Beat the Lockdown 3.0 Blues!

Welcome back to the first blog of 2021! I hope you’re feeling refreshed after the Christmas break, and that your week got off to a positive start. On Sunday night I pictured myself getting up nice and early, ready for the first Monday of 2021. I was genuinely looking forward to reinstating a bit of a routine to my day once again, and begin working on some of the things I wanted to achieve this year. However the reality of my first working day of 2021 saw me wake up 90 minutes later than planned (oops)…

A very accurate representation of what my morning looked like

Alas, I didn’t allow this to set the tone to the rest of my day. Instead I rewrote the narrative and thought just how rested I was feeling, and how grateful I was that there was no commute to rush for. We all know that a New Year doesn’t magically change our reality and I am definitely not one to proclaim, “New Year, New Me”. However, I love the optimism that the New Year presents itself with. But if you’re struggling with a bit of motivation today (especially after last night’s lockdown 3.0 announcement), here are a few of my posts I wrote in 2020 to send some positivity your way.

If you are feeling a bit blue and struggling to feel optimistic, read my post – Appreciating The Little Things

Maybe you are on the 2021 hype and want to be more efficient with your day and get organized, read my post – Get More Time Back In Your Day

Looking for a a bit of inspiration for self-care? Read my post – 5 Ways To Look After Yourself This Week

A New Year means a new series to watch, but if you missed some of my top picks in lockdown 2.0 for 2020 which are classics, read my post – TV Shows to Binge in Lockdown

If you’re on a health kick post Christmas, have a read of my post – 5 Smoothie Recipes To Try Now

It may be the new year but don’t let that dampen your dreams of a holiday this year. To see how I spent my week off at home, read my post –2020, A New Meaning to Staycation

And finally, if the prospect of working remotely for a bit longer is getting you down, read my post –Working From Home Tips | Mental Health Awareness Week

Sending big hugs to you all and wishing you a positive week ahead – you got this.

Connect with me on socials:

Facebook | Natalia Talks About

Instagram | @nataliatalksabout

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A Year in Review | 2020

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There’s Still Time For Us Yet…

At the beginning of this year I was filled with so much ambition, optimism and a sense of adventure. After hearing great things about vision boards, I decided it would be the first year I would make one for myself. At first, I began to sprawl many ideas across the page. Some were overly ambitious goals and some were simple ideas. I also noted down things I wanted to try and places I wanted to go. Of course, any new experiences and travel destinations were pushed aside for obvious reasons, but there are still a few things I have managed to achieve, and some that I am yet to start…

Having spent 3 months of this year in lockdown, and 6 months of it living in a socially distanced way that no one could have anticipated, I have had the opportunity to hone in on what kind of life I want to live. It’s allowed me to regularly reassess my vision board and which areas of my life I want to explore and develop. I’d recommend you to leave some space on your vision board, so you can add to it throughout the year for this specific reason. Along the way, I’ve learned that my motivation stems mostly from me being goal-orientated, and achieving those goals requires making intentional and conscious actions repeatedly. One example on my vision board for 2020 included “to live an active lifestyle“. There were a few points this year where it felt a bit too much effort, but I reminded myself that consistent actions will eventually form new habits, and in turn would help me to reach my goal. I would also ask myself, “How would I feel at the start of 2021 knowing that I now prioritize my health and fitness?” That question has stuck with me and helped keep me focused.

With only 5 weeks to go of 2020 I thought it would be a good time to revisit my vision board again, and get thinking about what I want from the year ahead. In case you are interested in doing the same, here are a few questions to get the ball rolling for your vision board:

  • Where do I envision myself one year from now?
  • How do I want to feel about…?
  • What things do I want to achieve?
  • What actions will I need to take to get there?
  • What one word will I choose to help define the year ahead I want/ need?

If you’re naturally arty, creating your vision board will be a really fun activity, but if like me, your creativity is blessed in other ways – don’t worry! Focus more on the content of your board, instead of it’s aesthetics. I’d also recommend you to add some goals which aren’t just material based. This will be a lot more satisfying and you’ll notice a lot of personal growth! Remember, we may be knocking on December’s door, but there is still some time left this year to get started. Do not wish the year away, when so much more can still come from it!

If you liked this post, you should subscribe to keep up to date with what I’m talking about. Remember there will also be more content coming your way Monday – Friday throughout lockdown, so don’t miss out!

Connect with me on socials:

Facebook | Natalia Talks About

Instagram | @nataliatalksabout

YouTube | Nataliatalksabout

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Get More Time Back In Your Day

5 Ways To Look After Yourself This Week

Goodbye 2018 & Hello 2019

What a year 2018 was. It truly was a year that had many ups and downs; a year where I learned to appreciate the value of living in the present moment. I took more chances on myself and stepped somewhat outside of my comfort zone. I took a road trip around California and had a Summer of a lifetime with some beautiful L.A. sunsets. I worked in 2 different workplaces and learned many valuable lessons along the way. I’ve gained sister in laws, closer bonds with family members and my long-standing truest friendships have continued to be a strength and light in my life. This time last year, I set myself some resolutions like most do when we say goodbye to those long, tiring and often testing 12 months, in hopes of enriching ourselves in a good old Bridget Jones positive type of way. These resolutions of mine were of course set with good and more realistic intentions than my girl Bridget has done, however like Jonesy, they may have got somewhat lost along the way…ahem… apologies for my eight week hiatus on the blog! Nonetheless if there is one thing i’m taking with me into 2019, it is to relax, to not hold back waiting for that “perfect” moment and to stop worrying quite so much.

One example being that I was waiting to give myself the time to create more engaging content and memorable pieces such as those of my California trip. I started many blog posts with hopes of getting back into the swing of things. Yet upon reflection I can see that the issue was that I was becoming too concenered on everything being “insta-worthy” rather than the joy of writing, sharing and creating, so I decided instead to not to post anything at all and binge watch Gossip Girl until I “had time”. We’re all guilty of this kind of behaviour right? Plus it doesn’t help that GG is highly addictive! So in the spirit of these reflections and with new positive intentions being reset going forward, here are some of my personal top 9 moments I didn’t share as much as I should have in 2018.

Winter Snow in the UK | Despite the disruption and how England stops functioning for a few days, there is something quite magical about snow in the U.K., no matter how little!

Glamour Beauty Festival | Mother’s Day – I had a lovely day out with my mum at the Saatchi Gallery in London. After a tough start to 2018, this was one day we both really needed to remind ourselves to relax

Family Bonds | My Grandmother – As life goes on, our loved ones grow older with us. My grandmother is the strongest fighter I know and every moment together is a moment I treasure. A relationship between Grandchild and Grandparent is truly special

California road trip | Yosemite – Hiking is something I hope to do more of in my 20’s and this day really was a bucket list moment

California Road Trip | Monterey – Because Big Little Lies. Need I say more?

California | Wine Tasting – Sipping wine with my boyfriend in places like this was a pinch me moment

California | Sea lion selfies, being blonder than ever and embracing summer sun freckles

New York | Discovering new places. New York is now one of my favourite cities in the world

Croatia | My Brother’s Wedding – Being a bridesmaid & surrounded by so much love was really an unforgettable day

Whether there is such thing as “New Year, New Me” I’m not quite sure, but that’s not to say that resolutions are a waste of time. I love the really hopeful and motivated mood in January, where ambitions are high and the “I can do anything attitude” is held by most. I really think that we should recognise and celebrate our achievements more often and not worry that this may be misread as egotistical, unrealistic or unachievable. Because it is acceptable and necessary to give ourselves credit on more occasions than simply in the New Year! So, this year I’m making it a priority of mine to keep trying to achieve my goals and really celebrate my achievements, rather than worrying. After all, “worrying is stupid, it’s like walking around with an umbrella waiting for it to rain” something that us British do oh too well!

What are your intentions for 2019 and what were some of your highlights from 2018? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

If you enjoyed this, please subscribe and like! You should also read:

The Magic Statement

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The Magic Statement

Autumn is the season of change and new beginnings and boy can I attest to that! For some this may mean starting University, reevaluating New Years Resolutions or for me beginning a new job. Upon my return from a Summer in the sun to a not so green grassed England, (thanks to the heatwave), I was still figuring out which direction I wanted to take my life in next… Would it be more travel? A focus on working on my career (no pun intended)? Save money to move out? The answer ideally would be all of the above, but which first??? With an overwhelming decision to make, I reflected on what I had already achieved in the last five years since I first enrolled in University.

One thing that I feel I’ve really worked on over the last few years is specifically making time for myself to do what I want… but figuring out what that may be can be daunting at times. Case and point my earlier dilemma! I wanted to share with you something I call ” The Magic Statement” which has helped me so much over the last few years to begin solving such problems.

Between the ages of 16-18 years old, I was always very busy. I was Deputy Head Girl at school and seemed to stay behind nearly every day after my classes for one activity or another. My weekends would also be jam packed as I tried to balance my social life around concentrating on my studies and I also entered the world of dating… I didn’t have much time for my new (now long term) boyfriend. Luckily he was understanding and I’m so grateful he stuck around for me! I was constantly preoccupied and somewhat obsessed with people pleasing, for fear of admitting that “I am doing too much of the things I don’t really want to be doing, but I think I should be doing” and in admitting this would make me sound spoiled, ungrateful, let people down or worse, not fulfilling my potential and facing “disappointment” from those around me. I feel like this type of thinking is responsible for causing us to supposedly “not knowing” what we want to do. When in reality, we do know but we think that we can’t or shouldn’t try what we do want until we are pushed up into a corner or facing a mid life crisis… and guess what, everyone except yourself ends up winning in this scenario!

“If I had all the time in the world what would I do ?” The Magic Statement

Now don’t get me wrong, at this time I was mostly doing things I enjoyed, but the amount I took on was so tiring and I felt I missed out on some of the other things I loved.

I remember having a very honest conversation with one of my best friends, who knows me inside out, to whom I don’t ever have to justify, or feel guilty if we don’t see each other for long periods of time. I love genuine friendships like this. I confided in her how overwhelmed I was by the amount of activities and social groups I was involved in, on top of studying for my exams and more quality time with my boyfriend who I only saw for a few hours once a week. I felt overwhelmed and I lost touch with myself somewhat as I didn’t really know what my hobbies were anymore. I put so much pressure on myself and ultimately had become a people pleaser (with the only person not so pleased bring me!), feeling so overwhelmed all before even turning 18! How on earth would I cope when I one day got a job and had even more pressing responsibilities.

At the time, my friend turned to me and simply said, “If you had all the time in the world and could do anything that you wanted, what would you do?” I felt a bit emotional at this, because for a moment I didn’t know what my answer was. I felt sad as the first thing I thought, was that I just wanted a break- and that’s certainly not a hobby! Necessary perhaps but not a hobby. I sat in silence for a while as my friend waited patiently for me to answer. After some time I answered that I would want to read more, I would want to write creatively because as a child I used to enjoy this so much! I also wanted to run again- I was good at it as a kid, and it refreshed my mind. That conversation really stuck with me and if you asked me now what are some of my hobbies, you can guess what they are!

It’s strange looking back on this now as not only do I deal with stress better but I am able to say no to tasks or activities that overwhelm me or just don’t interest me. Of course the workplace may require you doing some of these things now and again within reason. However being able to identify these areas and speak up will actually lead you to the career that you’re suited to.

I have had an echo of this conversation many times with myself, my close friends and family since – reframing it slightly to fit my situation, “If I could go anywhere where would I go?”, “If I could have any job what job would I want?”, “If I could try anything I wanted, what would I try?”. It has allowed me to eliminate the barriers that I have put up for myself, to be more goal orientated, to find some direction and believe that all these things can be possible… at least one day and one dream at a time.

My advice to you would be, whatever it is you’re contemplating or whatever the situation is that is causing you to feel lost, confide in friends and as you grow as a person throughout the many stages of your life, don’t hold yourself back and finish the magic statement,

“If I could do anything, I would…” and dedicate the time and effort necessary to achieve it. Honestly your life is so worth this! Slowly you may find you’re making progress without you even realising it.

How can you use the Magic Statement in your life? Let me know I would love to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this post you should subscribe and read:

The California Travel Diaries: Sonoma and Napa

Lessons I Learned In My First Real Job

The California Travel Diaries: San Francisco, Day 3

Graduating, Working and Discovering New Passions

Can Millennials Have It All?

In today’s age I feel like my generation have been brought up with the world at our fingertips. Internet, mobile phones, cars; it’s all so accessible. Who would have thought that you could interview people without being in the same room or buy clothes without having to queue for a changing room. The world itself also feels so much smaller. You can fly from London to New York in under 8 hours and can get flights for as cheap as £2 in Ryan Air’s sales across Europe! But in a world where technology is developing at a rapid rate, can we finally have it all?

When we talk about ‘having it all’, the first thing that comes to mind is being able to simultaneously have a career and a family. Let me rephrase, a successful career alongside a happy family and loving marriage. Surely something has to give? That is always my second thought. Of course, having a high flying career isn’t the be all and end of all of everyone’s goals and aspirations. However, if like me (and what I believe is inherently true of my generation) I do want to have a successful career and one day be more than a housewife and loving mother (of course when that day comes where I am a wife and a mother that is!)

I hold immense value to these two roles that one day will be apart of my identity, nonetheless I still want to have it all. Being able to have a career and travel without compromising on these aspects. At this moment in time I feel a hunger and a drive to achieve and build the career that I want to have. A career that reflects me just as well as aspects of my future family life will. However is this possible?

This leads me back to my earlier thought, surely something has to give? This is something that I particularly think when I see wealthy families. How do both the wife or husband manage to have a secure financial income and raise a family, whilst their partner also works. Naturally I assume that this is where a nanny or helpful relatives come into action; to step in for those times where your child is sick and sent home from school or has forgotten their P.E. kit etc. Nonetheless if there is a period where it would be possible to have it all, I believe it would be in my generation. In comparison to two generations ago, so many more opportunities have become available for women. In a time where my grandmother may have only aspired to work to live and being a mother would have been more than enough, I feel that this attitude really has changed and is continuing to evolve.

As a millennial, I adopt the prospect of living to work, not working to live. In that meaning if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. I also think that there is more of an emphasis to work in a sector that you are passionate about. Yet the question still rings true, is this possible when you throw in taking maternity leave (and possibly a career break) and then ultimately arranging and affording childcare?

This is where the optimist and ambition in me comes to light; when I think of all of the great inspirational stories we hear everyday of how the underdogs made it, against all the odds. Now let me ask you again, is it so unrealistic to think that you and I can have the life we dreamed of with all of the elements ticked off? Maybe with quite a lot of effort and a little bit of luck, maybe.

Nonetheless despite my generation’s opportunities, I believe it is still a matter of timing to truly be able “to have it all”. I think that if you want to do it solely on your own merits, it’s only equally successfully possible at different at times at your life. Such as raising your kids then having the big career, if you don’t have any help. Alternatively maybe this becomes possible when your partner is able to step down on their own career front, so that you can take more of a career jump and the home front won’t sink. Or like so many women nowadays, you work hard for your career and decide to have children much later on in life. However you achieve these life goals, it seems that it may all be a matter of timing (or an extra pair of hands!)

Even when I graduated nearly 2 years ago, I had a taster of this pressure to try to know where I want my life to lead. Coming out of University, there is an expectation to secure a job in a sector that you want to build your career in straight away. Of course even securing that “dream job” takes years of experience, so how does one make it possible to travel in your 20’s, or in any time at your life whilst trying to build a career (and maybe think about settling down and start a family?) This is where a sabbatical, a career break or a “gap year” so to speak comes in handy. Again I return back to the conclusion that in order to achieve your goals, I believe it is all to do with timing. Saying that, there is never going to be an ideal time to leave your job to go after your dream job, to go away for 3 months backpacking or even to decide when to start family. As Izzie Stevens in Grey’s Anatomy puts it, we have to go live our freaking lives. Don’t know how? Nobody does! Nobody knows how. I guess we should just make it up as we go along and trust our choices, and maybe we can be on our way to have it all.

What do you think, can millennials have it all?