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10 night time affirmations for a better nights sleep

10 night time affirmations for a better nights sleep

Affirmations can have a profound effect on our mental well being. How often do you find yourself saying negative words to yourself? It is too easily done. Change that around and say something positive to yourself.

Similar to my previous post 10 morning affirmations for a more positive day I wanted to focus on things you should say to yourself before getting into bed every night. Things which could put you into the right mindset for a peaceful sleep.

Sleep is really important for our mental well being. A rubbish sleep can truly ruin the next day, so it is super important you do what you can to combat this.

These don’t need to be said out loud, you could say them in front of the mirror or just to yourself in your head. I personally choose to think them in my head whilst in bed. But make your own routine, do what works for you.


1. Today has been good.

It doesn’t need to have been a great day, just good will do. Say these words to yourself and think about the elements of your day which have been positive. It could be something large, or something small like a beautiful sky. Take a moment to focus on these positives.

2. Tomorrow will also be good.

Again, it doesn’t need to be great. I’m a firm believer that positivity stems from realism and not expecting everything from life. The more you expect the more pressure you put on yourself to achieve something which may not be attainable. Look forward to the next day with the same expectancy you had for the previous day. Look forward to those good aspects.

3. I have achieved something today.

Whether your day has been stressful or fairly relaxed, think about your achievements. Again, these could be small or large. Don’t put pressure on yourself for those achievements to have been large. Some day’s my only achievement has been to wake up and get on with things. It really doesn’t have to be much.

4. I will not worry.

Don’t dwell on the inconveniences of the day, or any larger worries which may be clouding your thoughts. Roll all of those worries up into a little ball and put them aside to think about after you’ve rested. Sleep is the time our brains need to process different emotions so you won’t be surprised that in the morning that ball of worry will be a lot smaller, maybe even gone completely.

5. I accept what tomorrow will offer.

You’ve already affirmed that tomorrow will be a good day, now it is time to tell yourself to accept this. Opening yourself up to the possibilities of a new day will hopefully get you excited for what the next day has to offer. Thinking ahead is always better than looking back.

6. I will accept myself tomorrow.

Not every day is perfect. As much as we can try and put a positive spin on everything it is more important to accept what happens. And most importantly you should accept yourself. You cannot be perfect, and you shouldn’t even strive to be. You should strive to be exactly who you are, and accept yourself whatever that may be.

7. I will wake up on the right side of the bed.

How many times have you woken up in a bad mood? I know I’ve had my fair share of mornings like that, but put it in your head that tomorrow won’t be one of those days. Set yourself up before the night even begins for a much more positive start to the next day.

8. My dreams are important.

Sleep is essential, without it we would go completely crazy. Our dreams are a time for our brains to process information from the day, and to prepare for the following day. Dreams are important. Accept that.

9. I will leave today in the past.

You need to accept that the day has happened and there is nothing you can do to change anything. No point dwelling on it.

10. Tomorrow is a new day.

Following on from number 9, every morning is a fresh start, that’s something to look forward to right? Think of all the new experiences tomorrow has to offer. Looking forward is much more productive than looking back.


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The Sunday Schedule – My Top 10 Tips for an Awesome Week

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10 tips for a more awesome week

I’ve been thinking a lot about Sundays recently. Usually this is the laziest day of my week. I wake up late, watch a film with my mum, then return home to do nothing but sit on my bum and watch TV until bed time.

But this is such a waste of time! We only get a certain amount of free time every week to get things done. So I’ve been thinking of things which could specifically be done on a Sunday to make the rest of the week awesome.

As is my mantra, these are small things you can do to make a big difference. Not just organizational, but also to put you in a better mind set for the week ahead.

1. Check your calendar.

This is essential for the Sunday schedule. You need to be prepared for what the week has to offer. Make sure you check out your calendar and remind yourself of any big plans you have. The amount of times I’ve almost forgotten birthdays and social events because I haven’t checked my calendar is unbelievable. Doing this on a Sunday gives you time to run out and buy gifts, organize baby sitters, essentially just get yourself prepared.

2. Plan your meals.

I’ve got a weekday planner (similar to this one), and on a Sunday my partner and I sit down and write out the dinners we’ll be having all week. Doing this on a Sunday means we have time to also make sure we have all the ingredients available. Having a plan also means you’re less likely to order a takeaway or cook something unhealthy, saving you money and keeping you nourished. It’s a win win.

3. Prepare your meals.

So, you’ve got your meals planned, now is time to prepare as much as possible. I’ve read a lot of log posts about prepping all meals; breakfast lunch and dinner, then freezing or refrigerating until using. Seriously, go looking on Pinterest, there’s so much you can make beforehand, in bulk, then freeze. I cooked up so much soup last weekend I now have a freezer full! It’s a great way of saving time during the week, but it does take up a lot of your Sunday hours. Do as much as you can, you’ve got your weekday planner to fall back on if you don’t get as much done as hoped.

4. Change and wash your bedsheets.

Is there anything better than getting into a bed with fresh bedsheets? No, no there isn’t. Make this your Sunday treat, fresh bed linen. Making sure your bedsheets are washed the same day also ensures you don’t have to wash them the following Sunday before changing them. Going to bed will be a more exciting prospect. You won’t feel half as dreary about Monday.

5. Organize your outfits.

This saves time and stress every morning for me. I’m not exactly fashion conscious and tend to wear the same clothes week in week out, but I throw the outfits onto a hanger and keep them separate from my other clothes in the wardrobe. This way I don’t have to think about it in the morning. You’ll be surprised how much time it does actually save you in the mornings, especially if you also have little ones to run around after.

6. Pamper yourself.

Take some time out to focus on you. Have a bath, wash your hair, put on a facemask, and relax. This couldn’t be better for your sense of wellbeing and sets you up for a much more chilled out start to the week. Self care is important for your state of mind, don’t forget about it just because it doesn’t really like the most productive thing to be doing.

7. Yoga time.

Yoga is the best. Seriously, it is. Do some stretches and aim for about 30 minutes. New to this? There are tonnes of tutorials out there for beginners. I have a Pinterest board dedicated to yoga, and I’d highly suggest checking out YogaWithAdrienne on Youtube. She’s my favourite as her videos are instructional, easy to follow and she has videos catered to any need you may have. Yoga is brilliant for relaxing your muscles, and the focus on breathing and being grounded will clear your head.

8. Do something creative.

Get your creative juices flowing in preparation for the week ahead! Take up a new hobby, knitting, paper craft, or painting: whatever makes you happy. You could even DIY something for your home or a loved one, enjoy spending some time being artistic. Again, Pinterest is a brilliant source for finding small crafts to try at home.

9. Talk to yourself in the mirror.

You talkin’ to me? Just kidding. This sounds like a weird one, but give it a try. Tell yourself this week is going to be awesome, you’re going to make the most of every second and achieve something. It doesn’t have to be anything specific, pump yourself up. Words have more power than we release.

10. Go to bed early.

Something I always struggle with, but make sure on a Sunday night you get into bed nice and early. Starting the week refreshed will set you up better. I always make sure I’m in bed by 10 o’clock on a Sunday night, but choose a time for you so you can ensure a full 8 hours of rest. You’ll feel a lot better on Monday morning for it.

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The art of Fika

the art of fika

Fika basically means “to have coffee”. It’s a concept widespread across Sweden and Finland, similar to afternoon tea in the UK, where you meet with loved ones, have a cup of coffee with a pastry or a cake. In Sweden pastries are called fikabröd, literally meaning fika bread.

Fika breaks are common place across Sweden with many workplaces having 2 throughout the day. It’s a good time for colleagues to get together, chat and relax. Not to dissimilar to a tea break across the UK, however it does generally include eating something, whether it be a pastry, a sandwich or even some fruit.

As this isn’t a concept which has managed to reach other parts of the world as of yet you may think that bringing fika into your daily life could be a struggle, but with some minor adaptations to your day it could be achieved.

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Fika can be broken down into 3 main parts: a drink, something to eat, and a break from your daily routine. These are essential.

The Drink

Traditionally this is coffee, but it doesn’t have to be. I really dislike coffee but a cup of tea is a perfect substitute for me. Consider your options: what do you have available and what do you really want. If you’re in a café the world is your oyster but if you’re at home or at work you could be limited in your selection. Pick the beverage which you can see yourself enjoying.

The Food

It is commonplace to enjoy fika with a pastry, biscuits or cinnamon bun, but if you’re like me and trying to maintain/lose some weight, this may not be the right option for you. Consider having a lighter snack such as a piece of fruit, or maybe even a small sandwich or wrap.

The Break

This, for me, is the most important element to fika. It is a purposeful way of removing yourself from work and enjoying a short amount of time with friends, family or colleagues. We all know taking a break is good for our mental wellbeing: it gives us time to process information and lower the amount of stress we put on our brains. It’s also a good way of building, strengthening and maintaining the bonds we have with other people. We’ve all been there, we’ve lost track of time and before you know it we haven’t spoken to our closest friends for days, weeks or (if you’re like me) months. Use this as an opportunity to get back in touch.

There are so many ways of bringing a touch of fika into our lives. It doesn’t have to be a daily occurrence if you really can’t manage it. It could be a weekly treat. A weekly fika treat.

If you work and have allocated breaks, consider spending one of these breaks with another colleague. Have a chat about work and your personal lives. This is a prime time to build a bond with someone you otherwise may only see during working hours. Bring in some pastries or biscuits, put the kettle on and sit down for a chat.

Outside of work you could maybe organize a weekly fika break with friends. Make an occasion out of it! Get together at your favourite coffee shop and shoot the breeze. Remove yourselves from your general day to day activities and have a break with friends.

Fika is a fun concept and I hope you take some inspiration from it. My plan is to bring some fika into my Sunday routine. Let me know how you get on!

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My top tips to bring lagom into your life

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Wait, whats lagom?

The culture wave of hygge is finally starting to settle, and in it’s wake we’re learning about all new aspects of Scandinavian culture. Lagom is a Swedish word which means just the right amount. It is not too much, not too little. No excess, no deprivation. Everything in moderation. Its a principal which could be used across so many different aspects of your life. And that’s what makes it so interesting.

Lagom could be a game changer for so many people when it comes to simplifying and improving their lifestyle. Scandinavian countries always fair well in the world happiness report, Denmark winning out again for 2016, and there are so many reasons for this. The principle of lagom is one of them, Scandinavian countries aren’t well known for their consumerism, preferring a modest lifestyle instead. This is also one of the many many reasons I love them. So far I’ve only been lucky enough to visit Norway, which was one of the most spectacularly beautiful places I’ve visited. The above photo was taken on my trip there, stunning right? Maybe I’ll be lucky and get a chance to visit the rest of them sometime soon. But I digress…

Here’s just some ways you could bring the spirit of Lagom into your life.

Your Home

  • An uncluttered home is a lagom home. Everything should have purpose, and if it doesn’t then maybe it’s time to get rid!
  • Do you really need anymore books, or cushions, or ornaments? Stop buying and enjoy what you already have.
  • When friends or family are visiting don’t be tempted to show off your home, let them enjoy the space.
  • Keep it neat and tidy, but do you really need to be able to eat your dinner out of the toilet bowl? Probably not.
  • Got 3 wardrobes full of clothes? You know what I’m going to suggest. Keep only the clothes which you wear regularly and donate the rest to charity, sell them on ebay, or give away to friends and family.
  • Have space in your home for family photos. Don’t plaster the walls in them, pick your favourites and hang them proudly.
  • Same goes for art work. Don’t be tempted to cover every inch in beautiful pictures. They will look all the more beautiful for having space to be beautiful.
  • Don’t leave your home spartan though, it is your home, your personality should be evident from those key pieces you choose to display.

Your Diet

  • Don’t be tempted to over eat. Listen to your stomach. Leftovers can easily be stored and eaten the next day.
  • On the flip side, don’t leave yourself hungry for hours just because it’s not a meal time. Enjoy a light healthy snack to keep you going.
  • Moderation is key. Fancy a piece of cake? Have a piece of cake, just not every day.
  • Carry water with you, you don’t want to leave yourself thirsty for extended amounts of time.
  • Ask yourself before eating: “Does my body really need that?”. If the answer is no then step away and go for something else.
  • You can’t be too tough on yourself for the occasional binge. Just accept that it happened and say to yourself “not again”. I find actually thinking the word lagom when eating sweets stops me from eating too many.

Your work

  • Don’t take on too much, know your limits and stick to them.
  • Don’t do too little, procrastinating literally doesn’t achieve anything, be pro-active and don’t put anything off.
  • Work your allocated hours and then leave. If your shift finishes at 5pm, leave at 5pm, don’t stay longer. Unless you’re asked to, in which case consider it if you real up to it. Some days I don’t mind doing the extra work, other days I make sure I’m out the door before they get a chance to ask.
  • Take your lunch break. Have a real break. Get completely away from the work environment if possible.
  • Appreciate that your manager, boss, co-workers all work at their own levels and you shouldn’t feel the need to compete. Know you’re own work levels and don’t draw comparison to anybody else.

Your social life

  • Seeing friends is great. Make time for those people you love, go out for dinner, go to the cinema, just go for a walk together.
  • Know you don’t always have to say yes. If you really don’t feel like spending time with them you don’t have to!
  • Sometimes the best nights are the ones which go on until the early hours of the next day. Sometimes they’re the ones that end at 8pm. Listen to your body, it’ll tell you which one it is, and don’t feel bad for cutting plans short.
  • If your friends have organized an event which really isn’t for you, don’t feel bad for not going. You don’t have to do things you don’y enjoy.

Your spending

  • Do you really need that? If the answer is no, don’t get it.
  • Allocate money for the occasional splurge. Life without any sort of excess would be highly boring. I let myself have one special treat every month, and since doing this I’ve saved quite a bit.
  • Give to charity. It’ll give you a little boost and the charity will appreciate it. Consider signing up to a monthly payment plan. Pick something you believe in and you won’t miss the money.
  • Set a budget and stick to it. But don’t be too harsh on yourself if you don’t manage, budgets are tricky and for the first few months can be a struggle. Give yourself a break.
  • Before borrowing any money consider if what you want to buy is essential or not. Sometimes borrowing money is necessary, and sometimes its not. Don’t weigh yourself down with unnecessary debt. It’s a burden you don’t have to carry.

The above list isn’t exhaustive. Lagom is a principle, a way to consider every decision you make in your life. When making a decision think about the overall effect it may have, living a much more simple life is brilliant, I know from experience. Steer clear from the unnecessary. Think lagom.

How to plan the perfect mini break

How to plan the perfect mini break

Mini breaks are fantastic. My partner and I have recently returned from a visit to the Lake District and we are both feeling so much better for it. The wind was howling, we stayed at a cottage completely in the middle of nowhere (single track roads down steep hills, over stone bridges, right in the heart of the countryside, perfect) and walked until we couldn’t feel our legs anymore. For us deciding on a place to visit was easy: we both enjoy the outdoors, aren’t massive people people and live in the UK. There are so many spectacular secluded destinations all within a few hours drive, however it got me to thinking: how does someone plan the perfect mini break? How do we make the most of those precious few days away? So I’ve decided to put a little list together outlining some of the things I did, and wished I had done.

Selecting a destination.

This one can be difficult. Are you a fan of big cities or secluded villages? Do you enjoy fine restaurants or pub grub? Do you want to stay in your own country or travel abroad? Think about the things you enjoy and would like to make the most of over the course of a few days. The essence of a mini break is for it to be only a few days long, possibly a long weekend. We travelled on the Friday and returned on the Monday, not much time to make the most of anywhere. However we knew straight away the Lake District was for us, but if you prefer more hustle and bustle maybe consider a city break. I’d highly suggest checking out Groupon and Wowcher as you can get some fairly decent deals so long as you are flexible with your times and dates.

Find out whats on offer

Once you’ve selected your destination you pretty much need to check out TripAdvisor. This lists almost everything in that area which you may want to visit: restaurants, attractions, museums, art galleries, cafes. The list is endless. You can also check out hotels and B&Bs and can sometimes get pretty good deals for accommodation. Overall its the top website to check out when visiting some place new as it also features customer reviews. I’m an avid user and always make sure to leave reviews of places when I come back, even if it is somewhere local. This knowledge is invaluable to other people who make be thinking of paying that establishment a visit. Just bare in mind the internet can be a callous place and sometimes there is more at play when reading a negative review. I always think how the establishment responds to negative criticism is more telling than the negative review itself.

Packing your suitcase.

You’ve selected a destination, booked your dates, now all thats left is to pack! Make a list, and check it twice. Is there anything worse than unpacking at your chosen destination and finding no toothbrushes in your carry case? Don’t be that person! I always make a list and tick off as I pack. And I always take an extra pair of pants, socks and trousers. You never know what may happen! Another thing to consider is groceries. Is it self catering? Then make sure you take essentials like tea, coffee, milk and bread. Also, always take a loo roll with you, you just never know!

If you only have a small carry case/rucksack and are struggling to fit everything in, I have a top tip for you: don’t fold your clothes, roll them. I fold in half once, then roll them as tight as possibly into a cylinder. I also do this with the towels and flannels, and can fit a surprising amount into one bag. When visiting Dublin with a friend I managed to fit enough clothes and toiletries for 4 days in quite a small rucksack. Save your space, roll your clothes!

Travelling to your destination.

All you have left now is to get there! Plan ahead. If you are travelling abroad, get to the airport with tonnes of time to spare. Either stay at a hotel nearby the night before or travel up with at least 2 hours to spare. If you are driving, then add an hour onto your driving time to take into account breaks. Our trip to the Lake District was four hours, I was driving and foolishly I decided I wanted to get there with minimal breaks. During that four hour drive we stopped once for 10 minutes. What. A. Mistake. By the time we reached our cottage I was exhausted and had to sleep for an hour, wasting precious time. After tedious motorway driving I was also cranky and hadn’t eaten properly the whole time. Don’t be a fool like me, make the journey itself part of the break! Pack a picnic and stop every hour or so. It doesn’t have to be the boring part before the fun begins. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous you could plan other places to visit on the journey. Make the most of it.

Enjoy your mini break!

This is a pretty big one. Spend your days away doing what you enjoy, whether it be on your own, with a partner or with friends/family. Make the most of your time away, wake up every morning smiling and looking forward to your time ahead. Little bit of dust in the place you’re staying? So what! Unless the cleanliness levels are complete abysmal don’t let it detract from your stay! The cottage we stayed in was part of a converted farmhouse, wooden beams, the lot. This also meant a little bit of dust. Did we care? No! Everything which needed to be clean, was clean. And it was more of a base camp for us whilst we went out and explored the local area. My point is to not let the little things build up and become big issues. You have the power to put a positive spin on any negative thing that happens, so do that. And you’ll feel all the better for it.

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I hope these tips have been of some use, please let me know if you’re planning your own mini break soon! My partner and I are off to Devon next month for a few days staying in Combe Martin, and you can be sure I’ve already checked out tonnes of things to do on TripAdvisor. Enjoy your break!

My top ten tips to bring Hygge into your life

(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.)

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Hygge: the danish word which describes a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being. As it isn’t directly translated into a specific word it can be difficult to pin down what is hygge and what isn’t hygge, but the general consensus is that hygge is a feeling, a warm glow in your belly, contentment within what you have. Because of this hygge can be a very personal affair; what one person considers comfort could be the complete opposite of another’s. But there do seem to be some basics everyone can agree upon. Below I’ve listed the top ten tips I have for bringing hygge into your life, and how you could possibly personalize these and make hygge your own.

1. Candlelight

One of the very basic things you can do is light some candles. Big ones, smalls ones, it doesn’t matter. Turn off the artificial lights and sit by candle light. My personal favourite’s have wooden wicks so you also get the gentle crack and pop of burning wood, just like these ones here. A take on this could be to also have a bonfire! Who doesn’t love toasting marshmallows on a stick? This is also ties in to some of the following tips!

2. Spend more time in nature

Go for a walk to the park. Plan a day trip to a forest. Sit in your garden and enjoy a bonfire. In Scandinavia being outdoors is part of their way of life, it is ingrained within their very culture, and it’s something us Brits seem to be losing focus of. There are so many areas of natural beauty across the UK, and generally within a few hours drive. Not to mention I don’t think I’ve been to a city which didn’t have a park somewhere. If this is really out of your grasp maybe try and catch up on some gardening, or sit outside anywhere just for the fresh air. Make it work for you.

3. Make time for loved ones

Another integral part of hygge is to enjoy time with others. Us humans aren’t supposed to be alone, we’re a herd animal and should interact as much as possible. If you’re a bit of an introvert like me this can sometimes be a challenge, but make time for those who really mean something to you. Maybe invite friends to your own bonfire bash, complete with marshmallows on sticks and mugs of hot chocolate? We’re all busy people so it can be difficult to align schedules, but make it happen, it will be worth it.

4. Wear warm comfy clothes

During our harsh cold winters is there anything more pleasing than to wrap up in woolly jumpers, scarves and gloves? Take pleasure in the comfy clothes you wear. Have an extra long, soft scarf. Oversized mittens. Hats with excessively large bobbles. My favourite is wearing shoes with fluffy linings, warm feet are happy feet and put a smile on my face everyday. Do what works for you.

5. Soup glorious soup

Simple, warming, comforting food is essential, and does it get more comforting than soup? For the full hygge effect make the soup yourself (butternut squash with cumin is a personal favourite) and pair it with freshly baked bread. After preparing, cooking and consuming your own simple dinner you’ll be guaranteed to have a warm glow in your stomach. Soup not really your thing? Thats fine! Simple Mediterranean dishes have the same effect for me, platters of meats and cheeses combined with salads. Healthy, nutritious, easy to make. I’m smiling just thinking about it.

6. Switch off those screens

Put your phone on silent, turn the laptop off, throw the TV remote in the bin: enjoy some down time. It’s all too easy to pass an evening watching television, or scrolling through Facebook on your phone, but you need to make time to disconnect. Read a book, play a board game with your family, do some painting! If a particular craft takes your fancy then indulge in it for at least one evening a week. Knitting and crochet is a perfect endeavour as you can create your own comfy blanket, mittens and hats! I’ve written another post here which explains why this is such a good idea.

7. Get baking!

This ties in slightly with number 5, but I’ve decided to list it seperately as there is a huge difference between cooking and baking. Find a recipe for a dessert you have always wanted to take and give yourself an afternoon to do it. I’ve found, in the past, the bigger the project and with no time constraints the happier I feel once it is finished. Plus, who doesn’t love slicing into a freshly made cake?

8. Make tea in a teapot

Warm drinks and nostalgia, this works for me every time. My partner and I invested in a nice teapot as we both know it’ll be used a lot, and so far we haven’t been wrong. This is the exact one we have, he is beautiful and we use him as much as possible! Hygge to me revolves around warmth, and nothing is warmer than tea. Now this doesn’t have to be PG Tips, it could be whatever flavour you want it to be! For my UK friends I implore you to check out In-Fusion Tea. They do beautiful different blends for everyone. Even a chocolate gateau. Yum. Tea not your thing? Try hot chocolate with tonnes of marshmallows and cream. Or coffee in a cafetiere. Enjoy your warm beverage, and turn it into a little mini occasion.

9. Have a bath instead of a shower

Showers are functional, they clean your body but aren’t overly luxurious. However baths could be considered the more basic version of a hot tub (that’s how I try to look at it anyway). Take time over your bath, don’t consider it just an exercise for getting clean, it is time to enjoy. Light candles (see tip 1!), use a bath bomb, lay back and relax. The scrubbing can wait, enjoy the soaking first.

10. Watch the sunset

My last, and probably favourite tip. Nothing is more powerful and uplifting than watching the sunset, or sunrise. It is new beginnings, the introduction of warmth into our days, and can have a profound spiritual effect on us. Get comfortable either outside or inside, and watch the sun. If this isn’t your thing then just take some time to look up and feel happiness and gratefulness in what you have. Hygge is at it’s core a feeling, a feeling of contentment, and I personally find looking into the sky has an ability to make me appreciate more than anything else.

I hope you’ve found some new idea’s on how to bring hygge into your life, and to hopefully increase your sense of well-being and happiness. There is a good reason the Danes are considered to be the happiest people in the world. I’ll be following up this post with similar tips and tricks for bringing some of the scandinavian into your lives. Comment below and let me know what you think!

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5 ways to make the most of your 9-5 job

5 ways to make the most of your 9-5 job

So many of us are now slaves to jobs which we don’t feel fulfilled or satisfied by. We sit at our desks, running reports and daydreaming about going home, putting our feet up and maybe drinking a few glasses of wine. For those of you out there who enjoy your jobs completely, congratulations! But I highly doubt you’ll be reading this post if that is the case. Luckily for the rest of you I have created a list of the top tips I use everyday to make the old 9-5 go smoother and feel more enjoyable. A lot of this takes a positive open mindset, so read on if you’re to change your outlook and hopefully you’re life!

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Leave your house 10 minutes earlier.

Something you can before work even begins, leaving yourself plenty of time to commute to work removes a lot of the stress many of us feel on our daily travels. Obviously this could be a bit tricky if you rely on public transport, but consider an earlier bus or train, even if it is only a few days a week. You’ll be surprised what a weight if takes off your shoulders when you’re not rushing and constantly watching the clock. For my daily commute I purposely go a route which is longer, but much more scenic and rural, so there is less traffic and more beautiful scenery. Its a win win. Try it.

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Don’t get involved in office gossip.

All of us who work in an office based environment understand (and probably participate) in a fair amount of office gossip. It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of discussing Janet in HR’s awful new haircut or Vince in accounts’ obvious mono-brown. Stop it. Don’t discuss it. Laugh along if needs be, but don’t actively comment. This kind of behaviour is totally negative and lets be honest, doesn’t achieve anything other than filling a conversation gap. Try and steer the conversation towards more lighthearted, positive topics: plans for the weekend, upcoming holidays, birthdays, anything so long as it brings a smile to your face. You’ll be surprised in the elevation if your own mood, and also your colleagues moods. Positivity is surprisingly infectious.

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Take all of your allocated breaks.

This is one I personally struggle with. But make sure you do. If you’re entitled to an hour’s break and only usually take 30 minutes you’re only stealing time from yourself. Bring a book to read, download a film on Netflix to watch, or ideally leave the office entirely and go for a walk. Whatever it is, just make sure you unplug from your desk and take what you are entitled to.

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Immerse yourself in the task at hand.

How often do you stare at the screen and instead of working think about how much work there is to do and how much you don’t want to do it? We’ve all been there. But this attitude achieves nothing but lost time. If you immerse yourself completely in what you are doing and make sure to work and not procrastinate you will feel much more of a sense of achievement at the end of the day. Plus, the hours will likely go much quicker, time is relative afterall.

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Stop competing!

It is work, not a competition. We all feel it, the need to be noticed and acknowledged for being the best, but it is just unnecessary. The quality of your work should shine through and be enough to show your superiors that you are a hard worker. Have confidence in what you’re doing, you’ll feel so much happier if you’re not constantly vying for someone else’s approval. Plus, if you follow the previous tip your work levels will naturally increase.

I hope you’re found some handy tips in the above list, please try and implement some changes in your daily structure, you’ll be surprised how much of a difference they make. It is my mantra after all, little changes make a big difference. Let me know how you get on!

5 ways to boost your mood

We’re all guilty of it, waking up on the wrong side of the bed, the world is against us and we could think of nothing better than wallowing in self pity all day. Or is that just me? Well, I’ve put together a list of tips which I use to overcome these negative feelings, boost my mood and generally make the world seem a little bit brighter!

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1. Yoga.
If you haven’t ever tried yoga before you should definitely start (I have a board dedicated to yoga on my Pinterest page). You gently stretch, breathe deeply and focus on nothing other than the feeling of moving and being connected to the Earth beneath your feet. Nothing elevates my mood more than a few simple stretches. Seriously, give it a try.

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2. Stay hydrated!
It seems a bit of an obvious one, but it is all too easy to lose track of time and drink barely anything across the course of the day. Keep a bottle on your desk at work, in your bag, hanging from a chain around your neck if it helps. The old adage of drinking 2 litres a day doesn’t have to apply to you, just keep sipping and you’ll soon notice an increase in clarity. Clear mind, clear heart.

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3. Stop what you’re doing.
No, seriously, stop what you’re doing for at least 30 minutes a day. Take a 30 minute break from work, cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, whatever it is, and enjoy those 30 minutes to yourself. Read a book, put on your favourite song (on repeat, this is my go-to when I’m really in a slump), put your feet up and allow yourself to unwind. We should stop glorifying busy, sometimes doing nothing is exactly what the doctor ordered.

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4. Write down one thing you are looking forward to.
This could be something as small as getting home from work and putting your feet up, to something larger like going on holiday in 3 months. Use this moment to focus on something truly positive which will happen within your life. It will put a smile on your face for definite.

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5. Eat mood boosting food.
I am absolutely terrible when it comes to my diet, it is all too easy to make peanut butter on toast rather than a healthy nutritious evening meal. But eating some of these foods really does make a difference. Examples of mood boosting foods are oily fish, oysters, chicken/turkey, spinach, lentils, oats, bananas, and my personal favourite, dark chocolate. You’d be surprised what a difference just putting a little thought into your meals can make.

Please please please give some of these tips a go, and please please please let me know how you get on. Small changes in our lives can sometimes make the biggest impact. Since introducing yoga into my every day routine I’ve noticed a huge increase in positivity through every aspect of my life. Leave a comment to let me know how you get on!

5 ways to boost your mood

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The Plan

Hello! I created this blog some time ago in the hopes of increasing my happiness and hopefully inspiring others to increase theirs too. This worked. Perhaps a little too well, as I’ve been inactive for a couple of years, oops! But those years have been invaluable, I’ve learnt a lot about myself, my life and what is important to me. I’ve also read into different theories and practices surrounding personal happiness, inner peace etc. Hopefully I’ll be more prepared this time to keep this blog up to date and provide valuable and interesting content for my readers to consume.

My plan is to post once a week, now this doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a start! Spare time is minimal in my life at the moment, but I want to prioritize as much time as possible on this blog and hopefully inspire some of you nice folks into changing your lives the way I’ve changed mine!

This is just an introductory post, mainly to brush off my dusty writing skills, more to come shortly, keep your eyes peeled!

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