Know then thyself: my ‘wellbeing break’ top 10

It’s fair to say I’ve always had a tendency to be a bit of a stress pot. The annus horribilis that was 2015, and the way it affected my wellbeing and (at times) my self-confidence, made me realise I needed to take steps to make small changes to how I manage stress when it lands.

Here are my favourite 10 simple, easy, wholesome pleasures I’ve come to rely on for what I’ve started to call my ‘wellbeing breaks’ – the little things that help me feel mindful, self-aware, relaxed, and ready to take on whatever a busy day (or a stressful situation) might hold. Such things are inevitably quite personal – what works for me won’t be everyone’s cup of hot lemon – but maybe they’ll prompt ideas about what your go-to wellbeing breaks might be:

  1. A train journey, spent mainly looking out the window at the loveliness. If the train is delayed, I make an extra effort with my window reverie, noticing the trees/people/whatever London landmark happens to be passing, to minimise the stress of worrying about whatever meeting I’m late for – focussing on enjoying the moment, which is what I can control (Southern Railway, I cannot control…sadly).
  2. Podcasts! A recent discovery for me. Where have you been all my life?! These are especially lovely when paired with (1).
  3. The Desert Island Discs archive. Bit of a cheat as it’s a subset of (2) but it merits its own slot. What a treasure chest of insights – into the castaways, into bygone eras, and into how people construct narratives to make sense of their experiences.
  4. Walking slowly. This makes me more aware of my breathing, and slows it down. Double win.
  5. Singing along loudly to Adele in the car, with my toddler joining in with the spontaneous, unanalysing joy that only a child knows. Precious.
  6. Watching the world go by – the rhythm of life – from the window of a café, hands wrapped round a cup of good coffee. Or a cup of hot lemon-y water, which is how I always start my day.
  7. Not rushing the washing (I’ll write a separate blog post post all about this) – hanging clothes up on the washing line in the fresh (ahem, ‘London fresh’) air, in my garden.
  8. Writing a letter – even a short one – to a dear old friend. It always feels lovely.
  9. Making soup, especially with colourful veggies (I like carrot, sweet potato and parsnip) and lovely warming spices (turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger).
  10. Acupuncture. Ok, so not exactly simple and easy as I’m not an acupuncturist (obv). But I love, love acupuncture and it has been especially powerful for me in the last few months as I recovered from my most recent miscarriage. I have acupuncture with the lovely Lilja Katanka at a wonderful haven of peace and tranquility in Crystal Palace called The Little Escape – I heartily recommend both Lilja and the Little Escape for any readers in South London looking for a bit of TLC in the form of holistic, alternative therapies in a really lovely setting.

One thought on “Know then thyself: my ‘wellbeing break’ top 10

  1. Wonderful inspiration, off to come up with my own top 10, on which Desert Islands will now feature, what a discovery!


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