A Year in Review | 2020

During a post-Christmas clean, I found a journal entry I wrote on 1st January. Incidentally this was the only entry I made all year, but looking back I started the year out filled with a lot of hope and ambition for 2020. Reading it made me realize just how much growth I have had in many areas of my life. The global pandemic has certainly brought some challenging and depressing days, but there have also been some wonderful moments this year that I want to remember. So before 2020 is over, here are just some of my highlights from this incredibly strange year:

  • I attended my auntie’s wedding right at the beginning of January and who knew that would be my first and last big social event for the year?! The day was filled with carefree dancing, toasting, laughing, hugging, and all without wearing a mask or obeying any rules of six…

  • This year the U.K. has really enjoyed some glorious weather, which I really appreciated particularly throughout the first lockdown. This meant there were lots of walks (often twice a day!), as well as days filled with various kinds of outside exercise or sunbathing with a glass of cold Pimms.

  • Being at home and having a lot more time back in my day, meant it was the perfect opportunity for more blogging, with this post being number 58 of this year! I pushed myself with writing challenges and also concentrated more on uploading videos to my YouTube channel. Overall this has resulted in more traffic with readers/viewers from different parts of the world – thank you! I can’t wait to continue creating next year.

  • There wasn’t a homemade sourdough in sight on my end, but I did get some baking in here and there. My new favourite discovery was a Sangria cake I baked for my Mum’s birthday – so easy and delicious! I also tried cooking some new recipes which emphasized how much I love trying new things. I am excited to do more of this in 2021 too!

  • I was devastated when my Summer flights to America were cancelled as I planned on going to Chicago for the first time, as well as attending my brother’s wedding! However we all still celebrated virtually via a live stream, complete with video calls for speeches and toasts. My family and I made the effort to dress up and we also decorated the house, the garden and the table. I even cooked a slightly elaborate meal! Overall, it was a bittersweet but a memorable and special day.

  • Despite all the challenges working from home, I am super proud of my progression in my 9-5 job and the impact I have had this year. I am giving myself a huge pat on the back well done… something we all need to do now and again!

  • Living an active lifestyle was my main goal for 2020. At the start of the year I was focused on getting beyond the 8 week mark of regular exercise (before I typically lost interest). From HIIT, running, pilates, hikes, walks, online classes and various other videos and IGTV’s, I’ve LOVED every moment of it. I am feeling stronger both mentally and physically, with my relationship and attitude towards exercise being completely transformed. Here’s to health in 2021!

  • Finding out I would be an auntie for the first time has also been a highlight for this year. Roll on early 2021 where I get to meet (virtually but hopefully physically soon) my little niece.

  • Becoming a dog auntie to the wonderful @cosmoandsherlockadventures has brought me so much joy and firmly helped me get over my fear of dogs! I am now one of those people who would coo at a dog rather than run away from it, haha!

  • In a way I am hugely grateful to 2020 as it meant I was able to save money faster and led me to buying my first home with my boyfriend. I am so excited to move in January 2021 and begin a new and exciting chapter of my life!

This year may not have always gone to plan, but 2020 has helped me be thankful for what I do have and enjoy the small moments along the way. Whatever way you are ringing in the New Year, I wish you a wonderful , happy, healthy and safe year ahead, filled with lots of positivity and light. Let’s hope 2021 will be filled with more times seeing our loved ones and squeezing them tight once again.

If you liked this post, you should subscribe to keep up to date with what I’m talking about to not miss out!

Connect with me on socials:

Facebook | Natalia Talks About

Instagram | @nataliatalksabout

YouTube | Nataliatalksabout

You may also enjoy:

Lessons in My 20’s

3 Key Concepts For Relaxation

Mindfulness Chocolate Challenge!

Overcoming My Fears

Comparing My Favourite Purple Shampoos

Get More Time Back In Your Day

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

You may also enjoy:

Mindfulness Chocolate Challenge!

Overcoming My Fears

Opening Up | How I REALLY Feel

That Salon Hair Feeling!

Opening Up| How I Began Exercising Consistently – 6 Month Fitness Update!

Get More Time Back In Your Day

5 Ways To Look After Yourself This Week

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:

Dinners To Try This Week!

8 Minute Total Body Workout

5 Ways To Look After Yourself This Week

TV Shows to Binge in Lockdown