Paid partnership with Aveeno
Wellness… meh, even saying the word out loud used to make my eyes roll. Say mindfulness and my eyes were so far back they were looking at last week. But here is the thing about wellness and mindfulness – they are not what you think. Do not judge this book by its cover.
This is not a feature about meditating, going vegan, journalling or self love; when I meditate my mind wanders, all food groups are welcome in my menu, I am not a fan of journals and I simply do not have time for an at home pamper session (these days I trim my fingernails with toe clippers – they have not seen a file since 2019). And yet I have been on a ‘wellness journey’. What an (oxy)moron.
I was delighted to partner with Aveeno as a 2020 brand ambassador and so ready to slather myself in the good stuff. I was ready to bathe the tinies in it (as I have done since birth). I was ready to learn more about my skin and why it misbehaves. I was not feeling entirely ready for my new #WellnessPioneer title. Me? A wellness pioneer. Guess what though? I learnt a thing or two… actually five. It turns out wellness is sooo much simpler than I thought – not some out of reach goal for the elite, it is entirely attainable for regular, busy people. Of course, however, it is individual and you have to find your own unique path.
Scroll down to discover how I incorporate it into my day…
TAKE TIME OFF
It has been over a year since I took a ‘real’ holiday (three days but it was a good one) and somehow a break at home is never really the same but my focus for 2021 is to take regular time off and be mindful of that time off, even if it is at home, to switch off and be in that moment. If I don’t take time out my skin knows all about it and that can be a really good gauge for me, almost like an emergency stop sign. So I started taking weekends off. That sounds so simple I know but, in a world where we are overly connected to work, emails or social media can easily seep into and engulf evenings and weekends. I charge my phone downstairs overnight to remove the temptation to scroll last thing at night or first thing in the morning and I truly feel the benefit of those small periods of time off – a welcome boundary between personal and work time.
FIND YOUR ‘THING’
It might be walking or playing tennis or singing karaoke or gardening or writing. For me, it is skating. This is who I am now – the mum that skates… (give it ten years and the tinies will be mortified). Truly though, it FILLS me with joy. Exercise has always been something that dissolves my stress but this is next level – I am actually smiling as I glide along – endorphins flowing. I am not skating alone, I am pushing the pram, and I am not skating every day but this is where those weekends ‘off’ come in real handy. Anyway, I guess what I am saying is this – find your ‘thing’ and just do it any way you can manage it and as MUCH as you can. I will be skating.
FUEL YOUR BODY
I am something of an inclusive foodie (all food groups welcome here) – yeah, I just made that up. I plan my weekly menu so I shop only what I need (zero food waste) but I can also ensure we eat a healthy mix. Balance is key for me so I always try to include a good selection of veggies, fruit, fish, meats, prebiotics (like bananas and oats in my morning smoothies) and probiotics (like Greek Yoghurt), a good helping of wholegrains (pasta and rice) and of course the odd treat (ice cream for balance) – if I eat well I feel well. True story. Nutrition plays a big part in wellness and, in turn, overall health.
AND EAT AT THE TABLE
To be honest, one of the silver linings of this past year has been not just dinner, but lunch too, at the table as a family. It is no secret I like to cook and try new things and really getting involved with my meals is, for me, such a simple way to practice mindfulness. Did you know that if you eat, for example, an apple, in front of the tv your body has trouble processing the acids? But eat it mindfully, really look at it and taste it and focus on it, and your brain tells your body that apple is coming and it starts preparing to digest before it even hits your belly. Mind and body working in harmony. Mindfulness practices can help battle depression, anxiety, stress levels and pain as well as improve sleep and increase dopamine levels (that’s the happy hormone). Like I said, I never thought mindfulness was for me – my brain thinks meditation is the PERFECT time to run through my to do list – but there are some really simple ways to incorporate it into your day. No surprise that my favourite practice is mindful eating but you can also try mindful breathing, walking, even teeth brushing… two minutes of the day to simply focus on something you are going to do anyway.
MAKE A ‘ME’ LIST
I LOVE a list. I have lists of work tasks, lists of home chores, lists of errands to run… I have a list of my lists (truly). You know what I did not have a list for? Me. So I started one. I add really easy tasks to the ‘me’ list like wearing the cashmere socks I got as a gift years ago, reading those magazines I subscribe to, tidying out my sock drawer, trying out curly hair, baking cookies – it goes on and on. Best thing is, when I complete a task, not only do I get the joy of accomplishing the task itself, I also get to tick it off the list. Win win. That is my kind of self love.
Wellness is unique to each of us – what works for me might not be the right fit for you but I urge you to take your own journey.
My skin really shares my emotions – it is sensitive in more ways than one – evidence that the physical and emotional are SO closely linked. These five simple steps have really seen me through this past year (we all know it has been a tough one) and for my skin, my hands in particular, a game changer has been planting moisturiser around the house and in the car so that I see it often and remember to put it on regularly throughout the day as part of my natural routine. Aveeno products contain colloidal oat, a skin prebiotic – literally food for your skin – I mean, why would you not want to feed your skin healthy food? It is so important to nourish skin and reestablish that barrier when battling everything life has to throw at us.
Will you be trying some of these steps? Or perhaps you already have your own spin on wellness figured out – I would love to hear about it – any and all tips welcome…
This post contains affiliate links and gifts
wood slab table – Gibson Bespoke Carpentry
chairs – Houseology
chunky knit throw – Bluebellgray
patio stencil – Dizzy Duck Designs (tutorial here)
vase – Graham & Green
glass – Kilner
The Art of Outdoor Living by Scott Shrader – Amazon