• Mckenzie Dow

Autumn Wellness Wish List

Since I call myself a lifestyle blogger, I really ought to blog more frequently about lifestyle topics and products. I mentioned in a previous post that I want to start talking more about wellness, psychology, and mental health as those topics closely relate to what I study and are things I'm very passionate about.

I'd like to ease my way into talking wellness by starting with a wellness wish list! In my own line of work right now, there is a lot of research around resilience, gratitude, optimism, positivity, mindfulness. Most of this research shows that in some people, these traits and behaviours are related to positive elements of well-being such as happiness, less worry, and better stress management.

It's important to note that mindfulness and being positive all the time is NOT the answer to every single problem you may have. For my own clients, mindfulness can be a hit or a HUGE miss and it is not an appropriate suggestion for everyone. What matters is that you find techniques and practice what works for YOU in terms of living your best life. Actively practicing gratitude, mindfulness and other related things will not be the end all answer to your problems. Rather, than provide a first step of guidance and promote overall wellness for yourself.

I should also make this clear that right now: my blog is not nearly popular enough to be receiving money for writing about/promoting stores or products to my readers, and everything I put on a wishlist or recommend are things I am genuinely into! Also, none of these pictures were taken by me, FYI.

So here's my Autumn Wellness Wish List folks!

1. The Happiness Planner

Instagram recently (and smartly) recommended this product to me, and I was actually surprised by how spot on of an advertisement it was! I jumped onto the website and immediately wanted one of the 100 Day Happiness Planners. Firstly, the planners look well designed, easily portable and so cute. Secondly, they look like a perfect start to thinking about your own happiness in a mindful way each day. I don't think filling this out each day would feel like a chore, especially if you bought some cute pens to go along with it. The planner includes a year's calendar and different activities such as a 'happiness roadmap' and a page dedicated to identifying your own strengths. For anyone looking to start being more engaged in their own happiness in the present, this could be a great way to start! Purchase your own happiness planner here. I haven't bought one myself but would like to get one soon. Maybe it could be a birthday gift (looking at you mom).

2. Rising Strong by Brene Brown

Now I have yet to give this a read, but I REALLY would like to pick it up from the bookshop soon. Brene Brown writes all about the concept of resilience and getting back up again when things go wrong. She emphasises the idea of embracing our vulnerabilities and disappointments in order to 'rise strong'. The book has good reviews and is all about grounding theory around the concept of rising strong. As a future clinician, I am interested to give it a read, and hopefully post a review once I'm done! Rising Strong can be found on Amazon (US and UK), Barnes & Nobles and Easons. I'm always skeptical about books that promote psychology concepts to the masses because sometimes they are not always based properly in research. I hope to read it soon and get back to you on it!

3. A BorrowMyDoggy Account Membership

I hear it TIME and TIME again while I'm at work (as an assistant psychologist). Clients adore their pets and find that their pets can truly help them through the mental health challenges they may be experiencing. Dogs can provide an opportunity to get exercise when they need to be walked or played with. Pets can provide necessary routines that keep you going through a tough week. As an expat, not having my own pup here in Dublin is so hard! I crave having a dog that I can walk all the time and snuggle up with on those late nights when Nick is working late.

I recently heard about this website called and I was fascinated! What an amazing solution for people whose dogs may need more exercise or play and for people who may love dogs but can't have one at the moment! I believe a premium membership is £12.99 per year as a borrower. This provides you with insurance and access to a 24/7 vet line! The website is currently up and running in the UK and Ireland.

Some research has suggested that pet owners may not be any better off than people who don't have pets, but I see frequently how clients can light up when talking about their pets. Our creature friends can be a spot of happiness in a muck of ongoing stress. They provide opportunities for exercise which is known to help people manage stress, low mood and depression.

4. A Supply of LUSH Bath bombs

What better way to relax after a shit day then with a nice warm bath. There is so much talk about mindfulness these days that sometimes I think we forget that a half hour of pure relaxation can go such a long way. I really like the look of this nature themed bath bomb from LUSH. I think it would be really neat to have a bath with this Guardian of the Forrest one, while putting on one of those videos on Youtube that just plays the sound of a waterfall or the quiet forrest, making your bathroom a small haven for a while. Taking a bath is a perfect way to engage in self-care and maintain proper hygiene when hopping in the shower may feel like a chore.

5. A Sleep Mask

I am obsessed with all the cute sleep masks on Etsy right now! Sleep is so important and it is essential for promoting positive mental health. If your bedroom gets too much light through window curtains at night, or you have trouble actually keeping away from distractions such as your phone; a cute sleep mask could help you get back to good sleep habits. I used to use sleep masks frequently as I found they helped me keep my eyes closed and become more isolated from other distractions that may be in the room. Sleep masks can also be helpful if you have a partner who prefers to watch TV in the bedroom around your bedtime or if light seeps through your window too early before you're due to wake up. Etsy has plenty of hilariously adorable options for sleep masks. I myself would probably prefer silk as silk can help prevent my hair from frizzing up at night and it's so soft! It's so important for your bedroom to be as comfortable as possible for sleep and it should be a conducive environment for getting to bed.

6. A Lunch at The Happy Pear (desserts included!)

The Happy Pear is more than just the little cafe/grocery located in Greystones, Co. Wicklow. It's practically become a lifestyle. For anyone who doesn't know what it is still, The Happy Pear was founded by these two twin brothers (and I think a third brother also works behind the scenes) and it's all about eating well and eating happy. The cafe menu is all vegetarian and the grocery sells loads of healthy Happy Pear products such as pesto and smoothies.

A lunch at the Happy Pears means a lunch full of nutrients and tasty food! We know eating healthy promotes mental health and well-being so why not have a great day out in Greystones and get some nutrients in our bodies while we're at it. Afterwards you could stroll down the beach for some exercise too!

For anyone looking for some new healthy recipe ideas, check out their website or their two recipe books. Remember, when reading up on ways you can improve your diet, it is important to talk to your doctor and read from a variety of sources as the internet can be full of inaccurate statements about diet and nutrition. For my clients, I often direct them to the Healthy Ireland Guidelines. I expect that my knowledge around diet will probably become more expansive as I begin my PhD on childhood obesity in October.

7. The Little Book of Mindfulness by Dr. Patrizia Collard

In recent years, mindfulness has been linked to a number of well-being variables. Basically, the concept is all about being in the present. It is used in different therapeutic interventions and can be great for someone looking to be more present and manage stress better. While mindfulness is a great tool for wellness, it can be tricky to start off with and there is so much out there about mindfulness that it's challenging to know where to begin. I keep seeing this little book popping up in different places, and I'm hoping to pick it up soon. It looks like it would be a great place to start with mindfulness for people who might be confused, unsure, or just have a lot going on right now!

8. A Watercolour Paint Set

I know for myself that using my creative side is one really great way to self-care. Whether it's taking 20 minutes to draw out a quirky doodle in my sketchbook, or exploring Dublin with my DSLR; I know that tapping into my creativity promotes my own well-being. With the number of people who have instagram accounts dedicated to their doodles, as well as the growth in paint bars and art therapy programs, I think it could be safe to say that art could promote wellness in different people through different mechanisms.

Watercolour painting is a great place to start if you've been thinking of tapping into your creative side as a way to do spend some time with yourself, find a way to relax, and get something cool out of it. There are a number of beginners watercolour sets that can be found online. I found this one from Amazon. I imagine that Michaels or Art Hobby would have similar options.

Well, I hope that is enough of a wishlist for now! I don't want to overwhelm anyone with too many things and really just wanted to touch upon some products and books that relate to wellness. Keep an eye out for another wishlist, likely to be out in the winter. If anyone has any comments, leave them below!

I would also like to make a quick note about something important related to self-care and wellness. I understand completely that often times it is a privilege to be able to take care of ourselves. Things such as books, fancy planners, gym memberships and eating healthy can be costly and unaffordable. If anyone would like me to write more about more affordable self-care hacks or has any questions about where you can find free resources for self care and wellness, do not hesitate to contact me. I want everyone to have opportunities to live your best life!

Anyways, thanks for stopping by!

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