What inspired you to get into wellness and self-care?

I think for me that passion got unlocked about 7 years ago when I started a weight loss journey. Back then I didn’t have any idea what it meant to have a healthy and balanced diet or exercise regularly. When I started this journey, I wasn’t doing everything in the healthiest of ways. But, as time went by and as I was researching more and more, I discovered that being in tune with your body and being at a healthy weight involves so much more than just eating the right things or working out every day. There are so many different components that contribute to that harmony like mental wellbeing, getting enough sleep, surrounding yourself with the right crowd, having hobbies, etc. – to me all these things can be summarized with the terms “wellness” and “self-care”.

How would you define self-care?

For me self-care is a set of actions or habits that make you feel happy, present, and in sync with the world around you. It is about listening to your body and your mind and trying to figure out what is it that you need in that moment. To me having a healthy meal is a form of self-care, but also having a piece of cake once in a while. Spending time with friends is self-care, but also cutting out toxic friendships from your life. Exercising is an important part of self-care, but so is taking a rest day if your body needs it.

Can you walk us through your current self-care routine?

I feel like my self-care routine changes all the time depending on my mood and my needs at the moment, but some things that I enjoy and are usually present in my routine are some kind of physical activity (might be a 30-minute workout or a short walk outside), trying to eat enough vegetables every day, taking care of my skin (I love a good face mask), talking with family and friends, watching a favourite show or reading a book, and playing with my cats.

What advice would you offer to someone trying to start their own self-care routine?

First of all, list all of the things that you enjoy doing for yourself without judgements. Some of these things might not be the best for you like spending a whole day watching Netflix or eating junk food, but that doesn’t mean that you should never do them. I think it’s all about moderation and coming up with a way to still enjoy these things without letting them interfere with your goals or your health. It’s all about compromise. Maybe you won’t spend an entire day binging a new show, but you can watch a few episodes at the end of the day or as a break from other things. Maybe having pizza for dinner every night is not such a great idea, but you can have it once a week or you can find ways to make it healthier (like trying a cauliflower crust, adding more vegetables to it or just having a smaller portion in addition to a big salad or another healthy meal). But, also if at one point you’re overwhelmed and you need a day where you only watch TV and eat not so healthy foods, just do it and go back to your healthier habits the next day.

Where do you go to find hearty and healthy meal ideas?

YouTube and Pinterest mostly. Also, by googling things that I already have in my fridge and looking up recipes from food blogs that incorporate these ingredients.

What is your favourite thing to have for breakfast?

Avocado toast, eggs and bacon (with home fries or hash browns if I don’t care about carbs that particular day), smoothies, or some kind of breakfast sandwich with an egg.

What inspires your personal style?

That’s such a hard question for me because I feel like I don’t really have a personal style. I like to wear girly dresses/skirts and heels, but also leather jackets, combat boots, and ripped jeans, and, very often, just jeans, sneakers, and a graphic tee. But I guess, I take inspiration from Instagram, Pinterest, favourite YouTubers and music artists, pop culture…

What are some fashion brands you love that you think our readers should know about?

I’m not really a brand person, to be honest, but some examples of brands that I like are Levi’s, Calvin Klein, ZARA, and Uniqlo.

Outdoor hike or Indoor yoga class?

Outdoor hikes even though I’m not a huge outdoor person. I like easy hikes though because I can have my own personal space and also walking in nature calms me down. I’m not super into fitness classes because sometimes I get anxious in social situations and I feel really self-conscious if I can’t keep up with everyone.

What’s the most amazing thing that has happened in your life so far?

One of the things that I feel incredibly thankful for every day is my husband. For the past 6-7 years, we have been living in the US (we’re originally from Bulgaria) and have been leaning on each other so much. Even though I really miss my family and my friends back home, I feel blessed to have someone that I know I can 100% count on for everything – from the smallest things to life and death situations. Another thing that changed my life for the better is finding a hobby that brings me an incredible amount of joy: creating content (filming YouTube videos and taking photos). I also met some really great people through YouTube and Instagram that I can truly call friends even though we’ve never met in real life.