I cannot describe how much good my week in Kent did me.
For seven days the only aim was to relax.
I have relaxing days at home, some weekends for example, but when you're at home there are always little jobs or plans popping up, and I don't think you truly switch off in the same way as when you're somewhere else.
The cottage was roomy and bright, decorated beautifully and so homely and comfortable. The garden was huge and alongside it ran the cutest coastal path. On the other side of this path were rolling green hills leading down to the long pebble beach.
The weather was beautiful, with blue skies and warm air and only a couple of hours of rain in the whole week.
There was nothing to do but relax.
There weren't shops everywhere, or tasks to be done. There weren't people around you rushing and stressing and gossiping.
People were quiet. People were calm. People were strolling. People were walking their dogs. People were friendly.
The pace of life was about ten times slower than London, at least.
Walking along the beach paths and down grassy paths, I could breathe in unpolluted air. The breeze was fresh. The smell of the sea was everywhere and uninterrupted.
There's something so calming about the sight and sound of the tiny waves lapping against the pebbles, or that fuzzy, almost indistinct line on the horizon where sea meets sky.
When I got home, the people I live with said I look 'really refreshed'.
And I feel it.
My mind is always racing, but for the week its pace had slowed, worries seemed smaller, and time was free to take it slow.
I felt completely removed from everything, and I think it did me an awful lot of good.
There's always the temptation to fill free time with fun things to do. There are so many opportunities and places and people to see.
But sometimes, you need to just press pause. To breathe. To take in the tiniest details of the nature around you. To press refresh. To be slow.