Our motivation to leave the rat race

For several years now, I have wanted to leave the rat race. I have recognised that the traditional life path is not the best recipe for mental wellbeing and contentment. I work in academia. It involves continual targets, mountains of work, and cut-throat competition. Furthermore, temporary contracts are common increasing feelings of insecurity and stress. Nevertheless, it has taken two pivotal events to encourage me to finally take the first steps towards leaving the rat race. Enough is enough About three years ago, I had an especially excruciating interview for a lecturing job. After that, I vowed that I would

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Our strategy for leaving the Rat Race

There are many resources on the internet relating to leaving the rat race. “FIRE” (Financial Independence, Retire Early) is one such radical and fast track approach. The FIRE philosophy is based on saving and investing a large proportion of your salary (50-70%). This will enable you to accrue sufficient funds or assets to generate enough income to live off. Therefore, you need to acclimatise to living frugally so that your investments will be sufficient to sustain your living expenses. A key part of this approach is to develop good spending habits early on rather than have to reduce outgoings later.

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Recommended Gardening Books

Gardening Books

When we moved to the countryside, we aimed to live a more sustainable lifestyle by growing as much of our own food as possible. We had a little experience of growing veg in the garden and a short spell renting an allotment. We had “dabbled” but we knew we needed to get more serious and learn fast in order to ensure a consistent supply of food throughout the year. To aid our research we have purchased many books on growing food. The list of recommended gardening books below are a selection of the ones we found the most useful: In

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Potential issues when buying a rural property

It may seem a strange to discuss potential issues of buying a rural property on a site where we are extolling the virtues of moving to a greener, calmer space. However, it is easy to assume that buying a rural property is as simple as buying one in a built-up location and this isn’t always the case. Many of the aspects of purchasing a house in the country are, of course, similar but there are also some potential pitfalls that should be considered. We have come across a number of unusual (to city folk!) features and circumstances during our journey

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Due diligence when buying a rural property

Rural property issues

If you read our first post you will have seen there are a potential number of additional pitfalls to look out for when considering buying a home in a rural location. All of the issues listed in the first post (and probably several more)  require careful due diligence to avoid. The internet is a massive source of information and can help eliminate some risks but if in doubt it is always best to consult your solicitor. Research helps with an area you are unfamiliar with and can save wasting time travelling miles to view properties that may be eliminated as

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My journey to better mental health – part two

If at first you don’t succeed….. Well folks, it’s been over a year since I began my journey to improve my mental health, which to be honest, sputtered and fell at the first hurdle. I am now feeling much better and brimming with a renewed sense of hope. Hence, I thought it would be a useful to reflect on why it took so long to find my way back to mental wellbeing. Before launching in, it is important to acknowledge the complexity of mental health recovery, which is not an absolute destination. Rather it is a continual process of building

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Should I go running today?

Musings on running from two different perspectives Cath Running is in my blood. Sure, there were days when I wasn’t so keen. Those were usually Sunday mornings when my Dad woke me up to get ready for competitive cross-country races. I can still remember the nerves and dread as I pulled on my Royal Blue games knickers (eek) and picked up my spikes bag. While I often resented those cross-country races, they lay the foundations for an active adulthood. Steve Running is not in my blood. Cath Following a hiatus during my teens, I returned to running with great enthusiasm.

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Nominated for the Sunshine Award 2018

Sunshine Award 2018

We are very happy to say we have been nominated for the Sunshine Award 2018! A big thank you for the nomination from Kate Carter at thetustingirl.com. If you haven’t done so already, please pop over and read her blog or follow her on twitter (@thetustingirl). Kate writes authoritatively about self-care and coaches others to improve their self-confidence. Being nominated doesn’t mean we can sit back and relax. Kate has presented us with eleven self-reflection questions which we have answered below and we had to find eleven nominees of our own which you will find at the bottom of the

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Ambient Wellness – are your surroundings hugging or bugging you?

Ambient Wellness

What is Ambient Wellness? It is not a phrase you hear often, but Ambient Wellness was tipped by Trendwatching.com in 2016 to be a key topic for shaping the future of the health and wellbeing sector. Whilst the phrase may not yet have caught on, they were right. Whilst we often look inwardly to improve our mental health with meditation practice, diets and physical exercise, our surrounding environment can have a huge effect on us physically, mentally and emotionally. The word ambient means surrounding, encompassing or encircling. We often think of it in terms of background noise, temperature, light or

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How Ecotherapy can improve our Mental Health


What is Ecotherapy? Ecotherapy (Green Therapy/Nature Therapy) is a method for increasing contact with our environment and the natural world. It is a name given to treatment programs which help improve wellbeing via activities incorporating exposure to nature. Some projects may not be advertised specifically as ecotherapy programs, but benefit can be drawn from any outdoor pursuit. Many of these activities can be undertaken at any time, either on your own or as part of a group for added social benefits. For example, one could join a rambling club, gardening society, or a conservation program. Specific ecotherapy treatments are available

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