Trentham Falls Australia

Dream, Plan, Travel: Planning a Trip for Mental/Emotional Health

I’ve been paying close attention to the wellness wheel since the beginning of this year and trying to develop strategies to work toward a more balanced life. I’m not gonna lie, It’s been rough. The stress and uncertainty of the times have been unrelenting. I lost my mother 18 months ago and that devastation was quickly followed by this global pandemic. Not to mention the hatred and vitriol that we’ve all been subject to (at least here in the States) for the past 4 years. I’ve been feeling pretty hopeless. Let’s face it, we’re spending a lot more time at home, whether we like it or not, and sometimes it’s hard not to feel trapped. This lockdown phase of our existence doesn’t seem like it’s letting up any time soon, but that shouldn’t keep us from dreaming about and planning for our next adventure. In fact, that dreaming and planning could be just the thing that helps us get through these crazy times. Seriously, simply planning a trip can help to boost your mental/emotional health.

“… social isolation can undoubtedly impact our mental health, resulting in everything from anxiety, fear, and depression, to restlessness and an inability to focus. At a time when mental health is therefore particularly important, having a vacation to look forward to – even if it is months away – could be just what you need to lift your spirits.”

As part of my work to achieve a balanced wellness wheel, I’ve started planning for an epic vacation. I don’t know if I ever told you this, but I have always, and I mean always, dreamed of traveling to Australia and New Zealand. When I was a kid, my mother bought me an Atlas, and for some reason, I stayed glued to the pages that held Australia and New Zealand. So, with my lifelong dream and my wellness wheel in mind, I have been actively planning my dream vacation to the land down under! Everything from travel expenses to fun excursions. I’m all in with this, and you know what? Since I started planning, I have been on cloud nine, and I’m not even joking.

Anyway, I was looking at places to stay in and around Melbourne, Australia, and I stumbled upon this beauty. I just had to share this with you guys. This bed and breakfast, The Estate at Trentham, is about an hour outside of Melbourne and it is gorgeous!!! Tell me you don’t get all the feels just looking at this spot! Added bonus: we’ll be stealing some design ideas from this space because what interior designer, Lynda Gardener, has done here is absolutely stunning. Check it out!

The Wellness Wheel- A Beginner’s Guide

One of my sisters recently reintroduced me to the concept of the Wellness Wheel. The Wellness Wheel is a visual model that illustrates the seven key dimensions of our lives. These seven dimensions are: emotional/mental, intellectual, physical, social, environmental, financial/occupational, and spiritual. All are interconnected and vital to a well-rounded and balanced lifestyle. That’s a mouthful, I know, but hear me out.

Remember how back before the Covid lockdowns started, you’d tell yourself, “if only I had more time at home I would…”? Well, here you are. This is not what you had in mind when you yearned for more time at home, for sure. It’s not what any of us had in mind. But when life hands you lemons, you can either squirt them in people’s eyes, or you can look at them as being half full… or something like that. The point is, we can think positively about this increased time at home. Seriously, it’s the perfect opportunity to start the hard work of balancing our wellness wheel.

What Is The Wellness Wheel? Here's How It Can Help You Lead A Plentiful, Balanced Life | AllWork.Space

So how do we know which dimensions of our wellness wheel are off-balance?

  • take a self-assessment quiz. This quiz from Princeton University is a quick and easy starting point.
  • develop an action plan. The possibilities are endless, but here’s what it might look like:

Sample Action Plan


  • exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • maintain personal hygiene (skin care, hair care)


  • watch an interesting documentary
  • read at least one book/month
  • listen to podcasts


  • truly think about ethical and religious beliefs
  • read religious texts
  • meditate


  • declutter living space
  • be mindful of recycling and sustainability
  • redesign living space for beauty and function


  • connect with friends and family at least once a week
  • reach out to old friends


  • create a budget and stick to it
  • be selective about shopping choices


  • keep a gratitude journal
  • sleep regularly
  • seek counseling and professional help

There are so many approaches that you can take! This is definitely not an exhaustive list. In the meantime, check out these past posts on wellness rituals:

5 Self Care Podcasts to Inspire Your Practice

As our lives become increasingly more chaotic with a steady diet of bad news, overwhelmingly divisive rhetoric, and a never ending stream of work emails pouring into our phones even after business hours, the need for self care has never been more important. I’m sure you’ve heard that the path to self care is paved with aromatherapy candles and soft bath towels. You’ve heard that all you need to do to travel that path is to unplug for a while and meditate. The fact of the matter is, it’s just as impossible to meditate while crammed on a Manhattan bound, rush hour 2 train as it is to get more than 10 minutes to yourself on a busy weeknight.

Self care is a little more complex than all that. That’s not to say that ritual baths and relaxation aren’t a necessary part of self care. Intention is key. It’s not about escaping, it’s about letting go of what is standing in the way of your overall well-being. Whether it’s anxiety and mental health, or lack of sleep and feeling overwhelmed, we all have challenges in our lives that can’t be ignored. So as part of my self care practice, I’ve been listening to some mind blowing podcasts. These self care podcasts offer honest conversations and real life strategies for improving overall wellness. Here are some of my favorites!

Sarah James, a lifestyle blogger and self-help aficionado, and her bestie Kristen Howerton, a writer and psychotherapist, tackle the tricky and often elusive aspects of caring for ourselves on the weekly podacst, Selfie. Their conversations explore questions like: Why don’t I eat the way I should? How do I get enough sleep? What aspects of my personality make self-care tricky? And what’s the best way to deal with pubic hair? From the silly to the serious, Kristen and Sarah are taking a vulnerable and often humorous look at body, mind and spirit . . . and maybe a touch of the random, all while looking at the distractions and defenses that keep us from caring for ourselves like we should.

Untangle is the meditation podcast produced by the Meditation Studio app. This podcast features interviews with experts who have devoted their lives to helping others through meditation.

In this podcast series, Fearne Cotton, author of the bestseller Happy: Finding Joy in Every Day and Letting Go of Perfect, interviews inspiring individuals who have either made a change in their own lives or who help people every day to find a different way of looking at life.

On Make Light, bestselling author, speaker, and photographer Karen Walrond interviews light-seekers and light-makers from around the world, learning how they live with intention and a sense of adventure.

On the Mom Hour, Megan Francis and Sarah Powers, two moms with eight kids between them from preschool to teen, take on parenting topics and issues related to motherhood in a tone that is reassuring and real— with lots of room for laughter.

All Natural Medicine Cabinet Essentials

I was taking stock of my medicine cabinet in preparation for my annual flu season overhaul. Every year, in fact, twice a year I replace the products in my medicine cabinet to keep them as fresh and effective as possible. I try my best to stick to natural, organic products that contain at least one or two of my five favorite essential oils: peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender, cinnamon, and orange. Fortunately, Mother Nature has us covered. Swap out your OTC medicines for these all natural, plant-based medicine cabinet essentials.

  1. Instead of Pain / Headache medication try Past Tense
  2. Instead of Nasal Decongestant, cold and flu medication or allergy relief medication try Breathe 
  3. Instead of cough suppressant try Rosemary
  4. Instead of anti-itch lotion, sleeping aids, burn cream or cuts and scrapes disinfectant try Lavender
  5. Instead of mouthwash, add Peppermint to your homemade mouthwash recipe
  6. Instead of Immune system boost or sore throat medicine, try On Guard Blend. The Throat Drops are very handy for on the go 
  7. Instead of upset stomach medication or heartburn medication try Digest Zen
  8. Instead of a sterilizing agent, try Purify. It also works great as a room freshener.
  9. Instead of whitening flouride toothpaste try On Guard toothpaste
  10. Instead of wart removal cream try Oregano
  11. Instead of athlete’s foot cream try Tea Tree Oil

Natural Tonic for Improved Mental Health

This brain-boosting tonic with adaptogenic herbs will aid in improving your overall mental health by balancing your neurotransmitters to keep you happy, stress-free, focused, and energized.

Mental Health Natural Tonic Ingredient Breakdown


Citrus fruits are high in vitamins, and a healthy dose of vitamin C can fight infection, reduce kidney stones, relieve indigestion, decrease headache pain, and help detoxify the body.


Cucumbers help maintain water balance in the body.

Fresh Turmeric Root

Turmeric is known to improve mood and feelings of depression.

Fresh Ginger Root

Ginger fights inflammation and is great for healing and protecting the gut.


Beets support heart health and liver function by helping our bodies maintain healthy blood sugar levels. While the antioxidant power of beets improves nerve function.


Pears are a low-sugar fruit. They are excellent for anxiety as they soothe the nervous system with vitamin C, which triggers the production of norepinephrine and serotonin, the happy neurotransmitters. They are also a great source of potassium, an essential electrolyte for the proper function of nerves, muscles, joints, and the heart.


During cold and flu season, the addition of adaptogens like goldenseal and elderberry extract have both been shown to support a health immune system and are available as herbal tinctures (liqud form) that you can easily add to your tonic just before drinking it. To help alleviate stress, add ashwagandha and astralagus, which are both adaptogens known for their calming effects on our bodies.

Mental Health Natural Tonic


  • One whole lemon with peel cut off
  • One whole cucumber with peel
  • One 2-inch root of ginger (if you’re not a fan of ginger, cut this amount in half)
  • Two 3- to 4-inch roots of turmeric
  • One whole pear
  • One yellow or red beet

adaptogens such as

  • extract of ashwagandha
  • extract of astragalus
  • extract of goldenseal
  • extract of elderberry


  1. Place all ingredients in a juicer, and add extracts of ashwaghandha and astragalus (for further adaptogenic support) or goldenseal and elderberry during flu season.
  2. Serve immediately.