A part of me is still shocked that we are here – at the start of Autumn and the summer is officially over (boooo). That said, the next few months are set to be pretty busy for me – what with an upcoming roadtrip to the West coast of America, ongoing house updates and of course lots of exciting wedding plans – all of these however, have been eating up a good portion of my disposable income at the moment. So instead of my usual social activities which tend to revolve around spending money (something I seem to be very good at), I’ve had to get a bit creative with how I spend my spare time. Luckily enough, we’ve had some great weather this summer, and even on those days when the weather’s been not-so-great, I’ve had some really great summer times. So I thought I’d share a few mood-boosting, spend-free activities that I’ve been filling my time with lately:
Getting a good dose of Vitamin D
We’re lucky enough to live in one of (I think) the most beautiful parts of the country, and so we’ve been making the most of days out exploring our local area and getting outside, particularly on days when the weather has been lovely – and even on days when it hasn’t! We all know that the British summer is never great and soon it’ll back to dark mornings and dark evenings, so it’s great getting outdoors more (and making the most of the Vitamin D) – it’s an instant mood-booster. I’ve also been making the effort to switch off my phone and just focus on the people I’m with and the places I’m exploring instead of spending an age scrolling through social media – and that makes such a difference to my mood and really helps you to enjoy the right-now.
Falling back in love with healthy living
I’m one of those people who reaches for the junk food, and gives up on the gym when I’m stressed out. But while the past few months haven’t been exactly stress-free, I’ve been making a huge effort to combat my usual habits, and keep on track with staying fit and healthy – and learning to use exercise and healthy eating as a way of relieving stress. The gym is such a great way to de-stress, and by forcing myself to keep going even when I’ve had a tough day, I feel instantly better once I’m working out than I would sat at home on the sofa. Even if I don’t gym, heading out for a long walk after a long day, or spending the day gardening (yes, I have turned into an old person!) has really helped me fall back in love with healthy living. I also love cooking, so if I’m not feeling great, I’ll throw myself into making healthy, tasty meals and it takes my mind of whatever it is that is bothering me or stressing me out. Get ready for lots of healthy eating and exercise related posts in the future!
Wedding Ideas and Planning
Okay, so technically not spend-free when I’m booking or buying wedding-related things, but what I have been doing a lot of recently is scouring for ideas – mood-boarding, creating Pinterest boards and spending lots of time getting super excited for our wedding next Summer! I can spend so many hours scrolling through wedding-ideas on Pinterest (you can see my MANY wedding boards here), but I found that I would pin something and then forget about it. So, as a big scrapbooker, I’ve been printing out lots of Pinterest ideas and images from wedding magazines, and putting them all together in a big wedding scrapbook album that I bought. It’s so much nicer seeing all of the ideas I love all together as big themed moodboards than just albums on Pinterest. If anyone is planning a wedding, I would highly recommend doing this.
Making fun plans
While I’ve been trying to be a little easier on my purse strings, it’s also nice to make plans for the future, so that I have things to look forward to (aside from the wedding of course!). But instead of making lots of plans, I’ve been searching for good deals and booking smaller, less-extravagant trips, like tickets to a local concert, or planning a girlie trip away with friends. By choosing how I’m using any spare money I do have – spending less on makeup and clothes and more on activities and spending time with friends and family – it makes me really appreciate everything I do or buy even more, and I’m really looking forward to all those little trips or activities that I now have planned over the coming months.
Settling down with a good book
On those days that have been less rainy, instead of spending hours browsing ASOS for clothes or needlessly spending money online because I’m bored, I’ve been choosing to get back into reading all the time. I’ve also loved reading, but the older I get the less time I seemed to have for it and reading a whole book was taking me such a long time! But back at the start of the year, I was bought a good stack of books for Christmas and my birthday, and so decided to start making time for something that has always been a great de-stresser for me. If I’ve got a day free – or even a lunch break at break, or 10 minutes before my bedtime, I’ll pick up whatever I’m reading and it instantly calms me. So far I’ve read a few really great reads – you can see some of them here – but I’m pretty sure at the rate I’m going, I’ll be doing regular reading list updates, so stay tuned!