Happy Sunday, loves!
Can you believe it’s November?! It’s blowing my mind that October has already been and gone, I feel like the year is going SO quickly! Michael Buble is officially my music of choice again, it’s pretty much Christmas, right? I hope you’re having a great weekend, we sure are! My post on Wednesday is going to be another weekend in my life so I’ll fill you in then, but it’s already been SUCH a great weekend, I don’t want it to end! What have you been up to? I hope yours is just as good! Today’s post is very special to me and it’s another personal one!
So, ‘wellness’ is a word we’re seeing everywhere in the media world recently, but what does it actually mean? Well, the dictionary definition is;
the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal.
…so, we’re clear then, yeah? It’s an ever-growing, ever-changing topic and, to be honest, I think we can all have our own perceptions of how it applies to us and our lifestyles individually. For me, wellbeing means I am happy and content in my life, and by taking time out to do things I love, practice self-care and spend time with my loved ones, I think I achieve that pretty well. It has a positive effect on my mental health, and I’d like to share with you a few things I think are more meaningful to me now, than ever.
I wrote a post all about how I unwind a few months ago, which you can read here if you missed it, and as much as this topic crosses over I think it definitely deserves it’s own post. I think wellness is a branch of self-care, and doing things that make you feel good in turn make you think good.
Pampering mind and body.
My personal favourite way to unwind (other than cuddling the heck out of my boyfriend) is to indulge in a pamper night. I love to have a hot bubble bath with a Lush bath bomb or bubble bar ideally, use a face/hair mask, carry out an elaborate skincare routine etc. I usually get gel nails every two to three weeks, which is definitely an indulgence, but it’s something that makes me feel so good. (I just got them taken off last week for a ‘breather’ and my nails are ruined!!) For me, pamper nights are not all about the beauty products, it’s also about looking after your brain. I love to read blogs and books, I’ve included a list of all the books I’ve recently loved in this post, and I find it’s one of the best ways to clear my mind. I’m currently reading The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand and it’s SO good, I’d highly recommend picking it up! I also really enjoy watching reality shows like Botched and Keeping Up With The Kardashians, which I’m not sure necessarily stimulates my brain, but they do make me happy!
Listening to Podcasts.
Okay, I hold my hands up and admit, I didn’t think I’d ever get on the podcast hype. I was SO wrong and now I am borderline obsessed! I’ve found they’re a great alternative to music or YouTube, which would be my usual go-to’s. I listen to podcasts getting ready in the morning, on my way to/from work, whilst tidying up, doing the dishes etc – all of the mundane, boring errands and tasks can be so much more fun when you’re distracted with a podcast. My favourite right now is Small Town Murder – each episode tells the story of a murder in a different small town (no, really?!) but it’s all told in such a humorous way. The guys who run it, James and Jimmy, are HILARIOUS but they never make fun of the victims or their family. I’d highly recommend giving it a listen, and they also have another podcast called Crime In Sports that is just as good! I’m pretty sure Matt is sick of me going on and on about how good STM is, haha!
As I said in my afore-mentioned post, I started to make a point of writing down things every day that I was grateful for, and it’s been a great pick-me-up if I ever feel down. I’m a very grateful person and also a very expressive person; I tell Matthew approximately 250 times per day I love him and I’m so thankful for everything we have! I mean it so much, and I’m happy that he knows just how much he means to me. I used to laugh and joke that I told him too much, but realistically I don’t think that’s true – it’s important to voice how we feel – good or bad – and I’m happy I’m able to do this. I no longer write down something I’m grateful for every day, but I do as often as I can. I recently read my list back and had a giggle that 90% of it involves Matthew and/or food, I’m a simple gal!
Spend quality time with loved ones.
You’ll all be shocked to know that spending quality time with my boyfriend makes me the happiest girl on the planet, I’m sure. Whether it’s a fancy pants date night, a trip/holiday or just our typical evening routine I’m so grateful for everything we have, and I appreciate each minute more than the last. Waking up to him every morning, and snuggling in to sleep with him every night is the best feeling in the world, and it never gets old! We spend lots of time with our families, and I’m so blessed that his family are like my family too! My mam is (of course) one of my favourite ever people and I love spending time with her when we can – we’re both super buys and need to definitely set aside more time together. As we get older we have less free time, and I want to spend it with the people I love most; Matthew, our families and my best friends.
I’ve been banging on about cooking a lot recently, but I really am enjoying it so much. As I mentioned in this post, it took Matt and I so long to even broach the cooking world, but now we’re chef’ing it up on a daily basis and it brings me so much joy. Don’t get me wrong, we’re still partial to an M&S Dine in for Two or a Chinese takeaway now and then, but I definitely feel better on the nights we spend time cooking together. It’s the best feeling when we make something new and it works! The first time we made a BBQ Pineapple Chicken dish it went terribly (pink chicken, anyone?) but now we’re making new dishes most weeks and they’re turning out great. You can read how to make our favourite side dish this Autumn here – it’s so easy!
I realise that ‘exercise makes you feel good’ is not exactly ground-breaking news, but it’s true! I really enjoy gentle exercises, like yoga and country walks/hikes when we have the time (which also means more quality time with Matthew, do you see a pattern?) but I’m thinking I may step it up a notch. I’d love to try a boxing or spin class or something different to my normal routine, I just need to get the courage to do it! For now, yoga has become something I adore, and I really look forward to spending twenty minutes to an hour when I can, just zen’ing the F out. Spoken like a true Geordie.
Appreciate alone time.
I think it’s extremely important to enjoy time alone; time to collect your thoughts, relax and just be. For me, taking time for a pamper evening, reading my book or catching up on my favourite girly shows are the ways I enjoy spending time alone the most. Right now I’m all about re-runs of Gilmore Girls and the new series of Riverdale – I LOVE that show! I occasionally like a solo shopping trip or driving alone, as I can shop at my own pace. Spending time alone allows you to re-set in a different way, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying being by yourself for a few hours.
I am so glad I ventured into the blogging world, and every time I get another like, a new follower or, the best, a comment, I know I made the right decision. I’ve received lots of messages and love from people who read my blog, and it’s an indescribable feeling for someone to enjoy the content you put out. For a hobby, it’s a lot of work, but it’s something that brings me happiness, and I enjoy it more and more. I never struggle from writers block as I have so many ideas and as I only post twice a week (usually) I’m chomping at the bit to write my next post. Branching out into style content over the past few weeks – there’s some exciting things coming up! – has been extremely fun, and I genuinely think it’s making me a better person, as my passion is stronger than ever.
Thank you so much for reading, I’d love to know what wellness means to you? How do you nurture your mental health that little bit extra, to make it a priority?