Finding balance and calm by relocating (even as a serial multi-tasker)

Natalie Trice, PR Coach, University Lecturer and Charity Campaigner, talks to us about her story of relocating and finding balance and calm despite juggling many priorities.

 

What made you want to relocate four years ago and what did you learn from this big move?

My second son was born in 2009 and after being diagnosed with a chronic hip condition I closed my business to take care of him and navigate endless appointments and at this time, I wrote Cast Life and set up a charity that today supports thousands of people around the world every day who are dealing with hip issues. At the time, we lived in the Home Counties but in 2016, we decided to move to Devon so the boys could be near the sea, we could have a change of pace in our lives and just get more time together.  It was the BEST thing we ever did, and we have no regrets.  I swapped my Jimmy Choos and dresses for flip flops and wetsuits, learned to surf and I’ve built my business again and now teach people to do their PR, I’ve trained to be a coach and work with other PR professionals and am also a visiting university lecturer and mentor. Moving to the sea didn’t give me these opportunities, but it did give me the headspace I didn’t have living so close to London and being by the sea, able to walk the dog on the beach or jump into the waves after school, is just amazing.

What this has taught me is that life is short and you have to do what is best for you.

Big life changes aren’t just about you, but you need to make sure you and your family are happy and thriving, not just surviving and running around on the hamster wheel of life.

It’s shown me that you can pack up and move somewhere new and make it a success. Four years into our Devon dream and we have made lots of new friends, we have our favourite coffee shops and pubs, I love being able to see the sea as we drive to school and I truly believe that as a family we are much stronger and more connected.

Would you agree that sometimes our environment and the people we are around have a huge influence on us, our happiness and productivity? If so, what are the ways you personally recognise/d this?

Yes, I think that this is true, but I also believe that we have the ability to change the way we react to situations and to create the life we want. Despite the challenges that have been thrown at us with my son’s condition, we have also dealt with the corona pandemic and the uncertainty that has brought to our lives.

I choose to live in Devon and be by the sea, as that’s what works for me, but you can choose how you respond to your environment and people around you.

I find that dialing down the noise on social media and taking out the opinions of other people, many who I don’t actually really know that well, helps to shape my day, my mood and my mindset. We can become so consumed with what other people are doing or what we think they might be thinking, that we can get sidetracked and paralysed by comparisonist.

These days I try to keep a handle on my social media usage, I unfollow anything that isn’t helpful and I focus on what I am doing rather than seeing what the rest of the world is doing and it makes a huge difference.

Training as a coach over the past six months has given me some excellent insights into how not only to work with clients, but to work on myself and even help my kids when they are worried or concerned by something like the impact of COVID-19 or not seeing their friends. By looking at what we can do to help ourselves and seeing what makes us productive and happy, we aren’t looking for external validation or input, but create the life we want for ourselves.

 

What advice would you give to any person feeling particularly burned out or unfulfilled at the moment?

I think that it is so important that we are honest about how we are feeling at the moment. I know I am stating the obvious, but 2020 has been a year like no other and everyone has been impacted in one way or another. From losing work or being furloughed, to having children at home for six months and a lack of routine, we simply aren’t living the life we are all used to, but it is OK not to be OK. The pressures will be different for everyone reading this, and I would say that your reality and your situation is as valid and real as anyone else’s, so please do not discount your feelings.

First of all, my suggestion is that you talk to someone.  A problem shared is a problem halved and this is so ture and powerful and it can really help to open up to someone you trust about how you are feeling. No one is going to judge you, and they might actually already have concerns but weren’t sure how to talk to you about this – I can talk about my mental health first aid training her if it helps.

Get a support system in place – be that work colleagues, friends, your family or partner and if you can, try to be less isolated. Being able to create that network can help bring back some positivity to your life and connections are a great way to see a road ahead that is open, rather than a constant dead end of destruction.

Set work boundaries and stick to them. It is hard in PR not to be on call 24/7, but you aren’t a paramedic and you need time off. If it helps, take work emails off your phone and put an out of office on when you leave your desk

Start to set time aside for you. Maybe a walk once a day, a bath in the evening, time to just sit and read or watch TV, whatever it is, make it a non-negotiable and stick to it.

Meditation is great and yoga isn’t about lithe limbs and fancy kit, but actually starting to be in the moment with your breathing.

Write it down – and not on Facebook. Get a journal and write down your fears and thoughts.

Write down your wins each day, even if it’s drinking a hot cuppa.

Give yourself a break, no one is perfect and it could be that only you are thinking you need to be.

 

How do you find it wearing so many hats across business, employment and charity work? Stressful or exciting? A little of both!?

I love being busy so wearing many hats is just how I am, however I have to keep a close eye on things or I get to Friday and am exhausted.

As my sons are getting older, I do have a little more time – well, when they go back to school – and lockdown has really made me look at how I structure my days and my time, so that has been a silver lining.

I look at what my focus is for that day – am I speaking with clients, preparing a university lecture or do I need to get on with writing and admin?

With the charity, DDH UK, I have a great assistant but I also go to the point when I didn’t want hip dysplasia to define my son, or me, so I think it is really important to take stock of where you at every so often and think about where you are and if that’s where you want to be? I love to mentor, coach and lecture but I get a buzz from seeing my clients in the press or someone posting online and saying they’re reading my books, so having a range of things to do is key for me.

I do however love time with my family and they will always come first so if I feel stressed and things aren’t balanced, it’s time to get out of the office and breathe!

 

How do you find balance and calm when you are juggling so many different projects/goals?

I don’t have a magic wand here I am afraid but I do what works best for me.

A daily to do list with five things I must get done, is really helpful and seeing each item ticked off is really satisfying.

I love the beach and spend as much time as I can by the sea with the boys, my husband and our dogs, and if I can grab a coffee at the same time, even better.

During lockdown I have made the decision not to work at the weekend, because as tempting as that can be, it becomes a mind drain and you never feel refreshed and ready to go again on Monday.

I also stopped my gym membership back in March but now walk for an hour each night. I love it. I get to take in the sea air, watch the water and climb some pretty steep hills. This not only keeps my body fit but my mind as well and even knowing that at 7pm I will be outside, walking out the day’s stress, can keep me grounded.

I think it’s really about knowing yourself, knowing what works, keeping your boundaries in place and if you are tired, stopping and recharging.

Back To Top
X