Update on the HPL Rules

The HPL is currently having a rough old time of it. As ever, I’m finding the writing process cathartic – the writing of happy posts makes me happier and the writing of my recovery process is helping me recover. 

But in the meantime, while I feel so destabilised and unsettled, I’m finding it important to be positive and healthy and concentrate on what really matters. So I’m going back to the HPL rules and planning the next few months around them.  Here’s what I’m doing: 

1. Be active  

A few days ago, I went to the YMCA at lunchtime, did a 20 minute swim and a 5 minute sauna and was back at my desk within the hour. I left my office feeling stressed and angry (told you I’m unsettled) and came back feeling much happier and brighter and, lets face it, a little smug. I also revert to a child when I’m in a pool and love the feeling of being able to see under water. So, I’ve decided to swim once a week from now on. 

I love yoga, I miss yoga. Yoga is good for my body (honestly you should see the arms on the women in the class I used to go to!) and my soul. Its meditative and mindful and calming. But I just don’t seem to be finding time for it every week, so I’m going to go to yoga twice a month from now on

I love dancing but again am crap at going along. Tallulah keeps inviting me to the Frame 80s aerobics classes which sound great (they even had a “Glee” class) and I’d like to try the YMCA streetdance classes. So I’m going to do one dance class a month from now on

I’m also going to try to cycle more at weekends and possibly into work every day (although am a little scared – although the new cycle highways might make it easier and I just need to keep reading Pippalipa’s guest post on the joys of cycling).

2. Connect 

LOTS of girlie drinks and dinners in the diary this month, too many in fact. Sometimes I feel really in the mood to talk, and talk, and talk. I could talk all night. But I think that’s OK and I know it won’t last forever.

One thing I’ve discovered is the power of the teary telephone call to friends. When I used to get upset, I’d retreat into my own shell – like a cat licking its wounds – and deal with problems alone. But that is exactly the time you should call a friend – cry down the phone, and say how awful you are feeling. A problem shared is a problem halved, its good to talk, and more clichés like that. I can’t believe I’ve only realised this recently.

3. Nurture

 I’m buying a bird-table because I want to coax a robin red breast or similar to my Brixton garden. I want a Pepe the Background Bird. Will report back.

I’m also doing some improvements on my little flat with the eventual aim of installing a dressing table, dishwasher (oh how my life would improve tenfold) and built-in wardrobe with extra shoe space. These things don’t need to be expensive and the process of nurturing the place you live in to make it even nicer to live in is as good as the final product. (Note – I think I need to turn the TV off a bit more in the evenings to find the time to do things like this).  

4. Give 

My volunteering for Age Concern has not kicked off yet as I couldn’t fit the induction round my work.

I made the playlist for my friend Lady B’s wedding.


Hmmm Ok then, need to work on this a little more. Watch this space.

5. Learn 

I’m excited about this. I’ve booked my ticket to Argentina and have enrolled on a beginners Spanish class at International House! It was recommended by @loulalondon on twitter and it looks great – as well as classes they hold country-specific exhibitions and gigs. My Mexican slang learned from a couple of months on Zippolite beach will hopefully come in handy and I’ll let you know how I get on. 

Other plans for the summer are to see the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy, the Skin Exhibition and the Enchanted Palace at Kensington Palace. I also want to see a lecture at the School of Life. I think two things a month is fine.

6. Be curious 

The 1000 Awesome Things and The Little London Observationist blogs are great at reminding me to appreciate the small things and writing this blog allows me to think about life and happiness all the time. I’m planning to write a bit more on the psychology of happiness because I find it fascinating, and also a list of all the great things I like about London.

4 responses to “Update on the HPL Rules

  1. Chin up, lass.

    Can I suggest boxing?

    Legitimate violence is a great stress-reliever for me.

    I once went to a gym that encouraged the use of human punchbags. There were a few ground rules about the type of blow and where on the body was OK and where wasn’t.

    It turns out getting punched doesn’t have quite the same cathartic effect as doing the punching.

    Not recommended. Get a punch-bag instead.

  2. Lovely Post Sasha, I should be following some of your rules really! there are always good intentions (e.g. yoga) but somehow there just never seems to be enough time…
    if you start boxing I’ll join 🙂 would need to get rid off some unhealthy aggression.. Utex

  3. Pingback: Spanish class @ International House, Covent Garden (and adult classes in general) | The Happiness Project London

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