Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines
5 questions with guest interviews

Hey there! I'm Alia, or Ali for short. Nice to meet you! I run my mental health and wellbeing/lifestyle blog called Living In The Rain (IG - @livingintherainblog) - the name was inspired by lyrics of a song from my teenage years that goes "Stop wishing for the sunshine, start living in the rain". I thought it was quite a good reflection on the positive mindset I was wanting to push for myself and others. I'm UK based, currently getting through lockdown 2.0 and trying to help others do the same. My blog and Instagram are very much about positivity, but also on sharing my experiences with mental health in order to hopefully help others at the very least feel that they're not alone. I like to talk about how we can help ourselves manage our mental health, with the help of a positive mindset amongst other things.    

1. How would you describe a healthy well-being? 

I believe a healthy well-being is a balance of a few things... You want to have the right balance of health and fitness, focus/work/hobbies, and self-care/rest & relaxation. A mix of a bit of exercise, some healthy diet choices, time to yourself or spent with loved ones, fresh air, things that bring you joy and so on. A healthy well-being, like everything, is a healthy balance. Listen to what your body and mind need!

2. What is your definition of happiness?

This is a great question, and I think it can come in a few forms! Happiness is a feeling of joy or contentment. A sense of calm or excitement. A feeling of fulfillment. To me I am most happy when surrounded by people that I love and enjoy spending time with, and doing fun things or just spending quality time with them. On the other hand, I am also most happy when I'm doing something that I love, whether that be at a music concert, or gardening, being creative... That sort of thing. 

3. What are the things you should avoid to protect inner peace?

I guess you could say that it'd be the opposite of what I'd describe as a healthy well-being. Firstly, an imbalance somewhere in one of your parts of life. For example, if you work too much you become tired, less likely to eat well and not get enough exercise. Avoid overworking yourself physically and mentally. Choose your people wisely - avoid putting too much of your time and effort into people that don't reciprocate the good energy, that drain you. Don't feel like you have to do everything you're asked. I guess I'm talking more of events now, but (I realise it's not so easy to do this anyway during lockdown/Covid restrictions...) if you don't want to go out, don't go out. If you need to stay at home and rest with little social interaction for the day/weekend, then so be it, that's totally fine and valid. Again, listen to your body and mind! Your gut feeling will tell you what's right. 

4. Do you think a happy life is more important than a successful one? Why?

I do. 100%. You could be the richest, or most successful person in the world, but will that necessarily mean that you're happy? No. It comes down to the age old fact of money doesn't equal happiness. Success doesn't equal happiness. I'm very much of the mindset now that material things can only get you so far when it comes to happiness. 

5. How does discipline reflect in your daily routine?

I don't so much have a routine at the weekends, but during the week I have a fairly disciplined morning routine. I get up around 6.15am, take a shower and head downstairs. I give our house rabbits a 'good morning' stroke, feed them, make myself a cup of tea and usually do 10-20 minutes of yoga, or occasionally a meditation, to start the day. (This year I have felt such benefits from yoga that I make sure that I do even just a small bit every day before work to get into a good frame of mind.) This is then followed by breakfast and getting ready for work before leaving at around 8.15ish. 

During the initial lockdown in the UK, daily routine really helped me get through it and keeping myself sane. A routine can be incredibly beneficial, giving you a focus, timescale, points to reach in terms of splitting up your day which really helps mentally. 

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