ‘What do I want?’ and ‘What do I need to do to get there?’

It also means interviews, many of them! I have spent the last eight weeks speaking with headhunters, having interviews, highlighting my achievements and ensuring I present myself in a way which is attractive to a potential employer. It has to be done but it can be tiring, always making sure you have a clear head and being able to use your elevator pitch at a moments notice, always selling the best version of you that you can.

I have been surprised with the interview process, it takes such a long time now. Either I am uber old or times have just changed. Gone are the days when for one job, you had one maybe two interviews. Now the process involves three to four and one of my colleagues is even at his 12th interview! That is a bit hardcore and I may have had a mini meltdown by now!

My Interview Tips:

PREPARATION

  • Make sure your CV and LinkedIn are bang up to date (many companies check out your LinkedIn profile ahead of the interview).
  • Research the company and understand how the job description fits in.
  • Know your CV and be prepared to talk about your achievements.
  • Be on time for the interview!
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Photo Cred: Luis Llerena

BE YOURSELF

  • Wear something appropriate and which boosts your confidence.
  • Be aware of your body language (don’t fidget), and maintain eye contact but not too much that you look scary!
  • Remember that the interview is a two-way street, you are also deciding whether you want to work for the employer.
  • Take your time answering questions, take a breath and pause if you need to in order to collect your thoughts. Once panic sets in it can be difficult to refocus.
  • Let your personality shine!

CONGRATULATE YOURSELF

  • After the interview, don’t replay it in your head ruminating about how it went and whether you should have said something else. You can’t change it.
  • Treat yourself to a nice dinner afterwards and relax!

For those of you who are already interviewing or who are preparing for an interview, remember to be the best version of you…and smile!

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LinkedIn Profile: Nicci McShane

N x

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