zen

January in a nutshell

Real talk. It’s been a grand total of 8 school days since my summer holidays ended, but it feels like I’ve been slaving away for years. I’ve found this slightly concerning due to the fact that I still have approximately 107 days (!!!) of school to go, and that’s not counting the total of about 12 weeks throughout the year that make up exam sessions. I guess this is why people keep telling me to pace myself (i.e. don’t turn into little-miss-frantic-study-work-all-night-team-no-sleep 8 days into the game) SO, as much as I would love to write a nice, neat post on staying calm, and being zen, it’s not quite that simple. Namely because I’m still figuring it out too.

Trying to balance all the homework for classes, essays and assignments, and still having time to study and do all the other school-ish responsibilities leaves me feeling like I don’t have time for much (or anything) else. But, despite the fact that the last few days of school have been, well, hard, something I have been getting right (small victories, friends) is making a little time each evening to wind down a little and help my mind calm down. Mostly it involves a few minutes on the Calm app, and reading a few pages of a book, (and not going to lie, some nights I just skip it, using the argument that its 10 minutes extra of sleep). Anyways, let’s see how long I can keep this whole calm thing up, but I would really recommend you try it. If you are forgetful like me, set a recurring reminder on your phone for around your bed time so that it becomes a routine of sorts. Hope it helps!

And if you need me, I’ll probs be in my room, burning too many aromatherapy candles to try and stay calm, whilst going through the 1214363 tasks in my bullet journal.

Nabeela x

On Keeping Your Room Calm and Tidy

Your environment can have a big effect on your mood without you even knowing. It has been said that a clear room equals a clear mind. Sound far-fetched? Try it. I have definitely found that the state of my room has a direct effect on how calm I feel. I can’t work (or sleep well, for that matter) in an over-cluttered, messy room- I simply find it too distracting and overwhelming. I’d like to think that I’m finally reaching a point where I’ve figured out a few ways to keep my room in a general state of orderliness without it feeling stiff. I’ve also been working towards having a calming space that is easy to unwind in. This can be difficult to achieve as a student, because chances are that you study in your room too, so it is important that you allocate certain spaces for certain activities, no matter how small your room is – but more on that another time.

Here are some things that I find help me in keeping my room clutter-free and calming. It also helps me to ensure that my room doesn’t turn into a complete mess within a few days of life’s general crazy busyness.

01. / Clear daily 

Although this might seem annoying, by doing a quick 5-minute tidy-up daily, you can keep the clutter at bay. I usually just spend a few minutes picking up dirty clothes, packing away anything that belongs in cupboards or drawers and throwing away unwanted papers. I usually do this in the evenings before bed (it can be quite therapeutic actually – or is that just me?! LOL) but pick a time that suits you and run with it.

02. /  Keep your surfaces clear

This is just about the easiest way to instantly make your room look and feel clearer. Cut back on the excess (be flexible though. Your room doesn’t always have to look Pinterest-perfect. You live there, remember?). Best advice I’ve ever been given. Best advice I can give.

03. / Give it a home

You might find that there’s always that one object that kind of just floats around because you don’t really know where it goes. To avoid having any of your things just floating around, ensure that everything, no matter how small, has a home. This way,  when the time comes to pack it away, there is an actual place to put it.

Here are some things you can do to create calm vibes in your room.

IMG_8602

01. / Candles

Candles don’t only create a calm mood, but they also leave your room smelling positively delicious. I currently only burn candles that don’t have any whack ingredients – don’t want any nasties floating around in the air. My current faavourite is this lemongrass one from Wellness Warehouse. It’s made from soybean wax, so it can be used as massage oil when it melts – double whammy. My other favourite candle is from Rain, but it’s quite old (as in, I found it in a chest somewhere in our house), so I don’t think it can be bought anymore.

02. / Colours

I’m the kind of person who actually really adores colour, but chooses not to show it in my dress or decor choices all that often. The only place in my room that is really colourful is my workspace, but that’s just what I like. Find a colour story that works for you, and try and stick with it. It’ll make your space feel less crazy. I find that having a more cohesive colour palette in my room makes for a more relaxing space, and is easier on the eye.

03. / Plants

Anyone who knows me well enough in real life (or even online) will know that I adore plants. Not going to lie, if I could, I’d pack up my room and move into someone’s greenhouse in a heartbeat. But seeing as that’s not exactly realistic (yet – some day maybe), I bring greenery into my space by keeping houseplants. They’re air-purifying, beautiful and quite literally add life to the space. Not a very good plant parent? Don’t despair. Just pick up a cactus. The only way I’ve ever killed one is by drowning the poor thing from too much water. (Oops).

IMG_8609

So there you have it, folks. My best zen room tips and tricks. (How am I not a Hygge spokesperson yet?) Hope you found this helpful. Until next time x

Nabeela x

Mountain Musings

There’s nothing that changes one’s perspective quite like spending a few days in the mountains sans cellphone signal and civilization. It’s a breathe of fresh air – literally. Drinking river water and falling asleep to the under the watchful eyes of shooting stars can be more beneficial than one might think going into it.

I learned a few things on my trip to the mountains. The first thing being, after a day of hiking, anything tastes good. And white flip flops and dust? Not a good idea.

But more than that, I learnt that once we lose connection with our phones (which seem to be an appendage nowadays), we gain connection with people. With nature. With ourselves. Without the constant distraction of push notifications and Instagram feeds, I found myself lost in long, deep, meaningful conversation with people, something that’s hard to come by in the busy city.

I learned that simply just spending time in nature is meditation in itself. It’s so healing and relaxing to live in harmony with the natural world for once, and not try to fight against it.

Lastly, I learned to appreciate the comforts of home. I certainly take basic things like toilets and my bed for granted far too often.

DSC02167

DSC02134

 

DSC02128

It’s true what they say. Sometimes, the best way to find yourself is to get lost. Preferably in nature.

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

morning-rituals-1

 

morning-rituals-2

Do you have a morning ritual?

Nabeela x

 

Wear Local / Amanda Laird Cherry

Hello

As you’ll know if you’ve been reading and following my blog for a little while, I love well-made, local products that are of high quality. The abundance of these products in the last little while makes me even prouder to be a South African. Luckily for me, and every other local lover, there are multiple brands and businesses making beautiful, clever and inspiring creations all around  in South Africa.

One of my favourite local clothing brands is Durban-based Amanda Laird Cherry.

I first discovered the brand when my mom and aunts all bought the classic long maxi dresses for a family wedding. It was when I was a bit younger and before I was so conscious of local design , but the brand caught my eye nonetheless. I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to fit into a dress like that! (So you can imagine my excitement when I finally got my own dress in a beautiful plum colour for a family wedding this summer!)

Amanda is the designer behind the brand. She has received numerous awards in the South African fashion industry and holds a high name. This year, the brand turns 20!

Amanda Laird Cherry produces apparel that echo a perfect balance between elegance, simplicity and comfort. There are a variety of clothing, leather shoes and accessories under the brand.

img_3902

img_3904
These leather mary-janes have become my go-to shoes. They are comfortable and elegant, yet simple and well-made. 

She also co-founded The Space, one of my favourite places to shop local clothing and design!

You can find the SS16 range at The Space.

Support local and shop small, especially this festive season!

Nabeela x

 

Scroll to top