One Little Happy Thing

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Tag: positivityquotes

My top ten tips to bring Hygge into your life

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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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