Exercise for Happiness

Exercise. It means something different to everyone. It evokes a different emotion within everyone. For some, it’s lovely. Others, dreadful. Believe it or not, exercise doesn’t have to be something painful and exhausting. I’ve finally got to a point where exercising feels good. It helps me to calm down and de-stress, and it makes my body feel awake. I’ve found that taking on exercise in a positive way has helped tremendously in improving my attitude towards it. Here are some things that have helped me and may help you too…

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01 / Its not punishment

Don’t use exercise as a way to punish yourself. By doing that, you’ll create negative attachments to the process. Instead, see it as an opportunity to improve yourself and your health.

02 / Don’t go too fast

Take it easy. You need to be realistic in order to avoid injury and burnout. Slowly ease yourself into it so that your mind and body can adapt. Its about creating a sustainable, healthy routine.

03 / Do What You Enjoy

I personally have a few exercises that I can’t stand. I don’t enjoy them at all, and I dread seeing them pop up in a circuit. Sure, sometimes they just need to be done, but other times I replace them with a similar one I do enjoy. If you’re not enjoying the exercise you’re engaging in, try something new. It’s easier to stay motivated if you’re having fun.

04 / Rest 

You need to rest your body and give your muscles time to recover. Don’t do too much, too quickly – don’t overdo it.

05 / Be realistic

You need to be realistic with your fitness goals. If you have a busy schedule, and you come home late at night a few days a week, don’t plan workouts on those days. It shouldn’t feel like a chore. Again, its about sustainability. Trying to do too much too fast will just leave you feeling unmotivated.

These are a few things that I try to keep in the back of my mind all the time. Exercise has become something I love, and I find it therapeutic. I hope that you find a form of exercise that makes you feel good!

Nabeela x

{Disclaimer: These are all tips that I have picked up, based on my own personal experience and journey into wellness.} 

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Wellness Musings

I’ve been contemplating whether I should start writing about my ongoing wellness journey for a little while now, and I’ve decided for it – hence this post.

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I took a conscious decision to take charge of my fitness about a year ago. At the beginning of 2016, I was really ill, and it left me at the most unfit I’d been in years. I was frustrated with my body. It felt as if it didn’t belong to me. I felt weak, and very incapable.

After that, I wanted to regain my fitness, and most importantly, sustain it. I didn’t really know what I was capable of, and the thought of committing to an intensive workout plan intimidated me. However, I wanted to strengthen my body and push myself to see what I was able to do. My closest friend was doing BBG at the time and swears by it (I do too now). I started off with BBG, because its only three times and week, and I liked the fact that its structured so I didn’t have to decided what exercises to do. It told me what to do and how to do it. It was incredible. It made me so strong and I felt good. I got through most of the 12-week circuit, and then life happened, school took over and I slipped out of my rhythm again.

Over the past few months, I’ve been itching to get active and regain my wellness. I’ve been doing BBG and similar workouts – I don’t force myself. I do whatever I feel like doing. I once saw a quote – “If you fall in love with the process, the results will come.” I cannot reiterate how true that has been for me. I love exercising. It makes me feel strong, happy and energized. Its the perfect me-time carved out of my day dedicated to bettering myself. Its powerful!  Without trying to sound grandiose, this journey has changed my life. I feel stronger than ever before and its a liberating feeling knowing that your body is capable of more than it was a year ago.

I’m far from where I want to be. But as they say, wellness is a journey, not a destination. And there’s a lot more than just exercising – its about eating well too (the part I struggle with – I have quite the sweet tooth), and taking good care of your mental health – I value self-care immensely – it is so important! For me , its all about balance and overall wellness. I’m not looking for a hectic crash diet or an impossibly difficult daily circuit. I’m aiming to have a healthier lifestyle that is sustainable and that I can grow up with.

I hope that you’ll join me on a journey of improved wellness. It will make you feel good about yourself, and investing time in your health is one of the greatest ones you can make. Start small, and don’t forget – “be gentle with yourself – you’re doing the best you can.”

Nabeela x

Slow Living / Bedtime Rituals

Being as busy as we are, it can be easy to forget the importance of taking some time in the day to relax and unwind. It’s safe to say that senior high doesn’t leave me much time to myself, so I’ve made a conscious choice to take some time each day for relaxing and down-timing. 

My preferred time to unwind is just before bed. It’s the time I feel most calm (probably because I’m so tired) and I know that everything important is done, so I don’t feel as if I’m wasting time either. It also helps me to settle down a bit quicker once I get into bed. 

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These intentional rituals have become my favourite part of the day. I savour this time to myself and look forward to it each day. 

Soothing facial ritual 

I use a minimal amount of all-natural products on my face. I love putting lovely-smelling goodies on my face. I find the natural scents and fragrances of my products relaxing and calming. I love going to bed with my skin feeling soft and squeaky-clean. 

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Balancing Cleansing Balm / Purifying Treatment Oil / The Everyday Cream

Reflective/ relaxing time

I like to keep my room airy on hot summer nights by leaving the windows wide open until just before I hit the pillow. I have an overactive mind, so I keep a journal where I can write my thoughts and whatever is taking up space in my brain. I also take some time for stretching (I spend quite a bit of time playing school sports so my muscles are often tired) and prayers. 

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Reading 

I adore reading. I find it relaxing and  entertaining, so it’s the perfect end to any day for me. Once in bed I like to read for a while until I’m sleepy. 

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I keep my room completely dark at night as I find I sleep best like this. Try out a couple of rituals until you find what works best for you. It can be so satisfying to know that you have a few peaceful rituals to engage in every evening before bed. 

I find that I feel calmer and more at peace before bed rather than frazzled and frantic. 

Self-care is absolutely essential to our well-being. Let’s make it our priority. 

“Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”

Nabeela x

Skin Loving / Lulu & Marula

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I’m one of those people who believe that loving oneself is as important as loving others. Self-care is an important aspect of self-love and it’s a topic I thoroughly enjoy discussing and spreading awareness about.

I’m a lover of natural and minimal skincare and over the past year or so, I’ve been on my own personal journey towards an all-natural skincare regime. For this post, I’ve teamed up with Lulu and Marula, a brand that epitomizes self-care and its importance through skincare.

Caring for one’s body is vital in order to live a happy and fulfilling life and feeling comfortable in your own skin is key.

Lulu and Marula is an all-natural skincare brand that is based right here in South Africa. It was founded in 2013 by Jesslynn, who has always been obsessed with skincare and so, when she couldn’t find any suitable, natural skincare products to meet her liking and needs, she made her own. And she did a pretty good job!

Over the past few years, simple and healthy living has become increasingly popular and prevalent. Natural living forms a part of this and it certainly translates in natural beauty and skincare.

Why natural, you ask? “Your skin is your largest organ; it absorbs a lot of what you put on it. The way skin care products are produced plays a role that is just as important as the way your food is grown and produced. So if you choose to eat clean and shop for locally grown food, why wouldn’t you do the same for your skin care products?” – Jesslynn

I’ve been using some Lulu and Marula products for a little while now. I’ve loved the transition to all-natural skincare products. I’ve always been blessed with healthy and clear skin, and for this I am very grateful, however I can still feel the difference after using these products.

Cleansing Balancing Balm

Prior to using this product, I was using a liquid facial cleanser that is considered one of the top skincare brands, expect it has lots of yucky chemicals and left my skin feeling tight an weird after a wash. Naturally (no pun intended), the Balancing Balm is a welcome replacement. Its soothing, gentle and it smells pretty darn good. I’ve always loved skincare rituals, but I love mine even more now.

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Purifying Treatment Oil  

I’ve always been a bit skeptical of putting oil on my face, however, over the past few months, I’ve been struggling a tad with dry skin, so I’ve embraced facial oils. I was pleasantly surprised by how lightweight this oil is, yet it still feels so nourishing. I’ve used a drop or two on my face a couple of nights a week and it makes for a wonderful addition to my skincare regime. My skin feels more hydrated, which is lovely.  It also smells deliciously dreamy.

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I’m simply loving my new skincare routine and I’d really encourage you to take a few steps to make your skincare routine a little more natural. I’m not saying you have to change all at once. Try bringing in a few natural products and see how it makes your skin feel.

Keep smiling and taking care of your skin!

PS: Here’s a fun art print with a favourite self-love quote. My gift to you x

Nabeela x

{Thanks for sending me some of your lovely goodies, Jesslynn!}

Disclaimer: As usual, all opinions are my own. I would never write about a product that I don’t truly love and believe in.

 

 

5 Ways to Live a Little Lighter This Year

I’m not one who believes that new habits can only be formed in the new year. I’m actually the kind of person who will start big new things in September. Nonetheless, I still feel that the new year can be a good time to make intentional changes in our lives because we feel a little more rested and at peace after the December break.

As you may know, over this past year or so, I have really delved deep into minimalism as a lifestyle, and I can feel how much lighter I am without the weight of my material possessions. Here are a few tried and tested methods that may just help lighten the mental and physical clutter for you too.

 

  1. / Toss it

Stop holding onto things just in case. Sort through your things with intention and get rid of everything you don’t use. You don’t have to throw it away. Donate it instead. Let someone else benefit from it.

 

  1. / Unsubscribe and unfollow

I unsubscribed from so many mailers over the past year. Unnecessary emails just clog our inboxes and distract us from the important ones that do require our attention. I also felt that my Instagram feed was clogged and too full. I unfollowed so many different accounts that I just didn’t find any value in or that didn’t inspire me in any way. I even unfollowed some brands I genuinely like as I wasn’t finding any extra value in their account. Be selective about who you follow and change it up regularly in order to stay inspired.

 

  1. / Don’t impulse buy

Just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy it. I’ve decided that I will only buy what’s on my wish list. I get a monthly allowance, and with that I either buy what I truly need (I keep a list) or else save it for my big saving-up list. By using this method, you’ll only bring things into your life that’ll truly add value, and you’ll hardly feel as if you’re wasting money.

 

  1. / Shake it off

Don’t let negative relationships weigh you down. If you have a problem, talk it out as soon as you can, so that it doesn’t linger at the back of your mind. If the other person isn’t willing, rethink whether or not they are worth your time and energy.

 

  1. / Take care of yourself

If you take good care of yourself and you’ll feel happier, lighter, more positive and more productive. Give yourself grace, sleep well, exercise, eat well and pamper yourself when it’s needed.

 

Lets make 2017 our most meaningful and intentional year yet.

 

“The happiest people don’t have everything they want, but instead want everything they have.” – Anonymous

Nabeela x

Zen / Morning Rituals

I’ve never really been a person who intentionally followed a morning ritual. When I started doing some reading about minimalism and slow living, the ‘morning ritual’ seemed to pop up.

When I thought of a morning ritual, I didn’t just want it to be things like ‘make lunch’ and ‘brush teeth’.  I wanted to be more intentional with my time in the morning. It’s the time of day where you are at your freshest. It can be quite blissful and calm. It leaves me feeling refreshed and ready for the day.

I don’t really have a fixed ‘ritual’ as such. However, I do enjoy having a relaxed breakfast, watching the birds play in the garden and sipping iced coffee (I don’t drink hot beverages).

The few things I do consistently seem very ordinary, but I guess that’s what makes it a ritual. You do it repeatedly.

Something I thoroughly enjoy is listening to a good podcast whilst I get dressed in the morning. I love using those ten or fifteen minutes to listen to something thought-provoking or just interesting.

I thought I’d add my quick iced-frappe recipe:

  1. Add one teaspoon of coffee and sugar to have a cup of boiling water
  2. Stir well and top the cup up with milk
  3. Add 4 ice blocks
  4. Blend

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Do you have a morning ritual?

Nabeela x