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WHAT THEY DON’T TELL YOU ABOUT LAUNCHING A BLOG

So much to SEA in the blogging world

It’s been one week since the launch of Relax Ya Self To Health.  So what have I learned? That I am, perhaps, the biggest idiot that ever lived.

The plan had been to use the blog as a way of charting my quest to relax. But the stark reality in the run-up to the big reveal was that I worked myself into the ground, and my stress levels went through the roof. Oh, the irony.

Every spare minute was spent working on the site. The posts. The images. The social media. The technical bits and bobs. I refused to rest.

“I resembled the hunchback of Notra Dame”

And on the day of the launch I was still tapping away at my keyboard at 2.30am – having turned the computer on at 5.30am the previous day.

Even a fool knows that a 21 hour stint is not sustainable – by the end I resembled the hunchback of Notra Dame complete with square eyes and a fried brain.

This madcap way of working is something I’ve grown accustomed to during my 17-year career as a freelance journalist, which is famed for its ‘feast or famine periods’.

Whereas once I used to thrive on juggling news shifts and five commissions landing on the same day, my recent health troubles have forced me to re-evaluate. The whole point of setting up this site was to learn how to relax.

Evidently, old habits die hard.

Yes, the toil was worth it because the blog achieved a little mention in the Daily Mail here – *yay* as well as from Oxford University’s Mindfulness Centre.

What’s more, I received some quite lovely messages from a number of people – including a couple based overseas – thanking me for my posts.

I felt privileged to hear your stories. Some of you are in a similar situation health-wise, others are going through different but equally stressful experiences. Firstly, I’d like to thank you for getting in touch. Secondly, I’m here to let you know that you are not alone.

If it helps, I’m going to share two messages I received from a couple of friends at the end of last week.

“Your work is really important, but not as important as you. You need a break.”

“Can you do one thing for me, please?,” the first started off. “At some point today book yourself proper downtime over the next few days to relax. No computers, phones or anything else. Your work is really important, but not as important as you. You need a break x”

The second one stated: “Can you listen to your own bloody blog and get yourself some rest?”

I heeded the advice. On Friday afternoon I gave myself permission to have an afternoon away from my desk, which is unheard of for me. I arranged a meeting with a PR by the sea. Technically, I was still working but I was away from my computer. The sun was shining. It felt GLORIOUS.

“It takes 66 days to change a habit.”

Of course, I’m not perfect. The next day I immediately slipped back into my old ways – putting in another eight hour performance. According to a 2009 University College London study, it takes 66 days to change a habit.

As  I’m determined to build relaxation into my life, I plan to post a picture on Instagram every Sunday with the hashtag #chilltimesunday in a bid to stay on track.

I’d love for you to join me and hear how you relax!

Please feel free to tag me in your posts or leave a comment below.

 

Helen's Health

WELCOME TO MY BLOG

Journalist Helen Gilbert launches health and travel blog about ways to relax

Hello. Thanks for stopping by. My name is Helen Gilbert, known to my friends as Hels.

For the past 17 years, I’ve worked as a UK-based freelance writer and editor specialising in health, fitness, travel, tennis as well as celebrity interviews for national newspapers in the UK including The Telegraph, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Mail Online, and The Sun.  Click here to check out my freelance newspaper articles.

I’m a rubbish but enthusiastic surfer, slightly better paddle boarder (only just) and keen tennis player.  I ran the London Marathon once (let’s gloss over the time), am a massive fan of sunny destinations, especially Barbados (who isn’t?), beaches and love the great outdoors.

Oh, and I’m also a house bunny mummy to this little guy.

WHY NOW?

For as long as I can remember my friends have always said to me ‘you’re the busiest and healthiest person I know’. And they’re right about the first part anyway. It sounds cliched but I’ve always been a ‘glass half full’ kind of girl who thrives on being ridiculously busy. The tennis. The fitness. The clean living. The travelling. The socialising. The work. Especially the work. Oh, I’m also known as ‘Chief Agony Aunt’ among my friends and family. This is the way I operate. And I love it.

Except on the night of December 3 2015 my health took an unexpected and very frightening turn for the worst quite out of the blue. Read The Night It All Began here. The world I knew and loved was turned upside down and to this day I still remain a medical conundrum with doctors baffled by the goings on inside my body.

So now I’ve decided to blog about it. The ups. The downs. And everything in between. As well a platform for sharing my personal health story, Relax Ya Self to Health will be dedicated to all things new in the world of relaxation because, quite frankly, I’m rubbish at this. I even delay toilet breaks because I’ve too much on my plate. I know! *eye roll*.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT

As well as charting my quest to unwind, there’ll be interviews with well-known faces on how they cope with stress, tips on how to relax, reviews of wellbeing retreats, spas, healing holidays and the latest body-calming workouts.  Oh, and because tennis is a major source of relaxation for me (when I’m well enough to play) – there’ll be bits and bobs on this too. The plan is to help others who find it impossible to switch off, as well as those who are in the same boat health-wise.

I do hope you’ll join me for the journey.

x

P.S) I’d love to hear your stories and experiences too! If you’d like to subscribe to my blog, there’s a link here and you can also follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook by clicking on the icons below. Let’s chill together!

 

 

 

 

freelance, Helen's Health