Beauty, Fashion, Travel, Fitness, Wellness and Lifestyle Blog | Emtalks

Monday, 7 August 2017

I'm A Workaholic, A Digital Detox & Seaham Hall Spa & Hotel, Durham

seaham hall durham

We live in a digital world and I'm totally okay with that, I'm the girl who photographs her food before eating it, has made a career (which I am so thankful for) in the digital sphere and sometimes sees things through a camera before her own eyes. I'm not going to slate the digital world, it's brought us good things and bad things (read my blog post: is social media dangerous?) I get it, some of you (particularly my grandparents!) think it's a little sad how much digital is taking over, 'young people glued to their phones' and often, I feel guilty when I'm sat on my phone whilst talking to my grandparents or my boyfriend. To them, it means I'm not paying attention, to me, I'm just running my life and, I can actually multi-task very well, but I'm with you and I sometimes agree. We can't be angry at people for wanting our company and attention. I certainly don't want to turn around in a few years time and wish I cherished the time with my loved ones more. I want you guys to read my blog, follow me on social and use the internet as much as I do, I too spend hours scrolling through peoples curated feeds and Twitter profiles. It relaxes me, I learn things, become inspired and motivated, I even get my news from the online world. It isn't necessarily a bad thing to be a little bit hooked to the digital world, who isn't? Recently though, I have been trying to 'live in the moment' a little bit more. Not that I don't live in the moment anyway, but I do find my phone in particular can be a little bit of an obsession, to the point where I'm so busy putting my dinner on every social media channel and I forget to actually talk to the people I'm sat having dinner with. That's why, I'm trying now to take my images and then enjoy the moment, then upload after I've caught up with those around me. Or, little things like putting my phone away an hour before bed so I can watch the telly and give my boyfriend my full attention. I want to work hard but more efficiently so I'm actually enjoying life. So much has happened in 2017 and it's made me realise that living in the moment and showing those around us what they truly mean to us is very important. I get myself incredibly stressed when actually, what really matters is health, happiness and wellbeing. We headed to Seaham Spa for Matt's birthday and whilst in a sauna, without my phone, I came up with the idea to write this blog post (see, my mind is always on!) 

Our minds are in constant overdrive:

Driving up the beautiful road to Seaham Hall, I felt so relieved.  A beautiful mansion, fit for a princess. As a country girl, nothing makes me feel more relaxed than fresh air, (particularly a sea breeze!) and that actually, that little chill in the air too. I've made a vow to start organising more trips, or even just stay-cations so I feel refreshed, rejuvenated and de-stressed. I preach the idea of me-time so much but I need to practice it more. I know we took photos on this trip, but we took our photos and then we relaxed and enjoyed. I love taking photos though, so for me, it doesn't really matter. It sometimes takes being locked away in a gym class or a spa without any phones to make you totally relax. For me, my one hour off a day is when I'm at the gym in a spin class. My phone is down, my mind is focused and I leave after that hour feeling totally rejuvenated and then ready to work hard. It's true, our minds really are in constant overdrive, I can barely sleep some nights because I've got so many exciting ideas buzzing through my brain. It isn't a bad thing, it's good to be motivated and want to work hard but it's important to switch off too. Social media is 24/7, someone is always up, someone is always available which can be both good and bad. 

seaham hall spa

Nothing makes me feel more relaxed than a comfortable bed (this bed was like a sleeping on a cloud, seriously, one of the most comfortable beds I've ever slept in), a good nights sleep and a cosy dressing gown. There's something about slipping into a dressing gown that gives me all the zen feelings. As soon as we got into our gorgeous suite at Seaham Hall, I felt relaxed.

seaham hall suite

We had enough room to do cartwheels around the room and I have to say, the service at Seaham Hall is probably the best service I've ever had at a hotel. I have never come across such genuinely friendly staff. I felt so happy in this big, luxurious and comfortable room, so much so, we didn't even want to leave. After catching up on much needed sleep and switching my phone off, we headed down to the spa. I don't have any photographs of the spa as you're not really supposed to take photos there, but just know it was wonderful. Nothing makes me feel better than going in a steam room, sauna and for a swim. I feel spoilt because my local gym (David Lloyd) has a state of the art spa including sauna, steam room and hydra pool but it was nice to wander around Seaham Hall in my dressing gown all day! 

bedroom at seaham hall

Me Time: I'm well aware that I'm constantly stressed, constantly on edge and I know I don't get enough sleep. I'm trying to manage this by using proper lists and making sure I prioritise important things work-wise. I also know how bad stress is for my health, that's one of the reasons I started #EmsChallenge this month, not just focusing on health and fitness, but focusing on wellbeing too. How can we love our bodies if we aren't looking after our wellbeing too? Me time is so important. I did a talk for The Body Shop only last week, about my top me-time tips. 

1. Fluffy dressing gown - A fluffy dressing gown for me is absolutely key with me time! Whether it's at a spa, in your own home or on holiday, put it on and I instantly feel epic.

2. Pamper - Me time is so important and that's why you'll always find me pampering, whether it's a face mask every other night in my bathroom or, heading to a spa and taking my favourite bits with me. Nothing makes me feel more relaxed than a bit of pamper time!

3. Phone off - Turning my phone off before bed or at least putting it down, it means my mind isn't buzzing around and I sleep a lot better!

4. Time off - I'd honestly say I work at least 12 hours a day, every day, absolute minimum. It's so tough to take time off, particularly when you're freelance (read my blog post all about the freelance world) I wouldn't change my job for the world, but it's important to have time off, whether it's an evening or a Sunday. Take time off to reset!  

beauty products for pampering
I always pack so many fave beauty bits with me on trips away. Luckily, Seaham Hall had the most incredible bathroom so after a day at the spa (my skin felt so soft from the sauna and steam rooms!) I went upstairs for a pre-dinner pamper. There's something so relaxing about setting time aside to properly pamper. A bath is something I always make time for, whether it's on a Sunday night to kick the week off or mid-week because why not? You don't really need to take any products to Seaham Hall as they're well equipped with all the Elemis you can imagine but I just enjoy taking my fave products away with me. My pamper check list:

1. Mini candles - I always take a Jo Malone travel candle with me because no bath is complete without a candle! I love Elemis, Molton Brown, Neom and Diptque for candles too. 

2. Face masks - I swear by face masks. I love Glamglow, Nails Inc Face Inc, Origins, Clarins and whatever else I can get my hands on! You'll always find a face-mask in my overnight bag! 

3. Tan - Tanning for some reason makes me feel super confident and pampered! I absolutely love L'Oreal's Overnight Exilir as it's so natural but it hydrates my skin too. I'm loving James Read at the moment too, his over-night tan doesn't stain my sheets, totally hydrates me and gives me such a natural glow. His face tan is one of the best I've come across and I don't need to wear foundation when I've got it on. 

4. Haircare - I love sleeping in hair masks, my hair dressers at Sassoon take incredible care of my hair and know I swear by looking after it. I love Aveda hair treatments and try to sleep in hair masks or keep them on for as long as possible. I've had a few hair disasters in my time and my length still isn't where I want it to be, but my hair health is getting there. Read: How my damaged hair destroyed my confidence. 

jo malone mini candle

Time Together: After a lovely pamper (why do I prefer to pamper myself in hotels?!) it was time to get ready for a date night dinner. This is another thing I've found, put time aside to spend with your loved ones, whether it's a date night where you actually talk to each other and enjoy each others company or a night in where you cook, time together is so important. I'm taking my family to Zizzi this weekend because it's such a lovely treat for my grandparents, they love it so much. Getting everyone together and spending quality time with them is unbeatable.

Bobbi Brown Instant Full Cover Concealer
Viktor and Rolf magic dancing roses

lash paradise loreal
l'oreal lash paradise
I always feel great when I've used new products to get ready with, on this occasion I went for the new Bobbi Brown Instant Full Cover Concealer, L'Oreal Lash Paradise mascara which is incredible and obviously, a new scent: Dancing Roses by Viktor and Rolf. My favourite date-night or date-day scents are Flowerbomb, Armani Si and pretty much every Jo Malone scent. As much as I love winding down, getting ready can make me feel fab too.

The phone rang and we were offered cocktails before dinner, yes please! How good is that? Ready for dinner but I kept my dressing gown on and we sat on the balcony and giggled away, whilst taking in the Durham fresh air! I loved how quaint the spa felt, even though we knew other people were staying, we felt as if we had it to ourselves.

seham hall dinner

I reluctantly got out of my dressing gown and we headed downstairs to dinner. Again, the service was just incredible and I was blown away by the food. I've visited quite a lot of spas where the food just isn't up to scratch but Seaham food was epic. They serve local produce, fresh, delicious and just heaven on a plate. Not to mention the fresh bread they fill up for you.


I've had things happen to me in my life that have made me a workaholic. Firstly, watching my Mum work tirelessly to provide for my brother and I single-handedly. She was slated for going back to work when we were so young and didn't even take her whole maternity leave but I wouldn't have it anyway, she's taught me to get my hands dirty and work hard for what I want. Secondly, being told by pretty much everyone at school that I'd amount to nothing and being put down by my peers. Lastly, I have no father in my life and it's something that's really affected me. It's made me work harder so I never have to rely on anyone. I used to want to be successful so I could have the best things in life (when I was a kid) but now, I want to be successful so I can look after those closest to me. Watching my brother get ill really put my life into perspective and shifted what I care about. Money for me doesn't equal success. This is a whole blog post in itself but someone once asked me why I am so driven, and there are so many reasons for it.

Pressure:  There is so much pressure on us from the world, but have you ever thought about how much pressure we put on ourselves? I don't think people put pressure on me, I put pressure on myself. My to do list is constantly growing and it's me that does it, I drive myself into the ground. Pressure isn't always bad, I actually work so well under pressure but it's when that pressure gets too much that you've got to take your foot off the pedal and realise that life won't come crumbling down if you take a night off.

After dinner, you'll usually find me tapping away at my laptop, even if I've had a few glasses of wine. Matt will fall asleep and I'll be tapping until I fall asleep. It isn't really healthy and the world isn't gonna end if I don't drive myself into the ground with work for one night. Seriously, I am a workaholic. I plan my life around work and I am so obsessed with working hard it takes over my life. In order to have a little more relaxation/digital detox time, we both got into our dressing gowns after dinner and slumped on the exact sofa you see below (it was so comfortable), with a duvet and watched Love Island. I rarely put time aside to watch TV and whilst some people say it 'kills brain cells', for me, curling up with my boyfriend under a duvet and watching Love Island felt so relaxing and rejuvenating.

One thing I never forget (apart from recently when I've been running my self into the ground so much I\ve been falling asleep with all my make up on), is my skincare. Skincare makes me feel refreshed, replenished and happy. I've been using Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Oil before bed to hopefully forgive my skin for all the stress I've been putting on it. I really burn the candles at both ends and it isn't good for anyone. 

Seaham Spa really go above and beyond to ensure you're completely rejuvenated and relaxed, not to mention the little added extras such as leaving Elemis pillow spray by my bed. It's little things like this that make it one of the best spa/hotels I've ever stayed at. I've started allowing myself to sleep in a little bit more because otherwise I'm gonna be grumpy, grouchy and sleep is just so important for your body and mind. It was easy to sleep in with this bed!

I started my morning with breakfast in bed (again, epic service and they don't charge over the odds to have breakfast in the comfort of your room, we just didn't want to leave our room!) then headed for a massage. I'd like to put more time aside this year to do yoga, pilates and have massages. These are three things that really rejuvenate my mind and body. It was one of the best massages I've ever had. 

Never underestimate the power of fresh air and a few extra hours in bed. We went for a lovely walk around the beautiful grounds of Seaham Hall and I have to say, I felt like a new woman. Relaxed, rejuvenated and happy, ready to give my work my all, feeling motivated and excited for what's to come. I have to say, Seaham Hall is one of the best spas I've ever visited. The service from the minute we walked through the door was amazing, it was just a blissful experience and so luxurious. 

Remember, never work so hard making a living that you forget to make a life. Work will always be there, but the people you love may not. Life is too short to get over-stressed and over-work yourself. Being a workaholic isn't necessarily a bad thing, so many of us have huge dreams, motivations and a drive but don't ruin your health because of it. You have one life, enjoy it and remember, have me-time and press the reset button when you need to! Rest is important and there are tiny things you can do to make sure you're not feeling too over-whelmed, over-worked or over-stressed! If in doubt, go for a walk or run a bath! 

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Lots of love, Em x

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