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5 Festivals to Visit This Year in the UK

5 Festivals to Visit This Year in the UK

From Edinburgh to London, Britain hosts some of the most excellent festivals throughout the year. If you are planning a trip across the pond, consider planning around one of these events. They are some of the best and well worth a visit. Here are the five best festivals to be found in the UK this year:

Noting Hill Carnival

The Notting Hill Carnival is also known as Europe’s largest street festival. It is a grand spectacle that represents the multicultural past of London, as well as the present. It takes place during the August Bank Holiday, meaning this carnival will run from Sunday, August 28th  to Monday, August 29th. So what is it exactly? A two day celebration of all things Caribbean. Be prepared to hear some fantastic live reggae music, dub music and salsa! If you are a jerk chicken fan, this is where you want to be. Plus, there are fried plantains. Who can say no to that?

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Robin Hood Festival

If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to be Robin Hood or the nasty Sheriff of Nottingham, here is your chance. The Robin Hood Festival takes place annually during the first week of August, and celebrates the legendary outlaw himself. It takes place in Sherwood Forest, which is themed and decked out in 13th-century style. This pop up booth festival offers many attractions housed in various stalls. It takes about an hour to walk the half mile square of forest, but it’s well worth it. Activities vary slightly each day, but you can always expect to find archery and jousting, as well as the main attraction, a showdown between Robin Hood and the Sheriff himself. Very family-friendly, your kids will have a blast. For a good laugh, let them participate in a reenactment with the actors. It is hilarious!

Royal Ascot Festival

If horse racing is more your speed, this is a must see event. The Royal Ascot is the most important race week for Britain, and one of the most esteemed horse races in the world. Various races are held on the grounds during the year, but the crown jewel is the Royal Ascot which takes place this year during the week of June 14-18. Definitely formal in style, be prepared to dress the part. Take heart though. All of the haberdashery might be well worth it if you wind up meeting the Queen. She is a dedicated attendee, and race horse owner. The royal procession is one of the most iconic events during the week. There are different sitting areas to choose from, and the food and drink selections are excellent. Just don’t forget to place your bets.

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Lewes Bonfire Night

This event takes place annually on November 5th. The best part about it? Funds are raised the entire year by the seven Bonfire Societies of Lewes. That might not mean much until you understand that the sole purpose of the festival is to have a massive bonfire celebration complete with fireworks. There are parades through the street, featuring blazing torches and drumbeats, as well as stirring speeches offset by the noise of loud, colorful fireworks. It is a celebration of history and heritage that runs deep in the veins of those who are part of the Bonfire Societies. This is a long-standing tradition that Lewes is quite proud of. However, be forewarned, there is no street parking on that night. All of the streets in the city are closed to accommodate the massive amounts of people.

Edinburgh Fringe

This festival is actually five festivals in one. There is a Book festival, an International Festival, the Art festival, and the Fringe. The latter is a comedy troupe from which the festival draws its name. There are various street performers and events held throughout the day, from book readings to performances and parades. Yet you can also have a good time simply by crawling from pub to pub. After the performers finish their shows, many of them can be found inside one of the pubs having a drink. It’s a great way to meet them and strike up conversation. The pub crawl, by the way, is the fifth unofficial festival of the Fringe festival. If you attend, you will definitely see why the Fringe would be incomplete if the pubs and pop up bars were not part of it. You can catch the Fringe this year on June 8th.

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No matter your taste, one of these picks will sate your palate. Some of the festivals are iconic; are off the beaten path. All are entertaining. Visit one and slang terms like “saucy minx” or “knackered” will have full meaning. Exciting and engaging, they will definitely keep your social media feeds full of pictures and videos so friends and family can experience them vicariously through you. Pick one and plan a trip. You won’t be disappointed.

Featured photo credit: Giuseppe Milo via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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