Three simple ways to improve your mental wellbeing

Improving my mental health and wellbeing has been at the forefront of my mind of late. Quite often I have found my mind to be a messy jumble that I cannot clear. Since recognising the longer term effects of such a mind state, I’ve been doing my best to take moments of calm, to try and focus on the present and look after myself. Here are three small and simple things which have helped bring moments of peace and positivity.

 

Fresh faced beauty

Having little tendency to reach for a glass of water, my skin is often dry and uneven in colour. I have tried really hard recently to wash, hydrate and moisturise my skin morning and night. I’ve found using a hydrating serum has made my skin softer and feel plumper and healthier. Cleaning off make up earlier on in the evening means I’m more likely to clean it properly than I would in a sleepy state just before bed.

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The Alex Project – February & March

It’s been far too long since I spent some time on this small speck of the internet but the last couple of months have been so full of exciting things that I didn’t want them to go by unaccounted. As I said in my January update, this is mostly just a record for myself to look back on and remember all the fun things I did each month.

February

February was a lovely month, spent either in Bristol or back home in Devon. My weeks were pleasantly filled (but still with room to veg out on the sofa every now and then!). Halfway through the month I went to Wales for the first time (which for a Devon girl, is quite odd). We stayed in Pembrokeshire and spent the weekend walking the cliffs, eating lots of cheese and giggling. It was such a lovely weekend that just thinking back on it makes me happy!

My worklife consisted of a trip to an army base (very cool), a bakesale (all the cake!) and hosting a work experience student. This was my first experience of ‘managing’ someone and it was terrifying: the moment they sit down on Monday morning and you just think ‘what the hell am I going to do with you all week?!’. Continue reading

The Alex Project – January

The Life

For me, January has been such a good start to 2017. I’ve squeezed lots in and feel like I’ve barely sat still. There have been big family get togethers, a cinema trip to La La Land, a games night and a doolally arts and crafts session, a night out (aht aht!) and an impromptu sleepover, and even a trip to laser quest (thankfully no eight-year-olds in sight).

This month I somehow ended up being interviewed on the radio about being a woman in engineering which was crazy but hilarious to look back on. I went to my first Goodgym session and had a weekend away at Bovey Castle in Devon (room service, afternoon tea, spa facial, big open fires and comfy sofas – the dream). I’ve also just gotten back from a trip to Bath with my Mum which was really lovely. I might write about some of these things soon – there’s too much to pack in to one post!

January - The Life

The Food

Booting this blog back up has reminded me how much I enjoy cooking and food photography. I’ve been experimenting with my camera and love love love this shot of some very yummy cookies! Continue reading

Why we should be striving for contentment

Recently I went on a training course at work (a systems engineering short course – I live a glamorous life) and as a starter activity we were asked to call out what we believe a successful life looks like. For me, I sat there thinking of things like ‘no money worries’, ‘good health’ and ‘happiness’. The former two indeed went on the list, but the latter did not. Instead of ‘happiness’, many people called out ‘contentment’.

And this surprised me. Contentment? Isn’t that just being satisfied? Settling with what you have? Surely happiness trumps contentment? We should always be looking to improve, not just settle. Since the course and until a couple of days ago, this continued to baffle me. As someone who has gone through their own stress-filled, reclusive period in their life, I now want to be happy. I want to have a healthy work-life balance, be ambitious, laugh (a lot) and take as much enjoyment from life as possible. I want the highs. Sure, they’re going to be interspersed with lows but I want to strive for happy moments, not just settling for what I have.

And then the other morning it all made sense. I was sitting in my lounge, it was about 8.30 am and I’d been awake (annoyingly because it was the weekend) since half-five. The curtains were pulled back, the sky grey but brightening. All the side-lamps were on, some acoustic yadda-yadda playing in the background and I was sat there, in the middle of the sofa, in amongst far too many cushions and under a delightfully-tacky fluffy blanket and I felt it. Contentment. And it was just really really lovely.

Contentment

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