Category: Self Improvement (Page 1 of 4)

What to do when your creative business is quiet

Hi my little happy bunch,

So, my Etsy shop has been super quiet just recently, and I’ve been pulling my hair out! If you’ve read my previous post How I quit my day job to pursue my dreams… And why you should too. you’ll know that my Etsy shop is currently my only form of income (apart from a very understanding partner).

Obviously I turned to some other bloggers for advice and found an absolute treasure trove of essential lists for this, and number 1 tips for that. But after the first post I read the rest were mere copies and I couldn’t learn anything new.

Not to mention the fact that I have already implemented most strategies on my shop and still haven’t seen much of an improvement. But I digress…

It got me to thinking of things us small creative business owners can do when times are really quiet. Things that I haven’t heard before, and hopefully you won’t have either.

when your creative business is quiet

1. Spend time on your self care.

Yep, that’s right, spend some time on you. Some months will be quieter than others, embrace that fact! When it’s quiet spend some time on whatever self care you enjoy the most. I really like walking my dog so I’ve been spending extra time on our morning walks.

But whatever it is, just do it. When you’re massively busy again you’ll appreciate having taken a little bit of time out for you.

Also, I find my best ideas pop up once I’ve taken a break. Let your brain relax, and the rest of you will follow. And before you know if you’ll come up with that top idea which shoots your shop sales up into the stratosphere!

2. Try a different craft.

Your business may be based around crochet, or prints like me. Use this time to try a different craft. I’ve been attempting paper cutting, which I have to admit I enjoy but am not very good at (Yet. I’ll keep trying).

This could be a game changer for your business as you just never know what you might stumble upon that you enjoy and can implement into your business. Who knows, it could even turn into a new business venture for you, that’ll really keep you on your toes.

3. Join a networking group.

Social media has some serious power when it comes to pulling customers into your shop. This slow time is the perfect time to work on your social media skills. And an awesome way of doing that is joining a networking group.

Just make sure it’s a good one. I don’t mean all this like for like nonsense: you need a group that genuinely understands networking and wants to help build relationships between small businesses.

I’m in an amazing small business networking group on Facebook, and we all work hard to raise each business up. It is a treasure trove of invaluable knowledge (I’ve recently had a Facebook post go viral which has brought quite a lot of traffic to my page). It is well worth investing your time in a decent networking group.

4. Get outside.

I’m a massive hippy at heart (which you’ll know if you read my blog posts fairly regularly). I truly think getting outside and into nature is one of the best things.

Get outside, find a nice spot to sit for a while, and just enjoy being outside. The wind on your cheeks, the sun on your skin, the ground beneath your feet. Focus on nothing and soon ideas will be rolling through your mind.

I have a notebook app on my phone for times like this so all of my grand ideas can be jotted down and I can come back to them at a later date.

5. Speak to friends and family.

Or just anyone you’re close to really. Ask them about your business, see what they think you could be doing. Some of my best most profitable ideas have come about after speaking to the people I care about.

Recently I was speaking to my Mum about how quiet my shop was, and she had the brilliant idea of creating prints based around Star Signs. My shop is dedicated to nature and the outdoors, so I incorporated the constellations, and I’ve sold a few already.

Not to mention they’re now some of my favourite prints!

It can be so worthwhile asking for help so don’t be afraid to ask.

6. DO NOT GIVE UP.

Things may be quiet, especially when your business first starts. You won’t know which months will be quiet and which ones will go mad.

Whatever you do: DO NOT GIVE UP. A short rough period can easily be turned around into an amazing ascent for your business, you just need to take some time to breath and refocus. The quiet times are the only times you will get to do this.


I hope you’ve found something a bit different in this blog post. I always try to think outside of the box when it comes to my business. It can be all too easy to be caught up into making money constantly that you forget that making money isn’t all what a business is about.

If you don’t lay the foundations for your business to be sustainable it will collapse.

Good luck with it my happy little bunch.

Much love,

Sophie

One Little Happy Thing

Just click the image to be taken to my Etsy shop where you will find tonnes of gorgeous and unique wall decor for people who want to bring the outdoors in.

The #1 downfall of running a creative business from home

Hello my happy little bunch,

I’ve been absolutely atrocious at updating my blog just recently. I’ve been so busy designing and uploading products into my Etsy shop I haven’t had a moment to think about content for a new blog post.

But this one has been brewing in my mind for a few weeks now.

When I initially left my full time office job I was under no illusions that running a creative business from home wasn’t going to be easy. The first year of any business is difficult and believe me, only a few months in and I’ve been tested.

It would be so easy to give up, but that’s just not my style. Plus, the thought of working in an office again makes me want to run and hide in a cave. Bleh.

I’ve struggled with not having a regular income to rely on. Luckily for me my partner is supporting us financially, but that makes me feel a bit like a failure for not bringing more to the plate. All the more motivation to make it work though.

I’ve struggled with mind block. I had to take a few days away from the business during the month because I felt totally lost. My shop is new, and I feel like defining my brand has gotten the better of me and I’ve lost my way. Luckily after a few days break it was like the clouds parted and I could see what I needed to do again! Phew.

I’ve also struggled with the work load. I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself to create more. But that’s not what I need to be doing right now. What I’ve created I am happy with, but I do feel like some of it doesn’t fit with my brand. And that is just because of the pressure I put on myself.

The number 1 downfall of running a creative business from home

But what’s the main downfall? Well..

My #1 downfall of running a creative business from home

Loneliness.

Pure and crushing loneliness (some days).

I have my partner, and my dog, but some days I just crave human attention. And do you know what? That’s because I’ve been so focused on my small business I’ve sort of pushed my other relationships to the wayside (sorry friends).

It’s not every day either. I’m quite an introvert and so I’m fairly comfortable with my own company. Some days even seeing other dog walkers on my morning walk is a bit much, then others I can’t help but stop and chat with them. Just to be speaking to someone.

And there is absolutely no shame in admitting that you’re lonely. In fact until you admit you’re lonely, you can’t deal with it. I finally sat with my partner and opened up about this, and as always he made me see sense again.

Loneliness can be easily overcome.

Arrange a date with some friends.

Get on the phone and reach out to your friends. Text them, ring them, message them on Facebook, it doesn’t matter: reach to them. And if those friends are worth it I can guarantee they’ll love to hear from you.

But don’t just agree to hang out, arrange a date with them. Go for dinner. Visit the cinema. Make it a bit more an event. Get dressed up and make it special.

Making it a bit more special stops it from feeling just like an every day occurrence. It is a social EVENT. Make it grand. You’ll feel so much better for it.

Find an online tribe.

There is so much talk across various blogs I follow about finding your tribe, but I didn’t really understand what it meant until quite recently.

Offline I already have a tribe. But online I don’t really know anyone, let alone any small creative business owners who are maybe going through the same struggles as me.

That is until I stumbled across a Facebook networking group. Now I know what you’re thinking, like4like networking is terrible. But this group is different. We network in such a way that we build bonds together, we work on reaching new audiences together. It’s not just a case of throwing a link on a comment and giving it a like.

Those guys are my online tribe. I know they are experiencing the same struggles as me, and we can support each other through those struggles.

I can’t advise you more about finding an online tribe. Etsy also has lots of teams, there may be something on there if you don’t use Facebook.

Find someone to work with.

Yep, that’s right, reach out to any other people you know who work from home and see if they want to hang out and work together for a day or so a week. Not all of the time as that would just be distracting for both of you.

Even if you’re both busy working having someone to hand to idly chat with, or to ask their opinion on something will be absolutely invaluable. You can even both take a lunch break together.

Having human contact even just for a day or so a week will be helpful.

I hope these tips help you as much as they’ve helped me. 

Much love,

Sophie – One Little Happy Thing


One Little Happy Thing

Self Care for Creatives – The Ultimate Guide

Phew! I haven’t written in quite some time! I’ve been just so busy adding to my online shop I haven’t stopped for a moment to do some writing. But that’s going to change. I find writing too therapeutic to give up!

And, whilst working through setting up my Etsy shop it’s got me thinking: I love the practise of self care, but when you’re working for yourself it can be tricky to prioritize.

And so this post was born!

I have to admit, the last couple of months I have been all work and no play, and that has resulted in a total burn out this week.

Yep, a complete burn out.

The week started off really positively, I had a massive order (5 prints to one customer, love them) but then nothing. Tumbleweeds have been blowing through my shop. I know this time of year is quiet, but seriously, this quiet?!

And that resulted in tears, threats of just giving up, job hunting (seriously, I went online and started compiling a list of jobs to apply for!) & eventually sitting in my comfy clothes watching films for an entire day and eating a whole packet of biscuits.

The kind of behaviour which is unhealthy for so many reasons. 

And after talking to some other small business owners, it doesn’t seem I’m alone in this behaviour. The first year of owning a business is the hardest. You have to work hard for those sales, to build a tribe and to make a success.

So, how do we look after ourselves small business owners? Read on!

Self care for creatives

Take regular breaks.

Stop letting yourself work through lunch. Stop waking up early and going to bed late. Just stop for a bit.

What I want you to do is set a timer, and every hour go off and do something else. I like sitting in the garden. Just for 15 minutes break away from the laptop, or whatever WIP you have going on.

And make sure you take time to eat. I worked through my allocated lunch breaks for pretty much a month solid. And look what happened to me. I give myself 30 mins to an hour for my lunch break, which gives me plenty of time to eat and to watch some telly or something.

These breaks give your brain time to replenish and get over the mental onslaught that is the working day!

Have a weekend.

I know, it’s tricky when you’re working for yourself. But give yourself a weekend! This doesn’t mean you can’t do anything during the weekend.

My partner works Sunday-Thursday, so Friday and Saturday is our weekend. We go on adventures, we visit new places, and by Sunday morning I’m full of new ideas and motivation to make my little business work.

This doesn’t mean I completely forget about the business, I just don’t design any new prints. I’m still on social media (Hello cheeky Facebook link, come say hi!) and responding to messages though.

This time is vital for me. This is when some of my best ideas pop into my head. It’s also when my partner gives me some of his best ideas too 😉

Drink plenty of water.

This seems like a really simple and really obvious one, but seriously, drink more water. It’s too easy to work solidly, go off out to the garden, come back and work again, and before you know it it has been 3 hours and you haven’t drunk more than a few sips of water.

Get yourself a lush water bottle and keep it topped up with super cold water. My partner keeps his in the fridge so we always have super cold water to hand.

Letting yourself get a bit dehydrated is so detrimental to your focus and brain power. Water is like the brains lubricant and just keeps everything running smoothly.

Do the things, drink the water.

Find your happy.

You know when you’re feeling quite down in the dumps, and you just need that one thing that without fail cheers you up? Yeah, find that. For me it’s turning off my phone and watching a film, but for you it could be cute cat videos, or playing video games.

Try out a few different things, see what works for you, and when you feel your mood getting a bit low do the happy thing!

I’m also quite partial to funny dog videos, but luckily my big dog Tank is always on hand for a cuddle. That helps.

Get pumped!

When my shop is a bit quiet, I find myself getting really sad and annoyed that my hard work isn’t being noticed, do you get that too?

You know what I find helps: standing in front of the mirror and telling myself that if what I already have isn’t selling that I need to find the next thing. I imagine all the possibilities of being a successful business owner: money, security, freedom. All the things I want.

And these thoughts go into a big cloud in my head which I keep looking at, reminding me of why I’m doing this in the first place.

It is so important to keep looking ahead in business. Yeah, you need to keep a track of how your business has done in the months and years before, but when it comes to innovation and progress forward is the only way!

Find other small business owners to talk to

One of the biggest hurdles I’ve found tricky to overcome since starting working from home is being lonely. I’ve gone from working in an office of around 200 people to just sitting on the sofa with the dog.

It does get lonely.

But, I’ve found a brilliant group of gals on a Facebook networking group. I know if I go to them saying “I feel like sh*t, someone cheer me up” that someone will pop up with some helpful words and a virtual hug.

Find a group like this. I would post a link but I think entries to the group are being severely limited at the moment (because honestly, it’s that good an environment and the admins work hard to keep it that way).


If you have more idea’s on how to look after yourself as a creative business owner then please add them into the comments! Sharing is caring afterall 🙂

Stay strong my small business owners!

Much love,

Sophie – One Little Happy Thing

One Little Happy Thing

How I quit my day job to pursue my dreams… And why you should too.

How I quit my day job to pursue my dream

I have been super quiet on the blogging front for a few weeks now, and there’s a good reason for that! Back at the start of June I quit my boring desk job to pursue my dream. I’ve since set up my Etsy shop and have started designing and selling my own prints!

HOW EXCITING!

Before this point I’d been working in an office environment for 6 years. I left college fresh faced and full of joy at 19, found the office job within a couple of months, and hated it ever since. Not. Good.

Fast forward 6 years. I’d had enough. Although I was working in an admin capacity, more and more work was being lumped on us daily. With no pay rise to match. Can you see why I wanted to leave?

Not only that, my mental health was suffering. I was fast approaching a burn out. Big time. I would cry before leaving for work in the morning, come home and get angry with my partner for absolutely no reason, then go to bed and cry again.

How can people be expected to live like that?!

And how many of you out there do live like that? Society tells us from a young age that we have to go get a job, work 8.5 hours a day, get a mortgage, pop out some kids and then retire to somewhere a bit greener.

But what about those of us who don’t want to live that way?!

I’ve always known from a young age that I don’t want to live the way I’ve been told to. And when I met my partner, a total kindred spirit who also doesn’t give a toot what society tells us we should be doing, it’s like all the pieces fell into place.

So, onto the big question…

How I quit my job to pursue my dream!

Disclaimer: I’m lucky to have a partner who wants nothing but the best for me, and was willing to saddle the burden of being breadwinner for a while. And I don’t mean just a few bills, he pays all of the house bills at the moment. But it can still be done even if you’re financial situation isn’t all that rosy. Read on.

1. Plan ahead!

For a little while we both knew I HAD to leave that job. Initially the plan was to find a part time job to keep us ticking over financially, but finding a part time job is like looking for chickens teeth where we live.

So we set a date for my departure. And we saved a bit of money. Fortunately I already had a substantial savings pot, but if you don’t I would highly recommend having enough money saved to cover your ass for a few months.

We also started getting rid of bills we didn’t need. Bye bye Spotify! Bye bye unnecessary insurance! We didn’t quite get rid of Netflix, just downgraded to their basic package. We don’t bother with a TV license as we don’t watch live TV, so we figured this was a good trade off.

Once you’ve got you’re outgoings to a minimum and saved up a wedge of cash, it’s time for the next step.

2. Hand in your notice.

This step is a surprisingly big one! I know a few people who have handed in their notice, only to retract it a few days later. You need to hand it it.

And do not retract it. No matter how scared you get. 

Quitting a job without another one to go to is terrifying. But you know what? It’s also the most exciting thing you can do in an office! Plus, all of my co-workers would look at me with big dreamy eyes and say “I wish I could do what you’re doing”.

Maybe I should send them all a link to this post?! 😛

 

3. Take time to build your dream idea.

So, you’ve quit your job, you have no source of income but you should have enough money to last you a few months. Now what?

You need to start building on your dream. It doesn’t matter what it is, whether it’s setting up an Etsy shop like me, or becoming a dog walker, or becoming a full time blogger. You need to think it through and have a vision in your head.

My Etsy shop has been an idea I’ve had for a long while. I make woodland and adventure themed home decor. It’s stuff that I would personally buy, and stuff that other people have already started buying.

Without a clear idea in your head of what you want to do, you won’t be able to achieve it. This includes researching your dream idea too. Look at how much other dog walkers charge, or the legality of having an online business.

By the end of your first week of freedom you should have a really well rounded idea of what your dream entails.

4. Just go for it!

It sounds silly, but sometimes people can drag their feet even though they know what needs to be done. Do. Not. Hesitate.

PURSUE YOUR DREAM NOW. 

The longer you hold off from doing it, the more you will hesitate and second guess, and the more likely it is you will start running out of money and have to go find another dull office job.

It took me a while to build up enough designs to create my Etsy shop, but I did it fairly quickly. I knew that if I held off too long I’d just never do it.

And as of writing this I’ve had 18 sales within a month and a half. Ask any other folks setting up their Etsy shops and this isn’t too bad. I mean, it’s not enough to say I’ve earnt a lot of money. But it’s enough to show that I have products people like and are willing to spend money on.

I’ve also found pure excitement in the fact people across the world are buying my products! I’ve had several sales to America, and one to New Zealand. I love it.


I really hope you’ve found some inspiration here to go off and do what makes you happy. I can’t imagine going back to a full time working for the man kind of role again. If I had to, I could do both. But for now running my Etsy shop is the most fulfilling thing.

One Little Happy Thing

As a thankyou for reading please please please head over to my shop and treat yourself to 20% off! Just click the above image and you can go for a browse 🙂

FOMO – the things you need to remember.

If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts you’ll know that I’ve mentioned FOMO (fear of missing out) several times.

But what is FOMO?

FOMO is defined as anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media.

So in a nutshell, it’s that little twinge of jealousy you feel when you see photos of a friend at an awesome looking party, or a family member at the beach, or someone with a cute puppy. And it’s something which if you don’t recognize being a problem, it will consume you.

I don’t make that statement lightly. After doing some pretty extensive googling the facts are a little bit scary. Increased rates of anxiety, depression and body image issues all stem from the dreaded FOMO.

If you are on any social media network I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about, even if you’ve never heard of FOMO before. Like “keeping up with the jones’s” it pushes us to want more, to have better things so that we can take pretty pictures and post them for likes. It also makes us want to go to all of the parties and events for fear that we would miss something amazing and life changing.

But just because you use social media doesn’t mean you have to be a victim to FOMO. Here’s a few things you need to remember every time you feel that twinge. Recognizing and understanding is half way to overcoming.

What you need to know about FOMO

Social media doesn’t represent real life.

This is the crux of the issue. Whatever someone posts to any social media network is the glossy, perfectly lit, perfectly posed version of their life. They are the best bits, with all the negative and less than glamorous parts edited out.

Photos of people laying on golden beaches with perfectly blue skies are aplenty on Facebook. But do you ever see the images of someone peeling their sunburned skin off their dry bits? No, you don’t.

Real life is both beautiful and disgusting. But obviously only the beautiful things are going to get likes and shares and follows. So obviously we’re only going to show the best bits!

It’s important to remember this every time you get that pang of FOMO, or even if you don’t. What I like doing is thinking about what happens two seconds after the photo has been taken, normally that the person posting it has gotten bored and started picking their nose or something equally gross.

No two people enjoy the same things.

I’m the kind of person who would much rather stay in on a Friday night, watch a film with my partner and cuddle our dog. But I know that isn’t for everyone. Much like some people enjoy going out drinking with friends.

And do you know how much flack I get for not being someone who enjoys going out and drinking the night away? The answer is a lot. I’m constantly being told that I’m not living, that I’m acting too old for my age, blah blah blah.

But I digress. Just because you have friends that are posting constant pictures of being out, drinking and partying, doesn’t mean you have to. There is a pressure put on us twenty-somethings to be a little bit wild and carefree, but you don’t have to if it isn’t something you enjoy.

And if it is something you enjoy, then remember not all parties are the same. The photos posted can be misleading at best, everyone could be sat on their phones only looking up to grab another drink. I’ve been to a few parties like this. The photos looked amazing, but sadly the party itself wasn’t.

Comparing yourself to someone else is dangerous.

When someone posts a beautiful selfie on Instagram do you start looking at yourself differently? Do you ask why you can’t look that good? If you do, then stop doing that. The human face is a wonderful thing, and it comes in all sorts of exciting and varying forms.

With the perfect angle and the right filters everyone has the potential to look like a supermodel. But like I’ve said before, it isn’t real life. That person probably doesn’t look like that all the time. And you shouldn’t expect yourself to either.

Comparing yourself to another person is like comparing a rose to a lily. Both are completely different colours, shapes and sizes, but both are equally as perfect and as beautiful. You, yes you lovely reader, are perfect and beautiful.

You know why don’t you? Because you look the exact way you are supposed to. Your ancestors’ genes have all compiled together into this wonderful concoction that is your face, and your body shape, and your hair colour, and every little bit about you.

And do you know what you achieve through comparing yourself to somebody else? Absolutely nothing, apart from feeling a bit worse about yourself. You don’t have to do that to yourself so please stop.

On a side note, this is all being written by someone who was recently told that I’d be a great beauty if I lost some weight. I’m not conventionally beautiful. I am in no way slim. But this is the body and face I’ve got so I’m going to make the most of it!

Avoid. Avoid. Avoid.

It really is a simple fix if you find yourself struggling with FOMO: delete all of the apps, and don’t go on social media for a while. Pick a time scale and stick to it. It could be a day, a week, a month. However long it takes to stop you compulsively checking and comparing.

I found a few years back I’d be impulsively checking my Facebook, and feeling a bit down in the dumps because my life wasn’t as interesting as other people’s. So I took myself off Facebook for 3 days. Its all it took to reset my focus.

I’d suggest to anyone to delete the apps from their phones and tablets, or to at least hide them (I make sure my social media apps aren’t on my home screen) and that way you’re putting yourself out of harm’s way.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, you may be interested to read one of my other posts Why you need a no screen night. For some inspiration on how to break away, also check out 10 things to do on a no screen night.

My ultimate guide to spring time hygge.

Hygge was official buzz word for 2016, and it doesn’t seem like the hype is dying down in 2017 either. You know why that is? Because hygge is something which speaks to all of us. Modern life is hectic and non-stop, and hygge is like the antidote to that.

Hygge is taking a step back and enjoying the smaller things in life. I’ve written a couple of other posts about it How I used Hygge to survive winter and My top ten tips to bring Hygge into your life and since first implementing a touch of hygge to my life, I haven’t actually looked back.

But the thing is with hygge, almost everyone assumes that it is only a winter time thing. Think cuddly blankets, candle light and flickering fires. Probably because it is synonymous with Scandinavia and their well-known harsh winters. But as the season’s changes, so does the way you can bring hygge into your daily life.

Hygge doesn’t translate to anything in particular. It’s a feeling of simple comfort, so why does that have to be restricted to the winter months? Why can’t we feel this way through the whole year? Now that Spring has sprung I’ve been thinking of things we can do to bring the essence of hygge into the sunshine.

My ultimate guide to spring time hygge

1. Invite your friends over for a BBQ.

Buy some charcoal, some booze, some burgers, and have a casual party with your friends. The weather doesn’t have to be particularly amazing because it’s the company which makes up for that (everyone from the UK knows what I’m talking about, if you plan a BBQ guaranteed it will be overcast that day).

One of the main points of hygge is to spend time with people you find comforting. Invite those people around and indulge in simple food and good conversation. BBQ’s, to me, are the most basic and yet most fun way of eating. If I could have a BBQ every night, I probably would. And it’s also fairly healthy. Tonnes of salad, and if you’re a meat eater then at least the fat is dripping out of it.

2. Take your family on a picnic at a country park.

Some of my fondest memories with my family are of family picnics at our local country park. If the sun was shining bright enough my Mum would immediately make 1 million sandwiches, throw us into the car and take us.

Make some of those precious memories with your own family! It doesn’t take much, just a few sandwiches, a bottle of drink and a comfy blanket to sit on. You could even bring some games if you have younger kids which need entertaining.

Again this is about getting back to basics, spending time with the people you love and experiencing the great outdoors. We’re lucky to have a couple of country parks within a 10 minute drive, but if you don’t then plan ahead a bit. It can be done.

3. Read your favourite book on a sun lounger in the garden.

Is there anything better than being outside, hopefully in the sun, and doing pretty much nothing? I don’t think there is. Grab your favourite book and lounge outside reading for a bit.

Even if the weather is pretty chilly I still like doing this. Normally I wear a hoodie and grab a blanket to keep warm, and have a nice drink at hand so I don’t need to move again after getting comfortable.

Hygge isn’t always about spending time with other people. It is just as much about spending time with yourself and being comfortable in your own company. Reading is a perfect way of getting used to spending time alone.

4. Make time for a spring clean.

The dark light of winter hides a multitude of sins when it comes to cleaning, but as soon as the sun light pours in you’ll start noticing those annoying patches of dust in hard to reach areas. Reserve some time to clean the whole house, thoroughly, from top to bottom.

You can also use this time to throw away or donate your unwanted belongings. Give yourself a fresh start and tonnes of space for the new season ahead.

Hygge and minimalism sort of walk hand in hand together. They’re both about living simpler. Nothing could be simpler than a clean uncluttered living space. Embrace the cleaning. Grab yourself some silly rubber gloves and have some fun with it.

I know whenever I get the house completely spick and span (regardless of how long it actually stays that way) it’s like a massive weight lifted from my shoulders.

5. Don’t turn your lights on until the sun has set.

During winter we probably spend more time in artificial light than natural, and it’s not healthy. Even when the light outside is getting dimmer, don’t be tempted to pop on your lights. Open your curtains or blinds wide to let as much light in as possible (the point above also helps as you should have nice clean windows after your spring clean).

Leave it until the last possible moment to switch the lights on. During the height of summer I tend to avoid artificial lights completely, preferring candles if I need it. So long as you can still traverse your house without stubbing your toes, do you really need it?

6. Get some fresh flowers.

Spring, to me, is synonymous with daffodils. My partner knows this and buys me bunches occasionally. But it could be any fresh flowers. It doesn’t have to be a particularly special arrangement either, just whatever you can afford.

Bringing the outdoors indoors is guaranteed to make the room feel brighter and more natural. Hygge is also so much about getting back into nature, and what easier way is there than to bring nature indoors as well!

7. Put up some solar lights in the garden.

I love my garden. We have 8 foot walls around 2 sides, with a small fence separating us and the neighbours. It needs work, but now the weather is getting better we’re going to start on it. And the first thing we are going to do is hang solar lights across the walls.

You can get really awesome solar lights on strings which you can hang either on the walls or running across the garden, and they look spectacular (our neighbours actually have some and so have inspired us, thanks neighbours!).

Instantly the garden at night time goes from being dark and uninviting to comfy and special. Twinkling string lights have a hint of magic to them. And I love it.

8. Keep your fruit bowl well stocked.

Winter hygge is all about comfortable stews, mashed potatoes and dumplings. Spring hygge is all about fresh fruit and vegetables, simple cooking and nothing heavy.

Make sure your fruit bowl is always well stocked, and your vegetable drawer full. If you make sure they’re always to hand you will always have a nice healthy snack available.

Salads are also the best meal for when the weather starts getting warmer. Who wants to eat something heavy when you’re sweating? Not me. A salad accompanied with either your favourite meat or falafels is perfect.


 Hopefully you’ve found some inspiration for bringing hygge into spring with you. Let me know in the comments how you get on!

How to cope with feeling unappreciated.

I’m in a pretty rubbish situation at the moment with regards to work. I’m stuck in an office job which doesn’t inspire me, and to be quite frank I feel unappreciated most days. This obviously isn’t good for my overall sense of well being.

We’ve recently had a pay review, and I consider myself a hard worker. I don’t enjoy the job but I put everything I have into doing as much as possible, to the highest possibly quality. The pay review does not reflect this. Pretty tricky to get over working at full pelt and then not getting the appreciation you feel you deserve for it.

But, like everything negative which happens in my life, I’m trying to use this as a learning curve. How can I turn this negative situation into a positive? How can I use these feelings to grow as a human being and become better for it?

This doesn’t necessarily have to be with regards to work either. How many times in your personal life do you feel that someone doesn’t completely appreciate what you do for them? It could be your parents, your partner, your friends. It happens a lot.

But luckily I think it can be pretty easy to overcome. Obviously the spectrum of emotion is massive, and you’ll never stop feeling it, but you can learn how to cope with these feelings and turn them into something positive within your life!

How to cope with feeling unappreciated

Do it for you.

Whatever it is that you’re doing, don’t do it for someone else. Do it for you. In this way your sense of achievement isn’t reliant on how someone else reacts to whatever you have done. You won’t be waiting for somebody else to say “Good job” and give you a pat on the back, you can do that yourself.

Set yourself a goal, and achieve it. Internally you can give yourself a big high five, maybe even give yourself a little treat for doing it. But do it all for you. I’m an absolutely huge fan of To Do lists, make yourself one and feel great about everything you tick off.

Stop caring what other people think.

This is such a massive thing. Being empathetic is brilliant, caring about other people is wonderful, but caring about how they perceive you is pointless.

If you stop caring what your boss thinks of you, you won’t be trying to compete with your colleagues to be the best on the team. I know this is difficult for purely commission based jobs, but you can try it.

Instead of focusing on what they think, you can focus on the task at hand, whether it be creating a spreadsheet under a deadline or doing the hoovering before your Mum comes round for dinner. It is applicable across so much of your life.

And it does strongly link to the previous tip. At first glance it can seem selfish, but it’s not. There is a fine line between self care and self obsession, but with the right tools and advice you can learn to tread that line perfectly.

Take a step back.

So many times I find myself getting far too involved in my work. I have a really high work ethic and I like everything to be totally perfect 100% of the time. But this isn’t practical.

By taking a step back from the situation you’re in you can look at it from an outside perspective. You can see clearly what is actually required of you and can formulate a plan to tackle this.

By doing this you’re also making yourself less personally invested in what you are doing. You can think about things more pragmatically and any response back to what has happened won’t feel as personal. You’re much less likely to feel like you’re unappreciated if you’re not emotionally invested in the task at hand.

Express the fact that you feel unappreciated.

This is relevant for work and personal life. If you’ve tried all the above steps and still feeling unappreciated then you need to vocalize that. It may be that the other people involved are completely unaware of this.

People are not mind readers. If you don’t tell people how you feel how are they supposed to know? It’s completely justified that if you feel unappreciated you should tell the other parties involved that you feel this way, and why you feel this way.

Talking about emotions can be a minefield. Intentions can be misconstrued, but if you discuss your feelings rationally and without judgement everyone will end up feeling better. I’m sure if someone told you that they felt you didn’t appreciate what they did for you, you would possible feel a little upset with yourself about that.

By discussing how you feel openly you’re creating an honest dialogue. It could be that they don’t feel your contribution was significant to warrant any gratitude, but that they will work harder to make you feel appreciated in the future.

Just make sure you don’t get upset, and never personally attack another person for your own emotions. That’s a sure fire way to cause an argument. No one wants that.

Walk away.

If all else fails and you cannot get to a point where you feel comfortable with your situation, leave it. You don’t have to work with a company who doesn’t appreciate what you do. Much like you don’t have to stay with a partner who doesn’t appreciate your efforts.

I know this is a pretty strong response, but if you can honestly say you have tried everything else to deal with how you’re feeling, then what other action can you take? Feeling unappreciated is a pretty glum place to be emotionally. You have a right to feel like what you do is worth something.

This is something I’m strongly considering in my work life. It’s not easy leaving a job, especially if you’ve been there a number of years, but when it comes to your long term happiness I consider that a small hurdle to jump. Wish me luck in the comments guys.

Why you need words to live by.

What are words to live by?

Words to live by are phrases, mantras and affirmations which hold greater meaning to you. It can be anything. A quote from another person, a line from a book, proverbs, whatever.

These words should inspire you to be better, do better and improve your life. They should strike a chord with what you already believe or feel, and enhance those beliefs. They should also make you think deeper about your current situation, your life style choices and pretty much anything which happens in your life.

These words are not a fixed thing in your life. They can chop and change dependent on what is happening at any moment in your life. When you’re feeling down they could be something which pulls you up. If you’re feeling unmotivated they could inspire you to make a great change in your life.

Why you need words to live

Why you need to find your words to live by

The power of words is highly underrated. Reading something positive, inspiring or empowering has an impact on the way you feel. Read something uplifting and you’ll be inspired to be more than you are. Read something negative and you will start questioning your life and your decisions.

Words also have the power to inspire you to make great changes in your life, if you let them. They can sow a seed of brilliance in your mind and through a bit of nurturing your life could end up being massively different because of it.

Personally I like surrounding myself with these words. I have a board dedicated to this on my Pinterest. I also like creating my own art work incorporating some magical words. There is something about mixing together art and words that really gets my blood pumping.

Particularly when times get tricky I find solace in words and inspiration on how to move forward. This self help blog and many many others are brilliant sources for inspiration on how to get through those tricky moments in life.

My words to live by.

My favourite quote is “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds”. It’s an old Mexican proverb. It is powerful and wonderful. Being a typical Brit I love an underdog, and this makes me think of the struggles we all face against the nameless higher figures who try and tell us how we should be living.

I’m also a bit of a feminist, and this quote was used at a rally in London not so long ago. It speaks volumes to the feminist part of my identity, the oppressed vs the oppressors, and how the oppressed will grow through this.

However, this may not mean anything to you. Words are personal. For some they have no meaning, for other’s they can mean the world. You need to find the words which mean the most to you, and surround yourself with them. Immerse yourself into their meaning, the connotations attached and the images they inspire in your head.

Finding your words to live by.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a fantastic resource when it comes to finding inspirational, motivational and uplifting quotes, all set on beautiful backgrounds and incorporated into products. Create a board and pin some of your favourites.

The wonderful thing with Pinterest is that once it knows what you like, it will show you more similar things. So, the more quotes you pin the more it will show you. Like a big snowball effect. Guaranteed you’ll find something which speaks to you.

And if you don’t it’s almost like a limitless resource. Something will eventually pop up, so you just need to stick with it. I find a lot of the quotes on there can be a little samey, but wade through the rubbish and there are some gems.

Films, books, songs.

Think of your favourite song. Is there a particular line in it which says something to you? I love Everlong by the Foo Fighters. There is one particular line which goes “Breathe out so I can breathe you in” which I love.

Any sort of writing is a good resource for finding something which speaks to you. I can think of all my favourite books and films and think of a few quotes from each which mean something deeper to me, and I’m sure if you think about it there’s probably a few out there for you too.

Write your own.

Can’t find anything on Pinterest? Nothing inspiring you from your favourite song? Write something for yourself!

It’s not too difficult to create your own mantra. Think about what is the most important aspect. Do you want it to be about growth, or change, or motivation, or faith? There is an endless list of possibilities, but whatever matters to you at this moment in time is what you should be writing about.

If you’re struggling to find the words then google synonyms for what you want, and you may be able to make anything you write sound a little more beautiful.

Let me know what your words to live by are in the comments. I’d love some new inspiration!

Why you need a happy space… And how to create one.

(This post contains affiliates links, see my a full disclosure on my About page. I may receive a small commission for any link to Amazon. Any purchase you make helps support me write and provide this content.)

In 2016 my partner and I moved into a lovely new home. It has everything we possibly need. Not tonnes of rooms, not a huge garden, it’s all just enough for our needs and we couldn’t be happier. One of the rooms I love the most is the spare room, aka my craft room.

Up until recently the craft room has been a bit of a dumping ground: it still had items from when we moved, plus my partner has been crafting us a coffee table in there. So up until now it has been pretty much a no-go zone.

But that is no more.

I’ve been thinking a lot about happy spaces. During times of trouble we’re told to go to our happy place, normally mentally, but I’ve been thinking about making this an actual thing.

And I genuinely think this is important. Our time is spread out so thin going from work, to friends houses, to families houses. There should be a retreat for us when we need to get away.

So the craft room is now going to be our (mainly my) happy place.

But why do I need one? As previously stated it’s good to have a place to go to when times get tough.

Much like we go on holiday to get away from the daily grind, we should have space in our home to go to when we need a break.

It doesn’t have to be much space at all. I’m quite partial to a reading nook with comfy chairs and book shelves. Or if you have more space you could create a den complete with cinema, comfy cushions and loads of fluffy blankets.

The world is your oyster. But I think you owe it to yourself to carve out space for yourself. Treat yourself as you would a friend or a loved one and create your own special bubble.

Why you need a happy space and how to create one

First things first!

Think of a style which brings you joy. For me I love nordic functionality mixed with a bit of retro 30’s and 50’s styling, but brought back to the modern day with bright colours. I’m a very complicated human being! But I’ve settled on comfort with functionality for the time being.

But think about what style makes you feel most at home. Afterall, this will be your own happy space, you need to make it personal to you. Check out my Pinterest Home Decor board for some inspiration.

Second things second!

Now is time to think about whether you need to actually paint your space, or whether you can leave as is. If you need to paint, get testing and get it done. If not, hurray for you! Luckily the walls in my space are pretty plain so I plan on jazzing it up with accessories and furniture.

Also, we lived in a rented property so painting is pretty much banned from our house. Which is a shame. But at least we have a blank canvas to work from.

The important bit…

Now, these are just the things I’ve been thinking about when it comes to making this happy space work. But you have to think what would make you happiest. Could it be just a comfy chair and a pile of books? Or do you prefer sleek modernism with straight lines and white walls?

Every bit of this is personal, but hopefully from the below tips you can start cultivating your own ideas.


Organised chaos.

I’m a messy person by nature. I can’t help but collect clutter, and leave things exactly where they’re not supposed to be. But I’m going to try and change that with this room.

My partner made me an awesome craft table, and we also have a side board in there. The table is my desk space, for my laptop and also for any paints, pens etc. I have laying around (which unsurprisingly there is quite a lot of). The sideboard is storage, space to put my wool (any other knitters out there?!) and other random things.

The aim is to make sure once something has been used it is then put away. I’m still in the process of packing everything into it’s place at the moment but it’s good to have the goal in mind at the beginning.

Plenty of pictures.

When I went to college I studied photography and am completely obsessed with keeping photos of friends and family out on display. It’s comforting to look at.

Recently I celebrated my birthday and a couple of friends bought me some photos in nice frames which now have pride of place on the side board.

Last year another friend also drew me a picture of Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal in the TV series and my number 1 man crush) which is also hanging on the wall. There are other various pieces of art dotted around too. And hopefully I’ll be adding my own art work to it shortly!

Comfy seating.

At the moment we have an old under counter chair for my desk seating and a ginormous beanbag which my Mum bought me for Christmas. If it was any bigger I’d used it for the desk chair, but luckily my partner gets to sit on it and read his book whilst I work. It is genuinely the most comfortable beanbag ever, tonnes of beans and a soft slightly fluffy bag. Very nice.

I also intend on buying a much more comfortable desk chair, but that’s on a shopping list for a day far off in the future once I get tired of the under counter stool.

Soft lighting.

I’ve written a couple of posts about hygge. How I used Hygge to survive winter and My top ten tips to bring Hygge into your life. Both are posts you should read. I like to bring hygge into every room that I change.

One of the essentials for hygge is soft lighting. I’m lucky as the window catches the sunset, but I also have some tea lights dotted around, and fully intend on getting some fairy lights to drape around the ceiling. I love these ones which have flowers as well. They look so dainty and inviting, like bringing a little bit of magic into a room. We have some very similar to this in our bedroom which I absolutely love.

Room for two.

Now, as much as I want to keep this space all for myself, considering my partner pays half the rent I think he has as much right to it as I do. We’ve already considered his seating needs, but he also has a collection of knives which we want to display.

I’m seriously considering buying a run down bit of furniture and upcycling, but at the moment I’m still not really sure where to start. If anyone knows of any amazing upcycling resources please share them in the comments, I need to know!


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The easy way to find your passion in life.

Having something in your life which you are passionate is important for several reasons: it will keep you going through the tough times, it will motivate you to improve yourself in many ways and it will have a positive effect on the people around you too.

But it’s not easy finding something to be passionate about.

Modern life is difficult. It can feel like we’re being pushed from pillar to post and forced into a little mould. But finding something to get passionate about will set you apart.

I’m currently the grand old age of 25, and until recently I wasn’t really sure what my passion in life was. I studied photography at college and thought that may be, but that fizzled out when I realised trying to make a living from it was damaging my happiness. Then it was horror films which I thought were my passion, but now I realize as much as I love horror films, I don’t want to spend all day everyday watching them.

But then a few months ago I decided to start blogging again. I originally started this blog as a way of coping through a tricky time in my life. It never gained much ground and I soon forgot about it. But I decided to come back.

And since then, I think I can say I have definitely found my passion: writing. I love writing. I love thinking about things to write. I love researching for something I’m interested in.

And by a lot of standards I’ve found my passion fairly young. Some don’t realise what really motivates them until they’re retired. But that’s not a problem. Finding your passion is the most important thing, not when.

So, I’ve been thinking about ways which the process of finding it could be broken down into manageable chunks to give those of you who are still searching a better idea of how to find it.


The easy way to find your passion

Introvert or extrovert?

Whether you are more introverted or extroverted is important to narrowing down what you may be passionate about. Introverted people tend to prefer lone tasks, like writing or general crafting. However extroverted people tend to prefer team endeavours, like sports or public speaking.

Are you a sitter or a mover?

Would you rather spend 6 hours sitting at your desk tapping away at the keyboard, or go for a 10 mile hike through the wilderness? Regardless of whether you are introverted or extroverted this is another super important question.

If you prefer solitary stationary pursuits then something craft based probably is for you. If you like being around people and moving around then sports would be for you. Now, there will be cross overs. Being an introvert but loving to move means something like hiking would be perfect. Being extroverted but enjoying sitting still could mean maybe cooking then hosting a dinner party after?

Do you want to create?

Arts and crafts is such a massively broad genre of hobbies and one that is increasingly popular. Narrow this down first. If you want to create things then immediately you know you need to start looking into hobbies based around the arts, whether that be crochet, writing, cooking or upcycling.

If creating isn’t for you, then maybe people are more your jam. You could consider volunteer work, joining a sports league or maybe even creating a group effort with some friends if you share some similar interests.

Not keen on either of those ideas? It would be that both creating and being around people isn’t really for you. Consider hiking, outdoors swimming, maybe even dog walking if you like animals.

Try things out!

So you’ve narrowed it down slightly, you know whether you want to be alone or with other people, and whether you want to be sat down for it or moving. Now, you’ve gotta try things out.

Pinterest is a fantastic source for hobby ideas, and I’ve written another post 101 hobby ideas for people who have no idea. Check it out and find 3 things that you might enjoy. Then make time in your diary to try each out.

You will know immediately if the hobby you’ve tried is for you. You’ll enjoy it. And be thinking about when you can do it again.


Hopefully after going through these steps you should have an idea of what kind of thing you may be interested in, with some ideas of things to try aswell. I’d love to hear in the comments if you’ve found something to be passionate about after reading through this post!


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