In an ideal world, in Hannah’s dream world, I would be leisurely waking up at 11am each day, blogging to my heart’s content, supping herbal teas of every variety, doing yoga, cooking up some Chinese dumplings and generally having the most serene few weeks in the run up to my trip.
In Hannah’s actual world: I wake up at 7am, drag myself out of bed, slap some makeup on my mug, shove some unidentifiable
and slightly furry morsel of food from the back of my fridge in my face, leg it to the bus, then the train, then another bus and slog my guts out for the next 8 hours until it’s home time… ready to start it all again in roughly 10 hours, and counting.
For most of us, I know avoiding the daily grind isn’t an option if we want to save up enough dollar to travel. But I’ve been exploring some cheap ways to make sure I’m the epiphany of health by the time I step onto my first flight, so no need to pack in the day job just yet!
1. Revolutionise Your Lunch Hour
Your lunch break can almost seem like the most measly and insignificant hour of your day. It’s easy to fall into a familiar pattern of grabbing a pre-packaged, sweaty and salt-erific sarnie, chucking it down your neck and clock-watching until your time’s up.
If you think about it, your lunch break could actually be the one dependable meal you have; you tend to eat it at a similar time each day unlike other meals (especially if you rush breakfast and have a busy out-of-hours social life), it’s a great excuse to get away from your desk and it’s quite easy to make something wholesome and nutritious if you build it into your routine.
[Cue images of heavenly lunches, ahhh]
These are all things I have eaten during my lunch break. Granted, the eggs were more of a working-from-home effort, but you get the idea!
Top tips for hearty, healthy and budget lunchtimes:
Make it the night before: Why not whip up a quick salad whilst waiting for your pasta to boil? Or better yet, make double dinner and save some for tomorrow! Champion!
Save money / food waste: Running low on shopping? Use anything left in your cupboards. Some of my best concoctions have been with odds and sods I’ve found; like sausages, pasta, carrots and ketchup = Jamie Oliver, eat your heart out (who knew)?!
Plan a balanced diet: Build staple foods into your lunches like; brown pasta or wholemeal crackers for fibre, chicken or eggs for protein, advocado and chickpeas for healthy fats. You’ll be a God/Goddess before you know it ;)!
2. Don’t Feel Guilty About ‘ME’ Time, Honey!
I love ‘me’ time. One of life’s greatest little pleasures is choosing not to see, hear or speak to anyone else in the world for an afternoon (or an entire weekend, if you really want to push the boat out). In fact, I get in a right huff when I have to forfeit my ‘me’ time to spend it with other people… socialising-schmoshalising, pfft.
Give me a Saturday, slobbing in my
Marvel pyjamas, with a mug of hot chocolate, curled up somewhere between duvet-ville and the Hogwarts Express… and I’ll be your Hermione.
I’m a cheap date.
For everyone who isn’t socially-exhausted like me though,
I found (can’t take the credit) my sister found a totally free way to get pampered! It’s such a good deal that I just have to share it with you! Origins, a really lovely skincare brand, are giving away free mini facials to everyone! Just giving them away, willy nilly, for FREE!
God I love that word. Anyway, for the purposes of “blog research”, I let a stranger stroke my face. IT WAS AMAZING. The delightful lady from the Manchester branch asked me about my skin, which products I used and tailored my treatment to exactly what I asked for – a more ‘dewy’ glow. I didn’t feel pressured to buy anything from their brand and came away with lots of free samples!
My skin now permanently smells like a spicy orange. Fortunately, that’s my kinda gig.
There you go, Origins, you just got a shout out to all of my 7 followers. My free facial debt has been repaid.
3. Be happy :]
My third and final life lesson, coming from a former raging pessimist and the Idiot Abroad‘s biggest fan… *deep breaths* BE HAPPY!
Over the past couple of months, I have started to realise that unhappiness really is a mindset and the easiest way to stop being miserable is to; 1. Get rid of negativity and 2. Do more things which you enjoy. The result = Happy Hannah! (…and I bet my friends and family aren’t half relieved to hear me say that!?)
So as I write a ‘things which make me moderately pleased‘ list, immerse myself in reading travel blogs, cook up a noodle-typhoon in the kitchen and brush up on my Mandarin pronunciation, I can find the strength to smile through gritted teeth at the people who try their hardest to break me.
[insert flexing bicep emoji]
I’m a changed woman! So if I can do it, then you really can too!
I hope this post has inspired you to make small changes in your routine for the sake of a happier and healthier lifestyle. Don’t forget you can share your happy tips in the comments too!
Lots of love,