With everything going on in the world right now it’s more important than ever to find gratitude wherever possible. I wanted to write a blog post to let you know what I am thankful for within my daily schedule and things that I have appreciated more than ever since March. I think it’s fair to say that everyone has been through quite a lot since March with work, finances, health, relocating, job uncertainty, stress and anxiety to name a few. Even though it seems like things aren’t going to improve at times, I find that being grateful for simple everyday experiences and tasks helps me massively!
When I was a child I didn’t have any way to contact my friends on a device small enough to fit in my pocket! I grew up in the 90’s and early 2000’s, with very few gadgets and limited internet access (if you could connect at all). When I wanted to see my friends or family I went to visit them in person. I was friends with those who lived closest to me and we went outside to play all the time, calling for them on the way. We only got our first household computer in 2001 (I think) and the internet was so slow – dial-up for those of you who know – that it was painful to load and Wi-Fi didn’t exist either so it was an ethernet connection to a computer on the landing. In addition to that we didn’t have a splitter for the line coming in to the house so it was the phone OR the internet. If you want an idea of what we had to endure for ten minutes to even connect to the internet, you can hear the dial-up tone by clicking here.
Having technology now is definitely taken for granted I feel. It’s nice to remember my childhood and having to call to someone’s house if I wanted to see them but that isn’t possible at the moment. So I just take a moment to be thankful that we have devices to speak to our friends and family on via video call or a quick message. Take time to reach out to your friends and family to see how they are doing.
I moved back to Pembrokeshire at the end of March when everything went pear-shaped due to the pandemic. I was living in Birmingham until that point but I am glad to be back in my home county where there is a lot of outdoor space, nature and woodland to explore. I’m staying with my parents at the moment and I am lucky that I had somewhere I could go when I could no longer afford my rent. It’s easy to become disconnected from nature with urban lifestyles and technology these days but I have woodland about a two minute walk from my house. I walk my dog Bailey there every day around any work or chores I’m doing and it’s a great time to switch off. It’s lovely as the walk also has lots of dead-spots for phone signal so I tend to leave my phone in my pocket and just enjoy the forty minutes in nature. I’m thinking of doing a walk-with-me style video on my YouTube channel to show you the walk I take. It’s so beautiful I want to share it!
Family & Friends
I have a lovely family and a tight-knit friendship group ranging from my time in school to university, working in the US (summer camp) and those I’ve met online over the years. I’m very grateful to have them around and it has been lovely to be able to check in with everyone via FaceTime, socially distanced meetings or a simple message thread. I moved back to Pembrokeshire from Birmingham so see my family more often now as well (especially my parents who I moved back in with) and I am closer to my grandparents and sister as well now that I’m back.
My dog Bailey has been such a great companion since I moved back to Pembrokeshire. I love the fact that pets don’t know what is going on in the world right now. I often look at him and wonder what he thinks of everyone being home more than usual and why we seem to have quit our jobs to be full-time dog carers. He’s the cutest little thing and a quick cuddle with him can solve any issue I am facing! I really enjoy taking him for a walk every day and it helps me to unwind which is especially important right now. If you want to check out Bailey he has an Instagram account you can follow by clicking here.
This is such a simple pleasure but I have gotten into a routine of switching off and enjoying my morning coffee at the dining table every day. I have done my best to replicate a Starbucks coffee at home (still a long way to go) and I find the process of making this quite therapeutic. I use oat milk for professionals by Alpro (meant for baristas and you’re able to foam it well) as well as Starbucks ground coffee and my cafetière. It’s not quite a shot of espresso but maybe I’ll splurge on a bean-to-cup machine one day. I usually enjoy my coffee listening to a podcast so I am not looking at my phone screen. I listen to many different shows now which I have popped below in the next paragraph for you to check out. Taking time to appreciate things in your daily routine like a simple cup of coffee really helps. If the sun is out I’ll take it to the garden and soak up some Vitamin D for half an hour or so.
I have been enjoying podcasts for a few years now and as the months go on I am finding myself listening to more and more content. I like to continually absorb information, learn about new things and challenge my own thoughts and opinions on a daily basis. There are a number of podcasts I listen to for doing just that including the Michelle Obama Podcast (at the moment exclusively on Spotify), TED Talks Daily, Deliciously Ella, Work Like A Woman, Starling Bank, 99% Invisible, This Might Get Weird (comedy) and more. The podcasts I listen to usually cover a variety of topics as well. With the variety of shows they always differ in length so I can choose how long I want to listen to and how much time I have to spare. They range from five minutes right up to an hour in length. I definitely recommend checking out these podcasts. I use Apple Podcasts primarily but I have downloaded Spotify recently for the Michelle Obama podcast because she is just the best! I actually wrote a blog post on podcasts a while back which you can view by clicking here.
This has become a staple in my daily routine and I have been looking after my skin a lot for the past eighteen months since becoming an Independent Ambassador for Tropic Skincare. Having a simple routine to follow with amazing products really helps me to relax before bed or feel energised for the day. Tropic use a range of beautiful ingredients from around the world (primarily from the area around the equator where plants get the most sunlight). They are also 100% cruelty-free, vegan and free from harsh chemicals and toxins you find in so many skincare items nowadays. If you want to check out your bathroom products and their rating check out the independent and free Think Dirty app where all Tropic products are listed (and have the green/safe rating). I’ve got to say, the essential oils in Tropic’s Smoothing Cleanser have to be one of my favourites, they are really soothing and help to instantly lift my mood. To find out more about Tropic click here to visit the page on my website or you can visit my online shop by clicking here. I’ll be talking more about products on my blog in the coming weeks, check back for more content.
I hope this blog post has helped you think of different ways you can be more mindful of simple pleasures in daily life. I definitely won’t take certain things for granted anymore. The time when I can see my friends and family in person without restrictions and actually give them hugs will be welcomed with open arms (literally). Hope you are doing well and keeping safe.
Have a lovely day! Thanks for reading. – Glen.