Conscious Living is a series which takes a closer look at living a life full of thoughtful choices and conscious decision making in order to live a life full of meaning, self-love, and respect for ourselves and the world around us.
Last LFB’s conscious living interview with Michelle of Daisy Butter was a huge success. So much so, that I am now back with another. This time, I sat down to have a chat with Hannah of Oh January to get her take on conscious living…
LFB: In the blogging world, many bloggers feel the pressure to stay on top of trends, purchase new things for reviews, accept gifts etc. How do you balance the mass consumption and “product selling” side of blogging with living consciously?
Hannah: I personally don’t look at trends, the latest beauty products or gadgets to purchase. If I like the sounds of something I think it would be something that would appeal to me, then I’ll go for it. In terms of product selling, it doesn’t quite sit well with me. Of course, being a blogger it is strongly linked to consumerism and promotion, working with brands. Consumption is something we are all socially constructed to believe it’s what we need to reach towards, and I worry bloggers can get sucked into this big old world of consumerism. I only work with brands that I find interest in, or they’re brands I trust and love. Consumerism and living consciously can only work if you remain honest with yourself and your readers.
LFB: In today’s day and age with the rise of social media, it is very easy for us to get swept up in our own lives and careers and forget about our social commitments to both our friends and family as well as those less fortunate than us within our society. What do you do personally to ensure that this does not happen?
Hannah: I’ll be the first to admit that I cannot go anywhere without my phone. Social media has become this huge and significant platform with constant information being thrown in our faces. It’s strange how we allow this to happen, and it’s almost an addiction. With having a blog, social media is so important to keep things fresh and grow awareness of your blog. And sometimes it can be difficult to step away from that.
I also work in Digital Media which entails an enormous amount of social media. So, it’s kind of a problem that my mind is always active as I know how significant and fundamental social media is to make a business function efficiently. Despite Oh January and having a full time job, I try my best to be social most nights, work out and try and be active with my friends. I also think that having things to look forward to, such as trips away with your friends can make such a difference to your mental well-being. Experiences are so important towards happiness, and I think we should all make more time for those opportunities around us.
LFB: Self-care has become an extremely important topic for our generation, and one that we have spoken about before. Why do you think it has become such a prevalent issue, and why are you personally so passionate about it?
Hannah: Our generation is techno-crazy, and I’m not talking the musical sense. We are so sucked up in technology, being stuck behind a screen and also never having time to actually be mindful. Mindfulness is of such huge importance, but generally we don’t sit back and remember to be mindful. It’s paying attention to the present moment, having no judgement of others and having appreciation.
Having this peace of mind creates clarity, balance, an awareness of the world around you and makes your reality much more vivid. We all want to be the best versions of ourselves, but in this day and age that’s difficult because there are so many distractions and too many opportunities to compare ourselves to others. Sometimes you just need some me-time, without technology, without distractions and just focus on you and what you need.
LFB: What does self-care mean to you?
Hannah: Personally, self-care is being mindful of your mind, body and soul. You need to be selfish and that’s ok, work on yourself to become the best version of yourself possible. It’s about treating yourself with respect, eating healthy and exercising; finding balance to make sure you have a happy mind.
I think it is so important that we check in with ourselves every now and then and take a Saturday or Sunday just for ourselves. It’s also important to do small things each and every day to check in with ourselves. What would be your ideal self-care day and how do you practice small amounts of self-care daily?
I totally agree that we should have days just for ourselves. Sometimes you need space to focus on you, and what you need. Whether that’s a pamper session, an afternoon reading a book or writing in your journal. My ideal self-care day would be a day at home, treating my skin, lots of tea and doing relaxing activities like reading, colouring or listening to music while tidying. Removing junk from your home can make a huge difference to your state of mind, and can be the perfect pick me up to clear your head. A walk would also be chucked into the day, because fresh air is so important to also clear your mind. I need to work on checking in with myself during the day, being mindful of my feelings and what my mind and body needs – whether that’s water, food, social interaction or a break away to have some time to myself.
LFB: It is important to be kind to ourselves, but care for others and the world around us is also extremely important. How do you strike a balance between both?
Hannah: Absolutely, as I keep banging on about it, being mindful can really help. Be aware of the people in your life who may need you, even if it’s a simple text or a meet up over coffee. It’s hard to focus on yourself sometimes, but being mindful of your needs but balancing it with work, friends and family is something we should make time for. We tend to forget about how our actions can affect the world around us. Take time to think before you speak or wonder how will my actions effect the environment, and those around me.
LFB: What tips would you give others who are only starting to learn about self-care now?
Hannah: I’m still learning about self-care, but I think being conscious of your needs is important. Take time to discover what your mind and body needs. Take breaks from the likes of technology, negative people and noise. Tidy. Exercise. It’s all of these little things which will improve your self-care.
LFB: What does conscious living mean to you both in general and for you personally?
Hannah: Generally conscious living is being aware of yourself and everything around you, appreciating what you have. Personally, I need to work on having more time to myself away from distractions whilst also improving what I consume, alongside the effect on the environment and people.
LFB: What is the most important aspect of conscious living for you personally?
Hannah: Self-care is essential, without this, you begin to feel deflated and can result in feeling hopeless and unloved. You need to focus upon yourself before you start building upon relationships, work, social life because without self-care you have no motivation or need to improve.
LFB: How do you practice conscious living?
Hannah: Practising conscious living is something I need to improve on. But walking is something which really benefits me, mentally and physically. Focusing on one thing is also something I try to do, whether it’s eating, blogging, listening to music, being with friends… it can be difficult but it’s something I want to work upon.
LFB: What websites, books, documentaries, or stores do you support that place a strong emphasis on conscious living?
Hannah: Reading mindfulness books can be a lovely reminder to be more conscious of your actions. Also many people are unaware of how food has a significant impact on your health and wellbeing, ‘Eat Pretty’ written by Jolene Hart it the perfect read if you want to improve your diet and create an understanding of what works for you. I’m currently reading ‘You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life’ by Jen Sincero, it’s super insightful and really changes your perceptions of life, giving you a more open mind. Love From Berlin is the only blog I have discovered filled with conscious living inspiration and thoughts, it’s so refreshing to see and I can’t wait to read more in the future!
LFB: Thank you so much for answering these questions. Is there anything else that you would like to tell the LFB readers?
Hannah: Thank you for having me over on LFB! Please come say hi, I’d love to hear your tips on how to improve self-care and conscious living. Hannah x
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photography by: Hannah of Oh January