Is it time to Fika?

During one of my endless scrolls through Instagram, I came across an image that featured a word, a word I had never heard or seen before… Fika. 

A simple four letter sound but it’s meaning really struck a nerve. Technically, fika is a coffee break traditionally around 10am in the morning and maybe with some cake, not much different to the traditional British elevenses. However, the meaning of the word has since evolved into so much more. 

It’s now considered to be a whole new concept, a state of mind or attitude and most importantly it plays an important part in the Swedish culture. 

Why do I think this is so important? Sweden is consistently rated as being one of the top 10 happiest countries in the world. So why not incorporate more of their ways of life into yours? I don’t know about you, but coffee and cake always make me happy!

 

Loosely translated fika means ‘break time’ and I know that’s not something I make nearly enough time for. Remember being a kid in school? Turn up, do a couple of lessons have a break do one more have a lunch break then a couple more have an afternoon break before one last class and go home. 

Unfortunately, such nice to haves are a taboo in adult life. I’m ashamed to say that I eat at my desk at least 3 times a week, although this is my choice as I chose to run during my lunch break if my work load allows it and the break from my screen and desk, along with the fresh air is a great distraction from my work responsibilities. I still put my headphones on and block out the world. I don’t interact, I don’t take part in social engagement until the end of the run when we stop and say good work to one another as we upload our workouts on Strava.

Fika is about engagement, spending time with people, slowing down and appreciating the good things in life. It’s less about keeping up with the Jones’s and more about stopping to smell the roses. 


This doesn’t just happen in the Swedish culture! The French and Italian’s are well known for taking their time enjoying food and the company that comes along with it. Less coffee-to-go, more let’s chat over coffee and cake. (Coffee in it’s own right has created multiple communities across the world which I wrote about here).

I have so many friends that have busy lives and at times, WhatsApp chats of us trying to check our diaries can be so frustrating that you don’t even want to go out by the time you’ve finally arranged something. Have you ever sat there and thought I don’t want to go now? Or turned up in a bad mood. Honestly when you’re with people you care about and are close to those bad feelings melt away so quickly, it’s the power of being social.

FUN FACT: Thousands of years ago, humans had to be social creatures and communicate with each other, tribes would educate other tribes on what plants to eat and which ones not to eat. Move forward 2000 years and we now discuss what products to use, what brands do the best lipsticks. We share tips and tricks on EVERYTHING!

We are social animals by nature, even the most introvert ones.

Even if it’s just once a month seeing your friends and catching up IN PERSON, there are so many more benefits than chatting over the phone than you think. Following someone’s life through social media is not knowing them, we only post things that make us happy and you can easily misinterpret that as their lives being amazing, when in actual fact they’ve been going through something and could really use a friend.


RECOMMENDED:

I recently listened to the Deliciously Ella Podcast, Season 2 ‘Lessons in Happiness from Around the World’ which features Helen Russell, journalist and author of ‘A year of living Danishly.’ She talks about happiness around the world and how it’s perceived, very interesting and you can pick up a thing or two. There are things that we may talk for granted that other cultures truly treasure.

What’s your favourite social activity? Love a comment below.

Love

Tee

x

Step out of your comfort zone

So, let’s get right to it. I don’t like treadmills. 

You run and you run, and you stay in exactly the same spot. When I have been on a treadmill, I tend to set the speed and incline to a percentage I am comfortable with. See what’s wrong with this already? Comfort zones are BORING!! 

This past week I’ve really being trying to push myself out of my comfort zone. One thing I am bad for is sticking to the same weight when I train. I mostly train on my own and so, not a partner I’m accountable to or pushing me, means I can stagnate. However, I need to stop using that excuse not to bump up the weight a little.

We all need to step out of our comfort zone from time to time, in order to grow. I’m a strong believer in the saying:

‘The definition of insanity is doing the exact same activity over and over then expecting different results.’

If you want a different outcome you need to switch things up. That doesn’t mean change your routine every week because to really improve you  need consistency and patience, but you do always need to keep it interesting and challenge yourself in the process.

Personally, I like to switch my routine up every 6-8 weeks or so. Some people do every 12 weeks, some people don’t even have a routine.

For me, getting out of my comfort zone helps me tackle another issue – anxiety. That’s probably the last thing you expected to read especially on my activiTEE page, but it’s true. 

Routines, knowing what’s coming up and what to expect helps me feel in control. When I feel in control, I’m less anxious. However, you can’t be 100% in control every single day, so pushing myself outside of my comfort zone even when it’s at my own discretion really helps.

One of my favourite activiTEE’s is yoga and so many people have excuses as to why they don’t do yoga. “I can’t touch my toes,” or “I have poor balance” and of course, “if I fall people will laugh.”


Well all you ‘yogi phobies’ out there guess what – GET OUT YOUR COMFORT ZONE!

If you’re that nervous try doing it in the comfort of your own home, it’s putting yourself out there that’s the important thing here. You never know you might enjoy it!

How do you get your sweat on and is it working for you? Are you a pilates goer? Barre lover? Weightlifter? If so how do you mix it up and keep it interesting?


Love 

Tee

X

Eat yourself pretty

We know our diets have a massive impact on our organs but I feel like so many of us forget the biggest and most important organ of all, our skin. 

What we eat has been scientifically proven to affect the health of our skin and the rate in which we age. Yes that’s right, your lunch could be adding YEARS onto your face.  It’s only been in recent years that I‘ve truly begun to believe in health from the inside out and it’s amazing the difference this makes.

I’ve tried a lot of diets out there, no carbs, low fat, calorie counting etc. All of these diets can put a great deal of stress on the body and the skin as a result. Reading into just how affected our skin is by what we eat I quickly learned that one thing our diet does need (and I’ve only recently started to incorporate more of into my own diet) is FAT! 

No, do not start reaching for a bag of crisps. I’m referring to what’s known as ‘good fats.’ If you’re unsure of what that actually means, here are some examples:

  • Fatty fish, omega 3 fatty acids, which are important for skin health. They keep skin thick, supple and moisturised.
  • Avocados. Another good choice for keeping your skin moisturised and flexible. There are some preliminary studies that have proven avocados to contain compounds that may help protect the skin from sun damage (I very much hope this is proven correct).
  • Sweet potatoes. Now, these have been proven to be a fantastic source of beta-carotene, which acts as a natural sunblock.
  • Broccoli. These tiny trees are filled with an array of vitamins, minerals and carotenoids all important to maintaining good skin health.

I try and incorporate as many of these foods (fish aside while I’m on a vegan challenge but I do take OMEGA supplements) as I can daily. Even if it is as simple as topping off a rice dish with seeds or ordering a side of broccoli while I’m out, I’m always trying to get these foods out of the fridge and onto my plate.


Historically, I didn’t have a great relationship with food and it’s taken a lot to get to where I am right now. Everyone that knew me back then, compared to now can vouch for the massive change in my personality and looks. I feel happier, I look healthier and I love getting creative in the kitchen.

My new obsession: PINEAPPLE!

Yes I’m now adding in pineapple whenever I get the opportunity and I’ve got to say, pineapple with my strawberries, yogurt and homemade granola is a delightful new twist. (homemade granola recipe from Naturally Stefanie)


Why my sudden interest in pineapple? Pineapples contain bromelain- a protein-digesting enzyme that is well know in the medical world for it’s anti-inflammatory properties. So all you runners out there treat yourselves to pineapple post run smoothies!

What’s your favourite beauty snack and why?

Love

Tee

x

On your marks, get set… GLOW

Glow, glowing, glow-up, glow up challenge, glow getter… The amount of words we use today about shining and aiming to be the best version of ourselves is forever growing.

A few years back I didn’t even know what it meant to glow up. I thought we simply had to grow up and that has forever seemed dull and boring to me. Maybe that’s why our generation decided to add a little sparkle to this process and really own it. 

Healthy glowing skin is something I strive for. The naturally radiant looking skin that people are talking more and more about is the type of radiance that emanates from within. This is possibly one of the biggest wellness trends to take over the world.

But what exactly is this glow?

Post workout glow? Sunkissed beach glow? Love glow? Contentment?

All the above have one shared common denominator and that’s true, authentic happiness.

Think about it… When you absolutely smash a workout, especially one you weren’t excited to get up and do or you started your Monday off the right way. You feel so much better about yourself and that shines through.

When you’ve worked hard for months and you finally get away; you’re in a new location, exploring, sun on your face and no worries in the world. You’re at peace, and that shines through.

When you first start seeing someone and it’s going well; you can’t wait to spend time with them, you can’t stop talking about them to your friends, you get butterflies thinking about them. That shines through!

Being happy and being content will always show, it radiates in so many ways. People pick up on this whether you’re aware of it or not and naturally people will gravitate to you. People have that aura about them, people that don’t take life too seriously, laugh off the bad times and generally want to improve their life and help you improve yours. Those are the people you want to surround yourself with.

Glowing up and glow challenges are much easier to achieve when you surround yourself with like-minded people. I’m incredibly lucky in life to have two people that have an unbelievable amount of faith in me, these two people are the reason I am who I am today, and they are still helping me to glow.

Life is an ongoing challenge but if your vibe attracts the right tribe, you’ll laugh your way through and glow from the inside out.

Love

Tee

Well, well, well.

Hi again!


So, today I want to talk about the buzzwords of 2019; wellness and wellbeing. 

More recently, I have heard people use these words as a new term for diet but for me, this is far away from what they actually mean. 

When most people think wellness they focus on the physical element, and I really believe this is because so many fitness influencers out there shout about ‘wellness.’ 

Now, physical activity is good for the brain but we all know that if you get your body moving you get your blood flowing more and more blood in the brain creates more chemicals in the brain such as dopamine = improved mood less stress, but this perspective of the definition shouldn’t be restricted to just increasing your exercise. 

Personally, wellness or wellbeing is all about the physical and mental state. It’s about how you take care of yourself, how you fuel your body and the people you surround yourself with that help build you up and help you to reach a place in your life where you can be the best version of you.

I set myself a wellness mission for 2019 and I advise you all to do the same. For me; my focus is on doing more of what makes me happy. From yoga and swimming, to eating plant based burgers, pasta and gin. 


More importantly, I’m making time for the people I love and allowing myself to be surrounded with the people that matter and creating more memorable experiences with them. 

You are influenced by the people closest to you so make time for the people that make you shine. Your vibe attracts your tribe!

Originally, when I started reading into this subject matter I came across an array of elements contributing to wellness including but not limited to; physical, mental, intellectual etc. Thinking of these different elements of wellness I started to panic a little, I’m well known for looking after myself physically and more recently mentally but I can just about handle that never mind the other aspects.

Who doesn’t want less stress?

I come from a family where anxiety and depression are no strangers and although I’ve never personally suffered with depression my previous anxiety attacks are enough for me to want to do everything possible to keep that darkness at bay.

I remember being given a prescription for anxiety medication and I just sat in my car and cried. I didn’t want to be on medication and to this day medication is always my last resort (I’ve never actually taken medication for anxiety).

I know not everyone can do this and I know plenty of people that swear by their medication, but for me I just didn’t want that. I’m a firm believe of fix the issue don’t hide the symptoms.

This to me is where wellness and wellbeing comes into play; physically, mentally, intellectually – which ever way you want to look at it. Breaking the bigger picture down and focussing on one aspect at a time then build it up.

Okay, I may have rambled on a little here about what wellness means to me and why I think it’s so important because we all have stressful lives and get stressed about how stressed we are which stresses us out and then we speak to other stressed people which raises our stress levels higher, blah, blah, blah you get the idea.

When it comes to stress I have two main coping mechanisms that I’d like to share:

  1. Stop. Breath. Think. Stop what you’re doing, take a deep breath get oxygen into your bod, flowing to your brain and think. Breathing is literally the most important thing you do on a daily basis. Yoga has helped me so much with this.
  2. You’re not saving lives so what is the worst that’s going to happen. Okay if you’re reading this and your job actually does involve saving peoples, this may not be the best advice for you. However, some days at work when the emails come flooding in and everyone is running around like headless chickens it’s easy to lose focus on what’s truly important. No body has died, there’s your first positive now keep building on positivity and make positive actions to resolve your situation.

My final piece of advice… go get some fresh air, honestly you’ll be amazed at how much difference fresh air makes – and I work in a city.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and please remember that everything mentioned above are my own opinions and I’d love to hear yours.

Comment below or on my latest Instagram post with what wellness & wellbeing means to you and what you’re doing to incorporate this into your life more.

 

Love

Tee

x

Importance of coffee

Hey guys, this week I want to share with you one of the most important  things in my life, and why I’m obsessed with it and I’d put money on the fact you are also well. Coffee!

I didn’t even like coffee a few years back, Sara (my cousin, best friend and unofficial theorist) Strongly recommend I got myself an iced latter when I hit a major wall at work after a day trip to Copenhagen. Prior to my caffeine addiction I had always loved coffee shops, the fast paced lives of coffee to go meeting the slow it right down and enjoy with a slice of cake. The atmosphere, the experience had always appealed to me. They had everything a everything girl could ask for.

Earlier this week Sara and I were discussing coffee and her opinion that it’s all about the taste, whereas I consider so many more benefits to what I’m consuming. Yes I may be addicted but I’m very conscious about what I’m consuming and what the effects are to my body- good and bad.


Coffee for two

Doing everything… In time

Most people I know listen to me talk about my schedule and say, ‘wow you’re so busy!’ Or, ‘you may be one of the busiest people I know.’ But, you know I’m an everything girl right? I love keeping myself occupied and this is something I am unapologetic about. However, I do listen to people’s concerns of ‘you don’t stop.’

What many people don’t know, is how ill I got at the age of 16 when I ran myself into the ground. I was going to college in the day, studying in my breaks, working night shifts and full day shifts on a weekend, while still going out in every other waking moment.

I was 16 and I thought I could do it all, who needed sleep anyway? One afternoon sat in class, I felt a chill and the one side of my face literally felt like it had been numbed, it was a weird sensation that crept over my face very slowly. I remember poking my face and not being able to feel it, panicking and thinking what’s going on? I opened my mouth to talk and felt that my face wasn’t moving correctly. I headed straight home, avoiding my reflection all the way, knowing something about my face wasn’t right. I got home and looked in the mirror, okay I look normal… I opened my mouth like I was trying to yawn and there it was. Half my face was paralysed, it essentially looked like the scream mask.

I was FREAKING OUT! My mom laughed and when  I called my dad in hysterics, he bluntly told me ‘you have Bell’s palsy, you need to see a GP first thing tomorrow.’

‘But I have work tomorrow morning.’

‘You can’t work.’

I started to panic again, I didn’t love going to work, but I couldn’t not turn up to a shift, I’d worked shifts low staffed and it’s horrible. I didn’t want to put people through that.

When I woke in the morning, my face was stiff and numb, like when you come out of the dentists after a couple of hours trying to have your teeth removed. Also, my eye had started to drop in fact the left side of my face had dropped even the side of my mouth.

The GP confirmed my dad’s theory, Bell’s palsy. He explained this was trigged by a viral infection and most likely not allowing my body to recover correctly, it occurs when the seventh cranial nerve becomes swollen or compressed, the result facial paralysis action. The recovery… 9 months on average.

Back then medication was rarely prescribed and I refused steroids. I was going to get back to me and on my own terms. I needed to prioritise my schedule and recovery had to be up there.

It has taken many years of practise and building habits to break them to start to find something that works well for me, so click below and what it is I do to help myself keep running at light-speed and a few tricks I use to help prevent my skin giving away how tired I really am.

Doing everything

Self Care 101

Hey again… as you know I’m an everything girl. To me this means having balance in my life, and that includes looking after myself as much as I look out for other people.

We all know the importance of self care, but do we actual practice it?

Some of you (the one’s of you that have mastered the art of adulting) may have said ‘Yes of course! I always take time out for me.’ Some of you may have simply laughed. There are so many different elements to self care that it maybe that if you are only doing one or two things and self sabotaging in other areas like food for instance.

Personally I have been a advocate for self care since my teenage years when realiTee hit and I realized that I cannot handle stress or as my dad likes to say ‘burning the candle at both ends’

I resented this statement throughout university, as you know I’m a woman that wants it all and I’m willing to work hard for it, if my body can keep up. As I watched friends go off and party all night pull all nighters to get coursework submitted and one friend juggle being a single mom I came to believe that this lifestyle was a right of passage and didn’t I wanted to go through as effortless as everyone else appeared to.

Of course working night shifts at a full time job didn’t really fit in with this, neither did the fact that I actually attended my lectures. What it took me a while to learn is that what works for some people doesn’t work for others. Let go of the FOMO and embrace your own wellbeing. Self care is not selfish, but practicing self-care can help provide you with the resources you need to be more compassionate to others. Compassion is like charity, it starts at home and you can’t give what you don’t have.

Self care

#10yearchallenge

Hi again, like mine, your social media feeds have probably been filled with the tag line #10yearchallenge and a cute picture of said person back in 2009.
With a new trending hash-tag in mind I dug through my old photo’s and was unsure whether to laugh or cry at the 18-year-old me who (although incredibly good at faking it) didn’t have a clue.
So, here’s all the advice 20-something-year-old me would provide 18-year-old me with, given the chance to sit down and talk to her.

10 year challenge Continue reading “#10yearchallenge”