THE EXACT THINGS I DID LAST MONTH THAT IS HELPING MY MENTAL HEALTH


Last Updated on April 11, 2021 by ELLEASH



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    Since the beginning of the COVID-19 virus pandemic, my mental health has definitely had its ups and downs. It is inevitable, as much as I hate to admit it.
    Nevertheless, I know that my anxiety can spike when I least expect it and it is up to me to take charge of it. 
    This post will be giving you insight into what I did last month that has been helping me get through this global health pandemic. 
    Times are uncertain, but one thing is certain and that is to never forget that you must take care of yourself and your mental health will thank you for it.


    This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I earn a small commission with every purchase you make through my links, and of course, at no additional cost to you. I do greatly appreciate it, as it helps me run my blog and post content that will help you in your daily life.
    Please read the full disclosure here.

    Oh, and just in case — I am NOT a mental health professional! What I write are my experiences, tips & personal advice. If you are in need of help, please don't hesitate to contact a professional!
    Please read the full disclosure here concerning that point. 
    Okay, that's out of the way - READ ON!!


    What I Did Last Month To Help Me Get Through This Global Pandemic and that is helping my mental health


    Hey hey my lovely entrepreneurs,


    It has been over a year since this global pandemic has begun, and France may well be hit with yet another lockdown. Currently, we have a tiny reprieve, so the conditions are not super strict, but the situation is still quite disturbing.

    It just seems that we cannot get around this health crisis!

    So, it goes without saying that my mental health has had its ups and downs. 

    In order to counter these feelings of overwhelm and try and clear my mind, the following activities, that I have been doing, are keeping me a little bit more grounded, which is essential to most of us at the moment!

    I know that a self care routine is personal and what I do may not work for you, but these activities have seriously had a super positive impact on my mental health.

    And sharing is caring! 

    Enjoy the read and let me know in the comments or email me here to let me know how you're doing!

    If you are interested in the FREE SELF CARE BUNDLE, don't forget to sign up for it below 🙂

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    1. I Have Been Drinking Water By The Gallon!! 

    The fact that most of my work at the moment is spent at home, because universities are closed to all students, I have had time to perfect my water intake! 

    I admit that previous to these past few years, I had not been hydrating enough my body, with the right amount of liquids (reads-as "good" liquids!). 

    Sure, I had my bouts of drink-water-till-you-burst days, but they were not consistent to what your body needs.

    60% of our body weight is water, so it comes to no surprise that your body NEEDS you to drink more water even when you think you don't need it.

    Even if you don't feel you're thirsty, drinking a glass (or 2) of water every hour is super good for your body 🙂

    Here is a quick list of its benefits:

    • Supports heart health⁠
    • Improves circulation⁠
    • Increases waste removal⁠
    • Flushes out toxins⁠
    • Improves complexion⁠
    • Boosts your immune system⁠
    • Enhances brain function⁠ Increases energy and alertness⁠ ⁠

    So bottoms up my lovely entrepreneurs! 

    If you are looking for some really pretty and useful water bottles here is my little selection:

    32 oz. Water Bottle

    The great thing about this water bottle is its size. A little hefty to carry around, but when you are on the go and cannot refill every hour, this is perfect!

    This is my favorite stainless steel water bottle brand that I love. You can find cheaper ones on the market, but I know first hand that this one keeps your water fresh for  up to 24h even when left in your car AND in the sun! And you can drink hot beverages - hot, for up to 12h after pouring in! Just fabulous! And can we just mention how pretty this pink is?!

    Side note: if you wish to keep it pink, don't put it in the dishwasher!

    These bottles are great for when going on hikes, for the gym, or any type of outdoor activity.
    My little one has one for school and also in her room.
    They are easy to clean, as you can just pop them in the dishwasher!

    I love this bottle as it is in glass and is uber elegant! The time-marker gives you that little extra incentive to keep on staying hydrated!
    Despite it being in glass, it is quite light and you can therefore take it with you everywhere.
    No more excuses that you can't stay hydrated 🙂

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    2. I Have Been Giving My Skin A Whole Lot Of Love!


    Just because you are wearing a face mask, and may be in less contact than with other people, doesn't mean you shouldn't take care of your skin! This is actually the best moment to try something new (and avoid maskne!!).

    Because, let's be real - if you flare up, you can hide it under your mask!!

    This is what I have been using, that has seriously been making me feel awesome, and my skin is so not hatin' me for it either!



    Pai Skincare Light Work Rosehip Cleansing Oil for Sensitive Skin and Eyes


    I love the satiny feel of the product over my face and eyes. It really takes everything off! Even that really hard-to-take-off waterproof mascara. It does have a particular smell, and a strong pumpkin color, but personally I don't mind.

    The fact that it is a super silky cleanser, and does the job, is more than okay by me. You don't need much, just a couple of pumps on the tip of your fingers and you just massage lightly over your face and eyes. You can also use it over your lips. Ensure your face is not wet before using it!


    Eau Thermale Avene Antirougeurs Refreshing Cleansing Lotion

    Eau Thermale Avene Antirougeurs Refreshing Cleansing Lotionis my go-to cleanser. It's not super cheap, BUT it comes in a big size and lasts for ages! So the price is worth it 🙂 Plus, it does exactly what I need it to do.

    So with this one, you're not meant to wash it off, but I still do, with warm water and then use a toning lotion and moisturizer. 


    Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser

    The Caudalie Instant Foaming comes out like a fluffy cloud onto my hands and when I lather it onto my face.


    My skin feels thoroughly cleansed, without it being stripping - like that that chemical-squeaky-clean effect! 


    Plus the smell is divine.


    COSRX Low pH Good Morning Cleanser

    COSRX Low pH Good Morning Cleanseris one that I use in the shower.

    It definitely has a plethora of botanical ingredients. 

    Its name may lead to confusion, but you can definitely use it morning and night.

    It leaves my skin feeling fresh and tingly, but never stinging. 




    TURMERIC BRIGHTENING & EXFOLIATING MASK
    &
    VITAMIN C SERUM

    This cleanser/mask, truly is an indulgence. I admit it is a little pricey, but I really don't mind paying good money, if the product does what it advertises to do. Also if the ingredients used super healthy products (for my skin, but also the planet!), it truly is a plus!!

    The color is a little off-putting! Let's be real and admit that it looks like baby poop! LOL!

    Yet, the effects of this product on my skin are phenomenal! Used with NONI BRIGHT VITAMIN C SERUM, I bet the International Space Station, can see my glowy skin!! 🤩



    TATCHA DEWY SKIN CREAM

    This moisturizer is really soft and is perfect for the winter time, if your skin is lacking luster. It is "thick" enough to ensure a lovely coverage, without being too dense, that your skin can't breathe.

    I hope you are able to put aside some time just for you and your face!

    And in that time, think about why it's okay to be unavailable to others and not feel guilty about taking it!

    RELATED

    If self care is your jam (like it's mine!), these post will definitely be of great insight!



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    3. I Have Been Setting An Alarm To Get To Bed At A Specific Time

    clock black and white

    I am an anxious person and going to bed & falling asleep has always been something difficult for me. As the day comes to an end and we have put our daughter to bed, and our night-routine is done, bedtime for us arrives.

    Yet, more often than I wish to tally, I start doing something work-related on the computer and end up screwing my actual bed time! 

    Because, yes, just like our kids, us adults need to try and stick to a reasonable hour to get some shut-eye. 

    This has become alarmingly apparent for me, when it's only Monday evening, and I feel like my entire week has been done & dusted already! Unfortunately, that is rarely the case and my body has reprimanded me and shown me its discontent towards my late-nights!

    Therefore, this past month, I decided to try something new and actually set an alarm to go to bed.

    Low & behold my lovely entrepreneurs, this has actually been super beneficial!!

    Despite the current global pandemic in the background, family & work life being ever-present, the fact that I have been going to bed at about the same time, has been life-changing!

    I am waking up before my alarm goes off, I am feeling refreshed and super positive for the day to come.

    It's really not that difficult and is something that should be tried and tested.

    I would suggest you checking out this Masterclass, by Matthew Walker, who is a sleep researcher and professor at UC Berkeley.

    He really poses the baseline of why your sleep matters.

    More importantly he uses his knowledge in neuroscience and psychology to help you understand how you can find ways to a better sleep!


    Sleep is essential, primordial to your health and your mental health. Being well-rested can only lead you to have the life that you deserve. 

    When I was younger my Dad would always compare my body to a car. He said that whatever I put into your car, do to it, would keep it running without any problems. He hammered into me, that the same was for my body! The "fuel" I used for my body and whatever I would do to it, would enable me to be healthy.

    I cannot thank him enough - because what he said was a brilliant image and so true!

    My sleep plays such an important role for my mental health, that this little experiment is one that I will continue into this month!


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    4. I Have Started A New Hobby - Sewing!

    Sewed Bookmarks

    Pretty wax fabric

    Sewed Bookmarks

    These are SO easy to make!

    Hand made masks for kids

    Great Christmas Gifts

    Unicorn Masks

    Unicorn Masks Are A Must!

    Pretty tote bag

    The Prettiest fabric for a tote (found in a thrift store!!)

    No matter how much I complain about not having too much time to myself, I have been taking it, and some of that time, has been to start some sewing projects.

    I'm a total newb, but I do have a little advantage - my determination! LOL!!

    With the pandemic, we've all tried our hand at making stuff - even if we're not super talented.

    Nevertheless, I've managed to make cute masks for my daughter's friends, as Christmas gifts, loads for us as well, some tote bags and am going to start making clothes! I know right?

    For little C's birthday, her grand-parents bought her a sewing machine. A small one, perfect for kids, but also beginners!! 

    I actually tried my hand at it and absolutely LOVED it!! The machine taught me how to thread the machine, sew in a straight line, change a needle. All the basics really!

    This is the one she has, and on which I started my sewing journey:

    Because, I enjoyed being creative so much, Santa was super generous this year, and I received 2 fabulous gifts!! And, for a total newbie like me, they are SO perfect!

    They have given me lots of headaches, but doing is learning.

    I have been obsessed with the back stitch on my sewing machine and being able to sew AND cut at the same time, with my surger has been bliss!

    The little things, I tell ya!

    I understand that these babies are pricey, so if you are a complete novice and you do not have the budget, start off with the KPCB Mini Machine. You can really do great things with it too! I did all of little C's masks, for her friends as Christmas gifts on it - and they turned out great!

    I'm super excited to be able to create lots of cool things - and it has been keeping me sane and super happy.

    These are the 2 beasts that I now proudly own!

    If you are interested in learning something new, check out Skillshare and Masterclass. There is no way you can't find something to learn.

    Skillshare is fabulous as you can seriously find SO many things to learn and develop. The instructors really know their stuff and they are seriously passionate of their craft. Plus, you can check out and take advantage of their awesome deals! 

    There are SO many cool sewing classes to take!! I can't wait 🙂

    This percentage deal is available all throughout the month of March 2021!

    If you missed out on the 40% off for March 2021 deal, you can still take advantage of their first 14-days free, when you subscribe here - anytime! Yay!

    Masterclass is also awesome as you learn from the Masters themselves! SO unique and you really feel like they are talking to you and only you!!

    How many times will you be able to boast that Shonda Rimes or Tan France taught you something screen-to-screen?!

    Learning is such a privilege in our world that I am always promoting it. And starting my new hobby, has truly been invaluable in these uncertain and stressful times. 

    It truly has been a great activity to balance my anxiety!


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    5. I Have Been Cooking & Baking With Little C!


    yummy homemade goodness!!

    Cookies

    Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Slow Cooker Veggie Soup

    Slow Cooker Veggie Soup

    Veggie Pasta Sauce

    Veggie Pasta Sauce

    Sweet Potato Fries

    Sweet Potato Fries

    Being creative is something that really appeases me. It keeps me busy and my mind is focused on what I am doing.

    Creativity can come in so many forms and cooking & baking are definitely some of my favorite!

    I have always loved being in the kitchen. As a young child and throughout my teens, it was THE heart of our household.

    No matter which country we were in, our kitchen was the place to be when we wanted to chat about how our day at school went, when we were having family-meetings or when we were doing homework.

    Now that I am older and have my own home, my kitchen is STILL the heart of our house & it is a tradition I wish to pass-on to little C. 

    What best way to do that than by having her help me out with chopping, mixing, pouring, etc ... ?!

    I love having her discover new tastes, seeing her struggle and then succeed in chopping mushrooms or mixing cookie dough & swiping a chocolate chip, when she thinks I can't see her! 

    It's also a great way for her and I to do something, creative, together, and she can also refine her reading & numerical skills, with reading recipes, weighing ingredients, as well as adding or subtracting!

    Here are some great kitchen products that have seen so much daylight this month! They have made my life so much easier when preparing our meals and just being creative in the kitchen!

    The Baggy Rack Stands are seriously the coolest product I have in my pantry! It's not available in stores in France! I know right?! I had to order mine online and wait for their delivery - the postage cost me an arm & a leg, but I lost the ones I had in the various moves throughout my life. They are are just SO useful and versatile!

    The NutriChef Vacuum Sealer was introduced to me by my Mom. So, she obviously has a much older version, but I bought this one a few years ago. Mom taught me how batch cooking and meal prepping, when I was younger, was easy and essential for a family. This sealer has helped me stock properly and save so much time, space and money.

    These NOCRY Cut Resistant Gloves are ESSENTIAL in any kitchen. How many of us have cut ourselves whilst trying to get our meals ready? I use mine mainly when cutting big pieces of meat and hard AF veggies! They come in different sizes and they are ambidextrous! 

    When I bought my NOCRY Cut Resistant Gloves I wanted to get a pair for little C as well. The small ones were still too big for her, and I also wanted to get her some knives. So, I found this 6 Pieces Knife Set for kids + gloves for her. The knives aren't that sharp, but they are great to teach our little ones how to manipulate and use sharp knives, and the gloves are seriously an added bonus! 

    This is the first time I have purchased a slow cooker of any kind! I bought the Instant Pot 6 quart Programmable in 2018. I was finding it hard to concoct yummy meals, with the crazy schedules we had. Our schedules are still tiresome at times, but with the use of the Istant Pot I have been able to throw all the ingredients in and just start if off in the morning, and then we have a wholesome, homemade and delicious meal! Game changer!

    And with any meal preparation comes leftovers! No matter how much I try to organize our meals, there are times when our plans go haywire! They just get high-jacked by life! So, when I have leftovers I love using this 24 piece set of Glass Containers with Seal-Tight Lids.

    What is so great about these is that no matter what is put in them, the lids are seriously super good at keeping my food inside its container! I have brought leftovers to work, with sauces or just soup, and I haven't had any spillages in my bag. Of course, I am careful with how I manipulate my containers, but the seal-tight lids are also beneficial at keeping your products fresh and yummy! 

    I store anything from cookies to carrot sticks and yummy soup, in them.

    Cooking and baking this month have been awesome for keeping me grounded, spending precious time with my little one and just feeling super content.

    Not only am I creating yummy meals for the family, I am doing something I enjoy and I am spending quality time with my daughter.

    Not much more I can ask for, right?! Well ... now that you ask!!


    The Takeaway


    There you have it my lovely entrepreneurs! Those are the Top 5 activities I did last month to keep on track with my mental health and to ensure I was taking care of myself.

    You know that taking care of yourself is doing something simple, enjoying it and most importantly, it has to make you feel good!

    I'd really love to hear from you and what top activities you have been doing that have been keeping your mental health on track.


    Elle Ash xo



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