My Recent Non-Negotiable Wellness Rituals

The dictionary definition of ‘Wellness’ is “the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal.”  To put it bluntly, the basic principle of wellness is to look after yourself.  

If you haven’t noticed, the practice really has been having a big resurgence over the last couple of years.  There have been fads, fashions, and flash-in-the-pan moments in the wellness industry.  With so many people buying into the bullshit of The Keto diet, dangerous, laxative Teatoxes, and unregulated CBD, wellness can often get credited a bad name.  However, it isn’t all crap.

While wellness may be something out-of-the-ordinary, like ear acupuncture, it can also be something super simple, like getting your daily dosage of Vitamin D or omitting dairy from your diet.  Wellness comes in all shapes and forms, so do not be fooled and fulled by the hype and the exclusivity of it all.  Wellness can be as inclusive, simple, and affordable as you would like it to be.

Wellness doesn’t have to be a term that scares you or makes you do things you usually wouldn’t be interested in.  What it does have to be, however, is for you.   Below, you will find some of the wellness activities I have recently incorporated into my daily and weekly routines.  Some have become a staple in my everyday life, while others are fresh, new, and exciting!

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An actual skincare routine


Exfoliate and moisturise.  Two years ago the latter was the only get-well treatment my skin would see.  Skincarebyhyram would be quaking.  Now?  I am looking at a five/six-step routine every morning and evening.  This is growth.  In my bathroom, you will find oils and balms, solutions, and SPF.  Maybe even some lotions and potions.  My skin?  Singing.  The angry red which has plagued me for most of my life? Disappeared.  The sebum excess and monthly breakouts around my mouth? Vanished.  

Due to investing in my skin, I am undoubtedly thriving and my confidence is flying high.  My bank account may be a little emptier than I would like but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, is it?  Not when my skin is feeling the benefits!  

See below for my full skincare routine and most-used products:


Daytime/Nighttime Skin Routine –

Gel Cleanse – La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser for Oily Skin
Oil Cleanse (Nighttime Only) – Superfacialist Vitamin C Oil Cleanse
Caffeine Solution – The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG
Acid – The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%
Oil (Nighttime Only) – The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil (similar linked)
Eye-cream – CeraVe Eye Repair Cream
Moisturiser – Beauty Pie Superdose Vitamin C Oxygen-boosting Moisturiser
SPF (Daytime Only) – Beauty Pie Featherlight UVA/UVB SPF 50 Sunscreen + Primer


Nightly facial massages

Heard of Face Yoga? What about lymphatic drainage facials? No?  Me neither until very recently.  A few weeks ago, I got sucked into my Pilates teacher’s Youtube channel.  Not only does she post quick-and-easy pilates routines but also facial massages.  To say I am hooked on these DIY-massages is an understatement.  

The Moments, as her alias reads, is so calming and full of information.  The backing-tracks she uses are relaxing while the way she talks through her massages is perfect for facial virgins.  She recommends you use oil while giving yourself a massage so that your fingers glide and don’t damage the skin.  I use The Ordinary Rose Hip Seed Oil as a base for my facial massages and find myself totally rejuvenated and ready for bed.

If you would like to follow The Moments, click here for her Youtube channel link.


Writing in my diary every night 

I do not know what I would do without my diary.  It is my version of the notorious Burn Book; my Lindisfarne Gospels.  My current diary is a battered leather-bound notebook that resides on my bedside table.  It’s my release.  My diary is undoubtedly the one place in the whole world where I can spill the innards of my mind and not suffer any consequences.  Some use Twitter, I use pen and paper.  Much less likely to have me dragged at a later date.  

I try to make a habit of writing down my forbidden thoughts every night.  I make a point of jotting down my annoyances, my triumphs, and my ideas alongside bullet-pointed lists which remind me that productivity isn’t all work.  Writing in my diary just allows me to unload without having to burden anyone’s consciousness.  


Reading a novel for at least 1 hour a day

If you are new here then hi, I am Ella and I really love reading.  This love-affair with books is lifelong but in 2018 it really had its resurgence.  I mainly use novels to escape, to relax, and to excite.  If it is a trashy romance or a gritty whodunnit then I am IN and I am DOWN.  If you are as enamoured by books as I am, then please be my friend on GoodReads.  Click here.  

Reading is a massive part of my wellness routine.  I try to immerse myself in a fictional world for at least an hour a day.  Whether that is shaving off a large chunk of a Kindle reader or listening to an hour of heaven via audiobook recording, I always strive for at least one hour per day of unadulterated joy.  Reading is really bloody good for the mind.


Low-intensity exercises

I hate exercise that feels like an uphill struggle.  I don’t want the never-ending-battle or the HIIT workouts which make me collapse in agony.  I want fun.  I want to enjoy myself while listening to good music and laughing along with the instructor.  I want the challenge without the hardship.  I think these reasons are why I have fallen in love with low-intensity exercise classes.

For someone who struggles with balance, cannot find her core muscles, and has two-left-feet, the likes of pilates, barre, and dance just shouldn’t work for me.  However, while they do all require disciple and practice, they also have low-intensity in common.  The barre burn is real, but it is much more satisfying and controllable than doing endless rounds of burpees until your knees break.  So what if I am uncoordinated? 

After a Pilates class, I feel ridiculously strong and fulfilled.  I am neither weak nor sweating buckets.  I am stretching out my body, toning my muscles, and feeling good without any of the side-effects.  I’m telling you, low-intensity is the way to go.  I work out via BlokTV.


Regularly watching a film or an episode of a television program 

You may find it peculiar that I have included telly on this wellness list, but hear me out.  Series’ and movies are the perfect, visual escape from the world you currently reside in.  For just thirty-minutes out of your day, you can be engulfed in the world of Wandavision and forget about your impending to-do list of doom.  For just two-hours on an evening, you can unwind with a cheesy romance such as To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, and feel refreshed, rested, and gooey-eyed.

Telly for me is always on the back burner.  There seems to always be something more ‘important to do.  Like washing the dishes, lighting my candles, cutting my toenails.  Do you get my drift?  So, I am incorporating TV and movies into my wellness routine as a bid to taking regular time out.  I am someone who finds it extremely difficult to switch off from life, so I am taking this new-found media source slow.  I am talking an episode or two per week, a movie here and there.  But trust me, I am going to be the TV QUEEN. 

Just watch this space.


Drinking daily Smoothies

(TW: Eating disorder)

I am a victim of diet-culture. It truly sucked me in for years and has only recently spat me out. 

When `I was younger, I had an undiagnosed binge-eating disorder.  A few years later, I obsessively calorie-counted every single thing I popped in my mouth.  Fuck, I even went vegan for 1.5 years just so I could lose some weight and restrict my diet.  Food and I haven’t always had a good relationship, but that has been dramatically improved since I started to dispel some bullshit myths.  One of which being: smoothies are bad for you.

Get this right, homemade smoothies are just blended up fruit, milk, protein, and fiber.  The health officials are right, they are full of sugar.  But all that sugar is naturally-occurring.  This means drinking a smoothie is not like shoveling a pint full of granulated sugar down your gullet.  Eating an apple and blending an apple into a smoothie is JUST the same thing.  The fruit is good and the smoothies are great!  Groundbreaking, right? 

Since I’ve broken up with diet-culture, smoothies have re-entered my life in a big way!  I’m planning some of my favourite smoothie-recipe content to go live on Cigarette Sounds in the next few weeks but, for now, here is a link to an article PT Kate Shepherd wrote for us a few years ago on the benefits of smoothies.

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As you can see, Wellness isn’t all crystal-cleansing and putting on face masks in a bubble bath.  Wellness is about nurturing your mind, feeding your gut, and making yourself a priority. I for one, cannot wait to see where these daily rituals will take me in a year’s time.  Stay tuned. 

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