Health, relationships and happiness…

Natalia Cohen By

Health, friendship and happiness

I can’t believe it’s been one month since we stepped foot on land and ended our oceanic journey and one year since my last birthday!

Time certainly flies.

It’s been a fantastic week. The sun has been shining, my body is slowly healing and I’ve spent quality time with beautiful friends – old and new.

I have always believed that being as healthy as you can and having strong relationships are the main things you need to maintain a positive mindset and happy existence. Everything else that happens in life is incidental. Wealth, success, fame, adventure; they all mean different things to different people and don’t necessarily make you happy.

This week I’ve been tending to my physical and emotional well-being.

I’ve been stretching and strengthening my body slowly by doing some walking, pilates and yoga. It’s going to be a gradual process getting my tone back and increasing my strength again, but I’m being gentle with myself and enjoying the non-impact exercise. I’ve had a dental check up and tooth clean (very necessary after the 9 months of snack pack consuming) and received results back from my blood test showing that I have no deficiencies.

One of my biggest health concerns caused by our relentless sun exposure has also now been alleviated after a visit to the dermatologist and a skin check completed with the all clear given.

As well as spending a lot of time with my amazing brother and father (my mum is in Cape Town), I have been catching up with a number of friends and enjoying quality time with special people that I share a long history and deep connection with.

On my birthday yesterday I received messages from friends from all over the world (Facebook is a wonderful thing!) and it gave me an opportunity to reflect on the incredible relationships I have developed over my 41 years of life and in particular over the last year with the girls. There is definitely something to be said for having strong, supportive, positive relationships with your family, friends, partners and/or community.



As I head to Oxfordshire this weekend to continue birthday celebrations and spend time with my best friend in the whole wide world, I have just watched a very wonderful TED talk about ‘What makes a good life?’ by Robert Waldinger who actually shares my belief on the importance of good relationships.

Having done a 75-year-old study on adult development he has access to data on true happiness and satisfaction and what it is that actually does keep us happy and healthy are in fact having close relationships and real social connections.

So as we move into the weekend, I urge you to re-connect with an old friend, forgive someone you’ve been holding a grudge against for so long that you can’t even remember why or make the time to connect genuinely with your partner/friend/parent/sibling/self.

Life is short and the one thing we have in common is that we all want to live it happily and healthily! x




1 Comment

  1. Peter Walker says:

    Happy Birthday Natalia. A beautifully written blog, echoeing sentiments I share. It is a lovely picture of the coxlesscrew all at sea. I know there are some excellent kayak races around the UK and beyond if you are yearning for a paddle. You can reap the rewards of facing forwards too.
    Best wishes,
    Peter W (Still looking for a new blog for my tutees at School to follow during registration…TED talks it is.)

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