A Wellbeing Lesson From Liberty Living

I was recently kindly invited to the Liberty Living Healthy Wellbeing event. It was an amazingly relaxing and informative evening focusing on how we can look after ourselves both physically and mentally. I came away not only feeling very relaxed but that I’ve been armed with some tools to implement into my daily life. I thought it would be rude not to share.

Admittedly, although I’ve been focusing a lot on self-care the past few weeks as it’s been quite a stressful time, I’ve not been looking after myself as well as I could have been doing. The Liberty Living event, therefore, came at the perfect time.

Yoga mats at the Liberty London event

Who are Liberty Living?

Liberty Living are an award-winning provider of UK student accommodation. They kindly put on this event to help raise awareness of how we can all improve our wellbeing. They also have a Mental Health Hub packed with information.

The evening started with a glass of bubbles and then we were divided into three groups to explore the workshops. Our group started with nutrition workshop, followed by yoga and then finally mindfulness. Here’s what I learnt from each workshop:

Why you should look at your nutrition?

I’m quite ashamed to say, but I really hadn’t given much thought to the link between diet and mental health.

Admittedly, I have a really bad habit of eating pizza and crisps when I feel stressed. I was quite shocked when I thought about it, but on an average day, I am not giving my body the nutrients it needs to function properly.

The main messages that came out of the workshop were to maintain healthy blood sugar levels by eating protein and avoiding refined sugars. Consume brain nutrients, such as vitamin D and B12 and Omega 3 fatty acids. Also, the importance of optimising the gut microbiome by eating fermented foods such as natural yoghurt and rotating vegetables daily to increase bacteria diversity. Good gut health is especially important for me as I have IBS.

Photo credit: Elouisa @egphotographer

Why you should do yoga and when?

I haven’t been to a yoga class for almost a year. Ok, so the year has flown by, but lame excuse. Yoga is about the only form of exercise I enjoy and really feel the benefit if I do it regularly, so I need to stop the excuses and practise regularly again.

Yoga has amazing benefits including helping to reduce stress, increase your concentration and energy. It can also help you be more mindful. I used the time to thank myself for being strong and attending the event. My social anxiety has got in the way of too many events. The yoga teacher at Liberty Living also popped a drop of orange oil on our hands. Apparently, orange is the scent of happiness. Who knew?!

Why you should do mindfulness and when?

I realised that I spend too much of my time in fight or flight mode. When I’m stressed I will have trouble sleeping. Mindfulness is a strategy to reduce stress, declutters your mind and promotes mental and emotional wellbeing. It also helps us to feel aware of the present moment.

Being quiet and befriending yourself can reduce stress and promote mental and emotional wellbeing. It frees up space in your mind, creating the best environment for learning, creativity and problem-solving. It also improves relationships as it helps you to be more open for social connection.

One of the best tips we were given is to take a break and pay attention to your breath daily, even if just for three minutes. This can then train your brain to settle and chill out. Making mindfulness a daily habit is key. This way your mind will know what to do when you most need to relax and be more focused.

I have really struggled in the past to get my head around mindfulness. I’ve tried Headspace app and reading books. I know now where I was going wrong; I started trying to practice for too long. Now, I have some techniques to build upon.

Photo credit: Elouisa @egphotographer

I have to say I truly felt so relaxed. I finally switched off for a moment. Plus I have got some tools to build upon. I can’t thank Liberty Living enough for such an invaluable evening. I also got to meet the gorgeous Abigail Kathleen and catch up with the lovely Afshanesque.

 

What do you do for your wellbeing?

Creating A Travel Bucket List

If you’re anything like me, are you’re starting to feel like the holidays are within touching distance? I’m just about to finish my Master’s Degree and I desperately need to recharge my batteries, catch up with Dan and shift my focus from study to life. What better way than to create a travel bucket list of all the places we would love to visit.

Obviously, unless we win the lottery, this list is not confined to 2019. We just wanted to create a list to give us some focus and motivation to save. More importantly, it gives us something to look forward to, make some plans and ensure we don’t miss anything off. Although, we are very much open to any suggestions of places we could add.

‘I’m ready for this, there’s no denying…’  You can probably guess the advert we’ve just heard.  So, here we are sat on the sofa, our holiday heads on. The conversation turns to places we both want to visit or just visit again.  We top up the wine glasses and let our minds go for a tour of the world. 

It was a fantastic fun chatting about our past holidays which to be fair were very different. I was for city breaks and beach holidays, while Dan was more about the raving in Ibiza and the party cities in Europe. It’s great that since we have come to be as one, we can now share and dream about our future adventures combining all elements (Dan says providing he can go back to Ibiza one day!).

Creating A Travel Bucket List

We probably could have added a zillion more places, but for now, these will do to create some new memories. All we need now is lottery win to pay for it all! Where have we missed off? Have you been to any of these places? If so, do you have any recommendations?

 

What are your holiday plans?

Lots of love,
Helen xoxo

Simple Ways To Create Lasting Memories With Your Partner

[AD] I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel so busy that I don’t fully appreciate what’s around me. I couldn’t remember the last time Dan and I had actually gone out and done something together, other than the supermarket shop. Yet, creating memories can be one of the most powerful things we can do for creating positive wellbeing.

Panasonic Lumix challenged me to think about how we can capture our precious moments to celebrate the release of their new waterproof camera. I’m rubbish at remembering to capture the occasion, so this was the perfect challenge!

For our date, we decided to do head into Central. We live in London, so there is no shortage of things to do. First stop was brunch at Coppa, followed by a wander around. We spotted this cute arched flower display at Leadenhall Market and couldn’t resist.

We finished off the day heading to the Sky Garden. It’s free to go up (better to book in advance), and you have some of the most stunning skyline views. Perfect for photo opportunities or just the chance to relax, sip a cocktail and appreciate life.

Simple Ways To Create Lasting Memories With Your Partner

Simple ways you can create lasting memories:

Cook a surprise meal for your partner. Don’t forget to create the right atmosphere by adding candlelight.

Have a picnic in the park. The downside is it’s weather dependent, but who says you can’t just have it in the living room if the weather decides not to play ball?

Make homemade pizza. Pizza is fun and easy to make. You can even buy the pre-made dough if you aren’t confident enough to make your own.

Watch a movie under the blanket. Popcorn, candles and a good film = perfect date. This is perfect for those cold days and keeping the winter blues at bay.

Go for a walk. This can be anything from a walk to the local pub, a ramble in the countryside, to anything in-between. We love walking along the river paths and finding a nice pub.

Discover a new place together. Look out for offers or things like Groupon, which can help you save a fortune.

Learn something together. Maybe if you have an upcoming trip to a different country, you could learn the language together? Or go on an experience day like gin making, if you want just a fun day.

Work out together. It can be really motivating to go together. Plus you both get the feel-good endorphins buzzing together.

So, no more excuses:

The important thing to remember is to spend quality time together. Make time for dates. One of the biggest excuses for not going on dates is a lack of time or money. What if we make time by changing routines and try to reduce the stress in our lives? Plus you don’t have to spend a fortune and there’s so much you can do for free.

Whatever you do, just remember to spend quality time and do things together and create those lasting memories.

‘Enjoy the little things for one day you may look back and realise they were the big things.’ – Robert Brault

If you are interested in finding more out about the Panasonic Lumix FT7, I’ve put a few more details here and here.

Lots of love,
Helen xoxo

*This post is kindly sponsored by Panasonic Lumix.

Five Daily Habits That Bring Me Joy

I thought I’d do something a bit different today. I’ve been all about the self-care and wellbeing at the moment. So I thought I’d run through the five daily habits that bring me joy. I know though when life gets hectic and stressful, the last thing we often think of are the little things we enjoy doing. So here are my little daily habits that bring me joy.

A bit of morning ‘me’ time

In order to do this, ideally, I try to get up at least an hour before I have to if I can. I use this time just to enjoy my cheese bagel (can’t beat cheese for breakfast!) and two cups of tea. I love to do this whilst catching up with the news, social media and just that few minutes of ‘me’ time before the day begins.

Journalling

I find journaling really helps to clear your mind.  I write down anything I need to remember to clear my mind. If I feel anxious, I write down how I’m feeling, which is basically free therapy.

Journaling also gives me a space to write down what I feel gratitude for and positive about. I have a habit of being a bit of a negative nelly at times, so this really focuses me to look more positively about life.

Learning something new

I aim to learn something new each day. Even if it is just something I have read. This is a work in progress, but a goal I hope to develop more as we go along. At the moment I’m doing my Masters Dissertation, so time is a little too limited for learning too many new things.

Once my studies are finished though I want to put more focus on learning new skills. On my list so far is Spanish, Photography skills, specifically learning to use my Olympus Pen and SEO.

Going for a walk 

I love walking, although I don’t walk quite as much as I used to. I used to walk for miles! Now, I try to get in 10,000 steps in. Next year I’m definitely going to start upping my steps again. Haha I think this is turning into points I need to put on my goals list isn’t it!

Taking a bubble bath

This is certainly more of a winter joy for me. Erm, not that I’m saying I don’t bath at other times, you know what I mean! My Birthday is in August so I always ask for Lush bath bombs as then I have a bumper supply to start off the Autumn. Literally, as soon as it starts to go darker, I start to look forward to the warm soapy bubbles. If I fancy an extra pamper, I light some candles and just drift into bliss.

What do you do to bring you joy?

Lots of love,
Helen xoxo

Five Little Steps Towards Happiness

For the first time in such a long time, I can honestly say that I feel in a much happier place both mentally and physically. I was clearing out the cupboard the other day (how is it Autumn already), when I came across a few bits that hold some negative memories for me. I realised at this point how far I have come. Although I did tell Dan I felt like I had found myself in the cupboard (erm, well I know what I meant!).

The happier I have started to feel, the more positive I have begun to feel about my wellbeing. I feel like I genuinely want to look after myself. Finally, I want to go to yoga, drink water, read for pleasure. I even feel inspired and want to write my blog. It didn’t happen overnight, but here are a few things I did to get to where I am now.

Stop beating yourself up

We all make mistakes. We all get things wrong. The difference is how we deal with it. There is a vast difference between accepting that we are just human and we all get things wrong and continuously beating ourselves up. I still beat myself up, but now I try to let it go. I have found journalling helps, I write down what I did wrong, how it made me feel and then hopefully I won’t make the same mistake again. Or sometimes, I’ve even looked back on what I’ve written and thought what are you even worrying about!

Stop comparing yourself to others

As with the first point, you can never be happy whilst you are comparing yourself to other people. There will always someone who is prettier, thinner, has a better job, is a better blogger, etc. BUT they are not you. You are a unique, incredible person with limitless potential – go grab life and live the life you love!

Yoga and mindfulness

Getting back into yoga and mindfulness has really helped my sense of wellbeing. I love the fact you can learn to clear your mind. I am terrible for living in the past or worrying about what I haven’t done or need to do. The power of learning to switch off, even if it is only for a short time, has been priceless.

Reading

I love reading, and one of the first signs I am not feeling myself is when I don’t want to read. I love reading for fun (as in not books for my Masters). Firstly, I love fiction and have read some fantastic books this summer. I also love positive books, I guess you could term more on the self-help shelf. Currently, I’ve been loving, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, Get Your Sh*t Together and Life Satisfaction

Embrace your inner ‘Dancing Queen’

Dance like nobody is watching (well, they aren’t but you know what I mean!). If you don’t want to annoy your neighbours, pop your earphones in and put your favourite playlist on. And just dance! It is so good for your mental health, it’s great exercise and it’s also great for the calorie burning too! I love a good boogie around the flat, and I’m sure it’s entertained the neighbours on more than one occasion before I’ve noticed they can see me!

 

What do you do to make you happy?

Lots of love,
Helen xoxo