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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3 Key Concepts For Relaxation

A Year in Review | 2020

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3 Key Concepts For Relaxation

What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you think of the word, relax? For me, I often picture myself having fun on holiday sunbathing in the summer sun, somewhere hot and exotic. Deadlines, clock-watching, routine – it’s all out of the window. At the risk of sounding a bit hippy, I’ve noticed that when I am relaxed I quite literally live in the moment. As we push through the final stretch of the year, it can certainly feel that we can only give permission to ourselves to relax once we have achieved X,Y, and Z. That we need to push ourselves as far as we can, until we’ve earned it. However, that does not need to be the case. Whilst I am a huge advocate for hard work and productivity, I also place immense importance on balance.

Here are just a few tips which have helped me to find some balance and time for relaxation:

1. Get comfortable with setting boundaries

I spoke a lot about the importance of getting organized in my blog post, Get More Time Back In Your Day. It is important to remember that with organization, also comes boundaries. It may sound ironic to plan time in to relax, but I promise you will reap the benefits if you do. In order to prioritize relaxation, it may however require you on occasion to say no to other things. I’ll be the first to admit that this is something that I have always found very difficult, but have got a lot better at in recent years. As a result of setting boundaries for myself, it means that I have time in my evening to dedicate to that episode on Netflix I’ve been saving, or even time to blog – both things which I find therapeutic!

2. Set the mood

We all know atmosphere is so important for relaxation. How the smell of one cinnamon candle can lift your mood and get you singing, “All I want for Christmas” without even realizing it. Whether it’s a bath, fragrance oil diffusers, or even the smell of a simple hot-chocolate, play to your senses and set the mood for relaxation. Switch on those fairy lights and focus on what you can smell and see, as you cozy up in your dressing gown, and feel the tension slowly melt away.

3. Empty your mind

My third recommendation is planning to actively do something, which will by default empty your mind. This can include going back to your childhood roots with some art therapy (yes you really can get colouring books for adults!) Take time to do something that you find de-stresses you. It may be painting, knitting, or taking the dog out for a walk, all of which serve as a form of mindfulness. Some other ideas can include meditation, breathing exercises, light walks and one to one conversations with someone close to you.

Each of these concepts will help you to minimize restless thoughts and create some peace and quietness in your day, essential for relaxation.

What are some of the things you do to relax? Share them with me in the comments below!

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

Get More Time Back In Your Day

I don’t know about you, but since working from home over the last eight months, I have 100% suffered from screen fatigue. At the start of the pandemic, how to be productive was top of mind to help me navigate this new virtual world. However fast forward to November, I am now experiencing tiredness from the constant video calling. It’s got to the point where even some of my non-meetings, which are meant to be fun and informal, are beginning to feel like meetings. The social calls, the casual 1:1’s, the impromptu how-the-heck-do-I-solve-this-problem kinda calls, still have an element of planning to them. They each require you to send over a meeting invite, set up a new VC link, whilst also making sure your room and your appearance both are relatively presentable, and any other distractions are kept to a minimum. At the same time, you are trying to do your job in one space which has no boundaries between your home and work life. I am also currently working in the world of recruitment, so on top of these video calls with colleagues, friends and family, there are also candidates and interviewers thrown into the mix. Now, that’s a lot of mascara I go through, I’ll tell you that much!

Of course video calling has been essential in helping us to cope and stay connected. It has also aided some of us to continue working throughout the pandemic, but there is no doubt it is also very time consuming and tiring. I’m pretty sure I spend on average at least eight hours of my work week, solely on video calls. Maybe like me, you too have felt the need at some point to always be visible online to your team, fearing you’d be seen as slacking if you weren’t. I created this expectation that I had to respond straight away to that email, or instant message via Microsoft Teams/ Workplace/ Slack, whatever it may be, despite this memo never coming from my employer. In fact, I feel quite lucky to say it has been quite the opposite. I have had open conversations about the reality of working from home with my managers and team, who each have related and encouraged healthier and smarter ways of working. Of course there are still elements to working from home which are more convenient than office life, but by no means is every day a walk in the park. From wifi issues, home distractions, loneliness, screen fatigue and working more intensely, it can feel difficult and disheartening. If you can relate to any of these things, I wanted to share with you a few tips that have helped me claim back time in my day, and improve my work-life balance.

It all comes down to smart planning. With daylight hours getting shorter, I ensure that I make time for a walk and some form of exercise every single work day. I plan this around when there are no meetings (and in my case, interviews) coming up, so that I am less likely to be distracted and interrupted. Just as I used to utilize my commute into work to practice mindfulness, I continue to plan time in for me. I do my best to get at least 30 minutes fresh air a day, with the incentive of getting some steps in on my FitBit. I also love podcasts and am back into the habit of listening to these on my walk. I am still loving Sibling Revelry if anyone needs a recommendation!

Every day I also block out my lunch break in my diary for two reasons. The first being so no one puts in any additional meetings, and the second so that I remember to actually take a lunch break. I work best in quiet spaces so my work days tend to zoom past, however this means that I physically need a reminder to take a break. I also try to avoid working lunches, and go to a different room to eat. I’ve found that the change of scenery makes a huge difference to my mindset.

Block out your time as much as possible. Whether you can introduce a no meeting day rule (so you can actually do your job), or no meetings on a Friday after 4pm, make your day work for you as much as you can.

Be honest and set expectations with yourself and your manager. Do you really need to be at that meeting for the whole hour, or is your time better spent only joining for the first or last 15 minutes? Although you may be conscious of building and maintaining relationships at work, some things can be better summed up in an email, rather than a meeting. If you find this is happening regularly, feed it back and discuss it with your team. The chances are, everyone else is also thinking the same thing.

It’s important to acknowledge that we most definitely aren’t in the same working world that we were in back in March. Therefore I encourage you to feel empowered to break or reshape some of your old working habits, as we continue to work remotely.

I’d love to hear your tips on how to claim back time in your day, feel free to share with me in the comments below!

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 every day this month Monday – Friday, so don’t miss out!

Come connect with me on socials:

Facebook | Natalia Talks About

Instagram | @nataliatalksabout

YouTube | Nataliatalksabout

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Phillips Sonicare Protective Clean | Review

Six months ago I made a decision which really has changed my daily life… I bought a new toothbrush! On the theme of wellness this month, I thought I’d take a different angle and drive your attention to those pearly whites. It’s rare I write posts about something so basic, but I have been so impressed with the results of my recent upgrade, so I thought I ought to write a review.

I have always tried to take great care of my teeth, and to this day *touch wood* I haven’t had any filings or dental work. I keep up with my two dentist and hygienist appointments a year but other than that, I stick to the basics of brushing and flossing twice a day. However I must admit, flossing has always been touch and go. Yet now that I’m not scrambling in the morning to get out of the door to catch my train to work, it’s definitely become more of a regular habit, as opposed to a white lie that my hygienist would hear. After spotting a discounted deal on the Phillips Sonicare Protective Clean brush in pastel pink I decided to invest. I mean, why shouldn’t your toothbrush be both functional and aesthetically pleasing?

Find on Amazon here

In addition to the toothbrush you also get a travel case, charger and one toothbrush head. At first, I was surprised just how ticklish the toothbrush was. I genuinely had to turn it off because there was a lot of frothy dribbling toothpaste everywhere, (there’s a reason why this is a blog post rather than a video!). But I stuck it out and am so glad that I did. I like the fact that the built in pressure sensor lets you know if you are brushing too hard, and the brush even reminds you when it’s time to replace the toothbrush head. Now that is smart! The brush claims to remove seven times more plaque than a manual toothbrush, and whilst I may not be able to prove if this is true, I can say that I can really notice the difference of how clean my teeth feel. Since using this over the last few months, it has also definitely made my teeth whiter- and that’s without even changing my toothpaste. I recently paid a visit to the dentist, and even they commented on how great my teeth are looking! Plus I can confirm that the toothpaste froth is now down to a minimum.

Despite using an electric toothbrush for at least seven years, it’s fair to say that there absolutely is a difference between electric toothbrushes. I now actually look forward to brushing my teeth! You may be thinking, “But Natalia, it really isn’t that big of a deal.” Well I would argue this upgrade is up there on one of the best purchases I have made this year! Now there’s something I didn’t think I’d say, but hey that’s 2020 for you! Get ready to add to basket on Friday 27th November!

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 every day this month, don’t miss out!

Come connect with me on socials:

Facebook | Natalia Talks About

Instagram | @nataliatalksabout

YouTube | Nataliatalksabout

You may also enjoy:

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How To Make Exercise a Habit | 7 Months of Fitness


We’ve all been there. On that cold and dreary first week of January, we dig out our trainers and barely worn exercise gear. We complete a couple of workouts and feel great afterwards. We vow that we’ll keep it up, imagining how we will be looking a year from now. Then life’s distractions come a-knocking and our trainers get dusty. Some months later the sun comes out to play, signalling that summer is on it’s way and we reach for those shoes once again. Although this happens intermittently throughout the year, the whole fitness thing doesn’t seem to quite stick.

I am by no means an expert on fitness. I am just a regular gal who (probably like you) always dreamed of getting fit, and more importantly wanted to keep it up. If you’re not up to date with me, check out this post and this post to find out more about my relationship with fitness throughout 2020 so far. But to summarize, back in Jan 2020 I was determined that this year I would live a more active lifestyle. Over the last seven months I have ensured that fitness is a regular part of my routine. As a result, I have noticed both mental and physical positive changes. I may not be the strongest, most toned or most flexible person I know, but boy have I improved. I feel fitter, happier and calmer and I’m certain this has helped me cope better and navigate my way through the pandemic.

If you’re wondering what my secret is, carry on reading to find out my tips on how to make exercise a habit!

1. Establish what your motivations are, both for the short and long term

It is important to not skip identifying both of these goals as you won’t see results overnight. This will help you have something to aim towards, in both the immediate and distant future.

Examples of short term goals = Get more flexible, become stronger, run three times a week
Examples of long term goals = Live a more active lifestyle, complete a half or full marathon, lose xx kg

2. Choose an exercise you enjoy or have an interest to start

This sounds simple but don’t just run because it feels like everyone else is. If it doesn’t interest you, try pilates, swimming, strength training, HIIT workouts or perhaps something more unique like joining an aerial hoop class! Whatever it may be, each week gradually build up the intensity and the frequency of your workouts.

3. Research how to properly do movements you aren’t familiar with

Whether it’s how to do a squat, easier push-up variations, or maybe something more advanced, make sure you research! Search on Google, YouTube, ask a friend or a personal trainer etc., on the correct form of these moves. Then practice these movements in front of a mirror to see if you’re holding them correctly. This will help your workouts be far more effective and will prevent injury in the long term.

4. Equipment

Buy basic equipment you may need such as a yoga mat, a skipping rope or some weights. There are some great pieces of equipment you can invest in which will also help change up your workouts, keeping them varied and you interested!

Best of both; A little bit of jiggle and a little bit of ab

5. Get the gear on!

Set yourself up for the day by changing into your exercise kit or workout clothes first thing in the morning, so you have no excuse. Matching sets and hair buns are optional!

6. Time your workouts

No one wants to workout after indulging, so if you can keep yourself from reaching for the biscuits for your morning snack, you may be a bit more likely to workout. I try to keep myself hydrated throughout the day and eat well leading up to my workout time. This has definitely helped me follow through and improve my performance during exercise.

7. Commit to the workout

Exercise with someone, or at the very least tell someone about it! This will hold you accountable, committed and motivated!

8. Music is a must

Get a good playlist to keep you motivated and focused on the workout. Spotify and YouTube have some great music to get you inspired to move!

9. Eat well before exercise

When is the best time of day for you to fit this in? Make sure you are realistic! 6:00 AM workouts won’t work if you simply aren’t a morning person. Make sure you also plan to leave time in your day for rest and any other commitments you may have. If you don’t, you may be at risk of quickly resenting your workouts and ultimately not seeing them through. (I like to exercise in the morning between 9:00 – 11:00 AM so that the rest of my day is free).

10. Remember, exercise is not a punishment for food

If you think like this, it’s time to change that perspective! Exercise is something we should reward our body with, and ultimately look forward to. Exercising releases endorphins, hormones that leave you feeling calmer and happier! It can be a stress reliever, a time for team socials, a time to recharge or challenge yourself! For me, exercise allows me to temporarily switch off from everything else going on in my life, and resets my mind to focus on the here and now. Plus, it’s all about balance. I definitely still eat my treats in the week!

11. Document your progress

Keeping track of my progress such as how many more push ups, burpees etc., I can do in a minute, every few weeks has really helped! I’d recommend to also take photos to document how your body changes every month. Seeing how my body has toned as I have gotten stronger and leaner, was a booster on days I felt unmotivated. It’s easy to forget where you started, and had it not been for this I probably would have felt defeated and given up.

12. Believe in yourself

You may not be able to keep up with all the moves or run as fast as you like at the beginning, but challenge yourself and do not compare yourself to others! Push yourself a little more each week. Over the coming weeks and months, you will notice yourself developing more self-discipline & self-confidence! Take it easy and remember, there is no reason why you can’t do it.

I hope you will subscribe if you enjoyed this blog post! If you did, make sure to check out the below too:

2020, A New Meaning to Staycation

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