Happy New Year! We hope that you have had a great festive period and are raring to grab 2019 by the horns. We know we are. Even though we are only a week in, we’ve got a sneaking suspicion 2019 is going to be one of, if not the best year yet over here at ESLT 🙂 and we hope it is a great one for you too. 2018 was an OK year. It had its highs, it had its lows, it was nothing spectacular but we’ve certainly had worse – 2017 we’re looking at you. The main thing that it has taught us is we need to look after ourselves a little bit (well actually quite a bit) more and slow down a bit.
We’re not normally New Year’s resolution type of people and have never really signed up to the whole ‘new year, new me’ thing. But this year, for the sake of both our physical and mental health we have decided to make some. Therefore, we have put together our list of 6 self-care (not a massive fan of the word, but we’re sure you know what we mean) New Year’s resolutions that we plan to stick to (for as long as possible anyway) in the hope that we are the best (and most healthy) versions of ourselves, not only this year but in the years to come too.
Travel Less (But For Longer)
As travel bloggers, you may think that travelling less is not good for business. However, as our lives change and as we get older, back to back, short trips just aren’t for us anymore. At the end of last year, Vicky did this on more than one occasion and it was just too much. As we both work full time as well, we found that we were having no ‘down time’. Some weekends saw her leave work at 4.00pm on Friday, head on a trip and go straight back to the office at 8.30am on Monday morning. It got to the point where every spare second we had we were travelling. This meant the free time we had to spend with family and friends was limited. Therefore relationships and friendships were suffering. So this year we have made a pact – 5-night minimum (where possible).
We feel that this will allow us to enjoy our trips more than we currently do as we will have more time to explore at our leisure, instead of trying to cram everything into a 2/3 night break. Because we both have annual leave restrictions, this, of course, means fewer trips, but do you know what? We’re cool with that. Plus we really like our house, so getting to spend a few weekends at home will actually be quite nice. In fact, we can’t wait to watch a full series on Netflix on the TV in our living room rather than on the MacBook on a plane or train. Life doesn’t have to be lived at a million miles an hour (or at 35000 feet) and this is the year we put that into practice.
Less Screen Time
This is a big one, especially for Vicky (did someone say social media addict?) It’s just too easy these days to fall into the social media vortex, even when on the move (seriously, what did we do before mobile phones?) However, on the 1st January, all notifications on all social media channels were switched off. 2019 will be the year that we are not dictated to by our phones. If you follow us on social media (we’d love it if you did) and do give us a like or comment, we will get back to you but just not straight away. We hope you understand.
This is something that most people say they need to do, especially water and especially at this time of year after the drunken excess of the festive period. But in reality, it is something we both need to do all of the time. In fact, it doesn’t even need to be water – just liquid. We both often forget to drink which really isn’t great for your health. In fact, Vicky knows when she hasn’t drunk enough as she gets painful leg cramps. These often wake her up in the night – ouch. Also, you can mistake hunger for thirst and consuming extra unnecessary calories is not the one at the moment. Therefore, 2019 will be the year we ensure we are suitably hydrated at all times. Luckily for us, KingSo sent us a couple of their KingSo travel mugs with straws to ensure we meet this resolution.
KingSo Travel Mug
We’ve had these sorts of mugs before. However, those ones have only been suitable for cold drinks. These mugs can be used for hot drinks too. They are perfect for coffee (or in Vicky’s case tea) on the run. We prefer to make hot drinks at home (as it saves us money to put towards travel) but if you love coffee shops, you could simply hand over your KingSo travel mug and get that filled. Therefore saving a disposable cup and doing your bit for the environment. Also, those paper cups have a habit of burning your hands. However, these cups don’t while still keeping your drink up to temperature. In fact, the KingSo travel mugs keep hot drinks hot for 4 hours. Although we’ve not tested that as a cuppa does not last that long around us.
We have used ours mostly for cold drinks (water in particular) both in the office and on the run. Because even the straw is metal (stainless steel) like the cup itself, cold drinks stay cold for up to 6 hours. The cups are also leek free, contain no BPA and are eco-friendly. Plus they start at only £10.99, come in two sizes – 16 & 20 oz and come in a range of fantastic colours. If you are planning on buying your own KingSo travel mug with straw don’t forget to use the discount code KINGSOMUGS at checkout which will get you 20% off (valid until 31st January 2019). If you would like to win your own KingSo travel mug, check out the giveaway we are running at the bottom of this post.
Wear Glasses More
We recently both tried out M&S Opticians. It’s a new thing in five M&S stores across England. We were super happy with the service and glasses we received. And now that we both have a wonderful new pair of specs to wear, we’ve made the resolution to wear those more often as the health of our eyes is paramount. Vicky, as a vain teenager (OK and twenty, even thirty-something), abused her eyes. She wore her contact lenses for too long each day, sleeping in them, flying long haul in them – basically anything that you shouldn’t do in contact lenses, she did…..for years. Towards the end of last year, she noticed an annoying twitch in her right eye. Together with increased headaches and mild dizziness. However, since she has started wearing her new glasses with the correct prescription in, these have disappeared (and touch wood they do not come back!)
Mr ESLT has been diagnosed with mild pinguecula, basically UV damage to his eyes because of spending most of his adult life working outside in a lot of it in sunny places on the bridge of a ship. Therefore, his new glasses have transition lenses and get darker the brighter the sun gets. Perfect for his days on board ships but also great for day to day life too. Hopefully by picking up his pinguecula in his mid-40s and wearing glasses with transition lenses will reduce the likelihood of it becoming worse later on in life which could have a negative impact on his vision and mean he is no longer to wear contact lenses should he want to.
Learn To Say No
Saying yes to opportunities is all good and well (and something we have always done when possible) but we’ve learnt that we have to be selfish before committing. I am of course talking about the blog and not our personal lives (that would be weird). Over the years we have been offered some fantastic opportunities. However, over the years we have also been offered some (now we look back on them) terrible ones. Ones that have been too much work for not enough reward. Therefore this year, every opportunity will be scrutinised before we say yes. There are only so many hours in the day and with busy lives, we need to get out at least what we put in.
Continue to Eat Healthily
Last year between the middle of August and Christmas, we’ve lost the best part of 6 stone. Christmas and New Year were a struggle to keep on track (all the booze, chocolate and cheese – we’re sure you understand and if you are like us have just resurfaced from the festive food coma) but now the New Year is here we are back on it big time. Life is for living and we are very much advocates of that. Therefore, if we want a piece of cake – we have one. If we have had a hard week at work and fancy a Chinese buffet – we have one. When we travel we will always try the local cuisine even if it is made from ‘bad’ stuff, just maybe not at every meal time. However, the rest of the time we will stick to eating fresh and healthy (yet filling) meals and snacks.
We are following the Slimming World program (however, there are loads of different plans and programs out there). We have over the years tried a number of fad diets. Yet this is the only thing we have liked so much we have stuck with. Plus it seems to be working. We have both noticed how much better we feel both physically and mentally from shedding the lbs. We are more active and we are sleeping better, which is great, especially for Mr ESLT who works on call and has to grab 40 winks when possible. Therefore, we plan to continue with our new lifestyle choice (it sounds like we work for Slimming World but honestly, we don’t) and hope to be able to report further weight loss in the future.
Here’s To The Year Ahead
Have you made any New Year’s resolutions for 2019 – self-care ones or otherwise? Maybe you’re a blogger too. Last year we wrote a list of resolutions for our blog which really helped us keep focused for the year. Whatever resolutions here’s to a wonderful 2019. Let’s hope it is full of health, wealth, love and happiness (oh and travel and adventure of course).
We are giving one reader the chance to win their own KingSo travel mug with straw (various colours available). All you need to do is enter via Rafflecopter below. Please note: this giveaway is only open to entrants from the UK, Germany and the USA. Good luck! (Closing date 29/01/2019)
- Thank you to KingSo for providing our travels mug together with the giveaway prize.
- Feature Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst
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