What makes you happy? Like truly, soul-searingly happy. For me, there are some things that simply lift me up: walks in Primrose Hill on Sunday, coconut latte in hand, listening to Ben Howard as I walk to work, pain au chocolat when they are fresh out of the oven, and the chocolate oozes out, dripping onto your chin.

Other things that make me happy: lying in steam rooms, the first taste of Challah bread on a Friday night, after a long week of emails and to-do lists, the smell of super sweet perfumes (I wore a salted caramel perfume for years, and people always said it made them hungry), the feeling of sand under my toes on Tel Aviv beach, the delight in a spread of mezze, the feeling of freshness after a really long shower, the spread of avocado on a crunchy piece of sourdough, the taste of warming porridge with raspberries and honey, the smell of coffee, the feel of my boyfriend’s rough beard against my cheek. I could go on, but that would be self-indulgent.

Why the list, I hear you ask? I wrote in January about life retox; the idea of adding things into your life, not taking them out. The concept that rather than restricting ourselves after a Christmas of indulgence and hedonism, that we should re-discover things that truly make us fulfilled and happy, that we should stop limiting our lives with rules, diets and restrictions, and treat ourselves with the kindness, abundance and pure joy that we deserve. You can read my Editor’s Letter on life retox here. And sometimes we need to be reminded of that message, because it’s easy to get caught up in a cycle of self-restriction, and forget that looking after yourself is your primary, most important responsibility in life. Heck, I forgot it, even in the short space of a month.

And it’s more important than ever, when you’re unwell. I keep my social media presence really positive on the whole, thus I’ve been keeping some secret troubles from you, lovely readers. I’ve taken more days off work in the last month than I care to share, and have been suffering with constant digestive issues that have literally plagued my working week. And, for once, the thing that made me happiest than anything – sitting in our cosy little office in Camden, writing away and of course, eating as a living – seemed an almost impossible task. Honestly, I didn’t know how happy my work makes me until I didn’t feel I was able to do it anymore, when all I wanted to do was lie on my sofa, with a hot water bottle, watching endless episodes of Narcos and drinking ginger tea.

Luckily, thanks to the help of YorkTest for intolerance testing, Hampstead Health Practice for Bioresonance therapy, Regenerus Labs for parasite testing, London Rolfing for body work and Dr. Michael Curtin for acupuncture (yes, I really throw my all at a problem), I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But it’s not easy, when you’re in a tough place emotionally and physically, to remind yourself of what lifts your soul up.

So I thought I would write this, as a little message to myself as much as to you, as a reminder that even when times are tough, you need to grasp the things that are uniquely, fiercely yours. The moments of joy – the parks you love, the foods you adore, the hobbies that you devour, the people that captivate you, the music that heals you. Don’t let go of those things. Hold onto them for dear life; they are the passions that will lift you, transport you and give you some mental peace, even when your struggles seem insurmountable.

Running your own business is never easy. Running your own business when you’re unwell is even harder. But whatever experience you’re going through, treat it as a gift that is sent to test you, teach you and guide you for the future – you have to seek the positive in it, however hard it might be. This week, for me, do something you really love. Whether that’s a pastry, a movie or a massage, allow this be the week that you remember to love yourself, unconditionally.

Jels x