My Wellbeing Toolkit: Neda Varbanova
Posted by Rachael Gibson
Neda Varbanova (@healthywithnedi) is a Health Coach qualified in food studies and culinary nutrition. She’s the founder of Healthy with Nedi, a creator of picture-perfect healthy recipes and all-round inspiration for being your best you. And after a day of working out and eating good? She’s right there with us, raising a well-deserved glass of wine. As a health expert she’s super tuned-in to the mind-body link, and the effect it can have on your wellbeing, so her toolkit of tips and tricks for wellbeing is packed that fit seamlessly into your lifestyle, just like when you find that recipe or workout programme that just clicks.
“Wellbeing for me includes happiness, a good morning routine, exercise, and healthy meals,” she says. “When I say happiness, I refer to our mental health. It is so important to find joy in the small things and appreciate the loving and supportive people around us. This pandemic has taught us what is truly important and avoiding stress over small matters is definitely something to implement.”
Easier said than done though, right? It’s the same for Neda as for any of us, “I try to give my grandma advice and tell her not to get worked up about something that may not even happen but I don’t seem to take my own advice. It is something I need to remind myself – focus on enjoying the moment rather than overthinking.”
Sometimes refocusing on the small things can be as simple as going for a walk, and consciously noticing the nature around you. Other times it might become part of your night-time routine, where you remember to think about the best thing that happened to you that day. This is how we build that toolkit that has a long-term effect over time – practicing gratitude for the small stuff has a long-lasting effect on your overall resilience which means potentially less anxiety and stress. Win!
For more significant lifestyle changes Neda is a fan of apps in her routine, “Exercising releases endorphins and no matter what, you’ll always feel better after a workout...even a 20-minute brisk walk will have its benefits. Meditation is [also] incredible, I either do 10 minutes in the morning or evening. I love the Calm app and Melissa Wood Heath.” Building up a routine and collection of go-tos is just one way to start your wellbeing toolkit, escapism included. Neda turns to Colleen Hoover, Oprah and Louise Hay for written inspiration but it’s important to strike that balance.
Apps are a great way to make tech work for YOU rather than against your wellbeing. But it’s always good to check in with yourself and monitor that overload, “I try to put away my phone and be more present when I’m with others,” says Neda, “I think taking social media breaks is super helpful for our mental health...recently I took two weeks off. It felt SO good! I was relaxed, focused on what’s going on around me and didn’t feel the pressure of filming every single thing I cooked or ate...we can all use a social media detox especially now during this incredibly difficult time for everyone.”
Any great toolkit should be a 360° approach to your wellbeing, and there are loads of products and tools out there for you to try, and to add to your mental mantras, apps and routines. For Neda it’s the Bedtime Hero Bath Foam and a long soak after a long day. It’s all about finding those products that support your wellbeing goals (like better sleep) while fitting into your life as if they were always there. Small steps, BIG difference!
Discover loads more tips and tools for building your wellbeing toolkit over on the NEOM blog.