Hannah Drake

Self Care

What I'm Grateful For

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Every night, before we go to sleep, Luke and I lie in bed and tell each other everything that we’re grateful for that day. Actually, we say “grapeful” thanks to a typo-turned-inside-joke that happened about two years ago. Our daily ritual has been a great way to reflect on our days together and appreciate all of the blessings in our lives. It’s easily one of my favourite things about our day-to-day life. (And I highly recommend doing it, either with your partner or by yourself.)

Today, though, I wanted to share with you some of the things I’m grateful for this year ahead of Thanksgiving, tomorrow.

I’m grateful for my husband and my marriage. Luke is the best partner I could have ever asked for. He makes me laugh, he holds me when I cry, he’s gentle when I’m harsh, he makes me feel special every day. He has moved mountains to make sure I feel comfortable and at home in England. He provides for me and protects me. He challenges me, supports me, and adventures with me. He cooks and he’s damn good at it!

I’m grateful for my family. I’m sad I’m missing another Thanksgiving with my family, but I’m happy they can still be together—and that hopefully I’ll be able to FaceTime them tomorrow when they’re all gathered together.

I’m grateful for my friends. In the last two years, I’ve had some really wonderful people supporting me through the biggest changes of my life. I’m so grateful for my friends who have worked hard to stay in touch with me, who have come visited me, who have sent me words of encouragement and called just to say hello. I’m so grateful for the people I’ve met here in Birmingham who have made me feel at home and become my family here. I’m grateful they welcome us into their lives and homes and ask me questions about America like “Why do you guys care about fall so much?” and “Do you really send Christmas cards with your faces on them?”

I’m grateful for our home. We don’t currently live in our forever home—or even our long term home—but we have created something really special together in our first home. I love having a place where we can relax and do nothing, where we can cook together, where we can host the people in our lives, where we can sleep in on Saturday mornings, where we can come home after a long day and just be together. Even though we’re likely moving in 2019, our first home together will always be so special.

I’m grateful for this space and the people who choose to be here. Thank you for reading my blog each week, following along, giving me feedback and leaving comments. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to share little snipits of my life with you all and to have a creative outlet that can be whatever I want it to be!

5 Acts of Kindness for the Digital Age

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Earlier this year, I wrote a post called 25 Ways to Give Kindness. The post lists--you guessed it--25 things you can do to enrich the lives of people around you. And spoiler alert, doing something for someone else makes you feel pretty darn good. Today, I'm back with a couple more ideas, but this time with a digital twist. With our phones pretty much always in hand, we can put the apps we probably already have installed to good use and do something nice and unexpected for people we love.

SEND "TREAT YO SELF" MONEY ON VENMO

Credit where credit is due: I got this idea from my younger sister. One morning, she randomly Venmoed me $5 with nothing more but "Treat Yo Self 2011" added for comment. I knew what it meant and I was incredibly thankful. On Venmo, it's easy to sneak a gift straight into someone's pocket. And it doesn't even need to be much. $5 is good for a morning treat at a coffee shop, but if you know they're interested in buying something specific (that you can afford), send them the cost of what they're eyeing. Or if you know they're raising money for something or could use money for an upcoming trip, Venmo is a good place to contribute. (Just keep in mind if they are raising money for something, Venmo isn't tax deductible, whereas the site or app where they are fundraising may offer tax deductiblity.) You can also send gift cards on iMessage.

CREATE A POSTMATES FOOD TREE

One of my Facebook friends shared this idea for new parents who were also juggling their own careers and their own health issues. I thought it was absolutely brilliant, even though I’ve never used Postmates and it’s not available in the UK. They way it was set up, the couple listed restaurants available through Postmates that they like (presumably with what their order would be) and like a food tree, people would sign up to buy them dinner from places like Chipotle and Wahoo’s and have it delivered directly to their house. You don’t have to cook, you don’t even have to leave your house, but you still get to have the same impact of a classic food tree. And in case you want to do something smaller, you can send e-gift cards from some restaurants’ websites, like Chipotle, but they’ll have to go in to the restaurant themselves to spend it.

SHARE ENCOURAGEMENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA

I firmly believe that you never truly know how impactful kind words can be. You never know when someone needs some encouragement. You never know how long they carry it with them, taking encouragement from those same words whenever they need it. While doing it in person is great, it’s not always possible when you’re friends are on the other side of the country or the world, or maybe it’s a stranger on the internet. In a time where online trolls roam rampant on social media, it doesn’t hurt to counter some of the hate people spew towards public figures with something positive. Or take a page from your grandma on Facebook’s book and just send a kind comment to your friends on their own social media channels.

SUPPORT A CHARITY ON FACEBOOK

Facebook is garbage for a lot of reasons, let’s be honest. But one of the newer features allows for you to create a fundraiser on your page that you and your friends can contribute to. You may have seen people fundraising for their birthdays this year, which is a fantastic idea in lieu of gifts, but did you know that Facebook also recognises seemingly social conscious posts and helps you find a related charity to create a fundraiser for if you so choose.

BE VULNERABLE & HONEST

I believe one of the most meaningful ways you can be kind to someone is to be vulnerable and honest on social media. I’ve talked about how to make social media healthier for you, but being vulnerable and honest to whatever degree you’re comfortable with makes social media healthier for all of us. Instead of posting just the highlights, share some of your mess or some of your struggles. It can mean so much to someone to know they’re not alone in what they’re going with. Or that actually your life isn’t perfect, just because you share pretty images. Through my vulnerability on social media and on this blog, I’ve made real connections with people across the world who can relate to what I’ve gone through or am going through, and that’s just as beneficial for me as it is for them.

So here’s your challenge for the week: How can you do one thing for someone this week? With your phone currently in your hand, you’re halfway there.

PIN FOR LATER!

Guest Post: 5 Easy Ways to Feel Grateful Every Day

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The last few weeks, I've be sharing guest posts from some of my favourite bloggers & photographers and people I'm lucky enough to call friends. And today is no different!

Today, I'm happy to introduce you to my friend Blythe from The Honey Print! (If you don't already know her, that is.) Blythe is an elementary school teacher in Nashville, Tennessee, but so much more than that. She's a fellow tea-drinker, like myself, a beautiful creative writer, a world traveler, and a talented blogger. This last summer, she took the most incredible trip to Spain and France, making me and all of her followers green with envy with ever photo she posted. On her lifestyle blog, she documents her travels, shows off her hometown, shares vulnerably about anxiety and gives tangible ways to practice self care. Check out her blog for all of the above and more! Blythe is the only one of the four guest post authors who I haven't met, but--um--can we change that soon? I need to visit Nashville anyway!


In the day-to-day of life, it can be so easy to mindlessly follow your routine, not really noticing the little details or bright spots that are there. Lately, I have been trying to be mindful of how I spend my time so that I do not fall into a rut or feel that each day is just a grind. I want so much to stay present and appreciate the everyday, and I am sharing some simple tools that I have been using to achieve just that:

START THE DAY WITHOUT A SCREEN

I used to wake up and instantly turn to my phone, scrolling through emails and social media. Starting your day with a screen does not make for a very mindful day. Instead, I now just lie there, feeling comforted by the sheets and the soft light that creeps in between the blinds. I do not look at my phone until I am out of bed.

SIT IN SILENCE

In the mornings, particularly, I never turn on the TV. Silence is calming and grounding. I like to sit and sip my tea and just chill before starting my day. This keeps my headspace clear and alert.

TALK TO PEOPLE

Whenever possible, I ask my colleagues how their days are going when I see them. More often than not, something is happening that they need to discuss. We usually end up having a good discussion, maybe problem solving together, and strengthening our relationship. When shopping at a bookstore, I try to ask someone who works there for recommendations. If I am in public, and something funny happens, I turn to someone nearby and laugh with them. Simply interacting with other people is what we are meant to do. We are social creatures, and I always gain something from these small, pleasant interactions.

GET FRESH AIR

Every day, I get outside, whether that is eating lunch at a picnic table or taking a walk in the park after work (and often, both!). To get the most of your time al fresco, leave your phone alone. Let yourself just be in nature. Feel the wind on your face and the sun on your back.

READ BEFORE BEDTIME

Let the last thing you see before going to sleep be a book. Reading is just so good for you. It reduces stress, improves your memory and focus, stimulates your mind, and calms you down. What better way to ensure a quality night of sleep and a great next day?

By doing these 5 things daily, I feel far more balanced and grounded. I have become more grateful for my life and the small joys that exist in it every single day. They are there; you just have to let yourself see them.

You should follow Blythe on Instagram, too.